Tuesday, May 24, 2011

No Roger Ebert Am I

I watched "Water For Elephants" this morning.  Turned out to be a very good story about a doomed circus in 1931.  These are some of the things the movie covered: Murder, domestic violence, infidelity, prohibition, the Great Depression, a rogue exotic animal stampede and, of course, an elderly elephant that only understands Polish.  What more could you ask for in your viewing pleasure?  A disgruntle dwarf being killed? An exotic dancer disrobing down to spinning tassels?  Both are there.  The only disappointment was I had hoped to see a kangaroo singing the "Star Spangled Banner"  and not only did the kangaroo not sing, there wasn't a kangaroo.

Now that I think about; without the singing kangaroo, I don't believe I got my money's worth.  If they were not going to include a musical joey, they should have noted that on the advertisements and trailers.  Even Reese Witherspoon, when appearing on David Letterman to promote the film, made no mention of how they forgot to include any kangaroo scenes.  This brings down my opinion of her by 17 points.  I had thought she was a forthright person.  I was wrong.  She is devious by speaking in conspicuous absence.

I freely admit that not every movie needs a singing kangaroo to be entertaining.  Yet, try to picture "The Sound of Music"  without one.  Or how much better "All The Presidents Men" would have been if the whistle-blower "Deepthroat" had been played by a singing kangaroo.  Who can forget that memorable scene in "Iron Man 2"  when Micky Rourke is crying over his missing pet bird and Kelly the Kangaroo comforts him with song.  Micky's tear stained face turning up with a smile and joining Kelly to sing the refrain.  Now that was movie magic!

Anyway, if you are planning to see "Water For Elephants" thinking that there will be a big musical number featuring a singing kangaroo, don't waste your money.  Other than that, the movie deserves a screening.  I will give it a hesitant "thumb's up."

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