Shrek III

By the time we reach the third generation of a movie franchise, we have become very jaded and picky. The first movie, "Shrek," the one that inspired the series, had a lot going for it: everything was new; there was a sense of discovery for each character and each location; the satires seemed inspired; everything was brilliant. The second one, naturally, tried to out-do the first...sometimes with great success and sometimes not so great. The second one was successful, so that brings us inevitably to the third.

To call "Shrek the Third" flaccid or derivative, is to take for granted the wonderful artistry that went into this series; however (and this is a BIG however), with the major exception of Eddie Murphy's donkey, all the famous voices (Julie Andrews, John Cleese, Rupert Everett, Mike Meyers, Cameron Diaz, Antonio Banderas, etc., etc., etc.) were scarcely recognizable or distinctive, the cleverly named locations had become old hat and the brilliant Pixar technology has become "ho hum." We have come to expect breathtaking animation and I found myself mentally criticizing the way the human characters walked. How picky is THAT!?

In my opinion, the story is carelessly cobbled together and concludes with everyone throwing down their differences in a strictly illogical Hollywood ending ("Death to Smoochy," and "Night in a Museum"), which forces people like me to remind ourselves that this is a FAIRY TALE, nothing more and nothing less. ("Can't we all just get along?")

The gaggle of princesses is nothing more than a gang of self-centered Valley Girl twits...although Sleeping Beauty has a serious case of narcolepsy! Snow White gets to warble a little tune and gather together some birdies and bunny rabbits on cue, plus she loans out one of the dwarfs to babysit; and it turns out that Rapunzel's long hair is a weave! I don't recall Cinderella in any distinctive way. Of course, our beloved Fiona is resourceful and determined...with never a false move.

Part of my dissatisfaction was the extremely poor sound system in the theatre where I saw it; part of it is a general overload of films that don't seem original or entertaining enough. Sorry...