Wild, and Weird
This is a Really Weird Movie.
Directed by Henry Selick, who helmed "Tim Burton's the Nightmare Before
Christmas" and "James and the Giant Peach," it's a blend of live action,
animation, and special effects that hearkens more to "Who Framed Roger
Rabbit" than the earlier Selick films.
Except that "Roger Rabbit" is, on the whole, a far more accessible film...
Monkeybone is a cartoon character created by Stu Miley (Brendan Fraser,
who seems to make a career out of taking offbeat, risky roles). He should
really have been named Randy, 'cause that's as apt a description of the
cartoon character as anything. After a car accident leaves Miley in a
coma, he and his creation end up in an animation/special effects purgatory
- and Stu has only three months to find his way back out and into his
Unfortunately, it's Monkeybone who gets the exit visa and who returns
to earth in Stu's body - much to the chagrin of his fiancee Julie (Bridget
Fonda), who discovers that the man she loved has suddenly been restored
to her as the complete opposite of the man she loved.
Meanwhile, Stu is fighting in the underworld to get back to earth to
regain his body from Monkeybone and, at the very least, have a chance
to say good-bye to the lovely Julie. Since his body is already occupied,
he takes over the dead body of a gymnast (Chris Kattan, whose "corpse"
is in the process of having its organs removed for transplant) and wanders
around in the decomposing flesh.
Sound weird? Told you so.
Monkeybone means well, and it's well worth seeing if only for its far
out visuals (a particularly tortured scene from one of Stu's nightmares
is one of the most memorable images) and special creature effects, but
on the whole it's kind of a mishmash that doesn't really get the audience
Still, there's a lot of humor, action, and bizarre characters and situations,
and the movie is never, ever boring!
The Special Edition DVD is presented in anamorphic widescreen (16x9
TV compatible), and the picture quality is excellent. The DTS and Dolby
Digital 5.1 audio is also extremely up to snuff, so the disc offers a
wonderful audio/visual treat for home theater buffs.
Extras abound, including a director's running commentary, a bunch of
extended scenes with (optional) commentary, and an alternate ending (What?
They don't run names up the screen?). You also get animation studies with
or without commentary, a still picture gallery, trailer, and TV spots.
Monkeybone, from 20th Century Fox Home Video
88 min. anamorphic widescreen (1.85:1), 16x9 TV compatible, DTS and Dolby
Starring Brendan Fraser, Bridget Fonda, Chris Kattan, Whoopi Goldberg
Produced by Michael Barnathan, Mark Radcliffe
Written by Sam Hamm, Directed by Henry Selick.
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