From May 14, 2013
This was a good movie. I really liked the whole turn-of-the-century feel and look to it (because it takes place then). As the wikipedia page states: " The film became a critical, but not a commercial, success in its native France and internationally." It cost € 28.22 million, but it only made € 18.61 million. I'm not sure why it didn't do better.
The movie is about a shy guy named Emile, his friend Raoul the delivery guy, and a singer named Lucille. In a large greenhouse--run by an absent professor--Emile and Raoul meet a helper monkey named Charles. Something goes wrong with a growing potion and an explosion and a monster in made...
The design of Lucille's costume while onstage reminded me of the main character from the up-coming comic book series that I'm currently working on.
I also liked the character sketches they show during the end credits. By the end of the movie I asked myself, "Is there really a lighthouse on the top of the Eiffel Tower?"
• The French filmmakers seem to play with light in scenes more than American filmmakers.
• I liked the reference to Méliès, the famous silent filmmaker who made "A Trip to the Moon" (1902) whose story was shown prominently in "Hugo" (2011)
• There's some good POV scenes in this movie. The first is a funny one involving one of the main characters getting his film camera stolen while he's filming. The second is a neat revisiting of earlier scenes from the monster's perspective.
• There's a neat song-and-dance number in the middle of the film.
PRO & CON:
• The animation of the characters is a little strange and stilted in this movie at times. This, of course, goes away when the characters start dancing. It looks like the filmmakers put most of their efforts into those scenes. This is a French film, so the character Lucille dances seductively in all the right ways.
I was really annoyed when the monster starts singing not only well, but in a language. "That's stupid," I thought, but it is explained in the context of the film, so I was later ok with it.
• The song near the end of the film (and especially the song over the end credits) sounded like something from the 1970's, which was cool, but kind of out of step with the rest of the film.