Video Picks Archive
Reviews by Matt Heffernan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This week my picks are Chicken Run (2000 - ) and Stalag 17 (1953 - ).
The first film this week is the first feature created by
Aardman, the stop-motion animation studio behind the "Wallace
and Gromit" series. Chicken Run tells the story about a
chicken egg farm that is going to become a poultry farm. The
hens want to escape, but cannot do it alone. The arrival
of Rocky the Flying Rooster (voiced by Mel Gibson) gives them
hope of learning how to fly away themselves. Four years
in the making under the direction of Nick Park (Creature
Comforts, "Wallace and Gromit") and Peter Lord
(Wat's Pig), this delightful film creates a whimsical
environment in which to spoof escape dramas and adventure films.
Chicken Run is not only a good family film, but
it was also one of the best films from all of last summer .
If you pay close attention, you will notice that most of the action in Chicken Run takes place in pen #17, which is in reference to the second film. Adapted by Billy Wilder from the play by Donald Bevan and Edmund Trzcinski, Stalag 17 stars William Holden as an American soldier in a German POW camp during World War II. His inmates try to escape, but somebody is informing the German guards. His willingness to trade with the Germans to make prison life better for himself puts him under suspicion. Featuring a great cast including Otto Preminger (in a rare acting role), Don Taylor, and Peter Graves, this film is generally regarded as one of the best escape dramas from the post-war era. It successfully combines Wildereque humor with high drama, but it has not aged well, looking quite dated by today's standards. What never grows old, though, is Holden's brilliant Oscar-winning performance.
For more information, visit the Internet Movie Database:
Chicken Run (2000)
Stalag 17 (1953)
Guide to Star Ratings
Capsule Reviews © 2000 Matt Heffernan