Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Wednesday Review: The Borrowers

This week’s review is of a film I’ve never heard of until yesterday called The Borrowers. The film was made in 1997 by some company I’ve never heard of called Polygram Filmed Entertainment. Maybe it’s big over in the UK? I dunno. Well anyway, I had two reasons for deciding to watch this film. The first, it has a good cast of familiar and talented actors, the second, it reminded me of the 1980s cartoon called The Littles. Apparently both of these are based off of books ... figures. So I have no idea what this is going to be like, so on with the review!
The Borrowers title card.
Review after the break.

So we start off the film with some kid named Pete playing with what looks like a Rube Goldberg machine and his mother (I assume she’s his mother) gets her hand caught on one of the mechanisms which is in the laundry for some odd reason. Apparently something is taking their stuff, which is why he’s set up a Rube Goldberg trap to catch it.

After the family leaves, it’s revealed that tiny people live in their house, and they are the ones that have been taking things. Now, the scene in which we first see the tiny people would seem more incredible if the film hadn’t given it away in the trailer and other forms of preview material. I have already lost all hope that anything mysterious could happen in this film.

I wonder ... did they build really big sets for the scenes with the little people, or is this just really good green screen for the 90s?

John Goodman will be portraying the villain of the film, as seen with the fact that he has a moustache and slicked back oily hair. I’ve seen/heard John Goodman in so many films that all I can think of his the many voices he’s done ... Sully (Monsters Inc.), Pacha (Emperor’s New Groove), Rex (We’re Back), the list goes on. Funny how none of them are villains ... this is going to be odd.

Look at her hair! It's so weird!
The daughter of the little people has weird hair. I mean, seriously, who has hair like that?

Ha! It’s Malfoy! A little, teeny-weeny, young, Malfoy!

Potter’s apartments? Potterville? It appears that the villain of our story has Pottermania on the mind like everyone in our current time period does! Old John Goodman, he’s ahead of the game here. He’s knows what’ll be big in a decade or so.

The best part about that last statement is that Malfoy is an enemy of Goodman (who play’s Potter) in this film! It’s like Harry Potter as seen from the villain’s eyes. Where Harry is actually the bad guy, and Malfoy is the good guy!

Why don’t these guys “borrow” stuff at night when everyone is sleeping, that way they don’t have to worry about being seen?

The little mom has weird hair too. Kooky little people.

So ... wait a minute ... what happened to all the other little people? Are they all dead? Did they move to another house? They can’t have been discovered, I mean, that’d be all over the news and the kid would expect little people of stealing stuff.

Hey, it’s the toy Indian from The Indian in the Cupboard!

Mr. Weasley is in this too! Man ... this film really is about Pottermania isn’t it?

This kid is way too accepting of little people living in his house. He’s so calm about it ... as if strange and wondrous things happen to him all the time. Well, I suppose if he has the Indian from Indian in the Cupboard then he might have had a magical adventure there too.

WHAT? Why is there a hole in the moving truck?! You think they’d get that fixed! You could lose stuff!

Potter (Goodman) and the exterminator (Williams).
Wait a minute wait a minute. So the exterminator has heard stories about the borrowers? Well that may explain the kid’s calmness about finding them.

The exterminator’s costume looks like a rejected Ghostbuster uniform ... with a hat.

Now that Potter lost his moustache that means he’s suddenly no longer a bad guy right?

It’s weird writing “Potter” and not be talking about Harry Potter.

Why does he carry a mirror in his briefcase?

The kid’s a trooper for holding onto a burning light bulb for so long.

I’m half expecting the exterminator to stop working for the villain and start working for the little people every time they do something.

You know, unless these little people give back everything by the end of the movie, it doesn’t matter how many times you insist they’re borrowing things ... they’re stealing them.

WHOA! It’s that House guy from that show about himself ... the one called House ... I’ve never watched it but I hear he’s a great actor.

So ... is this set in England? If so, why are the main family and the main villain American?
Holey Giant Pigeon Batman!
Seeing those little people standing beside a GIANT PIGEON is really something hard for my brain to comprehend!

Malfoy you little shit! Stop being caught by the bad guys!

Well, apparently more borrowers do exist! I guess they all didn’t die then.

I gotta say, that little dude’s rocket skate kick’s all kinds of ass!

“I need a pen and a string and a piece of paper...” What are you, MacGyver?

The villain just got covered in liquid cheese ... that is gross ... so gross.

BAHAHA Oh man ... that dog ate a barrel of cheese ... this is going to turn out hilarious ... I know it.
Exterminator joins the good guys.

The secretary at city hall is probably the best character of the entire film. If you watch this film, you’ll find out why.

I knew the exterminator would join the good guys eventually.

Why’d the officer stop the exterminator outside city hall but not the kid? And why’d he let him in seconds later? What was the point of stopping him? The scene made no sense!

Holey Moley! There’s a whole army of borrowers! Where do they hide? How is it they haven’t been revealed to the public?

Why do so many of them live in city hall?

Wow ... they’re fast.

Well that film was entertaining. The Borrowers is a great family flick that avoids the usual cliché twists and turns of film today. The effects were good, especially for the 90s, and had I not known it was made in the 90s, the effects could have seemed like, for the most part, something made only a few years ago. However the shots used were fairly standard, nothing spectacular at all, the score kept in time with the film, but for the most part was unnoticeable. There were some really good laughs in the film, and the style was a nice mix of British and American styles of film. I’d recommend this film to people of all ages who enjoy fantasy style films.

7/10 because it’s quiet, conscientious, and inconspicuous.

The family of borrowers.

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