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November 2, 2011     The Sun Paper
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6 The Sun, Wednesday, November 2, 2011 At the Movies &apos;Puss in Boots' far from purrr-fect By lan Black Special to The Sun "Puss in Boots" was a fable penned by Charles Perrault, the godfather of the fairytale, way back in 1697. It tells the story of the youngest son of a miller, who receives a simple cat as inherence after his father dies (his older brothers got the mill and mules). Since this is a fairy tale, though, the cat turns out of be an awesome magical cat that, in exchange for a pair of snazzy boots, goes around ly- ing to everyone that his mas- ter is a totally cool marquis. Eventually the bilking and The Best Saw The Best Price this week for Great Savings! Ray's Food place Tuesday conning pays off and the miller's son marries the prin- cess and the cat becomes a lord who chases mice for sport. In hindsight it's probably the happiest Perrault ending with absolutely zero body count, which given his frick record is pretty impressive. The fable ends with two morals: that ver- satility is the key to success and that women like snappy dress- ers. Okay, so not the best mor- als, but hey they can't all be winners. I hope you liked that history lesson, because this week's movie, "Puss in Boots" has nothing to do with it! Yes, the "Shrek" version of the charac- 5TIHL SALES SERVICE ACCESSORIES Chain Saws Brush Cutters Blowers Hedge Trimmers Concrete Saws Wire Rope and Rigging iiil (503) 472-4115 2330 Stratus Ave. McMinnville ter pretty much just kept the cat and boots part and threw away the rest, opting instead for an odd Zorro-like caricature. Granted, it was funny in "Shrek 2" but, as we've established with "Cars 2," focusing your film on a side character is sel- dom a good choice. "Puss in Boots:" the film, is a prequel to the events of the "Shrek" series, so naturally it involves many characters that don't appear in those films, so I will assume the worst hap- pened to them during the time between this story's ending and the start of"Shrek 2." The titu- lar character, Puss (Antonio Banderas), is still a swashbuck- ling rogue with Latin flair, fighting evildoers. That's pretty much all we get in terms of characterization. The central plot involves Jack and the Beanstalk with the Golden Goose being in the forefront. Jack and Jill are the primary villains for some rea- son and Humpty Dumpty (Zach Galifianakis) is the co- medic sidekick. Oh yeah, and Salma Hayek plays the obliga- tory love interest. If you've seen the other "Shrek" films you know what to expect here: a big melting pot of fairytales and fables from pretty much every folktale col- lection mixed with a healthy dose of pop culture references and silly slapstick humor. As I said when I reviewed the fourth "Shrek" film, the shine has been off the apple for years now. The series reached its ze- nith in the second installment and everything released after- ward has felt increasingly tired. "Puss in Boots" doesn't feel quite as stale as the last"Shrek" outing. The change of scenery and new characters do at least make some of the ambiance feel a little fresher, but the re- sult is far from perfect. As I said, Puss simply isn't that deep of a character. We may love a side character to death in a film, but that does not mean they can carry an en- tire story of their own. Some- times, sure, but in this case I'd say Puss would probably have been better suited to staying in a supporting role. The one aspect I will credit this film on is its superb ani- mation. I won't fault them on that. Of course, I think the days when a film can be given a pass just because it looks pretty are behind us, and I think this film still falls short in other areas. I still say "Rango" is the ani- mated film to beat so far this year, though given the weak competition I will expect to see this film along side it. All in all, "Boots" is a de- cent family movie. Skip the 3D, it brings absolutely nothing to the experience and is total rob- bery. With expectations so low, it seems most audiences and crit- ics alike are giving this kitty a nice saucer of milk. But next time, if they go to the same story, watch out. Some critics (and audiences) have claws. Grade: B- Entertainment Value: 7 PovxlC AI}orrION Photo by Clinton Yinlng Librarian Melissa Hansen, of the Willamina Public Library, shows off a stack of poetry books the library recently received as a donation from Tavern Books, a Portland-area organization providing books for small rural Oregon libraries. "1 was just so excited about it," Hansen said. "1 love poetry and our poetry section was really dismal." 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