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Bee Movie (SE)
DVD disk
Apr 15, 2008 By: Quigles
Bee Movie (SE) order
Director:
Steve Hickner, Simon J. Smith

Actors:
Jerry Seinfeld
Rene Zellweger
Matthew Broderick

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Fresh out of bee-college, Barry B. Benson realizes his place in life may be outside of the hive.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
It's hard for me to think of BEE MOVIE without imagining Jerry Seinfeld's pitch for the film: "And whaaat's the deal with bees? They just buzz around in crazy circles, going from flower to flower... and they sting people! And then they die! What's up with that?" I suppose if you enjoy his particular brand of humor, you'll find a lot to enjoy here as well, but for me, I just couldn't get over how almost all of the jokes were just observational gags about bees functioning in a more human-like world (not unlike CARS, where the jokes stemmed from the exact same thing).

Seinfeld's schtick might bother me less if the film had more to offer story-wise. It's evident, though, that the filmmakers had to figure out ways to stretch out the movie's length by padding it with numerous action scenes and truly bizarre subplots. A good chuck of the film is devoted to a courtroom trial, which involves Seinfeld's character suing humans for stealing bees' honey. If that wasn't odd enough, the movie also contains repeated allusions to an inter-species relationship between Seinfeld's character and Rene Zellweger's human character (who's frightfully annoying and uninteresting). Further head scratching commenced with the reveal of the film's message: it's better to act like a sheep than think for yourself, because the latter will cause society to crumble.

I can't fully condemn BEE MOVIE, though. It boasts impressive technical merits, tries hard to appeal to both adults and kids without dumbing things down too extensively, and clearly has that distinct Seinfeld stamp all over it, so fans of his should be pleased.
THE EXTRAS
While on the surface there seems to be a lot to check out on this "A Very Jerry 2-Disc Edition," there's also a lot of excess crap (the second disc is pretty much worthless). It's still better than the single disc though, which offers literally no good special features.

DISC 1

Audio Commentary (with Jerry Seinfeld, directors Steven Hickner and Simon J. Smith, co-writer Barry Marder, producer Christina Steinberg, and editor Nick Fletcher): This is a must-listen for fans of Seinfeld, delivering plenty of fun banter and interesting info regarding the film's conception.

Lost Scenes (5:00): 3 unfinished black-and-white deleted segments, prefaced with audio commentary by Seinfeld.

Alternate Endings (14:39): There are seven (also unfinished) alternate endings, none of which are worthy of much praise.

Jerry's TV Juniors (23:21): All 16 of those live-action promos that aired on TV have been made available here.

Jerry's Flight Over Cannes (3:02): A quick look at a publicity stunt during the Cannes film festival featuring Seinfeld in a bee suit.

Inside the Hive: The Cast of Bee Movie (14:42): A cool look at all the voice talent behind the film.

Also included are the film's Original Live-Action Trailers and Previews.

DISC 2

Tech of Bee Movie (7:33): A useless behind-the-scenes featurette.

Meet Barry B. Benson: A horrible interactive "game" that has preset questions you can ask Barry.

DreamWorks Animation Jukebox: Another pointless interactive extra, this one letting you access a bunch of musical numbers from DreamWorks films.

The Buzz About Bees (7:09): Kids can learn a bit about bees with this featurette.

The Ow! Meter: An interactive piece showing varying levels of pain that can from bees and humans, as well as how to avoid being stung by a bee.

That's Un-Bee-Lievable: An interactive quiz about bees.

Be a Bee: An interactive quiz that determines what job you'd be best suited for in a hive if you were a bee.

Pollination Practice: A game where you use a pollination gun on flowers.

Also included is a Music Video entitled "We Got the Bee".
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
BEE MOVIE feels more like an excuse to have a character that's essentially an animated version of Jerry Seinfeld doing stand-up comedy while zipping through awkward subplots and action-oriented set pieces. As far as kid's movies go, I won't deny that does a satisfactory job offering something for both children and adults, but I can't say I ever plan on watching it again.
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