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March 27, 2006

The Flintstones

The Flintstones on IMDB

This is the 1994 movie of the favourite children's cartoon TV series. John Goodman plays Fred Flintstone, in a curious stone age world where all our modern inventions exist, but are mostly made of rocks, and are either man - or dinosaur - powered.

Everyone knows and loves the Flintstones, so it must have been a brave decision to make a live action movie. People could really hate it if it spoiled their memories. But with executive producers Stephen Spielberg, and the original series producers William Hanna and Joseph Barbera on board, they had as good a chance of success as it was possible to get. It should be noted however that one of the writers, Stephen E. De Sousa, had another go the following year with a movie adaptation of the comic book character Judge Dredd; this was a bit of a critical and commercial disaster. Success at these things is not guaranteed.

But they did succeeded, and made a fun movie that is faithful to the original series, and made a lot of money. Fred uses his feet to propel his car. The waste disposal is an odd looking creature sitting under the sink eating the garbage. They even included the opening and closing titles from that program, with a huge dinosaur ribs dinner toppling the car over, and a computer generated pet sabre-toothed tiger being put out on the doorstep for the night.

The plot is very poor however. It's much too complicated, and actually very dark for a kids film. Fred causes his best friend Barney to lose his job and get evicted from his home, and the pair of them almost get lynched from a tree - they even have nooses round their necks at this point. The dark tones though are easily missed by children as the action is non-stop, and there is always another funny invention, or great special effect to see.

The supporting cast are all really good. Elizabeth Taylor is great as the mother-in-law, and it's a shame she hasn't been in any big movies since (just the TV movie "Those Old Broads"). Rick Moranis as nerdy Barney, and Rosie O'Donnell and Elizabeth Perkins are Betty and Wilma all emulate their two dimensional namesakes to perfection. The most amusing character is Halle Berry vamping it up as Fred's devious secretary. It's always fun to watch a major star in an early embarassing role.

So don't worry if you loved the cartoon and think you'll hate this. The characters are just the same, the crazy stone-age inventions are all there. Ignore the dopey plot, and you'll enjoy this movie a lot.

Posted by se71 at March 27, 2006 12:12 PM


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