Friday, August 8, 2014

Antboy DVD Review

Reviewed by Allie Schembra
Ordinary, overlooked 12-year old Pelle (Oscar Dietz) is transformed into an extraordinary superhero after he is bitten by a super-ant and inherits its abilities. Overnight, the boy who nobody noticed becomes a local hero as he is dubbed “Antboy.” With the help of his new friend and sidekick, comic-loving Wilhelm, climbing walls, flipping cars, stopping robbers and saving babies all become part of his new dream life. But all this changes when super-villain “The Flea” kidnaps a young girl, the subject of Pelle’s affection and terrorizes the citizens of Middelund. Antboy, with his sidekick Wilhelm and their friend Ida who won’t take no for an answer, must fight this treacherous evil, rescue the damsel in distress, save the town from a super-villain and be home in time for dinner.
Film (3 out of 5 stars)
Pelle is a quiet, unassuming kid, who no one really pays attention to at school – except when he’s getting bullied.  Typically, Pelle avoids the bullies, but one day, he sees them picking on a smaller kid.  From his perch on the roof of the school, he throws an apple at the bullies and directs their attention and wrath toward himself instead of the smaller kid.

As he runs away, he hides in the yard of the neighborhood “creepy person,” and while he’s there, is bitten by an ant.  Pelle finally returns home, but is feeling kind of funny.  He goes to bed, but wakes up in the middle of the night and goes on a hunt in the kitchen for something to eat.  When all is said and done, Pelle has eaten all the sugar and foods with sugar in the house.  The next morning, he goes to school and as the day wears on, realizes something isn’t right.  He has strange powers he can’t explain.  The kid he helped the day before, Wilhelm, thinks he has an explanation and invites Pelle to his house. 

After research, Wilhelm and Pelle realize that the powers Pelle now possess came from the ant bite, and Pelle wants to be a superhero.  Wilhelm creates a costume for Pelle and they go looking for crime, so Pelle can fight it.  As Antboy becomes more popular, Pelle realizes that the girl of his dreams is right within reach.  Before he can tell her, she is kidnapped and with the help of Wilhelm and another friend, Ida, Antboy sets out to rescues the object of his affection and save the town.

I really had my doubts about this film, but my six-year-old Godson kept asking to watch it, so we sat down and watched it one afternoon.  A blatant rip off of the Spiderman story, Antboy is a heart-warming film about a boy who just wants to be noticed.  The kids in the film were super cute, and they did a good job with their parts.  I enjoyed the story, though I find ants super creepy and gross and I really dislike them.  It was entertaining and fun, and a good film to watch with kids.
Video (3 out of 5 stars)
Antboy is presented in widescreen and it’s pretty good.  The colors are all sharp and bright, and there are no visible issues with the picture.  There are no distracting background items, and nature shots looked natural.  Because this is geared toward children, the picture is brighter and sharper and really was pretty to look at.
Audio (3 out of 5 stars)
The Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound presentation of Antboy is good.  Dialogue is heard clearly, and there were no hard to hear parts.  Action shots were easily heard and not too loud.  The script was simple and easily understood, background noises were good.  The film is in English and there are no available subtitles.
Extras (0 out of 5 stars)
There are no special features on the Antboy DVD.
Summary (2 out of 5 stars)
While the story, video and audio of Antboy were good, the score is brought down significantly for the lack of special features.  There were also no subtitles, which actually kind of bothered me.  I don’t’ know if it’s because I’m so used to having the option, or if I felt that people who have hearing impairments wouldn’t be able to watch it, I just thought at least some should have been included.  I did think the movie was cute… a kid version of Spiderman.  If you feel your child is too young for the Spiderman series, then Antboy is a good replacement.  It’s fun, heart-warming, and easy to watch and follow along with.  There are no scary parts… even the “bad guy” doesn’t seem so bad.  While I may not watch it again, it’s a movie I would definitely let my (nonexistent) kids watch.

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