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COOL WORLD

Review by Chastity Campbell

Starring: Kim Basinger, Gabriel Byrne, Brad Pitt
Director: Ralph Bakshi
Audio: 5.1 Dolby Digital, Surround
Video: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Studio: Paramount
Features: See Review
Length: 101 Minutes
Release Date: November 11, 2003

ďNoids donít have sex with Doodles, itís the law!Ē

Film ***

That blonde hair, those blue eyes, sheís the perfect womanÖor if brunettes are your type, where this film is concerned, you could say back to the drawing board and mean it literally!

Cool World is a comedic blend of real life action and animation that brings a gun toting Noid and a hyper sexed Doodle on a mission to become human front and center in a battle to prevent the total annihilation of the real world!

Jack Deebs is in prison, and since he has so much time on his talented cartoonist hands he creates Cool World to while away the hours of solitary in the big house.   The big house hasnít ruined Jacks image of the perfect woman, and he draws her in the form of Holli Would. 

Holli Would is brought to life by the smooth talking, sexy voiced actress Kim Basinger.  Basinger does have some screen time as herself when Holli becomes momentarily human toward the end of the movie, but you donít really get to see enough of her to truly appreciate what she could have brought to the character.

Brad Pittís plays the part of Detective Frank Harris.  When a cartoon scientist uses a creation of his to rip a hole in the fabric between the real world and Cool World it sucks Harris in minutes after he and his mother are in a fatal accident.   Harris is the only human to ever be pulled into Cool World and spends the next thirty years upholding the law in a town full of doodles!  Gives new life to the phrase, Iíll rub ya out!

When Holli finds a way to pull Jack into Cool World for short periods of time, she realizes itís her one and only shot at becoming a Noid and heading off into the real world.  See, a doodles only a doodle till they get noodled by a Noid!

Itís a race against time as Frank tries to prevent Holli from achieving her goal, and thus blurring the line between reality and fantasy.

I really enjoyed this movie from start to finish.  I can remember when it came out in 1992.  I was a senior in high school and went to see it at the theatre at least three times.   It was the coolest thing I had ever seen, next to the 1988 release of, Who Framed Roger Rabbit.  Ahh JessicaÖnow there was a dame that was drawn in permanent ink!

The interaction between the Noids (Humans) and the Doodles (Cartoons) was almost seamless with the exception of a few scenes between Frank and his Doodle Doll face!  You could tell when he placed his arm around the doodle that it wasnít synced up quite right.  Every movie has its faults; itís just easier to see when more than half of the characters are drawn in later!

Most of the actual actors worked really well with what I will assume was green screen (I canít be sure since we didnít get an extra feature that gave insight into the production of this flick!), and managed to make the characters they played feel realÖwell, as real as you can in the context of a drawing! 

This movie happened along fairly early in Brad Pittsí career, who only a few years earlier in the late 80s began tempting female movie-goers with his boyish good looks and charming smile.  Pitt put a lot of heart into the character he played, and tried really hard to make his character streetwise, yet likeable.

Basinger has been around since the early seventies, but her beauty and poise on screen has aged like a fine wine.  Beautiful as ever in the part of temptress Holli Would, Basinger doesnít flinch at her characters overt sexuality.  She delivers her lines as a doodle and later in the film as Noid, with the same level of curiosity and sex appeal that make her every manís fantasy. 

Ah yes, we canít forget the very likeable Gabriel Byrne.  Byrne didnít thrill me in the role of Jack Deebs, but he did okay.  Iím not a huge fan of his, and I have definitely seen him do better work, but overall, he wasnít too shabby as the ex-con cartoonist. 

Combine Cartoon Network and TV Land, with Viva Las Vegas and youíll find youíre not even close to this movieÖbut wouldnít watching that be fun, too!  

Grab a copy of this movie on DVD and take it for a spin about town.  Youíll be the coolest cat in the world when you add this one to your collection!

Video **

I have seen better combinations of people and animations before.   The color schemes for the real people were very bright and vivid.  The makeup was done up very glossy on Pitt especially, and he really did shine, so to speak. 

The print didnít transfer seamlessly to the digital realm, as the 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen formatting could have benefited from some clean up work.  There was a lot of visible dirt in the animation, which surprised me considering drawings can be glossed over easier than actual actors can. 

A little bit of hazing around the edges was visible, but didnít detract too much from the actual picture. 

Audio ***

The soundtrack was great, with a varied mix of sound effects and old school jazz spiced up with a modern club scene tilt.   

The looping of dialogue for the animated characters blended very nicely with that of the real actors.  It was almost a surreal experience listening to the way the two interacted.

The mixing over all was done very well, with maybe a bit too much emphasis on the sound effects.  Then again, youíre in a world where being a Doodle is normal thing, so itís forgivable!

Features Ĺ *

One of the things about this DVD that made my blood run cold was the lack of features!

You get your choice of English or French Dolby Surround sound and English subtitles when you pop in this DVD, and thatís about it.

I would love to have had the opportunity to hear some actor commentary, or at least some production stills and animation work.    

Summary:

Hey, dad dad daddy-O! This DVD may not be loaded with features, but it will definitely show you whoís the coolest, can ya dig?  Give it a spin and let it rock your world!