movie buff

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 06 August, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 06 August, 2006, 12:00am
 

THE ANT BULLY


Director: John A. Davis


The film: Another animated adventure comedy about insects. A star-studded cast provide voices, including Julia Roberts, Nicolas Cage, Meryl Streep and Paul Giamatti. The film is based on the illustrated book by John Nickle.


The lead character is Lucas, a friendless 10-year-old boy (Zach Tyler Eisen) who is the target of neighbourhood bullies. Lucas vents his frustrations on a nest of ants in his garden by stomping on them or squirting their colony with a hose pipe.


The ants fight back with a magic potion invented by the wizard ant Zoc (Cage) which shrinks Lucas to insect size. Lucas is put on trial and sentenced to live among the insects and work as an apprentice to earn his freedom.


The lessons: Pests have feelings, teamwork is good and self-interest is bad. The six-legged intruders that occasionally reign over your lunch may be inferior in size, but they work as a team - a quality much to be admired in our individualistic society.


The villain: The ant colony faces its greatest enemy in an exterminator - always the bad guy in cartoons involving bugs.


The exterminator's voice is provided by Giamatti, who played the manager of legendary boxer James J. Braddock in last year's Cinderella Man, directed by Ron Howard.


Giamatti will star in M. Night Shyamalan's upcoming supernatural drama, Lady in the Water. He will play an apartment building manager who falls for a creature called a narf after rescuing her from the building's swimming pool.


In the Vault - THEM! (1954):


A classic monster movie that reflects people's fear of technology gone wrong. Some ants mutate into gigantic killing machines after atomic testing near their nest.


Two huge ant queens, much less benign than the one in The Ant Bully (voice provided by Streep), create havoc across America.


The film inspired the popular 1980s computer game, It Came From the Desert, a pioneer of first-person shooter games.


Win! Win! Win! We have 25 pairs of tickets to give away for the preview screening of The Ant Bully on August 10 at 8pm in the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. To win, e-mail your name and address to syp@scmp.com along with the answer to this question: Who provides the voice for Zoc?


The Ant Bully opens on August 24.


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