Saturday, August 2, 2014

Small Soldiers (1998)

Director: Joe Dante

Writers: Gavin Scott, Adam Rifkin, Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio

Composer: Jerry Goldsmith

Starring: David Cross, Jay Mohr, Alexandra Wilson, Denis Leary, Gregory Smith, Dick Miller, Kirsten Dunst, Jacob Smith, Jonathan bouck, Kevin Dunn, Ann Magnuson, Wendy Schaal, Phil Hartman, Archie Hahn, Rance Howard, Tommy Lee Jones, Frank Langella, Ernest Borgnine, Jim Brown, Bruce Dern, George Kennedy, Clint Walker, Christopher Guest, Michael McKean, Harry Shearer, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Christina Ricci, Marcia Mitzman Gaven, Cheri Oteri

More info: IMDb

Tagline: The few, the proud, and the small.

Plot: When missile technology is used to enhance toy action figures, the toys soon begin to take their battle programming too seriously.

My rating: 7.5/10

Will I watch it again? Probably not.

This tickled the shit out of me. I love Dante's work so it's not surprising but I figured this was going to OK at best.  Boy was I wrong.  The cast is great.  Dick Miller needs to be in everything.  It's great having the soldiers voiced by the surviving cast of THE DIRTY DOZEN (1967).  Loved it!  The action is good, and like a lot of Dante's work, there's lots of humor and it's nicely spaced with the action so there's lots of fun. I really liked how it was only good versus evil in the eyes of the toy soldiers and not the enemy and it was nice that the kid sided with Archer and his side, making the soldiers the bad guys.  That was a nice touch that elevated this above what it would have been with most anyone else in Hollywood.  Goldsmith's score is fun, too.  You'd think a movie like this that approaches two hours couldn't sustain itself but it does.  I highly recommend this one.  The Dreamworks DVD comes with some fun extras including a behind the scenes featurette, deleted scenes and trailers.

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