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February 12th, 2011

Movie Review - Gnomeo & Juliet

Gnomeo & Juliet


Starring: James McAvoy, Emily Blunt, Ashley Jensen, Michael Caine, Matt Lucas, Patrick Stewart, Jason Statham, Stephen Merchant, Hulk Hogan and more

Directed by: Kelly Asbury Screenplay: Kelly Asbury, Mark Burton, and more. Music by: Chris Bacon, James Newton Howard and Elton John

Premise: A modern retelling of Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet, except with lawn gnomes. And a happier ending. :)

Review: First off, this movie was totally CUTE! The unusual venue for the premise was adorable. And right off they tell you upfront it's a retelling of Shakespeare's play and almost immediately deviate from it for fun. (The 'play' begins on stage and at the end the cast does a rather unusual presentation of the characters as they would in live theater.)

There are a lot of little details when you get first shown the scene of where the play will enact itself. The 2B or not 2B was hilarious and sneaky. Many lines are quoted or should I better say misquoted, on purpose even, although they give you a little jolt of recognition all the same, which was a lot of fun. (Needless to say there's a lot in this movie directed at the adults more than the kids.) Even William Shakespeare makes an appearance! I thought the film even had a touch of West Side Story running through it as well (lawnmower racing, booyah!).

I didn't realize Elton John's deep involvement with the film until the credits. Not only was his music seeded through out, he was also an executive producer. Several visual jokes are also centered around the singer and were adorable. (Again extra bits that will mean more to the parents than the kids. But there's plenty there for the younger viewers as well.

Several minor characters make the film (though Juliet's ninja sequence had me totally falling in love with her!). Nanette, the pond frog, as Juliet's confidant, was a total hoot and added a lot of flavor. Paris, the pink flamingo, I also enjoyed very much. The tiny red hat gnomes and the super commando bunnies were hilarious. And Spot, the ceramic mushroom/dog was also very cute. Alas, the sad plight of the little red fish will have you feeling sorry for him through the whole thing. lol.

One of the best spots in the film is an infomercial, of all things! The Terrafirminator ad was awesome! (I love the page and a half of disclaimers for the thing - including not being meant for residential use. ROFL!)

One little detail that so made the movie for me was the added clinking sounds of pottery as the gnomes moved about. Firmed their reality in a strange way. So kudos for that lovely touch.

Overall there aren't many surprises, but the presentation was adorable and many of the side characters totally endearing. All the voice actors were excellent and with the added talent of the artists, you can totally immerse yourself in this little tale set in Verona Lane.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5 (Hubby is on the fence between Full Matinee Price and Better on Cable)

Gloria Oliver
Unveiling the Fantastic



(2015) Fantasy

The King is Dead! Long Live the Undead King!

"What are you implying?"

The magister glided forward and scrunched down beside him.

"That in order to bathe, you must first actually get into the bath."


(2014) Urban Fantasy

It took everything from her, except revenge!

The muscles in my right arm jerked from tension as I tried to make it move and it resisted. A shrill scream inside my head insisted I didn't want to do this. That if I did, there'd be no way to take it back. "I...I'm afraid."


(2011) Young Adult – Fantasy

Which is worse…the monster without or within?


Home—family—the two things he would never have, the two things forever denied him…because of her.

Anger welled inside him, the heat of it suffusing him to the core, gurgling with seething emotions the total opposite of the coolness splashing down from the fountain nearby. Before he realized what he was doing, Jarrin stepped inside the gazebo.

(2007) Young Adult – Fantasy
“Harry Potter meets Dragon Riders of Pern”


“Do you need any help?” she asked. “Just tell me what you want me to do. If you prefer, I’m sure I can round up at least a few people to come over and give you a hand.”

Kel slowly shook his head. “It’s all right. Thanks anyway.” His voice lowered to where she almost couldn’t hear it. “This is all part of my punishment.’

She frowned, not understanding what he meant. “Punishment?”

Kel cocked his head in Clarence’s direction. In a flash, she understood. None of this was an accident. Clarence had landed there deliberately, hoping to make Kel pay for all he went through in the past month. She shook her head, not wanting to believe this, but what the dragon said next took any doubts right out of her head.

(2008) Young Adult – Fantasy
“To save the world she must DIE! Or must she?”


Panic and fear filled with utter helplessness made her dizzy. She knew what would be done with her, she knew what they planned. But there was nothing she could do to stop any of it.

Sharp gasps echoed in her ears as she felt the room’s cold air caress the Eye.

“You were right. She is the one.”

(2002) Adult/YA – Japanese Fantasy Adventure
“The Last Samurai meets Pirates of the Caribbean”


Laying the blade on the floor before him, Toshi parted his kimono until his stomach lay exposed. He tucked his sleeves beneath his legs to hold him upright if he should falter. Ignoring Asano, he took up the blade. His shoulder flared with pain and he tried not to flinch, as he grabbed the blade with both hands. He turned the wakizashi until its sharp point was aimed at his belly, the residence of his soul.

(2004) Adult/YA – Fantasy Mystery
“He tried to forget his past, but his past wouldn’t forget him”


Torren took a step back a sudden shudder racking through him. It was as if he’d never left, as if the boy he’d been would be coming back-though the one who’d loved this room and all these things was long, long dead. That boy died when he’d watched his father’s blood pour forth from his mouth, the end of a sword protruding from his abdomen. That boy died when he survived while everyone else lay dead.

Info, sample chapters, and free reads at www.gloriaoliver.com

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