A Bug’s Life (1998)

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On behalf of “oppressed bugs everywhere,” an inventive ant named Flik hires a troupe of warrior bugs to defend his bustling colony from a horde of freeloading grasshoppers led by the evil-minded Hopper. (Letterboxd)
Some of the extra computer-y 90s PC game animation bugs me a bit (couldn’t resist) but that’s the only real flaw of this excellant offering of clever world-building (see the bug bar–where everyone can get a good buzz), great humour, and an engaging protagonist in the creative but hard-luck Flik. The surprisingly dark antagonist climax (“Let this be a lesson…Ideas are very dangerous things!”) and the inspiring hero moment after (“You’re wrong, Hopper”) highlight some compelling themes as well.
7.5/10 (Really Good)

 

The Green Mile (1999)

The lives of guards on Death Row are affected by one of their charges: a black man accused of child murder and rape, yet who has a mysterious gift. (IMDb)
A unique film that shifts to and from dark comedy, supernatural thriller, and poignant drama, presenting a fascinating look at a cell block of condemned prisoners and the five guards that oversee it. Unexpectedly cordial relationships between prisoners and guards exist as an unwritten moral code is upheld along with legal obligations. Themes of death and judgment and characters devilish and angelic all develop with increasing impact throughout this remarkable well-acted and story-focused film.
8.5/10 (Amazing)