The Flintstones

The Flintstones (1994)

Flintstones will (Bed)rock your socks off

This past summer, the long running primetime animated series “The Simpsons” made the leap to the big screen with a great amount of fanfare. This certainly isn’t the first time this happened. Long before Homer and the gang graced the boob tube, the modern Stone Age family The Flintstones ruled primetime.

The adventures of main character Fred Flintstone, his wife Wilma, best friend Barney Rubble and his better half Betty ran from 1960 to 1966, and is widely regarded as one of the most successful and influential series of all time.

Boatloads of merchandise based on the program have been released over the past few decades. Who among us hasn’t enjoyed a bowl of Fruity Pebbles cereal? Perhaps you were one of the Flintstones kids, one of the ten million strong and growing who took Flintstone vitamins. Look at how they helped baseball homerun king Barry Bonds.

But this column isn’t called Cereal Connoisseur and it isn’t called Vitamin Connoisseur, although those are both excellent ideas. This is the Cinema Connoisseur column, so this week I’ll be reviewing the 1994 hit film The Flintstones.

When looking to cast a large and loud man, look no further than John Goodman. He’s got it down pat. He’s had many roles (and many rolls), but I’m sure Fred Flintstone is the one he is proudest of.

Joining Goodman is Elizabeth Perkins as Wilma. Perkins doesn’t add much, but then again the character of Wilma was never very developed. The writers really should have added a little spice to the role by having Wilma develop a gambling or drug addiction. They could have made plenty of clever puns about her living in the stoned age.

Rick Moranis, who starred in every third movie made between the years 1989 and 1994, showed no signs of wearing down in this one. He truly captured every nuance of the Barney, the man, the husband, the friend and the father. It is an award worthy performance, I’m just not sure of which award that would be.

Many scholars have speculated over the years as to how exactly the buffoonish Barney was able to land Betty, who has almost unanimously been considered the hottest of the Flintstones characters. These same scholars speculated over which sultry silver screen siren would be chosen to play Betty? Perhaps Demi Moore? Possibly Uma Thurman? Could it be Jennifer Connelly? How about supermodel Cindy Crawford?

The answer to all of the above is “No.” You see, none other than morning talk show host Rosie O’Donnell landed the role of Betty. That’s right, the enemy of both Donald Trump and her co-hosts on The View donned the patented Betty loincloth. Whatever your opinion is on Rosie – whether you hate her, or simply cannot tolerate her, you cannot deny the fact that she is in this movie.

Sources tell this critic that Rosie was thrilled to work in a film that featured so many dinosaurs, as she is said to be somewhat of an amateur paleontologist. She is said to particularly identify with a rare dinosaur known as the lickalotapuss.

The main plotline of the film involves Fred, through a set of zany circumstances, being promoted to an executive position at Slate and Company. This is orchestrated by a conniving pair of employees played by Kyle McLachlan (“Twin Peaks”, “Desperate Housewives”) and Academy Award winner Halle Berry, who have designs on taking over the company.

The film also focuses on the adoption of baby Bam Bam by the Rubbles, and a visit to the Flintstone household by Wilma’s mother, played by Elizabeth Taylor.

The dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures in The Flintstones are some of the most realistic ones you’ll ever see on film, assuming your entire dinosaur movie watching experience has been confined to The Land Before Time series.

With all that being said, do I recommend The Flintstones? I yabba dabba do!


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