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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Movie Review:- Alvin & The Chipmunks: Chipwrecked

“Chipwrecked” -- the third installment of the miraculous spinning
of a 1958 novelty record into Hollywood gold–can most closely compared to D. W. Griffith’s “The Birth of a Nation” (1915) in that:
1) it utilizes cutting edge cinematic effects and techniques
2) it is (or is experienced as) as over three hours long, and
3) it glorifies a dark and odious part of human nature…

Birth of a Nation remains morally superior only because, due to the accident of the technical limitations of its time, it is a silent film…

Okay, Okay. I composed the opening lines above in my head while “attending” this movie with my wife and kids. I know that its pretty much a movie snob cliché to give a movie that aspires to be nothing more than a highly profitable diversion for 7 year olds a full-metal snark review. Our experience follows:

We arrived at our local megaplex, my wife having carefully smuggled in the snacks of our choice rather than our paying $50 for a bushel of tub o’ lard popcorn. I sat next to my wife, raised the armrest to convert the seats into “loveseat” mode, and whispered my usual joke about the rascally possibilities of same if we were sans kids. My wife gave her usual response- weary
eye roll, heavy sigh and slow head shake – the same response I get if, in fact, we are at the movies sans kids…

In the coming attractions, the most intriguing was a trailer for the upcoming Three Stooges movie, which showed Moe giving Snooki his famous double-eye poke. (You may insert your own Snooki joke here)

Anyway, the helium pitched voices kicked in over the opening credits. In the closing credits, I was astounded to learn the various Chipmunks were voiced by such comedic talents as Christina Applegate, Justin Long and – amazingly, Anna Faris, one of the best film comediennes working today. I would have thought you could get struggling actors at SAG scale to perform these roles, but what do I know…

Apparently, a guy named Dave is the (adoptive?) father of the famous Alvin (the schemer) Theodore (the simpleton) and Simon (The responsible brainy one, as indicated by his wearing glasses), as well as three female chipmunks known as “The Chipettes”. (Note: I was spared the first movie because the kids went with their grandfather, and I read a book while my kids watched #2 “The Squeakquel” on cable). Dave is played by either Jason Lee or Justin Theroux, I am not sure which.

They go on cruise, a hang gliding mishap lands the Chipmunks and Chipettes on a tropical island, and… not sure what happens after that. Other than watching the fetching Jenny Slate (Late of SNL, in her first feature role) prance around the jungle in short-shorts, I kept checking Facebook on my phone under my coat. So I’ll rely on the reactions from my family:

My wife: “When I checked the time and saw only 40 minutes had passed, I thought I was going to cry.”
My 7 year old: “It was great!”
My 10 year old: “It was fine for the type of movie it

Happy Holidays!

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