Monday, January 9, 2012

Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked

Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked – 87min – G

I remember when I was a kid and this was popular. I guess all things are new again. This is the third of the Alvin movies that have been made. It’s a blend of live action and computer animation. The story is cute and will engage kids of 5 and younger but I did not think it needed to be on the big screen. This was a movie that was fine on a straight to DVD release. A mix of pop music and funny life lessons about family that only rates a yellow light.

Alvin and his friends are going on a cruise to attend an international award show. They get into typical Chipmunk shenanigans on the cruse and in a series of events they get swept off the ship and land on an island. Dave (Jason Lee) and his arch nemesis, and previous Chipmunk manager, Ian (David Cross) inadvertently join forces to rescue them.

The majority of this movie takes place on an Island and focuses on how the roles are reversed; Alvin(Justin Long) is the one planning and making the grownup choices to look out for his friends. Simon, who is normally voiced by Matthew Gray Gubler, gets bitten by a spider and alters his personality and Simon thinks that he is Simon (pronounced Semon) now being voice by Alan Tudyk. Theodore (Jesse McCartney) is the youngest and really sits on the sideline in this episode. They work together to survive and also sing many popular songs that fit into the storyline.

The director (Mike Mitchell) has an eclectic résumé , ranging from Sky High to Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo. This is a very kid’s movie and I would not have pegged him for this film. He has some done some younger work but this seems to be on the very young side.

I am not really impressed with the overall film, there is nothing wrong with it but there is also nothing right about it. Writers Jonathan Aible and Glenn Berger have written some engaging stuff like Kung Fu Panda and Monsters vs Aliens, I don’t see that same level in this film, I suspect there was a formula that they had to stick with and perhaps not give the freedom to explore new aspects of the characters.

Warning Spoilers!! Only Alvin Entourage members click here!!!

I loved the castaway reference and how Jenny Slate really threw herself into the role. I can imagine that it’s hard to perform with animated coworkers but she did not seem forced or out of place. I freak’n lover her for that. She is a great performer and I don’t get tired of watching her.

There are also a trio of girl Chipmunks: Eleanor (Amy Poehler), Jeanette (Anna Faris) and Brittany (Christina Applegate). They are really just around to provide more merchandising options. They did not really add anything to the story at no fault to the performers but this was just a distraction to the main story line. Just as a side question when you lose a dance off to a chipmunk do you immediately kill yourself to regain some sort of honor or is there some other ritual that cleans the taint from your soul.

Jason Lee is someone who I really admire for his diversity of roles. He has really grown into a well-rounded performer. He has come a long way from the first film I saw him in. He has become someone I look forward to seeing what he is doing next. His performance of Dave is kind of how I would imagine my dad would react to the shenanigans that Alvin does.

Do you go to see kid movies even if you don’t have kids? I want to this movie because it was showing next, but I have been known to go see a kid’s movie sans kids just because I want to entertain the kid in me. Have you?


France said...

Here I go with a late post again, smh. But umm, what can I say. If you love the chipmunks and chipettes... what more is there to say! It's another cute movie. A bit short on time but cute and hilarious throughout. Nothing but awws and laughs. Take your kids to go see it!

Fat Samurai said...

Do you think the length of the film made it feel like a direct to DVD release?