Archive for chipmunks

Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip

Posted in Comedy, Family, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 18, 2017 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

Through a series of misunderstandings, Alvin, Simon and Theodore come to believe that Dave is going to propose to his new girlfriend in Miami…and dump them. They have three days to get to him and stop the proposal, saving themselves not only from losing Dave but possibly from gaining a terrible stepbrother.

What people are saying:

“In some respects, Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip is a marginal improvement over prior installments, although this in no way qualifies as a recommendation.” 1 star

“A cute and harmless family movie which will definitely gain the approval of the kids as the three most famous chipmunks venture to Miami with a stereotypical rebelling teen. Despite a predictable plot, the film makes a decent enough movie for children to enjoy.” 3 stars

“I think Alvin and the Chipmunks franchise should’ve quit after the second movie. The third one was boring at best. We had four kids with us. They were pretty bored after the first 30 minutes. There were some good songs but they did not make up for the very forced story line. Save your money and watch it on a rental.” 2 stars

“Irritating characters, little semblance of a plot, weak gags, and sub-par performances … result in a film that doesn’t even have enough going on to interest a five-year-old.” 1 star

“Definitely better than the third movie, which, unfortunately, was pretty lame. “The Road Chip” had some great music and was genuinely funny in many places. Though I agree with some other reviews that this was not a movie particularly geared toward young children, I think that young adults ages 12 or 13 on up, including adults, would really appreciate it. Younger children would like the music and some of the comedic lines and scenes, too.” 4 stars

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Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked

Posted in Comedy, Family, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 29, 2012 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

For a vacation, Dave (Jason Lee) and the Chipmunks go on a cruise ship. The Chipmunks and Chipettes turn the ship into their personal playground causing trouble and running amok as they will. Dave notices that his old boss, Ian Hawke (David Cross) is working as a safety monitor on the cruise. Alvin goes para-sailing on a kite and he flies away with the other chipmunks. Dave goes on a hang glider to find them with Ian and they both end up in the ocean.

Meanwhile, the six chipmunks find an island and they sleep for the night. Dave enlists Ian’s help to find the same island and begin looking for the six chipmunks. The next morning, the chipmunks go and find food and while doing so, an island castaway named Zoe (Jenny Slate) shows up and sees the Chipmunks and Chipettes for the first time. They then go to Zoe’s tree house and Simon gets bitten by a spider, the side effects including personality changes and loss of inhibition.

The morning after, everyone observes Simon’s personality has changed and he becomes a French, adventurous chipmunk named Simone. Simone asks Jeanette to dance to Alvin’s dismay. Later, Zoe takes Simone, Jeanette, Eleanor and Theodore to a waterfall and Simone finds a cave. He returns with a gold bracelet which he gives to Jeanette. Brittany and Alvin see an active volcano the next day and they decide to leave the island. Theodore and Simone find Dave and Ian and they go to meet with the other chipmunks. They all begin to prepare a raft to get them off the island and everyone is assigned a job. When Jeanette and Simone go and look for food, Zoe kidnaps Jeanette and Simone gets knocked unconscious, and reverted to normal.

Everyone finds Simon awake and he cannot remember anything since the bite. They discover that Zoe has taken Jeanette and they head towards the waterfall. When they approached the tree log to cross, Dave and Alvin decide they’ll go and find Jeanette. As Zoe forces Jeanette to get the treasure by tying her to a rope, Alvin and Dave come to her rescue. The island begins to rumble again and Zoe let go of the rope and Jeanette runs with Dave and Alvin back to the raft. When they reach the log to cross, Dave almost falls.

Alvin and Ian convince Zoe to help save Dave. They then run towards the raft and escape the eruption. While on the raft, Zoe apologizes to Jeanette for kidnapping her and forcing her to get the treasure. As a gift, Jeanette gives Zoe the gold bracelet that Simon had given to her. Alvin reconciles with Dave and they are rescued. The Chipmunks and Chipettes perform at the International Music Awards.

In the post-credit scenes, the Chipmunks, the Chipettes, and Dave are on a plane heading back home. Alvin is speaking on the pilot’s microphone that the plane’s destination is set for Timbuktu, accidentally pushes the food cart, and it hits Dave.

REVIEW:

There comes a point when a franchise passes the point of being a franchise and becomes nothing more than a cash grab. What is a cash grab? Well, it is where a film is so bad that it is obvious it was only made so that studios can wrangle a few more bucks out of us poor moviegoers. A good example of this is Shrek the Third. Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked follows suit and does nothing but provide an excuse for there to be more merchandising.

What is this about?

When Alvin and the Chipmunks board a luxury cruise liner for a little R&R with Dave and the Chipettes, they naturally get themselves into trouble … and end up “chipwrecked” castaways on a deserted tropical island.

What did I like?

Back to basics. The last two films seem to have had our heroes departing from the behavior that we all know and loved them to have. The behaviour they exhibit in this installment is more reminiscent of what they had in the Saturday morning cartoon (80s version, since that’s the one I grew up on).

Different. The previous two films have involved Ian conning and subsequently kidnapping the chipmunks and chippettes in a selfish act to further his career. This time around we actually make it through the entire film without any group being kidnapped. I say group because one of them does get snatched up.

Simon/Simone. Simon starts off the film as a bit of a nagging, overprotective type, perhaps even more so that he normally does. Following the bite from a particular breed of spider, he is the victim of a personality change, which results in him becoming Simone. Simone is a French adventurer and ladies’ man who fears nothing; the polar opposite of Simon. I”m not sure which I prefer, but it was nice to see Simon loosen up a bit.

What didn’t I like?

Ian. He made for a great villain in the first film. Last go around he felt recycled and this time around it is more like they just stuck him in there for…well, I don’t really know why. David Cross has been outspoken with his thoughts on this film, and I can’t blame him. There really was no reason for him to be in it, let alone spend the whole time in a pelican costume. That being said, he does seem as if he has turned over a new leaf. Then again, what is the point of kidnapping them if there is nowhere to take them to?

Jenny. Jenny Slate plays this girl, Zoe, who they run across on the island. Everything about her just seems off, especially the sudden change in her character. I didn’t quite understand why they brought her in, why they made the constant reference to Castaway, or why they shoehorned in this mysterious underwater cave full of treasure that she spent years on the island looking for. What were they thinking?!?

Island. It seems that anything we get a film that has an island it has to be subject to some kind of disaster, usually a volcano. Journey 2: The Mysterious Island was nothing more than an island experiencing every natural disaster known to man, this one has volcanoes, and I can imagine that the next island picture is sure to be in danger of something like, oh I don’t know, a meteor coming to wipe it out? One of these days, maybe we’ll get an island that won’t deal with such things and can just be an island out there.

Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked will hopefully be the last time we see them on the big screen. Enough is enough and, as I said before, this is nothing more than a cash grab. When I heard they were making this, I was appalled, and the finished product did nothing to change my mind. Having said that, I belive that kids will enjoy it, but their parents and chipmunk fans may not be so easily fooled. I do not recommend this to anyone but those that ether want to finish the trilogy (I use that term lightly), or parents of young children.

3 out of 5 stars

Alvin & the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel

Posted in Comedy, Family, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 2, 2010 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

During the Chipmunks’ benefit concert in Paris, Dave Seville (Jason Lee) suffers a severe injury, when Alvin (Justin Long) jumps on top of a scaffolding and a falling billboard sends Dave flying across the stage into some electric devices. After the accident, he is rushed to the hospital. Although he survives, he must stay for a few days to recover, so he leaves his lazy 21-year-old cousin Toby (Zachary Levi) and Aunt Jackie (Kathryn Joosten) in charge of the Chipmunks until he returns. Prior to the event, Dave had made arrangements for Alvin, Simon (Matthew Gray Gubler), and Theodore (Jesse McCartney) to go to school. But, at the airport, Aunt Jackie falls down some stairs and an airport luggage trolley crashes into her. She has to go to the hospital too, so Toby is left in charge. Little does Dave know, on their first day at school, the Chipmunks feel uncomfortable with all the bullies around, when Ryan, one of the bullies, gives Simon a swirlie. The boys have fun being babysat by Toby, mainly because he is basically a big kid himself. Theodore tries to bond with Toby but Toby is always either ignoring him or being short towards him.

Meanwhile, Ian Hawke (David Cross) the greedy soundtrack-editor now lives in the basement of Jett Records. But, a FedEx mail comes to the building and a package falls out. And, three singing female chipmunks, The Chipettes, Brittany (Christina Applegate), Jeanette (Anna Faris), and Eleanor (Amy Poehler) come out of the package, and introduce themselves. Brittany says that since Ian made the Chipmunks stars, they want to be stars too. So they sing “Put Your Records On” to make Ian adopt them. He does, telling them that the Chipmunks ran away from him, spat on him, and left him broken-hearted, to make the Chipettes not trust them. He lets the Chipettes stay in his apartment (in actuality, breaking into a model suite) and have their own dressing mirrors. Meanwhile, the Chipmunks enter the school concert to win $25,000 and save the school’s music program. The tension between Alvin and Simon continues to build as Alvin hangs out with the jocks of the school, but the one who is most affected is Theodore who believes he is losing his brothers with them fighting all the time. The Chipmunks meet the Chipettes and fall in love, until they discover they’re with Ian. The Chipettes sing “Hot N Cold” to get Dr. Rubin (Wendie Malick), the school principal to enter them in the contest. The Chipmunks and the Chipettes compete against each other in a Battle of the Bands. Alvin warns Brittany about what Ian did to him and his brothers, but she doesn’t believe Alvin. Alvin then humiliates Simon in front of everyone when he tells one of the jocks to trick him into thinking he’s now the school Litter Moniter and Simon ends up being thrown into the dumpster. Meanwhile, Ian gives Eleanor some platform shoes, telling her to “work on being taller.” At the concert, the Chipettes sing “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It).” Eager to get rich, Ian videotapes the Chipettes performance and posts it on YouTube, along with his phone number. The Chipettes win after Simon and Theodore forfeit the competition because Alvin failed to show up (he hung out with the football team instead). Finally, Alvin shows up only to see that everyone’s gone. Brittany says to Alvin that he doesn’t care about anyone but himself and that she never wanted to win the way Ian was making her. When Alvin returns home, Simon and Theodore pretend they’re sleeping and ignore him. The embarrassment is too much for Theodore to take who runs away to the zoo, hoping to live with the meerkats, after seeing Meerkat Manor. When Toby and the boys find him and save him from an eagle, it brings out the best in all of them and the Chipmunks all forgive each other and go back to “One for all, and three for one”. (As Theodore put it)

Soon, the Chipettes are hired as the opening act at a Britney Spears concert at the Staples Center. Jeanette says the concert is on the same night as the school concert, so Ian decides to blow off the battle and make the Chipettes perform at the concert. However, since he focuses on Brittany the most, he wants her to perform onstage alone while Jeanette and Eleanor sing backup. Brittany refuses to sing without her sisters, so Ian threatens to barbecue them at a restaurant if they don’t. At the school, Alvin gets a phone call from Brittany, saying that she and her sisters have been locked in a cage. Alvin races to save them on his red motorbike while Simon tells Jeanette how to open the cage on the phone. The Chipettes escape from the cage, climb out of the limo, and they jump onto Alvin’s motorbike. (Digger, from NASCAR on FOX, makes a cameo during the chase) While being chased, Brittany apologizes to Alvin for not listening to him about Ian. Ian pursues them with a R.C. helicopter, but they leap off the motorbike and grab onto the helicopter. Jeanette snatches the remote and steers the helicopter away from Ian, while the motorbike drives straight into Ian’s groin. Simon and Theodore are about to forfeit the concert again, but Alvin and the Chipettes fly into the hall on the helicopter and they all sing “We Are Family”. Dave then comes back and watches them perform, along with Toby. Meanwhile, Ian pathetically dresses up as Brittany, performing in the center alone while people boo him, while the Chipmunks and Chipettes sing “Shake Your Groove Thing”. Finally, the Chipmunks go back home with Dave, while Toby goes back home. The Chipettes are re-adopted at the boy’s request and sleep at the Chipmunks’ house where Dave has another injury, tripping over Alvin’s skateboard and he yells the famous line “ALVIN!” As the credits roll, the screen shows photos of the Chipmunks and Chipettes at the beach, at Christmas, in the kitchen, in the garden, and with Aunt Jackie. An epilogue shows Ian being thrown into a dumpster backstage by the guards.

REVIEW:

Alvin & the Chipmunks surprised everyone when it was released and became such a huge hit. Even more surprising was the news that they were making a sequel. Obviously, the only reason you would bother to make a sequel is to bring in the Chippettes, but they aren’t a big enough reason to make an unnecessary sequel. At least they aren’t big enough to have a theatrical release.

I went into this expecting either something as good or better than the original or far worse. Unfortunately, I got the latter.

Let’s get the good stuff out of the way. It’s obvious that the CG people have honed their craft a bit more as Alvin and the boys look a bit more refined. The Chippettes were a good addition as characters, and so was Toby. David Cross returns as Ian, so we don’t get a new villain, and we see what happened to him after the boys escaped. The characteristics of each of the chipmunks was more prevalent this time around. Also, if you’ve ever sen the cartoon (preferably the 80s version), then you will notice that the chipmunks seemed to be more on par with those versions of themselves, especially in the school. Most importantly, this is more of a chipmunks movie, rather than Dave with Alvin & the Chipmunks. Jason Lee got to scream “ALVIN!” more in this picture, which is more or less what the point of Dave was.

Now, the bad. Poor Jason Lee, as someone in a review I rad earlier said, he seems to be in pain while he’s on-screen, and I’m not talking about the pain DAve is feeling after all the accidents he has. No wonder he’s barely in this one. Speaking of barely in the film, why did they go through all the trouble of bringing in brilliant comedic actress Kathryn Joosten, for what amounts to a cameo? It made no sense to me. While I’m on the casting topic…the chipmunks and chippettes are all big name actors/actresses…except for Simon…but you can’t tell by listening to them, so really, what’s the point? Theodore is supposed ot be the cute one, that’s fine and dandy, but at times it was a bit too much. Ian’s berating of Elanor for being short was uncalled for. I half expected him to say she needed to lose weight while he was at it, which would have totally been out of line. Like I said about the last film, Alvin needs his hat!!!!

Musically, there are ups and down. The first film brought us songs from the past and present, whereas this one stayed with current songs, mostly. Nothing wrong with that, as the chipmunk cartoons I watched growing up used mostly modern tunes, but I just wished they would have gone old school a bit more. Sure, they’re trying to appeal to the younger crowd and all, but some of us older folks are fans, too.

The film gets an A+ for brining to the forefront the topic of budget cuts costing schools their music programs. However, it doesn’t really deliver on that topic, just like they don’t really go into Toby crush on Julie. /both are barely hinted on until pivotal moments. What a waste!

Alright, let’s face the facts, if you’re going to see Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel, you’re not expecting anything like Citizen Kane, but if you’re like me, you do expect the filmmakers to at least show us why they felt the need to make a sequel..er…squeakquel, other than to just milk money out of chipmunk fans past, present, and future. The fact of the matter is, though, that they just don’t accomplish that feat, when all is said and done. If not for the underlying, and underemphasized, note of saving the music program, this would probably be getting a lower rating from me. Yes, there are some good parts, but I think the bad outweighs the good. My suggestion is to save your money until it comes out on DVD. Personally, I won’t be rushing out to buy it, but probably will eventually get it, because of my chipmunk loyalty. Still, I was highly disappointed, especially when the first film was so great.

3 out of 5 stars