Saturday, July 6, 2013

It only hurts when I try to explain it.

As my wife counts down the dwindling days of her second pregnancy (allegedly, a girl), my son and I have been spending almost every minute together. Matty and I have flown to New England to see my older brother. Also on that trip, was my younger brother, Nikos, and he stayed with us for some time, too. We've been to parks, restaurants, museums, baseball games, movies, bounce houses, play places - you name it. It's been quite the dude fest.

A byproduct of this concentrated time with me and his uncles? A huge spike in his um, manliness. Sarcasm, farting (my wife prefers tooting), daredevil maneuvers, off-key singing and general wise-cracking are all on the rise. And while my two brothers and I would like to take credit (read: blame) for much of that, we might just be the wrong trio of siblings responsible for his, um, inspired behavior.

How can one poster make me want to kill many things?
Every summer the local theater shows old children's movies for just a buck, which in this case might've been a fleecing. Our inaugural trip this season turned out to be the God-awful Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked. My son had already seen the other flick (Mr. Popper's Penguins), so I can't necessarily blame him for opting for Alvin, Simon and Theodore. But I can blame every single person who had a hand in creating this turd. Really, guys? Really?

Seeing as the first two Chipmunk movies weren't exactly riveting, I knew this one was going to be all kinds of horrible. Any actual good ideas in this trilogy (bit of a stretch, that) have long been trotted out and shat upon all of us. But, being that I enjoy seeing my son have a good time (as well as air-conditioning, honestly), I took one for the team. At least we weren't home...right? Right.

Look, you are never going to see this movie. In fact, there's a safe bet you aren't reading this post. But if for whatever reason, you actually will? Let me at least clue you in on some of the atrocities that you've wisely avoided.
Remember when you saw Cast Away for the first time? Remember thinking to yourself, This movie sure could use some Chipmunks! Oh, that wasn't you? Hmm. Well, somebody thought that, and turned it into this steaming pile of dookie. Anyway, shortly after boarding some cruise for some reason (the popcorn line was huge), the Chipmunks and the Chipettes, thanks to some Alvin-related douchery, end up stranded on a deserted island. Well, if only that were the case. Turns out, some contextually attractive woman has already set up shop, and this trick be cuh-razy. Good thing T.S' good friend Brody shows up and eventually saves the day. Oh man, did I just ruin the ending? My bad.

Also my bad, this entire review. In our quest to time capsule everything, the Yays and Boos and I pledged that we would post, no matter the film. A principled lot, we are.

What I would rate this movie. Out of infinity.
  • There was a quick line about someone being able to see Russia from here! Did Bill Maher get a crack at the screenplay?
  • While I generally find David Cross intermittently funny, his character in these flicks sucks so hard. But, to his credit, I did almost smile when he simply referred to C-listers as Chubby one and Girl chubby one.
  • I also liked the names of his previous girl group: Hate, Anger and Regret.
  • While it's ultimately a Boo, let me sheepishly applaud the fact that Simon rides a fish, after punching it.
  • While not outright hot by any means, Jenny Slate handled her inappropriately too tight wardrobe like a champ. Me and the one other dad in the theater? We salute you. At least your shorts, anyway.
  • High-fives are pretty much always worth cheering for, mainly because of their misguided attempt at positive reinforcement. That said, there was a pretty epic high-five in this one. Hell, it's even in slo-motion, making it even more deliciously cheesy.
  • And finally, the Ultimate Yay. As the lights came on, my son turned to me, and said quite sincerely, Dad, that was really awesome.
There are a lot of jokes about balls. Makes me uncomfortable.
  • Ugh. There are some really terrible lines here, but to hear Alvin tell a woman he was likely trying to hook up with You can follow me on Critter made me want see how hard I could punch the screen. Or myself.
  • Fat Kid. In an age where more kids than ever are looking like Augustus Gloop, do we really need to go to this well yet again? Worse, Fat Kid trades his kite for a doughnut. Because not only is he fat, apparently he's also stupid. 
  • While the music may have been a selling point in the first two, here, thankfully, it's an afterthought. not sure if this is possible, but each song is impressively worse than the previous number.
  • Not only do they rip off the aforementioned Tom Hanks classic, but there's also some Toy Story 2 action as well. In true Buzz Lightyear fashion, Simon goes from giant nerd to international lover. Buzz, as great as that movie is, was still kind of annoying. Here? It's bad enough that you likely won't swerve the next time a small animal runs out in the road in front of your car.
  • Oh, my acorns! Why do characters that aren't wearing pants get to talk about the genitals they clearly don't have? 
  • And finally, there was this family in front of us when we were buying popcorn, right? Mom was trying to coax one of the boys to go to the bathroom before the movie, but in typical little-boy fashion, he didn't have to go. I'd say about thirty-five minutes later...well, that kid pissed himself in the theater. She was trying to exit gracefully, but to no avail. Damn kid. Listen to Mom. Always listen to Mom.
Even though Matty told me he enjoyed the movie, I'm still fairly certain that his new-found manliness is less Chipmunk, more Dad and uncles. Though, to be honest, both are pretty annoying trios. One's just has more hair and less talent than the other. Or less hair and more talent. At this point, I'm not even sure.

I'll let you decide.


  1. Congratulations on the spike in Matty's manliness. When he gets home to his mom, he'll be completely unfit to live with for months. :-)

    I've managed to avoid anything having to do with the chipmunks so far and see no reason to break tradition. Besides, as usual, your review is undoubtedly funnier and more entertaining than the actual movie.

    1. I don't even know how to describe it. There are literally two versions of our son. The reckless, farting goofball is mine. The whiny, farting sassypants is hers.

      Oh, undoubtedly!

      Your kiddos are too old for this dreck. No way a nine year old dude makes his way to the end of this one. No. Way.

  2. Oh my God, thank you for posting this. This movie was on TV the other day, and my son actually sat down and watched the entire thing. (he's almost 2) I couldn't believe it. I kept trying to change the channel to get away from the horribleness, but he whined every time. It's got to be those squeaky voices.

    1. YES! When I post this crap, as opposed to my other crap, I always hope that some parent out there can relate to my troubles. Glad you're with me here.

      Anyway, that's pretty impressive for a little boy, especially. That kid gets a Yay, for sure.

      It really is sooooooo bad (of course they are making a fourth one), but damn it if it's not hypnotic to the little ones.

  3. I must have deleted my own response to this. Hmm.

    Anyway, always glad someone can sympathize with me on crappy family movies. Sure, it's a win that it entertains the little ones ...but if people want to truly worship Pixar and such? this level of family film. Where talking Chipmunks sing bad pop songs. It'll blow your their minds!