Friday, February 7, 2014

Abandon tree! Abandon tree!

My wife's job sent her to Dallas for a week, leaving me home with our two children, a four-and-a-half year old boy and his six-month old sister. And while there have certainly been moments of insanity, there have been a few bright spots, too. See, everything that's happened has generally followed this principle: good intentions, questionable results.  Same goes for our trip to the movies, and the movie itself.

The Nut Job is yet another animated movie from a studio that isn't Disney, DreamWorks or even Fox. It's got talking animals. It's got hijinks. And yes, it's got talking animal hijinks. If you have little kids, this is a soft maybe. If you don't have kids? Enjoy life while it's still yours.

While certainly not the worst animated feature I've ever dragged the boy to (or, I mean, he's dragged me to...), The Nut Job tells the tale of a greedy squirrel attempting to rob a -get this- nut store. Yes, ye ol' nut shoppes existed apparently, and Surly the squirrel (voiced by Will Arnett) is hell-bent on robbing it. The catch, and maybe the most clever thing in the script, is that this shop is actually a front for some small time crooks. These wiseguys are digging a hole (like say...small burrowing mammals) under the store to in hopes to empty the vault of an adjacent bank. In fact, they plan to use the copious amount nuts lying around to fill the emptied cash bags. Ol, Johnny Lawman, will be none the wiser, see.
Yep. Big 10-4 on the hijinks.

Honestly, the fine details of the plot are generally secondary in these lower-tier kids flicks, but at least this one tries. The 1950's setting of I'm gonna get you, see criminals is charming, and there are some welcome themes about friendship and sharing. But for whatever reason, the flick is ultimately hollow and forgettable. Easily worth a trip to Redbox in a few months, but likely nothing more. At least my son didn't nearly blind himself during the movie, he was nice enough to wait until after.

On that horrific note, let's fire up the Yays and Boos for their bi-monthly trip to the cinema to see a lousy family film. Though, between you and me, we're all kind of stoked to see The Lego Movie.

Even though I wanted to hate him, the dog was pretty funny.
  • The animals have these pretty awesome/terrible blueprints that were pretty funny. Reminded me of Mallrats, though I didn't hear a bickety-bam!
  • There's a heavy use of the word amscray that was certainly welcome.
  • The initial break-in scene was the right mix of clever and chaotic.
  • Surly's best friend, Buddy. This rat was nothing if not clutch. 
  • If the St. Louis Cardinals ever want to toughen up their mascot, this flick has got them covered. Seriously. That was one hardcore little bird.
  • And finally, DNA. My son Matty, who was feeling worse and worse as the movie rolled on, was pretty much gutting this one out. At one point, I leaned over and asked him if he wanted to leave the movie and go home. He looked me dead in the eye and said flatly, Never.
Look at the cardinal. No wait, don't. He's gonna kick your ass.
  • Liam Neeson plays this a-hole raccoon, which should be a Yay. But, he does his voicework with an eighth of the gravitas he had in the Taken trailer. 
  • Annoying Brownie Girl. I know it's supposed to be old-timey and such, but I hate when snotty little girls kick some dude in the shins. This chick even sounded like a dude, making her behavior that much more infuriating.
  • Roof rats. These bastards are scary. Think of the hyenas in The Lion King, but a bit more murderous.
  • Um, one of the largest trees in the world is burnt to the ground in the middle of a beautiful park and no one seems to mind. Yeah, I know. Animals are talking and this is the kind of shit that bothers you? Go read another blog, Captain Logic, you totally correct a-hole.
  • I've stated it before, but I kind of really hate the unwritten rule of lame family films that declares that all credits sequences must feature the characters dancing to some bad pop song. Here, the streak continues, only they also have a fully animated Psy dancing along with the characters to Gangham Style. Read that again. They animated Psy and he does the dance from 1987 (or whatever it was). It's so tacky and dated and ridiculous....I think I loved it. And, yes. That's a Boo.
  • Katherine Heigl is in this. When I have to listen to her, and I can't see her? Unacceptable.
  • And finally, DNA. Though it's safe to say that it was his sickness, but this is probably the 999th time that I have taken a member of immediate family to a movie they wanted to see and they have passed out cold. Sure, my wife gets 998 of those, but little man was snoring so fiercely, I think theater 9 next door could hear him. It. Was. Ridiculous. I could feel the eyes on me. I hate that.
So being that my son had fallen into a slight coma (and I had to almost shake him awake), I felt kind of bad for the poor kid. Before the movie he had asked if we could go to Gamestop afterward, which wasn't a problem. Anyway, I ask the half-asleep kid, in an attempt to salvage the outing, if he would still like go. He simply nods. We get two feet into the store and he immediately walks (stumbles?) face first into a little display and gets a nice gash just under his right eyeball. 

He does that thing where he's hurt so bad he can't even make a sound. Way to go, Dad. You jerk.

The whole day was crazy. Bananas, even. Or...well, you know...



  1. I'm wasn't even aware of this movies existence.

    You're right having Katherine Heigl speak but not having to see her is a massive boo. That' like going to see Jackie Chan in a Shakespeare play. Unacceptable.

  2. Hmm. Jackie Chan doing Shakespeare sounds awesome. Heigl taking about nuts... doesn't.

    I think you actually saw this, but don't want to admit it. Or you just forgot, as you saw it in 2008.

    1. Haha... come to think of it I did see it in 2008, but totally forgot as two weeks later I saw The Lego Movie. Now that movie.... I'm still in love with even six years on!

    2. Well played.

      No bullshit, I keep thinking that the Robocop trailer is old because it says it's coming to theaters this Wednesday. After reading your review, I honestly, like 100%, was convinced that it was already released and crashed and burned at the box office.

      (I hope to see The Lego Movie this week, by the way)

  3. Oh man, hope your boy is fine now! Heigl is in this? Wow I remember how she was acting like a hot shot and left Grey's Anatomy. And now she's dubbing squirrels...

    1. Haha, Yeah, he's fine now...just counting the moments til The Lego Movie.

      Heigl. Her star has certainly faded, this is true. But, I can think of one way she could get back in all of our good graces. Maybe even two.