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When the box office figures for the US came in this weekend I was
absolutely horrified! Sure I expected I Am Legend to do well, but the
amount that Alvin and the Chipmunks got ($40+ million!) seemed absurd.
Added to that the fact that it had earned more than Golden Compass did
in its opening weekend just seemed ludicrous. The trailers I had seen
seemed very mediocre and I wasn't looking forward to seeing it that
much. So what a surprise, and a delightful one, to say how much I
really enjoyed the movie. Sure its a kids movie through and through,
and if you're not into talking animals then you will come out of this
movie and criticise its plot, script and usual more adult things that
critics criticise about. But if you go in willing to sit back and enjoy
the movie you will realise there is a lot to enjoy. The three leads
themselves, Alvin, Simon and Theodore if you've never seen the
Chipmunks before, are all very likable and have some hilarious moments.
The movie features consistent humour that ranges from fart jokes for
kids, to some really subtle references, most notably one to Die Hard
where for one moment I thought Alvin was going to complete his Yipee
Kiyay moment and make the parents gasp in horror, he doesn't so don't
get too excited. The script itself is pretty decent, there are the
obligatory clunky sentimental bits, but generally the movie is
consistent and full of laughs. It does outstay its welcome admittedly
and feels that little bit too long, but these are mere quibbles as this
is a movie that is bound to entertain many kids and adults alike, and
the fact this did better than Golden Compass no longer frustrates me,
as this is admittedly a much better movie than Golden Compass.
The three leads of the movies are CGI creations, they are also surprisingly voice by Justin Long (Alvin), Matthew Gray Gubler (Simon) and Jesse McCartney (Theodore), though you'd never know as obviously their voices have been morphed so they sound much more like the Chimpunks. Anyway their voices sound perfect, Theodore's being the most distinct and will make many audiences world wide sit their and go awww. Alvin is a great lead and has some brilliant moments. Simon is the most dull of the three but has some pretty funny moments as well. But its when the three start singing the movie just comes to life, the Chimpunks Christmas song definitely gave the older members of the audience to relish in, and their rendition of Funky Town is by far the highlight of the movie. The actual adult cast themselves are pretty decent. Jason Lee, from My Name is Earl, is a decent enough lead and at least does better than the adult actors in Garfield who seem almost asleep. When the sentimental stuff kicks in admittedly he does stumble a little bit, but generally Lee is on top form and definitely isn't always overshadowed by the chipmunks. David Cross does the traditional villain role pretty well, although he does start to irritate after a while and when he goes into pure evil mode later on in the film he just seems a bit silly. But by far the worst character in the movie has to be Claire, played by Cameron Richardson, she is out of place in this movie and the romance thing never plays off at all.
Where Alvin and the Chimpmunks succeeds where movies such as Garfield and Scooby Doo have failed is the fact it succeeds in the comedy department. Sure the movie has its nostalgia factor, but if it wasn't funny then the movie would be a disaster. Thankfully this is a very funny movie. The fart jokes are obviously aimed at kids, but thankfully there aren't that many of them, in fact when you compare this to something like Garfield you realise how well the scriptwriters have done keeping this to a minimum. Slapstick is obviously a big part but done very well and there are many set pieces that will please audiences. The songs as I have said are definitely the highlights and as I've said before the Funky Town rendition is just pitch perfect. There are many one liners to be found as well amongst amongst some of the clunkers that appear later on. The sentimental scenes also are not as horrific as some more recent family movies have been. In fact some of the scenes generally do warm your heart.
Overall Alvin and the Chimpunks is a surprisingly good movie that is definitely something parents should take their kids to see this Christmas. While maybe not as good as Enchanted this is definitely better than Golden Compass, and kids will lap this up. So the obligatory sequel that will arrive seems perhaps a more joyful event then it seemed before I saw this movie. In fact a sequel now seems quite a decent idea.
I'm surprised at the disappointing reviews of this film. I can agree that Jason Lee wasn't the perfect person to play Dave but he still did a pretty good job. I mean, let's be honest here and admit that none of the acting is great in this movie. It isn't horrible but it isn't great either. The thing is that the acting is on par for 90% of kids films. Also, how much can we really expect when it is a story about 3 singing chipmunks? The delight of the film and what people (my family anyway) want to see is the chipmunks get down and boogie. This movie in my mind accomplished everything and more that it might have set out to accomplish. It is extremely funny at times and also has a few heart felt moments. The overall story was very good. There are some morals taught here and you don't always see that with these types of movies. If you are in for some slapstick chipmunk boogie and rock and roll then check this out. I can almost guarantee you that any kid under 12 will love it and it is still enjoyable for adults.
(Synopsis) Three chipmunk brothers, Alvin, Simon, and Theodore are
living their lives in the forest storing nuts away for the winter when
one day their tree is cut down and carried off into the city to become
a Christmas tree. They must find a new home and they end up at Dave's
house. The only thing that makes them different is that they can talk
and even sing. Dave Seville (Jason Lee) is a struggling song writer who
has a great idea about making the chipmunks a new show act, singing his
songs. The only thing is that you must remember is that they are
chipmunks and they act like chipmunks by tearing up Dave's house and
interrupting his love life. However, they also begin to bond as a
family with Dave becoming like a Dad. The chipmunks become a big hit
and superstars with cute voices and fancy dance moves. The record
company executive Ian (David Cross) sees big money in his future and
takes over the act and pushes Dave to the side. Dave must try to save
his little family before they becomes a show biz disaster.
(My Comment) I enjoyed this movie because it brought back good memories. I can't believe that their first song was recorded 50 years ago. They have that certain sound that just makes you smile when you hear them. You recognize their sound immediately. The animated characters of Alvin, Simon, and Theodore are lovable now as they were 50 years ago. I always liked it when Dave would scream the name of "Aaaaalviiiiiiiinnnnnnnnnnn!!!" and Alvin would say "OooooK!!!" Those two words just make you smile. Children of all ages can see this movie without any problem. I am sure that all the parents will like it, and I know your child will, because it is a fun movie. (20th Century Fox, Run Time 1:30, Rated PG) (8/10)
I grew up watching the 80's version of the chipmunks, so when I first
saw the trailer to this predictable but cute live-action update, I was
somewhat happy. Although I knew that the humor would be targeted at a
crowd under 10 years old, I still wanted to see it, especially since
the 1980's animated film THE CHIPMUNK ADVENTURE is still one of my
all-time favorite animated films.
THE PROS: Well I went and saw it, and my expectations were met. It was more for younger kids, but it was throughly enjoyable. It was good to hear the Chipmunks sing their classic Christmas song, there were plenty of funny (but not hilarious) moments, and the Chipmunks themselves were well-animated and undeniably adorable (particularly Theodore).
THE CONS: The story is predictable (although typical for most kid's films nowadays). Jason Lee is badly miscast as the Chipmunks' long-suffering songwriter and adopted father, David Seville. Also the "romance" between Dave and his neighbor is too clichéd. We don't need some sort of love story in every single film in my opinion.
Overall, there is nothing brilliant about this film, but it's still fun. It ought to please young children and their parents.
BOTTOM LINE: It's no Citizen Kane, but it's more fun than a Hula Hoop.
I don't know why people has rated this animation such low. By the way
to my own opinion this is a great animation. I am giving 10/10 against
all other votes to take this one least 0.01 up. The things I see in
Chipmunk's actions, so cute, so impressionable. The characteristic of each of the chipmunks has been created very carefully, and it is consistence through out the film. The story shows us the real business world behind the music world. The movie is very sensitive. This is a very good animation effort. Please study this film and take your own decision.
Gotta kid? Then you know all about this movie cause that is all you
hear about. It is all I heard about for the last week and so I finally
saw it with my cousin who is a mother to a 7 year old- she really
wanted to see it first. So, let me say this: There will be no problem
letting her 7 year old watch it.
I kinda enjoyed it too seeing how I had to be dragged to it. But once there I was not bored and there seemed to be a crowd that apparently was expecting a treat of some kind as several appeared to be veterans of earlier showings who had then gone out and grabbed their posse to watch it again (only with them this time).
Nice way to spend a Saturday with the kids and grab a laugh or three. Anyway, I'll give it a thumbs up!
Sometimes things need to keep away from the 'big screen'. And this is
one of those instances where cartoon is better as cartoon in 30 minute
segments rather than a 90 minute CGI. Just like with the movie
Garfield, the movie doesn't do anybody justice.
I guess the creators thought it would be cute for the Chipmunks to sing lots of popular music numbers created within the last 10 years. But I found nothing amusing with the destruction of songs I knew. Nor did I really feel there was any character development between Dave and his love interest. And where were the Chipettes?
The plot was corny and unbelievable. Somehow for the Chipmunks to attain such success rather quickly is just Hollywood interpreting life in an highly unrealistic way. Not only that, but it felt too superficial and boring. I wish kids would watch something else than this waste of time. "F"
I went into this movie with semi-high expectations after loving the cartoon series in my childhood, and this nearly wrecked that love for me. Jason Lee, David Seville in the film, is horrifying. I understand it can't be easy to act with CGI characters who aren't actually there, but I really found his performance atrocious, along with all the other non-animated characters. The chipmunks were adorable, yet sometimes blatantly obvious at moving the plot of the story along, and therefore did not tempt me to stay in the theater for longer than half an hour into the film. If you feel you must see this film, rent it, at the most. It is NOT worth eight bucks to see it in theaters, unless you'd like a good laugh at the horrible acting.
Alvin and the chipmunks. I guess just about anyone that has ever
watched television cartoons knows them. Right before their 50th
birthday they make another appearance, this time on the cinema screen
in a film that just like Garfield (2004) combines live actors and
computer graphics. The story of the film is no new one: a guy becomes
the more or less unwilling host to the chipmunks as their tree is
demolished and together they roll from one adventure into the other.
For the rest there is not much to tell about this film. It is worked out well enough and most kids will enjoy it. I know the one I watched it with did. It isn't half bad for the adults either. Graphics have been done well enough and the actors work with it well enough to make a nicely working film. Storyline is rather straightforward and very predictable, but not really to the point of being irritating.
All in all, typical children's film that works out well enough for the younger audience and that doesn't put the parents to sleep right from the start 6 out of 10 chipmunks singing
A CGI+ live action movie from the director of Garfield 2.? Also, once again a movie with a loser "dad" character and some very bad children (okay, they are chipmunks but behave just as children as they are kids) like Daddy Day Camp and others? Actually, the chipmunks make all the difference and save the movie. What does not work with Garfield (warm Hollywood-emotions and the animal as a fast rock star-type) works perfectly with the chipmunks. Also their animation is never off-setting as it quite often was with Garfield. And even after almost 50 years, it still makes you smile to hear them singing. When you watch the trailer you can see that poo-eating part which I see is in the movie just to bring in that type of audience - I think it is a bad idea as it makes others think twice before buying ticket for this movie which has only one fart joke and this poo joke of this type of "humour". Otherwise it is watchable and the animated characters are even lovable (Jason Lee is not so great in this). It was a fun travel back in the time when I watched them as a child. Not a big movie, also there are problems with the pacing but it's much better than expected.
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