Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Alvin and the Chipmunks

Trailer (Opens 12/14)

I would like to introduce you to this movie the same way I was, so check out the original teaser trailer.
Now, can you see what we suffered in that theater? Those first forty seconds of the trailer are simply build-up, forcing your guard down and tricking you into believing that this is a preview for a new Beatles movie. They show hysterical women screaming, and the voice-overs saying things like "their music defined a generation." Then, right when you hit that 41 second mark, darkness falls. The chipmunks squeaky voices penetrate the air with their atrocious rendition of "Funky Town". You long for the sweet sound of a nearby grenade. The other theater patrons can only curse at their Red Vines for being too short and weak for self-strangulation. And all you can do is cover your ears and mumble, "The horror, the horror!"
And we're left with this question: how has one franchise survived on the same gimmick for so long? Their Chipmunk voices are high-pitched, kind of like real chipmunks...we get it. Believe me. Every kid enjoys mimicking the sound by doubling the speed of a cassette, record, WAV file, or whatever for about ten seconds. Then they grow up, their ears become more sensitive to those damned high-pitched mongrels, and so every Christmas when that stupid song plays and the line about a "Hoola Hoop" comes on, they want to jab a spike down the back of Alvin's throat. It's the circle of life.
But let's get back to that trailer. The voice-over starts out: "They came from nowhere to become an overnight sensation. Their music defined a generation. And then, suddenly, they disappeared." Why did they disappear? The first reason I already mentioned - they only have one gimmick. The second reason:

That's right, there's only enough room in town for one set of chipmunks. Chip and Dale were just a bunch of schmucks early on in Disney cartoons, content to play mere ancillary roles. But with Rescue Rangers, they cemented themselves as the most bad-ass chipmunks around, and nobody was going to challenge them. Just hearing the intro song, "Sometimes, some crimes, go slipping through the cracks..." gives me goosebumps.

Anyhow, given that the first forty-five second of this trailer are wasted, the makers of the film could only pick one gag to put in there, one joke that would unite all humorous forces in this movie into one bit of 15 second hilarity. What did they go with?

A poop joke. For your benefit, I will reset the scene:

Jason Lee: Whao, Theodore, did you just...? (Pointing at a Theodore poo nugget)

Alvin: Relax, Dave, it's just a raisin.

Jason Lee: Prove it.

Alvin: (Eats the poo nugget) Mmmm mmm. (Licks fingers)

Jason Lee: Okay.

Alvin: (To Theodore) Dude, you owe me big time!

There are so many things wrong with this, but I'll take the time to point out a few. 1) Does anybody but six year olds find the whole raisin vs. poo nugget thing funny? 2) Do we want to teach said six year olds that it's funny to eat other people's feces? Consider a movie like The Power of One where Morgan Freeman being force to eat crap is the ultimate symbol of slavery and humiliation. 3) Once again, can we consider how gross this actually is? 4) What is Alvin's motivation here? On the one hand, you have Jason Lee's character that doesn't seem particularly angry. On the other hand, you must endure Theodore's excrement against your taste buds. Huh? What kind of beating does Jason Lee lay on them that they would be terrified enough to eat crap?!
On second thought, maybe this whole feeding-you-crap thing DOES summarize the movie as a whole. It follows every formula for a crappy CGI cartoon-turned-movie (see Garfield), from uninspired actor just trying to live through the filming (Jason Lee), to non-threatening but upbeat song that was at the height of it's popularity seven years ago (Blink 182, All the Small Things), and even a coffee-makes-you-hyper joke (see picture earlier in post).
Enjoy your crap-that-looks-like-a-raisin.

This blog is a crap-that-looks-like-a-raisin...

You guys SUCK
I swear I did not write the above comment
Ok Well... i read this. n thought. your just jeolous. loads of people have seen it and thought it was brill. get over it, iv neva hered of chip n dale before... but the chipmunks yes and i think every 1 has hered og them . get ova it !
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