Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip will make you roll your eyes and tap your feet

Movie Title:    Alvin and the Chipmunks Road Trip

Grade:  C

Rating:  G, 1 hour 26 minutes

In a Nutshell:    

Young kids will laugh with delight.  Parents will roll their eyes.  Everyone will tap their feet.

Voice talents include Justin Long, Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting, Christina Applegate, Ana Faris, Matthew Gray Gubler, and Jesse McCartney.

Uplifting theme: 
  •  “When words aren’t enough, we sing.” – Alvin
  • Dads are important.
  • Friendship, forgiveness

Things I liked:
  • It's fun to see Jason Lee and Eddie Steeples together again.  (They were both in the hit TV comedy "My Name is Earl".)  Did you know Jason Lee used to be a professional skateboarder?
  • I appreciate the little details in the animation, like the facial expressions, ear twitches, and body movements.  The visual effects and animation teams did a great job.
  • Redfoo makes a cameo performance at the beginning of the movie.
  • There are several cute dance numbers. IMDB lists the entire cast and crew for the movie and described several roles as "Dance enthusiast".  They WERE pretty enthusiastic.  The music will get your feet tapping, even if you're rolling your eyes at the dumb jokes and gags.
  • I like that they run like real chipmunks, rather than fuzzy short people.  It's hard not to like these furry little guys.
  • The Chipmunks franchise always tries to include what’s currently trending in American pop culture (at least when they wrote the movie). 
  • I love the song “Uptown Funk”, but I'm glad they changed the words to make it more kid-friendly.
  • The Chipettes are adorable in all of their scenes. 
  • Is that the same monkey from Night at the Museum?
  • Kimberly Williams-Paisley has a one-dimensional character, but I've always thought she was cute.
  • My eyes always perk up whenever I see a Papillon dog in a movie, because I have one too!
  • Pitch Perfect 2 fans will be happy to see Flula Borg.  His YouTube videos crack me up. 
  • Keep watching during the rolling credits at the end to see a little scene about Agent Suggs.  (Tony Hale)

Things I didn’t like:
  • Sometimes it’s hard to understand what the chipmunks are saying in their high-pitched fast voices.
  • Because it's a kids' movie, you can expect lots of farting, belching, and discussions about pee and poop.
  • The target audience may not be familiar with some of the less popular songs, as well as some of the older cultural references.
  • Product placements always annoy me.  This film has a TON.
  • Josh Green's character, Miles, is super annoying.  The writing for him was terrible.  The entire script was very weak.

Funny lines:
  • “Theodore, get our Speedos!” – Simon
  • “That sounded way less weird in my head.” – Simon
  • “I could go for miles on Miles.” - Alvin
  • “Break a leg!” – Dave
“That kind of doesn’t apply to doctors.” – Simon
“Good luck!” – Dave
“Um, you kind of hope your surgeon doesn’t need luck.” – Simon
“Uh, have fun!” – Dave
“Nailed it!” – Simon
  • “Girls are scientifically proven to mature faster than boys.” – Theodore
“Whatever.” – Simon
  • “We’re going to be doing tons of bonding.  Where’s the Superglue?” – Miles  (Josh Green)
  • “Just a doll.” – Miles, when showing the TSA agent a chipmunk doll that is really Alvin looking stiff
“Chucky was just a doll.” – TSA agent (Uzo Aduba who plays“Crazy Eyes” on the hit TV show "Orange is the New Black")
  • “I have a very particular set of skills, skills I have acquired…” – Agent Suggs
  • "Does this look like a face that could survive prison?" - Alvin

  • Tips for parents:   
  • Several people get drunk and behave badly.
  • It’s mostly harmless, colorful fun for all ages.
  • I like that the worst profanity you’ll hear the chipmunks say is “Nuts!”
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