Sunday, January 24, 2010
The Chipmunks - Squeakquel: Chipettes Almost Steal the Show, Almost
I'm a huge Chipmunk fan. It's not Jem but it never failed to please. I looked forward every afternoon to hearing Alvin and the Chipmunks do their take on modern songs at the time. My ultimate favorite is still their rendition of "For the Longest Time" and I could never forget The Chipettes and The Chipmunks singing "The Boys and Girls of Rock n' Roll" in their 2d animated feature debut.
Now The Chipmunks have made the leap from 2d to CGI.
I didn't like the first CGI Chipmunks movie and it had nothing to do with the fact that Dave was out of character, the story was predictable, the villain not threatening enough and the boys really looked like real chipmunks. It had nothing to do with that. The movie just didn't come together. I could make a list of my gripes with this movie, but this review is for it's sequel, which recycles what was in the first movie, but with some very welcome additions.
I'm a huge fan of Jason Lee. I can't get enough of him in "Mallrats." I thought he was perfectly cast as Dave in the first movie. I wish someone had told the writers that. Dave was oddly out of character in the first movie and that bugged the hell out of me. Gladly, this is remedied in this second outing. Kinda'. Now Dave is in the hospital for most of the film. I wish they didn't have do this, but Dave feels like Dave now.
I didn't like the villain in the first movie, played by comedian David Cross. I was surprised he came back to play the same role. He was very public about how his involvement in the 1st movie was more about exposure and had nothing to do with him actually liking the material. Well, here he is again, exposed. Not the good naked exposed. He does the same exact thing he did in the first movie in this movie, but this time with The Chipettes, so I don't mind him as much.
The best thing to happen to The Chipmunk franchise: The Chipettes. The leader, Britany, is voiced by the awesome Christina Applegate, chubby and cute Eleanor is voiced by Amy Phoeler and brainy Jeanette is voiced by Anna Farris. all are perfectly cast.
The boys in this one experience a rift in their relationships as they attend High School and experience how the social order can rip innocent little chipmunks apart. A highlight of the conflict is when the boys tell a bunch of bullies that they're going to build a nest in them. Creepy.
But alas, I wanted more of the girls, and they get second billing in this movie. The scenes they are in however allow them to shine.
The same cast that plays Alvin and the Chipmunks (Justin Long as Alvin, Matthew Gray Gubler as Simon and Jesse McCartney as Theodore) return to reprise their roles.
Don't expect too much here. This movie is strictly for kids. I only gave a hoot about it because those Chipettes are so darn cute. You all should check out the CD.
I barely liked the first CGI outing, but this one I'll rewatch just for those Chipette performances.