Thursday, May 8, 2008

Alvin & the Chipmunks

So yeah. Sometimes you get to watch a sleazy Japanese women in prison film for your blog, and sometimes you’re stuck watching a dumb kid’s movie with your little cousin. So it goes. At least this was better than I was frankly expecting it to be, which is an admittedly low bar to hurdle over.

The film stars Jason Lee (before he showed up, my cousin helpfully informed me that you actually get to see what he looks like in this film, as he evidently did the voice of some cartoon character in a previous film, and has clearly never acted in anything else before that) as a failing musician desperate for a new sound when three talking chipmunks decide to take up residence in his house. Their names are Alvin, Simon, and Theodore, which you were no doubt unaware of, as I apparently wasn’t since my cousin felt she had to explain who each one was and what their defining characteristics were. Anyway, and you’ll be amazed by this I’m sure, Lee hears them singing (they of course know all the latest pop hits from their time living in a forest), realizes they’re just what he’s been looking for, and soon enough they become instant successes in the music biz. Conflict arises in the form of David Cross, a powerful music exec who decides to throw away his old friendship with Lee so as to better exploit the chipmunks and make even more money. Eventually, of course, everything turns out all right, Lee and the chipmunks are reunited, and we get more of that horrid singing.

In this movie’s defense, it is indeed better than it really needed to be, and remains thoroughly watchable all the way through. Lee and Cross do perfectly acceptable work, even if they’re both clearly slumming here, and if the story is cliché and retarded, well, it’s fucking Alvin & the Chipmunks, were you really going to go into this thinking it was on par with Tolstoy? If you have a small cousin, or perhaps have been rooked into having a child of your own, there are worse movies you could get stuck watching with them. As long as you can make it through their songs without strangling the kid for making you sit through them, you should indeed be alright.

Rating: * ½

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