Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip

Let’s talk about voice actors. Robin Williams ruined everything when he did Aladdin and FernGully. Before that, you just had no name voice people for your animated films. They were legit voice actors though, so the voice work was top notch.

But then we got someone big and famous for his comedy, and now he was doing voice work. And yes, he kicked butt, because Williams had an amazing voice. But not every celebrity has a distinct enough voice or is good at doing the job. Rio is led by Jesse Eisenberg and Anne Hathaway. Why? Because of star power.

So these poor voice actors are now out of a job, or stuck doing just television shows. Because they’d rather have Eisenberg.

The point I am trying to make is, this is Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip. There is no reason for any of the six chipmunks to be famous people, because they are all sped up, literally anyone could do it and it would basically be the same. Literally anyone. Which is why when I saw that Eleanor, the green Chipette. No one thinks about her. But Amy Poehler used to voice her, and now Kaley Cuoco does. An incredibly small role, and now two big celebrities have spent a few hours doing half-assed work for it.

It just doesn’t make any sense.

I should also mention I am just happy Jason Lee is finding some occasional work, body and voice.

The chipmunks are finally taking a break from touring the world. Alvin (Justin Long), Simon (Matthew Gray Gubler), and Theodore (Jesse McCartney). I am also contractually obligated to mention all of the Chipettes, Brittany (Christina Applegate), Jeanette (Anna Farris) and Eleanor (Cuoco). It feels weird, because they are barely in the movie at all, but oh well.

Things are changing for Dave (Jason Lee). He is getting older, becoming a more responsible person, and starting to produce music instead of play it. He helped make a whole album with pop star Ashley (Bella Thorne) and she has her big record launch party in Miami! But Dave cannot bring the Chipmunks, because he only has a +1, and apparently that includes Chipmunks. Kind of fucked up the guy who made the record can only bring one person, really. Instead he brings his girlfriend, Shira (Kimberly Williams-Paisley).

And he is also bringing a ring. Oh man. That is serious. Too serious. The chipmunks think that Dave will abandon them and start a new family. Mostly because Shira has an older son, Miles (Josh Green) who told them that. He is also a big jerk to them, and they don’t want to be his brother! So of course they hatch a plan to just go down to Miami and stop the engagement. Wonderful friends, I tell ya what.

Also featuring Tony Hale as our bad guy (and not David Cross, yay!), Eddie Steeples as a small cameo/role from My Name Is Earl, and Flula Borg with an even smaller cameo. Also Jennifer Coolidge.

That is incredibly unsafe. Dave should have them taken away for not wearing seat belts.

Did I mention that the voice acting news pissed me off? It would make sense if they actually elevated Eleanor to a bigger role, but along with Jeanette they barely had any screen time, with Brittany having only a hair more.

I was hoping this movie would be Theodore’s time to shine. He does have a few good moments and is heroic in one of them, but it didn’t feel like enough. Not at least to the same level that Simon was given in Chipwrecked.

But what is even worse about this film is how many songs there are. Overall, there is a lot of music. They go to a lot of parties and music is basically everywhere. However, most of these songs are just…real songs. Some very current, some maybe new. I don’t know. The problem is, maybe only 4 or 5 songs were actually song by high voiced characters.

Like, isn’t that the point of this type of movie? To sell merchandise and CDs? How can they do that when they barely have any songs at all? The main song of the film was Uptown Funk, a small part of Baby Got Back and the next most famous was Iko Iko, which is old as fuck. Then 2-3 other songs I didn’t know, maybe one was original. Or it might have been something else. I have no idea. I just now all the other films had a lot more fun songs and this one was severely lacking.

The plot is already terrible. The kid actor for the son was bad. Hale was too over the top and ridiculous to even enjoy him in the slightest. I wanted Cross back! And the shenanigans were bad. But no, they didn’t even give me a lot of chipmunk music to ignore the badness.

1 out of 4.

Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked

I know I know, why would someone review Chipwrecked when it is in the middle awards caliber movie time? Why something from 2011 at the end of 2015?

Well, I like to review anything I watch that came out within the last 5~ years, that way my recreational viewing isn’t completely “wasted.” And I had to watch a bunch of these movies to prepare for Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip, coming out soon! I can’t go into that movie without knowing what happened in the first three movies. I’d be missing out on hours of plot!

As a quick recap, I liked the first movie enough because of the Christmas and Witch Doctor songs. Classic, not just new pop music all chipmunky. It had a bad acting love interest though. The second film was bad, it felt like an episode of a TV show and very little happened. And Zachary Levi was downright terribad. Now we have Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked, which I thought was…oh wait. Yeah. Review.

Hmm. Yeah, review. Let’s get on that. This is what the people want.

The gang all here? Dave (Jason Lee) is actually in this movie and not awkwardly replaced by someone who looks like a younger Dave. That’s good. And they are going on a vacation cruise to then go to some vague foreign country for an International Music festival! Huzzah!

We have Theodore (Jesse McCartney), Simon (Matthew Gray Gubler), Eleanor (Amy Poehler), Jeanette (Anna Faris), Brittany (Christina Applegate), and of course Alvin Alvin Alvin (Justin Long).

But guess what, they get annoying and bad things happen. Next thing you know, they are all stuck on a kite and headed out to sea! Oh no! Not Dave, he can’t be on a kite. But he does jump in after them to save him, getting himself into a pickle as well.

Next thing you know, they are on a deserted island. Not super deserted, because the chipmunks meet Zoe (Jenny Slate), who apparently is a female version of Cast Away and has been on the island for 8-9 years. She is very clean and has a sweet hut.

Eventually a volcano will happen and some other bad things. Simon gets bit by a poisonous spider, which changes his personality to the outgoing Simone (Alan Tudyk), who yes, apparently needs a new actor to speak for him.

Also David Cross is in this one, again, because they need more boring plot lines I guess.

Not to be confused with their sexually confusing plot lines.

The third Alvin and the Chipmunks movie ends up being everything I expected. Which was very little and and bad plot.

But hey, at least some of the songs were good. They packed a bunch in the first half, because they were too busy to sing when “scary” things were occurring. The songs are the only real redemable part.

The villain was lazy and dumb, especially when they already had a volcano. Bringing back Cross was a complete waste, although he ended up having the best lines. I am stoked he isn’t in the next film.

Technically this film seems like it is more about Simon and Jeanette, which is a good change from the Alvin/Brittany show. This makes me hope that the spotlight shifts towards Theodore/Eleanor in the next film, which would make its existence at least a little bit worthwhile.

Hopefully they make it more entertaining than just some catchy song choices and an actual good plot.

1 out of 4.

Behaving Badly

Behaving Badly is not a movie I was rushing out to see. Not really a movie I heard of ever, actually. But I grabbed it and a few others, purely as fillers when I needed something else for a week and wanted something random.

Literally, the only reason I grabbed these movies was to make sure my reviews weren’t just the well known new movies. I need those straight to DVD randoms. Especially if they have an interesting cast.

After all, those unheard of films that look terrible? If they end up good, that is the greatest feeling of all.

Yes, even greater than that.

Rick Stevens (Nat Wolff) is not your average teenager. His family is dysfunctional in many ways. His mother (Mary-Louise Parker) is on a lot of booze and pills. The dad (Cary Elwes) is never around, they hate each other, but he says he doesn’t want to divorce to lose money.

His sister (Ashley Rickards) is a stripper, getting money to go to college and his brother (Mitch Hewer) is very angry, stupid, and not coming out of the closet.

But they aren’t the cause of all of his problems. That is all because of Mrs. Bender (Elisabeth Shue), the mother of his best friend Billy (Lachlan Buchanan). For whatever reason, she likes Rick and sexual relationships happened. This changed his life greatly, leading to two weeks with some dead bodies, people in jail, mobsters, suicide attempts, and lots and lots of boobies. However, he just wants to impress a smart girl in his class Nina (Selena Gomez). Oh boy Rick, you done fucked up by fucking that lady.

It is also full of celebrity cameos. Gary Busey is a police chief, Heather Graham a lawyer, Patrick Warburton the principal, Jason Lee a priest, and Dylan McDermott as the strip club owner.

Generic Creepy Teenage Male Fantasy: The Movie!

Behaving Badly was a weird movie. It was definitely not made amazingly well, that is for sure. It has an incredibly low budget feel, a lot of it is half-assed. It definitely isn’t great.

But I still almost gave it a 3 out of 4 on originality alone. This movie felt like it was created for an ADHD generation, and since the story is the main character retelling most of the events, you can say that is why everything seems so hectic. It is all from the teenage boy perspective.

There were just so many awkward moments, that I had to give it some props. I loved seeing all of the celebrities making quick quips. It actually lived up to the teen sex comedy genre, although also not being of fantastic quality.

I am at a point where this film in most cases would deserve that 1, and definitely not deserve a 3 or higher, but there was a charm to it that just took me in. I didn’t know what I was getting in to, and well, it surprised me.

2 out of 4.