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.

Daveee
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.

Group
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.

Alvinnnnn
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.

Sexy
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.

Chernobyl Diaries

Originally on this website I refused to review Horror movies, because I was a coward. That means once I got over it, I had a lot of backlog to catch up on. So if you have been seeing a lot more horror on average, now you know why! Because there is a lot of shit out there, and you need to know which of that shit is good and which of that shit is bad.

With a movie called Chernobyl Diaries, you might be able to figure out which side of the fence it falls on.

Group
Or maybe it falls on top of the fence itself, and falls awkwardly on both sides.

This movie began with the song Alright by Supergrass. You’ve heard it, trust me. I was confused.

But lets run with it. Traveling around Europe can be exciting for people in their early 20s (and well, anyone). Chris (Jesse McCartney) and his girlfriend Natalie (Olivia Dudley) and third friend Amanda (Devin Kelley) are running around Europe, being young and free. They stop in Kiev to visit Chris’ brother, Paul (Jonathan Sadowski), and he likes to live life on the edge.

Paul hears about this “extreme tour” of Pripyat, the abandoned company town which sits in the shadow of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. Oh snap. It would be lead by tough guy Uri (Dimitri Diatchenko), with another couple (Nathan Phillips, Ingrid Bolso Berdal) joining them.

But when they get there, they are stopped by the Ukranian military. For some reason, they cannot go into the abandoned city today. Huh. Too bad. What? They will sneak in. Good idea. It is pretty cool place, very eerie. But when the van doesn’t start before dusk when they try to leave, they get nervous. Apparently someone has sabotaged their vehicle. Now they are stranded in an abandon city. Oh boy, what could go wrong?

Thing
“Who’s there? Is that you, Fred? Fred, stop being weird.”

I wonder what the survivors of the Chernobyl explosion feel about this movie. Actually, no, I don’t care. If we had to worry about offending people before we made movies, a lot of movies wouldn’t get made. I can’t have that happening.

Dumb kids were being dumb in this movie, and the timing felt off. Their second day in the city seemed incredibly short, I am not sure why it took them so long to do the various things.

But at the same time, making this movie with what they worked at, it was surprisingly okay. There was a variety into the deaths of these poor saps. They weren’t just disappearing off the side of the camera, which well, some did. The ending was a bit expected, but still glad they went that route. It unfortunately opens up room for more of these, but I don’t want to see another one.

You know what? This movie had a bear. A big fucking bear in it. I love bears. Bears should be in more movies. It is not a complete pile of shit. How could it be, it has a bear!

2 out of 4.