Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel
December 23, 2009
Movie of the Day for Saturday, May 2, 2009
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If a crowd-pleasing comedy starring folks like Justin Long, David Cross, and Jason Lee were to be released, the theaters would be packed with hip young 20-somethings, right? And Judd Apatow would be involved in some way, don't you think? Not if the title of the movie is Alvin and the Chipmunks, apparently.
The 2007 release was surprisingly successful, though, as it garnered bad reviews across the board but raked in $217 million across North America. Money does talk, so coming soon will be Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipmunk Harder. No, that's not quite right. Maybe Alvin and the Chipmunks: First Squeak, Part II? Alvin and the Chipmunks: Revenge of the Squeak? Well, all of those titles would likely end with a lawsuit, so we’ll have to live with Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakuel. See, kids’ movies are educational! Your children will learn a new word soon!
Rumors about the chipmunks and their henpecked chaperone, however, do abound. The second chapter will feature the chipmunks reuniting with their girlfriends, the Chipettes, and going to school for the first time. Wackiness, fish-out-of-water hijinks and singing will probably ensue. Then again, the filmmakers may go the route of The Dark Knight, and throw in some romantic intrigue, an evil clown, and Dave Seville having a traumatic accident involving acid. I’m putting my money on the wackiness.
The film’s biggest asset, aside from the hipster cast, is director Betty Thomas, whose comic chops can only help the chipmunks out. She might even be able to work out some romantic charm from Alvin and his buddies, bringing back memories of her debut film, Only You.
Kids will most likely eat this new movie up, with or without chipmunk love; not only was the first film successful in theaters, but it has also sold millions of copies on DVD and was a top seller early in the year. Still, the most entertaining aspect of the original film was, for those without kids and with an eye for good blog-fighting, David Cross, Tobias Funke himself, getting defensive on his Web site. At the beginning of the year, after people began throwing words like “sellout” around in reference to Cross taking a role in a family movie that most felt was insipid and below the standards of his days on TV programs like Mr. Show or Arrested Development. The bespectacled comic ranted for a while on his blog, saying that he couldn’t be a sellout, because he hadn’t even seen the movie! So does that mean he has better taste than his agent? Or vice versa? Hmm…
But then again, Jason Lee grew in popularity thanks to directors such as Kevin Smith and Cameron Crowe. Who would have thought that an ex-skateboarder and a raunchy comedian would end up being second fiddles to CGI chipmunks who all sing the high range in “Funky Town?” As much as some people may get annoyed thinking these guys and Justin “I’m a PC” Long have sold out, I’m sure they’re smiling all the way to the bank. (Josh Spiegel/BOP)