(2009) dir. Hoyt Yeatman
viewed: 07/25/09 at AMC Loews Metreon 16, SF, CA
Did Disney’s 3-D mixed animation and live action film about a team of kick-ass guinea pigs catch your attention? Even if it was just on the movie posters plastered in the Muni stations, on the buses, billboards, what have you. In a time past, I would probably just groan and be glad that I never had to deal with such things outside of those advertisements.
I have a funny memory of taking a young nephew to see Beethoven (1992). I can recall the experience of watching a pandering, dumb kids movie (yet one much better than G-Force), and thinking “Wow, this sucks.”
But now, I’m a parent who likes to take my kids to movies, and while I am relatively discerning, or try to be, I don’t dictate everything we see. I know their mom can take them to some of the more dire garbage (Doogal (2006), anyone?), I’m also apt to try to enjoy whatever is out there with them too. And here we go.
I knew some of what we were in for when the kids kept repeating a line from the trailer that they’d see, saying when one of the guinea pigs gets picked up in from a pet store and says, “What do I do?” and the mice chant, “Poop in his hand! Poop in his hand!” You know that the slovenly guinea pig who farts visible clouds is going to keep the bar lowered, too. I have to say, it something like “Oh kids love fart jokes!” Idiots.
The movie didn’t turn out to be quite as funny as we might have hoped. It kept to the adventure angle, with the guinea pigs having to do death-defying antics to outwit the villainy and the giant robots. Dude, this year is the year of the giant mega-bot. Transformers: Rise of the Fallen (2009) might have been the tentpole, but we had big old robots in Terminator Salvation (2009) and now, even in a kiddie flick about guinea pigs, we’ve got a household appliance transformer monstrosity.
The kids were not overly impressed with the film, though they liked it okay. I think they were hoping that it would be more comedic and less adventure. And the 3-D thing, as I often mention, is just a weak-ass gimmick that is soooo tired already. The best 3-D moment in the film was the preview to a re-release of Toy Story (1995) and Toy Story 2 (1999) in which the animators actually played with the concept and made for the most fun moment in the theater. That and the trailer for Tim Burton’s coming version of Alice in Wonderland (2010) that looks to be trippy art design eye candy.