Thursday, February 28, 2013

Yee-Haw, Cowboy (Er...Caveman) --
It's Time Fer This Week's Review Round-Up!

Until I finally get to see The Croods, I'm going to keep viewing it vicariously through the reviews of others. The way I see it, these reviews are like seltzer bottle blasts to a thirsty clown. Refreshing, yes, but only tiny teases of the dunk tank to come.

I just made that metaphor up! Could you tell? You could? Aw, to heck with you. On to the reviews...

This video review by Zach Marsh came to me via the ever-alert Commenter Bob. He sent it to me Sunday morning saying, "I came across another video review from someone who saw the movie. He thought the movie was spectacular."

"It is a great movie in my opinion. It is well-acted, well-voiced, the animation and 3D are spectacular, the creature design was marvelous...this is a GREAT family movie." 

Good to hear!

HotButterReviews finished their long and loving review with the following A+ appraisal:

The Croods is a great film to be enjoyed by the entire family - young and old. Filled with dangerous action, hilarious situations and gags that would give The Flintstones a run for their money, and a heart bigger than the entire Jurassic era, The Croods is the first great animated film of 2013. loved it, too. In their rave review, they applauded the fun elements, but SALIVATED over the film's surprising depth:

Within The Croods, are unexpected, but comfortable layers of rich story bringing up the themes of family, fear, and searching for the meaning of life. Who knew you could squeeze all of that into one little movie? 

I also enjoyed this paragraph, near the end of's review:

The dynamics of family are also a huge part of this movie, and one of the biggest dynamics is that between Eep and her father Grug. As a former teenage girl (not that I always want to admit it!), I remember the days of absolutely hating my dad… and loving him more than anything at the same time. Kirk DeMicco (director) even added, "Here at DreamWorks, there’s been lots of families of friends, that’s the way it is. But, actually, a true father-daughter story was pretty unique, and everyone was really engaged by that."

One reviewer who was not nearly as enamored was Filmaluation's Hemanth Kissoon:

A big fat yawn. An ancient trek journey; haven’t the ICE AGES done those to death? See also THE LAND BEFORE TIME and DINOSAUR. Is this the best plot the team behind THE CROODS could have come up with? Add in the one-note characters: Stubborn father, peacemaker mother, mother-in-law jokes, and we have a vacuous candy coated sugar-rush ride. Reynolds is not given the script to deliver his usual insouciant charm, and excellent comedienne Stone is barely tested. The occasional 3D spectacle avoids the experience from being totally dire; but the cacophony of loudness and silliness is too ever-present for satisfying divertissement [sic]. Contrast say TANGLED for a thoughtfully made quest flick.

C'mon, Hamanth, don't hold back. Tell us how you REALLY feel.

Back to the positive reviews! This one's from Baby Center's Sarah McGinnis, and she loved it. After showing a slideshow of all of the terrible or dead or non-existent mothers in kids' movies, Sarah said:

Mom characters have a notoriously tough time making it through children’s movies. If you’re not the evil stepmother, odds are you’re dead long before the flick even begins, or, perhaps even worse, will bite the dust right in front of your teary-eyed offspring.

The good news is that the tides are slowly turning, and not only are moms surviving — they’re thriving.

As much as I adore young Eep’s innate curiosity (and the voice of the fabulous Emma Stone), it’s Ugga, the mom, that’s particularly noteworthy in my book. This mother of three is not only as freakishly strong as the rest of her family, she’s smart (relatively smart for her time period, anyway), compassionate and most of all, alive.

As a HUGE fan of Catherine Keener, I'm looking forward to seeing what she does with the role. Sounds like I have a lot to look forward to!

This last review is actually a PRE-review. Apparently, Tree, Root & Twig's Stacey is as wordy of a Croods fan as me! In this, the prodigious prelude to her 'real' review, Stacy singles out three areas where she feels The Croods raises the bar for animated films.

1. The creation of the Croodaceous Period:

It's a fantastical world, based in a familiar enough earth for us to identify with, but full of inventive landscapes and creatures.

2. The multi-generational family:

You could make a party game out of trying to name animated films that include both a father and a mother. [...] There are some, but they're hard to name because they're so few and far between. In The Croods, not only is there a mother and a father, there is a grandmother as well, making it a multi-generational family tale. It adds weight and gives heart to the story.

3. The best use of 3D in animation in...MAYBE EVER:

I have seen a lot of animated 3D movies in the last few years, and I can say without hesitation that this is perhaps the best use of 3D in animation I have ever seen. The use of 3D is not a gimmick in The Croods, but instead a technique for making the film a completely immersive experience. I was awed by so many scenes.

Alright, that's it for today. But don't worry, there are surely more to come! For wherever there are reviewers reviewing The Croods, I shall be there, cut and pasting the highlights and providing links to the leftovers. In an era when even the US Postal Service is cutting back on the regularity of their deliveries, isn't it comforting to know that a blogger such as I exists? Like a shelter in a storm, a fire in the hearth, and that last Kleenex in the box when the drop of snot in your nose becomes visible to passersby, I am here for you. Always.

Or March 23.

Whichever comes first.

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