Thursday, March 7, 2013

The Critics vs. The Croods
(Or: Gather Up Some Grub. It's Time Fer This Week's Review Round-Up!)

I'll admit it. I'm addicted to reading Croods reviews. I mean, I know they're not good for me. Most contain spoilers, and they ALL raise my anticipation to near heart-attack levels. But what can I do? Until I see the film for myself, these reviews are all I've got. They're like seventy-five cent snack machine treats. Enjoyable to ingest, but bad for the heart and completely ineffective when it comes to quelling the real hunger.

Yep, that was ANOTHER one of my homemade metaphors. Just try and bear with me, okay? The Croods comes out in a little over two weeks. After that, we'll let the film speak for itself. No more of my metaphors. I PROMISE.

First up, Clayton W. of Such Moving Pictures' review. He praises the voice cast:

Cage gives his best work since Kick-Ass voicing him, lacing the sternness with enough gruff love to make the character relatable.  Stone perfectly captures Eep's restless wanderlust, which is nicely balanced by Ryan Reynolds' more grounded, modern-sounding delivery as Guy.

He salutes the score: 

The film is further enhanced by Alan Silvestri's score.  Though some tracks strike familiar chords of bursting inspiration or barreling danger, many pieces weave iconic prehistoric touches into the music.

And he finishes it off with what I assume is an unintentional back-handed compliment:

Even with its narrative predictability and well-worn messages, The Croods is a delight.

Quick show of hands: Who is else is fiending for a front row seat?

Carey Bryson went into The Croods with some pretty negative preconceptions. In Bryson's review for, she admits:

Let me tell you what I thought when I saw the trailer the first time: I thought the story of the cave family leaving their cave for a wild adventure looked like an amazingly fun concept with a lot of potential. I also thought the characters were ugly. I really did, just being honest, and I didn't like the main character Eep's cave outfit because it seemed not to cover quite enough of the lower extremities.

Ah, but Bryson quickly changed her tune upon actuallt seeing the film:

Now that I've seen the film, I have to say that I think these are some of the most adorable characters ever created. Ever. I fell in love with this family, and more importantly, so did my kids. I have rarely heard them laugh out loud this much while watching a movie in the theater. If I had a time machine, I would so go back to the Croodaceaous period and visit the Croods.

When you can get a journalist to publicly admit to their time-travel fantasies, you know you're movie is doing something right. Good work, Croods!

The one-named movie reviewer, Monique, saw The Croods in a packed theater at the Miami International Film Festival. She, too, went in expecting the least, and she, too, came out thoroughly impressed:

From the original trailers, I was set to expect something more ordinary, even with the stellar animation and vivid colors. But in fact, I got something much more than I was expecting. Not only were the visuals great, but the story was rock solid as well.

Her praises are plentiful, so I'll just cut-and-paste a few pull-quotes:

The story is completely well-crafted.

The humor the film relies on is more organic in nature.

The artistry in the film is also something to be admired.

Geekenstein's Craig Kandiko gives The Croods a more even-handed review. He starts off by pointing out a few things he didn't dig, then spends the rest of his review talking about everything he LOVED.

The negatives:

It’s basically a computer animated movie of a Tim Allen television sitcom. Beyond overprotective father wants to keep family safe, but rambunctious teenage daughter wants her freedom. Outsider young male then shows father the ills of his ways. Comedy and antics ensue. Sound familiar?


As a fan of Lilo and Stitch and How to Train Your Dragon, I’d have to rank this third behind the other two. While the visuals were fantastic, I found the dialog to be long and drawn out. This is a problem I could see in taking small ones. Kids younger than five years old may easily become bored and restless.

The positives:

Visually the movie is pretty stunning. From the landscapes to the animals to the natural disasters, everything was gorgeously rendered. This was even emphasized fantastically in 3D. So many times I saw children try to grab objects out of the air like burning embers, dust, and flowers that were floating in the air. I thought The Croods really took advantage of the 3D experience.


My absolute favorite part of the movie’s imaginative creativity was the animals. [...] If they ever make these into stuffed animals, parents better be prepared to go broke, because they were all pretty cute and cool.

Alright. That's it. More next week.

Oh, and did I mention that I'm going to see Chris Sanders and Kirk De Micco this weekend? If you have any questions you'd like me to ask them, please leave them in the comments section. (As for me, I'll be struggling to find a subtle way to ask for that sketch of Stitch!)

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