movie reviews movie review
Search Archives DVD Mall Prog Land TV Contact Us Reviewer Bio


Search Movie Review Archives

0-9 A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
 
About DVDivas
Dvdivas was founded by John Gabbard in 2000. It's purpose has been and remains to be to provide you, the entertainment community with the latest dvds and movie reviews. It will continue to be your link to the most popular dvd movies.

 

“Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel” - {Blu-ray}
Reviewer:
Wayne Klein
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Genre:
Family
Release Date:
3/30/10
Special Features:

Featurettes, music videos, trivia track, BD-Live features

Review:

IWhat this movie needed was a werewolf. Imagine these furry critters turning into even furrier creatures, prowling the night as they sing at the moon and rip the throats out of those who show up to listen to their music. That’s a different movie though. This movie really is nothing more than a remake of the first film with a couple of new characters thrown in to keep the audience interested. Kids crave repetition and 20th Century Fox knows that which is why this isn’t a massive departure from the first movie. ***

When “Alvin and the Chipmunks” appeared in 2007 it wasn’t your standard kid movie distraction but a massive hit for Fox. The film became one of the top grossing films of 2007 when it came out around the Christmas holiday. This is surprising for a number of reasons but chiefly because this was a reboot of a popular cartoon series (which began as a series of novelty records) form the 1960’s. This isn’t the first attempt to reboot the Chipmunks “career”; in the 1990’s there was an attempt to revive the characters with a number of direct-to-DVD feature length cartoons that tried to tap in into what was current trends at the time. Sadly, none of them included the rodents during into were-rodents and tearing out the throats of the public. Personally, I think THAT’s why they missed making millions then. ***

In the first film we were introduced to how struggling musician Dave (Jason Lee) stumbled on these musical chipmunks that spoke perfect English; Alvin (Justin Long), Simon (Matthew Gray Gulber) and Theodore (Jess McCartney) all charming little fur balls with perfect pitch. The trio became massive music stars. ***

In the sequel Dave is injured in a stage accident while the chipmunks are on tour in Paris. In traction Dave is forced to stay in Paris while the trio return home now to be watched by Dave’s goofy nephew Toby (Zachary Levi from “Chuck”). The trio face the challenges of high school without Dave to keep a watchful eye on them. Meanwhile the evil former music executive Ian (David Cross “Arrested Development”) who tried to “steal” the chipmunks from Dave plots his revenge with his own discover—The Chipettes three female chipmunks Brittany (Christina Applegate), Jeanette (Anna Faris) and Eleanor (Amy Poehler) who also sing, charm the pants off the public and are become a big item threatening to push Alvin, Simon and Theodore out of the limelight. ***

As with the first film “Alvin and the Chipmunks” is mindless entertainment that kids will enjoy and that will occasionally make adults chuckle as well. Even if it is missing, say, a scene where Alvin becomes a zombie and attacks Dave ripping his throat out, “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel” is charming if hardly earthshaking entertainment. The CGI is quite good although on Blu-ray (as in the theater) the CGI tends to stand out from the live action plates and footage in the film. The writing for this isn’t quite as sharp as the first film which was good, mindless entertainment and the writers/director/performers struggle with the touches that are presented to contemporize Alvin and the Chipmunks but kids won’t mind and they were the primary audience (hey, adults had to be DRAGGED to the first film)for this flick. ***

As cookie-cutter entertainment “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel” manages to be diverting and occasionally charming but it could have been repulsive so we should count our lucky stars that we didn’t get something truly horrible (I’m sure that after the success of this film Fox has plans for many direct-to-video incarnations that will live down to that standard). ---

Image & Sound:

“Alvin” looks quite nice with a detailed presentation. As mentioned one of the drawbacks to high def is that it’s pretty clear on repeated viewings where reality ends and CGI begins (the green screen work done here is a bit sloppy at times probably having more to do with budget and time crunch than lack of skill). Colors look quite nice although far from “natural” and pop. The Blu-ray nicely captures the detail, look and texture of the theatrical presentation. ***

The 5.1 DTS-HD audio sounds marvelous with nice detail and plenty of activity in the surround speakers particularly during the concert sequences of the film. The sound stage is quite nice with good depth, detail and dialogue comes through clearly. ---

Special Features:

All of the bonus material is presented in 1080p including some of the trailers. “Munk Music Machine” allows the viewer to go directly to music scenes. ***

“Music in a Nutshell” is a trivia track allowing for pip (picture-in-picture) trivia/commentary on the making of the film. ***

“Alvin Album Maker” allows you to create your own “customized” album of music from the film. ***

“Making History: Fifty Years of Chipmunk Mischief, Mayhem, and Music” covers the history of the Chipmunks from their conception in the 1960’s when it was created by actor/musician Dave Bagdasarian and features the producers Ross Bagdasarian and Janice Karman discussing the changes to the characters, their popularity, etc. ***

“Meet the Chipettes” has producer Janice Karman describing how the Chipettes created. ***

“Rockin’ Rising Stars” focuses on two rock acts who appear in the film either alongside the Chipmunks or in competition with them.. ***

“Music Maniac” focuses on the concert sequences and the big one that concludes the film involving the producers, DP and various production folks involved in designing the scene and making it look “real”. We also see footage of the live action footage shot as a reference for Chipmunks “moves”. No, they didn’t use real rodents. ***

“The Chipmunks: Behind the Squeaking” is a interview featurette and a standard “making of” featurette. ***

“A-Nut-omy of a Scene” focuses on the “stand ins” for each of the CGI creatures demonstrating how the scenes progressed. ***

“Meet the Stuffies” is a humorous look at the stuffed creatures used to stand in for the CGI Chipmunks in the film. ***

“Shake Your Groove Thing with Rosero” allows kids (no grown ups allowed!) to learn the dance moves from the movie. ***

We also get the five music videos some of which feature the lyrics on screen. ***

The disc is BD-Live active. The site allows access to two brief deleted scenes from the movie. There are also trailers for a variety of forthcoming kids movies as well as high def trailers for Avatar, Marley & Me 2, Tooth Fairy, and Space Chimps 2. ---

Final Words:

I’m disappointed they didn’t go with MY suggestion to have monsters in the movie. Maybe next time they can use it can make it “Alvin and the Chipmunks Clash with the Titans”. Imagine Alvin in 3-D large as life with a sword and in a toga. Yep, that’s next it has to be because remember EVERYTHING is recycled in Hollywood.

 

 
 
 
Copyright @ Teakwood Productions 2000
Home News DVDWorld DVDLand(Links) DVDVoices
Search Archives DVD Mall Prog Land TV Contact Us Reviewer's Bio
Upcoming DVDs In Theatres Soon Other Popular Reviews
This Page Design By Dominion Technology Provider
 
In Theatres Soon Upcoming DVDs Alias Tomb Raider Casablanca NYPD Blues