Sunday, January 01, 2017


(Movie Review)

Why I Saw This Movie
I'll be honest, when I heard the premise for this movie, I thought, "That sounds like the dumbest thing I've ever heard in my whole life."
But then I caught a couple reviews of this movie that said it actually wasn't that bad.  (This guy here, for example.)  It wasn't great, the critics said, but it wasn't bad.  It hit all the story beats that a movie like this needed to hit.

So, when the girlfriend wanted to go to a movie on New Year's Day, and this was the only movie playing in English at our local cinema, I said, sure, why not.  (I owed her for sitting through Star Wars Rogue One  with me.)

The Positives
* It's not terrible.  This movie pretty much hits all the story beats it needed to hit for a movie like this.

The Negatives
* Movies like this, which rely so much on pop songs, are always hit and miss.  If you like the pop song that's playing, chances are you'll enjoy the scene.  If you can't stand the song, chances are you won't like the scene.
My own personal average was about 50%.  I suspect that the 50% mark will be true for most people.  Your own personal likes and dislikes will be different from mine, of course, but I suspect most people will only like about 50% of the soundtrack.

* Related to the above point: the trailers for this movie led me to believe that Dream On  by Aerosmith would  feature prominently in this movie, which I was looking forward to, but it turns out this was yet another case of blatant trailer false advertising.  Dream On was nowhere in this movie.  (I have a complicated history with Aerosmith, because I had a couple college- roommates who were huge Aerosmith fans, and the band got a little bit overplayed in our apartment back in my college days.  But Dream On is the one Aerosmith song that I've always loved inspite of all that.)

* Although the plot in this movie was passable, the humor was just awful.  Which is a pity, because half the reason you go to a cartoon movie like this is for the laughs.  But the jokes in this movie were just not funny at all.  In fact it was embarrassing what the screen writers tried to pass off as humor.

* If I'm being perfectly honest, I was never fully in love with the premise.
I dislike movies in which a person's entire self-worth is based upon their ability to perform a certain talent well.
The movie is juggling a lot of characters, but the story-arc for each is incredibly predictable.  They're all able to sing a song well at the end, and thus redeem their value as human beings.
If I were making this movie, I would have had some of them completely fail at singing the song at the end, but then still realize they had value as human beings inspite of their inability to sing well.

* Related to the above point: I thought the subplot in which the gorilla had to earn his father's love by singing well was a terrible message to send to kids.
I mean I understand what they were going for--he proved himself to his father on his own terms instead of following his father's plan--but he still didn't receive his father's love until he had earned it with his singing abilities.
A parent's love should be unconditional, not earned.  This was a terrible message.

Rating :
2 out of 10 stars.  (It's entertaining, despite all it's flaws.  You can sit through it easily.)

Video Review
Video review here and embedded below:

Link of the Day
Noam Chomsky 2017 - Passionate Speech on the Hypocrisy of US Foreign Policy

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