Alvin and the Chipmunks (2007)
Director: Tim Hill
Cast : Jason Lee, David Cross, Cameron Richardson
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Synopsis; In a tree farm, three musically inclined chipmunks, Alvin, Simon and Theodore, find their tree cut down and sent to Los Angeles. Once there, they meet the frustrated songwriter David Seville, and despite a poor house wrecking first impression, they impress him with their singing talent. Seeing the opportunity for success, both human and chipmunks make a pact for them to sing his songs. While that ambition proves a frustrating struggle with the difficult trio, the dream does come true after all. However, that success presents its own trials as their unscrupulous record executive, Ian Hawke, plans to break up this family to exploit the boys. Can Dave and the Chipmunks discover what they really value amid the superficial glamor around them?
Watch Alvin and the Chipmunks Full Movie: It truly is a shame when cartoon hero’s of your childhood are made into Live action films, it really is, and this is a prime example. Rather than leaving the Alvin and the Chipmunks franchise alone and letting it end on the high note it did with Alvin and the Chipmunks meet the Wolfman, they decided that a live action version had to be done, and this just doesn’t meet the bar that the last animated feature left off.
Watch Alvin and the Chipmunks Full Movie: The first problem appears in the first 2 minutes, the Chipmunks design. I realise the idea of a live action film is to make them look realistic, but the problem is we don’t want to see Alvin and the Chipmunks in a realistic light, we always remember them as the almost childlike chipmunks of the 1980s with their long roll-neck jumpers and Alvin’s signature cap. The idea of separating fiction from reality is to make it look unrealistic, and that’s what the original series did well, made the Chipmunks look more personified and thereby more relate-able, here they just look like the rodents that chipmunks truly are so you can’t exactly relate to them.
Watch Alvin and the Chipmunks Full Movie: Second problem is the fact that the film doesn’t seem to grasp each of their individual characters. The original series has Alvin as the mischievously egotistical one, Simon as the intelligent pillar of reason and Theodore as the cutesy and innocent one with a heavy appetite. Here, they all appear to be just Alvin, mischievous, egotistical and not really cute at all. The thing that also made the original chipmunks relate-able was the fact that they had individual personalities, rather than just one stereotype like this movie has. Although this does lend itself to some humorous moments within the film, they’re unfortunately few and far between and when they do show up you hardly notice them.
Watch Alvin and the Chipmunks Full Movie: Thirdly and probably the most important problem, the music. As well as having a critical overview on films, I have a critical overview on music, and this film seems to have no effort in giving Dave a chance to be the musical genius he was depicted as in the previous series, being the one who wrote their songs and oversaw their concerts. Also the music Alvin and the Chipmunks were more often than not known for was 50s Rock, 80s Rock, Symphonic Melodies and other Classic Tracks. Here, they just borrow from other artists and make either Rap or Hip Hop tracks, which to my mind requires little to no brain power to sing or make, just talking to the beat of a drum machine about one’s sexual experiences, but that’s beside the point. What was important was that Dave in the original was truly the music man, making the songs whilst sometimes borrowing from existing tracks, but at least the music was enjoyable and had something you could bounce to, here Dave doesn’t write one song nor does he show up that often, its more so the sleazy villain that does the role of what Dave would normally be accustomed to.
Watch Alvin and the Chipmunks Full Movie: Overall, this film isn’t its best and though you may consider me to have set to bar really too high for this film based on the last feature length chipmunk film, it probably wouldn’t come close to the mark even if I lowered it. It’s got a story (to a point), the humour is there (somewhere) and at least Alvin is his usual up to no good self (at the cost of Simon and Theodore losing their personalities). As for the rest, sadly not my cup of tea.
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