Movie Review: Home

Published April 8, 2015 by mrsrag

Home the movieStarring the voices of: Jim Parsons, Rihanna, Steve Martin, Jennifer Lopez, Matt Jones, Brian Stepanek, April Lawrence.

Rated: PG.  Animated.  Running Time: 1 hour 34 minutes.

Home is the story of The Boov, these ghosts from Pac-Man looking creatures, that are inexplicably and constantly running away from their mortal enemy, the Gorg.  Their travels take them to Earth, where they imprison the whole planet, all the while acting like they’re doing us a favor.  The Boov are delusional, and they’re led by Captain Smek (Martin) a particularly self serving megalomaniac.  Oh (Parsons) is that most annoying Boov, you know the type, that guy/girl you run away from before they spot you and you’re trapped by inane conversation until you want to blow your brains out.  Oh quickly runs into Tip Tucci (Rihanna), a little girl who’s been separated from her mother Lucy (Lopez), and for all intents and purposes, the interaction between those two is the whole movie.  Their quest to find Tip’s mom and Oh’s growth into self awareness give the movie a sweet heart while projecting important life lessons.  We had our own Oh right behind us in the theater.  After returning from refilling our popcorn, Maria informed me, “the people behind us are horrible.”  More specifically, this one kid, maybe 11, was screaming a constant commentary of every action on the screen.  “Hahaha, the Boov need to run away!!!”  “Look Oh made the car fly.”  Then, something happens that doesn’t bring a chuckle from anyone else:  horrible, annoying, screaming, horse laughter.  After a firm shooshing from Maria, and another from the people behind him, he got a little better, but talk about brutal!  All I could think of was, imagine living with that kid everyday??  Talk about blowing your fucking brains out!!  

It was bad.  Honestly, I would have made a much bigger deal about it, but then I thought that the kid may have an actual disorder.  Whomever was accompanying him to the film was more at fault for this behavior anyhow.  All of the previous loud commentary and excessive laughter was followed by the kicking of my seat.  For the first twenty minutes of the movie I thought I may need to leave or strangle myself with the handle of my purse.  Nevertheless, this made it difficult to enjoy the entire movie.  But about half way through, the behavior settled to a tolerable lull.  It’s difficult to make a kids movie that impresses me.  I mean, everything has been done and over done.  It’s quite something when you get a Lego Movie or a Frozen experience.  Especially when you’re expectations are so low.  I wouldn’t quite say that Home deserves to be on the same shelf as those new classics, but there was something very likable about this story.  It had some very important underlying lessons and the dynamic between our alien and human are sweet.  Oh learns how to stop running from his problems and start solving them instead.  Something that eventually benefits the Boov and the humans.

I agree completely, Home is a cut below the Wreck-it Ralph’s, Up’s and Finding Nemo’s of the past, but after a slow start, it won me over.  Even Parson’s Yoda/Jar Jar Binks-like speech patterns for Oh, I found endearing after a while.  DreamWorks pulled in 54 million the first weekend with this effort, and our theater was packed on the following Friday, so word of mouth has been decent.  I would recommend it for sure, especially if you’re on the fence.  The good news for you if you go: the crowds should be dwindling, so if you draw your own Oh in your area, you can always move.  I’m jealous!

This is definitely worth the trip, especially with the kids.  I think it says something that I still found this movie fairly decent even with all of the disturbances surrounding me.  And one last note about that; we were accompanied by a similar age child, Ethan, who was quiet and respectful of those around him.  That’s because it has been explained to him at length over the years that anything other is unacceptable.  So, if you’re a frequent movie going family, it’s probably best to have a nice outline of rules before venturing into the theatre.  And guess what, if you get in there and your kid isn’t acting right, you should pull a Boov move and skedaddle.

Ross’ Rating: 3.25 Gummy Bears out of 5.    

Maria’s rating: 3 Gummies.

Movie Review: The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water

Published February 13, 2015 by mrsrag

sponge bobStarring the voices of:  Tom Kenney, Bill Fagerbakke, Rodger Bumpass, Clancy Brown, Carolyn Lawrence, Mr. Lawrence and Antonio Banderas (in the flesh).

Rated- PG.  Animated.  Running Time- 1 hour 33 minutes.

SpongeBob (Kenney), Patrick (Fagerbakke), Mr. Krabs (Brown), Squidward (Bumpass), Sandy (Lawrence) and Plankton (Mr. Lawrence) have been holding court in Bikini Bottom since 1999 on Nikelodeon, and occasionally on the big screen. Ethan is 11 and has been watching them since he was 3, so I have seen more SpongeBob than I probably would have liked.  And while it’s no Regular Show or Phineas and Ferb, it definitely has its’ moments.  Something about SpongeBob’s eternal, annoying optimism, Patrick’s epic stupidity, Mr. Krabs constant chasing of the dollar and miserly cheapness, Sandy’s know-it-all, Texas-twangy cockiness, and Plankton’s relentless pursuit of the Krabby Patty formula, work in a way that keeps you chuckling year after year.  And the plot of The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water, with the interjection of Burger Beard (Banderas) actually brings some freshness to the franchise, though you may feel like you’re on a bit of an acid trip.  The Krabby Patty formula is stolen, but not by Plankton?  SpongeBob betrays his idol/employer Mr. Krabs?!  Patrick at odds with his porous, yellow best friend?  The gang ends up in the “real world”?!  The action is non-stop, the puns fly freely and the laughs are better than sporadic. If your kids need to go, take them, you’ll enjoy yourself.  One bit of advice though, we here at MRSRAG are big supporters of the legalization of cannabis, so smoke’em if you’ve got’em!  You’ll be glad you did.

I sure wish I had.  I was very optimistic about viewing this one in 3D.  Judging from the previews, I had a feeling that it was going to be well worth the few extra bucks.  And it most certainly was.  Some of my favorite parts were the trippy, time travelling sequences where I felt like I was plummeting through a psychedelic wormhole.  This is the first time I have felt like the 3D made the experience exponentially more enjoyable.  I love that the SpongeBob humor has always had a sarcastic, sharp and humble flair.  The show has always had a knack for poking fun at itself and the whole gang…mostly Patrick – but he doesn’t seem to mind.  Or he just doesn’t know any better.  Sponge Out of Water will keep kids and adults entertained.  I was giggling on the ride home about jokes from the film.  And there is something lovable about that annoying little sponge.

I love the voice cast of the SpongeBob series.  Bill Fagerbakke the voice of Patrick has made a career playing idiots.  You may remember him from the TV show Coach, but my favorite character of his was the simple-minded, well intentioned Tom Cullen from Steven King’s The Stand.  “M-O-O-N, that spells Tom!”  And how about Mr. Krabs?  Voiced by none other than Clancy Brown, you know, “the toughest screw at Shawshank Prison.”  Ironically another Steven King vehicle, but again my favorite role of his was The Kurgan from the 1986 movie Highlander.  Clancy went from, in my opinion, one of the top 3 best villains of all time to voicing a miserly, cartoon crab.  Then there is the voice of Plankton, simply known as Mr. Lawrence.  You know that guy has to be a character.  If you like SpongeBob to begin with you won’t be disappointed with Out of Water, and if you’re not familiar with the denizens of Bikini Bottom, you probably won’t be going anyway.  It’s a total win-win situation.   

Ross is constantly blowing my mind with his voice recognition.  This dude’s ears are unbelievable!  I’ve been overhearing these voices for years while Ethan watches episodes and truthfully, I had watched a handful on my own during college.  There’s one episode I fondly remember where SpongeBob and Patrick decide to start following ‘The Magic Conch’.  In this day and age of technology, you could probably find it on YouTube.  I suggest you do so ASAP.  The episode is genius.  And it was the catalyst for completely transforming my opinion of the show.  This franchise continues to surprise me and this latest offering does not fall short of its usual standards.  But it’s mostly just fun.  Which is what the show is really all about anyway.

Ross’ Rating: 3.5 Gummy Bears out of 5.

Maria’s Rating: 4 Gummies.