Dreamworks Animation’s “The Croods” is easily the silliest, most cartoonish animated movie I’ve seen in a long time. It seemed to me to be even more squarely aimed at children than most modern animated offerings are nowadays.
Regardless, it’s fun, funny, brightly colored and spiritedly animated. It’s definitely a family friendly slice of entertainment.
It’s totally worth it to take your brood to “The Croods”.
Premiering this weekend on HBO was one of last year’s quartet of big budget superhero movies, Warner Brothers’ and DC’s “Green Lantern”. Starring Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively, Mark Strong and Peter Sarsgaard, the movie underperformed at the box office and was derided by critics (it sits at 27% on Rotten Tomatoes).
It was also one of my very earliest reviews, and I enthusiastically sang its praises.
Now that nine months have passed, public consensus has been arrived at, and I’ve had a chance to re-watch it, have I downgraded my opinion?
This time it’s Tobin Frost. CIA legend. Frost was a high-profile agent who specialized in interrogation. He later defected and has been on the run and off the grid for nearly a decade. Suddenly he shows up at a US Consolate office and turns himself in.
He’s brought to a CIA safe house run by rookie Matt Weston (Ryan Reynolds). When the safe house is breached, Weston is forced to grab Tobin and go on the run.
The change up was an OFFENSIVELY BAD FILM, and an excrutiating experience to sit through. Its runtime is listed at 112 minutes, but it felt like 8 hours in a dentist chair, and there was rarely a breathing moment when I didn’t feel actively insulted by what this movie expected me to find funny.
It’s a no brainer that this movie is going to wind up on several prominent “Worst Movie of the Year” lists, and I expect it to be nominated for half a dozen Razzies at least.
Ok. First off, I have to admit. I’m not the most unbiased reviewer in the world, here. Everyone who knows me knows I’m a huge comic book nerd. So it’s totally possible that someone who doesn’t know who Tomar Re is going in to this - and thus doesn’t have a minor nerdgasm when he shows up – might not like this movie as much as I did.
But in this day and age, do non-fans really need to be versed in the lore going in? Even if you’ve never read a comic book in your life, don’t you know who Green Lantern is? And even if you didn’t, didn’t the marketing campaign tell you enough?
Green Lantern is the quintessential Super Hero Movie. And by now, we should all know what we’re getting when we go to a super hero movie. Superhero movies are uncomplicated affairs. It’s Good Guy vs. Bad Guy. If its an origin story, you get the added bonus level of how the Good Guy got their powers. In this case, a dude gets an alien ring that gives him super powers, flies to the sourceworld to learn how to use it, and then he fights villains. It isn’t “Inception”. It wasn’t meant to be.
So the question then becomes, was it a GOOD superhero movie? And the answer is, resoundingly, YES. One of the best.