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Weekend Movies: Somebody Made a Big Boo Boo

The “somebody” in question is Warner Bros. Pictures, which is unleashing a big-budget, low-intelligence movie based on the “classic” (there should be a fair amount of discussion here about that signifier) Hanna-Barbara cartoon series ‘Yogi Bear’. It just looks dreadful. Thankfully, there are other things out there this weekend that you can check out instead.

First, though, let’s talk about ‘Yogi Bear‘, which has a 35 on Metacritic right now. I haven’t seen the movie (mercifully), but it’s an $80 million, 3-D extravaganza that was filmed in Australia under the direction of former special effects maestro Eric Brevig (‘Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D‘). It features the voices of Dan Akyroyd as the tie-wearing, pic-i-nic basket-stealing bear, and probable Oscar nominee Justin Timberlake as sidekick Boo Boo. (Taking guesses now – Will Boo Boo say, “Stealing a million picnic baskets isn’t cool. You know what’s cool? A billion picnic baskets”?)

It just looks dreadful. Let’s never speak of it again and hope that it dies a quick and quiet death at the box office. It probably won’t, but let’s hope anyway.

Tron: Legacy‘ I have already reviewed, but I just wanted to say that since I saw the movie last week, I’ve been thinking about it a lot. This is not typical of most glossy Hollywood fare. Earlier this week, I spoke with director Joe Kosinski on the phone. He told me about his attempts to make it a genuinely strange movie that just-so-happens to be a huge, blockbuster-to-be. I’m going to see it again this weekend, and I couldn’t be more excited.

Also opening this week in wide release is the James L. Brooks rom-com ‘How Do You Know‘, which looks like something I know all too well: a terrible movie. Despite its cast (Paul Rudd, Owen Wilson, Reese Witherspoon and Jack Nicholson star) and Brooks’ pedigree (dude did ‘Broadcast News’… a million years ago), the director has not had a good run of late. Each of his movies has gotten progressively worse, more out-of-touch, and more saccharine. (One made-up word: ‘Spanglish’.) This movie cost nearly $120 million before marketing costs, which is unfathomable. None of that money will be up on the screen, I’m sure.

But there is something to look forward to!

If you live in New York or L.A., you should do yourself a solid and go see ‘Rabbit Hole‘. Based on a Pulitzer Prize-winning play and starring Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart, this feature (directed by John Cameron Mitchell of ‘Hedwig & the Angry Inch’) is absolutely fantastic. For a movie about a couple dealing with the loss of their child, it’s shockingly funny. The press screening I went to elicited more chuckles than ‘Due Date’. The performances are amazing, the camerawork subtle and subdued, and everything totally works. I’ve seen it twice now and think it’s one of the best American movies of the year.

Also, there are a couple of high-profile smaller films that are expanding this weekend. Namely, Darren Aronofsky’s fabulous ballet world thriller ‘Black Swan‘ and David O. Russell’s ridiculously entertaining boxing biopic ‘The Fighter‘. Both films are excellent for their own separate reasons, and they both hum with a kind of loose wire electricity that cannot be denied. Go see either. You’ll be glad you did.

7 comments

  1. Look, I don’t have the time or energy right now to go on a giant rant, but let’s just assume this comment is a few paragraphs long and fully details how I feel about random celebrities getting voice work instead of the jobs going to voice actors who would do things better and wouldn’t eat so much into the budget of the movie. I mean, Justin Timberlake, really?

    • Alex

      I absolutely agree. I find it horribly distracting when I can recognize the voice of an actor but the image on screen (hand-drawn or CGI) doesn’t match up to that voice. Every once in a while it works well (The Lion King), occasionally a dreadful movie can have inspired casting (Bill Murray as Garfield), but for the most part, it’s a trend that needs to end and end quickly.

  2. I might considering renting this movie once it comes to video on two conditions:

    1) Boo Boo sings both “Dick in a Box” and “Motherlover” fully uncensored.
    2) That alternate ending found on YouTube turns out to in fact be the movie’s real ending.

    I would surely fast-forward to those two parts, but I would nonetheless pay to see those incorporated into a real Yogi Bear movie.

  3. I also believe they should find people who can actually PERFORM the voice and SOUND like the character, instead of grabbing a big name and making do or using software to make them work.

    I don’t care who is providing the voice, I want them to sound correct!

    (PS, I am sure I will have to take my 4 yo twins to this at some point)

  4. EM

    I don’t know much about the movie “Spanglish”, but the word “Spanglish” has been around since at least the 1960s. It refers to a blending of the Spanish and English languages (also known by the Spanish equivalent “espanglés”).

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