August 28, 2006

Hooray for Hollywood!


After eating a bit and getting a shower and combing bits of metal and gravel out of my hair, it was time to head up to the movie theater.

Reba told me that morning while I was grunting with a tire and wheel on my lap that she had thought about taking the girls to go see the newest Duff girls vehicle sometime during the day. I'd heard only the most vague information about the movie, but even from that knew without a doubt that it would be a complete waste of time, and that I did NOT want to see it. Anyway, she first said she wanted to go in the morning, then at noon, then finally later that afternoon. Even though I didn't want to go see some stupid movie about stupid girls who like stupid things and say stupid things, I DID want to go to the movies--maybe Boy and I could go see the thing about animals.

So, after I had recovered we got ourselves over to the theater and got our tickets--and Cat decided she wanted to got with Jonathan and me, which was just fine. So, three for Material Girls, three for Barnyard.


Well, the premise is that animals become bipedal humanoids when we have our backs turned. Hijinx ensue.

Overall, a lot of frenetic CGI action, some moments that are actually kind of touching, the music is pretty good (heavy on the North Mississippi Allstars), and enough lame humor to keep the kids chuckling. ("Hey, Pig--dead bee in your nose." ::snort:: "Nope--another live one.")


The same thing everyone else says--udders. Next time anyone puts an udder on a bull, I'm going to scream. Look, it's a kid's cartoon--we certainly don't want hyper-realism here with all sorts of huge dangly bulljunk--but udder is the wrong direction to take. Give the girls udders, give the boys a nice smooth undercarriage. Think Ken and Barbie, guys.

And then there's just the way in which the animals are drawn--so much detail on things like cars or brik-a-brac--but all of the animals look like they're wearing animal suits. Especially the cows, who look like they've got rolled cuffs on their sleeves and cow hoof mittens. And they're smooth--shiny smooth--like they're wearing neoprene. It's very disturbing. And then there's the whole thing with milk. The cows (and all the other animals) guzzle it like it's bootleg booze, but you know, it still comes from OTHER COWS. The equivalent would be like if humans were really into drinking mass quantities of breast milk.

And then there's the whole political message--we have Sam Elliott as the bull(ish) guy who runs the show and holds the meetings and sees to it that no vicious coyotes (i.e., terrorists) eat anyone. The coyotes (i.e., terrorists) attack, and I'm sitting there screaming in my mind, "KILL THE FRIGGIN' COYOTES!!", but they are allowed to skulk away yipping after being told not to come back.

Hey, guess what? They (i.e., coyote terrorists) come back. Bigger, and badder, and more of them, and they manage to compromise national security when Junior Bull takes over (i.e., Democrats) by promising only to take a few animals at a time. Junior gets scared and decides to cut and run, but then finds out one of the animals taken by the coyotes is a little baby chicken. THEN he decides to be brave. Well, at least there SOMEthing that finally gets his attention. So, big climactic fight like at Pride Rock in the Lion King, and ONCE AGAIN, same situation comes up, and once again I'm screaming in my head, "KILL THE COYOTE NOW!!" and ONCE MORE, the main bad guy gets away, although not before getting walloped in the backside with a makeshift golf club. LIKE THAT'S GONNA STOP HIM!

I suppose this is supposed to make us vicariously feel good about being merciful and junk to coyotes (i.e., terrorists) who don't deserve it, but it does nothing but make me wonder if we can't even find a palatable way to off some bad guys, WHY EVEN SHOW THEM IN THE FIRST PLACE!? Don't make them the embodiment of all evil (unlike Wile E. Coyote, who was a silly dupe, and not really evil evil), and then act like they'll just go away by having everyone make angry cow noises. AND ANOTHER THING--these animals have found a way to steal human stuff and use it--cell phones and cars and junk--STEAL SOME DANGED VARMINT RIFLES! Maybe some nice Remington 700s in .243. BUT DON'T LET THEM GET AWAY.

Probably reading a bit too much into it, but still, it's a layer of frustration on top of the bullteats that made the whole movie even less entertaining.

Overall, a lot of funny throw-away lines and pop-culture asides, some snappy music, but with visual incongruities and an overlay of feel-good preachyism that I could have done without. I give it 3 out of 10 curly possum tails. The kids kinda liked it, though, but I don't think they would give it above a 5 or so.

HOWEVER, it does seem to have been better than what Reba and the older girls went to see--Reba usually gives me a movie review comprised of exhaustively recited passages of dialogue and action, but I haven't heard a peep from anyone of them about the movie. I think we have finally plumbed the depths of just how bad a chick flick can get before it completely loses its intended audience.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at August 28, 2006 11:42 AM

We saw the previews for that movie and hearing all the male voices on cows drove me up the wall. I know I couldn't have tolerated watching the whole movie. You're braver and/or more patient than I am.

Posted by: Jordana at August 28, 2006 12:57 PM

Just too tired to move, I guess.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at August 28, 2006 01:10 PM