“Open Season”: Hilariously Pointless!

1.5 stars out of 5 (terrible)

Boog (Martin Lawrence) is a bear who lives the city life. He’s a metro-grizzly. His life is usually completely perfect. He’s got a beautiful owner named Beth, who is voiced by Debra Messing and is a forest ranger, a garage home that would fit 10 animals, and an acting job.

But his life suddenly shatters when he meets Elliot, (Ashton Kutcher) a one-antlered deer who’s lashed to a truck. After Boog saves Elliot, the deer thinks that “Hey, we’re buddies,” so later he gets Boog’s attention by throwing bunnies at the window of the garage.

After he lets him in, Boog proclaims he’s not a pet, but Elliot holds up a bowl with his name written on it and says, “Righhttt.”

So what’s the point? There IS NO POINT to this story! It’s just a bunch of skits like you would see on the Amanda Show put into one big flick!

The movie is called Open Season because in the forest it’s time for open season to begin, and the animals don’t want to get killed. Boog is set free at that time with Elliot. For those of you who have seen the Spongebob Squarepants movie, they go into a candy store and get drunk on sugar like Spongebob and Patrick on ice cream, which is bad for Boog because then he acts crazy.

Then there’s this one funny scene when Elliot says “Half doe, half buck, I’m a duck!” It’s also hilarious that Boog can’t do “his business” (don’t tell you kids what that means) without his facilities-you know-the toilet!

In conclusion, this movie may amuse younger kids, younger than 5, but if they ask what the point was tell them, there was no point!

I laughed anyway.

Rated PG for some crude humor and brief language, which also stands for Pointless Goofiness.

“How to Eat Fried Worms”: A Delightful Meal!

3.5 out of 5 stars (above average)

Billy (Luke Benward) is a kid who has just moved to a new house and is a little nervous about his new school and making friends. Nothing seems to go right on the first day when he meets Joe Guire, the school bully. Joe (played by Adam Hicks) wears a big ring on his finger called the Death Ring. Other kids say if he punches you with The Ring, you will slowly become poisoned, and die in the eighth grade.

Billy meets one nice girl named Erika (played by Hallie Kate Eisenberg) who helps him get to class. The kids call her “Erk” and she’s kind of a misfit too. (I have no idea why they call her Erk.) Her role in the movie is “The Girl Who Helps.”

At lunch on the first day when he opens his thermos, worms fall out. When Joe asks him “Do you eat worms?” he says “Sure, I eat them all the time, do you want one?” Then he accidentally throws a worm in the bully’s face! After school, Billy is forced to accept a bet that he can eat 10 worms in one day, or face the horrible DEATH RING. AGGHHH!

There is trouble, because in Billy’s past life he has thrown up frequently due to a weak stomach. Puking was on his daily schedule. Now he’s got to overcome throwing up or lose the bet and put up with the school bully for all eternity, or at least through middle school.

The movie also has a variety of hilarious characters that do dopey things. Woody is Billy’s little brother who is constantly causing him trouble. The principal is another problem because he is always walking into the room unexpectedly and stopping the partying that may be going on. Of course, that’s his job, but he’s shown as a goofball doing it.

Now for the questions. Will Billy eat all 10 worms without throwing up? Will he get punched by the DEATH RING? Will Woody ever stop being annoying?

I liked how they used cartoon humor and made the movie in real people fashion. In one funny scene they sneak into an old lady’s bait shop and one kid puts a worm in the microwave. After 10-15 seconds a small explosion is heard and we see the results. Luckily, as the movie says, no real worms were harmed in the making of the film, even this one.

I’m recommending this movie for kids who don’t think that people eating worms is gross. Aaaa, forget that. Actually, children under 4 might be scared of the bait shop scene because the old lady looks scary. My friend Virgil and I agreed that is was great for most families.

Rated PG for mild bullying and crude humor. I rate it PG for Perfectly Gross!

“Barnyard”: A Great Moooovie!

3.5 out of 5 stars

Otis (Kevin James) is a cow who is a big party animal among a barnyard full of animals who act like humans. But his dad Ben (Sam Elliot) is the leader of the barnyard and is more serious about life on the farm. One day when Otis comes into the barn meeting covered in chicken feathers, Ben is embarrassed. (I’m not going to tell you how the feathers happened!) That night, Ben tells Otis that he found him running in the forest and he took him in as his own son. In reply, Otis asks Ben if he can go to the party inside the barn that night, and sadly Ben says yes.

Later that night, the coyotes come and try to take some of the chickens from the farm and Ben fights them. Unfortunately, the lead coyote bites Ben in the back of the leg which kills him. Then the lead chicken acting as messenger rushes to the party to tell Otis and all the other animals that Ben has just died.

Now that Ben is dead, the animals hold a barn meeting to decide who will be the new leader. A dog nominates himself to be leader but Ben’s helper, a donkey voiced by Danny Glover, says the dog has some problems that might affect him being leader. When the dog asks what problems he is talking about the donkey throws a ball and the dog runs after it because he is addicted to fetching balls. Then another animal states that Ben would have wanted Otis to be leader if he ever passed away. So the animals select Otis.

Now that Otis is leader, he starts making the barnyard animals do wild things in broad daylight, like playing tricks with the humans. This leads to suspicion by the neighbors, and big trouble!

This movie was hilarious! I loved lots of the scenes with the animals but if I tell you about them it will spoil the movie. Let’s just say you should mooove on down to see it!

Rated PG for some mild peril and thematic elements

“The Ant Bully”: Ant-Sized Fun

2 out of 5 stars (has some good moments, but is overall bad)

Lucas Nickel is a boy who always gets picked on by the neighborhood bully. Then afterwards, he takes his frustration out on the ants that are in his backyard.

One of the ants, Zoc the potion maker (Nicolas Cage), is trying to create a potion that will shrink Lucas so the ants can teach him a lesson. Late one night, Zoc and the other ants sneak into the house and shrink Lucas down to ant size then kidnap him. Once the ants get back to the anthill to decide what to do with Lucas, the queen (Meryl Streep) asks if anyone wants to train Lucas to be an ant. Then Hova (Julia Roberts) states that she will train Lucas on how to be a team player. But what the ants don’t know is that an ant exterminator (Paul Giamatti) is going to wipe out the entire colony.

Will Hova fall in love with Zoc or Lucas? Will ants be exterminated off the face of the earth? See it yourself to find out!

While I liked a few parts of this movie, I mostly found it boring. Two or three times Grandma Momo loses her teeth and it’s hilarious watching an old person’s teeth fall out in an animated movie. It shows kids what will happen to you if you don’t brush your teeth!

I would recommend this for 6-8 year olds. Maybe I’m getting too old for this type of movie-they might love it! It is rated PG for mild rude humor and action.

“Monster House”: Darkly Funny

3.5 out of 5 stars (above average)

Note:  The animation in this film has aged terribly, so be prepared for that if you watch it.  Also, I would likely give it 3 stars today.  Please enjoy!

 

DJ (voiced by Mitchell Musso) is a kid who knows that the house across the street is haunted. When his parents leave to go to a dentist convention, he is left with the evil babysitter who breaks a plant pot and threatens to blame DJ for it.

DJ is not alone in this story. He has a best friend named Chowder who is goofy but helpful. When they try to rescue Chowder’s basketball from the lawn across the street, Mr. Nebercracker (the mean old man who lives there) falls down dead on DJ and is taken away by an ambulance. What is really mysterious is that the house seems to be alive as if the old man’s spirit is haunting DJ.

When DJ and Chowder save a girl named Jenny from almost being eaten by the house, she joins the duo in finding out the mystery of the monster house.

What I really liked about this movie is that it had some funny lines like, “This is why nobody will sit next to us at lunch.” In a really funny part, Chowder gets his cape caught, proving Edna’s theory from “The Incredibles”- “NO CAPES” for Superheroes, or in this case, Superdweebs.

Now let’s address the scare factor. The scary scenes might frighten younger kids but my sister is nine years old and she wasn’t scared. However, she watches “Fear Factor.” If your kids can handle “Fear Factor” or the monkey scene from “The Wizard of Oz” they’ll be OK. My mom says parents will enjoy some scenes like when you first see the goth babysitter pull up, expecting the parents to be home. She’s dressed in a pink “Let’s have fun” outfit and is pretending to sing along to Olivia Newton John. (Who’s that anyway?) Then she turns out to be goth.

As for me, who cares? I just liked the scary parts.

Rated PG for some scary images and sequences, thematic elements, crude humor, and brief language.

“Cars”: A Zooming Film!

2.5 stars out of 5 (decent, but nothing special)

The creators of two very good movies, “The Incredibles” and “Finding Nemo,” are back, as they bring us “Cars,” a movie where cars rule and humans don’t even exist!

Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) is a hot rod race car who is in a big race that will determine if he, Chick “Thunder” Hicks (voiced by Michael Keaton) or The King will win the Piston Cup. Lightning doesn’t start out so well, but when he catches up, there is nothing stopping him. When he bumps into one of the other racers, he flies up in the air and sticks his tongue out like Michael Jordan when he played for the Chicago Bulls. It is a close finish, so close in fact that all three cars tie for first place and force a playoff race in California.

On the way to the race, Mack the truck, who is transporting Lightning, falls asleep, and Lightning falls out the back. The happily snoozing Lightning doesn’t notice what’s happened until another car’s lights wake him up. He then unsuccessfully tries to wake up Mack and because Lightning has no lights, he has no idea where he is going and starts speeding. When he wakes up in a car jail in a town called Radiator Springs, he meets Mater (Larry the Cable Guy), a bucktoothed tow truck with a sense of humor, who quickly becomes Lightning’s best friend. Mater briefly explains to Lightning where he is and when he will go to court where the judge, Doc Hudson, will decide if he will stay in jail or leave. In court, Lightning meets Sally, (Bonnie Hunt) a blue Porsche. With a little encouragement from Sally, Doc Hudson decides that Lightning will not go to jail, but fix the road that leads to the town, then leave if he wants to.

One of the things that I liked about this movie was that it was really funny. For example, in one scene Mater takes Lightning to a farm in the middle of the night and they do some Tractor Tipping-where you sneak up on a tractor and honk your horn at them and they tip over and toot at you. I also liked that it had a good plot and it had good voice talents. What I didn’t like about it was that it was slow in some parts and that all the other Pixar movies I’ve seen were a lot better.

But test drive it for yourself! Will Lightning make it to the race? Will Thunder win it? Get in your Mini-van and find out!

Rated G for Get up and go see it!