Due to Columbus Day, The Girls were out of school today, so we went with the "extended weekend" concept and went out to see Open Season
, the latest in a seemingly unending stream of "cute animals in state-of-the-art rendering" movies. I'm wondering just how many of these there are going to be before they stop making any money. The Tribune gave this 3 stars, but the theater was only about 1/3 full (although they did
have it on a couple of screens), which is, perhaps, somewhat telling (especially given that all the school kids in Chicago were out today). The fact that the major studios are running short on ideas was highlighted by previews for not one, but two
animated penguin movies coming up in the near future. I don't know the actual identity of the competitors here, but it seems like Sony and Disney (or whoever is actualy doing these) are hell-bent to pretty much make the same movie at the same time. Heck, there are two rodent
movies coming out in the next few months (one about a French rat and one about a spoiled mouse) as well ... don't these folks have departments that are supposed to know
what the other guys are developing?
Now, I'm not saying that Open Season
, it just didn't "grab me". I found it difficult to work up much caring
for what might happen to the main characters in this, though, which was part of the problem. Also, there were glaring holes in the "story logic" ... at least in Madagascar
they dealt with the fact that the Lion's buddies were starting to look like food pretty quickly, in this the Grizzly is coaxed to eat one pinecone over a two day period, and there is no hint
that all those bunnies, deer, beavers, etc. were potentially on the menu (once they gave up on trying to deal with the ninja fish).
There wasn't even very much in the way of "cultural references" to keep things interesting for the adults ... the "Braveheart" allusions got old fast with the Scottish-voiced squirrels, and there was precious little past that. Even the "human lead" seemed derivative, as she was drawn to look like a grown-up version of the perky redhead girl from Monster House
... why would they draw/voice a character so closely to another one? I also didn't "get anything" from the use of either lead ... Martin Lawrence and Ashton Kutcher brought no more "depth" to the characterizations in this than did Owen Wilson and Bonnie Hunt in Cars
(and this didn't have the "playing to type" supporting cast that was backing those two in that)!
Oh, well ... at least we got in at the $5 showing! We also were able to take advantage of the TGI Friday's "Free Lunch" promotion before it ended, which knocked a few bucks off of lunch.