Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked is the kind of film that adults will only want to view once while their kids will want to listen to those high-pitched songs over and over. I don’t have any kids but God bless all who do and put up with dreck like this. That said, while it is bad, it’s also mostly harmless; I would suggest having kids watch some other family film, however.
Genre(s): Comedy, Adventure
Fox | G – 87 min. – $39.99 | March 27, 2012
Directed by: Mike Mitchell
Writer(s): Ross Bagdasarian and Janice Karman (characters); Jonathan Aibel & Glenn Berger (written by)
Cast: Jason Lee, David Cross, Jenny Slate
Voice Cast: Justin Long, Matthew Gray Gubler, Jesse McCartney, Amy Poehler, Anna Faris, Christina Applegate
Theatrical Release Date: December 16, 2011
Features: Featurettes, Sing-Along Music Videos, Extended Scenes, DVD Copy, Digital Copy
Number of Discs: 2
Slip Cover? Yes
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 1.85
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Disc Size: 37.5 GB
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
THE MOVIE – 1.25/5
How have we come to this point in cinema and society where averagely animated, poorly written, talking rodents would not only be made but become a fairly successful franchise? Together, the three movies have grossed over $1.7 BILLION worldwide and while the latest, Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked was the weakest, it still made a sizeable $338 million on a $75 million budget, meaning a fourth one no doubt will be greenlit… Just awesome.
The “plot” this go around opens with Dave (JASON LEE obviously needing to buy a new car) taking the Chipmunks and the Chipettes — Alvin (JUSTIN LONG), Simon (MATTHEW GRAY GUBLER), Theodore (JESSE MCCARTNEY), Eleanor (AMY POEHLER), Jeanette (ANNA FARIS), Brittany (CHRISTINA APPLEGATE) — on a cruise for a well deserved and quiet vacation.
On their voyage, of course, nothing goes right after Alvin continues to get into trouble thus irritating Dave and just about everybody on board. It doesn’t help matters, for the viewer of the movie anyway, that the six of them also enjoy breaking out into cover songs of your favorite contemporary rhythms from the likes of Lady Gaga, Pink and Rihanna. Nope, you didn’t suffer a bloody nose; the blood is coming from your ears… On the ship with them is Ian (DAVID CROSS), now working as the Cruise Liner’s safety monitor. You might remember Ian as he transformed from being the villain in the original Alvin and the Chipmunks to being a somewhat good guy in the sequel and once again, is back as a good guy, albeit torn in his loyalties.
During their voyage, the Chipmunks and Chipettes accidentally fly away while parasailing and eventually come upon a deserted island that might not be that deserted, especially after meeting a young woman named Zoe (JENNY SLATE) who got stranded there as well. While visiting her tree house, Simon gets bit by a spider, changing his personality and voice into Simone (ALAN TUDYK), a suave debonair wooing Jeannette and taking chances that would previous scare the crap out of his meeker alter-ego.
Alright, you get the idea. Jokes are exchanged, songs are sung and one twist is revealed as a way to create family suspense for the climax. In the end, it’s all excruciating to sit through with unfunny jokes, horribly high-pitched cover songs and an ending that is so dumb that you only want to curse that you invested 80-minutes (sans end credits). It’s been a while since I saw the original Alvin and the Chipmunks but I remember it being at least semi-tolerable while its sequel, albeit not great, had its moments but Chipwrecked is a horribly written movie that surely kids will love but adults may find a tough time to get through.
With regards to the cast, I still wonder why the studio bothers paying somebody like Justin Long or Christina Applegate or Amy Poehler to do these voices, when we can’t even recognize who it is. Certainly an unknown actor could do just as good of a job, cheaper and I doubt anyone will notice or really care. Now, as far as Jason Lee and David Cross are concerned, I assume they began this franchise with the best intentions with each installment, the material keeps getting dumber (heck in the sequel, Lee is a mere cameo with Zachary Levi taking the lead (no, he’s not in this addition). Oh, and then there’s Jenny Slater who’s best known for her f-bomb moment on “Saturday Night Live” in her debut episode… Who knew that’d be the highlight of her career.
Directed by Mike Mitchell, who helmed the well-received Shrek Forever After, Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked is a terrible movie through and through. The jokes go further than just falling flat, instead they’re just annoying. Now, despite my hatred for this movie, I must admit that for kids, it’s mostly harmless but there are better animated movies out there.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 2.25/5
The Blu-ray release comes housed in a semi-glossy slip cover.
Scrat’s Continental Break-Up (5:46; HD) is an all-new mini-movie starring the dialogue-free side character from the Ice Age movies. Not great, but certainly better than the actual movie on the disc…
Munk Music & Dance Machine allows you to sing and dance to your favorite songs from the movie. Yay! Oh, and for a select few songs, you can learn some “moves and grooves”!
Going Overboard with the Chipmunks (7:50; HD) – This short featurette focuses on the chaos that ensues when Dave takes the Chipmunks out. This primarily features clips from the cartoons along with some footage from the movie itself.
Munking Movies in Paradise (6:46; HD) shows why exactly some of these actors signed on: to shoot in Hawaii. They try to make fun of the shoot as if the Chipmunks are real and cause havoc for the cast and crew. Nice try, folks but we get why this was made…
Everybody Munk Now! (7:39; HD) takes a look at the nightclub scene with the Chipettes and their dance-off with a group of girls, doing the choreography and the visual effects. It’s not a bad featurette as we do get to see some of how the scene was filmed much of it in advanced given it’s against animated characters.
Alan Tudyk, Chipmunk Apprentice (6:39; HD) centers on the newest voice cast member with Alan Tudyk playing Simon’s alter ego, Simone. Much of is, like the others, have footage from the movie mixed in with filming at the recording studio. It’s also done tongue-in-cheek as Matthew Gray Gubler offers up advice to play a chipmunk.
Music Videos (TRT: 11:46; HD) – There are videos for “Vacation”, “Survivor” and “Bad Romance”.
Fox Movie Channel Presents “Growing Up Alvin” (10:12; SD) is probably the only straight-forward featurette that focuses on the creation of “Alvin and the Chipmunks” with interviews by the son of the creator of the series along with his wife, both of whom served as producers of the movies.
Fox Movie Channel Presents “In Character with Jason Lee” (5:12; SD) is a much shorter featurette that’s basically an interview with Jason Lee (who seemed to have a sour throat) with scenes from the movie interspersed throughout.
Extended Scenes (5:11; HD) – There are eight scenes that, for one reason or another (probably for pacing), didn’t make it into the final cut.
Promotional Fun (TRT: 7:43; HD) includes Survival Tips, Rules, Jingle Bells Music Video, Teaser Trailer and 2 Theatrical Trailers.
Live Extras – BD-Live portal for an extra feature, “Hand and Pawprint Ceremony” where the Chipmunks get pawprints outside the Chinese Theater in Los Angeles.
Preview – We Bought a Zoo
Also included is a standard DVD Copy and Digital Copy compatible with iTunes and WMV.
VIDEO – 4.25/5
Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked glides and swims onto Blu-ray with a sharp looking 1080p high-definition transfer. Presented in its original 1.85 widescreen aspect ratio, it’s obvious many shots were made for 3D and while they’re fine in 2D form, some kind seem odd or out of place. Even so, the transfer looks well detailed everything from characters or objects close to the camera and even shots from further distances.
AUDIO – 4.25/5
The disc comes with an all-too-good 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track where you can discern each and every annoying pitch from your favorite rodent fiends… I mean friends. The dialogue is unfortunately crisp and clear throughout while ambient noises like idle chatter and such is pretty good coming from the front and rear channels.
OVERALL – 2.5/5
Overall, Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked is the kind of film that adults will only want to view once while their kids will want to listen to those high-pitched songs over and over. I don’t have any kids but God bless all who do and put up with dreck like this. That said, while it is bad, it’s also mostly harmless; I would suggest having kids watch some other family film, however.
Brian Oliver, The Movieman
Check out some more screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.