Where the Heart is? Review of “Home”

You know what? I kind of liked both How To Train Your Dragon and The Croods. Sure, I'll get it a shot.

You know what? I kind of liked both How To Train Your Dragon and The Croods. Sure, I’ll give it a shot.

Rated PG, 94 minutes (watched 4/4/15)

I chuckled more than I’d like to admit during a matinee of Home, but that doesn’t mean there’s anything new, groundbreaking or admirable here. Even for a non-Disney/non-Pixar computer animated movie, this is a generic and derivative animated feature.

There’s a plot about an alien race called the Boov, and their attempts to find a new home planet, but it’s mostly an excuse to parade a lot of bright colors across the screen with the occasional funny noise. Our hero, “Oh” (so named because everyone groans when they see him) speaks in Lolcatz English with the voice of Jim Parsons, and it gets old pretty darn quick (perfecting interstellar travel is no problem for this race of intelligent beings, but they just can’t seem to master that last 5 percent of our grammar). Parsons can be a remarkably earnest and likeable actor, so despite the butchered syntax he is the highlight.

Rhianna rounds out our odd couple, voicing a young teen-aged girl named – no joke – Gratutity. I’ll give you three guesses as to her nick name. Give up? Tip. I’m ashamed to say I giggled at this. Beyond the name, there is zero characterization. She is apparently the last free human on Earth, but aside from missing her mom now and then, life is swell for her. Rhianna is OK I suppose as a voice actor, but it does seem like a way to license her songs on the cheap for the soundtrack. If that is the case, the producers got their money’s worth because her songs show up EVERYWHERE in the movie.

Case in point: If you’ve seen the trailer, you may be familiar with this clip.

Now here is the clip from the movie, where the fun, memorable “Get Busy” was replaced with the Rihanna hit (I’m assuming it’s supposed to be a hit), “Dancing in the Dark” for the movie.

Which is more fun? I won’t argue that Sean Paul’s “Get Busy” is a modern classic along side “Freebird” and “Let it Be,” but it clearly works better here. (Feel free to argue that “Get Busy” IS a classic in the comments.) I won’t be dancing to either anytime soon, but I’m much more likely to – ahem – get busy than dance in dark. It also works much better as a 23-second scene than a 59-second one.

Don’t get me wrong; there are MUCH worse movies a kid could be watching. I just wish there was a little more creativity here to match the bright colors and sounds. It makes you miss and appreciate Madagascar and How to Train Your Dragon.

Home tix

All that’s wonderful, but what’s the movie’s grade? I’m in a hurry here, buddy.
I’ll be generous and say 2/5.

Where do I know that guy from?
Steve Martin is the voice of the head Boov, and Jennifer Lopez play’s Tip’s mom.

What is the star’s spirit animal?
I guess I’m forced to go with a cat.

What color socks are you wearing right now?
none.

Spoiler alert!
Tip’s mom is named Lucy. Judging from the name she gave her daughter, I can only assume this is short for Loosechange. Tip’s father is not in the movie at all, but one can only assume his name is Bill, short for Dollar.

Megan’s Take:
Megan HATED THIS MOVIE. So much so that I kept waiting for her to crack a smile meaning she was just pretending and actually liked it. I don’t think I’ve ever seen her have such an immediate and visceral response to a movie. She said it is recycled crap and would give it a 0/5 if not for the presence of her main man Jim Parsons. I would have pressed her for more, but honestly she was starting to scare me a little bit.

Heard any good jokes lately?
Why didn’t Jesus play hockey?
Because baseball and soccer are much more popular sports in Mexico.

Snacks eaten:

A feast fit for kings

Truly a feast fit for kings

We had enough points built up on our loyalty card that the popcorn and drinks were free! A watermelon SourPatch Kids later and we were good to go.

Unrelated Word of the Day:
Chatoyant: adjective \shuh-TOY-unt\ : having a changeable luster or color with an undulating narrow band of white light

Would the movie have been any better with the addition of Morgan Freeman as narrator?
Um, sure. Why not?

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