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Movie Review: Alvin and the Chipmunks

Alvin and the Chipmunks
Directed by Tim Hill
Written by Jon Vitti, Will McRobb, and Chris Viscardi from a story by Vitti and characters created by Ross Bagdasarian

Having been around since the late fifties, Alvin and the Chipmunks have won many hearts off-and-on over the years.  I know in the eighties I used to watch the cartoon and I used to listen to Chipmunk Rock, a collection of eighties covers.  But I’m surprised that longtime Simpsons writer/producer Jon Vitti decided to tackle the screenplay on this project.  A straightforward family film doesn’t exactly pop out at you when you look at his resume, which also includes The Larry Sanders Show.

Dave Seville (Jason Lee) is a struggling songwriter who can’t sell his songs to apparently the only record exec in town, Ian (David Cross).  He’s also lost his girlfriend Claire (super-cutie Cameron Richardson) because of the usual guy stuff.  Then he is surprised to find talking chipmunks in his kitchen making a mess.  They are head troublemaker and “leader” Alvin (voiced by Justin Long), nerdy Simon (Matthew Gray Gubler), and cubby Theodore (Jesse McCartney).

Just like anyone who notices the amazing feat of talking chipmunks, Dave is annoyed and throws them out, until he hears their singing voices.  He figures with their talent, and his songwriting, he can finally make his breakthrough.  They become like a family, with Dave being the dad of three unruly kids, and eventually, do make a big splash into the recording industry.  But Ian, like so many record producers, is a dirtbag, and plays on the chipmunks’ emotions to steal them from Dave, thus requiring some third act maneuvering to get them back.

Yeah, it’s one of those movies that you watch and forget just as quickly.  It’s neither good nor bad, but there’s enough to warm your heart a couple of times before it slips out of your consciousness.  That, at least, makes it better than Fox’s previous resurrection attempts Fat Albert or Garfield (of which director Hill was a part for the sequel).  I wish I could have heard that old eighties cartoon theme song again, just for old time’s sake.


Comment from damali rodriguez
Time: December 18, 2007, 1:36 pm

omg alvin and the chipmunks look so cute and i love them rock on

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