“Should I take the kids to see Mr. Popper’s Penguins, or should I just go ahead and kill myself?”
I’m being completely honest – that’s the actual thought that went through my head. The sad thing is that even though I hate Jim Carrey, it was the best option I could think of. My kids are too young for Harry Potter or Green Lantern. Zookeeper looks even shittier than Mr. Popper’s Penguins, as does Rio and Soul Surfer. I can’t fucking stand Winnie the Pooh. Cars 2 is probably okay, but we haven’t seen the first one yet. So even though I haven’t stepped foot in a movie theater in over a year and a half, I had to make a tough decision to suffer through old rubberface as the lesser of many evils. Besides, it was my three year old’s first time at the movies and I wanted something I could drag her out of, guilt-free.
I did get to see some previews. Previews are what I miss most about going to the movies. I saw a preview that excited me (Muppets!), one that vaguely interested me (Puss), one that almost made me cry (A Dolphin Tale) and one that made me hope I die before Christmas (Chipwrecked).
Based on an award winning book that’s over 70 years old, the story has been molded to fit into the family film cliché machine. A jerk gets something unexpected that he hates at first, but then it changes him, but then a bad guy tries to take it away and he has to fight for it and then the kids love him and his ex-wife/girlfriend comes back. This is the same basic template for at least HALF of all family films ever made. For examples, see The Mighty Ducks, The Santa Clause, Liar, Liar, Tooth Fairy, I could go on all day. The only things the 2011 film seems to have in common with the 1938 book are the title and the penguins.
I do have to mention the incredible CGI penguins. I really could not tell which shots were real penguins and which ones were fake penguins. The penguins were the only good part…actually, just the penguin that pooped in Jim Carrey’s mouth. THAT was the only good part.
Can you really mail a penguin in dry ice? Do penguin eggs really hatch in 2 days??? I hate films with bad science.
So…how did the director of The House of Yes end up directing this? Does not compute…must be some kind of mistake. Working with Lindsay Lohan on Freaky Friday and Mean Girls must have been some sort of gateway drug or deal with the devil. Maybe Jim Carrey IS the devil? That would explain a lot…