Flash Movie Review: The Nut Job

One of the best objects for motivation is food. It does not necessarily have to be a comfort type of food like cookies or ice cream; could be a sandwich or a piece of fruit. During the week food is the escalator that helps me get through the day. If I am having a stressful time at the office I know it will not last long because I have set up an oasis where I will be taking in some food at a certain time. I may not want to go jogging on Sunday but I know if I want to treat myself to a chocolate chip cookie later, I have to go running now. There are certain foods I will eat simply because I want them to continue a memory I cherish. The smell of cinnamon quickly brings to mind cookies my mother used to bake, where the dough had to be rolled out and cut with heart and diamond shaped cookie cutters. Just before the cookies were put into the oven they would get sprinkled with a combination of cinnamon and sugar. Whether there is an absence or abundance of food it still can be a big motivator as this animated movie will show you. Will Arnett (When in Rome, Blades of Glory) voiced Surly, a squirrel who only looked out for himself in a park filled with other animals. After being banished by the park’s dominant animal the raccoon, voiced perfectly by Liam Neeson (The Grey, Taken franchise), Surly tried to survive in a city filled with humans, where he was to discover something that could change everything for all the animals back in the park. I understood the moral message the writers were trying to convey in this adventure comedy, though it was a weak effort. Part of the issue was creating a story and film to cover everyone’s tastes; it was too much and too predictable. There was no humor for adults, spending way too much time on flatulence jokes. The voices of Katherine Heigl (Life as We Know It, Grey’s Anatomy-TV) as Andie and Brendan Fraser (The Mummy franchise, Bedazzled) as Grayson easily lent themselves to a cartoon character; but I did not find much excitement among the majority of the players. Compared to other animated films I have seen, this one was not much fun to watch. All I kept thinking about during most of the movie was what I would eat for lunch when I got home. There were a couple of extra scenes in the middle and end of the credits.


2 stars

About moviejoltz

From a long line of movie afficionados, one brother was the #1 renter of movies in the country with Blockbuster, I am following in the same traditions that came before me. To balance out the long hours seated in dark movie theaters, I also teach yoga and cycling. For the past 3 years, I have correctly picked the major Oscar winners... so join me as we explore the wonder of movies and search for that perfect 4 star movie.

Posted on January 21, 2014, in Fantasy/Sci-Fi and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 16 Comments.

  1. Saw this with my son … it was “pleasant” but really not much of an attention-grabber. Seriously. I found my mind wandering several times. Sad, because there is some big-name talent involved. And the whole Gangnam Style business in the credits … um …. really???? I’m old and un-trendy, but even *I* thought “isn’t that old news?” They could have done a lot with the premise and missed a lot of chances.

  2. We saw it for my grandson’s 5th birthday party…I thought it was awful! The animals all looked angry and mean, the gangsters were scary and I still can’t figure out why Psy and Gangnum style was doing in the movie other than it was financed by a Korean company…I guess they all can’t be “Frozen” . You were very generous giving it 2* and I always agree with you!

    • I certainly agree with you and I was torn in regards to my rating, defaulted to the 2 star rating since it did not offend me, just bored me. Happy belated birthday to your 5 year old–they certainly grow up fast.

  3. Motivation? You ain’t joking! It’s more than motivational. It’s basic necessity. I enjoy your writing very much! It’s comforting like those cookies you remember. Good Job…..

  4. Well, I was looking forward to seeing this one. I was hoping it would’ve been good and funny. Guess I’ll wait for Netflix. Thanks for the review.

  5. Thankfully this one hasn’t registered on my children’s radar. I’m really not that excited to see it so hopefully we can wait till DVD. Nice review!

  6. Theatre of Pain

    I often cringe at the phrase, “Fun for the whole family”, especially when referring to movies because in the past, it usually meant a live action comedy that would connect great with kids but often failed to impress me. Most of the time, I would sit there bored but with the growing popularity of CG animated films, I have found a few gems that I enjoyed, that actually made me laugh.
    “Ice Age”: Everybody doesn’t love Raymond but I have been a long time fan of Dennis Leary and believe Scrat should get his own movie.
    “Despicable Me”: After watching The Office (American Veriion) Steve Carell is more miss than hit with me. I simply do not find his brand of humor to be funny so much as annoying. His performance in Despicable Me was only slightly better, not being as annoying but still not laugh out loud funny. The Minions however are fantastic and I would really enjoy seeing then in their own movie.
    “Brave” and “The Croods”: Two films with the same theme; the overbearing father and the rebellious teenage daughter. Yes, the theme is old news and quite frankly played out but I found both films enjoyable in their own way.
    How to Train Your Dragon, Up, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Wreck it Ralph, Gnomeo and Juliet and Epic are also enjoyable.
    I was looking forward to The Nut Job. The name aloneoffers potential for adult humor but after reading another one of your great reviews, I think I will have to pass on this one.
    And speaking of passes, I watched “We’re the Millers” last night. It is an R-rated comedy that is definitely not family friendly. The story is boring and predictable and I knew the film was in trouble when it started out in a strip club where nobody was naked. From there it devolved into a “Hangover” and “Due Date” rehash that offered absolutely no laughs and made for a complete waste of time. The only other comedies I’ve seen recently that would rate worse than this one were The Hangover III and Identity Thief; a film that was so awful that I can no longer enjoy Mike & Molly due to McCarthy’s presence on the television comedy.

    • Thanks for your reviews and comments. You will be happy to know the Minions are scheduled to be in their own movie. BTW, I have been meaning to ask you if you saw Devil’s Due yet. I wanted to hear your take on it compared to my feelings.

      • I have not seen Devils’s Due yet. Before reading your review, I felt that it was an updated version of Rosemary’s Baby; a film that I did not enjoy because all of the scares sceem to come from the reaction of the adults and watching people look at the camera and scream is not scary to me. Then 5 years later came The Exorcist. I think I was seven when I first watched it and that movie scared the hell out of me. The sense of dread from hearing the sounds coming out of Megan’s room and never knowing what they were going to find after opening the door was absolutely palpable. Unfortunately, I can’t think of a single movie that has evoked such fear in all the years since. I mistakenly got my hopes up when I heard how terrifying Paranormal Activity was but it was another film that bored me as I sat there listening to bumps, knocks and creaks that never seemed to make it onto the hand held camera; also something I’m not a fan of reaching back to Blair Witch Project. J.J. Abrams’ Cloverfield was a minor improvement to some extent but the film would have been much betterr is given the proper hollywood treatment; Super 8 was a testament to that. Now I tend to avoid any movie that implement the extensive use of hand-held cameras.

        Now let’s get this monster back on topic. Devil’s Due is a rental for me, if I see it at all. I’m guessing your review is spot on with the film focusing more of the gore than the story, much like the recent 2013 Evil Dead remake. I sat through the gore filled film and watched the cliche cast of characters get killed off as expected but by the end of the movie, I really didn’t care who was dead or who survived as none of the characters were particually compelling, memorable or even likable.

        So where is the gore and story that I like? I mentioned the Saw series but to be specific, it was Saw III that grabbed my attention. Jigsaw, the main villain, toys with his victims forcing them to make choices based on morality. The original Saw was pretty boring honestly though it did offer enough of a twist for me to want to see the sequel. Then the third film tied into the first two films and as a viewer, I realized that Jigsaw was not only playing with the minds of his victims but mine as well.After that, the series went downhill. I think I caught Saw 6 as I was flipping through the cable channels but I really don’t remember much about it.

        Other franchises that started out strong and then fell apart for me include Underworld, Resident Evil, Silent Hill and The Descent.

  7. I love the personal touch you weave into your reviews – quite a treat!

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