Times have certainly changed and I bet some of you will be surprised to hear how things used to be when someone was expecting a baby. Years ago the new mother spent more time in the hospital before coming home. Nowadays the way things are going I am surprised one doesn’t need a referral from their primary doctor before going to the hospital to deliver a baby. And once you deliver you are sent home as quickly as possible. If she already had any young children at home more than likely they were not allowed in the hospital right away to see their new baby sister or brother. The mother would have to find a relative to stay and watch her child/children while she went to the hospital. I know what I am about to say will seem dated and I am aware in some circles they still would not approve but there used to be negative connotations associated with being a single mother. Growing up I can only recall one person who was a student who became pregnant. She disappeared; none of us knew what happened to her. Currently most people look upon the birth of a child as a joyous occasion. With the definition of family evolving where a family can be related by blood or not, I think deciding to have a child is an important decision. Even the method of delivery has expanded from what was available back then. Presently one can deliver a baby in a filled up bathtub, a birthing chair or even at home; they do not have to go to a hospital necessarily. Honestly does it really matter? As long as a baby is brought into this world with love and want it does not matter how they get here. See for yourself in this animated comedy. HAVING gotten out of the baby delivery business and into delivering packages employee Junior, voiced by Andy Samberg (The To Do List, Poster: Never Stop Never Believing), of internet company Cornerstone.com must find a way to deliver a surprise unexpected baby without his boss finding out. This adventure film also had Katie Crown (Bob’s Burgers, American Dad!) voicing Tulip, Keegan-Michael Key (Tomorrowland, Keanu) as Alpha Wolf, Jordan Peele (Keanu, Wanderlust) as Beta Wolf and Kelsey Grammer (X-Men franchise, Any American Carol) as Hunter. Colorful and filled with scenes that were supposed to be humorous, I found the story odd. There was too much going on with the multiple themes taking place throughout the story. I thought the scenes with Alpha and Beta Wolf were the best. If the writers would have focused on one of the story lines I think this would have been a better film. There were times where I was bored, especially with some scenes that seemed like filler. It was a shame because the theme having to do with family had a good message to convey. I suspect the youngest of children will enjoy this film and I do not recall any scenes that would be terribly frightening for them. Mixing the old ways with some of the new ones this movie may have shown you how to deliver a baby; it just was not the best in delivering entertainment.
1 ¾ stars
If it is not broke then do not fix it is a well known phrase. It means if there is no evidence of a problem, do not waste time or energy on it unless it provides a significant improvement. The different products that claim they are new and improved are things I tend to cast a skeptical eye towards these days. I do a running commentary during my classes; offering my take on current news, movies and the local scene. Recently I have added a weekly update on the latest product recalls and now have new items to mention every week. Some of the reasons for the recalls totally baffle me. For example there was the playground set whose swings hung too low, injuring children’s legs by scraping across the ground. A hanging glass star votive candleholder would break apart from the heat of the flame, possibly injuring people standing nearby. The variety of baby products that are being recalled is staggering. I am floored by the baby monitors with batteries that overheat and explode, causing possible injury (you think?) besides being a fire hazard. The only explosions I want to see are in a movie and this science fiction adventure directed and written by Michael Bay (Pearl Harbor, Bad Boys franchise) was saturated with them. It made sense since some of the Transformers were new and improved. Mark Wahlberg (Boogie Nights, The Fighter) played Cade Yeager, a mechanic and tinkering inventor. With a recent purchase of a broken down truck, Cade felt he may have made a discovery that could change his life and the life of his daughter Tessa, played by Nicola Peltz (The Airbender, Deck the Halls). Little did he know his life was about to change in a very dramatic way. This action film was all about the battles, crashes and explosions. There was very little story; let me re-phrase that, there was very little good story to keep one’s interest. If you only want to see things being blown up then this movie fits the bill. I will say the special effects were spectacular and my favorite part was the final battle. The only 2 actors who showed actual acting ability were Stanley Tucci (The Hunger Games franchise, The Terminal) as Joshua Joyce and Kelsey Grammer (Swing Vote, X-Men: The Last Stand) as Harold Attinger. The script was written with a low level of humor that bordered on ridiculous. I found very little suspense; in fact, it occurred to me I did not get excited by much in this picture. If this is what is in store for us with future sequels, I would prefer watching the original movie again.
1 3/4 stars
Many times I have been told change is good. I am not 100% sold on it, though I will agree to the idea of evolving. Change is something done by a traffic light. Look at all the consumer items that keep changing; are they all really necessary? I believe these changes in packaging or designs have contributed to us becoming a disposable society. There are some things I prefer keeping just the way they were created. I have an old candle holder that used to sit on our dining room table when I was a little kid. It is tarnished and scratched but I do not care; the memories associated with it span my youth. A friend of mine has a wooden, hand carved, standing ashtray made by her father. She does not smoke but the piece is so exquisitely detailed and beautiful that she uses it as a candy dish. A serving bowl would be easier but the stacked column of small elephant figurines has been a great conversation piece, made by her father’s own 2 hands. There are just some things that do not need to change; they were perfect right from the start. Such is the case with the changes in this animated musical film. The story takes place after the Wizard of Oz where Dorothy, voiced by Lea Michele (New Year’s Eve, Glee-TV), returns to Oz to help save it from the evil jester, voiced by Martin Short (Innerspace, Father of the Bride franchise). The cast was comprised of a formidable group of celebrities such as Dan Aykroyd (The Campaign, Ghostbusters franchise) as the Scarecrow, James Belushi (Red Heat, The Ghost) as the Lion and Kelsey Grammer (Fame, Cheers-TV) as the Tin Man. The voices and the singing should be considered the only positive element to this family film that was wrong on so many levels. The animation was uncreative and lifeless to the point I thought it had dulled my senses. I found the story lacked any excitement, fun, joy, tenderness or surprise: I could keep going on if you wish. The spattering of adults and children around me in the theater had no reaction to any of the scenes. It was so quiet that at one point I was hoping a baby would have started crying just to see if everyone had been sleeping. I could not find a reason why this awful movie needed to be made. There is a reason some things are considered classic; they do not need to be changed because they are timeless. This film was made for a disposable society, so toss it off of your to do list.
1 1/3 stars