Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel (2009) - Double DVD Pack

Genre(s): Animation / Comedy / Family
Fox || G - 88 minutes - $34.98 || March 30, 2010
Reviewer: Tyler Thomas || Posted On: 2010-04-05


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Betty Thomas
Writer(s): Jon Vitti and Jonathan Aibel & Glenn Berger (written by)
Cast: Jason Lee, Justin Long, Matthew Gray Gubler, Jesse McCartney, Amy Poehler, Anna Faris, Christina Applegate


Theatrical Release Date: December 23, 2009


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • 9 Featurettes
  • Music Videos


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Widescreen (1.85)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Surround 2.0), French (Dolby Surround 2.0)
  • Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

This needs to be said right away: Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakuel was made purely for money. The film is in no way as fun, entertaining, or humorous in comparison to the first flick. I was insanely disappointed and although it had some good moments, I fear that the series may go even more downhill when the next inevitable movie hits theaters.

Alvin (Justin Long), Simon (Matthew Gray Gubler), and Theodore (Jesse McCartney) are performing their music in front of thousands of their fans when Dave (Jason Lee) tries to confront Alvin about always stealing the show. Inadvertently the stage decoration collapses and sends Dave flying across the stage and injures him enough to cause him to be put into a cast at the hospital. The chipmunks are sent to live with Dave’s cousin Toby (Zachary Levi) and forced to be put into the worst place they can imagine: no not a kennel, but maybe that would have been a better storyline, instead... school! Not just any school though, for some reason high school.

School is the rough though for the chipmunks, as though everyone is (obviously…) taller, stronger, and much smarter than the chipmunks. They eventually though work their way into the crowd and make friends with everyone but the dumb jocks who go to school there, and just when everything seems to be going their way the trouble begins. Ian (David Cross) manages to find three female chipmunks; Eleanor (Amy Poehler), Jeanette (Anna Farris), and Brittany (Christina Applegate), and gets them to become singers as well. He sends them to the same school as the chipmunks in order to thwart the dreaded furry friends that ended his career in the first film. Can Ian succeed in ruining the male chipmunks once and for all, or will the chipmunks both male and female bond together and sing some great tunes that are all over the radio?

I think that the film went wrong somewhere around the idea of “let’s make a really crappy sequel that’s just there for the money we can milk off of innocent families.” Wait, I already mentioned that didn’t I? Oh well, I said it again. The first film had laughter and funny parts to it all around, and instead here Dave is literally taken out of the picture and Ian/Toby are given center stage again. Ian’s character wasn’t that great in the first film as a villain, and here yet again he’s still nothing special. Toby’s mundanely predictable character doesn’t fare any better, as though the funny moments he should have are non-laughter causing and had me wondering what the heck was going on. Dave was a fun character last time around, and when you make his character basically non-existent that’s never a good sign.

The introduction of the female chipmunks was a nice sight though, as they are the real reason that I enjoyed the flick. The three actresses portraying their chipmunks do a great job of actually sounding like their little counterparts, and when the male and female ones interact throughout the film I was chuckling quite a bit. Theodore though is still my favorite hands-down though, as was his female counter part. The part where the female was trying to get into the keyhole and got stuck was a repeat from the first film, and one everyone can see coming, but it still made me laugh quite a bit.

I know I may be coming off as quite harsh on the film, and I probably am, but despite the giant box-office gross both films have amassed now, and the inevitable sequel on the way, why not put some dang quality into the film with the money being made? The script here is so poor and predictable that even a four-year-old can see it coming. The “cheese ball” gag was overplayed in the first one and still is here for some odd reason. It wasn’t funny a movie ago and sadly still isn’t funny here.

The introduction of the female chipmunks is a success, the old chipmunks are decent but not what they used to be, but the laughter is really missing from this one. I’m sure kids will enjoy this movie but parents may find themselves dozing off.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

DISC ONE:
Munk Music Machine (11 minutes): The songs from the film can be viewed and also some of the so-called “funnier” scenes as well. Kids will enjoy this if they missed any or had favorites from the first viewing, but adults will want to quickly exit the room.

Music Mania (9 minutes): The cast and crew talk about the final scene of the film and how it was shot. This is for adults only as though kids will be bored and in all honesty was fun to watch how the scene came to be.

DISC TWO:
Munking History (9 minutes): The history of the chimpunks is chronicled from their early cartoon days all the way up to the recent film you just got done watching. I found this to be entertaining as though I watched the show as a kid, so odds are parents will find this slightly nostalgic.

Meet the Chipettes (9 minutes): The idea behind how the chipettes came to be is explored and how they were introduced to the chipmunks in the cartoon series and the movie as well. There’s not a ton of great information here though unless you like the chipettes.

Rockin’ Rising Stars (6 minutes): The bands that played throughout the movie are in fact real bands, shockingly enough, and they get their own extra that lets them talk about their experience with the film.

Behind the Squeaking (10 minutes): This is a mockumentary of the chipmunks in the film that involves multiple interviews with the cast and crew about their experience with the animated animals. I found this to be really entertaining for some reason, which worries me.

A-Nut-Omy of a Scene (3 minutes): The stuffed animals are shown and how the cast interacts with them for the choreography of the scenes.

Meet the Stuffies! (3 minutes): The stuffies, as seen from the previous extra, are the plushies of the animals. They are given their own extra to show how the cast needs to interact with them and some behind-the-scenes interviews with the cast.

Shake Your Groove Thing! (9 minutes): In case you want to see how to do the shake your groove thing dance like in the movie, then by all means watch this feature and be amazed. I have the dancing skills of a newborn so I passed.

Finally, there are five Music Videos to which you can sing-a-long to, although two of them don’t have that option.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

Due to the video being watermarked, I can’t accurately rate the video. When a non-watermarked copy comes in I will update the score accordingly.

The Dolby Digital 5.1 track is surprisingly great for the new release as even I found myself “wow’d” by the sound quality. Surround sound use is quite well done by the Fox team if I say so myself. There were times when I didn’t realize that this was a DVD instead of a Blu-Ray as though my speakers were consistently going off with action and songs at every turn. Plus, the levels were accurate and not once did I have to tweak my sound system the entire duration of the film. I did however note a few scenes where I struggled to hear the audio because of the loud surround sound going on, but other than that this is a surprisingly great audio track for a DVD.



.::OVERALL::.

Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakuel was a film that was produced for money and there’s no denying that. I loved the first one but the sequel, or... annoying... squeakuel, just didn’t have the same fun and enjoyment as the previous one did. There are numerous special features available but they are mostly hit-and-miss, but the audio track does provide a great listening experience. I’d say this is an easy purchase though for the young kids and adults who want to see this are best off with a rental.