Alvin and the Chipmunks
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62 of 66 people found the following review helpful
on April 4, 2008
This film teaches important lessons to children in a gentle and very entertaining way. Lesson One: Discipline is important to children. Lesson Two: Anything in excess, even fun, can ruin your life. Lesson Three: The entertainment industry, although glamorous, can be harmful. Stable family life is more important. And dads are important role models for young sons. Alvin and his companions Simon and Theodore learn these lessons from their surrogate father Dave and from the hard knocks they endure as they leave Dave and rise to recording stardom. Seldom have I seen such an entertaining film spell out such excellent values for young children. In terms of pure fun, the chipmunks are believable and so precious they can make you cry. Jason Lee is outstanding as the caring "dad", Dave. The music is wonderful: great remixes of "Witch Doctor" and the Chipmunks Christmas song. Don't listen to the critics on this one. It is amazing. See this with your little ones and talk to them about the lessons the chipmunks learn. Oh, and by the way, the movie makes everyone feel like a kid again! The munks version of Funkytown will make you want to get up and dance whether you're 9 or 90. Highly recommended.
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35 of 40 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon December 21, 2007
An interesting cross-section of people attended the film at the same time my husband and I did. There was a group of college kids, parents with children, and Tony and I, who were going to see how faithfully a contemporary film translated a childhood cartoon hero.

From the laughter, booing, and general merriment, I can tell you we were all having an excellent time. This definitely was not a performance that someone who likes to view films in quiet would have enjoyed.

The story: David Seville (Jason Lee) is an advertising exec with dreams of becoming a songwriter. He's got an 'in' with old college chum, Ian (David Cross), who is an exec with Jett Records, but still can't produce anything that anyone would want to sing.

It looks like David's never going to be able to quit his day job until three chipmunks get their pine tree home chopped down and taken to the lobby of Jett Records office building. They stowaway in a basket of muffins David's swiped from Jett in a fit of pique.

A few hours later, David discovers he's got an infestation of talking chipmunks--and the rest is pretty inevitable. He writes a song, they perform it, and become a true overnight success.

I won't spoil the rest of the story for you. This is a lighthearted film that you can take your young kids to without much problem.

Those of you who grew up with the Chipmunks will be pleased with the treatment. The group sings some of the oldies, but they also strut their stuff on newer music as well.
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28 of 34 people found the following review helpful
"I Told The Witch Doctor You Didn't Love Me True
I Told The Witch Doctor You Didn't Love Me Nice"

("Witch Doctor")

Three CGI chipmunks carry this movie on their narrow little shoulders, and that's a very good thing, seeing that the plot is nothing special and neither are the performances of the human actors.

Unceremoniously expelled from their tree home, the chipmunks are having a very bad day, until they show their stuff to Dave (Jason Lee), a songwriter who's told to quit his day job.

What happens next is basically what you'd expect when you let three forest critters occupy your living space, as well as the inevitable series of misunderstandings that occur in mixed species family groups.

David Cross plays Ian Hawke, the hammy heavy. He's a music producer who sees dollar signs with each helium-inspired note, and has great plans for the talented trio which may or may not include dopey Dave.

The music will send adults down memory lane, with new Chipmunky versions of "Witch Doctor", "Funkytown", "Only You", and "The Chipmunk Song", and younger viewers will recognize Daniel Powter's "Bad Day". There are also some new funky songs and stylin' choreography.

Short Attention Span Summary (SASS):

1. CGI chipmunks sing and dance
2. Rest of movie is the same old song and dance

For children - rated 4 stars
For adults - rated 3 stars (one for each chipmunk)

Recommended as a stocking stuffer for children of all ages, and fans of the TV series.

"We can hardly stand the wait
Please Christmas, don't be late."

(The Chipmunk Song)

Amanda Richards, July 26, 2008
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on January 4, 2008
Of course Richard Roeper called it awful but it doesn't take a genious to know he was going to hate it. But really the movie isn't as lame as I expected. It's certainly more watchable than the Garfield or Scooby Doo movies. It has more of a head on it's shoulder and it's more clever and entertaining. I mean it's pretty funny that instead of sounding like a chipmunk when he sucks helium out of a balloon Alvin has a deep voice.

I don't get it how Roger Ebert could recommend both Garfield movies but only give this **. Sure the end is anti-climatic but other than that it's pretty cute and harmless. Well harmless despite the one scene where Simon eats Theodore's poop making believe it's food so he won't get in trouble from Dave. That was gross and un-needed although yes I did laugh but it's not something needed in a kids movie.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on February 19, 2008
I took both my three year old and my six year old to this movie, and they sat through the whole thing! They were mesmerized by the silly humor. For instance, in one scene Alvin pretends to eat Theodore's poop so Dave thinks it's a raisin and doesn't get mad.

The story starts with Dave, an unsuccessful song writer, who accidentally takes the chipmunks home. This is where all the fun starts. He wants them out, then finds out they can sing! He says they can stay if they sing his music. The chipmunks grew up in a forrest with no parents, so they have NO manners. There are loads of funny scenes as they destroy his house and his social life. He is determined not to be their "dad", they're just friends.

Enter evil uncle Ian. He is Dave and the chipmunks manager, who of course, told Dave his music stunk before the chipmunks entered the scene. On Christmas, Dave had given the boys savings bonds, which granted, is a lame gift. But he meant well, and he was thinking about their future. Uncle Ian comes in with lots of toys, setting the scene for Dave is the serious one, and uncle Ian is the fun one.

Dave of course gets soft to the boys, and his desire that they have a normal childhood becomes apparent, whereas Ian just wants to make money. Ian eventually exploits the situation and the boys come to live with him. This is where the real drama comes in. You have to see the movie to find this part out. But don't worry, it has a happy ending with a nostalgic "ALVIN!!!"

The music is absolutely great. There are songs I remember from growing up in the sixties, and then there are new ones that are more in keeping with today's music.

I pre-ordered this DVD as soon as I found out it was available, and my boys and I can't wait to get it!
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on February 19, 2008
The day after Christmas my 87-year-old mother said, "I'd like to go see that Chipmunk movie." This caught me off-guard as she never asks to go to a movie anymore (too much blood, guts, violence, nudity, swearing) and the movie had gotten terrible reviews. I am not a fan of MY NAME IS EARL so I was skeptical about the "human star" too. But we went, and along with the 200 or so kids, we had a fantastic time. We both LOVED this movie. Everything about it is adorable. I can't wait to own it so we can enjoy it over and over. I bought the CD of the music to tide me over until the film is released.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on December 30, 2007
The lovely chipmunks, Simon, Theodore, and Alvin, enter Dave Seville's home and turn it and his life upside down. They turn it into a giant playground. They tear apart the food packages in his cabinets, and flood his home. Before long, his home is a disaster area. But he works out a deal with them to stay with him. They clean the place up.

His girlfriend, with whom he has had an off-and-on relationship, is puzzled by what turns out to be his chipmunk-hiding behavior and his crazy remarks about talking chipmunks. Not exactly an auspicious way to re-win her heart!

Imagine having an important poster presentation at work, only to find out, during the actual presentation, that the chipmunks had drawn crayon figures all over it? What a way for Dave to lose his job!

It takes some time for Dave to persuade others that the chipmunks can sing. Owing to stage fright, they fail to perform in front of Ian Hawke, his associate. But eventually they do, and Hawke thinks up of ways to use the chipmunks in accordance with his selfish desires. Yet, for a time, the chipmunks perform in front of audiences with Dave. Then it is Ian Hawke's turn.

This movie is about much more than chipmunk antics and performances. It is a testimony to the human condition. David Seville, though often annoyed by the chipmunks' disruption of his house and of his life, nevertheless cares about them. After one of the chipmunks has a nightmare, Dave comforts him. Not so with Ian Hawke, who scoffs at another case of a chipmunk with a nightmare and dismisses him from his bedroom. In fact, Hawke can think of only one thing--MONEY. He dreams up extensive and creative ways of getting rich off the chipmunks' performances, and comes up with a grueling schedule for them. All along, he has no regard for their needs or wishes. When they get exhausted, he simply keeps them going with a coffee-bearing drink. When a veterinarian confirms the severity of the exhaustion, Ian forces them to perform anyway--albeit without singing while the music is playing.

Before long, the chipmunks long to return to Dave. The feelings are mutual. So Ian tells them lies about Dave no longer wanting to have anything to with them, and of calling them rats. Ian tells Dave, over the phone, that the chipmunks have moved on and love it with him. Just to make sure, Ian posts guards to prevent Dave from ever coming to see them. Will they ever get free of the exploitative Ian and see their beloved Dave again?
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Growing up, one of my earliest memories is of listening to an "Alvin and the Chipmunks" album that spoofed the "Urban Cowboy" soundtrack. I have no idea what happened to that album, but I do remember that it hooked me on Alvin and company for good. I watched the cartoon series that came out in the 80's and even saw a few of the old cartoons. When I saw that Alvin and the gang were headed for the big screen, I had two thoughts: a) This will be the single worst live action remake ever or b) It just might be fun. Luckily for me and my daughter, "b" was the correct thought. When this film came out in theaters, I took my daughter to see it and both of us laughed throughout the film. Jason Lee does an amazing job as kind-hearted Dave Seville, and the voices for the chipmunks, Justin Long (Alvin), Matthew Gray Gubler (Simon), and Jesse McCartney (Theodore), have their respective characters penned perfectly.

The story revolves around Dave finding the chipmunks in his home at Christmas time and then finding out that they can not only talk, but can sing a mean tune as well. Desperate for money-making song, Dave takes the chipmunks to his record-producer friend, Ian (David Cross in one of his best roles yet), who doesn't believe Dave at first. Once he discovers the truth, Ian promotes the chipmunks to death in order to drain every dollar he can out of them. Eventually the chipmunks turn on Dave, and run to the lap of luxury that Ian promises them. In the end, though, this turns out to be a film about the strength of the family, no matter how different it might be.

The DVD comes with both the full and widescreen versions of the film, as well as some decent special features. The best of those features is an in-depth look at the creation and creator of the chipmunks, Ross Bagdasarian, Sr.

I thought very hard on giving this film five stars. It's just that good of a family film. Sure, there's a little crude humor but the tale is strong enough that most will be able to look beyond that. In the end, I have to give "Alvin and the Chipmunks" a very, very sold four stars. I highly recommend it to anybody with children or anyone who wants to recall some wonderful old memories.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on April 6, 2008
For many of us our childhood was filled with the memory of three little voices singing in beautiful high pitched harmony. Granted those voices were sped up singers whose altered versions were representing three loveable rodents, but to us it didn't matter. Alvin and the Chipmunks were as real as anything else on TV. Now, Alvin and his brothers Simon and Theodore receive an update and it's not half bad.

David Seville (Jason Lee of MY NAME IS EARL) is a down on his luck songwriter whose songs are too cutesy for ex-friend and mega mogul record producer Ian (David Cross). But all that changes when he inadvertently comes across three singing chipmunks that turn his song about Christmas wishes into what is a potential blockbuster. Once Ian hears the song and realizes the potential, he comes across big time with a set up that will make the boys stars.

Dave, while trying to set boundaries up letting the three know that they are working together and nothing more, begins to grow attached to the little guys. He may be strict on a few items but he has their best interests at heart. Not so Ian.

Ian sees nothing more than dollar signs when he hears them singing. He begins a campaign to lure them away and make them the latest pop sensations of the world. His lavishing of gifts and wooing of the boys via their egos results in Dave being left behind while Alvin and his brothers live a life of luxury and non stop toys.

But all of this comes with a price as the chipmunks are worked non-stop. New records, merchandise and a worldwide concert tour take their toll and they reach a point of exhaustion. Too bad Ian sees them only as rodents that are there to do nothing more than increase the size of his wallet.

It's up to Dave and his old girlfriend to save the day and rescue Alvin, Simon and Theodore. But will they be too late? Will the boys finally realize that Dave was right all along? And will Ian be able to stop any attempt at rescue that is made?

Okay face it, you know the outcome of a movie like this. It's not the answer to that question that makes you watch. It's more about the interplay between the characters, even if three of them are computer generated. You still find yourselves attracted to the cute little guys and want the best for them.

The movie features over the top performances by all cast members, but that should be expected in a movie aimed at the elementary school level audience. They'll be more interested in the three main characters anyway and touched by scenes such as Theodore climbing into bed to sleep with Dave after having a nightmare.

At least two classic Chipmunk songs are featured here, one sounding much like the original while the second gets an update. A few scattered gastro intestinal jokes are offered for the new generation, but on the whole this is a movie that the entire family can watch together. That alone makes this movie a fun watch for everyone.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon April 5, 2008
My wife and I just bought this movie and after watching it, it proves that the T.V. and newspaper critics are wrong. But then again, that's what happens when you rely on an opinion. The best way to judge a movie is if it peaks your interest, go see it. If we see a commerical for a movie and it slightly peaks our interest then we wait for it to be released on DVD.

The story follows 3 chipmunks, Alvin and his brothers; Theodore (the one with the baby fat) and Simon (the intelligent one with the glasses). Remember the popular cartoon Alvin and the Chipmunks? Anyway, after their tree is cut down by man, they cross paths with Dave Saville (Jason Lee from My Name is Earl and A Guy Thing), who is a struggling music writer. Dave thinks hes found his big break (he gets an idea to create a Christmas song that most of us had heard on the radio during Christmas time) and tries to convince Ian (David Cross from Men in Black 2 and Scary Movie 2) who is the chairman of Jett Records. They get cold feet. At times the little fury cuties get on Dave's nerves as he hasn't fully accepted them in his house. When Alvin and the Chipmunks go to Ian to try to fix their relationship with Dave, they inadvertnly cause themselves harm. Ian sees visions of money...in his pockets. He cooks up a scheme to lure the chipmunks (who are just kids) away from Dave so he can put them through a grueling European concert tour and a whole lot more. Enriching himself at the expense of the chipmunks. Will Ian succeed? Will Dave be able to save them?

This movie was very cute. The chipmunks while they are a product of CGI animation, they were so adorable. The movie does take place right before Christmas so it seems like a holiday movie. The movie does have its funny parts, drama, and heart warming charm. I will admit that I was like," Awwwwwwww", when Theordore had a nightmare and asked Dave if he can sleep in his bed that night. Dave reluctantly said yes and told him to sleep on the other side of the bed, however Theordore cuddled up on Dave's forehead and wrapped himself in a little ball. So cute! While the animated cartoon Alvin and the Chipmunks wasn't at the top of my list when it was on ( I liked Scooby Doo, The Jetsons, He-man, The Gobots, Heathcliff, Tom and Jerry, The Real Ghostbusters, The Ghostbusters, Woody Woodpecker, Space Ghost, Transformers, and the Hurculoids; just to name a few ;-), this movie was indeed very cute with some spirts of comedy. I will admit that I did watch the cartoon when it was on before I had to go to school.

Hardly any foul language. Just one minor possible issue. Watch out for the part when the chipmunks are singing, Ian says," Make love to the music." Awkward moment alert! This is the only part that might make parents squirm but the scene moves very quickly so it will be unnoticed. I just happened to hear it, most times I'm oblivious, lol until I've watched a movie several times.

The movie has both fullscreen and Widescreen versions on one disc. Side A has fullscreen and side B is widescreen. The movie looked great on a LCD TV and playing it on a 1080p upconverting DVD (recordable) player showed an even beautiful picture. Some minor additions to the DVD include an extra about Alvin and the Chipmunks and a sampling of their music. Alvin and the Chipmunks is a great family addition to your DVD collection as well as anyone elses. Enjoy it!
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