Saturday, January 14, 2012

We Bought A Zoo

The Flick: We Bought A Zoo

The Peeps: Matt Damon, Scarlett Johanssen, Thomas Haden Church, Elle Fanning, Patrick Fugit, Maggie Elizabeth Jones, John Michael Higgins, etc.

The Dealio: Relatively new widower (Damon), uproots his family from life in the big city to a more...rustic setting: a lovely old property, off the beaten, compleat with the zoo of the title. Along the way, we get to deal with the predictably ticked off at all the changes teenager,(Colin Ford), the myriad nay-sayers, the block-headed bureaucrat who has a fetishistic relationship with his automatic measuring tape, the peppy, spirited, can-do adorable young 'un and a motley cast of misfit support-crew. Not that there is anything wrong with this. There is comfort at seeing something a bit predictable -especially at the holidays. However, it would be a mistake to dismiss this as a sub-par or bad film. It is not. It is what I refer to as a palate-cleanser: once we have had our eye-sockets expanded by the special effects of Mission Impossible, our stomachs clenched by The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, and our minds pretzeled by Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, it is a fine thing to just enjoy a charming and engaging story, with oodles of high notes, expertly acted.

The Grading Session: 4.36 pengies out of 5. However...there is really no excuse for this to be an over two-hours' long palate-cleanser. And- sorry, Cameron Crowe, but you just can not make Scarlett seem everyday and plain by putting her in work clothes and minimising her make-up. Still, if you are in the mood for a comfort-food type flick, this would be my suggestion. Your mileage may differ.

Lessons Learned: All San Diego County references to the contrary, the Rosemore Animal Park is actually in England. My companion at the screening kept saying 'We are definitely going to check this out; why haven't we already discovered this one?! We totally rule at staycations, so, this one would be a natural.' But, not if it is in England. Plus this: Thomas Haden Church is totally incapable of sloughing off in even a minor role. Another leveraged-into-superb supporting job.

Notable Quotables: From Benjamin Mee: You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it. (This is one I happen to agree with..which)

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