Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Phil sees THE CROODS in 3D at the Camera 7 Pruneyard Campbell-April 6, 2013

Welcome back to my movie binge weekend! So for film number three that I saw Saturday over at the Camera 7 was THE CROODS 3D, DreamWork's new computer animated family film. Yup, it was a 3D kinda day for me. Didn't plan on that to happen but it did.

Let's meet America's newest prehistoric family (because The Flintstones are so last millennium): There's dad Grug (Nicolas Cage), his wife Ugga (Catherine Keener), daughter Eep (Emma Stone), son Thunk (Clark Duke), and their feisty grandma Gran (Cloris Leachman). Grug's duty is to keep his family alive, and the best way to do that is to keep them in a dark, dank cave all the time. This doesn't sit well with Eep, who longs for the sun and to be outside. She sneaks out one night to follow a strange person named Guy (Ryan Reynolds) who has the power to harness fire! He tells her that the end of the world is coming and that she and her family better leave. Grug doesn't believe them, but when an earthquake destroys their beloved cave, they have no choice but to go with Guy on their greatest adventure yet, despite Grug's disapproval.

Despite being set during prehistoric times, the film deals with a lot of modern day issues. Themes and conflicts are all about here. The most obvious is the universal clash between parents and their kids. We have all experienced this first hand. How many times to do we see kids rebel against their parent's rules and decisions? Numerous times. And according to this film, it's been going on since the dawn of man! In this situation, it's father versus teenage daughter who wants to live her life on her terms.

There's also that age old theme of brains versus brawn. Grug is the old fossil sticking and using his strength to prove that he's the top male. However Guy is the link to modern man, coming up with a series of ideas and inventions, like making fire and making his little furry animal companion not only his pet, but a belt as well! I'm surprised that some manufacturer hasn't made these animal belts yet. It's guaranteed money!

The film was made by writer/directors Kirk De Micco (SPACE CHIMPS) and Chris Sanders (HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON and co-directed LILO AND STITCH). Now this is the first film from DreamWorks Animation to be distributed by 20th Century Fox.Their old distribution deal with Paramount Pictures ended with their last film RISE OF THE GUARDIANS.

The 3D effects actually work very well in this film. When the Croods leave their old home for the bright color of the jungle, it looked really amazing. The lush technicolor dreamscape is alive and well in the film. Think of colors found in OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL only made for a kid's movie and the story being a lot better! These 3D effects I dig, unlike the effects I saw in JURASSIC PARK.

THE CROODS is a very funny family film that everyone can enjoy! While it lacks the Pixar emotional punch, it still satisfies that basic human need to be loved and to be mattered. 4 out of 5 stars! Recommended!

THE CROODS is currently playing in both 2D and 3D in theaters nationwide, including the Camera Cinemas here in the Bay Area. To view showtimes, visit their website at www.cameracinemas.com.

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!

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