Hop (2011)

Easter is just around the corner and I felt like I should post an Easter movie.  How many are there out there? I already saw Rise of the Guardians (review HERE).  Netflix had this movie sitting around and I remember seeing the first 10 minutes of it a few weeks ago at my boyfriend’s parents.  Honestly, I have zero hopes for this one and I really think it’ll turn out bad but that is what makes it perfect for a brain-dead day 😉

I always try to push away any early expectations or lack of before I see anything so lets check it out!

hop posterDirector: Tim Hill

Cast: James Marsden, Russell Brand, Kaley Cuoco, Hank Azaria, Hugh Laurie, Gary Cole, Elizabeth Perkins

Ever since he was a little bunny, EB (Russell Brand) has known that he will be the next in line to be the Easter Bunny to take over his father (Hugh Laurie). As he grows up and the time that he will take over the Egg of Destiny, he knows that he isn’t right for the job but rather he wants to be a drummer.  Not caring for the consequences of the impending Easter day in 2 weeks, he runs away to Hollywood to search for his fame.  There he meets Fred O’Hare (James Marsden) who accidentally hits EB with his car and takes him in.  Fred has no direction in his life and while helping his sister (Kaley Cuoco) house sit for her boss, he tries to get his life in order while helping EB reluctantly as they both unknowingly is searching for approval from their father in their own way. At the same time, back at the Easter Bunny headquarters, Carlos, a chick and the current Easter Bunny’s number 2 wants to take over the Easter Bunny duties.

Okay, I give up.  I don’t know how to make this sound interesting. I’m just going to leave the synopsis like that.  You get the idea, right?

hop easter factory

Suffice to say that I didn’t really like it all that much but I didn’t particularly hate it either.  It was just pretty blah, for lack of a better word.  Now, I do have some pros I’d like to talk about before the cons. They are worth a mention and maybe what will push you to watch this.  At the same time, I think maybe kids might get some enjoyment out of it more than say, me. I like pretty childish animation but as musical as this got, it didn’t really work for me. Oh right, I’m getting carried away.

One of the biggest pros is the beauty of the animation.  C’mon! Look at that Easter factory: the vibrant colors, the details and even the animated characters were done in a rather cute way. Look at our ninja royal guards, the Pink Berets.  They actually carry a bit of the Alvin and the Chipmunks qualities, in a way. Here’s for the director who made Alvin and the Chipmunks a few years back, right? Tim Hill gets to do this plus the little one is so cute and clumsy, qualities I love in animals 😉

hop pink berets

Another pro is James Marsden. I never quite understand why he takes on these animation crossed with real life movies.  I like it a lot usually, especially Enchanted (which I probably should review soon) and in this one, I actually liked Fred O’Hare.  James Marsden pulls the funniest facial expressions and he puts some fun into this.

Hop 2011

I guess this makes me go to the bad part.  What really hurts this animated flick is the story.  It could because once you start the beginning narration, you already know what will happen in the end so the sense of danger never amounts to anything.  And Carlos, our supposed villain, isn’t really that threatening.  He’s actually kind of funny in a weird way but then Hank Azaria does his voice and that man is a voice genius.  And then we have Russell Brand.  I’m not a fan of him. Period. I don’t like him as an actor, or even as the voice of EB. As a voice, he was tolerable but nothing that made me feel like I liked EB very much either.

Hop 2011

Overall, if you are watching this with kids, they might enjoy it because its not scary and it has some nice happy beats and furry animated bunnies and chicks, plus lots of candy.  However, the story does lack a bit of inspiration. Even its nice animation and James Marsden’s involvement couldn’t give it more life.  I really don’t hate it.  I’m just indifferent and I know that I probably wouldn’t watch it again.

Have you seen Hop? Do you have any movies you watch for Easter? What are your thoughts on James Marsden?

 

Christmas Marathon: Miracle on 34th Street (1994)

miracle on 34th streetLast night, a story about the whole concept of belief in Santa Claus was the next up.  Thats right, its…

MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET (1994)

(I only own this version and I have never seen the old one)

Director: Les Mayfield

Cast: Richard Attenborough, Elizabeth Perkins, Dylan McDermott, Mara Wilson

I’m guessing that the majority of you have already heard of this one, whether it be the 1947 version or this one.  If you haven’t, then please go see it.  Its a very nice story about a 6 year old girl called Susan (Mara Wilson) who has doubts about Santa Claus.  Her mother Dorey Walker (Elizabeth Perkins) is the director of special events at a big department store Coles and she is the one who puts together the annual Santa Claus parade, so she also doesn’t believe in this as the Santa is just an imposter she hires.  That is until she hires Kriss Kringle (Richard Attenborough) as Santa Claus after the other Santa that she hired had an accident.  At the same time, Cole’s is facing a takeover from Shoppers’ Express who is their competition and they intervene to taint Kriss Kringle’s name to bring down Coles.  Its then they set off Kriss Kringle’s temper and he injures the previously employed Coles Santa and is deemed mentally unstable.  Susan’s mom asks her boyfriend, Bryan (Dylan McDermott) to defend Kriss and set out to prove that there is a Santa Claus.

Miracle on 34th Street is possibly one of my favorite Christmas movies.  Its about belief based solely on faith.  Santa Claus may not exist as we grow older but its part a childhood experience to have had it.  It is someone who takes care of a child’s happiness.  He can make the most impossible of things happen.  Whether Kriss Kringle is actually Santa Claus didn’t matter as much as the fact that he was viewed as him and that his existence was acknowledged.  I think that is very magical.  This movie is very fun to watch because most of the time, adults view an old man who thinks his Santa Claus and talks about flying reindeers and invisible workshops crazy.  Its the idea to preserve that belief to keep a bit of the naivety that we love for children for as long as they can have it.

Another reason this movie is that I love Mara Wilson as a young actress.  I first saw her in Mrs. Doubtfire and she is just adorable but yet acts so smart all the time.  It makes her very enjoyable to watch.  She’s the typical fun little girl with lots of questions and trying to find answers all the time.  Another actor I like a lot is Richard Attenborough.  Many of us will know him as John Hammond in Jurassic Park.  For the record, I thought he really looked like Santa Claus and represented him really well.

With this movie coming in, it rings in Christmas better even than any other holiday based romantic comedy.  This brings in Santa Claus, our belief, our faith and is perfect for the whole family.  Its a wonderful Christmas flick and should definitely be viewed if you haven’t yet.

On that note, has anyone seen the 1947 version? I’ve heard that its better. Is it? Why do you like it more? Does either of the version ever show up on your Christmas movies?