Also opening this weekend are two films that pretty much have nothing in common, but I’ll talk about them together anyway, The Croods and Admission. I’ll start with the animated film, The Croods, first. From its official synopsis:
The Croods is a 3D comedy adventure that follows the world's first modern family as they embark on a journey of a lifetime when the cave that has always been their home, is destroyed. Traveling across a spectacular landscape, the Croods are rocked by generational clashes and seismic shifts as they discover an incredible new world filled with fantastic creatures -- and their outlook is changed forever. Featuring the voices of Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone, Ryan Reynolds, Catherine Keener, Cloris Leachman, Clark Duke.
Now overall, I enjoyed The Croods. It’s not my favorite animated film of the past few years, but it’s cute, sweet, has some laughs and a good family film. I think that’s why I didn’t love it, it’s definitely more a kids film than for adults, but that’s ok, sometimes you just gotta make films for kids.
It starts out similar to Pixars’s Brave, a younger female character wants more from life, wants to experience more and get away from her over protective family especially her father who doesn’t think she can handle tougher things like hunting. It does stick with that theme throughout, but it does go more into the family dynamic while adding a love interest for the female. She meets someone who doesn’t look like her and her cavemen family and he opens her eyes to a different world which is thrust upon her and her family as their home falls apart around them.
The film has some great visuals, some amazing colors and the kids in front of me reached out to “touch” the 3D which is always a fun thing. The kids in front of me really seemed to enjoy the film and that’s the whole point now isn’t it? Just because I thought Nic Cage shouldn’t have been in it and that he really “Nic Caged” his performance doesn’t mean the kids will think that or even understand what that means. And the kids won’t laugh at the fact that even in an animated movie, Ryan Reynolds is still shirtless. They will laugh at the funny animals especially Belt and Doug and will laugh at the antics of the characters and will hold them over till Summer blockbuster season.
Every spring, high school seniors anxiously await letters of college admission that will affirm and encourage their potential. At Princeton University, admissions officer Portia Nathan (Tina Fey) is a gatekeeper evaluating thousands of applicants. Year in and year out, Portia has lived her life by the book, at work as well as at the home she shares with Princeton professor Mark (Michael Sheen). When Clarence (Wallace Shawn), the Dean of Admissions, announces his impending retirement, the likeliest candidates to succeed him are Portia and her office rival Corinne (Gloria Reuben). For Portia, however, it's business as usual as she hits the road on her annual recruiting trip. On the road, Portia reconnects with her iconoclastic mother, Susannah (Lily Tomlin). On her visit to New Quest, an alternative high school, she then reconnects with her former college classmate, idealistic teacher John Pressman (Paul Rudd) – who has recently surmised that Jeremiah (Nat Wolff), a gifted yet very unconventional New Quest student, might well be the son that Portia secretly gave up for adoption years ago while at school. Jeremiah is about to apply to Princeton.
Now Portia must re-evaluate her personal and professional existences, as she finds herself bending the admissions rules for Jeremiah, putting at risk the future she thought she always wanted – and in the process finding her way to a surprising and exhilarating life and romance she never dreamed of having.
That’s a long synopsis, but you know what, I really don’t have much to say about Admission and I’m dumbfounded at that. I’ve seen every episode of 30 Rock with Tina Fey. If you consistently read me here or on the other site I write for, my man crush on Paul Rudd is well documented. So the fact that I really like the two leads means this is a slam dunk, home run right? Absolutely not. Somehow it turned into an unfunny film that seemed to drag and had no concept of geography. Seriously, Princeton is in New Jersey. Paul Rudd’s character is based in New Hampshire, yet both he and Fey make the drive to and from like it’s a half hour commute.
I wish that was my only complaint, but it’s not. I honestly didn’t see the point of this film. Is it a romantic comedy? A regular comedy? A love story? A mix of all of that which lead to them not making a good movie? Why is Michael Sheen in this? How is an actor of his stature wasted in such a small, meaningless role? Anyone could have played Fey’s husband who leaves. How is someone of Paul Weitz’s caliber behind the camera for a slow moving film with no real build up? And I repeat myself, how is a film with Paul Rudd AND Tina Fey not funny?
Clearly you can tell I didn’t like Admission. I have a collection of Rudd DVDs and this probably won’t make it in. The fact that a movie with two of the funniest people going is opening in March should tell you something. Of the two, The Croods is definitely the better film. I expect The Croods to do well with the previously reviewed Olympus Has Fallen most likely winning the weekend.