Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Zookeeper

I wish Kevin James left a trail of bricks behind him.

Do you know how much I love my daughter? I just took her to see "The Zookeeper". Do you know how little she respects me? She asked me to take her to see "The Zookeeper".

So, Mommy is away on a conference this week and we've been spending some hardcore Daddy-Daughter time. Mommy and a couple of our friends wanted to see Harry Potter with us, so we kept that option off the table. So, I looked to see what kid's movies were playing. Our choices were essentially between this and Winnie-the-Pooh. Molly claimed that Winnie-the-Pooh is a movie for three year olds, so we saw the much more intellectually stimulating Zookeeper, which is apparently for four year olds.

I knew this would be a piece of horseshit going in and the movie did not fail to deliver. For those of you that don't know, the movie stars Kevin James who plays a Zookeeper who once had a "hot", but bitchy and superficial girlfriend that dumped him. Well, five years later she's back and the animals decide to break "the code" and talk to him and proceed to give the shittiest advice possible on how to get a woman.

I suppose the advice isn't that shitty in the sense that it somehow wins over the girl who apparently falls into some crappy anti-feminist stereotype that all women are putty in the hands of a prick who treats their woman like shit. All the while he doesn't see that a much better woman is right beside him and she loves him for who he is and he never had to change to impress her.

So, essentially, the animals should have never talked and Kevin James' character would have defaulted for the girl he ended up with at the end of the movie anyhow, but he wouldn't have become such a prick in the process. So, thanks animals. You really fucked up.

I mean, really, when Kevin James is taking advice from animals to out-alpha male Joe Rogan, you've got to figure that something might be a little extreme in their advice. And, apparently Kevin James is so easily manipulated, that he takes the animals' advice and ends up doing things such as pissing on plants in a fancy five-star restaurant to "mark his territory".

Yes, I forgot to mention. The backdrop of this movie is occurring around Kevin James' brother's wedding. So all of the alpha male showmanship, pissing on plants, demolition, ruckus creating and fight picking occurs primarily during a wedding reception. Although no big deal is made about it on-screen, I am sure that off-screen everyone is complaining about how the wedding was fucking ruined by these schmucks.

But anyhow, the plot is predictable and essentially follows the "Teen Wolf" formula, but instead of finding out that he has a family of werewolves, Kevin James discovers that animals can talk. He becomes an animalistic prick becoming more popular and winning the affection of a shitty, superficial girl that he's hung up on, fucks her for a little while, then ultimately leaves her for this movie's Boof. But again, not until he's fucked the hot girl for a little while first.

This movie is absolute shit. But here are a few things that I noted about the movie:

First of all, it is full of product placement. I mean, seriously. They even promote the product placement in the commercials promoting the movie (TGI Fridays). However, the weirdest bit of product placement is with Red Bull. The lioness is choking to death and nearly dies until Kevin James reaches down into its mouth to pull out a Red Bull can from its throat that it was choking to death on. He pulls the crushed, slobber-covered can from its mouth and turns it so that the label faces the camera. So there you go, Red Bull people! Your product kills lions. Hope you're fucking happy that your product was responsible for a near-death scene that upset my daughter. As she gets older, hopefully she'll subconsciously remember that your product upset her as it nearly murdered a lioness.

Animals are racists against crows.

The movie takes place in the Franklin Park Zoo. I know a fucking lot about that zoo. Well, at least a portion of its history. Franklin Park Zoo is in Boston, Massachusetts and was founded in 1913. It was a free zoo until the 1950's, and it suffered from neglect during the Depression era. So, they would often try to entice more people to come out to the zoo during the Depression era by having events and renting out space for things like carnivals next to it to draw in bigger crowds who would flow over into the zoo. Despite all of this information (including exhibits at the time,  zoo lay-out and a little mini-Mythos associated story seed), the characters in the 1934 Call of Cthulhu Boston-based campaign I was running never left the fucking carnival to go to the zoo next door.

And this movie has a standard movie-cliché ending that pisses me off. So, his best friend that he realizes is really his true love thinks that he doesn't love her because, you know, he's been fucking the hot superficial bitch for a few weeks. So she takes a job in Africa tending to a new modern state of the art zoo or some shit. So, she's on her way to the airport as Kevin James rushes to catch her before she reaches the airport. To get to her before she reaches it, he drives like a madman, nearly kills motorists and pedestrians as he speeds after her, almost dies himself as he and a gorilla take a kayak then climb a bridge to intercept her on the bridge before she hits the airport and... well... why the fuck didn't he just call her fucking cellphone?!? Seriously, movie. We all have them now. Absolute worst case scenario is you email her once she's in Africa. Believe it or not, email is fucking global. But all of the risk to life and damage to property could have been avoided by calling her goddamned cellphone.

Molly: (As usual Molly is at my side. I'll do her portion of the review in Q&A form and will transcribe what she says. I'll go back and format it later.)

Chuckie: So, what did you think about the movie "The Zookeeper"?
Molly: I liked it, but I wanted to see Popper's Penguins.

Chuckie: Well, Popper's Penguins wasn't playing anymore. So you picked between the Zookeeper and Winnie-the-Pooh.
Molly: Winnie-the-Pooh is for three year olds.

Chuckie: Yes, which is why I ended up watching the Zookeeper. Anyway, what did you like about the movie?
Molly: Um, I liked that the animals talked and they can speak because you want to know why I'm glad about that?

Chuckie: Why?
Molly: I'm glad about that so that the people can know what they're saying. So then if like they're saying water and they know that they want water and not something else. But if they're saying food, then they know that they want food and not something else. That's my hypothesis.

Chuckie: Your hypothesis?
Molly: Yeah. Like if a pumpkin sinks or float, and a pencil sinks or floats, and a duck sinks or floats and you have to make a hypothesis if it sinks or floats.  You have to pick one of those options.

Chuckie: Wow.
Molly: Yes, that's science.

Chuckie: Yes it is. Anyhow, so tell me what happened in the movie.
Molly: Well, the zookeeper traveled in time into the future.

Chuckie: No, Pixie, I just read the caption that said, "Five years later".
Molly: And so he traveled five years?

Chuckie: No, five years passed in that bit of the movie.
Molly: I didn't see it.

Chuckie: It was off-camera.
Molly: Daddy, does he have a TARDIS.

Chuckie: No. Five years passed regular. He didn't travel in time.
Molly: Then why did you tell me he traveled five years into the future?

Chuckie: I didn't. Nevermind. He traveled five years into the future.
Molly: Yay!

Chuckie: What else happened in the movie?
Molly: Two people kissed. And those two went to a party because people invited them.

Chuckie: So what did the animals try to teach them?
Molly: Um, to break up with her.

Chuckie: Well, didn't they try to teach him how to get together with her first?
Molly: Yes. And then break up with her.

Chuckie: So you agree that the animals gave shitty advice?
Molly: Yes.

Chuckie: And he'd have been better off if the animals never talked to him to begin with?
Molly: No. Because like if they don't know what they're saying and they want water, but he thought they wanted something else.

Chuckie: Okay. Fair point. But they shouldn't have given him advice though, right?
Molly: Right.

Chuckie: So what were your favorite parts of the movie?
Molly: The kissing.

Chuckie: Really? The kissing? Not the talking animals?
Molly: Yes. Because they gave him advice that was crap. But I did like the talking gorilla because he gave not crap advice.

Chuckie: Were there any parts of the movie that you didn't like?
Molly: Yes.

Chuckie: What?
Molly: That he was being mean to his girlfriend that he didn't kiss.

Chuckie: Why was he being mean?
Molly: Because the animals just gave him crap advice.

Chuckie: So, since the animals gave such bad advice, what should they have talked about instead?
Molly: Not crap advice.

Chuckie: Like what would have been not crap advice?
Molly: They should have asked him if he wanted to break up with her or not and if he said, "I want to break up with her" then he should break up with her, but if he doesn't want to break up with her, then he doesn't even need to say anything.

Chuckie: That sounds like good advice, I suppose.
Molly: Thank you.

Chuckie: Was the movie funny?
Molly: No.

Chuckie: You're right on that. What kind of movie would you say it was?
Molly: Lame movie.

Chuckie: I thought you said you liked it?
Molly: It wasn't Popper's Penguins.

Chuckie: Fair enough. So anyhow, how do you want to rate the movie?
Molly: Stars.

Chuckie: Okay, how many stars would you give the movie?
Molly: One hundred. That's for the movie. But this is for the laughter: can I give zero?

Chuckie: Sure.
Molly: Then zero for the laughter.

Chuckie: Okay. Anything else?
Molly: The suns are for one of each: One hundred because of the party, one hundred for the good dancing and one hundred and four for the badness.

Chuckie: The badness?
Molly: Yes, that's how much bad.

Chuckie: So now I'm confused. Did you like the movie or not?
Molly: I liked it.

Chuckie: Why do you keep calling it lame and crap and rate the badness?
Molly: Um, for all the badness in it. And all the goodness is like "Yaaaaaaay!"

Chuckie: Alright, I guess. So who do you think would like the movie?
Molly: Everybody that's at my school. That's a real lot of people, Daddy. I don't even think they'll have enough chairs for everyone. Maybe they can sit on the floor because there's a new baby coming to school, so that's one extra person now.

Chuckie: Okay, so anything else that you want to say about the movie?
Molly: Gorillas give the best advice.

So, that's our review. I knew it would be shit and the movie did not fall out of my level of expectation for it. The movie is really insultingly bad and there was not a single laugh to be heard from the dozen or so people in the theater. The plot is really demeaning in a lot of ways, reinforcing rather two-dimensional stereotypes about how to win a woman, but ultimately the animals did not give good advice. Had they never spoke to Kevin James, he would have eventually ended up with his "soulmate" anyhow. But then again, I suppose they did let him fuck the hot girl for a little bit. But that little tidbit kind of invalidated Kevin James' little speech to  his nerdy soulmate at the end where he woos her with this speech about how eagles mate for life and he wants to be with her. Well, if they mate for life, they probably didn't spend the last three weeks fucking some superficial hawk first.

I give the movie one-half star out of five. I would give the movie even less, but hopefully the horrific product placement of Red Bull has scarred my daughter so much that she will avoid drinking Redbull and Vodkas as she gets older and will instead use her college experiences to study.

Molly gives the movie one hundred stars, but gives zero stars for the laughter. She also gives it one hundred suns for the party, one hundred suns for the dancing and one hundred and four stars for the badness. I think she is also firmly of the opinion that this movie was no Popper's Penguins.