You know what I hate? When Hollywood takes lovely stories from my childhood and makes them crappy and cheap. They did it with Cheaper by the Dozen (the original was a lovely little film), Rocky and Bullwinkle and Yogi Bear. Well, they’re doing it again… they’re going to take a dump on one of the favorite books of my childhood: Mr. Popper’s Penguins.
Here’s the actual story that I remember as a child: a poor but kind house painter who lives with his wife and children in a small town receives a penguin as a gift. They grow to love the animal as a pet, who takes a penguin from the local zoo as a mate. Soon, the Popper family has 10 penguins of their own, and the rest of the story is about how the family finds different ways to raise money so they can keep their strange family together. The whole time, Mr. Popper is the best kind of dad: kind, persevering and open to this crazy sort of adventure.
Now, look at this trailer. From what I can tell, Jim Carrey’s Mr. Popper is a workaholic businessman who would rather ship the penguins off to the South Pole rather than deal with them. Of course, he eventually learns there’s more to life than just work. It’s pretty much every “funny” character I’ve seen him play for the longest time. It looks like another lazily written, generic character who could have been a lot more enjoyable if they hadn’t done the same thing they always do. And while I have no problem showing divorced families in films, would it have been so hard to have him just be a married man with kids, considering that’s what he was in the actual book? Besides the penguins, I see very little from the actual books in this movie, and it makes me really sad.
|20th Century Fox
Speaking of sad, I hated the Vanilla Ice crap at the end. That looks awful. It looks like desperation from the writers because they want to look hip. In the process, they’re tainting a wonderful book from my childhood. It just… it just gets me mad. Stop trying to be hip in your kids movies, Hollywood! Just write good movies! Jeez!