Monday, September 16, 2013

Film-A-Geddon: The Croods

And a new feature is born! "Film-A-Geddon" is where I will discuss movies that I have enjoyed. Especially ones that I feel didn't get the respect they deserved when they were in the theater.

This time around, let's talk about "The Croods"

Yep, cave people!

I downloaded this film thinking, "Ok, 90 minutes worth of popcorn humor and no substance to worry about." I was a little wrong. Aside from the animation being spectacular, this movie contained a lot of substance I really didn't expect.

To sum it up, you have a family of cave people trying to escape the end of their world. That, in and of itself, is pretty deep! I mean, how do you explain the end of the world to a 7 year old? Well, they do a pretty good job of it in this movie.

I was totally prepared for fluff. What I wasn't prepared for was a film that teaches you to look beyond the familiar and strike out to find something better...a film that teaches you that fear is not something to center your life around...a film that actually accentuates the value of a cohesive family unit.

Nicolas Cage voices "Grug", the patriarch of the family. He is obsessed with keeping them alive during this very dangerous period in human evolution, as any father would be. Our heroine, "Eep" is voiced by the lovely Emma Stone. She wants to explore and do something more with her life than live in a cave. She meets "Guy" voiced by the exceptional Ryan Reynolds. I could close my eyes and just listen to his voice all day. He is slightly more evolved than the Croods and has mastered the use of fire. He plans to survive the coming destruction and winds up with the entire Crood clan accompanying him. In a complete standout role is Cloris Leachman as "Gran". I'm sure they tried to get Betty White to voice this role, but I'm sure she's too expensive. Cloris is apparently the poor man's Betty White.

What amazed me the most about this film was that there wasn't a villain. The Croods weren't fighting against someone (Ok, sometimes themselves). They were just trying to survive. It was also pretty amazing that the motivation for their survival also wasn't the death of a family member (Nemo, I'm talking to you!).  Amazingly enough...there wasn't any death. You'd think then that there wouldn't be anything to make me cry...don't worry, there was plenty. I don't think it's a spoiler to tell you that no one dies. It's actually kind of refreshing. Even on repeated watchings (I am up to 6 at this point) the emotional heart-strings are pulled every time, like clockwork.

I recommend The Croods for children and adults alike. The kids will love the visuals and the slap-stick humor. I'm hoping the adults will take something a little more valuable away from the film. Fear, lose it!...Family, treasure it!

Let me know what you thought of the film in the comments below.