I really can't understand the reviewers sometimes...I take the time to research kids films because all-to-often they blow chunks. So, when HORTON was announced I, naturally, became pretty optimistic what with Steve Carrell and Jim Carrey and Carol Burnett signed on as voice actors. And I love Dr. Suess! But, as I've learned to do from past burns, I still waited until the reviews came in. I trust my weekly subscription to ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY for these reviews --NOT, however, the staff reviewers who are most definitely hit-or-miss at best! No, I wait until the following week's issue where we get all the reviewers grades and a pretty good overall idea/average grade. I've also come to realize that Rene Rodriguez is almost always sypmatico with my tastes in movies. I must now point out that hers was only one of a few missing on Horton in this last issue of EW so she isn't party to the horrible mistake the other reviewers caused me to make. And there are a few numbskulls who I can always dismiss right off--Stephanie Zacharek (this broad hates everything!), Mick LaSalle (terrible taste), Carrie Rickey and Todd McCarthy (unreliably uneven) and EW who seem to pander sometimes and the EW Readers who seem to give EVERYTHING a "B" or higher (and all Adam Sandler movies a resounding "A"! Ugh!)!
Anyway, the grades all came in at "B"s and higher! So, naturally. I assumed that even with the few numbskulls an all "B" grid with a few "A"s peppered in (and the aforementioned voice talent) surely meant this movie would be pretty darn good.
I know a movie, especially a kid's movie, really stinks it up when I feel my daughter's head rest against my shoulder a quarter of the way through--it's especially bad when the "shoulder lean" occurs 15-20 times during the film! That coupled with the silent full theatre is also a pretty good barometer that this baby blows! I counted 2 medium sized chuckles and one half chuckle throughout the entire film. And it was long, folks (at least it seemed that way, I dunno, really).
It was dull. It was boring. It was really kind of disturbing...and NOT in a good way. Trust me, I like "disturbing", yes, even in a kid's movie, if it's handled well and serves a purpose and is PLAUSIBLE! Carol Burnett's part of the crazed and paranoid Kangaroo just didn't play. Completely over-the-top and completely implausible. There wasn't enough groundwork layed for her reactions (over-reactions) to Horton's "hearing the Whos" and the jungle folk all falling in line behind her and allowing her to work them into a froth-mouthed frenzy. It just didn't fly and it came across as disturbing (not in a good way) and forced. As if the writers were trying way too hard to teach the kid's a proper lesson about crazed, maniacal, paranoid people. Which we all know is a huge problem in your typical 6-year-old's world, right?
They missed the mark again on a classic Seuss tale. I believe that's three in a row they've screwed up now isn't it?
But, getting back to where I was originally heading with all of this...The writers, directors, studio blew it, yes, but how about these useless reviewers? That's what really ticks me off. The average grade on this stinker was a solid "B" in EW! A "B"!
A "B" is pretty good if I recall (didn't get too many in school but I remember them being something that was good). Just one away from the coveted "A" and definitely better than the average "C". "B"s are a good thing...a sure bet...a job well done. It seems to me that the reviewers watch (I assume they actually see these films) any kid's film and if the animation looks good (Horton's was great BTW, I'll give it that) and the story is harmless it's an automatic "B" or better. Go back! Look! Look at all the sub-par kid's flicks that have come out in recent years and you'll see that I am right--MADAGASCAR, ICE AGE 2, MEET THE ROBINSONS, HAPPY FEET, ROBOTS, CHICKEN LITTLE, VALIANT and on and on and on--they all got these "B" grades and they were all benign (but very well animated!) pieces of garbage. Boring at best.
I'll never forget my daughter's review of Madagascar after we saw it and I asked her how she liked it--exact words, "It wasn't good but it wasn't bad, dad...it was just adequate."
SHE WAS 5!!! And she was exactly right (Actually she was generous on that one but she was, indeed, only 5 so I'll cut her a little slack).
Point being is that these reviewers seem to stamp any kid's movie a "B" or better. ***NOTE*** They actually did get DOOGAL right a few years back, I'll give them that, but, sadly, that was one I didn't wait for the reviews for...that one was all on me (see, I take responsibility for my own failures, too).
Anyway, the "stamping all kid's movies with "B"s rant" I was just on...Where does that put really great kid's movies like LION KING, THE INCREDIBLES, TOY STORY, TOY STORY II, ENCHANTED, MONSTER'S INC...? There are many more but you get my point. Sure, they gave these movies all "A"s and deservedly so, but if they are "A"s then surely a turd like HORTON, comparatively speaking, deserves no better than a "D", which is what I'd give it. By giving these crummy films all "B"s it diminishes the "A"s that the truly good movies receive. It does.
Get on the ball reviewers or get a clue. And if you can't do either than spare us your reviews all-together. You just cost me $50 bucks I'd've much rather spent taking them to the Discovery World museum or the zoo.