Monday, August 28, 2006

Barnyard Bomb

I took my kids to see Barnyard: The Original Party Animals yesterday. One thought pervades: what in the hell were they thinking? Oh, I understand, after the success of Lion King why not? Hey, I know, I'll make a movie with cute little dogs and cats. The kid will be the cutest puppy ever, his father a champion sheep dog, and his mother a best in show poodle. Then a bulldog will rape her right in front of the kids, then kill the father by ripping his still beating heart out of his chest and eat it before his dimming eyes. But don't worry, because the bulldog will get it in the end, and the puppy will become a man-dog, as proud and capable as his father ever was.

This movie has no business marketing to kids. There needs to be a rating that fits neatly between PG and R called NFK, or Not For Kids. The letters P or G have no business in the rating of a movie of this nature. Not only did the father get killed by a pack of coyotes--oh sorry, did I spoil the whole thing for you?--but the coyotes were mangy and ferocious looking, like werewolves almost. My oldest son covered his ears and asked to leave. So that's what we did.

I have no problem with violence in film. But this was literally a wolf in sheep's clothing. They got my money, and that's what it's all about.

And for that matter, why is it so hard to create an original script? We watched Rumor Has It the other night, only to be pummeled by yet another betrothed couple going home to Meet the Parents. I must be getting old and cynical, but I could swear that Hollywood is about money first, art second. No, that's being too kind. Art doesn't even enter into the equation. It's like sleeping with a woman that everyone has been with.

17 comments:

Bernita said...

Well gag .
I'm with you.
Watched Pirates of the Carribean last night ( mild in comparison) and wondered, aside from the sword play, what the fuss was all about.
Thought it silly, really.

Flood said...

We're still watching Leave it to Beaver on disc over here, so you can imagine!

magnetbabe said...

WTF?! I'm so happy I didn't pay money to see it let alone try to explain that to a small child. When I was little my dad took me to see "The Bear". At the beginning the bear cub's mom is killed by a falling rock. The bear cub curls up and goes to sleep nestled up against her still warm body. I was DISTRAUGHT about it. That was about 12 years ago and I still clearly remember it.

Bailey Stewart said...

I hate movies like that. Won't watch Old Yeller either.

Jada's Gigi said...

hmmmm, You know, I thought as much when I saw the previews...Hollywood is definitley into the remakes these days..hardly an original ever comes out!

fringes said...

I used to preview the movies by watching them before allowing the kids see them, but as my girl got older, that seemed like so much trouble. Well, I'm back to previewing again after a few bad surprises. We rarely do first-run films anymore since I have to watch the DVD before approving it for the general household.

We completely enjoyed Pirates, though, Bernita. We love us some Johnny Depp.

Jada's Gigi said...

hmmmm, I thought as much when i saw the advertisement...you're so right that Hollywood is making a lot of remakes these days too....

benjibopper said...

we're agreed on hollywood then. but i don't know if i'm totally opposed to exposing kids to the concept of death. remember bambi? sad as hell, but a good flick. the sensationalized violence is what bugs me. for a good kids' flick about animals i liked chicken run.

mr. schprock said...

What turned me off about the previews for that movie is that cows, complete with udders, are supposed to be guys.

Sadie Lou said...

Oh, darn it. I wish you would have asked me before you went. I could tell by looking at it that it wasn't geared towards the children--I've been misled before. My kids were totally bored by Shrek 2 and Hoodwinked and now I can tell the difference between a genuine "for the kids" movie and a "wolf in sheep's clothing"--like you said.
Too bad you missed Monster House--best kid's movie I've seen in ages. Kinda scary for little ones though...

Jaye Wells said...

Yes, the death thing made me mad. This was two weeks after my grandfather died and the poor kid had a hard neough dealing with that to have to see it in a movie too.

Also, I totally agree with Mr Schprok. Why the hell did they have udders?

Moni said...

Well thanks for the review, I was going to take my daughter to see it next weekend. I think I have to rethink. :)

Scott said...

Bernita - I guess that movie was ok, but it certainly was no Star Wars. That's how hungry the world is for a good movie, that it would settle for mediocre.

Flood - Ah, good for you. Seriously, there is time for all that other stuff.

Nat - The Bear! I remember that movie. I was living in my first apartment after getting my first professional job. Wow I'm old.

Bailey - I almost forgot about that movie. That was the biggest sadness of my childhood. That movie was notorious amongst the young crowd.

Cheryl - Yeah, too many remakes, and reuse of the same themes and storylines.

Fringes - We like Johnny Depp too, but I have to say that his Captain Jack Sparrow didn't go over with me like it seems to have done with the rest of the world.

Benji - I'm not sure why it's important to rub death in a kids face. Can't it wait until they're just a little older? Believe me, they know about it at an early age. Why scare the bejesus out of them that, yes, losing a parent or both parents is possible? What value does that have? The world is a hard place, and they will learn, but eventually. Let the hobbits enjoy Shire life for a little while. Innocence is a gift that once relinquished, like viginity, can never be gotten back. As for good kid flicks, Cars was a great example of a good story where nobody dies or is threatened with death.

Mr. Schprock - Oh yeah, believe me I noticed that one too. WTF?

Sadie - That Monster House preview almost had me going home with both kids. Didn't the house have teeth and try to eat passersby? Yeah, I think for kids this is off the list, until they can handle tense situations on film.

Jaye - That really grossed me out. Is hollywood trying to condition our kids to accept gender confusion?

Moni - Depends how old she is and what she can handle. My oldest is six and doesn't like scary movies.

Kathleen said...

Thanks for the review, Scott. I would have been ticked if I had gone for what I thought was going to be a fun movie and saw some poor animal being ripped to shreds. Give me The Jungle Book any day!

I haven't seen Pirates II yet, but I want to. I have yet to miss a Johnny Depp movie (other than Cry-Baby) and I'm not going to start now.

Sadie Lou said...

Yeah, I forget how old your kids are but for my kids (9 & 7) they were just at the perfect ages. You might want to watch it with your wife or something, it's really THAT good.

Ultra Toast Mosha God said...

Welcome to Hollywood.

It has been alleged that only 37 different script variations exist there, save the intricacies woven in to 'individualise' them.

I'm inclined to believe this statement

benjibopper said...

Totally agree with you about childhood. Neil Postman has a good book on this subject called 'The Death of Childhood'. He later condensed it into an essay. But I'm not saying rub it in (as apparently this movie did) but I don't think it has to be completely hidden either. Back to the Bambi example, his mom dies, he's very sad, deals with it, moves on. I think it's because death is a reality that media that deal with it sensitively can be valuable.