Monday, July 16, 2012

ice age: continental drift

Why didn't someone tell me that Peter Dinklage was one of the voices in this movie? I was going anyway, as the kid has been brainwashed, I mean, eager, to see Ice Age: Continental Drift since she saw the first preview for it months ago. But it was an extra-special treat to have one of my favorite actors playing Captain Gutt, a very mean pirate captain that the main trio of heroes, Manny (Ray Romano), Diego (Denis Leary), and Sid (John Leguizamo) encounter when they are cast adrift on an iceberg from their friends and family when the earth starts to break apart and form the continents. Another bonus: an opening Simpsons short, The Longest Daycare, featuring baby Maggie and her heroic adventures at Springfield's Ayn Rand daycare.

Diego, Sid, and Manny are adrift on the ocean as the continents divide
Granny steals the show
Scrat chases an elusive acorn
As fabulous as Dinklage was, it would be remiss of me not to mention Wanda Sykes, who truly steals the movie from everyone, as Sid's crazy-like-a-fox grandma, Granny. It's hard to believe that this is the fourth movie in this series. I remember when Queen Latifah entered the scene as Ellie the mammoth and became Manny's partner, but I have no recall of the third film. This movie, besides some of the fun characters, is entertaining, but not the best animated film we've seen this summer. Madagascar and Brave both had more to offer. Ice Age introduces some new characters and complications in Manny and Ellie's teenage daughter Peaches (Nicki Minaj) and a female sabertooth partner for Diego (Jennifer Lopez) who were frankly a yawn. The movie and series is always at its best when it centers on the dysfunctional friendship of Manny, Diego, and Sid and their adventures, as well as the gravity-defying lengths that squirrel Scrat (Chris Wedge) will go to in order to get his precious acorn.

Ice Age: Continental Drift throws its heroes into a pirate plot, as well as have them team up with some cute lovable rodents that may have wandered off an Alvin and the Chipmunks movie and overpopulated. They also encounter some pretty clever Sirens. But Scrat still has the best moments — an opening sequence where he manages to get the continents to drifting, and a visit to an ancient squirrel society headed by Ariscratle (Patrick Stewart!) It's all incredibly silly, but admittedly fun.

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