Saturday, April 14, 2007

I Demand a Refund, I Never Met the Robinsons!

As is our wont, Stacy and I decided to take the girls to the latest Disney computer animated movie last week, Meet the Robinsons. The local theaters offered this one in Disney Digital 3D. Scarlett is a bit young to wear the glasses, so we dropped her off at a sitter. I love Scarlett, but it was a whole new experience going to a movie with the girls that are old enough to enjoy it.
I don’t go to these movies expecting to be blown away by their cinematic excellence, thought-provoking scripts, fantastic plots, or even special effect. I usually figure I’ll get a few laughs out of the jokes they put in for the adults and enjoy a night out with the family.

This movie made me cry. I ain’t too proud or ashamed to admit that touching moments in movies get me choked up. You give me a movie about a lonely orphan obsessed with finding his mom who “is the only person who wants me,” and is whisked to the future to meet the perfect family that actually wants him to stay, but then he finds out he is the family patriarch, so he has to go back to his dismal life at the orphanage until he makes his family the old-fashioned way, and I’m going to tear up a bit. Oops, spoiler alert.

Besides the frequent tear-jerking scenes, the movie entertained with plenty of frenetic action and visual gags. Mrs. Robinson’s singing frogs were great. Their leader, Franky, did a perfect impression of Old Blue Eyes right down to the questionable good fellas connection. Of course, there’s the T-Rex scene from the previews, still funny even after the pre-release trailer blitz.

I was surprised to hear Adam West’s voice, but amused to see him as a heroic pizza delivery uncle. I’m a fan of Harland Williams as a comedian, but the visuals of his robot character in the movie were too distracting to find his performance entertaining. The joke of having Cornelius voiced by Tom Selleck would be lost to anyone that hasn’t seen the movie, but it was funny. There were a few other real actors mixed in with the voice over artists, but none that really set themselves apart with fantastic (or dismal) performances.

As far as kids movies go, this was a good one. There is enough humor in it to keep adults interested, not to mention the complex concepts surrounding an orphan story. There is plenty of action, sight gags, and eye candy for the kids, too.

I give this one three out of four bowls of orphan soup on a scale I just made up that doesn’t mean anything.

Can You Ever Truly Be Safe in an Office?

Because of a late bedtime for the girls, Stacy and I got to this week’s installment of The Office a day late, but the time did not diminish the funny. You could almost feel Michael Scott’s feelings of inadequacy as he strived to take center role in Darryl’s warehouse safety training.

Darryl: Quiz. Mike. Should you drive the forklift?
Michael: I can and I have.
Darryl: No no no no no no. I said should you? You should not drive it. You should not drive the forklift. You understand?
Lonny: You’re not allowed to drive the forklift.
Darryl: It’s not safe. You don’t have a license.
Michael: Guys, I’m not the only one who’s driven the forklift. Pudge has driven the forklift.
Madge: Madge.
Michael: I thought your name was Pudge.
Madge: No, it’s always been Madge.
Michael: Okay. Um, her.
Darryl: Her. Yes, her is qualified to work a dangerous machine. You are not. Okay?
Michael: Fine.
Darryl: Do you understand that?
Michael: Yesh.

It made it even funnier when he attempted to prove how dangerous office work was. An ill-advised stray comment from Pam inspires the fearless (and clueless) Michael to demonstrate a suicide attempt from depression. It doesn’t sound funny until you consider his “safety measures”. The first attempt, a trampoline, was nixed when their “test watermelon” proved that bouncing from a trampoline onto Stanley’s car could be messy. I would have loved to see Stanley’s reaction when he saw the melony carnage spattered across his roof. That particular failure led to a great bit with Dwight “unshunning” and “reshunning” Andy repeatedly so he could communicate with the ostracized coworker.

Dwight: I’m temporarily lifting the shun.
Andy: Thank you.
Dwight: Means nothing. I need you to do something for me.
Andy: Anything.
Dwight: Okay, calm down. I need you to acquire an inflatable house and/or castle.
Andy: You mean a moon bounce.
Dwight: What do you think? You’ve got an hour.
Andy: I’m gonna need petty cash.
Dwight: Shunning resumed.
Andy: Do you, do you want a drawbridge?
Dwight: Un-shun. Yeah, that sounds good. Re-shun.

Andy got Michael a moon bounce castle to soften his landing. A moon bounce castle that was at least 20 feet away from the edge of the building. As Jim and Pam took odds on whether this was a serious suicide attempt (10000 to 1 against,) they realized that regardless, Michael Scott was going to kill himself to make a point.

Kevin: If someone gives you 10,000 to 1 on anything, you take it. If John Mellencamp ever wins an Oscar, I am going to be a very rich dude.

I loved seeing the transition from safety training to true suicidal depression as everyone tried to talk Michael down. Not even Jim and Pam could keep straight faces as Darryl lauded Michael for how brave he was for waking up everyday knowing he had to be himself.

Darryl: What about Jan? Lovely, lovely, lovely, Jan, man. It’s goin’ good, right?
Michael: It’s complicated with Jan. And I don’t know where I stand or what I want. The sex isn’t nearly as good as it used to be.
Darryl: Mike, you’re a very brave man. I mean, it takes courage just to be you. To get out of bed every single day knowing full well you gotta be you.
Michael: You really mean that?
Darryl: I couldn’t do it. I ain’t that strong and I ain’t that brave.
Michael: I’m braver than you?
Darryl: Way braver! You Braveheart, man.
Michael: I Braveheart. I am.
Darryl: Come on down, okay?
Michael: Okay. Pam, I’m coming down to get my present.

So who is the hero? Michael Scott, of course! Who else could get across the message, which was totally the plan all along, right?

Michael: I saved a life — my own. Am I a hero? I really can’t say. But, yes.

As for the Pam/Jim/Karen triangle, I found myself oddly conflicted this week. I have been steadily behind Karen since she hit the scene (if ya know what I mean ::wink::) but this week I seriously considered the Jim/Pam possibilities again. Maybe it was Pam’s participation in the escalating office pools. Ryan winning the bet that Kelly could talk for more than 2 ½ minutes about Netflix was priceless, by the way. Maybe it was Pam actually smiling and having a good time with the gang again. She’s got a great smile. Maybe it was fond memories from seeing her in decidedly less office-style attire in Blades of Glory last week. I don’t know what did it, but I may be back on the fence in the whole triangle debate. I do maintain, however, that no matter what happens with the triangle, Jim and Pam cannot sleep together. That would irrevocably destroy the sexual tension that keeps their onscreen relationship interesting.

Oh, and Nerfy Life would make a great name for a band.

As always, thanks to for the handy quotes!