Skip’s Quips: Je Refuse … to Watch ‘The Boxtrolls’

Blog Sketch 082813Gosh, The Boxtrolls looks horrible.

Saw a preview for it recently. Not funny. OK, maybe the funny bits were cut out of the trailer. But wait a second … aren’t the trailers supposed to include the funny bits? You know, to make people wanna see the movie?

The lack of humor in the preview suggests to me that the film is going to be a dud. Yes, I’ve been wrong plenty of times before. Yes, the trailers aren’t always a foolproof way of determining the worth of a picture. But for some reason, this rubs me the wrong way.

It has to do, to a certain extent, with the dearth of good children’s movies out there today. Kids’ fare is often loud, cartoony, with flashy visuals and little heart. The soul that is instilled into much of the pictures for tykes today is junky, flat, clich├ęd. I get the feeling that The Boxtrolls isn’t going to be any different. Its splashiness seems superficial. And it won’t hide the fact that the plot is ordinary.

So I’m not going to see it. I already know what it’s going to be like. Sure, you can say that I shouldn’t judge a picture before I see it, but I can tell I won’t enjoy this one. It’s a box I refuse to open. And I’m proud to say I’m doing just that.

Skip’s Quips: Building a Case for ‘The Lego Movie’

Blog Sketch 082813What audience is The Lego Movie trying to reach?

I only ask because, after seeing it last night, I’m thinking most of it will be over the head of your average 7-year-old.

It’s a pretty subversive flick, believe it or not. Full of frenetic jokes that only elder folk such as myself will get. And it doesn’t get all Hollywood sentimental until the end, though it seems like an organic conclusion.

But what are we to make about humorous references to “illiteracy” in a fantasy-themed Legoland or a male character eyeing a female one as she’s talking and only hearing “blah, blah, blah” or someone paying $37 for “overpriced” coffee?

I’ll tell you one thing: The kids in the theater where I saw this film weren’t laughing constantly. In fact, oftentimes they were pretty subdued. And I don’t think a children’s cartoon is supposed to do that.

Unless, say, it’s Watership Down … which isn’t really for children, anyway.

So where is The Lego Movie going? Hit or miss? It’s difficult to say. It’s going to have to get that adult audience, too, if it’s going to be successful. I’m not sure children are going to want to come back to see it.

But what do I know? I didn’t think that about Bambi, either.