I was in the mood for some bewildering CGI and talking jungle cat antics over the weekend, so I caught a showing of "The Jungle Book." The movie itself was pretty fun, if not a tad stale as a tale already told several times over through the years (though Christopher Walken's mob boss take on King Louie slapped a smile on my face that I couldn't pry off for hours afterward). Pissy tigers, dancing monkeys, small child recklessly swinging from vines — got what I came for.
But from beginning to end (and continuing on after I'd skittered home and into the next day), my thoughts were besieged by an interloper that crept up during the trailers before the film. It was one of those "Jesus, really?" moments usually reserved for things more in line with stumbling upon a cadaver, or discovering a lump.
I suppose many have already encountered it by now, but this was my first exposure to the "Angry Birds Movie" trailer, and I'm more than a bit rattled.
I've known this movie has been in the works for a while now (and initially brushed off the idea of its existence with an "Oh wow, that's an assaulting stupid concept"), but actually seeing a near-finished form is harder to dismiss. Usually when games make the hop to different entertainment mediums they carry a plot, personalized characters — all those good things in tow. Seeing as how the series itself possesses few of these tethers to story structure, anthropomorphized downloadable content has stepped in to fill the void.
To be slightly fair, "The Angry Bird Movie" appears at first glance to have bright colors, solid animation and a surprisingly recognizable cast — all indications that actual effort was exerted in bringing the viral mobile game hit a to the big screen. And the trailer quells any fears purists might have over the artistic integrity of the app being compromised in the transition: still has birds, still has eggs, still has pigs, still has giant slingshots. Only a giant finger smudge gleaming across the theater screen every few seconds could have made it any more authentic.
I know I should be trying to look at the movie in an objective light. Just because it's, you know, a creature granted the dark spark of life from within the ever-churning maw of corporate marketing, a bugbear without even the thinnest of veils covering its true intentions of bolstered in-app purchases (and maybe sales of plush dolls as well? I don't know how far this beast's true grasp extends).
That doesn't mean it can't be good... right? It doesn't mean the gags won't land or that the animation won't be crisp and colorful, a delight to behold, that the voice actors won't warp me into a magical world of birds, eggs, pigs and catapults, right?
Na. Fuck that.
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