Tuesday, April 19, 2011

My Name Is Dave

For several years now Alvin and the Chipmunks has been a staple in our household's rotation of DVDs. It's not played weekly, or even monthly but it gets a viewing once a quarter or so. What I'm trying to say in so many words is that, as kids movies go, it's not a miserable steaming pile of cow poop. My kids like it and it doesn't irritate me like, say, Happy Feet does. The kids have seen the second installment of the Chipmunks movie The Squeakquel and enjoyed it, as far as I know. I seemed to find other things to occupy my time when it was on our TV. Now I don't want to sound superior by that statement. I'm sure if I was in a dollar movie theater, or a lifeboat, I would most assuredly have given it my undivided attention. My point is that they have given no indication that they want to own a copy of "AatC2:TS" so I'm in no hurry to find it, new or used.

If you haven't seen it but you have seen the cartoon from the '60s (I think) then you know the theme of the story. The plot is a little more "Hollywood". By that I mean they have to start with some background information about the Chipmunks, even if they have to make it up and bypass any sense of presumption. I mean, with the cartoon I don't think too many viewers were concerned as to how Dave Seville and the singing chipmunks met. It was a cartoon. I know there was a cartoon in the '80s also but after an episode or two I couldn't watch it anymore so I cannot knowledgeably comment on it here. If that one explored the origins of Dave and the chipmunks then feel free to let me know it the comment section. However I did own an LP copy of Chipmunk Punk (pre-dates the '80s cartoon) that was often shown on commercials as a mail order item but I think I got it in a record store. It's rendition of Let's Go by The Cars was my favorite. At least that's the one that still finds it's way into my head on occasion. Don't feel bad though, it's a useful song when used to dislodge mind-numbingly irritating songs that get stuck in my head. NO! Not Friday. Are you kidding? That song's awesomely awesome. What was I talking about? Oh yeah, Alvin and the Chipmunks.

Actually that reminds me of a show I saw recently. Let me preface this by saying I'm not a big fan of sitcoms anymore. What I'm about to tell you should prove that. When browsing channels late one night I stumbled across a rerun of My Name Is Earl. I remember seeing previews of the show but didn't ever give it a second look. I don't know why I watched this one episode for that matter. Maybe it was because the title character, Earl, had a familiar voice. It was Dave Seville from the Alvin and the Chipmunks movie! I'll admit it took me a scene or two to figure that out. I honestly don't know if it's still making new episodes but the show I saw was about Earl, his brother, and a lunatic stealing a bookmobile and him making amends for it years later. By the way, Earl making amends for past transgressions is the whole point of the show.

Another thing is that it also took me a while to figure out that Earl's slow witted sidekick was his brother. I think his name is Randy. I've seen about four episodes now and of those, three got a chuckle out of me. Which is more than I can say about the Simpsons nowadays. On that note I recorded two Simpsons episodes last month to see if it was still up to snuff and was achingly disappointed. The Earl character is a long way from the Dave Seville character which I think in "the biz" they call "range" but I'm happily not in "the biz". He's likeable in both guises so I think we'll call that "talent".

It seems I haven't actually given any real information about either the movie Alvin and the Chipmunks or the show My Name Is Earl. That being the case, let your heart be your guide when deciding to watch either of these... um, recordings? I won't dissuade you from either.

Alvin and the Chipmunks: C+
My Name is Earl: B-

trailer for Alvin and the Chipmunks

trailer for Happy Feet

My review for Happy Feet

trailer for The Squeakquel

1960s Alvin and the Chipmunks

1980s Alvin and the Chipmunks

Chipmunk Punk


My Name is Earl TV show