Combustible Celluloid
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With: Zachary Levi, David Cross, Jason Lee, Justin Long (voice), Matthew Gray Gubler (voice), Jesse McCartney (voice), Amy Poehler (voice), Anna Faris (voice), Christina Applegate (voice), Wendie Malick, Anjelah N. Johnson, Kathryn Joosten, Kevin G. Schmidt, Chris Warren Jr., Bridgit Mendler
Written by: Jon Vitti, Jonathan Aibel, Glenn Berger
Directed by: Betty Thomas
MPAA Rating: PG for some mild rude humor
Running Time: 88
Date: 12/11/2009

Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel (2009)

2 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Squeak Easy

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Not so much good as it is low-key, amusing and painless, this "Squeakquel" has enough funny one-liners and bits of physical humor to entertain both kids and parents (especially if the parents are already Chipmunk fans).

After an onstage mishap, Dave (Jason Lee) lands in a Paris hospital and the Chipmunks wind up under the care of doofus cousin Toby (Zachary Levi). Going to school for the first time, the brothers, Alvin, Simon and Theodore, discover girls, bullies and peer pressure: Alvin is coaxed into joining the football team, which takes him away from his singing duties. Meanwhile, evil talent agent Ian (David Cross) returns, having discovered an all-girl chipmunk singing group The Chipettes, and uses his same nasty tactics to catapult them into the limelight. Trouble comes when Alvin's first big game falls on the same day as the big school talent show... and The Chipettes are the main competition.

Overall, the movie doesn't try too hard for the viewer's affections (it doesn't jump in your lap like a yapping puppy) and moves with speed and confidence. The songs are fun, the chipmunks are likeable and the movie seems to have its heart in the right place. It may inspire some giggles and unexpected smiles from the whole family.

Blu-Ray Details: Fox has released a three-disc set packed with extras. It comes with a Blu-Ray, a DVD and a digital copy, though all the extras are on the Blu-Ray. Most of them are music-related and aimed at kids, but there are eight featurettes as well, including one on the 50-year history of Alvin and the Chipmunks.

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