Movie Review-"Alvin and the Chipmonks"

Couple things going on in this Blog post.

Kaitlyn came for a visit and we made cookies. You gotta see what this child thinks is "helping" to bake cookies.

We then went to see "Alvin and the Chipmonks" and we have a review. Talk about your generation gap.

Finally, an update on "Dance Wars" 2008 with pics and video you'll find nowhere else on the Internet.

Pic of the Day
Oddly place pole in driveway

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Dance War 2008-America Votes

I like dance shows and I like reviewing them. Sure they’re not everyone’s cup of tea but there’s an audience for the genre.

Except this reality series, yon ladies and gems, doesn’t seem to be raising any eyebrows or interest.

I can tell how popular a reality show is by the number of search hits this Blog (or any Blog for that matter but I only monitor this one) gets on a subject.

For example, let an ongoing True Crime get major activity and if the crime had been covered on one of this Blog’s True Crime posts the hits will pour in. The day Lisa Montgomery went before the court recently this Blog took heavy hits all day.

“Dance War” gets very few hits, even on the day of or around the most recent show. Thus, I predict with all the authority of a Gallup that this show won’t survive.

Although there’s still time. Interest might grow and one or two people might actually tune in.

The concept of the show features two dance show judges from ABC’s very successful “Dancing With the Stars” show, Bruno Tunoli and Carrie Ann Inaba, who choose their own dance team. The first few shows had Brunie and Carrie Ann traveling the fruited plains in search of contenders who can sing AND dance as both of these talents are required to be in “Dance Wars”.

Then those 14 finalists as they were culled down performed for both judges until Bruno and Carrie Ann had a dance team of 6 dancers each.

Now it is America’s turn to vote.

Top seven guys 2008

montage of top seven girls 2008

I wasn’t sure if the viewers would be allowed to vote but how this will work was made clear in the episode aired Monday 1/21/08. America can now vote for the winning dance team. Whichever, either Carrie Ann’s or Bruno’s, team loses the vote must eliminate one dancer from the group.

I haven’t formed any favorites or even any amazing opinions or analysis regarding this reality series, a sure sign I’d suggest, that an audience-participation series is not doing so well. The goal of any of these shows is to get viewers just like me to like a participant and to follow that contender’s progress as the show moves along.

this and that from episode aired 1.21.08

I do know the names of each team’s members and perhaps I’ll pay more attention to the nuances and, who knows, even form an opinion after tonight’s show-1/28/08.

Carrie Ann’s Team:

Bruno’s Team

For the first night of team competition I thought Carrie Ann’s team was awful. So I guess I do have an opinion.

Below a remix of both teams’ performances. Play the video and note that Chris of team Carrie Ann had serious audio problems that left him totally unheard during his few seconds of solo during his team’s performance. Somebody ought to be fired for letting that happen. This show is live, by the way, which allows goofs like this to make it on the air.

"Dance War" 2008 Contenders
Maxx-sent home 1/14/08
Corina-sent home 1/14/08

Prior Links to Posts for "Dance War" 2008
Premiere Show
Maxx and Corrina sent home
Begins America's Votes

Focus on TV Posts of Fame
Those Wacky TV Chefs. Includes Rachel Ray and the sexiest chef of them all.

TV News Pundits including Russert, spitting Matthews and the one I adore.

"Dancing with the Stars" of 2007, reviews, pics and videos.

American Idol 2007 and The Bachelor. One night's review with links to all the others.
Movie review header

”Alvin and the Chipmunks”-Talk About Your Generation Gap

Kaitlyn Mae did come for a three day visit with Mom-Mom in mid-January 2008. Since it’s winter here on the shores of Delaware there’s not much to do but maybe go to a movie. Or bake cookies, an experience I describe in the Kaitlyn post below.

I saw that “Alvin and the Chipmunks” was playing and I thought that Kaitlyn might enjoy this movie.

Alvin and the Chipmonks

This movie wasn’t animated and this surprised me all to hell. Kaitlyn is but barely 4 years old and I don’t think she’s yet sat through an entire non-animated film. The famous chipmunks, of course, were animated in the movie as, duh, there’s a real shortage of talking, singing chipmunks.

Is any of yon readers old enough to remember the famous singing chipmunks? Remember they had those real high voices and Alvin was always doing something he hadn’t oughta?

Yeah, THOSE chipmunks. This was a movie about, well, Alvin and the Chipmunks, and Kaitlyn sat through the entire thing and seemed to enjoy the show.

These singing chipmunks had been all the rage when I was about, oh 14 years old or so. Which is about 33 years or so ago and not only was Kaitlyn nowhere on the planet, her mother hadn’t even been but a twinkle in somebody’s eye. Alvin and the chipmunks eventually died from an almost insane-hatred of those high-pitched voices as their novelty wore out.

Who’d have thunk I’d someday be sitting in a movie theater watching their story with my granddaughter?

The story is hackneyed as a story about a trio of singing chipmunks can only be. In my youth I’d only heard their famous Christmas song and how Alvin wanted a hula hoop.

Well there was some drama behind this trio’s fame and this movie told the tale.

The chipmunks were discovered by an out-of-work musician who eventually came to love them. The trio were kidnapped by an unprincipled music producer who wanted the money from this unique singing phenomena. This unprincipled music producer worked this cute team of furry toothy critters half to death. Finally the trio was re-kidnapped by their original human finder and everyone lived happily ever after.

Sure that’s a very short synopsis but the plot allowed for close calls, races against time, tears of joy and all the elements of a fast-moving movie plot that kept my 4 year old granddaughter enthralled to the very end.

I left the movie in a pensive mood. Maybe someday Kaitlyn will read this review, perhaps after she watches the movie again on a TV re-run. Maybe then she’ll understand that the notion of the three singing chipmunks wasn’t born in her era, but that Mom-Mom was but barely out of puberty when the singing chipmunks were all the rage.


"Brokeback Mountain" was heavily hyped as a homosexual film. Which it was. I found the relationship with one of the film's protagonists and his daughter to be more revealing about the character than any same-sex relationship depicted.

Tom Cruise's love is featured in "First Daughter", a film about, well, a first daughter. Only totally not believable.

"Chicken Little" is an animated film about, well something about a sky falling. Kaitlyn Mae watched this movie six times in one weekend. Read why this movie appeals to children so.

This post features reviews of BOTH "Poseidon" movies. The best one chosen might surprise.

He was born a rat but he wanted to be a chef. Here's a review of a charming animated film that will capture the imagination of both your children and ...YOU! Ratatouille

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Kaitlyn “Bakes” Cookies Deep in Cold January 2008

So besides going to the movies, what else is there for grandparent/grandchild to do in a seaside resort in the dead of winter?

If you guessed making a big batch of cookies, you would be right.

Please note in the picture montage below the concept of “helping” to bake cookies as Kaitlyn Mae envisions it.

Kaitlyn helps make cookies

Kaitlyn Mae’s Mom loves cookie dough. Perhaps such a thing is hereditary although myself doesn’t like cookie dough and, indeed, I almost gag at the thought.

As pictured above, Kaitlyn dived into the mixing bowl with vigor. She also licked the mixer beaters clean of dough and when the child was finished the bowls, beaters and spoons involved in mixing and processing the dough which would become fine crisp cookies after a stint in the oven, were as clean as our own dinner plates once the dog has a go at them.

I told Kaitlyn that I was going to write about our cookie making experience on my Blog. Kaitlyn does know that I have a Blog and she knows it’s named after her. She understands the concept on some level because she laughed when I told her the whole world would know of her lust for cookie dough.

“Well you can write on your Blog how your granddaughter licked lots and lots of cookie dough,” was her response then she launched into giggles which lasted five minutes. Or maybe she was in the throes of a sugar high because I’m thinking she consumed enough cookie dough to make a half a dozen baked ones.

Kaitlyn poses with building block creation

I bought Kaitlyn a building block set for Christmas. I tend to keep many of my gifts to Kaitlyn in my house for when she visits. Reminiscent of my days as a passionate women’s libber, I decided to buy my granddaughter some building blocks because, well how else is she going to create grand skyscrapers that will influence perhaps a future career as an architect?

In the picture above Kaitlyn poses with her building block creation and I thought it was quite an original creation. Although I didn’t know that building block sets nowadays have eyeballs but there you have it.
Kaitlyn Mae is what it's all about. No, not MY Kaitlyn Mae but her generation. For they are the children who we are charged with leaving a society and environment at least as moral and pristine as we inherited; ideally even better than we inherited.

So I document her life as one little American baby is born, grows and learns about life and the world around here.

Some examples below:

The intrigue of the pointy chins. While it's not unusual for human females to have triangular or heart-shaped faces while the human male generally has a broad, square jaw, the pointy chin in mine and Kaitlyn's family is an obvious and intriguing tale of chromosomes down through four generations.
Kaitlyn goes into politics. Indeed. And she's quite good at it.
Kaitlyn learns the power of "nuance" in the English language. For there is nothing more full of wonder than a human child learning to talk. We are the only animal who does. In this post, Kaitlyn learns that language has all sorts of caveats and conditions.

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