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Capone has a few things to say about ICE AGE: DAWN OF THE DINOSAURS, and they're not all bad!!!

Hey folks. Capone in Chicago here. I have very little love for the first two ICE AGE films. They seemed like dumbed-down, largely storyless endeavors aimed at making a lot of money because little kids are going to force their parents to take them to look at the pretty pictures. If you put a gun to my head and told me that I either had to tell you the plots of the first two ICE AGE movies or my brains would be on the wall, you might as well call the cleaning crew right now because I haven't got a single fucking memory of what happens in the first two installments. I know I like some of the actors who provide voices, including Denis Leary, John Leguizamo, and Seann William Scott, but beyond that I've found these films dull, forgettable, and hardly worth your money. All of that said, the third ICE AGE offering (this one subtitled DAWN OF THE DINOSAURS and presented in spectacular 3-D) has its moments and is the best of the three so far by a longshot, probably because of the change of location. Rather than simply existing on an ice-covered world (or a world of melting ice, as in the second film), our heroes spend about five minutes on familiar ground before journeying down a hole in the ice that leads to a land where dinosaurs still exist, thrive, and have apparently mutated into pretty cool, more dangerous dinosaurs (that thankfully don't speak). Even the flowers and plants in this strange land are dangerous. And with this new adventure, we get a new group of voice actors for the ice world and the dino world (just to clarify, the dinosaurs don't talk, but there are a few wacky mammals that live among the dinos that do), including Jane Lynch, Kristen Wiig, Bill Hader, and the splendid Simon Pegg as Buck, a eyepatch-wearing, dinosaur-hunting weasel who has been driven certifiably insane from existing in a place where he could be eaten at any moment. In a funny way, some of the main characters (Ray Romano and Queen Latifah as wooly mammoths and Leary as Diego the saber-toothed tiger) are made secondary by the presence of so many more interesting things than them. Latifah's Ellie is pregnant and about ready to drop. Diego feels squeezed out by the forthcoming baby mammoth, so he decides to strike out on his own. When Sid (Leguizamo) goes missing, the group reunites to find him down in the lost world beneath the ice. Maybe I liked the film because the threat of danger seemed slightly more palpable than the other films, or maybe I just liked having Hader, Wiig, and Pegg around to make this stale franchise seem a little fresher. I also like that the filmmakers didn't try to make the dinosaurs look entirely believable; they have the same exaggerated quality as the main characters. And the 3-D really does add to depth and much-needed dimension to the proceedings. Beyond that, there's not much so say. It's certainly doesn't come close to approaching the creative genius of UP, but it appears that co-directors Carlos Saldanha and Mike Thurmeier are at least trying to do something resembling original, and I'll acknowledge the effort. As with the previous films, Leguizamo stands out among the regulars; there's something about his possibly retarded Sid that just makes me laugh. The scene where he tries to milk a male water buffalo: priceless. I'm in no way trying to imply that ICE AGE: DAWN OF THE DINOSAURS is a perfect film--far from it. I'm just saying that if you somehow accidentally find yourself sitting in a theater that is playing it, you might actually get a few laughs out of the experience. And the kids at my screening certainly seemed to dig it about 50 times more than they did the last Eddie Murphy movie. What I'm really trying to say is go see UP again, but if you can't find a theater still playing it and you absolutely need to see a 3-D CG-animated film, you could probably choke this one down without dying. -- Capone

Readers Talkback
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  • July 1, 2009, 2:21 p.m. CST

    first. yawn.

    by Beezbo

  • July 1, 2009, 2:22 p.m. CST

    This will get so much more AICN love . . .

    by Nice Marmot

    . . . than it deserves just because of Pegg.

  • July 1, 2009, 2:23 p.m. CST

    Should have fired the voice actors

    by Mgmax

    ...and made it like a silent comedy. The moments of pure physical comedy in Ice Age were pretty wonderful-- then Ray Romano's antelope yawn of a voice would turn up and spoil it.

  • July 1, 2009, 2:25 p.m. CST

    Don't diss Chris Wedge man—

    by blakindigo

  • July 1, 2009, 2:26 p.m. CST

    I really liked that TV spot they did

    by Series7

    With just the drum music. It was pretty cool for a cartoon movie. Though I know by 3rd movies they don't even have to bother explaining the story, just show the characters on the screen and the cloests movie theater.

  • July 1, 2009, 2:30 p.m. CST

    I'm sure that he wants to go in other directions

    by blakindigo

    but animated features seem destined to be focused on kids.

  • July 1, 2009, 2:33 p.m. CST

    Seann William Scott

    by Series7

    Was in one of them? I knew Leno did a voice in the second one.

  • July 1, 2009, 2:35 p.m. CST

    That drum music...

    by BoggyCreekBeast

    was pretty neat. But I'm not spending $30+ to take the family to this one! 3-D = cost of Blu Ray.

  • July 1, 2009, 2:45 p.m. CST

    The 3-D in Up

    by Series7

    While cool, didn't do much for me. Their were a couple of scenes I thought were in 3-D lifed on my glasses and saw that they weren't. <P> I think the only movie I saw were the 3-D REALLY added something was U23D.

  • July 1, 2009, 2:49 p.m. CST

    The first wasn't that bad of a film!

    by louisse

    Was it?

  • July 1, 2009, 2:53 p.m. CST

    I still wonder why part 1 got such a bad reputation.

    by DerLanghaarige

    It has lovable characters, a charming story and some of the funniest slapstick moments of modern animation history. It's no masterpiece, but a small gem that I love to rewatch from time to time.<br> Part 2 on the other hand...well, let's just say it was an entertaining compilation of short incoherent sketches.

  • July 1, 2009, 2:57 p.m. CST

    BTW: Ice Age is one of the few movies, that are...

    by DerLanghaarige

    ...seriously better in the German dubbing! Seriously. The German voice actors fit much better to the characters than the original ones! Not many movies or series can say that the German dubbing is an improvement over the original! (Well, there is Bill & Ted, The Pursuaders, The Bud Spencer & Terence Hill movies and I think that's it.)

  • July 1, 2009, 2:59 p.m. CST

    The first one was good - the 3rd is better.

    by vic twenty

    I saw this with my 8-yr-old son, we both enjoyed it. It is funny, has a good story, and the 3D is great. Worth the money. Not as good as UP, but not as sad, either. Great rainy day family film.

  • July 1, 2009, 3:04 p.m. CST


    by andyny29

    you hated this one also. just say it!

  • July 1, 2009, 3:05 p.m. CST

    Isn't Romano rolling in Seinfeld-size syndication dollars?

    by skimn

    But, hey, it keeps his actual mug off the screen. And this may be no place for a TB for a kids film, but Leary's Rescue me is back on track this year, and last nights episode was searing (pun intended..ouch!).

  • July 1, 2009, 3:08 p.m. CST

    Dragon Hunters on Blu-Ray - a hidden gem

    by vic twenty

    Rented it - never heard of this before - great stuff.

  • July 1, 2009, 3:17 p.m. CST

    Rescue me this year

    by Series7

    Is starting to hit a brick wall because of Leary's lack of range. I am not buying his self mutilating depression. He just is kind of going through the motions, he can do loud obnoxious drunk good. But self introverted self hating not working. I don't know just something seems off.

  • July 1, 2009, 3:28 p.m. CST

    first ice age was a great movie

    by supercowbell5THECOWBELLHASSPOKEN

    ice age 2 was a lifeless piece of garbage, kinda of like shrek 3.

  • July 1, 2009, 3:49 p.m. CST

    I would love a Scrat movie

    by GeorgieBoy

    Unfortunately, I don't think he could carry it alone for 90 minutes.

  • July 1, 2009, 4:16 p.m. CST


    by skimn

    Granted, can you imagine Bryan Cranston ala Walter White, play the same scene??

  • July 1, 2009, 4:19 p.m. CST

    karl malden outlived michael jackson.

    by ironic_name

    but not jeff goldblum.

  • July 1, 2009, 4:21 p.m. CST

    Would love a Scrat movie.

    by drewlicious

    At first I wasn't too convinced that a non-speaking character could hold an audience's attention for 90 minutes...but then WALL-E came along. It would be kind of fun to sit ont the recording sessions since Scrat basically just grunts and groans.

  • July 1, 2009, 4:33 p.m. CST


    by TITBAG


  • July 1, 2009, 4:34 p.m. CST


    by TITBAG


  • July 1, 2009, 4:36 p.m. CST

    I would love a Scrat movie too.

    by MrFloppy

    I need to see the BD of Ice Age 2 before I'll go to see this one. But the only thing I liked about the first one was Scrat.

  • July 1, 2009, 4:36 p.m. CST


    by Series7

    Yeah I could imagine Bryan Cranston play that same scene. Probably better.

  • July 1, 2009, 5:07 p.m. CST

    If it's not Transformers, this site will love it

    by lockesbrokenleg

  • July 1, 2009, 5:26 p.m. CST


    by animas

    i think you are on to something. If someone liked star trek (or anything by orci) they forfeit the right to criticize any movie ever again.

  • July 1, 2009, 7:36 p.m. CST

    Have always liked the Ice Age films...

    by DellsDontBounce

    Wife and I are planning to see it tomorrow in 3D. First movie she's expressed an interest in seeing in 3D, as well.

  • July 1, 2009, 8:12 p.m. CST

    What if you can see this in 3-D, but...

    by The Dum Guy

    Up is only on a 2-D screen? Which one do you choose?

  • July 1, 2009, 8:44 p.m. CST

    The Teflon effect.

    by Amy Chasing

    I've read a reviewer on this site saying Shrek is like teflon in that it seems to slide right out of your memory after watching it. Seems people have a similar experience with Ice Age. But what does this actually mean? Is it that you've forgotten the story of the first Ice Age film being about the animals taking the human baby back to its family? Or is it you've just forgotten most of the jokes? Cause in the latter sense then I dare say A Bugs Life and Monsters Inc are a bit like teflon too. <P> But c'mon... Comparing any CGI movie studio to Pixar is not fair. Even with Over The Hedge and Kung Fu Panda the Dreamworks guys still made Madagascar and Shark Tale, which are easily comparible to Ice Age. You might say Cars wasn't Pixars best moment. I'd reply that it's still a better movie than Ice Age. Pixar is the only studio who's got the balance right. <P> Let companies like Blue Sky and PDI keep making their Ice Ages, at least none of them are as bad as that atrocious Surfs Up.

  • July 1, 2009, 8:48 p.m. CST

    The supporting characters always upstage the main characters

    by quentintarantado

    Has always been like that. But then again, you didn't remember anything about the first. Scrat always ruled. No biggie. Madagascar has the same problem.

  • July 1, 2009, 8:55 p.m. CST


    by Toonol

    Eh. Everybody loved Star Trek. At least, practically everybody. Can't blame a reviewer for liking a movie that was universally liked, including by other reviewers.<p> Oh, I know some people didn't like it... but if you round off to the nearest 10%, it's 0%, you know?

  • July 1, 2009, 9:09 p.m. CST

    Once again, The caps lock claims another victim.

    by JumpinJehosaphat

    Really, it's the deep Southern drawl of web forums: Once you go ALL CAPS, no matter how carefully you've chosen your words, you sound retarded. Plus, Titbag, you didn't even try to say something compelling. Double-tard!

  • July 1, 2009, 9:20 p.m. CST

    No 3D Avatar trailer attached, so no need to see this

    by Johnno

    But Avatar will be at Comic-Con, they've got these big ass banners on the street with one of those Na'vi thigns looking at you with those anime eyes and neon freckles!

  • July 1, 2009, 9:24 p.m. CST

    Scrat is the best thing about this franchise

    by the milf lover

    which is why every first teaser we see for the Ice Age movies is basically a short Scrat movie. You laugh at Scrat's misfortune, so when the movie comes out you run to see it! But then ewwwww it's Ray Romano as a boring mammoth, and barely 10 minutes of screen time for Scrat. By the time you realize you got ripped off the movie has made 100 millions. <p> Step 2: ? <p> Step 3: Profits

  • July 1, 2009, 9:52 p.m. CST

    Hey Titbag

    by Happyfat73

    I think your caps-lock key is broken, mate. You should get that looked at, otherwise people might be given the impression that you're a fuckwit.</p> Then again, the content of your post also gives the impression of clinical fuckwittery, so maybe that was your goal. If so, well done.

  • July 1, 2009, 10:01 p.m. CST

    Re: The Teflon Effect

    by Happyfat73

    For me, the Teflon Effect is a more general type of instant forgetability - the story beats, cinematography, music, characters, gags, action beats, whatever - none of it leaves a lasting impression.</p> I didn't find Monster's Inc to be teflon coated (the very last shot/music cue in that film has always stuck with me in particular).. although I did find the first 2 Ice Age films to be mostly forgettable, with one exception - Scrat. Scrat is gold.</p> Heck, I only saw Transformers 2 a few days ago and am struggling to remember anything much about that noisy piece of shit.

  • July 1, 2009, 10:45 p.m. CST

    The first Ice Age was great

    by Nasty In The Pasty

    Not just the Scrat stuff, but it was witty, warm, and genuinely emotional at spots. Ice Age 2 just recycled the noisiest bits and added a LOT more disgusting bathroom jokes (kinda like the second Austin Powers). No real desire to see the third until its on DVD. It's worth risking the rugrats commentary for a Pixar film, but not for this.

  • July 1, 2009, 10:52 p.m. CST


    by Charger26


  • July 1, 2009, 10:57 p.m. CST

    Pegg is great in this

    by Rindain

    And it's definitely the best of the Ice Age movies by a large margin. The 3D is the best of any animated kids film to date too.

  • July 1, 2009, 11:19 p.m. CST

    I think it was Harry who mentioned the Teflon effect

    by Amy Chasing

    and I don't think he meant it necessarily in a bad way. I'm pretty sure he was talking about Shrek and how while he enjoyed it, laughed at the gags and got into the story, once he left nothing really stuck with him. <P> I can only think it's like going to see a live comedian perform (not necessarily a better show than a dead comedian) and after when someone says "what did they say" you respond "I can't remember". <P> For me I remember Ice Age about as much as Over The Hedge. Infact I think I remember more of Cars than either of them. I thought Bugs Life had a more coherent story than Monsters Inc, but Monsters Inc was more broadly funny. <P> But all of these films have aspects that are memorable. Even Robots did. I wish I could forget Surfs Up. But for movies I just forget after seeing, I dunno... if it keeps me awake there's usually a reason.

  • July 1, 2009, 11:45 p.m. CST

    The teflon coated films

    by Happyfat73

    ... are usually the mediocre ones. Neither good nor bad enough to be memorable - middle of the road enjoyment.</p> Then again, too many bongs before watching a film can also create an artificially-induced teflon effect.

  • July 2, 2009, 12:53 a.m. CST


    by DrMorbius

    I can tell by your post that you've read, and applied to your daily life...<P>The Art of AssimovLives.<P>Well done you!!!

  • July 2, 2009, 12:53 a.m. CST

    I think using drugs before some films

    by Amy Chasing

    *cough*Transformers*cough* can actually make them more memorable, or at least watchable if not mildly entertaining. But you raise an interesting point... <P> We see lists of best films. We see lists of worst films. But how about a list of the most mediocre films. I understand it's probably the most dangerous type of list to vote for because of the double-chance of offending someone with your choice (ie. you're no longer loving a film someone hates, or hating a film someone loves, but saying a film one person loves and one person hates is completely mediocre and nothing special) but allow me to get the ball rolling: <P> ... nope, I got nothing.

  • July 2, 2009, 1:01 a.m. CST



    She is older than God, but her wrath is about equal to His.

  • July 2, 2009, 1:21 a.m. CST

    Most Mediocre Films of All Time!

    by Happyfat73

    Shit... it's actually hard to try and think of films that are merely pedestrian, middle-of-the-road efforts. They are, by their very nature, forgettable.</p> If pressed, I'd probably just say every Australian film made between 2000-2008. </p> The entire oevre of Brett Ratner, maybe? </p> The recent works of Steven Spielberg (post-Minority Report)? </p> Anything with Keanu Reeves in it?

  • July 2, 2009, 2:36 a.m. CST

    "every Australian film made between 2000-2008"

    by Amy Chasing

    They fill me with too much dispair to dismiss them. Although there's a recent one with Hugo Weaving that seems to have made dispair not only watchable but actually good.

  • July 2, 2009, 3:31 a.m. CST

    Ice Age 3 and Australian film

    by DiscoDougie

    Took the girlfriend and her little kid BoosterSeat to see Ice Age on Saturday at the Edinburgh film festival. First 3D film for the both of them, we all loved it. As for the Australian film, made last year, released this year- Mary and Max. Stop motion bliss!

  • July 2, 2009, 4:47 a.m. CST

    The dinos don't speak? Then it's garbage?

    by JackPumpkinhead

    And the first one was a decent film, even though it did have Legizmo in it, unfortunately.

  • July 2, 2009, 5:46 a.m. CST

    Needs more GIANT PIG

    by GIANT_PIG

    GIANT PIG!!!

  • July 2, 2009, 7:18 a.m. CST

    Its actually really good...

    by wildphantom07

    I went in with middling expectations and was amazed at how polished and genuinely inventive it was. <p>Definitely worth checking out this weekend; after you've seen Mann's terrific Public Enemies.

  • July 2, 2009, 7:43 a.m. CST

    The Scrat cartoons are great

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    they're modern day Looney Toons. The rest of the movies are okay, but nothing great.

  • July 2, 2009, 9:01 a.m. CST

    Sounds like there are some fa_tass dinos

    by Fa_Tass_DinoMolester

    In this for me to molest! But actually I never saw the second and also don't remember the first, so,

  • July 2, 2009, 12:42 p.m. CST


    by TITBAG

  • July 2, 2009, 12:46 p.m. CST

    Movies aren't surprises anymore

    by darthvedder81

    That's the real problem. Everyone sees the trailer 6 months ahead of time and knows almost everything about the plot. Then they hit up the internet where they can learn about everything they missed watching the trailer. For the multiplex masses going to a movie theater is just a foregone conclusion and a cynical exchange of money for 2 hours of distraction. The last movie I saw in a theater that genuinely and unexpectedly surprised and thrilled me was Shyamalan's "Signs." That was 7 years ago.

  • July 2, 2009, 2:59 p.m. CST


    by lockesbrokenleg

  • July 2, 2009, 4:40 p.m. CST

    Titbag's caps lock isn't broken... his dick is.

    by MattmanReturns

    Explains all the screaming. He's overcompensating.

  • July 2, 2009, 6:43 p.m. CST


    by Amy Chasing

    For what it's worth, I meant that of all the CGI studios around the world with commitments toward making feature-length computer generated animation films, Pixar is the only one that IMHO seems to have struck the right balance in terms of story, characters, marketability, and just generally making something that both kids and adults can enjoy together for similar reasons. <P> Other studios seem to forget about having a good story, engaging characters, being marketable internationally, or make a schizophrenic film with half the jokes aimed at kids and the other half aimed at adults, eg. Shrek, Over The Hedge, even Ice Age to an extent.

  • July 2, 2009, 7:27 p.m. CST


    by Walter_Burns

    Well - I thought it kinda fun. The 1st was OK but the 2nd rather lazy. This one was better structured - for example the scrat interludes - funny(er) than before - somehow didnt feel like plot stoppers. And none of it felt like filler to make up the 90 min mark like no 2. Its not a classic - but it is fun - a notch below Kung Fu Panda - but several notches above Shrek 3

  • July 2, 2009, 10:08 p.m. CST

    Ice Age was good...get over it

    by The_Ritty

    2 was slightly forgettable but hey it's Johnny L - he even made Mario Bros (slightly) enjoyable... That's Benny Blanco...from the Bronx bitches... I'll see part 3 regardless of what Crapone thinks...

  • July 4, 2009, 3:37 p.m. CST

    Probably the best one so far!!

    by laguna_loire

    Me and my wife took our 7 year-old daughter to see it today, and I was dreading it a little (I thought the first one was OK, the second one very poor other than the Scrat moments). After the first 30 or so minutes which were the usual Ice Age capers, they introduced Buck and the film picked-up quite a bit!! My daughter loved the whole thing (I preferred Monsters vs Aliens if truth be told - but I enjoyed the humour in that lots more!!). Not a great movie, but its perfect for its target audience.