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Capone says HOP is lightweight, air-headed, sometimes-subversive fluff!!!

Hey everyone. Capone in Chicago here.

I'm just putting this out there, so stop me if I'm crazy. Do kids really care if people like Chelsea Handler or David Hasselhoff make cameos in a movie about the Easter Bunny? Yeah, I didn't think so. From Tim Hill, director of such family favorites as MUPPETS IN SPACE, GARFIELD: A TAIL OF TWO KITTIES, and ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS, comes HOP about a slacker rabbit named E.B. (voiced effectively enough by Russell Brand), who decides that he doesn't want to follow in his father's (voiced by Hugh Laurie) back paws to take over the reigns as the new Easter Bunny. He'd rather be a rock drummer, which gives the film the chance to line of a series of embarrassing sing-alongs featuring E.B. on drums and occasionally singing.

E.B. enlists the help of Fred O'Hare (James Marsden, one of the few actors talented enough to play a role like this and appear to be enjoying it), a slacker in his own right, who is always falling short in the expectations department with his own dad (Gary Cole). So Fred and E.B. have father issues in common, but that's not all. Turns out, when he was a kid, Fred saw E.B.'s dad making his rounds on Easter Eve, and has ever since been looking for proof that Easter Bunny exists. How fortuitous for us all.

While those two have adventures such as job interviews and talent show auditions, things are not looking to great back on Easter Island (oh, did I not mention that the Easter Bunny's equivalent to the North Pole is...never mind). A devious fluffy chick (as in chicken, not a dame) named Carlos (voiced like a Mexican by Hank Azaria) is plotting to become the new king of Easter with his army of cute chicks. E.B.'s dad does his best to stave off being overthrown, but without E.B. on hand to claim his rightful place, there's little he can do.

HOP is harmless enough, I suppose, and even slightly subversive at times (jelly beans are apparently E.B.'s poop), I didn't get much out of the film beyond the bright colors and catchy, dated tunes. I wasn't kidding when I say Marsden is exceptional at selling this stuff. He just puts on that big, idiot grin, and he's got me hooked. I do applaud the film for sparing us by not giving Fred a love interest. In light of how the film ends, it wouldn't have made sense to have one anyway. (That's right, kids. Everyone dies!)

Brand is always fun to listen to, although he does lose a lot of his comic charm when you can't actually see his lanky self (thank goodness Arthur's release solves that problem next week). I wasn't expecting much from HOP, so on that level I guess technically it didn't disappoint. But the things I liked about it were few and far between, and as a result I forgot most of the film 30 minutes after walking out of the theater. I'm not even sure how I'm able to write about it now. Oh, wait. I'm not...

-- Capone
capone@aintitcool.com
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  • April 1, 2011, 11:06 a.m. CST

    slow news day?

    by Stifler's Mom

    count me out for Hop.

  • April 1, 2011, 11:08 a.m. CST

    In other news,

    by JumpinJehosaphat

    water is wet.

  • April 1, 2011, 11:11 a.m. CST

    Easter is one weird holiday when you think about it, isn't it?

    by Dapper Swindler

  • April 1, 2011, 11:19 a.m. CST

    Mummy, mummy...I woke up today

    by kermit_the_fraud

    and there was Lincoln Logs in me sock drawer!! That's the story of Jesus....

  • April 1, 2011, 11:19 a.m. CST

    Devious and fluffy?

    by Ryan

    Well, that's just absurd...

  • April 1, 2011, 11:22 a.m. CST

    Hugh Laurie, Russell Brand, James Marsden and Gary Cole

    by BlaGyver

    If any other movie had all four of them in it I'd be there in a heartbeat.

  • April 1, 2011, 11:34 a.m. CST

    Subversive?

    by Norm

    If the film was subliminally urging kids to reject financial capitalism and overthrow our teabagger infested government, then maybe a bunny rabbit movie could be called subversive. But jelly bean poop doesn't quite fit the bill of instigating anarchy.

  • I. The Terrible Trio and "The Kobe Project" CHOPPAH has learned, through sources anonymous and hidden, that Mr. Beaks, Nordling and Devin Faraci have been running a long game, using sock puppets to infiltrate and provoke talkbackers into ban-nable offenses to illustrate how Harry has lost control of his site and to purge any malcontents. It's all to usurp Harry, whom they view as a corpulent geek version of King Lear entering his dotage, and assume control of his site, his resources, and connections to turn AICN into perfectly functioning site with police-state-like talkbacks that would increase their personal wealth by whoring itself out to the studios. "It's obvious that Harry uses the site to get 'pweasants' from his studio buddies," one of my sources tells me. "But AICN still has its shaggy-dog, shambling charms. Beaks, Faraci and Nordling have been conspiring to turn the site into a pure revenue-generating machine." Their legion of sock puppets includes: JettL93, lowes forehead girl, chickengeorge, viggeo_morgenstein, william_faulkner and their oldest, most brilliant creation: hey_kobe_tell_me_how_my_ass_tastes, a churlish, thuggish reflection of how the trio views talkbackers. "They called it 'The Kobe Project,' or sometimes 'Project: Kobe,'" another one of my well-placed sources told me. "My God, do they laugh and laugh when they use the kobe_ass_tastes handle, or whatever the fuck it's called." All three of the conspirators share a password to use the kobe name, often at the same time, to infiltrate and rupture talkbacker "groups" such as the Baleback and its eventual offshoot, the Pedalback. Looking back now, using state-of-the-art textual analysis, it is obvious to CHOPPAH that kobe had to be the creation of more than one mind: he is often condescending, snobby, grumpy and despicable all within the space of a few minutes or posts. He is the love-child of a troika of pseudo-intellectual bullies, an avatar of their insidious, arrogant hive mind. But his deranged trio's plotting pushed their conspiracy to even darker territories. Desperate to find the ultimate coup de grace, especially as Harry's health problems grew to a near-critical phase while he was distracted by the Famous Monsters of Filmland website they coerced him into taking over, they despicably seized upon the death of beloved film editor and Quentin Tarantino collaborator, Sally Menke. They would make their power play in Menke's AICN obit. ... Tune in tomorrow for Part 2, "Where's Devin?"

  • April 1, 2011, 11:58 a.m. CST

    I confess Carlos makes me laugh whenever I see him

    by Terrence

    The movie banners and posters featuring him with that pissed off scowl just crack me up for some reason.

  • I'm curious enough now to try and figure out what happens at the end of "Hop". I'm betting that Marsden and the bunny switch places, letting the bunny join a band while Marsden takes over running Easter. Or maybe everyone really dies. That'd be cool too.

  • April 1, 2011, 12:10 p.m. CST

    Why write about this movie and not mention Kaley Cuoco?

    by SmokingRobot

    What are you, gay?

  • April 1, 2011, 12:11 p.m. CST

    Not that there's anything wrong with that.

    by SmokingRobot

    Thank you J.S.

  • April 1, 2011, 12:17 p.m. CST

    Speaking of Russell Brand...

    by WriteForTheEdit

    ...those Arthur trailers ARE ABOMINABLY BAD. Not a single good laugh in them. Helen, why?!

  • April 1, 2011, 12:32 p.m. CST

    smokingrobot, he does sort of mention her in that he says

    by jim

    Marsden's character does not have a love interest in the movie. So, in a very subtle way, Capone is telling us that she doesn't play his girlfriend.

  • April 1, 2011, 12:48 p.m. CST

    HOW BOUT EGGS?!

    by Spielbergs Furious Racism

    DON'T WORRY THERE'S A BUNNY.

  • April 1, 2011, 2:05 p.m. CST

    Oh goody..just what an Easter movie for kids needs to be....

    by Boscorooty

    ....subversive. Hey Hollywood, wanna know why people aren't spending any money on the shit you churn out? Exhibit A: "Subversive" Easter Bunny movie.

  • April 1, 2011, 4:31 p.m. CST

    Psssst!

    by Robert Lane

    It's a fucking kids movie! My four year old will love it.

  • April 1, 2011, 4:46 p.m. CST

    nice Jim Gaffigan reference spielbergs

    by frank

    I gotta go to the post office, but I’d probably have to put on pants.

  • April 1, 2011, 8:22 p.m. CST

    I'm just happy the ads will end

    by Andrew Coleman

    I felt like I saw ads for this movie all the time! That's done with now. Also I'm sorry but bitter comments like "Hey Hollywood want to know why people aren't churning out money... blah blah blah". Problem is people are seriously churning out money. DVD sales and rentals are up, especially rentals. So I'd say more people are buying than ever. Theater attendance is down slightly because of one reason and one reason only, ticket prices, if tickets prices would be $6.00 across the board, see how many people would go to the movies... A fucking shit load.

  • April 1, 2011, 10:06 p.m. CST

    HOP = CRAP

    by Drunken Busboy

    I took my daughter to see this piece of shit tonight. This movie makes The Chipmunks Squeakquel look like The Godfather Part 2! I've never been so pissed off leaving a movie theater! Not one original thought went into the script! I could name the scenes of movies each scene from this movie ripped off. Scenes from E.T., Santa Clause, Chipmunks 1 &2, Polar Express, Despicable Me, just to name a few all appear. I guess Breckin Meyer wasn't available. This is the type of movie you would see him in. Same time next year you will be able to pick this up at the $5 Walmart bin! You read it here first!

  • April 2, 2011, 2:37 p.m. CST

    Racist film about keeping Hispanics in their place...

    by jimbojones123

    Pretty awful.

  • April 3, 2011, 11:08 a.m. CST

    I thought the most subversive thing was

    by v3d

    a line in the trailer to the affect that the bunnies have been at their trade for 5000 years. Which predates Easter by at least 3000 years. WTF? Were they shitting jelly beans for Druids?