Capone prepares to poop profusely on MR. POPPER'S PENGUINS!!!
Hey everyone. Capone in Chicago here.
Let me pose a question in your direction. If you hate every single character in a film clearly designed for family consumption, how successful do you think said film will be? Granted, I don't usually bother myself with box office tracking or reporting; I don't think that's the job of a film critic. But I couldn't help but wonder as I endured MR. POPPER'S PENGUINS, "Who is going to enjoy this?" And for those of you who guessed that there might be a penguin poop joke or two in this movie, you win a prize.
Back to crowd-pleasing mode after his triumphant return to form in I LOVE YOU PHILLIPS MORRIS, Jim Carrey plays Mr. Popper, a real estate wizard looking to become partner in his firm (run by Philip Baker Hall). As part of his rise to the power, Popper has lost his wife Amanda (Carla Gugino) and fickle, annoying kids. He sees them on occasion, but Popper seems OK not seeing them. Popper grew up admiring his absentee father, who spent months at a time traveling to exotic locations, keeping in touch with his son via ham radio.
When said father dies, he leaves Popper a small army of penguins to care for, as fathers tend to do. As much as he'd love to unload the penguins in the care of marine fowl expert Nat Jones (IRON MAN and THOR's Clark Gregg), Popper's kids take to the penguins, and soon Popper's luxury apartment is turned into a winter playground in which both kids and penguins can frolic. But when his attempts to purchase the Tavern on the Green property from its owner (Angela Lansbury) falls short, Popper has doubts that his good-dad routine is good for him. I'm exhausted just thinking about how unnecessarily complicated this film is. There are more "villains" in this movie than are necessary, and all of them pale in comparison to how bratty Popper's kids are or how much of a Class A douche he is.
I did have some fun watching the hopelessly cute Ophelia Lovibond (best name ever, from NOWHERE BOY and NO STRINGS ATTACHED) as Popper's assistant Pippi, and Gugino is as charming as she always is, but beyond that, even cute penguins only carried this mess (based on the popular novel by Richard and Florence Atwater) so far. There isn't much to say beyond how much this one missed the mark. Set in a New York that only exists in family-friendly movies, MR. POPPER'S PENGUINS is certainly trying to wow us with its grandeur, while saddling us with a story that seems overblown, too cutesy, and staggeringly dull with saccharine. I expect a tiny bit more from director Mark Waters, who was somehow able to add some knowing edge to films like MEAN GIRLS, JUST LIKE HEAVEN, and THE GHOSTS OF GIRLFRIENDS PAST.
And then there's poor Jim Carrey at the center, working his ass off trying to entertain in this hopelessly PG environment. There's one moment at the end of the film where he busts into a court in slow motion that is genuinely funny. Other than that, you'd be lucky to go five minutes straight with a smirk on your face. I saved most of my bile for the penguins themselves, who don't actually do anything in the course of the film to make us love, or even like, them. I don't have anything against penguins, but this lot didn't inspire me to want to care about them in the slightest. I get frustrated with films where adults act like idiots, children act like adults (apparently all kids do is storm out of one room and into another), and animals act like animals, and MR. POPPER'S PENGUINS has all three. This movie blows ice chunks.
Follow Me On Twitter
Readers Talkbackcomments powered by Disqus
+ Expand All
June 17, 2011, 7:13 a.m. CST
by Grammaton Cleric Binks
Penguin crap that is.
June 17, 2011, 7:15 a.m. CST
Has a pretty funny comparison of this steaming pile and the other mound of dog faeces that is the Smurf movie. Seems like they're the same film... Can't be bothered finding a link though... Search for it yourselves...
June 17, 2011, 7:18 a.m. CST
by Grammaton Cleric Binks
is it's about a man named Popper with penguins. Other than that they changed everything. This is a movie that should have been like Fly Away Home, or Seabiscuit. It should have been a a heartwarming comed/drama about a family dealing together with 12 penguins named Captain Cook, Greta et al. None of this Poopy, Crappy, Dipshit, or whatever they're named garbage.
June 17, 2011, 7:25 a.m. CST
I remember reading it as a very young kid and enjoying it. Why couldn't they have gone with that?
June 17, 2011, 7:27 a.m. CST
Like a fuckin glove!
June 17, 2011, 7:48 a.m. CST
by Spandau Belly
I think I had her on that list of people I assumed were dead by now.
June 17, 2011, 7:55 a.m. CST
Sad to say, I think she made the wrong decision if so.
June 17, 2011, 8:03 a.m. CST
by Grammaton Cleric Binks
She's never leave this earth. She was old in Murder She Wrote, and that was years ago.
June 17, 2011, 8:23 a.m. CST
Sounds like this movie is rife with penguin shit. What's going on with Jim Carrey's career? Oh Jim, remember the good ole days of In livining color, where haft thou gone fire marshall Bill?
June 17, 2011, 8:32 a.m. CST
June 17, 2011, 9 a.m. CST
..the kiss of death to funny.
June 17, 2011, 9:01 a.m. CST
...was the worst thing I've seen all year. My immediate thought was, "The trajectory of Carrey's career will never again be upwards".
June 17, 2011, 9:08 a.m. CST
June 17, 2011, 9:09 a.m. CST
Or did nobody from the studio influence you to kiss their ass this time?
June 17, 2011, 10:13 a.m. CST
by Nasty In The Pasty
More proof that all slang terminology in bad kiddie movies is required by law to be at LEAST fifteen years out of date.
June 17, 2011, 10:41 a.m. CST
No wonder - he probably knows that this will tank. He hasn't had a big hit since Bruce Almighty in 2003. His policy was to never do a sequel and try and do more serious stuff. In recent years that policy has really reached a dead end. So bring on Ace Ventura, Mask, Dumb & Dumb sequels please.
June 17, 2011, 10:46 a.m. CST
Even with the mostly negative reviews, Green Lantern would be a better choice this weekend. And we can hit the zoo to see real (non- cgi) penguins. Although they smell strongly of fish and ammonia.
June 17, 2011, 11:16 a.m. CST
by Evan Dent
if involved some Freaky Friday swap. Imagine Jim Carrey waddling around like a penguin the whole movie snatching up herring any chance he gets, while the penguin that hold his trapped personality tries to re-connect with his apathetic bratty kids. The joke store is open folks...
June 17, 2011, 11:31 a.m. CST
She loves this book and has probably read it 30 times. I didn't know this fact before I saw the trailer, which makes this thing look like the exact pile of shit it seems to be. Only after I'd been told there was a fairly beloved book on which the movie was based did I hold out a glimmer of hope that maybe this wasn't a crass, lowest common denominator, CGI and cute animal fest. <p> Sounds like they worked up a number 6 on the book, afterall. Fuckin' pity.
June 17, 2011, 12:04 p.m. CST
by William Potter
June 17, 2011, 12:30 p.m. CST
sp. when Carrey pulls down his pants and says in his Fire Marshall Bill voice LET ME SHOW YOU SOMETHING!
June 17, 2011, 12:35 p.m. CST
I thought it was just one of their made up ones. I mean, it seemed just as absurd as "The President is a... duck!?" or "Rob Schneider derp de derp". http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-VLOmi5oTo
June 17, 2011, 1:05 p.m. CST
I sure did..in my MIND now super 8...think i'll go see that today
June 17, 2011, 1:06 p.m. CST
The movie that i had no Idea was real Was Kevin Smiths Zoo Smeeper Paul Blart Business. Dear God...F**k family summers
June 17, 2011, 1:17 p.m. CST
June 17, 2011, 1:23 p.m. CST
In The Stand and/or The Dark Tower. Get his career back on track.
June 17, 2011, 1:29 p.m. CST
Have you ever sat in a movie lobby and listened to kids walk by? I did waiting for Super 8. Tons of kids walked by the Smurfs poster with their parents telling them how good it looked. Kids are easy to please.
June 17, 2011, 2:15 p.m. CST
by Prof. Pop-Cult
HOW did a DUCK because U.S. President?? Rated "S" -- for SHIT.
June 17, 2011, 2:27 p.m. CST
Saw the trailer for this, the Simian-looking Taylor Lautner Bourne rip-off, and that godawful fat Kevin James talking animal movie all in one sitting.
What a group of terrible looking movies.
June 17, 2011, 3:47 p.m. CST
by Anthony Torchia
There are 3 mistaks n thiss sentence: a missing "m", a missing "a" and an extraneous "the." Back to crowd-pleasing mode after his triumphant return to for[m] in I LOVE YOU PHILLIPS MORRIS, Jim Carrey plays Mr. Popper, a real estate wizard looking to become [a] partner in his firm (run by Philip Baker Hall). As part of his rise to [the] power.... Crappy movies are no excuse for crappy reviews.
June 17, 2011, 4:21 p.m. CST
by Evan Dent
But hey, I can't really say much considering that I still have a soft spot in my heart for "Howard The Duck".
June 17, 2011, 4:53 p.m. CST
His face is so lined...I know he's gettin' older as do we all, but DAMN. No excuse for him NOT seeing a plastic surgeon. That's Hollywood, dude, and a lot of an actor's appeal lies in his/her appearance. It's not so funny watching an old dude do a pratfall. Get a lift, Jim. No shame in it.
June 17, 2011, 7:21 p.m. CST
by Nasty In The Pasty
June 17, 2011, 7:59 p.m. CST
Looks at as shitty as them. "YES!" ::high five:: fuck children.
June 17, 2011, 8 p.m. CST
June 18, 2011, 12:25 a.m. CST
So yeah a lot of people love the shit out of these shitty movies... I don't blame kids for liking it. Kids love almost anything. As a kid I loved a lot of shit too. But despite saying that I can still look back on films I watched as a kid and discover that they are still leagues better than the shit they put out for kids now. The bar has been lowering with each generation... Actually scratch that, now that I think about it, everything I watched as a kid was pretty awesome and far better than the shit they churn out today. The only difference was they used older tech and cinematic techniques and didn't have all the fancy CGI. Animals are a lot funnier when they're doing naturally stupid shit like they do on America's Funniest Home Videos.
June 18, 2011, 2:01 a.m. CST
June 18, 2011, 2:16 a.m. CST
I'm waiting for Copernicus' review on . . . the Science of Mr. Popper's Penguins . . . before passing judgement on this.
June 18, 2011, 9:02 a.m. CST
Someone at JoBlo suggested that Carrey make a Fire Marshal Bill movie. <br><br> I like that idea...and he wouldn't even need that much make-up nowadays.
June 18, 2011, 12:21 p.m. CST
Carrey is charming and tall enough to be Flagg.
June 18, 2011, 6:45 p.m. CST
If more people would have seen Yes Man, this wouldn't have happened.
June 18, 2011, 7:14 p.m. CST
But doubtless there will be a sequel.
June 19, 2011, 4:43 a.m. CST
keep, her around.
- Herc Is Underwhelmed By Cuaron’s Bad Robot Pilot BELIEVE!! -- 40 total posts 18 posts
- A New Poster Of Angelina Jolie As MALEFICENT!! -- 131 total posts 11 posts
- Harry shares Day 1 of SXSW which stars Jon Favreau's utterly delicious CHEF!!! -- 304 total posts 10 posts
- Hercules Says RESURRECTION Is Easily The Best Broadcast Pilot Of The 2013-14 Season And ABC’s Best Pilot In Years!! -- 95 total posts 8 posts
2010-2014 -- 31 total posts 4 posts
- Jon Favreau Still Contemplating A Trip To The MAGIC KINGDOM! -- 30 total posts 4 posts
- Meet your new FANTASTIC FOUR!! -- 1651 total posts 2 posts
- Atom Egoyan's West Memphis Three Drama DEVIL'S KNOT Gets A Suitably Dramatic Trailer! -- 16 total posts 2 posts
- SXSW 2014: Nordling Reviews NEIGHBORS! -- 23 total posts 2 posts
- ‘You Are Of SHIELD??’ THOR’s Hot Pal Sif Joins AGENTS!! The Premiere Of FROM DUSK TILL DAWN!! Plus New NEW GIRL, BOY, BROOKLYN, BACHELOR, BAD GIRLS, MIND GAMES, TROPHY, TOSH, ORIGINALS, GOLDBERGS, GLEE, RIZZOLI, PERCEPTION, KROLL, LIARS, COUGAR, FISHER, FIRE, CONTAINER, TEEN MOM, CAPONES & VOICE!! KING Finale!! Syfy’s MY BIG FAT GEEK WEDDING!! Lauren Cohan & Jeff Goldblum on CRAIG!! Rachel Maddow On SETH!! Ronald D. Moore On LAST CALL!! Herc’s Tuesday TV Talkback!! -- 2 total posts 2 posts