Thursday, June 16, 2011

Doesn't Fly, But Swims Along Nicely: Mr. Popper's Penguins Movie Trailer Official (HD)

It must be tough being Jim Carrey. His last three major releases collectively and individually underwhelmed, and now he has to share billing with a bunch of flightless birds.

In fact, its not as horrible a gig as it might seem and in fact, given his early screen incarnation as "Ace Ventura Pet Detective" it's actually right up his comedic alley.

Tom Popper Jr. sells maaad real estate, the kind that ends up on HGTV and Bloomberg magazine. He's handsomely rewarded for his feats, but its cost him his marriage and essentially his happiness, but he charges on. Two announcements set this engagingly goofy family comedy in motion; first, his superiors at the Manhattan firm want him to close the "mother" of all deals - acquire the city's legendary Tavern on the Green (which in actual fact ceased restaurant operations in 2009, becoming a public visitors center and gift shop run by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation)and then, his dad, a peripatetic explorer who kept in touch with his son via ham radio has died and has left him an unspecified inheritance.

Unspecified, that is, until two large wooden crates arrive at the door of his swank apartment. Freed from their specialty shipping containers, the penguins (one at first, the others arrive in short order) quickly run amok in his pet-prohibited complex, disrupting his well-laid plans for partnership. There is of course, an unforeseen upside to his newest acquisitions: the penguins are a hit with his own son and daughter( Dylan Marshall and Madeline Clark respectively) and this in turn turns a critical lever to a potential reconciliation with his ex (Carla Gugino), even as he tries, with the help of his trusty assistant (Brit Ophelia Lovibond) to woo the taciturn owner of the Tavern (played like a pro by Angela Lansbury).

The action shifts from Popper's high-rise to the Guggenheim Museum, Central Park, the City Zoo (and the Tavern, of course) in quicksilver fashion, director ("Mean Girls", "Freaky Friday") making good use of his star's madcap tendencies even as he smartly reins in the excess. The overall results provide both laughs and sweetness without either element going overboard or coming off forced. And what can we say of the birds? They're more than ready for their close-ups.

So, is "Mr Popper's Penguins" the family movie that parents and kids and enjoy in equal measure without compromise? In the words of Tom Popper, "Yabsolutely!"

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