Friday, March 22, 2013

The Rulers of Suburbia

I awoke to a phone call. Yes, it was the Acme. No, I didn't go in early. I was already going in at 11. I hadn't had breakfast or gotten ready for work yet at 8:30. I wouldn't mind the extra hours if they didn't put me on the spot so much.

I put on The Easter Bunny Is Comin' to Town to cheer myself up, then continued the spring theme as I got ready for work with the second 80s Strawberry Shortcake special, Strawberry Shortcake In Big Apple City. Strawberry is a finalist in the Big City Bake-Off. The Peculiar Purple Pie Man is the other finalist, and he'll do anything to make sure Strawberry doesn't win! Good thing Strawberry meets quite a few new friends who are familiar with the city and can help her out. The best thing by far about this one is some cute New York gags, including the title and references to "Sentimental Park" and "The Little Theater of Times Pear."

Finally made it to work at 11, when I was supposed to be in. I don't know why they tried calling me in early. It was busy when I arrived, but not overwhelming. In fact, it was on-and-off all day. Other than a few annoying customers, there were no major problems. The teenage boy who was my relief was right on time.

When I got in, I changed into regular clothes and ran Over the Hedge as I made salmon in wine sauce with honey-glazed carrots and spinach-arugula salad for dinner. We move from urban spoof to suburban reality in this DreamWorks action/comedy based after the comic strip. RJ (voice of Bruce Willis) is a fast-talking loner raccoon who is forced to find junk food by a bear (Nick Nolte) whom RJ tried to steal from. He ends up in a forest inhabited by several local animals, including slightly geeky turtle Vern (Garry Shandling) and wacky red squirrel Hammy (Steve Carrell). Part of the animals' forest was replaced by a new suburban development. Desperate for food for the bear, RJ convinces the animals to forage from the humans in the houses. The lady who owns the house isn't happy with the mess these invaders leave...and Vern doesn't like them having to rely on this human food that isn't really good for them. While Vern discovers his inner tough turtle, RJ finds that having a family isn't such a bad thing...and neither is loyalty to friends.

I'm going to go into this by saying that yes, I am a fan of the comic strip. I read it often when I find the Courier Post in the back room at work. That said, while this is really quite different from the strip (more characters, the family emphasis), I enjoyed this, too. If nothing else, this has one of the most ecelectic casts I've ever seen in an animated film. In addition to Willis, Shandling, and Carrell, we have Wanda Sykes as a sassy skunk, William Shatner as an overly dramatic possum father, and Eugene Levy and Catherine O'Hara are the mom and dad porcupine.

No comments: