Monday, April 4, 2016

Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip DVD Review

Everyone’s favorite singing animal pop stars, the Chipmunks, are back as Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment’s Alvin and The Chipmunks: The Road Chip arrives on Blu-ray & DVD March 15, 2016. As expected, this road trip adventure is full of hilarious antics that are “fun for the entire family!” Hit the road with your favorite fur balls in the funniest Alvin and the Chipmunks ever! Alvin, Simon and Theodore race to Miami on a wild road trip, but their jaunt soon takes a nutty detour, leading to hilarious hi-jinks and music-packed adventures across the country. If the music is what you love most, you’ll enjoy the ‘Ultimate Playlist’ on the DVD and Blu-ray.

Film (3 out of 5 stars)
As the film begins, Dave Seville (Jason Lee) has been working hard on pop star Ashley’s (Bella Thorne) album. The Chipmunks are planning a big birthday party for him, but the guest list quickly gets out of hand. Dave gave up songwriting to produce, and be more available for the boys. Unfortunately they show their appreciation with a loud party that draws the attention of the cops. There is a half-pipe, DJ Red Foo and a ton of pizza. Dave learned about the party because the hashtag was trending and he is very angry when he sees the over-sized event.

When Dave has to leave for Ashley’s release party in Miami he doesn’t feel the Chipmunks are mature enough to stay home alone. The Chipmunks were recently introduced to Dave’s girlfriend Samantha (Kimberly Williams-Paisley) and her son Miles (Josh Green). When the Chipmunks met Miles he bullied them and left Theodore hanging from a miniature golf course windmill. Dave decides that Miles should stay with the kids while Samantha travels to Miami with him, and this is not good news for the boys. 

More bad news follows when they find an engagement ring. Although the Chipmunks have always wanted a mom, they don’t want a brother. They specifically don’t want a brother like Miles, who tried to sell Theodore for $20 at the mini golf course. In order to stop the proposal, Miles agrees to take the boys on a flight. The chipmunks stowaway on a commercial flight, landing themselves on the No Fly List after crossing an Air Marshall with a grudge. Unable to fly, the group hits the road, headed for Miami with more than one unexpected stop. The Air Marshall follows, desperate to make the Chipmunks pay.

When Alvin and The Chipmunks: The Road Chip was released in theaters last Christmas I had a very hard time convincing other adult family members to tag along. I was pleasantly surprised that The Road Chip was cute, sweet and entertaining. When I asked my son to watch the film with me on DVD he wanted to clearly object to a portion on the film. This is a kid that laughs every time he sees the fart gun from Despicable Me, but he did not enjoy a scene in the airport where there is a chipmunk poop joke. Soon after, the gang finds themselves in a bar fight in Austin and my son was very happy with the “kung fu moves.” 
Video (3 out of 5 stars) 
Alvin and The Chipmunks: The Road Chip’s DVD fairs far better than expected. The film is presented with a widescreen 1.85:1 ratio and the CGI chipmunks blend well with the live action. The primary colors of the boys shirts comes across as bright and rich, even on DVD. Of course, detail suffers on DVD when compared to the Blu-ray but it’s easy to get into the film and not nit-pick when you aren’t comparing the two.
Audio (3 1/2 out of 5 stars)
Alvin and the Chipmunks are all about the music and the Dolby Digital 5.1 sound holds up well. The high pitched squeaks of the chipmunks are intelligible whether they are singing or talking. You’ll feel the weight of the New Orleans crowd. Again, if you aren’t comparing it to the Blu-ray you won’t know what you’re missing.
Extras (3 out of 5 stars) 
The DVD contains a fun group of special features, sure to please your young child. The Blu-ray does have some exclusive features.

The DVD includes the following extras:
  • Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Story So Far (4:53) - A look back at how the Chipmunks found Dave, became famous and the struggles they went through to become a family. Clips from previous films feature the Chipmunks and the Chipettes.
  • Ultimate Playlist 
    • Music Machine with “Juicy Wiggle”, “South Side”, “Iko Iko”, “When the Saints Go Marching In”, “Funkytown”, “I Love Rock and Roll”, “Get You Goin’”, “Hot N Cold”, “Real Wild Child” and “Born This Way/Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now/Firework”. Songs are available individually, with play all feature or on continuous repeat. 
  • Music Videos (with Optional Sing-Along) for “Shake Your Groove Thing”, “Vacation and Bad Romance”. Can be selected individually or with play all function.
  • Lyric Videos for “Juicy Wiggle”, “Uptown Munk”, “Wreck the Halls”, “Pizza Toots”, and “I Want Chipmunks for Christmas (a.k.a. Pester Song)” available with play all function or individually.
  • Theatrical Trailers - A choice of two theatrical trailers.
  • Bound for Georgia (2:14) - A brief featurette with cast and crew interviews. They discuss how different parts of Georgia were used as cheats for other locations, making for shorter filming and lower cost.
  • Road Chippin’ Through Georgia (5:00) – Each stop in Georgia is detailed where locations doubled for everywhere but Miami.
  • Sneak Peak – Trailers for The Peanuts Movie, Kung Fu Panda 3, Ice Age: Collision Course, Strawberry Shortcake: Berry Tales and The Sound of Music 50th Anniversary.
Summary (3 out of 5 stars)
The chipmunks are, and always have been geared toward the younger crowd. Elementary school is the perfect age to be amazed by the furry little creatures. This film has a lot of heart and its easy for an adult to get swept up into the story. The relationship between the chipmunks and Dave is very sweet and they have some especially touching moments. A little chipmunks goes a long way, but this was my favorite of the series. Don’t get hung up on the plausibility of the actions of the air marshal and enjoy the film.

Order your copy today!

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