ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS: ROAD CHIP — Revew by Susan Granger

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Combining live-action with computer-generated characters, this is the fourth installment in the chirpy chipmunk series that began in 2007. As the plot unfolds, mischievous Alvin (voiced by Justin Long), chubby Theodore (voiced by Jesse McCartney) and studious Simon (voiced by Matthew Gray Gubler) are concerned that their beloved surrogate dad/manager, Dave Seville (Jason Lee), is so overly amorous with his ER doctor girlfriend, Samantha (Kimberly Williams-Paisley), that he’s bought an engagement ring. They’re terrified by the idea that Dave will abandon them when they become a family. Read on…

So the furry friends reluctantly team up with Samantha’s loathsome, teenage son, Miles (Josh Green), to travel from Los Angeles to Miami, where they think Dave is about to propose. Problem is: en route, one of the chipmunks accidentally frees all the animals in the cargo hold.

Obviously, the disruption of an airborne menagerie irks the federal air marshal, vengeful Agent Suggs (Tony Hale), who promptly threatens them with prison and puts them on the No-Fly list.

Scripted by Randi Mayem & Adam Sztykiel, based on anthropomorphic, strato-falsetto characters created by Ross Bagdasarian Sr., and the Chipettes created by Janice Karman, and directed by Walt Becker (“Wild Hogs”), it’s predictably filled with pee & poop jokes which tiny tots seem to find hilarious.

FYI: there’s one amusing ‘inside’ remark: when treated disdainfully in First Class by subversive, idiosyncratic director John Waters, snippy Alvin retorts, “Don’t judge me! I saw ‘Pink Flamingos’!”

On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “Alvin and the Chipmunks: Road Chip” is a tediously silly, slapstick 3 – more of the rollicking rodents.

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Susan Granger

Susan Granger

Susan Granger is a product of Hollywood. Her natural father, S. Sylvan Simon, was a director and producer at R.K.O., M.G.M. and Columbia Pictures; her adoptive father, Armand Deutsch, produced movies at M.G.M. As a child, Susan appeared in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Margaret O'Brien and Lassie. She attended Mills College in California, studying journalism with Pierre Salinger, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, Phi Beta Kappa, with highest honors in journalism. During her adult life, Susan has been on radio and television as an anchorwoman and movie/drama critic. Her newspaper reviews have been syndicated around the world, and she has appeared on American Movie Classics cable television. In addition, her celebrity interviews and articles have been published in REDBOOK, PLAYBOY, FAMILY CIRCLE, COSMOPOLITAN, WORKING WOMAN and THE NEW YORK TIMES, as well as in PARIS MATCH, ELLE, HELLO, CARIBBEAN WORLD, ISLAND LIFE, MACO DESTINATIONS, NEWS LIMITED NEWSPAPERS (Australia), UK DAILY MAIL, UK SUNDAY MIRROR, DS (France), LA REPUBBLICA (Italy), BUNTE (Germany), VIP TRAVELLER (Krisworld) and many other international publications through SSG Syndicate. Susan also lectures on the "Magic and Mythology of Hollywood" and "Don't Take It Personally: Conquering Criticism and other Survival Skills," originally published on tape by Dove Audio.