Alpha and Omega Preview

Jamie and the Predator climb aboard his rocket powered skateboard and fly out of the whale. At first they totally don’t get along due to their differences. The Predator is a bloodthirsty monster focused only on killing. Jamie is a cool dude just looking for a party. But soon they find common ground as Jamie realizes the Predator has some pretty cool tech to track the little old librarian and the Predator realizes that Jamie can brew a mean cup of coffee. Turns out that’s not the only thing brewing: we got ourselves a full blown bromance. They spend hours telling each other secrets and braiding the Predator’s hair. They come up with some elaborate handshakes and build a tree fort together. It’s more or less the best. Unfortunately this also means distraction as the Predator totally wrecks his rocket skateboard in the wilderness of Canada while trading baseball cards with Jamie. “Damn it, Predator. What are we going to do? We’ll never get back to civilization in time to kill the little old librarian and rescue Patrick from the terrors of the alternate dimension.” The Predator shrugs his shoulders, downs a can of Mountain Dew, and begins the trek in the general direction of the LOL (little old librarian, duh). Suddenly a pack of wolves emerges from the trees. Just before the Predator blows them to smithereens Jamie intervenes. “Wait,” he says in confusion, “these aren’t real wolves… these are terribly rendered holograms.” That’s right! This week we’re watching Alpha and Omega, that animated wolf film that everyone remembers and loves. There was a time when it seemed like everything rendered in beautiful 3D animation was gold and never got bad reviews. This film came out right after that. But don’t worry it made bank and has a thousand straight-to-DVD sequels (I know you were worried)… sigh, this should be fun. Let’s go!

Patrick awakens on the beach, but now it looks like a beautiful European vista. “I love vistas.” Patrick thinks as a beautiful woman exits the water and approaches him. It is young Elizabeth Taylor, or at least someone who looks like her. In an instant he lives an entire life, they have a torrid love affair that the press can’t get enough of, he wins awards, becomes an alcoholic, and becomes a shattered soul as their love sours, rekindles, and then falls apart. On his deathbed in Switzerland, an old man, Patrick thinks back to that iconic love story before peacefully passing away. Becoming a force ghost, he haunts Elizabeth Taylor for the rest of her days until … Patrick awakens, he isn’t actually dead, he is still in Switzerland and was merely napping, but as if through a thick fog he can hear a familiar voice: “Gosh dern it Patrick, snap out of it!”, he awakens again! It was a dream within a dream! What a twist! The beach is torn to shreds, the birds gone, and Sticks and Stones are battered and bruised. Patrick can barely hear them through the whipping winds. Patrick is lifted into the air at the center of the storm, tears filling his eyes, and fear filling his heart. He doesn’t know what to do. He wishes he could just go back to something comfortable and calming, like illogical and unending product placement within the bad movies that he loves. Bam! The beach set is now a supermarket, and Stick and Stones are cartoon cereal mascots. “Shit, how’d you do that?!” Sticks growls. “It don’t matter, use those twin powers to get us to the precinct!” says Stones. They all jump in a supermarket cart and dash off down the aisle. That’s right, we’re watching Foodfight! Produced in 2003 the film is thought to have been a money laundering scheme gone awry, the gimmick being the promise of product placement covering production costs. After defaulting on loans, the film was auctioned off and, with investors invoking a contractual clause, the film was quietly released on DVD a decade after production began. Let’s go!

Alpha and Omega (2010) – BMeTric: 44.1

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(Shockingly low rating for an animated film it feels like. Not much else to say beyond that it has a very nice vote curve which appears to be asymptotically approaching a value around … fifteen thousand maybe?)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  Two wolves, a male and female with opposite personalities names Humphrey and Kate (get it?), are transported to Idaho to mate and expand the wolf population. Instead, they band together to trek back home to Canada, encountering numerous perils along the way; later, they work together to stop their packs from having a turf war. Animated film is aimed at the youngest members of the family, with slapstick antics and cliched characters that will have parents squirming. Produced on a low budget and animated primarily in Mumbai, India.

(So I guess what Leonard is referring to is Humphrey (Bogart) and Kate (Katharine Hepburn I assume)? Although I couldn’t find anything definitive on that actually being the case, so perhaps I’m missing something. While researching this I have discovered there are a number of fan fiction short stories about Kate and Humphrey’s children. So that’s a thing.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cXLAvDEpdT0

(Wowza, the animation is terrible! What an Idaho film as well … too bad Georgia Rule already dominates that state on the Mapl.d.map.)

Directors – Anthony Bell – (BMT: Alpha and Omega; Notes: Duckman, The Wild Thornberrys, and Rugrats are just a few of his television credits. Seemingly was a big name in animation directing.)

Ben Gluck – (BMT: Alpha and Omega; Notes: Graduated from the California Institute of Art. Did a few direct-to-video sequels, Bambi II and Brother Bear 2, prior to co-directing this film.)

Writers – Chris Denk (screenplay) – (Known For: Bling; BMT: Alpha and Omega; Notes: Was a production assistant before breaking through as a screenwriter.)

Ben Gluck (story by) – (Known For: Bambi II; BMT: Alpha and Omega; Notes: His last credit both as a director and writer were Madea’s Tough Love, which is an animated Madea film.)

Steve Moore (original screenplay and story) – (Known For: Open Season; BMT: Alpha and Omega; Notes: Created the syndicated cartoon In the Bleachers which Open Season is a spin off from. Alpha and Omega is his only original screenplay it looks like.)

Actors – Hayden Panettiere – (Known For: Remember the Titans; Scream 4; A Bug’s Life; Dinosaur; Ice Princess; The Object of My Affection; Future BMT: Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil; Racing Stripes; Joe Somebody; Raising Helen; Message in a Bottle; The Affair of the Necklace; Fireflies in the Garden; The Architect; BMT: I Love You, Beth Cooper; Alpha and Omega; Notes: Apparently just split up with Wladimir Klitschko after a five year engagement during which they had a daughter.)

Christina Ricci – (Known For: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas; Sleepy Hollow; The Addams Family; Monster; Casper; Addams Family Values; Black Snake Moan; Speed Racer; Penelope; Mermaids; Small Soldiers; Buffalo ’66; The Ice Storm; Bastard Out of Carolina; The Opposite of Sex; Anything Else; Pecker; The Hard Way; Gold Diggers: The Secret of Bear Mountain; Around the Block; Future BMT: Cursed; The Smurfs 2; Bel Ami; That Darn Cat; Home of the Brave; 200 Cigarettes; Mothers and Daughters; Distorted; New York, I Love You; The Man Who Cried; Prozac Nation; I Love Your Work; Pumpkin; All’s Faire in Love; Now and Then; Desert Blue; BMT: Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star; Bless the Child; Alpha and Omega; Notes: Child star turned actress, she seems to do more television these days, like playing Zelda Fitzgerald in Z: The Beginning of Everything)

Justin Long – (Known For: Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story; Tusk; Idiocracy; He’s Just Not That Into You; Drag Me to Hell; Funny People; Zack and Miri Make a Porno; Die Hard 4.0; Galaxy Quest; Veronica Mars; Jeepers Creepers; Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story; A Case of You; 10 Years; Herbie Fully Loaded; Going the Distance; The Conspirator; Comet; Youth in Revolt; Frank & Lola; Future BMT: Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel; Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked; Yoga Hosers; Alvin and the Chipmunks; Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip; Jeepers Creepers II; Walking with Dinosaurs 3D; The Break-Up; Serious Moonlight; Trauma; Planet 51; Ghost Team; The Lookalike; Literally, Right Before Aaron; Accepted; Best Man Down; Waiting…; BMT: Crossroads; Movie 43; Old Dogs; Strange Wilderness; Alpha and Omega; Notes: Was the Mac guy in old Mac commercials (opposite John Hodgman, the PC). Apparently might be back together with Drew Barrymore, they were reportedly dating around the time they filmed Going the Distance.)

Budget/Gross – $20 million / Domestic: $25,107,267 (Worldwide: $50,507,267)

(A success I would say. Not enough maybe to make a real sequel, but it isn’t that surprising it has … six sequels! Well, it isn’t surprising it has sequels, we’ll leave it at that.)

#191 for the Animation genre

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(Huh … we haven’t watched any traditional animated films. Unless you count Cool World which was only partially so. Most of the recent examples are computer animated, but interesting to see how inconsistent (but extremely successful) the early 90s were for traditional animation with things like The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast, made alongside things like Rock-a-Doodle.)

#129 for the Animation – Computer genre

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(The Emoji Movie was by far the most recent of the computer animated. Pretty interesting to see the success of the early examples (like Toy Story) and how it almost immediately settles into a steadily rising production / revenue line.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 16% (9/56): With bland visuals and a dull, predictable plot, Alpha and Omega is a runt in 2010’s animated litter.

(Huh, bland and predictable doesn’t seem too great. At least it is a real animated film I guess. Reviewer Highlight: There’s nothing here that Disney hasn’t done much better decades ago, and the script is a lame mixture of slapstick and sentiment. – Christopher Tookey, Daily Mail)

Poster – I’m Uncomfortable With How Sexily They Have Drawn That Girl Wolf (B)

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(If you think that’s uncomfortable wait until you see how they animate that sexy girl wolf. It gets weird. Anyway, nice font, good balance, and OK coloring. Overall pretty good.)

Tagline(s) – A Pawsome 3D Adventure (Nope)

(Woof! That one’s… ruff. They sure let this tagline… go to the dogs.)

Keyword(s) – park; Top Ten by BMeTric: 91.1 The Room (2003); 75.8 Look Who’s Talking Too (1990); 71.4 Getaway (I) (2013); 68.9 The Happening (2008); 65.7 Yogi Bear (2010); 61.6 The Garbage Pail Kids Movie (1987); 60.5 The Snowman (2017); 56.5 Befikre (2016); 56.4 Rough Night (2017); 55.7 Ri¢hie Ri¢h (1994);

(Well, I suppose The Room does have a scene in a park … Yogi Bear seems like the only actually park film. Richie Rich does end in a park as well, but that is a fairly minor part of that atrocious film.)

Notes – Dennis Hopper’s last film. (yes, this is sadly true)

It was Lionsgate’s highest grossing animated feature, before 2017 when it was dethroned by My Little Pony: The Movie (2017).

The names of the two main characters are Humphrey and Kate, which are the names of the co-stars of The African Queen (1951) Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn. (Hey, I guessed right!)

In reality, northwestern wolves that originated from Alberta, Canada, were used to repopulate Yellowstone National Park.

The first of five movies released in a seven-month period, that set the record of the worst debut for a 3-D movie. This movie debuted to 9.1 million dollars, setting the then-record, losing it to My Soul to Take (2010) (6.8 million dollars) three weeks later, which lost it to Gulliver’s Travels (2010) (6.3 million dollars) eleven weeks later, which lost it to Drive Angry (2011) (5.2 million dollars) ten weeks later, which lost it to Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil (2011) (4.1 million dollars) nine weeks later. However, despite its rather disappointing opening at the box-office, the movie did much better later on, managing to make three times more than its twenty million dollar budget. (Probably just reflects the growing ubiquity of 3D films in the US at the time, that eventually even really small films were getting 3D released in 2011)

Gained a cult following among audiences, and developed a decent fanbase. It’s also Crest Animations’ and Lionsgate’s most famous and popular movie. (I mean … maybe Crest. But certainly not Lionsgate. Maybe their most famous released together?)

The actors, actresses, directors, and crew would actually act out the performances themselves, and then send out the footage to the main studio in Mumbai, India to be fully animated. (whaaaaaaa)

The movie didn’t do as well as expected at the U.S. box-office, earning a little over twenty-five million dollars on its twenty million dollar budget. However, it did better in the rest of the world, eventually grossing almost fifty-one million dollars.

Steve Moore originally intended to give the movie a slightly darker and more serious story, but Lionsgate wanted it to be aimed more towards children, leading the original script to be re-written.

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