Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Home (2015)

Number Rolled: 51
Movie Name/Year: Home (2015)
Tagline: Worlds collide.
Genre: Family, Comedy, Sci-Fi
Length: 94 minutes
Rating: PG
Production Companies: DreamWorks Animation
Producer: Suzanne Buirgy, Christopher Jenkins, Mireille Soria
Director: Tim Johnson
Writer: Tom J. Astle, Matt Ember, Adam Rex
Actors: Jim Parsons, Rihanna, Steve Martin, Jennifer Lopez, Matt Jones, Brian Stepanek, April Lawrence, Stphen Kearin, Lisa Stewart, April Winchell, Nigel W. Tierney
Stunt Doubles: N/A

Speech Available: English, Spanish
Subtitles Available: English, Spanish

Blurb from Netflix: When a lovable misfit from another planet and a human girl form and unlikely friendship, they embark on an incredible journey that changed their lives.

Selina’s Point of View:
Home was absolutely nothing like what I expected. Nothing. Even the plot was completely different than I thought it would be from the trailer I saw (this film made my top 20 for the month it came out).

Despite that, my feelings on the film were… complicated.

For the majority of Home, I was running cold. My attention was wavering. I couldn’t help but feel like I had seen it before. The story might have been relatively newish, but the characters were tropes personified. In fact, this film really owes a debt of gratitude to Lilo and Stitch (2002). The characters would not exist without that predecessor.

It was very difficult for me to stay focused because the characters were not very unique. I’d rather have a recipe story with unique characters that give a different spin on it, than a new story with recipe characters that you can predict every step of.

However, now that the film is over, I find myself feeling fulfilled and remembering it fondly.

I imagine that makes no sense to someone that hasn’t seen it.

The fact is, once Home was a little more than half over, it picked up in speed so much that ‘roller coaster of emotions’ isn’t enough to aptly describe what I felt. I have officially been run over by the feels train and am trying to write all this with teary eyes.

I would likely recommend this film in the future, I just wish the rest of the film could have matched the awesomeness of the last portion.

Oh, one more thing. Hats off to the music department. What a phenomenal job those men and women did. Not just on the quality of the music chosen, but on the risks they took. Well done. They’re the true MVPs of this movie.

Cat’s Point of View:
We were a little bummed that we didn’t end up with a Christmas movie this week for one of our reviews prior to the holiday. Even so, we were both jazzed that we hit the animated jackpot this week.

I have good news for you, though, and am rather confident that this spoils nothing in the telling – Home is a Christmas movie. Of course, it’s rather subtle and along the same vein that makes Die Hard (1988) a Christmas Movie.  When you watch it, you’ll see. I started cackling when the realization hit me as I was watching with my daughter; and she looked at me like I was nuts. It was so worth it!

This movie is based on a book by Adam Rex (Almost Home, Home: Adventures with Tip & Oh) called The True Meaning of Smekday. I haven’t read the book (I may need to correct that in the future), but that sounds an awful lot like “the true meaning of Christmas” phrase that often gets bandied about this time of year.

The film was also originally scheduled for a November release, but then got flip-flopped with another movie that had an established franchise that would be more solid for holiday box-office numbers.

Back to the movie!

I love the alien-encounter sub-genre of sci-fi movies. It’s a question that burns in quite a lot of us – what would happen when or if we’re visited by beings from another world? This movie has an entertaining take on that answer. Beneath all the fun and shenanigans, there’s some pretty powerful messages and some parallels that could be drawn within our own history.

I also enjoy that the Boov have a unique and interesting technology. I am pretty sure that I haven’t seen anything like it used before.

Aside from her part in the music, I was surprisingly pleased with Rihanna’s (This Is the End, Annie, Bates Motel) performance here. This was definitely some redemption for her after that other alien invasion nautical-themed movie loosely inspired by a board game.

The pairing of Steve Martin (Shopgirl, The Pink Panther, It's Complicated) as Smek and Jim Parsons (Gardener of Eden, The Muppets, Hidden Figures) was also a stroke of brilliance. I don’t think I could imagine anyone else in either of those roles.

This wasn’t my first time watching Home, nor will it be my last.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 47%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 64%

Netflix’s Prediction for Selina – 5/5
Selina’s Trust-the-Dice Score3.5/5

Netflix’s Prediction for Cat – 4.5/5
Cat’s Trust-the-Dice Score5/5

P.S. There are cute ‘photos’ throughout part of the credits.

Movie Trailer:

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