MOVIE REVIEW: Mr. Popper’s Penguins
Jim Carrey talks to the animals, walks with the animals...
I saw commercials for Mr. Popper's Penguins;had no desire to see it.
I saw billboards that listed the names of the penguins, Stinky being one; had less of a desire to see it.
I saw it previewing in a theatre as I was stopping by pick something up, and figured I'd give it a shot.
I was pleasantly surprised.
Never the biggest fan of Jim Carrey's Ace Ventura films, but he does do some interesting work (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is one of my favorite films).
In Mr. Popper's Penguins, Carrey (Mr. Popper) veers into Liar Liar territory as he pines for his ex-wife, and his kids have grown tired of him never showing up and disappointing them on various holidays.
Angela Lansbury pops up in Mr. Popper's Penguins. I always thought she looked like a bird, but it's not a penguin she plays. As the character Mrs. Van Gundy, she owns a restaurant that Popper's people want to get their hands on. And looking at the script, a character that I wouldn't have thought would work, but did, was Pippi, the personal assistant that's fond of using words that start with "p." She's played by the lovely Ophelia Lovibond.
When Mr Popper's estranged father sends him a penguin, things change. The kids like to come visit and play with the birds, as Nat Jones, an evil zoo employee played by comedic actor Clark Gregg, starts sniffing around. The landlord has to remind Popper that pets aren't allowed.
Since real penguins were used in the filming, a lot of Mr. Popper's Penguins was staged in a refrigerated soundstage. Guessing that while no penguins were harmed in the filming of the movie, a lot of fish were. How else can you get these penguins to hit their marks? Director Mark Waters probably dangled fish in front of their noses to get all of the shots he wanted. I'm still wondering what he dangled in front of Lindsay Lohan for the two movies they did together (Mean Girls, Freaky Friday).
A number of the physical comedy gags didn't work; it's cute watching penguins slide down the Guggenheim, but not as funny watching people fall all around them.
All ages will enjoy it, and parents won't be mad that they took the family out to see it. I found it funny and more charming than I expected.