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Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel


comment" alt="" style="border: medium none ! important; margin: 0px ! important;" border="0" height="1" width="1" />," and that's greed, pure and simple. This is a film with no recognizable merit whatsoever, beyond the fact that the animation is well-done.

It picks up where the 2007 version ended. Chipmunk singing trio Alvin (voiced by Justin Long, "Drag Me to Hell"), Simon (Matthew Gray Gubler, "(500) Days of Summer") and Theodore (Jesse McCartney, "Horton Hears a Who") are on tour in Paris with their manager/substitute dad Dave Seville (Jason Lee, TV's "My Name Is Earl"). They're all set to return home to begin high school when Alvin, the obnoxious rebel of the team, goes all glam-rocker onstage and causes an accident that sends Dave to the hospital (and Lee to the happy place where he doesn't have to donate more than a cameo to this disaster).

The "boys" end up supervised at home by Dave's cousin, Toby (Zachary Levi, TV's "Chuck"), who got stuck with the gig after accidentally putting Dave's aunt in the hospital. Hey, what makes better entertainment for kids than seeing an old lady in a wheelchair being pushed down a flight of stairs, backward? It's like "Hostel" with upbeat pop tunes.

As most sequels do "? excuse me, squeakquels "? this one remakes the first one by reintroducing Ian, the villainous record exec played by comedian David Cross ("Year One"). This time, Ian is trying to star-search a trio of singing female chipmunks "? Britanny (Christina Applegate, TV's "Samantha Who?"), Eleanor (Amy Poehler, TV's "Parks & Recreation") and Jeanette (Anna Faris, "Observe and Report"), because, you know, what the world needs now is more vocalizing rodents.

The boys also have to contend with the horrors of high school. Their problem is that they are too popular with the girls, all of whom appear to have the intellects of radishes. Led by football star Ryan (Kevin G. Schmidt, TV's "The Young and the Restless"), the jocks make fun of them in the lunchroom and give Theodore a swirly. Some revenge is taken when Alvin hands out the wedgies, and if you remember the last time it happened to you, you know how agonizing a wedgie from a chipmunk can be.

This zit of a movie was squeezed for our enjoyment by director Betty Thomas ("John Tucker Must Die"). Cross is humiliatingly bad, apparently trying to overact in that Disney live-action comedy style from the 1960s.

When songwriter Ross Bagdasarian created these characters in 1958, they were a clever, one-off novelty that almost immediately morphed into a cash cow. Fifty years later, this freak act has all the fresh appeal of another Ross Perot run for the presidency.

Stay home. The concept is tired, the acting is subpar, and the music is awful. "?Doug Bentin

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