Alexander and the Terribly long title is a 2014 Disney movie based on 1972 kids book. Why so long in development? I think it was a lot like the wait on Ender’s Game, they just needed the CGI to catch up before they could pull it off (kidding obviously). This is a Disney family movie hoping to be good enough to entertain kids and the adults who bring them. The previews showed potential, but most movies look good in previews so grains of salt must be taken.

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“Calm down everyone, I can save this movie”

The Good

This movie really flirted hard  with being “OK”. Like, it dialed the first six digits of OK’s phone number but then chickened out and hung up. What ultimately pulled this movie from the abyss of “OK” into the decency of “Pretty Good” were 2 things: 1- Good messages, 2- Steve Carell.

This movie’s single biggest quality was the positivity of the messages it portrayed. This movie allowed me to talk with my kids afterward about what they could learn from what we had just watched. Themes like sticking it out when things don’t go your way, choosing family over popularity, focusing on the good over the bad and supporting each other.

Steve Carell is a great character. He does not have a lot of range. But he is great at roles that are a play on a lovable loser. Not everything he did in this movie worked, but he hit on enough stuff to raise the overall comedy of the movie to a respectable level. I especially loved his pirate bit.

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

“No I don’t have a green marker you can borrow.”

The Bad

There were times this movie dragged and got boring. Some of the planned comedic elements felt forced (partially because kids are often corny/hammy as actors). Jennifer Garner was disappointing; she wasn’t particularly likable or funny. Thankfully it was short.

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Who hasn’t been stalked by a kangaroo while wearing a pirate blouse?

 

The Comps

Shout-out here to Box Office Mojo for their “Similar Movies” tab. I’ve only seen one of the 3 comparable movies, but they seem correct. Cheaper by the Dozen, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and Judy Moody and the NOT Bummer Summer.

The Conclusion

All in all, Alexander ATTHNGVBD was dissapointing. Based on combination of a funny preview, Disney and Steve Carrell I was hoping for a movie much closer to being “Really Good” instead of barely better than “OK”. This movie can still be worth seeing if you have kids because it is short, has funny moments and has good messages.

 

Final Verdict:Pretty Good” – Potentially worth seeing in the theater depending on your disposition (kids ages, proximity, cost, movie-nerdness)

DVD: Definitely worth checking out once at Redbox or Netflix

RT Audience Score: 69

CinemaScore: A-

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IMDB Rating: [imdblive:rating]