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Article by Teddy Durgin

Home is not where Teddy's heart is

Debate is swirling as to whether or not the R-rated humor in "Get Hard" is offensive. Personally, I was more offended by the new PG animated flick, "Home." It's not even really a movie. It's more like a 90-minute soundtrack commercial designed to get your kids to download the bland J.Lo and Rihanna songs that play throughout. This is one of the lazier films I've seen in some time, with recycled elements of "E.T.," "Lilo & Stitch," "Total Recall" and "Mars Attacks." Watching this film makes you wonder if creativity just died around 1996 or something. The film is an alien invasion flick in which the Boovs come to Earth, quite literally vacuum up all of the humans in a matter of hours, deposit them in Australia in a series of large town squares with ice cream and then colonize the world's empty cities, towns and villages. The Boov are on the run from the Gorg, a menacing alien intelligence. The Boov are runners. They never fight. They just pull up stakes and take over the next planet whenever the Gorg get close. We follow one outcast named Oh (voice of Jim Parsons), who gets on everybody's nerves (he certainly will yours) because of his overwhelming need for love and acceptance and his propensity for screwing things up. He dooms The Boov and Earth when he sends an e-vite for his housewarming party. Instead of carefully CC-ing each guest individually, he clicks "Send All" on the iPad-like device the Boov's leadership has distributed to every male, female and child Boov. And because he clicked "Send All," the e-vite is also set to the Gorg a few light years away. Forced on the run from his own people, who seek his password to stop the e-vite from reaching the Gorg, Oh meets up with apparently the only human left behind in any city or town, middle schooler Gratutity "Tip" Tucci (voice of Rihanna), who was separated from her mother (voice of J.Lo) during the invasion and has been on her own ever since. Oh just wants to go to Antarctica where no Boov have chosen to live, while Tip just wants to find her mom. And that's pretty much it, folks. The major, overwhelming problem here is, there's just not much story to stretch out over 90 minutes and almost NO tension. It's all a bunch of awful (OK, at best, forgettable) pop music tunes mixed in with feel-good instant messaging. I used the word earlier and I'll use it again. The film is just LAZY! You can't name your character "Gratutity Tucci" and NEVER explain it. And isn't the whole "Send all" bit just a deeply lazy way to get the Boov's mortal enemy to Earth? Would this species that is deathly afraid of the Gorg - to the point, where it evacuates entire worlds and re-colonizes the next solar system over - really distribute a species-wide device that allows every single Boov in existence to receive a single party e-vite AND have that mortal enemy on the CC list, too? Wasn't there a more clever way for Oh to screw up and alert the Gorg of their new location? And there's another plot point that had the kids around me openly questioning their parents and each other. Sure, the little ones should be taught the rules of cinema-going and shut up during movies. But they all had a collective point this time. The reason Tip is NOT snatched up by the aliens is because on top of her head at the time laid her pet cat. The aliens' scan, as a result, read her as not human and deactivated the tractor beam that was about to spirit her up to one of the motherships. So, the Boov only scooped up people and not animals. So shouldn't the vacant cities and towns be overrun by furry four-footers looking for their masters and families? Shouldn't those scenes with the relocated humans in Australia have hundreds of kids screaming for their beloved Fluffy or Fido? Should you see "Home?" No! You should STAY home, folks!

"Home" is rated PG for some mild action and rude humor.


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