Saturday, March 3, 2012

I Pitch For The Tree$

These buckets are the perfect size for gathering eggs, so I always grab them out of the trash at the theater.

This afternoon PC calls me and says we can't go see John Carter tonight.

"We have to see The Lorax."

"I don't want to see The Lorax."

"I'm reviewing it for Allegheny Front.  You can contribute whatever snark you've got on it, and I'll incorporate it."

Seventy product placements and marketing tie-ins ... ahem ... partners.

Whoring an icon of the 1970's environmental movement to hawk consumer crap to children.

Will that do?

Alas, it would not.  Lured with a dinner at House of Chen, I soon regretted taking the bait.

Putting aside the nested storylines that put me to sleep twice (but I dozed off in 3-D!)

Nevermind the apparently obligatory "romance" and "family" plot elements that make carving runes in the back of my hand with a rusty engineer's compass seem like an engaging evening.

Pay no attention to the insertion of a new, unredeemed villain -- because Seuss' Once-ler is not heavy enough.

Who the hell do they think they are taking the Seussian language out of a Seuss story?!

Aside from some "clever" and ironic words and offhand references here and there, none of Ted Geisel's rhymes, neologisms and turns of phrase remain.

A child will sit through 90 minutes of chase scenes, Betty White and Taylor Swift, and strangely disturbing CGI crowd scenes that combine elements of a musical breakout number taking a wide stance with a Nuremberg rally, and have no idea what a Brown Bar-ba-loot or a Swomee-Swan might be.

Because what did that old fool know about words and kids, anyway?

(Full disclosure. The very first book I checked out of the library and read all by myself was a Dr. Seuss creation.  Dick and Jane could suck it from that moment on.)

After the families at the early show applauded the second coming of the Lorax and shuffled out to their Lincoln Navigators, after the best boy and gaffer, after we "recycled" our 3-D glasses, I collected a stack of discarded Lorax-adorned plastic popcorn buckets from the trash-and-food strewn aisles and the tops of the overflowing trash cans. 


  1. I loved that book. Too bad someone felt they needed to improve on it.

  2. Well crap.

    Hollywood Lorax = THIS

  3. Oh, none of the Seuss rhymes remain? Well, it's not worth my time and money then. Glad you could save the buckets from the landfill, though.

  4. A similar Lord of the Rings bucket has been holding my saddle soap and sponges since 2001. They are pretty tough buckets.


  5. I cannot find a copy but I know I made copies for you and your brothers from the editoria page of the paper on the death of Dr. Seuss: : "Mother Goose, Dr. Seuss, I've just arrived in Heaven. I'd love to dine with you tonight, Green Eggs and Ham at Seven?"


    Maurice Houlahan

  6. My daughter loves the book, but, yeah, wasn't really tempted by the 3-D mega-commercial product-partered version.

    What's next? A super-violent 3-D Hollywood remake of Ferdinand??

  7. That is the same "very first book" I remember reading (during nap time while my mother was pairing socks on one of those bumpy white cotton bedspreads). We still have the annual reading of the story with Max even though the children in this household are in middle school--it's a group effort--never saw the movie.

    But the real question is: see John Carter in theaters, or wait for DVD?


    1. We have rather small, non-high-def TV's. So anything we really want to see that promises to be big, loud and stupid = movie theater.

    2. Well, that's true here too. But it's got to be really big, otherwise I'll wait to watch it on the rather small screen. However, I've got a real fan on my hands, so we probably won't wait.


  8. The original was a favorite of all my boys; each one of them went through a stage where they would watch it over and over and over again, and listen to the book as many times as you cared to read it to them. To this day they call any chopping device a "super axe-hacker." They refuse to go see the new one.

  9. The Lorax speaks for the SUVs, which of course tells you all you need to know about this adaptation.

  10. ONB Jet would like to add that those buckets make super fabulous labradork helmets if you fling 'em around just right and get the handle under the muzzle like a chin strap. They also make for some really good pounce action too if you play with them on a wet grassy slope.

  11. Discarded LORAX-adorned PLASTIC popcorn buckets??!? I think I just sizzled a gasket in my brain & blew out the fuse to my frontal lobe. There seems to be drool running down the front of my shirt. GAAAH!

  12. Check out the first section of The Colbert Report on February 27th. He was equally as impressed by the Lorax hawking consumer crap.

    And I quote;

    This cashtaculous sellout is not quite enough —
    I’m demanding more branding of Loraxian stuff!
    With what you can buy, boy, the sky is the limit —
    A Filet-O-Fish meal with real hummingfish in it!
    Filmmakers, get cracking! The market is lacking
    a splendiferous Lorax-themed drill made for fracking!
    Or the fine, certain something that all people need —
    indeed, you’ll succeed if you sold us a Thneed!
    They’re easy to make, if you only take
    all the truffula tufts off the trees by the lake —
    they’re comfy and thick as the thick ironies
    of the Lorax and Seuss hawking big SUVs.

    Leave it to Stephen... ;O)



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