Friday, 08 July 2011 03:14

Zookeeper Featured

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Columbia Pictures, Broken Road Productions and Happy Madison Productions present a 104 minute, PG, comedy, family, romance directed by Frank Coraci, written by Nick Bakay and Rock Reuben with a release date of July 8, 2011.

Griffin Keyes (Kevin James) is a well-mannered, liked by most piers, head zookeeper at the Franklin Park Zoo in Boston, Massachusetts.  On the beach he is about to propose to his girlfriend Stephanie (Leslie Bibb) all beauty and no depth to say the least.  One problem for Griffin is that Stephanie doesn’t think much of him and believes he’ll never amount to anything while working at a zoo, so the answer to will you be my wife is a big fat no. 

Five years later, Griffin is still working at the zoo side by side with the many animals, Kate (Rosario Dawson) Director of Veterinarian Services, Shane (Donnie Wahlberg) the evil zookeeper that told lies about an attack by Bernie the gorilla (voice of Nick Nolte) who happens to be Griffin’s favorite animal pal, Venom (Ken Jeong) another zookeeper with no purpose other than to be gross in every possible way.  Even though I think he’s quite the funny man his role in this film most likely could have ended up on the cutting room floor and he would not have been missed.

When Griffin’s brother is about to get married his soon to be wife’s best friend just so happens to be Stephanie who is now dating Gale (Joe Rogan), no not a lesbian lover but yes a woman’s name.  Feelings start to erupt once again by Griffin and he decides to do whatever possible to win Stefanie back, even leaving the zoo for a job with his brothers exotic car imports dealership.  Once the zoo animals discover Griffin’s intensions they decide to let him in on a little secret.  They can talk!  After the initial shock wears off and Griffin begins to hold conversations with the animals they start to try to help him in his quest to win the love of his ex-girlfriend, Stephanie. 

Jerome (voice of Jon Favreau) and Bruce (voice of Faizon Love) the bears try to teach Griffin how to walk properly with a swagger and a growl while Sebastian the Wolf (voice of Bas Rutten) tries to explain that peeing on his surroundings will more than attract the female in his life.  Even Janet the Lioness (voice of Cher) mate to Joe the Lion (voice of Sylvester Stallone) steps up to lend a paw with some of the best advice on how to win a lady.  These and many other suggestions might work well for individual species in the wild but the domesticated human must learn to entice a woman in the best way he knows how, lies!  Griffin even uses Kate as a weapon to try to make Stephanie jealous at his brother’s wedding but instead ends up taking out not only the wedding ice sculpture but the bride as well.

Some of the funniest moments in the film entail a trip with Bernie to TGI Fridays as he poses to be a man in a gorilla suit out to attend a masquerade party.  Does it work?  Let’s just say who would have thought Fridays could be so much fun!  Although the possible relationship between man and ape comes across just a little weird, almost like in “Planet of the Apes” when Charlton Heston plants his lips on the female medical Chimpanzee, this silver back really knows how to party.  It is Donald the Monkey (voice of Adam Sandler) that really steals the show even though at times I thought it seemed a bit difficult to understand him and his thumbs.  Many of the scenes come off a bit silly but cute and the writing is impeccable at least for the animal characters especially Donald the Monkey who happens to steal every scene he is in, pretty much so like his last film, “Hangover 2”.  Barry the Elephant (voice of Judd Apatow), Mollie the Giraffe (voice of Maya Rudolph), Frog (voice of Don Rickles), Crow (voice of Jim Breuer), Ostrich (voice of Richie Minervini), are just a few more of the animal characters utilized in this story that outshines that of the humans by at least two to one.  There are a lot of beautiful visual moments that involve the animal kingdom along with some factual information learned like for instance that eagles mate for life.  I thought the special effect lip action on the different species might have been too much but eventually it grows on you moving these animals up the ladder of the food chain, making us wonder that if they really did have a voice would we look at them differently.  I think we would!

In the end Griffin unravels many new values about himself that he has over-looked for way to long, he discovers that the girl he loves was standing in front of him all along, the truth about the relationship between Shane and Bernie and the fact that gorilla’s even though they believe they can fly, can’t!  But they are good climbers and King Kong proved that one with Bernie coming in second.  Definitely worth the watch with some nice direction although some of the writing may be just a little over-the-head for the younger audience, this story is adorable, sometimes a bit over-the-top but filled with a brilliant cast of characters that will help propel this film into a decent box office.  That is unless PETA pickets it for its use of animal actors.  AHA has a job to do and hopefully they are doing it with compassion and accuracy so that these beautiful creatures are treated with the utmost respect.  During the credits while listening to one of many of the fun songs in the soundtrack make sure you stay and enjoy the out-takes that prove once again that not all humans deserve to be on the top of the food chain in this circle of life.  Written with two and half paws by Jon Patch.

Read 6110 times Last modified on Friday, 08 July 2011 03:20
Jon Patch

Graduated from Penn State University in 1983 and landed my first broadcasting job at the flagship station to SUN Radio Network in St. Petersburg, FL as a producer of talk radio. In 3 months advanced to a network producer, then on air as a national eventually local weather reporter for the Tampa Bay area. Held a position in management as a trainer to new hosts and producers and later Affiliate Relations Manager, eventually in 1990 started hosting, Talkin' Pets. Left SUN radio several years later and worked with USA Radio Networks for 1 year. I worked with Business TalkRadio & Lifestyle TalkRadio Networks for19 years under the title of V.P. Affiliate Relations and Programming, later worked with Genesis Communications until starting a new network ATRN.  Currently working with GAB Radio Network and with Josh Leng at Talk Media Network.  I am still hosting the largest and longest running pet radio and internet show in the country, Talkin' Pets, for the past 29 years... My one true passion in life is to help to educate the world through interviews with celebrities like Betty White, Tippi Hedren, Bob Barker, Linda Blair and others, authors, foundations and organizations like the ASPCA, LCA, HSUS, AHA, WSPA on the ways to make this world a better place for all animals and mankind whom all share this very fragile and mysterious planet called earth. This is the only home we have so we all need to learn how to share and maintain it so that life for us all continues and evolves forever...

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