HOW TO TRAIN YOUR YETI…..errrr, I mean ABOMINABLE will forever now be lodged in my mind as my son Grayson’s first movie (he just turned two) in the theater. I remember that he was mostly very, very respectful during it, only really ooooing and ahhhhing at the really cool magical moments, the only movement was when he was just wanting to sit in mommy or daddy’s lap from his own seat. He was an excellent movie theater patron, even though he was in a kid friendly theater, and made this movie nerd very proud. A movie nerd that sometimes wants to fucking snap people’s God damn necks if you talk or text during a regular, more adult movie. Or play with those stupid God damn Apple watches (you know who you are). The movie itself? Eh…it was alright. And cute. I am obviously going to recommend this movie to families, because I did find it charming and even laughed during some moments, and my kid basically paid full attention to it the full 95 minutes, but it’s no Toy Story 4. And definitely no How To Train Your Dragon (both Dragon and this was made by Dreamworks Animation). The movie is…acceptable.
The plot is simple. Big abominable snowman escapes from science facility and ends up on the apartment roof of a sad girl named Yi. Yi is a young girl, a violin player that is stuck in the past, not playing anymore because she misses her dad, who died, who she played for and who taught her how to play, and not giving her mother and grandmother the time of day. The big snowman happens to see a giant Everest advertisement from their roof and Yi and two of her younger boy family friends named Peng and Jin decide to go return them to his home. However, the assholes from the science experiment place that imprisoned him are right on their tale and want them back. With everything I just gave you, you can connects the dots from act one, to act two, to act three pretty easily, and can guess what will ultimately happen. This little road trip kid movie does have its charms though throughout the way and is able to entertain even though it brings absolutely nothing new to the kid movie drama. In fact you could say it borrows too much from other films, and felt really close to ripping off How To Train Your Dragon, with the whole being afraid of giant animals but then learning to love and work with them. Also takes a little bit from Kubo and the Two Strings with the whole violin playing thing (you’ll see).
There is a whooping snake gag that works in the movies favor, bringing it back just when you thought the movie forgot about it. There are also some cute little sight gags involving blueberries and an iphone flashlight that had me chuckling. I also liked the little bait and switch with the whole “who is the real bad guy?” little plot line the movie manages to pull off gracefully. And finally, the movie does have a couple of warm fuzzy feeling “Pixar” moments as well, as the whole adventure is just to get Yi to let go of her deceased father and have her give her mother and grandmother more attention. And even though all of it is generic, it all gets a slight recommendation for me, mainly because it kept my toddler’s attention throughout the whole thing and I was able to enjoy it with him. I also enjoyed some of the chance sequences that involved a dandelion and a fun trip though a flower field using the Yeti (who they name Everest btw) magical powers. That right, can’t go through the film without this special creature having magical powers.
The voice acting isn’t one to cry home about except for Chloe Bennett (Quake on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) who plays Yi, and Sarah Paulson, who plays one of the scientists trying to get the Yeti back. Chloe Bennett completely strips away everything about her voice from the Marvel show and brings humanity and Grace to Yi, and it seemed like Sarah Paulson had fun getting a break from all that drama and horror on television she’s so accustomed to play. The writers and directors of these haven’t done too much theatrically, one of them coming up with the story idea for Monster’s Inc. and both of them involved with Open Season. I think if they had time to perfect and screenplay geared toward a child and combined with their already fine direction, they could have a masterpiece on their hands someday. This obviously isn’t it, but it is a solid effort. If I would’ve saw this by myself, I probably wouldn’t have liked it as much, so like I said, go with younger ones or with your family, and you’ll at least have a nice experience with a passable film.
CAMP CINEMARK (the one in Allen, Texas) basically consists of taking one of the many screens that Cinemark usually offers patrons and making it kid friendly. The inside consists of different kinds of comfy seats and loungers and the floor has several decently sized puffy mats for those that want to lay back and watch the movie up close. There are twinkly lights at the top (obviously dimmed way down once the movie starts) to imitate stars in the night sky and decorative plastic trees that try and make it feel like you are watching a movie at a mini camp out. Obviously kids can talk and make minor noises during the movie without being shushed or bitched at but phones are still to be on silent and not taken out during the movie. If your child can’t sit still there is a small room right outside the theater for them to get there energy out or to get them to calm down before you bring them back inside. This room is supposed to have an interactive wall but this wall wasn’t working at the time we got to the theater. Didn’t really matter anyway as our son didn’t have to go in that room during the screening.
My family and friends didn’t thing I’d be able to handle a kid friendly screening, where kids could talk and make minor noises while the movie was playing. But anyone that told me that, I scoff at your asses and give you all the middle finger, because the theater was filled up pretty decently and most of the kids acted better than the bullshit I have to put up with with teens and even grown ups in a regular screening. Yeah, one or two kids pointed at the screen and babbled some shit, but it didn’t bother me because I knew where I was at and where my place was. Even with my kid there and me worrying about him a little bit, I was still able to easily pay attention to the entire movie. I would gladly take my kid there to something he would like to see in the future between the ages of now and 6-7.
I would only give Camp Cinemark 4 out of 5 stars. Two reasons why I would take away a star. First off, I really would’ve liked to see that interactive wall work in the calm down room. The fact that it wasn’t working the first showing in the morning was a little bit ridiculous. Whoever manages that Cinemark in Allen, Texas, and if they just so happen to read this, probably needs to get that shit fixed. Now here is something that corporate needs to fix. There are WAY TOO MANY GOD DAMN TRAILERS BEFORE THE MOVIE and THE NOOVIE (spelled correctly) SPONSORED ENTERTAINMENT BEFORE THE TRAILERS CONTENT WASN’T GEARED TOWARDS KIDS.
For kids with severe ADD, unless you bring your kids in right before the movie starts, are going to have some problems staying calm and staying in there seat. Instead of watching and hearing what Maria Menounous introducing regular content and then talking about how she almost died of a brain tumor earlier in life (I shit you not), why not get some licensed cartoons that they kids could watch before the previews and switch them out every couple of months. And the kids and especially the adults don’t need 20 minutes of previews. Cut that shit in half or even 3/4ths and keep the previews kid friendly. They don’t give a shit about a PG-13 sequel to Jumanji. Stick to cartoons. Also there are two Cinemark beginnings, the regular one with the popcorn and the soda that makes you hungry and need to take a piss at the same time, and then the Camp Cinemark opening. CUT OUT THE FIRST ONE. Those are my recommendations to make CAMP CINEMARK nearly perfect. Even without those fixes, I’d still take Grayson there again.