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Has Hollywood Stopped Trying? The Smurfs vs. Mr. Popper’s Penguins

Has Hollywood Stopped Trying? The Smurfs vs. Mr. Popper's Penguins

Thompson on Hollywood

It’s Thursday and another fun-filled summer weekend at the movies is looming. There’s good news in the Hollywood forecast: Jurassic Park may be rebooted, Jon Hamm and Melissa McCarthy may star together in a comedy, Angelina Jolie and David O. Russell may pair for Maleficent and the Coens are doing a musical. But check out this more sobering look at how Hollywood has stopped trying.

CHUD compares Mr. Popper’s Penguins (June 17) to The Smurfs (July 29), both of which we included in our list of the Summer’s Nine Worst Movie Trailers (trailers below). Not only does each one look bad on its own, but shot for shot they “appear to be the exact same movie.” Check out CHUD’s play-by-play of the imagined film studio meeting in which a writer pitches execs the idea for both of films—at the same time.

We have one word for you both, Jim Carrey and Neil Patrick Harris: Why? You’re probably asking yourselves the same thing.

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Oh, and I forgot about very talented Lee Pace who had his very own Alvin and the Chipmunks with horrible-looking Marmaduke.


Honestly I don’t care how bad is Mr. Popper’s Penguins (according to most reviews it really isn’t, but rather harmless, even if forgettable fun) all I know that it’s Angela Lansbury’s (one of the greatest actresses of her time) second film in 27 years (and I sure hope not the last, common Dame Judi don’t be greedy, let Ms. Lansbury a chance to play at least one of the 105 roles you’re getting per year!) so that makes it already a must see event for me. Plus Jim Carrey is a very talented actor.

Neil Patrick Harris is a wonderful and charismatic actor, but there is no way I’m seeing that film in theaters. The guy deserves better. Same applies to James Marsden and Zachary Levi.


i can understand the smurfs. it’s meant for very young kids. so, fine. but, popper’s penguins skews a little older. but, it says ‘you’re 10 or 12 so you’re too dumb to know this is bad.’ that’s what bothers me about pp.

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