Home (2015 film)

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Home
Home (2015 film) poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Tim Johnson
Produced by
Screenplay by
  • Tom J. Astle
  • Matt Ember
Based on The True Meaning of Smekday 
by Adam Rex
Starring
Music by Lorne Balfe[1]
Edited by
  • Jessica Ambinder-Rojas
  • Alexander Berner
Production
company
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release dates
  • March 7, 2015 (2015-03-07) (BIFF)
  • March 27, 2015 (2015-03-27) (United States)
Running time
94 minutes[2]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $135 million[3]
Box office $99.7 million[3]

Home is a 2015 American 3D computer-animated buddy comedy film[4] produced by DreamWorks Animation and distributed by 20th Century Fox. It is based on Adam Rex's 2007 children's book The True Meaning of Smekday and stars Jim Parsons, Rihanna, Jennifer Lopez, and Steve Martin. Tim Johnson is the director of the film, Chris Jenkins and Suzanne Buirgy are its producers, and the adaptation is by Tom J. Astle and Matt Ember. The story takes place on planet Earth, where an alien race called the Boov invades, a teenage girl named Tip manages to avoid capture and goes on the run.

The film was released in theaters on March 27, 2015.[5] Home was promoted with the release of a four-minute short film, titled Almost Home, and premiered at the Boulder International Film Festival on March 7, 2015. Besides lending her voice to the film, Rihanna also created a concept album of the same name — the soundtrack also includes guest vocals from Jennifer Lopez among others. The soundtrack was supported by two singles — "Towards the Sun" and "Feel the Light" — and was met with moderate success on music charts.

Home received mixed reviews from film critics, however, the film was met with positive reviews from public polls.

Plot

On the run from their enemy the Gorgs, the Boov have found a new planet to call home, Earth. Led by Captain Smek (Steve Martin), they commence their friendly invasion of the planet, relocating the humans to other parts of the planet while the Boov inhabit their homes. One of the Boov named Oh (Jim Parsons) is a more excited, free-thinking member of the species. He invites all the other Boov to his apartment for a housewarming party. None of the Boov show up and Oh is left feeling lonely. Not far from Oh is a teenage girl named Tip (Rihanna) and her mother Lucy (Jennifer Lopez) is separated from her during the invasion, leaving Tip with her pet cat Pig and fueling her hatred for the Boov. One Boov enters Tip's home, leaving her no choice but to make a run for it. She takes her car and decides to take it upon herself to find her mother.

Oh runs into the street to find a Boov cop named Kyle (Matt L. Jones), who, like the rest of the Boov, are annoyed with Oh. He invites him to the party, and then decides to send a mass invite to every Boov on Earth. Oh hits "reply all", which goes to everybody in the galaxy, including the Gorgs. The Boov panic and declare Oh a fugitive. The little alien just barely manages to escape. He runs into a convenience store to grab stuff, just as Tip and Pig are doing. Tip runs into Oh and shoves him into the fridge, trapping him with a broom. She decides to leave him there until her car fails to start. Oh offers to fix it, so Tip reluctantly lets him out. He turns it into a hovercar that runs on slushies. Oh hitches a ride with Tip when he promises to help her find her mother, but they have to go to Paris to find the Boov Command Center and locate her through that.

Smek summons the smartest Boov to come up with a solution to stop Oh's invitation from reaching the Gorg in less than 30 hours. After a few bad suggestions, one of the smart Boov starts to say they can delete the invitation, until Smek takes credit for that plan. The Boov are shocked to find that they can't log into Oh's E-Mail because his password is unique, unlike everyone elses. Smek sends Kyle to find Oh and arrest him. Tip and Oh stop at a gas station. Oh tries to reroute the GPS on the car to take him to Antarctica to get away from every Boov in sight. Kyle shows up and tries to arrest Oh, when Tip comes back and knocks some boxes over him. She shoves Oh around when she realizes he tried to ditch her and back out on his promise. She straps him to the passenger's seat and flies the car herself, evading Kyle and making it over the ocean.

During the ride, Tip introduces Oh to her favorite music. He begins to feel an involuntary sense to dance. This gets so intense for him that he has to jump into the ocean to cool his core. Tip waits worriedly for hours until Oh reemerges. She chastises him to scaring her. Oh learns that Tip already feels lonely like him without her mom. The two decide to work together and they open up to each other on the rest of the trip. They make it to Paris and locate the Boov Command Center, which is in the now-floating Eiffel Tower. While the smart Boov continue to try and find a way to break into Oh's password, Oh gets in himself and deletes the message seconds before it reaches the Gorg. He then plugs in Tip's brain to help him get an idea of where to find Lucy. They trace her location to Australia, where she is actively looking for her daughter. Tip hugs Oh for this. The other Boov then find the two and try to "erase" Oh. Tip messes with the gravity manipulation system and causes the whole Tower base to tilt upside down. She and Oh find the car and head for Australia.

When the two wake up, they see other Boov riding by them in fear. A Gorg ship is close behind them. Tip and Oh manage to knock it down, but in the process lose their slushie fuel. Oh figures he can repair the car with some Gorg technology from the fallen Gorg ship. They come across it and see that it's actually a drone. Oh recovers a special chip and uses it to get the car up and running.

Tip and Oh make it to Australia and see the Boov evacuating to their mothership. When they land the car, Tip starts to run for her mother, but Oh tries pulling her toward the mothership for safety. Oh claims that Lucy is on the ship, but Tip knows he's lying. She gets angry at him for trying to break the promise again, and she declares that they were never friends. Heartbroken, Oh returns to the ship. The Gorg mothership come close to the Boov ship as they flee in terror. Oh pulls out the Gorg chip and uses it to fly the ship further away from the Gorg. The Boov become astonished at Oh's plan. Smek becomes upset and reminds everyone that he's the captain. Oh defies him and says he's a bad one since everything he told them about humans was a lie. Smek orders he be erased until Kyle steps in and defends Oh. He grabs Smek's "shusher" (a scepter thing with a rock on it) and gives it to Oh, stating that he should be the new captain. Although uncertain at first, Oh knows what he has to do first.

Tip goes everywhere she can to find Lucy, but nobody can help her. Defeated, she sits in a corner and cries. Oh returns to her side and helps her track down Lucy. The mother and daughter finally reunite and thank Oh. The Gorg mothership then descends upon the planet. Oh realizes that they want the rock on the shusher since Smek stole it from them before. Oh runs to the ship to try and get it's attention, locking Tip and Lucy in the car to avoid them getting in trouble. Tip breaks out of the car and shines a light in the Gorg Commander's face to bring his attention to Oh as he holds the rock up. The Gorg Commander (Brian Stepanek) halts the ship as it mows down the ground, with Oh in its path. Tip rushes to rescue him, but it appears that Oh gets crushed beneath the machine. It starts to pull back and Oh is unharmed. Tip and Lucy run to Oh and hug him. The Gorg Commander emerges from the ship, and Oh returns him the rock. The Gorg Commander emerges from its armor to show that it's a harmless starfish-type creature. Inside the rock are the next generation of Gorg as this Gorg is the last of his kind. He thanks Oh and departs. Oh becomes a hero to both humans and Boov.

Oh finally gets to have his party at his apartment, with humans and Boov in attendance. Tip plays her music and gets the rest of the Boov to experience dancing for the first time. We then see that other Boov including Smek are partying on the moon while other ships from other planets head to Earth for Oh's party.

Voice cast

The Boovs are voiced by Stephen Kearin, Brian Stepanek, Lisa Stewart, and April Winchell.

Production

United States president Barack Obama visited DreamWorks Animation in November 2013, where he met with Steve Martin and Jim Parsons who were recording lines for the film.[10]

In 2008, DreamWorks Animation optioned the book's rights to adapt it into an animated feature film. On his blog, Adam Rex announced that DreamWorks renewed the option of the adaptation in 2011.[11][12] On June 20, 2012, it was revealed that the title of the film would be Happy Smekday!, Jim Parsons and Rihanna would star in the lead roles, and the film would be released in fourth-quarter 2014.[7] In September 2012, 20th Century Fox and DreamWorks Animation announced the release for November 26, 2014.[5] In June 2013, the film was retitled from Happy Smekday! to Home.[13]

On October 3, 2013, it was announced that Steve Martin and Jennifer Lopez had joined the cast of the film.[6] On May 20, 2014, the film's release date was pushed back to March 27, 2015, switching places with DreamWorks Animation's other film Penguins of Madagascar.[14] Jeffrey Katzenberg, DreamWorks Animation's CEO, reasoned that Penguins, coming from one of DWA's most successful franchises, would have an easier task to stand out during the Thanksgiving time, while Home would try to take advantage of less competitive spring release window and repeat successful spring launches of some of DWA's original films, including The Croods and How to Train Your Dragon.[15]

Soundtrack

Main article: Home (soundtrack)

In addition to her voice role, Rihanna created a concept album for the film (also titled Home) which was released on March 24, 2015.[16][17] It consists of 8 original songs.[18] The soundtrack's lead single, Rihanna's "Towards the Sun", was premiered on BBC Radio 1 on February 24, 2015[19] and it was made available for digital download the same day via the iTunes Store.[20] It was sent to contemporary hit radio in the United States on March 17.[21] The second single, "Feel the Light", recorded by Jennifer Lopez, was released on February 25, 2015 via the iTunes Store.[22]

Release

A 4-minute short film called Almost Home was attached to theatrical showings of DreamWorks Animation's Mr. Peabody & Sherman in early 2014[23] and 20th Century Fox's Rio 2 that same year.[24] It was directed by Todd Wilderman,[23] and features a score composed by Lorne Balfe.[25] The short shows The Boov and their leader Captain Smek in a sequence of unsuccessful attempts at finding a hospitable planet, before they finally come across the Earth.[26] The film premiered at the Boulder International Film Festival on March 7, 2015.[27]

Reception

Box office

As of March 29, 2015, Home has grossed $52.1 million in North America and $47.6 million in other territories for a worldwide total of $99.7 million, against a budget of $135 million.[3]

Home opened in the U.S. and Canada simultaneously with the comedy, Get Hard on March 27, 2015. Though the latter earned higher in its Thursday late-night run, estimates were showing that the former was heading to No. 1 in its opening weekend.[28][29][30][31][32] It scored one of the biggest opening day for a DWA non-sequel ever with $15.6 million, behind Kung Fu Panda ($20 million) and Monsters vs. Aliens ($16.75 million).[33][34] Home debuted at the top of box office with an estimated $52.1 million, which exceeded predictions of a $30 million to $35 million opening and was also Dreamworks Animation's best opening since the $60.3 million debut of Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted,[35] as well as the company's third highest opening weekend for a non-sequel (behind Kung Fu Panda and Monsters vs. Aliens).[36]

Outside North America, Home was released in 10 countries on March 20, 2015, a week ahead of its U.S. premiere and earned $20.1 million coming in third place at the international box office (behind Cinderella and The Divergent Series: Insurgent).[37] The following weekend, it expanded to 55 additional countries and grossed a total of $24 million from 11,250 screens in 64 countries.[38] Its largest openings occured in the UK, Ireland and Malta ($9.12 million), Russia ($5.17 million),[37] Mexico ($3 million),[38] Australia ($2.42 million), and Spain ($2.24 million).[37]

Critical response

Home has received mixed reviews. On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a 47% approval rating, based on 93 reviews, with an average rating of 5.4/10. The site's consensus is "Colorful, silly, and utterly benign, Home is a passable diversion, but there's no shortage of superior animated alternatives."[39] On Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating, the film has a score of 55 out of 100, based on 30 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[40] CinemaScore polls conducted during the opening weekend, cinema audiences gave Home an average grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale.[41]

Michael Rechtshaffen of The Hollywood Reporter said, "There may be no place like home, but there are a lot of places like Home, an animated adventure about the unlikely friendship between a lonely girl and an alien misfit that can't help but feel familiar."[42] James Rocchi of The Wrap gave the film a positive review, saying "As animated sci-fi for small fry, it's a success whose modest but well-executed ambitions are no small part of its charm."[43] Stephen Whitty gave the film two out of five stars, saying "The Gummi-colored animation is imaginative, but director Tim Johnson's ho-hum 3D cartoon remains strictly 1D."[44] Rafer Guzman of Newsday gave the film two out of four stars, saying "The film moves quickly and keeps the jokes coming, which only means that Home would rather keep young viewers occupied than give them something to think about."[45] Ben Sachs of the Chicago Reader gave the film a negative review, saying "Aggressive and cynical approach to children's entertainment, pummeling viewers with mechanical-looking action sequences (which suggest video game demos), unfunny one-liners, and overly loud pop songs and sound effects."[46] Claudia Puig of USA Today gave the film two out of five stars, saying "Key characters are admirably diverse, but the fast-paced tale is thoroughly predictable."[47]

Soren Anderson of The Seattle Times gave the film two and a half stars out of four, saying "It works moderately well thanks largely to the voice talents of Jim Parsons and, to a lesser extent, Steve Martin. Two droll dudes who put a fair share of funny into this animated picture."[48] Neil Genzlinger of The New York Times called the film "A charming concoction with positive messages for younger children about conquering fears, understanding outsiders and knowing yourself."[49] Betsy Sharkey of the Los Angeles Times gave the film a negative review, saying "Tension is one of Home's biggest issues. There just isn't nearly enough of it. Story is another. Even a kids' movie needs more complexity and more invention."[50] Linda Barnard of the Toronto Star gave the film two and a half stars out of four, saying "Aside from Parsons' initially amusingly mangled Yoda-like English, which gets a tad repetitive, Home doesn't stand out as fresh or particularly funny."[51] Dana Rose Falcone Entertainment Weekly gave the film an A-, saying "The combination of Home's layered message, fun score, and clever comedy make it a colorful choice for moviegoers of any age."[52] Stephanie Zacharek of The Village Voice gave the film a mixed review, saying "If director Tim Johnson -- adapting Adam Rex's book The True Meaning of Smekday -- can't do much with the story's confused, if well-intentioned, agenda, at least he's got some charming, vivid characters to work with."[53] Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film a C, saying "Anyone over 10 will see the plot twists a mile away. Kids will probably enjoy the goofy Boovs, the rainbows of colors and the music. Call me a traditionalist, but I still say the world was a better place before those darn Boovs invaded."[54]

Peter Debruge of Variety gave the film a negative review, saying "From a creative standpoint, this is the studio's least exciting feature yet - hardly its worst, execution-wise, but entirely lacking in the risk-taking spirit that has spawned such successful franchises as Shrek, Kung Fu Panda and Dragon."[55] Sara Stewart of the New York Post gave the film two out of five stars, saying "It’s refreshing to see a nonwhite lead, and the husky-voiced pop singer is likable as a brave-hearted kid searching for her mother. But man, is there a lot of Rihanna in this movie: She also provides what seems like the entirety of the film’s soundtrack, making it feel like a vanity project (is “vanimation” a thing?)."[56] Barbara VanDenburgh of The Arizona Republic gave the film two out of five stars, saying "For all its energy, razzle-dazzle and whiz-bang technology, it doesn't know how to tell a simple story or cobble together three-dimensional characters, and that's a problem not even the best of 3-D glasses can fix."[57] Susan Wloszczyna of RogerEbert.com gave the film two out of five stars, saying "I kept thinking about Lilo & Stitch while watching Home, a decidedly disappointing effort based on the popular kid-lit book The True Meaning of Smekday from the already embattled folks at DreamWorks Animation."[58]

References

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External links