We Bought a Zoo by Benjamin MeeMy work in the office is to be in front of the computer for almost the whole day. Iím an information technology-systems analyst guy assigned on North American projects so I rarely talk to anybody except during lunch time. Due to this, I can don a headset and listen to a radio station. 8 hours a day.
Since early this January, my favorite afternoon station, RJ 100.30 has been airing the teaser for the movie adaptation of this memoir We Bought a Zoo with one line that goes something like: ĒYou donít need a lot of knowledge to run a zoo. What you need is a lot of heart.Ē The voice sounds sincere and the irony (who would thought of buying a zoo and declare it as if what you bought was just a new set of plasma TV?) is just intriguing. Then one evening, I saw a poster on top of a waiting shed along EDSA and when I saw Scarlett Johansson (my well-kept secret crush) and Matt Damon (who to my disappointment lost the lead role in the latest The Bourne movie that is currently shooting here in Manila), I said whoa this seems to be a fun movie. Then the following day, I saw a copy of this book at NBS with exactly the same people on the poster along EDSA, so I bought it right away forgetting my new yearís resolution of not buying books, especially brand new books because they are expensive and they derail my monthly budget. But anyway, I resolved that I would not see the movie anyway so the cost of the book approximates the savings from not seeing the movie with my family.
I liked the book particularly that fact that this was based on a true story. It was hard for me to bring my own experiences that would have made this a memorable read. My childhood experiences in zoos were not that really beautiful. The Manila Zoo was the first zoo I visited, once when I was a small boy and I was so young I could not remember anything about it. All I remember now was the stinking smell and the big scary elephant. I also remember that I wanted to eat another ice cream but my mother would not allow me to have another cone. My wife had a somewhat strange memory about her visit: she fell on the pavement and all she remembered when I asked her was that she was crying endlessly because of the pain. When my daughter was young, we bought her to the same zoo, Malabon Zoo and the ones in Tagaytay. She also had the chance to visit Ocean Park (in Hongkong), Singapore Zoo and Zoobic (in Olongapo City) and I know she enjoyed those. Itís always nice to give somethings to your children especially those that you were not able to have when you were young, right?
There is nothing really wrong about the writing. Mee tried to capture everything that happened in an organized manner. Not sure if he exerted effort to make the telling interesting but I just did not feel anything while reading. Okay, he bought the zoo for his mother as he would like her to have something to excite her now becoming boring twilight years. Okay, he was losing his wife, Katherine, to cancer and he probably thought that this would be a diversion of his grief. Okay, his two kids were all excited to own the 200 animals in the zoo and their father seemed like a God-sent hero to save those animals. Sure Mee has all the heart, and I salute him. Itís just that the writing is a bit boring because it is so plain and predictable. There are heartwarming scenes but from page 1, despite all the hurdles thrown by Mee in the air for me to believe otherwise, I knew that the ending would be happy: that they would succeed in running the zoo.
If you are interested on animals, however, I still recommend this book especially if you are planning to buy your own zoo. Quite informative, I would say.
That radio teaser is still being played. I just heard it while typing this review. After reading this book though, I donít have any interest to see the movie.
We Bought A Zoo -- Film Review #JPMN
We Bought a Zoo (2011)
Benjamin Mee: You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it. Lily Miska: [to Kelly during the opening of the zoo] If you had to choose between people and animals, who would you pick? Rosie Mee: [as Walter Ferris is finalizing his inspection] You know, everybody here thinks you're a dick.
Recently widowed Benjamin Ben Mee Matt Damon , still grieving his loss and dealing with school behavior issues and the expulsion of his year-old son Dylan Colin Ford , decides to get a fresh start by buying a new house. Stevens JB Smoove , and finding none to his liking, his daughter finds a paper with what seems like his perfect house. They drive up to a beautiful old large house and Ben inspects the property, telling his realtor it's the perfect home. As he tries to explain that the situation is "complicated", they hear a lion roar outside. The realtor explains that the house comes with a zoo at the back and, if they want the house, they have to buy the zoo which closed to the public several years before.
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Financial analysis of We Bought a Zoo () including budget, domestic and international box office gross, DVD and Blu-ray sales reports, total earnings and.
sync how order emerges from chaos
By Dustin Rowles Film December 26, We Bought a Zoo is red meat for cynics. Cameron Crowe precariously perches his heart upon his sleeve and taunts misanthropists and skeptics, begging them to take the easy route, to mock the movie for its earnestness, to criticize his dogged efforts to elicit tears. But it is not fake. It teeters on the edge of clever and schmaltzy, it is rousing and romantic, uplifting and inspiring, and goes to great lengths to yank those tears out of your eye sockets, but by God, it succeeds, and it does so without making you feel cheap. We Bought a Zoo is nice enough to buy you dinner before it fucks up your mascara. We Bought a Zoo is based on the true story of Benjamin Mee, who took over the Dartmoor Zoological Park in England, refurbished it, and re-opened it to the public after it had been shut down due to questions about the safety of the animals.
You've got very few choices if you're looking for someone with name recognition and vestigial indie cred to score a big-budget holiday movie called We Bought a Zoo. The Flaming Lips have already done their Christmas movie soundtrack and, yes, even have a song about Christmas at the zoo , and this is a Cameron Crowe film we're talking about, one that's being touted as "from the director of Jerry Maguire , " as opposed to, say, "from the director of Almost Famous. So We Bought a Zoo naturally manifests as a work of mutual admiration and mutual benefit and everyone comes out of it feeling better about themselves. Which is to say that above all else, the level of risk and likelihood to satisfy is on par with that of, say, a Cameron Crowe movie being released for the holidays. What Crowe gets out of this relationship is obvious. That's where a shade over a half hour of new music he composed for the film comes in, with tasteful brass and string arrangements courtesy of Nico Muhly. So those trebly piano twinkles, elegiac tempos, octave-shifted vocals that hover and haunt like friendly ghosts?
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