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Overall Rating

Awesome: 12.7%
Worth A Look: 31.75%
Just Average41.27%
Pretty Crappy: 11.11%
Sucks: 3.17%

7 reviews, 21 user ratings

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by Dawn Taylor

"Remember when even the Republicans cared about owls?"
4 stars

Hi there, kids! Come on in, I want to tell you a little story. Jared, unplug that iPod and pay attention. No, Tamarinda-Sateen, you can't text-message your friends while I talk. I want to tell you all how important it is that you see a movie called "Hoot," which looks like a silly kid's movie but actually teaches an important lesson about the value of something called "civil disobedience."

A long, long time ago there was a magical place called "The 1970's." For a few decades, people had been using more and more plastic and burning more and more oil and tearing down more and more trees to build more and more houses, and the scientists all became very concerned. The scientists went to the People Who Run Things and told them that we were destroying the earth. They said that if we kept going the way we were, we would use up all the oil and kill all the animals and poison all of our water and air. The People Who Run Things were very concerned, too, even though many of them were Conservatives. Do you know where the word "conservative" comes from, kids? It comes from the word "conserve," which means "to keep the same" and "to use carefully or sparingly." And because the People Who Run Things sold all the oil to people and owned all the forests, they knew they needed to change how they did things so that they could make and build and sell more things in the future. Oh, and not kill everybody.

So the scientists and the People Who Run Things got together and told everyone about something called "ecology," which means "the study of what people do to the environment" and people were shocked to find out that they were helping to hurt the Earth. So they all started recycling cans and bottles (can you believe people didn't recycle before the 1970's?) and driving smaller cars to use less gas and passing laws to make factories pump less smoke into the air. And for awhile, it worked everyone cared about the Earth, even creating a special holiday to remind themselves to take care of the environment.

But then came the 1980's, and everyone forgot about the environment because they were too busy buying cocaine and wearing big shoulder pads and listening to A Flock of Seagulls. And that was followed by the 1990s, when Conservatives forgot what "conserve" means and went back to making big cars and finding places where they could tear down all the trees (they discovered that South America is excellent for that purpose.) And then came the new millennium, and the People Who Run Things made even bigger cars cars the size of tanks! and changed the laws so it was okay to poison the air and water, and even announced that science wasn't real, so they didn't have to listen to it anymore.

And now here we are today, kids, and some scientists say that we're running out of oil, which means in another couple of decades we won't be able to drive cars or run factories and all of our food will be too expensive to afford. And while the People Who Run Things say they want to fix the problems, they seem more interested in using everything up as fast as possible. Some people say that's because they believe that Jesus is coming to take them away soon, so they don't have to care about what happens to the Earth anymore -- although that would be a pretty silly thing to believe, wouldn't it?

But some people care, and they want you to think about what the People Who Run Things are doing. One of those people is a man named Carl Hiaasen, who writes for a newspaper in Florida. He's also written a lot of funny crime novels about dumb crooks and evil developers and crooked politicians, because he cares about those things a lot. He wrote a kid's book called "Hoot," which was about the same things his grown-up books are about, only for kids. It's really good. You should read it.

And now there's a movie adapted from that book, and it's pretty good. It's about a boy named Roy, played by Logan Lerman, whose family moves to Coconut Cove, Fla. Before that, he'd lived in Montana, so when a bully mashes his face into a schoolbus window on his first day, Roy gets the nickname "Cowgirl." While getting his face mashed on the bus, Roy sees a barefoot boy running very fast down the street and, intrigued, he sets out to discover who this strange boy is and what he's up to.

The boy, he learns, is named "Mullet Fingers," (Cody Linley) and he's trying to stop construction of a new pancake house on a tract of land that's home to endangered burrowing owls. There's also a goofy cop (Luke Wilson) who's been ordered to help the construction foreman (Tim Blake Nelson) find out who's been mucking up the construction site, and an owl-hating businessman (Clark Gregg) who wants to get his pancake house built at any cost.

Director Wil Shriner has done a fine job of adapting Hiaasen's novel, and the author himself pops up to deliver one line in a quick cameo. Shriner also gave parts in the movie to his twin brother, Kin Shriner (he played Scotty Baldwin on "General Hospital" ask your mom about that) and to Jimmy Buffett, a famous billionaire singer who lives on a boat and likes to pretend he's a pirate. The acting in the film is very good and the direction is sharp, too. Really, the only thing wrong with the film is that there are far too many snippets of Jimmy Buffett songs, but since he was one of the film's producers and his daughter, Savannah, was the music supervisor, that's to be expected.

"Hoot" is a real pleasure to watch, especially since most films aimed at kids assume that they have the mental abilities of soiled Kleenex. It's one of the smartest films for kids and 'tweens to come down the pike in a long, long time, and even the message about environmental responsibility isn't too heavy-handed. Grownups will like it, too.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=14109&reviewer=413
originally posted: 05/05/06 12:29:46
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2006 Florida Film Festival For more in the 2006 Florida Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2006 Philadelphia Film Festival For more in the 2006 Philadelphia Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

3/09/20 dupadoit mullet fingers 4 stars
4/21/14 Edith Redekop It is a fabulous movie - for persons of ALL ages to see! 5 stars
12/10/09 Susan Tucker My kind of movie. Love any movie that protects our wild life, am into Peta and protecting a 5 stars
9/25/08 Shaun Wallner Kids love this movie! 5 stars
1/01/08 allyce the olws were so cute 5 stars
5/18/07 David Pollastrini didn't think much of it. 2 stars
11/30/06 Sarah is a BAMF This was pretty cute, good for little kids and tweens. 4 stars
9/30/06 Karina a bit unbelieveable but its cool!! hoot hoot hoot 3 stars
9/03/06 Jenny aw.. this was heartwarming. A good one for the family. 4 stars
8/27/06 action movie fan pkay family movie kids trying to save burrowing owls 3 stars
8/25/06 michael good story 2 see 4 stars
8/20/06 Dylan nix Awesome movie,fantastic 5 stars
8/17/06 Tiffany cute 4 stars
6/22/06 Heather Purplethorne Palm trees grow in Ireland? Really? 4 stars
6/14/06 ashley hoot was awsome and linley is hott 5 stars
5/22/06 george it was a good movie 4 stars
5/11/06 Emily i loved the movie!!!! 5 stars
5/09/06 San Lamar to childish for my taste 1 stars
5/05/06 Heather Runyan this movie is sooo cool! i loved it! 5 stars
4/18/06 MBR Loved the movie! 4 stars
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  05-May-2006 (PG)
  DVD: 15-Aug-2006



Directed by
  Wil Shriner

Written by
  Wil Shriner

  Logan Lerman
  Brie Larson
  Cody Linley
  Jessica Cauffiel
  Tim Blake Nelson
  Luke Wilson

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