Excerpt: As I rack my brain, I really can’t remember the last time I visited a zoo. And, to boot, I live 30 minutes outside of Washington D.C. – home of one of the best zoos in the country. Go figure. Still, when looking at this movie, a few things other than animals come to mind. First, Cameron Crowe is behind the camera. This is good. The guy has given us movies like Jerry MaGuire and Almost Famous . This leads me to the lead actor, Matt Damon.
Excerpt: Writer and widower Benjamin Mee (Matt Damon) is still trying to come to terms with the death of his wife six months ago while raising his two kids, but when his son Dylan (Colin Ford) is expelled from school, they're forced to move elsewhere and Benjamin ends up buying a large estate that happens to include a wildlife preserve. With his family and the acting zookeeper (Scarlett Johansson), Benjamin works to get the zoo into shape to open for the busy summer season.
Excerpt: Mee begins looking for a new home and finds a charming two-story house in the country with just one problem—it includes a condemned zoo with a stipulation from the former owner that the animals must be taken care of by the purchaser. When Rosie’s eyes light up at the sight of the animals, Mee decides to buy the place and reopen the zoo to the public.
Excerpt: At his best, no one captures the feeling of feelings like Cameron Crowe. His stylized dialogue is more poetry than things a real person would say, his characters living versions of the pop songs he covered for Rolling Stone and feature prominently in his movies. Early films like Fast Times at Ridgemont High and Say Anything tapped into the heightened passions of youth. As Crowe grew older, so did his characters.
Conclusion: We Bought a Zoo is a good (not great) film much in the fashion of Cameron Crowe's previous ones. This family dramedy will strike some as cloying, but I found it sweet, sincere, and with its heart in the right place. Fox's Blu-ray is loaded with extras, wielding quite a bit more than the average viewer will care to see and hear. The DVD is sadly far lighter, but at least the combo pack does right by including the same DVD sold on its own and a separate digital copy disc.
Excerpt: The Movie Based upon one of those incredible, inspirational stories that could only be true, We Bought a Zoo is an almost-perfect family film, assuming we like families and, you know, animals. Matt Damon stars as an adventure journalist struggling to keep his life and his family together following the loss of his wife. He decides that a move is the best thing for all involved and they eventually find a promising new home, albeit one that comes with a zoo attached.
Summary: We Bought a Zoo joins Snakes on a Plane and Hobo with a Shotgun in the small cadre of films whose titles tell you just about everything you need to know. Nobody's ever going to ask, " We Bought a Zoo , eh? What's that one about?" A zoo is indeed bought and renovated and reopened, the process of which helps the family that did the buying overcome their grief and draw closer to one another.
Excerpt: We Bought a Zoo is located at the intersection of Feel Good Road and Predictable Lane. Matt Damon saps it up as the father who means to do well by his two children after their mother passes, but is hounded by impossibly over-the-top government bureaucrats, teenage angst, and Scarlett Johansson. Okay, the last one isn’t so bad.