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Overall Rating
3.39

Awesome: 12.9%
Worth A Look: 30.65%
Average41.94%
Pretty Bad: 11.29%
Total Crap: 3.23%

7 reviews, 20 user ratings


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Hoot
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by Matt Mulcahey

"The young eco-terrorist’s cookbook."
3 stars

Come, allow the novelist behind Striptease and a singer/songwriter famous for inducing the middle-aged to don Hawaiian shirts and binge drink to teach your pre-teens a few Al Gore-approved, eco-friendly life lessons.

Hoot’s morsels of simplistic wisdom and refreshingly wholesome lack of low-brow humor come courtesy of Florida-bred journalist/novelist Carl Hiassen, who counts Striptease among his many Sunshine State-set satiric crime novels, and Mr. Margaritaville himself Jimmy Buffett, who produced, contributed original songs and even pops up in a cameo that reinforces that Buffett's thespian range is limited to getting pummeled by Tommy Lee Jones in Cobb.

Hoot marks Hiassen’s first foray in the world of “young adult fiction,” and while the idea of a family-friendly message flick intended for the middleschool-and-under crowd might seem like an unlikely stretch for Hiassen, the story retains the author’s preoccupations with corruption, ecological responsibility and the bastardizing of his home state in the name of commerce. Those preoccupations are just wrapped up in a package of cute owls and adventurous kids rather than stuffed into a box full of strippers, criminals and various low-lives.

The eco-friendly plot involves endangered burrowing owls whose habitat is being threatened by a greedy restaurant developer (State and Main villain Clark Gregg, cartoonish as are all the film’s adults) obsessed with building his 100th Mother Paula’s Pancake House franchise on the home turf of said cuddly critters. The task of saving our feathered friends falls to a teenaged Montana transplant (Logan Lerman, a young actor with a gift for tossing off deadpan asides) newly arrived to the quaint Golf Coast setting and a pair of step-siblings played by Brie Larson and Cody Linley.

Linley’s character, nicknamed Mullet Fingers for reasons that unfortunately have nothing to do with sporting Swayze-style mud flaps, leads the pubescent trio’s reign of eco-terror from the woodland camp where he resides after running away from military school. The fact that Hoot fails to return Mullet Fingers home to his parents or some other such safe environment at its conclusion and instead allows him to remain a forest-dwelling pint-sized nature avenger is one of several well-intentioned but off-the-wall messages the film sends. Another inadvertent (at least I’m hoping so) message is that the best first step for nascent environmental protectors is not to alert the media or even picket to protest an injustice, but instead to vandalize and then unleash deadly poisonous snakes upon the wrongdoers. Adult viewers might also get a chuckle out of Mullet Fingers’ attempts to remain undetected while hiding out in his small Florida hometown, which include such inconspicuous activities as sprinting barefoot alongside school busses.

In fairness, Hoot isn’t intended for adults, much less cynical movie critics without children. It’s aimed squarely at the 14-and-under set, and that demographic will likely enjoy the film while learning the important moral that preserving the home of cuddly owls is infinitely more important than convenient pancake eateries. And if the so-called “adults” in your community don’t see it that way, well than kids it’s your duty to drop out of school, move to the forest and start rounding up deadly poisonous snakes.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=14109&reviewer=255
originally posted: 08/17/06 06:27:31
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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

4/22/14 Edith Redekop It is a fabulous movie - for persons of ALL ages to see! 5 stars
12/11/09 Susan Tucker My kind of movie. Love any movie that protects our wild life, am into Peta and protecting a 5 stars
9/26/08 Shaun Wallner Kids love this movie! 5 stars
5/18/08 PAUL SHORTT BLAND, PREDICTABLE AND NOT AT ALL RECOMMENDED 1 stars
1/02/08 allyce the olws were so cute 5 stars
5/19/07 David Pollastrini didn't think much of it. 2 stars
12/01/06 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
9/04/06 Jenny aw.. this was heartwarming. A good one for the family. 4 stars
8/28/06 action movie fan pkay family movie kids trying to save burrowing owls 3 stars
8/26/06 michael good story 2 see 4 stars
8/21/06 Dylan nix Awesome movie,fantastic 5 stars
8/18/06 Tiffany cute 4 stars
6/22/06 Heather Purplethorne Palm trees grow in Ireland? Really? 4 stars
6/15/06 ashley hoot was awsome and linley is hott 5 stars
5/23/06 george it was a good movie 4 stars
5/12/06 Emily i loved the movie!!!! 5 stars
5/10/06 San Lamar to childish for my taste 1 stars
5/06/06 Heather Runyan this movie is sooo cool! i loved it! 5 stars
4/19/06 MBR Loved the movie! 4 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  05-May-2006 (PG)
  DVD: 15-Aug-2006

UK
  07-Apr-2006

Australia
  07-Sep-2006


Directed by
  Wil Shriner

Written by
  Wil Shriner

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



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