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Nerdlocker Movie Review – We Bought a Zoo

I knew I was in for a heart-wrenching story walking into this movie. If there’s one thing I’m a sucker for, its a family-friendly flick. I just long for that feeling of togetherness sometimes. I refuse to believe that is weird. Thankfully, this movie gave me exactly what I craved, and with a Cameron Crowe spin on it.

The movie opens with a frazzled single father of two (Matt Damon) who has so obviously lost someone special to him. Queue the overly sensitive and dramatic teenage boy (Colin Ford), and we know the mother has recently passed. Someone is there to save this ominous life of depression and angst, though, a young lady named Rosie (Maggie Elizabeth Jones). Playing the youngest of the children must not have been hard for this little girl. She simply had to stand there, look absolutely adorable, and deliver the occasional witty one-liner. But we are missing someone in this eclectic family. We need a crazy reformed uncle (Thomas Haden Church). His soul purpose is to provide the hilarious outtakes where otherwise lacking.

The most unique of the group is definitely Benjamin Mee, the wounded father. He was no normal man, though. Benjamin was a journalist (and not of the tame sort, either). This man ventures into war-torn countries to interview power-hungry dictators. He battles storms in his quest for truth. He is an adventurer to the highest degree.

But without the love of his life, his torch for adventure has surely burned out. Now he is just the older man in the neighborhood that makes sure his kids get to school okay. With longing looks from the mothers, I am sure it would be easy for him to get back on that horse, but he’s not ready. This broken man wants nothing more than to have his wife back. Other woman are of no interest to him.

After a big party is thrown in the neighborhood, Benjamin decides this isn’t the place for kids and goes house hunting. When he sees little Rosie fall completely in love with a 19-acre home equipped with its very own zoo, his heart melts, as does mine, and he finds the drive to venture once more. Only this feat will not be easy, nor cheap.

He has to basically rebuild everything in order to be up to code. This, of course, costs hundreds of thousands of dollars to do but Benjamin seems to have quite the hefty inheritance to fall back on. Something I could really use in my own life. But his bank won’t flourish forever, especially not the way he’s been spending it. He has to figure out other ways to keep his existing family, as well as the newly acquired members, afloat. Which of course makes the story fun and not so sure of itself. The movie has breathtaking views of not only the animals but the beautiful countryside. Slow-motion panning across gorgeous fields; thrilling closeups of lions, and tigers, and bears, oh my. It includes an amazing soundtrack that really moves the story along nicely.

With the knockout cast I’ve already mentioned along with Scarlett Johansson, Elle Fanning, and the always hilarious J.B. Smoove, this made for the perfect date movie, but more importantly, I left the theater wanting to know more about wild life. I wanted to go out and learn about these animals I grew to care for within the time frame of this film. I really wanted to have my own monkey friend, but that is not a new development. Over all, I thought it dealt in a lot of death, but in a way that makes you feel like you are learning a new path to deal with grief in your own life – through nature, love, and most importantly, adventure. I highly recommend this movie to anyone with a heart. So Brandon wouldn’t appreciate it. I give this movie 4 out of 5 Nerdskulls.

I'm a man of tomorrow still holding onto the joys of yesterday. I miss Nick cartoons, and Power Rangers but I cant get enough of the Time Lords, and Serial Killers we have now. My many distractions include computers, movies, comics, and I like to imagine my life story would be scored with a mixture of Death Cab, A3, and a lot of Kid Cudi. We've entered the Geekological Revolution. A time of Vulcan Death Grips, drinks with friends on Tatooine, and attempting to build a freeze ray. Things have changed, muscle headed bullies. The Nerds rule the world now, and we reign SUPREME!

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