Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

Over the Hedge


How we got this DVD is more interesting than the movie itself. Bruce Willis was finally getting his star on Hollywood Boulevard on October 16th, at 11:30 in front of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. Now, when Vanna White gets a star they close off one lane of the street for a few hours and the one or two hundred people showing up for the ceremony squeeze in there. When Bruce gets his, they close off almost the whole street for the whole morning. (And the other side of the street was getting ready to close for some sort of The Nightmare Before Christmas promotion at the El Capitan Theatre as we were leaving. Hollywood is a thrill a minute!) The street was barricaded into regions for the stars, the paparatizzi, and the hoi polloi. That is to say, us. The place was jammed, probably about a thousand people. We tried to get in and some asshole in the event crew told us the area was closed. Closed? Closed? Then who were those people craning their necks and listening to Johnny Grant, the affable old honorary “Mayor of Hollywood,” vamping until the celebs arrived? Another guy told us we had to go into Grauman’s parking lot and get green armbands. Why? Who knows, but we went and got them, and were let in with the teeming masses. (There was one level of attendee below us: about 500 people behind the barricades across the street, where a man stood with a sign asking “Bruce Willis, where is my money?”)

Once inside we resolved that the next time, we were coming with one of those little folding stepladders. You’d think they’d build a platform, they’d only need to have it about six feet high or so, and people could see better, it’d take them about five minutes to erect it along with the sound system and the barricades. But no, it was the same little dinky two-foot podium they used for Nancy Sinatra’s star. Maybe half a dozen people there had brought their ladders. The rest milled around and held their cameras up in the air. Since I’m usually the tallest one there it’s not a problem for me, but Lee can’t see shit. So I ended up holding the camera as high as I could and hoping for the best.

Eventually all the celebs were assembled in the theater, and Johnny started calling them out. First the man of the hour, then Ben Affleck, Billy Bob Thornton, Jeffrey Katzenberg (the K in SKG, with Spielberg and Geffen, a guy I worked with on an ill-fated project in the ’80s), Sly Stallone, Kevin Costner, Demi Moore, Don Johnson (though why a guy whose career is in the toilet would want to be here I don’t know), a few others. I managed to get one shot of Costner and a glimpse of Stallone, but of the others I saw not a trace unless they came up to the podium to speak, which was Billy Bob and Ben. Our local city councilmen spoke—briefly, thank god—and a proclamation from Arnold was read. Bruce’s mom was there, looking very good, and Scout and Rumer and maybe Tallulah Belle, but I couldn’t get any good pictures of them because they were too short.

Johnny Grant had promised us all a free DVD, so when things were winding down us lucky folks with the green armbands were herded back to the Grauman’s lot (moo! moo!) and each of us were handed an Over the Hedge DVD and Xtra-Large T-shirt. This was a special edition DVD, with a border around the cover commemorating Bruce getting his star on the Boulevard. Hot damn! Probably be worth a lot of money … in about 1000 years.

Oh, yeah, I’m supposed to be reviewing the movie here … Well, what can you say about the 1001st CGI extravaganza featuring warm, cuddly, wise-cracking animals who don’t eat each other? The CGI was terrific (yawn). The famous actors who have now completely replaced what used to be voice-over talent in Hollywood are all adequate to the job (snort, snarf). There are some laughs, a few larfs, and even a laff or two (oh, boy, am I sleepy!). The plot is about what you’d expect … ZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…………….