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In playing evil ex-Chipmunk-band manager Ian Hawke, comedian David Cross draws the Short Straw of Irony, being dealt the line "At least I still have my dignity." No one even remotely involved in director Betty Thomas's joylessly wretched rodent turd can claim to hold onto a shred of such. Six actors — among them Christina Applegate, Amy Poehler, and Justin Long — do enjoy the benefit of being almost completely incognito (save for those pesky closing credits), hiding their identities behind irritating animated woodland creatures and voices so stretched beyond recognition via grating chipmunkization that it's equivalent to cinematic waterboarding.

Compound the torturous voices with cliché violence (groin crunch!), puerile fart jokes (well, if a fart in a bed can be a "joke"), and cringe-worthy stabs at street culture and you have the formula for what could be the most aggressively terrible movie of the year. But wait, when an elderly woman in a wheelchair slips down the stairs, one step at a time, is it a clever reference to Sergei Eisenstein's Battleship Potemkin? Nah.

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