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Movie Review – Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul

 

I still remember the first time I heard of a Diary of a Wimpy Kid. My kids took the books home from the library at school. They loved the books. Even my husband got into reading them (he’s just a big kid at heart). They were such fans of the book series that they all requested to get the latest book as soon as it was released.

Back into 2012 I had the opportunity to interview Jeff Kinney, author of all of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books. If you have the time you can read the full interview here – Chatting with Jeff Kinney.

Did you know that Jeff Kinney wrote the books with ADULTS in mind? He didn’t plan on it becoming a book series for children. His first book was aimed more so at adults, but kids fell in love with it too. I think that is why the book series (and movies) resonate so well with young and old alike.

I didn’t get into Diary of a Wimpy Kid until I saw the first film. I loved it! I loved it so much that I started to read the books (thankfully we kept all the ones we had up until this point). I love the books, the characters and the story lines.

We’ve seen all the movies – Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Roderick Rules and Dog Days. We couldn’t wait for the next film in the series.

Sadly, the original characters – mostly Greg and Rowley – grew up too fast. Unlike the Harry Potter book/movies series which allotted for the kids to get older, Diary of a Wimpy Kid were about Greg and friends in Middle School.

The latest film in the series, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul, features an all new cast. I was hoping they kept all the original characters (maybe just replace Greg and Rowley). The filmmakers replaced them all, even Greg’s little brother Manny.

I have to admit, I was hesitant to see the movie in theaters. I was a bit jaded. I wanted the original characters back. I did agree to see the film when it came out on Blu-ray/DVD.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul, is currently available on Digital HD and will be available on Blu-ray and DVD on August 8, 2017.

I received an advanced copy of the film on Blu-ray to watch with my family, along with other branded goodies and a gift card to Target to pick up some snacks. I was unable to get to Target last week, but we did pick up some goodies from the grocery store.

Along with the movie I received copies of Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Roderick Rules and Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days.

In addition we received a SUPER soft and fuzzy branded blanket. It’s so nice! Too bad it’s too hot and humid to enjoy it. That’s OK, I know we’ll get plenty of use out of it when the weather gets cooler.

We also received a really cool travel backpack/tote bag. What I love about this tote is that it has plenty of space for crayons, markers, small toys and more to keep a kid entertained. It also unfolds to provide a child with an extra large tray to eat and/or play on.

I love how the tote is decorated with the characters as they are illustrated in the books. They even include the adorable little pig that is featured in the latest film. So cute!

I also received cute pencil cases that feature the illustrated version of “Greg” on the zipper pull. I am going to bring this to work with me (I work as a teacher’s assistant) to keep the extra pencils in. The kids are going to love it.

The cute little plush “Greg” doll pictured at the top of this post was also sent to me along with the film. A big “thank you” to the studio for sending all the wonderful goodies.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul, is all about a crazy family road trip to Grandma’s (Mee-Maw’s) birthday party.

Have YOU ever gone on a crazy family road trip? I have, and boy oh boy, was it crazy!

Long story short, my family, aunts, uncles and cousins decided to take a family road trip from New York (some relatives came from P.A.) to Massachusetts. It was great. We went to Salem, saw a lot of historical places. All was well… that is until the weather people warned of a huge hurricane that was expected to hit the area the next day. Rather than get caught in a hurricane, the adults opted to leave our vacation early and head back home.

We had three cars stuff full of people. On the way home one of the cars broke down. There was no way all of us could squeeze into two cars, so the tow truck driver offered to take someone in the truck with him. My older cousin volunteered to go.

The adults were in such a panic over the impeding hurricane and a broken down car that they didn’t think to ask where the car was being towed to. No one had any idea where the car – or my cousin – was.

We squeezed into the two cars – like clowns do at the circus in their clown cars – and drove all over the place, going to every mechanic/gas station we could find. We FINALLY found out which one the car was towed to (back then we didn’t have cellphones or GPS). When we pulled into the parking lot my cousin came running out to us with tears flowing from his eyes. JOKINGLY the tow truck driver make some off handed comment about kidnapping him, and when none of the family pulled into the garage behind the tow truck, he took him seriously (trust me, the tow truck driver got an earful from the adults).

Oh! It was a crazy road trip, one that we still talk about today.

I’m sure if you have ever gone on a long road trip with your family that you might have some outrageous stories to tell too.

In Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul, poor Greg got himself into a bit of a pickle. At a family fun restaurant Greg was forced to help Manny who was stuck in one of the tubes. When Manny took off into a ball  pick, Greg went after him. When Greg though he caught Manny he learned the hard way that it was not Manny but rather a dirty diaper that fell off in the ball pick. The diaper stuck to his hand too.

In this day and age with social media, you DON’T want something like that to happen to you. Greg ended up on social media where he was known as “Diaper Hands.” There were even memes made up about his awkward situation with the diaper.

Greg needs to do something amazing so that he is no longer known as Diaper Hands. He comes up with the idea of reaching out to a popular Youtuber/Gamer for help. The gamer tells Greg he’ll be at a convention not far from where Greg’s grandmother lives. So Greg plots this plan to some how get his parents to go near the convention so he can make a video with the popular gamer and no long be known as Diaper Hands.

Easier said than done.

As you can imagine, there are a lot of “bumps in the road” on the way to Mee-Maw’s birthday party (and the convention, which Greg’s parents know nothing about) including a pig, an angry bearded man, broken down car, stolen present for Mee-Maw and more. Pretty much anything that could go wrong, does – and worse!

Will Greg make it to the convention and FINALLY shake the Diaper Hands name? Will his parents find out about his plans and ruin it? Will they even make it to the birthday party? To find out you need to pick up a copy of Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul. Look for it where ever movies are sold or rented.

OK…first and foremost. It took us a while to get used to the new characters. They were not the same as we came to love. I personally had to stop thinking of this as a Wimpy Kid movie and think of it as an entirely different movie franchise. I think once I stopped comparing the “new Greg” to the “old Greg” I was more able to enjoy the movie.

The Long Haul is a fun, family movie. I think adults and children alike will find something funny within the movie. I don’t think it’s up to the same standards as the original films, but then again, I’m a bit jaded. The film is entertaining and there are plenty of things to laugh about. There is even an adorable pig.

I could have done without the poop and farting humor, but I understand that younger kids find that sort of stuff funny.

I think it can work with the new actors. I know there are plenty of Wimpy Kid books that can be turned into movies. I hope that the filmmakers continue to bring the Wimpy Kid books to life on the big screen.

You can learn more about the Wimpy Kid series on the official website, WimpyKid.com. To see what others are saying about The Long Haul, check out the hashtags #WimpyKid and #WimpyKidHE on social media.

Below is the film’s trailer for your enjoyment. Remember, the film is available for home viewing (on Blu-ray and DVD August 8th).

 

Kimberly

*I received a free screener copy and other goodies, including a Target gift card to purchase snacks, in exchange for my participation/review. There was no other compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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About Kimberly

Kimberly Vetrano resides in the suburbs of New York City with her family and "mini zoo" consisting of five cats, a dog and a Goldfish. Kimberly is a teacher's assistant for a Kindergarten class. When she is not working or blogging, Kimberly enjoys taking photos of nature and hanging out with family and friends.

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