The Nut Job

Insert joke about the other kind of nuts here.

Insert joke about the other kind of nuts here.

Hello, Spongey here.

Well, it’s time to dive into a film from 2014. No, Cloud 9 and Fairly Odd Summer don’t count. It’s been an okay year so far compared to last year, and of course I have films lined up. Legend of Hercules, Best Night Ever, I Frankenstien, etc etc.

So, let’s start my 2014 reviews with the first animated film of the year. It’s….interesting. Thanks to the marketing, a lot of people bashed it to hell and back, and that didn’t stop when it came out. Infact, it got a lot of negative reviews, with a low RT score, and even and even an F from AV Club. Then again they gave a B- to How to To Train your Dragon 2 so who cares?

If you recall, and I post I did early in the year, I said this movie had a change of being good. Looks like that chance isn’t too high now. However, I can’t judge something before I see it. So today, I will find it how good or bad it is.

But first, some background info. It’s based on a 2005 short called Surly Squirrel. I’ve never seen it but I’ve heard it’s pretty good. Even those who hated this movie like….so there’s that.

One of the writers wrote Over the Hedge, which explains why they 2 are kind of similar. They are both heist movies starring rodents. It also happens to be the most expensie animated film made in South Korea, because there’s so many.

It made money, and there’s gonna be a sequel. I’d say something but let’s dive in and see if it’s deserving of another chapter.’

This, is The Nut Job

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The movie opens with narration from our hero, Surly, voiced by Will Arnett.

“It’s a tough nut to crack”

Wow, a nut pun and we’re not even 2 minutes in. Joy.

He tells us about how life sucks, and he’s just a loner dude trying to get his nuts. Very admirable. We cut to a group of animals in a park, lead by a Raccoon voiced by Liam Neeson. This movie just got better!

They are low on nuts, but Andie, voiced by Katherine Heigel, is going to visit a nut cart to get their nut fix. However, Liam forces her to take Grayson, voiced by Brendan Fraiser with her. He’s a dumb jock that type that everyone loves, despite him being a dick.

….So he’s reprising his role from Escape From Planet Earth?

Surly and his non-speaking friend plan to rob that same nut cart. Also, the guy running that cart is actually a bad guy using it as a front, and now he’s talking to the cops cuz a little girl told on him,

“That man assaulted me with nuts!”

…Too easy.

Andie catches Surly trying to rob the cart but he isn’t having of her shit. Even after she tells him these nuts are for the park animals, he doesn’t really care. Our heroes, ladies and gentlemen!

“I don’t care what Racoon thinks”

You better. Or he will find you….and he will kill you.

Surly lowers himself to nap the nuts but a dog tries to stop him. This leads to some slapstick which ends with the cart crashing and Surly getting the nuts. The cart crashes into the tree at the park, which blows up. This means they have no food for winter.

“You guessed are messed for Winter, man!”

….Surly is a dick. I get that he’s kind of a trickster, and he will hopefully grow, but that’s just cruel, dude!

Thankfully, he is punished as he is banned from the park.

“He has refused to join us, ridiculed our hard work, stolen, cheated, lied, and now destroyed our only food for winter”

Exactly!

Andie stands up for him (despite deserving all of this) but he is still banned. He ends up in the city where slapstick ensues. Some of this is pretty amusing. I don’t have much an opinoin of the film so far, but I will comment on the animation now.

It’s solid. While it’s not Dreamworks or anything, everything looks decent enough and it mostly fines in the fast paced slapstick scenes. Some of it looks flat, like some of the humans and the backgrounds, but mostly, it’s serviceable.

After a run in with some rats, Surly actually starts….to regret his actions!? Yeah, after going trough hell, he says he wants to be take back in , and he will even listen to Racoon.

“I’ll do anything”

…Okay, you almost made up for being a dick. Is that like Hannah Montanan the movie, where our lead to be a dick only at the start to get the plot rolling?

Anyway, he and buddy end up at a Nut shop, and they attempt to raid it. As it turns out, the Nut Shop is a cover for some bad guys who are planning to rob a bank. Yeah, that’s this whole heist that is going alongside our main heist plot. It’s a neat idea so let’s see how they handle it.

Meanwhile, Andie and Grayson head off to find food when they bump into a nasty rat. They get separated and we cut to the next morning as our human baddies are visited by this one guy’s girlfriend, Lana. She thinks they have gone straight and are opening a nut shop. Not sure how important that will be, but whatever.

Surly causes some chaos, and he escapes. The bad guys have a vicous fat dog but they had a dog whistle to control her. The lead guy threw it away cuz he can hear it, and Surly tries to get it so he can stop the dog. But Andie shows up and they bump into each other.

She suspects he found food, but he doesn’t have time to argue with her as the dog is distracted enough for him to get back some nuts he hid. While doing this, he ends up in the basement which is full of nuts. The dog pops up for more slapstick.’

Looks this is another case of me having nothing to say. There isn’t really much to comment on. Right it’s just plot and slapstick. Nothing really annoying or dumb is happening now, at least anything I can comment on. Hopefully something dumb happens soon.

Surly gets the whistles and corners the dog, who can talk. Why she didn’t talk before is anyone’s guess. She also wants to be a good guy now because we need more comedic relief in this movie.

Andie pops up and offers to team up as they can work together to get some of these nuts to the park. He isn’t up for this at first, but she’s gonna dig a tunnel to get the nuts out anyway. She heads back to the park and tells everyone about her plan.

“Winter is coming’

….Too easy.

Raccoon agrees to the plan but he says they will ditch Surly when they get the nuts. I’m not sure if I side with Surly now or not since he did cause this issue to begin with….but he’s a tad more likable now but I’ll see if he’s deserving of this cruelty.

Andie and some Mole head to the The nut Shop where they meet up with Surly. So now he wants to team up. Okay, he’s likable now. So we get a scene with our heroes and the human villains discussing the plans. The bad guys will rob the bank and fill the vaults with nuts, while the rodents will plan a heist of their own, only with nuts.

Okay, we get a fun set up, so we’ll see how this goes. Anyway, eventually they get some nuts but they blew up a hole to get to them, the bad guys patch it up and now they gotta get back in. However, the moles must wait for Raccoon to say yes to start and Surly is pissed.

Andie tells Surly that Liam Neeson is playing to double cross him which he takes well, because he was gonna double cross them anyway. I’d say he’s a dick again but Racoon is being a dick to….but he has a point about Surly so…I don’t know.

Speaking of Racoon, we cut to him as we find out he is actually a power hungry con artist who is keeping food from the other animals. So, he’s a villain. That’s awesome but it does kind of make the Surly thing weird. The only guy to point out how much of a dick he is the bad guy. Surly conflicts me.

Anyway, after some more stuff, Surly catches Mole, the guy who has been spying on them for Raccoon.

“You’re the mole! Double Entendre intended”

….That’s not that a Double Entendre.

Mole tells him about Racoon’s plan, and Surly tells the others. They think he’s full of shit. It doesn’t get better when he says his silent friend is useless. Surly leaves and of course he’s captured by the human bad guys.

Then Lana comes in to see their evil doing.

“Now you know”

And knowing is half the-*shot*

The bad guys just go off to rob the bank and Lana sets Surly free. Was she just there to do it? Otherwise, this plot thread seems pointless. Raccoon shows up and catches Surly. The bad guys blow up the wall to get into the bank, which allows Surly to escape. A bunch of other stuff happens, and the bad guys accidentally take the nuts with them instead of the money, and Surly and Grayson, who is in the movie again, head off to get those nuts.

Also, Grayson is a flat out good person. They avoided making him more of a dick. ….Well, it’s an improvement over his character in Escape from Planet Earth. Eventually, there’s a fight in the bad guy’s truck with Surly, Andie, the moles, Grayson, and Liam Neeson.

Everyone else finds out Raccoon is a bad guy and the human bad guys are surround by the cops.

“I saw this coming’

Stuff happens, and Andie ends up danging over the dam. Andie falls but before we get the Disney Death moment, Surly and Raccoon end up in a log in the river, which is being pushed by the weird mysterious bad guy who could hear the dog whistle. That’s not important cuz Andie shows up to save Surly, but he actually selflessly lets go falls down with Raccoon.

Whoa, a heroic sacrifice? Okay, he’s likable. Something happens that makes the nuts rain from the sky and end up in the park, despite how far away these 2 locations are. Anyway, the human bad guys are carted away, and Lana breaks up with that one guy.

That subplot was important.

We get a nice moment as the dog and the friend, whose name is Buddy by the way, mourn Surly’s “death”. Yeah, he’s not dead. He hasn’t even gotten up, I just say that cuz I’ve seen another movie before.

Also, Buddy finally speaks.

“Best….friend”

….D’aww.

This is well done. I like that Surly, despite his…..Surly-ness, learned his lesson and sacrificed himself for the good of the park. Yep, he’s likable now.

He comes to (called it) and everyone is happy. Surly says he has learned his lesson and he will get food the park and not just himself. But he wants to be humble upon about it and thinks the other animals were the true heroes, even though they did jack shit. But still, he’s now willing to work with others.

So he and Buddy head off into the city and gives us more narration.

“Life’s really there for the sharing. Once you realize that, you might discover there’s a little hero in all of us”

Eh, the moral fit better than in other movies, I guess.

“After all, we’re all a little nuts”

Hey, there were only like 2 nut puns in this. Wow, restraint!

And the credits roll. This is where I’d end things, and bitch about the abrupt ending but….let’s talk about the credits. What happens in the credits?

An animated PSY pops up and they all do Gangem (I’m sure I spelled that wrong) style.

No, really. Actually, I think you all know this because everyone was bitching about it. Yeah….it’s the stupidest thing ever. According to the director, this was forced on them by the studio.

No surprise there.

I’ll let slide cuz it’s a credits thing, and oddly enough, its the only forced pop culture reference in this whole. Let’s move on.

Final Thoughts:

Meh, it was okay.

Yeah, this movie was very very average, but not in the way Free Birds was. At least it didn’t have a stupid ending. …Credits aside.

It’s not as bad as everyone says it is, not even close. But it really needed a few rewrits. Let’s go over the positives. The animation was decent, it had some funny moments,the premise is interesting, and I like the whole zippy Saturday Morning Cartoon approach. Also, no forced pop culture references ftw!

It doesn’t try to take itself too seriously, and it’s harmless. However, here is where the negatives come in. The characters, for the most part, are dull. Andie is there to be a woman, and everyone else exits for jokes and that’s it. Grayson isn’t as much of a dick as I thought he would be, but it’s like the writers forget he exists at times.

The dog is annoying, though I did like the human bad guys okay. Speaking of which, Racoon was not interesting but he made for an okay bad guy and Liam Neeson did a great job. No one is annoying, for the most part, but it feels like they are there to be there.

By the way, one of the moles was voiced by Anna from Time Warp Trio, and a cop was voiced by Fred. Huh.

As for Surly….he was odd. He’s too much of a dick at the start, but he switches between funny, dick, and likable. I think they needed to rewrite him a bit to make him better in the first half, as he isn’t fully likable until he learns his lesson. Aside from him and Raccoon, the characters are dull. Not hate able, but dull.

The story isn’t too bad but it’s nothing amazing either. It goes through the motions with no big twists. I think they needed to throw in a few more interesting parts, and remove some of the filler, like the stuff with Lana.

It kind of feels like an Early Draft of the script that got published before they could do rewrites. Some some retooling, this could have been hilarious, but as it is, it’s just okay. Not good, not bad. Just…okay.

I think they needed to make the story more interesting, give more depth to the characters, balance the plots out more, and add more funny jokes. As it is, it’s passable for kids but for adults, there’s better options out there. Heck, both Will Arnett were in a better option that came out a month later.

Score: 5.5/10

Yeah, a 6 seemed too high, and I couldn’t grade it well enough. So there you go.

Next time, we do a film I’ve been wanting to do for awhile.

See ya.

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Princess Protection Program

Does this make her a Disney princess?

Does this make her a Disney princess?

Princess Protection Program is Property of Disney.

Hello, Spongey here.

Well, we have our 3rd DCOM of the year coming out. It’s called How to Build a Better Boy, and the premise is that Chyna and Bree from Lab Rats create a fake boy to cover up a lie but they use tech from her Dad’s government job and create a cute robot boy that turns out to be a robot solider, and this catches the attention of the Pentagon.

It will be the best movie ever made.

(It’s out now but this review was a day late)

I doubt the one I’m reviewing as a tie in will be nearly as epic, but we’ll see. I could another film from the same director, as it’s the same mind behind GIRL YOU-….well you know, but I wanted something I’ve been wanting to for awhile.

And it stars our old pal Selena Gomez…and Demi Lavato, but let’s focus on Selena. This is her 7th appearance on here, making her the actor who appeared the most, aside from Sandler’s gang. Damn, that’s impressive for someone like her.

Anyway, this film didn’t make too much of a splash compared to other DCOM’s. It’s, what I call, a B level DCOM. I may have mentioned this before, but this is for DCOM’s that may have a star, but aren’t exactly Teen Beach Movie big. Examples include Cloud 9 and Wendy Wu: Homecoming Warrior. I HAVE to review that at some point.

But it has Selena Gomez, so it’s an A one in my book. Well, actually it’ll get a lower grade, but you get what I made. I’ve my statement on her clear,y so you know I think she’s cool and she’s able to make a film better. Except Getaway. That still sucked and she sucked in it.

So of course I was interested in this movie. It’s alright but we’ll see how it holds up on my 2nd viewing. We also have Demi and I’m glad she’s becoming semi relevant again. Now let’s look at the people around the movie. The director has done nothing, but the writer is Anne DeYoung, who was also a writer for 16 Wishes.

Never mind, it’s the best movie ever made.

…Anyway, there isn’t too much else to say. Let’s see how Disney stars handle royalty.

This, is Princess Protection Program

The movie opens with our main character Carter, played by Selena Gomez, as she does typical stuff. And it’s not even 4 minutes in when we meet our local alpha bitch, Chlesa, played by Jamie Chung. Yes, that same chick from Grown Ups, Sucker Punch, and DragonBall Evolution. She really keeps popping on here, doesn’t she?

She isn’t played up for Fanservice this time, because it’s a kids’ movie. Carter’s crush, Donny was at her family’s subway-i mean Bait shop, and Mrs Alpha Bitch came to give him a ride to school. She’s the 2nd most enjoyable aspect of this film aide from Selena.

“I can’t stand them, they are such princesses!”

FORSHADOWING!

Her Dad drives her to school, and we cut to the fictional country of Fictional-ania, as we meet Princess Rosalinda longassname, played by Demi Lovato. She’s actually going to be crowned queen, which is shocking for a DCOM princess movie. Yes, a Disney Chanel Original Movie princess Movie. Great writing, Spongey.

ppp 1

She’s doing a practice coronation (like you do) but before she’s the practice queen, our villain shows up. This is General Kane, and he’s kind of awesome. For one, he enters right after throwing a sword and using it to throw the crown against the wall. And he’s not even trying to subtle.

Most villains show up and act okay until they turn out to be evil. This guy? His first appearance is here, as he’s like “give me the throne, bitch”. It’s kind of awesome. He wants to unite his own country with Costa Luna, but he’s gonna make himself rulers, so he’s a bad guy. His goons storm the castle, and Mom tells Rosie here that this one dude will take her to America to hide from the bad guys.

She and Mom have their goodbyes, and she and the dude leave in a Helicopter Kane’s goons must be pretty bad if you can’t stop these two. Also we’re only 7 minutes in and all this shit has happened.

“You will never find her”

Unless he has basic tracking skills. Seriously, that thing isn’t cloaked or anything.

“She will contact her mother, and when she does, I will get her back to her mother in a dirt cell”

You’re not even gonna try to go after her? You’re just gonna wait? LAME!

Anyway, Demi is told that she is now in the Princess Protection Program. Apparently, Princesses in danger is such a huge problem in the Disney world that they need an angecy to put them in hiding. She is taken to the PPP HQ, where she is given a new outfit, so she won’t look like a princess. She’s unhappy, but General Mason tells her this has to be done to ensure her safety and all that.

She is turned into an average girl, and is sent to America, where, and I quote, Kane where never think of finding her. Yeah, one of the most well known countries ever? Most obscure hiding place ever!

Okay to be fair, she will be in Louisiana, which is not the most popular place to look. Anyway, it turns out that Mason is Carter’s Father (won’t go into the questions that raises) so Rosie will be living with Carter.

I smell a sitcom! ….Actually, that is a premise fi for a Disney Sitcom, when I think about it. Hey, it’s a better idea than a Dog with a Blog.

Rosie just shows up Carter’s room, and of course she’s not happy.

“A normal dad would go to a Foreign country on a secret mission and bring his daughter back a T-Shirt, not a person”

1. Good point

2. Ohai trailer line.

Instead of bitching, Carter decides to live with it since she has no choice. Good on her. So now Carter has to teach Rosie some normal America customs. I smell Hijinks!

Of course, Rosie thinks she has still has the power to tell people what to do, even though she shouldn’t in this situation. We get a few jokes like that, as well as “Haw she doesn’t know anything” jokes.

The next day, Rosie has to go to school with Carter. I smell more Hiinks! After some jokes, we cut to Kane spinning a globe, as he says “Where you my little princess?”

He couldn’t more obvious if he tried.

He gets even better during this pointless scene where he talks to Rosie’s Mom.

“You are ruining my happy thoughts”

I love this guy.

Back with Rosie, we have more bits with her not getting normal customs. Mrs Alpha Bitch doesn’t approve of her because….reasons! Also, she has a dumb sidekick because of course she does.

During lunch, they announce the upcoming dance, as people must nominate Homecoming Princesses. Not Queen because it has to be ironic. Rosie nominates Carter because ….reasons!

Carter is pissed, and they argue for a bit. Later, at home the argument continues as Dad assures her this arrangment will work. Just like how The Purge works, right?

After a sad scene with Rosie missing Mom, we cut to the next ay as Carter has her do some chores. It goes as well as you would expect. She makes up for it by making them a nice dinner.

This is another time where I’m not saying much. Most of the movie is typical stuff like that, which gives me less room to make jokes. The film is much better than some other DCOM’s I’ve done, but those were way more fun to review.

Carter Is pissed because of Rosie is being happy with Dad and she’s all jelly and stuff. Yeah, we’re doing that cliché too. A bit later, Rosie talks to Carter and we find out Rosie’s Dad is dead because of course he is.

They share a nice scene where Carter starts liking Rosie a bit more.

“Whatever I did to make you mad, I’m sorry. I’ll try to blend in”

Now this actually a nicely done, and sweet scene. I’m sure something dumb will happen later to make up for it.

Carter takes Rosie to a bowling alley so she can learn to blend in, and Chelsea happens to be there because…..plot. Also, there’s a guy here that Carter likes, so we can fulfill our forced love (lack of) interest quota.

Rosie is good at bowling because the plot says so. She’s getting popular now and Chelsea does not like this one bit. But we’ll get back to that because we cut to that night as our heroes discuss Carter’s crush. But that scene just kind of….ends.

The next day, Chelsea acts all friendly to Rosie and she has her work at her Dad’s Frozen Yogurt shop or something. Not sure what her plan is, but okay. Wait, is her plan to embrasses Rosie cuz she has no idea how to do this kind of thing and thus everyone get pissed?

If so…okay, but why is there no else there besides Rosie? No manager, no other employees, no anything. Carter finds out about this and arrives to tell her that this job sucks.

“The bait shop is a step up”

Everyone starts laughing at Rosie, and takes pictures cuz teens are jerks.

“Chelsea set you up”

Wah wah.

“I will turn the other cheek, because that is what princesses do’

Wait, instead of getting pissed and stopping to her level, she takes it in stride? Nice!

Later, Carter and Rosie talk some more about a princess.

“I want to make a difference”

“To do something more important with your life?’

Yep, she’s a Disney Princess.

After that, we join Kane as he being as hilariously smug as possible, as tells Rosie’s Mom she will be marrying him. He say he will make sure Rosie sees the marriage announcement somehow, and she will assume she is doing this to protect her and she will come racing home.

Great logic, there.

The next day, the Principal announces the homecoming Princesses: Chelsea, Carter, and Rosie. This pisses Chelsea off because she wanted people to vote for Carter INSTEAD of Rosie, not Carter AND Rosie. I have no idea what her plan was but okay.

Carter is pissed because ….reasons but this leads to Rosie giving her a speech about being a princess.

“Let’s go find your inner princess”

MONTAGE TIME!

ppp 2

After a montage set to a song sung by our stars (of course), Carter now understands that there’s more to being a Princess being all snobby and stuff. Now it looks they are totes besties.

….I can’t pull that off, can I?

Anyway, Chelsea’s dumb sidekick is reading a magazine when she sees an article about Rosalinda. And that’s sending her to a country that has stuff like is a bad idea.

She tells Chelsea about this, and the article actually says that Rosie fled the country. I have no idea they announced that since one person put 2 and 2 together and will now use that for their own gain. Idiots.

They approach Rosie, and tell her to drop out of the Homecoming queen race. Wait, they pick Princesses before a Queen? That’s not how it works….I think, I never payed attention to that shit.

“Fine you may take my crown, but you may not take Carter’s”

Again, Rosie proves to be way more level headed than she should be. Also, Chelsea is still an enjoyable Alpha Bitch with a hilariously cliché plan. They throw Carter’s dress in the lake and Carter is not happy. Wait, she didn’t see them come in?

Then Rosie finds out about the marriage thing and says she has to go back. Kane’s dumb logic actually worked because it’s a DCOM.

“My country needs me”

Carter tells her that this is a bad idea, because she uses logic but it’s not very effective. Seriously, your Mom is marrying a bad guy. It’s obviously part of his plan, you idiot!

Carter asks her to at least stay until Homecoming and she says yes. We cut to Homecoming as Carter tells off that guy she likes cuz he’s a dick because reasons. Also, Chelsea’s sidekick stands up to her because….we need a moment like that.

Kane finds out where Rosie is, because Carter called a guy from Costa Luna who she thought was trust worthy (nice going, lady) so he shows up at Homecoming. It happens to be a Masquerade thing, which is not good for our villain.

Most villains would barge in go “GIVE ME THE PRINCESS BITCH” but he sneaks around. Earlier he went big instead of small, now it’s the opposite! Besides, people should be questioning him either way.

Rosie is crowned Homecoming Queen and she goes up to the stage. Kane found Carter and mistook her for the queen and they leave. Dude, they look nothing alike, mask or no mask. This baddie is kind of dumb sometimes.

Rosie goes over what she learned, and thanks Carter for teaching her these things. Wait, Carter didn’t go I NEED AN ADULT on Kane’s ass? This movie is stupid sometimes.

Rosie quickly discovers Carter is gone and heads to the roof to find her and Kane about to hop a Helicopter. How did they get that there without anyone noticing? Also, Chelsea is defeated quickly. She was pointless but still less pointless than the Alpha Bitch in Better boy.

As it turns out, The Helicopter contains Carter’s Dad and the head of PPP. ….Heh, PPP. Yeah, this whole thing was a big plan set up but they never explain it….so yeah.

Kane runs away, but he stops to laugh evily and Dad tackles him and cuffs him.

“How does it feel to be defeated by a 16 year old girl?”

“Not so hot”

…That was the most hilariously lame villain defeat EVER.

Carter and Rosie hug and it’s all sweet and stuff. Then we cut to Costa Luna (guess nothing interesting happened on the way there) as Rosie is crowned Queen. Weird how a DCOM solves the Disney Princess problem.

Everyone cheers, everyone smiles, there’s another pop song, and the credits roll. Yeah ,abrupt endings don’t shock me anymore. Besides, things wrapped up okay and there are no lose ends. Also, anyone else happy no one hooked up for once in a DCOM? Even HTBABB went on a weird path to do that…

Final Thoughts:

You know how some say a movie is serviceable? Yeah, that’s this movie in a nutshell, at least on a critical level. While some DCOM’s need deep critiques, I can say this one is just serviceable.

While some DCOM’s may have questionable content, this one is largely inoffensive. Then again, so is Camp Rock and look what I thought of that one. The story hits all the beats you expect and the characters fulfill the roles you expected. Critically, it’s one of the better “Guilty Pleasures” due to a lack of truly baffling content.

Selena has done better (See: Wizards of Wavery Place the Movie) but she did a decent job, adding in her usually edgy charm. Granted, the character is the same as her other characters and she can be a bit too bitchy at some points but she deveops okay.

Demi is decent, doing a better job than in Camp Rock, as she has a certain regal quality to her. She and Selena work well together and I like that they had them both develop, as Carter learns that there’s more to being a princess and Rosie learns….something.

The Alpha Bitch is pointless but a lot of fun and one of the better ones out there. She’s no Shapray but she’s fine. The other characters are pointless, but the villain was awesome. He hammed it big time and he seemed to enjoy the role a lot. Even if his defeat was pathetic as all hell.

There are some nice moments in there, as well as dumb moments. Really, this movie’s biggest crime is being kind of cliché and dumb in some parts. Otherwise, it’s as harmless as they come. While it is better than some other DCOM’s, I just like others more.

But it’s still an okay movie for what it is. Yes, since it stars Selena and Gomez and has a writer from 16 Wishes, it should be THE BEST MOVIE EVER MADE, but it’s fine as it is. Not the best DCOM, nor the best Selena role, but it’s ….fine, I suppose.

Critical Grade: C+

Personal Grade: B-

Next time, we make our first real trip to 2014 cinema, and its a bit nutty.

See ya.

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A Fairly Odd Summer

A movie so lame it didn't get a poster big enough for this blog.

A movie so lame it didn’t get a poster big enough for this blog.

Hello, Spongey here.

After…..I don’t even know what, it’s nice to be back to normal. It was so odd not doing regular reviews for a whole month. But that’s all behind us for now.

I’ll come back with a movie….that just came out. Yeah, I haven’t done a TV Movie that just came out in awhile. I did Fred 3 and Fairly odd Christmas right away, while I waited for Cloud 9. I will be waiting for Zapped too, by the way.

Things were different back then, and I didn’t feel the need to wait. But not I just decided to get it out of the way. So let’s talk the live action Fairly Odd Parents movies. I reviewed A Fairly Odd Chirstmas, so read that review to see my full thoughts.

Short version: First one was bad but had it’s moment, sequel was an improvement. I’m just baffled these movies even exist. Despite the show’s ups and downs, it still had some dignity, until the movie shat all over it. Then they brought in a dog, but that’s a review for another day.

The first two must have done well, cuz a new one just came out. Given what is going with Sam and Cat, and Korra, it was a bad time to come out with a sequel to 2 hated films. It’s getting hard to defend you, Nick. Is this what I get for not hating Breadwinners?

But I’m getting ahead of myself. The first 2 films had their moments, so there’s a good chance this finally be the good one. I’m not one to say a movie sucks before I see it, given I just avoided doing so for a month. (Don’t ask).

And now I must watch it on premiere night as I wrote that before watching it.

One Viewing later

Okay, I didn’t get to see it on premiere night, but I still saw it. let’s review this. No , I won’t spoil my thoughts.

This, is A Fairly Odd Summer

The movie opens in the jungle, with Timmy being chased by Tiki warrior dudes. Well, that’s one way to open a movie. Our Indiana Jones wannabee continues with Timy getting away from the Tiki dudes and falling into some underground area with more Tiki dudes, who have captured Cosom and Wanda, and put them over some lava.

Spoilers, it’s all a dream. So I can skip this. It’s kind of cool though, and it has Hot Not Tootie saving them while dressed as Lara Croft or something. After Timmy wakes up from his wet dream, we find out he is working at Fairly World as a Summer Job.

COSMO: Even worse, you have a summer job! What a loser.

Wow, Cosmo is a prick.

“Tootie has that cool summer job where she helps helpless creatures”

Exposition!

“What girl doesn’t love a guy in the yuck disposal business?”

Christ, You trying to outdo Cloud 9?!

After we get a look a CGI Fairy World (it looks okay), we cut to Mr Crocker back in Dimmesdale. He’s a bad guy again, ruining his development from the last one. Yay. His Mom forced him to go to Hawaii to take care of his…problem. Before we get time with the best actor, we cut to these rich kids in a limo with their neglectful parents.

“I can’t believe we’re actually going to Hawaii!”

NC/CASPER: Exposition Exposition, rush it out ASAP…

“This family vacation is long overdue”

These kids are Marty and ….girl, and their rich parents are always too busy being ….rich to do anything with them. Then a thing comes up and they have to go do a thing. They tell the kids they will go to Hawaii on their own.

I know what you are thinking. What does this dumb, cliché, bullshit, have to do with the plot? As a wise man once said..

“NOTHING! ABSOUSTLY NOTHING!’

Seriously, there’s this whole subplot with these kids that has nothing to do with anything. Oh, they interact with the main plot, but it feels tacked on and pointless. They only do one thing in this movie, and that’s the end. Oh god, we’ll get to that.

They call a nanny to take care of the kids. Said Nanny is Viky. Joy. Weird to see her get screentime after she only had one cameo in the first one. She feels nothing like Viki despite acting like her. Does that make sense?

Back to the actual plot, Timmy visits Tootie at her research center thingy. Cuz remember, she’s that cuz person now even though she wasn’t in the cartoon. Like at all. This is Tootie in name only. We find out that she and Professor Butterfarts (fucking really) made something that can curse a disease affecting dolphins.

‘Guess what Butterfarts created out of thin air! …Gas!”

Ugh.

“Tootie, I’ve choosen you to pass my gas”

Bah.

He gives her a tube thing with her gas in it, and she’s going to Hawaii for the summer to deal with it. Yeah, for some reason everyone is going to Hawaii through the power of contrivance. Hell, even Timmy’s parents are going there because his pencil company is having a retreat there. At first I thought maybe there was a reason but nope, it’s just bad writing.

Timmy’s Dad has to arrange some fire dance thing, and he has been trusted with a whole lotta money, to do so. The check actually says “Whole lotta money” Heh.

But he if he doesn’t pull it off, he’s fired. Yeah ,this plot line goes nowhere, but I’ll explain more later. Timmy goes back to Fairy World, as we find out time moves slower there. This was never established, and it has nothing to do with anything.

Jorgen pops up and says he’s off to Hawaii and while he’s gone, Timmy must take over his job. His job is protecting this Abracadrauim thing, which powers the big wand that powers fairy world. Because Timmy has always proven to do everything right, right?

With that, we meet Foop aka Anti Poof. Yep, he’s in this movie because clearly the other members of the Rouge’s Gallery weren’t modern enough. Jokes aside, Foop is one of the more enjoyable parts of the film, even if he just evil to be evil. He’s speaking to the Anti-Fairy council of Emperor/Beast knock offs, as he must get the MacGuffium to take over Fairly World or whatever.

Okay, let’s count the plot lines:

1. Timmy is having a boring summer.
2. Tootie is doing stuff for this dude.
3. Timmy’s Dad must do a fire dance thing.
4. Foop wants a mcguffin
5. These kids are dealing with Vicky.

Yeah, now you know the movie’s main problem,. It suffers from TMSGOS. It stands for TOO MUCH SHIT GOING ON SYDROME. While it does kind of come together in the end, it really feels too frantic at times. Hell, you could cut out Tootie’s stuff, Dad’s stuff, and the rich kids, and focus on Timmy, Foop, and Crocker and the movie would be much better. Not good but better.

Back with Timmy, he finds out that Dad accidentally left the check in Timmy’s lunchbox. On top of that, Tootie’s Tube of gas got left with him as well. Yeah, this stuff is just there to get him to Hawaii, cuz clearly there’s no easy way to do that which doesn’t clutter the plot.

Timmy has to stay there to keep an eye on the MacGuffin but he says the wand has backup power, which they can use while he brings the MacGuffin with him. Okay, they make him leave so the big orb can get in the villains hands. You could just boil it down to one thing to get him to leave. It’s not hard.

Anyway, Crocker arrives in Hawaii and meets with this guy who leads a seminar for crazy people /One the crazy people is a guy who sees a flying elephants. He’s played by Butch Hartman. No comment. This goes nowhere, but Crocker actually feeds into Foop’s plot, so I let it out.

Yeah, Crocker bumps into Foop and they quickly find out that they both hate Timmy.

“We’re finishing each others-”

ANNA: Sandwiches!

“Sentences”

Whatever.

So the two team up to take over Fairly World, and stuff. Their stuff is the most enjoyable of the plots, but even that isn’t all too amazing. After some filler, Timmy gets the check back to his Dad. SUSPENSE.

Then Timmy gets the tube back to Tootie and this other guy. Again, SUSPENSE.

“I will let Butterfarts know that you have succeeded in passing Butterfarts gas”

PATRICK: BOO!

With that resolved, Foop and Crocker find a lair in the form of cave connected to a Volcano, which has this thingy that has lava that can possibly destroy the McGuffium. Back in the main plot, Timmy decides it’s time for some padding, in the form of a fun vacation montage, set to “Vacation” because using that song didn’t die out I guess.

Pretty much nothing happens for the next few minutes, except for Crocker trying to get Timmy’s McGuffin. And a bit with those rich kids that is stupid. Then Foop turns into a human so he won’t atrract attention. That and they needed to out stupid the human Cosmo and Wanda from the first film. That’s interesting so of course they cut away for more fun with the rich kids, as they run away from Vicky and bump into Timmy.

They introduce eachother, and tell Timmy about Vicky. You know, with the Tootie and Dad stuff done with the movie gets more focused, but it also gets more boring and repetitive, and the only thing shaking it up is this pointless stuff.

I admit, the Crocker stuff is fun at first but I just got bored at this point, and I’m bored while re-watching it. Eventually, Timmy accidentally leaves the bag with the McGufifin on the beach and Crocker gets it. Wah wah.

To make it worse, Jorgen pops up and he finds out that it’s gone. But he can’t go help get it due to some contrivance so dumb I won’t explain it. Tootie bumps into the rich kids who saw Crocker steal the McGuffin. Okay, they helped out here but anyone could have done that.

After some stuff, Crocker and Foop take the thingy to their Volcano Lair, just in them for this evil moon to pop up so they start their plan. Soon, this, pit thing is filled with lava.

POOP: Hot and deadly, just like me!

“Well, you’re kinda cute, I wouldn’t say hot”

Foop is a baby. Ew.

Anyway, now Crocker has to throw the McGuffium in the lava cuz Foop can’t touch it.

“You’re doing this cuz I told you, and after that, I’ll destroy you because you’ll be of no use to me!”

Really? That cliché? That was rushed and so stu-

“I love saying everything I’m thinking out loud”

….Okay, that was funny,

Then, the Abracadraium suddenly makes Crocker’s heart grow 3 sizes. HARDY HAR HAR.
But seriously, the good-ness of it overtakes him because Waffles. I’m sick of this evil guy turns good stuff, especially if it’s twice in the same trilogy!

“I was wrong to want to destroy the fairy universe”

He’s gonna turn evil again in the next one (You know you’ll make 6000 more) so who cares?

Tootie and kids pop up to see this but before he can give the orb back to them, Foop does this thing that strands them in the lava. Then Timmy pops up to save the day. Foop tries to knock the McGuffin into the Lava….and Vicky pops up for no reason.

Seriously, all she does is get knocked out. Why is she even in this movie?

And yes, wer are at the climax. Here’s the thing: The movie is pretty short, and I skipped a lot. I normally skip stuff, but I actually forwarded my TV recording of it, even though I always watch it again even if I saw it before the review. But this time, a lot of was pointless, I wanted to just get it over this.

This movie isn’t even that bad, but I was short on time, so here we are. Trust me, you are not missing anything. Timmy saves his friends, but Foop still grabs the orb thing. Even though he is hurt by it, he doesn’t care if it means he wins. That’s dedication, right there.

Timmy and Foop fight over it, until Timmy grabs it and falls into the lava.’

Well, that was a dark ending. Hey, that has to be the ending. No one survives Lava, not even in a live action cartoon.

“Oh, I’m so sad. I just lost a good friend that I wanted to destroy”

This bit would be effective….except it’s rushed. Why? Because of what happens next,

WARNING: WHAT YOU ARE ABOUT TO READ/SEE IS COMPLETE BULLSHIT

Ready? Okay.

Something comes out of the lava and lands in the bag What is the thing? Timmy.

‘Timmy, what happened to you?”

“I know what happened. When you fell into the lava with the Abracadbraium, the heat must have made you absorb some of it’s power. Now you’ve got magical abilities of you’re own!’

“I’m just like you guys! This is awesome!”

Timmy….is now a fairy.

….I would do the mental breakdown shit, but I’m tired and this isn’t worth my anger this time. I’ll just explain why is stupid. Forgetting the fact that the explanation makes no sense, let’s focus on the real issue. In the first movie, Timmy almost learned the whole growing up lessons, but he was allowed to keep his fairies. That pissed me off because if made all the development seen in the show and movie pointless.

This, is just as bad. I heard a lot of hate for the ending before I saw the movie. I had the ending spoiled for me, and in context, it’s even worse. All those years we spent seeing Timmy learn about growing up and learning and stuff? Fuck you, he’s a fairy now.

Yeah, it’s a pretty big insult to the series and stuff. Not to mention the unfortunate implications of all this. Is he gonna have to get god kids of his own? Is he gonna live in Fairly World now? What’s gonna happens with his parents since you obvliously can’t know yet will question where Timmy he if he doesn’t pop up?

And most importantly….what’s gonna happen with him and Tootie? I do NOT want to know about the legality of Human/Fairy romance….or Human/Fairy….you know what. Did they even try to think this through when they wrote it?!

Whatever, let’s….try to wrap this up.

Tootie is cool with this, and so are the kids. Because I don’t care anymore. Also, Crocker’s memory has been erased and he doesn’t seem to be all that good anymore. Boo, you suck.

“Well, than that happened”

Everyone is happy about Timmy being a fairy because they are stupid. Jorgen pops up and reminds us that he doesn’t need Cosmo and Wanda anymore. But the fairies will go to the rich kids, giving them a point in this movie. Eh, whatever.

With that, the rich kids get fairies and not a single fuck was given that day. They go Timmy’s Dad’s work thing, and Timmy poof’s up a fire dance. Well, that kind of had a point, but does anyone even care?

Dad’s boss is happy and the rich kids tell their parents that they love Vicky. Also she got turned into a bunny with a horrible CGI face. Yay.

TOOTIE: This is gonna take some getting used to.

Fairies live forever. Humans do not. Do the math.

They all dance, we pan out and the movie ends with Foop being hurt. Yes, it just kind of ends. No real wrap up to distract us from that crappy endng. Whatever, I just want to end this anyway. At least the outtakes in the credits are funny.


Final Thoughts:

I seemed rather different in this review, than in my Fairly Odd Christmas review. I said rather cranky when I didn’t really not angry at the other films for the most part. This may due to the fact that I got moving stuff IRL to deal with (which is settled as I type this part) but it’s mostly because the film just kind of bored me compared to the other ones.

Before I compare it, i’ll just review it as a movie. It’s pretty weak. The plot is fine, I suppose, but it’s way too cluttered and it’s very basic in the end. There are no twists or anything interesting, really. There is little to no envelopment going on with the characters, which is why I will not go over them.

Well okay, everyone is the same, but the rich kids are pointless, Crocker is okay but his story was pathetic, and Foop is just there.

They are fun, and the acting did improve but the film does feel kind of empty except for the crazy stuff….and the ending. The ending just sucked, as it made no sense and made the whole series, even the previous films pointless.

As for the rest of the movie, it’s just….there. While the other films may be objectively worse (mostly) at least they stood out. I even enjoyable parts of them. This one was just dull, despite how crazy it is.

I should care more, even in a negative way, but I just….don’t. Everything is just meh, except minor parts that suck, as well as the ending. It’s far from the worst thing Nick has ever shown but it’s still lame.

I thought I would say more going on, but I don’t. It’s just….there. And seriously, what were they thinking with that ending?

Grade: D-

I was way more bitter than I thought I would be with this one. Whatever, I don’t think anyone cares. Next time, we do a movie I care a bit more about, and it’s another made for the small screen.

Yes, it’s a DCOM.

See ya.

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Family Guy-A Fistful of Meg

Hello, Spongey here.

Before I move and then make my epic return, I figured I might as well fit in another TV review. Sadly, it’s of a Family Guy episode.

The worst Family Guy episode I’ve seen thus far.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. The last time I talked about Family Guy, they killed off Brian in a cheap way, then brought him back after one episode without him. Yeah.

I think I said my stance on Family Guy back there, but I’ll say it again. There was a time when I was willing to defend it and Mr Macfarlane (See R.A.Q. And Ted review) but that time is long gone. Well, the first part anyway. I’ll still say you shouldn’t act like he’s Satan or something.

Much like any show that lasts for too long, it used to be good, but now it’s crap. And unlike Spongebob where you’ll get at least a few good ones for every turd, you’ll lucky to get a watchable one every once in awhile. I like a few Modern FG episodes (Back to the pilot, And then where were fewer, the big bang theory), they can’t make up for crap like this.

I obviously still have respect for the people who work on it, but I still say it kind of sucks now. I knew I was gonna review some episodes back when I did Life of Brian, and this was at the top of my list, based on the AV Club Review.

Then I watched it. Yeah, I’m reviewing this thing.

This episode is in Season 12, which may very well be the worst Season of the series. I mean, not only did it have Life of Brian/Christmas Guy, but it also has Herpie the love sore, where Brian gives Stewie herpes, Brian’s a bad Father, which lives up to it’s name, and of course, Fresh Heir, in which Peter tries to marry to his son.

That actually happened.

I’ve heard “Meg Stinks” is good but the stuff I’ve seen so far is….not. And speaking of Meg, she’s the star of this stinker, so let’s talk about her. I like a good butt monkey, but there’s a difference between a Butt Monkey and Meg. If you think Squidward Torture is bad, just check out Meg abuse.

Unlike Squid, who has an excuse, being a grumpy guy. Meg is very normal. Yet for some reason, everyone treats her like treat. It may have been okay at first, but now it’s awful. This episode would be the apex of all that, if it wasn’t for Seahorse Seashell Party, where they say she NEEDS to be abused for the family to function.

But this episode is pretty bad too, for reasons that will be clear when I get into. I’m sorry for stalling, but I don’t wanna watch this thing again. But , I must. Let’s see how FG topped Fresh Heir for me.

This, is A Fistful of Meg

Writers: Dominic Bianchi and Joe Vaux

(You know you’re show is boned when the theme song is the only part you’re happy to see)

After our first cutaway, the episode starts with Brian and Peter. Peter talks to Brian about The Three Little Pigs being gay while he gets naked. Lovely. After another cutaway, we abruptly cut to Meg at school.

She opens her locker to see…a baby.

“Mama”

“What are you doing out of your box?”

Okay.

There’s another cutaway and we find out there’s a new kid at school who is a big bully.

“I heard he knifed a kid on the playground, then beat up the knife”

…Okay, that was funny.

After a joke with said bully that ends weirdly, we cut back to the house for our subplot. Peter makes Brian see him naked. That’s it. That’s the subplot. LAME!

(Also, another cutaway happens)

Back at school, Meg bumps into the bully, and he gets pissed.

“What’s your name?”

CHRIS: Meg Griffin!

I hate you.

Meg goes home and after more Naked Peter shit, we cut to the next day as we find out the whole school is promoting Meg’s fight.

“All wagers for Meg Griffin’s slaughter must be on my desk by thursday. Also, Zack Morris, if you could stop freezing time to talk to the camera, the day would go a lot faster”

Okay, the 2nd part was funny, but what the fuck?! This is what I’m talking about. It’s one thing for her family to hate her, but litterly the whole world wants her dead. It’s not funny, it’s just cruel!

After a cutaway, Meg tells Lois she wants to move.

“Just because a facebok page has over 2,000 likes, doesn’t mean you have to kill yourself”

Yes, there’s a Facebook capaign to get her to kill herself. That was first mentioned in any episode where she kind of tries to get Chris raped.

That was Meg’s Little Yellow Book. Now I can’t like her. FUCK YOU ALL.

That goes nowhere, and after another cutaway., Meg comes out with a sex tape so she can get expelled. It only gets 1 view. CUZ MEG IS UGLY GET IT.

There’s another cutaway (GODDAMIT IT STOP IT WITH THE FUCKING CUTAWAYS), and Meg pays some dudes to beat up Mike. It goes about aas well as you’d expect. Meaning, Mike kills them.

….That’s….dark. Shouldn’t be expelled for that shit?

There’s a cutaway involving Meg’s funeral, and she talks to her friends that only exist when the plot calls for it.

“We decided maybe it’s best if you don’t talk to us anymore”

“We could be targeted by association”

Of course they ditch her. We can’t let Meg be happy for one second!

Thankfully, Meg may have found help in the form of…Quagmire.

“This is may base of operation”

It’s funny cuz he’s a pedophile and a rapist.

He tells her he’s gonna help her fight Mike. Cuz he’s the first person who could help out in a fight. Later on, he explains why he wants to help her.

As a kid, he was beat up by a girl for drinking RC Cola. Don’t ask.

“You know what else RC stands for? Chick rule!”

“She was dyslexic”

….

“That was the beginning of a long and abusive relationship. To this day I can’t have sex with a woman against her will without thinking of rape”

….Quagmire is the way he is due to an abusive relationship ….There’s so much I can say but so little time. For one, tou just made “Screams of Silence: The Story of Brenda Q”., more awkward than it already was. Also, you played abuse relationship straight there but play it for laughs here. Hypocrisy, thy name is Family Guy.

So Quagmire is gonna help Meg, and after another cutaway, we continue the Naked Peter stuff. He keeps trying to creep Brian out with his body. It’s not funny.

STEWIE: He won’t stop until he’s stopped.

Genius Logic.

Stewie suggests Brian go nude to get revenge. By that I mean he must shave off his fur. …Another cutaway gets my mind off that image. Back in the main plot, Quagmire comes up with an idea that will help Meg.

“Your weird body can be a dangerous weapon if used properly”

And now we’re at the part that pisses me off…kind of, that’s later but it starts here. It’s one thing for her to be picked on by her own family for no reason. It’s one thing for the school to want her dead.

But it’s another for their hate to be VALIDATED like that. They are flat out saying Meg IS the grossest thing ever. And spoilers, her method works. Not only are they abusing a (mostly) innocent character, but they are pretty much giving her tormentors are REASON to pick on her.

I could take the abuse, but I’m not okay with her “awful-ness” being true. It’s cruel, it’s mean, it’s mean spirited, and most of all, IT’S NOT FUNNY!

It may not seem like a big deal now, but my god, it gets worse later.

Back at the Griffin house, Peter tries to scare Brian again only to get a faceful of fur less Brian. It’s just as awful as it sounds. Seriously, it’s incredibly hard to look at it. There is a point but it’s way more disturbing than funny.

It gets worse when Chris sees Brian and starts tearing at his face, giving us more bloody awful visuals. Peter agrees to stop being nude. Well, that useless plot over but we’re done done with the awful-ness yet.

Now, it’s time for the big fight. It starts out badly, with good ol’ Meg abuse. Then…

‘Remember what I taught you. Use the gross”

She does. She kisses him, flings weird green shit at him, and takes off her shirt. This has an Arc of the Covenant effect and his entire body melts. It’s way grosser than whatever her body looks like.

You know, I should be happy that Meg actually stopped one of her abusers, and actually won, but I’m not. Because they had to derail her character and make my eyes burn to do this.

…Then she tells us that she died a year later and everyone thought it was gross. ….Wow, the one small bit I could praise is flushed down the toilet. Lovely.

To close us out, we get more furless Brian as Stewie dresses him up as him to make him easier to look at.

CHRIS: Hi Stewie and…STEWIE?!

“This is next weeks story. Get there!”

Not after this shit. At least it’s over.

…Huh, that was shorter than I remember. At least it wasn’t as drawn out as Fresh Heir or even Life of Brian. Guess that’s one good thing I can say about it.

Final Thoughts:

Admittedly, Fresh Heir may be worse, but for some reason, I hated this one more. Yes, it’s not as horrifying as other episodes, and it has some amusing moments, but I hate it on principal alone.

The B Plot was just pointless and weak, and it ends with some truly awful visuals. But at least that one was just dumb which is a step up from the truly terrible main plot. Not only do we get jokes about abuse, and some of the worst Meg abuse in awhile, but they make the awful choice of having her win due to her gross-ness.

It’s cool to see Meg win, but it’s not due to any positive qualities she has. It’s because she sucks. It’s one thing to turn a weakness into a strengths, but this is another thing all together. It’s almost making her abuse JUSTIFIED. And yes, SSP did that too but at least Meg herself escaped the mess unscathed for the most part.

This episode however, makes her gross-ness 100 percent true. Other episodes, but not as bad as this one. And top it off, it ends with more cruelty, just in case we thought they would let Meg off easy.

It’s not as offensive as Not All Dogs to Heaven. It’s not as equally offensive/confusing as Family Gay. It’s not as tasteless and uncomfortable as Screams of Silence, but due to making an overly abused character just as bad as people say she is, this is my most hated Family Guy episode.

Like I said, there are worse, but this just pushed my buttons more. I’m sure I’ll find worse episodes, in this Season alone, but for now, this is the bottom of the barrel.

Before I go, I must say this. Seth appears in the Phineas and Ferb episode Nerds of a Feather, and his character chastises Doof for lazy writing.

LOOK WHOSE TALKING

Grade: D

Yikes, now I actually can’t wait for Fairly Odd Summer to air. But whatever, at least it wasn’t Ren Seeks Help. NO I WON’T REVIEW THAT DON’T ASK.

….See ya.

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Elseworlds Month: Critiquing the Critics

(I didn’t have time to do another, so here’s the finale! I’ve reviewed mostly bad stuff, but now I review….well, you’ll see.

Elseworlds Month

Universe 321: Critiquing the Critics

Greetings my Lovelies, and Welcome to another episode of Critiquing the Critics. Today’s Subject: Spongey444.

That’s right kiddies, for the only time ever, I shall be reviewing a blog. Why? Because I’m too lazy to review anyone else. I mean Busy! Yeah….that’s it.

Spongey444, mainly reviews movies but he also reviews TV Episodes, and books. We’ll be focusing on his movie reviews, but the other reviews follow the same format. Now, at first he seems like a clone….of the 443 other Spongey’s. And obviously he is, but his format is similar to that of the Nostalgia Critic’s. ‘

And there are plenty of times he makes jokes similar to him, and stuff like that. However, he does try to be a bit different. For one, he does plenty of positive reviews along with Negative reviews. That means he isn’t angry ALL the time.

And even in the negative reviews, he’s a bit nicer than most people would be. This would be where I move on to the Critiquing section of the Reviewer triforce, but I want to knock out Technicals first. He’s a blog reviewer, so I don’t have to cover this part!

…Well…the blog looks okay. There, we’re done.

Now let’s start with Critiquing. He’s a mixed bag, in both the positive and negative reviews. In his negative reviews, he can do a decent job at explaining why the movie is really bad, or just weak.

He’ll break down every aspect, mostly the characters and story, and explain the film doesn’t work. His reviews of Bratz, Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar movie, and The 41 Year Old Virgin who knocked up Sarah Marshall and felt Superbad about it showcase this very well.

On the other hand, he does have the tendency to overexragte things a bit just to make a point. The NC does this too but it’s usually for the sake of humor but he doesn’t really have the comedy skills to back it up. It’s not a huge problem now, but for awhile it kind of was an issue.

Also, there will sometimes be sections where he has nothing to say and he will just be recapping the plot. Some reviews don’t have this problem but some do. He lampshades this sometimes, and as long as he knows his problem, he doesn’t have to fix them. Hey, that’s how I work, too!

Thankfully, he’s mostly fine. The biggest issue will be that he just picks movies that don’t him materiel, so it isn’t his fault all the time. That bring us to his positive reviews. For some reason, they are his best when he’s at his best. He does a very good job explaining the film worked for him, and he will go in great detail to do so. He also points out any issues he has with the film, even if it’s one of the best movies he’s ever seen. His reviews of The Spongebob Movie, Ted,, and 16 Wishes showcase this very well.

Though sometimes it seems he’s grasping at straws for problems or it seems like he’s doing it just because he feels like he has. Both most of the time, these reviews are very good. But sometimes, his positive reviews can be kind of….boring. His review of Hotel Transylvania, for example, is a bit dry at point. It feels like he’s reviewing just because he wants and not because it has any good materiel. It’s an okay review, and he makes good points sometimes but it’s example of his weakest work.

His reviews can be a bit mixed, depending on the subject. Sometimes they can be forced or boring, and other times they are better than you think they would be. Though at least he has few good points per review to make them worth reading, at least. Arrow goes up because he’s okay.

Now for the Humor. This is his weakest area, as he’s not quite as focused on humor as other reviewers. Usually he just insert whatever quip he can think of. Sometimes they are amusing, and other times they aren’t. I’ve never groaned at his jokes, but he’s not exactly hilarious.

Thankfully, this isn’t a big problem as the text format makes the humor easier to swallow. And hey, he’s still funnier than me. There, I think I’ve filled up my Self Depreciation qouta for this review.

Little Arrow goes up cuz why not?

Triforce

Overall, Spongey444 is decent enough. While he can often be dull, he can also be somewhat insightful and smart, even if he doesn’t think so. I actually think his Genereal reviews are better, as his reviews of Girl Vs Monster, The Poof Point, and Cadet Kelly showcased all the strengths I’ve mentioned, but none of the weaknesses. He’s good at saying why he likes something, or why he’s mixed on it.

I’m not saying he should do only those, as his normal reviews work fine, but those end up being the best of his works. His book and TV reviews are also better sometimes, as the works of R.L. Stine give him lots of materiel, for Critiquing and humor. But ah well.

Now for the rating. I’m not sure what to give him. Giving him a 3 would be weird given his weakness and format. At his best, he’s a 3 Star reviewer. He does a good job explaning why something is good or bad, and he’s more fair than most reviewers. Even if that means he likes Disney Channel movies. Wait, what?

At his worst, he’s a 2,5 Star Reviewer. Good enough but a bit lacking in some areas. I’ll just go with that because I’m lazy. I’d say check him out if you still like the play by play format, or just like what I’ve been saying here.

So yeah, he’s okay. ….that’s all I got. GET OFF MY LAWN!

Universe 1-a: Spongey444

…That was trippy. Is that really what I would do if I was someone else? …Whew, I’m glad I’m me! I’ll never make a world traveling device ever again. Though I’ll admit it was interesting get a peek into other worlds. It’s odd that I share the EXACT same opinions as those other versions of the reviewers.

I’ll just keep this machine in storage in case I somehow want to look at those worlds again. Why did I spent a whole month looking into that thing? Whatever, at least it’s all over. Now I can get back to doing normal reviews.

Tune in August 3rd, when I return to normal reviews with…A Fairly Odd Summer.

It’s good to be back.


Critiquing the Critics belongs to MartialHorror aka Blake.

I belong to me

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Eleseworlds Month: Admirable Animation

Eleseworlds Month

Universe 421-B: The Mysterious Mr Enter (again)

It’s hard to make a good musical episode. As I said before, you got to get your story straight before you slap songs onto it. This doesn’t apply to “joke” episodes like Rollercoaster the musical, of course. It’s hard to make it so every song has a point while also having a good story.

This applies to normal musicals but it applies to Musical Episodes as well. So today, we’ll look at one of the better examples of a musical episode. And it comes from The Fairly Odd Parents. After my last experience with this show, I needed one of it’s great specials before i get into more of it’s crap., And trust me, we’ll tackle this show on both shows in the future.

While the episode we’re taking isn’t what you think of when you wish of great musical episodes, but it it kind of. FOP was always good at big specials, unlike it’s yellow sister, and this is a good example of that.

Let’s take a look at School’s Out! The Musical and see what makes this one so good.

The episode opens in Kansas, 37 years ago, as a circus train is about to fall off the tracks because the bridge is out. Two clown parents want to send their kid away, Superman style.

“Are you sure there’s no other way?”

“I’m a clown. The only thing I';m sure of is that Seltzer is funny”

Trust me, Seltzer is not funny, and neither is Freidberg. …Wait.

They send their kid off in a rocket thingy, which turns out to be a bad idea from the train actually moves away from the broken part.

“Didn’t see that turn there”

They must be really blind. Yeah, I never said this episode wasn’t a tad forced.

The baby lands near the Pixies, who are out in the country after their last plan failed. For those who don’t watch the show, Pixies here are boring businessmen voiced by Ben Stein. Perfect casting if I’ve ever seen it.

The Pixies, HP and Sanderson, find that baby.

“Sanderson, I think this the beginning of a new 37 year plan”

We cut to 37 years later, with Timmy on the last day of school. Even Fairly World is excited about Summer starting today, which brings up a lot of questions about other countries I won’t get into.

The bell rings and we get our first song,. Kids just being Kids. I won’t review the songs, to show how they work story-wise. At the end, I’ll rank them. I’ll just say they are very good. The kids run amuck, doing crazy things and the Pixies use their “Magic” to make everything dangerous.

The mayhem does not go well with the adults, who want to protect their kids from the crap they are doing. Another flaw people may find, is that the episode sort of vilifies the adults for wanting to protect their kids. While that is true, they take it too far and the ultimate message is in favor of parents controlling things a tad. More on that later.

The adults go to City Hall to rage at the mayor for what happened. They are about to kill him when Flappy Bob appears. In the show, there was a place called “Flappy Bob’s something something canneverremeberthename learnatoruim” which was an incredibly “safe” fun place for kids tghat wasn’t fun at all them. It was used in a few episodes, but here this location that wasn’t important, becomes the biases for the plot, and Flappy Bob himself becomes a complex character.

Now that is some great continuity. By the way, Bob is the kid from the opening. Now he’s a boring businessman for reasons we’ll get into later. He suggests putting the kids in Camp Learnatorium, an educational summer camp. In our next song, Get Flappy, he pretty much tells the parents that putting them in the camp is better than letting them run around all summer.

“You can learn to love your cellmate or learn to love this clown!”

….Let’s move on.

The kids are dumped off at the camp, which of course is a super cushy place where the kids are in these weird suits, and they are forced to do very un-fun things.

fop

Timmy isn’t happy about this, but before he can say anything else, The Pixes pop in to gloat about
Timmy’s misery.

“All of your misery has one common denominator. Adults”

In Song #3, Adults Ruin Everything, the kids mourn the fact that adults control their lives and are a huge pain. So Timmy fixes this with an interesting.

“Adults can’t ruin everything, if us kids ran the world!”

That’s right, Timmy wishes that kids ran the world. I’ll ignore the implacations and just say that this is a pretty good concept. Infact, the story in general is really good. Everything just gels together, and it gets even better as it goes along.

As a side note, the pacing may seem a tad fast but we’re 15 minutes in now, and that’s a good time for the plot to start. It just seems shorter with the songs, oddly enough.

This was part of the Pixies plan, and they gloat about how their plan is going kid. They do so in….song. It hasn’t even been a minute since the last one. I’m willingly to forgive it cuz we had our villain song….er-rap. Yes, the Pixies rap. Don’t worry, they have different voices here.

I’m not the biggest rap fan in the world, but I do like villain songs so “Pixie Rap” is cool. It’s a tad pointless as it just says what we kind of new about: They raised Flappy Bob to help with their plan and now they are going to take over fairly world. At least the song is fine.

Anyway, Timmy finds out he is the President of kid world.

“Everywhere but Florida, they’re still voting!”

Also, this episode is funny.

“What do I do?”

“Whatever you want. You’re in charge!”

“I’m in charge!”

In yet another song, called Ten and in Charge, we see that Kid World is doing fine, because with kids there are no wars (Bullshit) and Timmy isn’t the worst ruler ever. I won’t complain about the songs coming so fast, because this is a musical after all. Songs tell the story after all.

It includes a reprise of Pixie Rap, where they tell Jorgen that kids are too happy in this world and this, the fairies are usless.

“When the kids have too much power, and the fairies get retired, we pixies can grant wishes, and make the whole world what we desire!”

That’s a dumb rule, but Da Rules has always been weird. It’s actually a pretty smart plan on the Pixies part: Raise a clown to be boring and run a camp, make kids go so crazy they are put in the camp so a kid will want to make kids the rulers, thus making fairies useless and giving them power. By this show’s standards, that’s a very smart plan. Even if it kind of relies on there being a kid wanting to wish that, since they didn’t know Timmy 37 years ago.

Anyway, Jorgen pops up and takes Cosmo and Wanda away, just as Timmy is singing about how happy he is. Haw haw. Jorgen takes the faires to Fairy World, as he explains his reasoning in our next song, Pull Back the Faires. It’s a polka, which almost out weirds the Pixe rap. Almost.

It’s another semi-pointless one, as Jorgen is just saying what we established before. It’s just a way for him to pull back the fairies in a catchy way. But even the pointless songs work, since most musicals make it so if you listen the songs outside of the episode, you’ll get the full story. It works in that way.

Cosmo and Wanbda are taken to a fairy dungeon, and Timmy’s party is crashed again by Flappy Bob. What’s odd here is Bob is actually sympathetic here. As he says, he was raised to think boring is fun, and he channeled that in the camp. He’s not really doing anything wrong, it’s just the way he was raised. And it’s actually intentional.

Speaking of who raised him, the Pixies show up to explain everything. Since he was a kid in an Orphanage, they have been watching over him and putting his life on a boring path. They gave him the plans for the camp and everything. We see that they did have a positive influence in his life in some parts, so we see why Bob is conflicted about who to believe about fun.

“We like to think of ourselves as your god parents”

“God parents? No, that means they can grant a Wish”

You know, there is another flaw in their plan. Taking fairies away from their kid makes it so Pixies rule? Fairies have no place in society without kids? And obviously evil Pixies are given power? Da Rules makes no sense sometimes.

Anyway, The Pixies say they will give Bob everything he wants if he signs a contract.

“I know they’re the guys who gave you everything you wanted, and I’m the guy who destroyed your life long dream, but you have to listen to me!”

This leads to our next song, Where is the fun? This one works the best story wise. It perfectly sums up what I’ve been saying. It shows Flappy’s conflict, and we see we has a tough time picking a side. It’s not all black and white for him. We have Timmy saying that despite what the Pixies have done for him, it’s part an evil plot, and the Pixes say that they raised him and Timmy is ruining everything.

The conflict is more complex than I expected, and this song captures it perfectly. In the end, Bob sides with The Pixies and signs the contract. Thus, the world becomes a safe, un-fun wasteland. Back with Cosmo and Wanda, as Jorgen interrogates her for some reason.

“Do you want to stay in jail for the rest of your fairy life, or do you want to blame Cosmo?”

“Blame Cosmo?”

This leads us into our next song, Floating with You. It’s a love ballad that shows how they love each other through some flashbacks. It’s the only song I could argue is a bit pontless because as sweet it is, whatever Drama they were going for doesn’t really work because it’s kind of forced. That and what happens after it.

“Operation distract Jorgen with a Gooey love song works every time!”

Eh, at least Jorgen got into it.

The two escape, just as The Pixies turn Fairy World into a boring Pixie World.

“There’s still enough pretty color left for one of us to slide down the rainbow bridge! …Wow, there wasn’t a manly word in that sentence”

Wanda goes down on her own, and we cut back to Pixie World for our next song, Unfundementals. We get a peek at the boring life of Pixie world, and the equally boring life on Earth. We also see Flappy sing about how he’s not sure if he made the right choice.

After the song, Bob overhears The Pixies admitting that Bob was just a pawn in their plan. This is why you never gloat about your evil plans with the door open. Jokes aside, this is another great moment that feeds into his development.

Wanda picks up Timmy, but there’s no way to turn the world back to normal.

fop2

That is until Flappy Bob shows up, having returned to his clowny roots. He realized that The Pixies are evil and that boring is not at all fun. Kind of rushed, but it works. With that we get a song called “The Reprise” which reprises most of the songs in the special. It starts with “Where is the fun”, goes into Kids just being kids, goes into Pixie Rap, goes into Ten and In Charge, and ends with Adults Ruin everything. Timmy and Flappy spread fun across the land which causes The Pixes to come down and stop them.

“You lied to me. You lied to me for 37 Years! You tricked me and kept me from being the super hilarious, if not somewhat creepy, clown I was destined to be.”

“Yes. Yes we did”

Did I turn on Phineas and Ferb by mistake?

They bring up their contract, which Flappy Bob breaks apart with the power of loopholes.

“In return for making the world what you want, yada yada yada…Pixies get the power, yada yada yada, Earth will be safe and fun as defined by Flappy Bob”

“Guess what I define as fun now? The world being exactly the way it’s supposed to be!”

“Oh Smoof”

“You probably shouldn’t have sent him to law school”

A bit Anti-Climatic but I guess it works in it’s own way.

The Pixies rip up the contract and everything turns back to normal. And to cap it off, Flappy’s Parents pop up!

“We’ve been looking everywhere for you!”

“We looked everywhere there would be clowns”

Eh, I guess that’s why they never came across this dinky town that attracts weird shit in 37 years.

“We even checked the US Congress. It was full of clowns, but none of them were fun!”

It turns out Wanda found his parents, which was easier than it should have been. Also, Cosmo reunites with Wanda and the camp is torn down.

With that, we get our final song, a reprise of Kids just being kids in which they recap the special and celebrate. It includes this line:

“With some control parentally!”

There, it says fun is fun if parents control it instead of just letting you wreck the place. Told you. And when the song ends, so does the special.

And that was School’s Out The Musical. While it was one of the more flawed episodes I’ve featured on here, it’s still really good. The story works pretty well and everything works. The Pixies had a pretty good (if odd) plan, and it ties into the story well. But what really shines is the story of Flappy Bob. His development is very well done, with one of the more complex conflicts on the show.

It also works as a musical, as every song is great, and the songs tell the story well, even the pointless ones. There are a total of 11 songs in a 47 minute special, and they mostly never feel superfluous. By the way, Here’s my ranking:

10. Floating With You
9. UnFundementals
8. Get Flappy
7. The Reprise
6. Ten and in Charge
5. Pull back the Fairies
4. Kids Just Being kids/Rerise
3. Pixie Rap
2. Adults Ruin everything
1. Where is the fun?

While it is flawed, it makes up with those flaws with it’s clever story, great development, and of course, awesome songs. Channel Chaser may be the better of the “classic” specials but this one is still pretty good. Happy Belated Summer!

The Fairly Odd Parents is property of Nickelodeon

Admirable Animation belongs to The Mysterious Mr Enter aka John Enter

School’s Out! The Musical was written by Butch Hartman and Steve Marmel

(I picked this one at random, but mostly because I really like it. I realized some of it’s flaws while doing this, but I think it’s pretty awesome. I used to have the DVD and I would watch it all the damn time. I memorized the songs and the rest of the episode too. Ah, memories)

(What’s next? I have no idea.)

ELSEWORLDS MONTH WILL CONTINUE

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Eleseworlds Month: Animated Atrocities

(My last attempt went south, but hopefully this one doesn’t get eaten. By the way, Mr Enter’s Birthday happens to be coming up so….there’s that)

Elseworlds Month

Universe 721-The Mysterious Mr Enter

This was inevitable. G3 of My Little Pony is a regular customer, and Newborn Cuties aka G3.5 is even more infamous. I had to tackle it eventually, and that time has come. Most of you know about it, but I’ll explain what it is.

While Regular G3 had SOME effort put into it, since it Direct to DVD and had somewhat of a budget, Newborn Cuties was nothing more than a cheap web toon with no budget or effort whatsoever. The fact that I found very little information on this thing, shows just how much they cared.

I don’t like to say something had NO effort into it, as even something like Breadwinners had some level of effort put into it. Even if wasn’t nearly enough. This, however, is the cloest to no effort you’ll ever see. And that fact that it’s an officaly part of MLP history is just…sad.

But enough talking, let’s take a look at Over two Rainbows and see where this failed. It starts with a little trip into some of the worst animation you’ll ever see. Seriously, everything looks so flat and basic. It feels unfinished.

And that’s just the background and general landscape. We see a pony reading a story book and I’m pretty sure she’s dead. Oh wait, the animators just couldn’t afford any actual movements. She tells us the story of when SweetieBelle came to ponyville. Joy.

We see our young ponies as Rainbow Dash is being her fashionable self. It still hurts to say that. After more bad animation, we find out that the ponies mouths don’t move. No, seriously. Their traps are shut the entire time.

They were that fucking lazy. Even the other short managed to mouth their mouths a bit!

“We won’t Rainbow Dash, it’s totally fantablous”

The voice acting sucks too. Like I said, no effort.

Their party is interrupted by an incoming storm, and after more Non-Animation, we see that there is literately no rain at all even though they say they almost got soaked. Seriously, you couldn’t draw a few rain drops?

When the world’s shortest storm ends, the result is two rainbows. No, I won’t make the joke because it’s currently 2014.

“When color and light comes together,….that’s where real magic is born!”

Out from the….you know what, comes a little pony. Wait, what?

“It could be a fairy. Or a dragon”

U R dum.

“It’s a baby!”

You heard that right. Baby ponies are born from rainbows. That….raises so many questions that I won’t get into them. But I do have one: Did I just watch a rainbow sex scene?

“Yeah, Unicorn. But what about my scarf?”

I hate you.

The baby responds by-

horror

KILL IT WITH FIRE!

…Sorry about that.

“I need to get to my totally fantablous scarf”

You just witness new life being born into the world. It’s a bit more important than your fucking scarf!

The baby uses her magic to put Rainbow in a bubble, and she pops her out. There aren’t any sound effects either. Did ANYONE care about this thing?

“Cute, what does cute have to do with anything? She isn’t even supposed to be here”

“How come?”

“She’s a Unicorn, and everypony in Ponyville knows that Unicorns being in Unicornia”

And now we can kind of add “Racist” to the least of reasons this Rainbow Dash sucks.

“I think someone woke up on the wrong side of the crib”

By the way, where are these kids parents?

Rainbow and the baby exchange creepy faces, and they say that Sweetie likes her.

“You know I also like? My scarf”

SHUT THE FUCK UP ABOUT YOUR FUCKING SCARF.

Sweetie fixes Rainbow’s scarf, so now she likes her. Glad to know you don’t like people until they benefit you and only you.

“Thank you, Sweetie…Burp?”

“She’s no Sweetie Burp, she’s a Sweetie Belle”

Did I really just hear that?

“She’s our magical Sweetie belle!”

Then Sweetie does her own fashion show, with more Non-Animation.

“Rainbow Dash may have lost the spotlight that day, but she gained something even better. We all did! Our wonderful little Sweetie Belle. The End”

Yes, that’s really the end. The ponies play, Sweetie pops out of a rainbow, she pisses off Rainbow, fixes her scarf, and that’s it. So little happened that I’m just gonna cover the over short to make this review longer. Also, Andrea Libman was Sweetie Belle. Yes, actual actors with actual careers worked on this and said yes to it. What.

So Many Different ways to Play starts out with a tea party hosted by Pinkie Pie. It has the same crappy animation, but as I said before, they actually animate the mouths this time. Apparently this was the first one they did, which means this shit actually got WORSE.

We even have sound effects, except they are so annoying I wish I didn’t bitch about it before. Pinkie’s Mom drops off her friend Cheerlie, who brought her little sister, Scootaloo. Yes, Cheerlie is the same as Pinkie and Scootaloo is her sister. Just roll with it.

“Yay yay, wonderful”

The voice is mostly better but Scootaloo is the exception.

“Would you care to join our most pinkilicous tea party?

This prompts Scootaloo to say “Party” over and over again and jump around like a crazy pony. I hate her already.

They ditch the tea party and bring out a picture book. But Scootaloo ruins that by switching the light on and off.

“On, off!”

She continues to do annoying things, cementing as the worst pony in a sea of awful characters. Seriously, she never shuts the fuck and does nothing by annoy everyone else.

‘From now on, maybe your Mom should buy sugar free oatmeal”

“Aren’t we having fun?”

NO.

They take the tea party outside, which works better because it allows Scotaloo to jump around without actual damaging anything. Unless you count my ears.

“Sometimes doing your own thing can be a lot of fun. But playing together. That’s what it’s all about. The end”

Wait, what? That’s it. Even the first one had SOMETHING happen. This was….NOTHING. Scootaloo came by, she did annoying shit, and they played outside. That’s it! Even normal G3 TRIED to have substance!

By the way, both of these end with the intro in reserve. They were that lazy. And that was all over Newborn Cuties, besides that one special but that’s for another time. It made normal G3 look like Twilight’s Kingdom.

It has NOTHING of substance at all. The animation was almost non existent, the characters were either bland or unlikable, and both stories were incredibly light. I couldn’t decide which was worse. Over Two Rainbows got me angrier, but So Many different ways to Play had even less substance.

It doesn’t matter, because of them had no redeeming value whatsoever. And I don’t hate it because it’s not G4. Even if I disliked Friendship is Magic, I would still hate this pandering, dumb down, piece of pony shit.

This represents everything wrong with cartoons for little girls. Hell, kids in genreal. It was made to amuse little girls and that’s it. There was no effort to do anything even remoetly interesting. I don’t require it to have as much adult appeal as FiM. I just want to talk to kidsat their level. Is that so much to ask?

Thankfully, this kind of crap isn’t made as much anymore. Even those Barbie and Monster High cartoons look like some effort went into them, at least compared to this crap. If you excuse me, I’m gonna try to forgot this ….thing ever fucking existed.

My Little Pony Newborn Cuties is Property of Hasbro

Animated Atrocities is property of The Mysterious Mr Enter aka Jonathan Enter

Over Two Ranbows was written by Jeanne Romano and Bonnie Solomon

So many different ways to play was written by James Faar. It kind of makes sense that the one with less plot had only one writer.

(The anger shown here is a both a combo of my own feelings, and just me trying to say what he would say. I was just gonna cover OTR but it gave me so little that I had to do the other one. By the way, I think the only reasons Enter hasn’t covered this is cuz …..even he has standards? Wait no, he watched Fresh Heir. ….I don’t know then. This thing was pretty bad but eh, still better than Brickleberry.)

(Next time, we stick with Mr Enter, because I gotta cleanse my mind with an Admiration Animation)

ELESEWORLD MONTH WILL CONTINUE

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