Norm of the North

Norm_of_the_North_poster

Ice Bear does not approve of this film

A pioneering feat in the field of twerking polar bear animation”-Rotten Tomatoes

Hello, Spongey here.

…Yeah, I have explaining to do. You remember that whole ASCII shit that would eat up posts? It happened again. If you want a full explanation of how it works, I go into it here:

But yeah, I wasn’t able to fix it so no Swan Princess 5 review for now. Maybe next year. Whiel the break was very nice, I wasn’t happy when I remembered what I planned for review next. Oh boy, I’m excited to do this one.

I don’t usually do my first review of film from the current year this quickly, but I think it’s earned it. I will pretty much waiting for the DVD release to finally sink my teeth into it. We’ll look at our first 2016 film review, and it’s again the first animated feature of this year.

Those just tend to suck, don’t they? And I think we’ve got the worst in a while here. This film kind of came out of nowhere. I didn’t even know of it until i got a trailer in front of Goosebumps.

It was made by Splash Entertainment whose credits some of those direct to video Alpha and Omega sequels. This is not the least bit shocking. Between the three writers, we have such masterpieces as Scooby Doo The Mystery Begins and Gym Teacher the Movie.

The director has mostly done TV shows. All of this really explains the quality of the film. Unsurprisingly, the reviews were terrible, with a mere 8 percent on RT. And it had a flat out ZERO for a few days before it got 5 decent reviews. What do those say?

will be difficult for adults to enjoy.”

Neither its animation nor voice performances are particularly memorable”

It’s very difficult to find a positive to take from the Norm of the North experience”

…How the hell is that last one fresh?

As you can tell, everyone loves this movie. The gross wasn’t too good either, so hopefully we won’t see an even worse sequel. This year, I decided to see every animated features in the theaters since I could.

Which I means I had to sit through this. Really. Here’s your proof:

20160430_023140

It was a miserable experience, but here’s the amazing thing. At first, the project kind of failed on us and couldn’t show the film properly, meaning I had to catch another screening a bit later after they fixed it.

That’s right, this is so bad even the fine films at my local cinema didn’t want me to see it. That’s…bad. Now I was so tired by the time this shit got fixed, that I couldn’t get too angry, as bad as it is.

But that’s not the case now, so I’ll hopefully get a bit angrier at this one. But is bad enough on a repeat viewing to earn anger? Let’s find out.

This, is Norm of the North

The movie opens in the Arctic, as hear our first line of dialogue:

‘Don’t listen to the haters, Norm”

…I’m not touching that one.

You’re an animal. Literally”

That was our first real joke, people.

This is a polar bear named Norm, voiced by Rob Schneider. This movie is amazing already, We see him chasing a seal and failing to catch it. We also see his main friends are Minions-I mean Lemmings. Cute little creatures that are annoying and really just serve as dumb punchlines.

Absolutely nothing like Minions, just me.

Norm catches up to the seal but the seal pleads with him not to eat him and Norm has 2nd thoughts. I figured he just has a heart but Norm says he has a story about why he won’t eat him.

Got a minute? Maybe an hour?”

Unfortunately.

When he was 13, Norm learned he could talk to humans while no other animal could. He’s a reverse Dolittle in the way. Think that concepts sound neat? Too bad, it’s only a plot device. To do what? Oh, that’s the fun part.

Young Norm talks to his Grandpa who actually that has same ability. He says this is a great gift and one day Norm will understand. This almost okay scene is than followed by the introduction of the worst thing ever.

See, human tendencies start creeping up on him.

That’s when I started doing…The Arctic Shake”

Oh no. We’ll go a bit more into that in a bit but…yeah, get ready for a lot of horribly out of touch dancing.

This ends his story to the seal. Wait, this isn’t a wraparound for the film? It’s just a lazy way for exposition? Yikes.

We are informed through even lazier exposition that Grandpa left them. We do find out what happened to him but I don’t care. Norm talks to his wacky friend who actually barely does anything, as he takes advantage of the human tourists since making them happy keeps them from ruining their home.

He forces Norm to the Arctic Shake for them, which Norm says he used for his Bachelor party. ….TMI, dude.

After more painful dancing, Norm talks to another friend, Socrates, voiced by Bill Nighy. There isn’t quite as much wasted talent as in some other animated films, but as you see, there’s a bit of it.

Next thing you know, I’m Twerking-”

And stop. 0/10, Goodbye.

.Okay, fine. It’s just that a mere 10 minutes in, this movie has stopped all chances of it being good by using that word.

Have some self respect, Norm”

Couldn’t agree more.

Norm isn’t sure about tourists coming in, and Socrates informs of something he learned: Humans are planning to move in. I’ll go into detail on this plot point later but…yeah, it’s the dumbest thing ever.

Norm tells his polar bear pals about this but of course, no one believes him or cares. Because we need a way to feel sorry for him without going to the trouble of actually making him interesting.

Norm gets a pep talk from both Socrates and some female polar bear he kind of likes. Bland love interest, gotta have those in a crappy kids movie. She leaves the scene as quickly as she appeared, thankfully.

I have to do something!”

Number one or number two?”

.Ugh.

They spot a director filming something. A man who goes all the way to arctic to film is about a smart as…the man who directed this thing, really.

Back to the whole houses thing. They are being built by Greene Industries and Vera, voiced by Heather Gramh has come to help with that. Okay, at this point you may have figured this out: This is pretty much an environmental film.

Which by itself is fine. Except, the big danger is someone building homes in the arctic …Who does that?! Who would actually build homes in the arctic? Who would actually want to live there? That makes no real sense!

In an Environmental story, it’s best to feature danger that actually happens or makes sense! Here, they are just making up shit to tell us the obvious. If it lead to anything interesting, perhaps it could still work.

Spoilers, it does not, and I’ll go further into that at various points.

Vera has a daughter who is pretty much the preacher in this, going on about how all of this is bad. She talks to the director, who Socrates takes a birdy dump on.

At least they waited 18 minutes to put in a shit joke.

He’s making a commercial for the homes so Norm tries to stop them with help from the Lemions. Who by the way, are shown to be pretty much indestructible, meaning they can’t die. This fills my soul with terror.

Norm starts messing with their film equipment, which at first does not worry them.

We’ll fix the rest in post. Anything can be fixed in post. In one of my movies, I wrote the plot in post”

That explains so much.

Norm gets rid of the camera which causes the director to leave. Too bad, he was the only tolerable character in this thing. Norm is happy but Vera is determent. Also, there’s this bit:

Humans think all animals look the same”

Cuts to the Lemmings who…all look the same. I don’t get the joke. Is the movie admitting it’s racist or something?

Vera goes out with her little camera to film something but takes a call from her daughter. Right on the dangerous ice that is about to crack. Brilliant!

Norm runs out to stop her which of course she views as him chasing her. Naturally, she thinks this is a good time to film the commercial. I will not mourn for you.

She manages to escape with her life and heads back to shelter to call her boss, Mr Greene, voiced by Ken Joeng. Yes, he’s the villain. He’s pretty much trying really hard to be Chester V from Cloudy 2 with his movements, and failing miserably.

I want something people might actually wanna watch”

Then you are in the wrong movie.

He likes the footage she got because a polar bear chasing someone is great incentive for people to move, right? He wants an actor that looks like Norm, and Norm thinks he could be that actor so he could pretty much be a double agent and figure out how to save his home.

And that’s our plot, Norm must go to New York to save the Arctic. Notice how the plot itself was kind of dumb, just for the sake of putting in the environmental message. Now you’ve found pretty much the biggest problem with the movie, but I’ll go deeper later because…it gets worse.

Through means I don’t feel like recapping, he gets to New York pretty quickly. We then cut to Vera and the daughter at this school she wants to get into. Pretty sure this goes nowhere so I don’t care.

Norm somehow ends up at Greene Industries and is caught by some guys.

Another talking bear?”

I love that this happens enough for them to say that. I hate that this has a somewhat reasonable explanation.

They chase him and Norm bumps into a guy in a polar bear costume for Mr. Greene’s thing. He’s pretty much here for a lame misunderstanding gag.

They don’t call this place a concentrate jungle for nothing”

  1. How do you know that? Did a tourist randomly mention it?
  1. Obvious lame trailer lame is terrible.

The costume guy takes care of them and Norm chats it up with him. He thinks Norm is just another Costume guy because as we established, everyone in this is a moron. Maybe I just think lowely of anyone who praises the acting skills of Rob Schneider.

We cut to Mr. Greene talking to his own bosses.

‘Condos in the Arctic is a ludicrous idea”

.Did the movie just explain why the plot doesn’t work? Okay, maybe it being a dumb idea is the point but only this person points it out and it’s still bad writing for the environment message to happen because someone does a bad thing no one would ever do.

Besides, the movie is not all clever enough for that to be part of a bigger satire.

Norm arrives at Greene’s place along with the other aspiring Polar Bear Actors. The Lemmings see a Fish Tank and…think it’s a toilet…then piss into it.

  1. paid money for this.

After…that, Norm blows Vera away with her bear-ish qualities. Because he is one. Yet she still doesn’t notice this because this is Idiot Ball: The Movie. Oh and she’s fine with the Lemions.

Cute, and Marketable”

No comment.

Meet Norm of the North!”

It doesn’t deserve the gag. So then the Lemmings piss into Green’s plants. …I got nothing. Anyway, Mr Green is scared of the realistic polar bear and wants a happy one, so Norm does the Arctic Shake for him.

Keep dong it, it will totally become a thing.

This automatically makes happy enough to hire him. Vera and Norm head out to lunch but Mr. Green is a bit suspicious due to how Norm smells very much like a real bear. Yeah, it’s the smell that tips him off, not….everything else.

He goes into his office cave (What, you don’t have one of those) and reveals that he has Norm’s Grandpa! What a twist that no one saw coming! Not sure how this happened but whatever, gives Norm something else to fight for besides…his home, which clearly was not a good enough conflict.

Norm of the North, is finished”

Is that a threat or a promise? Please be a promise!

Norm and Vera go to lunch and Vera is just okay with Norm keeping his “costume” on. At least it seems like that as she tells the puzzled people that he does not, even though she should questioned this herself before now. And she still doesn’t know Norm is a real polar bear.

They mostly talk about nothing until Greene shows up with a tranquilizer gun. In the middle of a crowded diner. Because something must be in the water in this world to make everyone an IDIOT.

And again, this is with no real proof outside of the smell. And he can’t exactly prove it to anyone else without revealing his hostage.

Thankfully, Norm helps get Greene hit with the gun instead.

Norm of the North, everyone”

You just summed it all up right there.

When he wakes up, Vera tells Greene that his outburst was all over the news and it has given them more publicity, and made their approval ratings go up.

.So Greene going into a diner with a tranquziler gun to shoot what they think is an innocent guy….makes them like him more? And no one really questions or cares? Vera’s just like “whatever”?

.I give us trying to make any sense of these fucking imbeciles.

Greene brushes it off by just telling Norm he thought he was a real bear, which is apparently okay for them. Nevermind that it doesn’t excuse his…methods, at all.

Norm of course thinks it is odd but he’s supposed to, and he doesn’t’ really make a big deal of it. As such, that night he decides to snoop around and figure out what is really going on. Then the Lemmings fart.

Huh, took 46 minutes. Way longer then expected!

After some sneaking stuff, Norm sees Green talking his bosses about his evil condo plans. Also, I think Greene now thinks Norm truly is just a guy in a suit even though from his POV that was never confirmed and he has reason to be suspicious, unless he just told the boss that to not look crazy.

In the former case it’s dumb, in the latter case….given what you did in public, that ship has sailed. Also he wakes her up to tell her this because she somehow doesn’t watch the news or whatever,

When he leaves, Norm sneaks in to find further proof of his evil.

If I were slightly creepy one note villain-”

Stop. Did you seriously just point out that he’s one note? Do I need to say this again? Pointing out your problems does no make them go away!

Due to the security cameras, Norm has the Lemmings go down into the secret cave because Lemmings walking around is totally not suspicious either. They quickly find Norm’s Grandpa and tell him about that. Wish Norm found out himself to make this shocking to him instead of making us face the damn Lemions.

Grandpa said to focus on the arctic and worry about him later. Then why didn’t Norm find out about him later if that plot point wasn’t going to matter for a while?!

Norm goes to back his plan of using his fame to help the Arctic and the next day, will go on Talk Show Spoof #445. He gets to meet Vera’s Daughter who…figures out he’s a polar bear right away.

Of course a child is the smartest character in the damn movie. Anyway with her they officially start their plan to get the public to love Norm so they can want the Arctic to be saved. Eh, not a terrible plan actually.’

Slightly….clever. Work with the villain so you can basically use his own plan against him. Wow, Norm actually shows intelligence for once! Too bad this is the only thing close to clever in the whole film.

And it doesn’t make up for how dumb everyone is otherwise.

With that, we get the becoming famous montage set to a pop tune no one will remember. At this point, the only box they haven’t used is a cliché conflict like the liar revealed. Seriously, the story is very empty outside of the basic conflict and saving the world or whatever.

Right after that, they say it’s time for Norm to announce his love of the arctic to the people at some big event. See, montages save a lot of time! Greene has a norm wear a very ridiculous costume for the event.

Are you ready to come out?”

I think I just did”

This movie is bad.

After he does the Arctic Shake (SERIOUSLY IT’LL CATCH ON I SWEAR), he finally gives a speech talking about how Greene sucks and how building homes in the Arctic is bad.

But Greene uses his tech skills to make Norm say he approves of the homes and broadcasts that, which changes the peoples minds and makes them somehow forget about everything Norm said.

In a better movie, I would assume even the background people being dumb would be the point given how dumb audiences tend to be. In this movie, it’s the writers not giving a single shit.

This stunt get so much approval that Greene says it’s time to start putting in those homes. But Vera says he has no clearance to do so. Hearing this, he changes his mind and decides to good from now-of course he doesn’t care, he’s evil and this is a children’s movie!

Norm is more than a little upset and goes off to mope.

I’m Norm of the North. King of Nothing”

You make my job almost too easy.

Vera tries to lift his spirit by having him over for Dinner at her place. Please don’t turn into Bee Movie. He uses this chance to talk to the daughter about taking down Greene,and they decided to go the investor people that Greene is evil and shows them the proof he got earlier.

So the people investing in him weren’t aware that putting houses in the Artic isn’t exactly a good thing no matter who is doing it? Especially a guy as obviously evil as this?

One guy yells at Greene over this but he says the first four homes are built and ready to go so they have to invest if they get there, so Norm must stop this. We are now getting to the paert where the movie just gets….boring.

It’ll get worse but a lot of the film just becomes them doing stuff, and due to all the problems, I don’t care and I get really bored. So don’t expect a lot of wit in some parts.

Commence operation Kill that Bear!”

This not deserve any of the bear memes.

Greene decides to get rid of anything that reminds him of the Arctic which means shipping off Grandpa and giving us more chase scenes. I recall this is the exact part where I pretty much zoned out, and of course anytime that happens in a movie, it slows down and the path to the credits becomes much longer.

Norm finds his Grandpa and frees him. Apparently Grandpa just got struck down and taken, and I have no idea how no one saw or heard this happen. It’s a good thing they are vague so they get away with lazy plot holes like that!

Greene’s goons manage to shoot Norm and his Grandpa down and tie them up. They manage to free themselves incredibly quickly (because of course a conflict becomes pointless) and hop on the boat headed to the Arctic.

We get a vain attempt at emotion with Grandpa telling Norm he is awesome even if his ways are different. I was not aware Norm was treated differently due to how he acted. No one seemed to care either way and there was no conflict made of it.

Speaking of conflict, they bump into a storm and the Lemmings barf. Took 76 minutes on that one! They also make a quick Titanic reference when the boat tips over because this movie is still bad.

Then, I shit you not, we have a near death scene where Norm drops to the bottom of the ocean and he sees earlier clips of the film. Because there so much great content to remember and Norm was complex enough for me to care if he dies!

It doesn’t last one as he is able to get up. That wasn’t pointless and stupid at all. He’s lost from his pals but the homes are gone so I’d call it even. Actually, it’s more of a win as the Investors leaked proof of Green’s evil deeds.

‘These Condos weren’t for any of you peasants anyway, they were for the 1 Percent!”

…Then why did it matter if they approve of Norm? Are you so desperate that you just wanted to screw them over like that? This guy is too dumb to live. To prove that, he falls down a sewer grate. Another lame defeat to add to the list.

Norm wakes up in the Arctic, having conveniently washed up there. Because we haven’t had enough forced emotion, they say they couldn’t find Grandpa. And he’s gonna pop up so soon that this whole bit is pointless. Am I on the money?

In the meantime, his Arctic pals thank him for saving the day even if they haven’t’ seen Greene’s proper defeat and shouldn’t be too happy yet.

Now just a new York minute!”

Grandpa!”

I hate it when I’m right.

They don’t even take the time to discuss anything or celebrate his return, they just go back to crowning Norm king of the Arctic. I’m so glad that minor thing about Norm being King payed off. Man, I’m getting bitter. You would be too if you made it this far.

Speaking of things I forgot about, we cut to Vera and her daughter who did these, as you recall. They flat out tell us that some guy become her new boss and they are happy that Norm found his way back home.

Wait, shouldn’t we get a proper goodbye scene of Norm just leaving them and having this bit? They barely made a connection as it is, may as well force an end to it instead of being flat out lazy!

Also, didn’t the daughter have this whole thing with school that I skipped? We gonna address that at all? No? Whatever.

We seem to cut later as we see that Norm is with that one polar bear chick and they have kids. Yeah, remember that girl who was in like one or two really quick bits and did NOTHING even by the standards of this story?

They hooked up because fuck you. This is where the film ends, with them looking up at the stars. What a fitting note to end given my tiny joke. I can safely I expected it to end abruptly, in such a way that it makes the worse and makes like they really didnt’t care about making the story dynamic or good at all.

But of course we can’t technically end without A DANCE PARTY! Because that Arctic Shake will catch on, no matter how hard they have to hammer it in! We can’t end with any dignity after all.

Again, I paid for this.

Final Thoughts:

Okay, let’s try to be a bit more…fair. We all love hyperbole, so let’s try to calmly explain why this movie is just…bad. If you strip of the stupid, the plot isn’t really a terrible idea. I actually think the concept of someone technically working with the villain in order to take him down is kind of interesting, even in this context.

It could lead to something interesting, and hell even the environmental slant could work. I get the sense they almost wanted to be slightly interesting with the environmental stuff. Perhaps this could have worked as a just a simple kiddie flick.

I don’t want to act like the filmmakers are horrible people, especially I don’t think anything is “offensive” or anything. But man…does it seem like they didn’t care. And it’s all brought down by one simple thing:

It’s in theaters.

Everything about this screams Direct to Video. The simple story and style of humor just seems like something not meant to be taken seriously like a lot of animated features out there.

And of course the animation is…bad. I mean, I have seen worse in something like Leo the Lino but even by the standards of lower budget films, this is just lame. The human designs try too hard to be stylized so they all just look creepy with their huge eyes and their movements make them even worse, especially with Greene.

Most of the animals look almost passable, but Norm especially looks off. He just has these awkward jerky movements, and they clearly didn’t put enough effort into the textures, making a lot of the film look incredibly lazy.

Some of it looks mediocre, but most of it is laughable. For a Direct to Video film, it would just be typically bad, but for a theatrical release, it’s kind of terrible.

But if the animation was the biggest problem, I wouldn’t be here. As I have said, the writing is…beyond stupid. All this iflm cares about it spreading it’s lame Environmental message. It doesn’t care about creating an interesting story or making sense.

The plot is really basic and throws in nothing interesting. This makes things really boring, especially with how weak the other elements are. Stuff like Vera’s deal is so pointless it barely makes things any more interesting.

It doesn’t help that this film is beyond stupid. Characters make the stupidest and most inexcusable decisions in this, with nothing really making any sense. Sometimes it’s fine but usually there’s no reason to be this dumb.

If they actually tried to make me care, I could let it slide, but nope. The way it’s written makes it hard to care, even if it has minor moments where they almost try. The ending is so rushed it makes it seem like a very sloppy story that had no effort into it.

Because it kind of is, but I like to think the writers did try and ,…mistakes were made. I’m not cynical enough to think they are terrible people. Oh, and the characters are very one note and are weak by the end.

Norm is the most “interesting” which is …sad. The Lemmings are so annoying that I won’t hear a word about the Minions anymore, and Greene is one of the worst villains to grace a kid movie with how stupid he is, without being funny.

I will freely admit that on it’s own, it’s just kind of bad as there are beaks between painful parts and it’s mostly just boring and stupid. I had a much worse time watching Hoodwinked 2 and Walking with Dinosaurs to a lesser extent.

But oh boy, is it bad as a theatrical film. Even something like the recent Rachet and Clank had way more going for it as a feature, due to feeling like a real movie. This is just a lazy piece of nothing ,with bad writing that cares more about the environment than logic, and animation that is inexcusably bad.

I don’t hate watching it as much as some others, but it’s still very bad and just…not worth it. Is it worse than Strange Magic and Legends of Oz. Oh yeah. But I’m still not sure about the worst of 2011 and 2013 vs this, I’ll think about it.

I do know that nothing will top this as the worst animated film of the year, even if something Angry Birds ends up being bad. At least that looks like a freaking theatrical movie.

…It’s bad, but you already knew that.

Grade: D

Hopefully Jason can cheer me up. Well, if I can find him that is.

See ya.

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Goosebumps HorrorLand-Enter HorrorLand

Hello, Spongey here.

Well, we finally reached that point in the Goosebumps Horrorland reviews. We’ve covered the first ten regular books in the first arc. But before we move on to the final two books, we have one….interesting thing to deal with.

One of the most interesting aspects of this new series, is that not only would we be getting new goosebumps stories, but each book in Arc 1 would have a story AFTER the main story, where the main character goes to HorrorLand. This would start a story arc that would be concluded in the final two books.

This was huge because typically Stine doesn’t do this too often. The closest would be some of the trilogy’s in Fear Street, but this is a big story arc building up an actual mystery. Granted, this sounded just as terrible as it did amazing, but let’s focus on the amazing part.

The experiment payed off, as he did something similar for Arc 2, but we’ll get to that eventually. As I said, these arc bits were 30 or so page stories at the end of the main book, which lead to the main story being a bit shorter than a typical Goosebumps story.

Which may be have caused some of the pacing issues in some of them, but ah well. Now, I could have done them in each review, but it would have disrupted the flow and I wanted to just focus on the story at hand,.

But now that they are done with, I think it’s finally time to do them all . Before we start, I would like to use this chance to go over other Horrorland things. Each book not only has the two stories but a bunch of other minor things to build up the mystery.

Like advertisements for the park, and left by ….certain characters we’ll get to later. Stuff like that really made this a more immersive experience. Heck ,there’s actually a separate book that serves as a HorrorLand “Survival” Guide, which collects a lot of the stuff I mentioned, along with new stuff.

It’s not really a story, so can’t review, but it’s cool. Some of that stuff came from a website called EscapeHorrorLand. It’s now defunct and just redirects to the main Gooosebumps site, sadly. It was cool though, and I;ll bring it up later.

Speaking of websites, there was also Enter HorrorLand which was a big game full of little mini games, that would update with each new book. It’s down too, but it was pretty cool. The most interesting thing about it is that for most of it, you don’t know who you are playing as.

It doesn’t quite matter, but during the “Boss Battle” with Slappy, it is revealed that you were playing as Mr. Wood. Yes THAT Mr. Wood. It has no bearing on anything in the game or books…but that’s amazing, since it seems like Stine forgot about him after that first book.

But yeah, that’s all the supplementary crap done with. Now we can jump into the bits that make up the overall story. I’ve never really read all of these sections in a row, so let’s see how the story builds up.

These, are the Enter Horrorland sections.

#1: Revenge of the Living Dummy

You may recall that this book was…a disappointment. So let’s see if our sub story has a better start.

We start with our old “friends” Birtnaey and Molly, with her parents, on the way to HorrorLand. Right off the bat, we have something interesting to discuss. We find out that HorrorLand is big now, and people go to it all the time and come back alive.

Which is quite the contrast to how it was in the original book. And spoilers, we find out that events of One Day at HorrorLand did happen and it doesn’t seem to be long since then. So exactly how does this fit in?

I’m not too sure. The HorrorLand Mc is never mentioned, so I just assume she was usurped so the monsters can genuinely bring joy to humans or something. We don’t get too many signs of them being evil to normal people, so that could be be it.

But whatever, on to the story. Brit and her family were specifically invited to HorrorLand which they find odd, but don’t question for now. Yeah, this is our first little mystery.

This is one of the biggest theme parks on the world”

Dang, they REALLY grew since last time. Are there many locations or only one? Cuz being the biggest thing ever but only having one location usually doesn’t’ turn out well, unless you’re the Krusty Krab.

They go to the ticket booth, and we are reintroduced to the park with decent descriptions. The ticket monster does the normal stuff, like recording their screams for later and lighting their suitcases on fire.

Hey, this is the same place that blew up a car. It’s not too odd.

They are worried at first, but then brush it off as a prank since they do have reason to believe so given how this place is. They go on a tour of the place full of terrible puns like The Vampire State Building and Dancing with the Squids. Yes.

They get a false scare when the driver of the tour car seems to have to jump out, but of course it’s just a prank. Odd how the bigger the place is, the more horribly cruel pranks they pull. How has this place not been sued yet?

They partake in a few jokes, and Brit sees a Madame Doom machine and puts a coin in.

You have no future Britney!”

Well, it’s honest at least.

They eventually go to check in at the Hotel, when a Horror runs up to them. Like that one guy in the original book, he tells them to get out of here. I can’t recall if this leads to anything later. He gives them a slip of paper that says “Find the other park”. THAT leads to something, I know that much.

A woman leads to them their room, which is on the 13th floor.

Naturally”

Whoa, Brit said something good for once!

They like their big room, even if it has nothing on a good attic. However, they notice there are no mirrors. Yes, this is important for later.

They go the parents room (they get separate rooms due to being the Very Special Guests) but find it empty. They go to the front task, but are told that Brit’s parents checked out. Dun dun dun, I guess.

They figure this is another prank, but if so, this is one strange prank, even by their standards. They return to the room to search for clues, and find a camera. They take a look and see the most recent picture taken.

The picture features none other than Slappy’s ugly mug. DUN DUN DUN! The End. …Yeah, that’s it for the first section. This one mostly serves as a set up for everything with the park and mystery.

There isn’t much else, but it does an okay job setting the stage, and Brit is way more tolerable here!

#2 Creep from the Deep

Each of these starts with the invitation they got, which I will mostly skip, but this one has an amusing opening line.

You are in deep trouble now!”

Roll credits, sort of!

We start with Billy and Sheena walking around the park, just excited to be there. We do not know how they got back home after the events of the book but it doesn’t matter too much. They bump into Brit and Molly right away at the hotel, as they are still worried sick about their parents.

Yep, we got that crossover action right away and it only gets better. Billy and Sheena say their parents are missing too but don’t really explain further. They say it’s no big deal, making them way more chill than most kids.

…And they say they overheard a horror saying they sneak the parents to a hotel of their own. Okay. Seems a bit cruel even by their standards, but fine.

Brit shows them the picture of Slappy, but somehow it’s gone and replaced with a picture of all the kids, with Slappy behind them. This….doesn’t make much sense and I don’t think it’s explained.

They shrug it off anyway and try to go have fun. They head to Quicksand Beach and Sheen points out how dumb it is for Billy to suggest things related to Beaches and water, after what they went through.

But he says that he’s fine with it because he thinks all of HL is a joke, so it’ll get their minds off the horror. That…makes perfect sense. Dang,

Long story short, the beach is very much quicksand, and they get sucked down under. The way it’s written actually kind of makes it creepy, good on you Stine. Billy gets sucked down…right into a tube, which sends him back to the surface. Don’t worry, it’s not dangerous due to complicated stuff I don’t wanna explain.

This kind of reminds me of the Doom Slide, which is absent here. Actually, some things from HorrorLand are kept, while some are gone in favor of new stuff. That’s fair, I guess. Billy meets up with Sheena, but Brit and Molly are missing.

And nothing of value was lot.

They ask some workers but they say they haven’t seem them. They plan to try the hotel, but get distracted by an arcade. While there, they see a kid winning some games….as in, every game he plays, even ones that the horrors view as impossible.

So much so that some guards call out for him, and he runs away, giving Billy this card he has. Not sure what to say here. Nothing dumb really here. What do you want from me?!

They run away and make it back to the hotel, wondering what the hell is going on. But before they can wonder further, they bump into the boy, which is amazingly convenient. He explains that a random Horror gave the card to him, saying it would take him place.

He took it to mean it could help him win the games. I’m not sure how he came to that conclusion but whatever. Oh, and it turns out this is Matt from Monster Blood for Breakfest. That’s right, he’s popping up BEFORE his section and before his book even came out!

Now this is really interesting, and they actually do it one other time. It builds more mystery and his presence hear adds something, so I’m cool with it. Although that card is mostly useless. That horror does become important though.

They chat it up and suddenly find a big glass window in the hall. It shows none other than Brit and Molly at a cafe. The door won’t budge, and the girls can’t hear them. Matt’s card opens it but it suddenly becomes an empty room.

They just find a mirror…which lacks Sheena’s reflection. Sheena herself vanishes…but….

I’m Invisible!”

DUN DUN DUN! The End. That section was very much about mystery as it mostly just throw in unexplained plot points. It works fairly well but doesn’t have too much outside of that and a few scares.

Most of these sections will be about that, so hopefully I can find more jokes in the next few.

#3 Monster Blood for Breakfast

We pretty much start where we left off, only now it’s Matt’s POV. Sheen says she just touched the mirror and randomly this happened. So now we have a Let’s Get Invisible tie in?

They find some Monster Police and tell them what happened, and they are more surprised at the mention of a mirror than the invisible thing. But of course, the cafe has vanished when they drag them to it.

Eventually they listen and decide to take the kids to a detection chamber that can see if Sheena is really there. They can’t hear her for some unexplained reason. I don’t know, I don’t recall every mystery and which ones get explained or which ones are just pointless.

You have something that doesn’t belong to you”

Gee, I wonder what object Matt has that they might be talking about.

They refuse to admit they have something and because they forget to run away like a smart person, the horrors strap Billy to an X Ray Machine to search for the card. I guess a body search isn’t allowed here?

Matt slips Sheena the card so they don’t find on either of the boys. Uh, shouldn’t the card be floating in plain sight since Sheena is invisible?

She hid it in her fist and it became invisible too”

…How does that work?

They escape and hide in a lab themed attraction. Suddenly, Matt spots a box of Monster blood randomly there and it manages to escape and attack them. Then a Horror named Byron pops up, who turns out to be the one who slipped Matt the card to begin with.

He pulls out a mirror, which sucks up the Monster Blood. Well, there’s a weakness Evan didn’t think of. Byron tells them they gotta get out of here, as they are in real danger. The Monster Police show up and drag him away. But not the kids for some reason.

Sheen has vanished…as she’s gone. Byron dropped his mirror and the pieces suddenly melted…except for one. They look into and…see Brit and Molly. But of course there’s a scary twist and here it’s that they are on a carousal covered in flames.

That’s a badass concept if I’ve ever seen one. The end. This one was certainty more suspenseful and interesting,even if it doesn’t’ reveal too much.

#4 Scream of the Haunted Mask

Carly Beth was pretty happy to get her invite to Horrorland since she’s no longer scare-able after all that haunted mask stuff. So she happily drags Sabrina there and we join them taking a seat at The Haunted Theater. No mention of vanishing parents at hotels or whatever.

Billy and Matt appear, looking for Byron as he was dragged to this location.

They’re kind of cute”

.GooseBumps Crossover Shipping is now a thing. 10/10.

The girls overhear their plight and Billy tells them all about it. He’s very lucky that they believe him. Although after The Haunted Mask stuff, I suppose nothing sounds impossible to them.

Also, jokes aside, the mere concept of Carly Beth and Deep Trouble billy meeting is just…the best thing ever. This is first real GB Crossover now, which is just amazing.

A magician comes on stage and does tricks worthy of Amazo. Then one of his tricks somehow brings Sheena magically on stage. Dun dun dun!

They pull her aside, and she explained that she was sucked up along with the monster blood, and found herself in a place with the burning carousel. She got back through a random door that appeared. Given what we found later, this makes…enough sense, I guess.

They go backstage to look for Byron and find her nametag lying around. More dun dun dun worthy twists! They then find a flier advertising that flaming carasoul and they figure they should find it since all signs point to it.

They look around at the rides.

‘The Doom Slide..”

Shit, I was wrong. Sorry.

Carly Beth and Sabrina get separated from the group and end up in a mask shop where there’s a Haunted Mask theme false scare. They then spot two masks that look like Brit and Molly.

I don’t think this goes anywhere, so ignore it. Unless I’m wrong. But since they just leave like nothing happened, I will assume I am right.

They walk around and overhear two horrors clunkily expositing to each other, that the guests are in for bigger scares.

Two are already gone. We’ll take care of the rest’

If you guys are trying to take care of them, you could have tried easier ways. And so far after 4 sections, you’ve only offed 2, so you better get off your ass and catch up!

The girls walk away and find themselves lost in Werewolf village. After a pointless scene in a cottage, they find a gate that leads out, but it is locked. Doesn’t make too much sense at this point, unless it’s another insanely cruel Horror prank…or part of the mystery, which is likely.

Then suddenly, a creatures leaps out of at them! The end. …Yeah, that was a weaker one. Not too much and happened the mystery didnt’ get that much deeper. But whatever, let’s see what this creature is.

#5 Dr Manic Vs Robby Schwartz

Robby took his Horrorland invite despite that strange warning from his comic charecters, that was never explained. He says he no one would pass up this chance, but I would if that crap happened to me.

Right on his first day, he ended up in Werewolf village and bumped into Carly Beth and Sabrina. Yep, that creature was just him. Lame.

They quickly explain their gate problem but they get out by having robby just give a hole so they can go under. The ground must be very weak if a boy can just do that.

The girl explain everything and once again, Robby buys it even if he has no reason. Remember, only one creepy thing happened to him since the book was all a story. That will bite the story in the ass later on.

They escape and Robby gets distracted by a huge arcade, almost like he’s in a strange trance. He is drawn to a game called Dr Maniac’s World of Pain. Dun dun dun. It’s just a typical game, only Robby somehow feels everything that flies up at the screen.

Another cool idea that isn’t really explained. Most of these sections have stuff like this that aren’t really explained in the end and just serve as creepy filler.

He ends up being stick at the game, unable to quit it. These girls come in and he asks for help, but the game isn’t in plugged in, dun dun dun. But he just gets free not too soon after with luck so that dun dun dun was worthless.

The girl say they gotta take him to somewhere face, and also they are Brittney and Molly. Now that’s a good dun dun dun moment!

They tell him they must get to the “other park”. They pull a coin which almost hypnotizes Robby until he swats it away. Then Slappy shows up because….why not. He demands that Brit hold the coin up to Slappy.

Well, if a bad guy wants it, then this other park is bad news and Brit should be having second thoughts. She complies anyway and Robby feels himself almost getting sucked into the token. Then he wakes up on the floor of the arcade, with Carly and Sabrina like nothing happened.

I don’t think this is explained but Robby still thinks they should get out of here and get to the other park. The name of park, Panic Park, was on the coin Slappy wanted you to look into. You sure this is a good idea?

He thinks he could be a dream…until he sees that coin on the floor. The end. …Wait, what’s it? Not much a cliffhanger. A better section but still nothing too special except for Slappy’s special cameo. But let’s move on.

#6 Who’s Your Mummy?

4 Months after Abby’s Mummy adventures, Granny Vee is now stronger. And that’s all we are told about that. If you recall, she was feed mummy guts in order to get her to live longer. Don’t ask, it’s a long story.

It’s good to know she’s better, at least.

Abby got her HorrorLand invite and took it…but Peter did not, as he was too shaken up by the hair eating mummies to want more scares. So that characters existence was pointless, woo hoo.

At her first night in HorrorLand, she has a dream which we are told is a dream before hand, kind of making the scare pointless. Also, no mention of parents vanishing again. But the scare don’t stop after waking up, as she spots footprints in her room along with some gauze.

Someone knocks on the door but of course it’s not a mummy, it’s a boy from next door who heard he scream. This boy is Micheal Munroe. That’s right, the kid from My Friends call My Monster. Told you it happened one more time. It’s more pointless this time though.

They talk about each other, and Micheal just mentioned that he face real monsters once. He’s lucky she meet mummies or he would look insane right now. We cut to the next day as they meet up again to hang out.

While walking, they spot a mummy themed game, because of course they do. It’s nothing too special, so they focus on a Egypt themed RIDE, called the…A-Nile-Ator. Booooooo. They get on it, even though Abby’s a tad skeptical about the idea.

Aside from a false scare, nothing really happen. Meh. But afterwards, they bump into a Horror who turns out to be Byron. He just gives them a piece of paper and runs off it. It says “ESCAPE HORRORLAND, YOU ARE IN DANGER”.

You know, people like this really fail to realize people won’t obey advice from creepy people, at least without explanation. You didn’t have time to write more there, buddy?

Abby is shaken up by this but Micheal thinks it’s a joke, especially when a random Horror they bump into sees then note and flat out says it’s a joke. But his laugh sounded fake and he took the note in an odd way so he’s clearly evil.

They go back to their hotel, and in her room Abby finds another note, this time it’/s an invite to lunch at Vampire Cafe with other Special Guests. Before she goes, she notices there are no mirrors. Trust me, it’s leading somewhere.

Also, phones and computers do not work which isn’t too shocking. She goes there and finds all the guests so far. The others explain their plight and are more than a bit excited to hear about her meetup with Byron.

Robby mentions his coin adventures, and the coin has that trance effect on Abby, until a vampire waitress takes it as a tip. Totally not suspicious at all. Before they can get angry, Bubba (the horror that talked about things get scarier) appears.

He actually just takes them to a meeting that was also mentioned in the invite that I failed to mention because I suck. It’s in the haunted theater, and a Horror named Ned and just says all the scares were in good fun and he wants them to tell all their friends how amazing Horrorland is.

Man, even this is just a big cooperate whore.

Then Byron is brought ot in to give them special HorrorLand tokens to show that they are special guests, and it will let them cut in line and such. And the tokens have images related to their scary adventures, like Abby’s having a pyramid.

The cool thing is, this was foreshadowed. On the bac of each books is part of one of those tokens that will match up with the next part that is on the next book. So this has the 2nd part of the mummy one while it also has part 1 of the next token. Not sure I said that perfectly, but I think you get it.

It’s pointless ubt a fun way to get kids to get all the books and get sucked into the mystery more. Anyway, the kids are told to go to the Bat Barn. Yay, more callbacks!

They get there, and first find a flier on the ground, for the Mirror Mansion. Hmm, not sure if that was the name of the place from One Day but similar idea, good enough. Then of course when they go in, they are met by a bunch of bats.

The end. Bit of a lame ending, but this one was way better. The crossover starts to really form and it’s more interesting even though not a ton happens.

#7: My Friends Call me Monster

Like last time, they kind of has to start right where he left off, only with Micheal explaining what happened after his books twist, which I explained in that review. He’s able to ward the bats off with his dog whistle thing, because bats respond to dog whistles, I guess.

They leave and argue over if Byron is their enemy or was just forced to do this stuff by the horrors. But before a fight can break out, some monster police see them and give chase. But they escape easily, so that didn’t really matter too much.

They gather back Stagger Inn and basically recap everything, even though each of these sections now starts with a recap of the story so far. Through this, they recall that there are no mirrors and think it’s connected to how they see Brit and Molly in a mirror preice.

Told you it comes back, and it is explained. They split up to find one and Micheal keeps bumping into dead ends, until he sees an empty guilding that says STAFF ONLY DO NOT ENTER and randomly decides it might be worth looking into.

It turns out to lead to an underground place which turns out to be where the place’s mechanical crap is run. But before he can look into it, a guard catches him and tells him the sign was not lying and kicks him out.

Nothing too creepy really, it makes sense that high tech important stuff is hidden. But it’s a creepy place so eh, maybe something bad is going on. He meets up with the others who have found no mirrors.

They try to do internet research on this Panic Park palce but as you recall, there is no internet. But Micheal recalls all the tech stuff back there and figures they could go there to find a computer, as there were some in there. Okay, there’s a plot reason, not a mystery reason. Got it.

They sneak in there and Micheal just uses his laptop as it turns out there is wi fi down there. Conveint! First, they look up HorrorLand and we find out it’s proper history. It was founded in the 70’s by Kit Katzman. Seriously.

He was a man who happened to be a big horror fan so he made this park, and filled it with the horrors, thinking they were people in costume. Then before we find out more, Matt makes them skip to Panic Park. Because I guess Stine didn’t think that far ahead into the backstory. Or maybe we find out more later, I know we get PP’s history.

…What an unfortunate acronym.

They find out a bit on Panic Park, on a list of Vanished Amusement parks. It was founded in the 50’s by Karloff Meance and that’s all we get because mystery. They stumble upon a blog by kids who spend time in HorrorLand and are warning people about something.

Hmm, I wonder who those kids are…

But of course they are interrupted by simply being caught by the park staff. They run and end up in a room full of weird gorilla creatures in cages. They let some out to distract the guards, hoping that they get dumb luck and the creatures don’t wanna kill the kids.

This is the case, as they kids take this chance to escape while the horrors take care of them. I don’t think we ever find out why they are there to begin with.

After they escape, they decided to locate the back of the park so they can escape Horrororland. Uh, what about your parents? They might be in danger too, since you haven’t even seen proof of this other hotel.

Micheal gets lost along the way and bumps into two Horrors named Clem and Benson. They tell him to stop making trouble and that just makes Micheal want to leave even more. But another horror appears, shooing them away.

He tells Micheal that he will help him escape…and he pulls out a mirror. Suddenly, he sucked into the mirror and is spat out. But of course is now somewhere else. He’s now in an amusement but a very different one, and there’s a sign saying PP.

Yep, he seems to have found Panic Park!

But…where IS Panic Park? And…how do I get back to my friends?”

The end. Now that’s a cliffhanger! That whole section built up the mystery way better than the last few and was pretty enjoyable, with a nice ending. I like that they got rid of Micheal like with Brit and Molly, adds a bit more urgency to the story.

#8: Say Cheese-And Die Screaming!

Hopefully the logic from the book carries over until this section. As I said in that review, the twist is forgotten as Julie heads to HorrorLand ready for some fun. But while she’s walking around, those gorilla creatures end up in the main park and cause all kinds of terror.

They just run by and Julie conveniently bumps into the remaining Special Guests who are looking for Micheal. Before the kids can explain everything, some monster police pop up so they run off and get separated, after a quick scene on a ride I don’t feel like recapping

.

Before Julie can try to get back to them, Byron jumps her and gives her a small mirror before running off. He is drawn to it but throws it away before it can pull her on. She does bump into the other guests and they explain everything and figure mirrors are the way to Panic Park and must get that mirror back.

But a horror throws the trash can in this big grabage truck before they can get it. I didn’t know they just did that in the middle of a park during the day but whatever stops the plot from moving, I guess.

They decided to just leave out the front gate, which is just crazy enough to fail because a horror sees them. But after stamping their hands, he lets them leave. This sounds too good to be true, and of course it turns out that vines grow out of the stamps and capture them.

  1. just expected a shock, to prevent them from leaving but that works too.

Is…The End?”

Well, if you mean the end of the section, then yes. Yeah, that’s actually the end. Kind of abrupt. Not too much happened in this one, but there was nothing dumb enough to mock. Kind of dull and pointless, honestly. Good ending though.

#9: Welcome to Camp Slither

After escaping from Snake Camp, Boone started to have a dull summer, and I guess the snake he gave Heather at the end of the book just vanished.

Can you imagine a kid so lame she cheats at Croquet?”

Can you imagine a kid so lame they PLAY Croquet?

So she was happy when she got that HorrorLand invite but of course her fun doesn’t even start since she sees the vine covered kids in the parking lot. Given the book itself, Boone is used to creepy things happening almost right away..

Some Horrors appear and say this is what they get for trying to escape. Now that’s actually pretty creepy, making them think they are free and puling this. A bit much but it’s effective. They free the kids and force them onto a bus where Boone gets acquainted with the ever growing group of kids.

They plan to take the kids to The Keeper, who I imagine is less scarier than he sounds. Thankfully, Boone gets them out of there by tricking the Horrors into thinking there are snakes on the bus.

They fall for it and the kids manage to escape. I love that monsters are afraid of freaking snakes. They spot a ride that they think may get them to the tunnels they were in, but it just leads them back to Ned, who somehow made it all the way there in time and knew they would be there.

They are taken to a room full of strange junk connected to their adventures, like a camera or a painting of Captain Ben. Then The Keeper Enters, and he is…DR Maniac!

.Wrong book to have it in but AWESOME! He’s every bit as insane as he was before. I kind of want him in the Goosebumps Movie Sequel, but no anger could capture him without basically being annoying, same goes for The Purple Rage.

They are taken a room for some torture when-

It’s Can’t Be! The Purple Rage!”

Do you know what CRUCNHES my POTATO CHIPS?!”

10/10, best book ever.

They think this crazy guy running in will save them but he’s actually teaming up with The Manic, for some reason. Also ,HOW THEY ARE ALIVE GIVEN HOW THEIR BOOK WENT DOWN?!

From this teamup, they assume all of their old foes are teaming up. Eh, we have enough hints for that to be possible, with Slappy appearing. So yeah, a leauge of Goosebumps villains. ….I change my mind, this is an 50/10.

They spend the next couple pages exchange dumb jokes and threatening the kids. That is until The Purple Rage starts twisting Boone’s arms, threatening to make a balloon animal out of him.

How about a nice poodle? Or should I twist you into a giraffe with a long long neck?”

The end. …Wait, what’s it?! Nothing happened! They got onto a bus, meet The Joker and The Hulk’s lost cousins and ….that was it! Fun but very uneventful. Hopefully our last one has more to it.

#10: Help! We Have Strange Powers!

In spite of Madame Doom’s creepy warning, Jackson and Jillian went to HorrorLand anyway hoping to get a break from the Dr. Cranium stuff and given the origin of the warning, they think this place could connect to their powers.

Huh, a better reason then “lol it could be fun”, I guess. Upon getting there, they decide to have a bit of fun before going snooping and of course bump into Madame Doom. They try the machine just for fun and now the card says “Escape HorrorLand”.

Dun dun dun?

Then suddenly, Crainmum pops up out of nowhere!

Sometimes babies grow up fast!”

Oh yeah, he has that kind of power. Maybe try a longer term solution before you leave forever, Nina and Artie?

He gives chase and tries to get into their brains. Then the Madame Doom machine flies up and knocks him out. ….What.

I don’t get it, how does that work? It’s never even explained! Plus, he gets up just a moment later, so it was pointless. He chasing them to the doom slide where the kids jump in to escape.

Thankfully, they do not pick the doom slide, or at least it doesn’t have that fire crap from before. Upon arriving at the bottom, a horror appears to take them to the other special guests, who are still with The Keeper.

Which means we get more of Manic and Purple rage! Right away, a fight ensues with them and Purple again fires off his alliteration.

That PARBOILS MY PEONIES!”

…He’s not even using words anymore. And like in his book, he get so mad be blows up. Still amazing. But Dr Manic is still so he keeps torturing the kids, by doing stuff like making the floor really hot.

This is all kind of creepy, actually. It’s the closest we’ll get to actual torture in Goosebumps, and it makes for a good and suspenseful scene.

In a last ditch effort, Jillian has Robby pretend he’s dead, which actually worries Maniac, since he wasn’t supposed to actually kill anyone. This is the most humanity he will ever show, which is kind of cool even if it’s not really worried about Robby himself.

This plan works as he just runs off, leaving the door unlocked so they can escape. That was easy but actually took decent planning. I guess the logic from Say Cheese somehow ended up here.

Once they leave, the other explain the whole thing to Jackson and Jillian who figure this is all true given what just happened. They make it back to where the cafe used to be just to see if there’s any leads there, and Jackson is able to use his powers to uncover the previously missing cafe through means that are explained better than I am saying in my summary.

A few steps into the mirror to get there, but some others just slam into it, leaving them there to be chased by some monster police that pop up.

They manage to escape from them so easily, I wonder why these guys seem to suck so much. They bump into these two kids have popped up a coupel times in this section, but in the middle of a scene so I had to skip them before.

They seemed to spying our main duo so they wonder what the hell their deal is.

My name is Lizzy Morris. This is my brother Luke”

WHAT A TWIST! That’s right, Luke and Lizzy from the original One day at HorrorLand are here! Who would have guessed except everyone because Stine spoiled in various promos.

Yeah, they run that site I mentioned, and each GBH has various notes from them and sometimes their names were mentioned. It was cool but I wish this twist was…more shocking.

Still, I love that they showed up, since this seemed to be light on Crossover stuff up to this point. It does make the timeline more confusing, but we’ll get to that some other time.

All they say off the bat is that they think the kids should STAY in this place. This is why they think Luke and Lizzy may be working for the horrors. There’s not to much suspense because it would make no sense for the main characters of a previous GB book to now be working with them…unless they are on the good side, which is possible given who the real villain is.

Still, seems too smart for these books for them to be evil. Jillian reads Lizzy’s mind…and says she is lying.

Well, shit, can’t argue with that. And so this trip finally ends with them conering the two ,asking what the hell they want. Now that was a good section to go out on, especially with Luke and Lizzy.

But yeah, glad to be done here.

Final Thoughts:

A bit hard to review this as a whole but here we go. This is a mixed bag, mostly due to having the issues most mysteries have. Blatant Red Herrings, not explaining enough, and having mysterious elements for the sake of it.

And sometimes the characters might not get enough to do it, and there’s a bit too many in here. With that said, a lot of it works. It keeps you invested with the creepy things going on, and some plot points are interesting and build up cool ideas.

It makes you want to keep going, like any passable mystery. The sections can be hit or miss, since some reveal nothing and waste time, while some are fast paced and a ton of fun. It’s clear Stine has trouble filling ten parts to this, especially when you read them all at once.

But overall, this was a fun experiment, even if it had ups and downs. But it all depends on the ending, so we’ll see it the following books make these bits all worth it.

Seems odd to grade these, but meh:

Grade: B

So what will happen? Are Luke and Lizzy evil? What is Panic Park? We’ll find out….way later, as next is the book BEFORE the finale, which is bound to reveal as much as most part 1’s of s bigger story.

Find out sometime in late May or So!

See ya.

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General Review: Rachet and Clank

Hello, Spongey here.

Video Game movies tend to suck. That’s one of the many things we’ve just come to accept. Street Fighter, Tekken, anything by Uwe Boll, the list goes on forever. But why? We’ve had more gems with cartoon movies than with game movies so what is the deal?

Well, like any adaption, it can be hard to get it all right. A lot of games don’t have a lot of story to work with and are just hard to capture on film. There are various other problem but that tends to be main one.

That, and a lot of them are live action when it seems like the better ones are animated. Maybe they think it’s too close to the style of the games, usually? I don’t know, but there is a reason Wreck it Ralph is the best video game movie ever despite being original.

The worst part is, they don’t seem to be getting better. You think now that we’ve had time to experiment and upgrade the technology, we would get more gems. But nope, they still tned to be bad in some way. Yes, there are some good ones but …only like a few, from what I can gather,

So imagine my reaction to finding out that 2016 would have not one, but THREE Video Game movies! Later this year, we’ll finally see a movie of one of the biggest MMOS ever, and also a bunch of pissed off birds.

Could they prove video game movies can be good? We’ll see, but we do have our first one to chew on. As the title says, this is based off the Rachet and Clank Franchise by Insomiac Games.

I’m not a big gamer so I haven’t played them but I have seen various reviews and Let’s Plays, and it looks very appealing with the style and humor. Maybe I should get into them someday. It was appealing enough for this movie to be made of it.

It comes with good news and bad news. The good news is that it stars the VA’ of the main characters, The people behind the games helped with production, including having some of the writers of the games on the script.

On the other hand, the animation studio behind is Rainmakers. The same Studio behind Escape From Planet Earth…. Ouch. But hey, Real FX went from Free Birds to Book of Life, so anything is possible.

I was interesting to see how this would pan out and now we’ll find out if it’s worthwhile Will this be a shining gem among video game movies? Or is it yet another turd to add to the pile? Let’s find out.

This, is Rachet and Clank

WRITING:

In some Galaxy far off in space, a Wombax named Rachet wants more from life and wants to join the Galatic Ranger, but they reject him. But through a series of events, he ends up joining them to stop the evil Drax from destroying the Galaxy. And he meets a friendly robot along the way.

For this review, I will not compare the writing itself to the game, as I don’t quite recall enough to do that. So don’t worry, you’ll see how it is on it’s own.

In a video game, the story isn’t exactly the most important element. If you are just trying to be a fun platforming, the story just needs to make sense. In the early 2000’s, video game storying was just starting to get a good, so a game like this had a sort of average, held up by it’s own unique charm.

Meaning, if you make a movie you have to add more, or you just have a generic story on paper. I say all that because…that is sadly what happened here. The story here is very by the books.

You have a dreamer who is rejected but gets a chance and must stop bad guys. There is nothing more to it than that, and every single plot beat can be predicted a mile away. Any possible twists are predictable too.

This alone is fine but for a space adventure, you might expect a bit more. It manages hit every beat without really doing anything too new. Some otherwise minor issues become big due to this, like the pacing.

It moves too fast sometimes, not really letting anything sink it. It just starts and moves on to each plot beat without really doing enough to get me invested. It does the bare minum, really. Even the fade to the credits is rushed, how do you do that?!

Thing thing about the story is that it’s not bad, really. It makes some level of sense and doesn’t throw that many incredibly stupid moments. There are cliches but we don’t have a ton like in other kiddie flicks. It just has that aura of genericness to it.

There is one plot element that is kind of interesting, which I won’t spoil even though it’s pretty much and shown in half the film. It gives us a few half decent moments, but even that is cliché and isn’t exactly amazing or anything.

The drama itself is fine, giving me the sense they cared but it’s mostly just there. The big thing that could save a film like is the comedy. And was it funny? Eh, it was mildly amusing. That’s the big thing that made it kind of bearable.

It has a few clunkers (like a hashtag reference because ugh) and is hardly hilarious, but it has enough amusing moments. Heck ,even the first joke made me chuckle a bit. When there’s a lull, there will be an okay moment to wake me up.

But while it can be funny, it’s not funny enough to make up for the average writing. It has some charm to it with the humor and action, enough that I can defend it as not terrible, but it cant’ save the writing.

Overall, the writing is sadly….average. The story isn’t bad, but it’s very by the books, offering nothing new with weak pacing, only brought up by decent humor and having the basic charm of the game. It feels like they just took the basic story of the game and put it on autopilot. I’m not mad, just disappointed.

ANIMATION:

Rainmaker used to be Mainframe, and they made some of the first CgI shows ever. Meaning their work isn’t exactly Pixar, but it has gotten better. Escape From Planet Earth looked nice but looked generic.

This is the same deal, but it thankfully looks better. The animation is…good, but nothing special. The characters look polished enough with their movements being solid enough. The designs are kind of weak, just typical weird aliens.

It looks like the game but they added no special touches to make it a powerhouse film. The animation is nice to look at, but it’s not exactly going to blow you away. But it is a lower budget film and it still looks better than some other similar films.

The action scenes have decent energy to them, but the background are mostly just kind of bland. In general, the animation doesn’t really have anything that special to it, especially compared to other animated films on the market, but it does at least look they put effort into it.

In short, nothing fancy but it gets the job done.

CHARACTERS:

Since I said the film tends to rush through things, you likely expect a cast of weak characters. You would be correct. All of them are just kind of there, really. I could barely say anything about one, much less all, but let’s do it.

Of course, first up is Rachet, voiced by James Arnold Taylor. He wants more from life, and he gets it. That’s…pretty much it. He has likes to build things by screws up. Because that hasnt’ been done in every movie ever made.

He’s got a charm him to due the voice work but he’s mostly just a typical lead. A screw up who manages to be a hero. That’s about it. They touch on his backstory, but it’s so brief they may as well have cut it. He’s one of the last of his kind, which is barely mentioned.

He’s serviceable I suppose, but there isn’t too much to him. Eh.

With him is Clank, voiced by David Kaye. He’s a small robot hwo is smart. That’s…also about it. He’s even weaker than Rachet, because he honestly does very little. He helps out a bit and has some cute moments, but he’s just a tiny smart robot. That’s all.

The worst part? For a film called Rachet and Clank, it doesn’t have much of a bond between Rachet and Clank! They meet and have okay moments, but they barely bond. They meet and just enjoy each other up to until the very end.

Hell, I’m pretty sure Clank is gone for a good chunk of the film. At one point, they meet up and I honestly forget he was in it. Maybe he did more and I didn’t notice because I was so bored but in the grand scheme, their connection is just forced. Clank is cute, but that’s about it.

Next would be our villains, Drax and Dr Nefarious, voiced by Paul Gimatti and Armin Shimmerman. Drax is the small evil villain, Nefarious is the bigger and smart one. That’s it. I’m cool with that since villain don’t have to be complex, and they are mostly comedic villains.

And Drax is mostly amusing but he gets dull fairly quickly, making him just kind of typical. Nefarious is kind of cool looking but just a typical bigger bad. Him being the bigger villain is not a spoiler because EVERY SINGLE MOVIE DOES THIS.

If the ivllain has a pal who is a bit bigger, he will betray him. Seriously, I am getting so sick of that cliché. As villains they get the job done, but you won’t remember them.

John Goodman voices Rachet’s mechanic and mentor. That’s all there is to him. He works fine in his scenes, but barely does anything. I almost forgot him really.

Then we have Captain Quark, voiced by Jim Ward. He’s easily the best character, being a Zap Brannigan type. He’s typical at least has energy and can be amusing. He also has the only real arc, which I won’t spoil. It almost works giving him some kind of heart.

So while he’s still typical, I can at least say he’s passable. He’s not even as annoying as he could have been. He’s fine.

Finally, we have the other Galactic Rangers. There’s the smart chick, the badass chick, and the strong guy. That is all there to them. They provide amusing moments, but otherwise they are just support. They don’t grow at all and are just there to be there.

The badass one is the best but she’s still as average as the rest. And she’s voiced by Bella Thorne, how lovely. She’s at least fine here and it makes for a huge step up comapred to fucking Road Chip.

Oh, and the strong one is voiced by Flash Sentry. I am not kidding. Hell, Tabitha St Germain and Rebecca Shoicet have bits parts apparently. I did not expect that.

Oh, wait there is one other: This other villain guy voiced by Sylvester Stallone. The fact that I forgot him says it all. He’s cool but not memorable. How do you make me forget that Stallone is your movie!?

The voice acting in general is decent. Mostly nothing great but everyone does okay, especially Jim Ward. Figures the best actors are the actual voice actors from the games.

Overall, the characters aren’t hatable at all, but they provide very little to grab onto. Like the other aspects they are….meh.

Final Thoughts:

This is a huge step forward for video game movies, as Rachet and Clank is….not horrible, but merely just kind of meh. It has decent animation, some okay humor, and good voice acting but sadly has weak writing with poor pacing, and characters that offer very little.

It just does everything you would expect and barely adds anything new. It’s content with taking the basic gist of the game without really making it into a proper film. It’s honestly a passable viewing experience, as it has enough humor and action to stop me from hating it.

I just kind of …watched it, not really reacting much. I almost got into it but something felt off. Even after writing this review, I’m still not sure. It’s right up my ally, so why don’t I like it? I know the writing is poor but it’s not offensive and I’d take over Norm of the North or Hoodwinked 2 any day.

But while it’s not the worst animated features, it is one of the most disappointing in a while. It should have been a blast, but despite being bearable, it is sadly not worth remembering. I’d only see it in theaters if you have kids or try to spend little money as a fan of the games.

Otherwise, I’d wait to rent it. It can be enjoyed on a superficial level, just don’t expect anything that good. I feel sad doing this, as I wasn’t hurting watching it at all, it was just kind of …stale. But hey, we still have Angry birds Next!

  1. really hope Warcraft is good.

WRITING: C+

ANIMATION: B

CHARACTERS: C

OVERALL: C+

Well, that was sadly weak. But tune in next week as we look at Marvel’s latest flick!

See ya.

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2013 Review Retrospective

Hello, Spongey here.

Our retrospectives have officially begun and now that we’ve gotten the past the shakey start of 2012, it’s time to dive into year Two. If you ask me, 2013 is my best year. I got a lot better as a critic and was able to judge things more fairly, and I got an established scheduled. Granted, every 4 days wasn’t the best but I managed to do it.

Once I got going, I had a lot of energy on this blog and did so much interesting content. I had a nice mix, doing more decent films including a few favorites. I did some projects I wanted to do and really broadened my horizon.

Granted, I still had my fair share of mistakes but I do think this was my best year in general. It’s kind of some TV Shows, Season 1 is rocky but decent, Season 2 is easily the best due to just getting better, Season 3 is not quite as good, but still very good, and 4 is a disappointment.

I’m not sure where I’m going with this metaphor. Now, at the end of the year I did list of my favorite posts of the year, so I kind of covered them before. With this, I’ll copy/past most of what I said, and maybe add more.

The only reviews I am leaving out are 16 Wishes (due to being a remake of a 2012 review) and the NFL Rush Zone reviews, since I covered them with my original reviews.

With that said, let’s dive into it.

This, is the 2013 Retrospective

Diary of a Wimpy Kid Trilogy

We start with a series of reviews that is best done at once. And one I covered in my List. That was fast. First, the gist of what I said there:

I’ve done a lot of personal reviews, and this is….one of them. It’s not a book series I really grew up with or anything. I just really got into it, and that’s why the 3rd movie got to me as much as it did.

.I liked the 3rd review cuz I did have some decent jokes and of the feels thing. But I think the first review was the best. I just loved how I compared it to the book in every way and really dived into Greg’s character and all that.

I thought writing was, this one of my best. I articulated myself pretty well when it comes to all aspects of this film. It is said that I seem to be only person who sees these movies as good. On a critical level, this has plenty to offer yet I think the 3rd has the WORST RT rating, even though it’s clearly the best…to an extent

It goes back to having deep themes after part 2 just had brother issues. But ah well, at least reviewing Mr Coat liked it. Unlike that…one angry guy who reviews movies in the back of a car with some other guy I think I know.

Also, like I said, Roger Ebert loved the first one a lot. That is awesome. R.I.P., dude.

Anyway, I had fun going into the differences and how they work in the films favor. I think the first review captured that the most, hence why it’s the best.

But I did like the 3rd review a lot due to the ending. Also, this was my very first post of the year. Needless to say, 2013 started with a bang.

This review was clearly one of the ones I put the most effort into and it shows. By the way, the warning about how I say “in the book” a lot was half joking, half real. I know some hate it when reviews like this compare it to the movie, so that warning may mean something for some people.

…This was a very solid review that showed that when I do read the book, I can get a solid review out of it. “

There’s not a lot to add here. (Except that I do own 3 now). It was fun doing these films. I had a few positive reviews in 2013 of films I had seen before and I think I can be good at positive reviews if I’ve seen the film before so I can explain in detail why they work.

And since not too many care about these films, it’s more fun.

I will admit the films objectively are a bit lesser than I claim, but I do think they are solid family films. On their own they are simple decent but they do try to have decent stories for the most part.

I have a few side notes for this one. I didn’t plan on each review being the first for that month but I caught on and planned for the 3rd one to pan out that way. It’s weird seeing Karan Bar and Peyton List show up together a while before Jessie was a thing. Kind of makes Chirag lusting overly briefly very….creepy in hindsight.

So yeah, as I said before, these reviews were quite fun to do and served as a solid way to start the year. We can move on now.

Happy Feet Two

Here’s a review I tend to forget about, since the film itself doesn’t leave an impression. It’s just a typical mediocre sequel that makes the characters less interesting and has a bit too much going on, being more cliché then the first.

I’ve forgotten most of this film since the review honestly. It tries a lot harder than most weak sequels and some of it is enjoyable, but it’s just a weak sequel. I’m not sure what you could do to make a good Happy Feet sequel, but this didn’t cut it.

Although I will always remember the sexually ambiguous krill. NEVER FORGET.

There isn’t a lot to say about the review. It’s fine with the usual good moments, but the film it self being regrettable leads to this not being my most memorable work. I had plenty to work with at the time, so I wasn’t slouching at least.

I showed decent reviewing skills here too. It’s just not a review I come back to since the film is not special enough for me to care to recall it’s low lights. Nothing wrong with the review, just nothing too special in the end.

But when you do this many review, some just won’t be memorable. That’s all I got, really.

Antz

This one is interesting, as this was part of a Martathon. I tried a Dreamworks-a tho which failed because I got lazy. But for the first entry, I wanted to do it play by play to better explain my feelings on the film.

It was an odd experiment. As for the marathons, I plan to just do “A Look” type things in place of them from this point on. But back to Antz. I’m willingly to give it some slack as it was their first film, and there wasn’t too much to compare it to back them.

But I still think it’s fairly weak. It’s too generic to be interesting, it tries too hard to be adult, and the charecters and story are just weak. But at least the animation and casting are solid, and it at least tries to tell a real story.

At this point, any sign of effort is amazing to me.

But hey, they all can’t be Toy Story, I guess. We all gotta start somewhere. With the review, I maybe harped on the cliches too but everything else is spot on enough. This is another I wouldn’t call my best, but I did have more good critiquing in this one.

So I’d call it a good one. It’s odd that it belongs to a canned marathon but ah well. Not a bad one overall.

Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay

Here’s another fun positive review. This came about because I saw it, thinking it would be terrible based on what I had heard, but ended up enjoying it. I had interesting reasons for liking it so a while later I reviewed it to explain my feelings.

And I still like it. It is the weakest of the trilogy, but it’s still good. It mostly keeps a lot of the humor and has some good social commentary on top of good development. Like I said in the review, it has some force jokes and weak elements, but as a whole it is a worthy sequel.

Plus, need I mention Ron Fox?

The review is a pretty good one. I’m more critical here, explaining what works and what doesn’t. I explain why pretty well, and even put in some amusing moments regarding my worship of Ron Fox.

It’s another one showing my skills fairly well, which is more impressive since most people wouldn’t have a ton to say about this movie. It is sometimes hard reviewing good comedies, but I think I did okay here.

Of course it’s not my best take on the franchise, but we’ll get to that one later.

Phineas and Ferb Across the 2nd Dimension

Yeah, I’ll have to mostly skip this one as I’ve rambled about film plenty, and this was another entry on the list. Here’s the gist of that entry:

Reviewing this movie was odd. I’ve done movies i’ve already seem, but at the most I will have seen it like 2 or 3 times. But this is one I had seen many times, and had pretty much memorized most of it when I reviewed it.

Hell, I actually did a general review of it on blogger when it came out. But that was a bit after I saw it, and this was long after the fact.

Anyway, in spite of the bad spelling, this was a solid review. At every step, I explained the characters and what makes the movie work.

…But back to my original point, I knew this movie front to back already and it felt different from my other reviews. Even if it’s based on something I knew, I still fell like I’m doing a real movie.

But since I’ve seen it so much AND I’ve discussed P&F so much, it felt odd…in a good way. I tried to still make it seem like I’m doing an actual movie, with a look at the themes, and the “voiced by ___”.

By the way, this is just an aside, but the guy who voices Baljeet recently came out as gay…No comment.

Anyway, it was a lot of fun to quote the jokes and discuss the themes and all that. This is one of the few times I reviewed a movie off a DVD, by the way. The other times were Wimpy 1 and 2, and Shrek 3.

This was simply a very passionate review, and I think it went over well. Like I said, it’s full of errors but I still like how analyzed everything and put aside my more fanboy-ish love for it to think critically.

Though some may feel the grade is a bit high. To clarity, it’s an A as far as P&F goes. For those who watched this not knowing the show, it’s a very strong B+.

I just feel it has everything the show had, and more. Great humor, adult references, complex characters, and some really emotional stuff.

Also, I’m proud of that “MYSTERIOUS FORCE COMPELS YOU” joke. I’ve used it in other discussions about the movie, but I never get tired of it. But here’s a fun thing: I have a tumblr called “Re-watching Phineas and ferb” where I went through every ep and just did bullet points as I watched, quoting stuff, and making “witty” comments on the ep as I re-visited it.

I did this movie that way. So yes, I had already been very familiar with this movie through that before I reviewed it. But while I was reviewing it, I tried to not make that too obvious.

I feel this review captures the film’s good-ness pretty well. I think someone did a At2d review in this style back when it came out, and it’s good too. I just wanted to do my own spin. This review was fun to do and it seems like it turned out well”

Not too much to add to that, except that since then I did The Muppets and Sponge out of Water off a Dvd, with one planned. I do own some films I reviewed, but I got them after the fact like Madagascar 1 and 2, and Epic.

Also, this review came out during a sort of Marathon of P&F posts on the blog so this was really just a way to use my obsession for something really productive. I think it turned out mostly fine.

But yeah, there isn’t much to add from everything I’ve said at this point. Except that I plan to get more familiar with the film by counting it’s sins on a different tumblr I have. Yeah. Let’s move on.

Shark Tale

I did this one to make up for how Dreamworks-a thon failed. I had the idea to this film probably since I started, and I’m glad I finally got to do it. Doug Walker’s little Dreamworks coverage added to it at as well.

Dreamworks was well known for weaker kid films, but even this was so below them. Even Antz and Home had more creativity to them. I can tell most of the writers and artists were trying their best and there were some inspired moments.

But despite a few decent ideas and moments, this movie is just….wow. Most of Dreamworks project at least try to have something aside from the pop culture crap but still is just…bad. There are so many pointless references and puns, with wasted celebrities and a nonsensical world.

I will say that it at least tells a story and Jack Black’s side had potential, which puts it above some other garbage out there. But still still represents everything wrong 2000’s animated films. It’s just annoying.

The review is pretty good, even if I touch on what everyone else has said. I have fun mocking the stupid moments and in general it’s a balance and enjoyable review from me. The only thing left to mention is a comment I got:

Yeah good review, but you’re missing out one thing, it’s a movie for children. It’s not intended for adults, and who are you to judge a kid’s movie? Yeah, it may have some innuendos and some jokes only adults would understand, but it’s still a children’s’ movie.You reacting to this in a bad way is like telling kids to not watch Frozen 2 just because you thought the first one was “bad enough” or annoying. Just let kids enjoy it for themselves, don’t ruin their fun. “

The most shocking part is that this is my first and so far only “IT’S FOR KIDS” comment and it dropped by last year. Huh. But um…no. It’s well known that being for kids is no excuse to talk down to them.

But the big reason this arguments fails in this case is …well, some jokes, like this:


“A lot of white fish can’t do it”

I get that “joke” but as an adult I find the contents of the iflm too dumb down and childish for my tastes, and no kid will get that joke either. So who was that joke aimed for? Adults. There are tons of jokes in stuff like this that are clearly targeted at adults.

If you do that, you don’t get the kids excuse because you clearly put something in for adults. A quality kids product with adults reference can still appeal to them so if kids don’t get it, someone will enjoy it.

Of course you can’t be too hard at something when it’s harmless in the end (like most pre school shows) but everything I say still stands. Also, if my review is “good” then why you seem to hate it so much?

But yeah, a mostly enjoyable review for a pretty crappy kids flick.

Shrek the Third

So in the previous review I first announced DCOM Month but canned it at the time. I eventually did it so for once I got to a canceled project. It amusing how that turned out. Anyway, here’s another review for a Dreamworks film I once liked but now don’t.

I think in this case I just looked at it more critically after actul finding out why people don’t like it. I recall watching whule doing that old list so why I didn’t notice the flaws then is weird. But in general, the movie is just meh.

I find it odd that people treat it like it’s awful, as it almost works. It has all the ingredients you need for a good movie, with tons of good ideas, and funny characters. But it’s bogged down by the writing, which doesn’t go through with some of the ideas and just isn’t that funny in some areas.

Not to mention the insulting death scene for Dad. The film is just wasted potential all around. It comes so close to working but it sadly doesn’t. They thankfully made up for it with the solid 4th film and Puss in Boots.

This is another critical review, really going into what works, what doesn’t, and why. I do a good job analze this stuff and giving it a fair chance all the way through. I also have some funny reactions to balance it all out.

And I still own the DVD, because I now have the rest of the films and I like having them all. Although if I lost it I would not mind. Also, it is no longer the worst film I legally own. We’ll get to that later.

Overall, this is another interesting and fair review.

Ramona and Beezus

This is another one that has slipped my memory, but that’s because I just did it because why not. I was looking for with Selena Gomez in due to Spring Breakers coming (which I still haven’t seen) and as I said, I tried Monte Carlo but I wasn’t feeling in it.

So I saw that she was in this and picked it. All things considered, it didn’t out too bad. The film is still a pleasant surprised, as I did get worried once I found out what it was like. It’s nothing that special, but it’s charming and serves as another decent family film that most people will get something out of.

I know nothing about the books and I hear they have a bit more bite, but this is fine on it’s own. It hasn’t stuck with me too much, and it’s another case where I had to read the review again to remember it, but again, I’ve done so much that some things will slip my mind.

The review is filler, but I didn’t do too bad with it. The pleasant surprise aspect gives me something to discuss and I had some chances for jokes. It’s also one of the few times I mention a real experience, and yes the thing I mention did happen. It’s still one of the few interesting things to happen to me.

The review is on the average side, but eh it was kind of fun to go into something blind and get something surprisingly decent out of it. Plus, I got to talk about Selena Gomez, which is always great.

Romeo and Juliet Sealed with a Kiss

This is a review I wanted to do for a while and I was glad I got to do it. It’s a good thing I waited since I gained a bit more perspective, and I was able to explain why it’s okay for me to review it.

And honestly, the nature of the film is the only reason I don’t hate it more. A small budget can excuse everything…except the script, most of the time. I’ve seen fan films and projects on an even smaller budget that work because you don’t need a budget to simply write something good.

I mean, they had the money to make some really impressive character animation, so a good script is not too much to act. Hell, production wise, everything is top notch, including the score itself.

I mean, it’s not like the one man was a nobody. He worked on actual films in the industury, so we know he has talent in some way. That is what really bugs me.

The film is just really confused, as it fails as a straight adaptation, and as any kind of parody. It’s too shallow to be serious, and the humor is incredibly annoying and just drops in references for no reason.

And yes, Mercautio is on my list. Being a butchered version of an already existing character puts him low on it, but he’s there. The fact that he dies only to come back makes him even worse.

This was a fun review to do because there’s so much wrong with the script. As such ,the review is pretty good. I have plenty of good jokes, and critiquing the film fairly and explain why it fails. My spiel at the start is good too.

It’s one I like to go back since I do think it’s a better one. Overall, you’re still better off with Gnomeo and Juliet despite it’s flaws.

Hotel Transylvania

This is another filler review I’m not too found of. I just did it for fun and didn’t have a lot to say that I couldn’t in some other format. I tied my best and I did okay, but it made for a dull review because you can tell I wasn’t to inspired with this one.

I brought this up as an example of my weaker work in my review of uh…me, and that is why. With that said, it was fun to do in the least and I had some good moments. It just felt pointless on the ciruting front.

There isn’t much to add regarding the film. Except for my feelings on the 2nd one. I thought it was good. Not quite as good, as the writing does resemble a bunch of TV Episodes strung together, and it’s not just quite as funny, but in general it’s good. It keeps up the fast pace, strong animation and has some sweet moments like the first one.

Plus, Jonathon is more likable and Mavis role as a mother is written surprisingly well. While both films could stand to have better writing, they still work because it at least seems like they are tried. Both at least have some attempts at decent heart, more than a lot of mediocre kid’s fare out there.

The animation style is clearly the artists vision and yes, I do think Sony should stick to this, mostly. The way they do fast paced animation is what separates their films from other studios. The exact way they do it is a bit different from Dreamworks, even if they can do similar tricks like the god awful rap in this movie.

I do think perhaps mixing it up would be nice. Dreamworks does it, so people hwo like both kinds of their films will be happy. I’m just saying another Surfs Up type would be nice.

wwesonysurfsup2-172326

…What.

(THIS IS REAL)

Er, anyway, while they have problems, the folks at Sony animation do good work. While the review was weak, the films are still solid, even if they aren’t exactly amazing.

Ice Age 4

This review was the first where I started having the posters at the start. I actually tried it a few times on Blogger but had trouble doing them due to Blogger sucking, so I dropped them. Eventually I figured I’d try again since I liked how Tooncrap did them.

Not much else to say on that front. So where was I?

we’ll likely be seeing ice age 5 in a few years”

..Oh yeah. I’ll save my words on that come July.

The fact that they made a mediocre Ice Age sequel isn’t the worst, as it would happen eventually. I dislike that they pushed it. As both sequels managed to have inspired moments despite their flaws.

But this is just so very mediocre. The story is poorly written, and ends up being cliché even though some concepts were natural in a way. Everything is just so much weaker than before, with Scrat and the song providing the only bits of real energy.

See, even with Ice Age 3’s flaws, it had so much energy it was hard to dislike it due to the all good things it had. Same goes with Rio 2, which I’ll go further on next time. But instead it’s so dull, that it’s hard to find even ironic enjoyment. It’s just dull. And the pirates and sirens are clear signs this series is out of ideas.

At least they had an excuse for Dinosaurs and did some funny things with them. This film isn’t horrible by any means but it’s still the weakest Blue Sky film by far. Hopefully the new one will be an improvement.

The review is another pretty good. It’s one I put effort into as I had revisited the other films and got more disappointed with this one. You can always tell when I put more effort into the research ,as I go into detail on the other films and what happened to the characters.

As such, I critique stuff pretty well here, and have some fun moments. I do have a of pictures though, because I did try to spice things up visually. But not I barely do pictures, although I have done so as recently as Pluto Nash.

Overall, a pretty well done review.

Grown Ups

The movie was terrible, but your bitchy ramblings are absolutely pathetic. Way to nitpick the entire film from beginning to end. Damn you suck”-A very kind commenter.

I'[ll be skipping Grown Ups 2 in the next one, because I’ll cover it hear. Both films are the same, so why waste space doing them separately?

Looking back, it’s weird to see how angry I was here. Was I actually that angry? Mostly. From what I recall, I was pretty angry at it, mostly because I had to sit through it twice. I wasn’t reviewing when I first watched it because I figured I wouldn’t have much to add from Film Brain’s review, but I eventually decided to do it.

I actually wanted to do for Sandler Month, but it fell through at the time. I’ve gone into the films in general plenty, and what more is there to say? They represent everything wrong with Sandler’s work and have barely any effort put into them.

It’s one thing to have a light plot but it’s another thing to just make it full of incredibly lazy and cruel comedy that is somehow not funny despite following a bunch of talented comedians, and Rob Schneider,.

Plus, they still somehow have too much plot with otns of things that just go nowhere. That first did piss me off the time, but I did calm down when it came to the 2nd one. It didn’t’ quite piss me off as much, even if it technically worse.

Speaking of Rob, he seems to finally be back as of The Ridiculous Six. Good for him. Also, seemed to be getting phased out due to being missing in Blended, and not even being credited for his cameo in Pixels (I guess the role of character I want to punch was taken by Josh Gad), but he came back in Six too. Yay?

On a related note, I finally watched Pixels and it was every bit as “Meh’ as I expected. Not very good due to lame comedy, old tropes, and a poorly written (even by Sandler standards) but mixed things up in some aspects and had at least had good action scenes. Yep, not actually awfully like all those hyperbolic assholes claimed. I’m so shocked.

Back on topic, the reviews are pretty good. For Comedy reviews, I had plenty of fun bashing every dumb bit and had some variety in my reactions. I was worried they would be hard to review, but they were easy and fun.

My anger is a bit awkward to read, but that’s because I, in general, am so much calmer it’s gonna be weird to me. The only weird thing is…well, JewWario died when I was doing the 2nd one, so I had to add a little dedication.

A bit awkward after so much anger…but ah well. Also, the 2nd review is currently my most viewed play by play review. …Dang.

So yeah, another set of good reviews.

Hop

Ah yes, the Easter Special. This is another one of those films I’ve just forgotten about. In the grand scheme of things, it has left no impact on me. The fact that it’s an Easter film is the only memorable thing.

It’s still bad, but not in a very unique way. Even at it’s worst, I’ve now seen way worse. Btu it’s still a very weak children’s film being very lazy, cliché and just dull and stupid. It’s just very generic and forgettable.

As such, this is not my most memorable review, but it had still had plenty to make fun of. I had my fair share of good moments. It’s a good one to come back, since I do often forget the film itself.’

Yeah, not too much to say about this one. I hope Illumtion steps away from creatueres that invade bad facebook memes and make something orginaly and interesting. Secret Life of Pets could go either way but I have high hopes for Sing.

But for now, you can see why Despicable Me is the only thing from them anyone cares about. Also, this film came out on April 1st. Really. Speaking of which…

The Oogieloves in the BIG Balloon Adventure

 

This is another one we can skip, as I went into this on the list. I even had my guest reviewer come in, so here’s a repeat of his segment:

Around March of this year, Spongey happened to post a FAQ with some various questions regarding reviews he may or may not do. One of these was about The Oogieloves, which by that time had already become a cinematic punchline. I had wanted to see if the film was really what everyone said it was in their reviews, and since April Fools Day was coming up, I figured it was a legitimate excuse to ask Spongey if I could do a review of it as an April Fools post. If nothing else, at least I’d get what would hopefully be an amusing review out of seeing it. Thankfully, he said yes.

I think I had to watch the movie two or three times to figure out what I wanted to discuss or joke about. It was definitely an interesting experience, as most reviews of this film certainly point out. After I submitted the review, Spongey asked me if I’d be willing to draw a title card for it. I did (with some input from him), and after that he made me an infrequent guest title card artist. I’m not exactly the greatest of artists, so I’ve only done two or three other title cards this year, but I like the way they came out for what little talent I have. Maybe next year, I’ll actually be less lazy when it comes to drawing them and stop using “I can’t draw human beings” or “I misplaced my art materials” as excuses (although I doubt it)”

That last part is amusing now, since now Goldy is back on title cards full time. Anyway, here’s some of what I added there:

I watched it. It sucked.

However, I don’t think it’s the worst film of 2012, or even worth MY person late. It’s pretty bad, but eh, I’d say A Thousand Words was worse. Why? Unlike that film, this one made me laugh. …unintentionally, but still.

I think it it has it’s elements that could make it fun to riff with some buddies, but alone, it’s crap. This is mostly helped by Cary Elwes and Christoper Lloyd..But anyway, this review turned out well, and I thought Ryan did great.”

I stand by all that, once again. It’s my favorite of the “Guest” reviews, thanks to the solid jokes and analysis. Let’s move on.

 

GI Joe The Rise of Cobra

Now we start Toon’d Out Month 2! I think it turned even better than the first one, as I had a better vareity and had plenty of fun with the film selections. We start with a fun one. With the sequel coming out at the time, I figure I’d do this one.

And I still enjoy it. It’s pretty dumb but I find it fun for that reason. And even objectively they mostly put some level of effort into it, and didn’t distract us with tons of crappy comedy like Transformers.

Which is impressive given Marlon Wayons is in it.

While I’m not 100 percent sure how it is an adaptation, on it’s own it’s acceptable dumb popcorn entertainment, with some genuinely good elements here and there. As for the sequel, I have no plans on doing it, but I think it’s about as good.

It’s technically better, but the first one is dumber, and thus more enjoyable for someone like me. But yeah, it is certainly better for the most part. Although I can see why we haven’t had a 3rd one yet.

The review was fun to do, as the film was just dumb enough to mock but just fun enough for it to be enjoyable to riff on. I had some good jokes here and plenty of things to comment on. I may have been too nice to it in some areas, but I mostly stick but what I said.

But hey, it’s good that started things on a positive note, before heading right into trash.

The Smurfs

This film is pretty much basic bad live action adaption. It isn’t the worst, but it’s so typical with everything you expect. Pointless celebrates, lazy writing, dumb jokes, references, and pointless and bland human characters. It’s so generic it hurts, yet it slightly saved by some redeeming elements.

As I said, the voice acting is (mostly) good, Hank Azaria is a good Gargamel, and there are some amusing bits here and there. So I’d call it just normal bad instead of terrible like a lot of others, but it’s still bad.

Also, I think Tom Kane’s role as the narrator here might be a reference to his role as The Narrator in Star Wars The Clone Wars. If it is, I’m going to cut someone.

This is a pretty easy film to do a review for, so I had fine with it. I give credits where it’s due and has some good moments making fun of the problems and dumb moments. I think it was pretty fair in this one, for the most part.

I had seen it a bit before I did the review, so I already knew it was bad and what I would mostly comment on. Most of the time, those kind come out the best, as this one proves. It’s a nice negative review, to get us ready for the real garbage from this month.

Bratz

Oh yeah, this one had to get left off that list, so it’s time to dig in. This is a film I figured would just be bad due to dumb tween stuff, but it turned out to be way worse than I expected. The script is bad, even by the standards of these kind of movies.

As I say in the review, it feels like three episodes of a bad sitcom stitched together. To make it even worse, nothing makes any sense and there are bad morals and stereotypes as the cherry on top.

Given the source materiel, you should expect this to be a bit shallow, but despite trying to be “Sweet” in parts, it keeps the negative qualities of the dolls. I could forgive that if the film was any good but…nope.

Even the lamest of Disney Channel content cares about telling a coherent story where things make sense. This film is really badly written and constructed, all the way through. Usually this kind of thing can be a guilty pleasure, but it’s not even really dumb enough to be enjoyable.

Except for Chelsea Kane as the Alpha Bitch, she almost saves it but even she falls prey to the bad writing.

It’s basically all the pandering teen shit you’d get in a Disney Sitcom, without any of the charm that Disney would give us. This is all the worst aspects of that stuff, with even worst writing and acting.

It’s….bad, to say the least. The review has been a favorite, because is such much wrong, in both the grand scheme and in the small moments. It means there’s plenty comment on and joke about, leading to a pretty balance and solid review.

Oh, and I may consider doing something else Bratz releated. I figured I got my fill here…but I found there exists Bratz Babyz.

What.

Scooby Doo 2

I can sum this up quickly. The film is about equal to the first one, mostly being better by adapting the source materiel, but suffering from enough flaws that it’s still the same quality. I don’t remember this one too much so that’s all the extra insight I can give.

 

The review is good because the film is another one that’s just dumb enough to give me stuff to comment on, even when it’s good. It’s a nice mix and I do more decent critiquing here. My Scooby reviews aren’t the most memorable overall but they have some fun moments.

There, shortest section ever.

Cyberbully

Oh boy, another interesting one. I went into this one in the list, and I actually have stuff to add in a way. Here’s the gist:

This review ended up being one of my most serious, but it’s still funny. Also ,during this section I will explaining a few things I think I didn’t make clear in the review.

In this review, I really went down on the characters and all that, and I got pretty angry. For the most part, I was actually angry. I’ve gotten angry at movies before, but I flat out hated parts of this thing morally.

And I had a message at the end about Internet usage and all that. This arguably one of the few straight up Drama’s I’ve done that tackles an actual issue, so the review itself became a bit more serious.

Thankfully, I didn’t let that in the way of actual reviewing. I just felt that the story went all over the place, the morals were botched, and the characters were fla out unlikable.”

In that list, I clarified what I meant with my criticisms. I went into great detail so you really should go there for me, but there may be even more to say. Even since that list, Cyberbully has become a bit bigger of an issue and some of my comments are getting a bit more awkward.

As I said before, I was just mocking the writing itself and how everything was too contrived for me to buy anything that happened. As I said before:

But in this movie, there are way too many complex events leading up to her attempted suicide that could have been prevented. On a pure narrative level, it doesn’t work. Not to mention that too many moments happen that make Taylor unlikable.”

Nothing in this thing is really handled too well. It’s almost So Bad It’s Good, but the subject matter it to botched to fully become that. And oh god, I am still pissed about the major change they made with the real story.

But yeah, the movie is still bad, and the review is mostly good with how I commented on these elements. And I still love my whole JD running gag. I’m so glad I finally brought it back recently.

That’s all I got on this one, moving on.

Dragonball Evolution

There isn’t a lot to say here. This is a movie that is worse when you see, then when you think about on it. It just blends in with all the other crappy live action adaptions out there. It’s just damn generic, and feels almost nothing like the source materiel.

I suppose there are a few cool moments, and Roshi is captured okay, but everything else is just bad from the effects, to the acting and story. But it’s generically bad you forget about it once you are done ranting.

But it still has plenty of problems, which I do done a fine job of mocking. Again, slightly harsh in some spots but I otherwise did a good job on this one. It is weird how angry I got over the Roshi being revivived thing, given how often I’ve bumped into it since then.

I hadn’t bumped into a cop out like that at that point, so that’s why I got angry. And in this kind of movie, a cop out like that is just inexcusable.

But yeah, once again this is all I got. Can you tell I’m trying to rush through some of these?

The Last Airbender

Oh boy, this one. I’m still not sure if I should have done this or not. Forgetting the crappy blogger review, it’s been done so much that I would have nothing to add to it. And in the end, I still did not add much to it.

But on the other hand, it makes sense to tackle the big one, instead of just ignoring it. It’s one of those rite of passage things. I’m not sure, but it made for a fitting way to end the month.

My feelings are roughly the same. While I don’t hate it as much anymore, it’s still up there as far as bad adaptations go. To be fair, it would be hard to squeeze a season into a film, but they could have tried a lot harder with some aspects.

But you already know that. I do kind of feel bad for M Night, but I’m glad that people seemed to enjoy The Visit okay.

As for the review, it adds nothing but you can tell I tried. I was very familiar with the source, so I had a bit more passion going into this one, and had some good moments. I at least wasn’t half assing it.

But yeah, this was mostly pointless, I just did it to do it. But hey, this isn’t my worst work, so that’s gotta be worth something. Despite how pointless the review was, this film made for a fitting end to the month.

Paranormal Activity 3

And now we begin what I call the Demon trilogy. This was on the strange side, but I’ll get to that with the next review. I knew I would do a found footage parody, and the rest just kind of escalated from there.

It was fun to do that. Now like I say in the review, I did watch this beforehand for reasons I explain which did help it. Although I failed to do that for the other two, and didn’t have too many issues. I kind forgot about what I said by that point though.

While I do see why some people don’t care for it, I still this one is the best in the series. I guess I just like that it goes all out in some places. I do think it is genuinely creepy and well done for the most, and it’s not just the fun factor.

I’m not sure what happened to make this one better, but they do a good job for the most part. I will admit it can be pretty stupid, which is why some people aren’t the biggest fans. I totally get it, I just happen to like it.

As for the review, it’s a good positive review as I do make fun of the dumb moments while also praising it. This movie was fun to do since I had to compare it to the others to explain why I like.

And while it’s good, it is still flawed so it was fun to look at those flaws. It’s another case of a good balance. It was just another fun review to do, especially with the found footage element.

Spy Kids 3D

Now we can talk about the rest of this demon stuff. I originally wanted it to end with the PA 3 stuff, but I thought maybe it would be fun to explain exactly what happened to me. Then I somehow got the idea for the demon to go after me and do all this stuff.

I have no idea where the idea came from I thought it good at the time. I was originally going to just make it two parts, with this one having the journal entry. But for whatever reason, I wanted to do Spy Kids 3 first and ended up making it a pointless trilogy.

In hindsight, I maybe should have not have done this one. It had been done before, and I didn’t have too much of a point ot doing it, while I did really want to do Spy Kids 4. But ah well, it still happened.

Spy Kids 3 is bad, but not really awfully. It’s biggest crime is barely feeling like a Spy Kids movie, and making all the wrong choices. It barely has any spy stuff, and the focus is on the weakest sibling with very little interaction between the two.

It’s just lame and stupid. It’s not terrible that a mediocre Spy Kids film exists, but they still made some dumb decisions like splitting up the titular kids for no real reason. The whole plot line of Juni leaving doesn’t even really lead to anything, he just comes back because they say so!

The review is fine, given I didn’t even need to do it. I had some good moments, and said a few things I don’t think had been brought up, like just how rushed and crappy the ending is. But yeah, like all trilogies, part 2 was just pointless, but fine.

Spy Kids 4

Now for the end of the trilogy. This is a movie I had wanting to do since I started, so it was great to finally do it. While I will still give it credit for trying to be more like the original films, it can’t make up for the rest of the film.

I suppose it tries to have some interesting themes of not wasting time, but it’s pretty hamfisted and I don’t care about any of these characters. They use so many cliches, and the humor is very much bottom of the barell.

Like I said, even part 3 managed to avoid poo poo jokes, but this one was nothing but those. And time puns. I hate the time puns.

The whole this is just stupid. I hadn’t seen the others when I watched this one, so it was interesting coming back to it after seeing the others. Yeah, it’s easily the worst, and I hope this franchise is finally dead for good.

The review is good. I could explained myself more in a few areas, but otherwise I like it. There’s some good moments with my reactions and of course the time pun counter. It’s another one I like to come back to, even with the odd “story line”.

This was the only time I tried do anything like this on here, because something like this makes no sense on a blog. It was just something fun to do, and I think it mostly works. And I got some good reviews out of it!

Oh, and in universe the demon is fine with me covering any future PA films and won’t bug me again. Although for old time sake it wouldn’t be bad to bring him back when ido the new one…but we’ll see.

Recess School’s Out

I was finishing my current school year at the time, and I wanted a good film after the demon stuff, and this came to mind. It did the trick. I don’t recall if I had plans to do this one prior, but I thought it would be a bit of fun to do.

I’m not sure if I’d call it the best Show to Movie Translation, but it is still good. Yeah, it gets a bit too big but it mostly captures the basic essence of the show while going deeper into certain things.

It has a solid story to it with good development for some characters, and is pretty heartwarming in spots. I think it’s a bit underrated compared to other films of it’s kind. The review can be a bit on the boring side sometimes, but it thinks get better once I get into exactly why I the film works.

I do a good job explaining some elements, while having a few good jokes here and there. There isn’t a lot make fun in this film for the most part, so it’s not exactly my best, but I did well enough here.

It’s not my best positive review, but I do think it’s a decent one, since you can tell I was somewhat passionate at least. So yeah, this one is good.

Sucker Punch

Oh, this one was interesting. It’s one of the few films a couple people expressed in me doing, and I thought of reviewing it anyway, so here we are. It is interesting how divisive this thing was back when it came out, with it’s reputation going down a lot since them.

In a way, I see both sides and think the bigger detractors are a bit on the harsh side. I can see what they were trying to do, and it’s really interesting. But like I said, they barely explain anything and make it too confusing.

It’s clear that this is the only Zack Synder film he has a writing credit on, to my knowledge. He is a great visual director, but he can’t handle a more complex story without making it messy, at least from what I have seen.

They were clearing trying this more complex story, but it sadly came out as a mess, script wise. The review is another favorite, as the film provides me with plenty to work with. I had some good critiques as well as some good reactions.’

It’s also a long one. Most of reviews back then were longer since I commented on small moments a bit more. I guess I got less long winded as time went on. Overall, this is another pretty solid review with good critiquing.

30 Nights of Paranormal Activity with The Devil Inside The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

Yay, another interesting. I skipped this one in my list because I felt I said everything I could say, when I talked about 41 Year Old Virgin in that worst list. And yeah, there’s not much to add to the film itself.

I will say this film was a lot messier than the other one. This movie just makes no sense and basically just kind of tires out by the end. Even 41 Year Old Virgin had more of a coherent story, despite pissing me off more.

But I’ve said my piece on why spoof movies like this are terrible. I’ve used so much more though on 41 Year Old Virgin that I barely care about this one. It’s equally as terrible, just not as everything.

It is interesting how I skimped out on the final thoughts, in favor of a lame joke rehashing a blogger post I regret. The actual review is good, mostly due to my reactions. There was plenty of dumb stuff to comment on, and I think I did a good job explaining some of the problems. It’s a fun review, I think.

Ted

I hear a sequel is in the works, and hey. I’d see it. Why? Well, remember how I asked why no one else wished for their own ted? Yeah, use your imagination.”-Me, 2013

Well, the intro this review is a bit awkward, given how my opinions on changed old Seth-y boy. But I do stand by the general message, and to be fair, I didn’t see the very worst he had to offer at that point.

But back to the film/review itself. Some positives happen because I genuinely want to spotlight the film and explain I like it, or go a bit deeper. It happened with Wimpy Kid and AT2D and ith append here.

Going into the film, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I figured it could go either way. Most of all, I expected a weak story and decent jokes. But instead I got, decent jokes but also a surprisingly solid story.

Which is really odd since it is pretty cliché, and Seth is not known for good drama. But I noticed in his hsow, the drama works best when it’s character driven. Just look at Brian’s Play. So it mostly works here.

It does work fine as a comedy but as a drama it’s surprisingly good because the writers put effort into making this situation believable. The Comedy does help to, as these characters are likable enough to carry the story, for the most part.

There are some clunkers, which in hindsight I should have highlighted, and a lot of bits go on t long, but otherwise it’s quite the solid cinematic debut for Seth. The review is a favorite, because I think I did a good job explaining why the film is better than even it’s fans give it credit for.

I explain in detail why the story works and have my share of good moments, like my reactions to some odder bits. It’s another really good balance that I strike here.

And of course, like with HT, he should talk about the sequel. In general…it was okay. The main plot with Ted fighting to be considered a person was pretty interesting, and kind of went into sort of deep things for this kind of movie.

For the most part, it was enjoyable enough and had the same basic charm. But it has one big problem that kind of sunk it: Mila Kunis’ character is gone. And in universe they got a divorce, apparently because she was trying to control him and make him what he wasn’t.

  1. don’t like this. It’s bad enough when sequels sometimes ditch the love interest for no reason, but for this pretty much ruins the point of the first movie and why I liked it to begin with!

    I guess they couldn’t get her back for this one but you can find a way around that that doesn’t insult the people who really cared about their relationship before. Their excuse doesn’t even make sense, as she pretty much learned not to do that stuff at the end AND Marky Mark learned to not screw up his life so much.

Here, he’s back where he started but it’s okay because he’s with Ted more often and has a new love iterest who happens to be into doing stuff they do. How amazing and convivnent is that!

 

I’m not sure that having the character would make the movie automatically good, but it would have made it better and given John more to do since in the film he’s not as funny as before.

So…yeah, /I’m not happy with that, but otherwise, Ted 2 is fine. I don’t regret watching it, I just wish it was a bit better. Oh, and a plotline involves Hasbro which means..-

5555

.Moving on!

(Ted 2 is property of Universal)

Halloweentown

And now we begin DCOM Month. Oh boy. This is something the idea for, and I’m so glad I got to do it. I knew about DCOM’s before, but doing this made me do further research and gain a deeper knowledge. 2013 is when I fully got more into the Disney Channel Crap and started focusing on it on the blog a lot more..

I see that as a good thing, by the way.

I think this is my best theme month, as I had a nice variety, and got to do mostly good films. And we start on a good note. As a franchise, Halloweentown was more consistent than I expected, and this film starts it well.

There’s a great charm to it, with plenty of creativity in spite of some wonky pacing. Yeah, no brings up how weak the pacing can be sometimes, especially when compared to the sequel. But it’s still solid.

The review is good. There isn’t a lot to say, really. I do a fine job mocking it while also explaining it why it works. Nothing too amazing in that regard, but this was fun. It’s the kind of good movie that is fun to do.

It was weird to do more Halloween in July, but fun. I actually plan to do something Halloween related this July, so look forward to that. But yeah, this is a good start to the month.

Camp Rock

Now for my least favorite DCOM, at the moment. That will likely change if I ever manage to watch more. This one still kind of falls under guilty pleasure, but it’s still on the weak side. I think the main reason is that it’s not as fun as some others.

It’s kind of dull and likes the energy the others tend to have. Which means it’s flaws aren’t as fun as some other DCOM’s. It makes the writing issues even worse. With that said, there are things to enjoy, like the Alpha Bitch, so it’s still very much bearable for me.

So I can mostly join in the choir on this one, but I still can’t say I’ve found a “bad” DCOM. Wil li find out I genuinely can’t stand? The world may never know!

The film’s flaws lead to a pretty good review. Plenty of good critique, along with some funny moments. It’s another easy target, after all. My comment about Demi is hilarious in hindsight, since she has kind of come back and become relevant again. Funny how that turns out.

So yeah, a fairly flawed DCOM makes another good entry in this month. At least I got the worst out of the way quickly.

Minutemen

Now for Disney Channel’s take on Time Travel that was not mocked for some reason!

Fro this month, I had a list of DCOM’s I was curious about and let Random.org pick a few for me to review. This came up so I did it. I remembered it existing, but that’s about it. And after reviewing, it I find it decently underrated.

It’s not one of my favorites, but it works. The time travel is used well, as it has it’s own rules and stays small in scale so things don’t get too confusing, but they still have fun with it. That’s a hard balance to get. A fairly decent story with sweet moments help make this a solid one. It’s not the most memorable but it’s fine.

The review reflect this. It’s on the boring side since there isn’t a lot to make fun on, but as usual by this point, I get in some good points. It’s sometimes hard to do a “Decent” film like this, but I had fun with. Not the most memorable entry in this month, but still good.

Smart House

I talked about the film recently, so I can just skip to the review. I will add that some elements are kind of creepy when you think about it, but if you look past those bits, the film is pretty great.

This is another good positive review. Sometimes it is fun to praise something, and I had here. Mostly due to the Horror element, which gave me something to mock. Seriously, this could be recut into a horror film and not look too different.

It’s a nice balance of jokes and praising. And in general I just liked spotlighting this one, as I do think it’s slightly underrated. I think people like it, but I don’t think it quite gets the praise it deserves. I’m not sure I changed anyone’s mind….but one commenter wants to see it now, so that’s good.

It’s another review I like coming back, for those reasons. It is weird that I haven’t’ brought back the RATED G gag. I don’t do a lot of G films but I could up it to PG. Whatever.

Overall, a great film makes for a really good review.

Space Chimps 2

I took a minor break to punish myself. I don’t recall why I did this one, but I ended up watching the first one and wanted to see how the sequel fared. Yeah, it’s still pretty bad. Mostly because of how empty is.

The first film was mediocre, but was kind of bearable and not too anger inducing. This one is…just nothing. Barely anything happens, and I don’t even remember much of it. That’s because nothing happens to be remembered at all!

Even by Direct to Video standards, this film is pathetic. It’s not on my bottom 10 but it’s still incredibly boring and lazy. Even worse films give me more to chew on than this film did. It’s just….empty.

The review is as good as you’ll get with this movie. It gave me enough to work with, I suppose. I have plenty of fun riffing on how dumb and empty it is. It’s not my best work, but it mostly works pretty well.

Now, when it comes to sequels to Vanguard films, I can say that Happily Never After 2 is better. And it still kind of sucks. I watched both of the Happily Never After films to maybe review them, and I’m still not sure if I will.

Happily Never After is bad, but it’s bad because it’s BORING. Like, one of the most boring and stale animated features ever. It’s not even really painful in the same way as Hoodwinked 2. Meaning I’m not sure what I could say.

I was hoping for the sequel to be worse, but it was about the same and honestly the orginal pissed me off more. The only thing really worse is the animation, which might be worse than in this movie. Yikes.

I just said that to vent a bit on those films. Hopefully Valiant is better, but somehow I doubt it.

Let it Shine

Before I start, I should mention that I have seen that 4 or so person Channel Awesome review of it. You can imagine to seeing it on there thinking the film was not remembered. The review was good….but I was incredibly disappointed that no one mention Girl you Pterodactyl fly.

I mean, how did 4 people watch the film at least twice to review it, and somehow NOT notice the best lyric ever and commented on it? Ugh. To be fair, one guy from the review did RT a Tweet from Cartoon Hero referencing the line so….one guy knows of it now.

Speaking of the line, let’s talk about how it’s the only reason I did the review. Yeah. When it came out, I had no interest in it and usually I wouldn’t review it all since no one cared about it. But somehow, someone I know on Twitter came across the song with that line and shared it.

I was mesmerized by it and was referencing it for a bit. Eventually I watched the actual film and knew I had to do it for this month, if only to share the line. If it the line wasn’t there, I would not review the film because I wouldn’t have bothered to watch it at all, at this point.

It was for the best since it turned out fine. There isn’t much to add to the film. I admit it’s on the weaker side of the DCOM Scale, due to the plot problems but it does at least try to go into more interesting themes than usual. So it’s not a total failure, and it plenty of guilty pleasure elements. And the acting is actually pretty good for the most part.

The review is another favorite, if only for one of my favorite rants. The rest is good too as the film gave me plenty to work with. It’s another one I like going back to because I have my share of funny parts.

It is interesting how the one of the more forgotten recent DCOM’s, lead to the most memorable review. …But seriously, even after all this time, I still don’t get it.

Halloweentown Sequels

I figured I’d put them all here to avoid repeating myself when it comes to them. I could have waited til another time to do the sequel but eh, why not do something good to fash out the taste of Let It Shine.

I still think the sequels are surprisingly consistent. Some are better than others, but each is decent in it’s own way and adds more to the world. Yes, one plot line is repeated but otherwise, each is different. 2 brings the main villain back, 3 gives Marnie a project and goes a bit deeper on some things, and 4 went more into the history, and actually had Halloweentown in it.

Each film did something new that I appreciated. I still think Part 2 is the best, as iKt has all the strengths of the series without the weakness. Not too many dumb plot holes, and no weak villain, and tighter pacing.

But I do like the others fine for what they bring. I still stand by review of Part 4, people only bitch about it for the actor change. Kimberly J Brown isn’t upset about it, so why should you? If you actually look at them, each film has about as many issues as this one, and this one has plenty of strengths.

So while 2 is the best, the others sequels are decent too. All of the reviews are good for the same reasons I’ve been repeating. Each gave me something to comment for both jokes and review. Maybe not a ton of materiel, but enough.

Return to Halloweentown is my favorite of the reviews, if only because of my big defense rant. I used some of my best critiquing here as well as good jokes. It made for a good way to close my Halloween 2013 reviews.

Overall, a solid series of sequels with some solid reviews.

You Wish!

There isn’t too much to add to this one. I remembered this one fairly well from when I was a kid and it thankfully held up. It still amazes me that they fixed the main problem with this kind of story by having them bond before fighting and causing the plot.

Aside from that, it’s a solid film with sweet moments. Not in my top 10 or anything but a good sweet classic one. The review is okay. There’s way too much explaining and not enough jokes but I have some good moments and critiquing here and there.

It’s a fairly forgettable review, but not a bad one. At least the movie is decently memorable. …That’s all I got.

High School Musical 2 and 3

Once again, it makes more sense to combine them. This is another one I went into in that list and I did it really well. Once again, the gist:

The review itself was fun to do. It’s nothing new in terms of jokes but I had fun looking at critical view vs Personal views when it comes to movies like this. I also loved my Sharpay gushing.

…I did half exaggerate my love for her, for some jokes but it is half real. She is just so over the top that she steals every scene she’s in. I loved praising her so much in these reviews. I personally think Ashley Tisdale is the most talented of the main actors in this series.

I mean being over the top and actually fun is one thing, but just the way she says these lines shows she actually knows what she is doing. When she has actual good things to do (like the scene where she’s broken in the 2nd one) she sells it pretty well.

Which is why she got the biggest change to shine outside of this series of all the stars. …Yeah, I have no idea why she had to go and do Scary movie 5 but eh, we still have Phineas and Ferb.

.But anyway, Shapray is indeed the reason I enjoy these films as much as I do. So awesome. But the rest of each film is fine too but without her, I wouldn’t be as defensive of them as I am.

It was fun to jokingly praise her and make fun of how inconsistent her very character is.

…Back to the movies themselves, I didn’t really plan to do part 3 right away but I had so much fun with 2 that I did anyway, and I’m glad I did. I liked it more this time around and since I haven’t heard the songs in awhile, I was pleasantly surprised by some of them.’

It’s the one I would want to watch the most as 1 & 2 have their issues in terms of re-watch value but 3 doesn’t,. even if it’s flawed.

But anyway, the reviews themselves were clearly passionate even if no one shares that passion. I had fun mocking these movies in the most affectionate way possible.

I’m not sure what else to say. All my thoughts on these films are right in the reviews themselves. I had fun looking at the insane parts, but also showing why I enjoyed them greatly.

Call my crazy all you want, but I still find these movies to fun and these reviews reflect that plenty”.

Yeah, not too much to add in. These reviews were some of the most fun to do, due to all the mockable elements. But my passion made them even more fun than if I didn’t like them. It was a perfect way to end the month, and I’m glad I did the 3rd one too.

Not too much else to say at this point. ..Oh, you wanna me hear my thoughts on the announcement of a proper 4th film? Eh, we’ll see. I’m just hoping for an amazing Alpha Bitch for the new cast, or a Sharpay cameo.

Wishful thinking I know, but whatever. I hope it’s still dumb fun, even with a new cast. We’ll see. The only thing to add is hti part:

Will they do something big for 100? Doubt it. They don’t count the first one, and say Under Wraps was the first. Semi Unofficial ones like 16 wishes ARE counted by their site so I guess 101 will be 100 for them.”

…Whoops.

Dog with a Blog-Stan Stops Talking

i guess I could have discussed it normally after all!”-Me, 2013

This is a rare case I don’t think I should have done the review. At the time, I was planning to do the Disney Sitcom look thing I canned, and thought this episode was a bit too complex to discuss when I talked about the hsow.

I was wrong, as the episode was easy to talk about and made for kind of a dull review. With that said, at least I got to explain why the show was a bit more than it seemed. Although a deeper episode came a bit later that would have been more sense to review due to it’s story, but maybe I can talk that one some other time.

Spoilers, I plan to do a Spongey’s Favorite Episodes for the Disney Sitcoms that were not in that look post I did. There, I’lll get to into it. This is also why I haven’t done a positive Disney Sitcom review since this one. Maybe I’ll do one, we’ll see.

There isn’t much to add to the episode. I appreciate the sort of deeper themes, and there’s some decent humor too. Again, it’s proof the show is less stupid than people may think .The review is pretty boring but I do have some fun explaining why it works…so it’s not a total loss.

But yeah, if I do another positive Disney Sitcom Episode Review, I’ll try to make it more interesting.

Escape From Planet Earth

It doesn’t too often but sometimes I’ll catch a bad film around when it comes out and I will counting the days to it’s DVD release so I can tear it apart. This is an earlier case of that. On an unrelated note, Norm of the North review coming May 4th.

I will admit I hated it slightly less on a repeat viewing, but it’s still really bad. It’s another pandering kids film with incredibly lame jokes, and a cliché and crappy story. The first animated film of each year since 2013 has been the worst, except The Nut Job, but that was still not very good.

Although, Walking with Dinosaurs does this one a run for it’s money.

But yeah, it’s a bad one. The review is another good one. Once again, I think I did well think mocking it’s various flaws and all that. It’s a classic good negative review in my book. Not my most notable since I wasn’t hugely angry, but that’s why it’s a good balance.

The film gave me just enough to work with, as it’s stale but at least hangs enough happening to commenting on. So yeah, it’s a fine one.

Movie 43

Yay, I get to talk about this…thing again. It’s fun to look back on this one, as it was the angriest I had gotten in a while. And it still makes me angry, even after all this time. I have officially been desensitized to shock humor, but sometimes it still pisses me off, like the two segments in this I hated the most.

Speaking of, I am all for shock humor if it’s done right. But only those two segments are really shocking, the rest are just incredibly lazy. Oh hey, Hugh Jackman has a ballsack on his chin. Hilarious.

It’s just incredibly one note and boring for most of it. And when it’s shocking, it’s only for the sake of it and is more anger inducing than funny. I still fail to see the humor in…what happened in that cat sketch.

It’s still up there as one of the worst films I’ve reviewed. It’s just lazy and insulting. The interesting thing about the review, is that I did it twice. I didn’t have the US version at the time but eventually I found the one with the other wraparound.

Instead of waiting for another chance to do it, I decided to post the review again, only I cover the other wraparound this time. I think that was an okay idea, as I had enough to say about that one.

That, and I got to make a joke about Seth’s involvement. Yeah, at least now I can say Modern Family guy isn’t the worst he’s had his name on.

The review itself is fine. It goes get dull due ot the film getting dull, but I have some good moments with my anger. Sometimes my anger can be funny, like right here. It’s not my greatest work, but it was fun to do, and it was so satisfying to bash it.

But yeah, still, screw this movie.

Air Buddies (series)

And now it’s time for one of my bigger accomplishments of the year, reviewing all of the buddies films. I could have just done one of them, but for whatever reason, I wanted to do them all throughout the year.

It’s amazing that I survived.

I kind of went into this in the list, but didn’t say too much. I did explain the idea for Goldy coming in, so you can go there for that.

As for the movies, they are still pretty bad. I wouldn’t say any is on bottom 10, but they are examples of pandering kids entertainment with barely any thought put into them. Most of them are just a bunch of dumb jokes with incredibly cliché plots thrown in, with stereotypical characters.

Some of them are mostly harmless, like Snow Buddies and Spooky Buddies, but crap like Santa Buddies is just pure crap. The biggest compliment I can give this series compared to other kids films, is that…the plots tend to make some kind of sense and at least they only go to direct to video.

But they are still mostly bad. I said it before and I’ll say it again: Air, Space and Santa are tied for the worst. Air is particularity tiring and dull, Space has an incredibly thin story, and Santa is the most cliché christmas film ever made.

The least bad was Spooky Buddies, since it has some enjoyable element, and mostly kept the buddies out of it. It still wasn’t very good, but it was just…meh. Which is an imprvoment.

I’d go each one, but there isn’t much to add beyond what I said. Mostly since I barely remember much of the ones I haven’t mentioned. As for the reviews, some are better than others. The Snow Buddies review is the weakest since there was less to discuss, but the rest are mostly good due to the materiel.

The Santa Buddies review is my favorite, as it had the most bullshit to make fun of. But the rest did have their moments.

It is interesting how I did this due to the new one, and said I’d do each new film that comes out…and there hasn’t been one since then. Guess they spared me. As you recall, I did the directors next film to make up for it.

And he actually already came out with a new one back in January! I won’t review it, but I will likely watch it since it’s on Netflix. It’s about a Monkey, because I guess even he got sick of dogs.

Oh, and I have to correct something: I said Santa Buddies had the Debby Ryan song on it’s Dvd, but I was wrong. That was The Search for Santa Paws. Whoops. At least she’s on a…slightly less bad one.

There is one thing left to say for this one: Over the years, I’ve collected a variety of Disney DVDs and that Disney Rewards Code has always been there in most of them, but I never bothered to look into it.

But recently,. I finally bit the bullet and signed up for that stuff and get a bunch of points thanks to all the codes I happened to have. I actually had enough to get something, but the best thing in my “price” range was a “Mystery DVD”.

Becausse I’m such a rebel, I got it, knowing full it might be something I have, or something bad. Which is how a copy of Space Buddies end up in my mail a bit later.

Yes, I now have a copy of Space Buddies sitting in my closet, because there’s’ no way in hell it’s going on my shelf. Here’s proof:

Buddies

I’m not sure if i’ll give it away or not. I think I’ll keep it because of the circumstances in which I got it. That and to remind me to not feel too bad for still owning Shrek the Third.

But yeah, those are the Buddies reviews. It was plenty of fun to tear them apart, even if it was hell getting through them.

Special Agent Oso-Thundersmall

Here’s a rare positive TV review. It’s weird out of of the tree major ones I’ve done, John Loy has writing credits on two of them.

Anyway, I discovered this show when I first got Disney Jr and for whatever reason I decided to give most of their shows a shot. Somehow, Sofia was not one of those at that time, even I’m pretty sure it was on.

Some I watched more of like Handy Manny due to finding them okay, and some I just watched one or two like Jake and the Neverland Pirates, cuz I wasn’t really interesting. But with Oso, I kept watching it because it was just so…dumb!

I explained it in the review, but this one was enjoyable because of how little sense it made, and all that. This lead to me watching the finale, which I knew nothing about going on. Needless to say, I had to share it, so I did.

It still shocks me how good this was. It’s nothing amazing, but it was surprisingly interesting, sweet, and an overall fitting finale that made the rest of the series better. I have no idea how this happened, but I’m glad it did.

This means any other pre school has no excuse to not try, because even this show can be great! I wonder if Mickey Mouse Clubhouse has a good episode..

The review is good. My shock at how good it is, is amusing and I have some good jokes along with some good praise. It’s an inspired positive review, which is hwy it works better than the Stan Stops Talking one.

Not too much else to say. Except…i still don’t know how a Disney show got away with referencing Octopussy in an episode title.

Teen Beach Movie

Now we go to the start of my tradition to cover each new DCOM as it came out. Yeah, due to lack of time I’m not doing that. But luckily, I had enough to say for most of them. For this one, I had share just how interesting this one is.

And I still quite like it. It’s a pretty fun parody of musicals, with a lot going for it. As I said in the review, the best parts are in the movie with how dedicated a lot of these actors are. The songs perfectly homage the style of those kind of films, and we get plenty of funny lines with lampshade hanging.

Yeah, it starts off kind of full but once the plot begins, it never lets up, even when it has to get “emotional”. It’s not perfect but it’s still fun and it’s cool that Disney was willingly to poke a little fun at themselves in a way.

On a side note, I feel the crowd who dislikes this one flat out doesn’t get it. No one critiques as parody, most of them flat out don’t get it. Understand what something is before you bash it. It’s like panning something like, I don’t know, Cinema Sins, as critics and not as comedy, like it actually is.

But back on track. The review is another good positive one. Once again, I do a good job of explaining why it works, while also making some decent jokes when I can. That’s pretty much about it, really. Pretty typical good positive review, really.

 

Ghost of Fear Street Pilot

Here’s a fun one. Like I said in the review, I didn’t even know this was real. I thought it was just a weird rumor, but somehow I found it on YouTube at the time by accident. I knew I had to review so I cooked this up.

Since then, no one else really covered it so I failed in my mission to give it attention. I would love for this to end up on DVD-R Hell Someday. There isn’t too much to add to the pilot.’

It’s enjoyable just for how odd it is. I’m not sure if it would have worked as a full show in this state, but it was certainly…interesting. It kept in the spirit of the books with how crazy it was, but the story was all over the place.

Also, if you watch this not knowing about the books, the title wouldn’t make sense.

I still recommend because it’s so odd and rare. It’s still up, so you may as well still catch it and make Armpit Spider-Man a Household name!

The review is pretty good, since I naturally have some amusing reactions to the craziness. I also do try to make sense of it and properly review, as hard as that is. I did fine on both fronts with this one. It’s a sort of hidden review, although I remember it for how odd the subject is.

As far as Stine TV Stuff goes, I will finally do The Nightmare room in October. Not sure about Eye Candy. Still haven’t seen it, but if I can find it, I’ll see what I can do.

Madagascar 1, 2, and 3

Now for another franchise I ended up doing. Yeah, I didn’t end up saying too much about them, making them pointless reviews, but whatever. Once again ,i am putting all the reviews together to make it easier.

As far as this franchise goes, I still like it. Each film stands on it’s own as surpsingly decent, while the sequels so add more in spite of their flaws. The sequels know what to keep and what to change, and even tell a complete story in the end.

They balance comedy and heart better then I thought they would. It has those cheesy Dreamworks moments but most of it kind of works. I think some of their better “funny” films since it manages to be inspired despite looking kind of generic.

It is interesting how the first one is sort of the weakest, despite some of the flaws of the sequels that should make them on par. I think it’s because they happen to be a bit funnier with less bad moments, with their weaknesses just being small plot things I can forgive.

But I still they are all good. Maybe the 3rd is the funniest with the 2nd having the best plot, but it’s close. The reviews are middling ones. I do fine with explaining why they work, but I don’t have quite as many good moments.

These films just aren’t quite as reviewable given my opinion, but they aren’t the worst reviews. My good points kind of make up for the dull spots. So I’ll call them fine.

As my thoughts on the Penguins movie, I’ll have a chance go into detail some other time if end up doing what I plan to do. In short, it was fine. The weakest in this franchise, but still fine.

Also, because I hate you all: AFRO CIRCUS AFRO CIRCUS!

The Spongebob Squarepants Movie

 

And now for my big 100th review…which I’ve discuss before. I went into this on the list, and even put it as the best film I reviewed in the first two years. I really can’t add to much, which sucks. But I can post the gysyt yet again:

It’s not 100 percent my best work but I love it. I’ve already said that Spongebob pretty much is my childhood and this movie represents it perfectly.

But that’s why I like this review. Not just cuz I gush over a childhood fave….but I don’t let get in the way of the review. I point out many plot holes, personal gripes and even admited it’s not a great film.

I did gush over it and admit my love is personal but I also looked at it on a critic level. I could have easily just pushed that aside and said it’s great. But nope, I looked at it like a real fake critic.

I struck a perfect balance between reviewing and gushing. That’s what makes this one the best. It wasn’t hard to find flaws, but there has always been things that bug me in this movie, as well as plot holes I’ve noticed.

Not only that, but I had some pretty solid jokes for a positive review. Like my subtitle for the KK 2 and all that. Outside of some typos, this review turned out perfectly.’

Yeah, that’s about it. A great milestone review for a special film. Not too much to add here.

Judy Moody and the NOT Bummer Summer

Another review that has been forge ten, because the film has. Can’t blame them, neither the review of film are too memorable. The film is just a pretty typical quirky kids flick that tries too hard.

It’s not horrible but it tries too hard to be quirky, the writing is off in some places, and the acting is hit or miss. I can see where it could have been charming but it just didn’t pan out perfectly. It’s just…mediocre.

The review isn’t too bad. This film does have some special problems, so I got some decent materiel out of it. This is a forgotten review where I do try and have some small good moments. I do good at explaining why it fails and have amusing reactions too.

So yeah, not the most memorable, but it holds up fine.

Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday

Friday the 13th time! There isn’t much to say on this one, as this review doesn’t stick out quite at much in my mind. I barely even remember the film. From what I recall, it’s enjoyable I suppose, but not what I was expecting from the title.

For this franchise, it’s in the middle. Not the best, but not the worst either. Worth watching I suppose, but there are better options. All the reviews tend be of the same quality, as each film has tons to make fun of, even the good moments.

So I have good moments, especially due to the premise. I also critique well here too, since I do try to give credit with these films, even if I just watch them to enjoy them. So yeah, maybe a weaker Friday review, but still another good one.

Hannah Montana:The Movie

Yay, another fun one. This is the most interesting of the movies based on Disney Sitcoms, and just because it ended up in theaters for some reason. When it came out, I was in my “Ugh Disney sux” phase so I didn’t exactly care about it. I do recall the trailer pushing the whole “Will Miley reveal her secret thing?” and wondering if they will go through with it or not. I didn’t’ care enough to look into it, or read any reviews. Then years later I ended up watching Todd in the Shadows’ review and found out about the ending.

I was….more than a little baffled. So when I sat down to watch it, I knew the ending and figured I wouldn’t be too mad compared to him. But then I actually got into the story near the end. I more or less had the experience I went through in the review, being mad at first, then just being indifferent, then getting into it.

Then getting mad at the ending,because know I saw the full context. It still bugs me. The movie is pretty average otherwise, but then the ending ruins it. It’s one thing to have a cop out, but it’s another to do in an insulting way that pretty much makes the movie morally terrible.

If this was an episode, it wold be a fine since they cop out all the time. But this is a movie, where I’m expecting to have a reason to exist. With this ending, the movie is pointless AND has a moral problems! How does that even happen?

And of course it’s worse after the actual pretty much did this better in an episode where she realizes her secret hurts people, and just reveals it, with her life improving from there! So this movie is extra pointless!

It’s…a bad ending. The rest is just meh.

The review is pretty good, having plenty of good moments and tearing down the ending perfectly. It’s another easy movie to tear apart, and I did it pretty well. That’s pretty much it on this one.

Camp Rock 2

Now for the start of a tradition. Yep, the brother birthday reviews. I just thought it woild ben ice to have him a pick a review and I’ve been doing them ever since. I just give him a list of films could review that he had heard of, and he picked them from there.

Thankfully, his first pick was a pleasant surprise. Camp Rock 2 is no master piece, but it’s a surprisingly improved sequel. It’s heavily flawed when it comes to some storylines, but those are typical compared to the boredom of the first film.

It has a real energy to it which makes a lot of it more interesting. This makes the songs better too. But of course, the highlight is the ending. For this kind of movie, it’s pretty mature and ends things on a really nice note.

After Hannah, this was such a good breather. It’s the enjoyable guilty pleasure I was expecting from the first film. It’s easily the better of the two films. The review is the usual good DCOM review, with the ending adding something.

Again, I do fine mocking it while having fun doing so, and explaining why stuff works or fails. It’s another fine review with a good explanation of a good ending.

Billy Madison

Now for the 300th post special! And…i had it on the list, where I explained it perfectly. So let’s roll the text version of a clip show:

My goal with this review was really go into why this film works, and today’s Sandler films don’t. For a mostly simple comedy, I went more in depth then even it’s hardcore kids.

And I wasn’t stretching here. I did have a lot of these feelings about the character growth and all that. If you can’t tell by now, I love analyzing Sandler’s works cuz I find them so fascinating in what is good and bad about them.

It’s interesting to see what is the same and what is different about each film he does. That’s part of why I like doing these Sandler reviews. This has become one of my faves though, cuz of much I thought it out.

The movie itself is alright. It improved on the 2nd viewing, cuz some of the lamer jokes didn’t have much of an impact the 2nd time around. I do think maybe the B- was a tad harsh but given the weak elements, I won’t take it back.

I also like that I was able to view it on a critical level, without bashing it, like so many other real critics have done. A lot of people who grew up with it simply enjoy it cuz it’s funny. That is part of it, but I was able to show that it has hints at character stuff, that it should have used more.

When it comes to early Sandler, I prefer Happy Gilmore and Wedding Singer, but this was his first real movie, so I’ll cut him some slack.

Also, when I re-read this review for this post, I laughed at some of my jokes. I RARELY do that, at least in my comedy reviews. My personal fave joke in the Bus/Driver penguin otp line”

Yeah, not too much to add to that. A surprisingly in depth comedy review, which made for a pretty great milestone.

Scooby Doo: The Mystery Begins

So begins our Halloween 2013 reviews! We begin with one that does not leave me with much to say. Once again, I barely even remember it. It’s fine, I guess. It’s another movie that does nothing horribly wrong, or amazingly right.

At least , I don’t remember anything that makes it terrible or great, it’s just average. It checks all the boxes, and I suppose is more even than the theatrical films, but it is less memorable to me. I seriously didnt’ remember anything from this until I read the review again.

Said review is fine. I said plenty to make it good, with amusing reactions and good analsis. I had more to say at the time then now, as you can tell. Will I do the sequel thing to this film? Maybe, but it will be next year or so.

So…yeah, fine start to Halloween, just not the most memorable film.

Mostly Ghostly

You may recall that I tried doing this review n July of 2012, but it somehow got lost and I had to til October of 2013 to cover it. That at least meant I knew what I would say for the first 20 or so minutes, making it slightly easier. I had seen the film even before then so I pretty much knew what to say on this one.

And yeah, it’s still enjoyable. Not exactly the best written film but a lot of fun due to the comedy and most of the actors, especially Brian Steppanek. And the plot is passable enough for it to be objectively good.

But it is my own personal enjoyment that makes it good, so it’s not the highest recommendation compared to some Stine films. Honestly, When Good Ghouls Go Bad is the only I’d totally suggest since most people will like it, but more on that in the 2014 one.

Oh, and they actually announced a third one not too long ago. I will review it when it comes out, don’t worry.

The review was a lot of fun to do, as it has tons to mock while still being enjoyable to me. That’s an nice combination, as a lot of my better reviews prove. The critiquing is fine, but the fun bits are more memorable with this one.

That;s pretty much all there is to say here.

Paranormal Entity

Oh yay, my so far only run in with the asylum. It was as lackluster as I expected. They have improved by just being crazy but this one came out when they just ripped off films and didn’t’ even try.

I hear some people actually legitimately like this one. Good for them, but I found it incredibly forgettable. It’s not terrible but everything it does right, PA did way better. It’s basically the same film only a lot weaker.

Again, I don’t remember anything but that’s a bad thing in this case. It just tries to hard to be like the movie it’s ripping film ,and while it has some okay scares, it’s mostly just a pointless bore. Not their worst, but not very good either.

The review is pretty good, for a mostly boring film PA films always give me stuff to riff, so it makes sense that this one has a lot to mock. Again, more notable for humor than the review itself, but that makes sense in this case. Although I do say “This wasn’t a good review.” so I guess it aged well.

Will I cover more Asylum fare? Eh, the only one I want to do is Sunday School Musical, for obvious reasons. Other reviews have done the other notable ones well enough, but we’ll see.

Paranormal Activity 4

Ripoffs are fine, but nothing will ever beat the original. Unless it’s the worst film in that franchise. Yeah, Marked Ones was bad, but it had it’s creative concepts. This was just….bleh.

Most of is just another dull found footage film, but the worst parts are how it contacts to the other films. None of the twists in this regard make any sense and as sequel, it really adds nothing,.

Except Kinnect product placement, of course.

I actually think I got it all right in the review, I just have grown to like it less with time. It’s not horrible, but it’s just a failure as a sequel, and is just weak as a film on it’s own. Kike I said, even Marked Ones had it’s good points, at least more than this one.

I hope the final one is better. I hear it’s not but I’m an optimist.

The review is good. As I said, PA gives me plenty to work with and the stupid story and twists just makes it even easier to make fun of. There’s good critique here as well, so it’s another well rounded one.

Good way the Halloween section of this, even if we already cover it with Return to Halloweentown back there.

Meet the Robinsons

I plan to do a little something regarding the Disney Animated Canon later this year, so I wasn’t sure if I should just say it all here or save it for there. So I’ll meet in the middle and say a bit but not go into too much detail. I said most of what I had to in the review but there is more to add in some places.

I did this before I felt it was a bit underrated and helped start Disney’s return to greatness, especially with the ending. It is interesting how Disney’s only got stronger after this review, due to the insane success of that ice movie people seem to like.

I still think this one is solid. It has it’s obligatory time travel plot holes, but the heart and humor really makes it solid. But the ending is best part, as it gives us a great moral and kind of leads into the modern Disney era quite nicely.

If there’s more to say, I’ll say it in that thing I’m planning. The review is a bit slow sometimes but it’s mostly good. It’s another positive review that I liked doing as I had a special reason for liking that was fun to get into.

Not a ton of funny reactions but like the movie, the heart saves it. So yeah, another fine one.

Green Lantern

I’m not sure why I wanted to do this review, but I did. I didn’t really care about the film either way, but I guess I just wanted to give it a fair chance. And I had the idea of the Ryan Renolds Double Feature after watching Change Up.

I like the film slightly more but it’s still just okay. It has plenty going for it and kind of be fun, but a lot of it just kind of dull and typical. It’s another that I have forgotten most of, which is a shame since I think it has all the ingredients needed for a really strong Green Lantern film.

It just doesn’t leave that much of an impact. It can be fun but it doesn’t quite hit in the way it should. Say what you will about Man of Steel, but there is a reason it struck a chord with audiences enough to start the DC Universe while this under performed.

It’s not bad, just not very good. The review is pretty good, as I make decent jokes and critiqued pretty well. This is an average film that I had plenty to say about at the time due its’and downs, and I think I did a fine job with.

But yeah, we should all be glad Renolds recently hit it big with Deadpool.

My Little Pony Friendship is Magic-The Mysterious Mare Do Well

…Oh god, this one. This is a review I kind of regret doing. Well, sort of. I stand by my stance on the episode at the time, but the stuff I say in the intro is awkward in hindsight. Yes, I felt that way at the time, no way to really change that.

But I do think I was a bit harsh. I mean I had previously bashed a Backyardigans episode. I am in no position to say people are being a bit too harsh on this show. I kind of see what I meant at the time, as some people can look too deeply and be a bit harsh.

I mean, some people get guringely offended at the content of a pony cartoon targeted at children. You should take your media seriously, but…there’s a limit. That’s why even if I’m bashing a moral, I’m sure to look at the intent first. See the difference between a Freaky Fido and a Review it Up.

The main review is fine, with good points and jokes and all that. It’s the other stuff that bugs me. It was fun to do a pony episode, but it could have been better. I actually do have something to add to the actual episode.

Inevitability, some people have come out in defense of this one. One argument is that rightfully knocks Rainbow Dash down a peg in a good way, as sometimes you will sadly kind of have to do that, and that’s kind of the real moral here.

That’s actually a good point. What they did was a harsh but in a way it had to be done, since she just wasn’t listening. However, I’m not sure if that was the writer intended. My problem is that it seems like they didn’t even think before doing this.

It is kind of harsh ,as we see with that big of her being alone. Yeah ,sometimes even people you love need to be knocked down a bit, but this is going a bit too far. The episode treats it like a normal happy ending, and what they did was just fine.

I like the idea here but the execution is on them muddled side. But that is a good point, even if I’m not sure the writer was going for that angle. As with her other episodes, there’s a mature idea here, she just needed to think it through. Still, this episode is just average with those good and bad elements. I do kind of see why it’s seen as the worst with those issues.

This review was an odd experiment that at least helped me learn a few things, and kind of lead to me analyzing the show a bit more. It might not be perfect, but it was a good learning experience at least.

The Change Up

This is another one I didn’t really need to do but I just wanted to. Usually film the films I say little about, I force myself to do them but this one, I wanted to do. Mostly because I thought it had some level of potential even if some people would just write it off.

And yeah, I still think that. It has good acting and some amusing moments and parts of it almost work. But in the end, it just becomes another typical modern comedy instead of anything that memorable.

Which again, is sad because it had decent potential. And being in the same year as another disappointing Ryan Renolds movie, just made it worse. This was an odd but fun double feature to do as it spotlight how a honestly talented actor can just have shit luck.

The review is fine. Not a lot of materiel, but you can tell I had stuff to say regarding the comedy, so I’d say I pulled this off pretty well due to the critiquing. So yeah, one of the better forgettable reviews.

Inappropriate Comedy

Yay. I tied this with Movie 43 on my Bottom 10, so you know I’m still not found of it. But honestly, I hate that one more. This one is way lazier, and more offensive on all counts. But it’s mostly just boring while that one kept pissing me off.

This film is worse written and is slightly less anger inducing. But it’s still terrible due to all the obvious reasons, so I can’t defend it at all. I happen to personally hate Movie 43 slightly more. That’s really all I can add to it, as I explained it pretty well in the review.

The review is pretty good. Again, some funny reactions but I don’t quite say as much as with Movie 43. That review stood out a bit more since I got angrier, while here I was just frustrated and bored. At least Movie 43 had variety, this movie just reuses the same unfunny skits over and over.

But I still made the best of it, and it’s another fun review to come to, even if it’s not as good as other reviews of my bottom 10.

Fred Claus

We start our last stretch with our Christmas reviews! I had done a few in 2012, but not a ton so I made up for it from that point on. While only 1 from 2012 was for Red Ribbon Reviewers, they all were this time, That was cool to start taking part in. Anyway, another film I barely remember. Most people don’t recall it but I heard about it and figure it would be fun to do. From what I recall, it’s just a mediocre film that had a neat idea but didn’t’ go anywhere too memorable with it, aside from a pretty great Santa.

Outside of that, nothing stands out too much about it. It’s not terrible either, it’s just not very good. As such, the review is in the middle. Not exactly a ton of amazing points or jokes, but I there was some good points, jokes and critiques. It’s not them most memorable, but it’s good enough to come back to sometimes.

A fair way to begin Christmas for 2013.

Eight Crazy Nights

For whatever reason, Nostalgia Critic, me and Cartoon Hero decided to do this film all in the same month. It’s freaky how that turns out. Although I wll admit I kind of did this one when I hear Cartoon Hero would do it, and given my new thoughts on it, I thought it would be interesting to explore.

Because I stand by it being a…mixed bag. It has some amusing parts, but also terrible gross jokes. It has nice animation and has some actual heart, but also forces it sometimes and screws up a few aspects.

I do think there’s a bit more than people might think ,as it seems like they are really trying in some scenes, but then it goes back to crass crap. It’s almost equally decent and bad, always switching.

My review was all over the place, but so was the movie! I just it was flat out terrible so I could hate it, but no, it had to have redeeming values! I get why plenty of people dislike it, but I do think it’s not as bad as some say. It has SOME good things in the writing, that put waaaay above a lot of Sandler turds.

The heart is way more believable than anything in Jack and Jill, I’ll say that much. The review is another favorite, since I perfectly capture my complex things. I make plenty of good comments with fun reactions, while also really looking at the pros and cons.

It’s another good balance that I think makes it a solid one. Most reviews of this film are fairly negative, and while some mention good things, I think it’s good that I tried to push the positives, while really harping on the negatives.

Good for what is technically my only Hanukkah special.

Good Luck Charlie, It’s Christmas!

OBGLIATORY DCOM TIME! This was, I think, my first look at the ones based on the sitcoms, not counting Hannah since it was in theaters. This one is the most low key and is more or less an extended episode, but it’s still enjoyable.

It may not be epic but it’s just a bit of fun with some real heart to make it even better. It’s not the shows best work or anything, but it’s just plain charming and amusing. It is less flawed than the others, but less impressive. That all evens it out to make for a fun enough Christmas film, that represents the show nicely.

The review is another one that’s in the middle. A bit dull but enjoyable enough with good comments overall decent critiques. Like the film itself, it’s not exactly grand, but it is a nice. A fun remedy after Sandler crapped on our holidays.

The Search for Santa Paws

But let’s go back to that buddies pile. I wasn’t sure if I had plans to do the spin off when I started Buddies but when I did decided to do it, I still wasn’t sure when to do them and I just did them after the main movies to serve as part of my Christmas specials.

This one is in that middle ground when it comes to those films. Half bad, half mediocre. It gets pretty painful with the orphans, but other stuff is either just kind of dull, or almost works. I think without 5 or so annoying dogs, the whole thing comes across as slightly more tolerable, allowing for more okay elements.

But the whole is still bad, it just has moments that work a bit better. Half of it was a godsend compared to the others, and the other half was about equally as bad. Meh. The review is pretty good. This is another film ripe for mockery, so I had plenty to work with on both levels, making it for a pretty solid review.

I do kind of feel bad for mocking that Santa Buddies kid with the voice. I mean, I’m sure she’s nice but the directors gave her some horrible direction to work from. I think that’s not even her real voice, they just made her as annoying as possible. And what the hell is Applebloom doing in this?!

But yeah, I’m glad I only had one damn dog film to do after this one.

Special Agent Oso-The Living Holiday Lights

I’m skimming this one, as I went into the episode again in my Disney Cartoon Christmas post. So I’ll quickly discuss the review. I did it just to share an episode that has the shows usual flaws, while also almost being good. The review is mostly kind of pointless as I didn’t exactly have a lot to say, but there was enough amusing stuff to make this an okay review.

That’s…pretty much all I got.

Santa with Muscles

And now we begin my other 2013 sort of story arc. Even reviewers have to do A Christmas Carol so I thought I’d do it. I just hand this random idea. The whoel bit of doing past and present bad films was just a fun idea, I didn’t really have a moral in mind, as I had made that point before.

It also gave me an excuse to explore these films, as each one I did want to do, especially this one. In the grand scheme of things, it’s nowhere close to the worst film ever, as it’s not really offensive, but it’s really disappointing.

It should be dumb fun, but it’s mostly just…boring. It’s bogged down by cutest orhapn shit. That stuff is so cliché it should add to it but it makes more dull than it needed to be. You have Hulk Hogan as Santa, what more do you need?!

But like I said, it’s pretty harmless. Just another bad Hulk Hogan movie. The review was plenty of fun to do given the nature of the film so I had good jokes all that. I think I nailed the films flaws and had some decent fun with it.

A fine way to begin my Christmas carol. Also, it still amazes me that Brenda Song was in this.

The Santa Clause 3

A tradition on this blog is for me to review a film thinking it will be horrible, only for it to just be mediocre. This is a classic case of that. It’s a pretty lame sequel, but it’s mostly just a mediocre sequel…following on another mediocre sequel.

 

Once again , I don’t remember too much about except it a really lame ending and a waste of some decent plot points. It’s just really tired and lacking a lot of the enjoyment that the first film had, or even the 2nd one for that matter.

It’s far from awful but it’s a pretty pointless film at the end of the day. Again, there really isn’t much to say in hindsight, as I covered everything well in the review. A review that is fine due to the usual good jokes, but it is clear I don’t have ton to work with.

A serviceable review, just not my best one. Still, this was a good choice for our present turd, and it is fitting I gave the past one a worse review.

A Very Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas

Once again, I went deep into the film in the best list, so I can just go over the review. It’s another favorite positive review of mine, because of how passionate I was. I really went into why it works and even made room for some funny reactions.

It was a perfect one to review for Christmas, as it captures the spirit, but in an odd way that oddly hits me more due to being combined with a crazy style I happen to like. Like to movie, I strike a pretty good balance. I think it’s the best of my main Christmas reviews, but that’s just me.

Overall, a great way to celebrate Christmas. And FINALLY, we end with..

New Year’s Eve

Hey, this guy has a new movie out now, perfect timing! If it’s anything like this, I would avoid it. I tend to like stories that follow many people, with little stories instead of just one big one. But this movie goes a bit overboard.

It has so many stories that you just don’t care. By the end, none of it matters and pretty much none of them are that interesting. It’s not painful or anything, but it’s so dull and just doesn’t stick with you.

It’s an example of a film that got worse when I finished then when I was watching it. Still not horrible, but pretty dull and just…pointless. It’s an odd type of film to review in my style, but I think I managed to make it work. But if you want a better review, Film Brain has a good one.

As for mine, it’s another middling one but it can be blamed on the format. But I don’t regret doing it, since I had good jokes. It’s fine, just not one I come back to. Still, it’s a solid way to end 2013.

 

And those were my 2013 Reviews! This took a lot longer than it should have, and it came down to the wire. I’m sorry a lot of these were short, but there’s only so much to say. This maybe wasn’t the best idea but I did it, so I must finish them off.

Overall, this was a great year for me with plenty of variety and a lot of gems, as well as some amazing turds. This is where I got into my groove and knew what I wanted to do with the blog, even if I’m still not perfect.

Guess we’ll tune in later for the final year in this retrospective, 2014, where things got pretty messy but we’ll get to that. My deadline is the date of my final weekly review in June, so I don’t have to worry too much about deadlines. I promise not to use it as an excuse to slack off with it.

Watch it be broken. Either way, hope you enjoyed this look and we’ll see how 2014 panned out.

See ya.

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Mirror Mirror

220px-Mirror_Mirror_FilmPoster

Who is the most mediocre of them all?

Hello, Spongey here.

When I started these reviews in 2012, I had plenty of films I wanted to from the start. Since then I’ve done most of those. Jack & Jill, Spy Kids 4, Green Lantern, etc. But there a few I still have yet to do.

But today I finally look something that’s been on my plate since near the beginning. With it’s rival coming out with a prequel this week, it seemed like it was finally time. It’s a doozy.

Snow White is one of those stories that has been adapted a lot, with many people throwing in their own interpretation. But in 2012, both Relativity Media and Universal had the idea to make their own version of the story.

This was pretty odd coincidence that was interesting to see. Snow White and Huntsman got mixed reviews and was a big enough hit to warrant another entry. I’ve seen it and while it’s no masterpiece, it was enjoyable for what it was, and I’ll explain further later.

This one on the other hand…was still a hit, but got mostly negativity reviews and is easily the worst of the two films. For whatever, I watched it back in 2012 and while I didn’t hate it, I disliked it enough to want to cover.

But because of other films, I kept either pushing it back or forgetting about it. Now, it’s finally time to put it in it’s place. The most interesting thing before we go in, is the director, Tarsem. Yes, the guy behind The Cell.

Because that’s who you want doing a fairy tale family film, right?

But hey, anyone can change up their style for once, so that’s not an issue. The writers haven’t done much of note, which will show. So why exactly is this film such a failure? Let’s finally take a look.

This, is Mirror Mirror

The movie opens with narration about Snow White’s backstory. You know the story, some people gave birth to a lovely daughter.

They called her Snow White. Probably because that was the most pretentious name they could come up with”

Heh. The first actual joke is funny! I’m almost fooled into thinking this will be good. Snow’s Mother died in child birth which is brushed off like it’s not kind of important. Father raised her on his own but eventually he had to ge re-married, so of course he picked the evilist person he could find.

To clarify, she was me”

Yeah, I got that. Yes, the villain gives us the backstory. Different, but it works. One day, The King left to do a thing but never came back, leaving the kingdom in the care of the evil queen. I don’t remember of the king comes back or not.

With that, we cut to the present with Snow White, played by Lily Colins. We see her play with animals in the blandest way she possible could then we properly meet the queen, played by Julia Roberts. As you can guess from her snark she is the highlight…for the most part.

She does evil thing for a bit until Snow White comes in. It’s her 18th birthday and she’s hoping she can come to this Gala thing.

You’ve done nothing to me…yet there’s something about her that’s so incredibly irritating”

Maybe it’s her very subpar acting?

The Queen doesn’t’ really care about the birthday and just wants her to stay in her room. At least they lampshade how she has no real reason to act like this. I think this is a good time to met our love interest, who is hanging out in the woods with a pal.

It doesn’t take long for them to run into trouble as they robbed by dwarves. That’s gotta be embarrassing. Oh, and Prince Alcott is played by Armie Hammer, so it’s obvious why these guys have a problem with him.

And to the add to the list of actors I am sad to see, one of the dwarves is played by that guy from Crash and Bernstein, 30 nights, and Santa Buddies. Alcott gets less scared when he finds out these are dwarves, even though they’ve been holding their own so far.

You’re short and it’s funny”.

Said the filmmakers probably.

After the dwarves take their stuff and tie them up, we join Snow as the rest of the castle celebrates her birthday. Snow goes out while the Queen talks to the titular Mirror. And by that I mean she…walks into it and ends up in this weird island place. That’s…different.

Not too much happens except for her reflection telling her to marry someone rich. Typical stuff, I know.

Snow White explores the woods for no real reason and bumps into Alcott and his friend. She frees them and we get the whole love at first sign thing. It’s worth mentioning that the dwarves took most of their clothes, so Alcott is shirtless. I think that had a part in her falling in love, just saying.

With that, they just go on their own, to never ever meet again. Nope. By pure coincidence, Alcott is going to visit the evil queen as a suitor. While shirtless. Not the best idea. It’s a good thing she’s horny as hell.

In light of his appearance, the queen wants to hold a ball but Nathan Lane tells her that she’s kind of broke. Naturally her answer is to just collect more taxes. I know this talk of faicnial woes is very riveting, but we must go back to Snow White, as she explores the nearby village, which is doing very poorly for obvious reasons.

This pretty much convinces her that the queen is evil and must be stopped. This is followed by a scene of the queen getting the weirdest spa treatment ever, with worms and shit like that. I will never get beauty.

That night, they have the ball where Snow bumps into Prince Aclott.

Seeing you in that dress has caused me to lose my words”

It least it didn’t’ cause you to lose your pants”

.No comment.

She tries to tell him about how evil the queen is, but she quickly takes her aside as she conveniently happened to be close to her when she started to talk. She is more than a little happy and wants her killed.

Instead of just offing her now, she has her taken to the forest to be killed. Yeah, this is how the story goes, but being a nitpicking asshole means I have to ignore the logical reasoning why things happen.

Nathan Lane takes her out but a bunch of loud noises (aka thunder sounds) scares him off. Or maybe he lets go, I don’t know. Either way, this is why you never send Timon to kill someone.

He goes back The Queen and tells her that he killed her. As the story goes, Snow White wakes up in the the cottage of the 7 Dwarves. It’s kind of weird that they were introduced as villains in some way earlier, but whatever.

Even now, they aren’t exactly saints. This is kind of neat angle, and it makes them fairly amusing I suppose. Wish the film had more of this instead of the boring stuff we got, but more on that in a bit.

They decide to let her stay for one night, at least. They say their names but I’m too lazy to learn them so hopefully one specific character won’t stand out. I do know that one is named Grimm. GET IT?

Meanwhile, the kingdom is informed of Snow’s “Death” as things get worse over in the kingdom. Nathan Lane collects taxes, but is then robbed by the dwarves. There’s something to add to the list of amazing sentences I’ve written.

They go back to Snow and pretty much admit they are thieves, which she does not like. The dwarves then give their reasoning for hating the queen, which I think isn’t needed as we have plenty reason to hate her: She’s freaking evil.

The Dwarves were banished for being ugly. Fair enough, it gives their characters some attempt at depth at least. Since the stolen gold technically belongs to the people, Snow gives it back.

Great, but eventually she’s gonna find out that it was stolen to begin with and just want more taxes. But hey, gotta take your victories as they come. Snow White tells them the Dwarves got the gold back, in order to make them a bit more loved. Meanwhile, The Queen is hanging with Prince Alcott and ends up telling him about Snow’s “Death’ . You know, it just hit me that character of Snow here is 18, while Alcott looks…a bit above that.

Of course the actors were in their mid 20’s so it seems okay but story wise…not so much.

Nathan Lane shows up and tells her what happened which makes Alcott want to take care of those dang thieves. Oh, and Nathan got some clothes taken because Comedy. The Dwarves decided to let Snow stay, but only if she becomes a thief.

She isn’t took keen on this, but they say they will only steal from the queen, so it’s okay. Which means it’s time for a thief training montage! Instead of bitching about the montage again, let’s talk for a bit as we’ve reached the main problem with the film.

We’ve reached the main premise/: Snow White but she’s just a bit more proactive and the dwarves are thieves. And it’s dumber. In other words, it’s not so much a new version, as it is just the same only slightly different and weaker.

I mean, it is different I suppose, but not in the right areas. Most of the updates make it less interesting and feel just kind of tacked on. It doesn’t feel different or interesting enough to justify it’s existence.

Compare this to Snow White and the Hunstman which is a completely different take. It’s not exactly perfect, and you can dislike it all you want, but it at least tries to offer an interesting sp in on the story.

This is just barely different and on it’s own it’s just really weak. That’s another issue, it’s really boring. Barely anything that interesting has happened and we’re now 50 minutes in. It’s just mediocre characters doing stuff I don’t care about.

More on that stuff at other places in the review. After the montage, Prince Alcott shows up looking for the thieves, and finds Snow White. They are not happy to be on seemingly opposite sides. But of course he doesn’t have much of a reaction to her being alive.

Instead of talking things out, they fight because we need some action to keep people from falling asleep. She kicks his ass and he flees back to the castle. Again, don’t try to talk things out or anything, just fight and flee.

He tells her about Snow White.

‘You told me she was dead”

NATHAN LANE:I Wish I was dead.

Come on, the movie isn’t THAT bad.

The Queen consults her magic mirror person (I still don’t get it) and wants to punish Nathan Lane for lying. He has a name but it’s funnier if I call him that. She turns him into a cockroach.

In order to get the prince on her side, she decides to love potion, because those always turn out so well. He drinks it…and jumps her. Oh god, this is about to get very un-kid friendly!

Actually, he jumps on her like a dog. Because Puppy Love. I gotta say, Disney’s Lone Ranger talking like a dog is kind of funny. Back with the Dwarves, one of them says he heard The Queen and Alcott were getting married.

Will the whole dog thing get in the way or is she into …that, now? Snow gets sad and I care deeply because they shared so much screen time and their chemistry was so strong. I said sarcastically.

Then these weird…statue puppet things, I think, attack them. And it’s pretty much pointless. Speaking of pointless things, Nathan Lane’s spell wears off, with us not getting to see anything interesting happen with his whole cockroach thing.

And in a strange turn of events, a grasshopper took advantage of me!”

YOU KNOW-FOR KIDS!

Once I get over….that, she has get back to work without even caring that he just randomly turned back to normal. The next morning, the Dwarves wake up to find that Snow is gone and has left a note saying she left since her presence only caused them harm.

Okay, I guess the weird statue monster things had some kind of a point. But one bad thing and you just have to leave? Idiot Bitch. Also, how sad it is it that I feel the connection with Snow and the Dwarves way more than the one with the actual freaking love interest?

They head out to get her….and shes’ right outside because she hasn’t left yet. Okay, that’s funny until you realize how stupid of her it was to have left in the time it took for them to read it. The movie isn’t fast or clever enough for that to be the joke.

They give her a speech and she changes her mind. They couldn’t even bother to drag the obligatory 3rd act contrivance for 5 whole minutes! Anyway, with that they head off to crash the wedding.

And by that, I mean they kidnap the prince so the wedding cannot go on. WE actually see them take out the guards, so good on them for actually explaining that. …But bad on them for only having two freaking guards to protect the prince.

They figure out he’s under a spell and try to snap him out of it. After some antics, they figure that a kiss will do it. So in this version a kiss gets the PRINCE out of a spell. Decent idea but it’s safe to say execution is a bit dumb.

Mostly since I won’t buy that their kiss is a true love one since they barely interacted in a meaningful way. She figures it’s worth a try and yay, it works. This would have worked better after the climax, instead of just being lamely solved beforehand, but I don’t care at this point.

I read so many stories where the prince saves the princess in the end. I think it’s time we changed that ending”

Yay, you’re so progressive. It’s a good thing the prince wasn’t used for jokes and pretty much useless, or else we’d have some amazingly unfortunate implications on our hands!

The Queen shows up at their doorstep, which is why Snow said and went out on her own. If she dies, she only has herself to blame. Which seems likely as the queen has brought this big evil beast.

The Prince escapes because the Dwarves had a key (which is kind of funny) and Snow decided she’s okay with him fighting with her, I guess. Hooray for more pointless scenes! The Dwarves follow suit to make things a bit more exciting.

I hope this isn’t a climax: Fighting a big beast I can barely see because this takes place at night. She manages to kill the beast just by stabbing it with some dagger, and then her father pops up. …Wait, what?

Okay, it looks like The Beast was The King all along. Care to explain how that happened? I suppose the queen just turned him into this to take over, but I’d like a proper explanation. Instead of them just introducing him to her friends and accepting it.

…No, you’re gonna randomly cut to Snow White and Prince Alcott getting married? Okay, then I can bitch about how out of nowhere this is, and why she turned him into a beast that can easily be changed back instead of a cockroach like she did with Timon.

Speaking of the queen, she conveniently left before this happened. We briefly see her in her mirror place where she starts to age and the mirror queen says this is her price for using magic. Care to explain more? No, that’s all we get before we move on to so much later that I can only assume she’s dead?

Whatever, I REALLY don’t care, we’re almost done.

By the power invested in me…by me, I now pronounce you man and wife”

Too bad I don’t care about their relationship for reasons already explained. Then to prove me wrong, the queen shows up but so old that Snow doesn’t recognize her. She gives her an apple. Yes, they waited until the last second to do the thing we expect a Snow White story to do.

Thankfully, she’s not an idiot and now recognizes her. What happens with her next? I don’t know it just cuts to later as Snow starts a random …Bollywood dance number. Because the filmmakers just said “Fuck it, no one’s gonna see this” at this point.

We see the mirror world blow up ,and it’s kind of implied the queen ate part of the apple…for some reason but it doesn’t properly explain anything.

And of course, this number is where the film ends. Man, they just did not care at this point, did they? One of the messier abrupt endings I’ve seen recently. There is a “Where are they now” type thing but you don’t care, do you? Well, Grimm wrote a book of fairly tales because subtle.

They all lived crappily ever after.

Final Thoughts:

That was incredibly mediocre. Seriously, it was so dull and forgettable that it doesn’t’ even need to exist. The flaws aren’t even interesting until the end where the creators clearly gave up.

I don’t need every version of a story to be 100 percent different, but if you are going to do another Snow White story when we have so many iconic ones, you need to mix it up. Making Snow White fight a bit more isn’t enough.

Even on it’s own, it’s so….boring. I don’t give a shit about the romance because they barely interact, and both characters end up being too dull. They don’t try to update Snow’s character beyond making her fight a bit more.

That was acceptable in other versions due to their execution, but if you want me to care, you gotta try harder. Lily Colins incredibly stale performance doesn’t help, but I blame the lackluster direction on that.

The whole thing just feels kind of pointless. The only interesting points end up being pointless or rushed in the end. It’s kind of bearable, due to having too many hugely painful parts until the end, but it’s not something really worth sitting through.

The Dwarves are kind of fun and Julia Roberts is very amusing until she just gets boring, and it certainly looks nice. But the whole feels just kind of pointless and half assed. It may be a mild diversion for kids or something, but otherwise it’s an easy skip.

And I’m going to forget about it as soon I’m done type thi-wait, what I was talking about it?

Grade: C

Next time, we finish up Swan Princess. Yay.

See ya.

Posted in Play by Play Reviews, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Girl Meets World-Girl Meets the Bay Window

Hello, Spongey here.

It’s TV Review time again, and this one is…interesting. It’s another Tame Dud, but it’s an odd to tackle because …well…it’s hard to explain. You’ll see.

With these TV Reviews, some of them exist to talk about a problem the show itself, as well as riffing on the episode itself. This is one of those kind. So, let’s talk a bit about Girl Meets World.

I’m not sure if I mentioned this before, but I’ve only seen a bit of the original show, I only know enough to get by, and see where the series generally succeeds or fails in comparison. But from what I have seen, I do wanna watch more.

This spin off is certainly episode with it’s quality and reception. In general, I do think it’s good on it’s own. Mostly because of how it compares to most everything else on Disney. I mean, it’s rarely insulting, tries to actually have more three dimensional characters, tries to tackle serious subjects, and has SEVERAL scenes with no laugh track.

Yes, this show knows when to slow down and have a moment. Crazy, right?

Even with all the flaws I am about to get into, I’ll take it’s worst over the best of Bunk’d any day. The fact that it can be so good…is why it frustrates me so much. Early on, the quirks I disliked could be forgiven, but after 2 seasons, it seems to refuse to fully improve.

In some ways, it has with the more mature episodes. In other ways, not so much. I don’t have time to go into everything about this show, so I’ll boil it down to one problem: It tries too hard. Seriously.

This show often tries way too hard to be great, to the point where it seems to think it’s better than it really is. For one, Season 2 alone tackled all these serious topics, but mostly just to bring them up and that’s it. It didn’t exactly screw them up, but a lot of the times it felt a bit obligatory.

Boy Meets World was lauded for tackling serious subjects, but the thing is, it grew into that. It just started off slowly and earned the right to be more serious. This show wants to do it right off the bat, and can’t quite the balance right.

A lot of the times it works, but sometimes it doesn’t and becomes way too cheesy. Of course, they always seem to be trying their hardest, with their heart in the right place, which is why I am way easier on the show most of the time.

But the writing still needs work. I am a tad worried about Season 3, if it will improve or be the same. Hopefully it can, but for now time we’ll be focusing on a dud. I haven’t studied every episode, so there may be worse ones, but I wanted to do this one because it sums up the larger problem with the show.

It tries and has heart, but ends up trying too hard and has other problems. This will be a hard to do one for that reason, but I had to review it. Oh, and it was the next to last episode of the Season, airing back in February.

Yes, our 2nd TV Review in a row to be of something that aired this year. …Not the best sign for 2016, but whatever.

So let’s see exactly how this episode fails.

This, is Girl Meets The Bay Window

Writer: Joshua Jacobs

The episode starts with Riley and Maya at the Bay Window. Well, the title isn’t lying at least. They talk in a quirky confusing way until Riley reveals that she wants to tear down the bay window.

I’m with you. I mean, every sitcom has that iconic location but usually it becomes iconic on it’s own this show. This show has been trying to force the bay window on us like it’s Jesus or something.

It gets old, and it’s another example of the show trying too hard. Thankfully, there isn’t too much of that here despite the title.

More specifically, she wants to change it since they are changing as they grow up.

Some things are too important to ever change.

Says every Nostalgia-Tard ever. Also ,we just started on your already starting to go deep with your subject? Can’t we at least wait til after the theme song?

Speaking of which, the theme happens a bit after that, and after that Maya goes on about how change sucks. Man, this is already getting boring. Thankfully, Farkle shows up to inject a bit of humor into this.

Do you know that ever 7 years your body grows a whole new set of cells? Every seven years it’s like your a whole new person?’

I’m too lazy to look into that, but I can pretty much tell that’s bullshit. Then because reasons, they reminiscence about how they meet Farkle, which means a flashback. With young kid actors.

Oh boy. Those rarely turn out well. And these are…not horrible but not that great either. Which means at points they make some of their mediocre jokes even worse. Farkle basically “saved her life” when she is having trouble at a bobble for apples thing at what I assume is a Halloween party.

I promise to love you both the same”

You just met them, isn’t a bit early to play that card? Doesn’t matter because they seem totally okay with this declaration. Then the flashback ends. The point was to show how much Farkle has changed, even if it doesnt’ seem like it. Fair enough, I guess.

Then Lucas shows up, with Maya commenting on how out of nowhere it is. Heh.

You both are special to me…in whatever way you’ll eventually tell me”

Hopefully that’s soon, because I am not fan of that love triangle stuff. That’s another story, though. Lucas says he wishes he would have grown up with them.

I say we’ve known you ever since you were a little kid”

‘How do we do that?”

A Musical number!”

No!”

I agree. Just….what? I thought was a Disney Sitcom, not a Disney movie! Then it fades to a fake flashback with the young versions of them with Lucas…the grown up Lucas. Okay, that visual is funny but the decision to have the kids do this random song was not a good one.

Mostly because it has no real point. It’s almost a BLAM, in a way. They say they had Lucas as a teenager because that’s how they’ve known him. He pulls out a picture from he was young to prove he was different…but he’s still a teen while his friends were kids.

Now that’s pretty funny. Especially his reaction.

They get to the big Bay Window debate. Riley wins and start taking it down. Well, okay Episode over!

…Of course not. Corey and Topanga show up and are surprised by Riley’s decision to do this. Wait, why didn’t’ she run it by her parents first? It’s technically their property after all.

They kind of see Riley’s point but think that the old memories should be kept in some way. But for some reason that decided this reminds them of a flashback. Joy. This one is a bit more important is it deals with how Riley reacted to getting a younger brother back before Auggie was born.

The kids actually aren’t that bad here, which is good since this bit is a bit more dramatic. Especially when Maya says this:

‘We don’t know where my Daddy is’

Yeah, this show kind of dealt with that kind of thing. Infact, that’s mostly why Maya isn’t a fan of change and by extension the whole bay window thing. That’s fine, but uh…we’ve dealt with that before in a few episodes. Do we need to go through it again?

This bit almost works, but really do the acting more than anything. I honestly think this show has become an acting exercise due to how many Oscar Clips they do. I can’t exactly blame them because Sabrina Cartenter is like…really good, but sometimes it gets to be a bit too much.

This is the best part of the episode because it more directly deals with the theme of change and how it can be good ,even if it is sometimes bad. Granted, it amounts to cheesy speeches but it’s not too bad.

Even if it is over dramatic, going on for a bit too long as they get to go through a bunch of speeches. But eventually Maya gets the point that change is good and yada yada yada. Okay, so we’ve learned our big lesson, so we have like one more bit and we’re done,right?

…Nope. We’re 14 minutes in to a 22 minute episode. And only the last few really need to exist. That’s right, they make their point halfway through the episode…and it still goes on.

This is where the episode really start to dive, as before it just problematic, but now it just drags. We get a flashback to how the girls meet, which is about as riveting as it sounds. Maya just…climbed in through the window out of nowhere.

Yep, they met through Maya just….invading someone’s home for no reason. Which barely phases Riley as she only screams a bit after she comes in. Young Maya is running away because her Mommy and Daddy are “yelling”. Yikes.

Are we friends forever?’

…Jumping the gun a bit, aren’t we?

It should end there but goes on a bit and doesn’t add much beyond some cheesy crap. Kind of sums up the whole episode, really.

Then…it cuts to the kids versions of them with the teen version. …Yeah, this isn’t actually happening but it’s put in the story like it is, which is really confusing. I think they do this sometimes but here it’s just…odd.

It also adds NOTHING to the story, beyond a bit of symbolism showing how they changed. We get it, they changed. Change is good. Can we just end this?!

The kid actors just add to the cheesy-ness of it, and not in a good way. This part eventually ends….but the filler isn’t over yet, as we randomly meet the adult Riley and Maya! They share a cheesy moment that I don’t feel like 100 percent describing because meh.

The teen and kid versions see this, I guess.

Well, I’m disgusted”

Agreed.

I do feel a bit jerkish picking on these moments, as there is plenty of heart. But there is such thing as too much and sadly this is too much.

Then, as if it couldn’t get any cheesier, they actually start playing the Full House music. I am not kidding, we get incredibly manipulative music as the adult versions leave and the kid ones follow. This show usually avoids this kind of thing in favor of very little noise of any kind. So it’s especially lame when they pull it here.

Eventually this all ends, as we cut to when they have changed the bay window. Yeah, she just decided to fix it up a bit. That’s…kind of lame given how Maya reacted. Maybe Riley did it like that after what they learned, but it’s still weak.

Ready for this change, Maya?”

Then after an actually nice moment, the episode ends. Yes, that felt like barely anything actually happened despite dragging on, didn’t it? More on that in the final thoughts.

Final Thoughts:

This episode is certainly bearable, as it has plenty of heart and I almost want to like it. But when I look at it crtically, it doesn’t work. The big problem I have is that it’s…BORING. How so?

Well, it’s a Bottle Episode, taking place entirely in one location. Bottle Episodes are hard to do, because if the writing fails, it becomes boring. This is boring. Because I simply do not care about this subject.

I like the idea of exploring change, but it does it in such a boring and over dramatic fashion. It goes on and on but doesn’t tell me anything I don’t already know. It says something very simple but acts like it’s so complex and deep.

At least in the other weak episodes, they tend to explore themes deep enough to warrant the treatment they get. But this is a simple theme and still gets over complicated. Especially with the pointless flashbacks with the mediocre kid actors.

And like I said, it makes it’s point about half way through, yet still goes on. It just drags and becomes pointless. It’s pretty much filler, and not very good filler. The dramatic scenes feel like they try too hard.

Yet they almost work because of the acting, for the most part. I almost feel something but then they it just either goes on too long, or other writing problems come in. It almost works early on but the 2nd half drags so much that it becomes a bore.

But at least it has a good message, and has some “Cute’ moments. It’s ultimately harmless fluff, but it acts like it’s a lot more. Which is my problem. This has all the problems with the show without a lot of what saves most episodes.

It’s very much the tamest live action dud I’ve seen, and doesn’t seem too bad at first glance, but for all these reasons, it still doesn’t work. It’s just mediocre, is what I’m saying. I felt this all needed to be said, because I do hope this show grows out of this kind of thing and becomes the great show it can sometimes be…and clearly thinks it is.

Grade: C

It was nice to watch something…bearable for a TV Review, at least.

See ya.

Posted in Disney Channel Crap, TV Reviews, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Magic Tree House

Magic_Tree_House_film_poster

First a time traveling phone both, now a tree house? What’s next, a time traveling bed or something?

Hello, Spongey here.

Today we finally do something a bit different. But before I get to it, let’s talk about a book series from my childhood I’ve never mentioned before, Magic Tree House.

Created in 1992 (Same month as that OTHER book series I sometimes mention), and written by Mary Pop Osborene, this was a series of children’s books about two kids name Jack and Annie who stumble upon a magic tree house.

What does the magic do? Lets them travel through time. Yeah. The tree house belongs to Morgan Le Fay who is a good guy here. Long story short, Jack and Annie help her out, using the Tree House to do various tasks for her.

They get a bit larger in scale as the series goes on, especially when the series went from short paper book books, to longer hardcover adventures, which sometimes took them to mythical dangerous lands.

The thing that made the books appealing to kids is that they could be fun due to the adventure aspect, but also educational for obvious reasons. It didn’t exactly have huge adult appeal, but they are harmless breezy reads with some charm to them, especially the later ones.

I read them on and off as a kid, and read all of the original paperback run and a few from the Merlin Missions ones. But of course as I grew up I lost interests. I haven’t read one in years, but they are still going strong.

Despite not being as relevant as before, the series is going strong as of 2016 with 54 main series entries as of this entry. That’s some staying power. Back in the day, they were hugely popular with kids.

So why haven’t you seen too many adaptions? Well, there have been a few, but not the ones you’d expect. There was a musical for some reason, and a few other smaller things. A couple months again it was announced that Lionsgate got the right to possibly make a live action film of the series.

But there actually has been a film of the series. An animated one that came out in 2011. But here’s the thing: It came out in Japan.

That’s right, this is an Anime…based on an American book series. Wrap your head around that one. That’s what I’m here to discuss. Yes, I’m finally reviewing an anime. This may be or not be a terrible idea.

I haven’t done one before since there are better people to do that kind of thing. While I like plenty of films and shows, I don’t watch too many since I had a hard enough time catching up with American Animation!

I’m only doing this one since no one else cares about it and I’ve been curious about it since I heard about it. I’m not sure why this was made, but it was and we’ll see how it is. By the way, there’s no English Dub as far as I know, so we’re doing this subbed.

If you are wondering, I usually watch whatever version is easiest to find, I’m not picky. But I do usually go for the dub, so it’s weird when I don’t do that. No use in going into the creative team, as no one has has done anything too huge, not even the studio.

But given how knowledge I am about Japanese animation, I could be wrong on that. So will Japan be able to give us a solid adaptation of this series? Let’s find out.

This, is Magic Tree House

The movie opens in a huge library, as a woman is approached by these two kids named Teddy and Kathleen. And already I’ve found something interesting. In the books, Teddy and Kathleen are two apprentices who befriend Jack and Annie during their adventures and really help them out with magic stuff.

But they are introduced way later, and yet are among the first things we see in the film. Interesting.

Teddy has broken a vase that belongs to his Father, so the woman uses magic to fix it. Horray for not accepting responsibility for our actions!

The kids run off and the finds a random book on the ground, talking about four medallions found in various places. This was sort of in the books, but she knew about them, and it wasn’t a real McGuffin chase.

Then suddenly, Merlin appears out of nowhere and turns her into a Mouse, leading us into the title. Well, that did happen in the books. It was actually one of the big arcs, only it was a mouse they found and it being Morgan was not revealed until the end because twist.

And because the books were still small scale at that point, we didn’t see Merlin do it. It seems like this is our main conflict for the film and will be combined with the starting stuff. Hmm, I’m cool with this as it’s an efficient way to adapt the first arc and give us a simple conflict.

With that, we cut to our main characters, Jack and Annie while they are in school. Interesting, in the books we never really saw them at school, or really anywhere besides home while in the present. But again, it’s another thing to make it more cinematic, which is fine.

Annie comes in and shows off a frog which runs amuck. I must question her motivation for doing this, beyond being a dumb kid. After the most exciting frog case in the history of cinema, we cut to Jack and Annie walking home from school.

Apparently Annie likes befriending random creatures, but I still question why thought bringing a frog to Jack’s class like that was a good idea. Morgan the Mouse pops up, and before I can wonder how she ended up here of all places, Annie spots here and gives chase because she is just that curious, I guess?

To be fair, Morgan ran for no reason to begin this. She’s currently a rat, no one is gonna think anything of it. This is mostly a contrived way to bring them to the titular tree house. I guess just finding it randomly like in the books wasn’t really interesting enough.’

Annie is naturally curious and climbs up, forcing Jack to follow her. Yes, that happens with them a lot.

‘There are lots of Books here!”

That gets his attention. He goes inside and indeed finds a ton of books. Also, Annie names Morgan the Rat Peanuts. We already know who the rat is, so I won’t be using that name. I know you need to have a cool opening, but you could have not shown her becoming a rat.

Jack finds an interesting book on Dinosaurs.

I wish I could go there”

Why would a shy smart want to be surrounded by ferocious beats like that? Besides, you’re just gonna find annoying never ending chatter added in at the last minute.

But just in the books, this is what makes the Magic Tree House spin a lot and after you all truly made a Doctor Who reference, it comes to a stop. They find themselves a new location and it actually takes them like a minute to figure out they are in the world of the Dinosaurs.

Now I wish I had Noddy with me to nitpick all the things they got wrong. Annie gets out of the tree house to approach a pterodactyl, because she wants me to make an obvious joke. Also, because she wants to cross the line between curious and stupid.

They’re lucky this one happens to be nice and not react to two humans popping up. Jack decides to write down their findings in a journal, which was a staple of the books. It was mostly used to help the kids keep track of the stuff they learned, but it works in story too I guess.

They took a look at at this magical world full of killer beasts, and not so killer beasts. This visit is more casual than I expected, but I’m sure something scary will happen soon. Jack finds a strange medallion with the letter M on it.

See, that’s what I taking about it. They find objects like that but there, they just happen to be things Morgan owned and that’s it. I suppose we need a bigger purpose for them here.

But since is the world of Dinosaurs, they have to be chased by a T-Rex. After a big chase, the pterodactyl helps them out, with Annie riding it. Annie riding a pterodactyl while Jack is being chased by a T-Rex.

10/10.

After being saved by the pterodactyl ex machina, they safely make it back to the Tree House. In the book, the pterodactyl was actually Morgan, in disguise before she properly revealed herself to them.

But since she’s a mouse here, I wonder why that thing is so smart it was able to save them like that.

But despite leaving the T-Rex behind really far away on a cliff thing, he makes it to them in the span a minute to cause more trouble. They remember how they got there, and do a similar trick to get them back home, pointing to a picture and saying they want to go there.

It works and they make it back home. They certainly portrayed the dangerous Dinosaur World better than the book, where it’s more like an inconvenience then anything. The books in general didn’t have them in terrible danger too much, which is hwy it was good when they did, like the one where they end up on the Titanic with a Dog!

…Don’t ask. And no, it doesn’t rap.

They wonder who the heck would make such a tree house and why it’s even here. You’ll have wait until Book 4 to find, kids. Yeah, they split the series up into these Arcs, and this one wasn’t the best since it felt like a lot of it was pointless.

We then cut to Jack and Annie at dinner. Their parents were mentioned on the books, but never got any extended scenes from what I recall. But maybe they did something in the recent books, I don’t know.’

They don’t know about the tree house stuff, by the way. It’s a secret, and only certain people can see the thing anyway for reasons this film will hopefully explain. Kind of weird they never thought of breaking it to them even after 50 books of peril, but okay.

We then move on to more school antics.

We’re going there after school, aren’t we? To the Magic Tree House!”

Roll credits!

Why is it called the magic tree house now?”

It’s more marketable than Time Traveling Tree House.

Annie suspects some kind of magician made the thing, so they sneak out there at night to get to the bottom of this. They find Peanuts reading a book talking about the 4 McGuffins and where they can be found. There are in places inside the book to place the medallions.

So now we have ourselves a goal to reach, onto of the kids just discovering the tree house and it’s secrets. It’s an efficient way to combine the first two arcs to make one story, I think. It seems like this will take us through the first 4 books too.

Because they really have nothing better to do than follow the advice of a random book a mouse read, they search for the book they can take them to the next location. The book mentioned a stone building, and once they find one in a book, they head off.

There are so many big stone buildings in history, that there has to be tons of books with one. It’s a good thing they conveniently pick the right one.

Spoilers, this is a world of knights. The book of this was honestly less exciting than it sounds, so hopefully this will be more interesting.

Where do you think the iron man is?”

Insert obvious joke here.

They go inside the castle where they find the medal on a suit of armor. This after they get sidetrack by entering a room where a feast it, so it’s a good thing it happened to be where they weren’t headed to in the first place.

They get it but make so much noise that htye get caught.

By which way did you enter?’

LINKARA: …Through the door. The door that’s right there. See the door?

Well, okay there was no door but there was an obvious spot to enter the room from. Some dudes chase them but Annie scares them off with this crazy futuristic torch called a flashlight. I’m sure that won’t screw up history at all.

They escape then insert their medal into another slot in the book. Then…Peanuts turns back into Morgan. …Wait, what? They didn’t get all 4 Medals yet, what kind of sense does this make?

Oh, she explains that the full moon turns back to normal for a moment. Whatever. I kind of wish they had them meet near the end of the journey, like in the books but ah well. They figure getting all the medals will turn her back to normal.

They ask Morgan how she knew her names, and she says “I’ve been-” before being turned back into Peanuts. And they wonder where she went. …Are these kids idiots or something? They can’t put 2 and 2 together?

Some more guys catch them and they escape through a secret passage. Then after a close call, it cuts to them back in their home town. We don’t even to see them go back through the tree house. Eh.

Also, where exactly were they? When were they? It mostly seemed to be just some generic knight castle, even though the rest of the series would usually explain where they are.

Anyway, we head back to school again as Jack wonders where the 3rd medal is. It says it’s in the “Boot empire”. Hmmm.

I wonder if there was king named Boots”

If it’s the monkey from Dora, I accept him as my lord and savior.

Jack is approached by this girl he was shown to like earlier. This is another odd difference, as there were no love interest in the book, them being kids, and all. But we’ll see how this goes. The school is putting on Romeo and Juliet, and she is Juliet and wants him to be Romeo.

Oh my. And now for a creepy out of context line:

It’s my first time too”

Jack says yes and he discusses this with Annie later. Dad randomly brings up that Italy is shaped like a boot and they immediately connect with the Boot empire thing. I don’t get the empire part.

This area was part of the Roman Empire”

…Oh.

They go the Tree House and get whisked area to a certain town…called Pompeii. Whoops. They apparently don’t know their history and don’t question this. Even Morgan the Rat is like “NOPE” but they ignore her.

My problem is that while they go there at one point in the books, it was quite a bit later. Their 3rd adventure involved Egypt. Since they’ve been following the order, this detour is odd. Anyway, they arrive.

Jack, I’m getting a bad feeling about this…”

Pfft, it’s nothing.

They walk through the town, learning stuff from the book they have. Guess they haven’t gotten to the whole Volcano section yet. The riddle book says the medal is in a path which water runs. Italy has no shortage of water, even at this point, so that could be a bit hard.

But they are able to find the medal hanging from some statue, so I guess it wasn’t too hard. I think I know what the hard part will be. After like a minute of build up, Jack climbs up and gets it.

But of course, right on cue, the Volcano rains on their parade. With Lava. There was slight up with a mention of small Earthquakes that they brushed off. Huh, I guess all the times in fiction where people brushed off important things, had some truth to it.’

Annie briefly runs off for a reason I forgot, which is dumb even for her. A Volcano is erupting and everyone is running like mad, meaning there’s an easier chance of being trampled on Black Friday!

She does fix that and they run off, and once we again we just cut back to home. That..was even dumber than the last time. Given how epic the situation is, wouldn’t it have been intense to see them try to go off in the tree house while that is going on?

But nope, they leave easily. And wait, this is only Medal 3 of 4, meaning there’s one location left. How the hell isn’t a big ass Volcano our big climax? The only thing that could possible top it is the Titanic, or some war, which I doubt they’d go far in this one.

Back at school, Jack is reading up on this and reads detail on how everyone who stayed in Pomeii died. Perfect Family Entertainment!

The girl from earlier approaches Jack about the play, but he randomly doesn’t wanna do it now, which makes her cry and call him a jerk. Uh, I don’t get it. He doesn’t explain her to why he’s not doing it, and it just ends before they can really explain anything.

It might be connected to the fact that their Pomeii adventure kind of depressed him a bit. I suppose, it’s underplayed so I have to gather this from the small bits we have. It seems like he hates he had to get so up close with a horrific disaster and there was nothing he could do to stop that.

Which is…pretty heavy. It’s a bit of Reality Ensues situation, which never really happened in the books. The gravity of some situations was felt but was also brushed off a bit. So it’s cool to see it address in some way.

This is confirmed in a dream sequence where he sees Annie pretty much burning alive. …Once again, Perfect Family Entertainment!

Jack finds out that Annie went out and he runs off to get her. He finds her in the tree house, as she has figured out the last riddle. Basically she figures their last stop if with Pirates. Okay, this was what the last book in the arc was about, but….isn’t a big step down from Pompeii?

Before Jack can even respond, she whisks them away to Pirate Land. Seriously, she even forgets all about Peanuts!

Jack really isn’t up for more adventures after last time, and Annie states the obvious reason why they should press on.

It was impossible from the start. There’s no way Children like us could help other people….You don’t listen to a word I say. I was against this from the very start…”

Hmm, now this is interesting. For one, it gives us a bit more of an emotional pay off than we would have in the books, which is fine. And the stuff being brought up is interesting to, as Jack finally calls Annie out for dragging him into this without his say.

While some of it is him being a bit dumb (I mean, those people were sadly going to die anyway and it was so long ago), it is understandable enough. I do think he doesn’t realize that they were still able to get 3 out of 4 without too much trouble, which is not something to scoff at.

This upsets Annie so much she cries a lot and runs off. A bit over dramatic, but okay. Naturally, she spot some pirates nearby, singing the obligatory pirate shanty. It’s weird to hear one in Japanese.

As luck would have it, the medal is right in their treasure chest. Now that was fast. I like the introduction to Captain Bones, as he catches one of his goons trying to take his loot. It’s amusing and shows us he means business.

Jack is staying behind and not going after his sister who could likely get in danger because…reasons. Guess he’s too busy moping. Annie stows away and is taken Captain Bones’ ship.

She gets the medal pretty easily, but now the problem, is getting back. She is pretty much caught right away, and the reason she was caught is that she saw they had captured a dolphin and she wanted to save it.

Well, I learned that you shouldn’t save dolphins, or pirates will kill you.

Peanuts run back to Jacke to attempt to inform him of what happened. He eventually gets it and runs after Annie, who is now being forced to walk the plank. Um….they didn’t do that. That’s a dumb mistake to make in an adaptation of an educational series.

Let the pirate style execution begin”

Execution?”

One last time: Perfect family Entertainment!

Jack tries to swim to the boat, which goes as well as you’d expect. But don’t worry, he is saved by the Dolphin! ….Seriously? That was the reason that bit was there, so this can turn into flipper?!

Jack comes in right before Annie can taste the sea.

That be the Dolphin Earlier!”

…Think you missed a word, subtitle people.

I be sendin’ ye to hell this very instant!”

.This is for children ,right?

Thankfully, Jack rescues her but Captain Bones is still around and threatens him.

Prepare to see hell!’

Oh come on, again?! Is this a Japan thing?

What the hell?”

Three times in a row!

Bloody Hell!”

FOUR!

That was uttered because Peanuts one guy, causing him to shoot a barrel full of Gunpowder. We then get an exciting chase, which ends when Captain Bones shoots Annie from a far.

…This is a touch more intense than the books. Thankfully, he only shot where the Medallion was, so she’s okay. A bit odd, but fine.

While the medal was strong enough to not break on impact and let the bullet hit skin, it’s not strong enough to survive as it breaks a bit soon after. Which means they can’t use it to save Morgan. …Whoops.

Just when Bones has the upper hand, his ship blows up from the gunpowder thing earlier, which sends them all flying. Not sure it took so long to fully happen but whatever.

…Then, out of nowhere, the medal magically fixes itself and puts itself in the book, which magically turns Morgan back to normal.

…I’m not sure exactly how that happened, or why this bit is placed in such an odd spot, but as usual I don’t care this late into the film. Also, for someone who was just a Mouse, she jumps back to her normal magic grind pretty quickly.

There’s a way to bring forth a miracle, even without medallions”

What would that be?”

How did you think you were able to complete this mysterious adventure?”

She basically means with teamwork. Cool, but how the the medal fix itself? That doesn’t fit into this ‘they need each other” message.

With that, she brings them home with magic. Then…she thanks them and we cut! Yeah, we get no explanation as what her deal is, why she has that tree house, or anything! Maybe we’ll get an explanation in the remaining minutes, but not in the scene where it makes more sense!

Needless to say, they explain it all in the book, and the kids go on to be big helpers for her. This sort of implies it’s a one off thing and she’ll always remember them. A bit odd. But hey, at least we get to see the play!

That was the most important part, right?

Then, as if to answer me, we cut to Morgan back home. We are not told where home is, but spoilers, it’s Camelot. Then Merlin appears, and Morgan says that if she used magic to help the kids, things would have turned out differently.’

I’m glad you understand’

Wait, you turned her into a Mouse to teach her some weird lesson? That seems a bit strange, cruel and kind of nonsensical when you think about it. Merlin did do it in the books, but they just say he’s a prankster than move on and let him be a good guy later.

I suppose Morgan agrees, so she brings up her spell book and magically brings up the next scene. I shudder as to what she did to Merlin. But first, a minor wrap up with Jack’s little girlfriend.

And then they spot Merlin as a mouse. Hardy har har. With that, they run back to the tree house.

Let’s go! To the world of books!”

The end! Eh, a mostly okay ending in terms of tone, not so much in terms of story, as it’s rushed and leaves us with a few questions. But it’s a sort of nice set up for sequels we’ll never get, in this medium anyway.

Final Thoughts:

As both an adaption and a film on it’s own, this was decent. Not exactly anything special, but enjoyable in it’s right. It has it’s share of problems, though.

The biggest problem comes in the 3rd act, as various elements don’t come together that well. Jack’s whole deal is nice but not exactly resolved beyond a tacked on moral about teamwork or whatever.

And like so many adaptations, they leave important things that answer possible questions. Except here it involves things we kind of need to know. All we know about Morgan is that she is from Camelot most likely and that’s roughly about it.

It’s kind of important to explain why she has a magic tree house in the middle of Pennsylvania.

I can let go of some things, but not really that. Aside from that, the main characters could have been developed a bit better, but they least have personality to speak of. With that said, I could sort of forgive certain flaws.

This is a movie for children, just like the books so some flawed elements can be forgiven a bit. It’s roughly in the spirit of the books in that regard. Speaking of, I think it’s fine as an adaption, It mostly captures the spirit and character, and does a fine job of making a bigger narrative out of the elements they had.

I’m even okay with the love interest, since she isn’t in it too much. Despite some grim elements, and four uses of hell, it mostly sticks to the books in terms of tone.

On it’s own, the story is pretty basic but it works for what it is, and they thrown in some other elements near the end to balance it all out. As I said, the main character writing could have been better, since they are the only one that matter, but they are likable enough.

I think the best element is the animation. While I’m not a big fan of the cutes-y main character design, the rest is really good. Each of the Time Period are portrayed very well and feel real. A lot of it feels big and there’s a real sense of wonder in a lot of scenes.

It certainly helps the 2nd half, where things get more epic than in the books, which mostly works.

Overall, the film is fine. It has some writing problems, and doesn’t explain everything, but is overall a charming enough kids movie with some very solid animation. It’s not amazing, and it could have been better, as it is, it’s fine, as an adaption, and on it’s own.

I do have hopes for the live action one, which I hope actually gets made. Could be fun. That’s all I got for this one.

Grade: B

Next time, we find out who is the crappiest of them all.

See ya.

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