General Review: Rock Dog

Hello, Spongey here.

It’s already time for another general review? Man, time flies. But I’m too excited about getting to this one. We have our 2nd animated film of the year already and it’s a Chinese Co-production being released by Lionsgate, who last year distribute Norm of the North.

And before that, they gave us Alpha and Omega and Happily N’ever After. Yeah, they only distribute movies but still…not a good track record. Honestly, everything about this movies looks insanely meh. Maybe not Norm bad, but still.

However, I’m not one to totally knock something before I see it, so maybe something okay can come out of it. The films comes to us from a bunch of companies, but is mostly animated by Reel FX.

They gave us Free Birds, than Book of Life. Even with only 2 movies, they’re already hit or miss. Hopefully like Free Birds, it’ll be to tide us over until something way better. It’s based on a Chinese Graphic Novel I’ve never heard of, and the director has worked on some real movies, including being a Co-Director on Surf’s Up, the greatest Sony Pictures Animation film to date.

He’s also a writer along with someone who has done nothing. It was actually released in China last year, making this a 2016 movie but it came to the US in 2017 so there. There haven’t been that many reviews yet because it’s that kind of movie, but the ones that exist are pretty eh, as expected.

My expectations aren’t that high, but I always want movies to be good, even if it’s not that likely. But I’ll talk about that more when we get to The Emoji Movie. This film isn’t getting a Canadian release, so Ani-Mat is missing out on it.

But I got it, at that same theater that skipped Arrival and Nine Lives. Why do they stick with the mediocre looking animated films? With all that said, will this movie actually manage to rock out, or will it drop like a rock?

Let’s find out.

This, is Rock Dog

ANIMATION:

I won’t be too hard given the background of the film and honestly, for what it is, the animation is okay. Not bad, not great either. Most of the film looks very generic and plain, especially the characters. The design are nothing special and I swear most have the same face.

Some look better than others, and their movements are pretty competent but nothing too flashy. The locations are also fairly plain. Things are done well enough to be okay but not good enough to be that interesting looking.

However, there is some nice lighting in some scenes. Nothing amazingly flashy but there are attempts to add a bit more of an artistic flourish, like the scene where Bodie listens to the radio. They at least put some level of effort into the animation. It’s mostly no better than an above average looking direct to video film, but I’ve seen far worse. There’s not much else to say.

It’s mostly plain looking and generic but it is completely animated in genera, and some small flourishes make it look…okay. Just…okay.

WRITING:

Bodi a wide-eyed Tibetan Mastiff, is expected to become the next village guard to a group of fun-loving, country-side sheep, but fears he does not have the passion to assume the role from his dad Khampa

Everything changes when a radio literally falls out of the sky and Bodi hears a song by rock legend Angus Scattergood opening his heart to a musical world he must explore. Leaving home to chase his destiny in the big city, Bodi attracts the attention of Khampa’s nemesis Linnux Leader of a hungry wolf pack, Linnux believes that Bodi is his ticket back into the village and closer to delicious sheep. It is up to Bodi to save his family and friends from harm without giving up his newfound dream.

The writing is kind of half and half….and neither half is that good. Half of is just…generic. That’s it’s biggest crime half the time. Right from the first scene, you know exactly what is going to happen. Dad bans music because reasons so he’s pissed when Bodie likes it. Bodie goes out to achieve his dream and meets his idol only to find out he’s a jerk, although he grows to like Bodie overtime.

It hits all the beats you expected and it’s not done any better than in most stories like this. There’s no investment because it’s so very generic. Even the “follow your dreams/” moral is very watered down and not that interesting.

It’s not generic in a horrible way, just in a very meh way. The other half of the writing…is really incompetent. Not to Norm levels, but still weak. There’s a fair amount of things that don’t make sense, and scenes that go nowhere.

There’s the usual problems like weak pacing where it takes too long for things to happen, while also being too rushed to really feel the “character progression” supposedly going on. Then we get some randomly odd stuff.

Like how the villains have been staking out the village, as we clearly see. It’s how they discover Bodie. Yet they never thought of any plan to sneak into the village to see what they are up against. When they find out it’s mostly sheep, they immediately decide to invade. How did they not know this before?

There’s lots of stuff like that, where you are forced to question the logic of a movie called Rock Dog. Other logic problems play a part in the plot so you can’t ignore them. There’s also the pointless scenes, like when Angus is accidentally captured by the villains and they put him back after realized their mistake.

This is never mentioned again. Angus doesn’t tell Bodie that “Hey,i was captured by wolf businessman gangsters, might wanna keep your eye out for then”. Not even when they eventually do capture Bodie. You’ll be asking “what was the point of that “ a lot in this. This script not very well thought out sometimes.

Of course, there;s a very rushed ending and a non-climax. Even the title is a lie, as the Dog never actually rocks out. The guitar is not an electric one and even when he uses it at the end, it’s not that rocking.

And yes, it shades of other movies like anything with the follow your dream moral, and anything with animals. It kinda resembles Kung Fu Panda in places, like with the 2D Animated opening. To be fair, that was the best part of the movie.

So yeah, the writing is not very good. Half the time it’s very generic, but not awfully so and the other half, it’s incompetent with leaps in logic and weak pacing with scenes that go nowhere. I’ve seen way worse but this is still a little pathetic for a movie like this.

Yeah, spoilers, it’s another Direct to Video movie put on the big screen. Not as bad as even The Wild Life, but still not deserving of the big treatment. This about what I expected but I still got a few surprise…in a bad way.

CHARACTERS:

With writing as generic and messy as this, you shouldn’t be too shocked to read that the character are the same. No one is hateable but no one is memorable or developed. Starting with our lead Bodie, voiced by Luke Wislon, he is the typical dreaming who wants to do something most people do want him to do.

That’s it, he’s as boring of a lead as you can get. Even Luke doesn’t sound that invested. In general, the voice acting isn’t bad but it’s clear they weren’t given that much to work with. Even the better ones are just…okay. So yeah, pretty dull lead who isn’t hateable but not interesting enough to root for.

His Dad is not even gonna try to spell his name, voiced by JK Simmons. Yeah, this is full of wasted talent. He’s not only the typical disapproving father…but he’s kind of a jerk. I know that’s the point and he learns his lesson but it’s rushed and he goes too far. The scene that makes him let Bodie head out is rushed, and in one scene he tries to scare his son straight by well, actually scaring him pretending to be a wolf.

He’s no Buck Cluck but he’s still overly jerky sometimes. JK Simmons was frankly used better as a pointless-ish bug. Then we have Angus Scattergood, voiced by Eddie Izzard. He’s the only voice actor who seems to be trying and he has some almost amusing scenes. However, the character is also pretty typical.

He’s not the biggest jerk ever, but him liking Bodie comes out of nowhere and while I sort of like how he has a sort of arc that connects to him bonding with Bodie, he’s still pretty meh. He hardly even helps in the 3rd act too.

Then we have these wolves that serve as the villains, lead by Lewis Black. They are some of the most useless villains. Not only the henchmen the typical dumb minions are do nothing right, but the bad guys aren’t even in most of the movie. Their presence feels pointless, honestly. The wolves are just an excuse for Dad to want Bodie to be a guard, really. Lrewis Black is given surprisingly little to do as well. These guys aren’t horrible, just pointless.

Speaking of pointless, every other character is pointless too. There’s some sort of love interest voiced by Mae Whitman who just appears sometimes to be helpful and even then she again doesn’t do anything to help in the third act.

She has this stoner friend who is kind of amusing, I guess. Sam Elliot appears as Fleetwood Yak (Ugh) who serves as the 4th wall breaking narrator. He’s okay.

As you can tell, this movie is full of characters who aren’t crazy unlikable, but are very generic, boring, and sometimes pointless. You won’t remember anyone from this, just like you won’t remember the film in general.

Meh.

Final Thoughts:

Well, that was boring. Rock Dog does have okay animation and a few laughs, but in general, it’s very generic. The animation is nothing special, the characters are all boring, and the writing switches between generic and incompetent.

But I still can’t really hate it. I can’t say it pissed me off THAT much and I suppose it’s harmless enough. Plus, it seems to have more effort put into it than you know who of the you know where.

http://www.cartoonbrew.com/feature-film/rock-dog-director-ash-brannon-navigate-chinese-funded-production-148989.html This just proves it.

It’s very close to being kind of bad, with all it’s problems, but I just can’t too mad at it. It’s saved by the just boring parts and it’s not exactly harmful. Maybe my standards were skewed by Norm but still, I can;’t call this that bad.

I can however call it very very mediocre. Will it earn a scene by scene review at some point? Eh, maybe. I was torn on leaving the emptiest theater I’ve ever been in (Yeah,i was the only one. Sad). But for now, this review will be it. I know I typically review the worst animated fim o each year, so if this ends up being it, I’ll give it another look near the end of the year.

I hope this stands as the worst, with it being just extremely mediocre. I still have no idea why this didn’t come out in January. Maybe they wanted to start animation for the year on a good note or once, but it’s still odd.

Needless to say, I don’t recommend this. Even kids won’t care too much for it. It’s not even bad enough to be watched out of curio sty. Just wait til you can rent for cheap on iTunes or whatever, it’s not worth seeing it otherwise.

This even bombed in China and given my turnout, I think it’ll bomb pretty hard. Which is too bad, there’s clearly some talent here but the film is just not good. Hopefully their next project will be better.

Animation: B-

Writing: D-

Characters: C

OVERALL: C-

At least it took 3 movies to find a not good 2017 will for me. Next on the animation slate is an odd looking Dreamworks movie, so that should be fun. But I’ll see you next week for another X-Men that isn’t’ an actual X-Men movie which is getting pretty amazing reviews already. Looking forward to it.

Oh, and tomorrow, a scene by scene review of a worse dog movie.

See ya.

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Lab Rats Elite Force-Follow the Leader/The Intruder

Hello, Spongey here.

Time for our first TV Review of 2017! I wanted to do this in January but I got lazy so here it is. Today we’ll be another double feature. Yeah, I’ll try not to do as many of these going forward but in this case I felt I had to given the levels of bad we’re dealing with here.

Both are bad in ways I find to be interesting especially given the show we’re talking about. I already talked about Lab Rats Elite Force back in October in regards to it’s Halloween episode, but I have to go over some of this again because this show is very interesting.

Because when it comes to the scripted Disney Sitcoms, this is their first one seson wonder. Yes, really. Even I Didn’t Do It and Corey in the best anime ever made it to season 2 before getting the axe.

Some of their failed experiments like that prank show and So Random got 1 Season but that’s to be expected given what they were. This was a spin off of 2 pretty big shows and it had only 1 Season.

Hmm, a show combining two hit shows that the Network expected to milk a lot out of but only got 1 season. ….History really does repeat itself. Thankfully this show was a lot better. When you get down to it, it was about as hit or miss as the shows it spun off from.

Lab Rats and Mighty Med could have really some surprisingly good dramatic stuff and went to places I was not expecting for a Disney 😄 show, but they also could have dumb comedy and flanderization could get bad.

I’m very glad Adam wasn’t part of this show, is all I’m saying.

Elite Force was about the same, the good and bad things just stuck out slightly more due to only having one season. Honestly, I think it would have improved had it gone on. Maybe, you never know.

Still, it did stuff to like especially in the more dramatic moments, for the most part. The comedy parts tended to be more hit or miss and that’s where some of the problems came from. But we’ll discuss those as we get into the episodes.

Some of the problems the show had when it comes to comedy and characterization (and even story in one case) are highlighted in these episodes. These are issues these shows have always had but these take these up a bit.

Although even with these episodes, the show was still decent enough to go on longer, especially since it had a cliffhanger ending. Yes, really. It’s part of Disney’s plan to axe most of their shows so no one watches their network anymore.

What, it’s the only other reason so many of their shows are getting the axe? Once Liv and Maddie ends, I’m not sure what the fans are gonna do. But anyway, onto two episodes that give Face Off a run for it’s money….the 2nd one at least.

The first is Bad but not THAT bad and 2nd is very bad. Yeah, this should be fun. Let’s go over the tame one first, which came earlier.

This, is Follow the Leader

Writer: Ken Blankstein

He also wrote the other episode. Ouch.

The episode starts with Chase entering a room…only to find Prinpcial Perry there. Oh boy, we’re off to a good start. I’ve discussed her before way back in the 😄 Sitcoms post and there I had mixed feelings on here as sometimes her being a terrible person was funny and sometimes it wasn’t.

My feelings have not changed since then. Only I think lesser of her because the writers clearly like her waaaay more than I did. Everytime they had a chance to either develop her or ditch her, they kept her on. She was the first to discover their secret, then she went with them to the Bionic Island.

She added so little and was such a nuisance, I kept wondering why they put up with her, especially once the world knew their secret and she no longer had any leverage. I was very glad when she was ditched come Elite Force…but now she’s her for the Spinoff Cameo. At least it’s only a one off..

She’s here for a vacation (no explanation of how the island or school will deal without her, or wherever she works now) and she happens to be from this city, because why not. She plays around with a weapon (to be fair, who kept that lyng around to begin with) and zaps the elevator lift thing, which traps them there.

We haven’t hit the intro yet and Perry has done nothing but make dumb jokes and make things worse. Why is she here, again? She keeps blasting it and I wonder why Chase doesn’t take it away from her, like a logical person would do.

They get a mission alert but of course Chase can’t meet up with them or even contact them. It’s a pretty urgent situation so they have no time to look for him, which is fair enough. After the intro, we cut to later as the Hyper Lift gets fixed.

It conveniently happens just as the others get back from the mission.

What is she doing here? Oh sorry, didn’t mean to say it like that…What is IT doing here?”

Okay, that was funny. But seriously, throw her out. By the way, she has very little bearing on the actual plot besides kickstarting it. Speaking of, the mission went very well. Wish we could have actually seen it.

Skylar took charge and turned out to be a good leader. They do at least explain what she did and it seemed like she came up with a smart plan and was a good Chase replacement. Again, we don’t see it but at least we have more an account of what happened than I expected.

PERRY: Yeah, they really need you.

Thanks for hammering in the obvious. Yeah, it’s that kind of plot which has been known to be done badly. It’s done badly although in different ways than I expected. You’ll see. Later, Oliver and Kaz are playing Jenga (they call it something else, but it’s Jenga) with cups when Bree coms in.

Why. Just…Why”

Why is Bree getting the best lines so far?

Chase comes in and apparently Kaz and Oliver needed help with something which Skylar already took care. Why are the important things she does done off screen? Show, don’t tell! To be fair, Skylar herself is written okay, as she rightfully points out that just helped out when needed and when she’s on screen, she’s written like a normal person and Chase’s reactions seem to be unfounded.

Speaking of him, it’s time to start addressing him. Chase was pretty much the butt monkey on Lab Rats, but sometimes they would balance that out by giving him a bit of an ego so having Adam around sort of put him back to earth. But usually the problem is that it would go too far and he would too much of a butt monkey.

This episodes goes too far in the other direction, by Flanderizing him into a huge asshole. He tells her that he is the mission leader around here and she should back off. They aren’t even attempting to have him be sympathetic so far and just painting as a jerk who thinks she’s replacing him when clearly she is not.

It gets worse as does the other minor issue we’ve seen. Skylar stands her ground which is cool until Perry pops up to remind us that Skylar is awesome.

You know what Perry? You’re the reason this happened, so pack your bags and get out!”

Finally, someone starts making sense!

Okay, I guess I’ll stay with the one friend who will never leave me. Loneliness”

FAKE AUIDNECE: Hahahahha

Not even the fake audience is falling for this. Also, screw you. In the next scene, Skylar is packing her stuff while Perry just watches.

Aren’t you gonna pack your stuff?”

Nope!”

I hate you.

I don’t get why Chase and Bree don’t like you”

.You’re an idiot. And after Perry acknowledges it and is okay with it, we move on. K. They get another mission alert and they must go take care of it. However, Skylar seems to be missing although we know she’s in that area I don’t recall the name of.

They don’t bother checking that area Chase was in when he vanished, although Chase would stop them from looking in it. Oh yeah, we’ve reached the part where the episodes lost me. Skylar tries to leave but the hyper lift is stuck.

And then it turns Chase turned it off, on purpose.

Oops”

Oooooh boy, here we go. As I said, this where they lost me. Chase has deliberately trapped Skylar just so he can be the mission leader. Do I even need to explain why this is bad? Chase can be jerk-ish but this is just going too far.

I mean, just wow. Most takes on this plot will have the problem of the replacement being too glorified and treating him like more of a jerk than he really is. This has the opposite problem of skipping over any sympathetic elements this may have and just making a huge dick who can’t stand anyone being better than him.

Up to this point I could be okay with for the sake of humor but this is just taking a step too far. Even if he will learn this lesson, doing it this way just really loses me. This is indeed the worst part of the episode but there’s other issues left to get to.

They get to the mission site and are not happy about not finding Skylar in time. There’s jokes about them wanting to try again instead of letting Chase lead and now we have another problem. It was a minor one before but it comes into play around here.

Skylar herself is written fine, as with her they adress she just helped when needed, which fits with how Chase is handled. …But everyone else treats her like Jesus for doing a few smart things and then act like dicks to Chase.

At this point, Chase has done anything to deserve it but this issue started earlier and they don’t know what he did. So on one side you rightfully acknowledge Skylar is just doing the right thing….but on the other side she is this amazing person and is way better than Chase.

You can’t have it both ways!

Back with Skylar, she and Perry get out using the underground tunnels. Which is Perry’s idea, making me wonder why they didn’t do that before. The other manages to save everyone and we go back to sucking Skylar’s …dick, so to speak.

Chase is being egoistical in this scene but it doesn’t make this nay less annoying. Skylar and Perry pop up as the tunnels lead to here, because why not. Part of the roof of the place collapses which traps Skylar, Chase and Perry behind some rubble.

We are an Elite Force”

Roll credits! …Sorry, had to do that.

What would Chase or Skylar do?’

Well I know one of them would be beautiful”

Chase does have his fangirls. Also, Oliver, stop, I’ll get to you in the next episode.

Perry point blank tells Skylar Chase locked her in Mission Control on purpose. No idea how she figured that out but okay. Then we almost get to the interesting moment that is the reason this is Not THAT bad but still kind of bad.

Chase admits to it and I’m fully expecting Skylar to just wail on him for the horrible thing he did but spoilers that never happens. At the same time, the others figure out how to get rid of the rubble: Take out a certain one that will get them to the other side without toppling the whole pile.

Yes, just like that game from earlier. Proper foreshadowing? Whoa, maybe the writer knows how to craft a story after all! It was a tad predictable but it;s something.

Except when we play, almost no one dies”

And a funny line comes with it!

That’s genius, Bree”

I told you to move a rock, Settle down”

It’s too late to get good! Then we have that moment I disccused.

I’m sorry. I was afraid you were gonna take my job…When I saw how the team responded to you, I just panicked”

It’s just a title chase”

Not to me. Without that title, I don’t know who I am”

Normally I’d get mad right away due to the cheap attempt at sympathy but I almost want to respect it. It feels close to genuine and it sort of makes sense on some level. It’s an attempt to write a real story, which puts this above some of the episodes I’ve reviewed.

But it still fails for a pretty simple reason. What he did was waaay too bad to match up with this. Every moment with him showed him as a jerk, and there’s hidden depths and there’s just grabbing stuff out of your ass.

This is the latter. It doesn’t hit at all because it doesn’t match with what we’ve seen, and it’s way too little to late. This moment is all of what you get, as they are rescued right after. I’ll say more in a sec though.

Skylar decides not to tell them what Chase did and hardly even reacts to Chase’s little speech and doesn’t get too mad at him.

I get it. Because once I almost lost my identity and I wouldn’t wish that feeling on anyone.”

Yeah…no. If you’re identity is tied to a title, that’s not a good thing. Skylar’s identity was tied to her powers and her problem was much bigger in that regard. Chase’s is tied to his title according to him and someone taking charge is no big deal.

And did I mention how he’s waaay too much of a jerk for this to work? It’s far from the worst attempt at sympathy but it falls so flat because it just doesn’t match up with what we’ve seen so far.

Also, while the rest avoided making Skylar herself “too’ good, this just makes he forgive Chase for being an asshole for no reason because she’s perfect and amazing. That’s the moral, Skylar is amazing and Chase is the worst. Even their attempts at making him sympathetic fail!

Oh and rushed climax was rushed. But we’re not done. Chase announces that there will be no more team leaders, and everyone will be equals so anyone can step up when needed. Huh, not a bad conclusion to be honest.

See, this is why this one’s not THAT bad. There’s at least an attempt to tell a good story, and some parts do work. You failed, but you at least tried….Then Chase says he’s letting Perry stay because we can’t end on a good note.

She helps once and suddenly you forget that she’s kind of awful? Then again, awful acts seem to be no big deal in this episode. We’re done here. This gets a C+. They tried but it didn’t work and I’ll say more in the big wrap up.

We get the tame bad one out of the way so onto the very bad one, where only a couple minor prevent it from being Bottom 5 Materiel. Oh yeah.

This is The Intruder.

The episode starts with the teens hanging around, with Oliver and Kaz making hot dogs on a rake. Already I get to touch on a bit of the Flanderization going on. In Mighty Med, Kaz was the dumb one with Oliver being the smarter but awkward one. Typical dynamic but it was there.

While that does show up here, they sometimes act like the exact same character. I honestly could not tell the difference between them in the previous episode or this one. Oliver is not smart at all in these episodes and his only one unique trait…and oh boy, we’ll get to it.

Wow, you actually made random tubes of animal parts even more disgusting”

I think Bree may have been the best character on this show. Oh, and someone just used the rake to clean the guitars. Grade A humor. Skylar calls them out for using their powers on such dumb things but she makes the mistake of saying “you boys” in her sentence, which makes them point out that the girls do this too. They don’t target specific people or even this act, but the boys and girls.

You know where they’re going with this and it ain’t pretty.

I propose a challenge. Guys Vs Girls to see who can go the longest without using bionic abilities or super powers. Last man or woman standing wins”

You’re on”

And there we go. This kind of plot tends to be rather mixed, both the Boys vs Girls and “who can go longest without doing a thing” plot. This does both and gets them both wrong. Why did this even need to be about gender?

This could been about the individuals and how they deal with not using their powers for dumb things. Instead, they focus more on the other aspect. But hey, this can work too if handled well enough.

Spoilers, they do not. At all.

Chase calculates the odds of the girls winning.

How exactly did you calculate those odds?”

…I’m out”

Okay, that was funny with how they got Chase out of the plot so early. But it is slightly forced given so he can do a subplot which starts after the intro. We’ll be skipping over it but I would to talk about it.

This kid keeps getting into mission control because he’s pretty smart and they try to keep him out but long story short, problems arise and he proves his worth enough to be invited to visit anytime.

While this plot is nothing special, it’s….fine. The only two problems are when it interacts with the main plot although that is that plot’s problem more than anything. And….well,…i don’t like to poke fun at the acting for kids, especially on these shows…but the kid can’t act.

Okay, maybe it’s more his voice/speech than the acting which I know he can’t help. But he’s supposed to be his smart kid who acts like he’s better than everyone, because he kind of is given his smarts.

And his acting does not sell that for even a second. It’s so phony,yet we’re supposed to think he’s this smart guy. It’s not great but more tolerable than the main story. He appears in the next episode….than vanishes never to be seen again even though they treated him like a big deal.

Maybe he was supposed to be in the next season but maybe you could have fit him in the finale if he’s important at all. Told you these can show problems with the show’s plot sometimes. Anyway, we’ll touch on this plot when it touches the other story. And yes, the episode is named after the subplot…sort of.

The Boys Vs Girls story has more character and more to it but the other is technically more important to the show and gets the title. Yet each take turns being more important rather than it being equal, or obviously in favor of one.

When I can’t tell what the main plot is, that’s a problem.

Anyway, Bree is out right away as she runs fast when told that Harry Styles is outside. Is 1D is even relevant enough anymore for that joke? Also, way to kick out the best character right away.

That was low”

I agree but still better than most of what we get from them in this episode. Yeah, it’s like Cofee Talk where no one seems to like each other anymore. Not quite as bad but still. Thankfully, Bree sticks around to help Skylar because even the writers know she’s the only person giving us funny lines in this.

After more subplot, Bree uses her invisibility (because sometimes they get new powers cuz why not) to take Kaz’s toast. ….This isn’t even part of the competition, and he hasn’t done anything in this scene. You’re just being a bitch.

Well, great now Skylar has to be the best character in the main plot .Oliver is watching a video he made of…Skylar gargling mouthwash.

I’m a weird dude, we’ve been over this/”

Ugh, we gotta go over this now. This is his only unique trait in this episode, being incredibly creepy towards Skylar. He’s always had a crush on her and since she is more aware in this show, the writers had him be more overt about it.

And oh god, is his Flanderization at his worst in this one. It’s not even that big a part of the plot, it’s for a lot of very not funny jokes. He acts like Oliver and more…well his character from ANT FARM, just a tad less dumb.

Oh,and he gets with her in spite of this a couple episodes later. Didn’t I just get off this shit in Not Cool?

They do a few quick things to try to get the others to cave, and Oliver gets out when Bree tosses his phone off the balcony and he flies to get it. Don’t have anything to say to that except the girls are being way more underhanded so far. Yeah, as I said, no one is likable here which can work in this plot if it’s funny but it’s not.

After another creepy joke, Skylar smashes his phone. Funny reaction but at this point he deserves much worse than that. See, there she had a better reason at least.

I find you creepy, we’ve been over this”

Ugh.

After ore subplot, Bree tosses some of Kaz’s stuff off the roof. I just noticed that the boys have done one thing against them so far. This is a very equal challenge so far. Seriously, this plot works best when either the escalation is faster and funnier or they both get equal blows in. One side is winning or given too many chances, too quickly.

The boys figure that they need to get Skylar out pretty soon. Oliver plans to freeze her thus forcing her to break herself out. Okay, that’s not even fair, that would be for a good reason, not something stupid.

Then Kaz he can’t bring himself to do because…Skylar walks in and he likes her. Ugh. Now it’s time for the plots to collide. For reasons not worth getting into, Chase becomes magnetic in a room made out reinforced steel. You can imagine what happens next.

Douglas (Yeah, Donald is out for most of the show because reasons and Douglas is typically in his place. No idea where he went in the previous ep though) and AJ, the kid create a human shield around him and go upstairs where there is less metal.

They explain what happened and mention that they must keep up the sheil to preveent everything in the room from hitting Chase.

I’m not hearing a problem”

NORTY: Does anyone like each other anymore?!

I’m going to use that “Clip” a lot in the future, I bet.

Douglas has to fix the problem but he must break the shield, so the others must use their powers to stop the metal objects. Given their little contest, that’s not gonna happen….but they put it on hold to help Chase.

Yep, the main plot is dropped, including the point of it, to help the subplot. They aren’t naturally colliding, one is pretty much stopped for the moment. That is not good writing. Oh, and I like how the AJ plot now has way more danger. Why isn’t it the main plot, again?

They help him and the contest is back on. Even when they met, it’s so short it may as well not even have happened. The subplot wraps up after this and we have only 1:31 left in the episode. Really.

How can you screw up the balance of two plots so badly?

Oliver meets with Kaz and wants to smoke some weenies (that sounds wrong) but they sort of have that thing going on. But Oliver assures Kaz the girls are gone doing …a thing. Yeah, after Kaz does a thing, it turns out to be Bree using that face mask from Face Off.

Because referencing other bad episodes is a great idea.

The real Oliver is curled under the sink waiting for me to brush my teeth”

Bree then tosses the rake off the roof. Because she’s just a bitch with no motivation now. Kaz flies after the rake and the episode ends. And so one side wins despite both being equally bad, and in some ways that side has been way worse.

The boys got one whole blow in and the girls did dirty things that had nothing to do with the competition. They also acted way more smug about the whole thing. Who the hell was I supposed to be rooting for?

If someone is going to win in this kind of plot, we must know how to root for in the context of the story. So I can at least get madder at the winner or even see irony in the worst person wining or some crap.

Whatever, let’s wrap this up.

Final Thoughts:

Follow the Leader tries in some places, but just falls flat. The whole ends up being a circle jerk for Skylar, which makes me think Oliver wrote it. They try to make Chase sympathetic but it fails because there was no hint of it before and he was way too much of a smug jerk.

In some bits that can work but they try wildly different tactics when doing this kind of this. It also had a bad case of show don’t tell. We hardly see Skylar do anything that impressive, and hell, we never see how Chase is as a leader in this episode.

Here’s how I would write it: Open on a mission where everyone is present and maybe Chase starts being a tad too bossy and Skylar is being a bit more constructive and overall seems like a better leader to them, thus leading to her taking charge more and everyone likes her more.

The rest needs work, but that’s a much better start that gives us a better taste of why they like her more and such. Instead, the story comes across as messy, even though it at least is an attempt at a story.

Also, Perry is mostly useless and not funny..

The Intruder is a flat out mess. The only reason I don’t hate it more is that the actions aren’t as bad as in say Coffee Talk and there are some funny lines, although usually from the acting more than the writing.

Everything else fails. Even the subplot, while fine, has problems, is nothing special, and adds to the overall problem. I think it was supposed to be the main plot, but the subplot just got too much. It’s like the other characters should have been involved!

It’s a competition plot where we don’t know who to root for, yet it has a winner who acts way wore. Sure, Oliver is creepy but in terms of the competition itself, they only get one blow in, and the girls sometimes get almost too unfair.

And yes, the female side being treated as better and winning does have plenty of bad implications. And I tend to like the female characters more on this show!

I could forgive certain small things in a competition plot but this gets nothing right. You need to set up who is supposed to be the one we root for, but even with the girls’ acting worse, no one is truly “Good” yet someone wins!

It’s the Dan Schneider school of writing where you take a plot and then take out any substance it could have had, then make it as messy as you possibly can make it. Actually, he himself has done this plot better in Drake and Josh.

The very very very ending joke was dumb but in that episode, they felt like they were on more equal footing and they both rightfully lost in an amusing way. There’s likely a better example but that shows how this plot can work a lot better.

Instead, they did it in one of the worst ways you could do. Even if you don’t quite care who wins, you should write it a lot better. And while the comedy has it’s moments, Oliver’s crap kills it. What the hell did they do to him?!

Follow the Leader is mediocre with messy writing but it tries and bless them, they tried. But with this, my god did they not care. I don’t want a super tight story, but something better than this would be nice.

If it were not for the actions not being the worst and some amusing moments, this would be a few notches higher on my Shit-o-meter. As it is, it’s still pretty bad. 2016 was full of surprises, wasn’t it?

Intruder Grade: D

Well, that was fun. Not sure when the next TV Review will be or what. I have ideas, but we’ll see what happens. Thankfully, LBEF did improve after these duds. Too bad it had to get the axe.

See ya.

Posted in Disney Channel Crap, TV Reviews, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Not Cool

not-cool-film-poster

It’s also Not Funny, not Entertaining and Not Tolerable.

(Even on the Poster Joel is creepy as all hell!)

Not Cool is owned by The Chair and like 50 other companies.

Hello, Spongey here.

In 2012, I reviewed Fred The Movie, a terrible movie based on a YouTuber. In 2016, I reviewed Smosh the Movie, a bad movie based on a YouTuber. And now I must complete the crappy YouTuber movie trilogy.

Well, okay there may be more but those are the most well known ones. Maybe if more exist/come out I”ll take a crack but we’ll see. This came as a request from___ who previously asked for Smosh.

He even said he wanted me to complete the trilogy. Yes, requests can still happen, I I just need to watch the film to see if it gives me enough to work with. If not, I’ll still gives my quick thoughts on DA. So keep that in mind.

Thankfully, this gives me a lot to talk about, far more than I thought. But oddly enough, I don’t have much to say about the YouTuber in question, Shane Dawson. Because I haven’t seen any of his work or know anything about it.

From what I can gather, he’s of the same breed as Smosh. So kind of annoying but mostly harmless and has it’s moments. Perfect choice for a movie, right? This one is very different though.

For one, Shane actually directed and edited it. Meaning the blame goes more on the YouTuber this time. Especially when I reveal the next big fact. This film was made for a Starz Reality Tv Show called The Chair where Shane and some other person were given the same shooting script to make their own film.

The other was Holidaysburg. The interesting thing is that while this one, the other was by far the better received film. Even most of the crew of that show liked it better, including Zachary Quinto (Yes, the one you’re thinking of) who called this one “ultimately a vapid waste of time,”.

Yeah. Starz didn’t reveal the actual vote count, by the way. Shane naturally response well to the reactions:

“… People are out of touch with what teenagers are interested in. I wasn’t making a movie for middle-aged people writing about TV.”

…He’s not wrong, Teens are more interested in shit like this rather than real movies, however he basically insulted real movies so there you go. I can’t hate him on too much given hey, most YouTubers like him don’t get to call the shots.

After watching this, I watched Holidaysburg because I was really curious to see if that one was better, given it had the same shooting script. And in the review, I will compare the two as their approaches are…rather different, to say the least.

I’ll give my thoughts on that one on it’s own at the end, and I will make the comparisons a tad spare and only do when I need to say, as there’s plenty to say about the film on it’s own. Although honestly, the backstory behind the movie and how it compares to the other one, is far more interesting than the film itself.

It shows how important a director’s stamp is. I mean, all you need to do is look at the posters to know how different they are. This looks like the crappy comedy it is, and Holidaysburg looks like an arthouse film.

But enough screwing around. We need to dive in and see why once again, YouTubers getting their own movies isn’t always the best idea and along the way we’ll see what a real movie is like vs an atrocity. Should be fun!

Also, the writer of that script has done nothing of note, so we can jump in. How will it compare to the other YouTube movies? :Let’s find out.

This, is Not Cool

It doesn’t take long to figure out what kind of movie this is, as it opens at a party with a close up of a female’s butt being the first shot. Yep. And people are texting with us seeing the texts in little bubbles. To be fair, Holidaysburg did that too but to a less annoying degree.

We meet our main character here…Tori. Oh, you thought it would be Shane Dawson starring in then Shane Dawson movie? Well, okay both films have her as the lead so I assume the script had it that way so I guess having him be the other main guy was better than putting him in a wig. Not that why are above that but we’ll get there.

High School fucking sucked”

Tori is a bit of an outcast, having been nicknamed Tori the Whori even though she says that name was meant to be ironic. She’s our snarky lead who gives us snarky narration here. I will say she is easily the best part of the movie with her quips but her shtick gets old very quickly.

But her actress is the most competent one in here. She’s actually the 2nd most well known person, having a fair amount of credits…mostly in Anime, oddly enough.

Then someone throws up in her which summons the title. That make sense, throw up does make me think of this movie.

Tori is home for Thanksgiving break (now I’m pining for time traveling turkeys) and we flash back to her meeting up with her parents, which she is not happy with.

Want to trade lives?”

I’d rather eat my own shit”

That’s kind of funny….then they ruin by revealing he indeed eats his own shit. Lovely. It’s here where we meet Shane Dawson as Scott, as he meets with his incredibly obnoxious girlfriend. Seriously, she screams every damn line and it’s not pleasant to the ears.

Then again, almost every actor in this is trying to be as annoying as possible. Then they start doing it in a public bathroom which yes, the girlfriend wanted.

not cool.png

.We’re not even 5 minutes in.

She starts…blowing but in the middle of it, she breaks down crying. No, she didn’t realize what movie she is in. She’s breaking up with him. …Those are some mixed signals if I’ve ever seen one. She went from GIMME YOUR DICK to FUCK OFF in like a second.

Oddly enough, Holidaysburg opens with a version of a scene. Except there, the sex is attempted at home and the girl is actually normal and seems very unenthusiastic which means it’s not too shocking when she breaks it off. It’s the same idea, just in a subdued way that makes more sense.

Yes, how they handle this scenes up both movies pretty well.

We move to the high school to meet our next character, this geeky dude named Joel who you will hate pretty quickly He’s visiting his old stomping grounds and not much happens in this scene except that he mentions having a Tumblr about his adventures or as he calls them….#Assventures.

Dot dot dot.

Back with Scott, we find out his Dad is closing his store but that plot lines goes nowhere so we’ll skip it. I will point a part where he says he meet a girl named Anastasia.

With a name like that, she’s either a Disney Princess or a total slut”

I think you mean Don Bluth Princess.

Tori is talking to her gay best friend, because this is the kind of movie that hates everyone. He suggests doing a thing and she says it would be like taking a shit and shoving ti back up your butt. Which is kind of like how I decided to review this in detail after watching it once.

Then someone has what Netflix calls a loud wet fart. Sorry, but nothing can beat LOUD DEFECATION. Oh, and they linger on the aftermath because life is unfair.

She goes to a party which brings us back to the start. In Media Res is kind of pointless when we get back to it this quickly. Joel is his main friend and I have no idea. They have nothing in common, and he’s a creeper. Seriously, he’s obsessed with this one girl and oh boy, we’ll have fun getting into that as we go.

I mean, she doesn’t seem to know him amazingly well, yet he can say facts about her on the fly.

When is her birthday?”

January 16th, 1996”

…Shit, I’m older than her?

He doesn’t know Tori’s birthday.

I fucking hate you”

Why are they friends? And yes, everything he does in regards to Janie (who is Scott’s sister which has no bearing on anything) is very creepy and sometimes stalker-ish. Which means they will end up together….sort of, we’ll get to that.

Then he pretends to…eat out a pussy in a gag that goes for like half a minute. We’re only 13 minutes in and I’ve already run of ways to react to this movies humor.

At this party, we see a minor character who is clearly a man in a dress and said character is used for more shitty sex jokes, but he is treated as if he is an actual woman. It’s not funny in the slightest and “she’ has no bearing on anything. At all.

It’s just another example of the incredibly mature humor this thing has.

Holy Zachary Quinto’s Eyebrows”

Har har, he’s a producer on The Chair. Although oddly he’s one on Holidaysburg but not this. Hmmm…

Janie spills something on her and in trying to help her clean it, he clearly attempts to cop a feel. He’s not quite our main hero but still, a hero ladies and gentlemen! He then watches her as she cleans herself up.

Not creepy at all”

See this is when you tell him to fuck off but of course no one does the logical thing. He hear she isn’t going to well in school and offers to help her. Yes, he is clearly doing this to get with her like the scamp is.

At this point, you may be wondering why this guy has had more screentime than Shane Dawson so far. Well, Scott does start getting more focus soon at least, but Joel gets this big subplot to himself which has very little to connection to everything else

Holidaysburg also has a pointless subplot with a character, In it’s case being that girlfriend who dumped Scott, who is shown as more sympathetic. But her plot goes nowhere, while this at least gets a kind of closure.

So there, this movie gets one point. ONE.

You will not regret this”

If doesn’t regret it already…

Then Tori is thrown up on which we needed to see twice. But when it happened before she was just standing by herself, but when it happens she’s holding a phone and taking a picture.

I am really bitching about bad continuity in the Shane Dawson movie? Yes. Yes I am. After that, we finally meet up with Scott as Tori bumps into him…quite literately, which her truck. K.

Do I know you?”

We went to high school together”

Of course this had forced exposition, why wouldn’t it?

His memory is jogged quickly and she gives him a ride, which even she says might be a bad idea. He’s going to the party to find Heather, the girlfriend in a way even Tori calls stalking. This movie is kind of creepy.

Oh my god, it’s 2014”

Thanks for reminding us what year this came out so this movie can be more dated than it already is. By the way, this is indeed the worst film of 2014. Sorry Legend of Hercules.

Instead of letting us find this out from context, Tori flat out tells us that Scott was the high school big shot who doesn’t realize that it’s all over. Yeah, this movie very often explains stuff they didn’t need to.

We’re only 20 minutes in and I’ve written more than usual, about as much as in Fantastic 4orce. This is gonna be a fun review. In the middle of her ranting, Scott kisses her and they they fucked.

It’s just as sudden as I made it sound. Something like does happen in Holidaysburg but it’s a bit later and makes way more sense in that context. Oh, and in the middle of it we find Scott came up with that Tori the Whorie Nickname. Wow.

It was a mistake”

You’re damn right. Then they move on like nothing happened and now it’s Thanksgiving with jokes about how Scott’s aunt is crazy or something.

You know mental illness runs in our family, right?”

As long as baldness doesn’t, then I’m fine”

I hate you.

Scott ends up running over to Tori’s place.

When we had sex last night, did you feel something?”

It took me a minute, but yeah”

Okay, that was kinda funny. But yeah, Scott has become of those guys very quickly. It’s kind of sad but whatever. Tori’s Mom invites him in and then the family partakes in a giant commercial for Dance Central.

Seriously, that’s what this part feels like. I feel they blew their budget on the rights to do this and I guess they had to get their money’s worth.

I hate everything and everyone”

Does that mean you hate Mars Bars?

Scott and Tori end up playing it together.

Maybe you’ll find that having a partner to keep you on beat is a good thing”

God, he’s turned desperate so quickly it’s almost like the pacing in this thing sucks or something. She beats him than he leaves. Well, that was a scene.

It’s been a bit since Joel annoyed us so we cut to him facebook stalking his girl. No seriously, he uses her info to find out her favorite stuff so he can use later, which he does. Then he…finds a picture of her and…pretends like she is blowing him.

…I…j….i got nothing.

He and Tori go shopping on Black Friday (giving my hope that at least one will be injuried) and Joel tries on dresses he wants to get Janie. Yes, he tries them on.

I just want you to realize how fucked up this is”

Good, I don’t have to react, you did it for me.

Scott shows up and says he was taking pictures in the mall and saw her through the window.

Cuz that doesn’t sound creepy”

Oh god, this is a “pointing out your problems doesn’t’ make them go away” situation. He goes on pretentiously about this one picture he took which to be fair manages to give one one more personality trait besides “thinking he’s cool and also a bit creepy”. Too bad they have to overexplain it like they always do.

And this one example of him being okay makes Tori want to hang out with him, because why not. So why we get a montage of them doing stuff, in the first they almost at least attempt to have chemistry. I could almost see this working but the problems beforehand ruin it.

Plus, some of these things involve crappy and crass jokes. Like in this store bit where Tori pretends to be pregnant than pretends to have been raped by him. I could tolerate the shit bit before this one but…just ugh.

Also, the piece of music the store plays here might sound familiar, because it’s the one IHE uses for his intro. ….That weirdly matches up with my joke from earlier. Also, this means he has to review this now.

Later, Joel meets up with Janie under the guide of helping her study when really he just wants to bang her. But also he’s willingly to actually help to an extent so…that’s one point in his favor, he can help. Too bad all the other bad shit outweighs that one okay thing. And by help I mean faked into her teacher’s files to get the answers. She’s too smart to cheat but if she was smart, she would have kicked him in the nuts like half an hour ago.

They end up in front of a restaurant.

I’ve always wanted to eat here”

What a lucky guess”

.Okay, seriously, how is she falling for him in any way at all. And then he gives her a dress he got her, which happens to be one she’s wanted for so long. Okay, she doesn’t find this creepy or suspicious in the slightest?!

That scene thankfully ends and we’re back with the only slightly more tolerable couple. In their previous scene Tori gave Scott a pot brownie but it turns out it was just a normal brownie and he is not high. I…really don’t care.

It’s fucked up”

Oh, you’re one to talk. If she pretended to give you a normal brownie that turned out to be a pot one, that would be bad. You actually thought it was a pot one, you intentionally had one that just happened to not bad one. That’s not even close to the worst act in this film.

Tori says it is some kind of payback as….well Tori was dumped at Prom by the jerk who helped her lost her virginity and Scott took a picture of her shame or something that lead to her Whori nickname.

Okay, see THAT is fucked up. Now I can say this: Our hero, Ladies and Gentlemen! If he did THAT, than he is not worth tolerating. How was that in any way fitting payback too. If you did the opposite like I suggested maybe that would work better.

Instead of defending himself, or feeling any bit of regret, he jumps into this sob story about how usually does nothing on Friday nights or some such bullshit. Are you really trying to make us feel sorry for him after THAT reveal?

It’s also too late to be trying any kind of moment with how crass this thing has been.

And we will cue the CW Soundtrack

Pointing out that this is cheesy does not make this less cheesy. But I’ll take this over that Joel crap-and we’re back to it.

Joel uses the information he got out of FaceBook stalking to her which she eventually catches onto, it just takes what feels like a year. She finally realizes he’s kind of a creep. Good, so she’ll tell him to fuck off and we’ll be done here.

I think it’s really sweet that you tried to impress me”

…….I got nothing. For real this time, I have no way to react to that. She actually has no realistic reaction to this and just sort of appreciates what he tried to do in some way, showing how much of a fucking brain dead idiot everyone in this thing is.

Scott and Tori are still hanging out, as if they just forgot that shitty thing Scott did. I mean, at least they discussed what Joel did in that previous scene and didnt’ just 100 percent drop it! Anyway, Scott mentions his Mom.

It was Cancer, right?’

Oh of course he has a Dead mom we’ve never heard of until now we can get cheap sympathy. Then they drop it and Scott asks about how meaningful their sex was.

From the Dead mom, to sex”

Okay, pointing out your problems not only does not make them go away, it makes them clearer and much much worse! Although some of the bits with them would have worked if you know…..everything else wasn’t shit.

Joel brings Janie to a music store where he somehow got the Degrassi theme music people or something to show up. It’s never explained, just roll with it, it’s something else he knew due to staking.

She somehow is still fine with him and they attempt to dance. Back with Scott, he and Tori do it again just without it being as abrupt and dumb. During a conversation the next morning, he pisses her off for reasons I don’t care about it but it shows how strong this couple if they can break up so easily.

Speaking of which, Janie walked out in the middle of that dance and shockingly, Joel doesn’t go after he like the stalker he is. Instead we have to wait until now to explore that. She shows up and says she’s sorry she only likes him as a friend.

Her reasoning (besides the obvious that I’ve stated) is that she’s attracted to more conveniently attractive men and that they aren’t that much alike.

I feel comfortable around you Joel”

Why.

I didn’t want to throw that all away by having meaningless sex. Am I making sense”

(Joel nods)

No. No you’re not. Okay, let’s unpack as, as they agree to stay friends and Janie agrees to help Joel get laid with some over girls who she says are overly promiscuous and easily impressionable.

I get what they are going for to an extent. She likes as a friend for reasons and wants to stick to that without the pressures of a more serious relationship .That’s all find and good and normally I’d be happy….but this fails so hard.

For one, Joel has never been a good human being, let alone a friend. That dance bit is the cloests to a passable moment with him. He’s been a creepy, fucked up stalker the whole thing and she never really did friend stuff with him, like at all.

To do this kind of plot, you need them to actually be…you know, good friends before he gets Friend-zoned. So that aspect is admirable but fails hard. The last part bothers me even more. So according to this movie, having your first time but with some random women is better than someone special that you know.

What. They do know sex isn’t automatically meaningless, right? Hell, in the main plot of THIS VERY MOVIE, their sex means something, to an extent. I get they are trying to contrast the main story with this, but this message contradicts the story.

According to Janie’s own words, she feels a bit more of a connection to Joel than most and feels comfortable than with him. The sex would not be meaningless in this case. Man, I can go on forever on this makes no sense at all, not even in the context of the story they set up!

 

I only have two more things to say. Joel still ended up being friends with someone he creepily stalked. And I must bring up that scene where he pretended to get a blowjob from her. He ends up getting with her, even if it’s only a friendship. What the fuck.

And 2nd, look at 40 Year Old Virgin for the correct version of this which has an actually good moral which says meaningless sex is bad when it’s actually meaningless. Hell, even MISS MARCH did this better as at least Tucker said he learned the main less which is a good one, while Joel never learns that stalking is bad, and instead learns a bad lesson.

You read that correctly, on a pure objective level, Joel is now worse than Tucker. I personally hate Tucker more because he did more damage and was more annoying but he was still sliightly better in some ways.

I hope you’re fucking happy, Not Cool.

ANYWAY, Scott goes to some party where Heather pops up. She then screams ‘What the fuck” in a frequency only a dog could hear. Ouch. Her character is now pretty much totally different and is just the screechy bitch in heat who wants Scott back. He walks away and…end scene. Okay.

Tori’s…Sister…Aunt…person, is having her engagement party and she’s blind because we haven’t made fun of them yet I suppose. She and Tori that talk which will convince to find Scott and yada yada.

He’s simple, far too simple”

Agreed, but everyone in this movie is overly simple, so how is this new?

You just have to accept him for who he is”

Even if who he is sucks! Okay, let’s just move on to Heather persuing him even though she just kind of stood there at the end of the previous scene. And yes, that means she is pretty much attempting to rape him. That’s….hilarious, right?

But I’m just distracted by this actress is directed to scream every FUCKING line especially when she says FUCK every 5 FUCKING seconds. FUCK!

In the middle of this, Tori goes to the party to find Scott. Yes, what you think is going to happen does happen. I guessed it minutes before it happened, it’s that predictable. And cliché, but I expected that at this point.

Tori walks in Heather trying to do him and oh you know the rest. Scott doesn’t try to get away, if you’re wondering. He isn’t even seen trying only for Heather to overpower him, which would at least make sense. But yes, Tori storms off.

RICHARD: “It’s a tragic misunderstanding that could have been easily avoided if he just finished his sentence in time!”

There, I finally used it. Now I feel dirty for dragging something good into this. Holidaysburg had the misunderstanding crap too and sadly it failed there too. Tori leaves and we get one last bit with Joel getting laid, because I needed to see this. Oh, and one of the girls is mentally disabled.

Sometimes I drink bleach”

Bah. Thankfully Scott’s plot interrupts this as he goes to Janie for advice and during that she says this:

This is way too Disney Channel”

It’s funny because being too Disney Channel would be a huge improvement. Scott than shows up at Tori’s place and shaves his head to show he’s changed and yada yada. It’s another case of them saying more about his supposed depth than actually showing us, but at least he’s doing something this time.

He explains what happened, says sorry and everything is all sad and yada yada, I really don’t give even a fraction of a shit. Stuff like this would work if…you know, the rest didn’t suck so hard. Plus, one action shouldn’t make her forgive him so easily, but we’re almost done.

They go to a different party because that previous one got interrupted. Janie set up mostly to get Joel laid. Yay. He’s even getting some right and one of the girls is that guy in drag, and he’s the one he mostly screws. Woo hoo.

Don’t worry, that’s the end of Joel, as we only have a few minutes left. Even if they cocktease us by fading to black than fading back. It’s only to end on a bland pop song and pretentious narration.

Then it finally (abruptly) ends after that. Thank the lord. No, fuck you’re bloopers, we’re done….But first…

Thoughts on Holdaysburg:

To be honest, while this movie better than Not Cool…it’s not better by a ton. It’s mostly meh. It’s main problem is being too boring and meandering a lot. The story and charecters aren’t that interesting,and it feels like a 90’s movie that ended up in 2014.

I feel like it’s trying too hard and is slightly sloppy. However, it’s got charming moments, a certain Indie sweet-ness and a good ending. Overall, it’s very middle of the road. Respectable, but forgettable.

It blends in more than Not Cool but I can’t get mad at something I was never going to watch to begin with. I watched Not Cool for Shane Dawson and didn’t know about The Chair until later. Holidaysburg is just doing it’s own thing and I can deal with that way more than Not Cool.

Holidaysburg Grade: C+

Final Thoughts (Not Cool):

Yeah, this one was a hard sit. Now to be fair, some moments from the shooting script almost come through and would have worked in a better film. I can see where they are going with it in in some parts….but this mostly sucks, so hard.

And with the info I have, I know I sadly must blame Shane. Everything is directed and edited to be as annoying as possible. It’s like a bad YouTube video, which makes sense. He clearly put in a lot of the offensive humor and almost everything I bitched about, given only minor issues also exist in Holidaysburg.

But let’s drop that and pretend it doesn’t exist, as there’s plenty wrong on it’s own. Honestly, I’m so spent from ranting that I’m not sure what else to say. This thing is a mess with humor that is way too crass and offensive, while not having any charm.

The acting is mostly annoying, and the characters are one dimensional and in some cases unlikable, especially Joel who is now on my list, right next to Tucker. The pacing is garbage, and the dialogue explains tons of things instead of being even the least bit subtle.

And of course, there’s the moral aspect. Someone befriends a girl he stalked and sex with random people is better than someone who means something to you. Yeah, I bet the people who made this are infact fine people….but my god, this is still some rancid shit.

This movie fails every level. The humor, pacing, and editing are too frantic and annoying to let the serious moments just happen, and the the writing messes up too much to let any good through. The morals are messed up, no one is likable, and the humor is just dire all the way through.

How does it compare to the other YouTuber movies? Well, Fred is the worst, no questions so let’s compare it to Smosh. Well, that feels less like it’s “Source Materiel” than say Fred, but Not cool is just trying to be a movie which happens to be made like a YT vid so that comparison is pointless.

But in general….this is worse. Smosh is bad but it mostly bored and me and only rarely pissed me off. This pissed me off often with it’s terrible humor, bad pacing and very bad writing. In hindsight, Smosh is pretty bad but not horrible bad.

This comes closer to that. Not saying it fully is, but it’s close. This was just dire. By the way, all 3 of these have someone getting a girl despite being a stalker. Yeah. But no matter how you put it, this movie sucks and Holidaysburg is much better.

But I am glad I watched both. It showed how important a director’s style is, as they their vision can really make a difference on the product. It was fun comparing the two, even if watching neither was fun as one was meh, and one was awful.

I’d only recommend Holidaysburg to those who really who have a soft spot ofr that kind of Indie Romance thing, and if you want a better version of this. Otherwise, meh. But I’d watch that again before touching this. It’s bad.

Grade: D

Wow, two films in a row that reached new lows in terms of writing, even if Fantastic 4orce was more tolerable. I want to do something that is certainly bad and messy, but at least in a fun way.

So in other words, a DCOM is next. …Also, HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!

See ya.

Posted in Play by Play Reviews, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

General Review: The Lego Batman Movie

Hello, Spongey here.

Now it’s time for the first General Review of 2017 that I actually planned on doing, and of course it’s an animated one. And this one is rather interesting, not just due to what it is, but it’s place in the 2017 lineup.

See, every year since at least 2013, the first animated film has been…uh…not good. Escape From Planet Earth, the Nut Job, Strange Magic, and the polar bear whose name shall not be mentioned. Especially on the Razzies Nominations for some reason.

They weren’t all the worst animated films of that year, but most were. Of course, that may because most of those came out in January. But this year, this seems to be different. No animated films came out in January this year. Well, not in theaters.

I have my eye on you, Surfs Up 2.

And on top of that, the first animated film slated for release actually look good! Or at least, not terrible. I was waiting for something else to be moved up, like the upcoming Rock Dog, but nope, this stayed in it’s slot.

But that’s not important, let’s explain the movie. Back in 2014, they released The Lego Movie, which based on the title seemed like a big soulless marketing machine. But instead it was a marketing machine with a lot of soul that happened to be great.

Everyone and their mom has gone into detail on why the movie works so well, even me back when it came out. The animation was fantastic, the humor was spot on, and the writing was really smart and clever using the concepts to their fullest.

Again, you can kind more detail on exactly how good it is in other place. Anyway, naturally with how popular it became, they wanted to make this into a franchise. They had plenty of ideas including a direct sequel.

…And we’ll be getting that in 2019. In the meantime, they’ll be tiding us over with spinoffs. First up is a film all about Lego Batman. Yeah, the original film had a lot of memorable characters and Batman stood out with how they made fun of his dark persona.

DARKNESS! NO PARENTS!”

So they when they announced a film all about him, I wasn’t too surprised. Admittedly, I was mixed on the idea. Besides the usual dangers of giving supporting characters the spotlight, I wasn’t sure if his joke could work for a whole movie.

That and we know what happened the last time they went with a Batman focused film instead of a direct follow up to what it was following, right?

But still, I was rather excited for, especially with all the info about regarding casting and such. Plus, the trailers were pretty funny. I was sold from the teaser that infront of Batman v Superman.

And it looks like my faith may payoff because the reviews are good so far. How good? 98 on RT right now. Whoa. Okay, the reviews I skimmed arent’ on that level but people seem at least highly enjoy it.

So yeah, I’m excited. As for the creative team, the director has this as his debut film but did have some decent tv work before this. As for our 5 (!!!) writers, one has Igor and a bunch of American Dad Episodes, One had AD eps as well as Drawn Together, one wrote Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter, one did nothing, and finally, one had a a part in Mr. Popper’s Penguins.

Yeah, mostly TV stuff here and usually having that many writers is bad, but we’ll see. Will the be the spin off we deserve, or will it fail to even begin to rise? Time to find out.

This, is The Lego Batman Movie

ANIMATION:

I don’t have a lot to say here because it’s done in the same style as the Lego Movie and I went into detail on the animation was fantastic. It’s CGI done in the style of stop motion Lego and it’s great. There’s a lot of attention to detail as about everything is done in Lego and the animators done a lot of great work, even in the backgrounds.

They take it a step further by giving it a sort of yellow aesthetic, and they use color really well, especially in the Gotham scenes. As in, the scene with them outside. The animation is again well done, although I have one nitpick.

While everything is made of Lego, they cheat a bit more than they did in The Lego Movie. There, even the water was lego. Here, it’s mostly water. No big deal, since they likely figured people wouldn’t care this is basically filler until they get to the real Lego Movie sequel, but it’s something I noticed.

Otherwise, the animation is as top notch as before.

WRITING:

Batman goes on a personal journey to find himself and learn the importance of teamwork and friendship in the hopes of saving Gotham City from a hostile takeover set by Joker

This is a comedy, so once again I must review it on that level, but also critique the story since there is one. And let me tell you, they did a surprisingly good job here. I say surprising because I thought the story would be meh, and while it has problems, it got the job done.

But first off There are no direct connections to Lego Movie. Batman mentions building a master builder, but that’s it. I was hoping for something, maybe even a nod to the twist but it’s no big deal, it just means you don’t need to have seen it to understand the movie.

Anyway, I’ll go over the actual story first. It seems fairly typical, with Batman not wanting to work with anyone bu through his newly adopted son, he learns the importance of teamwork…and they, it kind of is. I will admit that it’s not exactly unpredictable, and they do hammer in the moral a tad too much. But it’s actually executed decently. I think it might be because there is a real heart to. The sweet moments are a tad rushed due to something I’ll get into, but in the 3rd act, they work a lot better and 2 in particular are very effective.

As cliché as the story, sometimes it’s just engaging as it needs to be. I will say that Batman bonding with Robin is a tad rushed as they head off very soon after they meet up in the mansion, but they do set it up beforehand nicely enough.

But in general, the story mostly works for what they are going for, and they have some moments of heart to pull it through. Heck, even the ending isn’t too rushed which is the only thing is has over The Lego Movie.

Spoilers, not as good as Lego Movie but it’s not trying to be, at least.

So the story works, but how about the comedy? Oh, that works even better. This movie is really funny all the way through. As in, even the logos are funny! This got a fair amount of big laughs out of me, and there’s humor from all over the place.

You can tell the writers are huge Batman fans because they get a lot of humor of who he is and there’s tons of references to the various comics and adaptations, from the animated series to even the old black and white serials. Now that’s going obscure.

Oh, and Kiteman pops up. 10/10. (Bonus points for involving him in a joke about how stupid old comic villains could get)

Almost every joke hits it’s mark, and of course it’s the kind of humor about everyone can enjoy. There is one thing about the movie in general to note, which can be either good or bad. The pacing.

For the most, this thing has a very breakneck brace. Once it starts,it rarely lets up, with tons of jokes flying all over the place. It does calm down in some parts, like right after the huge opening set piece, but most of it does involve very fast pacing.

I noticed one example where it hurts the story, and that’s kind of the thing. Some will enjoy the pacing and really get into it, while others may find it to be a bit too much. I got into it very easily, but sometimes I did want it to slow down slightly.

But the 2nd half balances it out a tad better. Just know if you plan to see this that it is that kind of movie, and I get it I you may find it slightly overbearing. Although I find the big first act battle to be slightly more overbearing than the final act battle, which is the opposite of how other reviewers seem to feel.

If you can get into the pacing, you will really enjoy this. I really enjoyed the humor here, it all worked and there’s plenty of laughs to be had. It’s really clever and irreverent, which I dig. While the story itself is a tad cliché and has it’s bumps, it is well done with some pretty good sweet moments.

The writing is not perfect, but it mostly works with great humor, and a solid heart.

CHARECTERS:

As you can tell from the Cast List, there’s a ton of people in this but thankfully the focus on the group of characters that matters most, and I think they were done well. We will of course start with the most important player…Kiteman!

JK, let’s start with Batman, voiced by Will Arnett. He’s the 2nd best Will Arnett character from 2014 and he’s still great here. He’s like he was before, a egoistical but still very funny version of Batman. He’s such a dick but yo can’t help but love him, because he’s right, he is awesome.

He works as lead and provides a majority of the jokes, most of which work. He is also well developed as they explore his lonely side and how he learns to let people into his life. It’s cliché but the character is well written enough for it to work. So yeah, he works well.

With him is Dick Grayson aka Robin, voiced by Micheal Cera. At the start we see he’s a bit of a Batman AND Bruce Wayne fanboy so when Bruce accidentally adopts him, he is very happy. Thankfully, he’s overexcited in a mostly funny way. He never screws up (at least not in a too annoying way) and is a decent help in the end.

He doesn’t exactly grow too much, but I found to be likable enough.

I’ll go over the next two at the same time, because why not. They are Alfred, voiced by Ralph Finnes and Barbra Gordon, voiced by Rosario Dawson. Alfred is the trustworthy butler we all know and love, and he gets some good lines and is the first ot point out that Batman needs help. He’s good supporting and gets plenty of spotlight, thankfully.

I really like what they did with Barbra. Here she becomes the commissar after Gordon retires and she’s already had a history of being badass and she wants to improve Gotham…mostly by trying to get Batman to work with the law. She’s not hugely complex but it’s cool what they did with her, and while Batman kind of crushes on her (which is brought up twice and never comes into play in a big way),they don’t do any real love story with her, so she stands on her own.

So she was nicely handled. The final notable one is The Joker, voiced by Zach Galifianakis. He’s what you would expect the lego Joker to be and he’s pretty funny. I especially the weird sort of romance he and Batman have. Yeah, they have a far more well written romance the whole Barbara thing.

It starts as a typical “Nemesis Romance” but they really go all out with at points, and even make it part of Joker’s motivation. It’s even a tad sweet at points, which is rather surprising. He’s well done.

Everyone else is there for a quick joke or to fill up the roster in action scenes. There’s far too many to list, from Harely Quinn, to Riddler, to a Two Face voiced by Billy Dee Williams. Yeah, finally, I know.

Also, Kate Miccuci pops up, proving she wants to take over all animation.

This works out fine as the focus is kept where it should be and they work. Although it is wasteful to cast certain actors only to give them nothing to do, like the aforementioned Billy Dee, but ah well.

There’s a lot of people in this, but it’s good to know that the ones that matter are mostly well done, and fun to watch.

Final Thoughts:

While it obviously it’s quite as good as The Lego Movie, The Lego Batman Movie is still a really funny ride. The pacing can be a bit much, and the story is a tad cliché but it’s well executed with the characters being spot on, great animation, and really clever and funny humor with a good heart.

This is a movie I’d recommend to most people, as it has enough to appeal to everyone. Batman Fans will get the most out of it due the references, as well as Lego fans but most can get into the humor.

Some may find it a bit too much but I’m sure most will enjoy it fine regardless of if they find the story a bit cliché. I had a ton of fun with this movie, even with it’s minor issues. I laughed a lot and got into the more emotional scenes.

Now this is how you start an animation year. It’s nothing complex but it’s total blast that does good job of getting us ready for hopefully heavier stuff later this year. It’s good to finally break that first animated film of the year curse, in the least.

In other words, I recommend this one.

Writing: B

Enjoyment: B+ (Won’t write out a fuill section for it anymore, I’ll just put it here to make things easier)

Animation: B+

Characters: B

OVERALL: B+

Our next general will also be our next animated film. And based on how it looks…i think they swapped the first two animated features by mistake,

See ya.

Posted in General Reviews, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Goosebumps HorrorLand-The Horror At Chiller House

the_horror_at_chiller_house

Ohai Slappy, who never actually appears in the book

Hello, Spongey here.

It’s time. Not just of the first Horrorland review of 2017…but the final one. Not the final Modern Goosebumps Book Review, more on that later, but this is the finale to Arc 2 and the proper Horror Land books in general.

Either Arc 2 didn’t’ do as well or Stine was sick of sticking to an Arc, since it meant he couldn’t do twists. Either way, HorrorLand proper ended but Stine kept on making Goosebumps anyway under other sub series.

So there’s a lot of pressure for this one to be good. The finale to Arc 1 was really good, and was both good as a finale on and it’s own for reasons I’ve gone into a few times by now. I wasn’t quite as hyped for this one, due the build up not being as crazy, but I was still interested in seeing what the heck was gonna happen.

If you want a recap, kids are getting items from a Horror Land gift shop and they go wrong in many ways. When their adventure is over, they are teleported back to his shop to “pay” for their item.

And now we’ll find out what the deal with him is. Why does he want them? Will it make any sense? I think we know the answer to that, but let’s dive in anyway. Let’s not beat around the bush and find out how Horror Land ends after 19 books.

This, is The Horror at Chiller House

The book opens…in 1960. Yes, we’re starting with a flashback. I think you know what the reason for it is but let’s see how this goes. This kid is quite the loner and often plays these games by himself with his imagination.

At the moment, he is watching two crows fight.

‘He liked to see them peck and peck and peck, til their feathers flew and blood splattered all over the grass”

..I’d say this kid is going to grow up to be a serial killer but …he kind of does, sort of.

He wants to have a normal life and go to school and have friends, but his parents keep him at him to “Nurture” his brain. I see no matter at what point in the Goosebumps timeline we’re on, the parents will always be horrible.

Speaking of which, Mom comes and says he’s wasting his time and should get back to his studies. He goes to his room and we see that he collects puppets and plays with them, The more little details we find out about this good, the scarier he gets, but the more I feel sorry for him because this is all his parents fault.

It turns out it’s mostly Mom who does this, as Dad argues with her over all this. Even his Dad calls out Mom for the crap she does. The kid overhears this and has a freakout. He vents by tearing up one of his puppets, one that he named

It felt good’

…This is already creepier than most Goosebumps books.

A few days later, he’s knee deep in his fantistes, and Dad is sick of it.

I’m going to make a man out of him!”

Let’s get down to business..

Dad takes him hunting which the kid doesn’t quite want, but he wants Dad to like him so he says Yes without whining. 14 pages in and the story has way more to it than usual. This won’t last long, will it?

For now, he just wants him learn how to hold a crossbow. He then shoots his own foot by accident. Ouch, I guess that’s why not giving your 10 year old son extra help with a freaking weapon is a bad idea.

After being a bit shocked, Dad laughs over it. Wow, fuck you.

Later, after he is healed, Dad tells Mom that after one accident that he has himself to blame for the outcome of, he’s on Mom’s side. We also find out his name is Jonny. Hearing this makes him go off the deep end.

I’ll show you, Father! One day, i’ll show you that I can be a man. One day, you’ll be proud that I am your son!”

I am JONATHAN CHILLER, your king! I am all powerful! You will obey me. You will all obey me!”

That’s right, this was all a backstory for Chiller. I gotta say, I quite like this. It’s a more complex backstory than most Goosebumps villains get, as this makes us see why he’s like this and makes him more sympathetic, but makes him unhinged enough to not be TOO likable.

It all works pretty well. Not a bad start,i must.

We move on to the present day of 2011, we find out our main character is Ray from Slappy New Year. Odd choice but fine. We join him where we left off, with him appearing in Chiller House.

He’s so shaken by this, he reviews the facts about him to himself, as an excuse for lazy exposition. The other kids are there, and I wonder, were they all teleported at the same time? Because no other kids were shown as being there in the last few scenes like this.

The kids explain what happened and thinks he has the craziest story. One of them saw giant hamsters, you loose.

After the kids ponder their situation for a bit, Chiller steps in. He tells them they will all go home…once they play his game. So, was their any point to Meg’s adventure back in Weirdo Halloween? He seems to doing his big game based plan here. He’s hidden 6 little horrors around the park and they must find them and they’ll go home. It’s as simple as that.

Of course we know it won’t be that simple, but the kids don’t have any other options right now. He has chosen certain park workers to be their Helper and give them some hints about the location of the horrors, and the workers are indeed from the mini adventures at the start of each book.

This gives them a purpose I suppose, but each kid does not get the same one they meet before, so meeting them before we kind of pointless. I guess it was to get us to know them a tiny bi t better before doing a book full of them-

Wait, I just realize with books arcs, Stine basically did the MCU thing. They even both started in 2008. Whoa.

Anyway, Chiller reveals some pals are having a hunting party…and the kids are being hunted. Yeah, knew there was as catch to all this, and this is how he ties that part of his backstory. He even mentions Father here, to make it more obvious.

Knowing his backstory, oddly makes him creepier here. We saw how hinged he was, and why he was, which makes it more clear how deep his problems go. We’ll see if this ends anything bigger in the long run.

Oh, and the workers don’t know about this aspect of the story. Chiller says they won’t believe the kids if they told them. …He knows what they do for a living, right? The kids leave and they overhear Chiller.

I’m a hunter, Daddy. See? I’m a hunter-just like what you wanted”

…Yikes.

Then “Part 3” starts. Okay, I see why the backstory was a separate section but why that bit? It just causes the page number to be confused.

The kids discuss their situation, and Andy says he meet a Zombie Dog. Uh, your book was called When the GHOST dog howls. They try to just leave the park, but of course some magic crap Chiller did prevents them from doing so, so they have to do this.

They kids at first think of splitting up but even they know how dumb that is, so they…still split up, just in pairs. Yeah, sure. Ray got Chef Belcher for his helper, and Sam is his partner, and Sam met him before….Okay, so I was wrong, shut up.

They go to him and he says he can point them in the right direction and they head off. At a certain point, he vanishes. Hey, he did say he would just point you in the right direction, not show you exactly where it is.

And oh hey, they find the chest on their own a few moments later, after dealing with some wasps. But the chest turns out tobe a big joke, so I guess my point is invalid. They think that maybe they are all fake, which actually is a possibility given the situation. Good thinking, They decide to tell some of the others, and they look for one of the helpers in the Haunted Theater. They find him along with some other kids but they say Murder the Clown has been of no helps, telling jokes even the book thinks are bad.

Eventually he decides to help them.

You can trust a man with an axe buried in his head-right?”

At least he’s self aware.

They follow and he leads them to Quicksand Beach, where they get trapped. Turns out you can’t trust a man with an axe in his head, weird. But of course they don’t fully sink just like the last time we saw this, but no tubes are involved for some reason, like last time.

They find the chest and it’s not a dud this time, meaning some are goof and some are bad. That actually makes a lot of sense, even in an evil sense. So points there. …Then it turns out this one is a dud too, as the Horror is just chocolate.

Nevermind.

The hunters show up and now it’s clear they won’t be getting home. They go to some of the other kids that are searching near Madame Doom and tell them about what’s happening. They decide to visit the real Madame Doom they met once for help because why not.

In a rare smart move, they have one kid go in, in case it’s a trap, so they won’t all be totally doomed. Slightly dick-ish to the one guy…but it was their idea, so okay. I

And it ends with Madame Doom turning out to be a hunter and attempting to get him.

Who says women can’t be good hunters?”

Is Goosebumps really the time and place for that? …The it turns out to be a prank Doom made him do…for reasons. Now that’s a force false scare if I’ve seen one. But Doom is actually a hunter, as she reveals when Andy can’t go through with the prank, as he only did it because Doom promised a way home.

So good on Andy at least. It turns out that their helpers are actually all hunters, which makes sense as the helpers were not there when the hunters were attacking. Slightly predictable but this all checks out.

Having the kids be flat out hunted, makes for a pretty intense situation. Not to the levels of The Menace but it’s cool.

After escaping, the bump into Horror Guards who don’t like that they are here after dark. Yeah, we all know they work for Chiller. I do like that they call what their doing a “dangerous game”. It fits since they are being hunted.

They at least wait to reveal that they are bad guys, as they go through this whole thing about finding their parents. Walking behind Chiller House, leads to them finding that this whole time, the helpers were Chiller in disguise.

Yes, that includes the female Madame Doom. I’m not touching that one. I won’t even ask about how good the disguises were, since this is a series where toys can teleport kids here to begin with.

They escape the guards and confront Chiller, but then they appear and it turns out they work for Chiller, what a shock. Then he just sends them away since their job is done. Okay then, they were pointless.

Of course I’m all alone. I wasn’t allowed to have friends. I had to stay in my room and create my own world. I had to create my own friends. The only way I can have friends is if I play them myself!”

That somehow makes him sadder than he already was. Even without the backstory, this would decently effective.

They notice he actually does have chests with Horrors in them lying around where they can see them (with how unhinged he is, I can buy this. See this is how you use a villains mental state to excuse issues, Fantastic 4orce), and distract him so they can get them.

It works but the chests have no horrors in them.

“”Maybe I like to play games. And maybe you think I’m desperate for friends. But I’m not stupid”

…Touche.

In a last ditch effort to stop him, they threaten to tear up his costume, and do creepy things with them, as he views them as his friends. That’s rather cruel but smart enough. They do this until he promises to take them home.

And he actually does. He tosses them to the kids and boom they actually work in taking them home. Yes, he was so unhinged and was so connected to his own personas that he did that. Yikes.

But thankfully, a cameo from Brandon isn’t the full ending. That would be rushed even for Stine, so we have an Epilogue. ..But it’s just him getting the shop back in order and giving us another little taste of how crazy he is.

Why don’t you take a little horror home with you?””

The End. Okay, it’s still pretty rushed. With how good most of this is, even the climax was rushed compared to Panic Park. But ah well, the final; note was nice.

Final Thoughts:

I’ll say right now that this wasn’t as good as Panic Park, but it was still pretty good. While most of it is enjoyable with some decent twists and turns, the main reason it’s good is Chiller himself. He must just be the most human, yet most mentally unstable Goosebumps villain here.

Right from his backstory, he’s sympathetic and can’t be blamed for how things turned out, but you do see he has some…problems, which are fully shown in the main book. It’s rare that a Goosebumps Villain get so much backstory, and while it wasn’t totally, it does give us a bigger picture.

I would still have praised him without the backstory, but seeing it makes it more interesting than if they just told us about him. He has those sympathetic aspects, but he’s so far off the deep end, it’s okay he gets the ending he does.

It’s nice balance. His nature makes the situation more intense, as you never know how much you can trust me, or what will happen next. It makes the running around more interesting. Everything else is just okay.

Ray being the hero doesn’t add much and the others just don’t as much as in the Arc 1 finale. Still, there’s not too much wrong here besides the rushed ending. It’s enough to dock a grade, but it’s not a big deal.

Overall, this was a solid finale. It was fun and gave us a really fascinating villain that raised the stakes and made the book a lot more interesting. It doesn’t hit the highs of Panic Park but given what it is, I quite liked it.

Grade: B+

Final Thoughts on Arc 2:

Yeah, Arc 2 wasn’t as good. Even taking aside that the Arc gimmick isn’t as strong this time, the books themselves were…eh. None were bad, although one was fairly eh, but none stuck out. Most went through the motions and used ideas we’ve seen before. Aside from the first two and Weirdo Halloween, they all head that in common.

And even with those, there were problems, and the ideas weren’t always used perfectly. When the Dog Howls is the best since despite issues, it uses it’s premise pretty well. Weirdo Halloween almost does, enough to be rated a B, but still isn’t the best.

This Arc was just so average. Very little was bad, but very little stood out. The books themselves had this issue, so it’s not just the Arc thing. I think less books is another reason, less room to explore tons of ideas.

This could be a sign of burnout on Stine’s part, why is why it’s good that he went with Mini Series that are just normal GB books with minor gimmicks after this, instead ones with major gimmicks that don’t matter.

We’ll see how those turns out later. Speaking of, let’s talk about that. I started doing these to just do HorrorLand but doing these has really made want to explore the other modern Goosebumps books. So let’s do that. I’ll be going through the rest once a month like I’ve done here.

You don’t have to pay attention to these reviews as much due to not having to follow an Arc. Oh, and when we start Most Wanted, I’ll do two a month to finish quicker. I know I won’t finish before 2018 so whatever.

So look forward to that. Hopefully it’s better than this…okay stuff.

Arc Grade: B-

Glad to at least be done with HorrorLand proper. I’d directly tease our next book, but the most recent Scene by Scene Review didn’t mention what I may do next. Well, now I know so I shall tease my next Scene by Scene Review for next month. So what’s on my plate?

not-cool-film-poster

…2017 is turning out so well so far.

See ya.

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General Review: Split

Hello, Spongey here.

Welcome to 2017…for General Reviews. I’ve done a project and a Scene by Scene Review, so let’s welcome another of my mainstays into the new year. Now, I was going to wait until The Lego Batman Movie in February and save my money, but I decided to do this, for a few reasons.

One is that it was the only January movie I had real interest in, which has to mean something. The other reason is that I have been marathon the films of this Director. See, I decided I need to catch up on the million films I’ve never seen and since someone’s already doing a whole thing dedicated to picking random ones, I figured I’d go by Director.

Normally I’ll use a randomizer but since he had a new film coming out, I figured why not start with him. But yeah, what can I say about M Night Shayamaln? Not much, really. For one, I’ve covered two of his worst films and went into detail on him there.

He was supposed to be pretty big but he fell from grace after a few decent films, but seems to be coming back. I’ve now seen all his major films up this point, I can say he’s…interesting. He has a lot of talent, as he can craft a solid thriller with decent human in there,

However, sometimes they can dull messes where no one acts right, trying too hard to have a style. But you all know this. Watching his movie did give me a better idea of his strengths and weakness, I can his films are in the very least always interesting.

Even his worst films give people things to talk about and they can at least be funny bad. I guess The Village is his least interesting film, but it’s still…okay, I guess. But anyway, with Last Airbender and After Earth, he went a bit too big, trying to create big epics rather than the small thrillers he was known thing.

He returned to those in 2015 with The Visit, which got decent reviews. And having seen I can say it’s pretty good. Sure, it has his issues like people not talking right, but it was mostly a solid little found footage thriller that also has mostly good intentional comedy.

It was a nice step in the right director and one of his better films. And now he has a new one, which, shockingly, is getting even better reviews, with a 75 on RT! This might actually mean he could make a comeback.

But we’ll see what happens with him going forward. Besides, who knows how I will feel about this. I was looking forward to since I had heard The Visit was good and I was interesting to see where they go with it.

The trailers made it seem interesting and from what I hear, it is. I have also heard of it’s flaws, but I think I”ll discuss them in the review. Since M Night does pretty much everything on his films (although he has more producers on hand now), there’s no need to go into the team behind it.

So, is Split be his comeback, or will it feels like The Visit was made a different, better personalty of M Night? Let’s find out!

This, is Split

Three teenage girls are kidnapped by a man with 23 different personalities, and must escape before he gets really crazy.

First off, this is a SPOILER FREE REVIEW. I may hint at the ending but I won’t flat out say it, because in this case, I don’t want to ruin it for anyway. Just STAY OFF WIKIPEIDIA, or any place you may deep info on the film. I made the mistake of doing so and while I didn’t find out the full ending, I was able to guess it when it would have been more shocking if I find it out in the film itself.

With that said, there isn’t too much to say. It was flawed, but mostly good. It was a very well made thriller with great tension and performances, but the writing has it’s weak points. I’ll start with the problems.

It has the usual small issues that come with Shyamalan films. Sometimes no one acts right, and the pacing can get rather slow, due to being a tad too long. Those issues aren’t huge like in some of his other movies, but they do exist.

The other main problem is a bit bigger. The main bulk is set in one place, kind of like 10 Cloverfrield Lane in a sense, but there’s some flashbacks and a subplot involving a Therapist. I understand why these things are here, but I think they are slightly mixed.

The flashbacks end up adding nothing and frankly get kind of awkward in one bit. No spoilers but …yeah. The subplot scenes wor k on their own to an extent, but they attempt to human James McAvoy a bit which ends up being pointless for spoiler reasons.

…And that comes with another Elephant in the room that I have to at least touch on. As you expect, some people are not happy with the portrayal of DiD in this film, which I do understand. For the most part, the film is over the top enough to not make people think people with it are like this.

But some elements can cause issues. They name the disorder and discuss it, giving the illusion of being accurate when it kind of isn’t. I get why it’s here, to perhaps assure people M Night knows what he’s doing, but they shoot themselves in the foot with that one by the end.

I don’t think it’s super offensive, and I do like the movie in spite of that, but I can see the issues people have. Just remember that M Night never portrays anything accurately, ever.

Then there’s the ending. As Doug said, some will say “That’s Brilliant!”, others will say “That’s Bullshit’. I think it’s…both. The bit before the very end, I thought was stupid and raises too many questions. Let’s just say I find the events hard to believe thanks to this reveal.

The actual ending…is kind of brilliant. It’s also kind of dumb and raises an issue but in concept, it’s kind of awesome in a weird way. No spoilers,but if you’ve seen it, you know what I mean. So yeah, the ending is a mixed bag and I can see it ruining the film for some.

Okay, onto the positives. M Night has shown he can direct suspense really well and this really shows it. Most of the time, I was actually worried for the leads and the tension of very real. You never quite know what James McAvoy will do next, and the personality aspect does lead to good suspense in most of the film. Yes, the performances help that. The main girls don’t have too much going on, but their acting helps them likable, as does the general suspense.

James McAvoy is of course very good. He pulls off each personalty pretty well and he helps add to the suspense. My only issue with him is that his voice for the 9 year old Personality sounds like something like Adam Sandler would do, which was distracting.

But other than that, I don’t think he went too over the top and had a nice balance of subtle and being a bit more. The best parts of the film are the ones with high suspense, especially when the girls are trying to get out, and stuff like that.

Thankfully, most the film does focus on that. The focus can be a bit muddled when the subplot becomes more important but even then, the suspense is still done pretty well. Even the climax, which gets silly, due to how they set things up, up to that point.

I understand if the ending, among other things, ruins the film for some, but I think it’s still solid even with those flaws. Those flaws at least make it interesting, and it isn’t too boring. There actually isn’t much to say.

The focus is on the main concept, and I commented on everything else it has, like the flashbacks, subplot, and ending. It at least stays simple in terms of scale, and I comment on everything…without spoiling it.

Yeah, this is a hard film to talk about once you know the ending and how it affects the rest of the film, but I tried my best. Overall, this film has it’s problems, especially when taking the ending into account, but it’s still solid.

The logic can be spotty, but they make up or it with good suspense and solid suspense. In the end, it is a solid and enjoyable thriller for most of it. And even when it’s bad, it’s at least very interesting and worth discussing on some level.

Where does it rank on the Shyamaln scale? Well, I liked The Visit and Unbreakable more, or in the least they were more even but I do like it slightly more than Signs even if that is oddly more even too, ever so slightly.

It is a better film for them and hits very good highs, but the issues prevent it from being his best. I can see some liking even more than I did, and some liking it less. As for me, I just liked. It’s fairly solid but certainly has it’s problems.

At some point, I will discuss spoilers in a Journal on Deviant Art, so look out for that. But for now, I’ll just that Split is uneven, but mostly another good one.

Grade: B

Can M Night keep this up? We’ll see, but he’s got 2 solid ones in a row, which is quite nice. I hope he makes a comeback, he’s got a lot of talent as I’ve said before. Oh, he finally brought his cameo back and it works due to being small.

Not a ton on detail on this film but I did what I could. I’m just shocked that we got a good M Night in freaking JANUARY! Seriously, how does that happen? This and Kung Fu Panda 3 give hope to January….which is good because the Goosebumps Sequel comes out next January.

2017 is of to a good start. I’ll be back in February to begin Animation of 2017 with some Batman. That’s all I got so..

See ya.

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Fantastic 4orce

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2 4 2 Furious. Wait, what?

I Really Don’t Care Who Owns This Shit

Hello, Spongey here.

On January 22, 2012, I uploaded my first Scene by Scene Review on Blogger. I had been blogging for a bit and reviewed some films but this my first time truly doing a sort of Nostalgia Critic style review.

That’s right, it’s been FIVE YEARS since I started doing this. That is…insane. I didn’t quite thing I’d still be doing them in some form this far in but here we go. I like to think I’m improved quite a bit since that first review, but I don’t wanna toot my own horn or anything.

It’s been awhile since I hit a notable milestone, so I figured I’d so something for this occasions But what? Well, my first Scene by Scene Review was of Freddie as F07, a Foreign Animated Film. Granted, it was still in English but it counts.

Thus, I think I should celebrate with another foreign animated film. And boy did I have my pick, as there are tons of Foreign Animated Films, both famously good, and infamously bad. It was a bit hard to decide and originally I was going to watch a few films, but as soon as I watched this one, I knew I had to cover it.

Oh I found ripe one, guys. See, last year I Hate Everything covered 8 Disney Ripoff Films for his Search for the Worst Series. The films ranged from the usual Video Brenquedo disasters to ripoffs of Planes.

Of all the films, this one caught my attention the most, and I was more interested in it than the others. Mostly because not many people have reviewed it, while the rest had their share of reviews.

I’m not even sure what this is or where it came from, and I’ve seen it now. Apparently it’s a Peruvian film from 2012 (Released in 2013 in the US), by a studio whose only done one other film and b directors and writers have gone pretty much nothing else of note.

Even the title is confusing. The original title translates to “The Illusionists”, but in the US, and Netflix, it’s called Freedom Force. But in the UK it’s stylized as “”4antastic 4orce”. Because ripping off one of the most mocked titles ever is a great idea.

Unlike the other films in IHE’s video, this is technically not a mockbuster despite some familiar ideas here and there. That’s the only credit I can really give it. IHE called this his “favorite” from the Not Disney Collection, mostly because it didn’t quite offend him and at least it’s original and is what the box says it is.

Which just tells you how bad those films got. But honestly, aside from that, I don’t see why this wasn’t a bit higher on the ranking. Because while I can give some credit, this is objectively the worst, of the films on that list that technically count as a movie.

Yeah. I’ve watched it now and this movie is just…wow,. I’ll go into more detail as we go and at the end at how this ranks and just how bad it is, but trust me, it’s a terrible train wreck.

Now,I’ll warn you that my summary may not be the best, because this film is really hard to recap due to the way it’s written and structured, and paced. You’ll see what I mean when we get into it, but I thought I should say that now.

With that said, exactly how bad could this be? Oh boy, you’re in for a treat.

This, is Fantastic 4orce. I’m calling it that because it’s funny.

The movie opens with 4 kids and dog standing on this big machine, as narration pipes in.

I know what you’re thinking. Some sort of Science Fiction Movie, right? ..This is not fiction, it’s all real! …No one’s a bigger Sci Fi Fan than me, but I never imagined I’d be going into some of my favorite stories of all time on a secret mission called Operation Freedom Force”

.Yes, that is the full pre title sequence, save a couple lines I missed because it’s information I’ll tell you later. Where to begin? First off, roll credits! 2nd of all, an In Media Res Opening is not uncommon for a film and yet somehow they fucked it up with the execution.

There’s no time to let any of this sink in before the kid pipes in and then we’re taken into the next scene. We see these kids we know nothing about and this narration which for now means nothing.

And you gotta love that opening sentence. It’s funny because this actually is a movie and he’s taking out of his ass! Yeah, notice how this takes something that’s technically conventional and normally easy to understand and somehow messes it up to the point of being incomprehensible?

That’s the movie is a nutshell. We’re only a minute in.

We cut to a…place where we meet our for now unnamed Villain, talking to his Master on the phone.

Something is about to go very wrong for that wretched writer Jules Verne”

Yep, you read that right. Oh boy, we’ll get into that. He laughs evilly but a moth flies into his mouth and he chokes. It’s not funny but it’s a running gag so you better get used to it….End Scene.

We cut the president of France or something, as his wife is bitching to him on the phone.

I guess you don’t love me anymore now that you’re so busy being the president”

Because this whole shtick of the controlling wife hasn’t been beaten to death by now. Also, WHO ARE YOU PEOPLE?!

He tells her she’ll run National Literacy Day where they are Honoring Jules Verne. There are doing a Jules Verne themed celebration because…reasons. Yeah, they treat him like he’s huge in this and it doesn’t make sense in the context of the story. But as I said, we’ll get more into that as we go on..

That scene ends and we go back to the villain in front of the machine from the opening. He’s going to use to…mix up Jules Verne’s stories….That’s his evil plan. Really. This makes no sense.

For one, how does mixing up stories provide any real threat? For a kiddie show used to teach kids about these stories that’s okay but this is trying to be a bit more and this actually has a “plot”, and there’s no given reason why we should care about books being a bit different.

And for now, I have no idea why this guy cares so much. Why does it matter to him? We actually go get a motivation at the very end….and it’s something, but that’s for later.

Let’s see if Five Weeks in a Balloon makes sense without it’s main character”

Has to make more sense than this movie so far. We are taken into that stories where these guys in a hot air balloon are being chased by terribly rendered lions. The main character vanishes in front of them.

I knew from the start this was a perfectly terrible idea. It’s about as insane as someone trying to travel around the world in 80 days”

Haw Haw.

And again, that’s the whole scene as we move on to 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea where the scene goes on for a tad longer before the main character vanishes.

Otherwise, not much to say about the next few bits, as the bad guy mixes up the leads of various books. The only thing to comment on how the main characters have no reaction to randomly appearing in different settings.

He starts to use elements from “Jules Vern’s imagination that he never even finished” Not sure how that’s possible but okay. This big scene doesn’t even end, it just randomly cuts to this one guy at one point. Yeah, the editing in this is trash.

This one guy is reading the books because…why not and notices all the mix ups. He tells this other guy about and he’s all shaken up over it. They say they must cancel the Jules Vern event because…the books read differently now. Yeah, this makes no sense even in the world of the film.

If they cared to explain why this matters, maybe I’d care.

They must go to “The Professor” (That is the only thing they call him, he has no name), who this guy’s assistant is scared of. Look, I’m not gonna bother remembering names so just bare with me.

Oh please, who isn’t crazy these days?”

…He has a point. Anyway, it turns out The Professor is voiced by Christohper Lloyd. Yes, really. Besides this being another amazing carrr movie, I’d like to point this came out the exact same year as Foodfight and The Oogieloves.

He had an amazing year. But guess what? This is the worst of his 3 roles, taking the actual movies aside. As crazy as his roles in those films were, at least he did something and was memorable.

Here, his character is just…a scientist. That’s it. And he gets nothing to do and does very little, and is never funny or memorable. What a waste.

He tell us that he made that machine and the government shut it down by now someone is using it to do evil stuff. We do finally get some reason to care about this problem: If they don’t fix this in 48 hours, the changes will be etched into history. But that’s all we get.

Does it somehow change time so that the books were always that way and thus didn’t become classics, or the books simply just different? In the former case, how does that work at all, and in the latter case, is this somehow stopping you from just printing new copies with things back in place?

Even when they explain it, it makes no sense. Speaking of no sense, Mr Clipboard here says that Jules Verne somehow hid a reset button in his books and they will send someone inside to push it so the stories will turn back to normal.

I don’t need to explain how this is just not possible and makes no sense, despite being the main plot point in the 2nd act but whatever, I don’t care. While they’re talking, the assistant guy is being tortured with this machine for…no reason.

Of course, this mission requires a team, and this guy tells the president about this. Also, the villain is actually the presidents assistant guy pretending to be good, because that’s never been done before.

That has got to be the craziest thing I’ve heard in my whole life, which is saying a lot since I do work in politics”

…Okay, that was funny.

They will indeed use that machine to go inside the books, and I wonder how they found it and why the villain didn’t do something to stop them from getting to use. Like I don’t know, shutting the machine down for good after using it?

Anyway, they got some guys to find the members of the elite team they are looking for. The president decides to go for it and is happy….because his wife can help with the Jules Vern thing after all. I see he has his priorities straight.

After all, a happy wife is a happy life”

#Progressive

These guys head out to find the team members, and they say the nature of the mission of being hidden from them and this is top secret. Keep that in mind. And now we get introduced to these kids.

That’s right, we are 17 minutes in and NOW we are meeting the main characters. That is …amazingly bad writing/pacing. But here they are. We’ve got Peter, a fat bookwrom who gets bullied by stereotypical bullies #44454.

The chase is interrupted by those guys coming in and taking Peter, and taking out the bullies. Uh, this is top secret right? That crap is not being secretive at all.

Next is the Smart One (most of the names are hard to spell so fuck it) who sees their helicopter thing coming and finds it cool instead of running for his life. Then we have another fat kid.

How come nobody wants to be friends with me?’

He farts.

Oh right, that’s why”.

Yes, that his character trait. Yeah, like in most bad kids movies, the kids don’t get too complex beyond one single trait, and for this kid it’s farting, which isn’t even a trait. His farts stink so bad that it takes out most of the guys who come in. Yeah, get ready for a lot of jokes like that.

They manage to take him and we meet the last kid who looks 16 even though they say she’s 12. She’s voiced by Sara Michelle Gellar because why not waste more talent. She’s the token girl who can fight, as shown when she fights off the guys who come on. Because calmly explaining why they need her is for weirdos.

…And they do tell her after they get their asses kicked.

Why didn’t you say so?”

My thoughts exactly. And she goes with no further questions. And no, at no point do we see their parents and their reactions to this.

The kids are taken to the people, and I’ll call that assistant guy by his name, Pascal to make it easier, and the other guy will be the “Head Guy” since he runs Freedom Force I guess. They explain the problem to them and of course the kids ask why the hell they were picked instead of…actually competent people.

One reason is that they are all 12 (which is bullshit in the girls case as I said), and that’s when Jules Vern started writing. …Eh, fair enough, in the context of this kind of movie. Each them represents a side of his personality.

The Tech Wiz represents his genus. That’s okay. Peter embodies his passions for literature since he’s read all his books, which is also okay. The other 2 are a bit shakier. The girl is a direct descendant of Jule Verne’s first love, which Is part of “personality”, I guess.

Oh, and said love…was his…first cousin. And they say that directly.

That was very common back then. She must have been very beautiful”

…Yes, you read that right. This childrens’ movie just had a conversation where they justify incest. But it gets worse.

PASACAL: I was in love with my cousin once too!

.

I remember that whenever I saw her face, my heart filled with joy!”

She haunts me to this day with her beatuaifl bald head, and her soft skin, and the way her diaper filled the room with a smell that”-

.He is nterrupted and thank god because…what the actual fuck!?

1111fam

Okay let’s move on, what does the farting kid represent?

Jules Vern had serious gas problems”

.SURE, WHY THE FUCK NOT.

The kids get these Tron Suits which can change their appearance in the stories so they can fit in. Pascal demonstrates and he ends in women’s swimswear. I want to die.

…Also, why are they letting the dog in? Is 12 and dog years, or did Jules Vern have a dog?

Meanwhile, the president is with his wife as she shows some big poster thing she made for the event, which shows in a very skimpy outfit.

Don’t you think that maybe it’s a bit too much?”

….I am a little overdressed. I’ll have to show them more skin!”

.This is a thing you can legally purchase and is on Netflix.

The kids are shown the machine and the villain puts a virus in the machine (without anyone noticing, somehow) to shut it down. If it doesn’t work, his goon who never existed until now, will go on. But as he points out, he’s not 12 and doesn’t represent a part of his personality.

Is that a hard and fast rule? If so, how does that even work? This flat out goes into his imagination and not just his books, which only raises even more questions!

You’re brain stopped working when you were 12, so that’s why this will work”

It does eventually work so that’s their real explanation. Whatever. Then he laughs and chokes on a moth again because I don’t think you want to die hard enough yet. And a mere 30 minutes into a 77 minute movie, they start the machine and head in, which gives us the opening scene again.

FERB: Whoa, Deja Vu-ish.

Sorry, I had to be reminded of real animation for at least a small moment. Speaking of breaks, let’s take one to discuss the animation. It’s…not THAT bad. Compared to real movies, it’s bad, but on it’s own it’s…somewhat competent,.

The models look okay-ish and with a bit of polish, they would almost presentable. There are some problems though. Most of the film focuses on their faces so much that they look worse than they really do, and while they are okay-ish, they still don’t look fully good, meaning it doesn’t’ look quite right.

And for some reason, they can never sit still. Every time a character speaks they are waving their hands around and making as much movement as possible, especially the adult characters. Then there’s the terrible lip sync. This is more of a fault on the dubbing, but while sometimes it looks okay, most of the time they never match up what they are saying, and it never looks right.

So animation that never looks quite right with bad lip sync, plus messy writing that never explains anything makes for a…not so fun experience.

Getting back to the “plot’, the kids head into “From Earth to the Moon”. Oh, and I forgot to mention that Peter has a creepy crush on the girl because why not. I kept confusing him for the farting kid because they are both fat. Come on, a stereotypical kids movie team only needs one fat kid, everyone knows that.

By the way, they first have trouble due the virus the villain planted but that ends up being a conflict as they take care of it very easily. So that scene may as well not even happened. The kids end up in space and they are told the Reset Button is on the rocket.

They send the fat kid out because…he can stand the cold temperatures. There’s no cold in space, just the absence of heat so this would not be an issue. Come on, I know this shit! (I know it’s more complicated than that but it doesn’t work the way it does here so that’s my point)

Also, the dog’s name is Huston so..

Huston, we have a problem”

Die.

There happens to be a kid sized space suit which the farting kid uses to get out, but he ends up stuck on a terribly rendered asteroid. They try to save him but they run out of gas. The kid is able to get back by jumping on little meteor bits and…propels himself with his farts.

..What am I supposed to say to that? They ripped off a bit from Space Buddies and it stupid there and it’s stupid here. Anyway,he find words on a ship saying “Adventure Star Tours”. The letters to spell out Restart are in those words, so he pushes them and it works.

.Look, there are only so many ways to say “This is stupid”.

With that, the story is fixed and they are taken to the next story, which we spend most of the middle portion of the film in for some reason, 5 Weeks in a Balloon.

I have a video game just like this!”

With this animation, I don’t doubt that.

A lion jumps onto the Balloon and then the girl kicks him in the face to knock him out. ….The stupid awesome-ness of that almost makes for everything else. Almost….Then they ruin it when another lion jumps op and the farting kid farts in his face.

You took the only awesome part and ruined it, good job. And yes, they are at a decent height when the lions fall, and yet they survive. Because why not. They escape and Pascal tells them they must go the Munchi Muchi tribe, and they think they are cannibals.

FARTING KID: “That cool, everyone has a right to be want they want to be when they grow up”

…How are you so stupid.

Nicole jumps onto an Elephant to solve their problem (I don’t know, there was some spiel about this one guy wanting to kill it or something) and it just cuts to the very next scene, with them camping out and Nicole away from the rest of the group.

No explanation as to what she was doing, or how she got back on the Balloon. Good editing, what’s that? Peter thanks her for whatever she did, leading to an awkard romance moment which is just odd with how much older she looks.

The villain’s goon is there (which means that bullshit theory worked, but I would liked to see how that all went down or how he got the machine to get him in without anyone noticing) planning to do evil stuff.

The kids are eating, and the farting kid eats something really bad, leading to the greatest Netflix Caption in History.

fffffart

Yes. Also, before he does that he says “That’s why I’m in this story”. There’s a barely a reason for it, so I assume it’s a lame attempt at Lampshade Hanging.

It turns he shit on the goon…then an Elephant comes and shits on him. It thankfully cuts away before it turns into The Brothers Grimsby. …But seriously, I’m so glad we have the seen of the guy being shit on twice, it was needed in lieu of actual story development.

The next day in the Balloon, they get chased by a group of random bad guys. The farting one tries to lighten their load by jumping and just turning his suit into a flying one, but apparently it can’t do that and he hits the ground, but reacts as if he fell off a dresser or something and not a Balloon from many feet.

They have to leave him behind in the chaos of all this, which saddens me because he was such an interesting and complex character. They figure they will meet up with him in the next story once they hit the Restart Button.

They reach the Munchi Muchi tribe, who I would criticize as being racist but they may have been like in the original story. But knowing this movie, I doubt it. Back with the head guy, they notice the Goon there and we see that maybe the villain has his own machine, which was never established.

Then an Octopus escapes because why not, and that ruins the machine. Pascal says to look on the positive side. …Uh, at least it’s not Foodfight?

Do you realize that the price for fresh Sushi Grade Octopus is over 12 Euros per pound?”

.Moving on.

The kids find a statue with the temples name on it and notice that the words “Off” and “On” are in it. That’s the Restart Button. …At this point, I’ll accept anything as long as it gets the movie other faster.

The Farting kid conveniently shows up just in time for the Reset Button to take them to the next story. Meanwhile, Head Guy and Pascal visit the professor again where they have a really unfunny routine that wastes time.

The kids end up in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea next, where the Goon pops up and Nicole fights him. He overtakes her almost immediately. I got nothing to say, that was some epic fail right there.

Back with the Professor we get more unfunny padding, he says he has a prototype of the machine they could use. …End Scene. Have I mention how god-fucking-awful the pacing is in this? I actually haven’t focused on that in favor of the general writing problems, but man does it make it all worse.

The Goon throws Tech Wiz and Nicole overboard, and we see the other kids ended up in a different location, some underwater place that Peter says is Atlantis which might be part of the mix up, I don’t know.

They are talking when Peter notices the other kids right behind them through the window.

They’re right behind you!”

And I’m behind them too, one hundred percent!”

…I’d bitch about that, but I’d like to point that before that bit from before, he was never this stupid. If you’re going to give him the brain of Patrick Star, make it consistent!

Their suits have a Diver Option and the two activate theirs and go out and do the same for the others. That was easy. Back with The Professor, they get a prototype version of the machine and hook it up the Pascal so he can pretty much be a human movie projector. Yeah, he’s a huge butt monkey in this for no reason.

Is this going to hurt?”

It shouldn’t, I’m at a pretty safe distance”

HAW. HAW. HAAAAAAAAW.

They do the obligatory fake out death thing with Nicole which of course fails given I don’t care, and she wakes up immediately after. They get contact with Head Guy back, and Goon got eaten by a shark,so it’s all looking up. We’re an hour in, we’re almost done, thank god.

The Restart Button in this book are the CNTRL, ALT, and Delete Buttons on the places computer thing. Again, why not. They push it and they’re off…and they’re done as they end up back with Head Guy and Pascal. Well, good thing the villain only got like 3 stories.

But hey, if it gets the movie done faster, I won’t complain. But of course we need a climax, so they have to deal with the Octopus which can survive on land for some reason. Then the Villain reveals himself because of yeah he was pretending to be a good guy.

That plot point ultimately had no purpose but nothing in this movie matters anyway. And it’s tme to die into his motivations. You might wanna be sitting down, which you probably are, because…this is…wow. But first:

Not even under intense torture would I reveal that the grand leader of our brotherhood is a famous rap artist whose name sounds exactly like a delicious candy coated chocolate treat”

..We never see this leader that he was talking to earlier and this exact line is never referenced again. …His leader is Enimen. …….If he actually just appeared and took over as the villain, this movie would be totally redeemed.

But that’s not the craziest part.

It’s a conspiracy. They want to have us all disappear”

Have who disappear”

The Lefty’s!”

…What.

All of those geniuses, Da Vinci, Napoleon, Chaplin, Beethoven, Seinfield-”

Someone liked Bee Movie.

All of them left handed!….And HG Wells, a lefty, was the true father of science fiction, not Jules Vern.”

But Vern wrote his books before Wells was even born”

Whatever!”

You read all that right. He’s doing this because…he thinks HG Wells is the true father of Science Fiction and hates Jules Vern because he’s a righty. I….j….whatever. The weird thing, is, he’s explicitly shown to be crazy. The characters call him out on this and he’s clearly meant to be talking out of his ass.

They pretty much had to make the villain actually insane to cover up their asses. That’s just…amazing. I’d give them credit for having his reason be that he’s insane instead of having no reason but frankly, it just feels like they are covering their asses.

And besides, it doesn’t all the other crap in this movie. Anyway, Nicole flips him and the very next shot, he’s tied up on the top of the car. ….I shouldn’t complain about him being easily defeated at this point but come on!

The Octopus feels like an arbitrary climax but here we go. In the middle of this big action scene, we get a bit with a drunk guy. No, seriously, he acts very very drunk and the Octopus gets him. Whatever.

Also, the bullies from way earlier get saved because we gotta justify their existence somehow.

Long story short, they use the machine to get the Octopus back in the story after a bunch of action. I suppose that was a slightly better climax than I expected, but it felt tacked on. Oh, and we never see the villain again.

The last we hear of him, he’s still rambling about that conspiracy but that’s it. He was a terrible villain. But here we’re almost done, as Peter pipes back in with narration. Oh yeah, another thing they established and dropped.

That’s our story, with an ending even better than any Jules Vern ever wrote”

Fuck You.

Peter gets the girl, because I was invested in the romance, and he tells us the rest while text also informs us. Yes, a fucking “Where are they Now” section, I’m not kidding. They have a dance party while this happens, by the way,

Tech Wiz invents an App and gets Rich, and the Farting kid starts the Gas Appreciation Society.

He doesn’t date much”

So he gets a sad ending? The hell?

Nicole becomes a Martial Arts star, and Peter goes on to write books and movies.

Just like this one”

.So you’re to blame for this travesty?!

And so the movie ends with…the Octopus coming out a Portal,with Text saying “The End?’. ….No, fuck you, we’re done. Not even gonna bitch about the abrupt ending, we’re fucking done.

Final Thoughts:

…Yeah, what the hell do I even say? I suppose I’ll talk by going over how odd this thing is in terms of overall production. It has the ambition of a real movie, with a plot that spans many stories that is meant to tech kids about Jules Vern while still having some action and a villain.

That makes it more than just a normal Cheapo Kiddie Flick…but it has the actual quality of a Video Brenquedo. Naturally, that leads to one giant clusterfuck where nothing makes any sense.

There at least some…tolerable things, like the animation almost looks okay, there’s some actually amusing moments and I supposed the music and voice acting were okay. I suppose those small things put this above above something like The Little Panda Fighter.

But on an objective level, it’s almost as bad. The characters are all one dimensional stereotypes and aren’t that likable or interesting, with the villain having to be insane to cover up bad writing. That farting kid just…farts. That is all he does and it’s not funny.

Th humor often tries too hard, the animation doesn’t quite look right, and the Lip Sync is usually garbage. But of course, it’s the writing that kills it. At best, the “story’ is bland and predictable, and at worst it’s nearly incomprehensible.

As I went into, the main concepts don’t even make sense in context, and they don’t give a reason to care about Jules Vern’s stories being mixed up. Speaking of which, from what I can gather, the info they have is mostly accurate (Yes, even the Cousin thing but he just liked her, she ended up with some other guy so she was such a small part of his life that mentioning her was pointless) and I did learn some things I didn’t’ know…so there is that.

There’s so much that make no sense, and the dialogue is so poor at conveying all of this. It shouldn’t be hard to make a film with a typical structure like this but somehow they screw it up, big time.

Oh, and like any bad kids movie, it has no idea who it’s aimed at. I’m sure most Jules Vern fans already know all this, Kids will have no idea what’s going on and it’s sometimes too complex for small kids, and Adults will of course be repulsed by everything I’ve mentioned.

It’s another movie that tries to appeal to everyone, but appeals to no one. Don’t you just love those?

With that said, why exactly was this IHE’s favorite despite everything I said? Well for one, it’s at least original and has some form of Artistic Integrity, while everything else was a completely shameless ripoff or totally ambitious and Frozen Land, I mean boring.

Which I suppose is far. But on a writing level, I think it’s up there with the worst of them because as I said, nothing makes sense even on a base level. I have an easier time buying into the premise of What’s Up more than this, because at least it didn’t’ quite try to be more than what it Is.

Ambition is always nice but when you have a small budget and writing this bad, it’s better to go small or else this shit happens. On an Artistic Level, I suppose it’s not as bad as Little Panda Fighter or the like, but in terms of making sense, it’s…pretty terrible.

And yes, I do find it worse than Norm of the North and other such films on a writing level. With that said, is it So Bad It’s Good? For the most part…no, it’s not crazy in a funny way for the most part.

However, it’s no odd and nonsensical that I would suggest perhaps watching it once just because it must be seen to be believable. It’s not fun bad, but it’s just something you have to witness because of how baffling bad it is.

I will of course go a tad easy with it being a Direct to Video Film and all, but even on that level, it’s a total mess where very little works, and the writing is just garbage. Regardless of how it compares to other films, it’s still very much a terrible movie and I hate that I had to watch it twice for this review.

So yeah, I’d rather Re-Visit Freddie as FR07 over this.

Grade: D (Not higher because of the positives i mentioned and to be fair, others have pissed me off a tad more)

It’s only January and we have a contender for worst film I reviewed this year. But hey you know know what could happen. But there you go, this was a …memorable way to celebrate 5 years of this crap.

I’d like to thank you all for helping me get this far. The support I do get has been nice, and certainly gave me more reason to press on. It’s crazy that I’m still doing this 5 years later, since I tend to give up on big projects very easily, as this blog itself has proven.

But here I am. It’s been a fun ride so far, and even with the odd schedule, I have no intention on fully stopping any time soon. All the snark aside, I do appreciate the fans I have and all that.

And as long as I’m motivated, I’ll bring you plenty of craziness. I almost want to try to get to 10 years, and hey, if I at least do a scene by scene review every year, I’ll technically do so, but that’s far off.

That’s all I got. This movie is on Netflix is you’re…interested, and again, thank you all. It’s been a wild years and no I don’t do something in March for 5 years on WordPress in General. This is enough for now.

Okay, now that’s all I got.

See ya.

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