The Princess and the Frog Vs Tangled

Hello, Spongey here.

I’ve talked on here about how Disney’s been on kind of a role. They’ve hit sort of a new renaissance with every film being a hit and quite good to boot. You already know this and i don’t need to explain it further.

Plenty, including I, have talked about their recent string of hits. I even went into Meet the Robinsons, which kind of headstarted this new renaissance. But of course, that didn’t officially launch it in the eyes of most.

Two other films worked together to do that, as they proved they could still honor their roots while still giving audiences something new. The first one came in 2009 with The Princess and the Frog.

This brought back 2D animation that captured the feeling of their 90’s renaissance films while still updating things rather nicely. It was very well received but the box office…well, it did pretty well but they expected a HUUUUGE hit.

As such, they went forward with more CG films and when they tried 2D again with Winnie the Pooh it bombed hard enough for them to stop 2D films all together. But hey, at least it didn’t end on Home on the Range this time.

The following year in 2010, they had their first CGI Princess film with Tangled. This had some odd advertising making it look a lot goofier but it turned to be actually good, doing what Princess and the Frog did just in CG and differently enough for this one to be a big hit.

It worked out so well with Tangled they used what they learned on that to create Frozen a few years later. The rest as they say, is history. You know all this stuff already but i needed to set the stage.

For some reason, there’s been a debate on if Tangled or Frozen or better. They only compare them because they happen to be CG Princess Films, really. Now it’s all repeating itself with Moana but i digress.

I don’t have much to say about that debate, at least without pissing off the Tangled side . I’ll just say that I’m surprised there aren’t more debates about if PATF and Tangled are better. I mean, they are more similar in terms of what they are.

Sure, Tangled ended up winning the battle in term of success and memorability, which i suppose might be why there’s no debate. But I think they are close in quality and critical reception was roughly the same.

Honestly, I’ve gone back and forth on which i like more, while i can pick my winner on Tangle Vs Frozen very easily. Which is why i think i want to analyze this. I’ve been thinking of doing this for awhile now, but i think now’s the time to do that.

And I’m not just saying that because Tangled has an animated series debuting soon. …Well, maybe but i still had this idea for while. I really like both these movies a lot but which one is better?

I’m not even sure at the moment, but it’s time to figure it out. Which does the better job of staying true to the Classic Disney Tropes while still keeping itself relevant? Which had the best characters, best story, and best songs?

It’s time to find out.This is a bit different for me so bear with me.

This, is The Princess and the Frog Vs Tangled

(We won’t compare animation since it’s a bit unfair due to the different mediums)

BEST SONGS:

I figured we’d start with a simpler one before getting into the bigger elements. Well, okay, music is kind of important in a Disney Musical but you know what i mean. Both films have a pretty good, but mostly not great soundtrack so picking one is a tad hard.

Neither one has a bad song in it though, so there’s that. Princess and the Frog certainly has more of a concrete style to it, with there being a certain jazzy sound to most of the songs, taking full advtange of the setting.

But each song still stands on it’s own, and is a good example of each type, from the I Want Song to the villain song. In contrast, Tangled doesn’t have as quite as strong as a style. There’s some debate on if it is a good musical and I’m kinda torn.

All the songs are pretty good and memorable enough, but it’s really more of a movie with a few songs in it than a real musical. There’s like 4 orginal songs the rest of the soundtrack is made of reprises of those songs. Good reprises, mind you, but still.

Again, neither soundtrack is amazing because they do kind of blend in with the kind of songs we expect from Disney and not many will make a best disney songs list…for the most part. Friends on the Other side is one of my favorite Disney Villain Songs and is just awesome general.

The other songs in PATF i like are just pretty good. Tangled doesn’t quite have songs that are among my favorites from the Disney Canon. Just songs i really enjoy. So Princess and the Frog has one really strong standout while Tangled doesn’t quite have that, and PATF is a stronger musical with a better style.

I think the winner is clear. Tangled’s songs are good but the songs service then story in PATF better and it’s just better as a musical. Point goes to Princess and the Frog.

WINNER: Princess and the Frog

But we need people to sing those songs, and our next category is character based so let’s move on to them.

BEST PRINCE:

Okay,,Flynn Rider isn’t really a prince until the end but he does become one thanks the King and Queen still being alive (Well, there’s one point Tangled gets), so he counts. Both romantic dynamics are kidna typical in the movies, but the execution makes us like both couples fine.

Naveen has been cut off which gives him a little something extra instead of just being Prince, and he does develop nicely. His drawback though,is that he mostly kind of typical. He’s a loveable jerk who learns not be a jerk and all that good stuff. He’s made enjoyable enough but he doesn’t stick out among the Princes/Heroes of the Disney Canon.

Flynn Rider is similarly typical but stands out a lot more. His general attitude and way he interacts with Rapunzel makes him charming in how much of jerk he is, in a likable way. Everything he says is pretty funny, and he grows into a better person somewhat naturally.

And they do attempt to avoid the liar revealed sort of thing with Rapunzel knowing he wants the satchel, just not exactly why. And when he briefly leaves her at one point, it’s resolved better than most movies that do it. Perhaps it didn’t need to be there to begin with but ah well.

Naveen is fine but compared to Flynn Rider he’s just a bit forgettable. I suppose this is close because the romance in PATF gets slightly more focus so thus it does do it better but the male love interest himself is just better in Tangled, so it kinda balance it out.

I think we have a clear winner here. Yeah, i didn’t really have much to say about this one because I’m far more interested in these other categories. I don’t think either charecter is amazing or anything but Flynn Rider is just more interesting and enjoyable when it comes to this kind of character.

Point goes to Tangled.

WINNER: Tangled

BEST VILLAIN:

Oh, now we’re talking. Both films are blessed with some of the better Modern Disney Villains in my opinion. Dr. Faciler is voiced by Keith David, so he wins, moving on!

…Okay, there’s a bit more to say. Dr. Faciler has some very cool shadow powers that are fun to witness and he just a really cool nature to him. He presents himself to Naveen as an honest man, but even here it’s clear he’s not totally honest but he’s so damn charming that I wouldn’t care if i was Naveen.

But what else is interesting about him is that he’s a bit afraid of his “friends on the other side”. We see this at certain points, and it comes to a head in on the most awesome Disney Villain “Deaths” ever. It’s kinda small but it shows he’s not totally ontop of things and it adds more to him as a character.

Mother Gothel has an interesting set up, with how she stole Rapunzel to have access to her magic fountain of Youth Hair, and pretends to be her mother. Her scenes with Rapunzel early on actually make her out to be rather motherly, and their interactions are almost sweet. But certain quirks and you know, already knowing her backstory, make it clear she’s no good.

However, i will admit when she goes full on villain, she’s less interesting. Decently fun, but nothing too special. I prefer the earlier scenes where she’s balancing both sides, other later when she’s simply evil.

Meanwhile, Faciler is great in the entire movie, not just half of it. Plus, he’s just better in general. Gothel has a good angle sure, but Faciler stands out as more enjoyable as a villain and as a character as ends on an interesting note, while Gothel just kinda falls out of the tower…and i guess dies, it’s not really explained.

I like Gothel fine but Faciler is just the more interesting and enjoyable baddie when all is said and done. Plus, he has the better villain song. So yeah, Princess and the Frog wins this round.

WINNER: Princess and the Frog

BEST PRINCESS:

This was easily the hardest category. I honestly think films have some of the best Disney Princesses in the lineup, which isn’t too hard since I’m not attached a ton a ton of them. At least the moment.

When I first got this idea, I had a clear winner in mind but once i Re-watched the films to do this, it became more complicated. Both are very good characters in different ways, sort of.

Tiana is very unique in that she doesn’t start a princess as at all. She’s just a simple hardworking woman who wants to save up money to start a restaurant. She values hard work which of course clashes with Naveen’s carefree attitude.

This creates an interesting dynamic and it’s really fascinating to have a Disney Princess like this. Most of the others do work and can be strong, but Tiana is particularity different and relatable, for a lack of a less cliche word.

She’s up there with Belle when it comes to more interesting Disney Princesses. The one downside to her is that she doesn’t learn as much as some of the others. She does learn to be a bit more carefree I guess, but Naveen gets the bulk of the development compared to her.

It’s not a big deal as she stays interesting but it is a minor drawback. Rapunzel seems like she would be less interesting due to her own limitations but she had a lot more to her to I expected. She has a pretty good reason to want more since she’s been in a tower her whole life and her dynamic with Mother Gothel is interesting.

I talked about this in regard to Gothel herself and Rapunzel’s side is interesting. After she leaves the tower, she has moments of regret. And by that mean, we have that hilarious bit where she switches between being overjoyed, and feeling guilty.

She also proves to be a strong character from the start, with how she takes out Flynn Rider. Granted, I’m not sure how to feel about the use of a frying pan but ah well. Seeing her deal with situation and her “Mother” is really interesting and there’s just a lot more to her than I expected.

She’s also just lovable with her personality and such. This is a surprisingly lovable. I honestly thought Tiana was the easy winner, but after examining both, I’m not too sure. We could pick Tiana because of her interesting background or Rapunzel for her personalty and how she deals with these situations.

I can see some go either way, and some have. They both have one minor drawback each, with Tiana not learning as much and Rapunzel being ever so slightly typical to some other Disney Princesses they did different things with.

This one is tough. Both are very good in their own way but we must pick a winner. Tiana’s drawback isn’t too big a deal but it is slightly more of a drawback than Rapunzel’s problem. Tiana is very interesting in the first half, but less interesting in the 2nd half since they focus more on the other elements around then.

Rapunzel is interesting throughout the whole movie. The movie arguably focuses more on her than a bigger story, which does give her more an advantage. So do you want a different kind of Princess who is less interesting in the 2nd half, or a more typical one with unexpected nuance that is interesting the whole time?

It’s another thing that’s completely up to personal preference. But after watching both movies and really analyzing both characters….I pick….Rapunzel. This was a hard choice as i could have gone with either.

But in the end I picked her because as much as I like Tiana, I do find myself enjoying Rapunzel more. Her situation gives her some interesting things to deal with and she stays equal interesting through the whole movie, while Tiana deeps a bit as we’ve discussed..

I don’t know, I just find watching Rapunzel to be more interesting even though Tiana is a bit more refreshing. As i said, I could go either way, but if i had to pick, I’d go with that oddly has more going for her as a character is and more interesting the whole time.

It’ll be interesting to see people’s reaction to this descion, and what others think is the better Princess. But for me, just barely, Tangled gets this point again. Sorry Tiana, we still like you.

WINNER: Tangled

We’re tied at the moment, so it’s on to our final category which shall break the tie…

BEST WRITING:

This it, the big one. Like the previous category, this is somewhat close as they have their ups and downs in terms of writing. Mostly due to their approaches to the story. Princess and the Frog more focused on the story itself.

There’s more plot elements going on, as well as some subplots like with Laurence working with Faciler. I think this mostly works because it is an engaging story due to some of the stuff going on. The writers mostly do a good job of balancing the plot elements and making the story seem simpler than it is, in a good way.

They also do a good job at combing the elements you expect from a Disney movie, like the wacky sidekicks and love story, with new things like Tina’s upbringing that we went into. Even said sidekicks work, with one giving us a fairly unexpected sad death scene.

The downside is that some plot elements can be rushed or pointless, like that whole thing with Laurence. The idea is interesting and has a small purpose, but it doesn’t really go anywhere and the transition to him working for him is non existent.

The pacing can also be off in the midsection. There’s nothing wrong with the movie until about after their journey really begins, where things slow down a bit but it does pick back up soon after.

Tangled takes a simpler approach to it’s story. Sure, there’s the backstory but it mostly amounts to a journey to see the lights, with Gothel on their trail. The drawbacks are fairly obvious, it does make it blend in with the crowd a tad more and there’s nothing too complicated.

But it is still well told story. The backstory and Rapunzel are well written enough to get you invested. Tangled is slightly more character driven. Not saying PATF isn’t at least a little bit, but there is slightly more focus on the story at least in the first half.

Again,not a hard and fast rule, both have story driven moments and character driven moments, but there is a reason Rapunzel won the Princess round, they clearly put effort in crafting her than the story itself.

And like PATF, the pacing can be off, but this time it’s near the end of Act 1. It feels like it takes too long for them to start their journey after the meet, but once they do, it gets going and never gets dull.

Tangled also puts a slight more focus on comedy and fun, especially with Flynn Rider which works most of the time. Although there are some off moments like in the opening narration when he tells us Gothel will be important later…and by that means like only a minute later, which kind of ruins that joke.

I think both equals are equal in terms of humor, with some side characters providing good laughs like Charlotte in PATF and the horse in Tangled. Yeah, I agree with everyone else, Maximus is amazing. I didn’t compare supporting characters since Princess and the Frog has way more than Tangled, which gives it an unfair advantage.

Both films do feature good writing, executing their story pretty well. They do both have flaws keeping them from being among my all time favorite Disney films, as great as they are. So which is better?

It’s another thing that depends on your preference. Some may like Princess and the Frog more for capturing the Classic Disney feeling slightly better and doing a better update, and some may like Tangled more for it’s humor and keeping things simple.

This is hard one, i like both a lot even with their flaws. However, I do think Tangled’s simple story does hurt it a bit and it makes other minor flaws stick out more. Princess and the Frog’s flaws are a bit more understandable and what it managed to accomplish does impress me a bit more.

Again,PATF has an unfair advantage with a slight focus on story but this is more about the execution of the story itself and other elements. It’s a bit more ambitious and while I can some liking Tangled’s approach more, I get more of a kick out of Princess and the Frog’s approach.

The story ends up being more engaging because of the tweaks to the formula they made, and also having a better threat and soundtrack. So in the end, the film with the better writing is…Princess and the Frog.

Again, Tangled is very good too but the various elements of PATF just make it a slightly stronger script, and a stronger viewing experience in general. If this upsets you, just know I like both close to equal but PATF just barely gets the advtange. So Princess and the Frog wins the match!

WINNER: Princess and the Frog

PATF: 3 Points

TANGLED: 2 Points

OVERALL WINNER: The Princess and the Frog.

Well, there you go. This was a lot of fun. Forgive me if it’s rushed, I made the mistake of waiting until Tuesday to start writing this.

If you want my thoughts on Frozen and Moana vs these two: Frozen has the best songs, writing, and princesses out of them, while Tangled has the better CG animation, “Prince” and villain. Comparing Moana only to the two in the better, it really only beats them in terms of animation, songs are about equal though. So yeah, Frozen beats them all, but i will say that the others can beat in certain ways, just not overall.

I’m thinking of doing more Vs posts like this, kind of like Old Vs New, just mostly not with remakes and both films should be good/decent, to avoid curb stomp battles. I have some ideas I may but we’ll see how that goes.

Let me know what you think of this idea, and these movies in general. Yell at me for being wrong If you wish. I’m interested to see how Tangled: The Series fares, it looks interesting. I even like the art style, even if they still can’t Flynn’s nose right.

And yes, it being said to be a DCOM fascinates me. If they say it is right in the ads, I guess it is. If you want my thoughts when it airs, keep an eye on my YouTube channel. #ShamelessPlug.

With that said, that’s all I got. March may be slow for the blog but i have ideas I hope to do. Should be fun. In the meantime, enjoy what I end up putting out.

See ya.

 

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General Review: Logan

Hello, Spongey here.

I think it’s time for another live action general review. And of course, it’s a Comic Book Movie. I don’t have a lot to say going into this one. It’s an X-men movie and my relationship with those has been odd.

Just last year I wanted to do a review for X-Men Apocalypse but my first viewing didn’t give me enough to say. That’s the thing with this series, when I watch any entry for the first time, I like it enough but don’t have a lot to say or don’t have an extreme positive reaction. But when I re-watch them I have a lot to say or really love them.

Happened with the first one, as I reviewed it, and with First Class which I have seen 3 times now. I guess it’s good that Apocalypse fell through because my first viewing with these is never trust worthy. But that doesn’t matter as we are dealing with a spin off film.

And it’s with Wolverine. Yeah, everyone has complain about how Wolverine is always at the center of attention in this series, even in the best entries. He’s already had two solo films, that prequl everyone hates and The Wolverine which is said to be pretty good.

I haven’t seen either so I can’t comment. I just know some may be sick of Wolverine taking center stage, so I honestly wasn’t too excited for this when it was first announced. Especially with that horribly generic title.

But I got more interested when I heard about it. This was supposed to be a more serious take on the character even being Rated R. Yeah, we had our silly R Rated X-Men Universe movie last year so here is our serious one.

The trailers got me even more interesting, so now I was fairly hyped. Sure, I am weary about another Wolverine film and I still don’t like the title, but I was most excited. This is supposed to be Hugh Jackman’s final film as the character so there’s a lot riding on it.

It got an early release for critic’s and the reaction has been…pretty good. As in, 90 something on RT good. So far, RT is having a better track record with their high scores than last year. Hopefully this keeps that up.

With all this in mind, I was interesting in seeing this. As for the creative team, we have the director of The Wolverine which could be good given that one is said to be good. He’s also writer, along with people who worked on films such as Mary and Me and Green Lantern…Okay, an odd track record but ah well.

Will this be the awesome Wolverine film we all want, or was it declawed? Let’s find out!

This, is Logan

In the near future, a weary Logan cares for an ailing Professor X in a hide out on the Mexican border. But Logan’s attempts to hide from the world and his legacy are up-ended when a young mutant arrives, being pursued by dark forces.

I don’ have a ton to say about this one, but in a good way. Because was indeed was very good. It’s not perfect but it’s high points made it really strong to me. Because I’m a jerk, let’s start with the flaws. This movie is 2 hours and it kinda feels it. It’s no super slow but it does slow at some points especially early on and near the end of Act 2. Not a huge deal but maybe some minor things could have been cut.

The other flaws kind of stem from that but there are some off moments, and the villains aren’t terribly interested. But they do work in the context of the film so I can forgive that. I can forgive the flaws in general because the great stuff shines through.

First off, it earns that R Rating. This film is really violent to say the least and it works well. It just fits with the kind of movie it is and even when it’s exploitative, it still works. Honestly my favorite scenes were the action scenes.

They are just so dang brutal and really enjoyable. There’s a lot of energy in these scenes and they serve the story pretty well too. I mean, man they did hold it back on the violence front and I’m so glad.

And the action scenes also work because the writing makes you care. If this is really Hugh Jackman’s final turn as Wolverine, then he ended it with a bring. He does a really good job of bringing this older and past and his prime Wolverine to life. You can tell he’s been through some shit, right off the bat.

It’s really interesting see him by so distant and deal with all this stuff going on. They do the usual “loner who opens himself up to others” thing, kind of, but it fits for his character and as the film goes on, the progressions feels natural enough.

I could nitpick moments when him growing to like X-23 is rushed but the general way it works up makes up for that. It helps that this girl is awesome. Seriously, not only does she has an interesting backstory as to why she is the way she is, but she kicks some serious ass.

Even with her not speaking a whole lot for most of it, the actress does a good job too. Trust me, this is one of those actually good child characters. Their relationship also develops nicely. Yes, it has cliiche elements but you can forgive that as it is well written.

The thing with the writing is that it mostly stays simple. There are extra bits like the backstories but it’s mostly just an old Wolverine having to go on a road trip with X-23 and Xavier. This works out well and doesn’t over complicate things.

Speaking of Xavier, he’s getting on in years in this too, which I didn’t know going on. I won’t say too much of what goes on with him, but his deals a lot and Patrick Stewart is as great as ever.

The element that surprised me the most was the emotion. Yeah, for such a brutal film it actually kind of sweet and emotional in some spots. I won’t spoil anything but one part did kind of get to me. Weird, I know but it’s true. It certainly fits given Wolverine’s story in this.

Then there’s the ending. No spoilers, but there’s a note I was really hoping it would end on, instead of adding something dumb or unnecessary. …It did no the later and it makes the ending really strong. I’m so glad they did what they did there.

I won’t act like this movie or amazing or perfect. It can be slow and most of is “pretty good” rather than really really good, but it had some really stand out moments than brought it up, especially the ending.

Because of the standout moments, I’ll be nicer to it and man, those good elements work very well. I can see some are loving it to the extent they are. I can see some not minding the slower moments or minor off moments.

Overall, Logan is a strong sendoff for the character. The sort of simple approach works very well, Wolverine is at his best, and the R rating is exploited well to give some really good brutal action scenes, and there’s even some emotion in there.

It goes without saying that fans of the character will like it, especially if you’ve been wanting a more brutal take on the character. It’s very much worth seeing for fans, and it’s a good enough movie in general for most people to get into.

Just…don’t take your kids to this one, trust me. I got no kids in my theater, which is an improvement from Deadpool and Sausage Party. So there you go, Logan is pretty strong overall, even if it’s still not my favorite X-Men movie. Can’t quite pick one but I do know I lke First Class way more than this.

Grade: B+

4 Movies into 2017 and only one Dud. Gotta say, we are doing well. But that’ just because I skipped Monster Trucks, I guess. Because of money, I have to skip some interesting looking films like Power Rangers, so I’ll see you at the end of the month for Alec Baldwin as a a Baby!

…Yeah.

See ya.

Posted in General Reviews, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

You Lucky Dog

disney_-_you_lucky_dog

Kirk Cameron is a dog. Yet it’s still not the most insane thing he’s been in.

You Lucky Dog is property of Disney.

Hello, Spongey here.

Has been it awhile since I did a DCOM? I can’t remember, was it Even Stevens back in September? Either way, let’s do one and oh boy, this one is a doozy. We’re going all the way back to 1998 for this one, as it was DCOM #3.

The backstory to this one is interesting. The script was written 3 years prior and the star that we’ll get into came across it. He brought it to Disney Channel who made the movie and the rest is history. So this is another DCOM that wasn’t even supposed to be one, and spoilers, it shows.

The reputation for this one is…interesting. It’s mostly obscure, as Disney has tried to bury it and was very hard to find…until last year when they were forced to air it for the 100 DCOM’s thing and they also put it on iTunes.

The very few people who did manage to see it don’t like it. Infact, at least two people labeled it the worst DCOM of all time. Yes, of all time, taking certain modern ones into account. And everyone else doesn’t care too much for it either, especially compared to other older DCOM’s.

Even having watched I…yeah it’s something and I can’t wait to get into it. The actors they got alone raise some eyebrows. Thankfully, there’s not much else to say before we dive in. The three !) writes have don nothing, and somehow Disney hired this guy to do another DCOM the following year with Can of Worms.

Yeah, I wanna get to that one cuz it’s an October one.

With that said, what exactly is in this to makes people dislike it so much? The fact that it’s an Animalsplotion movie should be warning enough but what makes this an example so odd it makes Nine Lives look normal?

Oh yeah. Let’s find out.

This is You Lucky Dog

The movie opens with some visual exposition, as some newspaper clippings tell of us a kid who can read the minds of dogs and became a dog psychiatrist. I’d focus on that dumb idea or how this bit tells us things that are never brought up again…but I’m focusing on how this sounds exactly like You’ve Got a friend in me.

Seriously, take a listen.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lNVNBiOxkdc

Could it be even more of a ripoff? And apparently this song was nominated for some kind of Emmy! Is that even legal?

Anyway, we join him as an adult as his assistant tells some people about his abilities. Said assistant is played by Christine Cavanaugh in a live action role, for some reason. She vanishes after this opening scene so why is she even here? Granted she’s pretty much the best part by default.

He’s gotten very famous over this and has been able to make some kind of living, yet people are still skeptical and will be for most of the movie. Go figure. When we meet him, he’s sleeping on the job and is played by Kirk Cameron.

Yes, really. This was Pre-Crazy but…yep, Kirk Cameron is in a DCOM. And my god, are there plenty of jokes to make about it. Especially since he gets…pretty odd , to say the least as the movie goes on.

Just remember that it was his idea to take this to Disney and have it made. Things have not been going well for him lately as he can’t communicate the way he once could and his lately client thinks he’s a phony, insert Family Guy reference here.

He even threatens Kirk with violence, which I’m pretty sure could get you arrested but okay. Not that I blame people for wanting to punch Kirk Cameron. This is the final straw which makes Bernice want to quit but then a new client comes in, Clyde Windsor. His a rich guy who has a butler played by Uncle Phil himself, James Avery.

Again, really. This movie has an odd cast full of wasted talent.

His dog has been a bit upset lately and want Kirk’s help. Kirk takes the dog in an uses him for exposition. He reveals that he got this “power” as a kid and at one point it faded away. How did he get the powers and why did they fade away?

Never explained. I can guess based on what happens but they never go into it. Kirk says he doesn’t know why either and I guess it’s meant to be a mystery but it just feels like lazy writing.

He hears a bark but the dog is making no sound. You already know what this means already, don’t you? He’s able to figure what the dog’s problem is from his phantom barks and tells his owner what his problem is.

Yeah, as we see more of later, he’s able to understand the dog via these weird phantom barks. It’s meant to be kind of like mind reading but it’s conveyed quite oddly. Again, more on this as it becomes more important.

You have a remarkable gift young”

He was right about one thing, calm down.

Oh and yes, evrn though his power faded, he still kept this up for profit. Our hero. This isn’t even an arc, as he has no character to speak of. Everyone in this movie is a blank slate, really.

We have a few pieces that could make for a good story, but they are kind of skipping over the parts you kind of need for this kind of story. I just summed up what most of the movie ls like but it gets weirder.

Sometime later…

I happen to be a respected canine therapist…Why are you laughing?”

Yeah, that;’s not even the 7th craziest thing he’s ever said.

His office is being taken from him since being a phony doesn’t exactly pay the bills when Uncle Phil comes in.

Mr Windsor passed away last week”

.Well, glad I got to him very well before that happened. This is given absolutely no weight when it’s revealed, by the way. Meanwhile, his will is being read by Kirk’s real life wife to his only living heirs, who are all assholes and are our villains.

One of them is played by John De Delancie. Again, I am not making this up. This movie is just full of easy jokes from the casting alone! His characters get nothing in the will.

That’s right Lyle, absolutely nothing. …That’s what is says”

Okay, that was funny.

Kirk shows up just as the villains are forced to leave. He talks to Windsor’s attorney, Allison Kent. It’s here where we find out the other half of the premise. Oh get ready, this is something.

Because his human heirs are greedy dirtbags, as Sai would say, he decided to leave his 64 million dollars to..

His dog”

You’re joking, right?”

No, I am not”

I think that sums it up. Yes, this is our plot.

The entire 64 million dollars has been placed in a trust, and you have been named trustee”

Kirk Cameron reads dogs minds, and some rich guy he met once is giving all his money to his dog and also Kirk. You cannot make this crap up. It’s like Chairman of the Board fused with Aristocats, only even dumber somehow!

And trust me, this dumb idea has equally dumb execution. At least Kirk technically has control of the money too but it’s because he helped the dog ONE time! They met all of once and he gets all this money?!

How do you know this is a fluke and he can’t really fully read the dog’s mind? I know what I said about Kirk getting famous over it but come on! Even the characters in the movie point out how crazy this is.

Actually, most of the movie is the characters pointing out how silly this is, yet still going with it. You can point your silly-ness in a way that works but it does not work here. But yes, he gets all this.

Unless of course the heirs can prove your mentally incompetent/”

…Too easy.

It’s been very…interesting”

That’s one way to put it. Allison leaves and Kirk dances around to celebrate being rich. I don’t know this bothers me but it does. The villains are meeting with a lawyer guy who tells them the only way to get their money back is to prove Kirk is crazy.

He claims to be a dog physicist, what more proof do you need?”

I agree with the villain. That’s not a good thing. Seriously, shouldn’t Kirk have to prove he can do that thing that is the reason he got the money to begin with? Legally, this shouldn’t fly. He says can help them out, end scene.

After a bit where some maids see Kirk half naked (No comment), the villains think they should take matters into their own hands. And by that I mean they plan to murder the dog.

1111fam

Thankfully, they plan to stake out the situation before going that far. Kirk is talking to the maids when we get official confirmation of how Kirk is communicating with Lucky. He hears the phantom bark and can tell exactly what he is actually saying from it. They have a full conversation using this. And that brings us one of the biggest problems with the movie. I touched on this but this is a really stupid way to show dog communication.

Remember, all we hear are barks and sometimes the phantom barks. Everything the dog says is told to us by Kirk. Not only is it lazy to just have characters say stuff like “What do you man you said X” in general, but this is not how you do this kind of thing.

Most movies would have us hear exactly what the dog is saying and the others simply hear barking. But here, all we hear is the barking. This just serves to make Kirk look as crazy as everyone thinks he is.

Maybe it’s supposed to make it look ambiguous as it if he can actually understand them or not but by the end it’s pretty obvious he really can. Heck it’s even clear from that scene earlier. Another reason we aren’t hearing what the dog is actually saying is that maybe they wanted to do it slightly more…realistically.

.It’s a movie about Kirk Cameron talking to dogs, that can’t be it. There’s a third reason but we’ll get to that.

Oh, and talks to the dog with the door open so that the maids can see this and rightfully think he’s crazy. Good move, Kirk. I just realize we’re 27 minutes into a dog and we haven’t had any reference to dog shit, gotta fix that by having Lucky go outside.

The dog ends up freaking out over a bone,….and Kirk follows suit. He starts acting like a dog out of nowhere, looking for the bone. And the maid sees this leading to a pretty bizarre image.

you lucky dog.png

You need help”

Yeah, that sums it all up. This is go crazy that the maids just up and quit. Well, those were some useful characters. I’ll touch on the acting like a dog thing more later because…oh boy if you thought the insanity stopped at him talking the dog..

I think you might be possessed by the devil or something”

I bet that triggers him hard, at least it would if he wasn’t a dog right now. We cut to the next morning as we see that they went pretty hard and basically made a big mess. It looks like the beginning to the next Hangover Movie: Hangover Part 4: Life’s a Bitch.

After all that, I would consider leaving but Kirk stays because of the money. Again, our hero. Uncle Phil comes in and we get more “people think Kirk is crazy” shtick. He’s just more dignified about it.

He actually takes this “new master is talking to dogs” thing pretty well. Too well, honestly. Kirk attempts to explain what is going on: When the dog is excited his personality kind of…jumps into him.

He says like he’s an expert on the subject when he really knows as much as we do,

You become a dog?”

…Yeah. This is all the explanation we get and honestly I couldn’t grasp it until the climax way later. Basically when the dog is excited, he starts talking through Kirk. Kind of like they’ve swapped bodies only…not.

It’s really confusing and makes no sense. Like, when the dog does thing, it’s still him doing them but he just speaks through Kirk. I have no idea where Kirk’s mind goes during all this, it’s not the dog….i think.

Like I said, it’s very confusing. It takes an easy concept to do and messes it up somehow. Needless to say, these weird rules make for a very confusing viewing experience. After that, the establish that Lucky has been sad since his owner died.

There’s some Mood Whiplash for ya. He just went crazy last night but now he’s suddenly depressed? Then we get a flashback to the night he died to drive this home. One night Lucky wanted to go outside and reluctantly he agreed.

They went outside and right of the middle of the yard, he keels over. We get to watch this play out, by the way. And Lucky blames himself for his death. I know older DCOM’s got slightly heavier…but yikes, this is just tone deaf.

Needless to say, this is treated as seriously as it needs to be.

Kirk tries to take his mind off all this by taking him to the mall because dogs like malls now. The dog gets excited about this which means Kirk becomes a dog. As we watch Kirk talk and act like a dog, I must again reminded you he really wanted to do this movie.

Uncle Phil has the same reactions to all this as the rest of us. Yeah, he, John DeLanice, and the lawyer guy we’ll see more of later, are the MVPs of the cast if I had to name any.

I’m gonna need a lot more money for this gig”

Someone left the camera on while James Avery was rambling. The bad guys happening to be staking out and they follow Kirk and film him being very dog-ish. Kirk sees them and does nothing but bark. He can talk to Uncle Phill you know, he did so just now!

Thankfully, they crash their car and forgot to put a tape in the camera because one of them stupid, ha ha.

At this point, I want to talk about the score. Yes, even the score is off. For some reason, there’s a lot of scenes where the music is barely so loud that I just turn into a grumpy sitcom neighbor and want to turn down the volume. It doesn’t exactly overlap the dialogue, but it’s till pretty annoying when it happens.

Okay, back to the “plot”. This mall allows dogs from reason and they get into various unfunny antics. We get the amazingly exciting buying a sofa scene where Kirk talks to the dog in front of the salesman and isn’t thrown out for looking insane.

You’ll notice that the movie spends more on time on crap like this ,more than actually telling a story. That’s kind of a big problem too. Kirk bumps into the attorney/love interest person. Thankfully, the latter is only implied and they don’t do a big romance subplot. That would be….awkward.

Also, they make a “Dog’s hate cats joke” a mere 48 minutes in.

Kirk hangs out with her in a very rushed scene that’s edited and paced pretty poorly, with more of the annoying score and annoying Kirk is a dog stuff. This scene sums up the whole movie: Ditching attempts to tell a story to be annoying and stupid.

Later, we see the results of their spending spree which shows that dogs are not very good at conversing money. The female bad guy shows up to pretend to patch things up or something but Kirk goes all dog on her. Okay, 3 times in the span of less than 20 minutes is more than enough.

Trust me, Kirk Cameon acting like a crazed dog gets old after awhile.

He is a very disturbed young man”

After that pointless scene, Kirk thanks Shredder for keeping his freak outs a secret. Uh, you do that crap in public, it’s no secret. Because we haven’t ripped off another movie in awhile, after some filler, the bad guys break into the house for some Home Alone antics.

We’re now an hour into this and yet it feels like 40 minutes because almost nothing happens. Woo hoo. They try to be sneaky but can’t because the score is blaring so damn loudly. Seriously, the composer missed the point of this scene.

This scene of them being stupid and fumbling around goes on for other 5 minutes. Eventually Kirk showing up and going all dog on them scares them off which is understandable.

Did you see them?”

No, it was too dark”

…Too dark my ass, they were right in front of you, clear as day! They only do that so Kirk can say he smelled them and look like an idiot when telling a detective the next day. Defeated, the bad guys visit the lawyer guy and agree to let him help them. I guess that scene had a small reason to exist but it was still stupid.

Later, Kirk sees on plot convince news that Lawyer Guy is suing Kirk over all and proving he is mentally unstable, which they really should have done much earlier. But still, the crap he did at the mall alone proves he’s crazy.

Allison is here and says she’ll help out Kirk.

Unless there’s something you’re not telling me”

Yep, semi liar revealed thing which doesn’t matter because Kirk is terrible at keeping this secret. With that, we get the court room scene. Yep, the movie about Kirk Cameron being a dog just became a court movie. Why not.

Also, the judge is played by Dabey from Good Luck Charlie. Yes, someone in this decided to work for the Disney Channel again. Huh.

The bad guys get some pretty good testimonials from people like the maids, talking about th weird crap he does. Even Uncle Phill has to admit he’s a bit odd due to the oaf and all that.

There’s all kinds of normal”

You keep telling yourself that.

It doesn’t take long for Kirk to admit is power went away and for awhile, he was pretty much lying to people. Man, Kirk is a pussy if he admits this almost right away. By the way, don’t expect any Phoenix Wright jokes, you make them yourself.

Jack can’t exactly prove he’s not crazy, since he can say what the dog is thinking all he wants but there’s no physical proof. Besides the Kirk dog thing but they get to that, trust me. Like a lot of parts of this movie, we get the point the movie by this “people saying he’s crazy” stuff goes on for awhile.

They take a break and Allison is kind of mad. She wants to just give up but Kirk is determined to win this. And yep, he’s brekaing out the dog channeling thing. By the way, I had no idea what was actually doing on with that stuff until he point blank tells her in this scene and yet I was still confused.

It’s now time for the most absurd climax in any court movie ever. In real life, if this power exists, you couldn’t exactly prove for sure but it doesn’t make this scene any less silly. Eventually the dog gets worked up and Kirk goes full dog.

They actually do provide some proof as the dog looks at some objects Kirk can’t see, and Kirk is able to identify them. Then “Lucky” gets a big speech.

Jack’s not crazy. A little boring maybe”

A little? Without the dog, he has no personality besides being a slight jerk.

But most two leggers are”

That’s racist.

It’s the simple things that matter”

There’s our forced moral and even more forced “sweet” moment. As for what happens next, oh boy. Lucky suddenly flashes back to the night of Windsor’s death as it turns he saw John De Lancie slip something into his drink and that is the real reason he died.

Okay, he must have the worst memory ever if he didn’t recall THAT before. And yes, they did say he didn’t recall that because he clearly blamed himself for Windsor’s death earlier. Oh, and yep, the villain in a DCOM flat out murdered someone, and we saw it.

1111fam

I had to show that twice.

Lucky calls him out and John pulls a gun just to make this silly dog movie more intense. And then John is taken out and apprehended very quickly. Man, that was the most epic climax ever!

The dog was seemingly hit because we need our fake out death scene which doesn’t fool me for a moment, because it barely even lasts a moment.

The bullet just grazed his ear”

KIRK: Ow!

(Everyone laughs)

Haha, someone almost died!

Abrupt cut to later, and Kirk got Allison’s daughter a nice doggy. Kirk even got Lucky a million dog friends which I’;m sure is a set up for the 101 Dalmatians Reboot movie. The fact that they did two already won’t stop them from doing another, knowing Disney.

Then the ripoff song from the start plays again. Ugh, could this song be more of a ripoff?

Cause you know you got a buddy in me”

We’re done here. Mostly because the movie actually ends here with them laughing it up. Well, guess I found the worst abrupt ending in DCOM history. Sorry Cloud 9, the crown was nice while you had it.

Remember, Kirk saw this script and wanted to make it. This was his idea.

Final Thoughts:

So after all that, is this the worst DCOM I’ve reviewed so far? On a pure objective level…yep. Even Camp Rock had more gong for it than this. Every other DCOM I’ve seen had more of a plot, more character depth, and most of all, more logic.

I can honestly say this movie is indeed….kind of bad. Even with Camp Rock I couldn’t bring myself to say that. Before I say anything else,i will say I barely even consider a DCOM given it’s history.

The scripted started life elsewhere, and it never feels like a Disney movie, let alone a DCOM. It’s unfair to lump this in with actual DCOM’s as even Under Wraps and other early ones were more of a DCOM than this.

For the rest of this review, I’ll just treat it like a real “movie”, because it’s odd enough on it’s own. But seriously, this thing wasn’t horribly painful but it was so stupid. The story barely exists, mostly showing up tons of dog antics instead of really telling a story.

They skip over basic things that would make the story feel more complete. There are small pieces here and there but they don’t expand on them. Kirk learns ….something but I don’t know what. I guess he stops being a jerk but there’s no transition, he just stops because the plot says so.

Let me write a better opening act for this movie: Start with Kirk as a kid as he first gets these powers, to at least attempt to establish his connection with dogs instead of just explaining it. A montage shows him getting famous through this but at one point he loses the powers.

Kirk however is too used to the fame and riches he got through this, that it goes to his head and he decides to keep up the facade. This bring us to present day as he finds the connection again through Lucky and most of what the film tries to convey happens but instead we actually see Kirk learning to be a better person, and maybe he lost the powers because he became too impersonal to establish a real connection needed to talk to the dogs.

There, still needs work but I gave you a much better framework. Why am I better writer than so many chuckleheads out there.

As it is, the “rules” are confusing and the story is thin and weak. Nothing makes any sense yet the movie acts like it does. The characters are as thing as you can you can get, and the score is just annoying half the time.

I will say that the acting is…well…odd. Everyone seems to be almost aware this is dumb but just rolls with it, because they know better stuff is coming. Except for Kirk, his case is different. As such, the acting isn’t…bad, just odd, and sometimes decent.

Needless to say, the movie is pretty crazy with not a whole lot going for it. But oh boy, I recommend it. Yep, it’s another “So Bad It’s good Movie”. It’s not quite as “Funny’ as others, but it’s so insane and odd, it must be seen to be believed.

The fact that that this is under the DCOM banner is kind of amazing. Okay, I know what I said but that adds to it’s charm. It’s so odd and obscure that it’s kind of worth it to track it down. Hopefully it’s easier now that it;’s on iTunes and has Re-aired at least once.

This isn’t even the most embarrassing thing I’ve had to legally buy for a review, honestly.

So yeah, this is the worst DCOM I’ve seen so far, but it’s barely a DCOM so I can’t get too mad at it. If you can track it down, do so because it is quite interesting, even in the over crowded crappy dog movie genre.

Grade: D-

The quality of these movies keeps getting odder. Even if that was miles better than the last couple, it still surprised me somehow with the levels of bad it had in it. I want to stop doing movies like this…but I’m sure we’ll keep doing that next time, as the film I want to do is one that could be like that.

It’s a YA type movie, so all bets are off.

See ya.

Posted in Disney Channel Crap, Disney Channel Movies, Play by Play Reviews, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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.

Posted in General Reviews, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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