General Review: Justice League

Hello, Spongey here.

It’s time once again to face the DCEU with their latest film. If you need a recap, for awhile I found their movies to be okay. They had some good and some bad, they were not nearly as bad as people made them out to be.

But boy was I glad when Wonder Woman proved they can devlier something really solid. Although even that has flaws that aren’t as bad as people make it out to be. The 3rd act was fine!

Now we have the big team up movie this was all leading up to. Let’s be honest: Many of us had little hope for this one. Because it’s going off what BvS set up, there’s no way they could course correct as much as they did with Wonder Woman.

I knew ahead of time we’d have to muddle through this before getting to their bright future, even if this was another “not that bad” one. But then director Zack Synder just gad to step down because of a tragedy in his family, meaning Joss Whedon had to step in during post production.

Everything was against this one but for once I decided to shut all that out because the landscape can be toxic with us digesting all this news about movies we haven’t seen yet. For once I wanted to ignore all the crap going and try and enjoy the film the best I can.

I won’t even mention the reviews so far (“which I would have known of earlier if RT didn’t cave in to the fanboys and made us for a dumb Facebook show to reveal the score). For the creative team, I already mentioned it.

Aside from that Argo writer was also a writer on BvS. So with that, let’s dive in. Will Dc give us the fun teamup we need?

This, is Justice League

After the events of Batman v Superman, Bruce Wayne/Batman learns of a new threat so he gathers Diana Prince/Wonder Woman along with some new faces to take it on.

If you recall, my problem with the DCEU Movies before Wonder Woiman is that they were Average but in a very hit or miss way. They had some good, some bad but mostly stuff had mixed feelings on. Thus, Average overall.

Wonder Woman finally gave us a consistent DC movie and it was good! The good news is that Justice League is consistent….the bad news is it’s consistently….eh. Yep, I’m pulling the “It’s okay” card.

The thing is, the film itself is fine as it is. I was never mad or baffled at the script as it is but I wasn’t amazed at enough. At best I laughed or was mildly entertained. Before we move on, we gotta addressed the elephant in the room.

Henry Cavill, who plays Superman, had to do some reshoots but he had a mustache that he needed to keep for another movie he was also shooting at the time. Thus, they had to CGI out his mustache.

It’s….really noticeable. Doesn’t ruin the movie but the thing is, you can tell when the scene was shot before the reshoots because he has some obvious stubble but in other scenes he completely and total clean shaven.

Why did they not get rid of the stubble? If it wasn’t for that then I might not have been bothered by it, but alas. The CG in general isn’t nearly as bad as everyone in saying but a fair amount is clearly fake and doesn’t work that well. This reportedly cost 300 MILLION. (Only 2 other movies cost that much!)

Another big issue is regarding Superman Oh you know he’s here in some way but I won’t go into further spoiler-y detail. He himself is actually better here than he was in his previous movies.

Too bad they carry one certain problem from BvS which shows just how much they messed up a certain part of that movie. The only thing I can give away is that I wanted more Superman.

Also, the villain sucks so much I had to add this after I wrote the next few paragraphs cuz I forgot about him.

Outside of those, it’s hard to pin point exactly why it’s not flat out good. I can try though. The first 40 minutes feel like a long trailer for the movie we paid to see, not quite as much as the start of Suicide Squad though.

Some of it feels a bit workman like with how it sets up each character and gets us into the story. They clearly wanted to cheer up a tad compared to the other movies so they can make DC’s Avengers.

And in terms of structure, it was pretty much DC’s Avengers. I wouldn’t say they gold out as it still feels like the DCEU, just a bit less darker and more joke-y but it ends up being a bit standard to me.

It’s not without it’s good points that help make it palatable. The cast is still quite good, including the new players like Ezrea Miller. Ray Fisher and Jason Momoa didn’t stick out as much but they still did okay.

The best to me were Ezra and Gal Gadot. The former because I just enjoyed his enthusiasm and the latter because she already had 2 movies to be great so that carried over. I do like that there aren’t 50 other characters outside the main group to juggle. People like Gordon and Lois Lane show up as much as they need to, which makes it odd that Amy Adams got higher billing than some of the group members.

I wasn’t too emotionally attached to some of these members since their development is mostly shown at the start but for some like Cyborg, it gets the job done. I mostly liked the humor as the cast made it work even if some of it was forced.

“What’s your superpower?”

“I’m Rich”

Haw haw. My audience clearly liked the humor even more than I did, minus the guy next to me who was having none of this movie. Amazing. The action is decent enough especially near the end when we see them work together a bit more.

I can see some enjoying this one since it has it’s fun parts and I see some being let down by it. I don’t see the full hate as usual but I’m used to it. It’s just that overall the mostly was just fine.

It did it’s job to be certain but that’s more or less it. It doesn’t need to be amazingly ambitious for the big Justice League movie I was hoping for something hugely epic, not something that’s mildly enjoyable at points.

I figured it wouldn’t be the former going on, after all the shit that went on with it. But given certain reviews I was expect slightly more in terms of the fun parts, you know? It’s certainly clear what parts were Zack and which were Joss.

(Oddly, Joss is not credited as director but he is credited as Co-writer).

I can’t say exactly why I’m on the average side, it’s just that the film mostly coasted and played it safe compared to even other DCEU movies. I feel like it’s trying a bit too hard to please the detractors, while Wonder Woman was able to lighten up but still be a high Good.

Did the length hurt it? Well, it’s 2 hours…including credits. It’s only about an hour and 49/50 without them. It’s not like making it longer would fix certain problems but trust me, Marvel always does well with 2 plus hour runtimes, there’s no reason you couldn’t.

Oh and there’s a Mid and Post Credits scene because Marvel. Mid Credits Scene was amusing and the post credits scene is typical set up stuff. Neat but not something that gets me too hyped.

Overall, Justice League is fine. It brings more fun to the DCEU with a solid cast and fun moments but it plays a bit too safe and doesn’t make the impact it needed to. It does nothing too bad but it’s sad that I just saw it and a solid amount of it is already just blending together to me.

If you’re interested, go ahead. If you mostly like these movies, you will enjoy it as well as people not asking for me too much. But if you want a bit more or are just fed up at this point, see it at your own risk.

I will say this shouldn’t hurt anyone’s faith in the DCEU since they said they’d do more stand alones and only did this as it is cuz it was too late to change too much by the time Wonder Woman came out.

I hope they have a good future. This isn’t a bad foundation, but please do more films like Wonder Woman that was smartly written and fun instead or just one or the other.

I’m not as down on it as some but I can’t say it’s anything more than fine. It’s sadly back to the Average-ness that I’ve come to know the DCEU film. Hopefully Aquaman is good.

Rating: Average

Too Average films in one week, yikes. Sorry I couldn’t say more but I do want to make these shorter and the effect it had on me stands out more than certain parts.

Next week, Pixar brings us a Non-Sequel that is nothing like any movie people are unfairly comparing it to.

See ya.

Hello, Spongey here.

We’ve got another double feature of reviews this weekend with two companies having trouble to say the least. Thanks to another Matinee Pre Screening, we’ll start at Sony as we look at a…Religious movie.

Oh boy, I’m playing with fire today. Anyway, after The Emoji Movie, Sony is on shakey ground for a lot of people because of one movie which of course ruins all credibly they had. Yes, people really think this.

Because Dreamworks pretty much died after Shark Tale, right? They never made anything good again after that disaster!

But whatever, they have a new film out and it’s an interesting one. This one is all about the story of the Nativity which is an interesting topic to go into for a mainstream family film.

Religious media re usually reserved for younger kids like Veggie tales or adults like Miracles From Heaven. I figured this would be a more serious film from them but the marketing suggests it’ll be more comedic which is fine I guess, being a family film.

I will admit the trailers didn’t really do anything for me as it made the film kinda annoying but trailers are always crap, even when they aren’t so I won’t let that keep me from being interested in seeing where they go with this.

This is clearly a smaller film for them, being aimed at a niche audience. Although it is odd the trailer said this is from the studio that bought you Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs and Miracles from Heaven.

Cuz those films clearly have the exact same audiences.

Anyone, this was made on a small budget of only 20 million which is crazy for a Star Studded film like this one. But that’s why I’m liking Sony a bit more than others this year since they aren’t say, spending over 100 million on a movie about aliens in trucks.

The director has done nothing of note and the writer has credits on Rio 2 and Open Season 4. Eh.

So, will Sony give us a good perspective of the first Christmas or this star not gonna be shining at all?

This, is The Star

You know the Nativity story. It’s that but we focus on the animals ala The Wild Life as a Donkey named Bo goes with Mary and Joseph and has own little journey on their way to birthing Jesus.

I’ll just get this out of the way: This movie was the epitome of So Okay It’s Average. Nothing about it was anything that special but nothing in it was that bad. The best parts aren’t great, the worst parts aren’t terrible.

It’s all so…eh. It’s a lot better than the trailers made it look, but it’s not as good as it could have been. We’ll start with the more explicit negatives. For one, this movie is full of stunt casting.

Half of the big names that fill the credits are just there to be there. They don’t add much and barely even do anything. So if you were hyped to see Tyler Perry the camel, you will be very disappointed.

While the humor mostly isn’t the worst, there are some bad pandeirng jokes like the one but with that bird’s butt you see in the trailer. That’s Dave, the worst character because he gets the worst jokes.

The camels get some bad ones too, mostly doing that thing where a movie set in the past has them subtly reference future events that’s funny because those things totally do happen and they don’t know it yet!

The characters are mostly one note and just get blander as it goes on. No one is hatable but not too many stick out. Plus, Joesph’s hate of Bo can be a bit forced at points. The story hits all the beats you would expect, all to be fair it’s not really supposed to be unpredictable.

But it should engage and it didn’t quite do that for me as it was just dull to me. We have a lead who wants more and of course there’s the end of act 2 split up. It’s not done horrible but it is done in a very typical way.

As for the positives, some of the actors add some charm like Gina Rodriguez as Mary To be honest, I found the parts focused on Mary and Joseph more engaging even though that does not take up too much of the film. They were charming and had nice moments.

Even if Zachary Levi just sounds like Flynn Rider to me in this one.

The animation, while clearly not great, is decently done. It’s a more realistic style which fits even if it doesn’t quite stand out as amazing. And at the end of the day, you can tell they have respect for this story and want to give families a new version of it.

Even with the dumb jokes. Heck, there’s text in the credits more or less saying “We had fun here but we respect this great story” which was on the nose but whatever. There is some heart which does put it above other rushed and generic animated features.

But sadly, it’s not enough to make for a good movie. It’s all just very….okay. There’s enough good to make it work for kids but too many flaws for adults to enjoy it. Is strictly kids and Christians with not too much appeal outside of that.

I’m somewhat fine with that as it’s not quite insulting but I do think they could have done so much more with it, instead of doing the bare minimum. I don’t feel like going into more detail because there just isn’t much to really say.

It’s more competent than some other Average movies but also blander so it’s hard to fully judge. Still, it is very average. It’s got heart to it but it doesn’t do anything special with the story or characters to make me invested. My mind wandered a lot in this one because it just didn’t quite grip me.

It’s easy to see what my recombination is: Wait til you can rent it. The only people that should see this are religious families but even then there’s no reason they can’t just watch this at home instead of paying theater price for it.

This review sounds more negative than it is, but that’s only because I expected more given the talent involved and what it could have bee, you know? I like that Sony calmed down for this one but as a result it lacks ambition.

It’s textbook fine. Kids will like it fine, but the rest will find it passable at best. I know it was made for a niche audience but I still expected a bit more. I imagine it won’t do well since for the 3rd time this year, my screening was empty. Ouch.

So yeah, it’s fine I suppose and I can see some liking it, hence it’s positive RT score but it’s all too average for anyone to go out of their way to see. Eh

Rating: Average

Shortest review in awhile but you can imagine why. I was expecting a disaster or a surprise but instead I got…average-ness. Ah well.

Come back later (as it will be Friday when this goes up) as we finally see what DC has been building towards.

See ya.

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General Review: The Star

Hello, Spongey here.

We’ve got another double feature of reviews this weekend with two companies having trouble to say the least. Thanks to another Matinee Pre Screening, we’ll start at Sony as we look at a…Religious movie.

Oh boy, I’m playing with fire today. Anyway, after The Emoji Movie, Sony is on shakey ground for a lot of people because of one movie which of course ruins all credibly they had. Yes, people really think this.

Because Dreamworks pretty much died after Shark Tale, right? They never made anything good again after that disaster!

But whatever, they have a new film out and it’s an interesting one. This one is all about the story of the Nativity which is an interesting topic to go into for a mainstream family film.

Religious media re usually reserved for younger kids like Veggie tales or adults like Miracles From Heaven. I figured this would be a more serious film from them but the marketing suggests it’ll be more comedic which is fine I guess, being a family film.

I will admit the trailers didn’t really do anything for me as it made the film kinda annoying but trailers are always crap, even when they aren’t so I won’t let that keep me from being interested in seeing where they go with this.

This is clearly a smaller film for them, being aimed at a niche audience. Although it is odd the trailer said this is from the studio that bought you Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs and Miracles from Heaven.

Cuz those films clearly have the exact same audiences.

Anyone, this was made on a small budget of only 20 million which is crazy for a Star Studded film like this one. But that’s why I’m liking Sony a bit more than others this year since they aren’t say, spending over 100 million on a movie about aliens in trucks.

The director has done nothing of note and the writer has credits on Rio 2 and Open Season 4. Eh.

So, will Sony give us a good perspective of the first Christmas or this star not gonna be shining at all?

This, is The Star

You know the Nativity story. It’s that but we focus on the animals ala The Wild Life as a Donkey named Bo goes with Mary and Joseph and has own little journey on their way to birthing Jesus.

I’ll just get this out of the way: This movie was the epitome of So Okay It’s Average. Nothing about it was anything that special but nothing in it was that bad. The best parts aren’t great, the worst parts aren’t terrible.

It’s all so…eh. It’s a lot better than the trailers made it look, but it’s not as good as it could have been. We’ll start with the more explicit negatives. For one, this movie is full of stunt casting.

Half of the big names that fill the credits are just there to be there. They don’t add much and barely even do anything. So if you were hyped to see Tyler Perry the camel, you will be very disappointed.

While the humor mostly isn’t the worst, there are some bad pandeirng jokes like the one but with that bird’s butt you see in the trailer. That’s Dave, the worst character because he gets the worst jokes.

The camels get some bad ones too, mostly doing that thing where a movie set in the past has them subtly reference future events that’s funny because those things totally do happen and they don’t know it yet!

The characters are mostly one note and just get blander as it goes on. No one is hatable but not too many stick out. Plus, Joesph’s hate of Bo can be a bit forced at points. The story hits all the beats you would expect, all to be fair it’s not really supposed to be unpredictable.

But it should engage and it didn’t quite do that for me as it was just dull to me. We have a lead who wants more and of course there’s the end of act 2 split up. It’s not done horrible but it is done in a very typical way.

As for the positives, some of the actors add some charm like Gina Rodriguez as Mary To be honest, I found the parts focused on Mary and Joseph more engaging even though that does not take up too much of the film. They were charming and had nice moments.

Even if Zachary Levi just sounds like Flynn Rider to me in this one.

The animation, while clearly not great, is decently done. It’s a more realistic style which fits even if it doesn’t quite stand out as amazing. And at the end of the day, you can tell they have respect for this story and want to give families a new version of it.

Even with the dumb jokes. Heck, there’s text in the credits more or less saying “We had fun here but we respect this great story” which was on the nose but whatever. There is some heart which does put it above other rushed and generic animated features.

But sadly, it’s not enough to make for a good movie. It’s all just very….okay. There’s enough good to make it work for kids but too many flaws for adults to enjoy it. Is strictly kids and Christians with not too much appeal outside of that.

I’m somewhat fine with that as it’s not quite insulting but I do think they could have done so much more with it, instead of doing the bare minimum. I don’t feel like going into more detail because there just isn’t much to really say.

It’s more competent than some other Average movies but also blander so it’s hard to fully judge. Still, it is very average. It’s got heart to it but it doesn’t do anything special with the story or characters to make me invested. My mind wandered a lot in this one because it just didn’t quite grip me.

It’s easy to see what my recombination is: Wait til you can rent it. The only people that should see this are religious families but even then there’s no reason they can’t just watch this at home instead of paying theater price for it.

This review sounds more negative than it is, but that’s only because I expected more given the talent involved and what it could have bee, you know? I like that Sony calmed down for this one but as a result it lacks ambition.

It’s textbook fine. Kids will like it fine, but the rest will find it passable at best. I know it was made for a niche audience but I still expected a bit more. I imagine it won’t do well since for the 3rd time this year, my screening was empty. Ouch.

So yeah, it’s fine I suppose and I can see some liking it, hence it’s positive RT score but it’s all too average for anyone to go out of their way to see. Eh

Rating: Average

Shortest review in awhile but you can imagine why. I was expecting a disaster or a surprise but instead I got…average-ness. Ah well.

Come back later (as it will be Friday when this goes up) as we finally see what DC has been building towards.

See ya.

Posted in General Reviews, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Good Luck Charlie-The Singin’ Dancin’ Duncans

Hello, Spongey here.

After that whole subplot thing, it’s time to go back to just one full episode. We’ll have subplots here the whole episode is bad this time. Sort of, we’ll get to that.

It’s time to get into a Good Disney Sitcom I wanted to find/review a bad episode from for awhile now: Good Luck Charlie!

I talked about it in regards so the movie way back in 2013 but here’s a refresher: This was an actually good Disney Sitcom due to how simple and less gimmick-y it was compared to most of them. It was a charming family show that was decently funny.

But being a Disney Sitcom, it wasn’t perfect. Most of the problems showed up later on (although it was still good), but they were extensions of smaller issues that existed early on.

I’ve been wanting to find a review able episode and there were some weaker ones like “Teddy and the Bambino” and “Go Teddy” but they didn’t quite get to “bad enough to review” levels. The former came a bit close though.

Then of course I found one worse than both of them and carries mostly the flaws of the latter but with an extra dash of the problems of Freaky Fido and The Intruder.

From that comparison, you’d think this would be one of those really bad episodes but it’s actually one of those lesser bad ones. Still kinda bad to be certain but not toally awful and it has good aspects we’ll get to it.

So what are the shows 2 main flaws that this one sums it up? Why is it so weak? Let’s take a look.

This, is The Singin’ Dancin’ Duncans

Writer; Jim Gerkin

The episode starts with Teddy having Charlie show off what she learned today.

“What’s the opposite of Good?”

This episode.

“Gabe”

That was my 2nd guess.

Amy comes in with this other woman named Fran who plans to enter the local talent show with her family. They win every year and of course, Amy is a bit jealous and says her family will enter and kick their butts.

Yep, we’re doing that plot. And yes, Amy is doing this for selfish reasons. It’s not so bad now just wait. I will say the firsr Act of so is this episode is decent. It’s a good set up and it’s actually pretty funny.

Like when they chant “Fran’s going down!” comes back to get her keys and it gets all awkward. But as you can imagine, things do go downhill.

Oh and they don’t want to do this until they hear the prize is tickets to Super Adventure Land. That doesn’t really make this better as we’ll see.

After the theme song, we start the subplot which following in the tradition started by Review It Up, is actually pretty good. Not great but still good, although will minorly play a role with one of this episodes problems.

We see Ivvy is getting along with Raymond, played by Cookie from Ned’s Declassified. It’s weird seeing him without glasses. Even if he was only in that scene, I’d point it out just to point him out.

This one girl is handing invitations to a party but Teddy does not get one. Ivvy does but she declines since Teddy was. That’s nice. Trust me, people being likable is sorely needed in this episode.

The teacher announces that they are doing a class trial. Making this a court episode, yay! I have weird soft spots. These pieces for the subplot are actually set up pretty well.

But when we get Plot #3 which is where things start to fall apart. This plays into a problem with the show that this episode also has: It relies a bit too much on the ABC plot structure. There’s nothing wrong with it as some shows can pull it off.

Even this one. But the problem is this show, along with others like I Didn’t Do It don’t always know how to balance these plots and sometimes one can feel like too many. This 3rd plot with Gabe and PJ isn’t full on bad per say but it’s just pointless.

The two main plots have enough to them to hold an episode on their own and frankly, the main story needs more time to play out as it is. If it’s for a more comedic plot, the Amy plot has too much comedy as a problem so that excuse doesn’t work.

And of course it helps a pacing issue we’ll see more of later.

Gabe and PJ try to sell random junk online and that’s the plot. Nothing bad but it’s not as funny as it should be. Too many “PJ is dumb” jokes for my taste.

We get a quick scene with Teddy’s plot where the only important thing will be discussed in a bit and we finally get to the main story. The subplots began at the 3 minute mark (counting the theme song) and we’re now 7 minutes. It should not take 4 total minutes to return to what should be the main story.

Yeah, that’s a nitpick but a problem starts here. They are in the living room to practice for the talent show and they will do some dumb dance as the Singin’ Dancin’ Duncans.

Roll credits, yada yada yada.

Of course, they can’t keep with her due to her rather silly standards. Her moves are too complicated for them to say the least.

“What are you waiting for?”

“10 years of dance lessons”

Funny joke aside, keep that in mind. It’s not so much that they are bad it’s that they can’t keep up with her ridiculous moves. Yeah, Amy is the other show problems. Half the time she’s pretty funny but the other half, she can be kind of annoying and jerk-ish.

It doesn’t always bug me but here she is at her possible worst.

Next we get another scene with Gabe and PJ, they try to cover up for the stuff they told and they only do so because Bob is kinda slow. …Next scene.

The next day, Amy comes and says the talent show has been canceled for reasons, and after some jokes, Bob leaves.

“He bought that, right?”

Rule of thumb, maybe wait until the next scene for the big reveal that she was lying. Passing it off here as a joke (that doens’t get an OOOOOH from the fake audience) is just dumb.

And yep, she pretty much gave up on them after ONE failed practice that was more or less her fault. Woooow.

Back with Teddy, she becomes suspicious of Ivvy cuz she had to get out of practice for their court thing for a reason that she finds out is not true. So much lying in this episode, for shame.

Ivvy and that one girl seem kinda friendly and given the party thing, you can see why Teddy jumps to conclusions here.

TEACHER: And they say Government is a boring class…they’re right.

Okay, that’s another good line.

They move on with the fake court thing which heats up due to Teddy’s own Ivvy issues. After like a minute, Ivvy admits that she was at the party…with Spencer. But right away she says they are not dating.

Whew, that drama lasted all of 1 second!

She was just there with Raymond and Spencer since the former wanted to hang out with the latter. Things heat up further and teddy has to step out. Yeah, some releationshp drama from earlier in the show is here but thankfully not full force and it plays out fine.

Despite weak pacing making things go too fast

Speaking of pacing, we get back to Amy after what feels like forever as Bob starts to get suspicious that she lied since someone called about her having enough cookies for the Talent Show thing.

And right after, she steps out for a random reason. She truly is the master of fooling people. Then…it’s back to Teddy! Naturally pacing and plot balancing, what’s that?!

Ivvy apologizes for what happened. They have a small talk and kiss and make up. End plot. Yeah, it plays into the overall pacing issue but at least it was mostly nice and funny. But if even the best part of the episode plays one of it’s flaws, that’s not good.

And yes, I have no idea what’s supposed to the main plot but we’ll get to that at the end.

At the Talent Show, we find out Amy hired actors to be her famiy. Except Charlie, guess she’s not bad at anything. Oh and Fake Gabe is played by Cameron Boyce, proving Disney puts in these actors in small roles, fully planning to make them bigger later.

I mean, this was the same year (2011) Jessie air after all. She sees her really family and they put 2 and 2 together…and she just moves on awkwadley and it cuts to the next scene.

That’s right, she isn’t fully exposed and they do nothing funny with this scene. Imagine if the family got up there, started fighting with the fake family or something like that. It would be stupid but at least mildly amusing!

Instead, we cut to later she comes home to weakly apologize.

“Come on, we know how you are. Everybody has flaws”

“I know. Mine is…despite all my wonderful talent, I have yet to be discovered”

First off, yes that’s the Freaky Fido aspect I mentioned although the blow is softened by something even worse.

But first, focus on how she doesn’t even realize that what she did was bad enough to be forgiven for to began with! But oh boy it gets worse as this woman comes in.

“Who’s this?’

“Our new Mom”

Okay, this sounds fine as a bit of funny revenge to make up for a lack of a climax. But then…

“She even changes diapers!”

“…Diapers? Really? …Welcome to the family”

End plot. That’s right, instead of feeling the revenge, she drops it after a dumb joke. And yeah, it’s clear Fake Mom will be gone by the next episode. But this is the kind of antic I expect from a cartoon like SpongeBob not a Disney Sitcom that is somewhat grounded! I can see Schneider’s Bakery or a sillier Disney show doing, not this one.

It can be silly of course, but not so much that it ruins the plot like it does here. Ugh.

Oh and if you’re wondering about the Gabe/PJ plot, it doesn’t even get it’s own ending scene. It has to go with Teddy’s usual wrapup video diary. Bob notices the dryer is gone and then that’s the end of that.

“Your brothers are gonna need some Good Luck Charlie”

I love a show with a title drop in every episode. And that’s how this ends. We do get the usual out of Canon stinger with Amy on trial but sorry, that’s not good enough.

It doesn’t make up for how messy this was overall. Bah.

Final Thoughts:

This one got worse on re-watch to be certain. I’d still place in the Meh category as the first 1ct is Decent with some funny moments and I mostly tolerate Teddy’s plot. Plus, it’s more a slow burn bad where it doesn’t fully becomes so until the last 5 minutes where it all just crumbles.

But it’s still surprisingly poorly written. This episode does not juggle it’s 3 plots well at all or know how to balance comedy and story. Despite the title, Amy’s plot has no time at all to play out like it should so it has to be resolved in a short joke.

I know not every scene has to be long and important, especially in a Comedy but that’s no excuse for the problems that show up. Teddy’s plot has a rushed ending because the pacing overall is just that poor.

The 3rd plot is incredibly plot less and barely even counts as a subplot, to be honest. This poor pacing is what causes the bad ending where Amy learns learns nothing for the sake of a dumb joke.

I’m angry at Amy’s overall characterization but I’m angrier at how the overall bad writing lead to it. It’s like Babe’s Fake Disease in that way, just better due to the positives. This is the kind of episode I had to go scene by scene for to show how poor the pacing is.

Normally, I can do it in a quick enough blurb, but that doesn’t quite show the poor pacing enough so here we are.

I can forgive weak pacing if it’s too bad, like in Go Teddy where it makes up for with by not even trying to tell a big story and being mostly funny. (Same writer, by the way). This episode had more chances to tell a story and didn’t take it.

It just goes against what makes the show mostly work since it doesn’t get to this level too often. If’s not the worst episode, it’s the one that has all these flaws the most. It’s just a poorly written, but sometimes amusing, mess.

Rating: Meh

Next time on our TV Reviews, we’ll get a double dose of Schneider.

See ya.

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

The Brothers Grimsby

Grim is right

Hello, Spongey here.

I don’t normally do a full blown Scene by Scene review of something I’ve discussed in some other main post, like a general review or a list. But sometimes I either have more to say or just want to kick it’s teeth in more.

This is one of those times. You may recall at the very very start of this year I did the Worst (and Best) films of 2016 and at number 2 I had a certain movie that I really ripped into.

I said there I wouldn’t go into a ton of detail as I did want to cover it further time. It’s been awhile but now is that time. There I mostly covered the humor and why it fails so much.

More will be said about it but we’ll get to further into the problems with the “Story and stuff like that. You may call this slightly pointless but shut up, I really wanted to tear into it more.

And since there were two other worse films that year (Norm of the North and Meet the Blacks) that says something about my need to do it.

I went into some backstory about it in that post so I won’t repeat myself but in sort: I like Sacha Baron Cohen fine but it’s clear his mojo was lost. His transition to script driven comedy was rough but The Dictator came out fine in spite of that.

Then comes this one. His usual director is not here but Sacha is a producer and writer so he’s still mostly to blame. The actual director did Now You See Me and The Incredible Hulk, which I like.

So it’s really odd to see him do this. Oh and if this is the reason he didn’t do the sequel to NYSM than…ugh. The film didn’t go over too well given it bombed and has a 37 on RT, which is honestly too low.

Speaking of the Consensus says the film “:showers viewers with a steady stream of Sacha Baron Cohen’s edgy humor”

…Christ, Rotten Tomatoes.

The other writer has credits on Cedar Rapids and…Wreck it Ralph and Zooptopia.

What.

It’s also worth nothing the film moved studios and was delayed a few times, going from July 2015 to March 2016. That’s always a great sign.

Okay, let’s get into this and see what exactly this film has besides what I’ve gone into before.

This, is The Brothers Grimsby

After an entire minute of logos, the movie opens with Sacha Baron Cohen…having sex with a woman. It then pans out to show he is doing this in a mattress store.

“We’ll take it”

…This is only the very first scene.

This is Nobby and he lives in Grimsby as you likely guessed and as you can tell, he is a lovely person. He goes home and has his kids help him with the mattress. He then stops to inform is that he’s saving a room for his long lost brother.

Yeah, this whole “stopping the movie for forced drama” thing. It’s gonna be a problem.

“I’m gonna have to break it to him that some of his childhood heroes didn’t love women as much as we thought they did”

If you thought that line was bad, they say some loved them a little too much and ha ha it’s Cosby.

After that great joke, we meet with his brother Sebastian, played by Mark Strong (to remind of a much better spy movie from the year prior) as he has a become one of MI6’s top agents.

He heads on his next mission which leads to a POV action scene (Hardcore Henry, this is not) which is ruined by making it so I can’t make out what’s going on. Doesn’t help that they place the opening credits on top.

To be fair, there are some cool bits in this set piece, which is more than I can say for the rest of the movie. As I said before, Mark Strong is kinda decent here, pulling off the spy thing pretty well but it makes a lot of what we goes through so much worse.

He gets the information he needs This is followed by a scene of Nobby getting piss ass drunk with his friends, and that is followed by someone telling him they found his brother.

This movie is just great at balancing tone.

He somehow found out Sebastian will be at some charity event, which we know I is so spy work. He goes there and the first joke in the scene is him putting his finger through the bottom of a cutout of a boy which looks like…yep.

He even makes the finger go up when a woman walks by. Then it gets stuck and he has to spit on-OKAY WE GET IT. But oh boy the next joke is worse: He checks on the scores of a “Football” game and he screams FANTASTIC after a boy mentions AIDS.

Every single joke is like this by the way. Thankfully, plot happens as Nobby sees his brother and although he is clearly holding a gun, he hugs him which makes him shoot the guy, and that makes his blood fly out and go into the mouth of Daniel Radcliffe which gives him AIDS

Pretty sure it doesn’t work that way. No, they did not get Daniel Radcliffe. It would be sad if he said yes to this. (They even lampshade this in the credits, that he has not involved)

Anyway, his shot has been comprised and his cover is blown.

They try to escape but Sebastian hurts his ankle and has to be carried which leads to some oh so hilarious hijnks, showing his competent Nobby is. Thanks to his car, they manage to escape.

“Because of you, the head of the World Health Organization is dead and Harry Potter has AIDS!”

I love it when they explain why a character sucks.

After some talking, Nobby suggests they hide out back in Grismby since no one knows they are brother. They go home and we see that the South Park movie is playing on the TV!

Because showing off a better offensive comedy in the middle of your crappy one is a great idea.

We find out he named his kids after random media like Django Unchained and he shaved one of his sons heads so he can claim he has lukemia and collect the welfare for it.

He just gets lovelier and lovlier.

As usual, we break the bad comedy with forced drama as we get a flashback we them palling around as kids. And even the flashback has bad tone shifts as it goes from them kicking a ball around to the mourning a dead Mom.

Christ almighty, these tone shifts are the worst. It’s not even the worst one. These flashbacks are played so seriously but everything around it is so bad it has little to no impact.

Not counting a short bit with the spy agency people, this is followed by his wife (played by Rebel Wilson) showing.

“I’m getting stiffer than a pedophile at LEGO Land”

This joke kind of awkwardly ends and they move on. After they head out, we get ANOTHER forced dramatic Flashback! This one shows how they got separated as kids and like all the others, it’s really jarring.

I’m not saying Comedies can’t be dramatic but it has to fit in well and not being quite as jarring and forced as it is here.

They go to a pub where at some point beforehand, Nobby put up a sign saying the pub has “Grimsby’s Very Owen Spy”. Okay, how did Sebastian not see that and complain about it?

The bad guys are already here but some are dispatched with the help of the other people at the pub. At least Nobby helped out slightly, even if he caused everything else.

Yeah, it’s safe to say he’s a pretty bad character.

They escape but not before Sebastian is hit with a poison dart. When they are safe, he asks Nobby to suck the poison out.

DRACULA: Scrap and lick!

I’d complain about this part but what happens next is worse: He was also hit in the balls.

“Suck it!”

Yep. Sebastian shows no hesitation at all in telling him to do this, and we even see it.

“You can suck my scrotum or you can let me die”

Amazing, 10/10.

As good as Mark Strong is in this, shit like this makes me wish it was someone with less dignity. It just makes this so much worse. And they drag this shit out, it even goes to teabagging.
You gotta love how the music swells here. Hooray for gay Incest!

After…that, for reason I don’t care about, they have to go to South Africa. I’m not saying much about the actual plot because it’s still bad guys doing bad guys things and they gotta stop them. Yawn.

For a Comedy, that’s fine and the generic spy stuff is a lot better than the actual movie but still, they could have done something more interesting.

Sebastian injects some stuff to make his ankle better but thanks to Nobby, he accidentally puts in heroine instead. Will there ever be a moment where Nobby isn’t the worst?

“Just leave the spying to your brother”

Yep, right after seeing him like this, he makes matters into his own hands. It goes as well as you’d think. Nobby answers a call from this agency person and upon hearing what happened, she just goes “well, guess you’ll take his place”.

Yep, with no hesitation she lets this guy she doesn’t know or at all, certainly not enough to think he can do this, go on this mission. Genius,.

Okay, they are desperate but she still says agrees to this waaay too quickly.

Nobby needs to seduce someone to get some bad guy info and the joke he is spots the wrong woman. Instead of the hot blond it’s the fat woman, hardy har.

Eventually the hot blonde does pop up and the joke is he doesn’t pick on her hints. See, he called up to have someone fix his toilet so he thinks she’s here to do that. How he thinks a woman like this is a worker, I have no idea.

I also doesn’t get how it takes so long for her to get the hint that he’s stupid. But seriously, both these big jokes going on are dragged out and not funny. And it caps off with the agency guys checking in on who they think is Sebestian only to see him fucking the black maid.

There’s only so many I can say something is lovely when it clearly isn’t.

The blonde comes in and as angry rot see but after she shoos the black maid away, she tries to go to town on Nobby despite how clearly dumb and not interested he is.

Then in record time, some bad guys show up to kill him…and Sebastian follows. Not sure how he recovered so fast but I don’t care. The woman is about to reveal they need but she is killed by a shot from a bad guy.

They escape and must hide from the bad guys. Which bring us to…that scene. You know the one. The one that sums up everything wrong with the humor of this movie.

I’ve gone on about it before but it frankly bears repeating. They hide out in an Elephants vagina, which they can somehow fit into. Then another one comes in starts fucking the one they are in.

And yes, we do see the Elephant penis. And then must make it cum so he can leave. That fails because it is, in their own words, an Elephant Bukkake Parry. Yes.

I don’t think I need to explain how awful, disgusting and unfunny is. Not to mention it goes on for ages. It’s meant to go no so long that you find it funny but that never happens because it would have been “Fine” after just the one Elephant.

I mentioned this before, but Sacha took this scene around and showed it to people on talk shows and went on on about much of a big deal it was. The way they built up that scene sums it all up.

As I said before: That scene exists, not because they thought it was funny in spite of how shocking it was, but to simply shock the viewer. Shock humor has it’s place but besides this movie being full of lazy examples it, it’s big example is just…bad.

Hell, it doesn’t even make sense. Shouldn’t the Elephant sense there are people in there and have a hard time doing it’s…thing? …And now I am nitpicking Elephant sex, this is my life now.

ANYWAY, after …that, they take a bath to wash all that stuff off and this leads to another scene trying to be emotional. Directly after the Elephant Bukkake. Yes.

We get a flashback explaining how they split up as kids which has all the problems of the flashbacks before now. These honestly could have slightly worked if the stuff surrounding them was just a bit better, or at least tasteful.

Upon hearing this, they hug. Okay, that’s kinda sweet.

“I think our penises just fist bumped”?

TONE. DO YOU UNDERSTAND IT?!

They just ignore that and go back to the plot, as they know where the bad guys are doing their big plan. It’s all going down at this Soccer game and long story short, they go there.

They have another hug which brings up another issue: They bonding sure was quick. No, the flashbacks don’t count. Outside of them they barely really work together and Nobby just does stupid things (like get them into Elephant Vagina’s) but they are best brothers now because reasons.

It doesn’t take long for bad guys to show up and capture Sebastian, leaving Nobby to save him. But not before an extended scene where he mistakes someone else for Sebastian which is as funny as it sounds.

We cut to where is as the villain behind all this turns out to be Penelope Cruz (in a double bill of bad spy comedies for her) who plays this seemingly good person earlier that I didn’t mention because this twist is just…there.

Her plan is to “Curse” the world by using a virus to kill the garbage of the world. We get a flashback to various scenes of Nobby and friends as she says yes. Well, when you put it that way…I’m rooting for the villain now!

Nobby realizes his mistakes and finds his way to where to Nobby is but has to make his through an overlong fight scene first. I’ll give them for credit for not making randomly too competent but I have to bash them for making the villain dumb enough to strand there at one point, giving Nobby time to shoot him.

With that idiocy out of the way, he rescues Sebastian (because of course she stepped out) and they head to the game for the climax. Nobby tells everyone about the villain’s plan and gives a speech about scum that tries to make a case for them.

“It’s scum that keep the Fast and Furious Franchise alive”

You are not making a good case. Besides, Transformers would make more sense, I know more unironic Fast and Furious fans who are normal people. Also, you can’t make constant jokes at their expense and then pull a 180 like this, or at least not in the way you are doing it here.

After that lovely speech, Sebastian takes care of guns while Nobby has to take care of the big evil plan. But first, he interferes with a soccer game shots a ball so it won’ which I’m pretty sure is not legal. And why is that game even still going on?!

He even shots the referee before he can call him out, which is DEFINATELY not legal. Also, our hero!

The villain goes to push a button to unleash the virus and she’s able to do so. The only way to stop it would be it make it go off in a contained environment to stop it from spreading, and there’s no way to do that.

Unless Nobby sits on the fireworks thingys. Yep.

“Tell my kids that Daddy died with dignity”

Lying is wrong, Nobby.

And once again, Mark Strong has to embarrasses himself this time by sitting on the other firework that hasn’t gone off yet. Yeah, some have already gone off so what happens with them?

The brothers are launched and Nobby’s gun goes off and hits Daniel Radcliff which knows some of his aids into Donald Trump. First off, it doesn’t work that way, again.

2nd, I said before this didn’t even make me smile. This far into 2017 it ALMOST dies but it’s done so lazily that it doesn’t. Yeah.

But with that, the stupid world is saved. At least they involved the bad humor in the climax instead of making it generic. That’s the only credit I can give it. It is assumed that the brothers died but they recovered, somehow without annoying knowing.

They’ll need knew identities but you don’t care at this point.. Oh and Sebastian has a thing with Isla Fisher here that was never mentioned before or even important enough to be treated like it was a thing.

His family comes to visit and also their asses are stretched from the fireworks. Had to get one last bad joke in I guess. And after 75 minutes, the move comes to an abrupt stop.

…But not before the mid credits scene! Nothing important happens, Nobby just ends up shooting Sebestian’s new team thinking they were bad guys. We can’t end with Nobby being anything but an unlikable shit, can we?

But wait, there’s also a POST credits scene! I said it before but just because you directed a Marvel movie doesn’t mean this is one.

They are in a car and ask someone for directions…and Nobby shoots him.

“Leave no witnesses”

Shitty joke aside, why was that there? Just to pad this out to 83 minutes? It’s amazingly how short this is, there’s no extended cut that I know of. Anyway, it’s done again.

Final Thoughts:

I’ll admit I hate it slightly less this time around but only because in between, I’ve seen Meet the Blacks and Not Cool which were both so much worse. At least this is a bit ambitious.

But the movie is still pretty gosh darn bad. First off, it’s another bad Spy Comedy. Sure sometimes we get an Austin Powers but we get way more Zoolander 2’s. Not sure why but this is one of the worst ones.

I’ve gone into the reason the humor fails but yeah, it tries way too hard to shock but most of the time the humor is just lazy and gross. Hardly any of it was funny and it’s not even offensive. It’s just gross.

It doesn’t help that a lot of great actors are given next to nothing to do. Mark Strong is the standout but he gets lost at certain points in all the madness. Which leads to me another big flaw there was no room to discuss in the main review: Nobby.

I bitched about him being too unlikable to care about but even in terms of acting he fails. Sacha is good at playing these over the top characters but here he’s downplayed which would be fine if he was likable or funny but he really isn’t.

It’d a big step down from his main roles before which were driven by the personality of the lead. This is just driven by shitty jokes.

The whole thing feels oddly rushed. Story is beyond flimsy and the two leads have next to no chemistry. As always with these movies, they spend so much time bickering that their eventual bond is forced except here it’s especially bad in the regard.

The flashbacks are just an excuse to not truly develop them on screen. I do not buy them bonding at at all, which is bad for a buddy movie like this. By the end I just feel nothing.

So yeah, I hate it slightly less but it’s still very much bad. The humor tries too hard to shock, the main character is unlikable and there’s no good bond with the brothers so everything just rings hollow.

And man, only 75 minutes without credits? I’m usually glad when a comedy isn’t too long but it’s clear this was rushed and given it was pushed back, that is sad.

There’s not much to add at this point. It’s bad and very unfunny. A few films are worse but it’s still pretty damn bad.. Did this review add anything? Likely not but I wanted to kick back this week so picking on something I picked on before seemed like fun.

And it was.

Rating: Bad

Okay, I want something more light hearted for next time. Perhaps a kind of thing I haven’t looked at in awhile

…That’ll do.

See ya.

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

Ranking the Disney Animated Canon: 1980’s

Hello, Spongey here.

It’s time to start a new big project. This is one I’ve been thinking of for some times, probably a couple years at this point. The only problem was finding a way to go about it, especially all the content I had to cover.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. I’m doing something pretty much everyone has done at this point, but I figured I’d throw my hat in the ring since I have my own opinions. And it gave me an excuse to finally watch some of the ones I had never seen, or re-visit the ones I hadn’t seen in ages.

Anyway further idea, welcome to my Ranking of the Disney Animated Canon. I’ve been teasing some kind of look at the DAC for awhile at first, I was just going to through them in order and review them.

My first problem there was how to split them up since I couldn’t do 50 plus in movies in one go. I didn’t figure I could do it by decade until I had the Ranking by Decade idea but honestly, this idea works better than going in order.

Mostly because almost everyone goes in order with their Disney Retrospectives. And since ranking all of them at once is a bit hard, I figured we’d go by decade. We’ll be going through each Decade of the Canon from the 40’s (plus Snow White since that’s from a decade with only 1 film) to the 2010’s and ranking each film, and discussing how I feel about them.

Now before I decided to do this, I decided to use a random-izer wheel (the only one I picked myself was Tangled, to watch for the Movie Battle) to watch through the films on my own anyway, and I shared this on Deviant Art. I posted a Mini-Review of them as I watched them.

After just a few, I got this idea and didn’t even tell my watchers until a couple weeks ago. So yeah even this version of the project has been stewing for like 10 months. The reason I bring this up so that these Ranking Posts will go in order of when I finished the Decade, hence why we hop around a bit.

The other main thing to mention is that I will be copy-pasting of some of those Mini-Reviews from DA as with some I went into a bit too much detail and thus they can pass for full reviews.

I will obviously add more to explain why it is where it is in the ranking or just go in more detail since I had to leave things out and save them for this post. But just know that some of this was pre-wrriten, even if I will beef it up.

I’ll also try not to make these too amazingly long. I’ll go into as much detail as I can, but not so much I get boring. Especially with how many I have to discuss in some decade. Thankfully the ones from decades I was not alive in give me slightly less to discuss.

Oh and as of this writing, I have 7 less to watch and have finished watching 3 decadles. I’ll work on the sections on the films as I finish the decades and I’ll finish the films on the week of Christmas.

Meaning either by the tail end of 2017 or the early days of 2018, this project will be prety mostly done. But I’ll only be posting one or two ranking posts per month, as not to post too much at once. That may change depending on how things go, especially since I have another project of this type coming up.

Anyway, without further ado, let’s finally get into this crazy big Disney journey!

This, is Ranking the Disney Animated Canon: 1980’s

The 80’s was a bit of a transitional period. They were coming of the 70’s which problems we’ll get into and in this decade they went through some restructuring. They tried some new things but as we know, they hit trouble with one certain film and it was a bit of climb getting themselves out.

Thankfully, it all ended on a happy note as the final film of the Decade got them into them their next Golden Age but you all knew that. The films of this decade tended to be different fro them while mostly still having their trademarks.

It is telling that the most beloved one of this decade is the closest to what they built themselves on but we’ll get to that. We have only 5 films here and they are an interesting mix. I fully like 3 films, with one being decent and another being …weak.

And to the surprises of likely no one, my least favorite Disney film of the 80’s is…

The Black Cauldron (1985):

I wanted to like this movie. I really did. It was a bomb when it came out and almost ended Disney until they got themselves out. Since then it’s gotten a cult following even if some still dislike it.

It even had some landmarks like being Disney’s first PG film (in the 80’s, meaning it actually meant something) and it had the debut of the classic Disney logo, and it was also the first Disney film to use CGI.

Since I like plenty of disliked films, even some from Disney, I figured I’d at least find it Decent. Alas, I did not.. I wouldn’t quite call it BAD but it’s somewhat close in places. It has some things go for it and in some areas I almost respect it.

The best aspect is the animation. It has an overall darker look to it than most Disney movies and it’s done really well. The character animation is pretty solid and it has the right look for a Dark Fantasy and some of the imagery can be a bit disturbing for a family film. Oh, you 80’s.

I respect it in general for being a bit darker even it doesn’t exactly all work out. And while The Horned King isn’t the complex, he is a decent villain, especially with his design and the voice of John Hurt.

Sadly, it can’t totally make up for the bad parts. The first problem is that the story isn’t that interesting. . It’s pretty standard fantasy fare and it mostly doesn’t offer a whole lot of twists. They try to keep it kinda simple which would be fine if it was done better but it’s done a in a pretty…eh way.

It’s based on a book seires and from little do know, they were more interesting. This combines elements of the first 3 or so books, because that always works well. Isn’t that right, Dark Tower?

Interestingly enough, the author likes the movie even though he knows it has little to do with his books. I wish more authors were like that with their film adaptations.

But the biggest problem to me, is the characters because…they kind of suck. Okay, Horned King is decent a few others are passable but the 3 leads are…not good. Let’s get it out of the way:

Yes, I find Gurgi quite annoying. His voice is just…ugh. He’s  just annoying and is ditched (rather harshly) in the middle, only to come back and become important again. To be fair, he gets a good moment at the end but it’s not quite enough.

Then we have the lead, whose name I don’t care enough about to remember. He is whiny and goes on about how he wants more, but -he doesn’t do a whole lot and is just dull.

He also bickers with this princess who is incredibly pointless. She does nothing, has no personality, and has no reason to be a princess, really. Aside from giving the bad guy a reason to capture him. But we don’t see her father, who i assume is the king so why does it matter?

So yeah, I don’t mind her being left out of the Princess line, cuz she would be the worst one in there.

Since the main 3 leads are all annoying or bland in some way, it makes it really hard to be invested in the story. I’ve seen worse characters but they do drag this down quite a bit.

Since the story is just there and the main leads are boring or annoying, there isn’t much to get into. The positive elements keep it from being BAD per say but it’s sadly not good either.. It’s average, sometimes a bit below, sometimes a bit above especially with the great animation.

But great visuals can’t save a weak script, unfortunately. If you like this movie, all power to you. I’m glad it has a cult following, its just too bad I can;t be apart of it.

Overall, all this makes it the weakest Disney Animated film of the 80’s, Sorry.

Oliver and Company (1988)

I honestly don’t have much to say about this one or it’s place in the ranking. It’s in the middle in terms of quality. Decent enough to be enjoyable but not good enough to make that much of an impact.

And sense this decade proved it could be better, it’s disappointing. This one seems like filler to me, but at least it’s mildly enjoyable. I know nothing of Oliver so I have no idea how it works as an adaption.

It feels like kind of a pointless modern update but at least the setting has an impact, even if them being animals doesn’t. The biggest flaw is that it just isn’t that interesting.

The story and characters are fine but just that, fine. Nothing really that interesting, and it’s one of those “Cute for the sake of it” things they did a lot of back then. There’s nice moments but nothing that deep.

Not that it needs to be, it’s that I feel this kind of story needs just a bit more to suck in. With that said, it’s not too boring or annoying. Well, except maybe Cheech Marin Dog but he’s not THAT bad, especially after Gurgi.

With all that said, there’s enough to like here. The animation uses that sketchy style pretty well and it manages to capture it’s New York setting really well. While “Why Should I worry” is of the course the great standout, I do enjoy the other songs too.

Dodger is just cool and his big song really shows it off. I also think the villain was decently menacing with a great death scene. Plus there’s a decent amount of the movie is fun enough, it’s just it doesn’t have what it needs to be THAT good.

It’s perfectly enjoyable and fine, I just can’t quite call it fully Good because it is missing that park in terms of the writing. If you can get into it and love it, I get it. Just not one my favorites. Still, it is enjoyable enough to warrant at least one viewing if you haven’t seen it already.

Yeah, there really was not much to say about this one. I don’t think it’s worth going into deep detail on like I will with other movies, sorry.

It’s a fine film that just lacks anything that would make it anything special, that’s really all there is to it…

Fox and the Hound (1981):

This was the first film I watched for this whole thing back in January, and I started on a solid note. This was received well and it’s gone done as a slightly underrated one. I don’t quite love but there’s plenty to like and it’s the first in this set I can call Good.

This is an interesting one in their history, as various people you actually know worked on it from Ron Clements and Jon Musker to Don Bluth, who was not credited as this is what lead him to leave Disney and do his own thing, which is a bit sad but it lead to his once awesome films so there is that.

The plot is kind of cliche but it’s not a con as it’s mostly well written. They do a good job showing both perspectives and why they are the way they are. Copper is bred to be a hunting dog while Todd is with this nice old lady and naturally he doesn’t know how to feel when they are older and put directly into these rolls.

I’ll say now the best parts are when their older. There’s some really great emotional stuff here, and while the characters aren’t crazy complex, the are well written both it comes to showing both sides. I’m surprised at how emotional this could get, it was quite well down.

There are some flaws that drag it down though. A love interest is introduced over 50 minutes into it and after their big scene, she vanishes again.

I kind of get it, Todd needed someone to get  his mind  off Copper and his situation for that period, but they should have perhaps hinted at her earlier or something because as it is, it feels random, especially since Todd and Copper have a much deeper romance.

At one point a character seemingly dies but nope, he just hurts his leg. Yeah, turns out him living was done last minute and they argued over if they should kill him, as he dies in the book this is based on

. It’s pretty clear due to how he vanishes after  his big scene too. Also, there’s comedic sidekicks that exist to fill those roles, and one is voiced by Paul Winchell who makes no attempt to not sound exactly like Tigger.

Also, there’s…songs and by that mean sometimes you hear singing. To be fair, two are effective in context but are nothing special. It’s not meant to be a real musical so i can let it slide.

Otherwise this was a nice surprise. It’s a small film that takes a seemingly dull premise and makes it engaging with likable characters and some heart. Those who prefer these kind of movies will really like it, but i can see some not caring for it due to it’s nature, and i get that.

But overall, it’s a solid entry and I can agree it deserves a look if you haven’t seen it before. It’s pretty good.

Great Mouse Detective (1986):

After the failure of Black Cauldron, Disney needed a hit and thankfully got one with this. This one has become a favorite and while it’s not quite great, it is a lot of fun.

This film is kinda simple by design, a straight forward adventure with Basil trying to stop  a bad guy and help out a little girl. It can work against it as the limited cast and simple plot can lead to padding, but on the other hand, the movie is just so much fun.

It reveals in the tropes of the story and has fun with them, like the obligatory bar scene and bar fight. It helps that it has a good set of characters, with Basil being extremely enjoyable with his quick wit. Of course he has his moments of being nice especially in a bit before the climax. His partner is also fun but of course, the scene stealer is Ratigan.

My god, do i love this guy. Vincent Price and the animators were clearly having a ton of fun with him and he totally reveals in how evil he is. This guy feeds one of his lackeys to his cat just for calling him a rat, and clearly enjoys doing it. He and Basil work off each other very well, which results in an exciting climax.

He also gets a great villain song in a movie that isn’t a musical (only one other song which is like a reaaaaly tame version of that one scene in Roger Rabbit) which is cool.

I normally wouldn’t mention the animation for a movie like this but i have some things to say. The backgrounds capture that Victorian England setting well, and the animation on Ratigan is just excellent, really adding to him a lot. Plus, this is one of the earlier uses of CG in a Disney canon film and it works pretty well for the time.

By the way, for a Disney film of this type, it can get a tad dark like the opening (hilariously followed up by t6he upbeat opening credits), and two instances of people being fed to that cat. Also, guns are used. It actually blends with the fun adventure of the film pretty well.

So yeah, it’s simple by design but it works decently well.  It’s an old fashioned detective adventure and it’s fun to watch for most of it. I kinda wish they did sequels or something, there’s some fun you can have with this character in more adventure.

Heck, they say they go on more, with Dawson is telling this story to us. But instead we got a Fox and the Hound 2. Wah wah.

And of course, my favorite Disney film of the 80’s is..

The Little Mermaid (1989):

Yeah, you’ll learn quickly I tend to be predictable with my favorites. I don’t need to say how and why this important, right? It kind of started that Renaissance we’re all so fond of?

It’s pretty important. It is seen as more mixed these days, partly due to more impressive films that followed and also some issues some have now. I see those issues but i still quite like it.

I don’t love it like I once did,  looking at it critically. I’ll defend Ariel in a bit butI do think her doing all this for someone who doesn’t know too well is a bit off. Although Ii kind of get it.

The story is rather simple compared to later Disney films, which means it can be slow. Not a ton happens in the first half hour, and the third act is a tad rushed with bow the introduce this Vanessa stuff.

Oh, and i think Daddy needed a motivation for why he hates humans so much. The 3rd film explains it but shitty DTV sequels don’t count)

With all that said, it holds up nicely enough. It doesn’t quite hit me in the gut but it is good.

The songs are of course mostly gems with even the I Want Song being great with how it sells on you on Ariel’s motivation. I don’t need to explain why Under the Sea is my favorite one, right?

The animation is really great, especially on Ariel and especially in the 2nd half where they have to rely on it since she can’t talk anymore.

Ariel is interesting as she goes on about she wants to be part of that world BEFORE seeing Eric. She wants to go up there due to a real fascination with the human world. Eric was just a bonus. This is really important as not just a guy that made her want to be human, contrary to what the detractors seem to think.

(Someone much smarter than I went more into the defending side of things so go here: https://powerpuff-pony.deviantart.com/journal/The-Little-Mermaid-Common-Misconceptions-547969793 )

So Ariel has flaws but isn’t quite the monster some might make her out to be. The others aren’t quite as good, aside from Usula of course. The romance gets better in the 2nd half with some nice moments.

And as usual, there’s a cool climax. So overall, the writing has aged in some places, but i do quite enjoy it as a nice romp with some great elements here and there.

It was the start of their climb, can’t expect perfection right away. Still it is good, I can see why some may still really love it. But i just like it, and as usual that’s just how i feel. Yeah, my favorite of this decade I still wouldn’t quite call great.

I see why some would of course, but for me it has some minor issues. I can forgive them of course, but they do exist. I will certainly defend it from the people who bash it perhaps a tad too much. Yes, those people exist, weird.

As I said, it has it’s faults being the first of the Renaissance but it laid some solid groundwork for what was to follow. As such, it is my favorite Disney film of the 80’s, if only for the really good and interesting parts it has to offer.

And that was my ranking of the Disney Animated Films of the 80’s. Overall, a solid bunch to start with. You can tell they were transitioning at the time but they still gave us a pretty decent crop.

Even the weakest one is at least ambitious which I’ll give it above some other movies they’ve done. They didn’t quite do enough full on great but as you’ll learn quickly, a lot of these movies comes down to my preferences rather than anything they do that wrong.

There were some different and fun things this decade and it ended on quite the important and solid note. Not their best decade but pretty than you may remember it, despite their obvious troubles they had going on.

So yeah, a good way to start our epic journey. Not much to say, really. I have more to says on the films themselves than the Decades, as you’ll see. Hope you like this projects, I welcome your feedback as well as you’re complaints about how wrong I am.

The rest of these will be about the same in quality as this one, depending on the movie of course. As I said, about two a month, depending on how I feel, of course.

Join me to next time, as we jump forward a bit.

See ya.

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Spider-Man 3 Vs The Amazing Spider-Man 2

Hello, Spongey here.

With Halloween done, I think it’s time we do another Movie Battle! This time it’s really interesting as we look at two rather divise films that both have their fans who think it’s better than they give it credit for.

I have some interesting thoughts on them so today we’ll dig in and find out which is better. So without further ado-

Hey!

Wait, what?

Yo, Spongey!

Oh, it’s Deviant Art Reviewer ClaytoniumStudios94! What are you doing here?

C: I hear you’re doing another edition of Movie Battles, and going by the description, it’s focusing on Marvel’s most popular character, Spider-Man.

And since Homecoming was huge this year, the focus would be on 2007’s Spider-Man 3 (dir. by Evil Dead’s Sam Raimi) and 2014’s the Amazing Spider-Man 2 (dir. by 500 Days of Summer’s Marc Webb). And boy, I have some things to say about them.

Oh, you want a crossover where we both look at the pros and cons of the films, to make this more interesting?

C: Yeah, why not! It’ll spice some things up.

Well, okay then. Today we’ll be looking at the most hated films in the Spider-Man franchise and see which one holds up better. Now, I’ve given my thoughts on all the others films before so I’ll let Clay take this one:

C: Spider-Man (2002)- This movie holds a special place in my heart not only because it was my introduction to Spider-Man, not only was this my introduction to Marvel, but my introduction to superheroes in general. Sure, the writing can get cheesy, but that’s its charm and fun, but on the flipside, I do see why some wouldn’t get into it. But I still thoroughly enjoy it.

Spider-Man 2- What can I say about this that everyone hasn’t said already? It is the best Spider-Man movie to date. Great action, great writing, one of the best superhero movies ever made.

The Amazing Spider-Man- I have some problems with it, like some parts mimic the Sam Raimi trilogy, some subplots don’t get entirely resolved and Andrew Garfield’s portrayal of Peter Parker. But I do like this movie, with sleek action and good chemistry between Garfield and Emma Stone are really good.

Spider-Man: Homecoming- Again, what can I say that others haven’t? This is easily the best Spider-Man movie since Spider-Man 2. While the romance is a bit weak, the humor, the action and Tom Holland as Peter Parker/Spider-Man are what makes this movie work. Also, I like how small this is compared to others which are much larger, it’s a nice change of pace.

Okay then. Before this, I hadn’t seen Spider-Man 3 but since I got a set of all the movies recently I figured now was the time to watch it, mostly so I can do this thing.

Without further ado, let’s see which web slinging adventure deserves more appreciation. This, is Spider-Man 3 Vs The Amazing Spider-Man 2

Before we get into it, I should quickly mention some minor things. The effects and action are about equal in both movies but I will say Spider-Man 3 easily the better score.

Amazing 2’s Score is fine but Spider-Man 3’s score arguably tells the story better than the writing, like a lot of the best scores do. So there you go, it gets a big point off the bat.

C: I agree with what you say, while I do like some of Hans Zimmer’s score in Amazing 2 being very triumphant, but it’s the dubstep score that sort of brings it down

(Oh and 3 has the better Stan Lee cameo because for once it has meaning to it and isn’t just another dumb joke)

BEST VILLAINS:

C: In terms of villains, Spider-Man’s rouges gallery is about as well-known as Batman’s, with famous baddies like Dr. Octopus and the Lizard, obscure ones like Kraven the Hunter and Mysterio and fan-favorites like Venom and Carnage.

Ah yes, we can’t have a Spider-Man movie without some at least mildly memorable baddies. Both of them contain a few villains to …mixed effect.

C: One of the biggest criticisms with both movies is that there are too many villains, three of them to be exact for each one and we’re going to give our thoughts on all of them.

Spider-Man 3 contains three villains, debatable. Sandman, Venom, and Harry Osborne. The last one is debatable as he doesn’t go back to full evil until the end, but I count him as only not evil because he gets amnesia.

C: Let’s start with the character that is featured in both: Harry Osborne himself.

Yeah, since he’s the only villain both films share, let’s compare these 2. Now, 3 does have the luxury of having already built him up in the other two movies but ah well.

C: Picking up after 2, Harry, played by James Franco, is now taking the helm of his father Norman, and now becomes New Goblin, rather than the Hobglobin in the comics which I don’t mind that much.

Early on, he gets amnesia and is out of the movie. Yeah, that’s a pretty weak way to get him out and focus on your 50 other plot threads. He spends most of the movie just hanging around until it’s time for him to be important.

C: Eh, to be fair, it’s better than the series finale of Full House. But when he gains his memory back, he does some scummy things to ruin Peter’s life, making him more villainous and it leads up to an amazing fight between him and Peter in his mansion.

And when he is, it’s fine but this was meant to be his last film in this series and he spends most of it doing nothing! To be fair, the way his arc ends is kinda nice but because the rest wasn’t that great, it doesn’t hit hard in the way it should.

C: I do agree with that maybe if they cut out the amnesia subplot, and make him more a villain, the impact would’ve been better. But as is, I felt his sacrifice was actually well done and it gave his character a nice conclusion.

In Amazing Spider-Man 2, this is his introduction so they spend a lot of time building him up. Here, his dad dies and is generally kind of a jerk to him and he has to deal with a lot, especially as OsCorp turns their back on him. That means he’s given a lot to do and once he appears, he’s a constant presence for the most part. He’s fully fleshed away and done pretty well. He’s the better of the sympathetic villains here.

C: Dane DeHann, who portrays Harry in Amazing Spider-Man 2, does a good job with his performance and I agree of the three villains, he is the most sympathetic.

But honestly I feel like they were sort of rushing his story without being introduced in the first movie, and I didn’t get the feeling that he and Peter are friends, they share a scene together catching up, and how Peter mentions that they’re best friends because….reasons.

At least in the Raimi trilogy, Harry and Peter’s friendship was better established and had better focus throughout the course of the trilogy.

That’s true I suppose, but I do like their friendship enough in Amazing 2. They at least set it up somewhat and I do like their scenes together. As I said, Spider-Man 3 has the advantage of building this up but for what they had to work with, Amazing 2 does fine.

C: You bring up a good point, though I felt that their chemistry is good, though not as good as Peter and Gwen’s (more on that later).

Plus, am I the only one who felt it was a tad out of character for Spider-Man to refuse to help Harry? There was a deleted concept where he does give him his blood which results in him going mad and eventually using the suit that was made for healing Norman before he died, and he would have become the Green Goblin earlier on, which I feel would’ve made that subplot better.

Oh yeah, that part. As I thought about it, I was mixed on it. I mean, if Peter gives him the blood, he does have a small chance of dying but if he doesn’t, he a 100 percent chance of dying. But to be fair, he likely doesn’t want to be the reason he dies and it is a hard decision. But I do agree they could have conveyed that better. Especially since they deleted a better version of it.

C: You know I never thought about that, I mean I did think that it was out of character mainly because Spidey usually doesn’t refuse help from anyone, but it could have a different meaning if he didn’t want him to be the reason to die.

As for him as the Green Goblin, it comes off more like he was put there to kill off Gwen Stacy and nothing else. As mentioned earlier, I would’ve like to have seen him become the Goblin earlier on. In terms of his design, while I appreciate that they make him look like a legit goblin, but as Korey Coleman and Martin Thomas commented, he looks like he hasn’t slept for days, hasn’t brushed his teeth and was on an all seaweed diet.

It’s sad when the early tests for the Green Goblin mask for the first movie is a scarier version of the character.

To be fair, it’s still less silly than the Goblin design in Spider-Man 1.

C: But still, original concept = scarier.

His friendship with Peter also adds a lot, in both movies. But because he’s more fleshed out and isn’t wasted, Amazing 2 has the better Harry.

C: I honestly felt more sympathetic towards Andrew in Chronicle than Harry in Amazing 2. While the amnesia subplot is not needed, I did like that they ended his arc on a high. I felt 3 had the better Harry.

As for the explicit sympathetic villains, there’s Sandman Vs Electro. Sandman is okay, I guess. I do feel sorry for him due to the set up but they do very little with it.

Like most things in the film, he just comes and goes. Oh, and let’s get this out of the way: Him being Ben’s killer is stupid. It’s an unneeded plot thread and the only thing I can say positive about is that at least they made the killer an existing character that can work on his own, instead of making that thread even more disconnected than it already was.

C: I like that they made the Sandman into Uncle Ben’s killer, rather than his original concept where he was just a stereotypical thug. Sure, it is very out of nowhere and I wonder why they tried to tie up that subplot that was pretty much tied up in the first one. But I did like the different take that they did for the character even including giving him a sick daughter.

I do agree with that we should’ve seen him interact more with his sick daughter, Hell, the Editor’s Cut included a scene where he sees his daughter, though disguised as a sandcastle, which could’ve been left in the movie. And c’mon, tell me you didn’t think his transformation as the Sandman is amazing.

But I will agree with everyone that the scene where he becomes the Sandman is amazing.

C: And I wanna talk about the ending where Sandman tells Spider-Man what really happened on the night of Uncle Ben’s death. And after hearing the story, Spider-Man forgives him. That’s something you don’t see often in a superhero movie, usually it’s hero defeats bad guy, the end. I appreciate them doing something different like that.

His last scene is nice but once again, it’s a tad hollow.

Electro is interesting as I do like him more in the first half than later on. I like how he starts as this kind of crazy guy who is a bit too obsessed with Spider-Men especially when he saves him. I mean, he talks to himself pretending Spidey is there. Yeah. It’s done a way that makes him likable but clearly unhinged. His change to villainy I think works out and he’s a decent enough threat.

C: It’s akin to Jim Carrey’s portrayal of Edward Nigma/the Riddler in Batman Forever. And while I did like what they tried to do with him, though much like Riddler,

I wanted to know more about him. In another episode of “Why Delete This?” there’s a whole character, that being Max’s wheelchair-bound mother who doesn’t care much for him even though he takes care of her. After his accident becoming Electro, he returns home and discovers that she is standing up and getting a big payoff from OsCorp which gets him angry and begins using his powers.

That makes him a little more sympathetic and a better way to discover his powers rather than him walking to Times Square scaring people.

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: Stop deleting important stuff from movies. It only makes the product worse.

C: Also, I feel that he doesn’t have a clear motivation. With the other villains in the previous movies, their motivations were at the very least clear. I felt that Electro did have a motivation, but for whatever reason they cut it out. It makes it look like he has it out for Spider-Man because he stole his thunder on the Times Square screens. That’s kinda weak.

I’m pretty sure his motivation was A, everyone was turning on him, including Spider-Man who he really looked up to.

C: Maybe, but what about these quotes: “You set me up” and “You lied to me!” How?

I think he feels lied to since Spidey didn’t remember him off the bat or something like that. Yeah, they got the Max part of him better than the Electro part. But i get what they were going for

C: Eh, you do have a point there.

He doesn’t have the best pay off either. In the end, he’s just kind of killed off, forgetting that he was a real person and had a sympaethic= nature to him. This series can remember that in some villains like Doc Ock but here it’s just an afterthought.

But in general, I pick Electro. He just leaves more of an impact He’s more enjoyable and more fleshed out. They tried with Sandman but it just didn’t quite work while Electro mostly works minus the lack of payoff.

C: As for me, I’m going for Sandman, while I can see your points, I still feel that at least had a motivation. Could he have been done better? Yeah, but following up Doc Ock was a hard feat to do. I was getting into what they did with Electro, but I felt he lost a bit of momentum once he becomes him.

Then we come to the last minute villains,.Rhino and Venom. It’s unfair to compare as one is only there for a couple set pieces while one is meant to be a larger part of the story.

C: Venom is among the more popular villains in the Spider-Man lineup, so did they screw him up? Not really.

Before he becomes venom just he’s kind of an asshole for Peter to have a rivalry with and that’s about it.

C: That’s the point. In the original comics, Eddie Brock/Venom is basically sort of like an asshole jock that will make Flash Thompson look like a Saint.

They changed him up a bit in this movie to make him more like an obnoxious sleaze ball, which is a change I personally don’t mind for this interpretation for the character. His turn into Venom is somewhat true to the comics, he gets fired for fake photos of Spider-Man, his loses his girlfriend and sinks low to go to a church and pray for Peter’s death. All that’s missing is the fact that in the comics he also had cancer.

You forget that I don’t know, or care about comic books. I bet all this was done better but I can only judge it on its own. I get what they were going for but in execution, it wasn’t done the best.

C: My bad.

I don’t even know why we need him as an extra villain, Peter is his own villain with the whole Symbiote thing going on.

C: Yeah, even Sam Raimi notes that he was tacked on last minute due to fan demand. And it definitely feels like it, it may have been best to save him for a potential sequel. But much like Paralaxx in the Green Lantern movie, I am glad we do sort of get him in this movie alongside Spidey. And when he becomes Venom, I thought it was actually pretty cool.

Sure, he’s a bit scrawny and they could’ve done something better with his voice, but the costume as well as the effects done on his face were great. They did a somewhat good job on bringing Venom to life.

He’s got a cool design but in terms of an actual character, he’s just there.

C: I could sort of say the same for the Rhino in Amazing Spider-Man 2. If they cut him out of the movie, it wouldn’t be a huge loss since he’s just there. He’s only in about two scenes having no impact on the story.

And that’s why I pick Rhino. At least with him he’s only in two scenes and without the Sinister Six stuff, I wouldn’t have thought much of him. With Venom, they try to flesh him out but it’s so clear he was put in last minute.

C: Yeah, but as a villain, what does Rhino accomplish other than vehicular manslaughter? Not a whole lot. I remember being disappointed that they end the movie just when Spider-Man is about to fight the Rhino.

Now, to be fair, Paul Giamatti looks like he’s having a blast playing the character since it was a dream for him to play it, but I feel he was wasted in this for having no purpose despite him being in all the posters, ads and even the DVD/Blu-Ray cover. As last minute as Venom was, he at least played a part in the story.

You just reminded how bad the marketing was for this movie. I blame the ads for making us think Rhino would be in it more.

C: Sony, please learn to market your movies better. The past three haven’t been to kind to you. And I’m the guy who didn’t think Pixels was all that bad.

S: But take that aside, and I’d still take a tacked-on villain who only shows up for some quick action scenes then a tacked on villain who takes up so much screentime that it makes more obvious he was tacked on and distracts from the story. So yeah, on all fronts Amazing Spider-Man 2 handles its villains better.

C: Why is that?

That’s because they put more effort into fleshing them out so they leave an impact. Spider-Man 3 tries at points but there’s so much going on they can’t flesh it all out and there’s not much impact until the very end.

C: For me, I’d go with 3. You bring up good points that I can understand, but I feel that the villains in 3 worked better. With Amazing 2, their setups are good, but I feel as if I could see them be developed more, like Electro’s motivation or Harry going mad becoming the Goblin.

All this is why my point goes to Amazing Spidey 2

C: And for me, Spider-Man 3.

SPONGEY’S WINNER: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2

CLAY’S WINNER: SPIDER-MAN 3

BEST ROMANCE:

Now, let’s move on to the Romance. You see…

C: Amazing Spider-Man 2 wins. No contest.

…Well, we agree on something.

C: Sorry for the interruption, but I’m mixed with Mary Jane, not saying anything bad about Kirsten Dunst who does a good job in all 3 movies and she is pretty cute, but at times, she’s kind of a tool.

But to be honest, I think this is worth analyzing at least because of how Spider-Man 3 handles it.

C: Ok, lay it on me.

Those who remember my Spider-Man 2 review recall I liked her in the first but in 2 she was kinda of a bitch for half it, which held the film back a bit. I think 2 alone is why people don’t like her even though she’s mostly fine and she’s apparently better in the comics.

C: While the latter is true, rewatching 2 again, you’re not wrong.

And to be honest, I think Spider-Man 3 kinda fixed her!

C: Yeah, it does sort of repeat some aspect in 3, and it is handled better in there than it was in 2.

Yeah, I think this is one part this movie does mostly well, fixing my problems from efore. Here, they go into her a bit more. Here, she’s trying to be an actress but everyone hates her.

C: Huh, irony.

This leads to some interesting moments for it, where she’s just on her own in some scenes. She’s back to being a real character here. You do feel sorry for here most of the time. She even gets a hit on the villain without failing epically, unlike in Spider-Man 2. The romance aspect is a bit mixed though.

C: Mary Jane is just trying to do what she’s always been trying to do, and I bet some can relate to that.

I like most of what she goes through, especially since Peter ends up changing and all that. But then they had to make it a love…square relaly with both Gwen and Harry entering the picture for her.

C: Yeeeah, that’s the big problem with the romance in 3, now granted, I don’t mind love triangles in media, one of my favorite books, the Great Gatsby, is a great example. But this is love overkill.

Concept-wise, I’m fine with that but at points it gets to be forced and like a lot of things in this movie, it just isn’t executed as well as it should be She can be too bitch-y at points too, even if it’s not as bad as before. The romance can get be a tad weak when it gets more complicated compared to the first half where the drama feels more interesting to me. I do like the very ending to it though but more on that in the writing.

C: Yeah, can’t argue with that. The ending felt more like the end of a romance that developed over three movies. And it does have a good climactic feel to it since there isn’t a Spider-Man 4 after this.

So yeah, it’s kinda mixed but too bad.…But man, is it way better in Amazing. Everyone has said but yes, their chemistry is just too great.

C: It helps that at the time, Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone were dating which made their relationship more real. Shame that they aren’t together anymore, but at least they’re wishing each other well.

The comedy and drama on them is just really solid, and I get invested in this more than anything else in the film. On every level, it’s just a strong romance. Even the film drags a tad, it still keeps me invested.

C: And like the Critic said, they’re just freaking adorable.

And unlike some movies, I feel they earned the ending with them but I’ll go more that with the writing.

C: So, point goes to Amazing Spider-Man 2.

BOTH WINNERS: Amazing Spider-Man 2

BEST SPIDER-MAN:

If you saw the Nostalgia Critic’s video, you kind of have my thoughts. They went into the reasons anyone could prefer either version of the character and it’s all up to personal preference.

C: Yeah, it’s a preference on what people’s interpretation of the character is, much like a lot of comic book heroes in adaptations. And that’s sort of my feelings, both have their ups and downs

For me, I like them about equally and I feel like they end up being as good as their materiel lets them. Meaning Tobey is better in 2 then 1 for example. So, for this we’ll mostly try to just judge by how the character is written.

C: Okay, time to address the Elephant in the Room: in terms of Andrew Garfield as Spider-Man, he does a good job, as for Peter Parker..I’m not a fan.

Now, I’ve heard some say that he’s more like Ultimate Spider-Man’s Peter, but at least that Peter’s personality was consistent. I’m a lright with updating Peter to being a troubled teen who lost his parents, and while he has hints of geekiness, he didn’t come across as the sweet nerdy kid doing the right thing.

He’s more like an angsty punk kid, and I really couldn’t connect to him as well as I did other interpretations of Peter Parker.

But I feel with Amazing Spider-Man 2, he has loosened up and is better done than the first one. He’s less angsty and he embraces more of the character of Spider-Man.

I get that and I do agree. Andrew’s Peter being a bit off isn’t a big issue but it is lesser in Amazing 2.

But onto the writing aspect of him.Like pretty much every Spider-Man movie, the films are mostly about Peter going through a lot of crap. Both have them dealing with more than 1 villain along with personal stuff and in terms of Spider-Man itself,

I can’t say either film is better here. Any flaws in writing either have don’t affect him too much. He’s still very much a good lead because of what they go through and how they handle it.

C: Both have their strengths and their weaknesses, Maguire can be a bit whiny at times and Garfield’s cockiness could get annoying at times: I mean, take the opening when he’s trying to stop the Rhino in his truck, you think he would probably get some people out of the way of destruction rather than cracking jokes.

Yeah, Again, it is weird how he handles some things in Amazing but they are both small things to me. But hey, Spider-Man 3 doesn’t have him at his smartest either.

C: Yeah, like the scene during the celebration of him getting the key to the city and does the famous upside-down kiss to Gwen Stacy and later when Peter and MJ are at a fancy restaurant and Gwen happens to be there, he uses the “she’s from my class” excuse. That feels like something out of a sitcom.

Yes, he did it it for the crowd but given the situation, it was a dumb move. To be more fair, neither version of Spidey does anything that dumb for the rest of their movies.

C: And thank God for it.

C: I do wanna bring up one scene in Amazing Spider-Man 2, when he comes across this kid who is getting bullied and he comes to his aid, helps him fix that little windmill thing and walks him home. Despite some of my qualms with Garfield as Peter Parker and some of the things in this movie, this scene nailed what Spider-Man is all about.

It really does depend on your preference is in terms of what he goes through, and how the actor portrays it.

C: I like both for different reasons, and though we have to choose one for our final answer, I’m going to cheat by saying: pick your poison.”

So screw it, I’m gonna tie this one. But to make it more interesting, both will learn a point here as both do pretty well and the character is decent enough through both films.

BOTH WINNER: Tie

BEST WRITTING:

Before we even say anything, we must say that we are aware of the Editor’s Cut of 3 (which is up there with “Producer’s cut” as far as odd titles for different versions of a film go) of 3 which fixes certain issues such as that dumb scene with the Butler.

As I said before, that stuff is interesting but frankly it’s dumb it was there to begin with. Anyway…

And now come to the most important aspect of the film, at least when it comes to the main things people dislike about these films. It’s safe to say these movies have their ups and downs in terms of witting.

And of course it’s because both have films quite a bit going on and people feel they have too much going on. It’s important to note that just because a movie has a lot going on in it, doesn’t mean it’s a mess.

There’s plenty of ways you can juggle different storylnes and such and make it into a coherent story. Which one does it better? Let’s see.

C: In terms of the plot structure and writing in 3, it’s similar to the last two movies. Sure, the dialogue can be hokey and some of the issues we’ve discussed, but why I sort of prefer 3 is that yeah, it has its issues and it’s cluttered, but at least the story is still flowing like a simple three-act structure.

I’m going to have to disagree there because honestly, I don’t think it handles all these parts that well as a whole. Bless their hearts they try, but I don’t feel like this all works.

The main reason is the plot lines often feel like they don’t connect well enough. Yes, they their a theme of choices which is fine but before they make that clear, it feels a bit too fragmented.

C: While I definitely agree that times, it feels fragmented, and I get why people felt that but I honestly felt like it’s still trying to bring the same feel as the previous two movies, maybe if they didn’t add the subplot of the Venom symbiote and made it more the conflict between Peter and Harry, we could’ve had it better.

There were many times when I said to myself “Oh yeah, that was in this movie”. It doesn’t all gel together like it should. A good movie should suck you into the story and and a really good story would make you forget you’re only watching a screen.

With this, I was just kind of sitting there watching. I wasn’t really engaged at all like I was with the previous two movies. Some scenes come close like again, Sandman coming to life a few nice moments here and there, like the ending.

But overall, the writing for Spider-Man 3 feels like a collection of scenes strung together. They tried but it just didn’t grab me as a whole like other Spider-Man movies have.

And then there’s the Elephant in the room. You know we had to talk about…Emo Peter, and the dancing scenes.

C: Everyone and their grandma has talked about these moments, and honestly while I definitely can see where they’re coming from, I honestly didn’t mind it. I didn’t mind it when I was 12 seeing this movie when it came out, and I honestly don’t mind it now.

Oddly enough,i agree! Yeah, it’s corny but in a really fun way. It at least makes sense in the story as the Symbiote enhances some of his inhibitions so it figures that he’d go around like he’s cool when he’s not.

It’s not too far off from the Walking on Sunshine montage in 2.

C: But when it comes to the dance scene in the club….It’s a case of severe tonal whiplash, one moment he’s dancing like a scene straight out of a jazzy musical, and next Peter hits MJ and goes to mope on the roof of a church.

Yeah, I agree. That’s where it goes a bit too far. I get why that is there but in execution, it’s really odd. There is a reason Nostalgia Critic declared it the dumbest Spider-Man moment, at the time.

Then we have Amazing Spider-Man 2, the now more infamous example of having too much going on. Having now re-visited the film I can say that, yes it is a problem.

It’s mostly in the middle where things become a bit too fragmented. The flaws I mentioned about 3 appear with things being a tad too jumbled. But honestly…I don’t think it’s a big deal.

For the most part, I think they handle all these elements decently well. For one, there’s actually less going on here for the most part here. This time it’s only two major villains he has to deal with, along with the romance.

Compared to 3, it’s a bit more manageable and they tie them together decently, minus some moments in the mid section..

C: And also the whole important plotline of Peter’s parents that was established in the first movie and was dropped halfway. and had no impact onto the story other than him discovering the tokens and his father’s lab and that’s it.

That I agree was the weakest plotline. It was brought over from the first so it needed to be there on some level, but it is the weakest plotline.

C: Maybe save it and build the mystery up more or maybe the mystery should’ve been solved in the first movie. It just doesn’t have that much of an impact for me, it’s almost like the writers were like “Oh crap! We forgot to continue the mystery of Peter’s parents!”

“Eh, just throw in Peter’s father’s lab, we still need to add more hints of the Sinister Six.”

Oh yeah, that brings us the most infamous part of Amazing 2: The set up for future movies.

C: The problem is that it comes across more like a trailer for future movies.

Now, I’m all for any studio for attempting to do a universe with their franchises, and it all relies on how it’s executed.

In my opinion, Warner Bros. and Legendary Picture’s movies in their shared Monsterverse, Godzilla 2014 and Kong: Skull Island both work as their own movies, and in Kong’s case, saving the buildup after the credits.

Yeah seriously, despite any problems I had with it, people should take advice from Godzilla/Kong on how to set up a universe and still make a solid film. (Wish Warner Bros would get it right in their other universe but ah well)

Amazing 2’s setup for the Sinister Six (along with the inclusion of the Rhino) comes across more like Sony is concerned with making a universe as opposed to making this movie the best it can be.

This is where I majorly disagree. While the Sinister Six setup is indeed pretty forced, I honestly don’t think it’s THAT big of a deal. As Confused Matthew pointed out,at least they mostly save all that crap for the END of the film.

C: True, though I hate to compare to something recent, Homecoming did the buildup more subtly by hinting just the Scorpion and a small mention of his “friends” rather than blatantly going “HEY LOOK! VULTURE’S WINGS! DOC OCK’S ARMS! THE RHINO SUIT! THE SINISTER SIX IS COMING GUYS! AND SO IS THE JUSTICE LEAUGE! (Wait, wrong movie)”

Even with that, The film, as it stands, does tell it’s own story and my opinion, does it pretty well. All the extra crap is saved for after the story is more or less done and it doesn’t interfere with the story too much.

True, it is fragmented in the middle but only the Peter’s parents stuff feels like too much and even then it mostly feels like they tried their. The crap Sony pulled is just some shit icing, which can easily be ignored, at least to me.

Especially compared to other forced attempts like this summer’s own The Mummy.

As a whole, the writing in Amazing 2 works out pretty well. Like any Spider-Man movie, it’s interesting to see Peter go through all this, and the romance really helps tie it all together.

Honestly, the romance is what brings up the film for me. Even when it drags a bit, the nice scenes with Peter and Gwen keep me invested. And it leads to the best part of the movie, the really emotional and well handled ending.

C: Okay, as much as I complain about this movie, the death of Gwen Stacy is done incredibly well. It captures the loss of someone that is dear to your heart and being so close to saving them. And Andrew Garfield is really good in those parts.

Exactly. But this honestly should fail, the same way another certain Comic Book Movie failed when it killed off someone in the 2nd movie.

For one, this actually has the balls to make it stick instead of hinting at their return in the last second. Plus, this character is just a tad more expendable then that one.

And most importantly, I feel they earned it by developing their relationship really well. As we said, you feel their connection so it’s actually soul crushing when she dies.

Plus, it’s not really a Spider-Man movie unless someone tragically dies at the end (or at the start in 1’s case), even Spider-Man 3 gets that! So yeah, the ending really brings the film together for me.

C: I definitely see your point there, and I do think the romance elements work more than the superhero aspect. But I just kind of wish both would balance out a bit more, there are comic book movies that can balance two genres, Logan is a great example by balancing being a comic book movie and a western, or Deadpool being a comic book movie and a dark romantic comedy, if they did give more time to the some of the superhero aspects it could work a bit better for me.

Well, as I said before I think that’s handled decently well too, even if the romance does drive it over the edge.

Spider-Man 3 on the other hand, just leaves me cold. You can tell Sam Rami and the crew tried their hardest, Sony just got in the way. Plus, there’s some general writing flaws I don’t quite think Sony can be totally to blame for.

Spider-Man 3 has some good moments to be sure but it just doesn’t all come together. Amazing Spider-Man 2, even with it’s flaws, feels just a tad more complete to me.

I was more wrapped up in the story and the ending works better because it was only capping off one or two aspects instead of the 3 that the ending of Spider-Man 3 had to wrap up.

As you can tell, I’m giving the final point to Amazing Spider-Man 2. Spider-Man 3 tried but I just didn’t feel it, and overall Amazing just pulls of it’s script better to me.

C: If I must choose, I’d go with 3. Sure Amazing 2 has some good moments, but I feel it was a tad too forced with its setup and maybe it needed to save it for the mid-credits like the first movie did.

Yes, 3 is overstuffed and has things that can be silly, but the other two movies are silly and at the very least the story is kept simple and took time for some of the villains to develop.”

I can see your point there. Interesting how both think our losing movie has good moments but overall just didn’t grab us all the way. I see why some would prefer 3 although I am still just a tad baffled Amazing is 2 is seen as the giant failure it was.

But as I’ve said before, I’m slightly glad it didn’t totally well as Sony got way too greedy. I’m glad they worked things out with Marvel and Spidey has a better home now.

C: Now if only Universal Studios can work things out to share the rights of the Hulk with Marvel so we can get a solo Mark Ruffalo movie. But I’m glad that Thor: Ragnarok will be the start of a trilogy of his arc alongside Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers 4.

100 Percent Agreed!

SPONGEY’S WINNER: The Amazing Spider-Man 2

CLAY’S WINNER: Spider-Man 3

In total, Spider-Man 3 got 1 point thanks to that one tie, and Amazing Spider-Man 2 got…all 4. Yeah, pretty clear winner.

SPONGEY’S OVERALL WINNER: The Amazing Spider-Man 2

For Clay it’s the same, but the opposite. Amazing got the 1 point and Spider-Man 3 got all the points, so there you go.

CLAY’S OVERALL WINNER: Spider-Man 3

C: Though despite that I do prefer Spider-Man 3 over Amazing Spider-Man 2, I don’t think the latter is a bad movie, I don’t hate it.

Granted, I personally feel of all the Spider-Man movies it’s by far the weakest, but it doesn’t mean it’s awful.

As mentioned, the action scenes are slick, the score is good (except for some of the dubstep tracks), the effects for the most part are good and Peter and Gwen’s relationship is on point, but I feel that maybe they should’ve kept the focus more on Electro rather than cramming Green Goblin and Rhino in the mix, and not forcefully add in hints of the Sinister Six and maybe do a small scene like at the end of the first movie, it could’ve been better.

But regardless, it’s not the worst movie Marvel has done with their characters, movies like Elektra, Fant4stic and Man-Thing are far worse than anything this movie by a long shot.

I can say the same for Spider-Man 3. As I pretty much said up there, it does plenty right, and they did try, but it just didn’t work for me. I WANTED to like it, especially since I liked Amazing Spider-Man 2 but thought it was just…Average.

I do like Amazing Spider-Man 2 a bit less than I did before, but I still do really like it for all the reasons I said.

C: If I do make any recommendation for anyone who didn’t like or care about 3, I recommend giving the Editor’s Cut a chance, it fixes some scenes and adds deleted ones that probably would’ve made them better.

C: But as I should say, I’m no end all, be all. If you still don’t like Spider-Man 3 and prefer Amazing Spider-Man 2, that’s perfectly fine.

Thank you.

C: It doesn’t make you an idiot, or a horrible person, or “not a real fan”. We’re all different, that’s what makes us unique. You shouldn’t be a pretentious, cynical snob and say someone’s not a “real fan” because they prefer something over what you like.

No matter how good or bad something is relating to this character or anything in general, people are going to have different views on how they see the character. A

And Spider-Man is no exception. Comic book characters are just like any piece of artwork, it’s open to any interpretation, each person will have a preference on how they want Spider-Man. You can choose to accept it or not, but just because you prefer him one way doesn’t mean everyone else has to prefer it also.

Yeah, you said it. I don’t have much to add to that

C: Well, thanks for having me on here, Spongey. We should collab again sometime, maybe a movie review or something.

That would be nice. It was cool having someone else to debate with on these Movies Battles.

C: This is Clayton of ClaytoniumStudios94, check out my reviews and other artwork on deviantART, ( https://claytoniumstudios94.deviantart.com/ ) and I’m signing out!

See ya.

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General Review: Thor Ragnarok

Hello, Spongey here.

It’s been…a bit too long since our last general review. I did a VLOG for the MLP Movie as I plan to do a big post on that movie after it hits home video. But that’s not quite a written review so to make up for it, I got caught a few for this month.

And to start, let’s cover our final Marvel film for the year. They’ve been on a hot streak lately as their previous offerings for year have bee n really good. To round them out, we come to to the world of Thor.

Of the Marvel films, Thor’s were a tad weaker. They both boasted beautiful set design and creative action but slightly lacked in terms of writing, with too much comedy with the humans. Still, they were fun films for what they were.

I was actually really excited for this new Thor film because I was hyping they knew what worked and what doesn’t at this point and would give us a perfect fun Thor film. The marketing made this seem like it would do this which got me even more hyped.

And now it has rave reviews, with a 96 on RT making one of the highest rated Marvel films to be fair. To be fair, the actual reviews are split between “Best Marvel ever!” and “It’s good,sure”.

Either way, I’m looking forward to this. For the writers, all are mostly known for Marvel Tv Shows, even a few of the cartoons,. Heck one is that same guy that also wrote Max Steel! …Yep, it’s becoming more clear he had no control on that.

(He did write Thor 2 so it explains him being here).

The director is another smaller one that is now doing a big blockbuster. I actually watched one of his films (Hunt for the Wilderpeople) just to get a taste of what I’m in for and it was prety good!

Although for someone known for comedy, that movie was a bit better at being a drama, which isn’t bad of course. Either way, that made me more interested in seeing what he;d bring to this one.

So does this give us the great Thor movie we’ve been wanting? Let’s find out!

This, is Thor Ragnarok

Imprisoned, the mighty Thor finds himself in a lethal gladiatorial contest against the Hulk, his former ally. Thor must fight for survival and race against time to prevent the all-powerful Hela from destroying his home and the Asgardian civilization.

This swill be another somewhat short review, because there’s not much to say. This movie was pretty good! However, I’m not gonna drink the kool aid and say this is is one of Marvel’s best, because frankly, it’s not.

Oh sure of their Good ones, it’s on the higher side, kind of like Age of Ultron in that way. Is it the best of the Thor movies? Yes, but not by an amazing margin. It’s not that there are major problems or anything just minor ones and a lack of amazing stuff in terms of writing.

The writing in general is good, it’s just that they got rid of the problems of the other Thor wilhout quite replacing them, for the most part. They replace the crnge-y human humor with better humor but the story structure is still very much the typical one Marvel likes to use for these movies.

It’s not a huge problem, it just doesn’t throw in many surprises and goes in the direction you’d expect. It’s also not that much deeper than the other Thor movies and I was kind of expecting more.

There is another depth to make it a real movie but don’t anything great. But if you can get past that, you’ll really enjoy this, as I did. Side note before we get into it, they handwave Natile Portman’s absence but this saying this broke up.

How did this happen? Don’t know, don’t care.

Just like the other movies, the production is the best aspect of the movie and man did they kick it up a notch. We still get the great world of Asgard but this time we go to other worlds and they are really cool too.

The action scenes are highly enjoyable and creative , with the standout being a certain one set to a certain song. Damn that was awesome. As I said, the Thor movies have always excelled in terms of creative action and this one has more of that.

In terms of characters, we have some decently memorable ones. Thor will remains the least interesting main Avenger but Chris Hemsworth still makes it incredibly charming, and he his interesting moments.

Hulk doesn’t appear for like 40 minutes but when he shows up, he’s pretty cool. Apparently Bruce has been stuck as Hulk for 2 years and doesn’t remember anything since the events of Age of Ultron.

I was not expecting that so that’s interesting. And hey look, a decent villain. Character wise, she’s typical but Cate Blanchett makes her very delicious and enjoyable. There’s another sort of villain with Jeff Goldblum, and while he’s not in a ton, he is also pretty funny.

Tessa Thompson also makes for another really fun foil, with a hilarious entrance. Loki is also there too. Everyone here does something to make them at least semi memorable, even fi no one is amazingly complex.

Then there’s the big thing people are talking about with this one: The humor. It’s no secret Marvel movies have a lot of humor, and people debate if it’s too much. This movie has been getting praise for it’s humor but some people do think there’s a bit too much for what’s pretty the apocalypse for Asgard.

For me, the only time comedy flat out got in the way was the opening where Clancy Brown is rambling and they keep making jokes. It’s less a problem in the rest of the movie, as we do feel the weight of what’s going on. Maybe not an awful lot, which goes to my problem of not having as much depth as I would have wanted. I’m not asking for The Dark Knight, but I want more depth than we got in the other movies and we didn’t totally get that.

And again, for something like Ragnarok, I feel it could be a tad more serious. However most of the comedy works. Most of it is through the character interactions which are solid. Hell, even a dick joke is funny in this.

One standout joke is a callback to a certain moment from Avengers…

I wouldn’t say it’s as funny as the Guardians of the Galaxy movies (or as dramatic, oddly) but it was still pretty enjoyable.

As a whole movie, the movie is pretty solid. I suppose it’s not so much a lack of drama here, as there is a lack of truly amazing moments. Some awesome action moments, but not so much in terms of story and character.

It’s not like there’s no room for it, The Avengers did it as well as some other Marvel films. Heck, the dramatic moments we do get are done well and for the most part, don’t clash with the humor. I want more of that!

For the most part, I got exactly what I wanted. It was a really fun time and didn’t drag itself with weak comedy like the previous Thor movies. It’s just t\hat the really good moments in this movie made want more of them.

So no, it’s not one of Marvel’s best, nor is it their best Part 3. Hell, it’s the weakest of the 3 Trilogy enders they have done so far. But with that said, it’s still pretty good with a slew of great actors bringing solid characters to life and some fantastic action set pieces.

It’s an easy one to recommend. Even if you are mixed on the Thor movies, I think you’ll find this one a breath of fresh air. Frankly, at this point no one needs to be told to see a Marvel movie, either you will or you won’t at this point.

But in this case, you should. I don’t exactly love it but I see why some would because it is plenty of fun. It wouldn’t need a ton of weaking to be Very Good, if it helps. Either way, it’s worth watching and is a good way to end the Thor trilogy.

Rating: Good

Yep, I’m with Jeremy Jahns on this one. I’d ask you to send me comments, if I ever got any, lol.

Anyway, in a couple weeks, we’ll see the Justice League’s perspective of the first Christmas! …Wait..

See ya.

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