Goosebumps Hall of Horrors-The Birthday Party of No Return

Hello, Spongey here.

Well, we’ve come to the end of Hall of Horrors. That was quick, due to the whole 6 book thing. Being the kind of series this is, don’t expect a blow out.

But it’ll be fun either one. This one I’m less familiar with as I read it once and it took a bit to get it anyway. I just recall it being fine. So is it truly fine or what?

After our shortest intro yet, let’s see.

This is, The Birthday Party of No Return

The book opens with our main character Lee telling us hates his friend Cory Duckworth But only because he’s so lucky. Everyone calls him Lucky Duck.

“Duckworth. Get it?”

Sigh.

Lee’s goal is to get some sports scholarship thing that Cory also wants. And so is his female friend that he has a crush on. Hmm, actual semi romance is rare but I’m not expecting How I Learned to Fly here.

By the way, she’s a red head so if she’s a good guy, it’ll be a step forward for Stine.

We see some of Cory being a lucky kid in the house, like when he catches a falling ladder. And does really well during a baseball game and Lee just gets hurt. Cory doesn’t quite jerky per say but the way he talks just make me want to punch him in his face.

Also, don’t expect any Murphy’s Law jokes. Too easy.

Lee goes home where both his parents are teachers at the high school. Dad teaches Chemistry which barely counts as being a scientist! Then his dog vomits.

Lovely.

Sometime later, Lee gets something in the mail labeled as “Instant Good luck”. He thinks it’s a prank for Cory, which isn’t unfair and puts it away. Guess we have to wait for the plot to start.

Instead, have another sports game where things go wrong for Lee.

“I don’t want to make you tense…this win counts big time towards the scholarship”

“Then why did she say that?”

Stop reviewing the book for me.

After that, Lee decides to peek at the good luck thing. It turns out to be Vulture’s Claw and he puts it on as it works like ap pendant. And right after he gets a letter from Pizza Planet.

Is it from the Pixar Branch warning Stine they’ll sue?

Nah, he just won Free Pizza. And after one instance, he believes it. To be fair, that is too odd to be a coincidence but still. The luck continues as he has his favorite dinner and gets
a DS game.

Dad chastises him for not reading instructions, even though I’m pretty sure they put those in game. Why else do you think Manuals are rare nowadays?

He also gets good grades on his report grade. You get the point, tons of good Stinklecrampen comes his way. With all this luck, I see why he has a re-match with Cory. It works and Lee wins easily.

But when Lee gets home, his dog gets his paws on the Claw and while he gets it back, it’s torn up a bit. Even you can tell what’s gonna happen next. Yeah, his good luck turns bad, including his laptop coming on fire.

Yikes, it’s already kind of over the top.

His reaction about right but I think mine would be waaaay worse. Lee notices the claw is minus one flaw but doesn’t think much of said flaw for some reason. Then we get a quick dream scene where not much of note ends, and then another one.

“Was it a nightmare inside of a nightmare?”

Insert obvious joke here.

The next morning he has bad luck with clothes and now he figures the claw has gone bad, he just still doesn’t know why. Later, we get Bowling. Spoilers, it goes bad as he drops the ball on his foot. Ouch.

He finally figures out how the claw turned bad and he gets rid of it. We’re only 70 something pages on so that’s not the end of it. See, Cory’s birthday is coming up and he thinks the claw is the perfect gift.

Now that’s devious. I’d usually be angry …but the asshole deserves it. But wait, if it’s bad lucky, wouldn’t it bad funny if it gave Cory even better luck, as it would be bad for Lee?

Nah, that’s too clever.

“It’s the Birthday Party of no Return for Cory”

Roll credits! Also, ouch, that was so forced it hurt.

Cory gets the claw…but it turns out he already has one, the good version. Huh, that actually makes a lot of sense. And hey, my joke …kinda came true, I suppose.

Of course, he doesn’t just throw the claw away or better yet, swap with Cory telling him this will have better luck being newer. But nah, instead we get more bad luck. Dark cloud you’re standing under, Bad Luck.

He tells Cory the truth and..

“Didn’t you read the instructions?”

Yeah, it turns out it had instructions that Lee brushed off. That line from Dad? That was foreshadowing. Nice. Anyway, kissing the Claw makes it give bad luck and the dog kissed it. Would make more sense to have breaking it be bad but whatever.

I gotta say, Cory is cool about all this. Infact, at this point he isn’t too jerk-ish. He’s kind of odd in that way. A bit later, he walks his dog and he is hit by a car.,

“I died instantly”

NEXT CHAPTER:

“I didn’t die”

LAME.

Instead, it sends him flying because that’s how that works. He surives okay though. He throws the claw away but I think full on throwing it across the street or something would get rid of it easier.

His luck slowly improves but the claw seems to be too close as small bad things happen. Then the claw starts digging itself out. Told ya. Wait, it turns out to be some other random thing. My point still stands.

The next day is the final thing for the scholarship: Football. Lee still needs a better chance so he kisses Cory’s claw. Okay, that’s kind of sick, especially after he was kind of nice to you. He does remember what the claw brought him, right?

It goes the way you’d expect, as both get hurt badly. Oh and the claw appears in Lee’s backpack. K. Luckily, the three (bet you forgot Laura existed, she appears but does nothing too important) are finalist for the scholarship.

Then suddenly he and Cory turn into creatures and fight each other. …And cut to later as Cory says they randomly started fighting and imagined the monster thing. I wish we got to actually see more of that play out instead of it being pointless.

Lee got rid of Cory’s claw off screen so everything seems fine. Laura won because of the whole fighting thing. Yeah, I saw that coming. But there’s one twist with her:

She sent them the claws.

Now that’s a tad less expected. And she kissed them before she sent them. She says Cory and Lee still had good luck for a bit because it takes awhile to kick in. Even though it started right when we saw them get kissed. Maybe it takes two kisses? I don’t know. And yes, she somehow know Lee threw his away and put it in his backpack .So she was kind fo the villain here. Nea.

“Have an awesome Summer!”

The End. Huh, a random ending. I kind of expected more. Where did these things come from exactly? Are they doomed with bad luck forever or what? Whatever.

Final Thoughts:

This one was solid, I think. It’s nothing great but I did enjoy it more than I expected. The main issue is that it does get repetitive. We get it, they have good/bad luck. But it’s not too bad and what happens is interesting.

Not much is explained but it’s scarier that way. There’s not much in the way of great writing per say but that’s not the focus. It’s just about these scary events and a tad into the mystery. There’s some fun stuff that the claw does and the competition gives the story an edge.

Cory is odd though. His nature should make him a jerk and he’s punch able but in the 2nd half he’s just nice all around and they even end as friends. I think Stine was going for him being good but just seeing jerk-ish due to his

I really like the twist. It mostly makes sense and is a good halfway point between expected and unexpected. I like that what it does. No spoilers for anyone who just cuts to the end here, by the way.

It’s a fun but flawed read. Not much more to it than that, but that’s all it needs to be. I think the Nightmare room book Locker 13 did this better but that’s another story, hopefully. So yeah, it’s an enjoyable way to end Hall of Horrors.

Rating: Good

Overall, Hall of Horrors is fine. I like it more than Horrorland Arc 2, as more books stood out. I used to think this had a Star Trek style curse with the odd ones better but it was different as some were better or weaker than I expected.

Claws was my favorite and Night of the Giant Everything was my least favorite. Neither was great nor terrible, just pretty good and Average. Still, better than Arc 2.

It was a fun little experiment. But next, Stine just did another mini-series with a weak gimmick. But more on that as Modern Goosebumps reviews continued. But before we start it properly, there’s something I gotta cover first.

That’s coming soon with the first Most Wanted book coming soon after. Anyway, that shall be all.

See ya.

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DCOM Month 3: The Swap

The_Swap_poster

Kirby Ross. Yeah, that’s all i Got

Hello, Spongey here.

Welcome to the finale of DCOM MONTH 3!

As you recall, I put this up to a vote. So it makes sense that we’d close out with whatever got the most votes.And only 1 got voted on more than once so we’re going with that.

And it’s…a random throw away film. Huh.  I have no idea why either wanted this one, but you got it, my friends.

There’s not much to say going into this one. This aired last year to very little fanfare. They spent so much time hyping up Adventures in Babysitting that this got not much advertising time.

They had some ads but not as much as other DCOM’s. So of course it didn’t do too well.I blame that and that the stars aren’t amazing bankable. We got Kirby Buckets and Peyton list, from Jessie/Bunk’d.

They were trying to pump her up, but that kinda failed. I mean, Bunk’d’s status is TBD at the moment, even if I wouldn’t be mad if it ended (We’ll get to it someday,I swear).

I remember this being fine, compared to what I expected. It’s based on a book but I haven’t read so I can’t say too much. A friend from a blog of his own looked into it though, so here’s a link to it:

http://nickanddisneyreviewed.blogspot.com/2016/10/the-swap-review-young-adult-novel.html

And yeah, this is a Freaky Friday type movie from the company who made Freaky Friday…twice! I recently watched an anime film with this concept called Your Name but I imagine this won’t be as …interesting in a good way.

By the way, check  that one out.

The writers have done little of note, and the director mostly does Kirby Buckets episodes. Fitting. He also oddly has episodes of Workaholics. Weird.

Anyway, is this one any good? Let’s find out.

This, is The Swap

The movie opens with Kirby Buckets himself (I’ll call him that that to be “funny”) playing Hockey, after the obligatory opening pop song which is this case is ear rapeingly awful.

Seriously, its got shitty autotune and everything. I can’t describe it that well, but ouch. We also meet Peyton List who does rhythmic gymnastics or something like that.

Kirby’s problem is that his kind of a jerk and I guess Peyton’s prob;em for now involves the school cutting finding for these kind of things They have a chance of escaping that though so we have our conflicts!

As you can imagine, we keep cutting between these 2 and it’s decently edited to give us a idea of how both sides are.

“Don’t blow it!”

That’s why I say to Disney Channel all the time.

Later, Kirby is playing with these guys who are of course Disney Channel jerks who call him names no one ever says. He breaks his phone and has to get a new one.

“Mom sure did love her sparkles”

…That’s extremely clunky, yikes. I suppose it was easy to tell we had a Dead mom but come on. Speaking of Mom’s, Peyton’s seems to be hippie-ish but at least shes’ kinda hot.

And her friend is named Sassy. I hope that’s a bad nick name,

We also get one a rather recent tiring cliche: Text’s on screen. I don’t know, it’s not a big deal but it’s gotten annoying. What happens here could have been conveyed without it.

Sassy has fallen in with the Alpha Bitches which is now Peyton’s conflict. She even overhears her being a bitch in the bathroom.

“It was super sad when her Dad left”

\More amazing dialogue!

I feel like getting an idea what Sassy was like before would make this stronger but whatever. Kirby and Peyton finally meet and of course talk about how the other sides has it easier.

The nurse makes them shut up and just text about as they just magically have each others numbers.

“I wish I had your life”

Subtle. We’re following Lizzie McGuire logic on this one. And as soon they both say they’d like the other life….they swap….through the phones.

Yep. This makes no sense and spoilers, all their bullshit explanations won’t help at all. Zapped’s phone stuff made more sense.

“What the what?”

Wrong Disney Channel Theme Weekend.

They quickly figure they swapped and of course freak out about it. See, Peyton’s Mom say putting too much emotional energy into an object will make it a totem and give it power over you, which is what we’re going with as our expiation.

Both the phones happened to belong to missing parenting figures, what are the odds? Mom must have been more recent as Peyton’s got a flip phone.

So now they must fake being each other until they can figure out what to do. Them telling each other what to do gives us more clunky exposition.

By the way, Sassy likes Kirby. You can imagine how awkward this is. Speaking of which, the bully guy shows up and hits on Peyton. He looks way older than her. Ew.

That stuff is thankfully short as they now official begin living each others lives. Peyton as Kirby accidentally agrees to “chop the salad” which is not as sexually as it sounds.

It means cutting his hair. Honestly it looks way better this way, it was a rat’s nest before. Meanwhile, Kirby as Peyton asks Mom about the totem thin but just finds out she deactivated Peyton’s flip phone, although that won’t be official until Sunday.

Their real names are Ellie and Jack, by the way. Still won’t call them that though, just had to say it once. He tells Peyton and they both say NOOOO in the most weaksauce way possible.

Things don’t do too well so far, especially on Peyton as Kirby’s side. Especially with Dad being a jerk. The mom thing can only justify him so much but more on that later.

Kirby and Peyton talk about this further which ends up being a nice little moment.Would be less nice if they weren’t having the phone call while Peyton’s body is taking a bath.

Yeah.

They figure they need to improve each other’s lives to get this all back to normal. Kirby’s Dad pops up to take the phone away because jerk. He gets worse as we find out he makes him train hard the next morning.

I do like this part where his brothers actually help him out given we’ve mainly seen them as jerks so far.

Word spreads that Peyton talks to Kirby and the friend that likes him is worried. And right away she’s like “Nah” and backs off. That wasn’t pointless.

Back with Kirby’s body, we get a random moment regarding the dad Mom which is kinda nice in execution. Later, she/he talks to the bully guy and drops a truth bomb about how insecure he is.

I love how this really troubles him..

Peyton’s body slips out to extend the phone plan only to find it was…Dad who canned it. I think that’s going to be a deal later. But that’s not important, Peyton has to fix thing’s with Sassy at some party.

“Why are you friends with this chick anyway?”

Good question.

We see further later that the bully guy has changed. It’s silly but pretty funny. We get a “Getting ready” montage and move on to the party. The bully helps Kirby’s body sneak out to go a get together of his own which is a good payoff for that plot point.

That means we have a contrast with the girl party and the boy party. Yeah, this is like that other “magic phone” movie in a ways, just…better.

Sassy is randomly on Peyton’s ass again, making that previous scene pointless. So now she drops her as a friend for reasons.

Trough some events that confuse me, Peyton’s body says she and Kirby are tight so then he has to show up and they have to pretend to like each other or something.

Then they drop it like it’s pointless and go back to Sassy being a bitch. Peyton finally calls her out which is very satisfying. They go home and we get the scene get a sad song.

Which in execution is effective enough. I especially like the brothers handing him this little note that Jack wrote his goals on. Later, they tell this one friend about this situation and we just skip to him believing them,

They discover they can tap into their original body’s powers because reasons, so it’s possible to have a training montage!

Both of their important events are on the same day (because of course they are) and we get to the day. We get a montage of the two events and we see they have learned to do them rather well.

They find both of their things and yeah there wasn’t much to say about all that.  But even after that, they don’t switch back meaning there is some unfinished business.

Kirby reveals it was Dad that canned the phone contract as he wanted a new family plan.

“…Oh. For his new family”

Ouch.

They sulk off and return to their parents.

“I made varsity”

“Barely and only because everyone else played worse”

Oh good, he’s still an asshole. Meanwhile, Peyon’s mom confronts “her” about the whole Dad thing which leads to a really nice moment. I did not expect some actually nice stuff when I first saw this.

“Kirby” finally confronts asshole Dad.

“Do you even love me at all?”

Needless to say, this part is amazing. The bastard deserves it. They both feel a lot better after that and realize this might be the thing their switch was all about.

They meet up and text each other saying “I wish I had my life back” and boom, it works. And there’s a joke where Kirby had Peyton put on other layers beneath her main clothes because we couldn’t end this without one joke like that.

So now their lives are fixed and things are winding down. Kirby returns home as Dad apologizes for being such a Dick. His excuse is that after Mom passed he felt like he wanted to be tough but ….eh.

This reminds me a lot of Chicken Little, with this guy technically being a worse parent. The difference here is that rant was way more satisfying since this movie blamed the parent more than that one did.

Not that this does it that much better on the Dad end, but at least he directly apologizes.

As for the Sassy stuff, she randomly apologizes but Peyton tells her it isn’t enough, which is good. Kirby and Peyton introduces their parents to each other for a forced pairing.

I hope that realize they might become siblings now.

The end. Yeah, let’s end on that note. That was an okay wrap up, even if it’s clear they front loaded all the good stuff at the end there.

Final Thoughts:

This was a mixed bag but in general, it was better than I expected. The main flaws come from the typical DCOM problems you expect. The explanation of the switch is really stupid and there’s some dumb stereotypes here and there.

There are some plot elements that could have been written better. I like Sassy’s role in the story but on it’s own it feels kind of pointless. I suppose Peyton’s conflict of being sad over Dad wasn’t quite the most eventful but I feel like it could have been handled better.

Most of the flaws, minus the magic crap can be forgiven but they are noticeable with how good some things are. Watching this again, I realize how close to really good this is.

The leads do a good job being each other to the point where I didn’t have that problem remembering bodies have swamped like I sometimes do in these kind of movies.

Character wise they don’t go that deep but that’s fine as the events make up for it. Speaking of deep, that’s what this movies gets right. Their emotional struggles work mostly well.

I say mostly as the pay off is better than the set up. Peyton’s Daddy issues aren’t shown that much but that last scene still works. I like that he never shows up, it reminds of Blendins’ Game where they could have gone through this whole thing but they decide that if he’s not gonna show up, he’s not worth it.

This isn’t nearly as good but it works. Her arc’s also nicely contrast Kirby and despite some wonky parts, they do juggle them both equally. Sassy ends up being beyond salving for now and her Dad is too late but Kirby was able to fix his similar issues before it got to that point.

The actual body swap stuff is typical and it’s clear they cared about the actual conflict more, which I’m fine. There is some okay stuff, with the bully being the best part of the whole thing.

He was pretty funny with how he turned good and all that. He even served a good use later on.

Overall, the most was mixed but in the end I will say I kinda liked it. It had plenty of small problems but I appreciate that they went a bit deeper than they needed to. There’s some nice moments and the ending worked me.

It could have been great but it’s already better than it had any right to be. While Adventures in Babysitting was content to play it safe and rely on star power, this at least tried to take some chances.

It’s not all good but I give them credit for trying. Could have been better, but also could have been far worse. As it is, it was a better on a re-watch and I’m glad we ended on an okay note./

Rating: Decent

So that was DCOM Month 3. A solid selection and none of them were too weak. Proud Family wasn’t too flawed and Adventures in Babysitting at least was a remake of a better version, and the others were downright okay.

So the Drama was the best of course. Thanks for voting, for those that did. Voting stuff usually doesn’t turn out too well but this was fun.

But man am I glad to be back to my normal schedule next time. Next time,my brother’s birthday comes up so you know what that means.

See ya.

 

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

DCOM MONTH 3: Pixel Perfect

Disney_-_Pixel_Perfect

How to build a better movie

Hello, Spongey here.

Now we come to the reason we did this the first place. This is going up August 23, 2017, the 20th anniversary of Northern Lights the first DCOM. …Kinda, I count it anyway.

And just as I planned it, one of the reviews was going up on this date. Of course that one to be special, so I picked the 50th DCOM. In the least, it’s the 50th by my count. (By Disney’s standard, 50th is Zenon 3 which we’ll get to someday)

I’ve wanted to do this one before but couldn’t. Now I have it off iTunes so it’s finally time to tackle this one. Somehow the 50th DCOM is more interesting and special than the 100th one.

I saw it back when it aired and found interesting and always wanted to revisit it. Now I have for this to review, and yeah it’s really interesting and terms of how it all plays out.

The director has done Halloweetown High and also Spawn and some of those animated Garfield movies. That’s an odd resume.

The writer is Neal Shusterman who my readers recall as doing 2 Haunting Hour episodes but he’s mostly an author and I’ve actually read some of his books and they are actually pretty good.

So we’re in good hands on that front. So is this a good 50th at all? Let’s see.

This, is Pixel Perfect

The movie opens with our main character Roscoe, played by Phil of the Future himself as he’s messing around some of his Dad’s technology. His dad is this super smart guy who mostly dabbles and Hologram stuff and Roscoe is smart enough to be able to mess around in it.

So thus the kid didn’t invent the advanced tech, he’s just doing stuff with a base that has already been made. It’s a small detail but it makes this just a tad more believable.

His first act is to make a Holographic Cat. Yeah. Dad sees this and is miffed he’s playing around and you can already tell there’s friction with these two. Spoilers, it’s mostly Dad being a jerk.

He goes to his friends, who are in a band. Of of them is played by Tania Gunadi aka Sashi in Penn Zero and tons of other roles. I swear she is everywhere these days. She doesn’t do too much here though.

He’s not in the band itself. They’re performing at some club place and this one guy he’s a bigshot I guess is not a fan. Mostly because they have no “presence” or “image”.

He even says they sound fine but it’s not about sound anymore, it’s about image. He’s…got a point to an extent. This was made in 2004 by the way. He does approve of a girl group called Moist Toilette.

Yes.

At home, Roscoe talks to their lead singer Sam who is also the best friend. They think it’s best to get a new lead singer who can do the moves.

“An addition to the band, not a replacement”

You can guess how this will work out.

Anyway, out of context line time:

“How do you deal with all those buts?”

“Ship them off to china”

This is during dinner, as Dad is knee deep work because of course we hit on that cliche. A bit later we get the bad auditions montage.

When it seems like there’s no other choices, in comes this girl who sing and dance! The song here is titled “Nothing’s wrong with me”, which actually has story relevance.

Her name is Loretta Modern. Before I can call that out, it’s revealed she is indeed a Hologram. That’s right, Roscoe has invented a Holographic Woman….to be a lead singer in a band.

Good use of our resources.

“This is just plain weird”

Couldn’t have said it better myself.

The only downside is that she can’t go outside as it messes her up. At least they thought how some of this would work on some level.

Oh, and yes there are plenty of comparisons to be Made to How to Build a Better boy. This one makes way more sense, for starters. That had a  valid way of exploring this topic but as we’ll see, this has a just a bit more to it.

A bit later we have their first gig at a school dance. It goes well, not much to say there. We got a moment a bit later where she wonders what it’s like outside since she can’t go out. It’s small but our first step to her arc and the themes within.

Also, her acting is…hit or miss. Sometimes she’s fine, other times not so much. Maybe she’s trying to be wooden, being a Hologram and all, but eh I don’t know.

The next day some guy asks Roscoe to hook him up with Loretta and instead of telling him to sod off, he agrees because the guy heard Roscoe’s Dad might be fired and he can talk to his Mom about fixing that.

Yeah, still not a good idea.

He then makes it a double date with Sam because reasons. I don’t know why he’s shocked when she doesn’t like this idea. She goes with it anyway as that is the next scene.

Roscoe gets a call from Dad and he bumps into something so Loretta starts messing up for the “Cover up weird stuff” scene. Despite that, things so reasonably well. That scene was shorter and even more pointless than I expected.

Roscoe asks Sam to keep Lorreta as if she stays at his place, Dad will find her. Given her feelings on her, not a great idea but okay. And yeah, this kind of a love triangle but it doesn’t quite go that route so don’t worry.

Later, Sam makes a rather brutal point about how Lorretta has never had to try and fail, as she was built perfect.

“You’re just water and a few pounds of chemicals…maybe a few more pounds than you really need”

Oh snap!

We then get their next gig where they do a song about being noticed. Yes, Sam wrote it. After the gig we get another moment where Loretta wonders what being actually human is like. It’s nice.

We move to the next gig which could get them signed up for Harshtone Records. That name should clue you in on how much you should trust them.

The performance goes fine until Lorreta randomly starts glitching out.After more it, they automatically assume its a holographic person and the glitching isn’t just part of the act.

“Holographic rock star”

“How cool is that?”

Yep, the don’t freak out over this at all. Because this movie is very realistic. This then leads to a getting famous montage. No, no one ever freaks out over this random band having a freaking holographic person.

Makes as much sense as turning talking chipmunks into a rock band I guess. We briefly see a talk show debate this but that’s it.

Naturally, Lorreta gets most of the attention right up to when they’re doing their first real album. Sam doesn’t like this. No, this isn’t the end of Sam being a bitch. But enough of that, you might wonder how Dad is reacting to this.

Pretty well, given his son invented a holographic person that’s becoming famous. I’d criticize him for not being more upset but now I can get angry because he just sees her as a “good beginning and doesn’t at all see her as a person.

I get that but as Roscoe points out, she’s become a big star and has pretty much saved Dad from getting fired. So yeah I’m on the heroes side, if only because the Dad is an idiot.

Anyway, Loretta wrote a song…made up of other songs.

“Hey now you’re a rock star”

….There’s so many jokes I can make about that. ….Too many. You put one in the comments, my Shreksters.

That’s just there for this:

“You said I was perfect”

“Even perfection has it’s limits”

Ouch. No need to be so harsh.

This is bad enough to make her want to leave and she almost does before realizing stepping outside is a no-no. This is another interesting dramatic moment.

Roscoe promises not to mess with her but she’s still upset. So much so she puts herself in the internet to quick travel to Tokyo. Yep, we to see the inside of the internet.

Not as much as porn as I expected.

Instead, it’s a void full of random images and noise. Okay, that’s kinda accurate. We also have a a literal search engine that she hops on. Plus, a good gag about pop up ads.

She hops off and ends up in the world of Emails. Which is portrayed by those white featureless figures shopping. …Creative?

She attaches herself to one….that ends up being Sam’s. Whoops. She puts Lorreta back in her…can for her but being Sam, she’s a bitch about it.

Later, Roscoe finds out about this and Sam lets her go. He talks to his Dad a bit after that about how he never got re-married. This leads into some talk about perfection does not exist which is interesting and all but slightly forced with how it comes up.

We get a montage of where the lyrics to the song iTunes shows are NOT the song actually playing. Huh.

They head up to Harshtone Records to sign a deal. Of course the higher ups there are assholes, so much so that Dad finally stands up for his son. But it’s too late, they are gonna keep Loretta for their own anyway.

Seriously, who trusts a company called Harshtone to begin with?

However, Daryl Fibs, the guy who picked them is starting to agree with Roscoe on Loretta being a person and gives her the choice to go free if she pleases. She takes it and Fibbs quits the company too.

Well, that conflict ended as soon as it began. Still cool though. And yes, she escapes through the internet which almost gives that scene a  point!

He meets up with Roscoe later and tells him what happened. Because they can’t get to Loretta, they move on to their next gig where Sam tries to take her place but just ends up hurting herself. Ouch.

At the hospital, Lorreta emails herself to Roscoe and she finds out what happened. Loretta then decides to use her…powers, I guess to go into Sam’s brain. You heard me. Because of the wires stuck on there, she can use that go in.

….Okay.

It turns out her brain is all dark and gloomy with Sam in the middle being depressed. Loretta has her strum her guitar and then suddenly it’s all bright. It’s a lovely moment especially with the music but I don’t get what she did.

We get more talk about perfection and how lucky Sam is to be a real person, not limited by being a program. Eventually Sam wakes up…but Lorreta is the one n control of the body.

Yep, she now has a taste of being a real boy-I mean girl.

“There was only room for one of us at a time”

Sure why not. We do this really nice moment where she finally gets to outside and feel rain. However, Roscoe wants Sam back.

“She’s not perfect”

Don’t make me bring out that creepy…thing from Courage.

He says likes her BECAUSE of her imperfections. She’s like “K”, then goes dancing in the rain. Then Lorreta randomly leaves her body right there, leaving only Sam.

Don’t ask me, I didn’t write it.

I make fun but this a really nice moment, if a bit on the nose. With that, Lorreta is gone. To help us through this,we fade to Sam playing a sad song. After it, we see the band has been doing well with Sam as their lead singer.

However, they heard someone chime in during the show and wonder who it is. No  guesses as to who it is. Yeah, it was Lorreta, creepily watching like a ghost.

“I think the Zetabytes have a guardian angel”

I have no idea how that works but okay.

The end! That was an idea ending. Kinda rushed in an odd way. I think they could have done more there, even if there was good stuff there. More on that below, but we’re done.

Final Thoughts:

This movie is mostly good, but I do think it could have been better. Let’s start with the flaws. There’s some elements/moments that really should have been explored more/ditched.

Some get enough like the Dad but I feel like he was a tad too dick-ish here and there. His arc kinda just happens,it’s clear the story isn’t about him but I think they could have used him better.

There’s also the weird love triangle stuff. They kinda close that but at some points Sam is too much of a bitch and at the end, it feels like it was resolved in an odd way.

It does lead to the whole perfection thing at least. And finally, the ending could have had more to it since it seems like it just kinda ends. Yet the 3rd act also feels weird in terms of the structure.

Oh, and Lorreta’s acting is off at points.

Now onto why I mostly like it. It’s certainly ambitious for a DCOM in terms of themes. It’s not amazingly deep but there’s interesting themes but what perfection really is.

For most of it’s nothing new but for the target audience, it’s really interesting. It can be on the nose but the best moments are when it slows down to explore these ideas.

It’s one of those movies where certain aspects, like Sam, work better when it services the better aspects, in this case being the themes. I really like how all the songs actually play into the themes, when they could have all been pop filler.

This movie pretty much exists to explore those things so of course some parts fall by the wayside, like the band members. That’s not too bad but it’s clear whee they wanted to put the focus.

The really nice moments help make the themes stronger to me. There’s some solid emotion here. So overall, I do like it. Most of the things I picked on don’t matter too much and I do admire them for tackling stuff like this in a DCOM in general.

Those who have seem more adult takes on this may not find much more, but for what it is, it has interesting themes and is mostly decent. It could have been a lot better but I’m just glad it’s good at all given it’s a DCOM.

A good 50th, if you mask. Not great, but still good. …Huh, me liking this despite it’s flaws is really ironic.

Rating: Good

Happy 20th anniversary We’re done yet though. Tune in time as we close out DCOM MONTH 3 with the one that got the most votes.

See ya.

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

DCOM Month 3: Adventures in Babysitting (2016)

Adventures_in_Babysitting_2016_Poster

Melissa Chase and Evie are clearly the best babysitters ever.

Hello, Spongey here.

Welcome back to DCOM Month 3! Time to finally get to live action with a …big on. And by that I mean it’s one Disney called their 100th DCOM!

Oddly enough,I had no plans to review this despite it’s status. It wasn’t as urgent as others as I didn’t have strong enough feelings on it when aired. No one did, really. Even if they liked. There’s not much that’s mile-stoney about it.

It shouldn’t even be called the 100th since if we go by my rules, it isn’t. To be fair, I love that they celebrated with a marathon showing every DCOM ever, including the obscure ones.

They also put them on the app for a time and iTunes. No idea if the iTunes ones are up but I bought Pixel Perfect and You Lucky Dog to keep forever. Yep, I legally own You Lucky Dog in a way.

All this was cool but honestly the fact that they counted it is the only reason it was pumped up so much. It’s pretty average DCOM stuff otherwise, as even with the stars it’s more Stuck in the Suburbs than a Descendants) .

(By the way, I will likely cover the sequel, there’s enough to say I think)

Despite all the hype, the ratings, from what I recall, were pretty Eh. And since this certainly did not suffer from lack of advertising, that’s…bad. But Disney didn’t cry over it so there’s that.

It’s only legacy is being a milestone rather than anything it which is not the best sign. That and being a full on remake of another movie. So much for a Disney Channel “Original” Movie.

This doesn’t have a huge amount to do with it outside of the basic set up that everyone has ripped off already, especially since this has two Babysitters for the price of one, but I felt the need to watch since I already had the outsider POV, I figured I’d ad the other perspective.

It’s good. It’s not amazing or anything but it’s a fun 80s’ teen flick with a pretty likable lead.  Also, spoilers, this version doesn’t have this line:

“Don’t FUCK with the Babysitter!”

With that said, we’ll mostly focus on how this works on it’s own. Although I can tell you this new simply takes the basic set up and does it’s own thing, meaning there’s no point in doing a total comparison.

Anyway, The writer has only written the Nancy Drew movie and the director has …Judy Moody.

This is better than that one. So will this be decent in spite not being the most fitting for DCOM 100? Let’s find out.

This, is Adventures in Babysitting (2016)

The movie opens with Sabrina Carpenter talking to the audience:

“You are smart. You are talented”

Oh, thanks! …Oh, she’s talking to herself for some reason. Nevermind. We get our opening credits which has Sabrina and her co star Sofia Carson doing stuff that indicates their character, with one being tidy and other being messy.

A smell a sitcom! But I guess being on Disney Channel is close enough. And it is to the obligatory Disney star pop song for the movie. Jenny, Sabrina’s character bumps into her love interest for a bit really only to establish that he exists.

There’s one amusing part where Jenny is singing a lot to said pop song. Nice. Sabrina and Sofia arrive at their destination and they properly meet, as we find Sofia’s name is Lola here.

I haven’t quite talked about Sofia Carson yet, as she wasn’t quite huge yet when I did Descendants. We’ll where she goes from her but I like her.

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For reasons. Yeah you saw that coming.

They are trying to get some kind of “Photography Internship” They chat and we get exposition like how Jenny skipped 8th grade and wants to do this to be more well rounded Lola on the other hand is more interested in the actual art. Also, she seems to be older which makes sense since Sofia Carson is indeed a bit older than Sabrina.

And of course, Jenny is a babysitter. The head guy shows up and he’s eccentric so he won’t do a normal interview. He wants them to “Dazzle” him and go do stuff that shows off their perspective on art.

I’m just gonna assume this doesn’t happen in real life situations like this and move on. They leave but not before accidentally switching cell phones. Cuz one DCOM with that set up was not enough.

Right away, Lola gets a call from Zac the love interest and she reacts to this pretty well. And when she quickly takes of Zac he doesn’t find it odd that Jenny sounds totally different.

This happens again as some calls requesting Jenny’s babysitting service. Lola says yes. I’ll forgive this one as this person doesn’t seem as familiar with Jenny as Zac is.

Lola did that so she can make easy money to pay off a ticket she just got. Kinda smart I suppose, especially since Lola had Jenny say “my friend Lola can do it”, thus covering her bases. Credit there I guess.

Then we find out what I just said was wrong as when we meet Lola’s babysitting kids, the older one already knows Jenny and is excited. Yeah, ew. Here we got a  few younger kids instead of one, but one still has skates so there’s that.

Funny thing, in the original the kid was really into Thor. I’m surprised they didn’t keep that given how big he is now, and all that. Speaking of, they keep her last name cuz why not.

Lola comes in meets the kids, one which is a boy that cooks, because haw haw boys don’t typically do that.

Jenny meets her own babysitting kids, one of which is 2 edgy for you and another is a Toddler’s and Tiara’s reject. So all together there’s like 5 kids. This is gonna be messy, isn’t it?

Speaking of messy, Cooking kids antics starts a fire. Jenny calls her phone and finds out about this and head’s there. Of course she has to bring the kids there. When she gets there it has been taking care of there’s bigger problems.

Not cuz of the whole Lola thing, but because the older kid snuck without anyone noticing, somehow. Now they have to all go out in the city to get Trey.

“No, your parents would kill me”

“They’ll kill you when they find out a total stranger is watching us”

“And whose gonna tell them?”

Beat.

“Anyone have to go the bathroom?’

That would be funny…f it wasn’t lifted right from the original. Huh, they took more than I thought. Speaking of, in both are going out mostly to get someone, although Trey’s case is far less “Christ, give them a hug”-y.

They head off in the Anderson’s car, where we get an out of context line:

“You know what I was doing with my hands when  I was  7?”

They go to a pawn shop where Trey supposedly was. And he was there, and got bought concert tickets from a creepy guy with a sword. Clearly Trey has not heard of stranger danger.

Apparently he went for Pizza or something and they guess he went to his favorite place. A ferret gets loose but before that can be important, they see that their car is being towed.

They catch up to the towing guy but he’s an asshole so he won’t give it back. Even when they say leaving a bunch of kids stranded is bad.

“Time to grow up”

For a DCOM, they are trying to push that all people in real life are assholes.

The two guys from the pawn shop appear and give chase but the kids get away extremely easy. See, these are the bad guys and they stole this ferret and Lola took a pic of them with it which spoils they took it.

Never mind that the kids have no idea of anything bad they’ve done and not many people they know would know about this, or that chasing them only makes things wosre for them.

Yeah, these are the villains. The ones in the original were a threat but these guys are as effective as Home Alone villains.

The kids get to the  pizza place and find Trey right away. Well, that was easy. Movie Over! …Okay, even I’m sick of that gag. Oh and a kid calls Jenny hot. Wrong one to call hot, dude.

They strike some with selling Trey’s tickets to get money for the car and Jenny goes to the bathroom where there’s a throwaway line from some other girl involving a Zac Chase.

Which I bet is the full name that Zac from Milo Murphy would have if the shippers had their way. Wait, Melisa Chase is voiced by Sabrina Carpenter…whoa.

Anyway, after a quick pointless bit, the edgy kid goes to get a Tattoo and she does because that process happens really quickly, right? But that doesn’t matter because the bad guys are back to cause ruckus in a public place.

The kids get cornered in a place where there is some decent suspense, for a little bit at least. But of course they escape somewhat easily yet again. At least they had to do some thinking this time.

“I hate kids”

They get a place where they try to sell the tickets and the bad guys follow them. But as it turns out  a cop there and selling stuff like that in a public place is illegal so she gets in trouble. Whoops.

At the police station, she seems to be let off the hook given this a first offensive but she’s told she needs to be more responsible and yada yada.

She tells him he truth about how she lied to get this job and it’s good that he’s a nice guy or she would certainly get in trouble for that. But she doesn’t and they all leave since a fight breaking out with some people gives them a distraction so they can leave.

Then one of the bad guys shows up and one of the kids kicks his ass. Wow, that’s a new low for a villain in any movie. Then we get a chase scene with that bad guy and that kid and the rest of the kids are following them in the bad guys car.

Why no one is trying to stop this is beyond me.

He gets tripped up and they rescue AJ. Then through ways I can’t even sum up, they wind up in some club place Yeah, we’re at this version of the Blues scene.

This club has the same oddly specif rule of anyone who is here needs to perform, although to it’s credits it’s worded in a less forced way.’But it’s the 2010’s so they have to rap.

Yes. Ever wanted to see a rap between Melisa Chase and Evie? This is pretty much meant to be the big set piece given it was in all the trailers and it’s also where Jenny and Lola really go head to head.

It would have been a big more effective if the rivalry aspect had been built it a tad better and not been dropped for a while due to all this chase stuff. But this part is kinda enjoyable in how Disney Channel it is, you know?

But right after, Lola and Jenny have dropped their little spat so I guess rapping their feelings solved everything?

We randomly get a part with the edgy kid bitching about how she’s never noticed or whatever. Jenny motivates her but I don’t care. Especially since she called the parents a bit earlier and this causes them to just ignore that pointless moment.

But they assume they didn’t answer the call so they plan to sneak into where they are and delete the message, sitcom style. Oh and Mom gets a 100 dollar bill in her coat for some reason, which will help them get the car back. So many convenient things going on.

They go that Gala thing where the cooking kid ends up in the kitchen and kinda helps in there with no one really questioning it. I don’t know,it’s stupid.

Mom currently has the coat they need but they solve this by putting Lola in disguise so she can get close to them. Something akin to this was in the original but she only did it to hide her face and get through the room so it wasn’t as stupid.

After a cringy bit, she gets what she needs but then the bad guys show up for a climax. …And they are apprehended after a very quick chase. Clearly that was the most epic climax in film history.

The kids leave and bond over a job well done. But now it’s time for the most forced 3rd act drama ever. Jenny learns that Zac Chase called her earlier and Lola blew him off. That wasn’t important at all to the overall story but now it is because reasons.

I mean seriously, at this point in this situation who cares about some guy? This is some First World Problems right here. But Jenny gets over as Lola says they can drop by the concert he’s at and set things right.

By the way, if Zac wasn’t so dumb and deaf, he would have known it wasn’t Jenny and this would not be happening. This is forced it hurts.

Jenny tells him what happened and that clears up that drama. Well, that was pointless. But now they have to worry about getting home and Lola apologies for pretty much causing all of this.

It’s a nice moment at least. They perk up and go pick up their car by the person there is being a jerk.

“Don’t mess with the Babysitter!”

Was not expecting the G Rated version of that line. Makes me laugh remembering what it’s a reference to.

They get the car and quickly arrive home which is a mess because we need an extra quick conflict. They clean it up and have a nice moment recapping what they went through.

With that, both babysitters make it to their respective places and things cool down. Oh and Lola gets a date with this cop guy from earlier or something, I don’t care. I care even less about Jenny and that guy from Bunk’d being together.

We return to that place from the start, which even the movie seemed to forget about. Jenny withdrew her application because Lola deserves it more. That’s cool, are we done now?

Well, we kind of are we end with Lola looking at the pics she took during the night, Hangover style. There’s a montage of the kids looking at them ending with one of the Mom’s seeing them. Wah Wah.

The End. Kinda rushed but fitting enough for what it is. Whatever.

Final Thoughts:

I’m not one to dig up old memes but…

“I have no strong feelings one way or the other”

Yeah, that sums it up. This was So Okay It’s Average. At least until the most forced “climax” ever. Otherwise, everything is just…there. I can’t even really think of ways it could have been better, as there’s mostly nothing wrong with it per say.

Maybe it’s because I have a better movie to compare it. Speaking of which, as a remake it’s also fine. It of course changes a lot but keeps the basic set up in tact and all that jazz.

For the most part, it’s just serviceable. There’s some stuff with this set up and nice moments but nothing I haven’t seen before in general. There are certainly too many kids, most of which with no personality outside of one joke like the kid who cooks.

It leads to some filler here and there while just  a couple would work fine. They also involve the usual rushed/pointless arcs. The main duo are fine acting works but character wise it’s what you would expect.

Look, what do I say? Everything is just…fine. As entertainment it’s got moments but it’s not much beyond that. There are some actually problems that hold it back like most of the ending that ends up being rushed and poorly written but otherwise, it’s all…okay.

Not quite deserving of being the 100th DCOM, as Bad Hair Day was at least a better movie of this type. But taking that aside, it’s fine but has flaws that make a bit weaker.

And overall, it’s just okay on a writing level. It’s not really meant to be anything too special but even then it has some kinks to work out. As I keep saying, it’s mostly okay but nothing really worth going out of your way to watch.

It at least had enough to make fun of. If you a more basic DCOM, there’s better ones like Bad Hair Day and if you want a better take on this plot, it happens to be a remake of one!

So yeah, it’s whatever for the most part. Sorry I didn’t have anything deeper to say but that’s how it is. Now you get why I wasn’t interesting in reviewing it but it got voted so there you go.

There’s better, there’s worse but as it is, it’s…eh.

Rating: Average

Don’t worry, our next one is more interesting. Because next week is the day that is the reason I’m doing this and I found a fitting one to celebrate with.

See ya.

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

General Review: The Nut Job 2

Hello, Spongey here.

Well…after last time, I think it’s best to wing down with a movie getting flack that no one cares about! There isn’t a whole lot to say about this one going.

Back in 2014, there was The Nut Job. I reviewed it and it was …meh it had some fun ideas and good animation but it wasted them on typical cookie cutter kids stuff that I barely remember. It was so forgettable that I don’t recall much of why it wasn’t that good even after re-reading the review.

I don’t really see why people hated it so much, to me it was just…meh. With last time’s movie I get it, not so much this one. Thankfully, Legends of Oz came around to get worse reviews. Because oh boy is that one worse.

But despite that, the film was a hit so they announced a sequel right away. It was slated for Jan of 2016 before being pushed back to now. It’s worth noting that it’s 2016 slot was taken by Norm of the North.

Yeah.

Between the first and this sequel, this company made Spark which was way worse than Nut Job ever was. But anyway, I actually had some hope for this one. See, Mr Coat (who did a defense video on the film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DoXVTZ8VKzk ) got to meet the director of the first and it turns out he’s well aware of the hate the first got, and was looking to fix the flaws with the sequels.

Yeah, he seemed to accept the criticism like an adult. Huh. That’s why I had some hope for this one at least being better, if not decent on it’s own.

That director didn’t return for this however, none of the main crew did oddly enough. We’ve got 3 writers, One has nothing other than a recent Cop and a Half Sequel, and another has kids stuff like…Escape from Planet Earth.

Ouch. The last writer is the new director who directed….Escape from Planet Earth. Okay, now I’m a bit worried. Okay, that’s not fair. It was his first film after all.

So will, this improvement on it’s lackluster predecessor or will it drive me nuts? Let’s see.

This, is The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature

(From now, the animated reviews will be in the general format like the live action ones. I feel like doing the Ani-Mat style was kinda lame and I feel better doing it in a way where I can get it out quicker. It might come back but for now, this is what I’m doing sorry)

Sometime after the first movie, Surly and his pals are living it up at the nut shop. However, it blows up forcing them back to the park. To make things force, the greedy wants to tear it down to make room for an amusement park, so they all must band together to stop him.

So first I should answer your question? It better than the first move? …Yes. Yes it is. Is it good? ….No. It’s kinda of a mixed bag…of nuts if you will. I’m not sorry. It’s just…okay. Which is impressive enough to be honest.

First off, the animation in the first manged to be better than most smaller films of it’s kind and this one looks even better. The human designs are kind of awkward at times but that’s not a big deal.

The animation on the animals is well done, allowing for solid slapstick. The environments look nice and there’s some really good lightning in this too. It’s nothing groundbreaking but the animators clearly put a lot of effort into making this look good, and it’s a pretty film to look at.

As for the sequel element, other than some added context, you don’t need to see the first one. A fair amount of it’s events are mostly ignored like that one jerkass guy and the human side. It does continue the development of the leads so it does work okay there, but if you haven’t seen the first, you can just jump into this one fine.

But I actually would suggest watching the first before seeing this as honestly, it’s better if you appreciate how they improved as on it’s own, it’s just okay. Let’s talk about the positives of the writing.

There’s thankfully less fart jokes and stuff like that, except for when someone eats their vomit. Ew. Also, no Psy, although they do dance in the credits. The humor manages to mostly alright. Some bad jokes happen but there’s some decent chuckles here and there.

Will Arnett supplies his fair share because he’s awesome but there’s also some amusing slapstick Plus, some fun chase scenes too.

My favorite joke is when Andie tries to start a song but everyone is just like “No. Why”. Thart was honestly pretty great.

The set up here is interesting as Andi feels that Surly shouldn’t be living off the nut shop instead of the park, as they seem to be taking for granted.

This of course is proven to be right when it blows up and they have trouble living off the land and such. There’s an interesting dynamic with the two and their ideals and why they hold them. By the way, they have more of a romance here but it’s at least not overblown like most kids movies.

Surly is still kind of a dick but it’s more understandable this time and his growth is a lot more believable. I can see where he’s coming from and I do like seeing him grow. There are some kinda sweet moments here and there.

There’s one scene I won’t spoil but was surprisingly effective and kind of somber. We know what’s going to happen but it gives more insight into his character that makes him more likable.

It’s nothing complex but it’s appreciated. As much as I dislike the evil developer cliché, I give them credit for using as it a backdrop for this story where Surly learning some lessons. They at least tried to give it more of a reason to be there.

But now we must move on the negatives and why I can’t say this is anything that good as a whole. Nothing is painful to sit through but there’s still some flaws. For one, there’s a pointless romantic subplot with the Maya Rudolph dog (boy she’s having a great year) and the mayor’s daughter’s dog that’s just there to fill time.

It’s not the worst but it didn’t need to be plus. Plus he and the daughter are annoying. Said daughter is voiced by Isabella Moner from Nick’s 100 Things to do before High School.

She was also in Transformers 5. Yeah.

Speaking of the evil mayor, he’s just a typical evil developer. He has his movements, but he’s just cliché. I do like that some people do have an issue with him doing this and he’s not just fully getting away with it 100 percent.

Speaking of, at one point he drives on the sidewalk and even hits a guy but is not arrested like at all. Okay then.

In terms of characters, it’s another movie that mostly focuses on a couple and the rest are just there. Only Surly and Andie matter and the others can be okay but are often just meh. His friend Buddy is there but he’s just a silent friend and only one scene has him being too important.

But my biggest issue is how padded it is. This film is kinda short but it felt longer because it gets sidetracked sometimes and the 3rd act goes on forever. At one point I was wanting it to end because it felt like it should have ended 5 minutes ago.

Plus, the Andie is just dropped for a while so when she pops up, I forgot she was even in this movie. They wrap Surly’s arc okay but in general it doesn’t have the impact It needs because of all this other stuff going on.

Also, Jackie Chan is in this. From the trailers you’d think he’s a big part but he doesn’t show until halfway through and after that scene we don’t see him again until the climax where we now get all his backstory.

He does fine but he does feel forced. The joke of him hating being called cute was kinda dumb and after Zootopia had it be a kiddie racial slur….yeah. Also, some parts could have been handled better.

Like how the nut shop blowing up is treated like a joke with how it happens when having it be a more serious moment would have made it more effective. Certain bits of writing could have been tweaked for a better dynamic too.

There’s no way it was gonna be anything special but they could fixed certain things to make a more well rounded product. I’m just glad it was as “good” as it is given what it’s a sequel to but with the framework I got, it could have been better.

Overall, The Nut Job 2 is alright. I improves on the first one with a more likable lead, better humor, interesting dynamics and solid animation but it doesn’t quite become good due to unnecessary subplots, missed opportunities and going on a bit too long in the 3rd act.

It’s a welcome step up from the first and kids wil certainyl like it, but it’s not good ENOUGH to be a must see. If you got kids, and aren’t too against, go for it. And if you liked the first like Mr Coat, you’ll like it too. But otherwise, it’s a solid rental and it’s it.

It’s on the higher side of okay. There’s far better, and far worse from this year alone. Far better than the director and studio’s previous work certainly. It’s perfectly average, with glimpses of being Decent.

But hey, given what it could have been, I’ll take what I can get. As it is, it’s a vast improvement but it’s still only alright. Worth a look if you’re curious but not something I’ll remembers too much.

Rating: Average (On the higher side, to be fair)

Well, that was a pleasant surprise…even if it’s too flawed to be fully Decent. And yet the reviews are still not too good, with a 20 on RT. While it’s not exactly that good, it does not deserve that. I feel like some are hating it just to hate on it.

But whatever, it is what it is. Next time, an animated film from The Weistein Company. ….

See ya.

Posted in General Reviews | Leave a comment

DCOM Month 3: Kim Possible So the Drama

Kim_Possible_Movie_So_the_Drama_poster

Can the Possibles make a better movie than the Prouds? So not the drama! (Again, not sorry)

Hello, Spongey here.

Welcome back to DCOM Month 3! Today we have another animated one, and our last one based on a show. Sort of. I swear i didn’t plain this, this is what got voted on.

This one is based on Kim Possible. This was  one of Disney Channel’s Flagship cartoons and it’s one i like. I went into the holiday episodes before but now to discuss the show further.

It was a super popular show and i also like it. Because…

CR: A girl fights International crime, giant robots, and super villains, by jumping around in revealing outfits, occasionally running into a super-powered villainess wearing a skin tight jump suit. And in her off time she continues to jump around in her incredibly short Un-Disney-eque Cheerleading outfit with her other hot classmates.

…Uh, i like the writing. But that all helps too. Re-watching it, it did have flaws, mostly early but it mostly worked. It had a nice mix of releatable situations for kids, good humor for adults, and great animation, action, and characters for adults.

It’s a good example of a show that can appeal to about everyone. So naturally it was a big enough to get a DCOM…more than one actually. Sort of. In 2003 there was a Sitch in Time which Disney saw as one at one point but now they don’t, as it technically is 3 episodes strung together.

However, i watched the full cut where it all flows together as one story, even if it’s clear where each part begins in end. I’m kind of with most people on it: It’s pretty good in general with a fun time travel story and good drama with how Ron has to move away,

However, the ending is lame. No spoilers but it’s huge cop out that really ends things on a weak not. Not bad but it prevents the movie from being really good. It’s just Good instead.

So in 2005 they tried again, but this time they went out all out. It’s a full movie complete with upgraded animation. The writers were the creators and the director was one from the show so no need to go into that.

This movie was actually written to be a Live Action film, but Disney passed on it in favor of Sky High. OMG, they canned an adaptation of something popular for something cashing on trends? Worst thing ever! …Okay, this situation isn’t comparable, since hey at least the original choice did happen.

Jokes aside, Sky High was pretty good at least and while I’m sure this would have been a rare good Live Action Adaptation, getting this was a fair trade. Plus, they did get to make fun of this in an episode, amazingly titled “And the Molerat will be CGI”.

Before we go on, I should mention that the DVD version is “Extended”…by like a minute and I don’t recall what part was added but it has no bearing on anything. The DVD 2 deleted scenes so short, they may as well have thrown them in.

This film was meant to be the end of the series, but the fans really wanted more anyway so they gave it to them. I’ll say how I feel about that at the end as I’m wasting time as it is.

Oh, and as some may know, I tried to do a review a few years ago but the ASCII monster ate up some of my progress. It’s 2017 and that asshole is still a problem, so I finally ditched Open Office just before I start doing this.

Fitting. Now I get a chance to take it on. By the way, Cartoon Hero got to it before I could so look at his review for even further insight. With that said, was this a good end for the series, for the time being?

Let’s find out.

This, is Kim Possible: So The Drama

The movie opens in Japan as Shego and some goons have targeted the head of this toy company. Of course there is where Kim comes in.

“This is impossible”

“No, but real close”

Now THAT’S how you make an entrance. And already the aniation in this opening is better than all of last week’s offering. This leads to some action which involves a big fat ninja which Ron ends up giving a wedgie.

Yeah.

It goes for a bit but I don’t mind because it’s highly enjoyable and has good humor that fits with the characters. It’s a really good opening that both sets up the tone and the story well.

Speaking of openings, we get our opening credits which is done in a sort of James Bond style with a remix of the theme song. And yeah, it’s pretty awesome. But now that I’ve seen the animated DCOM’s I find it odd that AT2D does NOT have the “A Disney Channel Original Movie” text anywhere in it.

Yet the one that was just a 54 minute pilot does, go figure.

After a quick scene on a jet, they get home and Mom of course asks where she was. She turns on the Tv and the news is conventionally reporting on what happened. Okay, that is the best convenient newscast in the history of film.

By the way, I like how the cool the parents are with all this. They are still actually parents but stuff like fighting sumo ninja? Yeah, that’s fine just be back in time for school. They’re cool.

We cut to Drakken’s liar where we are introduced to his Syntho-drones that will be important later. Not too much else happens except for finding out Drakken wants to find out Kim’s weakness.

Drakken also starts thinking of his plan. This is a solid set up, not much else to say.

At school, the prom is coming up and Alpha Bitch Bonnie (who may I remind you is voiced by Zenon) is giving her crap about not having a boy-friend. Kim tries to shrug it off as usual but she starts to think she might have a point.

“I’m weirding guys out. They see me on TV, roundhousing some goon out of a window. It’s a vivid image”

I imagine for some it only makes you more attractive. Er, I imagine anyway. Meanwhile, Ron finds out someone bought Beuno Nacho which is another thing that will be important later. Yeah, they’re quite a bit of set up that is well done once you see the pay off to all this.

Drakken goes to Night Club to meet up with someone and Kim and Ron follow his trial. I should probably mention the part where Kim has to slip out her wet suit thingy. It’s um, very Disney.

…So anyway, Drakken meets up with Maurice LaMarche here to get a thing. Some of this whole scene is kind of filler, but at least enjoyable. And it leads to Drakken finding out Kim’s Dad has what we needs, we’ll get back to that.

Sometime later at school Kim is still thinking about what Bonnie said and Ron is trying to drum up support to Naco Night back. Basically Kim isn’t sure about going with Ron the prom and honestly all this stuff is more interesting to watch play out than read someone sum up.

So I’m going hom-ah I’m just kidding. But yeah recapping some of this stuff is harder than I thought, but easier than if I hadn’t had seen the movie semi-recently. The next day, Ron meets the new kid Erik, voiced by Ricky Ullman. Because why not.

Ron introduces him to Kim and they seem to take a liking to each other. Yep, we’re doing that. If I had one complaint about this movie it’s that this starts a bit too quickly but it does end up serving a good purpose and you only have so much time.

We even already get a montage of Ron being left out things while kim and Eric bond. While that’s going on, Drakken kidnaps Kim’s Dad and did all of it without anyone knowing yet.

But it doesn’t take long for Kim to be alerted as she calls Ron about it. Also, Ron is interrupted while talking to Mandark here about Beuno’s New Management which has only gotten worse.

They go to rescue him but while they do, it’s not before Drakken got the info he needs out of his brain. Kim can’t seem to figure what the big picture of his scheme is this time. She contemplates this later while trying on dresses.

I think that little bit kind of sums up the whole show. We just need Ron there to drop his pants or something…..Actually in that situation, that would be awkward.

….And then it turns out he’s right next door in this mall place and when he comes out he forgot his pants. I WAS JOKING!

Anyway, Kim happens to run into Erik here just to remind us that’s a thing. Beuno Nacho starts selling kids toys, which of course makes the place a mess of kids. Ron…doesn’t take it well.

“I’m losing everything I ever cared about!”

….Dang. I like some of the conflicts coming together to affect Ron and this part is pretty much part of the payoff to it. A news person happens to be there, so Kim sees that and decides to talk to him.

And since she actually finds out before it’s too too late that Ron is feeling bad, this is better than most of other takes on this kind of thing I have seen. Ron thankfully happens to be their childhood treehouse.

This part is kinda short but really nice as Kim sees that Ron thinks Erik will change everything but she assures him that’s not the case. They reminisce about old times a bit and it’s a really nice scene.

Speak of the devil, Erik shows up and asks her to the prom. I guess she says but we cut to more important things like later on Prom Night when Ron talks to Rufus about his rather complicated feelings.

Erik picks Kim up and I will say I like that he’s overall nice in a somewhat natural, It’s a small thing but worth noting.Ron goes to Beuno Nacho and Ron finally snaps…when we realizes they got rid of the Bendy straws.

Yes.

This makes him call the CEO himself who turns out to be…Drakken! Yeah, I kinda figured that one. And then the new Diablo toys come to life and attack. They fail because you know, small things aren’t that useful.

They still manage to take chase as Ron rides away and he shows up at Prom to tell everyone. Of course they vanish to make him look crazy. Kim is skeptical even though she sees weirder stuff than that like everyday.

Thankfully, the more he goes on, the more she thinks he’s onto something, especially when he mentions Drakken. You go, Kim! Erik isn’t as easily swayed but he’s new to this so I’ll cut him some slack.

They figure out used Kim’s Dad’s Tech to make those things and we learn they will strike at midnight. And I guess it’s Midnight because they start growing and of course Jim and Tim have some so that’s bad news. (Oh yeah they’re at home now, by the way).

We get an exciting chase scene which ends with them destroying the signal which was in the big Beuno Nacho sign thing. Well, that was quick, the end!

Is that joke getting old?

Drakken calls and tells Kim she won’t stop him despite that. He managed to kidnap Erik because it was only a matter of time before we use that cliche.

Desperate times call for Desperate measures so Kim takes an experimental battle suit Wade made. Oh boy we’ll talk about that thing later. They break into Beuno Nacho HQ and Kim ends up testing her battle suit on Shego.

It’s pretty much god mode to the point where it grows up when damaged. .She takes out She-Go and gets to Erik. And then..

“Actually, here I’m known as Synthodrone #921”

WHAT A TWIST! That’s right, they just Hans’d our asses! Jokes aside, that’s a good twist. Mostly because they don’t make it too obvious as Erik wasn’t a jerk or anything like that.

Perhaps you could have predicted it but it’s not as obvious as other twists of this kind. It’s rather brilliant. Kim is knocked and captured along with Ron and she’s pretty bummed out over this.

“What’s the plan?”

“I…got nothing”

This is a great moment here. I like seeing characters get to their lowest point like this and with someone Kim it’s especially effective. Also, Kudos to Drakken for this surprisingly smart plan that almost actually worked!

That puts him above the other Disney Dr D at least.

With the help of Rufus, they escape and Kim ends up in a big fight on the roof. It’s Rufus who defeats Erik by simply biting him which makes his Syntho-butt melt. Gross, but effective.

They are able to get rid of the signal thing which makes the rest of the toys go back to normal.

“Okay, maybe she is all that”

Nice. Not as nice as Ron being a badass and making Drakken say his name. It was a running gag, don’t ask. With that, Drakken and Shego are arrested until Motor Ed and an Alien save them.

Again, don’t ask.

“Deal with it dude, it’s over”

Until the fans want another season at least.

But we’re done yet as Kim and Ron head back to prom…with each other. And everyone applauds them!

As tired as the “Friends become love interest” thing was at the time, this case works because the characters are strong on their own and this moment is just really satisfying, especially with the pop song playing.

After all they went through in the series in this movie, it’s nice that they found each other. And heck, Season 4 continued it pretty well without making this pointless or too lovey dovey.

And with that, the movie ends. A slightly rushed ending that works due to emotion. Nice.

Final Thoughts:

Before we go further, I should say more about that Battle Suit as I said I would. Now, while I think it should have ended here, Season 4 managed to pretty good once they got past those “We’re back” jitters. But they had to do something with the suit since it was pretty much god mode.

So they just had it damaged so they could stash it for the rest of the season. A tad cheap but they created a good story around it that addressed Ron’s feelings about dating Kim now and all that.

That whole Season 4 Premiere was pretty great at addressing what they left on and the fan’s concerns over the show changing. They had a jumping the shark joke. So yeah, the show went on fine.

But as for the movie, I really like it. There’s not much to complain about here. There are pacing issues here and there like when Erik comes in, but that’s about it. And on the Kim Possible level, there really is nothing to dislike here.

Everything you want is here. The characters are likable and memorable, the already strong animation is bumped further, the action is highly enjoyable, and the villains are awesome.

It’s also decently funny. It expands on the show by putting the characters through a lot and giving Drakken a big plan but it’s also written in a way that newcomers can get it just fine.

But oddly enough what I like the most is the writing. Think about it: Drakken’s plot was created basically to not only get him power through the giant toys but also mess with him using the fake boy which also really effected her best friend since his favorite restaurant was being effected along with his friend.

They perfectly combine the external conflict and internal ones, to make for something both enjoyable and emotionally satisfying. It’s really smart how they did that.

Add on a really nice ending that shippers will enjoy and you have something really really good. Everything it works on both levels’ and I enjoy just as much reviewing it as when I watched it casually a little while ago.

While my own personal stuff makes it like AT2D, if we’re talking objective quality they are on the same level. Some stuff works better in each but I will say the flaws here may be less of a turn off in the end.

But that’s up for you to judge. And like that, I thought this could have worked in theaters. Just beef up the run time a bit and you’re good. But as it is, it works despite wonky pacing here and there.

A nice upgrade from last week.

Rating: Great

 

Wow, how  long has it been since I reviewed something I can call Great? ….Not counting me literally covering Citizen Kane. Next time, we finally go into live action with a more recent one.

See ya.

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

DCOM Month 3: The Proud Family Movie

Disney_-_Proud_Family_Movie

This is nuts! (I’m not sorry)

Hello, Spongey here.

On August 23, 1997, the first Disney Channel Movie Northern Lights Premiered. Of course, Disney will argue with you on that but Under Wraps also premiered in 1997 so the film doesn’t matter.

That means 2017 is the 20 year anniversary of the DCOM. Just last year they celebrated DCOM 100 and I did something for it. But I want to do something even bigger this time..

So this, August of 2017 (Because October is for Halloween stuff) is DCOM MONTH 3!

That’s right, our 2nd theme month to be done 3 times because of course it is. I just had to do something bigger than just a normal review. God knows Disney is doing nothing for it. They did a blow out for DCOM 100, even though people would debate if it really was but not for something no one could debate.

Ah well. And yes, this is the first theme month on the new non-schedule. And we’re bringing back the weekly thing just for this month. I may do it for most theme months going forward but we’ll see.

To make things even more special, I asked YOU guys what you would like me to cover for this month. I asked you guys to vote and I got a hefty amount, even if only one got more than one vote.

Don’t worry, I use some randomizers to pick what I’d do, rather than go by my preference. Thus, I have 5 solid picks here. Should be a fun month.

We start with one I’ve been meaning to tackle. We’ve covered all the live action DCOM’s based on shows (Not counting Jet Jackson the movie), but we’ve only done one animated one. So we’ll tackle another, the first one!

Sort of. Kim Possible Stitch in Time is sometimes seen as one, sometimes not. It’s techinally 3 episodes together so that makes the first one telling just one full story. So yeah, it’s the first, based on Bruce Smith’s The Proud Family.

I touched on it’s Holiday episodes before. In short, it was the first actual Disney Channel Cartoon, as well as one of the few Disney shows in general to have an African American cast. And for the most part, I like it.

Some of it has aged here and there, and it has cheesy/cliche elements, but I do find it mostly enjoyable. Not my favorite, but still good. It was popular enough to get this DCOM in 2005,. For the most part, I have no idea how fans feel.

I just know some can see it as weak compared to the other animated DCOM’s. I remember watching it when it aired but outside of a few things,i didn’t recall much of it until I watched it for the review.

We got pretty much the same crew for the show in place, except the writers as all 4(!) of them have just done stuff I’ve never heard of one. Except for one that did Ouilja, of all things.

So, did this movie make the series proud? Let’s see.

This, is The Proud Family Movie

After a random sample of the theme song, the movie opens on an island which is shown with bad CGI. We meet Dr Carver, a scientist doing stuff with his assistant who is a mutant peanut person.

Yes. The show was pretty weird but this kind of of thing may or may not be jumping the shark. But oh boy, it gets weirder.

With his machine, he creates a big buff peanut person but it melts down right away. RIP? Then the machine makes noise, they jump away, and end scene. That didn’t really show much it’s a mystery opening so whatever.

One thing you’ll notice is the animation, which for the most part is the same as the show. That’s a problem in itself but the quality drops in that opening, pretty much choppy at some bits. When I first it, I compared it to the 70’s and while its not quite that bad, its kind of weird even for a TV Movie.

From this point it gets better but still. And yeah there’s less bad CGI too.

Our story truly begins with protagonist Penny Proud who is doing her driving test, with her friends in tow. I’m pretty sure that’s not allowed. And whoops, the bad animation isn’t done as the Car is CG and we see the driver POV as Penny bumps into stuff and boy it looks.

Okay, now it gets normal but still, even in a TV Movie, this should not be happening. But anyway, back to the story. There’s this rapper dude called 15 Cent (haw haw) that Penny and friends want to try out to be backup dancers for but Oscar, her Dad, is having none of it.

Yeah, this is one those cliché things I was mentioning. Does it do it well or not? …Eh? Also, Suga Mama has been entering tons of Sweepstakes. That’s semi important.

Penny comes in a bit later with the outfit she wants to try out with.

Trudy, why is your daughter dressing like a h-”

a wholesome teenager?””

…You know-for kids!

I can’t wait to move out of her so I can whatever I want”

Hey if anyone’s going to move out of here and do whatever they want, it’s gonna be me!…Of course I brig you with me , honey”

Did I mention Oscar seems to get a lot of the best jokes?

Oscar goes to show his latest peanut invention (the Porknut, yes) to some dudes at a place whose Acronym is WASTE. Lovely. Carver is showing off some of his stuff which includes artificially intelligent jumping peanuts, which as we see do work.

But they turn him down anyway. I don’t care if peanuts are “Passe”, he made peanuts that jump on their own!

You will regret this decision, trust me gentlemen”

Oh great, you’ve given a villain motivation again. Oscar comes in and shows off his Porknut, and he puts on some stuff Carver (dropped (I think) and the nuts multiply.

But they taste bad so he’s kicked out too. Huh, you’d think they’d like it and it would make Carver jealous, but nope, this part is pointless except for alerting Carver of Oscar’s existence.

I guess that’s a big point but shut up.

That night, Penny sneaks out to try out for the dancers and pretty much she and all of her friends suck. She gets mad when her white friend is dismissed (?but doesn’t stick up for her other friend that’s here…), so the person changes her mind but kicks Penny out instead.

That’s not fair, I’m the best dancer here!”

You did look that much better than the others.

Then the Gross sisters show up because I guess they gotta be here. 15 Cents pops up and apparently he’s that cousin of that friend who is voiced by Orlando Brown because at least one Disney Channel person has to pop up in this. He likes Penny so he wants her in. And spoilers, he actually does like her so yeah, gotta question all this.

He drives her home and Penny, being self aware, suspects he might turn into a dick and put the moves on her. Good on her but he’s not up to anything so whatever. So she kisses him just in time for Oscar to come in and see it. Wah wah.

In this case, I really can’t blame him for being mad. But they make him get unreasonably angry to make him the bad guy in this, which he sort of was before but oh I don’t care. They try to have a bit of give and take here and sometimes it works, other times not so much.

Mom goes up to her room to calm her down, which is a nice moment but Penny is still a bitch and it’s too short. Then Dr Carver shows up at the door.

OSCAR: Sorry my parents aren’t home right now, goodnight!

Told ya he gets the best jokes.

He tells them they won a grand prize, which they believe due to Suga Mama’s Sweepstakes thing. Told you it was important and it’s actually a solid way to explain this.

Said prize is a vacation on some island, and so with a quick transition they head off. A peanut person voiced by Tara Strong welcomes them and we get a bunch of jokes. One of which is a really cliché Gilligan Cut.

They meet Carver who kicks things off with a dance party, which involves a musical number. Oddly nothing, not the last one we’ll see. This song is fine, my only problem is that they recycle this same clip of Carver dancing. Ugh.

But even after all that, and a birthday cake that kinda comes from nowhere, Penny is still being a brat about all this. Look, I get it but there are better ways to convey this while making her a bit more likable.

Later, Penny hits it off with Cashew, that Tara Strong Peanut Person which actually does result in a nice moment. It adds a touch of humanity to her.

Carver is talking to Oscar and pitches his idea for living peanut people. Oscar I guess has stuff that can help him create big peanut warriors, and he wants to strike a deal. They do the gag where he’s excited but the calmly says he’s interested.

Penny shows up with Cashew and Oscar checks to see if he’s a boy in another big you know for kids gag. Oh, and Suga Mama tries to seduce Carver. Lovely.

I’m not wearing my swim trunks”

What a coincidence…neither am I”

…Okay, moving on!

Penny sneaks out to make her even more likable and a bit later Oscar accepts Carver’s offer even though he hasn’t quite told Trudy yet. Yeah, so far Trudy’s the most likable and smart person here.

However, Oscar says “The secret formula stays on my 50” which does not make him happy. With all this talk of Secret Formula, I’m expecting a Plankton team up. Carver decides to reveal he is evil and tortures Oscar to get the formula.

It doesn’t work which is good on him I guess. So instead Carver breaks with Peanut Clones of his family. We started out crazy and yet this is still some insane shark jumping here. Also, did Where’s Perry rip this off?

The clones will go home and search for the formula, even though there a million different ways he could do this. Through a mishap, Penny ends up with the clone family and Clone Penny ends with the real family. Hilarity Ensues.

Oscar escapes I guess and tells his family about this and they don’t believe…but they are still with him following this one peanut guy in the next scene anyway. The editing is kind of confusing here.

Oh, and neither family notices that their daughter is not exactly human/a clone, because of course.

On the bright side, Clone Oscar says yes to be a “Spare Change” Dancer because we gotta bring that plot back I suppose. Yeah, this is a big contrived way to do a “Be Careful what you wish for” thing, even though we could have gotten into this quicker.

Where’s Al Rooker when you need him? ….Don’t ask.

Anyway, Clone Mom has learned Street Talk and Clone Suga Mama speaks Spanish. The first one was explained but the latter….i don’t know.

The movie slows down at this point with how they show both family’s doing stuff. Some of it fits in the story, and some of it is just filler. Like this part where Clone Family goes to some kind of sports thing.

There’s some good jokes but it goes on too long and really adds nothing in terms of the actual story. It does show how the clones are being distracted from the mission I get, but there have to be easier ways to show that than an overlong scene like this.

Eventually we get back to the real family as they meet the REAL Dr Carver.

Yeah, the one we’ve been dealing with is actually just a clone. Basically, Carver experimented with Peanut Cloning and made his clone on purpose but after being left in the sun a bit too long, he pretty much turned evil and wanted to do evil Peanut experiments.

That’s about complicated as I was expecting. Not a whole to say to that except fill on the plot holes this likely has yourself.

They head but Fake Carver shows up as Clone Penny alerted him. And they STILL can’t figure out this isn’t the real Penny. Fake Carver doesn’t even explain it! Speaking of Penny, the real one’s life has gone to shit with the clone family being as silly as they are.

I already talked a bout the angle they are going for here so moving on. I do wonder why they are only NOW spending time looking for the formula. Their search ends as Clone Penny calls in and says they have the real penny and the formula is in her necklace.

Kind of a dumb spot but most people wouldn’t consider it so okay. Clone Oscar follows Penny to Rehearsal and after making creepy pedo faces, the instructor person is impressed with his moves. Because we clearly didn’t need more filler. It’s this of all things that makes Penny snap and realize how shitty all of this is.

But because we can’t spend too much time on real moments, Penny finds out that Cashew stowed away which gives her an okay way to find out that her real family is still on the island. She thinks that is ridiculous.

I’d make a comment but right after they reveal themselves so at least she finds out the hard way. Through one the babies speaking up with the voice of Keith David. Who only gets the one line. What a waste.

Penny escapes and tells her fires. Thankfully, Cashew is there to be evidence. Right away they are like ”Okay, we’ll join you”. It took over an hour for the friends to do anything but at least they did something. Although it does keep the focus on the family this way at least.

Back on the island, Fake Carver has the formula (somehow, maybe I missed something) and creates his peanut warriors. I like this job sometimes when I type stuff like this.

I will rule the world…after I sing my song”

I know this fool ain’t about to sing”

Nice. Yeah, we get a villain song because why not. It’s far from the best villain song ever, but it’s pretty decent. It’s a bit too slow for my tastes but perfectly enjoyable. Penny and her friends arrive on the island and some peanut guys get in their way.

The only way to get past them is with …Battle Dance. I…whatever. I guess it makes that subplot relevant but it’s still pretty stupid. After that, the family is rescued and they make the Oscar clone turn on the other clones to stop them because I don’t even care anymore.

Fake Carver gets away but Real Carver has this stuff he can inject to turn him/his men into peanut butter. He keeps it in case of emergencies. Obligatory “Why didn’t you use it earlier?!” comment. Yeah being captured might be part of it but still.

Fake Carver invades a sports game and pretty much announces that he’s gonna take over. You know, the guy voicing Fake Carver is clearly having fun here so his scene’s become more enjoyable because of that.

The family and co arrive and Penny gets us into the big climax with Fake Carver. He does the “Join me” stuff every villain ever does but spoilers it fails. Thus, Penny uses the stuff on the peanut warriors and Carver falls off to his Disney villain death…after turning into a Peanut despite not being hit by the stuff.

Okay then. I’ve seen worse climaxes in this “job” at least. 15 Cent tells them it’s part of the show they don’t question because of course. We get a nice moment with Penny and Oscar to wrap up their plot. Not much but it’s something.

Carver leaves and then we get our dance party ending lead by Penny and her crew. This is a decent wrap up compared to other things like this I’ve covered. ,,,But the movie keeps going for a bit.

Yes, we get a random pointless epilogue. But the odd thing is…the animation changes. It becomes actually decently fluid and a nice upgrade from the show. Where the hell has this animation been the whole time?

Suga Mama peeks in the fridge and her dog takes some of this drink Oscar made which makes the dog grow. At this point I’m not surprised but what’s the point of all this? It goes for a bit too, the epilogue is like 3 minutes long and story wise adds nothing except for this giant crap.

It ends with a Giant Suga Mama going into the ocean GodZilla style. What a…way to end things. This was the series finale, by the way. The credits are just a slide show as they wasted their budget on that good animation just there, clearly.

Final Thoughts:

Yeah, this is in the same category as The Even Stevens Movie. It’s mostly just okay but I can’t quite pin down why. I’m not sure what I was expecting but I was expecting more. I am more familiar with this show and all these ideas sound fine in terms of a story but it doesn’t quite reach above…passable.

A lot of does feel like an extended episode. They have the Carver stuff to make more of a movie but a lot of this just kinda dumb. The show is weird so I can give some slack but it can feel a bit forced.

The extended episode thing is clear with how they approach the characters. Only a few really do anything and even then there’s large chunks where they simply walk around and that’s about it. Most will get some lines at least but it’s not exactly well rounded.

No one’s out of character at least, mostly. The story itself is not a bad idea but it’s clear it can’t get itself to the An hour and a Half runtime it is (At2d has more of a story in less time, by the way) so there’s a fair amount of filler or dancing around the concepts.

As cliché as Penny’s plight is, they do at least try to get moments out of it sometimes but they don’t a spend at ton of time on it. I know it’s hard to juggle stuff like that with the bigger picture things but they could have tried harder.

Oscar doesn’t really grow or anything, he just stops being a dick out of nowhere. We could have a had a nice balance of both sides going on a journey like in say Finding Nemo but here, it’s just Penny.

They also could have made her a tad less bratty but that’s not too big a deal. As for other negative things, the animation is inconsistent. Most of the time it’s just TV Quality which is fine but earlier on it’s choppy.

Then at the end it’s randomly good! What the heck happened there? As for the positives, the biggest is the acting. The cast manages to raise above the materiel and the better parts come from how they sell certain jokes or bits.

I said that Carver became fun due to his actor and rises manage to be solid too. And there are good ideas and moments here, it’s just nothing stands out as anything special. The whole thing is just….Okay.

Just like Even Stevens, nothing is too or good. It just has flaws keeping it from being Good to me. Actually, that one also the villains tricking a family into taking a vacation…Huh.

I’m not really sure what happened, I think they just couldn’t stretch the ideas out without creating the flaws. I think they needed to add more beyond the basic premise, instead of just having Filler.

It represents the show itself well enough but as a finale and film on it’s own it doesn’t quite cut it. It’s perfectly okay. Passable enough to where I could see some liking it but it’s nothing special.All the other animated DCOM’s (Even A Sitch in Time which is not quite one) are better than this.

This is the first “Real” one so I guess they had to start somewhere. Still, it’s only just okay to me. Eh.

Rating: Average (A Higher Average, to be fair)

A Decent simple start, I think. Next time a movie that’s actually really good.

See ya.

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