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Archive for the ‘Children’ Category

It’s a movie about time-traveling, mutated turtles well versed in martial arts.   They have a rat for a sensei and Elias Koteas, who carries the disease known as “If-I’m-in-a-movie-it-will-suckitis”, as a friend.   They travel to feudal Japan and help restore peace to a region of the country.   They deal in bad action scenes, bad hair and bad jokes.tmntiii

I feel like I just strapped on some jelly sandals with some clashing day-glo clothes, teased my hair and went out in public…and promptly hit on someone.   Does that make sense?   Do I care?

Watching this gives you the distinct feeling of uncomfortable nostalgia mixed with the discomfort of feeling like someone was hitting the crack pipe pretty hard during the conceptual stage of this.

I just watched a sequel to a freakin’ Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie.   I thought it ended badly with Vanilla Ice rapping about kinesthetically-gifted giant reptilians in Part II, but um… no.

And if you’ll excuse me, I have a bottle that’s calling my name.

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Have mercy!

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I know the High School Musical series is viewed as wonderful for children, but as an adult?

I got tired of “wholesome” entertainment when I was a child.    One of the perks of being an adult is that I can watch movies with sex, drugs, violence or a combination thereof ANY TIME I WANT.

The musical numbers in High School Musical 2 are constructed with the charm and aesthetic stylings of a Doublemint gum commercial, which were adorable in thirty second spots but not in arduous musical numbers.

The acting?   I don’t even know how the actors did.   I was too distracted by Zac Efron’s Tammy Faye Bakker-like application of foundation to notice anything else.    From the first five minutes it’s obvious in the most painful way what’s coming and how it’s going to be resolved.   With a squeaky clean, sanitized version of teen life, it’s unfulfilling…boring…predictable.   The one shining spot could have been the musical numbers but those don’t come close to hitting the mark.

I refuse to see the third one.   I REFUSE.


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Déja vu.

eragon

When I was doing a little digging on the ‘net for general cast information about Eragon, I noticed that a lot of people seem to be mentioning that it’s a a blatant Star Wars ripoff. To some extent, that’s true, but Star Wars in and of itself rips off a lot of myths, so take that for what it’s worth.

I feel compelled to inform you in the interest of integrity that I am not a fan of dragon movies.
Now that pesky integrity thing is out of the way, I’d like to offer up that I am not enthralled by Eragon. There is nothing about dragons and fantasy flicks in general that has ever entertained or amused me. This movie is not the exception to the rule either. It’s a hodgepodge of fantasy movie plots and mythology. It’s not inventive or anything new.

Eragon moves like a highlight reel at a fantasy convention and I get the sense that maybe that’s not what the fine people who made it were looking for. Story wise, though, it’s on solid footing and it at least makes sense.

Eragon is a poor farm boy who was abandoned by his mother. He finds a stone in the woods one day that hatches into a dragon. When the dragon accepts him as a rider, all hell breaks loose. In the days of old, there used to be dragon riders until one of them got some no-good aspirations into his head and became a king. His name is Galbatorix, which only made me think of some sort of intergalactic Star Trek villain. Who plays Galbatorix?
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You know John Malkovich took this one to pay off his house or something. In fact, he’s not the only famous person slumming it in this one. I don’t know what the hell was going on with this flick, but some really well-respected actors lined up for decent pay with little work.
Damn.
Galbatorix isn’t too happy about another dragon rider to be called, so he puts his faithful servant on the job of finding the last remaining dragon rider. Galbatorix made sure every dragon rider was gone, or so he thought.
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If I weren’t so familiar with Robert Carlyle’s crazy ass, I never would have recognized him. This is some “Robert Carlyle goes to the Renaissance Faire” kind of bullshit going on here, if Robert Carlyle let his Dead Can Dance-listening girlfriend dye his hair with Manic Panic. Watching Robert Carlyle smarm his way through this is ghastly and painful. I suspect it would be a lot like how I would feel if I were ever dragged to a Renaissance Faire, come to think of it.

Eragon’s family is killed while Robert Carlyle searches for him, but a helpful mentor named Brom shows up and lends a hand to Eragon’s survival with a little persuasion. Thus they must travel to a stronghold of resistance in order to mount the forces necessary to defeat Galbatorix and essentially save Eragon’s life.

Brom is the best thing about this movie mainly because he’s played by a hot old man we all know and love named Jeremy Irons.
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Besides being handsome, what I love most about Jeremy Irons in this movie is that he practically walks though every scene with the biggest shit-eating grin on his face. It’s a smile that says, “This turkey is paying for my new car and my kid’s college education, so I might as well ham it up while I have the chance”. Thanks, Jeremy. He’s the one bright spot in a drab flick. Plus, he’s the kind of hotness that makes you want to lick your television screen. That would be a good idea, except not – all you’re left with is a tongue coated with the taste of bitter disappointment and dust.
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Ed Speelers is the kid who plays Eragon. I don’t know how I feel about him. He’s awful, awful, awful. He could have been replaced in half the movie by a mannequin and it would have been alright. He takes what should be a standard character and makes him either obnoxious, tedious or monotonous.
And Djimon Hounsou showed up to collect a paycheck, I see…
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So did Garrett Hedlund. Ouch.
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Eragon isn’t a movie that makes a viewer claw their eyes out; it’s a movie that bores the viewer right to sleep.

How lame is that?

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Oh, come on, whoever nominated this! This movie isn’t awful! It’s cute. Have a heart!

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It’s pretty much just the story of Spongebob and his starfish friend Patrick saving Mr. Krabs from Plankton, the evil little sea creature who wants to rule the world, but it’s goofy and funny. Keeping in mind that this is really made for little kids, it’s not bad for a grown-up to watch, either. Certainly I wouldn’t be dying to see it ever again, but it was far more bearable than High School Musical and it looks like Gone With The Wind compared to Ax ‘Em.

It’s just a cute piece of fluff for kids.

No harm done here! Someone actually hated this?

Awww.

Plus, it’s got this man in it:

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I can’t believe I’m saying this, but David Hasselhoff made this movie better.

In fact, I quite like Spongebob Squarepants: The Movie. I really don’t have much fascinating to say about it, because…well…I liked it a fair bit and it doesn’t feel right to shamelessly mock it.

(Shut up!)

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#1449: Wall-E

Wall-E: most excellent.

There are two strikingly distinct aspects of Wall-E: first, it’s as about as close as you can get to a silent film in this day and age, and secondly, it’s got about as much biting social commentary as you can fit into a “children’s movie”.

Wall-E is, in my opinion, unfairly maligned as a politically charged film. It’s less about the struggles of the environment and more, in my opinion, about the direction American society is heading in. The idea that we are all becoming lazy, ineffectual consumers who are grossly obese and more importantly, the fact that we as a society are apathetic to the extreme, is far more the point of the movie with planetary concerns being an offshoot of this.

Wall-E himself is a tiny trash compacting robot who has spent years on Earth dutifully fulfilling his role. He goes out every day and cleans and stacks trash. He collects trinkets; sporks, Rubik’s Cubes, lighters and his most prized possession is a VHS tape of Hello, Dolly! which he records off the television and plays back as he works all day long. His only friend is a cockroach and his life is fairly routine until a robot on a search mission, EVE, lands to scour Earth for signs of new life. He falls in love with EVE at first sight and remains devoted to her, even when she leaves the planet. He leaves everything he knows behind and travels deep into space, merely for the hope of finding a love like what he sees on his tape of Hello, Dolly!

Humans have long ago left Earth (presumably for “five years”, which has in reality turned into 700 years) and are living aboard a cushy lifeboat, merely waiting to return to Earth.   In their mechanized world, they have turned so utterly lazy that it might actually turn your stomach.

The film itself is a pretty blistering look at what American culture is rapidly heading towards; consumerism at it’s most epic state and people who are outrageously slothful. Everyone aboard the savior ship, the Axiom, rides around in plushy hoverchairs with video screens. They haven’t walked in years and their every needs are catered to by machines. And here is where the real juxtaposition lies — the robots are often the most human. Wall-E wants nothing more than someone to ease his loneliness and he equates this with a holding of hands as witnessed in Hello, Dolly! He and EVE care more at times about saving the human race than the humans do.

But there is a moral to this; no matter how far you fall, you can be redeemed. And Wall-E, even at its most scathing, never fails to lose sight of this. There is always hope. There is always a chance to do better. In the words of the captain of the Axiom, “I don’t want to survive! I want to live!

As usual, Pixar’s animation is top-notch. This is beautiful, amazing stuff they’ve created, quite honestly. It’s a joy to watch and it made a grown man next to me sniffle in the theater. That’s not to say Wall-E doesn’t have its moments of lightheartedness – Wall-E’s reboot chime is the standard Mac chime, which got a big roar from the audience. Buy ‘N’Large corporation, which has taken over every aspect of human existence (in sometimes vastly frightening ways) is remarkable evocative of a super-enormous world-wide discount chain. And the gags are great. The voiceovers are superb and the story moves along rather well. In fact, Wall-E might just be the cutest, most adorable thing Pixar’s ever developed.

Sure, it’s marketed for children, but Wall-E is a movie for everyone, and it’s a damn fine one at that.

This is singlehandedly probably the best movie Pixar’s ever put out, and that is saying something for sure.

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