Aug 26, 2011

When Gameboards Kill: Jumanji

Jumanji. All I remebered before my most recent watching was a killer game board, Robin Williams, and a movie I presumebly thought was going to be a hard watch. Man was I wrong.
The predecessor to Zathura takes place in the 90s, and unfortunately to my new policy of how I handle the divine, I will try not to give away toooo many plot points, but that will not prevent me from giving a good review. The movie's hero is a little boy with the last name of Parish, who I've sworn I've seen before, who runs away from his dad from a fight, digs up the game, and invites an ugly girl to play. The Parish kid gets the unluckiest roll in history and is trapped in the gameboard for about 21ish years.
So eventually just because of this ONE kid's dissapearance, the factory his father owns closes, and the town goes to hell. What is this kid, the child version of Stan Lee?
So after years and years, a new generation has to take their place, summon the Golden Sun, steal a mystical amulet, yadda yadda yadda, and finish the game. But to finish it, they need to get back that ugly girl from before, who has apparently turned into that mother from Cheaper by the Dozen.
So after getting nearly murdered several times, Parish, who has now transformed into Robin Williams is finally summoned back, although despite living off the land inside the game (It makes sense TO ME!) Williams has the intellect of an eleven year old still, kinda like his appearance in Hook.
And guess what he still thinks Mommy and Daddy are still alive. This leads to the most unsaddening letdown when Williams learns the news from... a Hobo in the old factory.
Oh, yeah, and all the while they're being chased by a policeman for no good reason who Parish had ruined in tge past, and who has an ongoing joke of his car getting trashed. You know, it's not really funny when a guy LOSES HIS JOB, FORTUNE, AND CAR, when the audience actually LIKES HIM. That's just cruel.
So after a bunch of other things I don't want to get too much into, like a psychotic hunter from the early 1900s, and many other murder attempts, they all come home to find the house in worser shape than had Charlie Sheen parties there with a bunch of Hagrid look-alikes, and barely survive to see their next turn.
But they do, Robin Williams saves the day (barely), and everything is peachy, Robin is sebt home, along with Mrs. Cheaper by the Dozen, and they even get to keep their memories, probably making a universe-destroying parrallax, but at least they didn't take the cheap way and make everything I just watched bullshit. Yup, no DC comic approach for this one.
This movie, believe it or not, is very enjoyable, and I really enjoyed their parrallox, seeing as they took one step further and let them keep their memories, and even let them prevent mentally-scarring events like the deaths of the two kids' who helped them's parents (and no, this is NOT a Disney Movie). I liked the fact that they bring back characters we thought long dead for once, it almost seems like a treat, something extra, as is this whole theme of restoring and seeing long-ruined things such as the factory, and his dad. Although some stupid weighs it down, ultimately this suspenseful piece of cake didn't make me laugh like The Smurfs, Kickassia, or Pink Panther, but man did it entertain.

Final Score: A-

The Smurfiest Review Ever!

For many of you who don't know who the Smurfs where, they're a cartoon about little blue people made in the eighties. So, how does a movie made 30 years later add up? Let's find out.
Due to the fact that this movie is so... good... I will not reveal too many plot points, as I will do from now on for the divine. Now who makes this movie so good? Gargamel, that's who.
Now, upon first viewing of the trailers to this movie, I singled him out as unfunny and annoying, as I did for the Smurfs, but that's because ONLY THE BAD JOKES MADE IT INTO THE TRAILER. Now, do the Smurfs still have some unfunny jokes? Tons, but at least they forced a chuckle out of me, while some of Gargamel's "jokes" had driven me to tears. For the 1st half of the movie.
Now, what makes Gargamel so hilarious is how he interacts with normal people, like when he mistakes a hobo for a....Nah, I'm not going to ruin it for you. But in the 2nd half, the interaction with normal people goes down, and so did my amusemant.
But that doesn't mean that the 1st half can more than make up for the 2nd's fails, and to be honest, it makes it more than worth the watch, heck it even calmed my rage at the 3rd Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked, that have the Chipmunks sing Lady Gaga's Poker Face, which irritates the heck out of me.
The other characters... well there's really just a Mr. Newman wannabe (from Beethoven 1-2), and just an uninteresting pregnant woman that we all forget is pregnant. Hell, we don't even see the baby til the credits! And then it's just there to remind us it exists!
In all, The Smurfs is all about Gargamel, although the Smurfs put in a good try, I feel the heavily-advertised return of the blue midgets now just seems like an excuse to make more merchandise and perhaps another TV show, Gargamel makes it enjotable. See this movie! Sell your phone! Sell your house! Sell your cardboard box! It'll be worth it!

Final Score: A

Aug 25, 2011

But There's No High School In This: High School Musical 2 DVD Crossover Review

Mitch is out of town this week and as such he's asked me, Alex from Cinema Won, to review something special for his blog. And what's more special than High School Musical 2. A lot, but on with the review.

INTRODUCTION: High School Musical 2 is the sequel to the Disney Channel film that taught kids to follow their dreams. The sequel stars Zac Efron, Ashley Tisdale, Vanessa Hudgens, Corbin Bleu and Lucas Grabeel. It follow Troy as he starts to grow apart from his friends while work at a country club during the summer.

THE MOVIE: Really, when it comes to a musical, the most important thing is, of course, the writing. But the music also helps. And thankfully, the best part of the movie is the music. While, yes, most of them are for kids and they all sound alike, they are well sung and fun. The acting is also pretty top-notch for a Disney Channel film. Most of the preformers are having fun, so, logically, you should too.
    But, unfortunately, you're not. Because, like I said eariler, the most important part of any movie is the writing. The dialouge comes off as often forced and just lame, using hip slang that hasn't been in use since the 90s. Also, while the story was fun enough to support a wide variety of conscepts, the one the film eventually chooses is just, well, mean. Troy's friends all start to hate him because he takes a better job then them and starts to look toward college. And the film takes the friends' side! That's right, the guy trying to be well paid and well taught is EVIL! The film justifies this by having Troy do down right despicible things like, actually doing his job and going to play basketball to impress some people from the college. But the most vile and evil thing he does is... HE RETURNS HIS CHEESEBURGER BECAUSE THERE WAS NO CHEESE ON IT!!! HE"S THE NEXT HITLER!!! RUN!!! (Yes, that actually happened.)

THE DVD: The DVD it's self might make up for the feature being lame right? Incorrect, actually. The best extra is the short blooper reel, witch is actually kind of funny. The other extras don't fair better. The big advertised extra was a never-before seen musical number. The number is memorable, however, since it's added into the movie to make it "Extended" it's really should count as an extra.
    The largest extra is a surprising extensive look at the rehursals for the musical number. While they are neat, it's like watching the storyboard on an animated film. It cool for a little while, but, in the end, you're just watching an unfinished version of something you've already seen.
    The extras are rounded out but a kereoke version of the movie AND the ability to watch the musical numbers of the film seperately from the movie. Could we just put the subtitles on and call it a night?

THE VERDICT: Overall, High School Musical 2 has some fun music, a good cast and a nice premise. However, a messy and truely awful message for kids (Don't do something if your friends don't like it) make the film an unfortunate failure. The DVDs extra are also lame, as main are just dressed up stuff taken from the movie. In the end, High School Musical 2 gets a 3 out of 6.

Aug 15, 2011

Phineas And Ferb Movie Review With An Apes Crossover

Okay, so I've seen the Phinas and Ferb Movie, and honstly, I don't have much to say. The Movi is about when the evil Doctor Doofensmirtz makes a machine that can travel across dimnsions, with the help of Phineas and Ferb, where they travel to an alternate Tri-State Area ruled by an Alternate Doctor D., who has an alternate Cyborg Perry the Platipus and has also eradicated Summer and just about everything fun just to be a dick.
When Alternate Doof meets regualar Doof, at first they become friends, in fact they have a whole musical number about it, until Doof learns more about...himself. Turns out the Alternate Doof has conquered the Alternate Tri-State Area with an army of giant robots, something the real Doof failed at seeing as he put the self-destruct button on their feet, riding off a backstory of a lost toy train from childhood. This is really stupid, and even th real Doof admits it, and because of the fact that Alternate Doof finds out real Doof is a total dumbass, tensions grow between them.
Meanwhile, Phineas and Ferb find out that Perry their pet platipus is a secret agent, mostly thanks to Alternate Doofensmirtz. Forced to run due to Alternate Cyborg Perry trying to kill them, they run to the least suspecting place they'll look: They're Alternate house.
So, Phineas and Ferb discover that their alternate selves have never expierienced summer, give a musical number that freaks Alternate Phineas out like he just saw his dad naked, and also learn that not only their Altrnate selves can't do anything, Candas's Alternate Self has to go out and fight to protect them with her...child soldiers (Come on, people, this isn't Gundam 00!).
Which is about when Candas shows up in this alternate Universe, and Alternate Doof decides to conquer the real Tri-State Area without the Real Doof, but he also needs the real Phineas and Ferb to be able to build Doof's device.
So, he kidnaps the boys basically while they try to save the real Perry who he captured, open up a portal arounf real Doof's hom, and tris to conquer the city!
But wait! It turns out Perry had rebuilt all of the boys inventions that he kept...somewhere, maybe in his ass, as the boys, Isabella, Balljeet, and the rest of the cast kick some ass, as the real Doof finds the Train Alternate Doof lost, resolving his backstory and making this whole backstory quit pointless.
But Wait! There's more! Due to the fact that the whole cast now knows Perry is a spy, all of there memories have to be wiped! Making this whole movie a pointless, waste of time!
This is sort of like a punch in the face, seeing that PHINEAS AND FERB ARE LIKE THE ONLY DISNEY CARTOON THAT HAS CONTINUITY these days. I mean what the @#$%? Well, at least it didn't suck.
Phineas and Ferb: the Movie Across the 2nd Dimension is not the terribly safe movie that I expcted, but like any other Phineas and Ferb thing, it is still waaaaay too safe, and still needs to take some risks, further explore and make jokes about common cliches, and maybe even teach kids about stereotypes. The animation is slightly better than the show, and to me is the only thing keeping it from being thatre-worthy. But it was enough to get a video-game (gasp), and that will surely suck.

FINAL SCORE: B


Now a special Crossover Mini-review from Cinema Won:

Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Rise of The Planet of The Apes was a movie I thought i would go into expecting to have fun and nothing else. However, Apes surprised me with it's great acting and fantastic storytelling. Andy Serkis is truely amazing as the ape Ceaser and I suspect this may be the first time we hear oscar buzz for a motion capture preformance. Any scene with the apes is mesmerizing and wonderful. The human story however, lack the depth the apes story has do to no one but James Franco really get a huge part. The film also tends to drag in the middle. But, in the end, the flaws are small and Rise of The Planet of The Apes is a true shocker, as it's one of the must-see films of the YEAR. Overall it gets a 6 out of 6.

Aug 8, 2011

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 Review

With Deathly Hallows Part 2 out, just to be behind the croud, I will revisit Part 1, mostly because I just bought it on Blu-ray. No, I have not seen Part 2 yet, and most likely won't until the DVD comes out. So, sit back and enjoy this rip on a good movie.
So, comparing this movie to the rest of the series (up to Half-Blood Prince), I got to say this one is the most un-Harry Potterlike. That is due to the fact that you barely see Hogwarts and most of the movie takes place in the woods. The only locations that they spend a legitamate amount of time at that we've seen are the Dursely's house on Privet Drive, the Burrow, and the Ministery of Magic. And the fact that key characters like Nevel Longbottom, Minerva McGonagall, and all the Hogwarts teachers save for Snape and Hagrid, are gone. Well, they're not dead, but you don't see them.
So, the movie starts with Ron and Hermione leaving home to go help Harry escape Privet Drive, and Hermione wipes her parents' memories of her and... walks right in the middle of the road. Hm, what if a chance car just suddenly came by and HIT HER? Come on, the sidewalk isn't that scary.
So Harry's friends all come together to drink some polyjuice potion and turn into him to sevre as Dopplegangers. In the process, Harry gets to see himself naked like 15 times over. Creepy.
So, despite Voldemort himself chasing Harry due to the fact that Hedwig was trying to protect him and gave him away, Harry escapes. Wait a minute, Hedwig was trying to HELP Harry, but ended up putting a target on him, but then used herself as a shield to protect Harry. Wouldn't it be more efficient to do NOTHING? That way you wouldn't give him away and you WOULD STILL BE ALIVE. Anyways, on a lighter note, Mad Eye dies.
So, they bring him back to the Burrow, have a wedding, and learns the new minister, Rufus Scrimgeone or something like that, is killed. Oh no, a character we have seen for a total of two minutes has died. I know I'm supposed to care, but they failed to put him in the last movie, Half-Blood Prince, when he was SUPPOSED to make his appearence, so really right now I don't give a shit.
Harry, Hermione, and Ron apparate in the middle of the road, AGAIN, WHAT'S HERMIONE'S PROBLEM WITH THE SIDEWALKS! I mean come on, I know there's a chance that you could apparate into a person, but wouldn't that be better than materalizing inside a SPEEDING VEHICLE?
So, they run to the Black's house, sleep, find Creature, find the wherabouts of the real locket-Horcruxe, and leave. It's in the minitery. And we find out who Voldemort appointed minister.
Now, here's a real big stupid flaw Voldemort made. Instead of becoming minister himself, he appointed a thugee, apparently he has more important stuff to do like murdering school children and ripping off the mattress labels. If he had just appointed himself minister, HE WOULD HAVE DETECTED HARRYwith his scar-connection thingy, SENSED HIS HORCRUXE in Dalore's office, and oh, PROBABLY HAVE KILLED HARRY POTTER. Dumbass.
So needless to say, they get the Horcruxe and apparate into some random woods, but Ron gets splinched, and needs to be healed. The next weeks include the exciting adbentures of Ron depressingly listening to a radio, Ron leaving because he's a wimp, and Harry and Hermione going to visit Xenophilius Lovegood, where Death Eaters detroy his house for no reason and try to kill them. Harry and Hermione escape, and they eventuallt meet up with Ron, find the sword of Gryfindor, and get captured by Bellatrix's thugees and are brought back to her mansion, where the Lovegoods are conveniately captured.
So while Bellatrix is interrogating Hermione in a very...unusual girl on girl way...let's just leave it on that, Dobby comes out of nowhere and saves everyone!
But, Dobby dies. I know this is supposed to be the real sad part of the movie, like Dumbledore's death in Prince, but there was a whole speech where Dobby was declaring he was there to help his friends and crap, but the truth is HE JUST GAVE BELLATRIX TIME TO KILL HIM. Seriously, if he JUST SHUT UP AND GOT OUTTA THERE, HE WOULD STILL BE ALIVE. Idiot.
So, the movie ends with Voldemort stealing the Elder Wand from Dumbledore's dead corpse, and shooting a pointless lightning bolt at the sky, probably foreshadowing how good will win in the end because of him, or something.
Compared to the other Harry Potters, Part 1 just doesn't measure up. I actually had to view this movie in 3 different broken sessions, and once it was due to I fell asleep (not by the movie), but even I can tell this movie is lacking, mostly due to the fact that all the real action happens in Part 2. I know I left out key plot points, like the whole Bathilda Bagshot incident, but really there's not much to say there, except when Ron sees Harry and Hermione in that alleged sex scene, and how angry he was. Come on Ron, are you really that shocked? They're depesed, 18, and alone, so it's really not that much of a surprise.
Still, I can't help but see that this movie also has a lot of key elements that the other films don't, it has just about twice as much action, and for once we get the theme that there really is no one to fall back on, they're eather dead or far away. Also, we actually get to see the characters' inner turmoil, as we can probably all guess that it has been present sice film 4, when Voldemort came back. Before then, the danger was largely absent, but still barely there. Now, it's like the damn glasses on my face. And it seems they are starting to regret teaming up with Harry...

FINAL SCORE: B+

Indiana Jones Review: the Lego Version

So, lately I've been playing a lot of Lego games for my Wii, and most of them are just ripp-offs of Lego Star Wars, that is while the objectives may seem different, the gameplay is just about the same, they have the same feeling, and they have a lot of the same objectives: build something to help you. So, will Indiana Jones follow suite? Surpriaingly no.
Although it is true that Lucasfilm had made both the Star Wars and Indiana Jones series, the Lego gams are hugely different (not saying the movies wheren't). In Star Wars, you basically have to do basic things like flip switches to bet to the next room, or build things to help you. Indiana Jones is far from that. Usually, the game has you doing things like destroying random things to find pieces to things you need to build, much like Lego Harry Potter.
The puzzles are elaborate for a Lego title, and take full-advantage of Indy's whip. However, the puzzles are not without its flawes. Due to the solve-it-yourself attitude the game presents, this may lead players spending hours on end trying to advance to the next room. The puzzles also can be prone to glitches, and if a glitch happens where it's not wanted, well then your screwed. Once I spent 3 hours in a room trying to figure out how to get out, only to find that  the game glitched out and it was impossible to advance.
Other than that, the puzzles are very good, and actually present a challenge. There are multiple chase-scenes, which are massively cool, and they have you actually fighting on the rooftops of the cars. Very fun.
So, l,et's get to the dreaded two player. Like Star Wars and Batman, you are limited to where player 2 is. A lot of times, this leads to the game becoming near-impossible to play, with terrible views, and sometimes make it so that you fall endlessly. This almost always lead the player to one question: "What where they thinking?" I mean how could that piece of shit one screan mode possibly contribute in making the game better? Hell, you have to be experts on this game to play in two player.
So, now I usually would get on about the bonus levels, ya know what? I can't reach 'em! You have to get evry feakin minikit, uhum, treasure, to go to the bonus levels! There's no two-player arcade like in Lego Star Wars, no extra levels where you can use the vehicles 24/7, and no will to continue. Who thought of this!!! WHY would you have that AS A REQUIREMENT????
At least they have a feature that let's you buy the treasure pieces, even though they're in Indy's college and if they had the treasures then that would make the whole treasure-hunting thing he does meaningless. By the way. I haven't seen the movies. But still, there should be a CHEAT CODE to let you CHEAT like that, bot a feature that just lets you be lazy.
Overall, this has got to be the hardest Lego game I have ever played. Is it the best? No, not really. Is it entertaining? Hell yeah. Is it fun? Oh yeah. Seeing that this is a movie game, though, I have a feeling that there aren't that many other good IJ games, so BUY this. It will occupy you for like a week, unless you're hardcore.

FINAL SCORE: B

Aug 5, 2011

NBA Live 09 All Play: Wii Review

So, I just got an EA sports game for my Wii at a tag sale for about $5. Gues which sport? Come on, it says NBA in its title. Yes, it's the Nonexistant Bouncing Alchemy league. Ir's basketball.
So, seeing that this is a 3rd-party Wii game, get on your helmets, run to your bomb shelters, and pray dear god Chuck Norris doesn't find you, we're about to dive into NBA Live 09 (sorta rhymes if you say o' nine).

Seeing that this is a sports game after all, it's only fair that this game be repetitive as heck. I can't go 3 games in the same day without shooting myself. And I love basketball, so this game is suppose to appeal to me. This is going to hurt.
So basically there's three modes: Play Now!, which has you play pre-loaded teams with up-to-date rosters from 2008, some custom game options, and of course the actual NBA Live mode, which requires wi-fi. I like the custom options because it gives you cool options like being able to pick your own team, decide who will stay and go, and of course play throught the whole season with that team. What I don't like is that you have to control multiple characters and switch out, so when an opposing player is charging the basket, and you need to switch to a closer player, you have to be right on top of your game, or he'll run right by you.
Also, there is a 2-on-2 mode, and multiple special NBA events that you can play through like the All-Star game and the Rookie Challenge, as well as an option to play right through the playoffs, which should be merged with the regular season option, or at least added there as well, but it seems laziness got the best of the people at EA sports.
Also, the controls are weird. To shoot, you have to flick the Wii remote up and down. When dunking you have to press B. To pass you press A. To steal a ball, you flick the remote sideways. This can get really confusing, especially when you're trying to dunk, and you have like 2 seconds before you're blocked, and by instincts I press A and pass the ball right to the other team! Why couldn't it have been the other way around? Also, when I'm trying to steal a ball and I get it, most of the time you get this weird view so when you try to get the ball,, you don't know where the @#$% the ball went, aand you end up shooting it from half-court, which always misses.
Now let's bring up another issue, the actual skills of the players. Upon playing this game, I am certaint that the people at EA sports watched a total of 1 NBA game and just basically copied it. Now tell me, I have Dwight Howard, Elton Brand, Derek Rose, and Andrew Bogut, and HOW IS HOWARD MISSING SHOTS I COULD"VE MADE??!! Seriously, he was missing shots at like 2 feet to the basket,and nobody was blocking him or ANYTHING!!! It's not like it's my fault, either, there's really no way to aim you just flick up and down and the ball goes in the basket when it feels like it.
One thing I like about it, though , is that it let's you actually control how long each game will be. I found out that 4 minutes per quarter is a good amount, it feels almost as long as a real NBA game without all the boring distractions like the Half-time Show.
Ok, let's wrap this up. The graphics are nice for the Wii, but I would like to actually be able to read their names on their Jerseys, y'know, just in case LeBron happens to be right next to me.Overall, the gameplay is fun and enjoyable, if you only play it for an hour per day and remember that if youn lose it eans nothing at all, seriously you can skip right to the playoffs. I heard dtuff about WNBA players being in this game, and I ahve yet to unlock them, but I doubt even if I did that it would change my mind about this game. It's not bad, but it's not good, it's just okay. If you're getting a sports game, you should get an updated version of this game, not this ancient relic from 2008. Don't pay full price for this, but if you find it on eBay or a tag sale for like $5, then it will be worth your money.

Final Score: C+

Aug 2, 2011

Will Smith's un-Oscar appearance as Oscar: Shark Tale.

This movie is pretty amazing. This movie has Will Smith meeting up with Jack Black and Angelina Jolie, and just in case anything goes wrong this movie has 3 directors and producers. And somehow they made this movie suck.
Shark Tale was Dreamworks response to Pixar's "Finding Nemo" in an attempt to duplicate Nemo's succes about two years after Nemo's popularity was starting to wane, that is, nobody was buying its DVD like crazy and watching it 20 tmes snymore (well, at least I did), and if any time this was the best to make an underwsater film and make it not look like a bland rip-off of Nemo. And it worked. For years I was unaware that this was just Nemo with a bad Dreamworks touch, until I started to lay down the respective Pixar and Dreamworks movies. They're very similiar, and here's how:
1. Both involve a son leaving home and changing their identity (Nemo and Lenny)
2. Both involve a father messing up their child's life (Marlin and Lenny's dad)
3. Both involve a lost family member (Coral and Oscar's Mom)
4. Both have the fish live in a reef
5. Both involve siblings getting killed (Nemo's unborn brothers and sisters and Franky)
So there's the similarities, so let's dive into this mountain of pig shit.
The movie is about Oscar, voiced by Will Smith, who is a fish who works at the local Whale Wash who dreams of becoming rich. Meanwhile, two sons of the local crime boss, I mean the leader of the sharks, Franky and Lenny, are being umipressive and are ripping off the Jaws theme song. Franky is a stone-cold killer, but Lenny, voiced by Jack Black, is not and is kind of retarded. This draws the attention of Mr. Sikes, a blowfish who is in charge of the whale wash, and ends up insulting their father, Mr. Godfatherimperonater. I know, he has a name, but really that is just what he screams, so I will give Paul De Niro the courtesy of not mentioning the character's true name and the fact that he voiced it. Oh, waut...
So, unpleased, Mr. Godfatherimpersonater demands that he pays him a huge amount of money or he'll, do stuff to his Whale Wash. Owing Sikes a bunch of money, Sikes demands that Oscar pay up or he'll feed him to the sharks. But fear not! Angie, Oscar's best friend is ready to help him out by giving him a pearl.
And once he gets the money, you know what the dipshit does? He blows it all on Seahorse racing! At least he met Angelina Jolie's charcter, Lola, the seductress of the movie.
So he loses, get left for the sharks, and Lenny saves him, but Franky gats killed by a random anchor. Again, being the dipshit that he is, Oscar takes credit for the Shark killing, and becomes a hero, and despite having been left for dead by Sikes, lets the blowfish be his manager.
But, waut. Wouldn't Mr. Godfatherimpersonater be angry if you killed his son? Apparently Oscar didn';t know that, as apparently he has to go in cahoots with Lenny last minute to fake Lenny's death to scare off the sharks. Lenny then spray-paints himself to look like a dolphins.
So all is well, until Oscar falls for Lola ans Angie gets pissed, then Oscar dumps Lola and Angie gets captured. Oscar then goes up to Mr. Godfatherimpersonater's sunken ship with Lenny and Sikes, almost gets eaten, but manages to free Lenny.
Mr. Godfatherimpersonater then chases Oscar to the Whale Wash where Oscar trapps him and Lenny so they could have a very untouching talk to work this out. Oscar finally explains how he lied, and whoop-dee-do gets a partnership with Mr. Sikes.
This movie sucks. The jokes are stale, half the time it's just Will Smith trying to sing along to popular pop-culture songs and embarassing himself while doing it, and they fail to take full advantage of Will Smith and Jack Black. Really, In my opinion they should have made Jack Black the main character, but I suppose that Will Smith could've been perfectly funny had they gave him any good lines.

Final Score: C

Aug 1, 2011

The Bounciest Review Ever: Kung Fu Panda

As many of you reviewers out there might be just wrapping up Kung Fu Panda 2, instead of trailing behind the croud and reviewing the sequel, I decided to review the original because 1. I did not see that movie and 2. I own the original, so back off!
I first heard of the movie in a series of commercials that aired on Disney Channel probably around 2007 for the music video of the "Kung Fu Fighting" song that was featured in the movie. It was pretty shitty, and I liked the song, but I had my doubts. Then I found out Jack Black, the god from Tenacious D, School of Rock, and even King Kong was in it. Despite this, I still had my doubts. Then I saw that Dreamworks made this. Didn't help too much.
Although Dreamworks was coming off of "Shrek the Third", which I really liked, I was still haunted by the shit armaggeddon that was "Flushed Away", which featured one good joke and disgusting nature didn't even appeal to kids. Dreamworks wasn't in that good shape.
Well, two years later, I actually watched the movie, and it is as awesome as hell. It follows a fat Panda named Po that through a series of accidents, ends up being thrust into the role of "Dragon Warrior" to defend their village of [put village name here]. Seriously, we NEVER were told of where this was taking place other than it was someplace in China. Whatever
But all is not well. The karate Turtle named Ugway, not at all familiar to some particular pizza-eating mutants, senses that Masters Shefu's old student Tai-Long is about to escape from his prison, and eventually does. Ugway dies before the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles could sue his ass, so now it's Shefu's duty to turn Po into the Dragon Warrior.
Through many funny Jack Black moments and the power of food, Shefu succeeds, but not before the Furious Five, his other students, get their asses handed to them by Tai-Long. Now it will be the final showdown between Shefu and Tai-Long, the master VS. the student, Obi-Wan Kenobi Vs Anakin Skywalker, Mr. Miyagi VS....you get it.
Well it turns out Shefu too gets his ass handed to him, so now Po has to stop Tai-Long or he'll....do stuff. Huh, strange. Tai-Long doesn't even seem all that evil, I mean if he gets a lot of power, so what? He doesn't seem all that stupid, so what's the threat? The only indication he was evil was that he wanted the Dragon Scroll and the unlimited power, but there really was no indication that he'll use those powers for evil. Huh, weird.
So the final final battle begins, and Po ends up beating Tai-Lomg by basically smacking him with his belly for about three minutes. Seriously, half of his attacks involve Jack Black using his extremely bouncy belly as a weapon. Okay, so technically it's Po's belly, but I just wanted to say that.
So Tai-Long is gone, movie over. How did it hold up? Pretty damn well for a comedy. I could rant about historical innacuracies and all that shit, but the movie basically does away with any accuracies whatsoever by having every charater being a talking animal. The jokes? About 75% of them bear a chuckle from me, and if you're younger and this is your first time seeing this, that'll go up.
Now one last thing: This movie has an awesome supporting cast, but they don't use them. They got freaking Angelina Jolie and Jackie Chan, and Jolie probably has 30-40 lines total, and Chan probably only says 15. Could've used a little more of the Futious Five.
This movie is great, and was a gem for Dreamworks when Dreamworks really needed a gem. They did the smart thing and relied on the old Jack Black formula, that is if you put a movie in Jack Black's hands, most of the time it will be freakin awesome. Although not on the level of Toy Story 3, and not as deep as any of the Pixar movies, Kung Fu Panda brings some much-needed comedy to Computer Animation. This is a good movie to put on your resume, Chan.

Final Score: B+