Monthly Archives: October 2015

The Cartoon Physicist’s Noughtie List: The Dunwich Horror Review

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Cinema Dispatch: Jem and the Holograms

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Jem and the Holograms and all the images you see in this review are owned by Universal Pictures

Directed by Jon M Chu

We all saw the trailer and most of us had one reaction which was to try and repress our gag reflexes.  It just seemed like a really poor adaptation of a cartoon that probably means a lot for many people and a much lesser version of what we’re currently getting from the IDW comics.  Still, trailers aren’t always accurate in showing what a movie will ultimately be, and the director is someone I think has quite a bit of talent.  Can they manage to make something at least half way decent of a series that’s ripe for an updated adaptation?   Yeah… no.  It’s not good at all.  Just how bad did they screw this up?  Let’s find out!!

The movie follows Jerrica Benton (Aubrey Peeples)  who lives with her aunt (Molly Ringwald), her sister Kimber (Stefanie Scott), and her two foster sisters Shana and Aja (Aurora Perrineau and Hayley Kiyoko).  Her father died some time ago which is why she and Kimberly are living with Claire Standish and her the other two and the only thing he seems to have left (the guy most not have had insurance) is a non-functioning robot he made and a pair of ear rings that sadly don’t do what you think they should do.  All is not good at the house Pretty in Pink bought however, because the bank is foreclosing on them for… some reason, and Jerrica finds out about it.  In what I guess is either a despite move to get internet famous or an outlet of her frustration, she puts on a bunch of make, hides in the shadows, and films herself singing a song she wrote.  She’s too afraid to post it online because they had to put in at least SOMETHING Jem related (Jerrica’s fear of performing) but Kimber ends up getting a hold of it puts it online.  Sure enough, a poorly filmed video of a girl singing while strumming an acoustic guitar becomes the next big YouTube sensation and everyone is instantly in love with whoever this Jem is.  In comes the EVIL head of Starlight Records Erica Raymond (Juliette Lewis playing a gender swapped version of Eric Raymond) to offer Jem a deal with her label.  She eventually agrees, gets her siblings to go along with her (not the Aunt because who needs adult supervision these days?) and they begin their journey to super stardom with all its ups and downs, betrayals and reconciliations, romances with hot dudes, and everything else you’ve seen before.  Oh, and the robot’s name is Synergy and it’s doing… something.  Whatever.  OH!  And Rio is actually Erica’s son.  Because why not.

“This is REALLY gonna suck, isn’t it?”

“This is REALLY gonna suck, isn’t it?”

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Super Recaps: My Little Pony season 5 (Hearthbreakers)

We’re back with another episode of Ponies of our Lives!!  In this week’s episode, we get the television tradition of a Holiday episode two months before December.  It’s been a while since the last Hearth’s Warming Eve adventure so hopefully they’re pulling out all the stops if we’re going to revisit that well!  Will this be a celebration of all that’s good about the holiday season, or will we all end up grinning through fake smiles while begging for this to be over as soon as possible like most family gatherings?  Let’s find out!!

The episode begins in Twilight’s Doom Fortress where she’s getting things ready for Hearth’s Warming Eve… when all of a sudden, there arose such a clatter.  Twilight looked around anxiously to see what was the matter!  She powered up her horn and was expecting something spooky, but the intruder was nothing more than pony that’s kooky!

“Here’s PINKIE!!!!”     “We have a door you know, but please.  Go ahead and track soot through my living room.”     “This is your living room?”     “Well… ONE of them, but it is my favorite.”

“Here’s PINKIE!!!!”     “We have a door you know, but please.  Go ahead and track soot through my living room.”     “This is your living room?”     “Well… ONE of them, but it is my favorite.”

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Cinema Dispatch: The Last Witch Hunter

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The Last Witch Hunter and all the images you see in this review are owned by Summit Entertainment

Directed by Breck Eisner

And so we find ourselves with yet another chance for Vin Diesel to prove his nerd creds.  The guy is one of the biggest nerds in Hollywood and has shown it time and time again by attaching himself to big sci-fi and fantasy epics in between Fast and Furious sequels.  While some have been great like Pitch Black, others have not been so great like Babylon A.D.  Will The Last Witch Hunter be one of his better forays into bringing table top gaming to the silver screen, or will this be another misstep for an actor who can’t catch a break unless he’s behind the wheel of a car?  Let’s find out!!

The movie chronicles the modern day adventures of Kaulder (Vin Diesel); the immortal witch hunter who was cursed with this power by a witch he killed.  Seems legit I guess.  For the past couple hundred years he’s been working for The Axe and Cross to keep the peace between humanity and magic users who are allowed to live, but only under Harry Potter rules.  None of the humans outside of the Axe and Cross (which I’m PRETTY sure is just the Catholic Church) are to know about them and their powers and anyone who uses their powers on humans are the next victims of Kaulder.  After getting back from a trip to stop a witch from hurting herself and others with some dangerous rocks, Kaulder finds out that the Axe and Cross’s official liaison for him, the thirty-sixth Dolan (Michal Caine), is retiring and being replaced by the thirty-seventh Dolan (Elijah Wood).  However, his retirement is short lived as THE VERY NEXT DAY Kaulder gets a call that the dude had keeled over.  With bullshit detectors that have been sharped over hundreds of years, it doesn’t take long for him to realize that the cause of death was MURDER!!!  Who could possibly be behind his death!?  Well Kaulder intends to find out along with the thirty-seventh Dolan and a local witch (Rose Leslie) whose life Kaulder ruins yet still feels like tagging along for this very dangerous endeavor.  Will Kaulder find out who killed his friend?  Is there a greater mystery to be solved when they find out WHY he was killed?  Is this at least as good as Constantine!?

And those questions will be answered… right now.  Yes, yes, and HELL no!!!

And those questions will be answered… right now.  Yes, yes, and HELL no!!!

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Cinema Dispatch: Goosebumps

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Goosebumps and all the images you see in this review are owned by Columbia Pictures

Directed by Rob Letterman

Well if Nineties Nostalgia is going to be a thing now, I guess we’ll be seeing movies like this pop up from time to time.  Hell, they’re making a Power Rangers movie, so why not a Goosebumps creature feature (which will hopefully be followed by an Are you Afraid of the Dark reboot)?  The trailers for this were pretty bad though with Jack Black doing his usual shtick, which I tend to like but can also be way overdone, and a story that feels like it’s been pulled right out of the hack’s guide for easy movie adaptations.  So does this turn out to be a Halloween kid’s classic like Monster Squad or Hotel Transylvania, or is this another marketing exercise gone horribly wrong like The Smurfs or Alvin and the Chipmunks?  Let’s find out!!

The movie is about “young” Zach (Dylan Minnette) and his mother who have just moved to Derry Maine… no wait, Madison Delaware.  They’ve just moved from New York so that his mother can be the principal of the local high school that he will be attending which I guess is embarrassing or something.  Anyway, Zach’s neighbor is a reclusive dude (Jack Black) living with his daughter Hannah (Odeya Rush) and the both of them seem rather strange.  He and his new friends Champ (Ryan Lee) eventually find out that the mysterious dude is legendary writer RL Stine and that his original manuscripts contain all the monsters he has ever written about.  They find this out to late however as some of the monsters have escaped including one who seems to be pulling the strings as it were.  Can Zach, Champ, Hannah, and Mr. Stine stop these creatures from destroying the town?  Will Zach win the heart of Hannah because every movie has to have that subplot?  Can this please be a hit if for no other reason than to get Jack Black enough clout to try and make a Tenacious D sequel!?

“We’re gonna call it… The PICKS of Destiny!  See, it’s a sequel… so now there are TWO picks!”

“We’re gonna call it… The PICKS of Destiny!  See, it’s a sequel… so now there are TWO picks!”

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Super Recaps: My Little Pony season 5 (The One Where Pinkie Pie Knows)

We’re back with another episode of All My Ponies!!  When we last left our heroes, the CMC had gotten their Cutie Marks and got Diamond Tiara to turn to the good side!  Considering that we had SUCH a big event episode last time, it’s unlikely that they’ll keep up that kind of momentum with the episode to follow but that doesn’t necessarily mean that this one will be bad.  Will the more relaxed tone of this episode ease us back into what we usually expect from this series (which is quite a lot already), or is this a disappointment after Crusaders of the Lost Mark turned out to be such an important benchmark for the series?  Let’s find out!!

The episode begins with Pinkie Pie in her happy place which is decorating an infinite amount of cupcakes and yet all of them look the same.  WHAT IS THE METHOD TO HER MADNESS!?  Well we don’t find out because the best pony ever (Cupcake) walks in with a note she received from Cadence and Shining Armor.  There’s some big news that she’s privy to because she’s been requested to cater the event and Pinkie seems to be just as excited!

“WE PAID TO AIR BACK TO THE FUTURE!?!?”

“WE PAID TO AIR BACK TO THE FUTURE!?!?”

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Cinema Dispatch: Crimson Peak

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Crimson Peak and all the images you see in this review are owned by Universal Pictures

Directed by Guillermo del Toro

Well at least SOMEONE decided to release a horror movie in October!  Seriously, why don’t we get horror movies during Spooky Month anymore?  Is it too obvious or something?  Well NOTHING’S too obvious for good old Guillermo Del Toro who’s bringing us a good old late Victorian era Haunted House feature that might as well come straight from Hammer Studios!  Can his Spook House thriller bring some life back to the genre which has been surviving off of found footage scraps for years now, or is he going to indulge way too much in what he loves to see to the point that he ends up only appealing to a niche audience with his big budget feature?  Let’s find out!!

The movie is about Edith Cushing (Mia Wasikowska), an aspiring writer of ghost stories who’s having trouble getting her magnum opus published.  Despite being the daughter of a rather wealthy contractor in New York city with plenty of connections, no one seems interested in selling a ghost story written by a female and would rather have her write some tween love story.  I guess ghosts are next on the list for Twilight-ification (if they haven’t been already) but Edith is not willing to compromise on her vision, especially because it comes from a very personal place.  Edith’s mother died when she was fairly young and a couple of days later she was visited by her ghosts.  Now it doesn’t seem like Edith has seen a ghost since then, but that night has stuck with her since then, especially considering that her Ghost Mom could see the future and warned her to be wary of CRIMSON PEAK!!  While struggling with this, her father is visited by a British Baronet named Thomas Sharpe (Tom Hiddleston) who’s trying to get her father to invest in his clay extraction machine while also getting moon eyes for the lovely Edith.  He’s not alone on his journey however and has come to America with his sister Lucille (Jessica Chastain) but all she seems interested in is standing off to the side and giving off bad vibes.  This doesn’t deter the budding romance between Edith and Thomas however and after some horrifying event befalls the young Edith, she leaves the United States and is whisked away by her knight in shining armor to be his bride.  Once at the family home though, it’s clear that there’s MUCH more going on than Thomas led on during their courtship which I think was about a month.  What secrets does the rickety manor have that Thomas and Lucille are trying to hide?  Will Edith’s power to see ghosts come in handy or be a curse that slowly drives her mad?  If we can’t have Silent Hills, is this at least a decent replacement!?

“THE POWER OF CHRIST COMPELS YOU!!”     “Yeah, that ain’t gonna work.”     “Ah hell…”

“THE POWER OF CHRIST COMPELS YOU!!”     “Yeah, that ain’t gonna work.”     “Ah hell…”

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