Tag Archives: animation

Cinema Dispatch: Wonder Park

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Wonder Park and all the images you see in this review are owned by Paramount Pictures

Directed by no one

So you’re telling me that there’s a movie in theaters right now where a sex pest had to leave the movie halfway through its tumultuous production, and it’s NOT Bohemian Rhapsody!?  Yes, it’s not a typo that I didn’t credit a director on this movie because the guy who at some point sat in that chair got booted off of it and got the added justice of having his name stripped from the credits; something that I’m sure Fox would have really liked to do for its movie before things got awkward at the Oscars.  Even before I knew any of that though, I was not looking forward to this considering how low rent and unappealing the trailers were which makes it all the more astounding that the darn thing cost upwards of a hundred million, so it seems pretty clear we’re in for a train wreck of epic proportions.  Does this movie miraculously stick the landing despite everything going against it, or are we just here to watch it flame out in spectacular fashion?  Let’s find out!!

June Bailey (Brianna Denski) is your typical millennial smarty pants who was basically raised her whole life on STEM related games; the main one being an imaginary park known as WONDER PARK with fantastical rides and a staff of talking animals that she and her mother (Jennifer Garner) would work on each night before bed.  Over time, June’s interest started to bleed out into the real world which started off rather dangerously with unsafe roller coasters made out of plywood and city property, but eventually she started to focus on smaller scale project with actual engineering behind them instead of trial and error until someone cracks their skull open.  However… something happens.  I’m not going to say WHAT because the trailers do a very good job of hiding what this movie is actually about, but there’s a tragedy that causes her to give up on her Wonder Park dreams, and since this is a Kid’s Movie the universe will not take such flagrant cynicism lying down!  Thorough the power of unexplained magic, June ends up in Wonder Park itself which is run by the loyal animal staff which includes Boomer the bear, Gus the beaver, Cooper the OTHER beaver, Greta the boar, and Steve the porcupine (Ken Hudson Campbell, Kenan Thompson, Ken Jeong, Mila Kunis, and John Oliver), but has been left in disarray for some time now.  See, something happened to the park as well which brought THE DARKNESS upon them (I WONDER IF HER TRAGEDY AND THEIRS ARE SOMEHOW CONNECTED!?) that caused the guests to disappear and the stuffed animals to turn homicidal; taking the group’s leader Peanut (Norbet Leo Butz), a chimpanzee with a magic marker who made the rides June and her mother thought of.  So now June is stuck in the last place she wants to be with animal friends who are not very helpful and is now trying to fix an amusement park in order to save a chimp with magic powers from adorable abominations.  Sounds legit if you ask me!  Can June and her friends figure out how to get the park up and running again to banish the darkness once and for all?  Will this exercise in engineering splendor and stuffed animal homicide be just what June needs to confront her traumas once and for all?  Is it just me, or does this all sound pretty convoluted for a movie so clearly aimed at five year olds?

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“Okay, so is this The Darkness that gives you demonic powers, The Darkness that stains your new white couch, or The Darkness that fuels our deepest fears and anxieties?”     “I’m pretty sure it’s the last one, but I don’t think it’s fond of couches either.”

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Cinema Dispatch: The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part

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The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part and all the images you see in this review are owned by Warner Bros. Pictures

Directed by Mike Mitchell

Everyone loved The LEGO movie, right!?  And then most people loved LEGO Batman, right!?  And then LEGO Ninjago was… okay, right?  Well now it’s time for the return of the one that started it all and it’ll be JUST as good as the original… right?  Sigh… okay, so the trailers for this film haven’t filled me with a whole lot of confidence that it’ll be on the same level as the original film.  It looks FINE if nothing else, but this is THE LEGO MOVIE!  We don’t just want fine, we want PHENOMENAL!  Then again, maybe that’s putting too much pressure on this film which doesn’t have the benefit of being such an out of the blue surprise, and while the trailers aren’t inspiring me with a lot of hope, maybe they’ll find a new angle to take it in that’ll make up for not being able to put the genie back in the bottle!  Can this sequel be Justas good if not better than the first film, or has the LEGO phenomenon finally run its course?  Let’s find out!!

Immediately following the events of the first movie, the Duplo aliens of the Systar System have waged an all-out war with the people of LEGO city for five whole years and have left it a Mad Max style barren wasteland with no more bright and shiny blocks.  ONLY DARKNESS AND NO PARENTS!!  Well except for Emmet (Chris Pratt) whose upbeat attitude cannot be damped even in the face of utter annihilation!  That turns out to be a problem though as the nice house he built has attracted the Duplos once again and now they’ve taken all his friends from the first movie which includes Lucy AKA Wyldstyle, Batman, Benny, Princess Unikitty, and MetalBeard (Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett, Charlie Day, Alison Brie, and Nick Offerman) back to their home planet for their own nefarious purposes that we soon learn to be a shotgun wedding between Queen Watevra Wa-Nabi of the Systar System (Tiffany Haddish) and a very reluctant Batman.  Clearly something has to be done to save them, but the only one of the LEGO people willing to take the chance is Emmet who haphazardly travels through… space I guess, to find them.  Along the way he is saved from an asteroid field by the dashing rouge Rex Dangervest (also Chris Pratt) and his army of super smart velociraptors who agree to help Emmet on his journey to defeat the girly Systar invaders because being a TOUGH GUY means punching things that are pink and frilly!  Can Emmet save his friends from Systar invaders who want to brainwash all of his friends and put Batman through a forced marriage!?  Can Lucy escape from the Queen Watevra’s cunning grasp, and does she know something about this place that she isn’t telling the others?  Is it just me, or did things get REALLY complicated for a movie about plastic toys?

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“WHY DO WE KEEP RUNNING WHEN IT SEEMS LIKE WE NEVER GET ANYWHERE!?”     “WELL IT’S BEEN WORKING FOR US SO FAR!!”

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Cinema Dispatch: Ralph Breaks the Internet

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Ralph Breaks the Internet and all the images you see in this review are owned by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Directed by Rich Moore and Phil Johnston

I remember when the first Wreck-It-Ralph movie came out that I couldn’t wait for there to be a sequel!  However, as the years went on and the marketing pivoted from video games to him being ON THE INTERNET, I started to lose interest because the sequel that I would have wanted didn’t seem like it was going to manifest.  Now that’s not to say I thought it would be a BAD movie, but what I was seeing wasn’t getting me as excited as say a Disney version of Super Smash Bros or whatever where we got even MORE nostalgic characters (maybe even ones from Nintendo!?) that Ralph and crew could go on adventures with.  Now clearly NOTHING could have competed with the fan fiction I made up in my brain so even if the lead up to this movie wasn’t filling me with fanboy joy I wasn’t about to dismiss it out of hand for those reasons.  Does this manage to live up to maybe not quite MY expectations but REASONABLE ones for a sequel to a modern Disney class, or should they have gone with my idea of having Mario and Sonic fight zombies together while Ralph and Boswer play Yu-Gi-Oh… or something like that?  Let’s find out!!

It’s been several years since the events of the first film where Ralph and Vanellope (John C Reilly and Sarah Silverman) uncovered Turbo’s evil plan, and things have been going pretty well since then.  Vanellope has been racing, Ralph has been wrecking, and Fix-it Felix Jr and Sergeant Tamora Jean Calhoun (Jack McBrayer and Jane Lynch) have been the most adorable couple ever six years running!  Still, things might be settling down a bit TOO much for Vanellope who’s time in the spotlight has turned a bit monotonous, but soon things go all Monkey’s Paw on her as her game breaks down and she and Ralph have to go online to see if they can find a replacement part before the kindly arcade owner (Ed O’Neill) sells the machine for scrap.  Once online using the arcade owner’s recently purchased modem, they discover all the fantabulous things THE INTERNET has to offer, including the part they need on eBay.  However, they don’t have any ACTUAL money and so need to find a way to score some cash through shady loot hunting in an online game with a bad ass NPC named Shank (Gal Gadot) and slightly less shady viral marketing through a trending video website run by an algorithm called Yesss (Taraji P Henson).  Oh, and they visit Disney’s website at one point just to make sure you remember things like Star Wars, Zootopia, and their ever expanding stable of princesses.  Will Ralph and Vanellope be able to buy the part and save her game before it’s too late?  What will Vanellope learn about herself by seeing all these new and exciting places, and will Ralph be able to adapt to these new experiences?  Where exactly did they manage to find such a clean and efficient version of THE INTERNET, and is there any way I can get on there!?

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“Wow!  Look at all this cool stuff!”     “I know, right!?”     “Wait, what’s that over there?  Did someone just call it a Pepe?”     “Yeah… maybe we should avoid that area.”

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Super Recaps: Tom Goes to the Mayor (Puddins)

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Tom Goes to the Mayor and all the images you see in this recap are owned Warner Bros and Adult Swim

Created by Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim

Welcome back to A Single Tom where things take a decidedly dark and melancholic turn right as we’re about to end the series.  In fact, many members of the show’s staff consider this to be the true finale for the series despite Tim & Eric choosing the next episode being the last one to air as they felt it would have been too depressing to end the season on such a dire note.  Just how bad does it get?  Let’s find out!!  It starts off as you’d expect it to with Good ol’ Tom Peters visiting The Mayor, but this time he has some sad news to deliver.  It turns out his eldest stepson, Brindon, has just died.  No seriously, the more or less FINAL episode of this series has one of Tom’s stepson’s dying a gruesome and violent death.  Now I’m not a fan of HOW he died as it’s a rather mean spirited fat joke as he ate enough food during his birthday party to eventually explode, but the point is still made.  Tom Peters, the man who can never face anything in his life, has to face one of the hardest things anyone would ever have to go through.

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“WHY DID YOU EAT THAT WAFER THIN MINT!?”

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Super Recaps: Tom Goes to the Mayor (Undercover)

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Tom Goes to the Mayor and all the images you see in this recap are owned Warner Bros and Adult Swim

Created by Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim

We’re back another episode of 21 Jefferton Street where it seems that Tim & Eric beat Phil Lord and Chris Miller to the punch by a good six years, albeit with a much smaller budget and a tenth of the run time.  The episode begins with yet another public service announcement for the citizens of Jefferton, though this time they couldn’t afford Janeane Garofalo and had to settle for Jan and Wayne Skyler; Jefferton’s own married news team.  The lack of A-List celebrities on hand however should NOT lessen their grave message as it seems that the greatest menace currently facing the town is the abundance of starch in people’s diet.  Now to their credit, starch IS something you should watch out for in your diet as it’s a common staple in some really bad foods and can even cause blood sugar issues if you’re already susceptible to those kind of issues (starch is a form of glucose), but like with basically ANYTHING you eat it’s all about moderation and finding out what works best for your system.  Now obviously this PSA isn’t about that as it’s paid for by the Jefferton Starch League, and the goal was clearly to scare people into looking at ridiculous (and pricey) alternatives to simply cutting back on the mashed potatoes.  Case in point, Jan and Wayne’s guest on the program is a wacky inventor named Sandy Winfield (Bob Odenkirk) who has devised a Starch Testing Machine that looks like a ColecoVision with a desktop calculator from the same era glued on top. Now sure, it CAN be a pain in the ass to measure starch content in all the food you eat (subtract the total grams of carbohydrates from the grams of sugar and fiber), but since Mr. Winfield’s method LITERALLY involves your ass as you have to have to test your own stool with it, I think doing a little bit of math is the much more convenient option.

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“Sandy Winfield is not a real doctor, but those elitist jerks will just tell you to change your diet!  Pay me money to tell you why you should be panicking about Starch!”

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Super Recaps: Tom Goes to the Mayor (Glass Eyes)

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Tom Goes to the Mayor and all the images you see in this recap are owned Warner Bros and Adult Swim

Created by Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim

We’re back with Toodle Day Part 2 as Tim & Eric have come up with ANOTHER wacky local holiday for the denizens of Jefferton to distract themselves with between the constant onslaught of disasters that Tom and The Mayor cause on a near weekly basis!  The episode begins with Tom going to The Mayor with yet another as per usual, and yet something seems different this time.  The Mayor picks up on it on it to and starts jabbing Tom in the eye with a giant stick; presumably because he sees Tom as some sort of threat that must be stopped, but luckily for Tom the SOMETHING DIFFERENT turns out to be one of his eyes which has been replace with one made of glass.  Apparently he lost it while playing with his step-children which I can absolutely see happening considering this guy’s luck, but I am surprised that his terrible insurance policy seems to have scrounged up enough money to put something into the socket, especially considering prosthetic eyes nowadays cost about two grand.  Who knows, maybe he bought it used or found it lying in the parking lot.

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“It’s just me.  Tom Peters.”     “I know exactly who you are, Tom.”     *JAB*  *JAB*  *JAB*

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Super Recaps: Tom Goes to the Mayor (Couple’s Therapy)

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Tom Goes to the Mayor and all the images you see in this recap are owned Warner Bros and Adult Swim

Created by Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim

We’re back with another episode of Mad About Tom, and while his wife Joy may be mad about him in one definition of the word, she’s certainly not mad about him in the more flattering version of that idiom.  What did he do this time?  Well let’s find out!!  The episode begins not with the familiar Tom Goes to the Mayor theme, but instead with a Public Service Announcement regarding an issue that is near and dear to all of our hearts.  Keeping Janeane Garofalo employed!  Okay, not that, but Janeane Garofalo IS in the PSA to deliver a message about endangered Oil Turtles.  As it turns out, Jefferton’s efforts to clean their man-made lake have in fact been a detriment to the wellbeing of Oil Turtles who need pollution to survive.  This is all sounding a bit fishy, but Janeane seems sure that the solution is to dump more oil into the lake, and The Mayor agrees as we pull the camera back and realize that we were in his office the whole time!  MAYOR SHOCK!!  Okay, that’s probably not worth a MAYOR SHOCK, but it does mean we can jump right into the Tom going to The Mayor part of Tom Goes to the Mayor as we see our hapless hero come by with some rather disturbing news.  Apparently Jefferton’s power company put a giant electrical tower right in the middle of Tom’s yard which has caused a few fires already as well as the fact that his step sons are developing giant tumors because of it.  It’s actually a bit of an urban legend that power lines can cause cancer, but really there hasn’t been any studies that confirm the kind of electromagnetic fields they produce (non-ionizing) that can link it to cancer, so I’m guessing it’s less a power line and more of a Hell Machine that The Mayor is DISGUISING as a power line, and I’m pretty sure its function is to do nothing BUT give people cancer.

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“You know, Brenden is hearing voices and Joy has been vomiting pea soup.  I just think that the TIMING is a bit curious.”     “Well Tom, I’m glad to have your input all I see is an un-American whiner who wants to halt the progress of this great town.”     “Oh.  Well… I guess I can’t argue with that reasoning.  My apologies.”     “It’s okay Tom.  I forgive you.  Just don’t let it happen again.”

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