Tag Archives: Kristen Schaal

Jumping the Soapbox: Top 20 Episodes of Aqua Teen Hunger Force – Part 2 (10-1)

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Welcome back to my list of the best Aqua Teen Hunger Force episodes of all time!  We covered some great episodes last time, but the best is yet to come!  Well, at least what I think is the best, but then I’m always right about everything and my opinion should DEFINITELY be taken as fact!  Anyway, let’s get to it!

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10) Space Conflict from Beyond Pluto – S1 E6

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Frylock establishes contact with alien lifeforms and is invited onto their spaceship to barbeque and share a six pack.  However, the nefarious Plutonians have other plans in mind once he arrives!  Not fully thought plans, but they tend to involve melting people!  Frylock, realizing that the life he’s come into contact with may not be intelegent, beams off the ship but not before Master Shake somehow finds his way aboard; giving the Plutonians a much less perceptive target to unleash their evil schemes upon!

As I’ve said before, the incompetent conquerors from Pluto are two of the best characters the show ever came up with and this first appearance of them is one of the high points of the entire series.  It’s not just great for establishing the Plutonians and their shtick with the show concept being the melting room which also serves as some sort of holo-deck for Master Shake to explore the wonders of a sea filled with pizza as well as a horse’s anus, but it’s also a fantastic Master Shake episode on top of that with the scam he tried to pull on Carl being sharply written and laugh out loud funny.  The only thing I can say negatively about this episode is that it is in fact an early episode of the series and is at a point where Carl didn’t quite sound right which is a bit distracting, but other than that it’s a great deal of fun and a wonderful introduction to these villains.

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“Pepperoni!?  I wanted pineapple!!”

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Jumping the Soapbox: Top 20 Episodes of Aqua Teen Hunger Force – Part 1 (20-11)

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Aqua Teen Hunger Force and all the images you see in this editorial are the property of Adult Swim

If you were growing up right at the turn of the millennium, Cartoon Network was probably as influential to you and your taste in entertainment as YouTube is to everyone else nowadays.  The ingenious thing about that network is how seamlessly it managed to keep its audience intact for YEARS after you’d think they’d drop off simply for having such good transitional programming for those who were getting older.  It started with Toonami which brought anime and somewhat serious drama for those who were getting tired of silly stuff that the likes of Gendy Tartakovsky, Craig McCracken, and Maxwell Atoms were churning out (not to say those shows weren’t substantive; just that tweens aren’t exactly looking to those kind of shows to feel grown up), and then it led seamlessly to Adult Swim which had the naughty shows on that you craved when you were getting old enough to stay up that late.  The greatness of Adult Swim and its monumental effect on animation really cannot be underestimated, and while it’s shine has faded somewhat in recent years, we’re gonna reach a point where it’ll end up with a whole generation of animators inspired by those shows the same way that many of the creators OF those shows were inspired by Warner Bros, the Fleischers, or even Ralph Bakshi.  I really could go on about Adult Swim and so many of its shows, but today  we’re talking about probably its most enduring creatin; Aqua Teen Hunger Force.  Now sure it wasn’t among the FIRST run of series for Adult Swim (it’s somewhat a spinoff of Space Ghost Coast to Coast), it’s one of the shows that gave the programming block its identity and made it a cultural phenomenon.  In fact, it’s such a massive series with so many great episodes under its belt that I couldn’t simply make a list of the ten best episodes of the series!  No, I had to do TWENTY, and we’re gonna start with the first half that list right now!!

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20) Bible Fruit – S5 E9

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Frylock makes some new friends online and invites them over to the Aqua Teen house.  When they arrive however, he is surprised to learn that not only are they fruits but  that they have a dark past that they are trying (and failing) to overcome.

What better way to start this off than with the most disturbing fruit since those Claymation California Raisins?  In an episode that’s actually quite ahead of its time considering Sausage Party wouldn’t come out for another eight years, this hilarious and often unsettling episode looks at three fruits compensating for their problems with drugs and alcohol by having faith in a higher power.  Now the big guest star here is David Cross (along with Kristen Schaal and H Jon Benjamin) under the pseudonym Sir Willups Brightsly Moore who previously had a guest spot all the way back in season one as Happy Time Harry in the episode Dumber Dolls.  While that episode is really good and was just barely cut from this list, I feel that Cross’s performance as Bert Banana in this one is by far the better of the two.  He may have done a great job as that sad and useless piece of shit Happy Time Harry in Dumber Dolls, but the character didn’t have much depth to him and so Cross’s performance is somewhat one note.  Here, he’s given SO much more material to work with as someone TRYING to hold it together but is quick to succumb to his worst instincts.  Now I’m not sure if Cross himself has a history of alcohol dependence (his first book is called I Drink for a Reason which may just be titled that way for a goof), but his feelings on religion have been made VERY clear in his standup comedy and it almost feels like the role was written with him in mind because of that.  It may not be for everyone as making light of people with SERIOUS addition is not the kind of humor that everyone can enjoy, but it’s easily one of the best episodes with a prominent guest star and manages to find that right balance between tragedy and hilarity.

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“I did THREE of those God Damn chipmunk movies!  I’VE EARNED THIS, right Mr. Wrench!?”     “That’s right Mr. Banana!!”     “Burt, you’re talking to yourself again.”     “You know what will help with that?”     “Is it booze-”     “GET THE BOOZE!!”

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Cinema Dispatch: Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie

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Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie and all the images you see in this review are owned by 20th Century Fox

Directed by David Soren

Captain Underpants was a big staple of my elementary school years and while I eventually grew out the series after the first five or six books, I still have good memories (albeit vague ones) about those stories and the characters.  Now at one point, even as recent as say 2010, I would have lost my freaking MIND over the idea of a Captain Underpants movie, but with this being made so later after I dropped off of the series coupled with the relatively bare bones marketing I saw for it, my expectations are somewhat tempered going into it even though I would love nothing more than for this series to get a new lease on life.  Does Captain Underpants manage to be a better super hero movie than even the MCU can put out, or are we doomed for another DCCU style monstrosity of epic proportions!?  Or maybe it could be the middle ground of the better X-Men movies… I guess.  Let’s find out!!

The movie follows the adventures of George Beard (Kevin Hart) and Harold Hutchins (Thomas Middleditch).  George is the kid with the tie and the flat-top while Harold is the one with the T-shirt and bad haircut.  You should probably remember that.  Anyway, they’re two good natured troublemakers at Jerome Horwitz Elementary School who always manage to peeve of their principal Mr. Krupp (Ed Helms) with their incessant pranking and never ending supply of self-published comic books that they distribute at the school.  Their most popular by far is the Captain Underpants series which involves a super hero who wears nothing but underwear and a cape since most superheroes look like they’re wearing their underwear.  I don’t know how true that is anymore as they mostly wear leather and body armor now, but that’s beside the point.  What’s important is that George and Harold’s latest prank was the final straw to break the camel’s back and Mr. Krupp is going to separate them once and for all by putting them in different classes.  In a last ditch effort to save their friendship, George uses his Hypno-Ring to hypnotize Mr. Krupp before he can sign the papers.  Not only that, but just for the heck of it they ALSO convince him that he’s Captain Underpants as well which is funny at first but proves to be quite a burden as he turns into the hero anytime he hears someone snap their fingers and will only turn back once he’s bene splashed by water (it’s unclear if other substances will work in water’s stead).  Oh, and there’s a mad scientist somewhere in this too who becomes a science teacher or something.  Will Harold and George learn a lesson about their pranking ways now that they have to keep Mr. Krupp from hurting himself or worse?  Eh, probably not, but will Captain Underpants manage to be an ACTUAL hero instead of just a guy running around in his tighty-whities?  Most importantly though, is this just as good as the books I remember reading in second grade!?

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“Guys.  Guys.  I’ve TOTALLY got this!”

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Cinema Dispatch: The Boss

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The Boss and all the images you see in this review are owned by Universal Pictures

Directed by Ben Falcone

Melissa McCarthy has been around for quite some time, but her meteoric rise to super-stardom is nothing short of amazing, especially when you realize that Bridesmaids was only five years ago.  She’s had her ups and downs to be sure with movies like Identity Thief and Tammy being total wrecks, and yet neither of those (nor anything else she does) can even put a dent in her ever growing box office power.  Now on the brink of the biggest movie of her career, it’s time for her and her husband to take another crack at making a film all on their own to make up for the last one not turning out to well.  Does this manage to prove once again that McCarthy is untouchable due to her skills as a leading lady, or will it prove that she’s untouchable due to career not slowing down in the slightest if this turns out to be a disaster?  Let’s find out!!

The movie follows Michelle Darnell (Melissa McCarthy) who is the forty seventh richest woman in the world; a fortune she built from the ground up as she was adopted and abandoned no less than three times during her life.  When the movie starts, she’s on top of the world but has lost touch with the commoners, which is especially apparent with the way she treats her assistant Claire (Kristen Bell).  Not only that, she has an ex business partner (and ex-lover) named Renault (Peter Dinklage) who has been itching to get revenge on her and finally has an opportunity when he gets proof of committing a crime (insider trading) and reports her to the FCC.  She goes to jail, loses all of her money, and comes crawling back to Claire.  Will Michelle be able to earn back her fortune with the help of her former assistant and soon to be bestest friend?  How far will Renault go to keep Michelle from finding success ever again?  WHAT IS SHE HIDING UNDER THAT TURTLENECK!?

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“Can you dig it?  Can you dig it!?  CAANN  YOOUU  DIG IT!?!?”

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Cinema Dispatch: Donald Trump’s The Art of the Deal: The Movie

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Donald Trump’s The Art of the Deal: The Movie and all the images you see in this review are owned by Funny or Die

Directed by Jeremy Konner

If we’re gonna keep getting subpar dreck like Dirty Grandpa, The Fifth Wave, and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, we might as well turn to the Internet for all our movie viewing needs… at least until Deadpool comes out, but AFTER that we can probably just hide away until March.  So Funny or Die (the premiere site for famous comedians to post YouTube videos not on YouTube) has been secretly working on a Donald Trump movie and finally released it to the masses starring none other than Johnny Depp (the star of such classics as The Lone Ranger and A Nightmare on Elm Street) as the prominent business man in this adaptation of his most notorious literary contribution, The Art of the Deal.  Does it manage to give us a satirical yet poignant look at the man who has taken over the public spotlight, or is this just a chance for even more people to jump on the Trump bandwagon before he flames out in the next couple of months?  Let’s find out!!

The movie is presented to us as a Made for TV special (found by Ron Howard in a yard sale) that Donald Trump (Johnny Depp) directed, edit, and starred in among other duties he takes credit for that is a somewhat autobiographical tale based on his best-selling book The Art of the Deal (second only to the Bible in number of sales apparently).  The framing device for Trump to espouse his philosophy on business as well as tales of his prior accomplishments is a kid who steals a copy of his book from a display and just so happens to evade the security guard by ducking into Trump’s office who takes this opportunity to mentor the boy for an afternoon.  It just so happens to also be Trump’s fortieth birthday and his one goal in life (at least according to this movie) is the purchase of the Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City from Merv Griffin (Patton Oswalt) who’s not too keen to sell to the big blowhard… I mean brilliant business man.  As Donald continues to try and goad Merv into selling, he goes on and on about his accomplishments with accompanying flashbacks and even gets his lawyer (Alfred Molina) to chime in every once in a while to reassure the kid of just how awesome of a life the orange demi-god standing before him has led.  Will Donald get his hands on the Taj Mahal before the day is over?  Will the kid learn a valuable lesson about business and negotiations along the way?  Could anyone imagine a better time to release this than THE DAY that Trump won the New Hampshire primary!?

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“You see this man?  This is the greatest real estate mogul of all time.”     “You don’t really look like you do on the cover.”     “Don’t worry about that kid.”

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