VIDEO: MOVIES: CARTOONS: REVIEW: The Smurfs 2 (2013) [watched in 3-D]

Clint: 3/5 stars (3/5 for Smurfs 1), 7/10 (6.4/10 for Smurfs 1).
Carolyn: 3.6/5 stars (3/5 for Smurfs 1), 7/10 (6.6/10 for Smurfs 1).
Native ratings: 3.7/5 stars Netflix (3/5 for Smurfs 1), 5.2/10 IMDB (5.4 for Smurfs 1).
For curiosity’s sake: The original 1981 series gets 7.4/10 on IMDB. (I gave it 7/10.)
So anyway–Carolyn, Clint, and Netflix folk all liked the 2nd movie slightly more. The notorious haters at IMDB liked it slightly less.

This had some good smurf action and the 3-D was the best 3-D we’ve seen on our 3-D television since we bought it. I don’t know if it was the way they produced the movie, or the fact that they did HOU 3-D (over-under) instead of SBS 3-D (side-by-side), or if it was a good encode of the movie, but either way — Best 3-D we’ve seen, with the least ghosting (which you always get with active 3-D these days; we are in the infancy of 3-D at home — think VHS.)

That alone made it worth watching for us, but then there’s the fact that Hank Azaria (Moe Szyslak/Chief Wiggum/Apu Nahasapeemapetilon/Superintendent Chalmers/Comic Book Guy/Carl & Lenny/Professor Frink/Cletus) is great as Gargamel. Such a completely unrealistic character to exist in the real, live-action planet earth, and a great casting choice to pick someone with such nuance for funny voices, and such a long career with very little time actually on the screen. He deserves this.

For a kid movie, it didn’t focus on the kid very much. The kid “Blue” (the baby from Smurfs 1) is now at talking/walking age, but was barely in the movie. So that was good for adults like us who aren’t interested in watching kids. Just kids’ shows. ;)

Instead of taking place in New York, this one takes place in Paris, France. Other than that, it is very similar to Smurfs 1, except that they introduce 2 new Gargamel-created smurfs. Apparently they are the babies that showed up later in the 1980s series, but I think I had stopped watching right around when the babies showed up. Carolyn is 2 years younger than me, so she watched it a bit longer and recognized that when they called Vexxy “a sassy lassy” at the end, it was a nod to Sassette Smurf, a baby/younger female who showed up for 2 episodes near the 1990 end run of the original series. Incendentally, I totally forgot about Johan and Peewit/Peewee, and don’t really understand how they factor into the series. I also forgot/never knew that there were alternate Gargamels in the 9th season of the original cartoon. That was 1990. I took a break from cartoons approximately from adolescence until young adulthood (i.e. 13-20) so I might have missed the alternate Gargamels. Damn. I also didn’t know there was a 1965 Smurfs movie!

One bad thing was they seem to have forgotten that when choked, a Smurf is supposed to turn yellow. NOT more blue.

But other than that, it was a generic family adventure. Stupid things that doesn’t make sense sometimes happen, because it is a generic family adventure. It is very clearly something released to make money, and I’m okay with that. The money made gave me a chance to revisit part of my childhood without having to *ACTUALLY WATCH* 1980s quality animation/writing. And while generic-family-blockbuster writing isn’t that much better than 1980’s-children’s-cartoon writing… The movie LOOKED pretty awesome, and LOOKS DO MATTER for movies. Also Jayma Mays (Hero’s waitress girlfriend from Heroes) might just be one of the most adorable females alive. Her and Emma Stone need to have a baby together.

So anwyay…. We were pleasnatly surprised. Not every sequel is better, but if you free your mind and allow yourself to enjoy things… Sometimes it actually works out.

So yeah, we’ll watch The Smurfs 3 in 2016, probably. It’s a prequel.

Directed by Raja Gosnell (Smurfs 1, Home Alone 3).
Written by J. David Stem (Smurfs 1, Shrek 2, 3 eps of Rugrats and the Rugrats movie, 2 eps of Mission Hill), David N. Weiss (Shrek 2, 3 eps of Rugrats and the Rugrats movie, 2 eps of Mission Hill, All Dogs Go To Heaven), Jay Scherick (1 ep of Caroline In The City), David Ronn, and Karey Kirkpatrick (The Spiderwick Chronicles, Charlotte’s Web (2006), The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy).

Neil Patrick Harris as Patrick.
Hank Azaria (The Simpsons, Herman’s Head, Eric in Stressed Eric, The Birdcage, Eddie Brock in the 1990’s Spider-Man, Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, Year One, Mystery Men, Run Fatboy Run, Grosse Point Blank, 2 eps of Family Guy) as Gargamel.
Brendan Gleeson (Alastor ‘Mad-Eye’ Moody in the Harry Potter movies, The Secret Of Kells, In Bruges, Beowulf, The Village, Troy, 28 Days Later, Mission Impossible 2) as Victor.
Jayma Mays (Heroes, Epic Movie, Smiley Face, 1 ep of NTSF:SD:SUV, 1 ep of Six Feet Under) as Grace.
Nancy O’Dell (Scream 2-4, 1 ep of The Simpsons) as Herself.
Mr. Krinkle as Azrael.

And the voice actors:
Katy Perry as Smurfette.
Christina Ricci as Vexy.
Jonathan Winters as Papa Smurf. Did you know he was Grandpa Smurf in the original? There was an R.I.P. in the credits; this was his last film.
J.B. Smoove (Curb Your Enthusiasm, Clear History, Movie 43, The Dictator, Date Night, Mr. Deeds, 12 eps of Saturday Night Live, 4 eps of American Dad, 1 ep of The Simpsons, 1 ep of Robot Chicken) as Hackus.
George Lopez (118 eps of George Lopez, 1 ep of Curb Your Enthusiasm) as Grouchy Smurf.
Anton Yelchin (Chekov in the Star Trek reboot movies, Terminator Salvation, Odd Thomas in Odd Thomas, 1 ep of Curb Your Enthusiasm, 1 ep of The Life & Times Of Tim) as Clumsy Smurf.
John Oliver (2 eps of Gravity Falls) as Vanity Smurf.
Fred Armisen (Portlandia, Terry in Out There, Eurotrip, Saturday Night Live, he’s also a small part in The Dictator) as Brainy Smurf.
Jeff Foxworthy (Bounty Hunters, The Jeff Foxworthy Show) as Handy Smurf.
Alan Cumming (The Devil in God, The Devil And Bob, John Castaway in Gargoyles: The Goliath Chronicles, Rick & Steve The Happiest Gay Couple In All The World, Nightcrawler in X-Men 2, Garfield, 6 eps of The L Word, 3 eps of Robot Chicken) as Gutsy Smurf.
Gary Basaraba (Fried Green Tomatoes, Charlotte’ Web (2006), 1 ep of Nip/Tuck) as Hefty Smurf.
Adam Wylie (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Jimmy Olsen in Superman/Doomsday, Brainiac in Legion of Super Heroes, American Pie Presents Band Camp, 1 ep of Mad) as Panicky Smurf.
Kenan Thompson (Sit Down Shut Up, Saturday Night Live, All That, Stan Helsing) as Greedy Smurf.
Shaquille O’Neal as Smooth Smurf.
B.J. Novak (The Office, The Internship, Knocked Up, Inglourious Basterds, The Amazing Spider-Man 2) as Baker Smurf.
Paul Reubens (aka Pee-Wee Herman) as Jokey Smurf.
Jimmy Kimmel as Passive-Aggressive Smurf.
John Kassir (Mittens in Eek The Cat, Jack The Giant Slayer, The Grim Adventures Of Billy & Mandy, Cryptkeeper in Tales From The Cryptkeeper and Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight, Buster Bunny in Animaniacs and Tiny Toon Adventures, 2 eps of Adventure Time) as Crazy Smurf.
Tom Kane (Professor Utonium in The Powerpuff Girls, Narrator and Yoda in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, also Yoda in Star Wars: Clone Wars, Wolverine And The X-Men, 10 eps of The Eric Andre Show, The Angry Beavers, 1995 Iron Man-TAS, 6 eps of The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, 5 eps of Robot Chicken, 1 ep of The Legend Of Korra) as Narrator Smurf.
And of course, Frank Welker (Freddy in Scooby Doo, and many many many animal voices in many many many of our favorite cartoons) as Azrael.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2017020/combined

VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: Rock ‘n’ Roll High School (1979)

Clint: 4/5 stars, 7.4/10.
Carolyn: 3.6/5 stars, 7/10.
Native ratings: 3.8/5 stars (Netflix guessed 4.1 for us), 6.7/10.

An exception to our usual focus on modern offerings.

This movie had funny moments, and the Ramones were fun.  It was very much what people would think of as a stereotypical 1980’s highschool/teen-comedy movie. Except it had The Ramones in it, which is something few other movies can boast.

Most of the main characters in this movie still have acting careers today, which is a change compared to most b-movies. As for the “Riff Vs. Kate” debate, It’s almost a tie. Riff’s clavicle is the tiebreaker. I want to see cleavage, not Skeletor. Kate wins.

Interesting that CBS censors mentions of DDT in Teenage Lobotomy when this movie airs on TV, but cocaine and swastikas are just fine. Can’t mess with Monansanto!

And how the fuck are they remaking this? I guess this movie could be remade for every band out there that has a fandom, but it’s never going to be something as seminal as the fucking RAMONES!

It will probably still be better than the sequel I just found out about – Rock ‘N’ Roll High School Forever (1992) – staring Corey Feldman (feat Mojo Nixon). Or the 2nd sequel, Shake, Rattle and Rock! (1994), starring Renee Zellweger and Howie Mandel (feat Paul Anka). God help us all.

At least the 3rd one has some of the original characters and actors from the first one (including P.J. Soles).

Still though — good times!

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0079813

VIDEO: MOVIE: REVIEW: The Gamers: Dorkness Rising (2008)

4/5 stars, 7/10 from both of us.

A real D&D movie! That’s actually funny, too!

Super low budget though. I wouldn’t even call this a b-movie, I’d call it a c-movie.  The acting is quite often bad and stilted, but you know what? We still enjoyed it a lot anyway!

Major nerdgasm this movie was.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0447166

Homo Erectus (2007)

Native ratings: Netflix:2.4/5 stars (guess for us=3.3), IMDB:3.4/10.

That’s pretty fucking low. So we knew this was going to be kind of retarded.

The “Stoned Age” title implies there’s going to be some kind of drug humor, but this is basically just a caveman comedy (think “Year One”, but worse, but with better cameos).

There are also a lot of notable people in the cast to help off-set the badness. It was weird seeing Ali Larter (the blonde schizo from Heroes, also in Final Destination 1) in a comedic role…

Or seeing Adrianne from Rocky, Carol Alt as an amazon queen, Gary Busey as a wizard, David Carradine in TWO roles, Ron Jeremy, and Tom Arnold (fortunately only a few seconds).

In the end, it was a mix of like and don’t like.
Carolyn: 2.6/5 stars, 5.0/10.
Clint::::: 2.9/5 stars, 5.9/10.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0484207

[IMDB]

This movie seemed kid of old and random. A lot of it fell flat. I guess this is why I don’t like older movies.

I probably would have liked this a lot when it came out, and if I’d seen it in the 80’s, nostalgia might have made me like it more now. But it was actually barely likeable.

Parthena: 2/5 stars, 5/10. “Some parts were funny, other parts that could have been either epic OR amusingly horrible were a bit…flat.”

Eli: 2/5 stars, 5/10. “I got my kicks out of kinda ripping off lord of the rings and I think
star wars, but all in all not amazingly well acted or cut together.”

Clint: 2.4/5 stars, 5.4/10.

Carolyn: 2.7/5 stars, 5.6/10. “I agree it wasn’t all that spectacular.”
Native rating: 3.5/5 stars (which was also Netflix’s guess for us), 6.6/10.

Peter MacNicol – the “weasel” from 24, Ally McBeal. So annoying! Not quite as annoying here, but I just kept screaming “WEASEL!” every time he went on the screen.

Valerian and Tyrian? Both actors who play them are now dead…

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0082288

p.s. Happy X-Day or something.

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Siblings (2004)

Clint: 3/5 stars, 7/10.
Carolyn: 3/5 stars, 7/10.
Native ratings: 6.5/10 IMDB. Not available on Netflix.

This was an interesting Christmas choice! A completely subversive christmas message counter to all the bullshit family movies that are usually forced down our throat this time of year.

This is one you want me to spoil the premise of, beucase you’ve never heard of it, it’s not on Netflix, and you likely will never watch it anyway.  And I think the spoiler is in the actual 1-line IMDB summary.  I.E. You’re supposed to know what happens before going on. So here we go.

This is a movie about 4 siblings whose cool grandfather dies, so they kill their FUCKING ASSHOLE parents. Seriously… Their parents are just awful. Incredibly awful. In every imaginable possible way. They don’t dwell on the awfulness too much: Just enough to establish that each parent is a total piece of shit to at least 2 of the 4 kids.  Most of the movie is focusing on the siblings. Ergo the title.

This is listed as a black comedy, and that is definitely true. It’s mostly not funny — and you don’t really laugh out loud — but the way everything works out is slightly uplifting in a dark, morbid way. Sometimes murder is good.  Sometimes killing your parents is good. Merry Christmas.

You don’t smile much when watching the movie. It’s more of a cringer. But you smile at the end. That’s what counts. While not  THAT spectacular, it holds interest, and celebrates the Christmas spirit. Sort of.

While not our favorite movie, I still sort of think it is a must see for anybody who likes morbid subversion of christmas holidays sprikled with a little murder.

Merry Christmas.

Directed by David Weaver.
Written by Jackie May.

Alex Campbell (2 eps of Goosebumps) as Joe, the older brother.
Sarah Gadon (The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Total Drama, 1 ep of The Dating Guy) as Margaret, the older sister.
Samantha Weinstein as Danielle, the younger sister.
Andrew Chalmers as Pete, the younger brother.
Sarah Polley (Mr. Nobody, eXistenZ, The Adventures Of Baron Munchausen, Splice, Dawn Of The Dead, Exotica, Go, 1 ep of Friday The 13th: The Series) as Tabby.
Paul Soles (The Incredible Hulk (2008), Spider-Man in the 1967 Spider-Man series, Bruce Banner in a 1966 Hulk series, also in an Iron Man 1966 series, 3 eps of a Captain American 1966 series) as Grandpa.
Nicholas Campbell (Antiviral, Hank in Naked Lunch, Goon) as Dad.
Sonja Smits (Videodrome) as Mom.
Tom McCamus (Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning, Tangled, 2 eps of Friday The 13th: The Series, 1 ep of Puppets Who Kill) as Mr. Phillips.
Aaron Abrams (Simon in Producing Parker, Jesus Henry Christ, YPF (Young People Fucking), Resident Evil 2, 1 ep of The Dating Guy) as Pastor.
Joan Heney (Detroit Rock City) as Agnes.
Martha Burns as Miss Bradford.
Shawn Roberts (Resident Evil 4-5, Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief, Jumper, X-Men) as Tom Muster.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0401787/combined

VIDEO: CARTOONS: ARTICLE: Daria: The Untold Tale – Part 1

I love Daria, so I loved reading this article about the inception of Daria as a cartoon. Didn’t realize Mike Judge didn’t originally draw her, because he didn’t know how to draw girls! Many other neat facts within, like the names of other MTV pilots I’ve never heard of.

(This article has spawned people in the bittorrent animation collecting community to start searching for these missing pilots!)

I consider myself a mix of Daria Morgendorffer, Larry David from Curb Your Enthusiasm, and Karl Pilkington (of Ricky Gervais fame). I wouldn’t call her an influence, as she mostly just mirrored how I already felt. Daria is more like a fictitious soulmate to me.

Can someone please let me know if Part 2 of this story ever comes out?

LINK URL: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-garrett-andrews/daria-the-untold-tale-par_b_5449805.html

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