Archive for September 14, 2011

Tripping the Rift: The Movie

Posted in Animation, Comedy, Movie Reviews, Sci-Fi/Fantasy with tags , , , , , , , , on September 14, 2011 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

A routine mission to protect a contentious princess devolves into a seriously warped space adventure in this full-length animated comedy featuring the voices of Stephen Root, Jenny McCarthy, and John Melendez. Chode and his crew are safeguarding a royal pain in the backside when a team of indestructible clown assassins and insanely horny housewives send things spiraling out of control. Now, as a time-traveling assassin threatens to transform a boozy birthday party into a blood-soaked crime scene, it’s up to Gus, Six, T’nuk, Whip, and Bob to ensure that their tempestuous charge arrives at her intended destination in one piece

REVIEW:

First off, let me say that I LOVED Tripping the Rift when it was on the air. As with most sci-fi (the genre, not the channel) shows that have a specific audience, it was canceled too soon. The result, it appears, is Tripping the Rift: The Movie.

One would imagine that this would be some sort of awesome closure to the show, right? I mean that’s what we got with The Drawn Together Movie: The Movie!…well, that was the idea, anyway.

With this, the filmmakers took the lazy route of stitching episodes together to make a movie. I would say this doesn’t work, but I’ve seen it actually succeed before. Hell, a while back, I reviewed Marvel Knights: Black Panther, which was nothing more than the animated series, but if you watch them back to back it makes a movie.

The problem with this flick is that from the get go, it seems as if it is nothing more than a final attempt to grab some cash from the audience, and doesn’t apologize for what it is. This would work if it was a sequel, but when a show is cancelled, fans want some closure and this hodge-podge of episodes didn’t do it.

I read a review of this the other day that said they should have played up the sex angle more. I can’t disagree with that. The whole Desperate Housewives parody might very well have been the best part. Quite a shame, since they also parody Young Frankenstein and The Terminator.

Instead of playing up the sex angle, they spend a good chink of the film making gay jokes. Much in the same way this past season of Glee became nothing more than gay propaganda. I’m of the belief that once you make that distinction, move along. Sure, a few jokes are fine, but after awhile, they start to get stale.

As far as computer animation goes, this is nowhere near the stuff Pixar and Dreamworks are putting out, but remember, this was a Sci-Fi channel show (back when they actually spelled their name right).

I wish I could say that this was hilarious, but it just isn’t. Now, for me, having seen these episodes before, perhaps it could just be the disappointment and anticipation of something new, but it just seemed as if all the jokes were forced or beating the proverbial dead horse. I was hoping for something new.

I guess I am making it sound like Tripping the Rift: The Movie is the worse film ever made, and it is far from that. This is one of those films that can be watched over and over again, especially when you’re drunk and with friends makin fun of everything bad about it, or it can be a late night treat when nothing else is on. So, yes I recommend it, but not to fans of the show. We’ve already seen it in the form of 3 separate episodes, so why waste the time watching it again, except to hear animated cussing?

3 out of 5 stars

Advertisements

Police Academy: Mission to Moscow

Posted in Comedy, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 14, 2011 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

Russian mafia boss Konstantine Konali is laundering money under the guise of a legitimate business.

The business is a highly addictive video game that allows him to bring down almost any security system controlled by a computer on which the game has been played, with a string of major robberies as the result.

Desperate to nail Konali, Russian Commandant Alexandrei Nikolaivich Rakov sends for help from America. Rakov decides to bring in someone he met at a police convention—Commandant Eric Lassard (George Gaynes).

Lassard briefs his team about the mission in Russia, then they head to Moscow. Along with Lassard in Moscow are Sergeant Larvell Jones (Michael Winslow), Sergeant Eugene Tackleberry (David Graf), Captain Debbie Callahan (Leslie Easterbrook), Cadet Kyle Connors (Charlie Schlatter), and Captain Thaddeus Harris (G. W. Bailey).

As they plan to nail Konali, he has cooked up a new scheme—create an even more addictive form of the Game, a version that can bring down absolutely any computer security system in the world, including the systems that protect the databases that belong to world powers.

REVIEW:

You know, one wold think that with the last film in a franchise, they would bring back all the pieces that made it work in the first place. Instead, Police Academy: Mission to Moscow takes away Hightower and Hooks and then transports them all to Moscow. They already jumped the shark when Mahoney left and they moved everything to Miami, so this was more of the shark coming back to get them. A definite nail in the coffin of the franchise, that’s for sure.

Now, don’t get me wrong, this is nowhere near as bad as it’s predecessor Police Academy 6: City Under Seige. Whereas that film seemed more like the animated series, this one felt like they were actually trying and succeeded in parts, and in others…not so much.

The plot is actually not bad, if this was a serious cop flick, bt for the Police Academy movies, it seemed a bit to serious, especially considering how that Russian was still somewhat of a taboo subject at the time this was released.

Not to mention, the whole criminal plot about the Russian mafia and taking over the world with “the Game” was barely touched on, save for a mention here and there, but they never really went anywhere with it. Really a disappointment since they could have flown with it.

I do wonder though, why it is they choise to use Game Boys with no game in them as the apparent gaming device. Seems just like the studios being cheap or perhaps it could have been some random joke. That wold make sense and fit the m.o. for this franchise.

The returning cast does what they do best, though they all seem to just be going through the motions at this point. It is really quite sad to see them in this state.

On the flip side, we do get a nice villain in Ron Perlman. Not quite sure if I buy his Russian accent, but then he spoke a bit of Russian in Hellboy, if I recall.

Christopher Lee doesn’t have a huge role here. As a matter of fact, he is really nothing more than a cameo, but it is good to see him away from his usual villain role, and he does a pretty good job in this comedic turn as a guy who is, more or less, the Russian equivalent to Cmdt. Lassard.

Well, it appears that I have now completed the Police Academy movies. As a franchise, it is ok, but it degenerates over time. I suggest sticking to the first 2 or 3…maybe 4, but after that, you’re just wasting your time. As far as Police Academy: Mission to Moscow goes, well…as I sad before, it is better than its predecessor, but doesn’t live up to the original Police Academy. It just isn’t the worthy ending the franchise should have received. Although, the end credits scene was nice. I recommend this with trepidation. If you’re a fan of the franchise, then you’ll love it, but for the common viewer, you’re better tracking down one of the earlier films.

2 3/4 out of 5 stars