Archive for Bruce Campbell

Sky High

Posted in Family, Movie Reviews, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Superhero Films with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 17, 2017 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

Will Stronghold — the son of two superheroes known as the Commander and Jetstream — is the only kid at Sky High who hasn’t developed superpowers yet, which means he may be relegated to the less-than-thrilling role of a sidekick.

What people are saying:

“With a crisp and snappy visual style and its smartly paced story, Sky High pulls an incredible feat in an age of dumbed-down kids comedies; it’s as down-to-earth as it is super.” 4 stars

“A surprisingly fun and humorous look at superhero tropes by way of a high school designed specifically for the gifted vigilantes’ offspring. Though some of the humor skews a bit too young and many of the movie’s visual effects are dated in the worse way, there’s plenty of wit and pointed comic book skewering to go around — making this one pleasant surprise of a Disney family flick.” 3 stars

“It’s Disney! Written by and for High School freshmen. If you can suspend your adulthood for an hour and a half you will enjoy it. A more entertaining story on a very similar theme is found in the comic “PS 238″ The protagonist is the son of two superheroes without any superpowers (except the knack for survival)…” 3 stars

“Though the film gives some good laughs, cool sequences, a great cinemontography, and a surprisingly original story, Sky High falls flat for me. I forgot the characters, I was often bored, the CG SUCKED, and was left thinking, “Eh.” 3 stars

“Sky High is one of Disney’s best films of this decade so far. I don’t know why a lot of people are comparing it to The Incredibles. It is not like that movie at all. It’s more like a cross between X-Men and Fantastic Four. Everyone had different superpowers. I enjoyed this movie. This movie did show a lot of references to other movies and TV shows based on comic books (like Wonder Woman, Batman, Spider-Man and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles). If you are in the mood for a good, family movie, watch Sky High.” 4 stars

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Serving Sara

Posted in Comedy, Movie Reviews, Romantic with tags , , , , , , , , on September 27, 2016 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

Joe Tyler gets more than he bargained for when he’s asked to serve divorce papers to Sara Moore. Unwilling to give up the money she helped make for her cattle baron husband, Sara proposes a deal: If Joe helps her, she’ll cut him in on the proceeds.

What people are saying:

“not very funny, or well-directed, mathew perry in his lesser funny movie role, and elizabeth hurley with her too annoyingly english accent. the comedy is heavily laboured and could only work with the chemistry between the two main characters, which, alas is not present during the whole film, even when things get slightly steamy. cedric the entertainer gives us the few entertaining scenes and one-liners in the film, and even the scene where mathew perry has to do something with a bull and sticking his hand up its ass to get it to have sex with a plastic cow, might have worked well in another movie, with better actors, better director, and better comic writers, but every necessary element is missing, creating a pointless ” 2 stars

“The biggest hurdle this movie has to overcome is the overwhelming screen presence of Elizabeth Hurley. Her beauty and glamour easily outshine anyone that stands next to her, dwarfing any co-stars or supporting characters who dare to share the screen with her. Matthew Perry does an admirable job, but he just seems so lacking next to Liz. There really is not much chemistry there. There is some humor in this movie, but not a whole lot. Perry is his usual saracastic self, and it is refreshing – but it is hard to accept him as a wise-cracking tough guy who can use different accents at the drop of a hat. The story is not the least bit believeable, but the audience will be drawn in and kept by Hurley alone. Not a must-see, but if you have a free spot in your queue you might want to give this one a try.” 3 stars

“Cute, if mindless, fun. Its one of those movies you watch while doing something else, but still good.” 4 stars

“The only really good thing about this movies…Elizabeth Hurley in a short skirt.” 2 1/2 stars

“Ok, so it’s not a great film, it’s got some humor to it but it’s not a Barrel of laughs and a story that kinda holds together. But then it’s got the great Bruce Campbell in it, the gorgeous Amy Adams, the also attractive Liz Hurley and funny man Matthew Perry. Entertaining.” 2 1/2 stars

Cars 2

Posted in Animation, Family, Movie Reviews, Pixar with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 2, 2011 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

Four-time Piston Cup champion race car Lightning McQueen returns home to Radiator Springs and reunites with best friend Mater and girlfriend Sally Carrera. Former oil tycoon Miles Axlerod, now a green power advocate, announces a racing series called the “World Grand Prix”, as a means to promote Allinol biofuel. Although McQueen initially refuses to participate, Italian formula race car Francesco Bernoulli’s challenge, as well as Mater’s intervention, leads McQueen to enter the Grand Prix. At Sally’s urging, McQueen agrees to take Mater with him, only to have the tow truck embarrass him repeatedly in Japan with his jovially ignorant antics.

Meanwhile, a group of “lemon” cars led by Professor Zündapp and an unknown mastermind owns the largest untapped oil reserves in the world. They secretly plot to secure their oil profits by using a weapon disguised as a television camera to ignite the Allinol fuel in targeted race cars during the World Grand Prix; with no apparent cause for the explosions, the public would doubt the fuel’s safety and depend further on the group’s oil. British spies Finn McMissile and Holley Shiftwell attempt to foil their plot. They attempt to rendezvous with American spy car Rod “Torque” Redline at a World Grand Prix promotional event in Tokyo in order to receive information about the mastermind; however, Redline is cornered by Zündapp’s henchmen and passes his information to an unsuspecting Mater before being captured and subsequently killed. As a result, Shiftwell and McMissile mistake Mater as their American contact.

During the first race in Tokyo, McMissile and Holley help a still-oblivious Mater evade Zündapp’s henchmen; in the process, Mater inadvertently gives McQueen bad advice which causes him to lose the race. Meanwhile, Zündapp uses the weapon on several race cars. At the end of his patience with Mater’s embarrassing behavior as well as causing his loss, McQueen berates Mater, who decides to return to Radiator Springs. McMissile, who still believes Mater is an American spy, drafts him into foiling Zündapp’s plot.

In Italy, the site of the second race, a disguised Mater infiltrates the criminals’ meeting and discovers Zündapp’s plan. Zündapp’s henchmen, meanwhile, use their weapon on most of the cars during the race. With the Allinol fuel under suspicion, Axlerod suspends its use for the final race in England; however, McQueen decides to continue using it. The criminals decide to kill McQueen in the next race; upon hearing this, Mater blows his cover and is captured along with McMissile and Shiftwell.

Rendered unconscious, Mater has a mortifying dream where he sees his recent activities in a different perspective and realizes how foolish he has been acting, until he wakes up tied up inside Big Bentley along with McMissile and Shiftwell, minutes away from being crushed by its gears. The criminals use the weapon on McQueen during the race, but nothing happens. Mater manages to escape in order to warn his friends of a bomb planted in McQueen’s pit area, but McMissile and Shiftwell find that the bomb was planted on Mater. They warn Mater about the bomb just in time, and Mater flees to protect his friends. However, he is pursued by a repentant McQueen determined to make amends to his friend, unaware of the real danger until they are out of range of Zündapp’s remote detonator. He sends his henchmen to kill McQueen and Mater, but they are foiled by the combined efforts of McMissile, Shiftwell, and the Radiator Springs residents. Upon his capture, Zündapp reveals that only the person who installed the bomb can deactivate it. Mater then figures out that the mastermind behind the Allinol plot is Miles Axlerod, who is forced to deactivate the bomb in a final confrontation.

For having Axlerod arrested, Mater is knighted by the Queen and returns home with his friends, where the cars from the Grand Prix take part in the unofficial Radiator Springs Grand Prix. Fillmore reveals that before the last race, Sarge replaced Lightning’s Allinol with Fillmore’s organic fuel, which prevented Lightning from being affected by the weapon. McMissile and Shiftwell invite Mater to join them in another spy mission, but he declines, claiming that he is where he belongs.

REVIEW:

The gang from Radiator Springs returns, but this time instead of trying to teach Lightning McQueen a lesson in humility, Mater is caught up in a case of mistaken identity, which lands him in the middle of the spy world.

Now, when they revealed what the plot was going to be for this film, I was about as skeptical as the next guy. First off, the original film has been well documented as probably the least successful Pixar film to date, yet at the same time, it seems to be the most marketable. Second, I’m one of those people who thinks they need to stop pussy-footin’ around and get to making a sequel to The Incredibles already. Finally, how do you go from racing to spy stuff? Then, it hit me…Speed Racer sort of did it, so it could work, if done right.

The spy aspect of this film actually does work, and I think it is in part to the brilliant performance by Larry the Cable Guy as Mater. There is just something about Mater’s stupidity and naiveté that makes it work. At the same time, though, it does seem a bit of overkill with him. In almost every scene, there was something about Mater. Make no mistake, he is hands down the most popular (or at least marketable) of all these characters, but, supposedly, Lightning McQueen in the star.

Speaking of Lightning, he has a few scenes here and there. Most of them berating Mater or making up to him. When he’s not doing that, he’s engaging in a war of words with Francesco Burnoulli, a hot-shot Italian F-1 race car. The exchanges between them are even better than the ones between Lightning and Chic in the first film.

Michael Caine is perfect as the veteran spy car, Finn McMissile. Who else would ou have chosen for this part, though, really?

Emily Mortimer is perfect in her role as Holly. The warmth of her voice mixed with her natural comedic talents and ability to deliver these lines are great.

During the time from the first film to the making of this one, we lost two of the original voices. George Carlin, who voiced Fillmore and Paul Newman, who lent his voice to Doc Hudson. While they replaced Carlin, which I think was unnecessary, since they could have easily just brought in a new hippie van, they honored the memory of Newman, well Hudson, very briefly by showing this Doc Hudson museum. It was a touching moment, but leaves one to wonder, how did Doc die?

There are several cameo and celebrity voices to be heard throughout this film from the likes of Joe Mantegna, Jason Isaacs, Eddie Izzard, Bruce Campbell, Jeff Gordon, Brent Mussberger, and the list goes on.

One review I read of this film called it more of an action-spy film, rather than a family flick. I have to agree. While the family aspect is there, complete with the token “change your ways” scenes, the action, whether it be racing on the track, or some kind of spy mission, full of explosions, espionage, or what have you.

This film was released in 3D. Now, I’m far being a fan of 3D, but there are some scenes here that I think would have worked very well had they have been done well using the medium. However, I have no faith in 3D, so I doubt they were.

The animation is great and vastly improved over the last film, but it has been 5 yrs. I would expect to see some sort of improvement over that time, wouldn’t you?

Cars was pretty good, but there are moments in it that leave something to be desired. This sequel, for me at least, was expected to be nothing more than a blatant cash grab. Boy was I surprised with how well it turned out. I was riveted from start to finish! Pixar always puts out a good product, and this is no exception. I highly recommend this to any and all. You will enjoy it and find yourself wanting more!

5 out of 5 stars

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

Posted in Animation, Comedy, Family, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 24, 2010 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

The town of Swallow Falls, located on a tiny island hidden under the “A” in “Atlantic” on the world map, suffers an economic downturn after the sardine market collapses (“right after everyone in the world realized that sardines are super gross”), leaving sardines as the only food in Swallow Falls. Flint Lockwood (Bill Hader) is a teenage scientist whose inventions, beginning as a child when he created diamond-hard Spray-On Shoes, have all ended in disaster, including a Remote Controlled TV (it came to life and ran off), Hair Un-Balder (it grew too much hair), Flying Car (it didn’t fly), and Rat-birds (“they escaped and bred at a surprising rate”). Flint’s latest invention, Flint Lockwood’s Diatonic Super Mutating Dynamic Food Replicator (or the FLDSMDFR), is a microwave machine that converts water molecules into food. It doesn’t work due to the lack of power at his home, so he is forced by his unsupportive and technophobic father, Tim, (James Caan) to work at his Bait and Tackle shop. Flint immediately sneaks out while his father is at the unveiling of Sardine Land, a new tourist attraction created by the 51-year-old Mayor (Bruce Campbell) and “Baby” Brent, (Andy Samberg) the famous teenage mascot. Flint, along with his pet monkey Steve (Neil Patrick Harris), hooks up the FLDSMDFR to the town’s power station. Unfortunately, the machine absorbs so much power that it takes off like a rocket, destroys Sardine Land, and flies up into the stratosphere. Flint escapes an angry mob, and hides under the docks. There he meets Sam Sparks (Anna Faris), a teenage weather intern whose big break was ruined by Flint’s “rocket”. When the two witness giant purple clouds raining cheeseburgers over Swallow Falls, Sam reports the events and mentions Flint is responsible. Flint becomes famous, with new foods raining down every day. The Mayor convinces Flint to create food every day that will turn Swallow Falls into a new tourist attraction called “Chewandswallow”. Flint also invents a machine called the Outta-Sighter to put uneaten food into a new “Mt. Leftovers” (“from which we are protected by a presumably indestructible dam”).

The town cop, Earl, (Mr. T) requests an ice-cream snow day for his son, Cal’s, (Bobb’e J. Thompson) birthday. This causes the FLDSMDFR to start becoming overloaded. After a date -or activity- with Sam in a massive Jell-O mold, where she told Flint about her past, Flint invites his father to dinner as a VIP at a roofless restaurant in order to impress him with his new success. Tim instead questions the wisdom of an endless supply of food when big steaks fall into the restaurant, which angers Flint. After storming off, Flint notices giant hot dogs falling from the sky, and heads to his lab to investigate. He deduces that the machine is overworking and tries to shut it off, but the Mayor (now morbidly obese) shows up, and convinces Flint that keeping the machine running is the only way to get people to like him. Under the Mayor’s request, Flint orders spaghetti and meatballs.

The next day while tourists from around the world are arriving, Sam tries to warn Flint about the storm that’s coming, but he refuses to believe her. After Flint cuts the ribbon, a spaghetti tornado destroys half the town. Sam angrily runs off while Flint returns to his lab to turn off the machine, but finds the Mayor ordering “dinner”. Flint tries to send a kill code to the FLDSMDFR, but the Mayor attempts to kill Flint by throwing a radish at him but instead throws it at the Satellite Dish of the FLDSMDFR (“Hey Flint…Its been nice to BEET you!”). Dismayed Flint asks the Mayor what he ordered, and the Mayor also dismayed says he ordered a Vegas-style “All You Can Eat” buffet. Earl’s son Cal falls into a “food” coma, and Sam cameraman, Manny (Benjamin Bratt) takes care of him, since he’s a doctor. Earl becomes enraged and the townspeople including Sam blames Flint for everything that has happened, and Flint decides he really is a failure, but his dad gets his confidence back. With the machine running wild, a food storm begins to cover the world, destroying famous landmarks with giant food, including New York City, the Eiffel Tower, Mt. Rushmore, London, and the Great Wall of China. Flint uploads the kill code to a flash drive and, along with Steve, Sam, Brent, and Manny (who is also a pilo), flies up into the stratosphere to destroy the FLDSMDFR, while the citizens and remaining tourists build sandwich boats to escape into the ocean, but the mayor takes his own boat and gets a head start, leaving the citizens to die. (He then starts eating his boat.)

Nearing the location of the FLDSMDFR, Flint and the others find it is inside in a giant “meatball”. They are attacked by mutant foods with artificial intelligence. Flint: “That was close. I mean, can you imagine if we lost this kill code?” The flash drive flies out the window. Flint, Sam, and Brent enter the meatball and make their way towards the FLDSMDFR. Flint calls his father and asks him to send the kill code from his lab computer to his cell phone. As Tim struggles to send Flint the kill code, the dam holding back Mt. Leftovers gives way and food covers the town, presumably crushing Tim. But he manages to survive the avalanche and sends the kill code. Flint is left to go on alone after Brent turns into a giant roasted chicken and Sam, who is allergic to peanuts, is cut by a shard of peanut brittle.

At the center of the meatball, Flint manages to plug his cell phone into the FLDSMDFR, only to discover that his father had accidentally sent a video of kittens singing “Fight the Powe.” The machine starts trying to shoot food at Flint. As the machine prepares to expel a final blast of giant food, Flint uses his Spray-On Shoes formula to block the spout, causing the FLDSMDFR and the meatball to explode. The giant food clouds around the world disappear, and Sam, Brent, Steve, and Manny manage to land safely. They at first assume Flint was killed in the explosion, but are relieved to find he has been saved by a flock of Rat-birds. Tim is finally able to express his love and admiration for his son by using Steve’s monkey-thought translator, and Sam and Flint share their first kiss. Meanwhile, the Mayor, after his defeat, is left lost at sea.

During the credits sequence, the town is renamed “Chewandswallow 2”. Flint and Tim are shown opening a business that uses the Spray-On Shoes formula as roof sealant. The mayor is “deflated” and arrested by Earl and Cal.

REVIEW:

Not to take anything away from this film, but it seems like everything that comes out in theaters these days is either a remake or based on a book. Are those dolts in Hollywood that dried up for ideas? I say this because when I first saw the ads for this film, I thought it was a bit on the absurd side and also that someone actually used their imagination and came up with an original idea. Granted, I was a bit wrong with the original idea part, but I’d much rather it be based on a book than be a remake.

As far as the absurdity part, other than the concept itself, which is a bit out there, this film doesn’t go over the top with anything. I mean, when you’re dealing with food falling from the sky because water is turned to food is hard to, pardon the pun, swallow. Especially when you notice that it’s perfectly cooked and dressed. This is where all you people who have no imagination and think everything has to be realistic and/or proven won’t enjoy this picture because, quite frankly, you have to be able to suspend your disbelief. If you can’t do that, then why even bother watching, because all you’re going to do is criticize, question, etc.

Speaking of the food, it obviously takes center stage here. This is a kid’s film, and the foods that fall from the sky are the kinds that kids love, with a few for the parents. I don’t know about you, but I don’t know any kid that likes crem brulee.

Casting is actually quite good, even if it does seem like they just raided the cast if Saturday Night Live to get the voices. Of course, having Mr. T as a voice never fails. I noticed something about his character, though. He had the opposite hairstyle to Mr. T, in that instead of a mohawk, he had a bald streak down the middle of his head. I wonder if that was intentional.

While I’m on the topic of what the characters looks like, Sam Sparks resembled Drew Barrymore. At least she did when she put on the glasses and pulled her hair back in a ponytail. I can’t help but wonder if Drew was meant to have been the voice for her instead of Anna Faris, or if it was just coincidence.

As with any family film, there is a touching scene near the end and a lesson learned, as well as a happy ending, but did you really expect there to not be?

I found it interesting that the musical score was done by former Devo member Mark Mothersbaugh. Honestly, I didn’t pay the score enough attention to say anything about it, but that is an accomplishment for Mark.

Everything bad I have to say about this film has to do with details, such as the machine somehow staying up in the sky. It was never said that it was some sort of weather satellite, but it turned out to be, so that kind of bothered me a bit. Why did the mother have to die? Couldn’t she have been there when Flint was a grown up? Has he had those spray on shoes on since that show and tell? Surely there has to be a way to get them off. What mus showers be like for him. At least he doesn’t have to buy socks.

The climax is pretty impressive. This was released in 3D, so I can imagine seeing a giant spaghetti tornado coming at you in 3D would have been impressive.

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs is one of those films that captures the imagination, heart, and the longer you watch it, the hungrier you get. This is an underrated film, in my opinion, but I think that is due to the competition in the animation category it had to face when it came out.  I can only imagine what would happen if someone did make a machine like this. Oh wait…i know…the government would think they’re entitled to it and use it as some sort of weapon, rather than an aid to hunger-stricken countries. That thought aside, this is a really enjoyable film that all should see. You’re sure to enjoy it as much as I did.

4 1/2 out of 5 stars

The Ant Bully

Posted in Animation, Family, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 15, 2009 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

The story is about a lonely 10-year-old boy named Lucas Nickle (Zach Tyler Eisen) who has just moved to a new neighborhood. His parents, who fail to understand his problems, go on a honeymoon in Puerto Vallarta, leaving him with his older sister and his Grandmother (Mommo), who obsesses over aliens and UFOs. Tormented by a local bully and his gang, Lucas in turn attacks an anthill, flooding it with a squirt gun. This terrifies the ants, who call him Peanut the Destroyer (Peanut being his mother’s nick name for him). One ant, an eccentric wizard named Zoc (Nicolas Cage), tries to fight back. His girlfriend, a nurse ant named Hova (Julia Roberts), believes in finding a more peaceful solution by attempting to communicate with Lucas. She is almost crushed by Lucas while trying to do so but is rescued by Zoc. After a devastating attack floods the hatching chambers, the leaders of the colony decide to use a potion (which Zoc made from some magical gemstones) to shrink Lucas down to size of an ant.

Meanwhile, the local exterminator, Stan Beals (Paul Giamatti), convinces Lucas to sign a contract to kill the local vermin. Late that night, Zoc and a small troop of ants sneak into Lucas’s house and pour the potion into his ear. Lucas wakes up and discovers that he is now as tiny as an ant (since his underwear didn’t shrink with him, he is also naked). The boy is then carried to the anthill and cast down into a world of giant caves, caterpillars, and ants. Zoc insists that Lucas should be killed, but he is overruled by the imposing, awe-inspiring Queen ant (Meryl Streep). In her wise reasoning, she sentences Lucas to hard labor until he can be considered an ant, for she believes that the colony could be improved this way. Hova volunteers to train Lucas, much to Zoc’s mortification. Hova develops a delicate friendship with Lucas when they both learn more about the differences between ants and humans. But when she forces him to undertake a mission foraging for coveted sweet-rocks (known to humans as jelly beans) under the supervision of a tough female ant named Kreela (Regina King) and a macho scout leader named Fugax (Bruce Campbell) Lucas is ultimately unsuccessful. Suddenly, the ants tending the caterpillar herds are attacked by wasps. Lucas tries to save himself at first; when he finds a discarded firecracker, he uses it to scare away the wasps. This earns him the admiration and respect of all the ants – with the exception of Zoc, who believes him to be still an incorrigible Destroyer who only cares about himself.

Lucas is then invited to eat with the ants; he is introduced to honeydew, a preparation made from the feces of caterpillars. This disgusts Lucas, who is soothed by Hova and a delicious alka-root in a water drop. Lucas is later shown a painting which depicts the Great Ant Mother and the evil “Cloud-Breather”, whom Lucas recognizes as an exterminator. Lucas is told of the prophecy that the Great Ant Mother will return one day to them and will shower the ants with honeydew, while the Cloud-breather, all insects’ mortal enemy, will spell destruction for all of them. He and his new friends go back to his house, where he tries to call the exterminator to cancel the contract but dials a pizza restaurant instead. Then Lucas’ sister comes home and they are forced into hiding until dark. When Zoc finds out about the contract, he accuses Lucas of further treachery and tells him that he should find another wizard because there is no way that he will give Lucas the potion to turn him back again. Lucas runs away, frightened, and Hova becomes angry with Zoc. But when Lucas is swallowed by a frog, a repentant Zoc uses alka-root to free him. Afterwards, while the others sleep, Zoc and Lucas discuss the differences between ant society and human society. Lucas keeps yawning and Zoc is disgusted by it, at first thinking he was ill. Zoc states that in essence humans work for personal gain whereas ants work for the benefit of the colony. Here, he starts acting a like a father-figure for Lucas while he is an ant.

That morning, Fulgax wakes everyone up screaming, ‘Praise The Mother!’ seeing a large pink ant with white wings and a crown over her head. Upon further inspection, Lucas realizes that the ‘Ant Mother’ is actually a giant balloon that Beal’s Pest Control uses as a symbol. While the colony is cheering, Zoc uses his magic to teleport them to the center of the crowd. ‘That is not the Ant Mother! It is a Cloud-Breather!’ Zoc yells.

Lucas reveals everything to the other ants; although initially angry at him, they are placated by his plan of defense. He enlists the aid of their natural enemies, the wasps. During the battle with the exterminator, Lucas saves the lives of Hova and an injured wasp. Finally, with the help of a beetle and glowworm also rescued from the frog earlier, and the leader of the wasps, he injects Stan Beals with a potion that reduces him to infantile size. The queen then pronounces Lucas an ant. She names him Rokai, as such to be forever known by the entire colony. Zoc gives him the antidote to the shrinking potion. Once full-size, Lucas stands up to the bully and inspires other kids to do so, including members of the bully’s own gang. The bully runs away and Lucas and the other kids become friends. Lucas then showers the colony with jelly beans as a farewell gift.

REVIEW:

The concept of this film is pretty well thought out, but something about the way it was executed just didn’t resonate with me. Don’t get me wrong, its a cute film and teaches a good less and all, but it just seemed to lack that wow factor yo get from Pixar films, or the comedic element in the Shrek franchise. I guess what I’m trying to say is that for me it felt like this film was trying to be too serious.

The voice casting is pretty good, though I think many of them just signed on because of their kids (or grandkids). Many say that Nicholas Cage is an overrated actor. I am not one that falls in that category, but at the same time, I’m not going to say he’s one of the best. Hearing him as the voice of Zoc, though, makes one see why many think he’s not that great. His performance ws quite flat.

Julia Roberts comes off as very motherly.

Regina King isn’t as sassy as we are accustomed to in her previous roles, but it is a welcome change for her to be a little soft for once.

Bruce Campbell, like King, departs from his normal characterization…slightly, but it is still Campbell, brash and sarcastic.

Paul Giamatti is pretty good as the exterminator, who serves as the villain for this film. The animators even went so far as to base the character off of his appearance, it appears.

Meryl Streep is the perfect queen of ants, but I wish she would have more lines.

The animators took more time with putting details into the bottom of shoes than they did everything else.

The action scenes are pretty good, but could be better.

This is a good family film, but it is too flawed for me to say that I wished I would have seen it in theaters. It has the feel of a direct-to-DVD film, to be honest with you. It is far from Pixar or Dreamworks quality, but it’s decent enough to watch if it comes on TV.  If you really want to watch an ant or bug film, I suggest Antz or A Bug’s Life.

3 out of 5 stars

My Name is Bruce

Posted in Comedy, Horror, Independent, Movie Reviews, Spoofs & Satire with tags , , , , , , on March 15, 2009 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

The plot revolves around Campbell, playing a sleazy version of himself, who, after being harassed and mistaken by fans to be Ash from the Evil Deadseries of horror films, is abducted from his trailer park home to fight against Guan Di, a Chinese war deity.

My Name is Bruce is the heroic struggle of a small mining town (Gold Lick, Oregon) to rid itself of a vengeful monster. Guan-di (Jamie Peck), the Chinese god of war and protector of the dead, has been unleashed by cemetery desecrating teenagers to protect the graves of Chinese miners lost in a deadly cave-in of yesteryear.

The deadly demons mission is to eradicate all those who transgressed against the tomb (relatives included), which is virtually the entire population of Gold Lick. The inbred community has to find a solution so Jeff (Taylor Sharpe), the sole survivor of a deadly Guan-Di encounter, takes it upon himself to kidnap his idol, Bruce Campbell (Bruce Campbell), star of countless B-movie horror films, and recruit him to be their local savior.

Mortified at first, Bruce eventually goes along with Jeffs prank, convinced that its all an elaborate birthday present from his agent (Ted Raimi), and begins to enjoy the spoils of being a movie hero, including free liquor and Jeffs attractive mother, Kelly (Grace Thorsen).

But Jeffs scheme goes horribly wrong when his hero, known more for fighting directors than mythical warriors, haphazardly leads the town in battle against Guan-Di. Confronted by a monster thats not a guy in a rubber suit, and with the blood of innocents on his hands, Bruce abandons the harsh reality of Gold Lick for the sanctity of his former, artificial life.

In his ramshackle desert trailer, Bruce resumes the daily grind of genre sequels, poor housekeeping and cheap whiskey, but a gut-wrenching call from his biggest fan, Jeff—now forced to take on Guan-Di alone—prompts the actor to re-evaluate his destiny.

Against his better judgment (and the angry citizens of Gold Lick), Bruce returns to defeat Guan-Di, save Jeff, and snag his hot mother. In the climactic, mano-a-monster, Bruce tries to rise above the miserable, off-screen schmuck that he is and become a hero in real life.

REVIEW:

This is another of those films that I just didn’t know what to expect. Watching the trailer on a friend’s blog last week piqued my curiosity, but I didn’t know what to expect. Most of my knowledge of Bruce Campbell comes from his days as Autolycus on Xena: Warrior Princess and Hercules: The Legendary Journeys. Obviously, he’s made a name for himself doing B-movies, mostly in the horror genre. I just haven’t seen any of them.

Speaking of Campbell, he plays himself in this film, but it appears to be a caricature of himself. I guess his character can best be explained as Bruce Campbell playing Bruce Campbell. To me it seems as if he brought a bit of Autolycus back for this role, in terms of personality, but there could be characters in his other movies that are just as sleazy. He does an excellent job of it, though. Even more impressive is the fact that he directed and acted in this film.

This is one of those films so bad that it’s good, kind of like Plan 9 from Outer Space or Repo! The Genetic Opera. Having said that, keep in mind, both of those films have an underground cult following. My Name is Bruce will more than likely gain a bit of a following as well. It pretty much has a built in audience just by having Bruce Campbell in it.

If you’re even aware of this film, then chances are it won’t matter what I or the critics say, you’re going to want to see it. I could sit here and tear apart the bad script, hole ridden story, shotty acting, and sub par special effects, but that would do no good. For those that just happened to come across this review and were curious about the film let me tell you that its not for everyone. This is not your typical horror movie, as it is a spoof of Campbell and his earlier works for the most part. So, if you’re not familiar with said films, you may have a bit of trouble getting the humor in this film and enjoying yourself, but I think you may still enjoy yourself, so why not take a chance?

3 out of 5 stars

Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters (DVD)

Posted in Animation, Comedy, Movie Reviews, Spoofs & Satire with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 25, 2008 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

The movie begins with a song by a virtual unusual band—consisting of a bag of popcorn, a hot dog, a chocolate Popsicle and a cup of soda—in a parody of the 1953 short film Let’s All Go to the Lobby, only to be interrupted by heavy metal band Mastodon—animated as a gum drop, a pretzel, a box of Ice Caps, and a box of nachos—who warn the audience that bad movie etiquette will result in severe bodily harm or death.

The movie proper begins in Egypt, where Master Shake, Frylock and Meatwad escape from the Sphinx, and are attacked by an oversized Poodle who kills Frylock before being destroyed by Shake. Shake and Meatwad flee with Frylock’s corpse and meet Time Lincoln, who revives Frylock; however, when government agents break into his house, the Aqua Teens flee in his wooden rocket ship, and Time Lincoln is shot, changing the timeline and effectively resulting in white people being enslaved by black people. This, however, is all revealed to be an elaborate story concocted by Shake to explain their origin to Meatwad and Frylock. An animated music video then follows.

Shake heads off to work out on his new exercise machine, the Insanoflex. Upon discovering that the machine is not assembled correctly (and the instructions are nowhere to be found), Frylock searches online for them. He finds a website written in a rare robot dialect with the only words in English warning never to assemble it…ever. The site then lists a phone number which Frylock calls.

The film cuts to outer space on board the Plutonians Emory and Oglethorpe’s ship. Before they even bother to answer the phone (the number on Frylock’s computer was their’s), the Plutonians discover the Cybernetic Ghost of Christmas Past from the Future onboard with them. The Cybernetic Ghost begins explaining to the two aliens the story of the Insanoflex: the machine, when assembled, will exercise a man into a super-being, who will attract all the women on Earth leading to massive inbreeding and the eventual extinction of mankind. To prevent this, the Ghost has traveled into the past and stolen a single screw that holds all the parts together. The Plutonians point out to him that to get it assembled, someone could just buy another screw or shove a pencil in the screw hole.

Back on Earth, Frylock finishes building the machine (somehow having obtained the instructions), having just shoved a pencil in the screw hole. Before Shake can work out however, they discover a missing M-shaped circuit board on the back panel. The trio visit Carl, from whom Shake had stolen the machine, to see if he has the missing piece. After he refuses to tell them, Meatwad finds the address in the Insanoflex’s box. Meanwhile, a triangular slice of watermelon named “Walter Melon”, is flying about in a space ship made from a hollowed-out watermelon, observing the events unfolding according to his plan – Walter Melon is joined in the ship by Neil Peart from Rush, sitting at his drums.

Dr. Weird, whose abandoned insane asylum has been purchased and is being turned into condominiums around them, are visited by Shake, Frylock, and Meatwad, who retrieve the missing piece and head home. Frylock installs the missing circuit board, but Carl insists that as the rightful owner he should be the first to test out the machine. The machine straps him in and elaborately transforms itself into a huge one-eyed robot. The robot plays dance/techno music and begins stomping around, crushing houses and heading toward downtown, all while Carl’s strapped-in form is forced to exercise. Eventually, the robot begins laying large metallic eggs, which hatch into smaller versions of the machine. The Aqua Teens, aided by an instructional workout video, find a way to destroy the machine. Shake plays his original song “Nude Love” on acoustic guitar, forcing the machine to commit suicide because Shake’s song is so bad. Carl (now bulging with so much muscle that he is rendered unable to move) leaves with his date, an equally muscular woman named Linda, and they head back to her condo while the Aqua Teens try to figure out a way to stop the newly-hatched smaller robots from destroying the city.

Meanwhile, Frylock begins to tell the origin story of the Aqua Teens: they were created by Dr. Weird, along with a chicken nugget who had gone by the name of Chicken Bittle. In the flashback, Dr. Weird proclaims that the Aqua Teens were created for one purpose, and one purpose only: to crash a jet into a brick wall. Realizing the pointlessness of this mission, Frylock simply diverted the jet (after a struggle with Bittle) and set a course to Africa, where they would try to use their intelligence to solve world hunger. While parachuting down to the earth, Bittle was attacked and eaten by a lion. The remaining three then tried to help a small village, but the natives feared them and ran away. After realizing they couldn’t be much help, they hopped back in the jet and rented out what is now their house in New Jersey. Shake and Meatwad state that they cannot remember any of this, but Frylock explains it was because they were too busy playing their Game Boy to pay any attention.

Meanwhile, Carl and the muscular woman Linda recline in her room, where she reveals “herself” to be Dr. Weird in disguise. He cuts off Carl’s muscles with a hunting knife and grafts them onto his own body. Frylock and Dr. Weird do battle, and the struggle continues while they argue back and forth about who created whom. Dr. Weird claims that it was Frylock who created him, not the other way around. Dr. Weird then reveals that the blue diamond on Frylock’s back hides a VCR, in which a video with false memories of Dr. Weird creating Frylock had been playing in Frylock’s head. Just then, Walter Melon arrives in his ship and explains he created the Aqua Teens and all the other characters so that they would eventually kill each other, after which Walter would inherit all their real estate in order to create the “Insano-Gym.” The other characters, however, inform Walter that they all rent and do not own any property, not only rendering Walter’s plan completely useless, but proving that everyone’s existence is completely pointless. Walter storms off in his ship, threatening to tell their mother about their failures. Just then, the Teens’ see their alleged mother standing before him, revealed to be a 9-layer bean burrito. The Soda Dog Refreshment comes onscreen once again and dismisses the audience.

After the credits, there is a quick scene of the Cybernetic Ghost of Christmas Past from the Future humping the television in the Aqua Teen’s living room. The camera then pans left to Frylock who now has large breasts, primped hair, and is dressed in clothing characteristic of females, indicating that Frylock got a sex change.

REVIEW:

Chances are you have never even heard of the Aqua Teens unless you are a fan of Cartoon Network’s [adult swim] block of programming. Regardless of that, there was a full length feature film made and (limited) released in theaters.

A normal episode of the show is about 11 minutes, which is perfect for those of us with short attention spans. The film last a little less than an hour and  half, but the hilarity that ensues throughout it makes you not even realize it.

If you go into this film expecting to see a cinematic masterpiece, you are sadly mistaken. This is a movie made for the fans of the show, and everyone else that cares to watch it is welcome, but be prepared to be lost.

Judging by some of the crude computer animation, I imagine that there wasn’t a huge budget, but what can you expect from [adult swim].

There are some surprise voices that show up, such as Bruce Campell as Chicken Brittle, Chris Kattan as Walter Melon, and Tina Fey as Burrito.

Fans of the show, like me, have always wondered what the origin of the Aqua Teens is, and though it does appear to be given here, I’m not sure it is the true origin, or if the creators even gave them an origin.

The plot is a bit weak for my taste, but considering that this is Aqua Teen, not a high end Disney picture, it’s exusable. Still, an exercise machine that lays eggs and tries to take over the world with buff inbreeding?

I can’t do a review of this film without mentioning the opening montage. It is one of the most memorable moments of the film. Sadly, it doesn’t include any of the cast, but it’s still pretty funny. They should include it in every movie…and maybe even go through with the threats!

This is pretty funny film, but as I said before, if you’re not a fan of the show, chances are you won’t get a lot of the jokes or understand the movie at all. Still, you should give it a shot and make your own decision.

4 out of 5 stars