Archive for David Hasselhoff

Sharknado: The 4th Awakens

Posted in Action/Adventure, Movie Reviews, Sci-Fi/Fantasy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 20, 2017 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

Five years have passed since the East Coast felt the deadly fury of sharknadoes, and America has become complacent about the possibility of another assault. But they’re back — and badder than ever — and Fin Shepard must again take them on.

What people are saying:

Sharknado: The 4th Awakens loses the ridiculous charm of its predecessors, leaving only clumsy social commentary and monotonous schtick that’s lost its bite” 1 1/2 stars

“With little to no comedic value whatsoever but the amount of cameos by not just out of work actors but politicians and other controversial figures, and abundance of easy-grab pop culture references make this the worst ‘Nado yet.” 1 star

“Sure the others are bad but in a good cheesey sci-fi way this was too much sure it was ok -maybe a little good i did laugh a little but it was like a bad parody movie that used to many parodies, and what was with the ending it was honestly the cheesiest and possibly worst part of this movie of course i know some people will like it anyway this is just my opinion and honestly that;s what a review is for, so if you loved sharknado and bad parodies with to many cheesy references in it then this movie is for you, i equate this with scary movie 5 to far but you know there will probably be more” 3 stars

“The 4th Awakens gives off the impression that the Sharknado franchise has locked into groove where it can give its fans more to talk about on social media while staying true to its B-movie creature feature/disaster film roots.” 4 stars

“By no means the best of the franchise it is still a fun ride. I didn’t recognize most of the cameos so that could be why I didn’t enjoy it as much as the first three. The story however was entertaining enough if you enjoy the Sharknado movies. More worked then didn’t and the cheesy entertainment and bad punchlines are all still abundant so I would be more then happy to see a fifth Sharknado movie. This is pure camp and cheese. Don’t expect anything else and you will enjoy yourself” 3 stars

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Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!

Posted in Action/Adventure, Movie Reviews, Sci-Fi/Fantasy with tags , , , , , , , , , , on July 11, 2016 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

While sharknado fighter Fin Shepard is in Washington, D.C. to receive a medal of honor from the president, another sharknado strikes, devastating the nation’s capital. Fin and the president work together to defeat the sharks, and the storm unexpectedly subsides. Fearing that April, who is at Universal Orlando with their daughter Claudia and her mother May, is in danger, Fin heads for Florida. On his way there, he encounters a “fognado”, which is stopped by Nova Clarke, his former employee from the first film who has become a hardened sharknado storm tracker, and her partner Lucas Stevens. They stop at a military airport where they get clearance to use a fighter jet to bomb other forming sharknados. Lucas sacrifices himself to blow up a sharknado so Nova and Fin can escape. They detonate a bomb in a sharknado over the Daytona 500 race. After crash landing in Orlando they reunite with April, Claudia and May who have survived the sharknado that has hit the theme park. Realizing that the numerous storms will soon combine into a massive “sharkicane” that will destroy the entire East Coast, Fin calls in a favor from his estranged father, former NASA colonel Gil Shepard, for a risky plan to destroy the storm from space.

Gil, Fin, April, and Nova reach Cape Canaveral and where they plan to use a top-secret Space Shuttle to blow up tanks of rocket fuel into the storm. While Nova clears a path, Gil, Fin and April launch into space where they detonate the external tank, but it fails to stop the wall of sharknados. Gil deploys “Plan B”, activating a Reagan-era Strategic Defense Initiative satellite laser weapon. This time, the sharknados are destroyed, but the beam causes the sharks to propel into space, attacking the shuttle. Fin fights them off using an energy-beam chainsaw; he and April are eaten by two separate sharks which fall back down to Earth. Though the sharks are charred from atmospheric entry, Fin emerges from his shark and discovers that April has too along with their newborn. As the family and Nova reunite, Fin names his newborn son after his father, who has landed on the moon. April is about to recover Fin’s father’s badge when a Shuttle fragment is about to hit her.

REVIEW:

Am I the only one who is a little surprised that these Sharknado movies have made it all the way into a trilogy? Here we are with Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!, and one must wonder if this is the end for this franchise, will it keep going, or are we in for a reboot/remake in the next few years. Only time will tell, but for now, let’s see what this is lik, shall we?

What is this about?

Toothy terror bursts from the ocean once more in this third installment of the epic Sharknado story. After devastating Washington, D.C., the airborne shark vortex heads for Orlando, Fla., and its jam-packed theme parks

What did I like?

10. In a rather small part, Bo Derek plays Tara Reid’s mother. This is going to sound a bit mean, but there are some scenes where it looks as if they are sisters or Reid is the mother. Isn’t it amazing what plastic surgery can do, for better or worse? Seriously, though, Derek still looks great and I can mostly buy her as Reid’s mother, so kudos for getting that bit of casting correct.

Better effects. I’ll admit it, these sharks are starting to look a little bit more realistic, as opposed to the Dollar store toys they obviously had been using as models before. Syfy gets some heavy flack for the quality of effects in its films, so perhaps this is them turning the corner…or maybe it is just a few extra $$$ to afford better effects. Whatever the case, I am glad to see them working to improve the product, rather than leaving is stagnant.

Only one place left to go. First, these sharknadoes hit Los Angeles, then they hit New York. Just like with alien invasions, you know once you take out those mega cities, there isn’t much else to do, unless you want to hit Washington, overseas, or just rum amok is space. It appears that if this franchise is going to continue, it will be doing so in space, because that is where the sharks are now. I can’t see a problem with that, actually. This is a franchise that has never taken itself seriously, and by going out in space, the absurdity can continue at an even larger scale!

What didn’t I like?

Too much of a hero. I noticed something going with this film, it tries to have some depth. For instance, on more than one occasion, it is brought up that Fin, Ian Ziering’s character, always has to be the hero. It also is mentioned that the sharks seems to follow him and that only he and his family escape alive. Something that probably should be explored at some point. There was also mention of the sharks being a sign of the apocalypse, but I think that was just a passing mention, rather than a subplot that never went anywhere. Judging by the trailer I just watched for the next film, yes there is going to be a Sharknado 4, it looks like someone else might just get to be the hero.

Out of the water. After crashing a plane, Ian Ziering and Cassie Scerbo (returning from Sharknado) emerge from the water in their swimsuits. Don’t ask me how it is that they managed to not have a scratch on them, and yet their clothes were torn to reveal conveniently hidden swimsuits. Obviously, this was an homage to those James Bond movies where our hero or the girl emerges from the water, but it does make one scratch their head. It just seems so out of place, even for this film!

President. Basketball fans, and the 2 or 3 people out there that are somehow keeping Shark Tank on the air, will know who Mark Cuban is. To me, I can’t see him as the president (yet, I’d pay to have him over the two that are running right now). He just doesn’t seem to fit the bill. I know this is only a movie, but if you look at everyone else that played the president of the US on film, be it fact or fictional character, they look the part. Cuban doesn’t and on top of that, he doesn’t portray leadership to me. I suppose his passion is what won him the vote.

Final verdict on Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! Well, I can see that there was some effort put into this, but that is about it. For the life od me, I couldn’t figure out what the biggest draw here is. Other than David Hasslehoff, no one is a household name. The next biggest star is Chris Jericho! All of this is to say that people still wish to see this flick. Do I recommend it? No, but if it pops up in a Saturday afternoon when you’re flipping through channels, it won’t be the worst thing to cross the airwaves.

3 out of 5 stars

The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie

Posted in Animation, Family, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on May 14, 2016 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

The film follows the plot of the TV series SpongeBob SquarePants, focusing on the anthropomorphic sea sponge of the same name (Tom Kenny). SpongeBob dreams about managing the Krusty Krab restaurant, which is in trouble because a customer has no cheese on his Krabby Patty, but SpongeBob saves the day. He wakes up and cheerfully prepares for the opening ceremony for the Krusty Krab 2, hoping that his boss Mr. Krabs (Clancy Brown) will promote him to manager of the new restaurant built next door to the original Krusty Krab. At the ceremony, SpongeBob is passed over; his co-worker, Squidward Tentacles (Rodger Bumpass), has been given the promotion because Mr. Krabs thinks he is “more mature” than SpongeBob.

Meanwhile, Plankton (Mr. Lawrence), Mr. Krabs’ business rival, devises a plot to steal the Krabby Patty secret formula and frame Mr. Krabs. He steals King Neptune’s (Jeffrey Tambor) crown that night, leaving evidence that pins the crime on Mr. Krabs, and sends the crown to Shell City, a distant, mysterious land from which no fish has returned. That night, SpongeBob goes to his favorite restaurant, Goofy Goober’s; he drowns his sorrows in ice cream with his best friend, Patrick Star (Bill Fagerbakke), waking up the next morning with a headache. King Neptune barges into the Krusty Krab 2 the same morning and threatens to slay Mr. Krabs. Although SpongeBob criticizes Mr. Krabs shortly after he arrives, he promises Neptune that he will retrieve the crown from Shell City. Neptune freezes Mr. Krabs, still certain that he is the culprit, and tells SpongeBob to return with the crown in six days for him to spare Mr. Krabs. SpongeBob and Patrick leave for Shell City in the Patty Wagon, a car shaped like a Krabby Patty.

In Bikini Bottom, Plankton steals the Krabby Patty formula and uses it to produce and sell Krabby Patties at his restaurant, the Chum Bucket, with the claim that Krabs bequeathed him the recipe. He sends a hitman named Dennis (Alec Baldwin) to pursue SpongeBob and Patrick. Squidward discovers the truth about Plankton stealing Neptune’s crown and tries to alert Neptune. However, Plankton uses mind-controlling bucket helmets disguised as souvenirs to control Bikini Bottom’s residents, including Squidward, and renames the city Planktopolis.

Meanwhile, SpongeBob and Patrick encounter a dangerous trench, but Neptune’s daughter Mindy (Scarlett Johansson) helps them past it by making them think she can transform them into men. They are stopped by Dennis, who tries to crush them with his spiked boots, but he is in turn stepped on by a massive “cyclops” (a diver) (Neil Ross). The “cyclops” grabs SpongeBob and Patrick, and goes to his beachside store, revealed to be Shell City. At the store, SpongeBob and Patrick find the crown, but are killed in a lethal drying-out process with the heat lamp turned on. Their tears short-circuit the heat lamp; its smoke activates the sprinkler system, reviving their bodies and the other dried sea creatures to be sold as souvenirs. As the sea creatures attack the diver, SpongeBob and Patrick take the crown and head for the beach. When they lose their way home, David Hasselhoff offers them a ride; Dennis catches up to them but is knocked by a catamaran back into the sea.

Back at the Krusty Krab 2, Neptune arrives to execute Mr. Krabs. Just in time, SpongeBob and Patrick return with the crown and confront Plankton, who then drops a mind-control bucket on Neptune, enslaving him. SpongeBob performs the song “Goofy Goober Rock” (performed by Jim Wise) and, after transforming into an electric guitar-wielding wizard for the duration of the song, he frees Bikini Bottom’s residents. Plankton is arrested, and King Neptune thanks SpongeBob for his bravery and thaws Mr. Krabs, who makes SpongeBob manager of the Krusty Krab 2 in gratitude.

REVIEW:

Everybody sing with me now, “Who lives in a pineapple under the sea?” What? No response? Man, what a bunch of party poopers you lot are! So, it is a fairly hot Saturday afternoon and I’m stuck inside babysitting with a broken air conditioner. What better movie to put on than The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, right?

What is this about?

SpongeBob and Patrick are shocked when Mr. Krabs is accused of stealing King Neptune’s crown, and they set out on a wild adventure to prove their friend’s innocence by finding and retrieving the priceless treasure themselves.

What did I like?

Continuity. When shows jump to the big screen, especially while they are still on the air, there is usually a disconnect in continuity. Take South Park, for instance. If I recall, after their movie, it was a year or two before they acknowledged those events. With this, though, I felt like I was watching just an extended episode of the cartoon…with a bigger budget.

Plotholes. I remember back in the days of MySpace, I wrote on a blog post about how we aren’t sure what age SpongeBob is. He has is own house and all that, but he is very juvenile and his job isn’t exactly something one would want later in life. The acknowledgement that he is a kid, finally set my mind at ease about his age. Based on this film, I’d say he’s about 16 or so.

Appeal. There should be no doubt that this is a film marketed towards younger kids, much like the cartoon, but there are some things that will appeal to older viewers. For instance, Patrick calls Princess Mindy hot. Totally out of character for him, which may have been the reason I found humor in it. The preserved fish come to life and attack the “Cyclops” diver was also pretty nifty. There are plenty of scenes that will appeal to a broad audience, so kudos to the filmmakers for having the wherewithal to not dumb this down for just their core audience.

What didn’t I like?

The Hoff. I have no problem with David Hasselhoff. As a matter of fact, I grew up with him on Knight Rider. I’d also say Baywatch, but let’s face it, nobody was watching that show for him. My issue with him in this film is the weird physics that were employed. At one point he stopped in the middle of the ocean and floated there like a boat. How in the bloody blue blazes is that possible? Don’t even get my started on the pectoral launch…that was just weird!

Plan Z. As the series’ antagonist, one would expect Plankton to have some kind of role in the film, perhaps doing the same thing he always does, try to take over the world and steal the Krabby Patty formula. Here’s the thing, though…why is it that Plan Z was so effective, but every other plan he’s had has been a complete and utter flop? I can’t think of a plan of his that came anywhere near actually working!  Sure, the stakes are raised, if you will, for the big screen, but come on, this was just too competent for him!

Pirates. Every now and then on the show, Patchy the Pirate will show up. Ok, I still don’t get what he has to do with anything, but I don’t hate those short segments. He’s not in this as far as I can tell, but there are a mess load of other pirates that apparently love SpongeBob. Surely, there had to be a more effective use for them than sitting in a theater watching the movie, right?

Final verdict on The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie? Well, chances are you aren’t going to just randomly choose to watch this unless you are/were a fan or have seen a few episodes. With that being said, you’ll know what to expect. There isn’t anything new or surprising with this film other than the voice of Scarlett Johnasson. So, if you like the cartoon, you’ll like the movie. For me it wasn’t anything special, other than that.

3 1/2 out of 5 stars

Piranha 3DD

Posted in Horror, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 12, 2012 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

A year after the attack on Lake Victoria by prehistoric piranhas, an eradication campaign has left the lake uninhabitable by life, and the town itself has been largely abandoned as a result of the drying-up of their main revenue source, tourism, but some residents still remain on the lake.

At a nearby lake, Clayton and Mo, two farmers, walk into the water to recover the body of a dead cow. Piranha eggs laid inside the cow hatch, and the farmers are killed by the swarm.

Maddy, a marine biology student, returns home for the summer to the waterpark she co-owns. She finds to her horror that the other co-owner, her step-father Chet, plans to add an adult-themed section to the waterpark with ‘water-certified strippers’, and re-open it as “Big Wet.” At a party at the waterpark that night, Maddy encounters several old acquaintances, including her policeman ex-boyfriend Kyle, and Barry who has secretly had a crush on her since grade-school. She also runs into two of her close friends, Ashley, and Shelby. Shelby and her boyfriend Josh go skinny-dipping in the lake, where a piranha makes its way inside her vagina. Meanwhile, Ashley and her boyfriend Travis make love in their van. They accidentally trip the handbrake, causing the van to roll into the lake, where they are both devoured.

The next day, Maddy is consoling Shelby about their missing friends. While sitting on a jetty, they are both attacked by the swarm of piranhas. They manage to kill one, and Maddy, Kyle and Barry bring it to Mr. Goodman to examine. He informs them that the piranhas may be moving via sewage pipes and underground rivers between lakes. The trio return to the lake, where they establish that the piranhas cannot make their way into the outflow pipes connecting the lake and the waterpark. While Shelby and Josh are having sex, the piranha in Shelby’s vagina bites Josh’s penis, forcing him to chop the organ off with a knife. Both are hospitalized. Kyle is revealed to be corrupt and taking pay-offs from Chet, who is secretly pumping water from an underground river into the waterpark.

“Big Wet” opens the next day. Among the first guests are Deputy Fallon, who survived his previous ordeal with the piranhas but lost his legs, and former cameraman Andrew Cunningham (Paul Scheer). While the duo attempts to overcome their fear of the water after they were attacked a year ago, David Hasselhoff also makes an appearance as a celebrity lifeguard.

Discovering the connection between the park and the underground river, Maddy attempts to shut the waterpark down, but is stopped by Chet and Kyle. The piranhas make their way to the area and attack, killing many of the lifeguards and waterpark-goers. Fallon attaches a shotgun prosthesis to his legs in order to save the visitors, while Hasselhoff, after rescuing a small boy named David, becomes pleased that he has finally become a real lifeguard. In the chaos, Chet is decapitated by a low-hanging cable after attempting to drive away and escape.

Barry begins to drain the pools; however Maddy, who is rescuing people from the water, becomes caught in the suction and dragged down to the bottom of the pool. After Kyle refuses to save her, Barry, despite being unable to swim, leaps down and brings her to the surface, where they kiss.

Another employee, Big Dave, pours gasoline into the pipes, followed by a lit joint. The resulting explosion kills most of the piranhas, while Kyle is killed by a falling trident. The celebrations are cut short however, when Maddy takes a phone call from a horrified Mr. Goodman, who informs them that the piranhas are evolving and are now able to move on land. The film ends as one such piranha emerges from the pool and decapitates David while recording it.

In a post-credits scene, Hasselhoff is running on a beach holding a trident, which is an advertisement for a movie, “Fishhunter.”

REVIEW:

For guys, when the letters DD are scene, read, or uttered, we are wont to lose our minds. What can we say, we love big breasts. No doubt, this was the reason for naming this Piranha 3DD, and using busty girls’ cleavage in almost all the advertising.

What is this about?

One year after the events of Piranha 3D, the residual effects of the piranhas devastation is all but gone now. That is until a cow bursts open with eggs that devour the farmers and begin the terror someplace anew. We are then transported to a water park, the perfect place for these piranhas to feast. The owner and his daughter are at odds about whether or not is should be an adult-themed attraction, complete with nude girls and the whole nine yards. Aside from their battle, the piranhas are feasting on the girl’s friends and David Hasslehoff is being a celebrity, especially towards a little redhead kid named David, whom he calls “ginger moron”. When the water park officially opens, it has been discovered that the piranhas are getting in through a grate and the underground river. Will they be stopped? Will there be mass carnage?

What did I like?

The Hoff. Yes, he was playing a caricature of himself…or was he? Truth be told, Daivd Hasslehoff seems to be the only one in this film who actually appears to be having fun with the material and not just there for the paycheck.

Piranhas. While I’m not a fan for their look or design, the rampant gore they caused in the last half of the film is something to be recognized, especially in a water park. Who actually goes to a water park thinking they’re going to be eaten alive by piranhas?

Self-aware. I tip my hat to this film’s ability to realize that it isn’t any kind of serious horror flick. So often films that are as silly, if not more so, do not do that and try to stay serious the whole time and it just doesn’t work.

What didn’t I like?

Special effects. No, the blood doesn’t look real, but I can look past that. What got me was that in the year or two since the first film, the graphics of the fish are not any better. If anything, they got worse!!! How can this be?!?

Cast. I seriously question the decision to choose this cast. Yes, they’re young and “hot”, but that doesn’t equal talented. I know for a fact that the girls are all above this. Danielle Panabaker is a Disney girl. Katrina Bowden is on 30 Rock, I belive, and Meagan Tandy is a former Miss California (3rd runner-up to Miss USA). Don’t even get me started on the horrid performances from David Koechener and Christopher Lloyd.

Rehash. I found this story to be way too similar to its predecessor. They couldn’t have come up with some better way to tie the two films together other than recycling the same story. The only thing that changed were the characters and location!

DD? This is a minor complaint, but for a film that advertises girls with bountiful bosoms all over the place, there sure were a lack of them. No, I’m not referring to a lack of nudity, but lack of well-endowed (or enhanced) breasts. In the last film, there were plenty. I guess when you downgrade to teenagers, the size downgrades, as well.

Piranha 3DD doesn’t live up to the so bad its good label that the previous film did. This one is just plain bad. It isn’t so bad that one can’t sit through the entire thing, but it does come close to making you want to turn it off. I cannot in good conscience recommend this. It just really isn’t worth the time. Go watch the previous film. It is much better!

2 out of 5 stars

Hop

Posted in Animation, Family, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , on June 6, 2012 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

On Easter Island, a young rabbit named E.B. (Russell Brand) is intended to succeed his father, Mr. Bunny (Hugh Laurie), as the Easter Bunny. Intimidated by the calling’s demands, E.B. runs away to Hollywood to pursue his dream of becoming a drummer. Mr. Bunny sends his three ninja royal guards, the Pink Berets, to find his son. Meanwhile, Easter Chicks Carlos and Phil (Hank Azaria) plot a coup d’état against Mr. Bunny to take over the Easter organization.

Wandering through Van Nuys, E.B. is hit by Fred O’Hare (James Marsden), an out-of-work, job-hopping slacker (who is being pressured by his family to “get a job”) who was driving to his sister Sam’s (Kaley Cuoco) boss’s house he’s housesitting. Feigning injury, E.B. persuades Fred to take him in as he recovers, but when E.B. causes trouble Fred attempts to abandon him in the wilderness. E.B. persuades the human to help him by claiming to be the Easter Bunny, whom Fred saw in operation in his youth. The rabbit sees the Berets closing in on him and hides inside a business where Fred is having job interview. E.B. enjoys a successful recording session with the Blind Boys of Alabama as their substitute drummer, but ruins Fred’s job interview. In the process, E.B. gets a tip about a possible audition for David Hasselhoff, who invites him to perform on his show.

Afterward, Fred attends his adopted younger sister Alex’s (Tiffany Espensen) Easter school pageant with E.B. hiding in a satchel. E.B., alarmed that the Pink Berets have apparently found him due to the three bunny suit shadows on a wall and disgusted by Alex’s awful rendition of Here Comes Peter Cottontail, dashes out and disrupts the show. Fred feigns a ventriloquist’s act with the bunny’s cooperation as his dummy and they lead the show in singing, “I Want Candy”. Both his father, Henry (Gary Cole), and Alex, are angry about the upstaging but Fred is inspired to be the Easter Bunny himself. E.B. is skeptical but he agrees to train the human and finds that Fred has some genuine talent for it.

As the Pink Berets close in on him, E.B. prepares a decoy to fake his death and leaves for Hasselhoff’s show. The Berets see the decoy and, horrified that the human has apparently killed E.B., capture Fred and take him to Easter Island. Fred is held captive and confronted by Mr. Bunny and Carlos about killing E.B. Carlos pretends to be upset about E.B.’s death, silences Fred (who tries to reveal the truth of the decoy) and seizes control of the Easter factory.

Meanwhile, at the Hoff Knows Talent live show, E.B. is in his dressing room preparing for his performance but his reflection begins to berate him for leaving Fred. Just then a production assistant (also played by Russell Brand) arrives to tell him that he is next to perform. E.B. leaves his dressing room and begins to feel guilty about leaving Fred so he discusses the situation with Hasselhoff, who advises him to go back and help his friend. E.B. finds evidence of Fred’s capture and races back to the factory. He confronts Carlos, but is immobilized in gummi candy and tossed into the chocolate bunny carving line. Fred and Mr. Bunny are tied up with black licorice and are to be boiled alive. Fred manages to free himself and Mr. Bunny by eating away the licorice and E.B. survives by dodging the blades. Carlos, now a chick-bunny combination due to Easter magic, engages battle with E.B. and defeats him easily due to his size and then tries to lead the Egg sleigh out with Phil directing via lighted wands.

To stop the launch, E.B. improvises a drum session. Uncontrollably driven to dance to the beat, Phil provides the wrong signals, causing a crash and Carlos is subdued. After being defeated, Carlos is made to pull the Egg sleigh and Phil is made the new head of the Easter Chicks. E.B. and Fred are made co-Easter bunnies and take over the job. Fred’s family is now proud that he has a job and responsibilities.

In the post-credits, E.B. and Fred are in China delivering an Easter basket to the same woman who had previously attacked Mr. Bunny earlier in the film.

REVIEW:

I know what you’re going to say. Why am I reviewing Hop when Easter has come and gone already. I don’t really have an answer for that other than I just wanted to check out something animated.  I’m not so sure that it wouldn’t it have been a better choice to watch something…anything…else.

What did I like?

Story. We’ve heard billions of stories about Santa Claus, but the Easter Bunny hasn’t been so lucky. The only thing we get is that he hope around the world hiding Easter eggs and delivering baskets of candy. It was nice to see him get some exposure.

Real actors. The live actors did a great job, even with this subpar material, of making the audience believe they actually cared.

Easter. Everything you know and love about Easter, with the exception of the religious stuff, is somewhere in thie films. They even mention Peeps, well marshmallow chicks, but it’s the same thing. these just can’t mention an actual brand.

What didn’t work for me?

Russell Brand. This guy has worn out his welcome, as far as I”m concerned. For me, he’s funny in small doses, or as a specific character, such as Aldous Snow. This film is already struggling to keep my attention without him showing up and being his annoying self. I will say that the short 15 seconds where he encounters his live action counterpart was nice, though.

E.B. As with many films of this nature, the character we’re supposed to love is nothing more than annoying, which makes you want to hate them. This is especially true with E.B. since he costs Fred a job by screwing up his interview. Remember the days when a character like this would be all warm, nice, and not annoying?

Evil chicks. Now, I want to give them props for not making the villain some jealous sibling, but chicks? Seriously? That’s the best they could come up with? Why not a jealous Cupid or feud with leprechauns? Maybe some ornery veterans who don’t like Easter being such a big deal while Memorial day is just forgotten (ironic, isn’t it?). On another level, why did the chicks have to be Hispanic when everyone else sounds like they’re British? Something just seemed off about that to me.

I’m so glad I didn’t hop out to see Hop when it was originally released. I’m likely to come out of that theater demanding my money back. This film is bad, not horrible, but bad. I do not recommend it, but if you happened to come across it somewhere, it won’t be a loss to check it out. Hopefully, the next animated film I watch will be worth the time!

2 2/3 out of 5 stars

 

Jekyll & Hyde: The Musical

Posted in Drama, Movie Reviews, Musicals with tags , , on February 27, 2010 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

Doctor Henry John Albert Jekyll’s lawyer and best friend John Utterson is introduced, speaking of past events concerning Doctor Jekyll, followed by Jekyll’s future father-in-law, Sir Danvers Carew.

Jekyll is seen in an insane asylum singing over his comatose father (“Lost in the Darkness”). It is Jekyll’s belief that the evil in his father’s soul has caused his illness. Jekyll sings about his passion to find out why man is both good and evil and his attempts to separate the good from the evil (“I Need to Know”).

Leaving the hospital, the rich and poor of 19th century London describe how people act how they want others to see them, no matter who they really are inside (“Facade”). Afterward, Jekyll presents a research proposal to the Board of Governors of St. Jude’s Hospital.

In attendance are Sir Danvers (the chairman of the board), Rupert the 14th Bishop of Basingstoke, the Right Honorable Sir Archibald “Archie” Proops, Lord Theodore “Teddy” Savage, Lady Elizabeth “Bessie” Beaconsfield and General Lord Glossop as well as Simon Stride (the secretary).

All, with the exception of Danvers, are pompous, rich semi-hypocrites. They reject Jekyll’s proposal to experiment on a living human with cries of “blasphemy, heresy, and lunacy,” voting five to none with Sir Danvers’ one abstention (“Jekyll’s Plea”).

Utterson tries to calm Jekyll down, knowing that he was obsessed over his father’s conditions. Jekyll feels that he could “save” those who have fallen in the same darkness. Utterson urges his friend, if he feels he is right about his theory, that he should continue. (“Pursue The Truth”).

Later that night, the toast of society turns up at Sir Danvers’ home, where he is throwing an engagement party for his daughter Emma’s engagement to Dr. Jekyll (“Facade – Reprise 1”).

During the party, the guests, which include the Board of Governors and Stride, mention how worried they are about Emma being engaged to a “madman.” Stride speaks to Emma in private and tries to reason her out of her engagement, but she quickly turns him down (“Emma’s Reason”).

Jekyll — late as usual — arrives to the party just as everyone is leaving, and he and Emma share a moment (“Take Me as I Am”). Danvers returns as Jekyll leaves, and expresses to Emma that he likes Jekyll but finds it difficult to tolerate his behavior (“Letting Go”).

Jekyll and Utterson later go to a dingy pub known as theRed Rat for Jekyll’s bachelor party (“Facade – Reprise 2”). Lucy Harris, a bar worker and prostitute arrives late and is in for some trouble with the boss, known as “the Spider”, but she dismisses it for now.

Despite her position in life, she is seen to be kind-hearted and well-liked by her co-workers, but has moments of contemplation about her life (“No One Knows Who I Am”).

Guinevere, the German manageress of the Red Rat, then breaks Lucy’s reverie and then sends the former out onstage to do her number (“Bring on the Men” – replaced with “Good ‘n’ Evil” in the Broadway version), which captivates Jekyll.

After the show, Lucy begins to circulate among the clientèle. Spider approaches Lucy and strikes her hard across the face and demands to know why she was late. And even though Spider says that there will be dire consequences if it ever happens again.

Jekyll approaches Lucy after witnessing the Spider’s actions and intends to help her as Utterson is led away by another bar girl. Jekyll and Lucy are drawn to each other in a way that promises each of them a great friendship.

Jekyll admits Lucy’s song has helped him find the answer to his experiment. Utterson reemerges and Jekyll admits that he must be on his way. Before he goes, he gives Lucy his visiting card and asks her to see him should she ever need anything.

As Utterson and Jekyll return to the upper-class section of the city, Utterson notices that Jekyll is in a better mood. Jekyll informs him that he has found a subject for his experiments. Utterson recommends Jekyll to go straight to bed and leaves.

Jekyll asks his butler, Poole, about his father, and Poole replies that he was a very good man. After reacting happily to the kind remark, Jekyll dismisses him for the night.

Ignoring Utterson’s advice, Jekyll proceeds to his lab, excited that the moment has come to do his experiment (“This is the Moment”). Keeping tabs on the experiment in his journal, Jekyll mixes his chemicals to create his formula, HJ7, and injects it into the subject: himself.

After a minute of the potion’s side effects, he writhes in pain, transforming into an evil form of himself (“Transformation”). He goes out and roams the streets, taking in the sights and sounds of London, including an encounter with Lucy. He gives himself a name: Edward Hyde (“Alive”).

A week later, no one has heard anything from Jekyll. Emma, Sir Danvers and Utterson ask Poole where he is, but Emma decides to leave and believes Jekyll will come for her after his work is finished. After Emma and Sir Danvers leave, Poole tells Utterson that Jekyll has been locked in his lab all this time and that he has heard strange sounds from the lab.

Jekyll, who seems distraught, emerges and sends Poole fetch some chemicals for him. Utterson confronts him asking him what he’s been up to, but Jekyll does not fully answer.

He gives Utterson three letters: one for Emma, another for her father, and one for Utterson himself should Jekyll become ill or disappear. Utterson tells Jekyll to not let his work take over (“His Work and Nothing More”).

Visiting card in hand, Lucy arrives at Jekyll’s house with a nasty bruise on her back. As Jekyll treats it, she tells him a man named Hyde did it. Jekyll is stunned by this revelation but hides it.

Obviously in love with him, Lucy kisses Jekyll (“Sympathy, Tenderness”). Disturbed by his own actions, Jekyll leaves Lucy, who sings about her love for him (“Someone Like You”).

Later, the Bishop of Basingstoke is seen with Guinevere after having a meeting with one of her attendants, who is a minor. He pays Guinevere and says he would like to see the attendant again on Wednesday.

When Guinevere and the attendant leave, Hyde appears holding a swordstick with a heavy pewter knob. After insulting the Bishop, Hyde proceeds to beat and stab the former to death with the swordstick before gleefully setting the body aflame (“Alive — Reprise”).

Utterson and Sir Danvers once more speak of past events with Jekyll: Utterson begins to feel he was not able to help his poor client and friend, while Danvers senses that something is horribly wrong with his work, as he has not been seen or heard from for weeks.

The people of London gossip about the Bishop’s murder in the newspaper headlines. The Carews, the four remaining Governors, Stride and Utterson attend the Bishop’s funeral at St. Paul’s Cathedral, unaware that Hyde is also present. After the funeral, General Glossop and Lord Savage leave St. Paul’s, mourning over their deceased colleague. Hyde corners Glossop and stabs the latter through the mouth with the swordstick while Teddy watches, petrified in horror. Stride quickly enters, just in time to see Hyde escape. As Londoners discuss the second murder, Jekyll is seen accosting the apothecary, Bisset, for the chemicals that Poole ordered. All but two are present, leaving Jekyll to wait until tomorrow night. Later one night, Teddy is seen leaving the Mayfair Club with Sir Proops and Lady Beaconsfield, joking about Archie not receiving a decent claret. Hyde emerges from the shadows and after recognizing him, Teddy attempts to get Bessie back inside. Hyde then comments on “how you hypocrites hang together.” Archie foolishly walks up to Hyde and demands that he leave. However, the former pulls out a dagger and stabs Archie in the side before snapping Bessie’s neck with her own diamond necklace. Teddy, after being forced to watch, escapes to report the events to the police. As the city reacts to the third and fourth murders, the Carews find a frantic Teddy at Victoria Station and learn that he is fleeing to Aberdeen. The Carews wish him a safe journey and return home. Hyde then appears, breaking Teddy’s neck and kicking his corpse onto the train tracks. By now, all five Governors who rejected Jekyll’s proposal are dead (“Murder, Murder”).

Emma lets herself into Jekyll’s laboratory. She finds his journal open and reads one of his entries. Jekyll enters and immediately closes the journal, preventing her from learning what he has become. Emma can see he is distraught. She professes her love for him and begs him to confide in her (“Once Upon a Dream”). He tells her nothing of his work, but says he still loves her.

After Emma leaves, Jekyll writes in his journal that Hyde has taken a heavy toll on him and those around him, and that the transformations are occurring without his taking the potion. His entry is interrupted when Utterson arrives at the lab, seeking to find out who Jekyll’s sole heir is, Edward Hyde, as referred to in Jekyll’s letter.

Jekyll only tells him that Hyde is a “colleague” involved in the experiment. Utterson can see that his friend and client is desperately ill and agrees to obtain the rest of the chemicals Jekyll requires. Jekyll, once again alone, begins to face the fact that Hyde is a part of him (“Obsession”). Lucy and Emma then wonder about their love for the same man (“In His Eyes”).

At the Red Rat, Guinevere and Lucy sing about their profession and why they keep doing it (“Girls of the Night”). Lucy is visited by Hyde, who tells her that he is going away for a while. He then warns her to never leave him — “ever”.

Lucy is terrified, but seems to be held under a sexual, animalistic control by Hyde (“Dangerous Game”). As they leave together, Spider addresses the Red Rat attendants, warning them to always be aware of what dangers lie ahead (“Facade – Reprise 3”).

Utterson comes to Jekyll’s lab with the rest of the chemicals and discovers Hyde, who informs him that the doctor is “not available” tonight. Utterson refuses to leave the package with anyone but his friend and demands to know where he is. Hyde replies that even if he told him, Utterson wouldn’t believe him.

When Utterson threatens him with his swordstick, Hyde injects the formula into himself, roaring with laughter as he transforms back into Jekyll in front of an appalled Utterson. Jekyll tells Utterson that Hyde must be destroyed, whatever the cost.

He then begs Utterson to deliver money for Lucy so she can escape to safety. As Utterson leaves, Jekyll mixes in chemicals and injects the new formula, praying that he can restore his former life (“The Way Back”).

Utterson visits Lucy at the Red Rat with the money, along with a letter from Jekyll that entreats her to leave town and start a new life elsewhere. After Utterson leaves, Lucy sings about the possibilities ahead (“A New Life”).

Just then, Hyde returns. Seeing the letter from Jekyll, he tells Lucy that he and the doctor are “very close.” As he holds Lucy softly so that she doesn’t suspect it, he slowly and savagely kills her (“Sympathy, Tenderness” – Reprise).

The vile murderer runs off laughing, just as the Red Rat attendants find Lucy’s stabbed form and carry her out on a stretcher.

Covered in blood from stabbing Lucy, Jekyll returns to his laboratory and faces off with Hyde in a final battle for control (“Confrontation”).

As Lucy’s corpse is being taken away, Utterson says that Jekyll has given up his task of “finding the truth,” condemning his father to the darkness. Yet, as Sir Danvers would put it, the doctor had returned at the sound of wedding bells (“Facade – Reprise 4”).

Several weeks later, Jekyll seems to have won as he and Emma stand before the priest at their wedding in St. Anne’s Church (“The Wedding” aka “Dear Lord and Father of Mankind”). As Jekyll is about to say “I do,” Hyde emerges, kills Stride, and takes Emma hostage.

At the sound of Emma’s pleading voice, Jekyll is able to regain momentary control. He begs Utterson to kill him, but Utterson cannot bring himself to harm his friend.

Desperate, Jekyll impales himself on Utterson’s swordstick. Emma weeps softly as Jekyll dies (“Finale”).

REVIEW:

A friend of mine introduced me to the music of this musical a few months back by letting me listen to “In His Eyes”.  Since then, I’ve been curious as to what this production actually looks like. Tonight, I had the chance to at get some idea.

Let me preface this by saying that this is a stage production of the musical and not some film version. I belive they are on Broadway, but don’t quote me.

The good…the music is actually not half bad. I enjoyed it for the most part, with the exception of the oversaturation of “Facade”. David Hasslehoff surprised me. I know he’s big in Germany with his singing career, but here in the US, we’re not very familiar with it, and as a matter of fact, he’s the butt of jokes when it comes to such things. Having said that, hearing him belt out some of these songs floored me. The pacing of this thing is just right. What I mean by that is they don’t spend too long dragging out a scene or changing a set, but rather kep it going. Today’s audiences have too short an attention span to sit through a 4 hour musical the way they used to, as sad a fact as that is.

The bad…the sets could have been a bit more detailed and not looked like they were just a skeleton version of something yet to be finished. I don’t know if that was part of what they intended, but to me they seemed unfinished. Hasslehoff does a really good job, as I mentioned before, but his facial movements and poses often take away from the moment and tone of the songs he’s singing.

As far as musicals go, this one isn’t up there with the greats, but it is still pretty good. Sure, there are some things that could use some tweaking, but the same could be said of any and all musicals. Would I watch this again? Yes, if for nothing else that to get a definite, solid opinion about it. Do I recommend it to anyone? Sure, its a good watch, but if you’re not really into musicals, you’re not going to like it.

3 out of 5 stars

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Posted in Comedy, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , on July 5, 2009 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

Michael Newman is an architect with a wife, Donna, and two children, Ben and Samantha. One night after Michael loses his temper at the amount of remote controls in the house, he goes in search of a universal remote control for his appliances. Finding most stores closed, the store he stops at is Bed Bath & Beyond where he only found crap for bedrooms and bathrooms until he finds a suspicious door with the name beyond above it. He meets Morty, an eccentric inventor who gives him a remote control answering to the description of “universal”, warning Michael that it can never be returned.

To Michael’s amazement, he finds out that the remote controls the universe, anticipating and interpreting his wishes. After some initial fun with it, Michael discovers the remote is programmed to skip or fast-forward through sickness, sexual intercourse, showering, traffic, arguments with Donna, and promotions. In each case, he is alive but on “autopilot” during the interim, so he has no conscious experience of what happened. Michael tries to destroy the remote, but it keeps regenerating.

Thereafter, Michael is put into “autopilot” for ten years until the year 2017, and a further six years until 2023 to discover that Donna has divorced him; Michael himself has become grossly overweight and is diagnosed with cancer. Later, he finds that his father Ted died during Michael’s sickness while both were estranged. During Michael’s grief, Morty appears and reveals that he is the Angel of Death. Upon hearing this, Michael tries to attack Morty, but is unable to do so owing to Morty’s ability of teleportation.

Fearing that Morty is about to attack him, Michael wishes to go to a happy time in his life, and fast forwards seven years into the future. He arrives at Ben’s wedding in 2030. Michael is overcome with a popped artery and taken to hospital. He tells his son Ben that family always comes first, and his daughter Samantha that he loves her very much. Morty appears, says it’s time to go and fades away as Michael dies with Ben lying on his father’s chest, crying.

There is then a white flash, and Michael wakes up in the present day believing his misadventure to have been a dream, he rushes to visit his father, to atone and invite his parents to dine with him every day. He then reassures Donna, Ben, and Samantha of his affection for them. At the end of the movie, Michael finds the familiar remote on his kitchen counter, bearing a note from Morty stating “Michael, like I said, good guys need a break. I know you’ll do the right thing this time, Love Morty. P.S. Your wife’s rockin’ body still drives me crazy.” This shows that the misadventure was not all a dream, but Morty has rewound Michael’s life back to this point to give him another chance. Michael throws the remote in the garbage and begins to check his pants to see if the remote regenerates there. Then he starts to enjoy life.

REVIEW:

I’m sure that just about everyone has wished they could have a remote control that would control the tv, vcr, dvd player, tivo, etc, but who would ever have thought of having one that could literally control your the events of your life? That is exactly what Adam Sandler gets in this film.

I’m not one to go into Bed, Bath, & Beyond on my own, but I’ve always thought two things about that place. First is that it has a cool name, second what exactly is “beyond”. I’m sure Sandler and the other writers/filmmakers followed my train of thought because in the “beyond” is where Sandler meets Morty who gives him the remote control.

Had you have said that Adam Sandler would play a character that wasn’t a loser, but rather a guy that just works too hard, most people would laugh at you. It’s amazing how far he has come over time. I wouldn’t go so far as to call this role tragic, because the tragedies that befall him him are his own fault, except for the heartattack near the end. Still, there is an amazing amount of depth to this character that we are not used to getting from Sandler.

There is a sort of running gag between Michael and Morty about Michael’s wife Donna, played by Kate Beckinsale, in which he says that her smokin’ hot bod drives him crazy. I’m sure I speak for most of the male population (and some females) when I say that he is totally right. Now, this film doesn’t really showcase Kate’s acting talent or body, but that’s ok, she gets a few good scenes in there. What is amazing to me is that the makeup job they do on her to make her age is done in such a way that she stays hot.

Christopher Walken is known for doing these off the wall characters, and this Morty character is right up there with the rest of them. He seems to be some sort of mad scientist working at Bed, Bath, & Beyond, but it turns out that he’s the Angel of Death. A strange and unexpected plot twist, but it gives his character a little bit of background.

I was looking through the cast and there are many children of stars that appear in this film, such as Sean Astin, Jake Hoffman, Lorraine Nicholson, and Katie Cassidy.

The real star of the film is the remote, though. This thing allows Michael to do all kinds of cool stuff that we can only dream of such as fast forwarding through sickness, muting dogs, pausing everyday actions, etc. Personally, I don’t know what I’d do with that kind of power.

This is another picture that starts off a bit slow. AS a matter of fact, it actually begins on the dramatic side, but after awhile the comedy kicks in, including a fart scene between Sandler and Hasslehoff. This isn’t the greatest movie or all time, nor is it Sandler’s greatest hit, but it is pretty good.

3 1/2 out of 5 stars