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Revenge of Michael Bay on everyone who enjoyed the first one!
What can I say?
I honestly don't know. Did I like the first one? Well I guess. Although I must admit that I took great joy in one reviewer's description of the Transformers as scrap metal tumbleweeds. This movie, though, takes everything that was bad about the first one and multiplies it by about 1,000,000 and takes all the things that were good about the first one and sort of gets rid of them.
The plot? Well, from what I picked up, it involves digging a machine out of a pyramid and destroying the sun with it, which will somehow make a new energy source for the evil robots. That's basically what this movie leads up to, but that really wouldn't be at the top of your mind while watching the half hour long robot battle at the end. I mean, hell, the battle in The Matrix Revolution had about 240,000 more robots, but you can still tell what's going on a hell of a lot better than you can here. There's a bulldozer, Bumblebee kills it. There's this mechanical wolf thing, someone kills it. Scorponok (from the first movie) comes back for like, 30 seconds, someone kills it. Repeat. Several times. It just drags on and on and on.
There were a few good things though. That SR-71 is actually pretty entertaining, even if he did somehow teleport himself from D.C. to Arizona by beating out some doors. Another thing, there's actually a point to casting Hugo Weaving as Megatron this time, because you can actually tell that it's him. In fact, the voices of all the Transformers sound a lot better.
But, there's more than enough bad to balance it out. There are so many more Transformers here, and all of them are as faceless and nameless as your average Stormtrooper. There's these bikes, who where supposed to be in the first movie, and they get about two minutes of screen time. Why are they here? And how many people above the age of thirteen find two male dogs humping each other, multiple times, funny? And you just got to love the line: "I'm under the enemy's...scrotum." Yeah. Hi. Larious. My favorite stupid part in the movie is when Magatron jumps out of the ocean, then, in the next cut, it shows him flying passed Saturn.
There's also these two twin things, one voiced by Tom Kenny, who have a sort of a hit and miss kind of stereotype humor. And they're always around. Are we supposed to care about them? Are we supposed to feel sad when one gets eaten? Are we supposed to feel happy when it reveals that he actually doesn't? These guys are the Jar Jar Binks of this movie! And I actually don't mind Jar Jar Binks all that much! I admit that I had a good laugh when one of them said: "'Cuz you a pussy!" to a puny human. Don't ask me why.
If you really, really, really liked the first movie, go ahead and see this. If not? Stay away. Rent it, if you must, but save the majority of your money. And people thought Wolverine was a dumb movie.
Oh, and Michael Bay? Thanks a lot for that nice shot of Jon Turturro's ass. I will never forget it. Ever.
A Great End to the Trilogy
I have to say, this is without a doubt one of the only watchable direct-to-video features Disney has ever given us. Now, for those who haven't seen this, and have seen the likes of, oh, I don't know, The Hunchback of Notre Dame II or Tarzan and Jane, you may ask how this is possible.
Start with the voice actors. You have the complete original cast back on board (minus Jonathan Freeman, for obvious reasons), plus a few extras. Jasmine may sound slightly different than she used to, but my spies tell me that she is indeed the same actress. John Rhys-Davies provides his voice for Aladdin's father, and the King of Thieves, Cassim. Jerry Orbach (of Beauty and the Beast fame) plays one of the forty thieves, Sa'luk. And finally, the star of the show has returned. I like Dan Castellaneta, and I think he did an acceptable job as the Genie, but Robin Williams is still the best.
In fact, William's performance here could be best described as 'unleashed'. The Genie impersonates no less than five Disney characters, including Mickey Mouse himself, becomes an entire army (comprised of SWAT, cavalry, paratroopers, bagpipe men, the ED-209, and Pocahontas), picks up an elephant with his bare hands, and comforts Jasmine as Mrs. Doubtfire, albeit a bearded version.
This movie has a coherent plot, which is, you know, strange for a Disney sequel. Some may say it was stolen from 'The Last Crusade' and I'd have to agree. You know, hero meets father, father is looking for some important artifact, appears to love it more than his family, but doesn't. Yeah. Except instead of the Holy Grail, we have this awesome Hand of Midas that can turn anything into gold.
The villain foundation is not as good as the original, but Jerry Orbach still manages give us the next best thing with a grey-skinned, muscle-bound, wolverine-claw using man known as Sa'luk. I would rate his death scene as one of the best in cinematic history.
Songs Ha. Well they don't measure up to the originals, but they do the best they can do. Genie is so over-the-top with his two songs that it's almost unbelievable, and the forty thieves song is quite entertaining. Just, uh, pretend that you can't hear the sappy song Aladdin and Jasmine sing about his childhood, as it may induce vomiting and/or cancer.
After the exercise of utter futility that was 'The Return of Jafar', this movie gives us some of the best direct-to-video animation you'll see out there. It's truly a satisfying film that provide a satisfying ending. While I'd rate 'Aladdin' 9 stars, 'Jafar' would get 2 and this would get 7 to 8. It's that good, check it out.
If you enjoy skydiving without gear, this is your show!
I... No words. No words can describe this. I will try for the sake of those few brave people who stick knives into their toasters... after watching this show.
This... Cosgrove person... Her acting is like watching a female gorilla dance upon the nest of highly agitated insects. Perhaps I exaggerate. However, I have a feeling that the description fits a regular day of writing this show.
The characters in this repulsive pile of raw sewage are as useless as a small piece of space rock that flies into the sun on any day of the week. Though heart attacks have not been experienced while watching them act like fools on the cheaply built sets, I have no doubt that it will happen eventually.
The main plot of this *belches loudly into the faces of the actors* is that of a foolish girl who hosts a live weekly web-cast on the creatively titled iCarly.com with her brainless friends, one of which owns equipment that the producers of this show probably couldn't afford. Her legal guardian is some kind of moron who is apparently her older brother.
I haven't watched all of this show for fear of developing cancer, or perhaps a cold, but some of the plot points I have seen involve the brother getting stuck in an elevator, the doorman of the apartment almost dieing, and the world's fattest priest coming for a visit. No, really.
Avoid this if you are over the age of unborn or if you have a history of joining mysterious cults due to mental trauma. If you do decide to watch it, laugh when the laugh-track tells you to, as this will drown out the repetitive noise that will eventually put you in a coma if you listen to it for too long.
The show receives a one star rating because the IMDb inexplicably has not adopted the use of negative numbers.
An effects laden re-imagining of the 1951 classic.
It has been over a year since I've seen the original. I picked it up at a library while in exile in the woods Washington. And I liked it. I liked it as much as you can like a 1950's movie with a cheesy robot that shoots lasers, and an alien who looks and talks just like a human. It's a classic movie with a classic message. This movie is a suitable re-imagining of it.
When I first saw the trailers, I'll admit I had mixed feelings. Sure, aliens, special effects, Gort, special effects, spheres of death, special effects, special effects, and John Cleese. But, uh Yeah. I really don't buy into this whole 'global warming' thing that is such a popular money-maker right now. But really, there is no other way to remake this movie without throwing that in, especially now that the threat of nuclear war is so much less than what it was in the 1950's.
I walked out of the theater finding myself enjoying this production far more than I thought I would. Keanu Reeves just can't seem to shake the Jesus role, and here, he's perfect. Klaatu is a cold, emotionless, robotic type who only loves the green earth that humanity is destroying. As he once stated, Keanu is portraying an inversed Klaatu. The original one was very human-like at the beginning, but then gave his speech about the threat humanity faces if they continued their violence. Here, he is an unloving being who slowly develops compassion toward his human companions.
Jennifer Connelly is good as Helen, the astro-biologist and step-mother to Jacob, played by Jaden Smith. Jaden is a talented young actor, and he's fun to watch most of the time. The few short scenes where it's just him and Keanu are very, very good. Kathy Bates plays Regina Jackson, the United States Secretary of Defense, and her role was somewhat larger than I thought it would be. I was surprised at the relatively short amount of screen time that John Cleese got, which consisted of a short scene in which he pleads with Klaatu to spare the earth. I like John Cleese. This movie would have gotten one more star if he had had a bigger role.
Ah, the special effects. Would it really be possible to remake an older movie these days without 'em? 28-foot tall Gort looked amazing. His destructive capabilities which resemble a swarm of insects are a very cool effect. The space ships were a fresh re-imagining of the dated flying saucer that I'm sure the non-inclusion of such will enrage many fan-boys out there. This movie doesn't disappoint in the technical aspects.
Surprisingly, I found myself at times agreeing with the sentiments in the film. It didn't focus mainly on global warming (although the shots of a smoke-shooting factory and pumpjacks shutting down were non-too-subtle) but on the inherent sinful, violent, and destructive nature of man. However, how the aliens chose to deal with this is a little drastic. What's the point of keeping complex-life sustaining planet alive if the only intelligent species on it is dead? Ah, well.
Worth seeing if only for it's popcorn-munching movie thriller value.
The Christmas Tree Train (1983)
A ludicrous cartoon that boggles the mind while simultaneously taking two years off your life.
My little brother bought this at a consignment store one day. It also happened to be the first day of the Apocalypse, but I suppose that could have been a coincidence.
Uh... I actually don't remember that day very well. This video warped my mind somewhat.
First of all, it came in a case labeled "The Christmas Train" even though the actual title is "The Christmas Tree Train." This also happened on the label of the tape.
Second, the two baby animals on the front looked as if they had been drawn by a child on MS Paint. The screen caps on the back looked as if someone a snapped a picture of them from a TV screen. Terrible.
Don't get me started on the "plot". I'll do it myself. It involves a dimwitted pair of baby animals of the species bear and fox. They visit the local park ranger and communicate in English. The strangeness of this didn't register with me for a moment because of the sub-sub-sub par animation that was frying my retinas. Eventually, the ranger shows the animals a jack-in-the-box that scares them out of their wits. This leads them to running away, getting attacked by a mountain lion and an owl and getting aboard a Christmas Tree Train.
Meanwhile, the parents of said animals join forces with the ranger and do nothing. Seriously, they just sit in the cabin and do pretty much nothing to find the animals. At one point, the ranger even gives an excuse that he is not on duty so he can't drive off to look for them.
The animals meet the owl that attacked them, (or looking back, appears that the owl was just grabbing a piece of trash beside them. Yeah) form a plan to escape, ignore it, and run off into the city. What follows is so mind-numbing that it's not worth mentioning.
Eventually, after several 'Humans are smelly, littering pigs who hate animals' jokes, and an incident that involves some store clerks mistaking live baby animals for stuffed ones, Santa Claus himself rescues the animals and takes them back to the cabin. It turns out the ranger knew Santa and sent him to rescue them!
The freaking scariest part in the video is when Santa rides off towards the moon, and I swear, it looks just like Heath Leader's Joker looking through a pane of frosted glass. I would have screamed if one of the four horsemen hadn't diverted my attention by killing me.
Ah, well. Never watch this.
The best Pixar short yet!
Pixar has done it again. As usual, I enjoyed the short film almost as much as the actual movie(in this case, the excellent WALL*E). Even if the movie had not been what it was, I would still recommend seeing it just to see this wonderful little short about a famous magician, his reluctant rabbit, and a magical hat. The short's animation was literally stunning and the comedy could not have been better. It was even presented like an old fashioned cartoon, and it sometimes felt like I was watching one.
If you don't like movies about garbage heaping robots or Mac products, see WALL*E anyway to see this short. It will not disappoint.