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Feels incredibly padded
Most video sequels (though inferior) at least try to build up a story with some form of plot, character development, and the like. But this sequel was just bland and boring. I would've taken a rehash of the original story where the attention was on Cardigan instead the story that we got here. The story is basically, Wilbur goes to visit Cardigan at his new home and a misunderstanding occurs where Wilbur must come to his rescue. It may sound interesting on paper but the movie stretches this plot way out to meet its 80 minute requirement with too slow unnecessary moments, dull songs, and goes nowhere with it really. I was expecting something a little more exciting or at least something with more depth to happen. But in the end it is so boring even for a video sequel.
I wasn't a big fan of the original. But it would've been more interesting to see them do something a little more with a sequel to this film. The other thing that might bother people is that they updated ALL the characters from the film with modern looks. Fern in this movie is a COMPLETELY different character (in looks and personality) than the one from the original. It barely qualifies as a sequel to the 1973 animated film because of this.
feels more like a spin off or Christmas special
To give the movie credit, it's still a good 3rd movie and fans of the first two films will enjoy this one as all your favorite characters return. Though in a way if feels rather disjointed from the first two films as it takes place years after the second one and we find out that Harold and Maria got married and moved away while Kumar is living alone and still trapped in his old life. But classic "Harold & Kumar" circumstances bring the two back together on Christmas Eve as they race against time to save the holiday from disaster.
I give the movie credit that it's still a very funny film. One thing that surprised me though is the lack of race and marijuana jokes that the first two films devoted their humor to. Most of the humor in this movie comes from either the 3D effects or having way over-the-top stuff occur. The baby getting high on drugs just seemed weirder than Santa Claus existing. The first two films kept the REALLY wacky stuff in dream sequences and tried to ground itself in reality as much as possible. This film just goes ALL over the place with different characters which is why it feels more like a spin off than an official 3rd movie to me.
Again to this film's credit, it's still a good funny movie for fans of the franchise and a great film for Christmas in general. Even people who have never heard of "Harold & Kumar" will get a kick out of this movie. The humor and heart in the story is there and it's rare for a 3rd movie in a comedy franchise to stay this consistently funny.
An uninspiring step towards the finale
After watching the horridness of Half-Blood Prince, I was gonna keep my hopes low for this film. However some people on here who hated Half-Blood Prince loved Deathly Hallows pt 1.
Unfortunately I am not a part of this camp. I was part of the group who believed that Deathly Hallows pt1 was an improvement over Half Blood Prince but not at all by much. Everything in this film was done almost in the same fashion that Half Blood Prince was done. The only reason why this film would be considered better is because the book itself had more action and plot development. It didn't had to waste it's time inventing stuff or stretching scenes because their was plenty to work with here: *SPOILERS* The good is that so far all the important scenes have been put into the movie (except one in my mind).
The bad is divided into two sections: what's missing and what replaced it.
First off, the Dursleys cameo was disappointing. What's the point in bringing them back for the film if we cant get as much as a line from Dudley saying goodbye to Harry? Second...too much Hermoine! Okay so I know Ron was gone for part of the story but there's so much focus on Hermoine than is really necessary.
Third...my biggest peeve...too many gags. God I swear every five seconds Steve Kloves is trying to write something stupid into this script to get a giggle out of the audience. I don't recall the gags being half this annoying in the days of Chris Columbus. It's the last freakin book. Get a little more serious here! Worse yet, a moment where a character was supposed to have died is replaced with a comical blackout instead. Dumb! Dumb! Dumb!!!! Among other things, I didn't like the animation of the Three Brothers segment plus other details here and there. Also the broken mirror piece is brought into this movie with absolutely no explanation. If someone who only sees the films (like my friend) still has to ask me questions then you got yourself a problem as far as writing is concerned. In fact the mood of the film from start to finished played like a bad Twilight movie which is in itself very disgraceful...especially when it is the last book of the series. I don't mind if they want to go dark but this is the last book of the series and to me, it lacks anything purely epic in scope. Therefore I'm keeping my hopes low for a spectacular finale.
Worse than "The Secret of Nimh 2" and THAT's saying something!
I spent the past weekend watching all of "The Land Before Time" sequels and this film in the mix. (I'm still trying to find 'The Mystery of the Night Monster'.
I've seen plenty of decent work done on the 'Balto' and 'TLBT' video sequels, even if some stories weren't as good as their predecessors. But this sequel had no redeeming or interesting qualities. The only bit that caught my interest was learning about the pneumatic subway but other than that this sequel was really hard to get into and is probably the worse offender as far as continuity. It seems that the writers had completely forgotten that Tony Toponi had a love interest in the original film (Bridgette) that he married and had a baby with in 'Fievel Goes West'. Perhaps they had a brief separation thus allowing him to seek other love interests in the 3rd and 4th films. Aside from that Tanya is portrayed in the most annoying matter ever! She's actually less mature and more bratty than she was in the original. Though in 'Fievel Goes West' she did have a complete character do-over where she grew up to be a self absorbed teenager. In this film however she's not self absorbed, she's just whiny. Same goes for Papa Mouskewitz.
The themes and story of the film are more targeted at preschoolers. Had this been a sequel taking place when Fievel and his family were already out west much of the film would still make sense, but it's really hard to buy into the idea of Native American mice living in the tunnels of New York City and then having to deal with all the pro-Native American themes that come along with it.
In the end it seems like none of the characters...not even Fievel himself plays any role of real importance significance. At least in The Land Before Time sequels, the themes and characters are constant and remain significant. But none of the characters in American Tail are in their true character nor stay true to continuity. They don't even try for matching animation in this film. This is the worse of the Don Bluth video sequels (even Secret of Nimh 2 was more interesting) and not worth your time unless you're really bored.
The unintentional comedy...
Yes this show is quite horrible as far as realism, writing, and well...basically everything but in a way it's so hilarious how horrible it is, you can't help but watch it. This is the sole reason my friend and I are watching this show: to make fun of how ridiculous it is. And it's funny to see the teenagers act so bipolar, or slutty or pathetic. You know that by the end of the series everyone's gonna sleep with each other or get knocked up by each other. There's even a couple with Down Syndrome who are manipulative selfish jerks to everyone. And the pregnant teen who is the center of the show is a total biotch. It's also funny how all the parents of the kids seem to butt into each others' lives. Everyone knows what everyone's kids are up to.
Yes it's an awful show but you can have fun watching the show and have a drinking game every time one of the kids says "sex!" Have fun!
Mean Girls (2004)
I really don't get the popularity behind this film at all
I had high expectations for this film when I saw previews and came away from it completely disappointed.
I expected a funny satire. It doesn't have to be witty as long as the story found a definite way to stand out from other teen movies and give me laughs throughout.
That totally failed. Instead creating a good laugh-out-loud satirical comedy we got ourselves a whiny preachy film that really derives from its own message. Tina Fey seem very self-absorbed when she wrote this.
Here's what I got from this movie: Cady was a gullible new girl who was liked by a group of popular beautiful girls . This makes an unpopular whiny goth/punk/whatever girl Janis who hates the popular girls very jealous and wants to get revenge. So she entices the new girl to be her friend so they could elaborate a massive scheme where Cady is accepted into Regina's circle and can bring Regina down.
It starts to work for a while until Regina's boyfriend starts to have feelings for Cady because the audience is dumb enough to believe that any popular boy who's dating the popular blonde queen bee is deep down a normal guy who would prefer a typical ordinary sweet girl over the blonde mean girl they're voluntarily with. (Yeah, right!) Things get nasty and Regina has Cady turn against Janis and then more stuff happens and now everyone who is unpopular hates Cady for being popular and all the popular people hate Cady for being unpopular. Even Tina Fey's character condemns Cady for joining up with the popular girls until it becomes this whole big thing where Cady has become the major villain in the school and has to apologize to the whole school for her "mistakes".
Um...am I missing something here? This whole thing was all Janis's idea. Yet she doesn't accept any real guilt or responsibility for creating a monster or manipulating a new girl and giving her no right to chose how she would go through high school. Instead we are left to feel all boo-hoo for her just because she couldn't accept her low level of popularity or accept the fact that Cady would rather hang around Regina and her friends instead.
So now we have another typical run-of-the-mill teen film that makes us feel all sorry and victimizing of the so-called "unpopular" girls while putting every effort into villainizing the popular girls and anyone who even rises up to their ranks. Worse yet, the good humor in this film is long gone after the first few scenes and fails to show up again until Regina is hit by a bus (which wass random and a bit pointless but still unexpected and funny).
And the worse part about all of this was that the lesson could've been more meaningful but in the end it became so one-sided. The ending (telling us how everyone turned out) was nice and sweet in its own way but the build up to that ending did not make zero sense and kinda ruined it for me. Oh sure the unpopular girls got to feel a little bit better about their sorry unpopular selves after Cady's Spring-Fling speech but it's highly doubtful that Janis or Damien learned anything from all of this, but oh of course they're exempt because they weren't popular (sarcasm).
Did I mention that all the humor was sucked out of this film way early on? This wouldn't be the last time a teen "dramedy" was written so poorly and end up loosing its own point. There's a show on right now called "Glee" that's doing everything wrong by becoming so one-sided and preachy in the same matter as this movie thus sucking out all the humor in the process.
And oh yeah shoving a bunch of popular teen sayings into your script does not equal a well written script. I don't mind Tina Fey as an actress but I don't dig her writing no matter how many awards she has gotten for it.
April Showers (2009)
Better than 'Elephant' in some way but not in others
I had a similar experience as reviewer "ANightToRemember" where I first saw this in theaters and thought it was great, but after repeated viewings the film had cringiness here and there.
On the upside, the writing and direction are better than in most school shooting films, I've seen. However, this film commits many of the similar crimes that 'Elephant' does in that it takes a way too artsy approach. I don't believe that school shootings make a good subject when doing an artsy independent film regardless of who's behind it. I would've preferred this had been a bigger budget studio production though many would disagree. Andrew Robinson does a good job with this even though he offers nothing new on the subject of Columbine that we didn't know already. Tons of survivor books have been released over the decade since Columbine and various film interpretations of school shootings in general have been done. This one bears the most similarities however to the real Columbine though not of the same decade.
Another thing I'm not a fan of here are the characters. The only character in the entire film I enjoyed watching was Jason. But I had a hard time getting into Sean as the main lead. For a film directed by a Columbine survivor, he definitely over-exaggerated in various areas or bordered on the unrealistic. I personally thought villainous portrayal of the media was a bit of an overkill. I also never believe that a teacher would butt into a student's love life the way that drama teacher does.
Anyway I don't mind that the film keep its POV on the survivors but it doesn't make it better as film. Different yes, but this film is easily dismissible as another standard school shooting film for the bin.
Prop 8: The Musical (2008)
A weapon against hate? Try harder next time.
First of all: I'm not religious and I fully support and sympathize with gays and their right to marry.
Now that that's outta the way. I will say this about "Prop 8 the Musical". It's lame...really lame and incredibly disappointing. And this was done by Hollywood celebrities nonetheless.
The problems are many but I am aware of it's intent. The bitterness and upset of many who are gay and their supporters is felt too strongly in this three minute short that it leaves no room for anything clever or original. Villainizing Christians as hate spreaders? Yawn, I can go out into the street right now and find 100 people with that exact same sentiment. This is basically saying everything that everyone else has been saying about their hatred for Prop 8 since it passed. Wasting all this time, production, and money on making this musical, which doesn't do much but entertain musical lovers, is kinda pointless. The money could've been better spent on a more dynamic campaign against Prop 8. I personally believe that Prop 8 passed because people were too focused on whining about the Proposition instead of working on a stronger campaign to fight back against it. So now we have even more whining, scapegoating, and now this musical...which is far too little, too late.
Also the quality of this short is quite bland and reminds me of a very mediocre Saturday Night Live sketch. Makes me wonder if this was done by SNL writers because if it was, then I guess that explains everything.
This is not meant to be harsh against gays or their supporters in any way but I feel there is too much whining/blaming and too little real effort when it comes to fighting for their rights.
I'm female and I was a teenager when this came out. Technically, I'm about the target audience for this film, but I didn't like it. A bit boring and depressing for me to watch.
I'm also find these sorts of butt-kicking but intelligent and day-dreamy feminist heroines to be very annoying. I find it hard to believe that a heroine whom we are supposed to believe is capable of taking care of herself would put up with so much **** in the movie by her stepfamily than she did. If this girl is capable of kicking a guy's butt near the end of the movie then this same girl should've been capable of kicking her stepfamily to the curb...but then again, we wouldn't have the Cinderella story that is the whole point of this film.
I absolutely hated Prince Henry and it's hard to believe that anyone could fall for him (or that he could suddenly have a change of heart in a split second). And yeah there is the issue of characters that are supposed to be French but have English accents, but when you're making a film targeted toward teenage girls, I guess these filmmakers thought they could get away with just about anything.
As for me I found this interpretation of Cinderella to be so boring and lifeless I couldn't care less. Nothing wrong with a little magic and character like the classic Disney animated version has over this one.
High School Musical 2 (2007)
Sharpay saves this film!
"High School Musical" was a fun classic film. It's such a terrible shame that Disney is milking the franchise for all it's worth because it will only hurt the franchise more in the end.
I don't blame Disney for doing a sequel. The story and character development though is a bit stale and cliché, like being in dull standard DCOM territory. I've been listening to the soundtrack to this film nonstop before I finally saw the movie and it is the best soundtrack ever. However the actual performance of these songs in the film is less to be desired.
"What Time Is It?" and "Work This Out" were the worst musical sequences in matters of dance and direction. They're good songs on the soundtrack but on screen I was like...ugh...Troy's dancing! I think you can do more visually with these musical numbers then see Troy do bad break dancing in one spot for a whole 3 minutes! "What Time Is It?" was just ridiculous and over the top given that this is coming fresh off of HSM which had more genuine and more realistic musical numbers. Here it is just like "the music is playing everyone start doing a ridiculous dance infront of the camera!" As I said about story and characters, they're not so great as the original but you just need to have fun with it as even more unrealistic as this film is compared to the film.
I will say this: Sharpay was evil and became more of a stereotypical snobby blonde character in this film as she attempts to steal Troy from Gabriella, but goddamit SHARPAY IS AWESOME IN THIS MOVIE!!! All the other characters in the film were a bit more "smug" in this film (much to my annoyance) but Sharpay was just fun and hilarious in her attempts to steal Troy. And it was good to see more development with Ryan's character.
All in all, the soundtrack to the movie is actually better than the movie itself. Though, I enjoyed this film as bad it probably is, mainly because of Sharpay's character. The story and musical numbers became less annoying near the end. If you're a fan you might as well watch and just have fun with it. It ain't the best but I'd rather watch this again than "Camp Rock".