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Life Is Tough Charlie Brown
That should of been a better title. First of all, Charlie Brown is assigned to read "War and Peace" by Leo Tolstoy. (That is book is super long!) Second, wants to meet Heather, the Little Red-Haired Girl, but he gets tangled up with Peppermint Patty who pressures him to have fun with her.
I remember seeing this for the first time in the late-eighties in a birthday party during my childhood. When I saw it again in the early and mid-nineties, it taught me how to talk to people at the store when I am having trouble looking for something at a store or library. Charlie Brown was annoying anyone, but he was desperate
to get his holiday homework done! (Hey Charlie Brown, if there is no film, strip, record, or computer game based on "War and Peace" don't worry there is a movie made in 1956, watch the movie and things will go your way hopefully.)
This special brings back memories for me. I enjoyed watching it. It reminds me of the clothes I wore, the warm and friendly faces of my friends and family, the food I ate and was devoid of worries! This cartoon is worth playing whenever you are having parties with kids and whether it is New Years Eve or not. Do I recommend it? Yes (despite the way [children's] television is going these days). I saw it ABC recently, and let me tell you that this special got cut to pieces for more commercial time. That aside, give it a watch.
Happy New Year!
Underrated and Timeless.
I remember seeing this cartoon when I was as young as three or four. This Christmas special was magical and underrated. The animation is good and the voices are good too. I noticed that the baddie in the special Alexander Graham Wolf (a.k.a. The Big Bad Wolf who is voiced by Les Tremayne), is the baddie in the picture. This guy is a Wile E. Coyote clone. He wants to put Gloopstick on all the toys so that they way they won't be broken. Which blatantly defeats the purpose of having them to be played with.
June Foray does a great job voicing Comet and Raggedy Ann while Daws Butler does a great performance as Andy with his cute Elroy Jetson-type voice. There is something about the ending. The villain gets his comeuppance by getting trapped in his own creation. Commonly, the villain would get angry and rant about then succumb to the folly of his way and give up only to be taken away by authority. Nope, we don't get that. Like a Woody Woodpecker "villain", he just breaks into tears and starts crying like baby. What in Dapper Denver Dooley is that?! (The reason why I wrote villain in quotation marks was because that in those cartoons, they are no threat to begin with and Walter "The Sicko" Lantz wants to give maturity and growing up a bad name.) Also, there is a scene that involves audience interaction. (I see you are bothered by "Sesame Street" and can't let it go. Huh, Chuck Jones.) This leads to a scene where it wants to make us feel sorry for the villain and that way he can change his ways from a Big Bad Wolf to a Big Good Wolf.
The thing is, that this cartoon is sweet and is worth putting it in front of the kiddies to keep them happy. Bottom line: Give it a watch despite all the wacky (and shocking) stuff going around children's television these days. Not rated, but a TV-G would work. This review goes in loving memory of June Foray (1917 - 2017). Rest In Peace.
Incredible monster movie from England.
I have seen clips of this movie when I was a kid. I've seen commercials and cartoons where there are clips of this movie. GORGO is one of those movies that is blatantly cashing in on the success of GODZILLA. This British film is interesting and wonderful. Twenty years ago I had to wake up as early as six in the morning to see it on American Movie Classics (or AMC for short). This is back when this channel really showed classics before it jumped the shark. with all these other shows that made you forget you are watching AMC.
The plot is Kong-influenced and it is directed by Eugene Lourie. While his previous two dinosaur films, THE BEAST FROM 20'000 FATHOMS (1953) and THE GIANT BEHEMOTH (1959) had stop-motion animated dinosaurs, this one was a man in a suit as demonstrated in a non-dinosaur film a COLOSSUS IN NEW YORK (1954) which had a robot made by Charles Gemora.
I saw the movie on TV at AMC and when the movie was over, my brother was woken up by the ending. This was Eugene Lourie's last monster movie. He went back to being an art director and in 1974, according to stop-motion animator Rob Maine who was fresh from FLESH GORDON was contacted by producer Phillip Yordan to do a remake of KING KONG with Rob on special effects and Eugene on the director's chair. Sadly studio executive said no to it because they decided to use a man in a suit for Kong so audiences can get empathy through the eye-holes. As a result, the project was scrapped. Tom Howard, who had his special effects team behind this movie was called by Hammer to do a remake of KING KONG with David Prowse in the title role. Unfortunately, they can't afford to buy the rights.so they ended up with ONE MILLION B.C. (1966). It is a pity that it never got a sequel or a remake.
Great movie, great special effects, thrilling, chilling, downright wonderful. It even got the MST3K (short for MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000) treatment. Give it a watch (whether you enjoy DUCKTALES or not) and if you enjoyed that movie, then you will enjoy KONGA (read my review).
Not rated, but a G will do. Not suitable for children under the age of seven.
Kyôryû kaichô no densetsu (1977)
The only one of it's kind. A dinosaur movie with a disco soundtrack.
I saw this movie and yes, this is the kind of monster movie where the soundtrack is disco. I know, in other countries like Italy and Germany, the goofy disco soundtrack is replaced scary music of their own. While the special effects are typical Japanese kaiju stuff you see, I would have to say that these monsters could be OK if there was a bit more money put into it. It looks like Manda from ATRAGON let himself go and fights Rodan's cousin. The film is a mixture between EARTHQUAKE, JAWS, LAND THAT TIME FORGOT, THE GODFATHER and RODAN. EARTHQUAKE, because there is one. JAWS, because there are various scenes that copy it. LAND THAT TIME FORGOT, well the monsters come from a lost world. THE GODFATHER, because there was a horse with no head. RODAN, well, isn't it obvious? A pterodactyl that came out of an egg in a cave. I mean these dinosaurs look realistic, that they should be in a KING KONG-type movie. I bet this movie was a response to the Dino De Laurentiis version of KING KONG. Originally Toei wanted to make a movie, in co-production with British horror film company Amicus, to cash-in with the 1976 remake of KING KONG with a movie called KONGORILLA. With a script written by Tudor Gates, this was going to be good, but it never got made. Then, in 1979, Toei, in co-production with American film production, Punch Productions, called MORTAL. This was about a giant ape that comes out of a Mount Fuji to attack Tokyo in search of food. That never got made, unfortunately. Plesiosaur and the Rhamaphryncus, akin to the T-Rex and Triceratops in THE LAST DINOSAUR, look realistic and would good for the 1976 remake of KING KONG if Dino would put in some dinosaurs. I think this movie was made as a response to the 1976 KING KONG because this movie, THE LEGEND OF THE DINOSAURS (a.k.a. THE LEGEND OF THE DINOSAURS AND MONSTER BIRDS), along with THE LAST DINOSAUR, PEOPLE THAT TIME FORGOT, PLANET OF DINOSAURS, and WARLORDS OF ATLANTIS are saying that everything is better with dinosaurs. This is something that dinosaurs can do. Dinosaurs have potential. Would I recommend it? Yes. If you like dinosaurs, watch it. If you like Japanese monster movies, watch it. If you like disco, watch it. So give it a watch. Not rated, but due to the gore in it, it should be rated PG or PG-13. Bottom line: Good for bad movie night.
The People That Time Forgot (1977)
Rushed and mediocre
The year was 1977. What happened back then? There was STAR WARS, Saturday NIGHT FEVER, RACE FOR YOUR LIFE CHARLIE BROWN was struggling and other studios were trying to coincide and capitalize such films as JAWS and Dino Delaurentiis KING KONG remake. While the movie is fine, akin to SON OF KONG, it seemed rushed. For one thing, the special effects, they range from good, like the Pterodactyl and the Scutosaurus (Google it), to bad, like the Ceratosaurus, Stegosaurus, and Blonosaurus (from AT THE EARTH'S CORE (read my review) which was reused for this movie), the cave eel-like monsters, and a cheesy joke shop spider that Luan Loud would love to use. Roger Dicken's dinosaurs in LAND THAT TIME FORGOT look more convincing than the paper-mache beasts. I think Ian Wingrove did those monster effects in this movie. As for the plot, well, it is a combination of Edgar Rice Burrough's second book and third book, OUT OF TIME'S ABYSS, of the Caprona trilogy. In the third book, there were people who had bird wings, however, the wings were replaced by horses. Now they are samurai horse-riders who let out awful versions of the Wilhelm scream. The only good things about it are the actors, writing, and music. John Scott did the music for this movie and he also did the music for KING KONG LIVES. Speaking of KING KONG, if Dino Delaurentiis put some dinosaurs in this movie, here is what he can do. First, put the Scutosaurus from this movie and Plesiosaurus from LEGEND OF THE DINOSAURS to mess around with Jack Prescott's search party. Then, have Kong fight the T-Rex from THE LAST DINOSAUR, the snake and Pterodactyl from PEOPLE THAT TIME FORGOT. At least these dinosaurs from these movies look realistic. This movie got out-shined by STAR WARS, so go figure. Bottom line, if you enjoy DUCKTALES (yes, a reboot is happening), then you should enjoy this movie. It is not as bad as... PIXELS or GHOSTBUSTERS 2016 (or GIRLBUSTERS as others like to call it), but we have seen worse. Rated PG for violence, scary scenes, peril and scantically clad ladies.
At the Earth's Core (1976)
Cheesy and campy monster fun, but an underrated classic.
As you know, I love monster movies, I love dinosaurs, and I love special effects. I got introduced to this movie when I was nine. My father gave me this movie and when I watched it, I enjoyed it! I was struck with awe and wonder and laughed at how cheesy it was. I was an avid watcher of Godzilla movies and I enjoyed dinosaur movies. I loved the special effects, the sound, and the music. Peter Cushing, of Hammer horror fame (which I was not introduced to until my twenties, so sorry), plays a quirky professor who provides the comic moments in this movie. The saggoths sound like skipping CD's, but they remind me of PLANET OF THE APES. Some the monsters look like rejects from a Godzilla movie. The mayhars were the primeval ancestor to the Skeksis from DARK CRYSTAL. Caroline Munroe's beauty steals the picture, but in my opinion, it is the beasts. This film, like LAND THAT TIME FORGOT, had some situations. For instance, when Jim Danforth, who was a fan of Edgar Rice Burroughs, wanted to get involved in it when he heard that it was announced, but this film, like THE LAND THAT TIME FORGOT (read my comment), got changed and lacked the stuff that Jim had in mind. For instance, he wanted to use his matte-painting and stop-motion animation skills to be applied in this movie. Instead, Amicus wanted to make a movie that is catered to the kaiju-watching audience. I bet Jim was not happy about this. The effects are clunky be today's standards and if this was made today, then it would be nothing but a CGI fest. If you want stop-motion, let Brett Piper (read my MYSTERIOUS PLANET comment) do it. Also, there are a lot of explosions that might have impressed a young Michael Bay. So if you enjoy DUCKTALES (a reboot is coming next month), then you will enjoy this movie. Bottom line: Great fun despite the clunky special effects. Rated PG for violence, some blood, and scenes that are too scary for children. Who couldn't spell words like Rhamphorhynchus.
The Land That Time Forgot (1974)
Underrated, but awesome
As you know, I love dinosaurs. I love the trope of creatures from lost worlds and mankind running into their lands. I saw a clip of it on a commercial when I was watching the live-action 70's SPIDERMAN show that starred Nicholas Hammond. The dinosaurs looked believable. A few years later, when I saw it, I was stricken with awe and wonder by the special effects. The dinosaurs looked real, but what I knew that they were puppets. What I didn't know that how the puppets worked. They looked realistic, but they moved in a stiff manner. If this can only be updated then there would be fluid movements. Originally they wanted to use Jim Danforth and his stop-motion skills, but they said it was too expensive and time-consuming. Special effects aside, they story is great and has that Edgar Rice Burroughs adventure-like feel to it. It is incredible and I will never forget the caveman Bo-lu! I keep quoting him until this day. When this movie came out, The New York Times recommended this movie in case JAWS was too scary. If you enjoy DUCKTALES (I know, a reboot is coming out in 2017), then you will enjoy this movie. Bottom line: A must for the dinosaur/monster movie/special effects fan. Even though it got out-shined by JAWS. Rated PG for violence, gore, peril, and some scary scenes.
Viaje al centro de la Tierra (1977)
As you know, I love monster movies. I love lost worlds and unexplored lands because it has this sense of wonder and it is escapism. In the 1970's, when the world was nostalgic for the 1920's and 30's, there were disaster movies, which was box-office fuel. They showed people in panic and have them under attack by nature's wrath (e.g. THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE, EARTHQUAKE and JAWS) or something going terribly wrong (e.g. TOWERING INFERNO and the AIRPORT franchise). Fantasy films were kiddie fair, but these were no fairy tales. These were stories for older viewers, kids, teens, and adults. THE LAND THAT TIME FORGOT (1975), AT THE EARTH'S CORE (1976), and PEOPLE THAT TIME FORGOT (1977) were movies that had lost worlds inhabited by monsters. What made these good, were the special effects. While they got out-shined by the big movies like disaster movies, JAWS, the 1976 remake of KING KONG, and STAR WARS. If these big movies were intense, then take your kids to see the fantasy movies. While these movies were mediocre in the box-office, these movies were good in other countries. This caught the attention of other filmmakers such as Juan Piquer Simon and he made this wonderful movie, JULES VERNE'S THE FABULOUS JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH. This films had dinosaurs, sea monsters, big turtles and mushrooms and a giant ape. Now about the big gorilla, there was one in the book, either Juan wanted to rival the 1976 KING KONG remake or he wanted to cash in on it. If you look at the movie, it answers the question, what if Universal made THE LEGEND OF KING KONG without stop-motion effects, but with monster suits and puppets? There is your answer. While the cast is good, the special effects are great, but they look hokey. If you enjoy shows like SCOOBY-DOO or DUCKTALES (heads up, a reboot is coming this summer on Disney XD), then this movie is for you. Rated G alright, but I see that IMDb re-rated it PG and I know why. To me, it must be all the scary scenes and peril. Peril?! That is nothing to be worried about because there was peril in G-rated movies. I think it is rated PG for blood from the sea monsters and kids might get scared by the dinosaurs, turtle-like creatures or the giant gorilla.
Xing xing wang (1977)
King Kong goes Hong Kong
As you know, I love monster movies. When I first heard and read about MIGHTY PEKING MAN I wanted to see it. After I watched it, I would say that it is a Frankenstein's Monster made up of the 1976 KING KONG remake, TARZAN (since there is a female jungle there), the original MIGHTY JOE YOUNG, EARTHQUAKE (the way the title appears on the land) and TOWERING INFERNO (the climax). The special effects are not bad, but the music consists entirely on stock music. For instance, the disco song that played at the TV station is an instrumental song by Franck McDonald & Chris Rae called "The Jam". The ending where the title fought helicopters on top of the building has Dmitri Shostakovich's "Symphony No. 5 in D Minor" playing. All in all, this is a pretty good movie. This is arguably one of the better KING KONG rip-offs. If you like kaiju films, cheesy movies and bizarre cinema, then give it a watch. You will like it. Rated PG-13 for violence, nudity, gore and some profanity.
The Mighty Gorga (1969)
The Poor Man's King Kong
This movie is not only the poor man's version of KING KONG, but it is also plagiarizing it! Circus owner and trapper go to a lost world with creatures that time forgot located at a plateau in Africa to find a giant ape who is worshiped by a tribe. Also they find diamonds and the ape becomes their friend. I saw this movie and let me think. GASP! This is not only plagiarizing KING KONG, it is also plagiarizing THE LOST WORLD (the plateau with dinosaurs as explained in the story from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle), SON OF KONG (there is one scene where the ape's finger gets bandaged) and KING SOLOMAN'S MINES (the diamonds). Just like how JOHNNY TEST is plagiarizing DEXTER'S LABORATORY, FAIRLY ODDPARENTS and SCOOBY-DOO (read my comments on those shows). Also the effects are awful with a capital A! Let's start with the dinosaur that Gorga fights. It looks like a combination between an alien and Barney the Dinosaur. Gorga looks crappy. Either it is a paper-mâché mask, decorated kitchen gloves and jacket covered in wigs or they couldn't afford money to buy a whole gorilla suit which is why he is seen from the waist up. Also footage from GOLIATH AND THE DRAGON is seen. Speaking of stop-motion animation, in the late 1970's David L. Hewitt who not only directed this movie, but played the title simian was planning to remake or re-release this movie under the title THE GREAT GORGA (as reported in a February 1978 issue of FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND) with a higher budget and stop-motion models. A stop-motion T-Rex and Stegosaurus were made by Larry Arpin. He also made the ape. He was going to animate these beasts but during that time other studios from across the globe wanted make their own rip-offs and Dave didn't want to get caught in that mess so he called it off. What a pity. It would be a great movie to help other people to get their minds off what Dino De Laurentiis did to KING KONG in 1976. It is available on DVD by Something Weird and it plays double-bill with the porno film, ONE MILLION AC/DC (they both came out in 1969) which features the same dinosaur from that movie. (Read my review and you will thank me for saving time you will never get back.) Bottom line: If you have a knack for finding bad movies, dinosaurs, apes and stop-motion animation then give it a watch. Rated G alright. Bring out the kids so they can learn what a bad movie is and what plagiarism is too. This has been another "Matthew Rants."
Best Christmas Classic.
I saw this classic when I was a kid and I loved it until this day. When I heard Chuck Jones did it, I was surprised because of the animation and style looked similar to his Bugs Bunny, Coyote and Roadrunner and Tom and Jerry cartoons. However, I got more surprised when I heard that Boris Karloff not only voiced The Grinch, but narrated it very well. My love grew stronger because back then, when I was a teenager, I was starting to fall into the field of classic horror films. I knew Boris Karloff played the Frankenstein Monster and Imhotep The Mummy. He had this calm British voice. As for the songs, well they are as timeless as the special itself! Albert Hague made the music to it and I was surprised that he was the music teacher in the original FAME. My favorite song is "You're a mean one Mr. Grinch" because when you hear it you can't stop and think of all those disgusting things that come to our mind when we hear the song. Forget about Ron Howard's adaptation with Jim Carrey because that one is complete and utter garbage catered for those who watch wacky cartoons on such cable channels as Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network. Bottom line: This animated special is timeless and it must be watched for new generations of audiences.
It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
A Ture Timeless Classic.
This is a great movie! I heard about it first and when I saw clips of it in documentaries, I understood the references/parodies in cartoons and TV shows. Cartoons like RUGRATS, JOHNNY BRAVO and FAIRLY ODDPARENTS parodied this movie as well as TV shows like Saturday NIGHT LIVE and THE NOSTALGIA CRITIC. I saw the movie in all it's entirety in the summer of 2012 (which is the right time to see it), when I was assigned to compare and contrast the paintings of Norman Rockwell and Frank Capra movies for my summer class "Painting and the Cinematic Image" at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. Being a movie buff, I started to fall in love with that movie and realized how beautiful and wonderful it is. Jimmy Stewart makes a great performance in this movie. His character George Baily has hopes and dreams and helps out his friends and family. An angel gives him an answer to a what if question of his and he learns the hard way on the importance of being there! Various scenes in the movie feel like a Norman Rockwell painting because it captures the moment in a dramatic and sometimes humorous manner. Give it a watch it is fun for the entire family! Not rated, but in my humble opinion it is rated G.
A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving (1973)
Classic special about the holiday. :)
I loved this special when I was a kid. I found it funny and amusing from Snoopy's antics to Linus' speech. I liked the part where Snoopy is making toast and Woodstock is putting Snoopy's ear in the toaster and puts butter on it. I found it funny and when I saw it with a new set of eyes, I cringed with my brother because I was expecting Snoopy to yell "YEEEEEOOOOOOOOWWWWW!!!!"Fortunately that didn't happen and the beagle was unharmed. Yesterday, I was shopping with my mother and I heard some music that sounded like this cartoon and it was it! She thought it was French music, but I told her it was music from the cartoon. She knew it. Speaking of food, popcorn? Pretzels? Buttered Toast? Jelly Beans? That is like the poor man's Thanksgiving. At least something like Pumpkin Pie or Apple Pie will do it. All in all, is great for the whole family, I had fond memories of it and so will you. This has been another "Matthew Praises." Happy Thanksgiving!
Charlie's Mother-in-Law (1963)
Atrocious! Obnoxious! UnBEARable!
IMDb user tvam is right! This is a super awful short! It is a complete waste of money, a complete waste of talent, a complete wast of time and a complete waste of celluloid! Now I know you people who are reading this are thinking, is he going to do it. Answer: Yes! Because back by popular demand, it is time for "Matthew Rants!" So I saw this cartoon as a kid and I did not enjoy it. I saw it nine years ago dubbed in Portuguese (via YouTube) and it is still awful! It starts out as the Mother-in-Law nagging at Charlie to do some chores and stuff and out of annoyance he wants to get away from her and go fishing with his friends, but no matter what happens, it backfires. When he hid in a piano, it was zipping down the hill and down the road and he runs into a policeman and he asks him about why is he speeding. Charlie said that he wants to get away from the Mother-in-Law. He doesn't believe him and when she arrived, she starts nagging at the policeman, he covers his ears and lets out a big yell of quiet so she can shut up and now he believes the long-suffering bear. As a result, he gives her a ticket and Charlie comes out clean. What's wrong here. First of all, the story is awful and predictable. I mean it is so predictable that you don't need a crystal ball to tell me about what will happen next. When Charlie's plans will go wrong, when the mother-in-law is going to abuse him, when the policeman is going to yell, ad nauseam. While the animation and design is trying to cater to kids who watch UPA and Hanna-Barbera, the bad story is trying to bring out some sort of sexist message on woman-bashing. While the villain is the Mother-in-Law, the policeman (or policebear), treats her like garbage. When the Mother-in-Law starts giving him flack, she was babbling her long loud lecture that is sounds like a tape-recorder being played in high speed. Whoa! What is this social commentary?! I think this was made in a time when the Sexual Revolution of the 1960's was going on back the then until the 1980's. It was awful back then and it is awful today! What is with all the yelling, crashing, destruction and gender bashing?! Just because you are using sound, that doesn't need you have to be loud and obnoxious for the sake of being obnoxious! Sometimes the mind desires peaceful and quiet things it needs a break. It is like taking too much of something you forget about the things you like to take, it becomes like alcohol! Anyway, this cartoon along other ones made by Walter Lantz Productions fail to hold the test of time. This is because they were mega predictable, super boring and ultra anger inducing. Stick to Looney Tunes. If IMDb has a rating lower than one it would have that it would have that rating. Bottom line: just avoid it.
Popeye The Movie?! More like Popeye The Mess!
Back by popular demand it is time for "Matthew Rambles". What you missed rants, so do I but there will be some soon. Right now I got to ramble about this movie. When I first heard about this movie, I found out something about it. I was four when I saw a pirated video of it on Betamax and it had Arabic and French subtitles! When I was young I was familiar with Popeye with the cartoons. Whether it is the Fleischer Bros. (1933 to 1941), Isadore Sparber (as in the Famous Studios era from 1942 to 1957), the turgid Al Brodax cartoons (1960 to 1962) or the Hanna-Barbera reboot (1978 to 1983) I knew who was who. When I got the movie, I thought to myself, "Oh it is Popeye, I don't care!" When I got it I had fun, for a few moments. When I got older, I read that it was turgid. After giving it another watch, I found out why this was bad. It was so bad that Mad Magazine spoofed it as FLOPEYE! Thanks to a new set of eyes, I found out why this movie is not good! First of all, who is Robert Altman, who had a ton of dramas in his filmography, trying to cater this movie to. Those who watch musicals, or dramas and comedies you can see on a dull January? When KING KONG was remade in 1976, it was catered for those who watch disaster movies because Dino Dellaurentiis wanted to give this movie a disaster movie fell to it. POPEYE - THE MOVIE was made to rival the success of Richard Donner's SUPERMAN - THE MOVIE (1978). How can you cater a movie like this to those who watch a film like SUPERMAN? Second, while the cast is fine, Bluto is a bit of a problem. Bluto needs to have a big body and small head. Lou Ferrigno would be a good choice. Third, which is following number two, some scenes might be too scary for small children. Bluto angrily approaching Popeye, which leads to him rolling like a wheel. A small child would say, "Does this happen to a real person?!" Also, prostitutes in that musical number called "I am what I am" and the octopus (scientific name, Octopus-Cartoonicus) are other reasons why this movie is rated PG. Fourth, the writing. Since when did Popeye not like spinach?! Whenever danger rears its ugly head, he takes his spinach. When he eats it, his arms get big, his legs get big, his chest get big. You don't get to see that in this movie. In fact it can only work with nice stop-motion animation with a model of Popeye and have someone like Jim Danforth or David Allen animate it. We would like to see the octopus get clobbered. In fact it did get clobbered, it flew sky high. It would be funny if it lands explosively and when the smoke clears, you see something like cooked calamari or sushi. Now that is a good gag. All in all, POPEYE THE MOVIE is a mess. It is a Frankenstein Monster made of a drama, a musical, a western, Homer's The Odyssey, various cartoons and comics for which the film is based on and cinematography from Frederico Fellini films as the bolts on the beast's neck. This movie caused a trend that Hollywood would be doing over the next 35 years. Some went well such as the original TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES trilogy and A FAIRLY ODD MOVIE: GROW UP TIMMY TURNER. Other are just plain terrible like well, MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE, THE FLINTSTONES, INSPECTOR GADGET, THE ADVENTURES OF ROCKY AND BULLWINKLE, SCOOBY-DOO, UNDERDOG, SPEED RACER, DRAGON BALL EVOLUTION, YOGI BEAR, JEM AND THE HOLOGRAMS, the TRANSFORMERS franchise and the atrocious ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS franchise. This film like any other movie has a cult status. Other people love it. My mother loved it and praised it like CITIZEN KANE. I wish I could praise, but I got a new set of eyes. Recently she found some moments where some scenes let her down. Bottom line, give it a watch at your own risk, because it is a guilty pleasure of mine. Rated PG for violence, mild language, some prostitutes and peril.
This childhood classic held the test of time for 50 years. I remember seeing this on CBS back in the day. After this cartoon played, it was followed by GARFIELD'S HALLOWEEN ADVENTURE. So what the animation seems crude, it is the story and humor that steals the picture. Who can forget Snoopy's dogfight with the Red Baron? Who can forget Sally and Linus waiting to see the Great Pumpkin. Who can forget Charlie Brown getting nothing but rocks? It once aired on CBS and in 2000, it aired on ABC just like all the other classic Charlie Brown specials. It got spoofed over the years and let me tell you, you are going to love it. It is rated TV-G like all the other Peanuts Specials so you will enjoy it. Happy Halloween.
The Creature Walks Among Us (1956)
The Gill Man's Final Bow.
I read about it and it is sad to see such a great character take it's final bow. This monster is a tragic figure and is treated like an animal. Is he evolving or is he going through a surgical make-over to make him look human. I saw it on "Svengoolie" and he still has an eye for the ladies. I cannot give away too much of this because you have to see it to believe it. This is the last in a trilogy. I for one wonder if there are going remake it. Frankly, my answer is no and here is why. You see, THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON is a timeless classic and there is no right for it to be remade. As I said early Frankenstein, Dracula, The Mummy, The Wolfman, Phantom of the Opera, Hunchback of Notre Dame and King Kong all had one thing in common. They all got sequels and remakes. This one doesn't deserve a remake. Not suitable for children under the age of seven or better yet, 12. This one deserves a PG rating because of the surgery scene. It is way ahead of it's time. Bottom line: Great movie.
Dexter's Laboratory (1996)
It has been 20 years since it premiered. I have watched this show RELIGIOUSLY. What I liked about it are not only the designs in the characters and backgrounds, which reminded me of this old obscure animated film called LITTLE ORBIT AND THE SCREECHERS FROM OUTER SPACE (1979), or the pop culture references and spoofs, but I found out that Dexter had backbone. Unlike other cartoons where the character falls victim to the aggressor, where he looses, suffers and cries or uses dumb luck to get out of the mess, Dexter bounces back, he fights back, he bites back and triumphs over his aggressors! Kind of like what Flash Gordon, Superman, Captain Marvel or Buck Rogers did back in the great depression. After watching it, I felt like as if I drank a bottle or can of courage. I can take on the day without cowering. This show gave courage and boosted morale to the poor folks in need of some back bone. It worked well on me. Also, the episodes were exciting and it brightened my day! If I missed out on an episode, I can't sleep! (Metabolism, don't let me down!) So here my top 11 favorite episodes.
11. Mock 5 Direct spoof of SPEED RACER. This episode is not only well written but well researched!
10. Accents you hate A play on words on the word "accentuate" which means to make more noticeable, is deep and if anything, the big dumb bully learns the hard way not to pick on kids with funny accents. If you mess with one or three, you will mess with the whole bunch.
9. Fillet of Soul A great spoof of horror films with good pop-culture references(e.g. Ghostbusters). 8. The Golden Diskette I love this cartoon, not because it is a direct spoof of WILLY WONKA AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY, because of the design and the song, "Your Brain is like a Computer". It just sends me back to Memory Lane (specifically the 1980's).
7. A Beard to be Feared A spoof of 70's action films and blackspoitation pictures like SHAFT. I got a kick out of the groovy 70's music because I watched and listened to the TV shows, commercials and music of the 70's. Oh yes, I get it, there is some drug reference. At first, I didn't get it, but now I got it.
6. Hunger Strikes A direct spoof of the 70's TV show THE INCREDIBLE HULK with Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno.
5. Photo Finish A spoof of James Bond movies such as GOLDFINGER. You see him team up with an older and pretty woman, Katka and fight one, which happened to work for the villain Red Eye! The music, pacing and design is awesome. This makes up for "Sassy Come Home" did to me. Turn me off. It also gave me courage!
4. Don't Be a Hero A spoof of super heroes. Of all the things I got a kick out of this episode, was the part where Dexter finally got bitten by radioactive spider and turns into one. When the transformation kicked in, it spoofed Spidey's spider-sense from the 1970's live-action show, SPIDER-MAN with Nicholas Hammond. I laughed so hard!
3. G.I.R.L. Squad Dee Dee. Mee Mee, and Lee Lee, start keeping a look out and try to take down a neighborhood criminal. I liked it because of the 70's music. It is direct spoof of not only THE M.O.D. SQUAD and CHARLIE'S ANGELS but the line "It's crime licking time" is a spoof of "It's crime fighting time" from the 80's cartoon, "C.O.P.S." Still, I loved this episode.
2. Dee Dee's Rival This is why Dee Dee needs a spin-off. We get to see the day in the life of her and her dance class. I got chills when I saw her rival, Ogla Astrinominov or Lalavava. (Thunder clap.) What was that? My friend Stanley S. Swanson, creator of the web-series "The Sexy Stretchy Show" said that he had a crush on her dance teacher. Look up that show on Youtube.
1. Last But Not Beast I loved this show. This is the episode to END the show! I loved it, because it reminded me of the 80's and my love for kaiju eiga. The song being played is awesome!
Season 3 and 4 jumped the shark! I recommend that show. Who know, this might inspire people to grow up to be scientists. Rated TV-G, but it contains mild cartoon violence and peril. Not to mention some images that politically correct people will find sexual (e.g. Miss Physics, Agent Honeydew, Lisa the Babysitter or Dee Dee's Dance Teacher, Ms. Babcock). I do not think it is fit for a reboot. Just look at POWERPUFF GIRLS. It got rebooted recently and I have to say that in the words of special-effect man, Roger Dickens, "It is the right project, but in the wrong hands." So give it a watch because it is rated TV-G.
Snoopy Come Home (1972)
More tear-jerking and less funny.
I saw this movie when I was four. I loved it as a kid, but now that I saw it with a new set of eyes, I found out that this is pure childhood melancholy! Apart from the film's opening theme song, which is downright catchy, there is this song that goes like this: "Me and you, a two-man crew. We are the best of buddies. We are the best of buddies." That song is happy. Another funny moment, was at the goodbye-party where Snoopy got bones for gifts given by the gang. Also, the part where Snoopy and Woodstock are on their way and they see a worm. Let's not forget the Snoopy vs. Linus and his boxing match with Lucy. That was funny. Humor aside, the 75% of the film is a tearjerker. Snoopy gets a letter from his original owner and has to go and meet her. Charlie Brown doesn't get it and the beagle's departure sends the whole gang to an uproar! Along, the way, Snoopy and Woodstock run into a common obstacle the "No Dogs Allowed" law. This sad story was a feature length adaptation from a comic strip that Charles Schultz made in 1968. If you think that is one surprising fact, another one is that the Sherman Brothers (the duo behind the MARRY POPPINS songs) wrote the songs. This is an attempt to make it commercial and to cater it to those who watch Disney and Saturday morning cartoons as seen with Snoopy saving Woodstock from the crazy animal-lover. (Call the ASPCA!) So if you think Disney is the only one that makes sad stuff, guess again. SNOOPY COME HOME is not the only one. CHARLOTTE'S WEB (1973) is a sad one (another one with songs by the Sherman Brothers). AN American TAIL (1986) is another. The ending to the Chuck Jones cartoon, WHAT'S OPERA DOC? (1957) is another. Recently, the FAIRLY ODDPARENTS episode, "The Grass is getting Greener" is an example. Another thing that made me rethink about this movie is that this was the last movie made by Cinema Center Films which was created by CBS. In fact, this was the last movie by Cinema Center Films and it was closed down because it was a flop! Why did it flop?
1. Most people wanted to see their animated movies in the same or similar fashion as Disney. Which leads to two.
2. It tries to be like Disney with the avid musical numbers. (Did you know that aired on the Disney Channel a few times?)
3. Too depressing.
This film and THE REVENGERS were biggest flips from Cinema Center Films' biggest flops. Gee, if they only made a monster movie. Speaking monsters if you look in the background of the scene where Peppermint Patty and Charlie Brown are at the amusement park, you see posters that read "Dinosaurs", "Dragons" and "Moon Monsters." This is because that monsters were popular to kids, (specifically boys). This was in a time where monster movies were easily accessed to kids before political correctness ruined it. Speaking of politically correct, nobody wants to make a sad film, which is why there are a lot of cartoons that are wacky, upbeat, noisy and crude. Not to mention unintentional shock as seen in those post-2010 shows on Cartoon Network. So if your kids are hyped up on those wacky cartoons, give them a nice tranquil movie like this one. It brings back this innocent charm, so it is rated G.
A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)
50 Years and it is Still Timeless.
I saw this special when I was a kid. I enjoyed it. I saw this special when I was a teenager. I still enjoyed it. I saw it recently and I still enjoyed it. What does it come to show, it holds the test of time! This is the one that started it all. The voices are cute and the music is great. It is a sweet little special, even though the animation and design is basic. When it went into production, they got crack a few eggs to make an omelet. For instance, the voices were done by children, the laugh-track was rejected and there was a Bible quotation in the special. This is such a sweet little special and I highly recommend it! Most specials these days go over the top and poorly or in a goofy or weir manner (I am talking you Cartoon Network). Give the special a chance, because a world where nothing is quaint, there is some quaint stuff hiding around here, there and under our noses. Fight for innocence, quaintness, positivism and good messages. Bottom line: Give it a watch! Rated TV-G, so it is fun for kids and the entire family! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.
Great movie, but I don't see what the fuss is all about here.
As you know I like Tim Burton but the thing about it is, that this movie got a lot of flack by the general public. I enjoyed it, because I not only like stop-motion animation, but I like old horror films. I bet James Rolfe of "Angry Video Game Nerd" and Cinemassacre fame, would enjoy it. So here are some possible reasons why this picture got some flack.
1. It is animated with stop-motion animation, CGI is the biggest money maker when it comes to family films and special effects. "Hotel Transylvania" beaten that movie in the box-office.
2. Too dark and creepy, but that's the nature of his works. This leads to three.
3. Generation gap. There are a tone of references to the old movies of the 30's, 40's, 50's and 60's. Nobody would get it unless you are over the age of thirty. ("Gremlins" got referenced in this movie and it is the director's way of saying that he is hip and cool like anyone who grew up in the 80's.) Plus we are in an age where we can't let our kids watch horror films (old or new) until they reach a specific age. This leads to four.
4. Black and white. Nobody makes movies in black and white! Kids will be turned off by that sort of stuff. Although "The Artist" was a smash hit, still, we watch our movies in orange and teal. I mean color.
5. People jumped to conclusions that his remake of "Alice in Wonderland" and the film adaptation of "Dark Shadows" were flops.
I like the short for which the movie is based on and I liked the feature for which it is based on. Bottom line: It is best to show this to kids over the age of seven, which leads to the reason why it is rated PG because of the fact that it contains, crude humor, peril and some scary scenes that (man do I love saying it) can make "Scooby-Doo" look like "Sesame Street". (That funny analogy never gets old.)
Son of Frankenstein (1939)
The horror continues.
So here's the story. I was watching "The Pink Panther" on KBHK TV-44 (please read my "Sprinkle Me Pink" review) and I saw a commercial for "The Son of Svengoolie". I saw a skull with a mustache and he was talking about a movie called "The Son of Frankenstein." I was amused by not only the monster that was shown in the clip, but the skull, because it reminded me of the "Sesame Street" skit with the Count called "Bones Inside of You". Bear in mind I was four when I saw this commercial and I grew up in the 1980's which is a time where things were politically correct for juvenile thrill-seekers. Fast forward to some time in the middle of 2015 where I finally saw the movie on "Svengoolie" and let's just say, I loved it and it is not bad. The music is great and the cinematography is wonderful. My favorite part was when he sees himself on the mirror and starts growling because we found out why people were scared of him. Also the inspector is a character that got spoofed in Mel Brooks parody, "Young Frankenstein". All in all it is a pretty good film and that is all what I got to say about it. Not rated, but it contains some scary scenes and peril.
Pickle and Peanut (2015)
What the hell is this?
This is one of the most atrocious cartoons ever made. I know why this cartoon got made. Disney wanted to make a cartoon to cash-in on the success of such shows as ADVENTURE TIME, THE REGULAR SHOW, THE AMAZING WORLD OF GUMBALL and UNCLE GRANDPA (read my reviews). They are trying to make a show to cater to the viewers who watch Cartoon Network. Let us look at the shows on Disney XD. There is GRAVITY FALLS, WONDER OVER YONDER, STAR VS. THE FORCES OF EVIL and PICKLE AND PEANUT. One of these shows is not like the others! These three shows I mentioned have a nice storyline that is well written, character designs that are pleasing to the eye and awesome, but catchy theme songs. PICKLE AND PEANUT has character designs that were designed by a high school student who drew it on his notebook out of boredom. The animation is in the standards of a sophomore student who is taking animation classes at an art school. The voices are made just to lure people in like the time I found out that their boss, Mr. Mjart (pronounced MEE-art), was voiced by Matt Chapman, who was known for making the online cult series, Homestar Runner. I watched some episodes because of Matt Chapman's voice talent. The voices of Pickle and Peanut are not bad because they are teenagers. They are not irritating. I mentioned early that PICKLE AND PEANUT is trying to cash-in on Cartoon Netowrk, specifically THE AMAZING WORLD OF GUMBALL. That show is a Frankenstein Monster made up of various animation techniques with voices that would make you want to rush to the remote and press the mute button! This is a cruder, but more eye-pleasing version of that beast. Also, like the four shows on Cartoon Network, there is shock moments on PICKLE AND PEANUT. According to Butch Hartman (creator of FAIRLY ODD PARENTS, DANNY PHANTOM and T.U.F.F. PUPPY) he doesn't like the way cartoons are going now with all their shocking moments that could make SCOOBY-DOO look like SESAME STREET. Ususally I judge a show after six episodes, but thanks to a "This Season On Pickle and Peanut" trailer on YouTube, I jumped to conclusions. Craig McCracken (creator of Cartoon Network's POWERPUFF GIRLS (there is a reboot coming out next year), FOSTER'S HOME FOR IMAGINARY FRIENDS and Disney XD's WANDER OVER YONDER) says that he never liked the way cartoon were going, which is why he created WANDER OVER YONDER. So yes I think that Disney is trying to jump into the "shocking and messed up cartoon" bandwagon. Walt Disney is turning in his grave and he said that he never followed any trends. Bottom line: Stay away from it and avoid it at all costs. Stick to the previous Disney XD shows I mentioned. Rated TV-Y7 for crude humor, goofy peril, all manner of wacky going-ons and shock moments (shouldn't this be rated TV-PG for the shock moments).
Inside Out (2015)
Smart, heart-warming and super funny.
I saw this movie and I was impressed! Back by popular demand, it's "Matthew Praises!" It is not just the run of the mill family movie with CGI and celebrity talents, this one is psychologically well-researched! It is a mixture between Dinsey's World War 2 propaganda short "Reason and Emotion" mixed with Roger Hargreaves' "Mr. Men". The reason why I said that is because all the emotions are controlling the girl's head just like in that cartoon. Second, I said the latter part of the comparison because like Roger Hargreaves, the were thinking, "What would a personification of an emotion would look like?" What would a memory bank be depicted and how would the subconscious or dreams look like? The skin of the emotions look like felt, kind of like The Muppets, except they sparkle like some sort of fire. The film gave out a good side-effect which was controlling your emotions. A father took his kid to see the movie and after watching it, he took his son to the pool and he climbed up highest diving board and dived into the pool and his father asked why he did that out of curiosity and he said that fear was driving the bus. Before the feature, there was an introduction by Pete Docter, the film's director, talking about the joy of going to the movies and the short, "Lava" about two volcanoes in love. Bottom line: You will laugh, you will cry and you will understand why! So come on and give it a watch it is fun for the whole family. There is no shocking moments like the ones seen on Cartoon Network today. I am positive that you will enjoy it. Bottom line: A must-watch. Rated PG for thematic elements (like references to profanity) and some action (more like some peril, but seriously MPAA raters you are just over-reacting, it should be rated G). This has been another "Matthew Praises."
Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
80 years and still awesome!
I heard about and read about. I finally saw it on SVENGOOLIE and I knew that it was one of those sequels that were better than the first film! Scenes from this movie were based on other elements from the Mary Shelly story, which also got spoofed in the Mel Brooks film, YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN (1974). My favorite character was Dr. Petoreus he is interesting and downright evil. He showed him his previous experiments which were shrunken people. That scene was contrasting because it was too comical. (In 1933, Universal was going to make an adaptation of GULLIVER'S TRAVELS, but it didn't get made, so this scene answers the question on what if the story got adapted.) This movie also has background music that was perhaps, an attempt to cash-in on the success of the original KING KONG. Before KONG got made, there were a lot of horror films that did not rely on background music and just silence. As the expression goes "Silence is Golden", but sometimes it can be unsettling and disturbing to build terror. It worked with two Universal horror films like Dracula and FRANKENSTEIN, and Paramount's ISLAND OF LOST SOULS. The Bride is as iconic as her male counter-part, her Hammer iteration from FRANKENSTEIN CREATED WOMAN, lacked the charm and it looked too attractive and less scary. So kudos to this movie, although it is a success, causing UNIVERSAL to make DRACULA'S DAUGHTER, this movie got a bad case of sequelitis causing them to make more sequels like SON OF FRANKENSTEIN, GHOST OF FRANKENSTEIN and FRANKENSTEIN MEETS THE WOLFMAN (which caused them to crossover with Dracula). I highly recommend it so give it a watch. Not rated, but it is best off for children ages 7 and up to watch it with their parents.