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jonathan_k80

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12 reviews in total 
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Where is Dick Tracy?, 17 January 2017
1/10

And what does this series have to do with the classic detective comic strip? Other than a couple of cameo appearances by the title character and watered-down versions of the strip's famous villains... absolutely nothing.

The "Dick Tracy" comic has been around since 1931, and if you have ever read any of the strips, you would soon realize it was aimed at an adult audience. It was filled with grotesque criminals who often met their end in a gruesome manner such as a bullet through the head, impalement, or being burned alive. The creator, Chester Gould, had no qualms about visually depicting the grisly demise of these villains. It was definitely not for young children.

So who thought Dick Tracy would make a great concept for a kids' show? Or what drugs were available in 1960 when this series was being developed? And why would Chester Gould allow his characters to be so trivialized? He is actually credited in the opening title sequence; if I were him I would have been embarrassed to have my name attached this horrible program.

Yes, it is horrible. Minus the opening and closing credits, each episode runs less than four minutes, and Dick Tracy only appears for a total of about 30 to 50 seconds. We see him in the opening scene at his desk finishing up a phone call from his superior. "Okay, Chief, I'll get on it right away. Dick Tracy calling ________." This same footage and dialogue is recycled in every single episode. Yes, EVERY SINGLE EPISODE. Tracy assigns the case to one of four assistant detectives, then is not seen again until the wrap-up at the end. So, why is this called "The Dick Tracy Show"?

"The Lame Assistant Detective Show" would be a better description. Other reviewers have commented on these pathetic characters, so I won't recap what they have already described. However, I will re-emphasize the fact that two of the detectives are racist stereotypes. That alone should be enough to make viewers want to avoid this series, but there is more.

The animation is atrocious. There is a lot of reused footage, flopped (reversed) images and other cost-cutting measures that make it obvious this was made on an extremely limited budget. A handful of classic villains from the comic strip have been transformed into overly- cartoonish children's characters, and these same villains are used over and over. The dialogue is filled with groan-inducing puns that first- or second-grade schoolkids might find funny. Sight gags consist of tired overdone rehashes from other cartoons. The "Hold Everything!" joke (where a character in a predicament freezes the surrounding action) gets really old when it appears in every, yes EVERY, episode, although we do get to see an extra ten seconds of Dick Tracy on screen when the assistant detective calls for help.

This series is available on DVD. Unbelievable. I can't see anyone actually spending money on such mind-numbing material.

Another pile of garbage from DePatie-Freleng Enterprises, 28 December 2016
1/10

DePatie-Freleng Enterprises (DFE) is probably best known for the "Pink Panther" series of cartoons. The Pink Panther shorts are actually funny whereas "The Blue Racer" isn't. "Hiss and Hers" was the first of 17 cartoons featuring the humorless antics of a speedy blue snake. If you've seen "Hiss and Hers," you have seen the remaining 16 cartoons. They are all the same. Repetitive plots, cheap animation, predictable sight gags and stale jokes. Over and over.

To make matters worse, a number of these shows involve the Blue Racer trying to catch a stereotyped Japanese Beetle, which looks and speaks like something straight out of a World War II propaganda cartoon. Maybe they should have called this "The Blue Racist."

DFE should have stuck with what they did best, and that was the "Pink Panther" cartoons. "The Blue Racer" and their other attempted series like "The Tijuana Toads" were downright horrible.

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
I'm glad I'm the first reviewer, 7 December 2016
1/10

That's so I can warn everyone to avoid this horrible series of cartoons from DePatie-Freleng Enterprises (DFE).

Stale jokes, predictable plot lines, cheap animation and, worst of all, humor based on ethnic stereotypes. There's nothing funny about this first entry in a series featuring two dimwitted Mexican toads. Absolutely nothing. And to think they made seventeen of these sleep- inducing pieces of garbage.

It isn't even an original concept. The two toads are carbon copies of the two cats from "Mexicali Shmoes," a 1959 Looney Tunes short directed by Friz Freleng. It appears Freleng thought he could rehash the same idea when he and David DePatie established their own studio. This time it didn't work.

It's one of those mysteries of the universe how these cartoons ever got released in the first place. They are an embarrassment to the studio that produced them. Something to avoid for sure.

Arachnoquake (2012) (TV)
4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
A hurried, jumbled mess, 15 May 2014
1/10

After surviving a viewing of this, my impression is that this is one of those movies that was filmed simultaneously as the script was still being written - you know, "Okay, we're done with Scene 10... hurry up and finish writing scene 11... we begin shooting it tomorrow." This explains why characters seem to drop into the story with no explanation or background, like when the National Guard just happens to be on the scene of a spider attack... did somebody call them or were they just driving through the area at the time?

There are too many "conveniences" in the plot. Tracey Gold's character just happens to be an expert on arachnology, the Guardsman's daughter just happens to be aboard the bus they are trying to rescue. Add to this the hammed-up acting and what you get is a cast of cardboard characters you have no empathy for.

And what is it with that background music? The generic "scenes of peril" film score runs at full volume throughout the majority of the movie!

Since the IMDb ratings system only allows whole numbers, I give this a "1." If it were possible I would award it an extra half point for (unintentional) comedic value for the scene of the final showdown with the giant cheap-CGI spider.

In short, this is another movie I highly recommend...

...that you avoid.

The Room (2003)
2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Let's face it..., 23 April 2014
1/10

I managed to get through this "movie" without too much of a loss of brain cells, and decided to read some of the other reviews on this page. Some have tried to find comedy, irony or symbolism in this film. Depending on how you look at it, I suppose some of these characteristics could be uncovered if you look hard enough. But regardless of what you see in this, let's face it...

THIS MOVIE IS BORING! If it were possible to hold a race in which the entrants were a glacier, a snail, a turtle, and this movie... which one would finish in last place? You guessed it; this movie contains one of the most slowest-paced, dragged-out stories I have ever seen.

Had the writing been better it may have been an average film. However, what we end up with is this sleep-inducing variant of watching paint dry.

Avoid this at all costs, unless you are suffering from insomnia.

Horror? No. Sci-Fi? No. Thriller? No. Comedy? Maybe., 10 April 2014
1/10

Here is another waste of 80 minutes of your life that you will want back.

This has all the elements of a horrible movie: cardboard stereotyped characters portrayed by amateurish actors, a lame plot, locker-room dialogue which sounds as if it were written by Beavis and/or Butthead, and a cheap 1960s-era rubber monster costume. The "Avatar" (named "Ava" - how creative!) is a woman in blue make-up obviously stolen from a movie of the same name. She comes to Earth in pursuit of the "Scythe," a rubber alien which must be destroyed before it can multiply. To aid in her hunt for this creature, she brings with her a "Robotar," a robot that looks like it is on loan from the prop department of "Power Rangers."

The cheap background music and 1980s CGI special effects do not enhance this ridiculous attempt at another "stop the aliens from invading the Earth" movie. If you can manage to stay awake through the first hour of this, you may enjoy the final 20 minutes watching the laughable showdown between the alien and the Avatar.

Otherwise, avoid this at all costs.

A Saturday morning kids' show... for adults?, 22 February 2014
1/10

If you have had the misfortune of seeing any of the live-action Saturday morning kids' shows from the 1970's (or if you were unfortunate enough to have grown up in that time period), then basically you have seen this movie.

It's all been done before. A mysterious mystical guy is searching for the descendant of a long line of "Puma Men" to guide him in the ways of the puma, which include flying and a type of red-tinted psychic night-vision. This must be an educational film, as I did not know pumas could fly. He finds his subject, who is reluctant to assume these powers and spends the remainder of the movie whining and complaining. I guess I would whine too, after realizing all the good superhero powers were already taken, and I was left with this.

The rest is predictable. PumaMan masters his ability conjure up a lame background theme song every time he flies. His take-offs and landings are enhanced with 1970's video game sound effects. And he completes his training, just in time of course, to take on Kobras, an evil villain who is determined to... guess... control the world. I didn't see that coming.

The movie includes a limited disco-garbage soundtrack and special effects that are truly ground-breaking (for the 1940's). Donald Pleasence (who must have been exhausted after pursuing Michael Myers and needed an easier adversary), as the evil Kobras, constantly pronounces "PumaMan" as "Pew-ma Man." Think of it as "phew - this movie stinks."

Because it truly does.

3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
The Twelve Reasons of Why Not to Watch This Christmas Movie, 27 January 2014
1/10

Everything about this movie is horrible. It has:

1. A plot that can be summed up in two sentences.

2. Cinematography that is on par with your grandparents' 8mm home movies.

3. Acting that is... wait... you can't honestly call it acting.

4. A 20-minute movie that is padded with a recycled fairy-tale film to achieve a 90-minute run time.

5. A "Thumbelina" insert that has the production quality of a middle-school play.

6. Costumes and scenery that are atrocious.

7. Children who cannot sing.

8. A Santa with a beard that looks ready to fall off his face at any time.

9. Lame attempts at humor.

10. Amateurish special effects.

11. A cameo appearance by Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn. What the ...?

12. A completely irrelevant appearance by the completely irrelevant Ice Cream Bunny, who has completely nothing to do with the aforementioned dessert treat.

This could be used as an interrogation tool in prison, or something to threaten children with when they misbehave. Sheer torture.

4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
Derogatory Dream, 10 September 2012
1/10

"Little House on the Prairie" would occasionally move away from its often intense drama and feature a light-hearted or comical episode. "Halloween Dream" is one of these failed attempts at humor.

The title is misleading because Albert's dream has nothing to do with the holiday other than having him and Laura dressing in costumes.

I won't bother to rehash the plot since another reviewer has already done so, but I will say that this episode isn't worth anyone's time.

The storyline is an insult to Native Americans. It utilizes every B-movie Western stereotype imaginable. It is beyond me how this was ever green-lighted. It is definitely not funny.

Facts, fantasy and fun. Plus a kickin' theme song., 7 September 2006
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

My favorite film genre is time travel, so I don't know if I can write an objective review of this series. What I will say is I think this show is great.

Based on the Time Warp Trio book series by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith, the adventures center around Joe, a magician wannabe and his friends Fred, the sports fanatic, and Sam, a timid intellectual. On his tenth birthday, Joe receives an unusual book from an enigmatic uncle. The book, which is known simply as "The Book," turns out to be a time-travel device. The boys don't really understand how The Book works, the result of which is that they can find themselves anywhere in time, past or future.

This is where the "educational" aspect of the show kicks in. The boys always encounter some historical figure, whom they help out while trying to locate The Book and get back home. Enough facts are inserted into the story to make this a fun history lesson.

POSSIBLE SPOILERS

Joe, Fred and Sam do not appear together in all of the episodes. The Trio could actually be described as a Septet. They are sometimes accompanied by their future great-granddaughters: Jodie, the complainer and heir to The Book, Freddi, the worrywart, and Samantha, the eccentric one. Joe's younger sister Anna, who might just know more about The Book than anyone, pops in on occasion. The episodes can contain any combination of these seven characters.

END OF POSSIBLE SPOILERS

Production-wise, the show combines limited-animation characters with computer-generated effects over sometimes detailed backgrounds. The theme song by punk band Riddlin' Kids is catchy and infectious. The dialog is witty and includes enough "gross-out" humor to appeal to a wide range of viewers. One flaw I noticed is that the historical facts are not always accurate; one example is the episode with Leonardo Da Vinci: his grocery list from 1503 includes tomatoes, a New World plant not cultivated in Europe until the 1540's.

In my opinion, the strongest point of Time Warp Trio is in the selection of historic personages. A figure from any era or continent may be featured. It is refreshing to learn new facts about rarely-mentioned Asian, African, South Pacific or pre-Columbian American cultures.

If you like history, time travel and clever banter, most likely you will enjoy Time Warp Trio. You'll laugh. You'll learn.


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