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The Looney Tunes Show (2011)
There is nothing "Looney" about these "Tunes"
I am an absolutely huge fan of the Looney Tunes. I have several of the Looney Tunes DVD sets (mostly Golden Collection), and when I saw that Cartoon Network was doing a whole new series featuring their biggest stars I was hoping that it would try to be faithful somewhat to the originals. I was very sadly disappointed.
The classic characters from the Looney Tunes are classically anti- establishment even before it was "hip" to be that. They were jazz music to Disney's "classical". They were fast, frenetic, loud, devil may care. Sure, they sold war bonds during WWII, which only shows that they pushed things without going too far. They lampooned everyone and everything. Even some of the latest works from the re-opened Warner Bros. Cartoon studios (Tiny Toon Adventures, Animaniacs, Pinky and Brain, etc) managed to recapture that with mostly new characters. But this show is hardly faithful to anything of the originals. The Looney Tunes have calmed down, have left their roots, and become mainstream. There's no more clever wordplay, or genius such as "Wabbit Season, Duck Season." I dare say, they've become sterile. I honestly think people such as Tex Avery, Chuck Jones, Friz Freleng, etc. would be rolling in their graves if they saw their work being trashed like that. I know I would.
"In The Flow" is an inappropriate title
Aside from a couple promising skits, this would have been a 1 star for me. "In The Flow" gives the impression that things progress without being forced and just have a kind of organic appeal to them. But this show is anything but. The jokes come across as forced, and the impressions just aren't done well for the most part. I don't know if the blame should go to the writers or the execution, but this is a show that tries way too hard to be funny, and it falls flat more than it succeeds. I don't expect that it will last more than a few episodes. Perhaps Affion needs to go back to the internet where he was initially discovered. I honestly don't know. It's been mentioned before that this is Chapelle Show lite. That may be too generous a description. Whatever problems may have existed initially with Chapelle Show, the charisma of Dave Chapelle carried it until the problems were worked out. I don't think Affion has it in him to be that likable.
So Random! (2011)
So Random was done better 15 years ago and was called All That
"So Random" has already been done. 15 years ago there was a show called "All That", and truthfully many of the skits are so similar in nature that they are pretty much ripped off, with one exception: the "So Random" skits aren't funny. Case in point: "Ask Ashley" from "All That" has become "Tantrum Girl" on "So Random." "Everyday French with Pierre Escargot" is now "Learning Spanish with Reynaldo Rivera." They even ripped off a sketch from SNL by doing a celebrity edition of "Wheel of Fortune." As someone who loves sketch comedy, I understand that there are going to be similarities among shows. But, this isn't an homage to what has been done, this is basically recycled material, and it isn't even done well. To be honest, most of the cast looks disinterested. Maybe it's because most of the cast is now in their 20's with one exception, and the material isn't appealing to them, so they don't sell it as being funny. It comes across as already been done, because it already has been done. I am all for sketch comedy, just try to make it your own. Don't do what others have done.
The Simpsons Movie (2007)
Works better as a TV show than a movie
I want to start off by saying that I did like this movie, and I am a huge fan of The Simpsons. However, the things that have made The Simpsons a great show, and one of the most successful in television history, don't necessarily translate onto the big screen.
The plot, while absolutely hilarious in some scenes, seemed forced in many other scenes, leaving me with a disjointed feeling in the film. From what I understand the script underwent several revisions over a period of few years, so that might explain much of that feeling that I got. It may also be that the writers have been in television for so long that writing a movie script was a little bit more than they could pull off.
With all that said, I did like the movie, just not as much as the show. The animation was sharp, and the characters were true to form. Perhaps though my expectation was set a little bit too high.
Superman Returns (2006)
Too much like the original
Superman Returns is set five years after Superman leaves to look for remains (and possibly other survivors) of his home world Krypton. He returns to find that the world has largely forgotten about him, or made a conscious effort to move on without him. Thus he begins the long journey back to win the hearts and the trust of the world once again (particularly Lois Lane, who writes an article about the Man of Steel leaving).
However, Lex Luthor, having been released from jail, wants to exact his revenge on Superman, and devises a plan to rid the world of the man in the red cape once and for all.
Now, I mentioned in the summary line that this is too much like the original series. I need to clarify what I mean by this. I have no doubt that Brandon Routh got this part mostly on his uncanny likeness to the late Christopher Reeve. But it seemed that through most of the movie the director and producers were not satisfied to have a guy that simply looked like him. It seemed as though they wanted Brandon to copy Christopher's likeness of the iconic character, right down to some of the mannerisms and even dialog. Now I understand that the character of Superman will have some continuity over the years, and that is necessary. However, I was hoping to see Brandon bring something of himself to the role, not simply a reprisal of the Christopher Reeve Superman.
Kevin Spacey on the other hand brought something new to the role of Lex Luthor. He wasn't nearly as over-the-top as Gene Hackman (though I liked Gene Hackman's portrayal as well). I wish though that Routh was allowed to do the same.
The Book of Daniel (2006)
A pluralistic and uneducated view of true Christianity
The real Book of Daniel, found in the Old Testament of the Christian Bible and Hebrew scripture, opens with Daniel and his friends being taken captive to a foreign land, where they will no doubt be tempted to worship and adapt the lifestyle and religion of a highly immoral society. On their journey, they make a covenant with themselves (and with God) that they will not betray Him or His ways.
In the Biblical account, Daniel is thrown to a pack of hungry lions for his refusal to turn his back on his faith. His friends are cast into a furnace and are spared even the slightest hint of a barbecue smell, all because they refused to recant.
Now lets move into the future. An Episcopalian minister has a family that not only practices such things as homosexuality and substance abuse, the personal Jesus character does not condemn it, leading me to believe that maybe the "good" reverend has been getting into his daughter's pot stash.
I see this as a backlash against a fairly recent affirmation of religion, particularly Christianity, and its fundamental principles in such movies as The Patriot, We Were Soldiers, A Walk to Remember, The Lord of the Rings series, The Chronicles of Narnia, the soon to be released At The End of a Spear, and most vividly in The Passion of the Christ. Even in movies such as King Arthur, prayers are said on behalf of others safety.
Do not be taken in by thinking this show is in some way an affirmation of Christianity. It is instead a mockery of it, and I would hope that many of you who read this would have the intelligence to see right through it.
A movie worthy of Lewis' classic story
Narnia: a world created in the mind of C.S. Lewis and transferred onto paper to be shared with the rest of the world. For the longest time it was believed that his world, along with the world of fellow Inkling J.R.R. Tolkien could not be done any justice on a two dimensional screen. The imagination of the writer in combination with the reader was by far superior.
However, both worlds have come to life in a big way. Thanks to some spectacular CGI characters and landscapes, Narnia has been transferred from the pages of this beloved children's series onto the big screen.
Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy Pevensie are sent off to the countryside during the bombing raids over London. They are taken in by a professor, and find his house suitable for playing hide and seek. During the game, the youngest Pevensie, Lucy, discovers a wardrobe and finds her way inside, only to be transported to the land of Narnia.
While there, she meets one of the Narnian's, a faun named Tumnus. He tells her why Narnia is in the condition that it is, and then allows her to go back to her world.
Lucy then tries to convince everyone else of this world, but nobody believes her. Edmund is the next one to find his way into Narnia, and meets Jadis the White Witch. After giving him something to drink and some candy, she sends him back to bring his brother and sisters to her.
It then happens that one day all the children find themselves running for cover after a mishap into the wardrobe. It is then that the adventure begins.
Other than some scenes where it was obvious that a green screen was used, the integration of live action and animation was simply amazing. The mythological creatures not only looked real, their movements were fluid and extremely believable. And considering the cast was made up of mostly unknown names (other than a couple big names) the acting was superb on all counts.
It may not be a film quite on the scale of Lord of the Rings, but make a note that it is a franchise well on it's way for years to come.
The Poseidon Adventure (2005)
What do you expect from a made for TV movie?
I have only seen the ending of the original, so I will not be making comparisons to it in this review.
First off, this is a made for TV movie, which generally don't carry the big budgets that a theatrical release would have. I am not even going to bother to try to convert the dollar in 2005 to the dollar in 1972, but what I will say is there were probably corners cut that would be completely unacceptable in a theater version.
With that said, it is understandable but not unforgivable on why this is just a bad movie. The special effects were OK...nothing that really stood out, and probably was really the only thing that could be considered redeemable about it.
Dr. Seuss probably could have come up with better dialogue, and these actors probably took a few too many lessons from William Shattner on over acting. It probably didn't help though that none of the actors seemed interested in the parts that they played.
Here's the real sad thing though. NBC couldn't come up with something on their own merrit and had to resort to reinterpreting a film that some people consider to be a real disaster movie classic. Once you have the combination of poor acting, poor writing, and zero creativity, you end up with a bigger disaster than the S.S. Poseidon.
Not really that bad of a movie
OK, I have read through a lot of the comments here, and I have been left wondering "Where is the love for the cat?" Garfield: The Movie isn't perfect, but please, it's far from being a bad movie. I thought aside from the Jon/Liz relationship ending up like it did, and Garfield using a lunchroom tray to go surfing down a flight of stairs, it was the same Garfield that I love in both the show and the comic. His sarcasm was there, his overall view of dogs was there, his love for lasagna was there, his distaste for Monday's was there, and his ego was there. People, that's Garfield.
I thought this was a cute movie. Garfield, upset that his life has been disrupted by Odie, locks him out of the house one night, and Odie runs away. Happy Chapman, a guy who earlier in the film saw the talents of Odie, finds the run-away puppy and wants to make him part of his act, going as far to use a shock collar to make Odie do what he wants him to do. By this time Garfield, due to a combination of his conscience and his peers, sets out to rescue Odie.
Believe it or not that underlying attitude is in the comic and show as well. I just don't think it was as bad as some people claim, and I, a die-hard Garfield fan, would recommend this movie to be watched by anyone.
The Day After Tomorrow (2004)
I just saw this movie tonight, and I have to say compared to Roland's other works, such as The Patriot and Das Boot, this looks to me as though it was made intentionally bad, as if to not promote liberal ideas of global warming and what could happen (The polar ice caps melting, etc.), but more as a satirical, even sarcastic, view of their position. Nothing about the movie was all that plausible.
Really in my opinion, this isn't much worse (or better) than Deep Impact, Armageddon, Asteroid, Twister, or any other disaster film, though I really didn't see this film taking itself as seriously as some of those did.
Was it entertaining, yeah. But really I think it's just there.