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Good Vibes (2011)
An early-2010s Comedy Movie Divided into 13 Parts
By the powers combined of the writer and directer behind Rob Schneider's earlier movies (The Animal and The Hot Chick), one half of Carsey Werner, albeit the lesser one (Are You There, Chelsea?, Hank, Happy Hour) and David Gordon Green (the modern Halloween movies, The Righteous Gemstones and Pineapple Express), you get a fairly decent show for its time, and if you happen to be a fan of dumb stoner comedies it's worth a look.
Good Vibes had been floating around for a while, before MTV got the rights to it, around the time they revived Beavis and Butthead for the first time, and needed something to add to a block of animated programs. This was typically put between two episodes of the new Beavis and Butthead, which was a fairly smart choice to keep people tuned in, at least on paper.
The show covers all the key aspects of stoner comedies from back in the day, while also featuring a big collection of pop culture references indicative of the time. While references can harm a show by making it outdated, if done right it can also be nostalgic, especially if you happened to be part of the era it represents, better times and all that. At the very least they don't always beat you over the head with the references, at most using them as a springboard to a grander plot.
It's also a good place for some edgy humor, if you want to go back to when comedy had no filter, give credit to a show that doesn't try to stifle itself. Even among adult sitcoms, at the very least this doesn't revolve around a dysfunctional family or full grown adults, so it's something relatively different.
Worth it for some early-2010s nostalgia, and even then you can do far worse than this.
People are Just Mad the Original Characters Aren't In This
Why else did this show get a low rating? I've yet to see an objective reason to why. Speed Racer: The Next Generation is worth a six at least, only adding a 7 because this was a big part of my childhood, and the original Speed Racer was a big part of many others' childhoods, so there.
Now, while this cartoon isn't much to write home about, it was made to help promote the 2008 live action film, and didn't have as much moeny going into it let's face it. So what good is this series? Well, if you want a little something different from Speed Racer this has you covered. You want a throwback to those anime-influenced shows from the mid-2000s? For the company that initially produced it they did a surprisingly good job.
There's nothing particularly hatable about this show, or its characters, it doesn't try to undermine the older shows, it's more earnest than you think. If you came to this expecting the same things over and over again, touch grass... or just keep watching the old cartoons over and over again.
Eight Crazy Nights (2002)
I don't hate it, go figure.
When it comes to comedies, Adam Sandler movies are in a niche of their very own. They're divisive critically, they tend to resort to the lowest common denominator, yet by the end of it they manage to get plenty of people to tune in, and they do respectably at the box office. Adam Sandler is no dummy, he managed to make bank with a lot of films, demonstrated his chops as a dramatic actor and thanks to his films not being put on a pedestal by a general public, he has managed to maintain a humble attitude that persists to this day.
Everyone has their favorite Adam Sandler film, whether it be those considered nostalgic or better with its tropes, and Eight Crazy Nights is one of my personal favorites. Yes it's absolutely crass, and for it to take place in a holiday film is bound to really irk people, but that just helps make it stand out from others. Whether you like it or not, you can't say Eight Crazy Nights didn't do something, well, relatively different.
The animation is an objective positive, not just because of it in a vacuum, but because it was made out of passion, commitment, essentially given those laid off from major 2D studios another shot to do what they do best.
As for the humor, as a lot of people complain about adult cartoons being ugly and having equally ugly humor, Eight Crazy Nights proves that foul humor is possible no matter how good the art, animation, etcetera.
Eight Crazy Nights has some benefit of coming out when Adam Sandler movies were at a respectable peak, before the schtick started to get old for a lot of people, it has a crazy way of sticking with you whether it be for better or worse. If you want a break from the more cutesy holiday flicks and you're not picky, see what Eight Crazy Nights can do for you.
Hero Worship is Unhealthy
Before you say or think it, I'm speaking as someone who absolutely loved this movie as a kid, I remember being hyped to see it when the trailers hit, I got the movie's video game for GameCube and Game Boy Advance, as a SpongeBob fan back then this movie had everything I could want out of a movie...
So what changed?
It's safe to say the SpongeBob community at large lost their minds following then recent developments at Nickelodeon, people went nuts. Their utter devotion to Stephen Hillenburg led to considerable brainrot. For any outsiders or more casual SpongeBob fans, any good will you could possibly have for this movie and beyond went the way of Smitty Werbenjagermanjensen.
Whether it be because of nostalgia, the fact Hillenburg directed this and initial intentions that were well out of his control, this movie had received more praise than it honestly deserved, and people have become very territorial, from its reception on Rotten Tomatoes for instance.
Whether it's out of blind devotion to a dead man or just the ongoing SpongeBob memes, it feels like people are trying to bring this movie to a cult status almost like what happened to Shrek, we even had a reanimated project.
Hate to be the bearer of bad news, no I'm not, at best this movie is above average, and it shows from its story to its animation. The story is woefully basic once you strip away the show's humor, and the animation is cheaper than you'd think the show deserves, it looks stiff, like everything from the expressions to most of the movements just snap into place. You'd think we're dealing with another Hey Arnold! The Movie situation, or Nickelodeon couldn't be bothered to spring for an extra mill for their own cash cow.
Not helping that movies like these are made primarily to build on the success of their properties, it's not an exception, you just like it better than others, if not because of what show it's based on and who's involved.
There're a lot of great movies out there, but people are wasting their breath on this one, especially for a creator who never even tried to involve himself in the affairs of the fans, and that's what this movie amounts to, a byproduct of hero worship.
Legend of Frosty the Snowman (2005)
Nobody's gonna say it? Okay.
This movie gets more flack than it deserves. Don't get it twisted, it's not a good movie, but it's also not as bad as people claim it to be.
A lot of the flack it gets comes from its attachment to the Rankin/Bass special, but don't take my word for it, note how a stark majority of the 1-2 star reviews compare it to that special. Nobody ever saw it on its own merits, and they rarely even talk about the actual special to boot.
To explain what I think of this film in a vacuum, it's pretty forgettable, nothing offensively bad, any attempts at being quirky come off as either forced or don't get the kind of laugh they're hoping for, and all of it is wrapped up in a Footloose-style story, hold the dancing, which is better or worse depending on your point of view. Also the animation is decent, especially since its production company primarily makes flash animation.
About the only big positive I could give this movie is that when the kids stole the hat they were just stealing it back. Seriously, the original Frosty special was fundamentally flawed, if it wasn't nostalgic, it wouldn't be considered good these days.
I'm all for criticizing this special, but all I ask is that you forget about the Rankin/Bass cartoon, because that can only get you so far.
The Cat in the Hat (2003)
I can't hate this movie, I'm sorry, but I can't
So yeah, this is a very abominable book adaptation, meant to capture what was popular at the time. It's far too crass to be taken seriously and the line is blurred between what it is and what it's based off of...
But I don't hate it. Heresy, garbage take, whatever you want to call it, I know this film has a bad rep for a good reason, but I don't hate it.
I see this film from two perspectives, seeing it as a kid when it was new, and seeing it as an adult years later. When I was a kid, I absolutely loved this movie, I used to watch it all the time on car trips with a portable DVD player. I found it funny, I was aware of the original books and I wasn't offended by it. Additionally, I honestly wasn't scared of the quite frankly bizarre looking Cat and Things 1 and 2, and keep in mind I was around 7-9 years old when I saw the movie.
So as a kid the humor worked for me and I just felt the designs suited the weird environments they took place in.
As an adult... I still found it funny, I still found charm in how weird it was, and even having the negative aspects in mind. Nostalgia or not, I don't hate this movie, you can do far worse. I think this film gets far too much flack, and that's a hill I'm willing to die on.
This film should be seen as its own thing, that's the one thing throwing people off. If you have the stomach for crass humor this has you covered, you can do so much worse. This is not the kind of film you'd ever forget, and honestly it could use a little more love, not a total critical evaluation mind you, it's still not a good movie.
Rugrats Go Wild (2003)
I tried, really I tried
I found out about this movie a little after it initially came out. At the time I loved the concept of crossovers and when I saw this on television, I figured this would be great. I never caught much of it beyond a majority of the first half and part of the end. I would look further into it and... yeah it's not good. I wanted this to be good, or at the very least serviceable, I forgave The Rugrats Movie, Hey Arnold!: The Movie, even the earlier live-action Nick flicks, but this was the movie that finally broke me.
Aspects of the crossover are surface level, to say the least. Some of the interactions seem predictable, like Chuckie and Donnie, the rest range from decent to just passable. One aspect that seemed neat was that we got to hear Spike talk and we get a sense of his commitment to the babies, his babies. My problem is that I go for what seems like a good idea and pay little mind to how it's executed.
It's also a musical, it seems. Yes The Rugrats Movie had some songs, but even those were better, far and in-between even, some were also cut from the film. The premise itself is predictable, I don't know how they could've handled a crossover like this beyond what was obvious. Also, Susie plays a bigger role here than the previous two films, so if you were not a fan of the rivalry between them in the show it's a rude welcoming.
By this point Nickelodeon had made Klasky-Csupo their personal cash cow, shows up the wazoo and a loss of any steam with what had been going on for over a decade at this point. I try to go into movies like that with an open mind, but when you turn me away you know it's gonna be a terrible movie. About the only thing I'll ever argue about this film is that it's not better than the first Rugrats movie, trust me, it's way better than this.
Perhaps Nickelodeon just has a hard time working with trilogies. Case in point, look at what happened to Sponge On the Run. It's clear that and this were made as money jobs, cash in on the properties they own in order to make more out of them. Familiar faces, a basic story, you get the picture.
Hey Arnold! The Movie (2002)
Should stuck with the original plan
It is common knowledge, but worth repeating for the sake of the review. This was supposed to be a television movie, with what would become the Jungle Movie being released in cinemas. Having seen the Jungle Movie on Netflix, yeah, we were absolutely robbed, and it was all thanks to corporate incompetence, or hinging on test screening results, whatever you prefer.
But because of that, this movie was dealt a very bad hand. It's more of a tragedy than a mediocre film. It doesn't stack up to the Jungle Movie, but it wasn't always intended to. If this aired on television, I think this would've turned out a bit better, because at best, this has the makings of a decent TV movie, and that's really the best way to sum up the movie.
So, if you want to get into this movie, forget this was screened in theaters, assume this was always a television movie, and it should help it a good amount. The movie itself, in a vacuum, is serviceable, nothing remarkable, but also nothing too egregious. But even with that, this should've been a television movie like it was intended, because kid me in the 2000s would've ate up the Jungle Movie, especially following the likes of Rugrats in Paris and Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius.
Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius (2001)
A Double Threat
A nice film with a great story that manages to hold up very well, and it just so happens to be a nostalgia flick.
Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius is a lot of things. It was a remarkable film on a technical standpoint, it has a message and story that can resonate with a lot of people, it has heart, sincerity, ambition, and from it we got an equally great television series.
If there was anything wrong with the film, at least for me it wasn't anything that I'd notice, I mean aside from aspects that reflect a sign of the times, you had to be there in the 2000s, and the proper age to really let it resonate with you.
There's a lot more to love about this movie than to hate it, and I'd say this and Rugrats in Paris are the first two Nickelodeon movies that can be considered objectively great.
Nickelodeon's Terminator 2
Now what do I mean by that quite frankly stupid title? Simply put, Rugrats in Paris is an example of a film that manages to be much better than its predecessor, kinda like Terminator 2.
And that's not an exaggeration, at least critically this rates higher than The Rugrats Movie so there's some objectivity to it, even on here this rates higher, but barely.
I have a lot of nostalgia for The Rugrats Movie and Rugrats in Paris, I used to watch both a lot whenever I had the chance, and even to this day both still strike the right chords with me.
I completely agree this is better than the first Rugrats movie, and it all comes down to the kernel of the story. Chuckie's mom is hands down the most depressing aspect of Rugrats, so it was great to explore it here and allow Chuckie to develop as a character, they handle it very well in this movie.
Some may point out it was here that Kimi and others were brought into Rugrats after this movie, but if so, I'd say this movie was a good introduction to them, while providing closure to Chuckie's development.
In a better world, this would've been an ideal finale to the Rugrats, it has that kind of feel to it. But for now, The Rugrats Movie is an enjoyable film on its own right, and Rugrats in Paris is an even better film to follow up with.
The Rugrats Movie (1998)
The third Nickelodeon movie, and the first based on a Nicktoon, and no better place to start than what was making Nickelodeon the big bucks back then, fair game.
The Rugrats Movie is not an amazing movie by any stretch, and it's a sore spot for longterm fans as this was the movie that introduced Dil. But in spite of that, you can honestly do far worse. As far as most movies like it go, it's more earnest in its effort. I know that doesn't sound like much, but what I mean by that is that by the end of it, the story is enjoyable, certainly well written, but not exactly groundbreaking.
But by the end of it, you can do far worse than this. If you have to watch this with your kids it won't be the end of the world, there is something to enjoy about it, whether it be the more tender moments or even the songs or dumb jokes if you have the stomach for it. Even for a nostalgic look-back it works, though your mileage may vary.
I loved this movie as a kid and I still have a spot for it, but of course it's not great. This movie walked, so Rugrats in Paris could run.
Konferenz der Tiere (2010)
Puts the "mental" in environmental
When it comes to the environment, I get it, we haven't done a good job at caring for it. I can understand media trying to encourage people to be more aware of it, but they just go about it in the worst possible way. Every single TV show episode or movie that has a focus on the environment, exceptions apply, tend to go through the same faults. They either derail a character and force us to pick a side, or they paint humans as evil boogeymen, yes they're the biggest opponents to the environment, but how about some suspension of disbelief?
The message is the strongest thing about the movie, and that's not a benefit. All the characters are either bland or just serve as strawmen or mouth pieces, it's clear the filmmakers had the environment in mind over telling a good story, along with very blatant cynicism toward its viewers, and that's the draw. Throw in basic poop jokes and others like it because the kids eat those up, and why don't we mix it with lectures about how we're destroying the planet.
This is far worse than any dumb cheap CG cartoon, because this one takes itself more seriously than it has any right to, and it bungles its message so bad that it winds up making us hate the message as much as the messenger. We may not live to see the world burn through environmental crisis, but honestly pollution is looking less toxic than the environmentalists pushing their beliefs in the worst way possible.
But if you really want a pro-environmental film that isn't as condescending as this, Ferngully and Once Upon a Forest will be breaths of fresh air by comparison, they can't possibly be worse than this pit of compost.
The Adventures of Pinocchio (1996)
Yes this movie looks creepy
Yes this movie's practical effects, characters and special effects didn't hold up very well, yes this didn't have the budget to justify a story of this scope, yes the donkey transformation is scary, yes this isn't the best depiction of Pinocchio, but you know what, that's okay.
The movie had one goal in mind, to try and translate the original novel as closely as possible, and if not, just tell a story. And they did. They put their best effort to try and make something unique, and it wasn't all for a lack of effort. If this had more money put into it, they could've done a much better job, clearly ambition outweighed what their budget could allow.
I will say on the donkey transformation, it's supposed to be scary, it's supposed to tell Pinocchio that something is seriously wrong and make him realize he made a terrible mistake.
In spite of this film's many flaws, they're more earnest compared to the 2022 Pinocchio live-action remake, Disney's own mind you. They represent the other extreme. They had all the money in the world and made something of it, but the story is far more hollow by comparison, all that effort, and it was all for nothing.
If you ask me, give me childhood trauma over a wet fart any day of the week, trauma builds character.
Environmentalist episodes suck, this is a thesis to why
Environmentalist episodes have always had the same problem. They are incredibly heavy-handed, obnoxious, and as a result characters tend to suffer, becoming utterly unlikable, but the writers expect us to immediately go to their side no matter what.
I'm not gonna act like Jennifer isn't left-leaning, that's the point behind her character, she takes after her parents. But how do we go from a situation that clearly affects her mental health to sudden validation? This isn't the first example of how environmentalism can ruin a character, and it certainly wasn't the last.
And that was the crux of the episode which is why I focus on it. There was nothing else to the episode to really go onto, especially for the lack of a b-plot. I'd say this no matter where my political views lie. The environment is important and the people should try to take better care of it, but there's a better way to get the message out, and you don't have to tear down other characters to do it.
Yakkity Yak (2002)
Seriously not that bad
One of many international acquisitions for Nickelodeon, it seems this was intended to fill space for low-priority hours, best I could guess. I was able to catch this show when it was new, and yes I understand why people wouldn't like it. It's not groundbreaking and its humor is an acquired taste, but it's honestly not that bad.
I've had two perspectives on this, one seeing it as a kid, the other seeing it as an adult. I really enjoyed this show as a kid, whether it was for its humor or visuals, and for better or worse I had tried to catch it whenever it aired.
As an adult, revisiting the series through YouTube uploads, I found myself watching more episodes than I expected to. If it was purely nostalgia for why I liked it I would've not bothered with the show after one or two episodes, but the fact that I can still watch and enjoy the episodes really says a lot.
If your standards are low or you're just looking to kill a few minutes, Yakkity Yak is the perfect show for you to just shut off your bran and enjoy. I also really like its art direction, it has a UPA-type style, and certainly looks distinct compared to other cartoons from the time.
You can do far worse, especially compared to other shows from the period.
Toy Story 4 (2019)
I Don't Think Pixar Can Count to 4
I'd say the top dogs of animated cinema have a hard time making four consecutively high quality films, but Shrek Forever After is actually enjoyable.
Toy Story is a lot of things, and means much more to a lot of people. For an ongoing series, it has never lost any of its steam, each consecutive entry being better than the last, and it felt like it was always intended to be a three-film deal, bar some spin-offs. So when I heard there was a fourth film, I mean okay, as long as there was a story to tell.
Of course even a story could turn out to be bad, such was the way with this movie. To put it simply, it feels cynical, for a lack of a better term, like they threw in ideas with little thought to how well it can mesh with the universe Toy Story established, even changing things around, and it's especially egregious when such changes had only occurred in this film, with the sensibilities of modern cinema.
Bo epitomizes this, I mean I get trying to give her a bigger role, but this was not the way to do it. She comes off in a way that I don't want to put up with her, and it really doesn't make Woody's departure any better. The whole thing began with Woody not being played with, and yet there're times he does get played with, the entire conflict is borderline nullified.
When you're up against a series that has maintained critical acclaim across three entries, that just makes the whole thing far more inexcusable. It doesn't want to be its own thing, rather it wants to capture the spirit of the old films.
Toy Story 4 is a cynical film through and through, and thus, it's far more painful than even Cars 2.
The Immortal (2000)
To Hell with Highlander
There is plenty to discuss with The Immortal, one of many syndie action shows meant to fill air time when the dawn of the new millenium was running dry, and networks sought to make shows cheaply in order to ensure something would be on. B-movie aficionados may find something with this.
When it comes to syndicated shows, those do not get network dollars, and they're intended to be made as soon as possible, often with a slated amount of episodes and then boom, it's over.
Honestly the fact that people have to compare this to Highlander, it shows said people have as much intelligence as this show, possibly lower. You mean to tell me Highlander is a brainless action show made to fill air time? Highlander seems like a terrible time, and its sequels are far worse than The Immortal, certainly.
Turning Red (2022)
Hype killed the movie star
This movie is not pleasent. I could live well enough alone for the premise, but, for how people went about promoting it, it cost the movie its value. I can't go into anything if it means rubbing elbows with unpleasant types that make up the majority, especially when I offer opinions to the contrary.
My biggest issue with the film is the arbitrary use of the year 2002. If you take that away, the core element of the film would not be lost, it would still be about a girl going through the throws of growing up and becoming a furry.
Also this has to be the ugliest Pixar movie I have ever seen, nothing like mugging the camera every few minutes.
All that's left is pain
When your first point is that it's supposed to bad, you know your movie has absolutely nothing to it. I feel bad for those who paid money to fund this movie, that's a lie, they would gladly take steaming fudge if it came from James Rolfe.
I love bad movies, but those only work because their bad qualities come by accident. When you intend to make the worst movie possible, there is no room for imagination, either you laugh at it or you don't. I didn't. Sensible people would've dropped off after this.
Not looking for helpful ratings, just getting this out there.
Mr. Malevolent (2018)
Apparently we're all idiots
I'm no stranger to bad movies, heck, I love them, well the more obscure of the bunch. I love anthologies all the same, so I decided to seek this out and see what the trouble with this was. I was thankful someone uploaded this to YouTube... because not even a refund could fix things.
This movie wears its views on the sleeve. Yes, many of these issues addressed are real, but the way they go about it, reducing it to a cartoonish degree, it kinda ruins the prospect and takes away its legitimacy, don't you think?
Condescending messages, sloppy camera work, oftentimes sloppy writing, and the lingering sense the director thinks we're idiots, I saw this for free, and I still feel ripped off.
Homeless for the Holidays (2009)
And the Award for Most Miserable Woman Goes To...
The mother in this was my only takeaway from this entire movie, and that's obviously not a good thing. Without the right reactions then we wouldn't get through various holiday movie cliches, and we wouldn't want that, now would we?
Have her complain about her husband not being home because of his job, and source of income? That's there. Have her complain about him not having a job, while you just sit on your behind less you relegated yourself to a stay-at-home housewife to prepare for this moment? That's the idea behind this movie after all.
It's like the powers that be set up an outline and wrote dialog based on it, rather than actually writing something with weight to it. It wouldn't be so bad, if it weren't for the occasional whiplash and foregoing of small plot points.
The thing about these Christmas movies is that the worst aspects of them always stick out. Only way to make this more prophetic is to refer to the mother as Karen.
As with many saccharine Christmas movies, there is little to offer here. Heck, the Christmas spirit is incredibly dull in this movie, so just tune in to Hallmark every Christmas, with so many movies there you're bound to find something enjoyable. Let this rot in obscurity.
The Red Ape Family (2021)
This is the Bar
Nothing can get any lower than this. There is no way to justify NFTs, there is no way you can justify a high asking price, there is no way you can justify low quality animation that somehow has less than any barebones production.
All this is good for is justifying the existence of other low quality shows.
This is as low as bad animation could get, welcome to planet earth ladies and gentlemen.
Turbocharged Thunderbirds (1994)
You gotta have a buck to make a few quick ones.
Of all the cash-grabs that were a dime a dozen in the 90s, this takes the cake as the cheapest and most desperate... thing to ever exist. This was made to capitalize on the success of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, but the people behind this didn't realize that lightning never strikes in the same place twice.
So what does this have to show for itself? Cheap effects, cheap appeals to the youth, cheap props that you can easily identify as other things, and this is just within the first half of the first episode.
It's not just an insult to a groundbreaking British television series, but an insult to sensibility, the youth, and cash grubbers that actually know better.
High Guardian Spice (2021)
Poor and problematic
I won't go into the controversy surrounding this series during its earlier stage of production. As far as anyone should be concerned, we just have a new series on an anime streaming service. It will be judged as such.
The issue here is a lack of true innovation, or at the very least innovation that seems natural. Characters are one note or adhere to traits already used in other shows, the plot is just as flat and basic, the animation... I'm not gonna complain about a western cartoon being featured on an anime service, but this animation is pretty subpar.
Basic movement, mediocre art direction, often lazy backgrounds.
The writing suggests the writers are out of touch with the world or have no grasp on natural progression or presentation. It feels more like meeting a quota than providing true representation. Not all LGBTQ+ individuals have garish hairstyles or a punk look, it's a borderline caricature.
It's less "A lesbian character" and more. "Look, it's a lesbian character, are you satisfied?" I'm all for representation, but I fear it will always be handled in the worst possible way.
If these characters are based on the writers, then it's less about representation and more of a warped interpretation of it.
Either the wrong people are representing diversity, or this is just a poorly written show that was not worth the delays and vague initial details, plagued with cliches, bland characters and stories and low quality animation.
Both. It's both.
Police Academy: The Series (1997)
It ain't quality, but it's still fun
I had never seen any of the Police Academy movies. I'd be encountering the franchise, or some part of it, for the first time here. As a given, the show isn't as funny as the movies, at times trying way too hard to be funny.
While the movies had more nuance, at least I would assume, at the very least the jokes aren't unbearable, at best overly random (lest they were borrowing from the films.) The one episode I watched I managed to get all the way through, so at least they got a sense of bearability down.
It's not impossible to sit through, just corny and pales in comparison to the movie series it's based on. If you're in the mood for some cheesy screwball comedy, this is the perfect show to shut off your mind to and just have fun with it.