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A Star Is Born (2018)
Awful, predictable, boring.
Yeah, you read that headline right. I absolutely hated this cliched mess of a movie that did absolutely nothing new or interesting. I could go on and on about the specifics of the movie that I disliked (and I actually did on my blog), but I'll make an attempt to keep it brief.
The first third or so of the movie was pretty good in my opinion--the characters really shined and the soundtrack was absolutely phenomenal. It was this first third or so of the movie that made me respect the love story and convinced me--even for a second--that it would be a new take on this kind of love story. Then a record producer showed up and everything went downhill. From there, every single aspect of the plot was dull, predictable, and unexciting. I wondered what the point was in staying and watching through the entire thing if I could predict it all. The characters are what ultimately got me through the movie (or more specifically Jackson, since I found Ally nearly unlikable by the end of the film).
I only cried once while the other moviegoers in my theater were blubbering over every other line of dialogue. The end of the movie--where Jackson committed suicide--is the only part that got me. Other scenes were just predictable and boring to me (if well acted). The movie's commentary on the suicide ("It was HIS fault") enraged me, since it's NOBODY'S fault when someone commits suicide.
Every other aspect of the movie (with the exception of the aforementioned soundtrack and performances of the actors) is either dull or unnoteworthy. The movie clearly has nothing new to say other then new artists with crappy music deserve a Grammy. I wasn't happy I saw it and I am wholly unsatisfied with the experience. At least Gaga and Cooper have amazing singing voices.
Player Select (2017)
Cool, but takes the fun out of original vids
I almost live on YouTube right now, and this show just... Boggles me. For one, I didn't know it existed until about a half an hour ago. One episode later, I am simultaneously impressed and confused. Let me explain why.
The idea itself is ingenious in its own way. I am right smack in the middle of the demographic of this show, though it claims to be for "general audiences". I am almost entirely sure that this show targets teenagers and young adults, because no one else watches YouTubers like these. Jacksepticeye? Seriously? On a show for "general audiences?" Nope. But that's part of why this show's idea IS ingenious. Everything is CENSORED. No curse words, no nasty subjects, just YouTubers and games. And that on its own is a really good idea.
But this is also where its problems arise. Since everything is censored, some of the fun is taken out of it. In their effort to make a show for "general audiences", they take away some of the spirit of these YouTubers and add in a bunch of Disney awkwardness. I found myself frequently cringing at this show because of the strange editing and censorship. I would be sitting down, enjoying myself and the videos themselves, but soon find myself sighing at the awful, cringey editing that they use to appeal to the "general audiences". It. Sucks. And while it is tolerable, that doesn't mean that it's cool or funny.
Hotel Transylvania (2017)
This not only doesn't need to exist, it's downright awful.
I saw the trailer for this show long before its first episode aired on TV. I was unimpressed. Still, I hoped it would be one of those cases where the show itself is enjoyable in the least, and different from the trailer. God. It's quite the opposite.
Before I go on I'd like to note that I have to note that I have never seen the original movie(s). I have heard that they are funny and heartwarming, and I do intend to watch them at some point, but I intentionally went into this show with no prior knowledge of the source material. I want to judge this as its own thing, and not some petty addition to an expanding franchise.
Anyway, the show has very little going on for it. You could probably say, actually, that it has nothing going on for it. I can not name a SINGLE time I laughed at this show. All of the jokes either fall flat, are delivered incorrectly, or outright don't make sense. And that is probably one of the biggest flaws, if not THE biggest flaw, of the show. It is straight-up unfunny. The animation does not help in the slightest, either.
The animation looks lazy and, at times, unfinished. It's clearly cheap and done under a very tight time limit. One of the very few things I have heard about the original movie is that its animation style is very fast-paced and compliments the humor very nicely. That is NOT the case here. The animation is usually very slow, allowing for more verbal humor than physical humor. OH MY GOD IS THAT AN AWFUL CHOICE. "Hotel Transylvania: The Series" needs SO MUCH MORE physical humor! And the main reasoning for this is that the verbal humor is near unbearable! Some physical humor would make this cartoon a lot livelier.
Probably the best part about this show is the voice acting. That's not to say that the characters are good--in fact, I hate almost every one of them. They're either annoying, unlikable, or too idiotic to care about. The voice acting helps this a little bit, however, since the voice actors are honestly not horrible replacements for the original's. Okay, it's no Vincent Price performance, but it's... Passable. The voice actors helped me a lot to not make me want to punch one of these characters in the face. Particularly Mavis. Her voice actor--Bryn McAuley--adds some much needed life to this character and really steals the show. In fact, she's really the only character that I don't mind. She can be really annoying at times, but she's definitely one of the better characters.
All in all, this show is a definite skip. It's harmless to show to your kid if there is literally nothing better on, but I would rather watch... Anything else, except maybe "Teen Titans Go!". Just... Don't pay any mind to it if you don't have to.
Lemonade Mouth (2011)
Probably the best DCOM (Disney Channel Original Movie)
I found most of Disney Channel's original movies to be abysmal, cheesy messes with so-so acting and plots that could make Inspector Gadget: The Movie look like Shakespeare in comparison. But I found Lemonade Mouth to be an organic, well-acted, clever movie. It has some thought-provoking, inspiring themes that puts it aside from pretty much every other DCOM out there. The songs are catchy and pretty well-performed. And let's not forget the teen actors that all give likable, believable performances. I'm a musician in real life, and though my school has an incredibly well- funded music program, the thought of losing it still lurks and chills me to the bone. This movie suggests that music programs are important and allows us to express creativity and self-expression and that being yourself is the most important thing you could ever do... And though that seems to be the theme of many Disney Channel movies, it rings true to all of us. This is, in my humble opinion, the very best Disney Channel original movie, and I will keep watching it whenever it comes on.
Invader ZIM (2001)
This show is a MASTERPIECE
This is easily the DARKEST children's show I've ever seen in my life. But it's perfect! The voice acting is perfect, the animation is flawless, the plot lines are absurd and hilarious, and the characters are all well-developed and fun to watch.
Zim is the perfect main character--Ambitious, self-centered and determined, yet blissfully unaware of what's going on around him. Not to mention he can, on occasion, be a complete and utter badass. Dib works off of Zim perfectly, and the situations they get into are just... How do you even describe it? One moment, Dib is trying to stop Zim from stealing the organs of kids, another they're working together to stop a giant hamster-monster. Don't even get me started on Gir. I think he's gone a little bit too mainstream, but can you really see why? He's even dumber than Zim, disobedient, and somehow gluttonous, but he's so quotable and hilarious you can't help but laugh every time he's on screen. Even the minor and side characters are unique. Gaz is easily the coolest female character I've ever seen on Nickelodeon (Though that's up against some serious competition). Tak is just awesome... She somehow got an entire backstory and motive crammed into one episode.
The score is unique and dark. It gives you this "action scene" vibe. We need that vibe more often.
The relationships of the characters are unique as well... Zim and Dib loathe each other, but when they work together, you get this sense of teamwork. Gaz and Dib are siblings, right? Well, Gaz couldn't care less about Dib, though he really cares about his younger sister.
This was really one of Nickelodeon's shining moments. It's truly a shame it had to end. But if you're interested, there's a comic. Which is also great.
The Loud House (2015)
Nick, keep it up!
Huh. First Harvey Beaks, and now THIS! I will readily admit, I did not expect this one to be good. Shows like Breadwinners, Sanjay and Craig, and the new seasons of Spongebob are just... Bad. But I think Nickelodeon is finally learning that fart jokes+characters with no depth whatsoever=A BAD SHOW. The Loud House has pleasant animation, relatable characters, and funny story lines. It, in a way, reminds me of the old Nicktoons. They were funny, with good messages behind them and just enough depth to suck you in and never let you go. It's no Harvey Beaks, but this one is good enough to recommend. The only problem I have with it is that there is the occasional poop joke... So, that kind of takes away from it. Still, I would watch it for a fun time.
Harvey Beaks (2015)
Nickelodeon has recently forced me over to channels like TeenNick and Disney XD... Even Disney Channel at one point! (Yeah, it's been that bad.) Its recent shows like Sanjay and Craig have ugly animation and insanely awful jokes and plot lines. Breadwinners is simply the worst cartoon I have ever watched in my life. Even Spongebob has taken a turn for the worse. So, I took a break from Nick, even though I enjoyed watching the new season of The Fairly Odd Parents, which has held up pretty well. I returned to find Harvey Beaks, which is simply amazing compared to its other shows. It's so good I'm not even sure where to begin! It boasts gorgeous animation and stellar plots, and an even better voice cast. This might even be the show to bring Nickelodeon back from the dead! I mean, the last two good cartoons Nick produced, The Mighty B! and T.U.F.F. Puppy have ended. Harvey Beaks is just a breath of fresh air and I highly recommend it. (The only reason it gets a 9/10 is because no cartoon is perfect in my eyes, even though this one is pretty darn close.)