Tag Archives: Animated

40 – WTF? Zootopia has Fallen

We’re once again joined by Brooke Heym as we review London Has Fallen, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, and Zootopia.

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London Has Fallen is a sequel/lazy rehash of the first movie. The production delays and “creative differences.” Laughable script. Ridiculous premise. “Time of the month” jokes. A dick flick, not a chick flick. But stuff blows up, and there’s Gerard Butler, so there’s that. Brooke gives it 2/10.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot is Tina Fey producing an adaptation of a memoir of a television journalist about her time on Afghanistan from 2003-2007. It’s not a comedy– it’s real life, with real humor interjected to lighten the mood. Like M*A*S*H. Lots of talk about Afghanistan. Tina Fey delivers an amazing performance that’s both emotional and funny. Andy and Brooke both give it 7/10.

Zootopia is possibly the best movie of the year so far. A cute story about a bunny who wants to become a cop becomes “48 Hours” when she gets paired with a streetwise fox. Sooooooo much deep meaning in this movie about prejudice, bullying, etc, but maybe too much? Andy’s pancake analogy– Adam prefers waffles. Trump. Hillary. Not quite as good or straightforward as Wreck-It Ralph, but almost. Andy gives it 8.5/10, Brooke gives it 9/10 and says Andy is wrong about Tangled.

Oscars wrap-up! We were mostly right! Except that Best Picture thing. Andy’s idea about Spotlight– we need a new Oscar category for acting or “Best Ensemble” and one for “Best Special Performance in Motion Capture, Voice Over or Animation” and how it would be good for diversifying the Oscar nominees and winners.

Next week! Cloverfield sequel and Andy will be at SXSW!

35 – The Finest Kung Fu Panda 3 and Sundance hits the Feelz

Kung Fu Panda 3, The Finest Hours, and from Sundance: Project Avalanche, Werner Herzog’s Lo and Behold: Reveries on the Connected World, and Newtown.

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Kung Fu Panda 3 – not as good as the first two, but still very good. Bryan Cranston and JK Simmons steal the movie. Kung Fu movie tropes and the zen existential question “Who am I?” Gorgeous animation. A longer review here, but Andy gives it 7 out of 10

The Finest Hours – the true story of the heroic rescue of the SS Pendleton, so spoiler alert that the rescue is successful? It’s Disney, so the sailors don’t swear. Chris Pine is great as the Coast Guard captain, but even better is Casey Affleck as the ship’s engineer trying to keep the ship afloat and crew alive long enough to be rescued. And then it all screeches to a cheesy halt in the last 10 minutes.  Fuller review here, Andy gives it 7 out of 10.

And we have a trio of films from Sundance:

Lo and Behold: Reveries on the Connected World – Werner Herzog’s 10-part documentary on the history of the internet, and where we’re going. Good, but lacks a through line. Werner Herzog impressions.

Newtown – the effects of the Sandy Hook shooting. Incredibly emotional what these families are going through, including the families of survivors dealing with the guilt as their friends and neighbors go through the pain. 9/10

Project Avalanche – foudn footage movie about faking the moon landing, featuring Stanley Kubrick via cleverly edited on-set interviews during 2001.

The Sundance acquistions, where they’re going, the Birth of a Nation record-breaking deal, more on #OscarsSoWhite and the SAG awards– how streaming is giving black actors more opportunity.

23 – The name is Brown. Charlie Brown.

This week we review The Peanuts Movie and SPECTRE, plus give our recommendations of other James Bond movies we like even more.

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The Peanuts Movie – It’s certainly a Peanuts film. Totally nail the vibe, the characters, the voices, and even how disconnected a lot of the little vignettes are from one another.  Inclusion of two modern songs is jarring and out of place. Otherwise a lot of fun for folks who like Snoopy and Co. Adam gives it 7/10, Andy gives it 7.5/10 and a more full review here. 

SPECTRE – This is Bond’s 24th outing, and possibly Daniel Craig’s last. Can basically be summed up as: “Not as good as Skyfall.” Andy enjoyed all of the homages to previous Bonds. They basically failed to really develop any of the villains. But dem Bond girls, tho. Adam give it 5/10, Andy gave it 7.5/10 and you can see a more full review here.

Better know a Bond movie:

Adam chose Goldeneye. It was his first Bond movie, plus that epic N64 game! Sean Bean as the villain. Famke Janssen as Xenia Onatopp.

Andy chose Skyfall because penance– his original review was ho-hum about it, but he blames having had to watch an internet screener on a tiny laptop. But he came around, including it in his top 10 movies of 2012 after seeing it on a big screen multiple times. IMAX. That theme song.

Episode 13 – Hitman Get Whacked

Not much to see this week as the movie studios try to hide their films from critics. But we did see Hitman: Agent 47. And we were not impressed. So instead we talk about other good August releases to remind us the end of summer doesn’t have to be a crapfest.

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Hitman: Agent 47 is so boring. It would’ve been better to just play the video game for 90 minutes.  It’s basically Towelie from South Park. Adam gives it 3.5/10, Andy gives it 3/10. You can read Andy’s longer review here.

Why do studios send their bad movies to die in late August? Here are a few movies that broke that mold:

The Iron Giant – One of the best animated movies ever. We love Brad Bird.

Better Off Dead – (And a tribute to all the movies that came out in the Summer of 1985, especially August ’85, one of the best of which is this.) A lesser known John Cusack movie about a bad breakup. The side characters! The 80’s cliches! Happy birthday! You came out 30 years ago TODAY!

South Park makes fun of everything.

Songs from this episode:

Episode 11 – Fantastic Four is neither Fantastic nor Four. Discuss!!

We review The Gift, Ricki and the Flash, Shaun the Sheep, and Fantastic Four.

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The Gift – Joel Edgerton wrote, directed and starred in this creepy thriller. Jason Bateman is a douche. Andy has a Fruedian slip and calls Rebecca Hall “Allison” (he was distracted by Allison Brie). Tense, slow burn, but ambiguous ending. Andy and Adam both give it a 5/10. Read Andy’s full review here:  http://bigshinyrobot.com/59077/gift-should-be-returned-store-credit/

Ricki and the Flash – Directed by Jonathan Demme and written by Diablo Cody. Meryl Streep wants another Oscar and she’s gonna sing! Good story for the first hour, then takes a weird twist. Why is 20 minutes of the movie Meryl Streep doing karaoke? We know you can sing– we saw Into the Woods and Mamma Mia. 6/10

Shaun the Sheep – Soooo good. Aardman Animation Studios doing stop motion. There is zero dialogue. Everything Fantastic Four gets wrong, this gets right: great villain, great character development, family, humor, adventure, and understanding the nature of your IP. 9/10. . . but with a caveat that it might only seem better because of Pixels and F4.

Fantastic Four – Adam never gives things 0, but this is awful. Andy was too bored to hate it that much, but ended up at 3/10. Movies that have a better rating on Rotten Tomatoes and if they’re better or worse than this. Adam’s full review here: (you really should read it!) http://bigshinyrobot.com/59072/fantastic-four-review/

Recommendations? Mondo steelbook BluRays are available at Target.com in limited quantities. Andy thinks you should visit Austin for MondoCon if you’re into Mondo.

What a Mondo Steelbook Blu-Ray looks like:

mondo shaun of the dead

Music from this episode:

Episode 4 – Dope, Inside Out. . . and what is the deal with critics?

This week we review Disney/Pixar’s Inside Out and indie comedy-drama Dope. 

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Dope is about young Malcolm growing up in Inglewood, Los Angeles, as a self-proclaimed geek who is into “white shit” like skateboarding, Game of Thrones, manga, his trip-hop punk bank named Awwreoh! and getting good grades and going to Harvard. Through a series of misadventures, the day before his fateful alumni interview that could determine his future, he gets a bunch of drugs planted in his backpack and then is placed in circumstances where he has to sell them. Sorry for plot spoilers– that’s not the point. Lots in here about racial identity– what it means to be black and expectations based on your race. There’s also a strong commentary about drugs and how the impoverished African-American community deals with the violence and problems of delivering drugs to white folks.

Strong performances by main cast, a GREAT soundtrack (which you can stream here) and lots of laughs and real drama.  8/10

Inside Out is Disney/Pixar’s return to form after not having an incredibly spectacular movie for a while. Perfect cast. The purpose of Sadness. Bing Bong.

9/10

Our childhood imaginary friends.

What is the purpose of criticism or critics?

Ratatouille –  the main message here was Gusteau saying that “Anyone Can Cook.” Remy was challenged by knowing that a critic was coming in to eat their food, and he made something to blow his mind.

Chef – Jon Favreau and Oliver Plat get into it on social media over a bad review. Chef says critic doesn’t understand how to cook. Critic says his dishes are uninspired. So chef gets fired, gets inspired with a food truck, and critic ends up wanting to financially back his restaurants. What what what?!?!

Critics are chefs’ friends– they demand more, and point out where things can be improved. What do you need to be a critic? Anyone can cook, so anyone can critic– just use critics as a lens or filter, not infallible arbiters of good and bad.

Birdman – theater critics are way mean. Why are they so broken? We wanted to like TMNT. Really. Sometimes a movie is just escapism. The law of large numbers and critic aggregation sites.

Agree with us, disagree with us– let’s have a discussion.

Closing song is from Lava, the short that played before Inside Out. We forgot to review it, but it is excellent and worth the price of admission alone.