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Futurama: Into the Wild Green Yonder

Futurama: Into the Wild Green Yonder

(2009)
4 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

So I gotta say, I was a little worried when I saw the first few Futurama movies. However, After seeing the third and fourth (and the first again), all in a two week span, I can't be more psyched about the way into the wild green yonder ended.

(side note, gotta stop saying i couldn't be more psyched or excited... maybe in the spirit of the current 80's cultural Renaissance, I could go with I couldn't be more pumped?)

The first Movie, Bender's big score, was funny, but it just sort of felt like an overlong unedited episode. It felt like the scriptwriters were learning how to take the jump to a longer format and the actors were rusty. I did love, however, the way it was full of little Futurama fanatic nuggets, like reintroducing all the old characters, and it was very funny despite it's flaws (more so the second time through), C+.

The second movie was terrible. It turned me off to even watching three and four for about about six months. I am fiercely loyal to the series, but this one wasn't a good or even very funny movie. I must admit, at this point I was nervous about the renewal of the series. IMO, bringing it back only to kill it is worse than leaving it dead. D+.

The third movie restored my faith in the writers. It was funny and completely self-aware in a way that only Futurama can be. It's a dorky quirky example of Science Fiction as political satire, and it is shows like this that display the flexibility and range that Science Fiction can have. This one gets a solid B.

The last movie was also very funny, and just psychedelic enough that it reminded me how tripily wonderful this series is. It also did a perfect job of moralizing effectively. This movie was funny, to the point, and intelligent. I love these characters, and I love the dialogue. Seeing Bender dressed up as a hooker and getting pelted with machine gun fire and getting Leela arrested only so he could bust her out and rack up 15 felonies, Classic. Snoop Dogg as the head supreme court justice? Priceless. A solid B+.

Overall I give the series a B, and I would even recommend watching all four. Comedy Central remains the monopoly on great comedy (with the possible exception of the office).

Check out more science fiction and fantasy reviews at www.attackofthespacepickle.blogspot.com

Love Happens

Love Happens

(2009)
4 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

I'm going to start reviewing a new movie genre here, one that may seem like a bit of a departure from my previous niche. As the title to this post suggests, I am going to focus these reviews towards romantic comedies, or more generally romance movies (which happen to be my wife's favorite kind of movie, and consequently a type of movie I see quite often). I'm going to simplify the rating system for this genre to husband approved and not husband approved.

So, those of you who are are looking to a relatively painless romance movie to see with significant others, or those looking to take a significant other to a movie from this genre, refer to this site!

Love actually... no wait that's not the title... Love Happens rather (okay, I'm going to make a rule, no more romance movies with Love in the title, it's confusing) is formulaic, sappy, sentimental and predictable. Despite all of this, it is utterly enjoyable.

I promise you, you've seen this movie before. Successful yet damaged boy meets unpredictable and artistically quirky girl, girl takes boy out of his comfort zone, drama ensues (with a dash of comedy), girl and boy fall for each other, girl and boy fight, boy realizes he needs to move past his issues, boy does, boy and girl make up.

Aniston and Eckhart have even been in this movie before, or at least played these roles in movies before. As usual, Aniston plays Rachel from friends, even though the character is written with a sort of quirky unpredictable Rachel Weisz type vibe. Eckhart plays a good guy version of his role in Thank You For Smoking. But then these performances actually end up working pretty well, especially Eckhart's preformance

Unfortunate side note here, I don't think Aniston even knows how to play a different character anymore (if she ever did). Rachel is all she has: sometimes she's happy Rachel and sometimes it's sad Rachel. At least Rachel is an identifiable character.

Contrary to logic, however, this film is actually a (grudgingly) pleasant experience. The dialogue is sharp and funny. Eckhart plays a motivational speaker who runs seminars designed to help people grieve for lost loved ones, which is a recipe for vomit inducing melodrama if you ask me. But the production value, acting (it is specifically the non leads who really shine in this picture) and dialogue make the situations honest. On top of this, there is just enough comedy to keep the message focused and enjoyable.

Basically, this is a well done piece of flaming dog do-do. The casting is good, the dialogue is better than expected, the plot (while predictable and slightly over dramatic) is moving and funny, and the music is really good.

In fact, the music choices might be the best part of the movie. For instance, Badly Drawn Boy is used better in this film then in About A Boy (and that was the only positive part of that entire movie).

Overall, despite the predictable nature of this movie, it is enjoyable. It's a perfect date movie, and is grudgingly husband approved.

Check out more reviews at www.attackofthespacepickle.blogspot.com

9

9

(2009)
4 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

I really really wanted to like this movie. The previews make it look so awesome, like it is this amalgamation of fantasy, science fiction, anime, all topped off with a dash of myth for good measure. It looks innovative and ground breaking; it looks like a truly original film.

On top of this, the last sci-fi short turned feature length film I saw was outstanding.

Well I did sort of get what the previews promised, even if I got a movie when the previews promised a film...

The movie is a mash up of various myths, which for the most part depend on the viewer's acceptance of the judeo-christian system of morality. Now don't get me wrong here, Philip K. Dick is my favorite author and he squeezes the bible into many of his novels, so it's not the value system itself that is the problem, but rather the way it is presented in this movie that is at issue.

The problems with this movie are greater than the unsophisticated way this movie handles morality, however. There are big and small issues which all combine to create an unbalanced and messy feature.

I'll start with the small things, issues that were seemingly small but in reality were glaringly representative of the overall clumsiness that marred the movie.

First of all (minor spoilers ahead), there is a scene about twenty minutes into the movie in which 9 and 5 decide to try rescue 2 (for those unfamiliar with the story, the characters are assigned numbers in place of names). 5 brings a map, and predictably, it blows away. As the two sneak into the ominous evil robot lair, an unknown individual trailing them finds the map in exactly the same place that it just blew away from.

The second small (but symptomatic) issue with the movie is the big grand daddy baddy. He has a flame thrower on his arm, yet he lives in a building so full of motor oil that one small fire is enough to wipe out his entire army, and the building itself.

Anyway, this post is already getting overlong so I need to stop over-analyzing every flaw. I'll just touch on one more flaw (the movie's biggest flaw in my opinion), the lack of believable characterization.

In any story, a character's moral decision making must be underscored by an authentic and logical back story. For instance, the character 8 clearly has some sort of substance abuse problem. This helps make his abusive bullying more believable and authentic.

On the other hand, we follow the character 9 basically starting with his creation. Yet despite 9's relative innocence and youth (can robots be young? Seeing as these are highly anthropomorphic robots, I'm gonna say yes), he is instantly able to correctly make all the tough moral choices that cross his path. The audience just doesn't get enough behavioral back-story to buy into 9's altruistic and heroic bravery.

9 (the character, not the movie) is a perefect example of what is wrong with this movie. 9's altruistic behavior (like the movie in general) is too blatant and clumsy. The sci-fi and fantasy tropes don't help to make the judeo-christian mythos that are at the core of the movie sufficiently original. The characters robotically behave in a certain way with no character development authenticating their decision making. Overall, the movie is either overlong (I hear the short film that inspired the movie is very good) or over-short (if they had just more fully developed a few characters I would have believed in the plot more completely).

Fortunately, the movie isn't all bad. In fact, the movie is incredibly visually stunning. It is so visually powerful, in fact, that it makes the movie enjoyable despite the glaring flaws. A very high (almost C-) D+.

check out more reviews at www.attackofthespacepickle.blogspot.com

Futurama: The Beast with a Billion Backs

Futurama: The Beast with a Billion Backs

(2008)
4 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

So I gotta say, I was a little worried when I saw the first few Futurama movies. However, After seeing the third and fourth (and the first again), all in a two week span, I can't be more psyched about the way into the wild green yonder ended.

(side note, gotta stop saying i couldn't be more psyched or excited... maybe in the spirit of the current 80's cultural Renaissance, I could go with I couldn't be more pumped?)

The first Movie, Bender's big score, was funny, but it just sort of felt like an overlong unedited episode. It felt like the scriptwriters were learning how to take the jump to a longer format and the actors were rusty. I did love, however, the way it was full of little Futurama fanatic nuggets, like reintroducing all the old characters, and it was very funny despite it's flaws (more so the second time through), C+.

The second movie was terrible. It turned me off to even watching three and four for about about six months. I am fiercely loyal to the series, but this one wasn't a good or even very funny movie. I must admit, at this point I was nervous about the renewal of the series. IMO, bringing it back only to kill it is worse than leaving it dead. D+.

The third movie restored my faith in the writers. It was funny and completely self-aware in a way that only Futurama can be. It's a dorky quirky example of Science Fiction as political satire, and it is shows like this that display the flexibility and range that Science Fiction can have. This one gets a solid B.

The last movie was also very funny, and just psychedelic enough that it reminded me how tripily wonderful this series is. It also did a perfect job of moralizing effectively. This movie was funny, to the point, and intelligent. I love these characters, and I love the dialogue. Seeing Bender dressed up as a hooker and getting pelted with machine gun fire and getting Leela arrested only so he could bust her out and rack up 15 felonies, Classic. Snoop Dogg as the head supreme court justice? Priceless. A solid B+.

Overall I give the series a B, and I would even recommend watching all four. Comedy Central remains the monopoly on great comedy (with the possible exception of the office).

Check out more science fiction and fantasy reviews at www.attackofthespacepickle.blogspot.com

Futurama: Bender's Game

Futurama: Bender's Game

(2008)
4 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

So I gotta say, I was a little worried when I saw the first few Futurama movies. However, After seeing the third and fourth (and the first again), all in a two week span, I can't be more psyched about the way into the wild green yonder ended.

(side note, gotta stop saying i couldn't be more psyched or excited... maybe in the spirit of the current 80's cultural Renaissance, I could go with I couldn't be more pumped?)

The first Movie, Bender's big score, was funny, but it just sort of felt like an overlong unedited episode. It felt like the scriptwriters were learning how to take the jump to a longer format and the actors were rusty. I did love, however, the way it was full of little Futurama fanatic nuggets, like reintroducing all the old characters, and it was very funny despite it's flaws (more so the second time through), C+.

The second movie was terrible. It turned me off to even watching three and four for about about six months. I am fiercely loyal to the series, but this one wasn't a good or even very funny movie. I must admit, at this point I was nervous about the renewal of the series. IMO, bringing it back only to kill it is worse than leaving it dead. D+.

The third movie restored my faith in the writers. It was funny and completely self-aware in a way that only Futurama can be. It's a dorky quirky example of Science Fiction as political satire, and it is shows like this that display the flexibility and range that Science Fiction can have. This one gets a solid B.

The last movie was also very funny, and just psychedelic enough that it reminded me how tripily wonderful this series is. It also did a perfect job of moralizing effectively. This movie was funny, to the point, and intelligent. I love these characters, and I love the dialogue. Seeing Bender dressed up as a hooker and getting pelted with machine gun fire and getting Leela arrested only so he could bust her out and rack up 15 felonies, Classic. Snoop Dogg as the head supreme court justice? Priceless. A solid B+.

Overall I give the series a B, and I would even recommend watching all four. Comedy Central remains the monopoly on great comedy (with the possible exception of the office).

Check out more science fiction and fantasy reviews at www.attackofthespacepickle.blogspot.com

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