Andrew G.'s Profile - Rotten Tomatoes

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Rating History

Zoom
Zoom (2006)
2 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

?Pretty girls have no friends and never get any respect.? Jack Shepard ? Tim Allen

In the 90?s and 2000?s, the Superhero genre of films exploded. There were loads released, most of them based on comics by MARVEL or DC. Occasionally, an original hero like Darkman would be released, but for the most part, it was characters that had already been around for decades. Bryan Singer?s success in creating 2 great films based on the X-Men showed that it wasn?t impossible for a film to be based on multiple heroes at the same time, yet still be good. Zoom however, is a film that shows everything that?s wrong with the superhero genre, and is one of the worst films I?ve ever seen in my life. Every aspect to the film is terrible, and there isn?t one thing I can point at and say ?that makes the film redeemable?.

Zoom is based on a children?s book that I haven?t read, and don?t ever plan on reading. It follows former Superhero Jack Shepard (known as Captain Zoom), who is called back to work to train an unlikely group of children with superpowers into a new generation of superheroes. He has to be quick in training them though, as the world is close to certain destruction from a super villain from Shepard?s past. Right from the beginning, it bears a strong resemblance to a film that came out only 1 year previously, Sky High, with the concept of a school that trains you to be a superhero in order to save the world. I was one of the few people who didn?t like Sky High, but it did have elements to it that I did like. If you never saw Sky High (I myself didn?t see it till long after its release), a good example of a film that followed the same formula was the Harry Potter franchise. Everyone I know has seen at least 1 entry in the Harry Potter franchise, and it?s a fair assumption that most people in general have. The difference between Harry Potter (and to an extent Sky High) and Zoom?s handling of the formula is extremely evident. Harry Potter explained the world of magic and Hogwarts to children as characters, but the writing was really strong and it was a competently written script, enough so adults too could be explained to at the same time. Zoom on the other hand writes directly to children, and understands that children aren?t going to be overly critical to films, because they most likely haven?t developed the mindset to do so yet. Because it only writes to children, the script is atrocious to adults that will likely be watching this film with their children. As a result, it?s a film that becomes really dull for people who can make justified opinions on films. Anyone that has ever disagreed with me on this film has defended it by saying ?it?s for kids, so it?s not meant to be brilliant?, to which I respond with examples of brilliant films for the family audience that were masterpieces. The example I like to use the most often is Babe. If you?ve never seen it, it?s basically the story of a Pig on a farm, and that?s it; yet it tells a superbly written story and is just as entertaining for adults as it is for children. If someone can take a film about a Pig on a farm and make it one of the most loveable and enjoyable films of all time, why can?t a film about superheroes for the same audience be redeemable at all. If you can?t take Babe as a good example though, look at what PIXAR did with the Incredibles. That film remains one of my all time favourites, not just in the superhero genre. It essentially is a children?s film, and while it understands that you need to put aspects in there that won?t bore them, it works brilliantly to put adult aspects in there, which it does flawlessly. If only Zoom did the same. Just because children are your audience, doesn?t give you the excuse not to write a decent script. With any film in the superhero genre, you need character(s) that you can attach to. Zoom doesn?t have that whatsoever; each character is a template taken from a much better film, and written poorly. The lead protagonist, Shepard, is an aged superhero trying to get back to what he used to do; an archetype we?ve seen a million times before. We?ve got the assistant who stands by, who ?doesn?t love? the superhero, a stock. The children though are the biggest insult. Each is a different stereotype of youth; the young girl obsessed with pink and princesses; the Goth teen; the fat kid; and the socially awkward teenage girl new to emotions like love. They?re all uninteresting, and you don?t care for any of them.

To help poorly written characters, you can get competent actors to slightly improve. Zoom doesn?t do that. Tim Allen is a comedic actor who I have mixed feelings towards. He?s brilliant in stuff like Galaxy Quest and voicing Buzz Lightyear, but in films like this, he lacks any good comedic timing here. It?s probably due to the terrible script, but he?s just bad in this film. Courtney Cox plays the assistant who apparently doesn?t have superpowers. This was 2 years after Friends had been taken off of TV, so everyone was aware who Cox was. I like Cox as an actress, and while she?s probably got the best performance in this film, she?s wasted too. She?s the only thing in this film I liked at all. Ryan Newman plays one of the children, the little girl. Though I hate to give this film any praise whatsoever, Newman is perfect in the role. She delivers her lines with perfect timing, and while the script it terrible and written for children, Newman pulls it off. She?s completely wasted, but promising nonetheless. The other youths aren?t in the same position however. Spencer Breslin plays the fat kid, and he?s one of the most annoying child actors around at the moment. He doesn?t deliver a single line well, and the emotions he tries to portray are either under or over performed. It pains me that kids like this are getting paid lots of money for terrible performances. Kate Mara plays the teenage girl, and she?s completely wooden. We?re meant to believe her as plain socially awkward, but she overdoes it. You wouldn?t believe someone like this would ever exist in real life. Michael Cassidy plays the gothic teen. He too is completely wooden, but he keeps changing from overly gothic, to regular teen, then back to overly gothic. It?s ridiculous. The only other cast member worth mentioning is Kevin Zegers as the villain. The performance is terrible, and every line of his is shouted, and nothing else.

Most superhero films impress you with good special effects. X-Men was good in particular, giving us great special effects for each individual character; whether it was the weather with Storm or Wolverine?s claws. Zoom however has a much smaller budget than X-Men; only $35 Million. Though it gives an indication as to why the special effects are bad, it doesn?t change the fact that they are indeed terrible. The CGI is completely unconvincing and it?s awful to look at. It?s the sort of CGI that you can?t get past; because it?s so obvious that it?s animation from a computer. The problem I have though, is that if it knows that the CGI effects aren?t very good, then don?t put much of an emphasis on them. Don?t try to put them as the main focus of the film; put them in the background and focus on writing a strong script, which would make the rest of the film that bit better, rather than display terrible special effects.

Zoom is a painful experience to me, both as a film buff and as someone who wants to be entertained. It?s a film that wastes your time, and offers absolutely nothing positive to the superhero genre. It truly is one of the worst of the genre, and while I can?t quite call it as bad as Catwoman, it?s still impossible for me to recommend.


Andrew?s rating: 0.5 out of 10

Scooby-Doo and the Alien Invaders
4 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes
½

The Story in Scooby-Doo and the Alien Invaders is just as complex as that of Zombie Island, but lacks a certain likable quality, and unfolds too fast. The love story isn't very good, and Scooby-Doo fans won't find much to enjoy.

The Special Relationship
5 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes
½

The performances by Michael Sheen and Dennis Quaid are simply outstanding. Both actors perfectly inhabit the public personnas of Tony Blair and Bill Clinton. The film is titled the Special Relationship, but at times my problem with the film was that the film didn't focus on the actual relationship between the 2 leaders, but rather their individual lives: the sort of things that should have been put in seperate Biopics. It's also a little too short for my liking.

Gangs of New York
5 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

There were two aspects of the film that I sat back and marveled at. One of which was the direction by Martin Scorsese: it's the sort of simplistic at times but incredibly effective at giving us detail that cements him as one of the best directors alive. The other aspect was the performance by Daniel-Day Lewis: there's a reason he's one of the most respected in the business. The story I felt had way too much going on unnecessarilly, and the core of the story was a little bit too simple for my taste: a plain old revenge for the death of the protagnist's father flick. The Cinematography and the supporting performances were great, but overall Gangs of New York ranks a little bit short of GoodFellas.

Tron Legacy
Tron Legacy (2010)
5 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

While I enjoyed this long-awaited sequel to the original Tron, I found it to be hugely disappointing. I feel this film can be summed up the same way as Avatar: pretty to look at, but using too many familiar elements and not using them too well in the story. Jeff Bridges was great in both the roles he played, but admittedly, the CGI to make him look younger didn't work too well. What made the film so bland was just how predictable it was; I predicted the fates of multiple characters early on. One major problem I had was the miscasting of Michael Sheen: here's an actor who I'm growing to respect more and more, and to see him give such an over the top and unlikeable performance was awful. I recommend seeing the film in the cinema purely for the special effects.