The Grinch

The Grinch would be the biggest Dr. Seuss effect on society if it wasn’t for that feline that wore head accessories.

Speaking of the Cat of the Hat, I have still never seen that live action movie. But it was supposedly terrible, so bad that that the Seuss family said no more live action films. Just animated. Which means that eventually we got to have The Lorax from Illumination Entertainment, a company normally on my shitlist, because they make shit to average films.

And despite seemingly having any Seuss thing to work with, they figured they could just do The Grinch again. Why? I don’t know. We have a successful animated 2D version, and a successful 3D live action version, so I guess we need another version, this time animated and 3D.

If it was a better company, I would be annoyed because they could have decided to do One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish instead. Maybe Tim Burton will tackle that one after Dumbo.

Snowman
One way to ruin Christmas is to teach the local youth about jerking someone else off.

Oh yeah, this is the section where I talk about the plot of The Grinch.

So uhhh, there is this place called Whoville, where all these Whooligans live in splendor and wonder. They are overtly happy and cheerful, and for whatever reason, they all enjoy the shit out of Christmas. Decorations, noise, presents, togetherness, food, you name it. Christmas is number one. Celebrations all month long.

But someone doesn’t love Christmas. No, he hates it. The Grinch (Benedict Cumberbatch) lives in a mountain outside of Whoville, alone and bitter, with his dog, Max. He just wants to be left alone, but he has to visit Whoville to buy food occasionally. Normally he hides up all December to avoid the festivities.

This year, however, he has to return and get involved. Because they are putting everything bigger, 3 times bigger at least, and that he cannot stand. He must steal this Christmas from them, to make them feel as sad as he does all the time. That will show those Whos who’s boss.

Also featuring Angela Lansbury, Cameron Seely, Kenan Thompson, Rashida Jones, and Pharrell Williams at the narrator.

Santa
That’s not Santa! Santa Claus is a black man!

There is only really one major point I want to harp on, so I will get to the quicker stuff first. The Grinch doesn’t seem mean, just sad and lame. The film felt too long, and featured what turned out to be an unnecessary reindeer plot to pad the time. And the backstory they gave to him paints the city of Whoville as a terrible place to be with a bunch of assholes, and also sort of makes his behavior completely justifiable. Great.

However, besides all of that, I have a question. Do you think the Whos in Whoville worship Jesus or believe in any sort of god? Because in the last two movies and the book, they have not made any references to Jesus or religion. They celebrate Christmas like Americans, the secular ones at least. Presents, Santa, food, and togetherness.

There are no mangers in Whoville! This is not Earth at all, it is its own planet or city or entity. Shit, maybe it is on a snowflake.

But not in this movie. The first sign was when a choir was singing “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” in what was definitely a minute long and silly scene. It took me out of the movie. They had Angels on trees, which isn’t as bad. But then even later, there was a singing of Silent Night, another very religious song.

These movie makers are so out of touch with the material, that they are getting their own potential Christmas traditions mixed up with Whoville Christmas traditions and that is a problem.

Come on, you know it is true. A fundamental breakdown of this magnitude is either agenda driven, or a lack of intelligence, neither of which should be celebrated.

1 out of 4.

Rock Dog

2017 is the year of the animated disappointments so far, and yes, I still have not seen The LEGO Batman Movie, get over it. It might be funny, I just don’t care too much, as Batman was what I disliked the most about The LEGO Movie.

And I figured I would be skipping Rock Dog, it was an animated film released almost a whole year prior in China. You know, because they made it. And I know America isn’t number one at everything anymore, but I know we are still number one at animated CGI films. Yes, some anime notwithstanding, we do CGI cutting edge and well, so foreign films just seem behind.

And also the title, Rock Dog. Sigh. Come on animated films, be better.

Legend
I wonder which one is the rock and which one is the dog.

Way way far away, in a land called Snow Mountain (which is, guess what… a snow mountain!), there lives a young Tibetan Mastiff named Bodi (Luke Wilson). Bet you thought his name would be Rock Dog. Nah, not yet.

A long time ago, a bunch of wolves led by Linnux (Lewis Black) were driven out of their town by Bodi’s father, Khampa (J.K. Simmons). Khampa is pretty sure the wolves will eventually come back, so he is training up the local sheep and his son to protect it again once they come back. There is also some magic stuff about finding his inner fire to help defeat things, but uhh, that is weird.

Turns out Bodi just wants to rock, once he discovers what music and rock music actually is. It is all he thinks about, it is his new dream and passion, and he is a bit of savant. But his dad disapproves, so he one day just goes out on his own to prove him wrong.

After getting to the city, he heads to a place called Rock and Roll Park in order to find a band and make a big name for himself, like the legendary rocker Scattergood (Eddie Izzard). But the wolves are out, the people are mean, and Bodi might just have to make it on the music biz on his own.

Also featurign the voice work of Kenan Thompson, Mae Whitman, Jorge Garcia, Matt Dillon, and Sam Elliott.

Home
The snow or rain or whatever is happening is indistinguishable from that yak’s beard in the background.

Rock Dog is another animated film that ushers out a line of celebrities to do their voice work instead of real voice work, because names sell. Names like Eddie Izzard. Thankfully, two of those names are J.K. Simmons and Sam Elliott, who have unique voices and add something to the film. Too bad their characters are in Snow Mountain, so only at the beginning and the end of the film, really.

The premise of Rock Dog is mostly shit. Anthropomorphized badly explained worlds are all over the place, and this does nothing to rise above a Pre-K TV program on Disney. It doesn’t feel fully fleshed out and it is a super simple story. A lot of it about a dog who just wants to play music in a world that doesn’t rewward newcomers.

But despite its lack of originality, great CGI, or anything new to offer the genres, it is still an average movie.

I mean, I am not going to go out of my way to make sure my kids see it, but if they do see it, I won’t be annoyed at their mind being poisoned by drivel. It is just a bit dull for those of us who have been there, done it, when it comes to these types of movies.

2 out of 4.

They Came Together

Heh. Heheheheh. They Came Together. That title. Oh man. Oh boy.

I’m done. I can’t even think of a good intro because of that.

However, I would feel like an asshat if I didn’t first mention that this movie had already been reviewed on my website. Yah! Here is a link! Because I totally have guest reviews on my website, not a lot, but they are there. And from them, of the seven, one I had reviewed already, one I reviewed soon after, and this one I reviewed way way later.

I think I am just stalling.

Leaves
Like how I am avoiding cleaning up my leaves in my yard.

This movie is your classic romcom. And that is how they sell it. It is literally a spoof movie on romcoms, and they basically say that in the opening scene.

It is your classic boy meets girl. Joel (Paul Rudd) is a big corporate man working for a candy shop. Molly (Amy Poehler) is a klutz and owner of an independent candy shop. Oh my goodness, conflict!

Joel has a long term girlfriend (Cobie Smulders) who doesn’t love him like he does. Molly has an ex-husband and a kid.

Joel has a best friend (Jason Mantzoukas) who introduces him to a girl from work. Molly also has a best friend (Melanie Lynskey) who also wants to do that same thing!

Joel has a group of best friends who help him decide relationship advice. Molly has a black coworker friend (Teyonah Parris) who helps her keep it real.

Joel also has to deal with his younger brother (Max Greenfield) who is busy following his dreams and not making a living. Molly has other options, like a banker (Ed Helms) who wants to get closer to her.

I think you get the gist. It has a lot more people in it too! Like Christopher Meloni, Bill Hader, Ellie Kemper, Michael Ian Black, Kenan Thompson, Jack McBrayer, and Ken Marino.

Bear Suits
I don’t have a joke here. I just like the picture a lot. 🙁

I felt ridiculous writing this, because in all honesty, it was a ridiculous movie. I actually put off watching it for so long, because I thought I wouldn’t like it, or it would be as average as a romantic realistic indie movie. And hey, it was weird and unique! So that was good.

It is hard to find a nice spoof movie nowadays. And I think They Came Together gave one of the better attempts at it. I did laugh at quite a few of the absurdities, and found it pretty funny. But, by the end, I thought aspects of it were going too strong and the joke was losing its luster. A bit. You know? Maybe too much of a good thing. Hell, I even had a good time explaining some of the jokes to others, but I didn’t think this is a movie I could really watch again and enjoy it as much of the first time. I think it will quickly stale out.

This is all conjecture. I might love it forever. But if anything, these reviews are first impressions and my impressions can often change through time. I usually don’t like changing a review later, because who would notice and ehhh, apathy. This time I am pretty sure that I would only enjoy this movie once though. And that is why it is just an okay film in that regard. Without staying power, I don’t want to buy it. If I don’t want to buy it, then is it really that great?

2 out of 4.