Tag: T.J. Miller

Goon: Last of the Enforcers

I. Love. Goon.

I did not do a best of list of 2011, but if I did, Goon would have certainly been on in it. It was such a surprise of a film. I don’t except a lot out of hockey movies, nor do I expect a lot out of Seann William Scott films, but something magical came together to give a movie that was hilarious, brutal, but still full of heart at the same time. And it told a different sort of hockey story. A different sort of underdog.

It was the perfect storm.

And then they said there would be a sequel. This time it would be written and directed by Jay Baruchel who wrote the first film. It would be Goon: Last of the Enforcers and it would come out eventually.

So it took six years yes. And Canada had it released in theaters briefly in March with no knowledge of when it would come to America, theatrically, DVD, or otherwise. And at some point it was just here, I saw the Blu-Ray at used movie store. I freaked out, excited, and scared.

As much as I loved Goon, I had big fears that a sequel would just be utter shit, as a lot of comedy sequels tend to do.

Train
Turning the whole thing from a comedy into a romance is a bold choice as well.

Doug Glatt (Seann William Scott) is ready to start a new season as a Halifax Highlander, but with a big change. He is going to be the captain. This upcoming season is a bit of a weird one, as there is a lockout in the NHL, so more and better players are in their league than normal and people are actually noticing them for once, including the media. They have a new owner, Hyrum Cain (Callum Keith Rennie) a former player himself.

During their first game, Glatt gets into a bloody fight with Anders Cain (Wyatt Russell), an up and coming violent winner, and yes, son of their new owner. Glatt gets his ass handed to him and his right arm injured, putting him out potentially for good. His right hand is so messed up, if he fights again, it will quickly get fractured and fuck it up permanently.

So Glatt is ready to retire on that note. Eva (Alison Pill), his now wife, is also pregnant and worried about him, so he gets a steady job in some insurance company. He hangs his skates up for his family, as the Highlanders begin to lose and lose. The owner makes changes that seem to threaten the franchise and the careers of his friends. That is not good. There is no way Glatt could come back, right? Not with an inability to fight. He would just have to be a player mostly. It might be crazy enough to work…

Also returning are basically everyone from before: Marc-Andre Grondlin, Liev Schreiber, Kim Coates, Jay Baruchel, Jonathan Cherry, George Tchortov, Karl Graboshas, Trent Pardy, and Richard Clark. It also brings in Elisha Cuthbert and T.J. Miller!

New Guy
New guy definitely wins the beard game if anything.

A lot of the same happens in the Goon sequel, thankfully. We still have the locker room playful banter that makes up a decent portion of the original. A lot of the skaters are the same. The old captain has retired and is now just a coach, along with the same old coach as well. Just a new owner, a new player, and the same supporting cast.

Pill’s character has changed for the worse. She is worried about her husband, and pregnant, but she really doesn’t get to have a lot of good moments unlike the first film. She rocked originally when she was a hot mess, but I guess it is development. Glatt feels like the same old character, which feels great, although the time between the films is a bit up in the air. I definitely enjoyed seeing Rhea in a roll that felt natural as well.

Unfortunately, Russell’s new antagonist, though threatening, was all over the place. They tried to place it all under just anger issues, but it is really hard to understand him as a person, and feels like he would just do what a writer wants, not like how an actual person might react.

Jokes are still there, they just didn’t hit as hard. Some really funny moments, but I have already forgotten basically every best moment, unlike the best moments from Goon which I have quoted for years.

All in all, it is just an okay film. It won’t tarnish the memory of the first film, but also, it is one I won’t ever need to go back and see again. Oh well. Just don’t make it a trilogy and end it poorly.

2 out of 4.

Search Party

With only five reviews a week, it is hard to really get to watch those obscure weird films. Especially around Oscar time. But damn it, I sometimes have to just force a review into the schedule. Even if no one has heard of it. Even if I watch it and write it but take over a month to find a place to publish it

That is probably what is going to happen with Search Party.

Despite semi famous individuals in it, it was secretly brought out this year with hardly a whimper. In fact it was supposed to come out in 2014 but got delayed two years because they didn’t feel like it.

And now that it finally has gotten released? Well there is a television show of the same name, making it that much harder to find. I wonder if that was on purpose…

Kidney
Despite what it looks like, no, this isn’t even a sex comedy.

Nardo (Thomas Middleditch) is totally getting married tomorrow! To Tracy (Shannon Woodward) and he is as happy as ever. Of course, the night before he is getting high in a van with his two friends, Jason (T.J. Miller) and Evan (Adam Pally), but it is okay. He made the mistake of wondering out loud if he was making the wrong choice, but that is normal pre-wedding jitters and no one goes out of there way to care about them.

Except, Jason does go out of his way. He thinks about it long and hard, but he decides no, Nardo doesn’t want to get married, he has to break it up during the ceremony and stop it from happening. And stop it he does, feeling like a hero.

So Tracy is upset and goes on the honeymoon alone, to Mexico, taking both tickets, leaving Nardo with his friends. But damn it, Nardo wanted to get married. So he is upset, everyone goes back to their lives.

And later that night, Jason gets a phone call from Nardo, who is naked and alone in Mexico. Apparently he his car stolen and they took his tuxedo as well, and now he needs help. So Jason picks up Evan sort of against his will (he has a side plot line involving his job, and his boss (Lance Riddick) and coworker (Alison Brie)) and they head to Mexico to find Nardo! Well, search for him. And they plan on partying a little as well. Search Party.

Search Party also features Octavio Gómez Berríos, Maurice Compte, J.B. Smoove, Rosa Salazar, Krysten Ritter, and Jason Mantzoukas.

Wedding
The wedding was doomed to fail because they didn’t go with the cummerbunds.

Search Party seems like a movie that wanted to take a format similar to The Hangover, but zanier and with cheaper stars. Two guys from Silicon Valley and one from Happy Endings, brilliant!

Well, no. It feels like bad joke after bad joke. And the jokes they choose to tell go on so long. We get a kidney stealing joke and it is one of the major points of the film, but it isn’t funny.

Middleditch is actually the worst here. Miller and Pally have to carry most of the story while bad things happen to Middleditch and he does a terrible job of carrying on his own plot. It is just high pitched squeals and constantly freaking out, coupled with poor decisions.

At least Miller and Pally develop some amount of chemistry, no matter how bad or forced it seems. I don’t know if switching the roles around so that Miller/Middleditch got to interact more would be better, because apparently this thing was filmed either right before Silicon Valley or shortly after it started. But they didn’t feel like a group of old friends, but instead people who hated (and reluctantly put up) with each other.

And you know what? If your jokes suck and your friendship doesn’t really work, the movie is just doomed to fail. This film was pushed back because they knew it sucked. But apparently also this year is a similar film called Joshy with some of the same actors. I don’t even.

1 out of 4.

Office Christmas Party

Merry Christmas everybody! Sure, I am publishing this review of Office Christmas Party in January, but I totally saw it before Christmas, so this opening is okay.

I just realized that because I already saw it late, I didn’t have to rush out a review for this film, that most people were already going to ignore. Because yeah, it wasn’t the saving grace of comedy films this year. It was a standard, low effort, comedy movie.

So for whenever this review hits the actual page, let’s just pretend it is Christmas all over again. You know, so we can be disappointed and eat pie.

Work
Bad Sign: Googling the movie name gives more pictures from Christmas Episodes of The Office than this film.

This film is about some lame tech company. In charge of the entire business is Carol Vanstone (Jennifer Aniston), left there by her father after he passed away. However, the Chicago branch is being run by her brother, Clay (T.J. Miller), and he is a big fuck up. So despite it being the Christmas season, he wants them to still get bonuses and have a small gathering to celebrate. But not according to Carol. Carol wants it cancelled, no bonuses, and 40% of their workforce canned in order to meet really high growth rates.

Really shitty. But, the CTO, Josh Parker (Jason Bateman), finally divorced and broke has an idea. If they sign the Walter Davis (Courtney B. Vance) account by the end of the quarter, they will reach the growth and no one would have to get fired! Yeah! Walter likes them, but will go with a bigger company, because of news of their layoffs, branches closing, and it seems like a negative work place.

So sure. Thanks to Clay and their head tech person, Tracey (Olivia Munn), they decide to throw a giant party at work, against Carol’s wishes. Like, a crazy, old fashioned, people screwing in the copier room type party. They will throw a lot of money into it, show their happy workers, convince Davis they are awesome, and sign him tonight, and no one will have to know!

Sex, drugs, alcohol, gifts, bonuses, and a night people will talk about for ages. Fuck the HR lady (Kate McKinnon)!

Also featuring Jillian Bell, Rob Corddry, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Vanessa Bayer, Randall Park, Sam Richardson, Karan Soni, Jamie Chung, and Abbey Lee.

Party
Look! Santa on a sleigh! How crazy indeed!

I wish I could say I liked this movie. I really do. It has a lot of people I like. Munn seems to mostly make bad film choices after she left Attack of the Show. Miller is usually my favorite supporting character in movies and can usually make a shitty one slightly more bearable, but he did nothing for me in this one. And I love Miller in Silicon Valley.

Aniston still keeps showing up in comedy films while failing to be funny herself. Bateman is playing the exact same role he always does. Mackinnon is forced into an awkward character that is supposed to be an HR exaggeration but every joke is cheap and easy.

It is frustrating because it is a comedy that barely got me to smile, making me laugh maybe twice at a quick joke. It tries to show a crazy and crude party, but doesn’t push the envelope at all. The majority of the party just seems to be Miller rapping over music to very happy employees.

There have been crazy out of control party movies in the past, which is what this one tries to do, but it is surpassed by most of them easily. And the ending where they have to leave he party and deal with pimp problems? It doesn’t help the plot, takes us away from the main focus, and gives us boring action scenes disguised as something interesting.

This is another low effort film, based on a single subject, where the filmmakers really didn’t know where they wanted to take it. Easy jokes, low brow humor, some stereotypes, a penis and some boobs, and I just saved you time explaining what you would see in this film.

Office Christmas Party is not something you’d want to watch with your work friends, as a Christmas tradition, or even as part of a lay party. Easily forgettable, but not easily forgivable for the waste of time it provides.

1 out of 4.

Deadpool

People have been waiting years for a Deadpool movie. At least a little bit over one year.

Remember X-Men Origins: Wolverine? Of course you don’t, because any sane person has blocked it from their memory. But that is when we finally got a Deadpool on screen, played by Ryan Reynolds, and he was barely in it. Hell, he became a final fight, but his mouth was sewn shut, and he is known for his talking mouth.

So people went on the internet and bitched and complained, which is the number 2 thing people do on the internet. And no one listened. Until finally, in 2014 “test footage” of Deadpool visual effects made in 2012 was “leaked online.” Oh no! The internet went wild and shared it, showing there would be interest, and guess what, interest finally existed for them to go full on with the movie that had been in development hell for at least a decade.

Now that it is here, my only worry is that it is actually going to suck. Because the Wolverine solo films suck and the advertisements everywhere make the film look like it is trying too hard.

DP
Heh. Hard. Like a penis. Hey, is that a boner!?

Ryan Reynolds is DEADPOOL, aka Wade Wilson, aka not Deathstroke or Wolverine. A weird guy, excessively violent, speaks graphically and honestly, a go getter, can heal exceptionally fast, and breaks the fourth wall.

That is basically everything you knew if you were already on the internet, because that is what is he known for now.

Did you know before he had the hideous face he was just a fucked up mercenary with a twisted sense of honor? Did you know he loved a woman (Morena Baccarin) almost as fucked up as him? That he frequented a bar of tough guys where his friend Weasel (T.J. Miller, not Pauly Shore) worked? That he developed cancer in multiple parts of his body, and to try and cure it, he underwent secret scary surgery that promised to make him into a super hero?

But no, it was a bad place run by Ajax (Ed Skrein), who was turning these people into super soldier slaves! He is the main bad guy, super strong and fast, with no nerves so he doesn’t get a fuck about no pain.

Yeah! So Deadpool really wants him to kill him. Or get him to fix his ugly body that is gross now, then kill him!

Also featuring on his side, Colossus (Stefan Kapicic, just the voice), and Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand)! Angel Dust (Gina Carano) is Ajax’s main lackey, and a guy named Warlord (Michael Benyaer) also exists. Other characters are played by Karan Soni, Randal Reeder, Jed Rees, and Leslie Uggams plays Blind Al.

Colossus
Colossus could make a good case for being blind as well.

I am afraid the internet will hate me. Deadpool has received gallons of support from other early reviewers, and if I don’t like it they will cut me down like the people who for some reason believe Sylvester Stallone deserves awards from Creed.

But let’s get straight to the point. Parts of Deadpool are hilarious. Parts of Deadpool have great action. Parts of Deadpool make me smile. But all of them just feel like small parts, and I want more. It isn’t funny enough and there isn’t enough action.

Starting with the action, our bad guy is played by Skrein, who most recently did a terrible job with The Transporter Refueled. His character is also strong and can take a huge beating, but he is incredibly boring and dry. He doesn’t feel sinister, just almost like a normal gang member with some powers. Similarly, Angel Dust is just Gina Carano. She is super strong I guess? Another boring power.

But they are just two people who like like humans, going against Deadpool and Colossus, a 100% CGI man, and Negasonic, who is barely used. In super hero battles you expect both sides to have some sort of pizzazz. Without it, it is just Deadpool slaughtering gang members and a couple slightly stronger humans.

Similarly, there didn’t seem to be enough action. The intro action sequence plastered over the trailers was broken up by extremely long back story sequences. It ruined the flow of that scene for me. Outside of the final climatic battle, it just didn’t feel like there was a lot between them.

ajax
This is about as epic as any encounter gets unfortunately.

Now for the comedy. Again, there were great and hilarious moments. I tended to laugh at the smaller jokes. The crude and vulgar humor felt about as funny as it does in a teen sex comedy, so sparingly. T.J. Miller was usually good, but even his lines felt forced at times, not a lot of natural moments.

Meta jokes were usually good, as they were part of the fourth wall breaking. I tend to like that in movies in general, and the moments in here were all used nicely. But again. The back story didn’t have enough humor in it. The lines were witty, but they were too far and in between. Fuck, when he was getting tortured in the secret facility? I thought that would never end. It didn’t make the film feel dark and gritty, just made me checking my mental clock wondering when it would get to the good stuff.

I am just a bit disappointed. I got a bit hyped up from the internet storm, and I thought Deadpool could have been a lot better. More wall to wall action and comedy. Better villains so that something cool could have happened in the fight scenes. Hell, Colossus was completely underused and just became generic Russian strong guy.

I have high hope that sequel will end up being much better. But for now, this ended up just being okay, exactly what I was afraid would happen.

2 out of 4.

Big Hero 6

For whatever reason, I know a lot of people who were upset when Disney bought Marvel Studios. They thought it was the end of the good stuff. They thought only bad could come. They said the same thing when they bought Lucasfilm.

I, however, was excited. They weren’t going to mess around with a good thing too much, they didn’t want to spend billions to not make billions more back! But I was even more excited about the potential of a full on, super good CGI Marvel/Disney flick. Yeah. Something with the cutting edge in technology, giving me full on super hero battles, with flash colors and everything the comics promised, and really that live action movies still can’t fully give. So when I found out it was Big Hero 6? Well, I obviously had to look up what the hell that was.

Big Hero 6 is a much smaller property that has a small following. It is most well known for having, at times, Sunfire and Silver Samurai from X-Men in it, but we know that Fox has those rights, so they had to work around it. Disney also wanted to be able to tell a new story and not feel super tied down to any mythos, so messing with a smaller property would work well with that. And hey, if they didn’t have the Big Hero 6 leader in it, they’d probably have to change a lot anyways.

And thus, this animated movie exists, presumably nothing like the (old) comics, and I knowing nothing about it couldn’t have been happier.

Team 6
Yay surprises and happiness and sunshine flowers!

This story is about Hiro Hamada (Ryan Potter) and his trouble with ladies. That’s not true, he doesn’t have troubles, he just doesn’t care. He doesn’t care about ANYTHING really, outside of robots and robot fighting. You see, Hiro is only 14, but he already graduated high school. Bright kid. Has a bright older brother too, Tadashi (Daniel Henney), but he is in college doing boring stuff. Hiro just wants to illegally bot fight and make money that way.

But once he finds out that Tadashi is actually in a really fucking cool robotics program, with really cool people? Yeah, that is when he thinks college might be a good thing, and not just living at home with his Aunt (Maya Rudolph) in San Fransokyo (which you should be able to figure out what two cities were combined for this).

Well, Hiro is able to design super sexy nanobot technology to get himself admission to the school! But when disaster strikes and he loses his invention, he is sad again. Not even his new college friends can help: Go Go Tomago (Jamie Chung), Honey Lemon (Genesis Rodriguez), Wasabi (Damon Wayans Jr.) and Fred (T.J. Miller).

But when he finds out his invention was stolen and is being used for nefarious purposes, well, he cannot just sit idly by. He has to fight back. And he has to use Baymax (Scott Adsit), the soft robot helper and turn him into a fighting machine! And maybe he can fight back too. And his friends. Yes… Maybe they can be…super heroes.

Also featuring James Cromwell as Professor Robert Callaghan and Alan Tudyk as the seedy business man Alistair Krei.

Butt butt butt butt butt butt
Shake that sexy butt.

Color? Yes. Fantastic animation? Yes yes. Likeable characters? Yesx3. A plot about science and why knowledge is good and how science can change the world? Hells to the yes.

Watching Big Hero 6, the best way to describe it was having a blast. This Disney film is notable for not having a lot of songs, which might be their goal. They went Tangled, then Wreck-It Ralph, then Frozen, and now Big Hero 6. A lot more “macho” themed movie, if you go by outdated gender stereotypes, so there is no room for silly songs. Just action, humor, and sexy sexy graphics.

This was just a really great both super hero movie and animated family film. That is a hard one to pull off. A lot of great humor and it has a lot of similarities (based on my research) with the comics, but unique enough to make it its own thing. The only issue with it being in the animated field and a Disney flick, is I know that if we are going to get it a sequel, we have at least a four year wait. Can’t have one of these guys every two years, as it will make them compete with themselves for Best Animated Picture, and they don’t want that.

And can we get another shout out to science? Yay science! Some of the tech was inspired by real life advances too, making this futuristic tale also a bit modern.

It is too close to Halloween now, but I expect fully by next year that we will see a lot of Hiro and Baymax duos out and about. Not more than Elsa, but a fair number still.

4 out of 4.

Transformers: Age Of Extinction

Transformers. Michael Bay. Cash Money.

That is some of the reviews in a nutshell. I didn’t check up on what people said about Transformers: Age of Extinction ahead of time, because I knew I would probably agree with them. I figured the film might be full of inaccuracies that I would find painful, but I’d rather go in and see what I can find on my own without researching afterwards. Like the cringe worthy Washington, D.C. desert in Transformers 2.

But this is a start of a new “trilogy” because we can’t have things not in trilogies anymore. Not when they print so much money for the companies. Our lead human has an upgrade, no longer Shia LaBeouf who is doing some sort of joke on public with his awkward break downs. I mean, no Shia? That is great news on its own. This movie can’t be that bad for that reason.

It should be noted that I am not a Bay hater. In fact, his movie last year Pain & Gain I gave a 4 out of 4. But with some of the advertisement material, I can say that it looks like the Transformers franchise might be running out of gas.

Gas
Heh. Hehehe.

This film takes place let’s say, I dunno, five-ish years after the last Transformers. The Autobots are now on the run, because public opinion has somehow turned against them. Sure they fought with our military and helped us defeat people, but the government says they are bad now, so, they are bad now. After all, they fucked over Chicago completely, taking out about half the city and millions. Millions? Did I say millions? Well, just kidding. The media said (I think) 1300 died at the end of Transformers 3, which we know to be ridiculous.

Either way, Cade Yaeger (Mark Wahlberg) is a tinkerer, who invents gadgets in his garage. He is behind on all bills, but who cares, he will make it one day. His daughter Tessa (Nicola Peltz), the 17 year old sex symbol for this movie, is graduating soon and they need college money. As luck would have it, Cade finds a Transformer (Prime) who they could sell to the government for lots of cash.

Needless to say, government is corrupt. The hired assassin (Titus Welliver) tries to kill them too, so they escape and a man hunt begins. This man hunt involves at least three or four different plot lines that are wrapped up in the very short 2 hour and 45 minute movie. But trying to explain them all would just take up time and energy that isn’t necessary. But Kelsey Grammer plays a high up in the CIA, Jack Reynor as Tessa’s secret Irish boyfriend, T.J. Miller as a guy who works with Cade, and Stanley Tucci as the head of a science corporation in Chicago.

Chicago? Yes. Because apparently despite its huge widespread destruction, they basically rebuilt it all up very quickly exactly the same way it was before. We only know that because we go back to Chicago and the bots fuck up a lot of it again.

We still have more characters though. More women, like Sophia Myles, a “geologist” who doesn’t do any exciting geology, and Bingbing Li, a scientists from China who allow the film to end in China so that this movie can make a lot more money over there. Which is what a lot of films are trying to do now, including Iron Man 3 which literally had extra scenes in the Chinese version to get more cash. Blah.

Let’s not forget our voice actors. We have Optimus Prime (Peter Cullen), a man made Transformer Galvatron (Frank Welker), a Samurai-bot? (Ken Watanabe), some evil bad guy Lockdown (Mark Ryan), a Trenchcoat-bot (John DiMaggio), and literally a Transformer that just appears to be John Goodman (John Goodman).

Prime
Optimus Prime’s sword is voiced my Sir Swoosh-A-Lot.

Did you notice I didn’t mention a specific Transformers based entity that was heavily featured in all of the advertisements? The Dino-Bots? Yeah, they are in this movie I guess. They don’t talk, their plot lines are questionable, and they are in at the end to help fight bad guys. So, they do exist, albeit for twenty or so minutes. And to be fair, their action scenes are pretty bad ass. They are just grossly underused based on the advertisements and felt like a let down.

Speaking of annoying. More technicalities. A plot point puts them in Beijing. A big bad bot wants to blow up a bomb in the biggest city on Earth. Beijing is 2, so that is close enough. One of our characters knowing this goes on the run with the bomb. To Hong Kong. What in the fuck? First they make it seem like Hong Kong is a few hours away, and its really fucking far. But Hong Kong itself is a giant ass city with millions of people too. How is that better? There is literally thousands of miles of empty space all around China and they do the riskier thing?

This movie, like the third one, features tons of human casualties that they decide to brush aside and ignore. Early on it also does its best to ignore the Transformers completely. Like during a chase scene and a battle, they show mostly the humans running away from humans, than Prime fighting Lockdown. One of the biggest complaints of the franchise is too many humans (and too many women just around for their looks) and this film has that going on too. It is hard to understand why this keeps happening. It is of course also a giant advertisement for GM and other sponsors, such as Beats and Victoria Secret, which have moments that stand out in the worst way.

Some parts of the movie are delightful. Some of the fights are kind of cool. But the dialogue is terrible, acting is whatever, and there is just far too much going on for not enough payout in this movie.

1 out of 4.

How To Train Your Dragon 2

For those with a lot of courage, you may have seen my review for How To Train Your Dragon. Why courage? because that review is old and weak and it certainly shows. It is weak because it was one of my first 100, which I made in like a month by adding words from my facebook status reviews that they came from. And because I tried really hard to avoid spoilers that basically didn’t exist.

Basically, parts near the end bugged me so much it lowered an overall fantastic movie to a meh movie. I still haven’t rewatched it for that reason.

But now we have the sequel, How To Train Your Dragon 2. This one perfectly allows for the crap that happened in the first to not happen again, because now we are based with the assumption that dragons are awesome, and we should train them.

Flight
Yeah. So you can stoically sit on top of them doing zero tricks. Good job, guy.

Set five years after the events of the first film, Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) is still a god amongst mortals in his small Viking town. Although technically not immortal, he does have cyborg parts now and a flame sword. So I mean, basically. He has his dragon, and now he is exploring more and more areas outside of the small town. After all, with dragons they now have the ability to explore, because Vikings rarely explored on their own.

While exploring he finds…dragon nappers! And giant sheets of unnatural ice through a fort. The nappers are lead by Erit (Kit Harington), who is collecting dragons with his crew for the great and powerful Drago Bludvist (Djimon Hounsou). A mad man who claims to be able to control all of the dragons and wants to use them to take over the world. Your typical desires from an awkwardly darker skin character than everyone else in an animated movie.

Oh no!

It becomes up to Hiccup to use his excellent cyborg dragon abilities, and excellent sized human heart, to save the day. Especially if he can use the help of the mysterious dragon lady (Cate Blanchett), who you already know everything about if you watched the trailers. But in case you didn’t, you are welcome.

A lot of returning characters, such as his dad (Gerard Butler), the smithy (Craig Ferguson), his lady friend (America Ferrera) and his other friends (Jonah Hill, Kristen Wiig, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, T.J. Miller). And of course, dragons.

Drago
And that is how I met and trained your dragon master’s mother.

First off, after the success of the first movie, DreamWorks starting thinking long term about this as a new franchise. So they put into development this sequel and a third film, at the same time. Which is why there was a four year delay between 1 and 2 (heavy CGI movies take a long time if done right (meaning not Planes)), but only two years before the third movie comes out.

Speaking of DreamWorks, I have hated or thought meh towards their last six movies. That is insane. Literally haven’t had a winner since Kung Fu Panda 2. Thankfully, How To Train Your Dragon 2 turned that downward spiral around. And I don’t just mean clockwise to counterclockwise, I mean up. Like a daring dragon flying maneuver.

This sequel has a lot going on for it. The CGI is extraordinary, which is probably too fancy of a word to describe it, but it really is gorgeous. They spent a lot of time and detail on every character, every scene, every dragon. Speaking of detail, the backgrounds of scenes are rarely pointless. They either showcase great scenes, or have hidden jokes and tomfoolery going on in the background as other characters are talking. It was awesome.

Bonus
To avoid this wall of text, here is a bonus picture. Just. No. Bonus. Joke.

There is a lot of humor, there is a lot of character growth, there are more than one touching moments, and there is a lot of daring fight scenes. In fact, there were some terrifying scenes, and some darker moments, including some potentially heavy material for a PG movie. One drowning scene in particular still makes me shudder.

I will say there are some issues I found in terms of messages they are trying to convey. I think some parts of the ending directly contradict information said earlier in the film, a similar message given to us by Pokemon: The First Movie – Mewtwo Strikes Back.

But overall? Shit, this thing is enjoyable. Minor moral issues aren’t a big problem. The 3D only seemed blurry in the first scene of the film, so that is good.

For those who have saw it, I made a theory halfway through the movie on how the third one might go, and the ending seemed to solidify it. I’d love to talk to anyone in private about my theory, but if it goes the way I hope, then yeah, it will be epic. But this is all jibberjabber at this point. Awesome flick, and probably going to be one of the top 3 animated movies this year (to go with The LEGO Movie, and The BoxTrolls, based on its fantastic trailers alone).

4 out of 4.

Yogi Bear

Without looking, I am going to assume that Yogi Bear probably failed at gaining really any profit. Its goal is to make a live action version of an old cartoon, one kids nowadays do not watch. So it wants to be a kids movie, but appeals to a non-kids audience. So adults going to it will be disappointed in it because it is a kids movie only, while kids won’t want to go to it because they don’t know about it.

Bad strategy. Recreating old cartoons into live action movies is stupid. You will lose money probably.

Yogi Bear
And not having any money is what this movie is about.

Yogi (Dan Aykroyd) and Boo-Boo (Justin Timberlake) are doing what they normally do. Being talking bears. Ranger Smith is played by Tom Cavanagh (Bad choice) and his assistant Ranger is T.J. Miller, the only two rangers in Jellystone. But, yeah. The city was going bankrupt, unless the mayor could do something. So he wants to rezone the park into a non park and sell the land to logging companies, giving the town and everyone money, yay!

So it is up to Yogi, Boo-Boo, Ranger Smith (who doesn’t care about their help, no matter how many people would love to see a talking bear) and Anna Faris (As a crazy documentary nature person) to try and save Jellystone!

Yogi Berra
HOORAY!

Here is the problems with the movie though.

1) There is not enough Yogi Bear/Boo-Boo in it. I think the ranger gets more screen time. Fuck that. We don’t want to see more Ranger Smith than Yogi, especially if he never wears the damn hat.

2) Their way of saving Jellystone involves a law that protects it. Unfortunately it is one of the dumbest and least successful laws ever, normally meant to screw people out of their homes.

3) They do save the park, but don’t bring in additional revenue for the city. So, presumably, the city DOES go bankrupt, people lose their jobs, and somehow that makes more people want to go to the park? They somehow get business at the end, but must be from out of towners, because that city is probably a ghost town.

I enjoyed the first half of the movie more than the second half. Or at least just the Yogi Bear scenes. All the other scenes were stupid. I had laughed on more than one occasion because of the good bear commentary. But there wasn’t enough. That is an obvious problem someone making this movie would have observed. It’d be like making a transformers movie and having it be about a human instead. Oh wait.

1 out of 4.

How To Train Your Dragon

How To Train Your Dragon? Dumb title. Just saying. Let’s have some creativity dreamworks. Good luck making an evil baby dragon look cute also.

Oh shit.

httyd evil black one
Awww, look at that cute evil glare.

In this story we have Viking like people! Hooray! They are at war with the dragons because…uhh they are dragons and dragons are evil. Our main character (Jay Baruchel) sucks at fighting, and would rather just learn. He ends up hitting the dangerous Nightwing dragon DOWN FROM THE SKY! But no one sees him do it, and it is at night, and for whatever reason no one will go into the woods with him to get it later. Their loss. Cute dragon he finds, and he can’t kill him. But aww, its wing is broken.

Eventually he gains the dragon trust, all in secret of course. Adults don’t believe kids. While he is training with his dragon, he is also getting trained how to fight and kill dragons with the other kids. Through his dragon, he learns little secrets to subdue them without weapons, that no one else knew about. Shit, dude is a genius! He thinks that there is nothing evil about the dragons, and maybe something else is evil forcing the dragons to be “bad”. Just saying, of course. He even makes a book eventually. About how to train a dragon. Oh okay. got it now.

Lot of voice actors in this one, including Gerard Butler, Craig Ferguson, Kristen Wiig, Jonah Hill, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, America Ferrera, and T.J. Miller.

HTTYG
Your heroes, ladies and gentlemen.

And here is what pissed me off. Family movies (or movies for kids) love to do this shit. Make adults unable to change and accept the word of a child. All the time, and use it as a main plot point. It is stupid, and bullshit, and makes me so mad.

Once they find out about his trained dragon, guess what? Everyone flips their shit. They stop from killing him because, well, if they let him go, he can lead them to the lair and kill them all. Obviously that is the best advice! Because this kid, who has surprised everyone for months over his tactics that he learned from a dragon, on how to subdue them, on how they are not bad, and on the fact that a dragon listens to him? That is all hogwash. The fact that any of them would constantly interrupt him and ignore him is the bullshittiest bullshit at that point.

Even if they were at war their whole life, their first reaction would be more confusion and panic and a willingness to listen. That on it owned ruined this from a great film to an okay one for me..

Of course everything changes by the end and people accept the dragons. Thanks to the kid character, they can all now learn how to train a dragon. The sequel being called HTTYD2 doesn’t make sense though. Oh well. I liked this more than Toy Story 3 (the movie it lost to for awards) though overall, is because unlike TS3, it shows that people can change, even if it takes some unreasonable amount of time. Guess what my biggest complaint of TS3 is? Hah.

2 out of 4.