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Love crappy movies but are too ashamed to admit it? Are you a big Rob Schneider fan but you're tired of being burned? Not sure if you want to waste your money on the same old movie? That's why you have Joe.

Joe Loves Crappy Movies is by Joseph Dunn. Joe willingly goes to see the very worst that Hollywood has to offer. Whenever a crappy movie comes out Joe will be there to see it, make fun of it, and actually review it. Nothing is safe, and nothing is sacred. From the big budget action disasters to the low brow fart based comedies, to anything starring Martin Lawrence? Joe will tear it apart.

With each entry you'll get not only a comic poking fun at the movie, but also a detailed review. Joe's not educated in film or cinematography or acting, he's just a guy that draws comics and likes movies. So if you're looking for the everyman perspective and a little joke in comic form... you're in the right place.

10 on the 10th: Joe’s Top 10 Animated Films of All Time.

July 2006

Welcome to the second edition of 10 on the 10th where I take a look at a particular category, make a list my top favorites and discuss them. Last months featured my top 10 Sci-Fi films with movies like Back to the Future, 12 Monkeys and The Matrix. I knew I’d want to follow that up with something a little more universal so I choose animated films.

Try to deny it, but the kid in all of us still loves a good cartoon every now and then. Even if that cartoon is less fluffy bunnies lost in the woods and more Japanese warriors cutting people in half with a motorcycle the size of a baby elephant. The variety is there, and that partially explains the appeal.

My list is a little mainstream but I think I’ve included some real classics that are more than flashing lights and bright colors. Here we go:

10. Akira (Streamline Pictures 1988) Geez, what kind of list would this be without Akira? The scary thing is that I never saw it all the way through until they re-released it a few years ago in theatres. That movie is nuts! Parts of the story are too far-gone, but the animation is light years ahead of the curve, and even though a handful of what’s happening is either unnecessary or makes no sense at all, it’s still visually mind-boggling cool. 100 years from now no one's going to be talking about Lilo and Stitch, but you can bet there will be an Akira posters hanging on your great-grandson’s bedroom wall. 8 out of 10

9. The Little Mermaid (Disney 1989) I have a lot of fond memories the Disney films of that era. The Little Mermaid stands out to me though. I think the level of emotion, humor, and terror is all in perfect balance. The central struggle of choosing love and adventure over family and security is one that a lot of people can relate to, even if in an indirect way. And I think that dilemma carries just as much power twenty years later as it did when the film first came out. It’s a classic personal struggle which will stand the test of time. Plus the music and characters are all examples of the Disney machine at its best. Underpaid slave labor never came together so beautifully before. 8 out of 10

8. The Incredibles (Pixar 2004) I can’t believe I had left The Incredibles off the list. Well I couldn’t let that error be reflected in the new post so it’s on there now, unfortunately bumping South Park off the list into the number 11 spot. The Incredibles is as incredible as its title implies. It has all the elements of Pixar films that make them unique and special, and it speaks to the geek in me with its shockingly perfect interpretation of what superhero lives should be like.

Coming out nearly 6 months before Fantastic Four, the makers of that movie would have been wise to use The Incredibles as their template of the average American super hero family. Exciting and intense with just a dash of camp, the Incredibles set the bar high. Unfortunately the Fantastic Four got it completely wrong and went for flash instead of substance. The most frustrating thing is that 45 years ago Marvel literally wrote the book on the subject.

I had some problems originally with The Incredibles but have come to recognize those problems as nonsensical nit-picks. I’ve grown to love the movie for what it is over the past year or so. It’s amazing what heavy rotation on basic cable can convince me of. 8 out of 10

7. Lilo and Stitch (Disney 2002) The last great traditional animated film from Disney. It’s all about computers now, which is sad because there’s still something to be said for the old school methods. They just take too long to do so there’s no time to say it.

But Lilo and Stitch doesn’t make the list because of how it was made, rather because its story is quite charming and funny. A total surprise after seeing that the movie was about aliens in Hawaii. Disney’s best films had always been based on classic fairy tales. Even the gems of its big surge in the early 90’s (The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast) are all retold stories. Recycling plots is something commonly done and commonly looked down upon these days, but admit it - You know all the words to "Be Our Guest". Lilo and Stitch was just something different and won me over with its sweet message and hysterical gags. 8 out of 10

6. Shrek 2 (Dreamworks 2004) I thought the original Shrek was boring and slow and trying way too hard. It’s an endless string of pop culture references and bodily functions that I couldn't care less about. Still I HAD to see Shrek 2 and I was completely floored. It’s infinitely funnier than the original. It has the same bodily functions humor (seriously, every kid’s movie does these days. It’s a gas revolution) and pop culture nods, but somehow it works. I couldn’t even say why. Puss in boots was adorable, sure, but a cute kitty does not a good movie make.

I have such fond memories of seeing this film that I sort of don’t ever want to see it again for fear that it will be lame, or that the animation won’t hold up to the new standard, or that I’ll remember Cameron Diaz is in it. So it’s not the sturdiest placeholder on my list, but there it sits. 8.5 out of 10

5. Transformers: The Movie (Paramount Pictures 1986) It was a close race between Transformers and South Park but everyone’s favorite alien shape shifting hunks of metal won the day. Scroll down for the full review of Transformers: The Movie.

4. Toy Story 2 (Pixar 1999) I always felt that Toy Story 2 was the most complete of all the Pixar films. It was a clever way to introduce a new problem to a world where the biggest potential problem is “not being played with”. It’s hard to make that compelling but Pixar has built a name for making the impossible seem possible. This movie also hit me on an emotional level too. I couldn’t say for sure why that scene with the cowgirl and that Sarah McLachlan song always gets to me, but it always hits me and it always hits me hard. Great movie. 9.5 out of 10

3. G.I. JOE: The Movie (Marvel Productions 1987) Ok, of everything on the list the one I’ve probably seen the most is G.I.JOE: The Movie. Mainly because they broke it up into 4 episode-length installments and would play them in standard rotation with the regular series. So it was on at least once or twice a year, and I loved every second of it.

G.I. JOE was one of those shows that always played it safe. When the episode ended, everything was exactly the same as it was when the episode began. That’s pretty standard with cartoons for the most part, especially in the early 80’s. Story-based shows hit big in the 90’s but Hollywood was still dumbing it down for the kids back then.

This movie took advantage of the opportunity of change and a real sense of danger. With the introduction of Serpentor and Cobra La we were given simultaneously an origin story and a new threat. No one ever bothered to think about where these people came from or why Cobra Commander was such a whack job. The fact that the movie answers some of these questions puts a whole new perspective on the show. It was G.I. JOE the way it always should have been. Real characters, real story, and real danger. Oh man, when I think about Duke getting hit by Serpentor’s poisoned staff I still get misty.

The cherry on top is the introduction of Sergeant Slaughter and the Marauders! Sergeant Slaughter was a real guy - a professional wrestler who crossed over into cartoon glory. Thinking back it’s kind of sad because they would have the real Sergeant introduce the episodes or bring the show back from commercial break and seeing the two was like day and night. The cartoon Slaughter was a buff hardnosed drill instructor with no sympathy and no pity. If you attacked his country he’d come at you fast and hard, dropping down the double axe handle of liberty. But the real guy was a doughy balding mess. An echo of his former self that, looking back, was probably reliving better days in cartoon form. Great movie though. 10 out of 10

2. Triplets of Belleville (Les Armateurs 2003) An eerie ocular masterpiece that takes your eyes and imagination on one seriously crazy trip to France. Belleville is a film with little to no dialogue that relies 100% on your ability to interpret the visuals for yourself, but don’t let that scare you off. Most of the story, featuring a grandmother in search of her missing cyclist grandson in the big city, is pretty straightforward stuff, but the look of the film and character design is so original and so well done that you’ll get lost in the sheer craftsmanship of it. It’s weird, peculiar, and downright insane, but SO amazing. 10 out of 10

1. Spirited Away (Studio Ghibli 2002) This instant classic of 2002, from the mind and pen of the master animator Miyazaki, claims the top spot for several reasons. It’s a startling fantasy tale of innocence and wonder in a strange world, with ideas and commentary masterfully weaved in as metaphors in this constantly entertaining adventure.

The animation is flawless. Simply perfect in every way. There’s a definite style to it that may not be your cup of tea, but you can’t deny the level of artistry at work here. They’re not messing around in Japan. When they set out to draw a movie, it gets done right. I’ve heard rumors that Miyazaki often does the lion’s share of work himself on his films. If that’s true then I’m sure the work has made him either blind or insane. Either way, he’s still brilliant.

If you can take your eyes of the scenery for a moment the most remarkably charming element of the film is the concepts dreamt up to live and exist in this ghost world. Things you would never imagine anyone could ever come up with are there right in front of you.

Spirited Away is a true achievement for the ages. Right now this is the movie for future animators to top, and I think it’ll be a good while before anything comes close. 10 out of 10

On The Fence: There were a few films that almost made the list but got bumped for one reason or another. I give you… the runners up:

South Park: Bigger Longer and Uncut - South Park was actually on the list before Pixar reared it’s angry head and demanded another spot. I’m not going to fight Pixar, are you? When the South Park movie came out it celebrated its hard R rating and gave us what television and Comedy Central couldn’t give us on basic cable. Disgusting fowl humor, animated jugs, and a glimpse at what Kenny really looked like. It was brilliant, and I actually got carded for it. 8 out of 10

Clerks: The Animated Series - It’s hard to include one animated TV show and not another because shows like Futurama, The Simpsons, and Family Guy are all worthy runners up, but there’s something about Clerks: The Animated Series that fits in nicely with this list. Clerks ran for 2 episodes on ABC before getting the axe but it didn’t take long for the DVD collection to hit the shelves and for me to fall in love with its hysterically chaotic insanity.

I think part of me actually prefers the cartoon to the movie that spawned it. The possibilities were endless and you could already see a little world forming in those first 6 episodes. Plus I really enjoy the fast, A.D.D style of humor used in the show. It’s a ruthless, wet your pants level of comedy. Can they replicate the randomness of that in live action? Well if Patrick Swayze shows up on a horse named Point Break in Clerks 2 next week I’ll pee my pants on purpose.9 out of 10

The Animatrix - A brilliant collection of Matrix related stories that do so much to expand a seemingly limitless world. They’re like high quality Star Wars fan films that were actually made in the same era as the inspiration. Really worth a look. 7 out of 10

A Scanner Darkly: - There’s no way it would have made the list a week after it came out but the movie is certainly worth a look. 8 out of 10

Now on to the review of your chosen film for the focused review – Transformers: The Movie. And just as a warning – the DVD reviews will contain SPOILERS.

Transformers: The Movie

Starring: Judd Nelson, Robert Stack, Leonard Nimoy, Orson Welles, Peter Cullen

Directed by: Nelson Shin

1986 Universal Pictures

Transformers: The Movie (the animated one from 1987 not the Michael Bay “sure to be too long as hell, but visually intense”, live action film set to hit theaters next year.) based on the popular 80’s cartoon series is an ideal example of cashing in on a popular franchise by washing out the old and bringing in the new. Killing Optimus Prime is downright sacrilegious but as long as they spend the next 40 minutes establishing his successor, then all will be forgiven and by the end of the summer every kid in American, ages 8-18, will have their very own fully transformable Rodimus Prime action figure. And lunchbox. And blanket. And Halloween costume. And so on.

It’s all big business and each of us fell for it hook, line and sinker. I’ve got the diecast metal, too beaten and scratched to sell on EBay, action figures to prove it. The beautiful thing is that none of us care, because they didn’t just lump together some pathetic throwaway story or tack an extra 20 minutes onto one of the televised episodes. They did some real work and made an incredible movie for the ages!

Sell all the toys you want, as long as the battles are epic and the good guys win, you’ve got my money.

This movie was very much about bringing something new to the Transformers world including new characters and a larger believable threat. When the Transformer’s home world Cybertron is threatened by a giant moon-devouring Transformer named Unicron (voiced to perfection by Orson Welles who either had a great sense of humor or a lot of back rent to pay off) a new team of Autobots come to the rescue of the classic characters in an attempt to save them and their home.

Were these new Autobots and new threat in Unicron really necessary? Well Megatron was always a formidable foe, but how many times can Prime drop the double axe handle and send him running back to his sunken ship? It was time to take things to the next level, and I think they do that in nearly every aspect. The film takes place in the future (2005. That’s funny. I don’t remember hearing anything on the news about Autobot City being destroyed last year) so there are no ties or limitations set in the past. And because it’s on a theatrical scale there are no formulaic rules that episodic television enforces. So anything can happen. What’s more is the filmmakers know that because it’s on a grander scale that they have people’s attention, so if they’re going to do something now’s the time.

And they don’t even come close to holding back.

Spike curses and is a single father . Classic characters are killed or redesigned with new sleek looks. Sort of a ballsy move considering how accustomed people had come to the world. In the 80’s you never would have seen such extreme changes take place in the normal series. It had to be in a film.

To me the most shocking changes were the deaths. Not so much Optimus Prime’s though. His death is the most emotional but they give you plenty of time to get used to the idea that some crazy stuff is going down. The real shocker was the Decepticon attack on the transport ship early in the film. A small group of recognizable Autobots including fan favorite Ironhide and personal favorite Prowl are slaughtered and killed in the attack. Unthinkable! Unbelievable! From that point on you knew that nothing was sacred. That anything was possible, which is why when Optimus gets a radiator full of Megatron’s vengeance, it’s easier to accept.

But then he takes out the Matrix, the most important thing the Autobots have, the object that will give them light in their darkest hour, and he freaking… drops it. Smooth move, butterfingers. Way to die!

Prime gives the Matrix to Ultra Magnus which is huge in the development of a good story because as he’s passing (dropping) it to him he speaks of its importance and how one day a “chosen one” will be able to open it and save the day. It’s all very Skywalker and Neo in it’s prophetic wonder child way, but it works in all three scenarios because it’s just a good idea.

As Ultra Magnus receives it from Optimus Prime he says, “I’m not worthy.” And Prime basically says “Yeah, I know, but you’ll have to do for now.” I found that endlessly amusing.

They don’t reveal then that Hot Rod (who would eventually become Rodimus Prime) is the “chosen one” but they certainly hint at it. And that’s why I point to this as a good plot point. You want to establish a successor and it would have been so easy to just pass it along to who is supposed to have it in the end, but they throw in this red herring that makes you second guess how things might actually turn out. Plus, even though Rodimus is the most featured character in the new cast, it’s certainly an ensemble piece.

We know that the chosen one isn’t going to be the old Transformer (created to sell toys to old people) or the girl Transformer (created to sell toys to little gay kids. I mean girls. The closest thing they had to a female Transformer before this was Perceptor) but they don’t force feed the audience that it’s meant to be Hot Rod. That makes the reveal at the end all the more satisfying.

The “chosen one” certainly isn’t going to be Ultra Magnus. That dude goes out like a punk and practically hands over the Matrix to the enemy. The only bigger punk in Transformers: The Movie is Galvatron.

Don’t get me wrong - Galvatron (The newly pimped out version of Megatron voiced by Leonard Nimoy) has his moments of pure cool. He kills Optimus and Starscream which were both upsetting moments but still shocking and exciting. And at one point he uses his cannon as a jet pack, which had me clapping and laughing. But for the majority of this film Galvatron is Unicron’s number one bitch. There’s something like five different occasions where they have the following conversation:

Unicron: Do my bidding.

Galvatron: Galvatron bows to no one!

(Flashing red lights)

Galvatron: Whatever you say master!

Unicron is a force to be reckoned with, no doubt, but was Megatron always such a punk? If I knew that I never would have given him my last energon cube. I would have stared him right in the eye (kneecap) and said. “One shall stand and one shall fall…” Actually, that didn’t work out so well for Optimus…

The story all around is a lot of fun and very inventive. Perfectly complimented by the animation, which for its time was absolutely stunning. The stand out moments for me are Unicron’s transformation and attack on Cybertron, and Optimus Prime’s hero shot where he rolls into Autobot city and flips out of a transformation unleashing and assault on the Decepticons. I think both of those scenes are absolutely flawless.

In the end this movie scores huge points for nostalgia. It’s not a perfect film but it’s a true film for the fans. Something they could be proud of and get excited about even if it was just another property that big business was cashing in on. It’s one of the most well made corporate answers to boost revenues after a disappointing third quarter that I’ve ever seen. Movie: 9.5 out of 10

DVD features

Weak. Next to nothing, it’s pretty upsetting. They have a storyboard sequence that was kind of interesting but it was poorly displayed and the navigation was awkward. The only other thing is 9 minutes of the composer talking about his experience working on the film. He discusses how he got the job and how it affected his career, even how movie composition has evolved since then. Interesting stuff but just the tip of the iceberg considering how many extras should be on this disk.

The soundtrack still amazes me to this day. I think the songs Dare and The Touch as well as the Transformers theme song all sound phenomenal. All three are ridiculously dated to the 80’s but it doesn’t bother me at all. I have to admit though that I wasn’t in love with the rest of the score. Anytime there’s a vocal the scene works fine, but some of the background music felt awkward and out of place. The opening scene has Unicron destroying a planet with music that’s somber and slow. Meanwhile onscreen people are running for their lives and screaming their heads off as buildings tumble around them. A little tempo would have gone a long way to opening this movie on a high note.

But to be fair, it could have been the presentation. The sound quality on the DVD was not the best it could be and that could have detracted from the experience. I’m looking forward to the scheduled re-release of a special edition with remastered picture and sound. That will be the true test of how good this score is.

What’s Missing?

Pretty much anything you can think of.

DVD: 2 out of 10

A little rough, I know but the new disk should correct that. Hopefully.

DVD Worthy:

Nope, just hold out. It was nice to see the movie again but if the real prize is right around the corner, then it’s worth waiting for.

So that wraps up the closer look at my top ten animated films. If you think you have the perfect top 10 list of animated films and that it will shatter my list to pieces, feel free to post it up in this thread of the boards.

And remember, I’m doing this top 10 list every month! Here’s a sneak peek at what’s coming on August 10th. In honor of Superman Returns here are my top 10 comic book movies:

10. V for Vendetta

9. Superman: The Movie

8. The Crow

7. X2: X-Men United

6. Blade

5. Superman 2

4. Spiderman 2

3. Darkman

2. Sin City

1. Batman Begins

Ah, so there you have it. Now’s your chance to make yourself heard. Which of these 10 fine comic book films would you like to be the focus of next weeks strip and review? Go to this thread on the Digital Pimp Boards and make your voice heard! Also be sure to add your own top 10 comic book films. You never know… you might change my mind.

And I promise – next month the 10 on the 10th will actually update on the 10th. I’ll be out of this wedding tornado by then I’m sure. Vote incentive:

Today’s vote incentive is my cheat sheet. In trying to figure out my favorite comic book movies I wrote down everyone I could think of on a sheet of paper and separated them into four categories: Awesome, Good, OK and Awful. Take a look where comic’s greatest theatrical disasters fell on my list. And if you look closely you can even see the show times I scribbled down for A Scanner Darkly.

Non Movie Related News

I wanted to give a quick shout out to a friend’s new comic called Scene Language. A brand new comic from Corey Marie Parkhill who you may remember from her work on Life’s So Rad or Young American Comics. Life’s So Rad had a huge influence on me when I was just starting to get my own strips together so I’m thrilled that Corey has made her way back to the web comic scene. We missed ya!

We’d like to welcome our newest sponsor FFM: The Real Life. The best part about starting to sell ad space is that great comics like this, that I normally would never come across, come to me. It’s been a great experience finding out who reads our comics and how many great strips there are in the community. This ones a lot of fun, check it out.

We got our table assignment for Wizard World Chicago today. All four of the Digital Pimps will be at tables 3133 A&B and 3134B. As far as I can tell we’re surrounded by Tom and Mitch but the fun just spreads out from there. More details tomorrow!

Live Journal/Myspace/Rotten Tomatoes/Buzz Comix/Top Web Comics/Comics on the Ipod/The Webcomics List/Online Comics/Wikipedia/Comixpedia/JLCM Map!

Joe – The creator of the strip who has embraced giving crappy movies the chance they deserve. Like the majority of the cast he’s obsessed with boobs.

First Appearance - The Introduction

Yeo – Yeo is Joe’s wife and often the voice of reason in the strip. Having her act rational allows the rest of the cast to embrace being in a comic strip which primarily involves randomly punching people, interacting with fictional characters and talking about boobs. Yeo is smart, beautiful and way too good for Joe. Don’t tip her off.

First Appearance - Fever Pitch

Irv – Joe’s movie-going sidekick who’s always down for watching Jason Statham crescent moon kick some thug through a plate glass window and getting some drinks before after and during a Vin Diesel movie. Like the majority of the cast he’s obsessed with boobs.

First Appearance - Ong-Bak: The Thai Warrior

Agent 337 George Jones – A government Agent that took over for Joe after he was bad-mouthing President Bush in the V for Vendetta strip. George ran the show for over a month bring a much needed sense of patriotism and justice to both the strips and reviews. He eventually got too attached to his work, empathizing with Joe’s plight to give crappy movies a fair shake. In a way he came to love crappy movies as well and was pushed out of the position. He spiraled out of control and ended up in prison. His adventures will be told in the limited series JLCM Presents: 337 Locked Up which is set to début Christmas of 09.

First Appearance - V for Vendetta

Other Notable Appearances: Stay Alive, Ice age 2, Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector, Slither, Here Comes Guest week, Let’s Go To Prison

Leonidas – The former king of Sparta who has traveled into the future and is having trouble coping with the modern times. Yelling loudly and kicking people into giant holes doesn’t really work the same way it did in the olden days. As time as gone by he’s adjusted but it’s a safe bet that he’s always one bad message away from throwing a spear through someone.

First Appearance - 300

Other Notable Appearances: Four Brothers, Strip# 300, The Golden Compass, Rambo, Untraceable, The Ladies of Max Paybe

Palpatine – Former Senator, Emperor of the Galactic Empire, Sith Lord... He shows up in the Joe Loves Crappy movies galaxy on occasion to let people know that they’re being stupid. No one’s really sure how he shows up in this universe but chances are it breaks all kinds of copywrite laws.

First Appearance - Episode III: The Dark Side

Other Notable Appearances: Four Brothers, Night Watch, Saw 3, Are We Done Yet

Slow Billy – Billy is a sweet kid but he’s not the sharpest tool in the shed. If you’re watching him for the day be prepared to explain to him the plot of the movie or how popcorn works or, not so much where babies come from, but what babies are. He’s a complete moron.

First Appearance - Four Brothers

Other Notable Appearances: The Chronicles of Narnia, The Da Vinci Code, Vantage Point, Journey to the Center of the Earth

Kyle the Movie Snob – Be careful what fun facts about movies you tell your friends at a friendly gathering or in line for the latest blockbuster, because if you’re even slightly wrong, Kyle will be more than happy to let you know. He usually gets what’s coming to him though. Poor guy has cracked three ribs since joining the JLCM cast.

First Appearance - Ultraviolet

Other Notable Appearances: 16 Blocks, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, Transformers, Journey to the Center of the Earth

Jean-Luc Picard – Another lawsuit waiting to happen is Jean Luc Picard who, towards the end of the strip’s first year, became the go-to background character. If there was ever a seat to fill or a random person to place wandering around in the background, nine times out of ten it was Picard. While Picard has crossed paths with Irv he and Joe have never met. Perhaps they will some day but for now just can an eye on the background.

First Appearance - The Producers

Other Notable Appearances: I’m not telling you, that’s no fun. It’ like Where’s Waldo – go find him!

Ice Cream Sandwich – Delicious and… deadly? Usually when you see someone eating an Ice Cream sandwich, someone else is experiencing a substantial amount of pain. Still, how nice is an ice cream sandwich on a hot summer day?

First Appearance - Saw IV

Other Notable Appearances: Bee Movie, Run Fatboy Run, Saw V