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Discuss this week's Joe Loves Crappy Movies here!

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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.

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Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Ralph Fiennes, Michael Gambon, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Alan Rickman, Gary Oldman, Imelda Staunton, Robert Hardy, David Thewlis, Maggie Smith, Robbie Coltrane, Brendan Gleeson, Jason Isaacs, Helena Bonham Carter, Tom Felton, Emma Thompson

Directed by: David Yates

Warner Brothers

The Official Site of Harry Potter 5

Discuss Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix on the boards!

Harry Potter Theme park Bureaucracy. Who’d of thought that a Harry Potter movie fueled by bureaucracy would end up being my favorite of the franchise. By that logic, the trade embargo subplot of The Phantom Menace was a great way to go, and the next Superman film should focus on NAFTA. Actually, that would probably suck. But for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, bureaucracy worked out just fine. This is a turning point in the franchise. These aren't just chapters in a story where the hero goes on a yearlong adventure while at school. This is the beginning of something bigger. This is the beginning of the end. This is Harry Potter: The Empire Strikes Back.

In this latest chapter of J.K. Rowling’s epic story about a young wizard’s battle against evil, fear and turmoil caused by government (or in this case, the Ministry of Witchcraft and Wizardry) propaganda leads to our hero, Harry Potter, being cut off from the wizarding community. After battling the Dark Lord Voldemort Harry has returned to a world that would rather call him a liar than accept Voldemort’s return as a possible truth. Fear has blinded them from the obvious danger that awaits them and the heads of the wizarding world are doing all they can to denounce Harry and everyone who supports him, including Hogwart’s headmaster Albus Dumbledore.

This leads to everyone choosing a side. You’re either with the Ministry or your not, and this is something that splits apart students, families, and friends. It also leads to the return of the Order of the Phoenix, a secret society started 14 years earlier to fight Voldemort the first time he returned. The Order includes pretty much all the cool teachers from Hogwarts as well as a few new faces to spice things up. At the same time the Order is regrouping Voldemort and his followers, the Death Eaters, are gathering forces of there own preparing for the ultimate battle between both sides.

But with all the grownups playing war, and the Ministry enforcing a stricter regime at Hogwarts courtesy of this years Defense Against The Dark Arts Teacher Deloris Umbridge (performed so decadently evil by Imelda Staunton that she deserves Potters first acting Oscar nomination) where does this leave the kid’s? Harry, Hermione and Ron form their own group called “Dumbledore’s Army”, because if no one will teach them how to defend themselves, then they’ll learn on their own. With Harry’s experience against the Dark Arts in the previous 4 films he’s a natural leader to help the others learn the basics of combat. Though at first he is hesitant.

Throughout the movie Harry is reluctant to involve his friends or put anyone but himself in danger. He’s lost so much in his short life that I took this as him desperately trying to protect what he has left. Despite numerous attempts from Ron and Hermione to be there to support him, the fact that he has their support never really sinks in. I loved this new aspect of loyalty in the group, especially after the arguments between the core three in Goblet of Fire. Harry’s real friends believe him even though the world calls him a liar, and they stand beside him even if he doesn’t believe anyone would. These kid’s know that with the return of Voldemort things are getting serious, and that it’s time to stand up and show where their loyalties lie. And this message of friendship and loyalty is ultimately the most important message of the movie.

Everyone I’ve spoken with that has read the book has been disappointed with Order of the Phoenix. It just doesn’t deliver everything they pictured in their own minds so long ago as they were reading the story for the first time. Yeo expressed a disappointment in not seeing Dobby covered head to toe in every lick of clothing presented to him, and my brother-in-law relayed his experience to me of consciously saying to himself during the movie, “Well, they just skipped over all of this stuff.” Something that obviously distracted him from the story the movie was presenting. This is the reason I’m shying away form reading the final two books because what’s the sense in loving one form of the story and being disappointed with the other, when I can read the book after watching the movie and be wowed on both fronts? I’ve got Harry Potter fever right now, and a couple of long plane rides ahead of me in the next few weeks, so the lure to jump into Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince may be too difficult to resist, but I’m praying for a distraction.

With an adaptation of this size, It's way too difficult to include everything from the book, and after hearing about the Quidditch situation, the REAL snitch, Hermione’s efforts to lead a Elf uprising and the Weasley's swamp, I'm glad they left some of that stuff out. We're at a point in the larger story where they have to stay focused on defeating Voldemort. Anything else is a distraction. Can we expect them to take the equivalent of a soccer match seriously when all of their lives are in danger? It would kill the momentum of the movie. So I have no problem with them focusing on Harry the Teacher, and Umbridge the enemy (both fantastic parts of the movie). It keeps things tense and exciting.

There are plenty of minor moments to find complaints about like the special effect in the fire of Sirius Black (a complete downgrade visually from the same stunt in Goblets of Fire), and numerous plot wholes that could have easily been explained with 10 seconds of dialogue, but it's not nearly enough to hurt the greater message of this movie.

The film ends with Harry realizing that even with all the loss and pain in his life, there are things worth living for. Things worth fighting for, and that this is what ultimately, despite the similarities they share, separates him from Voldemort. And while Ron and Hermione's budding love or Ginny's sex appeal and natural skill as a witch may not have had their time on screen as they did in the book, friendship and loyalty stand out. And for what this movie is meant to represent in the larger picture of the Potter franchise, that message is more important that collecting every subtlety and quirk of even the most miniscule characters.

I can’t see a worth in getting upset about missing characters, (apparently Rowling requested the inclusion of the house elf Kreacher. Is this a hint to his significance in seventh book?) or minor plot points not touched upon (the more you watch the movie, the less it’ll matter to you.) or even the more obvious plot points overlooked (Neville’s story is told but in an ambiguous way. Again, watch the movie a couple of times and the pieces will begin to fit.). There’s no reason to freak out about any of this because the movies true message comes through loud and clear. And to me that message was. “Holly crap I can’t wait for the next movie!”

Rating: 9.5 out of 10 I was really impressed with Order of the Phoenix. Even more so the second time around. It holds together as well as any of the films and for me was more enjoyable because it was more important in the grand scheme of things. If anything, Phoenix just drives home how the adventures of the first 4 films were nothing but practice for the big show. And that show begins here. Is the movie as good as the book? It’s a safe bet that it’s not, but as someone going in with only two books and four movies under his belt, I was completely charmed and amazed with this latest Potter film. The characters are growing and up things are getting really dangerous. And that’s saying something in a franchise where the second movie had an 11-year-old taking down a Basilisk the length of a football field.

I caught the movie both times in IMAX 3-D. The movie looks great on the big screen. Only the last 20 minutes of the film are featured in 3-D and some of it is really sharp and visually impressive, but the new technology of turning a 2-D print of a movie into a 3-D effect isn’t quite perfect yet. I kept thinking I was missing stuff. Especially as the Order faced off against the Death Eaters. Too many wizards… woo many effects… I needed a flat screen to appreciate it all.

Absolutely. It’s weird, but this is the first Potter film that I’ve passionately felt I needed to own on DVD. With Azkaban I was frustrated that there wasn’t a clear villain and with Goblet of Fire I had a lot of trouble getting past the 90210 style teen drama (both “problems” I would come to admire the more I watched the films), and it left me uncertain if I would really want to add the movie to my collection. With Order of Phoenix I knew right away that I would get it. It takes the larger story in a whole new direction and even though that includes more talking than action, the final scene makes up for all of that.

The Potter DVDs have always been solid in terms of extra features. Lots of games for the kids and featurettes for the adults. The one thing they’re all missing is a solid commentary. Part of me thinks they’re holding out for one huge, 14-disk, two hundred dollar box set when the entire series is over. For now though I’ll happily plop down my 14.99 to watch it a few more times before the end of the year.

At some point after my initial distaste for it, I actual came to like Goblet of Fire’s romantic drama. Everyone loves true love, and even though that’s not normally the case with 14-year-olds, to them it is. I remember what it’s like to be that old and to be completely Ga-Ga over some girl. It’s the most important thing in the universe.

Phoenix doesn’t focus too much on it other than Harry and Cho (The girl featured in the comic) finally taking the plunge and going in for that first kiss. I love these two as a couple, but those of you that have read the books know that it’s nothing to get used to. I asked one of the people I saw the movie with (Hi, Karen! Thanks for the tickets!) how long the Harry/Cho thing lasts and she shrugged her shoulders and said, “Harry’s a popular guy at Hogwarts.” I don’t know if that means he plays the field or what, but I suspect the majority of the romance where Harry is concerned is fizzling down. As for Ron and Harmione… Cho’s departure means the comic I’ve done probably won’t hold much weight in a couple of years, but I think we can all agree that even if it didn’t work out, Harry did good. I’m talking to my friend Steven in the strip, and he’s very much anti-Harry Potter. Actually it’s worse than that. He’s not anti-Harry Potter, he doesn’t even care enough to not care. Now, is a sexy love interest enough to really turn him around? Probably not, I mean unless Hallie Berry takes over as the Dark Arts teacher next year, that might get him into see Half Blood Prince.

Through Corey Marie I found this cool meme where the challenge is to draw a Harry Potter character everyday. I heard about it too late otherwise I would have been all over it. At first it sounds kind of limited, but looking at the cast of characters that showed up for Phoenix just reminded me of the dozens of possibilities there are.

Be sure to click on to the specific posts to see other artist’s renditions of each day. ziel is kicking ass and taking names. I’m going to try to play a little catch up (here’s my rendition of Ron) but I’m not sure how long that will last

I could go on about this movie a lot but this entry is about to explode. If you’d like to hear more of what I thought about the movie and contribute to the conversation then there are plenty of options. There’s a Harry Potter Spoiler thread over on the boards, as well as a non-spoiler thread for those of you that are curious about the movie but haven’t gotten around to checking it out just yet.

Also, we’ll be talking about Harry tonight in a very non-spoiler way on the Triple Feature Talkcast tonight with Gordon and Tom. It should be fun but I’m nervous the guys didn’t like it. It’s been a long summer of us being on opposite sides of the movies and while that usually leads to some interesting debate, I think I prefer it when my friends and I actually enjoy the same things. Tune in for the drama!

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

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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

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