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.
Horton Hears a Who
Starring: Jim Carrey, Steve Carell, Carol Burnett, Will Arnett, Seth Rogen, Dan Fogler, Isla Fisher, Jonah Hill, Amy Poehler
Directed by: Jimmy Hayward, Steve Martino
Twentieth Century Fox
The Official Site of Horton Hears a Who
Discuss Horton Hears a Who on the boards!
Dr. Seuss has had a difficult time finding his place on the big screen. You’d think that the most popular children’s author of all time would have taken a cue from Walt Disney and cashed in on the animation craze early on. Granted, there were a couple of televised Dr. Seuss specials including the holiday classic How the Grinch Stole Christmas! and even one for today’s subject Horton Hears a Who! but I don’t think anyone could’ve imagined that Seuss would make his biggest splash on the big screen with two horrific live action features.
Now, the live action Grinch with Jim Carrey and the live action The Cat in the Hat with Mike Myers are not without their charms. They were certainly profitable enough to note worth. Plus there’s something oddly engaging about a full scale Who-ville and the top stars of that time period covered head-to-toe in felt. The creep-factor, however, is unavoidable. Thanks to swelled storylines and free reign for stars to improvise, it’s gotten to the point where anyone born after 2002 is going to assume that Dr. Seuss’ doctorate is in “being annoying”.
This weekend, a return to animation with the classic Horton Hears A Who marks the homecoming to the true spirit that Seuss gave life to in those books. A lot of charm is lost in those live action versions. In a way it’s neat to see the mind of Dr. Seuss come to life, to see his thingamajigs jig and his creatures created, but something is just off. With Horton, the characters feel at home in the thriving, unnecessarily complicated mechanics and unstable structure of Who-ville. More importantly though, even among a leisurely paced adventure with just as much bloat and improve as the live action films, Horton focuses on its message and leaves you with a smile.
Jim Carrey returns to Seuss’ world as the voice of Horton the elephant who, on the fifteenth of May in the Jungle of Nool, hears a speck of dust cry out for help. That speck is actually a planet and the home of Who-ville where its mayor Ned (Steve Carell) becomes Horton’s first contact with the microscopic world.
As both characters are ridiculed for imagining an unimaginably small society and claiming they’ve communicated with giant invisible elephants in the sky, it quickly becomes clear that the two will have to work together to save Who-ville. After all, “A person’s a person no matter how small”.
That’s the big message of the movie though it does somewhat delve into different directions. Horton explores themes about the fear of the unknown, encouraging imagination, and the power of every voice. Still, none of those are pushed nearly as hard as equal rights regardless of size, so I’ll stop digging where it’s not needed.
The voice talent across the board is pretty solid in Horton and what else would you expect from a cast list that includes the top comedic names working in film today? Most of them don’t have the time on screen to really develop themselves like Carry and Carell do with their leads, but there were a couple that used what they were given and really took off with it.
The two that really up their game, turning bit parts into inspired performances, are Will Arnett as Vlad the Vulture, and Dan Fogler as Councilman Yummo Wickersham. Bluntly, both actors really ham it up with over-the-top accents and exaggerated reactions, but you know what - in a cartoon, that’s what works and I commend them for leaping head first into those parts.
The 3-D animation from Blue Sky (most recently responsible for Ice Age: The Meltdown) is crisp and solid, capturing the essence of the Seuss characters without making them feel hollow or cold. It’s not the most groundbreaking rendering in town, but Blue Sky has always focused more on character design than life-like textures.
It’s nice because the 3-D animation is a lot less distracting than the live action Seuss outings. Of course, without fanciful fluff to distract you from the story, the negatives stand out. On the downside Horton takes its time getting to the point. I admit that I checked my watch every now and then and even tuned out a little towards the end, but the kid’s around me in the theater seemed a lot less concerned with the slow reveal. I suppose they’ve read the book more recently then I have.
Rating: 6 out of 10 - I’m giving this a solid 6, but my wife would beg to differ. In the closing moments of the film the characters break into song. “I Can’t Fight This Feeling” by REO Speedwagon. Yeah it’s corny and not especially well put together, but this is part of the territory. There’s no use in getting too upset about it. Besides, the Speedwagon rocks.
Pass. I’m glad I got around to seeing it but I’d rather save my money for the next animated Seuss classic than watch this one over and over again. Incidentally I really hope they give The Cat in the Hat a crack with this method of animation. I always found that to be the most interesting of the books and I’d love to see a version that focuses on confronting Cat’s inconsiderate thirst for fun without making him so aggressively annoying.
Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs - Well, they’re dipping back into the Ice Age well and for some reason we have to find out about it 16 months before its release date. This time they’re throwing out any historical accuracy by introducing dinosaurs (/film.com has a photo of the poster from Showest last week). I suppose if 10,000 B.C. doesn’t have to follow any rules then a cartoon about destine-to-be-dead talking animals doesn’t have to be either.
As the teaser trailers for the first two Ice Age films did, Ice Age 3’s teaser focuses on Scrat the… (what the hell is he? A rat or a squirrel of some kind?) animal so desperate to get his hands on a delicious acorn. These clips are always a lot of fun and I’m glad that they’re at least approaching the recycled gag from new directions. Still, I can’t say I’m exactly excited about another Ice Age film. The Meltdown felt forced, and I’m not sure the introduction of dinosaurs is going to feel any more natural. But the kids get what the kids want and for some reason they love the smooth tones of Ray Romano.
This actually isn’t the first version of Horton to be animated… technically. In 1970 a version was release with still frame animation and narration by Dustin Hoffman (he actually uses the same voice for Horton as he did for the title character in this past winter’s Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium). Horton would also get the Chuck Jones treatment which is absolutely fantastic but hardly the classic that the Grinch has become.
There are a ton of animated Seuss characters over at Youtube free to check out, though after this latest incarnation I’d just as soon read the book as check out some of these made for TV adventures.
I’ve got some cool movie news form the last couple days for the Outside the Theater section today, but I wanted to lead off with news of some exclusive JLCM comic strips tat can not be seen here. There are 3 brand new strips available in the digital release of iNKED, a brand new anthology put together by the folks at Clickwheel.net.
If you follow that link you can get some preview panels of the strips I did, which I think are some of the best strips I’ve done in a long time. Just to give you a better idea of what to expect, all three strips take place in the Star Wars Universe and are subtitled with, “Twists of Fate that Would Have Made Star Wars Suck.” The downloadable trailer sums it up pretty well. (Mine are the second bundle in the download). You get the general idea.
To see the full strips you’ve got to pay 1.99, which will get you over 160 panels of hilarity from slew of awesome creators. Well worth the money, and for what it's worth, Clickwheel is actually paying the artists profits off the back end so you guys get comics, they get traffic and we get validation that the hours of work were worth it. Everyone wins!
Scott Pilgrim is Superbad
The Hollywood Reporter announced today that Michael Cera (Superbad, Arrested Development) has been cast as the title character in Edgar Wright’s adaptation of the comic Scott Pilgrim. The Full title of the film is Scott Pilgrim’s Little Life and is based on the popular trades by Bryan Lee O’Malley about a slacker Canadian who finds true love and has to fight for it.
Last year sometime Phil got me hooked on this series so the news that the movie is pushing forward from the rumor and “It would be fun to make this” stage is absolutely fabulous. I’m a huge fan of Cera whose combination of awkwardness and unintentional cool are perfect fits for Pilgrim, even if he’s not exactly high energy. It’s not obvious casting, but I’m gonna be honest – I’m just glad the movie is moving forward.
So if Cera’s the lead, who would you Scott Pilgrim fans like to see round out the supporting cast? Join the discussion on the boards.
Jack is Back!
I’ve got another casting possibility for you to ponder… the return of Jack Ryan! (from JoBlo.com) That’s right, it looks like everyone’s favorite action politician Jack Ryan is set to return to screens, this time under the direction of Sam Raimi who plans to direct a series of films revolving around a younger version of the character at a “pivotal point in his career”.
Assuming that the last actor to play the role, Ben Affleck in The Sum of All Fears has outgrown this pivotal point, what young star do you think might be a good fit?
I honestly am drawing a blank. For some reason the first name that comes to mind is Ryan Phillipe, but I realize it more than likely has something to do with the fact that his first name is Ryan's last name and that the last thing I saw him in (last years Breach) was a political thriller about a young upstart at a pivotal point in his career. Phillipe wouldn't be a bad choice but I'm betting he's not the best. What do you guys think?
Marvel is Totally Screwing With Us
(from /film) remember all that buzz earlier in the year about characters crossing over between the big Marvel movie releases? Iron Man was going to be in The Incredible Hulk and Nick Fury Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. (played by Sam Jackson) was going to show up in both! Not so fast! It would seem that the footage shot between Fury and Iron Man has hit the cutting room floor and will act only as an extremely good reason for nerds everywhere to buy the Iron Man DVD, even if the movie sucks, just to get a look at the deleted scene.
Part of me hopes that they’re double screwing with us. As uncomfortable as that sounds I’d really be happier if they were just lying to us to get us off the scent of the crossover. I’m probably over thinking it a little though.
Thanks so much for reading, guys! I’ll be back over the weekend with a new comic and review for one of this weeks DVD releases. See you then!
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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