movie

It’s Anything but Ooky, “The Addams Family” Review (2019)

Warning: contains spoilers***

Morticia and Gomez are getting married, but the civilians are crashing their wedding as an angry mob. They move to a house on the top of a hill and have a Frankenstein-like servant.

Thirteen years later and the Addams couple has two children. Pugsley is being forced to train for a sword-fighting event he doesn’t seem to value and is pretty unprepared for. Wednesday is her usual grim self who tries to kill or hurt Pugsley.

But one of the family members discovers a commercial where a woman named Margaux Needler offers a service to renovate people’s houses in any way they like. Unfortunately, when the Addams family leaves their home and go out in public, everybody is afraid of them. Wednesday, however, befriends Margaux’s daughter, Parker, and attends school with her. Stakes raise from there.

I was surprised how short this film was. As a fiction writer myself, I was able to point out all the major plot points, which kind of made the duration predictable. Due to past movie-watching experiences, I kind of predicted that Margaux would turn out to be the villain.

One thing I found a bit strange was that the setting was changed to modern times, like this decade, despite how this was originally created in the mid-twentieth century. I understand the creators probably wanted to make this more relatable to young audiences today. But since it’s animated, they wouldn’t have needed to struggle with finding outdated technology as much as if this were live-action. I could be wrong, though.

That being said, there are many moments that I admire, such as when Wednesday brought the dead frogs in science class back to life. There was also a reference to “It” by Stephen King. One moment I found a bit strange was when Uncle Fester compared a certain woman’s breath to a baby’s diaper. I sure hope he meant a clean one.

Anyway, in spite of not being too familiar with the original “Addams Family” show, I enjoyed this just enough. Some of it wasn’t super engaging. Nevertheless, it was still, overall, a good watch. I’d rate this 4 out of 5 stars.

movie

It’s the Endgame of Avengers as We Know it (2019)

Twenty-three days have passed since Thanos wiped out the world’s population. The remaining Avengers get together to figure out how to fix the problem. The final idea is to go back in time to stop Thanos from succeeding.

The group tests the time machine until it works. They have to go to different years and different times. Of course, things go wrong while the people are in the past.

I found this film to be interesting, despite never being a huge Marvel Cinematic Universe fan. One scene I thought was funny was the one where the remaining people are testing the time machine and Scott, one of the guys, was their guinea pig. He became a child, old man, baby, and then returned to his actual age. It reminded me of that “Codename: Kids Next Door” episode where the delightful children had a special device that made one age forward or backwards.

It was three hours long. Although it was recommended that people not go to the bathroom during the movie, I actually had to. But I didn’t miss much.

Anyway, some scenes were amazing, some were intense, and a few were sad. Except for the time-machine experimenting moment, I didn’t get super-passionate about a lot of the story. And it’s probably because I’m not a big superhero movie fan.

I would rate this movie 3.5 out of 5 stars. I would still recommend it, though.

TV show

These are a Few of my Favorite “Bugs Bunny” Moments

As a child, I cared more for “Tom and Jerry” and used to laugh my brains out at that, which I can’t do anymore while viewing it. Anyway, I’m more into “Looney Toons” than “Tom and Jerry” now. That being said, I did watch some “Looney Toons” when I was a kid.

Anyway, here are my top favorite “Bugs Bunny” moments:

3: When Bugs is forced into an oven, but doesn’t suffer

Mac forces Bugs into an oven to roast him, but he comes out to gather more items such as water. Then he tries to fool Mac into thinking there’s a party to get him into the oven. Little does Bugs know that the party was real and he joins in with it.

2: The “Southern Bugs Bunny” scene

Mac calls Bugs a Yankee and lives like it’s still the mid-1800’s, when the civil war was happening. Bugs comes up in blackface (which I don’t like in general) and sings “Old Kentucky Home”. Shortly after, he sings “Yankee Doodle”. Despite the blackface moment, this clip was still great.

1: The “Hillbilly Hare” music video

It starts with a country singing scene on the TV in the cartoon. Bugs is even dressed in female attire while two bearded men are also dancing. Then Bugs unplugs the TV and plays his own song, where he tells the other guys to do silly, ridiculous things. And they listen, no matter how dumb or uncivil the instructions are. It was absolutely funny, but wouldn’t be humorous in real life. Nevertheless, this one is my favorite moment.

Do you have any favorite “Bugs Bunny” or “Looney Toons” moments?

TV show

My “Cartoon Network” Analysis and Views on How it Evolved

If you were born in the early 90’s or before that, you probably remember these features of Cartoon Network, such as Cartoon, Cartoon Fridays, Cartoon Theater, Toonami, and possibly Toonheads Trivia. You may also recall when the logo spelled out the whole network name instead of just “CN”.

For me, Cartoon Network was at its golden days in the early 2000’s. It started in either 1991 or 1992 with old shows, like “The Flintstones”. When I watched Cartoon Network as a child, I would view shows such as “Dexter’s Laboratory”, “The PowerPuff Girls”, and “Johnny Bravo”. Some of my favorites also included “Ed, Edd, and Eddy” and “Tom and Jerry”.

Unfortunately, by the time I was finishing elementary school in 2004, the format and other details changed overnight. The logo became CN, the narrator for the channel was new, and there would be commercials after the shows’ opening themes and before the episodes began. There were also new shows that didn’t please me or others, especially the live-action shows. The channel also apparently got rid of Cartoon, Cartoon Fridays and replaced it with Hub-Hub Thursdays. Someone in a YouTube comment made a very good point when he or she said, “Kids stay up late on Fridays, not Thursdays.” Maybe it changed now—I don’t know.

Kids today probably appreciate and accept the shows and current format of Cartoon Network. I have no clue what it’s like now as I no longer watch live TV, thanks to having online video sources. However, I still prefer 2001-2004 Cartoon Network. Many people like the original classic version, too. But now I’ve moved on. Nevertheless, I’ll always consider the early Cartoon Network days the best.

movie

I’m Lonely in the Minority of Certain Movie Tastes

Some people like being in the minority of liking certain movies or other forms of entertainment. However, I don’t. I never did and probably never will.

One time, I came across an article with how to cope enjoying something most people hate or don’t like. I related so much to it, it was as if that author read my mind. He or she discussed how it could feel when you absolutely love something and look for others’ opinions, but find mostly negative reactions and how it hurts you.

In fact, many movies I saw in the theaters as a child did very poorly. I was unaware of their unsatisfactory performances then. I didn’t find out until recently. However, I drifted apart from those films, and, with a few exceptions, no longer have strong feelings about them. Some I just liked, but didn’t become obsessed with. So, it doesn’t bother me how badly those movies did.

The exceptions of unpopular movies I absolutely enjoyed and wished were more popular are “Shrek the Third”, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” (the 2005 one), and “Teacher’s Pet” (the 2004 cartoon). Well, maybe a little less with “Teacher’s Pet”. While I’ve fantasized about it being as popular as “Aladdin” or “The Lion King”, having an honest trailer on YouTube, and even being on Broadway, this year, I got bored with it. I couldn’t even make it to the end, which is ironic, because I used to be highly addicted to it. At age 10, I saw it in the theater and tried to see it again, but it was almost done. Once it was released on DVD, I would want to watch it every day. Even at age 17, when I was able to control my temptation to view it all the time, I still loved it. Despite finding it boring now, the strong feelings still stay with me. After I stopped at the 1 hour-mark, I had thought I’d lost my wish of it pleasing more people. But no—it came back.

I saw the original “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” from 1971 on video when I was little. I liked it. But once I saw the remake, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” in 2005, I ended up enjoying that more. However, everyone else who saw both disliked the remake and favored the old one more. I still do appreciate the original adaptation, though. In fact, I think both versions are amazing and were done well. Still—I’m lonely feeling like I’m the only one in this world who liked the reboot more. I’m sure there are others like me, but probably not many.

For “Shrek the Third”, it wasn’t until recent years when I discovered how unpopular it is. There was a lot of negative feedback about it on YouTube. That confused me and made me think, “Shrek the Third” couldn’t have done that poorly, right? I mean…movies usually do have to have a certain minimum level of popularity for there to be another installment, right? Otherwise, “Shrek Forever After” wouldn’t have been released. But when I searched the film on Google, most overall ratings were three stars or less. And I absolutely enjoyed the movie very much. There is even a review on another post about “Shrek the Third”. I state that I loved it so much that I would give it beyond 5 out of 5 stars. Luckily, I have a friend who liked the film, too.

Other people have felt lonely being in the minority of liking things, such as Rebecca Black’s “Friday”, “Teen Titans Go”, or post-2004 “SpongeBob” episodes. So, if you ever experience feeling bittersweet about loving something, but being one of the very few, don’t give up hope. Someone might like the unpopular thing, too.

travel

A Great Experience at Governor’s Comedy Club

Not far from where I live, I went here last year for my friend’s birthday party. It’s kind of like a restaurant, but with some notable differences.

For instance, there are no windows inside. But I think that’s typical for comedy clubs, probably so that no one can peak through during performances. However, there were TV’s on the walls, but without sound. Most public places that have TV monitors won’t make noises.

The food tasted good, especially the steak and mashed potatoes. Of course, they had to have sophisticated choices since this was an 18+ venue. Speaking of which, it was kind of strange, but nice, being in an adults-only setting. That being said, when the comedy show was about to start, the announcer still had to remind people not to shout out at the performers and silence their phones. One guest at my friend’s party was videoing, and the manager had to tell him to stop.

The warm-up comedians and the main one, Gilbert Gottfried, were all great. After the show, everyone got to meet Gilbert Gottfried. I got an autograph from him.

So, would I recommend this comedy club? Yes, most definitely! It’s not in New York City, so it would probably be easier to get tickets to for seeing your favorite comedian.

movie

An Adventure Awaits with My Review of “Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb” (2014)

I have been a huge fan of the “Night at the Museum” franchise since the first film was released in 2006. Also, as great of a film this is, as well as the first two, this was also Robin Williams’s last movie before he died.

Anyway, let’s get to the review. The movie starts with a flashback of Western and Arab men. There is also a little boy named CJ. CJ’s father forces him to go somewhere and wait, but CJ ends up falling into something. He discovers the tablet, which brings the museum figures to life.

Fast forward to the present, and Larry Daley is presenting the figures at a formal event. However, the figures get out of control and the people panic. Larry gives the figures a lecture about their behavior. Not long after, he and his son, Nick, are whisked away to London to get the tablet fixed. They meet new figures, including Lancelot, who seems caring to Nick about his values. But things get out of hand again.

This movie was very funny as usual. The characters are still humorous. I especially love the scene where the little cowboy and Roman gladiator figurines are watching a cat video on YouTube and they use a special ancient machine to write a comment. The scene where the caveman eats the packing peanuts was also hilarious.

Of course, like every creative work, this film does have some flaws, such as the “kid holding party while his or her parents are out and gets in trouble when they come home” cliché. Not to mention that it really isn’t believable, especially with characters who are minors. No parent would ever allow their underage child to go to an unsupervised party. So, Nick wouldn’t have had the unsupervised party if this were more credible.

Another moment in this film that isn’t believable is when Lancelot runs onto a stage in a theater where “Camelot” is being performed. The actors are like, “Can I help you?” and explaining to Lancelot that they are just actors. This isn’t the best example, as running on stage during a show performance in real life would get you arrested, even if you just stand there and say nothing. The actors would’ve yelled at Lancelot to get off the stage, security would’ve taken him away, and then the cops would’ve arrested him. But that couldn’t happen, because—plot convenience.

Nevertheless, I very much enjoyed the film and would rate it 5 out of 5 stars.

movie

Feed Me This Critique of “Little Shop of Horrors” (1986)

Warning: contains spoilers***

One of the earliest movies to be rated PG-13, this story follows a young man, named Seymour, who is trying to please his boss with a plant business. One plant becomes incredibly popular and then gruesome.

I will stop there with the narration. Below are what I liked about this film and what I felt could’ve been better.

This post will only include information about the movie from 1986 and not the earlier movie from 1960 or the live musical.

So, without further ado, here are my thoughts on this film, starting with the strengths.

1: The Musical Numbers

The songs were great. In fact, they were done by the same people who did Disney-animated movies such as “The Little Mermaid”, “Beauty and the Beast” and “Aladdin”. While the music doesn’t sound too similar, and obviously, the story is more mature, the structure of the film is similar to that of a Disney classic. Between the midpoint and the all-is-lost moment is a romantic number between Seymour and his love interest, Audrey.

2: The Twist Where the Plant Talks

Seymour called the plant an Audrey II to honor the lady he had strong feelings for. It started out as a normal plant. Then, when Seymour cut himself, he fed the blood to the plant. It would make smacking sounds when it was hungry. When it grew bigger, it surprisingly could talk. It would tell Seymour to keep feeding it. I loved when Seymour said to the plant at some point, “Don’t think you’re getting dessert.” Lol.

3: Seymour’s Character Development

While Seymour was nicer to Audrey than her abusive boyfriend, the dentist, was, he wasn’t without his flaws. Although the dentist had already died from the laughing gas, Seymour’s boss thought Seymour was killing the dentist. Seymour feared trouble with the cops, turned down journalists and people in the publicity business when they wanted to advertise his plant and offer him money, and even brought something to defeat the dentist before he perished from the laughing gas. Of course, Seymour is still a good guy who’s had a tough life. He was orphaned at a young age and his boss raised him, but not in a pleasing way.

Now onto the parts I felt could’ve been better.

1: Audrey’s Ideal Life Explained in the Number, “Somewhere that’s Green”

I first discovered this song in “Family Guy”, when Herbert imagines a life with Chris. The lyrics there and in “Little Shop of Horrors” are mostly the same. Audrey imagines a life with Seymour where he rakes and trims the grass and Audrey is a happy wife into cleaning and cooking. Some of her other dreams included TV dinners and a 9:15 bedtime. I know this story was written and is probably set in the late 50’s or early 60’s, when standards for women were different. But seeing this in 2019, I found those ideas too bizarre and unappealing. Most women probably wouldn’t dream of a life like Audrey does during that moment.

2: A Dentist that Scares and Hurts People Still Succeeds in his Job

I know this is a past decade, but why would anyone want to go to a scary dentist? He causes pain the wrong way and harms people physically at times. Why doesn’t anyone report him? Or at least not come back? He should’ve lost patients due to his bad practicing.

Last, but not least, onto an idea that I’m unsure about.

A Happy or Sad Ending

Originally, the film was going to end where Audrey dies, Seymour feeds her body to his plant, and then the plant eats Seymour after. That was in the director’s cut, which you can get on the DVD. However, the theatrical release showed a happy ending, where Seymour defeats the plant and he and Audrey get married, living happily ever after. While I’ve always preferred happier endings to stories, I find that the sad ending fits the tone and premise more. At the same time, I was more satisfied with the happily-ever-after ending. I guess both are equally fine.

I would rate this film 4 out of 5 stars.

movie

Lights…Camera…Action…and Ratings

In the film industry, there are 5 ratings: G – all ages admitted, PG – parental guidance suggested, PG-13 – Parents strongly cautioned for children under 13, R – Restricted and anyone under 17 needs to be accompanied by an adult, and lastly, NC-17, where no one under 18 is admitted, whatsoever.

Back in the day, the ratings were different. For instance, PG-13 didn’t exist until 1984. So, many mature movies before were rated PG. Nowadays, PG is pretty much the same as G. Most family-friendly movies are rated PG. In fact, when I was little, I thought PG meant it was for all ages.

Some people, however, still see PG as inappropriate and only allow their children to watch movies that are rated G. In fact, back in the 00’s, my youngest brother’s 1st grade class was only allowed to watch G-rated movies. PG was forbidden, including those geared toward kids, such as “Shrek 2”. Seriously—they couldn’t watch “Shrek 2” because it was rated PG. Crazy, huh? My dad actually supported the teacher restricting to just G. Yeah, back in the 70’s, it would’ve made sense as PG-rated movies then were usually for adults, such as “Jaws” or “Airplanes”. I would understand not allowing little kids to watch PG-rated films when it comes to those like “Jaws”. But “Shrek 2”? That’s ridiculous. That’s like not allowing kids to feed themselves or wash their hands by themselves.

Anyway, while PG doesn’t really mean anything these days, I want to focus on the other ratings, too. G is not as common these days. One movie I feel is too dark to be rated G is “Muppets Treasure Island”. At nine years old, I was a bit scared at times when watching that film. PG probably would’ve been more appropriate.

Anyway, fewer movies these days are rated G. NC-17 seems to be the least common rating and is usually used for the most extreme. However, it can also be if there are at least 400 curse words. That was the case with 1999’s “South Park Movie”. It was originally going to be NC-17 due to a ton of fowl language. In fact, only one swear word was removed so that it could be rated R instead. Honestly, there are plenty of dirty words that could’ve been removed from that film. But not enough to lower the rating to PG-13.

Anyway, I am glad that the rating for “South Park Movie” was lowered to R. To me, the film is waayy to mild for the NC-17 rating. There are PG-13 movies scarier and more intense than that. Also, many “South Park” fans are underage, so it would’ve been unfair to them had they stuck with rating it NC-17.

Sometimes, PG-13-rated movies are so scary or intense, their ratings are raised to R. There was talk for raising the PG-13 rating to R for “The Hobbit: Part 3” film due to a ton of battle violence.

So, those are my thoughts on film ratings. There’s also a video on YouTube called “Does PG Really Mean Anything” that you can search for. I’m not the only person who noticed certain details and movies and their ratings.

Writing

I Am Not Like Other Writers…And Let Me Tell You Why

What makes me different from other writers, you may ask? Do you know how writing experts say that all authors must love reading, too? Well, that’s not how I am.

Yes, it might be strange for me to say this, but while I love writing, I don’t love reading. You read that right. I hardly ever read for fun. Usually, I read to enhance something for myself or if I’m forced to—which hasn’t happened in years since I’m out of school and college.

The last year I’ve enjoyed reading stories for fun was 3rd grade. Starting in 4th grade, I’d only read non-fiction for fun. Not much has changed with that since—well, except in 8th and 9th grade. I would only read “Harry Potter” for pleasure. I constantly borrowed the books from my school library. And because I started reading them after the first four movies had been released, I read the novels out of order. It was no problem.

Anyway, another unique trait in me is that I’m not just a weak reader for my age, but I also have younger tastes. I am not kidding. I would often get surprised when I heard about young children reading about characters at least a few years older than them and advancing faster than I thought. There are even complex books for kids who advance quickly, but are appropriate for their ages.

When I heard about a 7-year-old who wouldn’t be caught dead reading Dr. Seuss and read “Diary of a Wimpy Kid”, I was thinking Caught dead? At that age, I was constantly borrowing Dr. Seuss books from my school library. I also heard about a 4th grader who read about 14-year-old main characters. When I was that young, 14 would’ve been an extremely big number for me, and I would’ve considered myself way too young for that. I am not exaggerating. The first time I read about a 14-year-old character was early 8th grade, and that was “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire”. I was reading about characters at that age when I was 16. I also read “Judy Moody” when I was 10. I’m, like, the only person who read down a lot—the opposite of many people, children and adults. My mom even had to stop me from reading a certain book for school summer reading because it was too young.

Excluding required stories for school, I’ve rarely read up for fun. I read the 7th Harry Potter book from age 13-14 (I read super slowly and have a short attention span) and where the protagonist is 17. But that was only because it was a bestselling franchise. Had it been at the level of “Percy Jackson” or “Eragon”, I likely would never have touched the book.

Last year, right before turning 25, I was just getting interested in new adult stories. As a college freshman, my classmates would discuss books like, “The Help” while I was far from ready to outgrow young adult novels.

On the bright side, if you write children’s books, reading other stories in your target audience’s age range will help you with your own writing. So, there’s a benefit of reading below your level.

Above all, don’t let others judge you. Be who you want to be. Read what you like and when you want. Hey—it might benefit your own writing.