December 17, 2007

However, I did see the “Hairspray” movie, actually in a theatre, back in July. For some reason it included a preview for the Underdog movie, which I had complained about extensively several days prior. I immediately typed a sternly worded complaint –yes, right there, in the theater, on my pocket typewriter– about it again but couldn’t stand redundancy and so here it is now.

7-29-2007
See? I included the date. That proves it.

In Hairspray, I appreciated the absence of actual songs from the 1960s. Nothing ruins my day like Paul Revere and The Kingsmen and the whoever did that dreadful yak song. All in all in, considering how much I hated the old Hairspray when we watched it at my uncle’s house like three times, this was shockingly bearable. Re: John Travolta: I realize the importance of having a man fill a woman role that was originally done by a man, but “they” ought to have found someone who could sing properly as a woman. Obviously I’m not really here to whine about this.

I’d like to see a remake of Brigadoon with more of the stage version’s songs in it and a proper ending. I don’t know if the omitted songs were any good, just that the movie I saw seemed like it could have used some more songs, most definitely at the end. I also think Van Johnson should have danced more than once, but that’d be unlikely in a remake since he’s 90 years old.

But ehhh…
The latest Underdog movie preview made the exact same clips look worse than ever. I’m addressing this subject again because the last time I was so mad that I forgot to make sense. The Underdog people don’t have an excuse for not making sense because they’re clearly all very proud of themselves.

What is it about dogs that brings out the schlockiest scripts, scummiest screenplays and corniest concepts in people?

And why would Jason Lee, who at one point looked as if he could have had a semi-respectable comedy film career, accept such a job if he knew the sort of sub-Growing Pains material he’d be working with? I know it’s a dog-eat-dog business, and one can’t assume one will ever be offered so much money again, but in this movie it would be a dog-eat-cat business. That’s the kind of material we’re dealing with.

There’s something about computer graphics that makes something awful twice as awful. So combining that with the dog problem is of course, not so much a recipe, but definitely a Hungry Man XXL microwave instructions for failure. You need to use the convection oven! Alas, few people see the logic of eating something out of a little cardboard box if they have thirty minutes to spare. I’m sure in my younger days I could have parlayed that remark into another anti-underdog simile, but I’ll leave it as it is for now.

The same day as that, I saw a television spot with the second newest* old standby of moron movie marketing, scripted fake out-takes. Oops! The trained dog we dub words over later messed up his line! Even though we recorded all his lines months ago and use computer tricks to make the dog’s mouth appear to move! Where’s my 1950s clickboard? Oh, it’s in this truth.com ad.


Whudafxup with this getting past the censor tribunal? We can’t show a good Popeye cartoon before 2 am but phonetically (however poorly) spelling out “what the fuck’s up” gets a pass six times every hour? Hopefully I will explore this matter further before December. That would be pathetic if I forgot about both these urgent issues for five months.

Anyway:
Who in the creative club speaks up and says “hey, I know, why don’t we further ground a once somewhat imaginitive concept firmly within mundane reality but in a totally phony way with some fake out-takes?” Why wasn’t that person fired ten years ago? Not only have fake out takes continued, other people have ripped it off. How many times do I have to get mad at this before everyone in the world stops doing it? Yes, it would be nice if people could stop murdering each other, but unlike murder, neither side stands to benefit from a fake out-take. And at least if I was dead I wouldn’t need to worry about seeing fake out-takes in future ads for future imagination not included re-imaginations.

I could understand if this was a plot to sell off unsold junk manufactured in the 1970s or lousy dvds -I wouldn’t like it, but I’d understand it- but Disney has no claim to that. Increased awareness of the old product is not a goal. What is the goal? Could someone tell me what the goal is? Is it to make me so nutso that I strangle someone and get sent to gaol? Well, no one spells it that way anymore. Get with the program. Take a chill pill. Like, talk to the hand. You go, girl! D-d-d-d-don’t go there!

*I believe the process through which the words comprising dipshank critic blurbs appear on signs or are manipulated by characters in actual movie footage came just a bit later. I don’t know why anyone would want me to think the actual scenes look like that, but I don’t know why they do anything. Thankfully, Underdog hasn’t gotten much praise. It would have told me if it had. International markets may not be so fortunate as I, however.

Also, Daddy Day Camp and another Veggie Tales movie which I hope is only the second. Did I come to see Hairspray or retardo spray? Are these really targeting the same audience? These make the Stardust and Charles Bartlett previews look watchable. But I know they aren’t, and I won’t.



I will, however, advise Anthony Michael Hall to sue for dork infringement. I assumed it failed quietly and went away, but supposedly this movie’s release was merely delayed until February, so in all probability I’ll have to deal with these awful ads again. Beh. I can’t even manage a bah. I’m too weak.

Much like Are we Done Yet (which you may well be asking by now, and no, we’re not), the sequel to Are We There Yet, Daddy Day Camp’s demographicites are so witless they can’t even be trusted to count up to two. Or maybe it’s the screenwright who can’t. It’s hard to tell. This movie features mullet-centric jokes. I’ll grant that mullets are kind of dumb, but they’re not nearly as hilarious as the billions of jokes about them which have accumulated on the internet in ten years seem to think. Mullet jokes are the absolute hackiest rapiest ugh yon abe nab it short-circuited my brain. Maybe now I can write the next sequel!


A Veggietales movie. But what the help are Veggietales? Aside from a few rare spots for their other movie, I’ve never seen them anywhere. They’re a product of the modern Disney commercialism that keeps their absolute worst output invisible to anyone who might potentially warn the intended victims how stupid the things are. But they aren’t made by Disney. I don’t know who they’re made by. All I know is that I hate that person. The rumored heavy bible content isn’t even a factor. That’s how terrible veggietales are. What are they for? They’re not even “cute.” Their noses are too big and their eyes are too close together. I doubt, if they were real, anybody would want to eat them, either.


And this, it claims to be something like “the greatest vegetable movie of all time.” Ha ha, right? Except Attack of the Killer Tomatos was a tremendous success (I think) that plenty more people know about. Everything in this preview made me mad.

The subtitle is The Pirates Who Don’t do Anything, and already we know we’re in for a good time. Of course they don’t do anything; actual pirates rob, kidnap, rape and murder. They’re just bad news in general. Totally inappropriate for most children films. Besides, they need arms for all those things. Not that there isn’t rape and murder in The Bible, and we’d never selectively ignore, edit and otherwise remake The Bible and continue calling it “The Bible” to meet our particular indoctrination/marketing scheme, would we? That would be distorting God’s Word and


apparently there’s nothing wrong with that.

Or there are things wrong with it, but not the ones I suspected.


Maybe his imagination wasn’t captured because he’s tired of hearing about Abraham and David and Noah and Onan all the time. You may think that’s quite unlike children to get sick of anything, but it happens. What you don’t understand is that kids choose the things they don’t get sick of, not you. “Aw maw, not another bible! I told you I wanted Ivanhoe!”


Also, they tend to latch onto unusual phrases or specific visual bits more than any intellectual matter behind the content. My imagination was captured- held hostage even, by the “Disney Classics” logo on a particular copy of Disney Robin Hood that my mother used to continually rent for me. There was another copy with a different Disney Classics logo that I didn’t like at all. I possibly demanded the tape be exchanged for the other. I was also fascinated by the FBI warning which occurred first.


I must not have been alone, because about 50 people downloaded the sequence from “retrojunk.com” and reuploaded it to… some other site and got congratulated for it as if they’d accomplished something. There’s even a big enough audience that it’s worth adding extra, irrelevant, garbage website logos to. I hate many people. Do you have any idea what an accomplishment it is to have me staring directly at a Disney notice of intellectual property, after mentioning Underdog, at that, and be complaining about something else? Remind me to explain that sometime.

Most importantly, that fascination of mine did not transition into a fascination with a more realistic, less abridged Robin Hood. My mother, bless her Dodge Aries, bought me a big purple Robin Hood book with pictures and stories and everything, but I was disappointed that the people depicted weren’t stupid cartoon animals. Let’s hope Disney never makes a bible movie. Though I admit Disney’s Bible has a wonderful blasphemous sound to it.

We wouldn’t want to work toward lengthening those attention spans, would we. No no no, it’s much easier and more lucrative to pander to every stage of spoiled bibly brattitude.
This here is actually an abridged version of an abridged version. I’ll never understand why people think small children need totally different things than slightly less small children. We give them special dumbed down bibles, stupided up cartoons, sapped around video games, even dumbed down food, eeeven though its all dumped down in the end regardless. And the original stuff isn’t all that smart. I don’t think I ever ordered a “happy meal,” but it’s not like normal chicken mcnuggets come with fois gras and vodka. When I was six years old I played grubbish old regular mildly violent Rygar, not Lil’ Rygar presents: L’il Rygar and Gruffy Adventures: My First Day of School: the Search for Rygella’s lost Bike Helmet. Because they didn’t make trash like that in 1989. It would have been Rygar and Son, but Rygar wasn’t a cartoon and so was exempt. But I was just trying to make a point. You don’t need to analyze everything I put here. Geesh. Chill out, man. Mellow out, dude.



4 Responses
  1. 1
    8:11 pm, December 17, 2007

    Jumbi sez:

    I actually find the longer Bibles more interesting, if that’s possible.

  2. 2
    8:22 pm, December 17, 2007

    Elfibrax sez:

    I wouldn’t doubt it. Surely it’s long for a reason. It’s not surprising that kids are dumb when no one expects them to not be dumb. Little mental stimulation comes from watching pirates not do anything.

  3. 3
    8:22 pm, December 18, 2007

    A millionaire spider sez:

    I read the Bible once back in high school. I remember the text of the stories being very terse and sparse, with little in the way of description or imagery and no character development whatsoever–most folks weren’t even granted a baseline personality, for that matter (the specifications for how to build the temple altar and how the priestly garments should look, however, were excruciatingly detailed). Things like Veggie Tales &c. actually add quite a lot to these stories, to the point where it is these expanded adaptations, not the sparse originals, that actually form the popular conception of biblical stories.

  4. 4
    9:32 pm, December 18, 2007

    Elfibrax sez:

    I’m glad you challenged that. That’s always better than people dismissing me as an inpenitrable twit and moving on. I should excise that bit about “rephrasing;” there’s really nothing wrong with that and it’s likely even impossible to not do with ridiculously ancient text written in a different language.

    But surely accessible Bible bits, it can be done without ugly vegetables and denoting things as for “little kids.” Much less denoting them as for “littler kids than the other things we make.” I saw some cartoon about Samson more recently than I should admit and it was just too phony and happy and weird to not laugh at, with occasional accounts of massive violence gleefully recounted, rather than shown, in the same way one would describe a good birthday party. I just assumed, perhaps wrongly, that sort of thing to be the modern industry standard. They certainly don’t do that with Shakespeare. No no, I’ve just checked. They do. Aye yi. Clearly, this case is not closed.

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