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Probably the best animated film ever made!

Posted : 14 years, 4 months ago on 17 March 2010 06:04 (A review of The Thief and the Cobbler)

The Thief and the Cobbler, created by the animator responsible for Roger Rabbit and the Pink Panther, was a beautiful film. That is, if it ever were completed properly. The film is probably the big inspiration for Disney's Aladdin, which was just as great. The animation is so brilliant, not even the likes of Disney or Don Bluth could top it. It's a film you'd have to feel bad for, since it took up to 26 years to make and seemed to fail and get butchered.

It's about a cute mute (at least he should've been) named Tack, a cobbler, who might compare to Jo-Jo in the Blue Sky version of Horton Hears a Who. The other main character is the swamp-coloured, cheeky, silent thief (at least he should've been silent). He is crazy for gold stuff as Scrat from Ice Age is crazy for acorns and he stinks so much that his flies follow him everywhere he goes. Tack falls in love with the pretty Princess Yum-Yum, daughter of the lazy King Nod (the inspiration for the Sultan), which gets the blue vizier Zig-zag angry. Zig-zag is the inspiration for the Genie and Jafar who can say anything in rhymes and is voiced by Vincent Price. The most important thing the characters need to take care of though the Thief is just too greedy to know about is the set of three golden balls above the tallest minaret. If the balls were taken away, the dark, half-blind army of One-Eyes will attack.

I've seen the three main versions; the Recobbled cut, the Allied Filmmakers version and the Miramax version. First, I am going to talk about the Recobbled cut. This cut is made by a big fan named Garrett Gilchrist of a fan company named Orange Cow Productions. He compiled footage and original sound tracks he collected from all versions of the film and people who worked on the film, no matter if it's unfinished, low quality or animated poorly by Fred Calvert. He also included classical music to make it a little more epic. It could possibly the best fan edit ever made.

10/10 for the Recobbled cut.

The Allied Filmmakers/Majestic Films version, The Princess and the Cobbler, was released only in Australia and South Africa. It was taken away from Richard after Warner Bros. rejected it and completed quite badly by television animator Fred Calvert and the Completion Bond Company. Fred added extra animation that looked as if Don Bluth animated it (some of the extra animation was produced at his studio), dialogue for Tack and crappy songs that made it quite a rip-off of Aladdin. Fred also changed the plot by mixing up scenes a little. The Thief was still silent, only making a few gasping, grunting or chuckling noises, and Zig-zag kept his great Vincent voice.

3/10 for The Princess and the Cobbler.

Miramax picked up Fred's edit, called it "Arabian Knight" and ruined it. They turned what could've been a masterpiece into a masterpiece of crap. They cut some scenes out because they thought they were too disturbing or long, added more repetition, gave Tack the inappropriate voice of Matthew Broderick and gave everyone who couldn't talk some annoying thought talk that distracted from the great animation. The thief, voiced by Jonathan Winters, spoke about everything he could see and thought that he was in the real world of the present day by speaking present day references ("Nobody lives like this except college kids.") and pop culture references ("I'm going to Disneyland!"), and he wouldn't shut the hell up. Nor would anyone else. The edit overflowed with dialogue, with tons of grunting voices and more usage of "What?" from King Nod. And that's right; Phido and the alligators could actually thought-talk as well. What, did Jim Davis suddenly take over the production? This isn't a Garfield TV special. What were they thinking? Did they care about the original's creator? It probably inspired the butchery the Weinstein Company did to the film version of The Magic Roundabout when they added cuts, random flatulence jokes, pop culture references and moose dialogue.

0/10 for Arabian Knight.

So the only version of this film to watch is the Recobbled cut. Don't waste your time with the other versions. A true-to-the-story restoration of the film was put on hold when Roy E. Disney left The Walt Disney Company so that the company could be totally butchered, but Garrett Gilchrist hears that the Disney restoration has been continued, so there's hope yet!

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The ultimate campy CGI-filled cash cow

Posted : 14 years, 4 months ago on 17 March 2010 05:50 (A review of 2012)

The last four months of 2009 were mostly happy when it comes to movies with ratings below PG-13/12A. Food from the sky, a chance to see two Pixar classics again, a lie to change everything in a world where lies or religion don't exist, lots of happy romance going on, a magical door that leads to a world beyond your wildest imagination, big friendly creatures playing with a little boy, an anime franchise revival, a last chance to memorise the King of Pop, a famous Christmas tale being awesome-fied, woodland creatures having fun, a friendly retro planet getting discovered and two royals/frogs keeping a currently-disrespected company alive.
And then we got 2012.

There have been many mentionings of the world ending last year. Terminator Salvation was post-apocalyptic, the Sun was the main target of destruction (WTF) in Transformers: Revenge of the Perverts, the machines and Stitch Punks in 9 were the world's only inhabitants after the attack, the Surrogates almost caused an end to all humanity, Ricky Gervais lied in one scene about the world ending in The Invention of Lying and there was something to do with the world ending in the upcoming Sherlock Holmes. But this disaster settles all of that. And boy, is it a disaster.

2012 friggin' sucked! It's just some propaganda designed to scare people into believing that the world really will end in late 2012. It's no surprise that this was released on Friday the 13th; it's just the right time to be one of the unlucky ones to see such a horrible movie! My predictions for this movie's suckage were obviously correct; I created pictures and videos about how bad it will be, and I even did some of the paragraphs in this review days before I had the chance to finally post it! Damn you, Emmerich! Why did you have to make a crappy movie so visually spectacular?! Besides, the idea isn't the only thing about this movie that made me laugh. That's right, it's also a comedy by mistake. I expected the reviews for this film to be horrible, but they weren't the worst! It appears that some critics loved its campiness and found it to be a guilty pleasure. Even Roger Ebert loved it! But that's what you'd expect from the guy who preferred the third Mummy film to the recent Star Trek. According to The Independent, at the end of the special screening of this movie, everyone applauded. Or did they? Well, the Sony twats added a recorded sound effect of an applause and lied that the applause was real, when all the people just walked out and only used their hands to get themselves up off of the seat and carry their belongings! What is the world coming to?

In this movie, the Mayan calendar proves that 11:11 AM (where?), December 21st, 2012, the year of the London Olympics, the movie version of Marvel's The Avengers and the 200th anniversary of the 1812 Overture, will be the beginning of the world's apocalypse, and it's obvious why no-one's celebrating Christmas. And guess what? In real life, the Mayans said that the world will come to an end of a cycle, not come to an end, period! I'm guessing that someone was lost in translation. In the beginning, it shows evidence during 2009 to 2012. The first two bits of damage when 2012 comes are a huge crack and a random car explosion. We don't see why - maybe it was a bomb. If this movie could be any more screwed up, it'd be an invisible terrorist. They even mention a mass suicide because of the prediction -- does Roland want that to happen to everyone? Now every movie has to have main characters, but this is one of those movies where you just have to pick anyone you want. In this film, it's a mock of Barrack Obama played by Danny Glover (there was also a mock of Arnold Schwarzenegger), a scientist played by Chiwetel Ejiofor and John Cusack in a role which pretty much rips off that of Tom Cruise in the remake of The War of the Worlds. Wait, another rip-off? Crap!

Now I don't know if his character Jackson Curtis is really a character, because his importance is for writing a critically bashed book called "Farewell Atlantis". At least this has more character than The Day After Tomorrow. But moving on, awesome special effects destroy America and Curtis' family have to struggle to survive. They go places for research and shelter in different ways of transport; driving, flying, running. On their journey to the modern arks in China, they meet up with a guy who is played by the guy from Zombieland and accidentally shows off his butt crack before his demise, a friend of theirs and a bunch of Russian stereotypes including a guy named Yuri and a member of the family named Sasha. Gee, [Link removed - login to see] Later, they join in with a lot more people and a bunch of jungle animals trying to survive to go into the arks while much more random disasters happen, including a destruction of the White House that's more awesome than the laser destruction in Independence Day. How many people will survive? Can this movie get any cheesier? Will the Master of Disaster be able to make another disasterous disaster movie? Well, this is actually his last one. Hallelujah. Imagine if he still made disaster movies - if the buzz about the asteroid XF11 hitting Earth in 2028 carried on and he decided to make a movie about that, I'd wish the asteroid hit me immediately.

The special effects are needless to say kick-ass, but everything else is just suck-ass. I didn't think John Cusack goofed up on his career in Igor! The special effects, though, are just overblown as well and result in complete CGI porn that gives the finger to logic. But if you want real CGI porn, watch the Speed Racer movie! The acting is decent, but sometimes annoying. Every bad movie has cheesiness, and you'd find a lot of that in this movie. The whole thing rips off many action scenes like ones from Deep Impact, even though I haven't seen it yet. And Yuri? He's one of the reasons why this movie made me laugh. He sounds like a Russian Sylvester Stallone! And guess what? The end of the movie isn't the end of the story. For we have long to wait until the grand finale, because Roland Emmerich had thought up a TV series based on this movie that takes place in 2013! And you thought "Back to the Barnyard" was bad enough. Now if you're guessing how long this is, let me give you a hint - I saw 9 and Zombieland on the same day on November 1st. They are each a minute close to 80, one before and the other after. If you watch them on the same day too but stop watching on the last minute of the end credits, guess what length you're going to get?


The marketing was crazy - when I went on the London train to go and see the special preview of Astro Boy, 2012 was advertised on the London IMAX. A poster for the film also had a cameo in Zombieland. No joke. At the cinema I go to there was a poster board so huge that the ones for This Is It, A Christmas Carol, The Princess and the Frog and Sherlock Holmes had to stay behind. I even heard radio advertising for the premiere and saw a poster at the cinema persuading the audience to buy tickets for the film. I saw plenty of viral marketing and promotion for the CGI disaster bonanza, which says the world will end due to something called "Planet X" (*insert Duck Dodgers reference here*), and that marketing was so popular that a lot of people became dumbasses and believed that the apocalypse is real! A Nasa scientist, named David Morrison, got 1,000+ notices from frightened little teenage babies who threatened to commit suicide from viewing 2012's viral websites! They often added a friggin' notice at the end of the trailers and the bottom of the posters to scare the living daylights out of even more people by telling them to find out the "truth" and Google up '2012'! What were they thinking?! It's as if the creators are trying to ask people, "Go see this movie and believe in the apocalypse of 2012 or else you can come and kiss our asses."

Now, 2012 isn't the only end of the world prediction that got a movie. Search on the IMDB for Y2K. And if I had to compare this with The Asylum/Faith Films' 2012 Doomsday, which came out in early 2008, I'd have to say that 2012 Doomsday sucked the most. The acting was terrible, the visual effects were mediocre, the film was short and the dialogue was rubbish. It was way too religious because God was mentioned too many times. 24 times including "Lord", to be exact. It tries so hard to be friendly to Christians, but ends up pleasing Satan. And I bet you know how they say "OMG". That's right, "Oh my Gosh!" If you've ever seen the film Dragonwyck, you'd notice about seven uses of the word 'God' from a young female in the last half, but this is ridiculous! Even the plot is stupid! The main characters are just randomly picked; you wouldn't know who the hell the film is about!

Even the whole thing ends with the gang finding out that birth will keep them safe, and they're lucky because they've brought an abandoned pregnant woman from Mexico with them. So everyone and everything gets burned except the Mayan temple and the characters. This is a highly religious film, yet they didn't have any black people in it! And do you want to know the rest of the ball-sucking? The Asylum recently released another 2012 film as a rip-off of Roland's movie - 2012 Supernova, which doesn't even have much to do with 2012! The character development is worse in that film and it feels like more of a sci-fi action film rip-off, and the whole thing has a happy ending where the world stays alive! It's like a movie where a giant octopus tries to save the Titanic! Which actually happened in a movie! And you wondered why I saw 2012...

There's also a similar movie idea I've heard of by Michael friggin' Bay named 2012: The War for Souls, probably the reason why 2012 Doomsday was created, which hasn't had any recent news because the project was cancelled, praise the Lord. Just imagine, tons of unnecessary gay sex jokes, all the goofiness of Armageddon, everything exploding and burning and an end to the movie where the whole world explodes! That would be pure hell.

Columbia, how could you? Late in 2009 you gave us District 9 (TriStar), Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, Zombieland and Michael Jackson's This Is It, and now you want to help the director of 10,000 BC try to persuade people into believing that the world is going to end? I want to go up to that Torch Lady, steal her torch and use it burn her face off. If you think we're this fooled, then I'm not seeing any of your movies on the big screen ever again. To anyone reading this, do not trust the advertising. Do not waste your money or a time of your life that's shorter than Avatar and thankfully shorter than Fame. Do not get attracted by the VFX or the end song that's so amazing that it beats that of Titanic or Armageddon. Do not see this movie, unless you enjoy campy eye candy. It's basically a disaster that makes The Twilight Saga: New Moon seem like nothing to worry about! For if you do see it, you're getting a disaster in three meanings; the death of the world, the death of cinema, and the death of your brain cells. I had wasted not only 158 minutes of my life, but 34 precious pounds off of my money, and you won't believe how much I regret doing so. I also got a pain in my backside from sitting for too long, so I had to walk around like a hunchback for a short while! So yeah, it's crap, and I don't give a turd if you enjoyed it or treated it as a tribute to the campy disaster flicks of the past, because I kept my brain inside my head throughout the entire movie. But I have to give the movie some credit for making me laugh by accident and not being so Bay-ish, and I admit that 2012 Doomsday and 2012 Supernova are no 2012.

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LEGO Indiana Jones 2: The Adventure Licks C***

Posted : 14 years, 4 months ago on 17 March 2010 05:43 (A review of LEGO Indiana Jones 2. The Adventure Continues)

When I saw the trailer for the higher definition versions of this game, I thought it looked fun. People didn't like it as much as the first one because you get to play through Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, the fourth addition which was praised by critics but hated by others because it was being taken too seriously, which surprises me because the Temple of Doom was very goofy. It also got a Razzie for Worst Prequel, Remake, Rip-off or Sequel, winning over Disaster Movie. DISASTER MOVIE. Can you believe that? What I saw in the film was just a mock of how CGI-packed action movies are today (don't get me started on Michael Bay or Roland Emmerich), and how anti-logic, campy and full of plot-holes the sci-fi adventure serials were back in the old days. So it was a guilty pleasure. I added the PSP version of this game to my Christmas list with high expectations and when I got it, I put the UMD into my PSP, started the game and guess what I got? Low-budget suck.

When I played the game, I noticed something different about the menu. The only moving thing was the background, and the text font was Arial-ish. I didn't really bother me that much, and the special opening video was fun to watch even if it seemed to be a bit squashed into the 480ร—272 size. The life/stud count looked different, but that wasn't the big deal. The graphics on the characters may have been PS3-style, you could change into a different character in Free Play mode and there were some interesting moments of teamwork, but everyone jumped the same way, their abilities weren't there, the music was almost the same, the quality was mediocre, the sound quality was terrible, it was harder to switch characters, the motion was bland, the studs aren't as attracted to you as usual and the controls were lame.

The only level I could get up to was a mini-game where I had to beat the time by rolling on a boulder to collect some things (I forgot what they were; this game is hardly even memorable), and I couldn't win because the controls were slippery as hell! So at that moment I took the game out, sulked, cheered myself up with LittleBigPlanet and waited until I could sell this game on eBay. Where did you go wrong, TT Games? Did you suddenly come up with the idea so late that you just had to rush this one? All PSP games are supposed to be crammed with great quality; this is more of the shabby DS kind. Could you imagine if they made LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga for PSP and screwed it all up with cheapness? I felt like I was trying to beat the boss of LEGO Star Wars 2 for the DS.

The PSP version of LEGO Indiana Jones 2 is probably the worst thing to come out of any division of Lucasfilm since the Star Wars Holiday Special. It's worse than Howard the Duck. It's as frustrating as Jar Jar. It's that bad! Okay, so I may not have played the whole damn thing, but this forgets all that could get crammed into the previous LEGO games and botches it all up. Come on, TT, if companies like Sony can make their games equal to the PS2/PS3 standards, so should you! You succeeded with LEGO Star Wars 2, LEGO Indiana Jones 1 and LEGO Batman, but not with this? Let's hope they don't screw up the PSP version of LEGO Harry Potter...

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