Flicking Through Netflix: Hulk Vs.

I had different ideas for today’s blog.  I was going to do an in depth look at my love of Doctor Who, I was going to talk about why cruises are the ultimate type of vacation, I was even going to talk about my upcoming trip to Canada to visit my girlfriend.  (Don’t worry, regular blogs will continue.  I’m taking my computer.)  However, I find myself far too excited for said trip to talk about anything of real substance.  Instead, I thumbed through Netflix for a bit before finding what I assumed would be a fun animated movie with plenty of action.  This is Marvel’s Hulk Vs.

In all honesty, this isn’t just one film but two short films put together.  The first short is titled Hulk Vs Thor, where Loki takes over the Hulk and tries to eliminate Thor.  As you can imagine, chaos ensues.  The second story, called Hulk vs Wolverine, has the Canadian super mutant hunting down the Hulk through Canada as it seems the green meanie has gone on a rampage.  Then Wolvy is captured by some bad guys and all hell breaks loose.  When it comes to story, I’ll admit I didn’t expect much.  I just wanted to watch fighting.  Lord knows I got that in bucket-loads, but these stories were also very interesting to see play out.

In terms of animation and character designs, I’d say I prefer the Thor segment a little bit better.  Not that both aren’t animated very well.  But the Wolverine segments felt a little disjointed in the animation.  Wolverine at times looked really bulky then suddenly really athletic.  Not to mention the Hulk’s haircut changed every few seconds.  The Thor segments also just felt sleeker, giving a more streamlined and modern look that was very interesting to watch.  The Wolverine segments were still nice, but Thor just has the upper hand.

In terms of story and writing, I desperately wanted the Wolvy story to win out.  However, that story line felt clunky and slow.  It wasn’t paced very well at all.  The beginning was fast but then the middle dragged on.  The Weapon X storyline almost dragged the movie to a grinding halt.  The Thor storyline, while not perfect, just kept my attention better.  It was a better story.  And, most important, the Thor segment actually had an ending!  The Wolverine fight ends in a cliffhanger with no clear winner or ending whatsoever! What a ripoff!

I came into this film expecting a lot of action and I certainly got it.  This thing has action coming out of it’s eye-sockets.  The problem is it’s a bit convoluted for those not already familiar with the Marvel universe.  And while I have no problem with gore, this is definitely not a movie for kids who are squeamish.  Still, if you’re a fan of action cartoons and Marvel, I suggest giving this a watch.  Just make sure you’re not watching it with earphones on.  The Hulk’s only lines of dialogue are RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH!  Really hurtful to the ears.

Review: Monsters University

Once again, I was away for a weekend doing something fun.  This time, it was a convention called Florida Supercon.  And while I had a blast and will eventually talk about it, I feel more like talking about a movie I saw yesterday.

I’m generally weary of all sequels, especially animated ones.  Double especially animated ones from Disney and its affiliates.  Disney doesn’t have a good track record with sequels (and the only words I need to explain are Little Mermaid 2).  And the Toy Story series notwithstanding, sequels for the Disney flicks usually end up flopping hard.  I am happy and very thankful to say that Monsters University is one I shouldn’t have worried about.  I will attempt to make this review mostly spoiler free.  Suffice to say if you’ve seen and liked the first one, you’ll like this one.  And allow me to expand on that.  This is Monsters University.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/2/2a/Monsters_University_poster_3.jpg/220px-Monsters_University_poster_3.jpg

Monsters U is the prequel to the hit (and one of my favorite) Pixar movie, Monsters, Inc.  In the movie, we follow Mike and Sully as they attend college and learn how to be Scarers.  However, on the first day of class, Mike and Sully mess up and are kicked out of the program.  When Mike finds out about the Scare Games, he makes a bet with the dean of the school to readmit them into the program if they win.  Now all they have to do is compete in a very dangerous competition…

College movies have never been my favorites.  I’ve only seen Animal House once and I don’t think I ever need to see it again.  The problem is, I think the plots for “college” movies are really thin.  The only good thing about these types of movies are the characters.  And, I’ll tell you right now that Monsters U has great characters in spades.

Mike and Sully are in top form, sounding appropriately and amazingly younger this time around.  I love their personalities too.  Mike is basically an overachieving nerd and Sully is sort of a jock with entitlement issues.  All the secondary characters are also great.  The older student that was laid off and is seeking a degree, the artsy hipster moron, the quiet but funny shy one, they’re all here and all funny.  Special mentions go to Nathan Fillion playing a mean jock monster who will do anything to win.  He was probably my favorite character.  Also major props to the dean of the school who’s name escapes me.  The design for her was very well done and creepy and she was phenomenally voice-acted by someone whose name I don’t remember either.  Still, props to both the design and voice.

The humor and writing of the movie is definitely what saves it from being average.  The character jokes are all hilarious and every background and throwaway gag got a laugh out of me.  I especially loved any and all jokes that referred to the original movie.  (Tip:  Keep an eye on the background.  There’s a lot of gags there.)  There are two cameos that completely made the movie for me and I will die before giving them away.  You’ll just have to watch the movie.

Do I even need to talk about the animation?  It’s Pixar.  They never half ass anything, not even their little mini-shorts before each movie.  (Speaking of, the one before this movie is especially cute and amazingly beautiful.  Don’t be late for this movie or you may miss it. And trust me you don’t want to.)

I can’t think of anything else to talk about.  All in all, this film isn’t as good as it’s predecessor.  But that doesn’t make it a bad film in the slightest.  It’s got a great sense of humor and an amazing sense of character.  I’m going to call this one a “don’t miss” for this summer.  You’ll have one monster of a good time, I promise.

My Top 11 Worst Villain Songs

Hello all!  I am back from my cruising vacation!  While I would normally make a blog about cruising and such, I’m not entirely in the mood to do that just yet.  Perhaps I will later this week.  But for now, I have something else on my mind:  Villains.

I’ve stated in the past that the villain song is my favorite part of any musical.  They are always the most fun, showing off exactly what the villain of the piece can do.  They can be threatening, wild, insane, vicious, brutal, the list goes on.  On the other hand, it doesn’t take much to make sure a villain’s song sucks completely.  And while I would (and no doubt will eventually) talk about some of my favorite villain songs ever, today I want to talk about some of the worst.  Why?  Because I’m in the mood to torture myself, and by proxy all of you, with some horrible music.  So, without further ado, these are the top 11 worst villain songs I’ve ever heard.

11.  You’re a Mean One Mr. Grinch as sung by Jim Carrey – The Grinch

You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch is far from a bad song.  In fact, I’d argue it’s one of the best villain songs of all times.  So why is it on this list?  Jim Carrey.  In the live action film, Mr. Carrey absolutely craps all over the iconic song, turning it into a bad joke.  His singing is down right awful.  With every line sung, it’s like he’s taking Thurl Ravenscroft and punching him in the face until he’s nothing but a bruised and disgusting mess.  You’re a cruel one, Mr. Carrey.  I wouldn’t let you touch another iconic villain song with a 39 and a half foot pole.

10.  Stars as sung by Russell Crowe – Les Miserable

Stars is an absolutely breathtaking song about the lengths one person will go to seek justice even from those who have already paid their dues.  That is, if it’s done right.  When Russell Crowe sings it, it is a monotonous piece of garbage with absolutely no soul behind it.  It doesn’t help that Crowe shows absolutely no emotion while singing the song either in face or in voice.  The man looks bored, people.  And in a story like Les Mis, that just doesn’t feel right.  Crowe, you are the worst part of this movie and people will be mocking you for it for years.  This I swear by the stars.

9.  It Feels So Good to Be Bad – All Dogs Go to Heaven 2

George Hearn (according to my research) is a great Broadway talent.  He’s done Sweeney Todd, Wicked, La Cage Au Folles, and many more.  This song in one of the least needed sequels of all time is a spit in his face.  That’s not to say that he doesn’t do a good job with it.  He seems to be having fun belting out this number.  But it’s so poorly written that I hesitate to even call those lines lyrics.  It’s such a shame because this man obviously has talent.  It just fell very flat in this song.  It may feel good to be bad, but it feels awful to listen to this garbage.

8.  Yodel-Addle-Eedle-Idle-Oo – Home On the Range

This song starts off with such promise.  The villain sounds menacing, the visuals are dark, it actually seems threatening.  Then the stupid villain had to go and start yodeling.  In order to hypnotize a bunch of cows, the villain starts to yodel.  It completely took me out of the moment and made me facepalm so hard I still have a handprint on my head.  It turns what could have been a dark and cool country villain song into a farce, a slap in the face to everyone who loves a good villain.  Whoever decided to make this villain a yodeler needs to be fired and barred from ever having ideas again.  On one hand, the villain is right.  The cruelest thing he does is yodeling.

7.  I’m Looking Out for Me – Return of Jafar

I’m going to be the first to admit that I like this song.  I think it’s well written, clever, funny.  It’s probably Iago’s best moment in both films.  The problem?  Gilbert Gottfried sings.  No, wait, that’s not right.  Gilbert Gottfried TRIES to sing.  And the result is just as grating and annoying as you think it is.  Gottfried and singing shouldn’t even be in the same sentence together.  The man is hilarious, but he just doesn’t have the voice for songs.  My poor eardrums may never recover from this.

6.  Mother Knows Best – Tangled

I think part of the problem with this song is that I absolutely hate the villainess singing it.  She is a completely incompetent, non-threatening, boring, drive-less, unenthusiastic villainess throughout the entire movie.  And all of that goes double for her song. It’s a sloppily written clumsy song with absolutely no worth in the rest of the movie at all.  Not to mention it is extremely over-sung.  The actress was a bit overenthusiastic trying to have fun with it which just left it feeling hammy.  Mother knows best, huh?  In this case, I think mother knows least.

5.  Ruber – Quest for Camelot

This song is sung as the main villain of the piece, Ruber (if you didn’t guess from the title), is putting together a plan to take over Camelot.  The problem is this is not a song.  There is no attempt at a melody or lyrics or even singing.  Gary Oldman, while occasionally a brilliant actor, doesn’t even seem to be trying here.  He’s just yelling his lines with no attempt to follow any type of tune.  Not that the lines are any good anyway.  There’s no reason for half of the crap that this man says.  It’s just idiotic line after idiotic line.  I’d end this with a clever joke, but then I’d be putting more braincells into this song than the writers did.

4.  Who Needs You – The Land Before Time 4

I bet none of you even saw this movie, right?  I’m guessing I’m the only one who remembers this garbage.  But I couldn’t tell you a thing about the plot.  What I can tell you is that this song is from the two villains of the piece, a bird and an alligator.  From what I remember, they’re hunting the children dinos to eat them.  And they can’t stand each other at all.  So, they break out into song saying that they don’t need each other.  This song attempts to be clever but never quite gets a chuckle from me.  And the singing isn’t singing.  The problem is, the two voice actors have very gravelly voices.  This translates into very scratchy and uneven singing that just sounds terrible.  I don’t blame the actors, I blame the people who expected them to work a miracle in singing this song.  Who needs this song? Not. Me.

3.  Money is Such a Beautiful Word – Tom and Jerry: The Movie

Let’s get the obvious out of the way.  “It’s the theme song to corporate America!”  Yes, the jokes about this song are numerous, but people forget something.  This song is HORRIBLE.  The problem isn’t the singing.  The woman seems to be actually trying. (The man, however, doesn’t even attempt to sing, but whatever.)  No, the song is just horribly written.  I don’t know about you, but I need more in my villains other than GREED.  That’s all this song is about.  Greed.  “Look how greedy we are!  Money money money!  I’d fuck money if I didn’t get paper cuts from it!”  It’s boring.  It’s just unbearably boring. I can tell you another beautiful word: Mute.

2.  Happiest Home in These Hills – Pete’s Dragon

The first song of this film is also the worst.  Sung by a family of hicks looking for their foster child, this song puts a whole new spin on creepy.  The problem is, this song is creepy for the wrong reason.  While they’re supposed to sound threatening while trying to lure back the kid, they come off sounding… well… Pedophilic.  And that’s not what the song is going for.  But the writing for the song is just atrocious.  Not to mention that these people cannot sing.  Oh, they pretend that they can, but they just can’t.  They sound like they’re bashing cats on a rock over and over.  It is severely annoying and excrutiating.  If I never hear singing like this again, I’ll be the happiest man in Miami.

1.  It’s A Small World – Disney Universe

If you didn’t already think that It’s A Small World was the most evil, vile, and cruel thing ever thrust upon the world, just take a look at the rock version.  Yes, this technically counts as a villain song because the main villain apparently sings it at the end of the game.  And it is horrendously awful.  No, I’m serious.  If you watch nothing else on this list, watch this one.  It is so very bad that you’ll probably curse my name for introducing you to it.  And just try to get that song out of your head afterwards.  Good luck.

So, those are some of the worst villains songs I’ve ever heard.  Once again, if you think you’ve heard of a worse one, please share it in the comments!  Now I’ve gotta go bleach my eardrums or something.  Maybe I should just go right ahead and make a top best list for villain songs right away…. Naaaaaaah.