The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water

Even though it’s only February, I’m going to go ahead and call it – Sponge Out of Water is the most terrifying film of the year. Why? It has a fucking talking dolphin in it.

I fucking hate dolphins. They are the Bill Cosby of the ocean world, trying to lure unwitting swimmers into their underwater rape caves. Dolphins have NO business in a children’s film. It’s a small consolation that the hellspawn dolphin appears to have been voiced by Tim Curry, although I could be wrong.

Dolphin notwithstanding, Sponge Out of Water was a pretty cute film. My son picked it to go see for his 10th birthday. It was either Spongebob or Jupiter Ascending…I’m glad he chose the Sponge, because Jupiter Ascending looks boring.

I laughed my ass off when Bikini Bottom went all Road Warrior – Squidward in ass-less, er tentacle-less chaps! I also noticed a little Clockwork Orange fishy!

There was also a funny Shining moment. My kids laughed, but they had no idea what they were laughing at…

From the commercials, I was expecting more of the film to take place in the real world. I was bummed that only the last 20 minutes were in the real world – that was the best part! We did see it in 3D – at least the cartoony part was in 3D, too. My husband laughed at me when I reflexively ducked Spongebob’s bubbles. Ass.

I had no idea that Antonio Banderas was in it either. Even as a hairy, dirty, stinky, gross pirate…he’s still pretty hot. There’s something wrong with me, isn’t there?

The only thing that was missing was David Hasselhoff. I would have traded that fucking dolphin for a Hasselhoff in a second.

The Lego Movie

Everything is awesome!

Actually…the only thing about The Lego Movie that’s not awesome is the song, “Everything is Awesome” – because that song has been stuck in my head for weeks on end. It’s the only thing I hear. Maybe I shouldn’t have switched my ringtone from “What Does the Fox Say?” to “Everything is Awesome”? Maybe it’s my own fucking fault?

The meaning of The Lego Movie came to me a few nights ago, as I was in that liminal stage between awake and asleep. It’s an allegory about overthrowing a totalitarian regime, an Animal Farm for the new millennium. Think about it…the rules that the Lego people must follow and the penalties for disobedience. The construction workers are the proletariat. The lego croissants are like Victory Gin. The kragl is like…the face cage full of rats?

When you think about it, it’s so easy to fall into the role of a totalitarian dictator as a parent. I sometimes find myself focusing so much on the rules and trying to get them to follow my rules that I forget about their feelings. I don’t know that I can totally stop being a dictator when it comes of mealtimes and hygiene, but I think I do a pretty good job at not being a dictator when it comes to playtime. When I play Barbies with my daughter, I let her be the dictator. If I put the wrong dress on a Barbie, she SCREAMS at me…and that’s ok. It’s one small arena in which she is in charge and the rules are hers.

Batman is a fucking dick. Will Arnett is so damn good at being a dick. Besides Batman, my favorite character was Princess Uni-kitty. I totally want to buy one!

The Lego Movie is an instant classic, like Toy Story or Shrek. We will definitely get the DVD when it comes out. A sequel has even been announced already. Like my son said, 2017 is so far away!

Gnomeo & Juliet

You may not know this, but my backyard is full of garden gnomes. The pink flamingos are packed away in the garage, as the evil HOA guidelines specifically prohibits plastic lawn ornaments. But there’s also a gargoyle on the birdbath and a three foot tall lady statue. Needless to say, if all the statues in my backyard came to life at night, I would shit my pants.

Yet this horrifying premise is the basis for a children’s movie. As disturbing as that sounds, don’t forget that it is also based on Romeo & Juliet, a violent tragedy that includes underage sex, murder and suicide. In addition, the soundtrack is entirely composed of old Elton John songs (doesn’t he LOOK like a garden gnome), barring a new duet with Lady Fucking Gaga. Keeping all this in mind, this should be the most disturbing and utterly depraved film ever made. I was completely shocked that I found Gnomeo & Juliet to be utterly charming.

Charming is not a word I use a lot. In fact, only once before have I ever referred to a film as charming. Charming is for Pottery Barn catalogues and seersucker suits on toddlers…not Knobby’s universe. But once in a while, I get charmed and I like it.

James McAvoy is sexier as a garden gnome than as the founder of the fucking X-Men. How’s that?

Did I need to see a garden gnome in a Borat man-thong? Yeah, I kinda did.

The obvious question is whether or not this tragic tale has a happy ending. It’s rated G, so what the fuck do you think happens? Of course, they live happily ever after. They just don’t make movies like Old Yeller anymore.

So yeah, happy ending and all, I totally liked this movie. I’m not embarrassed about it either. It’s no Tromeo & Juliet, but maybe it’s the second best adaptation out there? (No, I’ve never seen the Leonardo DiCrapio version and it’s not on my “to watch” list in the foreseeable future.) A sequel is in production – Sherlock Gnomes. Why the hell not?

Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax

I didn’t think that there could be a worse adaptation of a Dr. Seuss book than Horton Hears a Who! Oh, I was so wrong…

I don’t remember if I was in kindergarten or first grade, but I remember sitting in the music room, watching the original 70s version of The Lorax. All I remember is the trees coming down, so my distaste for this new version isn’t grounded in fond childhood memories, but rather the fact that this version didn’t invoke any feelings AT ALL. The overtly environmentalist message was so heavy handed that it would make a great drinking game – “Drink a shot every time The Lorax tries to make you feel guilty about your lifestyle.” (Only Bee Movie‘s “Save the Flowers” message was stupider.) Above all, it’s hard for me to take the film’s message seriously, as the only reason Ted wants to plant a tree is to get laid. However altruistic the end result may be, if Ted didn’t want to plant his seed in Audrey, he wouldn’t be looking for the last tree seed.

Honestly, I wish I lived in Thneedville. I would love to have plastic trees and a plastic lawn. No more allergies! When I was in college, I invented something called “The Plastic Diet.” The idea was to only eat the fakest, most processed food possible – mainly Diet Coke, Twinkies and Cheeze Whiz. I would LOVE living in Thneedville. Fuck trees.

I love Betty White…but doesn’t everyone? Grammy is what my kids call their Grandma…I don’t think she could snowboard though.

What was the point of adding O’Hare as a villain? Does Hollywood think that children are so stupid that they won’t get the point unless there is a concrete bad guy to root against? What am I saying, most adults are too stupid to support a cause unless there is a villain – see Kony 2012.

Now…about the trailers. As we walked in, the trailer for Mirror, Mirror was playing. Pass – although I love midgets, um, I mean little people, Julia Roberts just annoys me with her big horse teeth. Another Madagascar sequel is coming. I guess I should see the first two before I start complaining, but then again, I have seen enough episodes of that Penguin show on TV to know that I don’t want to see it. There’s also another Ice Age sequel coming. I have seen about half of the first one – enough to know I don’t want to see that one either. (I was amused that they used “It’s the End of the World As We Know It” in the trailer, although it wasn’t the REM version…grumble, grumble, grumble.) My grumbling stopped when the trailer for Frankenweenie started. Could this be the return of the Tim Burton I used to love? I am actually looking forward to taking the kids to see it. Then we had the trailer for some Pirate movie by those Wallace and Gromit folks. I don’t know about you, but Wallace and Gromit creep me the fuck out. Last of all was a trailer for the third stop motion animation film in a row…Para Norman. I’ve never heard of it, but it actually looks pretty good, too. Two out of six ain’t bad!

Of course my kids LOVED it. I wouldn’t have even bothered taking them if it wasn’t for a birthday party, so I guess they got lucky. I know I don’t take my kids to the movies often enough. As poor as we were growing up, my mom was always taking us to the movies. Then again, it was actually affordable to take two kids to the movies – probably seven bucks for the three of us? Now, the cheapest tickets are $5.50 each…and that doesn’t even take into account how annoying it is to have to deal with other annoying people, mostly unsupervised brats that have been dropped off. Wait, how long until I can just drop my brats off at the theater? I would never have to sit through shit like The Lorax again…

  

Toy Story 3

The first time I saw Toy Story 3, I totally started crying when Andy finally handed Woody over to Bonnie. Even now, roughly 537 viewings later, I still get all weepy at the end…so weepy that I get paranoid that I need to take a pregnancy test or something.

Lots of people cry during movies – it’s nothing to be ashamed of, necessarily – but NOT ME. I just don’t do it. It’s exceedingly rare that a film moves me to the extent that the waterworks start flowing. Only a few come to mind – Ma Vie en Rose (the one about the little gay French kid, not Edith Piaf), Wild at Heart (although I admit, I might have been fucked up) and Armageddon (don’t judge me, Motherfucker – I have daddy issues). My eyes did get slightly watery the first time I saw the trailer for A Dolphin Tale, but there’s virtually no chance I’ll sit through that movie, so it doesn’t count.

Crying aside, the whole movie is really good. It goes without saying that Barbie and Ken are my favorite part of the whole film. Is it sad that I recognized all of Ken’s vintage outfits? Or that I still wish I had gotten a Workout Barbie when I was a kid? One thing…how did PIXAR manage to slide in all those “almost” gay jokes? I say “almost” because none of them were vicious, but just on the edge of politically correct. Well played, PIXAR, well played…

As I mentioned above, Toy Story 3 is one of the films my kids are currently obsessing over. As they have it on DVD and on the DVR, it’s in double rotation. I can’t complain, it’s one of the least shitty movies that I watch each week. They actually have all 3 Toy Story films on the DVR. Occasionally, they watch Toy Story, but they never, ever watch Toy Story 2. Does that mean that Toy Story 2 sucks shit? I haven’t watched it yet either, so I don’t really know…

One caveat…Toy Story 3 may turn your children into hoarders, reluctant to give up their toys to an unknown future. To combat this, I regularly force my children to watch Hoarders. They’re not OCD clean freaks…yet. My proudest moment was a few days ago, when my son actually asked my husband if we could watch Hoarders during dinner. “Hell NO,” was my husband’s response. I may have lost the battle, but I’m winning the war.

How to Train Your Dragon

I couldn’t get past the accents.

All the adult Vikings have Scottish accents, but Hiccup sounded plain, old American? Actually, ALL the Viking kids sounded American. DreamWorks, you puzzle me.

Wait a goddamned minute…shouldn’t all the Vikings have Scandinavian accents? Maybe I’m pissy because of my Scandinavian ancestry, or maybe it’s just because I like to shop at IKEA – but I feel personally betrayed by DreamWorks, and more specifically, by Gerard Butler. I’m not the only one who noticed this!

I came across a Toothless the Dragon Happy Meal Toy in my son’s room the other day and I immediately noticed that it had fins on both sides of its tail. McDonald’s, you puzzle me, too.

The only scene that made me laugh was when Hiccup received the helmet made from his mother’s breastplate. His mom must have had huge boobs…then again, my kid could probably wear my bra as a hat, too.

Obviously, it’s not fair to compare DreamWorks films to PIXAR films, so I’ll stick to comparing How to Train Your Dragon to just DreamWorks stuff. It’s not as shitty as Bee Movie or Over the Hedge…but not as good as Kung Fu Panda or Shrek. Not bad, but still pretty mediocre. A sequel is slated for Summer 2014…I feel pretty ambivalent about it.

Rango

Drugs. Watching Rango made me feel like I was on a large quantity of psychedelic drugs.

I’m not just saying that because Raoul Duke and the Great Red Shark made a cameo…although it helped. The whole film had a dark and trippy feel. It’s like the plot was a peyote fever dream left over after Burning Man. I can’t remember the last time I saw a “kid” movie that was so dark…The Last Unicorn maybe? It’s been a while since I’ve seen characters actually die in a “kid” movie. Even odder were the scenes in which Rango is suicidally depressed. Depression isn’t something you often see presented to kids, although I assume most kids just interpret it as being sad. I don’t actually mind my kids seeing dark films. In fact, I get kind of paranoid that they’ll end up kind of retarded if I keep letting them watch stuff like The Squeakquel and G-Force. It’s not that I’m worried about them watching stupid shit, because I watched stupid shit as a kid and it didn’t make me retarded – it’s that they watch so much lowest common denominator stupid shit. I really am concerned that all those happy fucking rodents will turn them into Mouthbreathers…or even worse, Teabaggers.

As I write this – in my air-conditioned fortress – Texas is experiencing its most severe drought in recorded history, so I can commiserate with Rango and the townspeople of Dirt. In fact, my yard would look like Dirt, if it wasn’t for the sprinkler system. Like Dirt, the mayor of my backyard is a turtle. Also like the townspeople of Dirt, we live in constant fear of snake attacks. (No Rattlesnakes yet, but plenty of Copperheads and Water Moccasins.) We have also been visited by an unkillable armadillo, a bald eagle and an unidentified pooping bandit. I guess the one thing we’re missing is a quixotic chameleon?

Rango does get overly friendly with a naked Barbie torso. Not that there’s anything wrong with that…Rango also does a bit of Ed Wood-esque cross dressing. No pirates, chocolate or barbering, though. I’ll have watch again to look for any references I may have missed.

Obviously, little ones aren’t going to get the references to Hunter S. Thompson or Clint Eastwood spaghetti westerns or High Noon…come to think of it, I don’t know if my kids have ever even seen a western? I may need to rectify that soon…I remember being traumatized by The Searchers at about my son’s age…anyway, there’s a lot of stuff for adults to enjoy that will fly right over the kids’ heads. This is the kind of film that is so un-annoying that you actually buy it and hide the rest of the DVDs, just to get a break…but it’s not quite so good that you won’t get sick of it after 500 or so viewings.

Shrek Forever After

I felt so uncomfortable watching the beginning of this film with my kids…what if they knew that I feel like Shrek sometimes?

As far as I know, my son is no junior psychotherapist…he didn’t pick up any tension as I squirmed in my seat, commiserating with Shrek’s plight. What parent doesn’t reminisce about how cool they were before they had kids? Before responsibility, before potty training and homework, before mortgages and swimming lessons and time outs and smoochies…can’t forget about the slobbery, wet booger smoochies.

Shrek just wants to get away from the stresses of family life for a little while and ends up making some REALLY bad decisions that put him in jeopardy of losing not only his family, but his life. It’s like The Hangover for kindergartners, with a bit of It’s a Wonderful Life on the side. Notwithstanding the movies, I’ve seen people pull this shit in real life, too. The girl I know who decided her husband wasn’t letting her live her life, so she ditched him and her toddlers and shacked up with a 20-something still living with his parents. All of the fucking skeevy old men (and a few women) I work with that fuck anything that moves. Casey Anthony, for fuck’s sake. The planet is full of folks that ditch their familial responsibilities, for just a few hours or days…or forever in some recently shocking cases.

Several months ago, I had the chance to skip town for a ‘girls weekend.’ We could do ANYTHING we wanted – like Shrek, we were free to go scare the villagers. We could do a shitload of drugs and drive down Central Expressway naked, steal signs and traffic cones, go watch (probably gay) men dance naked, make movies about how much we love cigarettes and sea monkeys, dress like an Indian and chase frat boys with knives, or even go pick up underage dudes working at Taco Bell. (All totally hypothetical examples that I know NOTHING about. Maybe.) We could basically do all of the AWESOME things we used to do before we had kids. You know what we did? We ate fast food…a lot…and farted…a lot. We drank a few beers and talked about our kids…and talked shit about other peoples’ kids. We said the words “fuck” and “shit” with freedom…and that’s it. That’s all we did. It wasn’t even a fear of cops or car crashes or herpes or YouTube or husbands that kept us in check…that crazy shit just takes too much energy. Plus, we’ve already done a bunch of crazy ridiculous shit, so we would have to think of NEW crazy ridiculous shit to do…and if you have to plan it, it’s not all that crazy. Don’t get me wrong, we had a blast…but we weren’t exactly scaring any villagers…maybe if we had encountered Rumpelstiltskin, our weekend would have been different. Then again, we probably would have kept our families and asked for unsaggy boobs or a house that cleaned itself.

Back to the film…Shrek has a tantrum and stomps out of his kids’ 1st birthday party. He is promptly roofied by Rumpelstiltskin and signs his old life away. He has a lot of fun at first, until he realizes that his old life doesn’t exist anymore.

Of course, by the end of the film, Shrek gets Fiona to fall in love with him again and things go back to normal. That’s the thing about magic…it’s an easy fix for problems in the land of Far, Far Away. If I got roofied by a midget and ditched my family, I’d be pretty fucked.

Is this supposed to be the last one? Isn’t a Puss in Boots about to come out? When is Mike Myers gonna do something not Shrek related?

  

Toy Story

Can you believe that I have never seen Toy Story before now?

You CAN’T believe it? You think I’m fucking lying? Why would I lie about that? What do I have to gain by admitting that I hadn’t seen the single, most important piece of Computer Animation until 15 years after its initial release? Well…FUUUUUUUUUCK you!

No review for you…I’m out of here.

   

G-Force

I will never, EVER, complain about The Squeakquel again.

Compared to G-Force, The Squeakquel is like the Citizen Kane of CGI rodent shenanigans movies. Zach Galifianakis plays a “scientist” that leads a band of secret agent guinea pigs…stop laughing, I’m not making this up! The secret agent guinea pigs are trying to save the world from being taken over by killer espresso machines…no, I’m not smoking fucking reefer! The guinea pigs have been lied to and think they are genetically engineered, but they’re really just regular guinea pigs that can talk, use computers and drive tiny motorcycles…on second thought, maybe I would have enjoyed it with some reefer.

I’m wondering if David Cross and Patton Oswalt put a bug in Zach’s ear… “Psst…just one shitty kid movie…just one…you’ve just bought yourself a summer cottage, my man…” I guess I can’t blame him…money is money.

I got halfway through the movie before I realized that Penelope Cruz was voicing the female guinea pig, not Salma Hayek. Sam Rockwell, Tracy Morgan and Jon Favreau voiced the rest, plus Nicolas Cage as the mole. Meh. I don’t care enough about any of them to question their artistic integrity.

The worst part? Almost the entire soundtrack was The Black Eyed Peas. Every action sequence was punctuated by ‘Boom Boom Pow.’ That song fucking sucks my soul out through my belly button every fucking time I hear it. I was disappointed that they couldn’t find a way to use ‘My Humps’ – isn’t that the classiest song ever written?

I think I peed a little when I got to delete this shitty movie from my DVR.