Thursday, May 24, 2018

The Brave Little Toaster

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion (or other commenters), that's fine. To each their own. These reviews are not meant to be statements of facts or endorsements, I am just sharing my opinions and my perspective when watching the film and is not meant to reflect how these films should be viewed. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 0-5. 0, of course, being unwatchable. 1, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being great and 5, being epic! And if you enjoy these reviews feel free to share them and follow the blog or follow me on Twitter (@RevRonster) for links to my reviews and the occasional live-Tweet session of the movie I'm watching! I showed this movie to my own toaster so that it may learn what it is to be brave.  The damn coward is afraid of heights.



The Brave Little Toaster – 4 out of 5

I was just a little boy when The Brave Little Toaster came out but, even as a child, I wasn’t too interested in the product.  There was something about talking appliances that didn’t speak to me so I never pushed to see it.  As I got older, my interest in seeing this one grew thinner and thinner—all because I judged it on it being about anthropomorphic household items.  Despite my pushback, I’ve only heard good things about this movie and many, many, many of my friends have stated a deep love for this feature.  So, recently, I relented and decided to finally give this one a chance...and it really is a great movie!

Yeah, the toaster is brave but not as brave as our soldiers--is what your
conservative Facebook friend would say.

In a cabin out in the country, Toaster (Deanna Oliver), Radio (Jon Lovitz), Lampy (Timothy Stack), Blanky (Timothy E. Day) and Kirby (Thurl Ravenscroft), not so patiently wait for their master, the young Rob (Wayne Kaatz), to return.  Years have gone and they fear they will never see their friend and loved one again.  With determination, they decide they are going to venture out and travel to the city to be reunited with Rob but nothing can prepare them for the dangers that lurk behind every corner…

The longer you stare at this picture of Blanky with those crazy eyes the
funnier it gets.

To put it simply, The Brave Little Toaster is a simple concept that results in a charming and adorable feature but also surprised me with some great music and some shocking adult themes and undertones.  The latter part really shocked me because when you have a movie that literally centers on appliances that can speak, having adult oriented themes feel like the furthest thing you would experience.  However, this movie introduces some heavy emotional drama and even brings in things like hinted suicide as the group finds themselves at a junk yard and a sentient vehicle willingly drives into a compactor in order to be destroyed.  This element isn’t really a surprise in retrospect because many of those who worked on this feature went on to work for Pixar and we all know how that production company changed how animated films can be but having this dynamic that isn’t holding back on the heart and drama and isn’t talking down to the audience while presenting it in a stereotypical kid’s feature format was unheard of in 1987.  Honestly, this film felt very revolutionary.

Um yeah, not entirely a kid's movie.

The cast in this film is doing a fantastic job at bringing the characters to life.  This shouldn’t be a surprise because you have the likes of Phil Hartman and Jon Lovitz in the crew.  Everyone involved did such an amazing job of making their character heartfelt and endearing.  I also really enjoyed the way some smaller characters were impressions of some Hollywood icons like Jack Nicholson, Peter Lorre, and Joan Rivers.  These types of parodies were much bigger “back in the day” for animated features and have kinda faded away from modern cartoons and feature-length films.

Not going to lie, Peter Lorre light is terrifying as hell.

There’s something also very refreshing about watching a hand-drawn, 2D animated film in 2018.  Okay, as much as I rail against toxic nostalgia, I must vehemently state this isn’t me getting to that level.  I’m not going to whine that all animated movies currently made are terrible and the only good ones were the ones during my formative years.  Nope.  Instead, it was just kinda cool to see a hand-drawn, sorta dirty animated film that doesn’t look overly polished.  You can see all the tell-tale signs of the “old days” of animation and it’s pretty cool to see how far we’ve come.  That isn’t to say The Brave Little Toaster isn’t well animated—far from that.  It’s a beautifully constructed movie that looks terrific but one that also illustrates just how advanced and how developed the world of animation has become.

I'd doubt my own bravery if I ran into a group of sentient appliances in the woods.

The Brave Little Toaster is a sweet, super endearing and adorable animated movie.  The feature looks great, the voice acting is fantastic, and the story doesn’t shy away from getting into some real drama, emotion and even some dark themes.  I kinda feel like I cheated myself by not seeing this when it came out but I’m definitely glad I finally decided to give it a shot.

The Babysitter

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion (or other commenters), that's fine. To each their own. These reviews are not meant to be statements of facts or endorsements, I am just sharing my opinions and my perspective when watching the film and is not meant to reflect how these films should be viewed. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 0-5. 0, of course, being unwatchable. 1, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being great and 5, being epic! And if you enjoy these reviews feel free to share them and follow the blog or follow me on Twitter (@RevRonster) for links to my reviews and the occasional live-Tweet session of the movie I'm watching! Thank you, Porn, it's hard to Google this film because of you.



The Babysitter – 4 out of 5

Like so many Netflix originals, I am way behind checking these things out.  Last year, they debuted a dark comedy called The Babysitter and it was getting a lot of attention from my horror-lovin’ friends.  I didn’t check it out because of reasons—probably involving saving the world (you’re welcome) or succumbing to the bitterness of depression and being unable to get out of bed (it happens).  Well, I finally checked it out and found this one to be a damn good time.

The perfect setting for wacky hijinks!

Cole (Judah Lewis) is reaching that point where he’s too old for a babysitter but still too young to be left alone; however, he has a friendship rapport with his babysitter Bee (Samara Weaving).  After his parents leave for the weekend, Cole is dared by his best friend; Melanie (Emily Alyn Lind), to see if Bee is getting naughty when he is asleep but Cole is horrified to discover that she’s getting naughty in a different way.  Alongside her friends; Max (Robbie Amell), Sonya (Hana Mae Lee), Allison (Bella Thorne) and John (Andrew Bachelor), they sacrifice an innocent man for their demonic cult.  Now Cole must scramble to escape the clutches of these individuals because his own blood is also part of the ritual.

Yeah, his babysitter is cute but it's still not cool to be friends with your babysitter.
I'm kidding, it's great to have friends!

The Babysitter is a no-nonsense dark comedy that moves very fast.  It takes very little time in establishing the characters and setting up the conflict and this pace seldom lets up.  Very often the film feels like it is moving at such a break-neck speed that when it does slow down for a more meaningful moment or two, it feels incredibly jarring and like the brakes were slammed rather than lightly tapped.  This isn’t necessarily a complaint but when you have a story and plot that waste very little time, it’s really noticeable when the product decides to take an extra second.

Cole's parents are played by Leslie Bibb and Ken Marino?
He's got awesome parents!

One element I was really enthralled with was the creative editing the film supplied.  There isn’t a straight-forward approach to how this tale is presented and, instead, is given an added dimension with how the editing and sound is cut.  Sometimes its little moments where the transition is treated like a metaphoric record scratch on a turntable or there are moments where the editing is literally a punchline for a joke.  Overall, I was really impressed with the care that was given to how the film was cut and pieced together and it really made for a dark comedy/slasher satire that stood out even more than it realistically needed to.

She's just looking for a safe place to put her knives.  What's safer than the
human skull?

The final aspect about this feature that really worked is how funny it is.  The tone never gets too light or too dark and the production had a very deep understanding of slasher and horror tropes.  It did a tremendous job of having a good time with itself and lampooning the violence and murders you seen in teen horror films.  A big reason this humor worked so well, aside from just being very well thought out and written, is a cast that really nails the characters they are playing.  Everyone involved had that right level of over-the-top that was needed to make this entire project work.

Robbie Amell has no real reason to be shirtless in this scene but if I had that
body and was in the role, I would endlessly argue that being shirtless is critical for the scene.

The Babysitter delivers gory laughs and a simple but effective story.  The cast is a lot of fun and everything combined together and made for a product that is darkly entertaining and wickedly amusing.  When the racing plot slows down for its fleeting bits of deeper development it can feel like the whole film is slowing down tremendously but, overall, the entire film is a pretty fun ride that really knew the line to ride and didn’t really disappoint.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Deadpool 2

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion (or other commenters), that's fine. To each their own. These reviews are not meant to be statements of facts or endorsements, I am just sharing my opinions and my perspective when watching the film and is not meant to reflect how these films should be viewed. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 0-5. 0, of course, being unwatchable. 1, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being great and 5, being epic! And if you enjoy these reviews feel free to share them and follow the blog or follow me on Twitter (@RevRonster) for links to my reviews and the occasional live-Tweet session of the movie I'm watching! Maximum Effort...was not given to this review.  I'm exhausted and very jaded.



Deadpool 2 – 5 out of 5

Despite the fact that I think Marvel often crams too much Deadpool into the world of their comics, I really like the character and had a lot of fun with the first film.  Needless to say, I was pretty excited to see Ryan Reynolds put on the red suit again and go for another romp in Deadpool 2.  However, sequels can be a tricky game and it’s very hard to live up to what came before.  DP2, didn’t seem to have this issue.

                                                                                                          20th Century Fox
I want Pete's confidence when searching for a job.

                                                                               20th Century Fox
The best part about the movie is the fact it isn't a dozen
books featuring the character.  Seriously, Marvel, pull
some of them back.
The Merc with the Mouth; Wade Wilson—Deadpool (Reynolds) is facing the hardest challenge of his life and has decided he no longer wants to continue to live.  However, having a mutant power of advanced and accelerated healing kinda stops that from happening.  The X-Men attempt to reach out to him but after he lands himself in a mutant prison, he comes across a powerful mutant by the name of Russell (Julian Dennison).  While in jail, a mutant mercenary from the future named Cable (Josh Brolin) arrives to kill Russell because the kid threatens the future.  Now Deadpool must team with some friends, and a few new faces including Domino (Zazie Beetz), and stop Cable from his path of destruction and stop himself from his own.

                                                                                                          20th Century Fox
X-Force offers up a hilarious cameo.  Seriously, Vanisher proved to be a nice surprise.

This latest adventure with Deadpool has pretty much the same tone of crass humor, vulgar language, loads of pop culture references, obliteration of the 4th wall, tons of meta jokes, loads of comic book Easter Eggs, and hardcore action (and that’s a big reason why it’s a load of fun) but what surprised me this time around was the dash of heart this sequel contained.  The previous film often had gags and jokes that made fun of potentially tender moments but this story legit has heart to it.  Yes, there are still some dick and fart jokes a-plenty but the movie isn’t afraid to lean into its tender moments and lean into them in a way that isn’t satirical or ironic.  This added depth was a pleasant surprise and something I really appreciated.  It made this film feel like an evolution rather than just a sequel.

                                                                                                          20th Century Fox
It's so damn unfair that he's still attractive in that makeup.
Why can't I be just 10% as good looking as him.


                                                                               20th Century Fox
Josh Brolin is ridiculously intense.  The man is a
beast and he makes it look easy.
The performances in the feature are top notch like the last one.  Reynolds is hysterical and oddly charming as DP and the rest of the returning roster are doing their jobs perfectly.  Josh Brolin has the right intimidation and badass factor to make Cable memorable, Zazie Beetz is ridiculously fun as Domino and the smaller roles filled up by the likes of Bill SkarsgĂ„rd, Terry Crews, Rob Delaney and more are fantastic and are able to leave an impact even if their scenes are short and fleeting.  Finally, I really enjoyed Julian Dennison as the dangerous mutant Russell.  The kid knocked my socks off in Taika Waititi’s Hunt for the Wilderpeople (which I highly recommend, bee tee dubs) and he is bringing that same level of talent to this film.  The kid is really incredible and I hope this bumps him into some mainstream success in Hollywood.

                                                                                                          20th Century Fox
Seriously, Dennison is fantastic!

Concerning any drawbacks, I really didn’t find any in this one.  The use of music is great, the story flows well, the special effects are fantastic and the humor this time around really found the balance it needed.  As much as I love the first one, there was times where the crassness got to be a little much and sometimes felt childish and sophomoric.  In Deadpool 2, it seems to have that right blend of various humor categories and, because of this variety, there isn’t a certain type of gag that feels overused. 

                                                                                                          20th Century Fox
I'll be honest, I think I fell in love with Beetz as Domino.  She was such a badass.

Deadpool 2 does what few sequels can do and that is feel fresh, brings the fun and is on par with what came before it.  Even with the addition of some heart, the film is extremely funny and a joy to watch.  The feature also feels like its rating is warranted and not like it is just trying to be gratuitous for gratuitousness sake.  Overall, it's a well put-together film that is a whole hell of a lot of fun to sit through.