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It's not very good
A part of me feels like we've been spoiled by the appearance of YouTube Rewind. The first couple years Rewind had made its yearly appearance viewers everywhere were consistently enchanted by the sheer spectacle of seeing their favorite content creators gather almost annually to pay tribute to the great trends of the year. For a long time, many felt that Rewind was a special gift from the platform to its audience. One that we found hilarious, dazzling, and somewhat exhilarating to watch. As we relished in the memes of the past year, the sheer display of choreography, various set pieces, celebrity and beyond made us excited for the coming year. Unfortunately, these rewinds can only get so big, and like many big things that reach there zenith too soon, the moment they've done all that they could do with the concept of Rewind what you're left with in the impending future is a platform now grasping at straws for a "bigger" extravaganza than the last "bigger" extravaganza. It's no doubt that YouTube can still salvage a great video out of the Rewind formula in 2019, but if it's anything like this video we've got a definite problem on our hands. Let's break this down into chunks shall we instead of trying to attack this thing all once, because doing otherwise will just boggle my mind further.
The Premise So the premise of YouTube Rewind 2018 seems to be that "everyone controls Rewind" which already confuses me at the out. I'm not sure what this video is getting at when it says everyone controls Rewind this year? Is that to say in the past the YouTubers has no control of rewind? I've never really thought of it like that until right this moment, but the way it's executed is really sloppy. If everyone controls Rewind then why is it that celebrities and a handful of YouTubers are the ones making all the choices. The herald of this video centers around a campfire of YouTubers realizing that the following Rewind video is up to them, so now they get to decide what's in the video. They then begin suggesting trends and "celebrities" that should appear in the Rewind, half of which were only popular this year by the way, before they get sidetracked in a contrived segment about the important things that happened last year, even though it comes off more as a rambling afterthought than a solemn tribute. Ultimately after the whole angle of giving the viewers what they want comes about, some more trends show up and the video ends without any real payoff or climax. I find that the problem with this year's Rewind is that there's no real build and payoff like the other Rewinds. The majesty of the other Rewinds was that they took a concept, got their trendy mileage out of it, had their little show, gradually built up the excitement and had a steady resolution. As bad as last year's Rewind was it still had good buildup and a steady payoff, this year the concept is so banal and the trends are so saturated and out of touch that there's a distinct absence in spectacle and no real resolution. The concept is endearing enough and could lead to some good content, but the people in charge of this video clearly didn't have any passion for the end product.
The Memes/Celebrities Will Smith, Ninja, Trevor Noah, Jon Oliver... my favorite YouTubers. I have never seen so many personalities in one room look so lifeless. It's not enough to have a group of celebrities in one place to make your video great, because if they don't have a great premise to work with then chances are they're not gonna make your video better. It's saying something when such charismatic YouTubers like Liza Koshy, The Try Guys and Swoozie don't leave a lasting impact on your video. For all the YouTubers that we're able to come together, they strangely have very little to do except stand around and talk nonsense from a shoddy script. Seeing them in the same place doing half baked things such as reference K-Pop and spout out vignettes of Mason Ramsey ice skating, mukbang, and something about a metal ball and ASMR just goes to show how out of touch YouTube is with its creators and its audience. Rewind should reflect the zeitgeist and standout creators of the year, they should pay tribute to the great YouTube videos and YouTubers of the year- and it should be those YouTubers that pay tribute to the trends of the year. Instead we've spoon-fed things that YouTube glanced at once on a trending page and decided that that was enough to make for a entertaining video. I understand that Fortnite was a popular game and everything but it shouldn't have to take up half of your entire video. What should be an exciting retrospective on internet entertainment is reduced to a slideshow of lifelessness that masquerades as a celebration of life and diversity... speaking of which.
The Preach Much like last year, Rewind 2018 tries to earn merit for addressing serious issues, from mental health to Asian representation to working moms. This in theory would be fine but the way its executed teeters between pandering and complete pointlessness. All the potentially important topics they reference are only discussed through drive by interviews with horribly vague writing. There are some potentially heartwarming topics to really delve into (Markiplier & Make A Wish) but instead its tacked on and given considerably less screen time compared to dialogue of "the empowering art of drag." Whereas last year's dramatic real-talk segment was pandering to the extreme, this particular segment has a similar aftertaste but is just as half-baked as the rest of this video.
I guess what my problem is that this year's Rewind lacks the spirit and imagination of previous Rewinds. The lack of passion or thought really shines in this vapid and disinteresting torrent of cockamamie fads and the new-aged indulgence of diversity which in no way feels earned. Because all in all you know something's wrong with your video when you're mission statement is to celebrate a year of diverse entertainment and original content and baby shark gets put in the spotlight near the end.
At least the animators got more attention this time around.
Batman and Harley Quinn (2017)
A Tragic Misfire
It should be easy to make a good film centered around Batman & Harley Quinn. Especially when the ingredients on display are that of an auspicious variety. When you make a Batman & Harley Quinn film that piggybacks on the style of the 90s animated series and has one of the minds behind 'Mad Love' as a producer, this should have been a real treat to watch. But upon its release, word of mouth lead me to believe the film was a hard to watch train-wreck that raked the original series' prowess through the muck. And much to my dismay they were absolutely right. While I have to admit there are things of note to be found within this film, it is vastly overpowered by an aimless and frankly sophomoric script.
Simply put, the premise of this film is that Poison Ivy is teaming up with The Floronic Man to develop a formula that will convert every human being on Earth into foliage. So now its up to Batman & Nightwing to begrudgingly team up with the infamous Harley Quinn to put an end to their schemes.
This is true for about half of the movie's run time, meanwhile the other half is more interested in wasting audience's time with Easter Eggs and pointless filler. The results are mind boggling. The film plays out like a bizarre slideshow of misguided antics. With gags that go off without a goal, and jokes that are consistently thrown at a distant wall to see what'll stick. The beats this film goes through are so episodic and befuddling that they can only be talked about one by one.
- Melissa Rauch actually does a splendid job playing Harley. And in all honesty does a serviceable job of continuing the Arleen Sorkin era Harley.
- There are glaring plot holes throughout the narrative. And many other moments that are never explained/ make no sense. (The Yam Scene) - The animation is fairly decent (especially during the action scene) and does a fine job of recapturing the show's signature style.
- The infamous 'Fart in the Car Scene' is about as horrendous as I thought it was gonna be.
- Rob Paulsen's Cover of "Don't Pull Your Love" and Melissa Rauch's Cover of "Hanging on the Telephone" are pretty great.
- The ending is simply putrid. The moment when the aforementioned existence of Swamp Thing is paid off with an grand appearance is immediately squandered within a shoddy anticlimactic spiel. Its a cinematic equivalent to slapping the audience square in the face that only becomes even more bitter when Harley herself acknowledges its hackneyed nature.
- Following Swamp Thing's pointless cameo is followed by yet another anticlimactic turnout. Wherein of all the methods they've tried to defeat the antagonist, they simply resort to setting him on fire with a match. A payoff we don't get to see until midway through the credits.
- The objectification of Harley Quinn (especially in this film)is absurd. And while her sensuality is a part of her character, here its to the point of exploitation. Noted especially in the scene where she has sex with Nightwing after detailing her hatred of being treated as an item.
Simply put, there is a promising concept in this film. But in an attempt to make this a witty send-up to the original show, there came a steaming pile of immature dribble that inspires more groans than laughs, more boos than uproarious cheers, and more head-scratches than applause. Although not without merit for the inklings of caliber, by the end: Batman and Harley Quinn is a pointless mess. And one that I could do without witnessing again.
Batman: The Killing Joke (2016)
One Bad Day
Lets get this out of the way, Alan Moore's: The Killing Joke is one of the best Batman Graphic Novels out there. Right up there with Frank Miller and Paul Dini's entries in the universe, The Killing Joke acted as an observation of one of the greatest and most well recognized rivalries in pop culture. Not just the psychology of a criminally insane villain and how easy it is for an average person to step into their shoes. A Story this deep and acclaimed is worthy of a film adaptation. And when this film was announced everything seemed to be set up to make a modern masterpiece. You've got Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill reprising their respective parts, the film is 2D animated, and its R Rated! Allowing for the disturbing imagery that made the graphic novel iconic to come into fruition. So how did the film turn out? Well.. let's break it down.
'The First 30 Minutes' Literally my biggest problem with this film. I don't know if this was in the original graphic novel or not, but the opening 30 minutes of this film is literally pointless. The film in short is about The Joker attacking James and Barbara Gordon in order to illustrate descent into madness. So how do you open such a film? How about with an uninteresting rendezvous with a Z Grade Donnie Brasco and his mobster uncle. When the first act of your seventy minute movie opens with what I can only assume is the sacked pilot for an unreleased Batman Series that's bad. Bad for an adaptation.
'The R Rating' Batman: The Killing Joke is Rated R for Bloody Images and Disturbing Content. And outside of Barbara being shot and paralyzed, a few headshots, and some of the weird stuff that happens I don't feel this was too R rated. If an animated film is willing to be violent and disturbing go all the way. And yet it still feels more like a hard PG-13. Maybe if we got to see some more naked Barbara during the sex scene... But honestly the R rating seemed more like a gimmick to get wider audiences to see a 2D animated film. Valiant but Not Quite Warranted. Honestly if this weren't R this film wouldn't have too much else going for it outside of the animation and respective cast.
'The 2D Animation' It was okay. A little stilted but the designs are still good. It's passable but not living too it's full potential.
On the Plus Side.... The Performances were good. What I like the most about this is that there isn't a mainstream cast in a mainstream animated film. Outside of Mark Hamill this film stars voice actors. Nowadays animated films star A-List Celebrities from Movies & Television (Inside Out & Kubo and The Two Strings). Even though the celebrities they get are great and give in good performances, it's pretty much Hollywood Nepotism to just hire movie and television actors. Just take Charlize Theron in Kubo, when you say 'Hey did you see Kubo? Charlize Theron was really good in it.' Of course Charlize Theron was good in it she's Charlize Theron. I expect her to be good in anything. Oh but how satisfying is it to say 'Hey have you seen The Killing Joke? YEAH Tara Strong was really good in it.' How satisfying is it to have voice actors in a mainstream animated film (in a starring role) also give in really good performances.
Kevin Conroy is great as always, Mark Hamill was great as always, Tara Strong was great as always. Even through the fluff of the opening thirty minutes you sit through it for Batman and Batgirl.
But honestly what makes this move suffer is the fact that it's a slight film. In clips it seems epic, but together it feels like you had flashcards of Batman story lines and you pieced them together in a story that made sense. As a result, the characters aren't as fleshed out, and the deep monologues are swallowed by off pacing and jammed in action sequences. Which for an adaptation for one of the greatest Graphic Novels ever is not good.
It wasn't the masterpiece we expected overall, but I couldn't say I hated it. It was cool to see some of the best parts transcended to the screen, and not to mention the performances were great. But the great film this could've been is instead more of a sparknotes edition. You may get something out of it If you're a fan (dedicated or casual) but other than that I'd hate to see Alan Moore's review. Good but Not a Masterpiece. Apologies Mr. Batman, Good Luck Barbara, and Stay Creepy Joker.
Zoey 101 (2005)
It is BEYOND the Worst Show I Have Ever Seen
I do not like this show, there is no value. The Characters, insufferable these are a peanut gallery of stale, annoying, obnoxious, degrading, worthless tool bags that stab you through your ears and into your brains with some of the most shite dialogue ever penned. Yeah, let's talk about some of these characters. Especially our leading lady, Zoey Brooks. I get the sense that she's supposed to inspire the tweenagers watching, but she's just such a one-sided person. In Every Season She's a Bratty Overly Perfect Mary Sue Feminist. She's probably one of those twits that give guys crap for not liking the new Ghostbuster's Reboot, and calling them sexist because of it. Everyone else is bland when they're not being poorly written archetypes or miserably annoying like Coco. Whom starts off a 'mannish' dorm keeper but transforms into a howling train wreck that cant hold down a date. Which is supposed to be funny, but is instead just a montage of noise.
AVOID THIS SHOW AT ALL COSTS
Hail, Caesar! (2016)
My Father Said It Best: "An Hour and Forty Minutes I'll Never Get Back."
I Can't say I hated this movie, but I can say that anything that could've told a cohesive narrative was incredibly neglected. This was such a dull, unfocused mess of a film. It's a film that's advertised as a comedy, mystery romp with lots of stuff happening. And while stuff does happen, it's not interesting enough to be called a romp. Instead of it being a plot driven laugh-fest, it's more like a series of vignettes that are loosely tied to a movie star's kidnapping by communists. You'd think the movie would be about getting him back, well it is. kinda. Except it's buried underneath one dimensional sleuthing, searching for God, uninteresting as well as unfunny detours from the plot.
I mean dang, fir as many stories as this movie is trying to 'tell' it sure does a crud job of bringing any of them to any sort of conclusion.
The Many Stories of Hail Caesar include: Ralph Fiennes trying to teach a Western Actor how to say a line Scarlett Johanneson struggling to get remarried following her recent pregnancy A Gossip Columnist and Her Twin Sister Battling Over the Same Story (Sounds Interesting Rught, Well it really isn't. Cause none of these plots ever get a proper conclusion. They just come and go.) Which for an ensemble cast is not good. Ralph Fiennes is only in the movie for five minutes, Jonah Hill only has like four lines. Even Joel's wife has a Stan Lee type cameo in this.
I don't know what else to say but in a nutshell; Hail Caesar doesn't know what it wants to be, gets ADD'd into random vignettes that have nothing to do with anything, isn't funny, and honestly kinda sucks.
Not the Coen's Best.
The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (2015)
Say Uncle: Why The Man from U.N.C.L.E. wasn't as fun as advertising.
This is probably the first time I have been disappointed by a movie. Going in I was expecting a fast paced retro comedy with outs of style and an intricate story, but four minutes in I already felt a little betrayed. I can only break down my problems with the film one problem at a time. At that is what I intend to do.
Action: I describe this movie as "an action film allergic to action." I say this because the fight scenes in this scene very restricted and used sparingly. There are no gunfights or on screen violence to be honest, all the action consists of barely missing gunfire, shooting tires, turning over cars and stuff. Which may sound amusing but this is only 15-20% of the movie. And it gets very dull after a while. Which is why I nickname the action in this film as being so minimal that it seems like "Hypo-Allergetic Action."
Characters: I like the ideas of these characters, just not the characters themselves. With Solo being a suave American spy, Illyah being an angry Russian man, and Gaby being a determined woman on a mission. But they are all so uninteresting. Solo sounds like he's not sure if he's British or not, Illyah is pretty dull, and Gaby isn't a lot to talk about. And honestly everyone else doesn't really stand out as much.
Editing: This one is weird, the editing in this movie has a bad habit of showing clips of what's happened in the movie two minutes ago. I don't even know why it does this when they could just play it out linear and just refer back to what's happened. When it does this it makes the movie so much more long. And sometimes the scene divides into multiple panels to make it look more stylish (Hulk 2003) but unlike Hulk, this movie isn't based on a comic. It's based on a TV show. And the show never did this so why is the movie? Also the final chase scene between all main characters is just odd. It shows one person driving, zooms out to a crane shot, focuses in someone sales then zooms in on them to see what they're doing. Another style thing but it's just so pointless, and doesn't do anything for the action.
There are things I like in this movie like the soundtrack, some of the costumes and some of the jokes. But the movie is just so dull and uneven that I started getting lost in my own unrelated thoughts while watching. That's how you know your movie sucks, when the random crisp your thinking about interests you more than the film you're watching. Maybe if this film were more like Kingsman and just didn't have any restriction it would probably be a more fun experience, but then again there are so many retro spy films that came out this year that it simply wouldn't fit in. And even with the different things it does, it still doesn't make it shine. The Man from UNCLE is a reminder of how dangerous it can be to not have a story. Sorry to say but this movie is an unfortunate skip.
Okay, let me explain.
I like this movie, well to say that I mean I like the movie up until they get to Tommorowland. The movie up until they get to Tommorowland is richly original and fun to watch. I thought it was cool seeing our characters traveling across the country and encountering sci-if stuff contrast to the homely city location. It was just such a fresh take on sci if and I was loving how it looked, but then we do go to Tomorrowland and it sucks. That's when things are confusing, and don't really excite as much as the first 60-70 minutes. I'm not saying removing the arrival to Tomorrowland would've made a more interesting movie, the movie just needed to make the Tomorrowland segment more interesting. But for the film they are getting across I liked it fairly well. After all this movie's heart is in the right place with a hopeful message.
Overall: Not as great as Pirates of the Caribbean, but not as terrible as The Country Bears either.
One Crazy Cruise (2015)
One Crazy Cruise = One Missed Opportunity
I'll admit that this story wise is way better than Splitting Adam, I mean it is clever and the story gets fun. However, I just feel like nothing else is gained from this but an advertisement. Not just for our "celebrity" lead actors, but for Cody Simpson, Cruise Ships, and Creepy Clowns. Minor nitpick but the pacing is just trash. Much like Splitting Adam it just doesn't slow down or take a breather. This whole movie is nothing but fast action, fast reaction, and fast everything. And might I add that this movie has some of the worst CGi effects ever?! Take a look at The Sea Lion and just try and act like he is really there. Bottom Line; One Crazy Cruise is a nonsensical, mediocre, occasionally creative endeavor that gives Nickelodeon a bad reputation. And what a shame to, the twists and turns are really clever.