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"Making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil."

~Ephesians 5:16

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

WABBIT -A Looney Tunes Production Premiere Review


WABBIT is the latest installment in the Looney Tunes saga. I was personally dismayed because it came at the cost of the immensely underrated previous show. Still, Bugs Bunny is almost always engaging and despite comedies on Cartoon Network being terrible 99% of the time, Looney was made for the funny format. So, let's take a look at each segment individually and see if this show is worth continuing...or scrapping.

"Buddha Bugs"

One of the best things about an all-time classic like Looney Tunes is that there's no need to establish the characters. The viewer knows who they are. It's too bad the story here is pretty terribly written. So Yosemite Sam is stealing again, but when he runs unto a temple elder (Bugs Bunny in disguise) he finds out there's better treasure to acquire. Bugs has him do "tests" to prove Sam's worthy of receiving it.

This opening episode is not a good way to start the show. The running gags are annoying and I found myself with not so much a smirk. Yosemite Sam is grating to watch. (And if that wasn't enough, we're reduced to him running around in his underwear...) All the intelligent writing that was present in The Looney Tunes Show is non-existent here in this rather mindless episode. At least Bugs had one good line: "A prosperous journey begins with the first step." Perhaps the next few segments are better?

1/5

"Now and Zen"

This one has this squirrel named Squeaks run into some ninjas. Bugs Bunny is of course thrown into fray. This was much better than the previous one. Bugs had some of his signature humor and it almost felt like a classic Looney Tunes episode. The ninjas though were confusing since they weren't people...but what? The world may never know. The intro had some nice background music.

Let's hope the next two are as good!

4/5

"The Inside Bugs"

This one has Yosemite Sam (once again, hopefully they don't overuse him, cause it seems like that's the case) escape the bank with the "loot" as he calls it. His getaway car isn't what he expected: Bugs Bunny is the driver. This episode was definitely fun as we see Bugs in his traditional trolling persona. Still, there are a couple of needless moments. The running gag of Sam being thrown to and fro in the car got old quick. Really, by the third time a seat belt should have been buckled. And the police looking dumb is so overdone and annoying that the score will be lowered.

3.5/5

Can the last one end on a high note?

"Sun Valley Freeze"

This one has Bugs take a journey to go on vacation at a nice beach. Sadly, when he pops up his head he finds out he's in a snowy mountain. Then apparently a friendly version of Big Foot was following him. Not only that, but hazmat hunters are out to get the monster. This episode was very grating to watch, mostly because of how dumb Big Foot is portrayed. Not only that, but there's this glaring animation error present throughout the entire episode. Most of the time Bigfoot has no hands, but then sometimes they magically appear out of nowhere. It's strange, and I still can't figure it out.

There was virtually no funny moments to speak of here. The running gags are annoying, such as when Big Foot constantly throws Bugs at the mountain, missing the top. It felt like I wasted a good five minutes of valuable time.

0.5/5

Well, "Wabbit" wasn't the worst thing I've seen, but it wasn't anything resembling good either. It's sad because the writers of the previous show put so much thought into the stories. Here it's like the writers of this show decided that only an extremely young audience will be watching, so why bother trying? Parents are better off buying the Golden Collection box sets for their kids to showcase how slapstick in cartoons is really done.

Friday, September 11, 2015

LOONEY TUNES: Rabbits Run Review


Imagine the disappointment of looking for a movie on Redbox but finding out they haven't gotten it, despite the fact it released everywhere else on August 14th. Batman Unlimited: Monster Mayhem was that film, but despite the unfortunate happening of it not being available, I ran into something rather peculiar and watched that instead. (Oh, and I should add that I did manage to see Monster Mayhem on Amazon, and if you're looking for a light/fun take on the Dark Knight, give it a watch!) Even though being the most legendary cartoon series of all time, the latest animated installment in the LOONEY TUNES saga somehow has been overlooked. How exactly is the latest "ACME" production that no one is talking about?

The story follows Lola Bunny, whom has somehow created a perfume which turns anything invisible. This of course doesn't sit well with the military, so Captain Foghorn sends Elmer Fudd to retrieve it. Meanwhile Marvin the Martian has Cecil the Turtle also on a mission to acquire it. Bugs Bunny, apparently a taxi driver, is thrown into the conflict as he helps out the in-trouble Lola.

The recent Looney Tunes Show to me was one of the most excellent reboots/re-imagining of a classic series. Just about every episode offered fantastic writing and great laughs. That's why I was personally dismayed to see it not be renewed. The fact that Rabbits Run looked very similar to the show added to the hype. Plus, most things Looney related are good. Sadly, Run just doesn't make the cut. It's an enjoyable watch sometimes, but I expect better from something with the Looney Tunes name.

Almost all of the intelligent writing from The Looney Tunes Show has vanished here. Adults won't find much to like as the dialogue is often lacking in good humor. Lola for example in the show was obviously written as a little on the crazy side, but still most of the time funny. Here it's taken a little too far. Bugs Bunny's portrayal is lacking most of the time, being much more subdued than usual. He does have his moments, but for a lot of the film he isn't the "king of troll" as the popular meme states. Also, while Bugs has rarely been a true hero like Superman or Captain America, doing things purposely illegal is a bit much. Or rather, him saying to Lola to use the invisible perfume to bypass a sold out concert doesn't feel like the right way to send off kids whom are watching.

One of the most well done aspects of the film was the arrival of Marvin the Martian. Damon Jones did an excellent job delivering his opening line, "If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself." The problem is that this is treated as the big plot twist of the story. It would be extremely effective, but Marvin is spoiled in the trailer and the cover. It would have been far better to hide his appearance. Cecil Turtle was an excellent character, and ironically often more engaging to watch than Bugs himself. (Major props to Jim Rash for delivering a terrific voice portrayal.) Daffy Duck's role isn't terrible, but not particularly amazing either. The banter between him and Bugs was good, but could have been a lot better.

The sing-a-long was a bit bizarre, but the actual song wasn't that bad, so it doesn't deserve to be counted as a negative. Yosemite Sam's role had some moments, but there was some over-the-top, even for Looney Tunes. (Him pretending to be a dog and the old lady falling for it was just too much to bear.) While the film's humor needed help, it's still there in bits and pieces, which stops this review from being a total anti-recommendation. Elmer Fudd's role as a secret agent was a lot of fun. Speedy Gonzales as Lola's landlord was cool too. It's just that most of the time the dialogue is more on the mediocre side and makes you long to go take out your Golden Collection box sets.


Overall, Rabbits Run is something of a disappointment. It puts the characters in whole new roles, which is interesting, but ultimately the writing is mediocre. I'm not sure why it was thought of it would be best to have the characters not know each other. It could have been good, but the dialogue just isn't as great as it should be. Still, it's not the worst thing to come out of Looney Tune Land...I think. For longtime viewers, it will definitely be a true letdown.


Wednesday, September 2, 2015

MAGGIE Review


Generally speaking, most zombie stories follow a certain path with one word: survival. Dawn of the Dead, Quarantine, and World War Z for example all follow this idea of surviving in an unnatural event, or a resistance to take back the world. That's why when a film like MAGGIE comes along, it's easy to write it off as another un-dead flick. That would be one of the biggest mistakes a person could make.

Maggie follows the story of Maggie Vogel, whom has been infected with an un-curable disease. Her father does not want to put her in quarantine, yet knows that she is going to die, and he has the choice to finish her himself. As you can see, the film itself simply with that premise separates itself from all other stories. I love a good action film like WORLD WAR Z, but there's something really engaging about watching a drama set in this type of world.

Of course, dramas can become incredibly boring, even with a cool concept/franchise behind it. (Superman Returns is the perfect example.) The actors involved here really nail the great script. Abigail Breslin as the title character portrays a believable girl as she goes through this unfathomable ordeal. Teenagers in film are rarely portrayed well, so it was refreshing to see a likable character. The slow transformation from human girl to monster was brilliantly done. The viewer can feel the emotion as she breaks down not being able to control the virus from kicking in.

Arnold Schwarzenegger's character's relationship with his daughter was nicely established. The viewer can feel his inner sadness as a father as he's given the option to kill Maggie himself, or bring her to quarantine where they'll do it. No matter what she's going to die, so it's rather bleak. How does a father, or anyone deal with that? How does anyone deal with the knowledge there's no cure for a fatal disease? The film poses some intriguing questions.

That's not to say there's absolutely nothing negative. With its rather short run time, it feels like there could have been a bit more. Maggie's step mom's arc ends abruptly for example. The ending is effective and powerful, plus it gives a frightening perspective I've never seen established before in a movie. But it ends rather too suddenly, with no real end to Wade's, the father, arc. It feels like there should have been something additional. But, this stuff doesn't take away from the quality of the story. While this is not action, there's still one great action scene where Arnold unveils his Terminator skills on a zombie.

Overall, Maggie is a must-see for longtime fans of the zombie sub-genre, and general drama watchers in general. It tells a powerful story of a girl whom is infected with an un-curable virus, and her relationship to her father. The choreography, acting, and writing are all excellent. I've avoided spoilers because I truly want you to go check this out. The fact it's PG-13 and not R is a nice change of pace too. A story with zombies doesn't have to be overly gory to be effective. Maggie makes the viewer contemplate about life, sickness, and reminds "to make the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil" and that "now is the day of salvation" (Ephesians 5:16, 2 Corinthians 6:2) because one never really knows when their last day will be.

4.5/5