Posts Tagged ‘How I Met Your Mother’

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50 Movies in 100 Days: Batman: Under the Red Hood

March 12, 2013

Batman: Under the Red Hood

Yes, I know that this is a cartoon, but I had to watch it, because it was a shorter film, and I like to nerd out from time to time.  It ended up being a good batman story, they didn’t hide what it was going to end up at all that much, but it was pretty entertaining.  And it is a pretty nice Batman story because unlike the live action Betman movies it didn’t seem to be the same thing pretty much over and over again and it didn’t have a nice little third act to wrap everything up in a stupid little bow.  Sorry, as you can tell, I wasn’t that huge a fan of The Dark Knight Rises, it was entertaining, but a bit long, this was more focused.

The story starts with a new villain coming into town, and he seems to be taking over the criminal world, but at the same time, he is taking a more violent approach to taking care of criminals.  But to Batman this new Red Hood seems familiar, and he becomes convinced that it is his supposed to be dead former helper Robin.  It opens up old wounds for Batman as he faces many of his old villains and he has to come through a lot of emotions to face off against the Red Hood.  I’ll leave it at that, but I was pleased with the storyline.

The voice talent for Marvel and DC animated movies is actually surprisingly good.  Jensen Ackles takes on Red Hood, he might be familiar to some as he’s one of the lead characters in Supernatural.  Neil Patrick Harris and John DiMaggio are also in this film.  Neil Patrick Harris obviously has a big name for himself from How I Met Your Mother and many other things.  John DiMaggio is from Futurama lending his voice talent that.

This film is pretty well put together and the voice talent is very solid as well.  For an animated film it isn’t too bad in terms of direction and in terms of feel.  It has that grittier side, in many ways thanks to the Red Hood.  With Batman stories I’ve said it’s really been about the villain, he has stronger villains, and they will often make up for some slight problems with Batman being a weaker main character, or maybe it is that he is overshadowed by the villains, but that works really well and I like it a lot.

Overall, I haven’t seen enough Batman animated films to know where to rank this, but it isn’t too bad.  It was more serious than some superhero animated films that I’ve seen.  It’s entertaining, but I will said, you probably need to be a bit of a nerd to watch and enjoy it.  But if you are, you’ll enjoy it and you’ll enjoy the villains and you’ll enjoy the whole story.

Entertainment Grade: B

Critical Grade; C+

Overall Grade B-

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Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

May 3, 2010

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

I haven’t read to book by Ron and Judi Barrett, so I can properly compare the two of them, but I must say, the movie quite entertaining.  It blends a nice story of going for your dreams and a lot of comedy, both for children and adults.  The animation is wonderfully done and the voice talent is very solid in this film.

The story is of a boy who grew up wanting to be an inventor, the problem is that his inventions really didn’t work out.  And in a town that is run on the sardine industry, he just didn’t fit in.  His father wanted him to join his business, but he would always show up late because of his inventions.  After accidentally ruining the last attempt to revive the towns economy, with one of his inventions Flint Lockwood gets lucky and his invention goes up into the air and starts dropping food out of the sky.  All of a sudden, because of a news broadcast showing the event, the town takes off in terms of business.  Flint falls for the weather broadcaster, Sam Sparks, and things start to get out of control with his machine as he tries to please everyone.  The machine starts to go crazy dropping larger and larder food from the sky until there is a massive food storm that Flint, Sam, and other characters have to stop.

The voice talent in this film is pretty good.  Anna Faris plays Sam Sparks, and while she always comes across as ditz, it works for this role as most of the time she is playing the ditz, or at least giving the voice to someone pretending to be a ditz.  Bill Hader, from Saturday Night Live and Adventureland, is very good as well.  He is a good comedy actor and does a good job adding in his voice talent.  This film just has a ton of great talent in it, and odd talent, Andy Samberg, Mr. T, Neil Patrick Harris, Al Roker, James Caan, and Bruce Campbell just for a few.  That makes this film much more entertaining because you recognize the voices.  And while some films become over run by the talent in them, this film works like Love Actually and can have that all star cast.

Visually the animation style is pretty standard, but it works really well.  Phil Lord and Chris Miller do a good job in this film.  Lord and Miller have produced How I Met Your Mother, so they has worked with comedy before.  They get great performances from their voice talent, and while that doesn’t seem like much, getting great voice talent is important.  I know that this isn’t going to be exactly like the book, but an adaptation that works this well.

Overall this is a really fun film.  It is primarily a comedy for kids, but it has little bits of humor that adults will enjoy, and you look at a cast list with Mr. T, Al Roker, and Bruce Campbell, it is clear a lot of the jokes for the film are the talent.  It doesn’t live up to the standards of Up, Coraline, or The Secret of Kells, but it is still very entertaining.  And a lot of the time the entertainment is as important as being critically great, and Up and Coraline are like that as well.

Entertainment Grade: B

Critical Grade: B

Overall Grade: B