Just f*cking around
Not selected (USA)
146 friends > See all
Fan of 0 items > See all
#1 Movie of All-Time
#1 Romantic Comedy
#1 Movie Character
When you stop and look at the landscape of kid friendly Halloween films, there really isn't much there. The line between way too cutesy and way too intense is hard to toe. Stuff like Gremlins, Beetlejuice, and The Monster Squad were perfectly digestible for me as a kid but in today's hyper sensative and overly politcally correct culture, stuff like that isn't labeled "kid friendly" anymore. And in 2012 we recieved a trio of Halloween themed animated flicks within about 40 days to fill that void. But who came out on top? Let the voting begin!
I love Adam Sandler. Okay loved. But I'm willing to forgive him if he can cut shit like this out of his resume. Hotel Transylvania's his most offensively bad voice to date. It's cringe worthy. But then again, this is coming from someone who actually liked Little Nicky and didn't hate That's My Boy, so maybe I just finally found my flavor of Sandler disdain. But yeah, his voice poisons the entire film for me. Sorry Samberg, you hitched your wagon to the Sandler train a little too late.
There was quite a stellar cast behind the voices in Paranorman, including our title character, whom I really didn't care for in both his leading roles for live action flicks in Where the Wild Things Are and The Road. He brings a great deal of empathy to a character that could have easily been written off as a morbid horror junkie and instead turns him into a misunderstood kid who happens to hang out with dead people.
But I think the edge here has to go to Frankenweenie. The voice talent is an oddball group of Tim Burton regulars and unknowns that blend together perfectly and do a great job of not sounding exactly like themselves, which is a huge pet peeve of mine when watching animated flicks with well known celebrity voices. And Martin Short, who I usually can't stand, seems to be such a great choice for voice work that it struck me as odd that we haven't seen him do this kind of thing before.
If you can sift through all the banal attempts at humor, Hotel Transylvania's story really isn't that bad for a kid's movie. Have to give it credit here, even if nowhere else.
Frankenweenie is a much more universally appealing story however. Burton dives into the creative process and perhaps shows the world the mad professor he's become, resurrecting one of his very first projects into a feature length that doesn't over stay it's welcome. On the surface it's a great story of a kid and his dog but underneath it's about a boy discovering his talents and passions and using them for good.
But ParaNorman really knocked it out of the park with it's storyline that drills down to the very core of fear itself. Underneath all the witches, zombies, and conversing with corpses - ParaNorman is a very human story that all ages can identify with. This is where ParaNorman elevates from a good kids' movie, to a good movie.
The look and feel of Laika's unique animation is unmistakable. It's dark and cryptic and very human. And in a world of animation dominated by computer graphics and prestine visuals, seeing this style of film endure is fantastic. And their films are really suitable for all ages. I know a lot of kids' films throw that out there but ParaNorman really is a film that I think everyone can enjoy. Hotel Transylvania on the other hand, is an example of a kids movie aimed exclusively at kids. There's too much time wasted on immature gags that only kids will laugh at, despite a story that could find an older audience relating.
And Frankenweenie's biggest flaw for me was the choice to make it in black and white. I know that was how the initial short film was done but I really didn't see any advantage to retaining that aspect. And I'm sure that was a huge part of what scared audiences away. This was a pretty heavily marketed film for Disney and wound up being a box office dissapointment while Hotel Transylvania's light and modern looking cartoons dominated, at least financially.
In terms of laughs, I feel like ParaNorman definitely had the most for kids and adults. Frankenweenie's humor was very Burton-esque and flew over most kids' heads while Hotel Transylvania pandered way too much to the younger audience. ParaNorman nails the mix perfectly.
I know a lot of people were rubbed the wrong way by some of the adult themes in ParaNorman but if you're a kid of the 80's/90's like me, you probably grew up watching stuff like Gremlins and Beetlejuice way before you understood all of what was going on, so that stuff doesn't really bother me. I guess the most universally appealing though would have to be Frankenweenie. It's got a lot of charm, dark Tim Burton humour, and great Halloween atmosphere. So if you're a little more conservative, I suppose the most appealing would be Frankenweenie.
But I think ParaNorman nails the all encompassing feeling of Halloween best of all three of these films. Halloween is a holiday for kids and ParaNorman is a film that takes you back to that feeling of being a kid. It has nods to everyting horror - ghosts, witches, zombies, B movies, slashers, EVERYTHING! Truly a great film and definitely a go to for kid friendly Halloween flicks.
It's that time of year again and when it comes to sequels, remakes, ripoffs, and clones of all kinds; horror seems to dominate. The low cost in horror leaves a lot of room for profitability so even if the original film is only marginally successful, it's likely there will be a sequel. Thus is the case with this week's matchup, The Purge. After a huge opening weekend and sharp dropoff in the following weeks due to poor word of mouth, Universal shoved out a sequel in a little over 14 months to capitalize on the Purge's already closing window of popularity. But did the follow up really improve upon the underwhelming original? Let the voting begin!
I hate to be so dismissive as to say that the cast in a horror movie doesn't matter but let's put it this way- the cast in the Purge doesn't matter. Lena Heady really delivers the only memorable performance out of either movie so I suppose that gives the edge to the original. Ethan Hawke's involvement definitely sparked my interest when I saw the trailer but his role in the film is nothing special. But Adelaide Kane made for some great eye candy as the teenage daughter, so I guess that seals it.
+1 The Purge
The setup for the Purge is brilliant. As bad as both of these movies are, the concept alone is intriguing enough to warrant your attention for a whole film. Even if the first movie's plot dives off a cliff in the second half. Once the premise is established and the story turns into a typical home-invasion style slashers, all the pulse of this film flatlines entirely.
The second film makes the classic horror sequel mistake of showing too much of the mechanics behind the mystery. The original film had a great sense of claustrophobia, as you were trapped in with the family during the entire purge. But the sequel takes you out into the streets and exposes even more plotholes than the original did. It's way better to imagine the chaos erupting in the streets than to show some cheesy dirt bike gang with blank masks and some dingus driving around with a mini gun in the back of a box truck.
The mystery made the Purge scary, when there wasn't really much on screen to be scared of. The Purge Anarchy eliminates that mystery and evolves into more of an action/suspense-thriller, without a whole lot of action or suspense.
+1 The Purge
So James DeMonaco directed both of these flicks but I think he may have done a better job with his first effort. As I mentioned before, that eerie atmosphere established in the first film is nowhere to be found in the sequel. And since neither film really excells in pacing or originality so I guess we chalk this one up to the original as well.
+1 The Purge
Both of these movies were pretty underwhelming but at least the first one was engaging. For about half the film but half's still better than not at all. This one's pretty clear cut for me, the better film overall is the original. But that doesn't really mean that either of them are any good. But the core idea is good enough for me to give the upcoming third film a shot, just maybe with a new director...
+1 The Purge
THE CLONE WARS EPISODE XLVI: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990) v.s. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)
After much deliberation I decided to plug my nose and dive into Michael Bay's latest steaming pile of nostalgia defilement, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. And I'll do my best to avoid sounding like a predictable old cynic clinging to his childhood heroes but if you've read any of the previous Clone Wars you'll know how most of the remakes have faired thus far. But I'll try to keep an open mind and present my case for which group of heroes in a half shell made the best cinematic jump to date. Let the voting begin!
While some might argue that it really doesn't matter whose voices are coming out of the turtles' mouths, I'll argue that you sound like a jackass. And so does Leonardo for the entirety of TMNT2k14. For his entire "acting" career, Johnny Knoxville has really only been Johnny Knoxville. And hearing his voice in the new Ninja Turtles flick, you can't picture anyone but Johnny Knoxville. It just takes you out of the flick every time he speaks. Same goes for Splinter to a lesser extent but it's not nearly as obnoxious as Knoxville.
- 1 TMNT '14
The turtles as a whole are much more relatable and humanized in the original film. Raphael's angst goes much deeper than just a surly teen and Donatello's smarts extend being a geek. Feldman added a lot to the character to make him much more than your average brainy sidekick. He was smart, but also kind of a smart ass. All of that charm seems to be lost with the CGI update.
+1 TMNT '90
Megan Fox isn't nearly as bad as every was fearing. She's definitely the best looking April O' Neil we've every had and really did a pretty solid job in my opinion. Judith Hoag's character had a little more depth and believability but for me this one's a wash.
The biggest member of the cast missing from the remake was Casey Jones. He's really the only human companion that can level with the turtles and his interaction with them in the original film is one of the best aspects of the film. His absence can't be made up with by any number of Will Arnett jokes.
+1 TMNT '90
We can all rest easy knowing that the new turtles didn't come from space but the origin was tampered with a bit. And honestly I really didn't mind. The new origin story was pretty decent but it was the present tense story that felt thin and underdeveloped. Aside from than the more thoughtfully developed characters, the other huge aspect of the original film that grounds it in reality is the story of the foot clan. Their underground army of misled youth circulating a wave of crime bases the film in a much more realistic environment than the new film's transformer-like metropolitan playground of mass destruction.
+1 TMNT '90
With all the praise I keep showering the original film with, it's definitely far from perfect. It's overly dark and somewhat clumsy with it's modest budget, but the story and characters definitely make up for it.
Liebesman shoots the new turtle film like a student of Michael Bay's Platinum Dunes University, slick and emotionless with enough action and explosions to keep your inner 12 year old begging for a sequel.
+1 TMNT '14
Whenever anyone mentions the turtles, it's hard not to think of the '80s animated theme song. But the movie's original score is much more subtle and surpasses it in many ways. Not to mention the awesome early '90s songs sprinkled in throughout, the new film's music is as stale as anything in the movie.
+1 TMNT '90
And being a newer film with a much higher budget, obviously the action in TMNT '14 is much larger in scale but I think I still prefer the original's low key action scenes to the new ones. It begins to feel like you're watching a video game during most of the crucial fight scenes and especially during the downhill avalanche chase featured in the trailers. Big surprise, I'm going with the original.
+1 TMNT '90
The first film is also much funnier without pandering too hard to please kids (which I think might be the only audience that walks out of the new film feeling like they've seen a superior film).
+1 TMNT '90
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990)