Thursday, March 19, 2015

A Haunted House 2 (2014)

Number Rolled: 86
Movie Name/Year: A Haunted House 2 (2014)
Genre: Horror
Length: 86 minutes
Rating: R
Production Companies: Baby Way Productions, Automatik Entertainment, IM Global Octane, Wayans Bros. Entertainment
Executive Producer: Stuart Ford, Brian Kavanaugh-Jones, Tony Roman, Steven Squillante
Director: Michael Tiddes
Writer: Marlon Wayans, Rick Alvarez
Actors: Marlon Wayans, Jaime Pressly, Gabriel Iglesias, Missi Pyle, Ashley Rickards, Affion Crockett, Steele Stebbins, Rick Overton, Hayes MacArthur, Dave Sheridan, Cedric the Entertainer, Kurt Carley, Tom Virtue, Kym Whitley, Gregg Wayans

The events of the last movie are in the past and Malcolm has moved into a new haunted house with his new family for the sequel.

I’m so happy I rolled this movie. That means it’s in the past and I never have to see it again.

I want to be very clear. I stand by my review of the first movie. Hard-ass critics need to keep their hands off of parodies. They need to stop judging the genre by other genre standards.

That being said, by parody standards, this film still sucked.

I don’t care about the story line, because that’s not what parodies are about. Any hint of a storyline is based on reference, that’s part of the parody equation. Jokes are the big part of the genre, the part that really matters.

A Haunted House 2 felt like it took the first one, did the same jokes without any attempt at updating, and slapped a sequel label on it. As a result we got stale jokes, no laughter and not even an attempt at shock value.

At one point during the film I guessed the next two lines of dialog correctly.

Terrible. Just terrible.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 8%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 46%

Netflix’s Prediction for Me – 3.4/5
Trust-the-Dice Score1/5

P.S. Unnecessary sequel is unnecessary.

Movie Trailer:

Monday, March 16, 2015

How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014)

Number Rolled: N/A
Movie Name/Year: How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014)
Genre: Children & Family
Length: 102 minutes
Rating: PG
Production Companies: DreamWorks Animation, Mad Hatter Entertainment
Executive Producer: Dean DeBlois, Chris Sanders, Kate Spencer
Director: Dean DeBlois
Writer: Dean DeBlois, Cressida Cowell
Actors: Jay Baruchel, Cate Blanchett, Gerard Butler, Craig Ferguson, America Ferrera, Jonah Hill, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, T.J. Miller, Kristen Wiig, Djimon Hounsou, Kit Harington, Kieron Elliott, Philip McGrade, Andrew Ableson, Gideon Emery, Simon Kassianides, Randy Thom

Hiccup is older now and his bond with Toothless is stronger than ever. Although the land of Burke now accepts dragons, and even loves them, Hiccup believes there’s more to find beyond the area. So he and the Night Fury leave town often to map unknown areas looking for something new.

I loved How to Train Your Dragon. Needless to say, when it was time to do the “Top Ten Movies to Look Out For” in June of 2014, How to Train Your Dragon 2 had to be number one on the list. That’s why I didn’t bother rolling this week. I found out it hit Netflix and nothing was going to stop me from watching it.

When I posted my “Top Ten” article to Reddit, someone told me they didn’t understand the hype that came with the film. He wanted to know why the movie made any difference at all.

I was happy to tell him. [ Minor Spoilers for the first movie ahead ]

“For me, How to Train Your Dragon stuck because it was different. True, there was a bit of a typical happy ending, but it wasn't absolute. In a world where cartoons teach that love conquers all and Cinderella always gets her prince, movies that steer away from the norm are beginning to get more attention. With How to Train Your Dragon, the ending is happy, but there's also bitterness. The hero pays a price. It's the same reason I love Frozen. The ending is happy, but the prince isn't the savior. In fact, it's not even romance in the end.

How to Train Your Dragon was unbelievably cute with the addition of having an interesting life lesson thrown in the mix. It helps that the life lesson is subtle, because it isn't always. In Wall-E, for example, the main characters are just as adorable, but the social commentary is so in your face that it's a little overbearing.”

Of course, when you love a movie that much and a sequel comes out, there is a certain amount of anxiety that comes with it.

Sequels can wind up being just as terrible as the first movie was great. The director changes and the production company works to squeeze every last dime from the franchise. You know that quote, “you either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become a villain?” It stands true.

I was looking forward to seeing if the franchise would remain on the side of the hero or turn to something very wrong.

I’m happy to report that How to Train Your Dragon 2 was awesome. It was just as good as the first one was. The graphics were updated to remain with the times and the storyline was outstanding. It had dark moments that combated the lightness of the animation, but it never strayed too far away from the children & family label.

There is nothing bad I can say about this film. I loved every second of it and I will wait with anticipation until the third movie comes out in 2018.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 92%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 90%

Netflix’s Prediction for Me – 5/5
Trust-the-Dice Score5/5

P.S. Artwork from the movie during the credits.

Movie Trailer: