Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from Trust the Dice! Regularly scheduled blog posts will return on Monday.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Zoom: Academy for Superheroes (2006)

Number Rolled: 60
Movie Name/Year: Zoom: Academy for Superheroes (2006)
Tagline: They’re going to save the world… as long as they’re home for dinner.
Genre: Family
Length: 88 minutes
Rating: PG
Production Companies: Revolution Studios, Team Todd, Boxing Cat Films, Underground Films and Management, Underground
Executive Producer: Trevor Engelson, Neil A. Machlis, Nick Osborne
Director: Peter Hewitt
Writer: Adam Rifkin, David Berenbaum, Jason Lethcoe
Actors: Tim Allen, Courteney Cox, Chevy Chase, Spencer Breslin, Kevin Zegers, Kate Mara, Michael Cassidy, Ryan Newman, Rip Torn, Tom Wilson, Alexis Bledel, Wilmer Valderrama, Devon Aoki

Jack lost his superhero team a long time ago, so when people come around asking him to take back his identity as Zoom, he isn’t very excited to help out. Even when he meets the children he’s supposed to take on to meet the great threat that’s just over the horizon.

Selina’s Point of View:
I’ve been waiting for this to come up since I saw it was on Netflix.

Superheroes are my thing. I love everything about them. The storylines in comics, the costumes, the powers, the villains… literally everything. When I was a kid, some of my favorite TV shows were about superheroes: The Flash (1990-1991), Wonder Woman (1975-1979), and The Incredible Hulk (1978-1982). When I found out there was a superhero MMORPG out there, City of Heroes (2004-1012), I played for almost 8 years. At least, until NCSoft brutally killed it.

FYI, it’s been 3 years since we lost the city to our own personal villains, and the community is still strong. I was even happy to back City of Titans on Kickstarter. Hopefully we’ll see something from them soon.

I digress. Even now, I find myself drawn to superhero things. I never stopped collecting comics, I’m still drawn to the hero-y shows and movies, and even family films, like Zoom: Academy for Superheroes, draw my attention.

The film did have some cute parts. A few of the scenes made me smile, but not a lot of them.

The acting was fine enough, the script was too, the result is just not what I expect to see in a family superhero film.

Before you go thinking that I was expecting something impossibly graphically fantastic, like The Avengers (2012), or something with an amazing script like Despicable Me (2010), that’s not anywhere near what I thought I’d be getting. I was thinking it’d be more along the lines of a toned-down Super Capers (2008) with a script that would be better and geared toward kids.

What I got was more like a chopped up YouTube series that was squashed into a movie that didn’t really have all that much going for it. Even the main villain battle was reminiscent of the final battle in Fable 2 (2008), short and disappointing.

In the end, this is a movie I’m not likely to watch again or recommend to others unless they have kids that like superhero stuff.

Cat’s Point of View:
My daughter and I got a kick out of watching this one together.  Fresh off a Santa Clause (1994) marathon (tis the season!), this was a nice change of pace.

I’ll be the first to admit that I have to take Tim Allen (The Shaggy Dog, Redbelt, 3 Geezers!) with a large grain of salt.  Home Improvement (1991-1999) was a thing that happened regularly at my house, when I was younger. I couldn’t stand all that grunting that he did and all his alpha-male posturing.

That being said, no matter how neutral I try to be – it still takes quite a bit for me to actually like a movie that he’s physically acting in. Voice-over characters don’t seem to trigger my ‘ugh’ reaction.

I enjoyed this movie – it was hilarious.

It was goofy and also had its sweet moments. There was a lot of physical comedy, as well. Though, one can expect that usually in a Chevy Chase (Funny Money, Before I Sleep, Vacation) movie.

There had been some concern, at first, this might end up like an attempt at a Sky High (2005) sequel. That is one of my favorite movies, and I wasn’t up for seeing the superhero school idea run into the ground. This movie takes a different tack on the superhero training.

I liked the casting for the young characters featured in this film. I was impressed with their delivery, as they kept their characters engaging and didn’t go too over-the-top.

Underneath all the comedy, there were also some pretty positive messages.

Here’s your usual trivia factoid! There was a momentary cameo in this movie by a well-known actor (though not always recognized due to the makeup used in the movies he’s best known for). Tom Wilson (The Informant!, Epic, The Heat), whom played Biff in both young and old incarnations within the Back to the Future Trilogy (1985-1989) is in this film. See if you can spot him!

This is a great family movie that I’d have no problem watching again. I’d gladly recommend it to anyone who needs a good laugh.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 3%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 32%

Netflix’s Prediction for Selina – 3.5/5
Selina’s Trust-the-Dice Score2/5

Netflix’s Prediction for Cat – 3.5/5
Cat’s Trust-the-Dice Score4/5

P.S. Some bloopers during the credits.

Movie Trailer: