Thursday, February 25, 2016

SMOSH: the Movie (2015)

Number Rolled: 71
Movie Name/Year: SMOSH: the Movie (2015)
Tagline: LOL
Genre: Comedy
Length: 83 minutes
Rating: PG-13
Production Companies: Defy Media, Awesomeness Films, Smosh Productions
Producer: Barry Blumberg, Brett Bouttier, Joe Davola, Don Dunn, Casey Fenton, Ryan Finnerty, Ian Hecox, Jason D. Keller, Samuel Limor, Anthony Padilla, Shauna Phelan, Brian Robbins
Director: Alex Winter
Writer: Eric Falconer, Steve Marmel, Anthony Padilla, Ian Hecox
Actors: Mark Edward Fischbach, Anthony Padilla, Ian Hecox, Jillian Nelson, Brittany Ross, Michael Ian Black, Steve Austin, Jenna Marbles, Harley Morenstein, Grace Helbig, Peter Breitmayer, Kristen O’Meara, Kevin Will, Juliocesar Chavez, Dominic Sandoval, Hal Landon Jr.

Blurb from Netflix: To keep his teen crush from spotting him in an embarrassing YouTube video, Anthony and his friend Ian must enter the virtual world and alter the clip.

Selina’s Point of View:
Two funny WTF movies in a row. I’m a happy blogger.

Before I start, I have to ask. Is there really such a thing as a 5 year or 10 year high school graduation? I graduated over a decade ago and never heard of anyone from my last high school making any plans to meet up. Meanwhile it’s a theme in roughly 9000 movies… (I might be missing a zero).

That being said, I know Smosh (2006-) is a YouTube channel, but I’m completely unfamiliar with their work. As a result, I had NO clue what to expect with this film. I’ve seen a few movies and series by YouTubers, but they’re all really different. The Guild (2007-2013), Video Game High School (2012-2014), and Riley Rewind (2013), for instance, are super different. The only two things they had in common were that they were ORIGINAL and AWESOME.

So, SMOSH: the Movie had a lot to live up to.

The first success they had was with their choice of director.

Do you know who Alex Winter (Downloaded, Deep Web, Supah Ninjas) IS? Alex Winter is Bill from the Bill & Ted’s movie/TV franchise (1989-1991). I grew up watching their excellent adventure, their bogus journey and their TV show. Great choice for the director of a movie that was so reminiscent of the odd-ball time-travel films.

The next thing the makers of this film did spectacularly right, is that they dove head first into their target audience’s wheel house. There are YouTube references everywhere… since I’m only a casual YouTuber, I probably didn’t pick up on all of them, but I saw enough to know there was more beyond my knowledge.

Finally, the movie was decent. It had that far-gone comedy quality that teeters on the edge of parody, but it didn’t quite cross the line. The script was cute and the story was too.

It followed a general time-travel recipe, but it upgraded the idea to the current century. It didn’t change the recipe, but it did expand the ingredients enough to be called original.

To be honest, I don’t recall ever having a bad experience with a YouTube created movie or series. I definitely think we should be funding creative YouTubers attempts to make their projects. People complain constantly that there’s nothing original coming out. Well, this would be how you get original.

Now I’m contemplating what a movie by the Epic Rap Battles of History team or Joe Santagato would look like…

Cat’s Point of View:
I have a confession to make. I’m not much of a YouTuber.

The things I generally use YouTube for are music videos and watching random things that come across my Facebook news feed.

That being said, I’m not entirely clueless when it comes to YouTube personalities. In addition to the singers I follow, I am familiar with a handful of the top personalities like Mark "Markiplier" Fischbach (Drunk Minecraft, Whack the Cheater, Scare PewDiePie) and Jenna Marbles (Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving, Road Hard, Natural Born Pranksters).

I got a kick out of seeing them in this movie. Their roles would still be relevant to anyone who didn’t already recognize them, though.

Unfortunately, I haven’t managed to watch any episodes of Smosh (2006-). After watching this film, however, I will likely be checking them out in the very near future. 

Back to the movie! I was thoroughly entertained. I found that I wasn’t really losing anything due to my unfamiliarity with the main characters or their show. That was the one thing I had been worried about, really.

I’ve seen this film compared to Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure (1989). That’s not too far from the mark, actually. I’d say that this movie is a bit less cheesy and more relatable to the modern audience than that classic 80’s flick.

Anthony Padilla (Lie With Me, Sacrifice, Part Timers) and Ian Hecox (Ask Charlie, Smosh Babies, Orbyt Play) are more identifiable as ‘regular guys’ than the over-the-top stoner dudes from yester-year. 

That’s really a part of the appeal here, as well. In addition to being absolutely hilarious, I think that this strikes a chord with a lot of us. We all have one thing or another in our past that we did that was uncool that we wish we could take back. (Thankfully, mine was before the age of the internet!)

Also, is it just me or does Ian Hecox look a lot like Fran Kranz (Much Ado About Nothing, Before I Disappear, Mojave)? I spent an inordinate amount of time during this movie pondering on that; but I digress.

I would recommend this movie in a heartbeat. I may even watch it again after I get a few Smosh episodes under my belt.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – None
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 47%

Netflix’s Prediction for Selina – 2/5
Selina’s Trust-the-Dice Score4/5

Netflix’s Prediction for Cat – 4/5
Cat’s Trust-the-Dice Score4/5

P.S. Bloopers during the start of the credits. Extra scene after the credits.

Movie Trailer: (Don’t watch the trailer. Seriously. It’s all spoilers. Not well done at all.)

Monday, February 22, 2016

Jay and Silent Bob’s Super Groovy Cartoon Movie (2013)

Number Rolled: 77
Movie Name/Year: Jay and Silent Bob’s Super Groovy Cartoon Movie (2013)
Tagline: Snoogans!
Genre: Comedy
Length: 63 minutes
Rating: NR
Production Companies: SModcast Pictures
Producer: Jason Mewes, Jordan Monsanto, Jennifer Schwalbach Smith, Meghan Wysocki
Director: Steve Stark
Writer: Kevin Smith
Actors: Marc Bernardin, Ming Chen, Kevin Conroy, Eliza Dushku, Brian Faraldo, Walter Flanagan, James Franco Jr., Neil Gaiman, Ralph Garman, Ben Gleib, Paul Hipp, Ray William Johnson, Stan Lee, Jon Lovitz, Jason Mewes, Scott Mosier, Brian O’Halloran, Jennifer Schwalbach Smith, Kevin Smith, Tara Strong, Steve Stark, Lisa-Marie Stark

Blurb from Netflix: After hitting the lottery jackpot, Jay and Silent Bob use their newfound cash to become crime-fighting superheroes Bluntman and Chronic

Selina’s Point of View:
This was a damn good week for randomness. Both movies we rolled were movies that each of us wanted to see. That being said, let’s get to the review.

I love Kevin Smith (Zack and Miri Make a Porno, Tusk, Yoga Hosers). He’s made some of my favorite films of all time. However, I’ve got to ask….

What the FUCK did I just watch?

I know the problem. I went into this movie thinking it was one of Smith’s hilariously ridiculous comedy films, but it was more like a parody. That might not seem like much of a distinction, but it is. There’s a huge difference in the kind of comedy between the two genres.

Once I came to terms with the parody genre, I found myself enjoying the random mash up of DC and Marvel references and nods to the rest of the View Askewniverse.

Yes, this film is definitely a part of that Kevin Smith universe. According to what I saw, I’d say the events in this film fall sometime after Clerks II, likely as part of the Bluntman and Chronic comic book series first shown in Mallrats. After all, this movie does feature Jay and Silent Bob as their superhero alter-egos. The film also notes the upcoming Clerks III and has some continuing story line from Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.

Keep in mind, this film is not for everyone. It’s as hilarious as it is over-the-top ridiculous. It’s crude, there are fourth wall breaks…. it's… um… lewd….

I swear I’m not talking about the Deadpool movie. Jay and Silent Bob’s Super Groovy Cartoon Movie was twistedly cute but definitely not as epic at the film showing the origin of the Merc with the Mouth.

If you’re a fan of Kevin Smith or parodies sporting a ton of nerdy references, this movie is right up your alley. Everyone else? Not for you. Move along. Don’t spoil the ratings by watching a film you were never going to like. Don’t be that dick.

Cat’s Point of View:
Right off the bat, I’m going to admit that I’m totally biased when it comes to Kevin Smith (Catch and Release, Live Free or Die Hard, Fanboys). I love his work. I’ve seen every “Jay and Silent Bob movie” (sure they all have their own plots and whatnot but they’re all really about that duo, right?!).

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect with this one. Having seen their animated series, I wondered if it would be closer to that or the actual live-action films.

My first note is that this is NOT a cartoon for kids. There’s nonstop foul language, rampant sexual innuendos, explicit sexual references and situations, pot smoking – everything one could expect from Jay and Silent Bob uncensored. 

That being said, the movie was hilarious.

It was a bit of a game of catch that cameo or spot the Easter egg, for me. It was fun!

There were some awesome choices in the casting, as well. Of course, Smith was joined by his hetero-lifemate Jason Mewes (K-11, The Last House, Yoga Hosers) in embodying the title roles for the film.

The surprises were in the rest of the cast.  For the sake of avoiding spoilers, I’m not going to give away their characters. I promise you’ll figure it out when you watch.

Graphic novelist, Neil Gaiman (Stardust, Coraline, Lucifer) makes an appearance. His character even looks like he does in reality. Eliza Dushku (Open Graves, Dollhouse, The Scribbler) plays a key role, also.

Kevin Smith’s wife, Jennifer Schwalbach Smith (Clerks II, Red State, Tusk), is also voicing a character in the film.

The voice that I am geeking out over the most, though, is Tara Strong (Monsters University, The Powerpuff Girls: Dance Pantsed, Ted 2). She is one busy lady. The juxtaposition of her particular character and the other voice roles she’s well known for is rather hilarious.

The movie is full of pop culture references, movie references, and moments that harken to the prior “Jay and Silent Bob movies.” If you’re a fan, this is a must see.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – None
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 24%

Netflix’s Prediction for Selina – 3/5
Selina’s Trust-the-Dice Score4/5

Netflix’s Prediction for Cat – 2/5
Cat’s Trust-the-Dice Score3.5/5

The Random Rating: R

P.S. Stick around for after the credits, there’s a hell of a cameo in the extra scene.

Movie Trailer: