Zach Zany Movie Reviews: DUMBO (2019) (A Hate Rap Poem)

This one is dedicated to Dustin Bade:

DUMBO 2019 (A HATE RAP POEM) By Zach Alexander

Who the fuck was this movie made for?

It can’t be for older people, who will instantly snore,

Not for younglings, scared back behind a door,

For tweens, they’ll think it’s a chore,

Yet it’s another loser for Tim Burton,

Hopin’ to raise the curtain, for certain,

His career, since Returns it’s been a hurtin’

An awful green screen CGI crap fest,

Live action stress test, ends up being a pest,

Hurts our childhood hearts, makes a mess of our chest

The acting, all distracting, spewing lines instead of reacting,

Detracting from a story that’s too abstracting, compacting

Cliched and no emotions impacting, redacting

From the heart of the story, a small elephant

Ehren Kruger’s script quite arrogant,

Danny DeVito borrowed from It’s Always Sunny set,

As Mac’s mom is there too as an asset, blasted,

Colin Farrell looks like he wants to kill himself,

His career on a dusty shelf, Eva Green, herself

Burton’s muse, adds nothing, it’s crushing

Michael Keaton rushing and busting,

His performance, more a gay Batman

Than a thespian with a plan, all panned,

Tried to make the movie too grand,

Instead it gives a backhand, to the Disney brand,

Finding single parent angle too bland,

Darker themes children won’t understand,

Made for no one, no fun hun,

Not surprised it didn’t gross a ton,

Remakes now shunned, wish they were undone,

Taken out to pasture with a shotgun, anyone?

Someone please slap me with some hard leather,

Or tether me to a tree, hang together, with shitty weather,

I wondered whether,

An elephant could be better,

Than new Aladdin or Lion King, be on top to blether

But Dumbo just asked them to hold his feather.

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Zach’s Zany Movie Reviews: ALADDIN (2019) (I’m going to spoil the $#!^ out of this piece of $#!^)

I think that other than O Brother Where Art Thou?, this is the latest I’ve ever seen a movie in its first run in theaters. And now I wish I hadn’t gone at all. **opens eyes** Shit, well I must not have a genie if I’m still writing this review. ALADDIN (2019) is the most abysmal live action remake since Mr. Magoo with Leslie Nielsen. It feels like a half-assed Disney Channel adaptation they would’ve made for the station in the late 90s. Except for two people involved in this production, everything about it offends me as a movie lover. It breaks almost every rule of Film Making 101 and everything about it screams lazy three times over. How could Disney have even dared to released such a product? Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, I get it. Disney was distracted. You see, it was so preoccupied sucking its dick while counting its cash it didn’t know what giant turd it was releasing upon the world. This is easily one of the worst films of 2019.

Do I ever need to explain the story to you? No. Because if you are reading this, have seen the new Aladdin but never saw the classic cartoon with Robin Williams, I hate to break it to you, but you are a fucking idiot. I’m guessing you are here because you have seen both, maybe wondering and maybe even confused about what exactly you thought you saw when watching this travesty and maybe I can break it down to have a more clear understanding of everything. Well, I guess that is what I’m here for. Here is the main problem with the new Aladdin. This film is 28 minutes longer than the cartoon, and yet all of it feels so rushed. Even the cartoon, with it’s short 90 minute run time, took a minute or two to let the characters just breathe. Here, they abandoned characterization entirely on some minor characters to make way for Will Smith’s ego. Eh, that’s being a little too harsh. I mentioned in the first paragraph there was only two people involved in this production that actually fared well in the movie, and one of them is Will Smith.

Let’s face it, no one will ever ever ever ever ever ever ever come close to even matching the genius of Robin Williams’ Genie. In fact, if they had given Oscar’s out for voice acting back in 1992, he surely would’ve won one. Will Smith at least tries to make Genie is own (even with all the same old songs and shit) and he at least looks like he wants to be there. Iago isn’t a character in this. He says maybe 4 complete sentences, with Alan Tudyk replacing the great Gilbert Gottfried, and is only there to turn into a giant evil parrot at the end to try and make a really out of left field last act magic carpet chase scene work. The fat old chubby but lovable Sultan is replaced by some random guy with a beard that looks like he wants to hang himself from the palace balcony for even agreeing to be in the movie. Even Abu I feel was short changed except for one or two “aw shucks” looks into the camera and don’t even get started on the magic carpet. 5 seconds in the old cartoon gave more characterization to that fabric than this whole film did.

But who’s the worst culprit? You thought I was going to say Aladdin didn’t you? But no. While I think Mena Massoud looks the part, and has one or two charming moments, I honestly think he’s rather dull. But that I don’t blame on his acting, I blame on the direction given to him and the hackneyed screenplay he had to read from. No, the worst character in here is Jafar. Jafar in the cartoon was the bad ass of bad assery. He was pure evil and when he walked into the room, everyone knew it. For a drawing, it was one of the most confident villains I have ever seen in any kind of animated film. Here….Jafar who? Like, who was he? If I could describe him best, he felt like a whinier Anakin Skywalker from Attack of the Clones. He got high pitched and just cried and scream to people about power and shit. He wasn’t intimidating at all, and I was wondering why most of the film someone didn’t just walk up to him and kick him straight in the nuts to shut the fuck up. He seemed THAT fragile.

Other than characterization, the screenplay is a giant mess. For some reason they decided to combine Aladdin’s ‘One Jump’ song ALONG with meeting Jasmine. They took two separate character moments that set up who these people were and tried to combine it just to get to the Genie a little bit faster. In all the scenes that everything needed to take a breather, it felt rushed, and all the scenes that needed to be cut for dragging, was dragged out as long as possible. There were two scenes of Jafar and the Sultan where I was looking at my watch, clocking how much longer that scene would go on. It was insulting as a film goer. And the awesome climax in the original cartoon, where the stakes were raised and Jafar turns into a giant bad ass snake? Completely gone. The climax to this feels like the climax to the novel version of Twilight: Breaking Dawn, where opposing characters are just one opposite sides of the room from one another trying to out talk and maneuver the other one.

The only other person that walked away from this garbage that was actually really good and look like she wanted to be there was Naomi Scott as Jasmine. She was the confident, brave, bold, and smart heroine that she needed to be. I never considered in the cartoon her to be a damsel in distress (even though there were a couple of scenes to argue that notion) and in this film, THE ONLY THING IT DOES RIGHT, is too completely strip away that stereotype and make her the bad ass princess that we know and love. Naomi Scott is a good singer, and her voice is lovely to hear on screen, but that new solo song they gave her, ‘Speechless,’ felt wayyyyy out of place and didn’t match the rest of the film, and in fact, slowed it down. In the climax, where things are supposed to amp up, she breaks out to the rest of the song she started earlier in the film, and it just felt sloppy. The whole controversial thing of the film making her Sultan at the end that’s getting a lot of flack for Disney trying to be ‘woke’ or whatever it is called? Probably the LEAST controversial thing about the film, and in fact, was one of the few changes that worked.

Oh, I guess two more points I could say that I liked, but they are just fleeting praises, like finding a tiny speck of gold in a pile of shit. I think the “Whole New World” sequence was done well and I liked that they kind of gave the Genie more of a definitive sweet and sappy ending (although Nasim Pedrad, who was a part of that ending, was wayyy under used). And that’s it. The Cave of Wonders scenes, including the journey to the lamp and trying to escape were rushed, boring, and editing poorly. The CGI in almost every frame looked like shit, including the Blue Fresh Prince of Bel Air. Agrabah just looks like every film that has a old boring palace in the middle of a desert location. I could go on and on, but it’s too tiring too. Director Guy Ritchie should be ashamed of himself. He obviously didn’t have any of his trademark directing in the film, because The Mouse was busy forcing his hand to do its bidding. This film opened up a whole new can of worms to seriously getting me to start hating live action remakes. Disney will never have a friend like me if they continue churning out this assembly lined bantha poo doo.

Zach’s Zany Movie Reviews: TOY STORY 4 (no spoilers)

TOY STORY 4 or what I am calling it, Woody’s Epilogue, is actually a pretty great…well..epilogue. Let’s face it, we all know that Toy Story 3 provided mostly all of the toys we’ve come to grow up with a satisfying conclusion to the “Andy Saga.” However, in the third movie, Bo Peep was no where to be found with one line of dialogue and one frowny face basically explaining that she was just gone, and not with them anymore. Well, this 4th movie is basically a Bo Peep RetCon. And it’s really, really good. I think I even enjoyed it more than the 3rd one. I’m going to be the controversial one by saying that I didn’t find Toy Story 3 all that memorable other than them about to be fried in that furnace and then the tear jerking ending of Andy giving his toys to a new little girl, Bonnie. And I’ll even double down on the shock value and tell you that #2 blew me away when I saw it in theaters and is still my favorite of the franchise to this day. Now is the time though, when all childish things must come to an end, and hopefully, even though this was great, it is definitely the last film.

And yes, I know that they introduce a new character named Forky (voice by the great Tony Hale), and I know that he’s getting his own Disney + series (hard pass), I’m meaning as far as theatrical films go, I hope this is the last one. And yes, I will even admit to you that this movie was unnecessary. But look at Pixar and their cash cow. They made three completely unnecessary films about Cars that were either too boring or too wacky. It was even revealed in a recent article that they started planning and writing Toy Story 4 before 3 even hit theaters, and that was 9 God damn years ago. But given that the recent article said that Pixar will be focusing on original films going forward and there won’t be many sequels anymore, and the Forky series, I have a feeling that this will be the last one. Because after the mid credits scene roles, there is literally no more story left to tell, even with Bonnie, because it was just be recycling Andy growing up all over again. You’ve had the toys almost get lost and die a thousand times, you’ve gotten the story line of what if some of the toys were collector’s items, and you’ve all had one dimensional villains that either want to destroy everything or keep the depressing status quo.

Which is why I liked this film quite a bit, because of Gabby Gabby, the first true villain of the franchise that actually had an arc (Sid, the Prospector, and the Giant Purple Bear weren’t all that interesting to be honest). They took her to a place I didn’t think they would go, and was very grateful to get something different. And the reason why I’m really calling this film “Woody (and Bo’s) Epilogue” is because, other than those two and a few new characters, all of the other ones get the shaft. And I get it, Toy Story 3 was their ending, and this is Woody and Bo’s, but this film has Buzz Lightyear featured the very least in any of the film in the franchise. Other than one ‘inner voice’ joke, that was actually hilarious and a lot of fun, I’d say Buzz is in the movie for less than 20 minutes, with that joke being the brunt of it. I guess I could forgive it, seeing that the film opens 9 years prior to show how Bo really went away and Woody seemingly giving her one last goodbye, but there had to have been some way to feature Buzz more in this film. Consider that my biggest criticism of the film.

The rest is fantastic though. I loved that the film took place mainly in an RV, at a fair, and one of my favorite locales in the whole franchise, an antique shop. I loved Gabby Gabby’s really creepy ventriloquist henchmen (provided some weird dark comedy). I loved the new characters, like Forky mentioned earlier, a pair of duck and bunny stuff prize dolls voiced by Key and Peele, and especially Duke Caboom voice by none other than, the celebrity getting the most love he’s ever gotten in his career this year, Keanu Reeves. He completely steals the show, and the film even (stay thru the mid credits!) gets Reeves to do his one signature line we’ve made fun of him for, but also praised him for, and have been doing homages ever since. I found myself laughing out loud in the theater quite a bit too, which just gives the movie even more brownie points. If you are a kid film made for kids, but you get adults to laugh out loud and smile along, you know you are a special film.

And obviously, since we’ve had this franchise since the mid 90s, this is the most visually striking of all the films. They manage look crisper and more detailed every outing, and that is very much appreciated (although for the love of God don’t run out of ideas and then George Lucas everything by remastering the first three films with better digital effects). The voice acting is all there, with Hanks and Potts almost making me cry with their interactions. It’s a very, very solid Pixar movie in general. And was so, so, so, so much better than the kind of okay sequel we got last year with Incredibles 2. I’m very, very happy and excited for the future of Disney/Pixar after this film, and the fact that they said they are going to focus on original tales from now on. But this needs to be the last Toy Story theatrical film. There is no where left to go. And I swear to God, someone needs to hand me a poison vial or shoot me in the face if they ever announce a Cars 4.

My Rank Of Toy Story Films:

  1. Toy Story 2
  2. Toy Story
  3. Toy Story 4
  4. Toy Story 3

Zach’s Zany Movie Reviews: CAPTAIN MARVEL (no spoilers)

DISCLAIMER: (because I have to do this with the butthurters nowadays with a film like this) Any criticisms I give to the following film CAPTAIN MARVEL in my review, are in no way, shape, or form, have to do with the fact in that this is the MCU’s first female superhero led film. In fact, I think we should get more female driven superhero films, as long as they are made correctly. I am not a misogynist, I am married and have a loving and awesome wife, and ANY CRITICISMS WHATSOEVER I HAVE WITH THIS FILM HAVE TO DO WITH A STORYTELLING OR SCRIPT LEVEL AND DOES NOT HAVE TO DO WITH BRIE LARSON OR ANY FEMALE LED SUPERHERO FILM. Jesus Christ, it’s sad that I have to do that eh? Let’s get down to brass taxes and first go with my summary of Captain Marvel as a whole: I quite enjoyed it, however, in the whole spectrum of all 21 MCU films we have gotten to date, it is not one of the higher tier ones, like the first Iron Man, the first Avengers, the first Guardians, or Infinity War, yet it is not one of the lower tier ones like Thor: The Dark World, Iron Man 2, Iron Man 3, or The Incredible Hulk. It is somewhere in the middle, resting its good not great addition to the universe head along with its buddies such as Black Panther, Ant-Man, Guardians 2, or Doctor Strange.

I will star this off by saying that contrary to reports that Brie Larson is wooden in the Captain Marvel role (I think some people are just trolling and saying it even when they haven’t seen it yet), I assure you, she is not. She is very likable in this and in fact I think she knew that the script itself had some problems (there are 3 screenwriters, and 5 people get a story by credit) and she added her own cute little quirks and mannerisms to the role. I think with the right script and a more focused characterization Brie Larson could be a masterful superhero. But she is quite good with what she was given. In fact, everyone is good. Jude Law is good. Samuel L. Jackson is the man. Ben Mendelsohn nearly steals the movie. The very lackluster trailers and tv spots don’t showcase the good film that Disney/Marvel have on their hands here. In fact, if you look at all the other trailers, they don’t really sell their films anymore. They might need to hire better people that can cut a decent marketing campaign.

I was never once bored and looked at my cell phone clock with this movie, I was entertained throughout the whole thing. But the movie does have several issues and it all boils down to one notion, something that I knew was coming a long time ago, but is finally starting to seek through the cracks: Marvel’s Origin Story formula is starting to shake and if they aren’t careful, will soon crumble and fall like half of the DCEU’s slate. The entire movie is 200% predictable. It’s “twists” are 200% predictable (it does one “oh it was really this/him/her the whole time gimmick we’ve seen done in 100,000 movies before it). You can probably even fucking guess what the mid and end credits scenes are, that’s how predictable this thing is. Here’s a true, in my opinion, fact: Captain Marvel should’ve been introduced in Phase 1 or 2 of the MCU, should’ve already had one sequel by now with that story showing what happened with what she does at the end of this movie, and it wouldn’t have felt like this was shoe horned in right before Avengers: Endgame.

Because it is. Because you can feel it. Because everything feels rushed. Obviously you’ve seen from the trailers that Brie Larson has amnesia and is starting to remember things of where she may have had a life on Earth before becoming a Kree. The film feels too fast paced that, when she eventually remembers some stuff and comes face to face with some long lost family and friends, I didn’t feel anything. Like the confrontations that she is thrust into should’ve had more power, brevity, and levity. And it didn’t. It’s just like, “oh hi, don’t know you much, I know that I used to and we used to be two peas in a pod, well, I’m back, nice to meet ya.” Films need to have a giant emotional impact. If the film had focused on her amnesia stuff maybe just a few minutes longer, like 10 to 15, those scenes would’ve felt earned, not forced. The main issue is that there is just wayyy too much story stuffed into a medium box of 2 hrs, just in service to quickly get an origin story out of the way so she can be a bad ass motherfucker in Avengers: Endgame.

The movies got the Kree, old characters you saw in Guardians 1, a strange cat named Goose, amnesia problems, long gestating wars, witty banter, reunions, betrayals, double crosses, triple crosses, just too much that the script is a little shaky on its foundation and bounced off the wall too much at times. And near the end, kind of like the problem Black Panther had, its CGI is a little troublesome. And while the action is fun, but not that memorable. Oh, and one more AND to the million I have said already, the movie has still has got the Marvel villain problem (you’ll see). While the movie was wayyyy too late in the making, its just fortunate that it wasn’t a disaster, is watchable, and is enjoyable. The real star of the movie is the de-ageing effects on one Samuel L. Jackson. Fucking seemless, I couldn’t believe it, he actually looks like he just stepped out of his role in the 90s film The Negotiator (from which they based his de-ageing on) and hasn’t skipped a beat.

So anyway, in summation, Captain Marvel is a solid, good, yet not great addition to the MCU. I did enjoy myself sitting in the theater experiencing it. And none of it has to do with the fact that it is a female driven superhero film. All the problems are in the script, the story, and two directors who have directed a handful of episodes of Billions and The Affair, and two indie features films (Half Nelson and It’s Kind of A Funny Story) that I thought were way out of their element here. If we could get a solid script and better directors, and a focused pace, we could get a sequel that is truly special. A true sequel, not just Avengers: Endgame. Oh, btw, if the opening Marvel logo/credits don’t make you tear up and want to applaud, you aren’t human.