Astro Boy (2009) Review

October 17, 2009
For only being 12-years-old, Astro Boy's got some big guns.

For only being 12-years-old, Astro Boy's got some big guns.

In a technologically advanced future where robots are servants to humans, a spiky-haired young boy finds out that not only is he not human like he once thought, but that he’s actually one of the most advanced androids ever made. After a power-hungry madman has absconded weaponized robots to fulfill his nefarious purposes, the young mechanical boy goes out on his own, befriends a robotic dog, and with the help of some confidants, discovers that he is the only one with the power to stand a chance against the forces of evil.

But enough about the Mega Man video games. I’m here to talk about the new animated film Astro Boy, based on the well-loved manga/anime series.

Pictured: NOT Astro Boy... I don't think.

Pictured: NOT Astro Boy... I don't think.

First and foremost, the film has an excellent style that, while staying true to many of the character designs from the anime, still manages to find its own vision. It’s a very bright and vibrant film, and it feels like a fully-realized, candy-colored world. It’s an action-packed cartoon and it knows it.

That said, while I really wanted to like this film, there’s some flaws with it. Much like a lot of other animated films, stunt casting was used and not to great effect. Why have big-budget actors like Charlize Theron and Samuel L. Jackson do voices in the film if they’re only going to say three lines? They didn’t contribute anything.
Also, and I hate to say this because I like him, Donald Sutherland doesn’t do a good job. His voice attached to that particular character didn’t mesh well at all, and Sutherland’s heart didn’t seem into it.

I also hate to say this: Nicholas Cage did a better job.

I also hate to say this: Nicholas Cage did a better job.

I know that Astro Boy is supposed to be a kids film, but the humor, while not potty in nature, still feels juvenile. A lot of the jokes fell flat and didn’t really work. There’s entire groups of characters that serve NO PURPOSE in the film other than to pad it with jokes. Sure, I can tolerate the cute robot dog, but the robo-butler and the members of the Robot Revolution Front just take up space.

However, Mike the Talking Fridge had his moments.

However, Mike the Talking Fridge had his moments.

Overall, Astro Boy isn’t terrible, but it isn’t the best animated film I, or you, have ever seen. It’s above average, but not by much. It has a lot of good qualities, but not enough to make it great. The action is decent and fun, the plot is okay, and there’s a few touching moments, but walking away from the film, I couldn’t help but think how much better it could have been.

If I were 8-years-old, I’d love the shit out of this movie.
But I’m 28 now, so… yeah.

7/10

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A Sign of the Apocalypse

October 12, 2009
Documentary?

Documentary?

The Apocalypse. Armageddon. The end of the world. Many people seem to believe that there will be indicators to signal that the end is nigh, particularly some Christians who dwell on the wackiest of Biblical scriptures, the Book of Revelations. Shepard Smith of FOX News thinks a certain food item is a sign of the Apocalypse.

But food never scared me (unless it was low-fat or — God forbid — vegan *shudders*). No, I feel a true indicator of the endtimes will be much more wide-spread and devastating than doughnut burgers made by trailer-trash hicks in Massachusetts. A real sign of the coming Apocalypse has to reach the entire world’s population, and it has to seem so awful that it can’t be real. It must be terrible enough that when you hear its mere mention, you’ll feel revulsion like you’ve never felt before.

I speak, of course, about the recent announcement that production has started on the sequel to Showgirls. Yes, THAT Showgirls. And in case you are in doubt of its validity, there’s a slickly-made website for it, complete with broken English (and nudity)!

My wanting is now!

My wanting is now!

Why, that introductory video was bloated, trashy and awful enough to almost seem like the real deal!
Honestly though, the director/writer must live inside his own ass to be that pompous over a fucking sequel to fucking Showgirls. Do me a favor and say it out loud, right now: Showgirls 2. Don’t you feel sick just saying it? Showgirls 2. *shudders again*

Question: Why? Who would want this? Haven’t we suffered enough? Do the filmmakers think they can actually improve the world by making this film? Everybody who has actually seen Showgirls felt like dying afterwards, so I’m sure the sequel will drive rational people to homicide. Or murder suicide.

Jonestown Massacre or premiere of 'Showgirls 2'?  You decide.

Jonestown Massacre or premiere of 'Showgirls 2'? You decide.

The end is nigh — repent now. I, not being a religious man, will take up a new hobby: getting drunk.