Wednesday, October 31, 2018

MLEEP Reviews: Brother Bear - 15 Years Of Brotherly Love | #BrotherBear15

Image result for brother bear 2003
BROTHER BEAR
Written By Tab Murphy, Lorne Cameron, David Hoselton,
Steve Bencich and Ron J. Friedman
Composed By Phil Collins and Mark Mancina
Produced By Chuck Williams
Edited By Tim Mertens
Directed By Aaron Blaise and Robert Walker

When the trailer for 'Brother Bear' came out, people were left completely uninterested...which probably explains why it apparently didn't do very well at the box office because what begins with you being blown away by the likable cast of human characters and getting invested in their myths being accompanied by the beautiful animation and music to the point where you wish that other Disney films like 'Pocahontas' had done this years ago all goes downhill when the main character turns into a bear.  Now, I didn't have a problem with the main character turning into a bear to learn a lesson...but what they do with it however is about as predictable and boring and lame as you can imagine.  Now that fifteen years have gone by, is there more to this movie than meets the eye or is there something I'm truly missing?  Let's find out, this is 'Brother Bear'!

Kenai is a young and brave Indian with a particular distaste for bears...and when his brother Sitka is killed by one, Kenai in turn kills the bear only to be magically transformed into one himself. To make matters worse, his other brother Denahi vows to kill the bear Kenai has become. Kenai's only hope is a magical mountain where he believes he can be changed back to a human and he enlists a real bear cub named Koda to get him there.

---

In a clever bit of writing, there is no real villain but instead just a great big misunderstanding because Denahi wants to kill the bear that he doesn't know is Kenai for a reason we can all understand: he wants revenge for what he believes killed his brother.  While we can see that it is mislead, we can sense the love and the passion for his brother hence why he is going to such violent needs-in fact, this whole story turned out to be a pretty good setup when you really think about it with having both a good beginning and ending.  But like I said earlier, the middle is where the problems come from when the animals start talking and that's when it gets really annoying since the timeless language that the humans were using is now replaced with things like 'dude' or 'I spy' and they even pinkie swear while doing all sorts of other modern day things that people do...I'm sorry, that's really distracting due to making us not connect as well to the characters like what we saw before the transformation with their culture and their legends especially with the character of Koda-you have to be really careful with kid characters that are trying to act tough because that can either turn out really annoying or really charming and Koda unfortunately falls into the category of annoying.

At first, I was surprisingly getting into the music because I dreaded seeing that Phil Collins was attached to this movie and yet the opening number 'Great Spirits' was really getting me into this film.  But when we got to 'On My Way', it's like Phil Collins just couldn't stay out of his usual routine and I still tried to believe that he was doing something similar to what he did with 'Tarzan' where he's not trying to ruin any particular moment in the film despite his annoyance...and then we got to 'No Way Out' where Kenai is telling Koda about what happened to his mother with Phil Collins singing over the entire sequence-I'm sorry, but this is the worst placement for a song that I've ever seen in any Disney film and it leaves me wondering why they didn't just use a orchestral score in place of Phil Collins yet again telling you how to feel about the scene taking place right in front of you!  Really, Phil...really?!

---

Between the obvious plot that everyone can easily figure out to the modern talk to the Phil Collins songs, you'd really think I hate 'Brother Bear' and...yeah, I really do hate parts of it...but damn it, those other parts are so good-talk about being so close and yet so far!  I guess there isn't anything morally wrong that is being said and I guess it could be worse if they decided to just quote random movies, but...ugh, we were so close to having a perfect Disney film and yet the modern talk and Phil Collins destroyed this movie's chances.  I guess I didn't really expect anything to come out of this movie and...for the good parts that it did have, it's great to see that Disney can still get some culture in their animated films whether that culture is true or not.  For that reason, I'm gonna give 'Brother Bear' a 5.5 out of 10...probably wouldn't see it again, but I am glad that I saw it at least once.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

MLEEP Reviews: BoJack Horseman - Our A-Story Is A "D" Story | #BoJack

Season 1, Episode 6: Our A-Story Is A "D" Story
Written By Scott Marder

When we last left BoJack Horseman, he went on a business trip with his ghostwriter Diane Nguyen to visit her rather abusive family in Boston who had something truly disturbing planned for the rotting corpse of their recently deceased father while Todd Chavez and Princess Carolyn cooked up a money-making scam by passing off BoJack's house as the house of another famous celebrity...just from that recap alone, you know how I felt about that episode.  But now, it's time to return to Hollywoo where things will hopefully improve for the better as the ultimate battle of romance is about to go down when 'Our A-Story Is A "D" Story'!

OUR A-STORY IS A "D" STORY: While BoJack is jealous of Diane's relationship with Mr. Peanutbutter, Todd's in a new environment of his own.

---

PROS:
  • Continuity with 'Live Fast, Diane Nguyen'-although you may have to watch the previous episode to know and understand why Todd Chavez is in jail, it's great to get a followup to the events from 'Live Fast, Diane Nguyen' as we see how Todd is getting on while in prison as he is torn between whether to join the Aryans or the Latin Kings to the point of nearly being curb stomped while he is anxiously waiting for BoJack to bail him out...only to be saved by the crashing of the D from the Hollywood sign!
  • The extremely humorous story-the writing of this episode's story and its characters is easily the biggest strength since neither BoJack nor Mr. Peanutbutter is the true villain through this setup but rather a form of jealousy that we all know and that competition leads to some of the best comedy ever...seeing these two characters constantly try to be good people with their ethics but also get drawn into the childish turmoil of who's more popular and the better boyfriend to Diane is great to watch-not to mention that all of the puns of famous Beyoncé songs had me on the floor laughing!


CONS:
  • N/A

---

Overall...halfway through this first season of BoJack Horseman and I have already found what may be my favorite episode since 'Our A-Story Is A "D" Story' was a hilarious competition of romance between two great characters that I'll be sure to come back to many times in the future-not to mention that this episode was a massive improvement from the disturbing disaster that we had last week! For all these reasons and more, I'm proud to give 'Our A-Story Is A "D" Story' the first 10 out of 10 rating so far in my viewing of what is already a pretty great series. See you all next week when agencies collide in 'Say Anything'!

#BoJack



Our A-Story Is A "D" Story-10/10

SEASON 1 OVERALL SCORE: 8.5/10

Saturday, October 27, 2018

MLEEP Reviews: My Little Pony - Best Gift Ever | #MLPBestGiftEver

BEST GIFT EVER
Written By Michael Vogel

T'was the night before Hearthswarming and all through the castle
Not a creature was stirring nor one single hassle
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care
In hopes that Season 9 soon would be there
The ponies were nestled all snug in their beds
While visions of breezies danced in their heads
With Twilight in her 'kerchief and I in my cap
Had just settled our brains for a long winter's nap
When out on the lawn, there arose such a clatter
We sprang from our bed to see what was the matter
Away to the window, we flew like a flash
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash
When, what to our wondering eyes should appear
But a brand new Christmas special for this year

So, let's deck the halls and break out the cider as we see if we were truly given 'The Best Gift Ever'!

As the ponies all prepare and families come together to celebrate Hearth’s Warming Eve, Twilight Sparkle doesn’t have time to celebrate with her new school taking up her time as well as Shining Armor and Princess Cadence coming to visit along with Flurry Heart...she hasn’t even begun to shop! Luckily, her friends are there to help by deciding to do a Hearthswarming Helper and giving just one gift to the pony whose cutie mark they pull out of Applejack’s hat...but now, the pressure’s on to find the one perfect gift to make each pony’s holiday special.  Seeking help from their friends all over Equestria, the Mane 6 and Spike are each hoping to find the best gift ever as they set out on a magical adventure to make each pony’s Hearthswarming bright.


---

PROS:


  • The songs-much like the songs from 'A Hearth's Warming Tail', the music and songs by Daniel Ingram really does sound like a classic Christmas carol with how graceful and majestic they are from the jazzy and showstopping opening number 'One More Day' (with a title like that, there's bound to be people in the fandom making "Les Misérables'' jokes whether it be memes or music video parodies!) which reminds me a lot of Mariah Carey's 'All I Want For Christmas Is You' and 'The True Gift Of Giving' where the moral of the special shines through...I may be the only one who's thinking this, but who all thought that the songs for this special were gonna be rewritten versions of the songs from 'It's A Pony Kind Of Christmas'?
  • The animation-much like the visuals that we were given back in 'A Hearth's Warming Tail' as well as Season 8's "The Hearth's Warming Club", the team at DHX Media went all out on the animation for this special since everything about this special looks a festive winter celebration and so many little details were added in from the lighting and shading to the gradients and patterns of color...not to mention that they also throw in quite a number of visual gags with some of the best examples being Marble Pie's heartbreak when she sees Big McIntosh with Sugar Belle as well as the numerous holiday movie references from 'Home Alone 2: Lost In New York' and 'Elf' where you'll have to rewatch this special in order to truly spot all of them!
  • The expansive cast of characters-not only do we get plenty of time to spend with our main cast as well as the Royal Family, but the cast of characters is as big as it has ever been before since everypony who we've gotten to know throughout the past eight seasons gets to be on screen at some point during the specials from the Apple and Pie families to the Student Six to Starlight Glimmer and Trixie-even fan favorites like Discord, Lyra and Bon Bon and the Flim Flam Brothers appear...much like the holiday movie references, you'll have to rewatch the special again in order to spot all of the cameos!
  • The concept of 'Hearthswarming Helper'-in a similar way to how we have things like 'Secret Santa' or 'White Elephant' gift exchanges during the holiday season, it's fun to see My Little Pony put a fun spin on this classic tradition and the fact that it is Applejack who explains this tradition that she has with her family in order to help ease Twilight's extreme levels of stress really shows how important she is in the main cast with how she is usually the one to restore order among everypony when things go wrong...in a way, she's a lot like Twilight's right-wing pony!
  • The introduction of Sweet Acorn Orchard-through a mistake in delivery by the fan favorite Derpy Hooves, we see Rarity go to one of our two new locations for the series Sweet Acorn Orchard which reminds me a lot of colonial Williamsburg meets 'Little House On The Prairie' in a way with the cobblestone walkways and rustic buildings...and it is also here where we meet Oak Nut, Butternut and Pistachio (basically Star Tracker 2.0) who ends up receiving what was supposed to be Applejack's present from Rarity!
  • The introduction of Aurora, Bori and Alice-looking past the obvious reference to the 'Steamed Hams' meme from The Simpsons, it is always great to see more new species of creatures making their way into the world of Equestria and it naturally made sense to introduce reindeer for a Christmas special in the form of the fabled Gift Givers Of The Grove who are basically a festive version of the Three Fates from Greek mythology that help Pinkie Pie figure out the perfect gift to give to Twilight Sparkle...but why did we have to make yet another member of the analysis community canon?!
  • The introduction of Winterzilla-much like the fabled Gift Givers Of The Grove, it is always great to see more new species of creatures making their way into the world of Equestria...and with Discord playing a big part in this special as he helps Rainbow Dash find the perfect present for Fluttershy, it naturally makes senses to throw in some of his usual brand of chaos by suggesting that she give Fluttershy the Winterzilla as an addition to the Sweet Feather Sanctuary-let's just say that what happens later on definitely gives the Gremlins and the Bumble from 'Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer' a run for their bits, but you'll have to wait and see!

CONS:

  • The story-despite everything about this holiday special being as awesome as it has ever been, I had predicted long before the special even came out when the initial announcement was made that friendship would ultimately be 'the best gift ever' among our main cast even when things didn't go according to plan...and what a shock, I was right when the special officially came out and it resulted in the viewing experience while entertaining and fun being pretty predictable from start to finish



---


Overall...while it does have a predictable story especially when you've been viewing a series called 'Friendship Is Magic' for the past five years and while I still say that 'A Hearth's Warming Tail' is the definitive Christmas special for the franchise, everything else about 'Best Gift Ever' from the music to the visuals to the expansive cast of old and new characters truly helped capture the feeling of the magic of the holiday season...so for that, I'm gonna give 'Best Gift Ever' a rating of an 8.5 out of 10.

And thus, our adventures in Equestria are over for 2018...hoo boy, what a magical ride!  But let's be honest, 2018 was easily one of if not the worst year for everyone in the My Little Pony fandom...massive leaks resulting in being wary of spoilers, pedophile cases in the analysis community, conventions shutting down, con chairs banning artists, the list just goes on and on!  But what I believe is important is that we still found a way to enjoy the time we had together for this year and continue spreading the magic of friendship all over the world...I mean, we had a brand new season of MLPFIM along with plenty of new content from Equestria Girls and a full-length holiday special as well as the usual meetups among local groups in the fandom and annual trips to conventions with BronyCon this year being as fun as it has ever been.  Even though things looked bleak for the fandom in 2018, the friendships we have forged and the memories that we have created with our friends will live on forever...and with that said, I'm True Blue and I will see you all next year for what will be a very emotional roller coaster ride as we prepare to say goodbye to the world of Equestria with the final season of 'My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic'.  The end is near...so let's make this final year the biggest it has ever been because we will build something beautiful together one last time!

MLEEP Reviews: Oliver & Company - 30 Years Of Street Savoir Faire | #OliverAndCompany30

Image result for oliver and company 1988
OLIVER & COMPANY
Written By Jim Cox, Tim Disney and James Mangold
Composed By J. A. C. Redford
Directed By George Scribner

In all honesty, it's hard to talk about 'Oliver & Company' without talking about another animated film that came out the exact same weekend-that being the Don Bluth classic 'The Land Before Time' which for many people was a really great film with a great story along with great animation while feeling very Disney-esque.  But for many Disney fans including myself, 'Oliver & Company' was the film that we really wanted to see from the songs by Grammy-winning singer/songwriter Billy Joel to the cool animation of the many dogs walking around the massive New York City...this just looked like a really awesome film, but man was the reception on this movie really underwhelming!  Now that thirty years have gone by, are we truly on the 'Streets Of Gold' or is what Georgette said true about how 'Perfect Isn't Easy'?  Let's find out, this is 'Oliver & Company'!

In this animated update of the classic "Oliver Twist" tale, Oliver is an orphaned kitten taken in by a gang of thieving dogs led by cavalier canine Dodger and owned by down-and-out pickpocket Fagin. While pulling a job in the streets of New York City, Oliver winds up being adopted by a rich girl named Jenny and landing on easy street. But through a series of events, a loan shark named Sykes threatens the peaceful new arrangement.

---

Like I said at the start, it's just so weird that 'The Land Before Time' was much more like a Disney film that 'Oliver & Company' was due to doing a much better job at teaching life lessons with really heavy scenes and really memorable characters while 'Oliver & Company' definitely seeming like a marketing tool with a majority of manipulated people remembering the toys more than they do of the actual movie.  But getting into the movie itself, the sketchy drawing style has a little bit more of a home here than in the past few films that came out before it since it looks like an etching that you would probably see maybe in a fine arts store in New York City...and having been to New York myself three times in the past for trips to see shows on Broadway from the Radio City Rockettes to 'West Side Story' and the original Radcliffe/Laroquette run of 'How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying', I really do like the way that this film portrays its accuracy-big but tight, full of attitude but a lot of character.  Aside from that, the film only has a few good things to offer-most notably the catchy as hell song 'Why Should I Worry' which is sung by Billy Joel himself...and which I have gotten several requests to do a 'Big World Big Adventures' music video of with the character of Ace The Racing Car, but I surprisingly don't think the other songs are very catchy at all since I think they just had this one big hit and they just exploited it like mad...so yeah, not much to hum once you've seen the movie.

Getting into the characters themselves, the differences from the original source material and the movie itself are really distracting from Oliver being a kitten instead of a boy and Dodger being a fully grown dog instead of being a boy as well since I liked how the two characters in the original story sorta had a connection and that they were sorta the same age...there is really no point in setting the Oliver Twist story in modern day New York with talking animals, but I feel like it also makes for easily one of the best villain deaths I have ever seen in the entire Disney universe-I'm serious, I literally remember nothing about Sykes except how he dies after being hit by an oncoming train.  Of course, the two characters that everyone seems to remember the most from this movie are easily Georgette (voiced by Bette Midler, who I'd gladly take with this performance over that of 'Hocus Pocus' any day) and Tito (voiced by Cheech Marin, who got quite a few funny lines and it's funny thinking he would come back a few years later to voice Banzai in 'The Lion King).

---

Aside from a few positive things, 'Oliver & Company' is surprisingly forgettable with not very memorable characters or music.  For Disney to do a version of 'Oliver Twist', I sorta expected a lot more from it than what we were given or at least for it to make a bigger impact.  It's not awful, but it's still strange thinking that the non-Disney film at the time was turning out the much better Disney product...for that, I'm gonna have to give 'Oliver & Company' a rating of a 5.5 out of 10.  If you're an animal person, maybe you'll get into the cutesy stuff...but it's nothing to go crazy over.  But let's face it, this was just the film to tie us over...before the next gigantic hit.

MLEEP Reviews: Bolt - 10 Years Of Super Barks | #Bolt10

Image result for bolt 2008
BOLT
Written By Dan Fogelman and Chris Williams
Composed By John Powell
Produced By Clark Spencer
Edited By Tim Mertens
Directed By Chris Williams and Byron Howard

The word to describe 'Bolt' is cute...incredibly cute-just the opening alone is friggin' cute overload and makes you just wanna eat this movie up!  But much to the movie's advanage, 'Bolt' is also very likable with an enjoyable premise and characters along with some fun and action-packed animation...which may make up for the fact that it is clunky and maybe lacking in the humor department.  Now that ten years have gone by, is Bolt still the super dog that we've all come to know and love today?  Let's find out, this is 'Bolt'!

The days of canine superstar Bolt are filled with danger and intrigue...until the cameras stop rolling since Bolt doesn't know that he's on a TV show and he thinks his amazing powers are real. When Bolt is accidentally shipped from his Hollywood sound stage to the mean streets of New York, he begins his most-amazing adventure.  Armed only with his delusions and accompanied by a cat and a hamster, he sets out to to find his owner Penny.

---

With John Travolta playing the title role of the movie, he truly was the ideal cast member to play Bolt himself since he's very likable and energized while being totally convinced that he is in this fictional world.  At the same time, the other voice actors like Miley Cyrus (before she hopped on the crazy train!) as Penny and Susie Essman as Mittens do a great job in giving the world credibility as well while helping a film that is pretty much based on just one joke...but the joke works because the character of Bolt is just so enjoyable and you want to see him achieve his goal.

But the main problem for me in terms of the movie is that I wish it did have a few more laughs.  That's not to say that they're trying to make us laugh with the jokes occasionally not working, but 'Bolt' is a film that doesn't try to make its audience laugh since it just sorta shows the characters on their road trip half of the time and not much else which is completely fine for me since I do like these characters like I said earlier and I want to be with them on their journey.  I guess it was because the premise was just so original and funny that I was thinking that there would maybe be a few more comedic moments thrown in...not to mention that we have the 'classic' misunderstanding sequence which has the main character moping and doping around, but at least it's short here unlike in other films.

---

If 'Bolt' upped the comedy factor a little bit more, it could've been a really fantastic film...but for what it is, it's a decent film that I'm glad I saw and might even see a couple more times in the future...for all these reasons and more, I'm gonna give 'Bolt' a rating of a 9 out of 10.  What else can I say but 'there is no home like the one you've got 'cause that home belongs to you'...

MLEEP Reviews: Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs - 80 Years Of Poison Apples | #SnowWhite80

Image result for snow white and the seven dwarfs 1937
SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS
Written By Ted Sears, Richard Creedon, Otto Englander, Dick Rickard,
Earl Hurd, Merrill De Maris, Dorothy Ann Blank, Webb Smith
Composed By Frank Churchill, Paul Smith and Leigh Harline
Produced By Walt Disney
Directed By David Hand, William Cotrell, Wilfred Jackson,
Larry Morey, Perce Pearce and Ben Sharpsteen

More often than not, we associate the Disney formula with a princess in a big castle in some sort of far off fairy tale...and even though not all of their films are like that or even a majority of them, it is the one that kids seem to like the most and it started at the very beginning of Disney's journey of becoming the money-making empire that it is today.  Walt Disney knew that the more timeless that you could make something, the longer it would be around and it logically made sense to start off with a fairy tale...even if the designs are a product of the times, characters not being as developed back then as other films are today and the singing voice of Snow White being very Betty Boop-ish.  But now that eighty years have gone by, is Snow White still the fairest in the land?  Let's find out, this is 'Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs'!

Jealous of Snow White's beauty, the wicked queen orders the murder of her innocent stepdaughter, but later discovers that Snow White is still alive and hiding in a cottage with seven friendly little miners. Disguising herself as a hag, the queen brings a poisoned apple to Snow White, who falls into a death-like sleep that can be broken only by a kiss from the prince.

---

The film is about as basic of a children's film as you can get with it being very bright and colorful while at the same time not trying to insult the intelligence of the audience-not to mention that Snow White herself is easily one of the weaker princesses in Disney's lineup as she is just your typical bland but generally nice princess with nothing particularly interesting about her, but I will say that she is definitely more engaging than her prince who only gets three lines in the entire movie with most of them being sung.  On top of that, the Evil Queen is also a pretty boring villain when you really get to analyze her with not saying or doing much and just being a really vain woman with nothing really fascinating about her.  The dwarfs themselves are easily what everyone remembers in terms of the characters especially for the kids-their different personalities and designs, their emotional status also being their names, etc.

While the kids will enjoy things like the dwarfs, the adults will definitely be enjoying the artistry of the film more than the kids will for both the bright colorful backgrounds as well as the scary imagery that it has as well.  While the story itself is not especially dark, it was pretty ballsy to throw in some of this really creepy imagery like when Snow White is running through the dark forest of scary trees where I'm pretty sure the series pilot to 'My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic' got its inspiration for the sequence where the Laughter Song takes place-in fact, this also helps save the Evil Queen from being completely forgotten as a villain with her having a permanent frown on her face where you're left wondering if she ever smiled at all during the film and the awesome design of her as the Old Hag after her transformation sequence that would probably scare some kids.

But the big question I want to pose now is this: in general, does 'Snow White' hold up as a film even if you emotionally disconnect from the fact that you saw it when you were a child?  The key word here is emotion since this is a film that is entirely fueled on emotion much like 'The Wizard Of Oz' and 'Where The Wild Things Are' since logic plays very little part in the events that unfold and I actually find films like that very fascinating to be honest since they don't give you what you logically or ethically want to see and instead give you what your emotions want to see.  Take for example the scene where the prince comes to kiss Snow White, she awakens from her deep sleep and they ride off into the castle...you might be wondering things like how the prince found his princess or if they ever have a conversation in the film to know whether or not they would ride off together, but that's not what your emotions want to see since they want to see the happiest of endings after the saddest and darkest of moments in the form of the sequence of Snow White's funeral.  Don't think this scene didn't screw me up because you can keep the deaths of Bambi's mom and Mufasa, this is the scene that rips me to shreds because it's like a wake literally down to the organ music...how much more depressing can you get?!  The dwarfs aren't just crying, they are sobbing...bawling over the fact that they've lost the only woman that has ever come into their lives!

---

And that's just how 'Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs' works as a film since it did well to help kids emotionally connect with things that we weren't often used to connecting with.  It's neither complex nor engaging, but the emotional simplicity of the film does manage to tap into the audience to the point where you don't even question the obvious logical problems that are staring at you in the face creating a world for us where 'happily ever after' is okay to believe in...for all these reasons and more, I'm giving 'Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs' a fair rating of a 7.5 out of 10.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

MLEEP Reviews: BoJack Horseman - Live Fast, Diane Nguyen | #BoJack

Season 1, Episode 5: Live Fast, Diane Nguyen
Written By Caroline Williams

When we last left BoJack Horseman, he had mentored and helped his friend Todd Chavez finish his rock opera while also jeopardizing Todd's chances of ever having a successful career by buying him the video game that ruined his life years ago in order to keep their friendship together and also to avoid living alone if Todd was actually successful.  But now it's time to return to Hollywoo as we prepare to live life in the fast lane with 'Live Fast, Diane Nguyen'!

LIVE FAST, DIANE NGUYEN: While a business trip for BoJack and Diane to visit her Boston family takes a detour, Todd runs a money-making tourist scam that gets him in trouble.

---

PROS:
  • The humor-looking past the huge...and I mean HUGE glaring problem where a majority of the humor lies within this episode, a majority of the humor is still pretty good from things like in the opening at the Air Bud International Airport where BoJack's 'lighter' gun sets off the metal detectors as well as the moment when BoJack is looking through the kaleidoscope that Diane Nguyen brought for him...it is such a 'big lipped alligator moment' (if you know what that is) with how surreal the imagery gets and how BoJack is so mesmerized by it that I couldn't help but burst out laughing-even the bird paparazzi from the last two episodes make a comeback as well!
  • The relationship between BoJack Horseman and Diane Nguyen-even though BoJack constantly tells everyone from Pinky Penguin to the Nguyen Family (right to Diane's face, might I add!) that his ghostwriter Diane is not a bigshot and how she is too good for anything, I love how he immediately realizes his mistake and makes things write with Diane as they talk at the dump about how her abusive father can no longer hurt her or anyone else as he proceeds to knock the barrel of chummed remains which knocks out the old lady that Derek Jeter was helping across the street...speaking of chummed remains and Derek Jeter, time to move on to the negatives!

CONS:
  • The Nguyen Family-not only are they all a bunch of racist stereotypes, but the fact that they plan to chum the rotting corpse of their dead father and throw the remains at their hated baseball team rival star Derek Jeter instead of giving him a proper funeral (which is run by maggots, might I add!) and burial like a majority of people would just left me feeling queasy...I know that this series is known for its raunchy humor, but this entire concept just crossed the line for me with having experienced multiple losses of close loved ones due to thinks like leukemia and pancreatic cancer!
  • Todd Chavez-it seems like the writers don't know what to do with Todd, so they keep going back and forth between being the guiding voice of reason for BoJack Horseman and the lazy bum who refuses to pick up after himself and is willing to do anything to make a quick buck like what he does here with Princess Carolyn (who didn't even talk him out of his scam, might I add!)...and I honestly felt sorry for Todd especially after the last two episodes where he had to guide BoJack towards the right path to helping Sarah Lynn and working with BoJack to finish his rock opera which never took off. Writers, pick something and stick with it!

---

Overall...I didn't think it was possible so early in the first season, but 'Live Fast, Diane Nguyen' was unfortunately our first bad episode of the series after four great episodes in a row and I sadly have to give it a 5 out of 10. See you all next week where things will hopefully improve for the better when 'Our A-Story Is A "D" Story'!

#BoJack

Live Fast, Diane Nguyen-5/10

SEASON 1 OVERALL SCORE: 8.2/10

Saturday, October 20, 2018

MLEEP Reviews: Toy Story Of Terror - 5 Years Of Playtime Perils | #ToyStoryOfTerror

TOY STORY OF TERROR
Written By Angus MacLane
Composed By Michael Giacchino
Produced By Galyn Susman
Edited By Axel Geddes
Directed By Angus MacLane

Who doesn’t love “Toy Story”? The very first franchise from Pixar that grew up with their audiences has been loved by generations of people. So when news of a “Toy Story” Halloween special came out, everyone was going nuts and it’s on my Top 13 Halloween Specials list for a good reason.
In this special, our favorite gang of toys is on vacation with Bonnie and her mother when they suddenly get a flat tire on a dark and stormy night-resulting in them having to stay at the Sleep Well Motel until morning. But turns out our heroes are being stalked by a mysterious force. Will Woody, Buzz and the rest of the toys solve the mystery of the Sleep Well Motel or will they be consumed by the hidden terror? Well, I’ll leave that for you to find out…
Let’s just get the negatives out of the way in order for us to get to the positives as there is a lot of good things to talk about-the first being that the special feels more like an episode of a Toy Story television show rather than an actual special and the other being that it’s a really short special. I get that CG-animation of this quality is really expensive and not to mention the amount of big name talent on board to supply the voices, but a runtime of twenty-one minutes is not enough Toy Story goodness; thus making this feel more like a sample of the franchise.
Now, let’s go to the positives. Much like the movie franchise, the pacing is excellent with a story that despite how short it is flows perfectly. Second, I love how much dedication was put in to basically recreate an old-time creature feature. And finally, this is the first adventure in the “Toy Story” franchise to focus solely on Jessie and…man, did we get a ton of development for her character as she faced her greatest fear-claustrophobia, especially when her friends are put in danger after some pep talks from Combat Carl.
If you end up having your own “Toy Story Of Terror” thanks to this special, just pray it doesn’t involve Chucky…

Thursday, October 18, 2018

MLEEP Reviews: BoJack Horseman - Zoës and Zeldas | #BoJack

Season 1, Episode 4: Zoës and Zeldas
Written By Raphael Bob-Waksberg

When we last left BoJack Horseman, he had reconnected with one of his troubled former co-stars by the name of Sarah Lynn who moved into his house and turned his life upside down while continuing to work on his memoirs with his ghostwriter Diane Nguyen...but no sooner do we have to deal with the wacky antics of one uninvited guest at BoJack's house, then it now seems like Todd's freeloading may have gone too far for BoJack as well! Let's return to Hollywoo for some 'Zoës and Zeldas'!

ZOËS AND ZELDAS: While BoJack decides to mentor Todd Chavez after his freeloading goes too far, Diane's ex-boyfriend Wayne writes a Buzzfeed article about Mr. Peanutbutter

---

PROS:
  • The relationship between BoJack and Todd Chavez-as BoJack's former mentor Herb Kazzaz says in the prologue, 'it’s the responsibility of big shots to always be looking out for the little guy'...and even though BoJack twists his mentor's advice at first when he is berating Todd for not cleaning up his shit and leaving it for BoJack to constantly trip over, you can also see how much BoJack cares about Todd while helping him to finish his rock opera and how it is revealed that BoJack is afraid of living alone if he loses Todd through his own success that BoJack would do anything to jeopardize Todd's chances of ever having a successful career going as far as getting Todd the very video game that he became so obsessed with that it ruined his life from flunking out of high school to losing his girlfriend
  • The introduction of Wayne-with Wayne being the former boyfriend to Diane Nguyen who is now in a relationship with BoJack's former sitcom rival, it allowed for a lot of great character development between him and Diane as well as about her relationship with Mr. Peanutbutter especially when Wayne discusses the 'Zoë and Zelda' personality types from Mr. Peanutbutter's old sitcom to a less than thrilled BoJack with Zoë being the sunny and fun extrovert and Zelda being the smart and cynical introvert...this explanation of personality types also comes into play later on with BoJack's relationship with Todd when Todd's possibly successful future puts their friendship on the line as well as at the end when Wayne is trying to reunite with Diane and make her realize that she is not meant to be with Mr. Peanutbutter!


CONS:
  • The humor-don't get me wrong, there were plenty of good jokes in this episode like the jabs at famous movies/celebrities like the Deschanel Sisters and 'Legally Blonde' as well as the continuity of the bird paparazzi from the last episode who call BoJack about the photos they took while he was having sex with Sarah Lynn and are ready to expose them at any moment, but the repetition of the stripper jokes at Todd's expense wasn't all that funny the first nor the second time...and I really wasn't ready for another sexual intercourse scene so soon after the extremely over the top one we had last week nor the extremely harsh criticisms that BoJack makes towards Todd's rock opera of historical tragedies like 9/11 and the Holocaust!  Not cool, BoJack...not cool!

---


Overall...despite having the Zelda personality in the humor department, Zoë wins again as 'Zoës and Zeldas' made for a very heartfelt episode as relationships were both weakened and strengthened at the same time in order to give it a rating of a 9 out of 10. See you next week as we live life in the fast lane with 'Live Fast, Diane Nguyen'!

#BoJack


Zoës and Zeldas-9/10

SEASON 1 OVERALL SCORE: 9/10

Saturday, October 13, 2018

MLEEP Reviews: The Nightmare Before Christmas - 25 Years Of Happy Haunts | #Nightmare25

THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS
Written By Caroline Thompson
Composed By Danny Elfman
Produced By Tim Burton and Denise Di Novi
Edited By Stan Webb
Directed By Henry Selick

Talk about a film that only did okay at the box office but just exploded in cult merchandise-every year around Halloween, you see this movie advertised and you even see it advertised around Christmas as well.  The appreciation for this film somewhere just went through the roof and everyone now loves to draw the characters and sing the songs of such an iconic film, but I feel that can also backfire and build it up too much for audience members who might be expecting something else-you might go through that in a sense when you first see it, but that's not the kind of movie that this is due to being more of a warped version of those stop motion Christmas specials that you see every year but with an extended running time...so I am here to ask the big question that everyone wants answered: after twenty five years, is it still the greatest animated movie for the Halloween season?  Let's find out, this is 'The Nightmare Before Christmas'!

When Jack Skellington-the beloved Pumpkin King of Halloween Town-becomes bored with the same annual routine of frightening people in the real world, he accidentally stumbles on the brightly colored and warmly spirited Christmas Town.  When he gets a new lease on life, Jack plots to bring Christmas under his control by kidnapping Santa Claus and taking over the role...but Jack soon discovers even the best laid plans can go seriously awry.

---

Like I said at the start, 'The Nightmare Before Christmas' didn't start off as a hit since it came out at a time when films like 'Aladdin' and 'The Lion King' were upping their game as to how mature animated films could really be with television following in that same pattern with trying to entertain both adults and children and some would debate that 'The Nightmare Before Christmas' doesn't fit that mold that was set during that time due to having a simple story with for a lack of a better term 'bare bone' writing...but yet it allows for so much creativity inviting you into a world full of imagination while also simplifying a hard concept to explain with holidays having their own world and explaining it in a way that everyone can understand.

Some could also argue that the characters aren't very deep or engaging like those in other films since the dialogue for this movie is beyond basic with lines of dialogue like 'curiosity killed the cat'...but in trying to understand how people can enjoy that kind of writing, can you think of any other shorts of film that have this similar style of writing?  When I am asked that question, I immediately think of holiday classics like The Grinch or Charlie Brown-even the Rankin/Bass specials despite not being a fan...these specials may have cheap quality, but they also have a strange kind of honesty to them with a sense of keeping it simple because they don't want to lose the special feeling of the holiday which is at the forefront before the characters and story and why we continue to watch them every year.  'The Nightmare Before Christmas' may be following a similar pattern here, but the major difference here is that it does this with two holidays instead of one that are so polar opposite from each other that you'd never think to combine them together and yet they mesh surprisingly well by showing that they're not supposed to mesh well...a message that should be made very clear with how we constantly see Halloween or Christmas decorations being put in retail stores earlier and earlier every year.

And the music...good lord, the music is spectacular.  This was the first time in years that composer Danny Elfman has been allowed to write songs again and yet he knocks it out of the park with classics like 'What's This' and 'Making Christmas'-not to mention that Elfman also did the singing voice for Jack Skellington himself and he adds so much character to it, you'd swear that this whole film is practically his movie.


---

'The Nightmare Before Christmas' may be a very basic movie and while it can be very easy to see why someone might be turned off by its simplicity, it's also very easy to see how someone would be interested in it.  It's a film that has given birth to a new movement of creepy stop-motion movies for kids that are still being made years later, but they're allowed to tell stories that can be timeless and not have to throw in catchphrases to get a crowd...'The Nightmare Before Christmas' is where a lot of this started even if it did take influence from several other holiday specials, but it is still its own unique vision-in fact, you could take any still from this movie and nobody would mistake it for Grinch or Frosty...that's how strong of an impact that this film has and I'm proud to give it a rating of a 10 out of 10.  It may not be super dramatic or surprising...but I know that when Jack and the residents of Halloween Town are seen on store shelves around this time of year, I bet you that everyone will be singing 'this is Halloween'.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

MLEEP Reviews: BoJack Horseman - Prickly Muffin | #BoJack

Season 1, Episode 3: Prickly-Muffin
Written By Raphael Bob-Waksberg

When we last left BoJack Horseman, he had finally gotten started on his memoirs with his ghostwriter Diane Nguyen in the hopes that it would put him back in the spotlight again and especially after a rough scuffle he had with Navy SEAL Neal McBeal over a pack of his favorite muffins...but it looks like trouble might be on the horizon for BoJack when an old friend of his comes to town, so let's return to Hollywoo for what will be a very 'Prickly-Muffin'!

PRICKLY-MUFFIN: BoJack reconnects with a friend from his past in the form of his troubled co-star Sarah Lynn who moves into his house and creates pandemonium.

---

PROS:
  • The humor-it seems like the humor in this series keeps getting better and better throughout the seasons and a majority of the jokes throughout the episode had me bursting out laughing like the parallels between Andrew Garfield and the Garfield The Cat comics as well as the jokes with the bird paparazzi who I think will be playing a part in the next episode with the photos that they took during a very suggestive scene between BoJack and Sarah Lynn at the ending of the episode of which I will address when I get to what I didn't like about the episode...but aside from that, the humor for a majority of this episode was great and I look forward to seeing what comedic delights await us for next week!
  • The relationship between BoJack and Sarah Lynn-with BoJack having cruelly advising Sarah that no one will love her except her fans and to never stop giving them what they want, it really helped set the scene for how Sarah Lynn ended up just as big if not a bigger washed up celebrity than BoJack himself with her severe drug addiction which is actually more often than not common with child stars in the real world like Macaulay Culkin from the 'Home Alone' movies and Jodie Sweetin from 'Full House' while also showing how fads come and go for celebrities as well as we see Sarah being replaced by Sextina Aquafina...and we can clearly see that BoJack feels bad for his past neglect on Sarah Lynn and wants to make things right again albeit not knowing how to be a real parent!
  • Diane Nguyen and Todd Chavez as the voices of reason-not only do we get some nice continuity from the last episode with Diane continuing to work with BoJack on his memoirs, the introduction of his former co-star Sarah Lynn allowed us to see a new side of BoJack from his time as a television star and how both Diane and Todd are unsure if BoJack is doing the right thing by believing that BoJack is compensating for his past treatment of Sarah Lynn by letting her stay at his house and then claiming that BoJack is taking advantage of Sarah Lynn's situation more than she is of BoJack since she was the one that asked for help first...even though BoJack blames society for the events that unfolded in this episode and once again refuses to take responsibility for his actions!
  • Mr. Peanutbutter-even though the scene of him was short, it made for what was easily the best joke of the entire episode as we see that Sarah Lynn pawned BoJack's TV Guide award for drug money only to be purchased by none other than the sitcom rival to BoJack Horseman himself...it really shows how arrogant and egotistical Mr. Peanutbutter is and how he delights in stealing BoJack's success away from him anytime he wants-I usually don't like showoff characters, but Mr. Peanutbutter has become one of the rare exceptions in my opinion right up there with Rainbow Dash from 'My Little Pony'

CONS:
  • Sarah Lynn-I know that they were going for the whole 'washed up celebrity' concept with Sarah Lynn and I won't deny that they captured this concept to a T and that her rekindling relationship with BoJack was one of the strongest elements about this episode, but I honestly wasn't expecting a good chunk of the things that she was doing throughout the episode to turn BoJack's life upside down such as stabbing herself with a bayonet and overdosing on pills when she thinks Andrew Garfield is breaking up with her and even having sex with her television father after being rightfully confronted by BoJack for the chaos she was causing while crashing in his house-she even goes as far to say that she feels she's at a place where she doesn't need to grow as a person and can constantly surround herself with sycophants and enablers until she dies tragically young...and considering the rise of sexual assault/pedophilia cases in both the entertainment industry and online, this only made me feel even more betrayed by those who I thought were my friends/inspirations!

---

Overall...much like Sarah Lynn herself, 'Prickly-Muffin' was a real doozy of an episode in how it takes a common thing with celebrities in Hollywood nowadays and goes all out with it...even though it did cross the line for me in quite a few places.  But aside from that, a good story with great humor and characters deserves a rating of a 9 out of 10...see you next week for some 'Zoës and Zeldas'!


#BoJack



Prickly Muffin-9/10

SEASON 1 OVERALL SCORE: 9/10