Tuesday, November 27, 2018

MLEEP Reviews: True Blue's Top 10 SpongeBob Squarepants Episodes | #RIPStephenHillenburg

Nearly twenty years ago, a marine biologist by the name of Stephen Hillenburg would create one of the most influencial and groundbreaking cartoons of all time by the name of 'SpongeBob Squarepants'.  There is no doubt about it that SpongeBob has defined a generation of humor...it was slick and clever while being satirical with unforgettable character and it left its mark forever on television history being ahead of its time.  But with how long that the series has been on the air, many of us really wish it would end so that we can talk about what a great impact it had on comedic cartoons as opposed to asking why the hell they're beating a dead seahorse with another dead seahorse.  Either way, we still end up saying the exact same thing: wasn't 'SpongeBob Squarepants' funny?  The answer is...yes, yes it was.  Despite the fact that it has more than overstayed its welcome, we still can't forget what an entertaining and quotable and hilarious impact that the series has had on us.  It has become one of the most influential shows in that it formed the sense of humor in so many people in the animation industry as well as online content creators.  So many of us nowadays get our delivery, our writing, our performing and just our straight-up sense of comedy from the genius that was 'SpongeBob Squarepants', but again I must ask 'which episodes had the biggest impact...which ones were the most memorable, meaningful or just downright funny'?  It's time to dive below the waves and travel to Bikini Bottom, these are the Top 10 Best 'SpongeBob Squarepants' Episodes!



Are you ready, kids?
Aye aye, captain!
I can't hear you!
Aye aye, captain!

Ohhhhhhh, who lives in a pineapple under the sea?
SpongeBob Squarepants!
Absorbent and yellow and porous is he
SpongeBob Squarepants!
If nautical nonsense be something you wish
SpongeBob Squarepants!
Then, drop on the deck and flop like a fish!
SpongeBob Squarepants!

SpongeBob Squarepants!
SpongeBob Squarepants!
SpongeBob Squarepants!
SpongeBob Squarepants!

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#10.) KRACKED KRABS

Hey, did you guys know that Mr. Krabs likes money?  I do...because the show reminds us of that in every single episode that he appears in.  But with that being said, I think that 'Kracked Krabs' among every other episode takes this concept of Mr. Krabs being cheap and just runs with it.  It makes for an interesting story out of this fact instead of it being just a few jokes here and there and being yet another episode with a plot of Mr. Krabs doing things for money since it takes Mr. Krabs' cheapness to a whole new level in a very interesting way.

The plot is very entertaining and well thought-out of Mr. Krabs taking SpongeBob as his prodigy to a cheapskate convention and then having SpongeBob giving a testimony for Mr. Krabs to win the award for Cheapest Krab after being told to lie about how cheap he is resulting in him saying that Mr. Krabs isn't cheap...it's a clever story where the comedy is on point as well from SpongeBob trying to do the Krab Laugh to him trying to take his tip back from the muscular bellhop with the best joke being like I said earlier when SpongeBob is on stage trying to give a convincing testimony.  There's also a very nice bond between Mr. Krabs and SpongeBob with Mr. Krabs seemingly like he genuinely wants to teach SpongeBob about his lifestyle...a nice mentorship between the two main characters that we don't see very often enough on the show and it seems like the characters actually like each other for once in what was easily some of the darkest days of the entire series

The new characters and the new location are also interesting as well...we've seen hotel rooms before, but this one in the conference center are a little bit different.  Also, it's cool getting to see the designs of all the other crabs from Huford Bargainbottom to Dwight T. Wad.  Oh, and about the moral of 'stealing is right and being cheap is good'...much like the episode itself, it's very clear that the show staff are exaggerating itself enough and I doubt that any kid would actually take this seriously. 

'Kracked Krabs' is an episode that feels very much like it came out of Season 4 and would feel very much at home alongside 'Shell Of A Man'...it doesn't even feel like a rip-off or that they borrowed any elements.  Even though it came out at a dark age, it is still quite a bargain of a great episode...


#9.) THE SLUMBER PARTY

Among all of the horrendous episodes that we were given in what is hailed as the worst season of the entire series, 'The Slumber Party' is the first episode in the entire season that I think has actually been really funny.  Sure, I have liked episodes before this one ever came out...but I think that this episode is the first one that has enough comedy that it could actually rival most of the pre-movie episodes.  Before you all start angrily typing away on your keyboards and crying 'Blasphemy!', let me explain...

There are a lot...and I do mean a lot of good jokes throughout the episode and I think that what makes it work in particular is how SpongeBob himself is snarky in the face of Mr. Krabs treating him horribly since he is just doing what he is told while making comments all along the way and he doesn't just sit there and take it like in a lot of episodes.  But the biggest part about the comedy in this episode is the irony: Mr. Krabs comes and wrecks SpongeBob's house when he says that that is what teenage boys do after saying that no boys were allowed at Pearl's slumber party with her friends all while he is constantly trying to smuggle a boy in with the boy in the form of SpongeBob ending up Mr. Krabs' house.  Mr. Krabs may not be bored with an innate sense of irony, but I sure am!

Another thing that I really do like about this episode is that it is one of those plots where a character has to do wacky schemes to try and get in somewhere...much like in the episode 'No Weenies Allowed'-they even pull the same gag pretty much in this episode as in that one with SpongeBob's doppelganger.  I like these particular plots and I think that they fit very well for a gag-based show like SpongeBob with every one of his attempts has something funny to it, but I won't spoil the punchline for any of them if you haven't seen this episode yet.

But I think the highlight of the entire episode is Pearl herself-this is easily my favorite of her appearances throughout the first six seasons of the show since the way that she was used in this episode works even better than her appearance in the episode 'Bossy Boots'.  She acts like a teenage girl and her struggling relationship with Mr. Krabs comes from a very real place.  Mr. Krabs isn't even a jerk here for not trusting his teenage daughter since this is something that every father would hesitate to do and the fact that he is a cheapskate hardly comes into play since he is instead just overprotective of his stuff only to get his 'just desserts'.

'The Slumber Party' is not just a good episode, it's a great episode that is sure to leave you with happy dreams as you slumber


#8.) KRABS A LA MODE

This episode...is fantastic and I can not sing enough praises for this one episode alone!  It is so wonderful...everything about this episode is done absolutely right here: it's funny, it's got good action, everyone is in character and finds an awesome role in this new frozen wonderland.  It's zany, it's wacky, it's fun, the name is even named off of a type of pie...I mean, what else could you really want in a SpongeBob episode like this?

From start to finish, it just feels like an action-packed comedic ride and the energy is kept up throughout the entire thing with not a single low point to be found...it's certainly one of the best post-first movie episodes that I have ever seen so far and can definitely compete with the pre-movie seasons.  Even the animation looks great since all of the characters are constantly in motion and the frozen background looks great...heck, the characters even have a shadow on the ice and it looks really cool!

It might be an understatement, but 'Krabs A La Mode' is a definitely a tasty treat of an episode...it may be cool to the touch, but the amount of comedy in it is sure to warm you up!


#7.) UNREAL ESTATE

'Unreal Estate' may not be one of the most original ideas on the show since we have seen SpongeBob and Patrick move away in an episode from the season before this episode came out and Squidward has either moved away or tried to move away a few times already.  But despite not being original, 'Unreal Estate' does in fact do something very different with the concept because the story is mostly about Squidward tricking SpongeBob into getting out of his house while they go looking for new houses.  It's a little different from when SpongeBob moved into the Krusty Krab or into the garbage behind the Krusty Krab, so it definitely does its own thing.

But I wouldn't exactly say that the story is the strongest factor in 'Unreal Estate' since we all knew that there was going to be an obvious twist at the end about the new house being in fact a rocket ship instead of being the perfect house for Squidward...but the problem here is that the rocket ship was never foreshadowed with any explanation as to why it's there and there was never a joke about rocket ships at all throughout the entire episode.  The strongest factor is in fact the comedy especially during the first half with there being some good bits with the uncontrollable hose as well as Gary fighting Squidward when he is grinding pepper all over SpongeBob's house.  Additionally when they start looking for houses, the joke of SpongeBob's opening titles sequence is changed with each house that he is looking at while not original since it was done back in 'Truth Or Square' still made me chuckle and I really love the physical comedy of Squidward getting smashed in the head by the house of drawers.

The comedy may not be amazing, but it definitely gave more of an effort than some other episodes around the same time period in order to make 'Unreal Estate' certainly one to help move SpongeBob into the modern age


#6.) MY LEG!

Fred The Fish is one of the most famous background characters on the show-most notably for shouting the phrase 'My Leg!' which has become one of if not the most famous running gag of the entire series.  It's not often that we get an episode focused on a background character, but this episode tried something new and it really paid off!

Not only do we get a lot of creative scenarios for Fred to injure his leg in the opening, but it also allows newcomers to the series to become familiar with this popular running gag.  Truth be told, the gag doesn't really get old in the beginning nor when SpongeBob is constantly putting his life on the line so that Fred's leg can stay permanently healed because each scenario is 'leg-itimately' amazing and it's clear that most of this episode isn't supposed to be taken too seriously or have a heavy story.  Having a cartoony episode like this isn't a bad thing since it's nice to see a simple storyline and it's clear as to why the show staff went with Fred since he is a minor character and it would be weird to see him have a big role for something other than his leg.  However as the episode goes on, there are times when the characters constantly shouting 'MY LEG!' really wasn't necessary and I feel like this can be a turnoff for those who are not fans of the gag...but when you're someone like me who constantly uses the gag in various videos on their YouTube channel, it doesn't come off as annoying at all since the show staff know how popular the running gag is and that is why they're going all out with it instead of running the gag into the ground.

After it is revealed that Fred likes getting his leg injured since he is in love with a nurse at the hospital, the second half of the episode become a 'leg-endary' turn of events as SpongeBob starts to get Fred into situations where his leg would be injured...and let me just say how awesome it is that we got to see the return of the Alaskan Bull Worm returned via one of these scenarios-it may have been a small scene, but it's so great knowing that any character from the golden age of the series can come back at any moment.

'My Leg!' is a modern classic that is fast-paced and has a good amount of gags not involving Fred screaming about his leg in order to make it one of the best post-sequel episodes of SpongeBob of all time...if you don't take this episode too seriously, you'll have yourself a good time.  Everybody together...MY LEG!


#5.) DUNCES AND DRAGONS

Knowing that 8.6 million people tuned in to watch the premiere of something that is basically an underwater version of being at a Medieval Times restaurant is already really impressive on its own, but the episode itself shows exactly why it brought in this big of a crowd...this episode is amazing-not only is it a good episode, but it is also one of the best episodes of the entire series!

Not only is 'Dunces And Dragons' genuinely funny, but it also gets the medieval parody right and it tells the most epic story that could ever be told in an episode of SpongeBob.  Whereas most people who watch SpongeBob only watch it for the comedy which is true since they do that with this episode, they provided a somewhat epic story along with foreshadowing to the solution in the beginning as well as during the middle and end with trials and unexpected parallels long the way...I'm hardpressed as to finding something about 'Dunces And Dragons' that I didn't like, maybe the ending is a bit amibiguous with Squidily resulting in a lame joke but everything else about the episode is just so amazing that you wish that it had been extended to an hour-long episode.

It's funny, it's epic, it gets the time period right...'Dunces And Dragons' is quite a blast from the past that definitely knew how to survive the dark ages!


#4.) IT'S A SPONGEBOB CHRISTMAS!

'Christmas Who?' may have already set the bar in terms of Christmas specials for SpongeBob, but 'It's A SpongeBob Christmas' blew those expectations that many of us had out of the water and sky high since there are so many great things to love about it: the phenomenal songs, a great story with a handful of funny gags and a wonderful guest appearance by John Goodman all while nailing the spirit of the holiday season.

It may not be one of the funniest episodes of the series, but the jokes that they have made me laugh hard-mostly coming from the little things like Squidward's 'de-jerkification' and SpongeBob's taste buds as he is eating the tainted fruitcake or even when Sandy is analyzing SpongeBob for signs of jerky behavior and it turns out that he is made of jello.  Most of the jokes are tied to the visual style which is pretty awesome since you couldn't really tell those kinds of jokes in other episodes and they have a lot of fun with the medium that they have chosen for the episode.  And the songs...good lord, the songs are amazing and 'Don't Be A Jerk, It's A Christmas' has become one of my favorite Christmas songs of all time even before I even saw the episode which was pretty much based off of the song alone.  It's such a great and weird message of saying not to do these jerky things when Christmas comes around instead of saying for everyone to be happy.

But the best thing about 'It's A SpongeBob Christmas' has to be the stop-motion animation...and I absolutely adore it-while all of the other things that I mentioned before are fantastic, the stop-motion animation is what keeps me coming back to this special time and time again during the holiday season and you even notice something new about it every time that you watch it from the textures to things happening in the background.  The character models are also something that I love about this special from SpongeBob being an actual sponge and Plankton being made of Styrofoam giving him a rough edge...definitely not a standard design that I would've expected, but I still really love how creative it is.

'It's A SpongeBob Christmas' is an amazing episode that is sure to be the perfect present under the coral tree this holiday season...


#3.) PIZZA DELIVERY

Out of all the adventures that we went on with SpongeBob in the first season of the show, 'Pizza Delivery' was easily the one that stood out among the rest and for good reason as there are so many memorable lines and sequences spread throughout the runtime with gag after gag that hit the perfect mark every time...one of the funniest episodes of the series and quite a nostalgic one to look back on!

Everybody together...the Krusty Krab Pizza is the pizza for you and me!


#2.) CHOCOLATE WITH NUTS

What a phenomenal episode this was...I'm serious, 'Chocolate With Nuts' is right behind 'Band Geeks' in my Top 5 Favorite SpongeBob Episodes and for good reason!  All of the gags...all of the gags and memorable quotes are gut-busting hilarious and it spawned a plethora of memes online!

What else can I say except...CHOCCCOLAAAATEEE!!!!!


#1.) BAND GEEKS

...yeah yeah, you all saw this coming!

One of if not the best episode in the entirety of SpongeBob's history and there are plenty of reasons as to why: it is packed to the brim with humor throughout and I like seeing Squidward as a sympathetic hero in this episode as well seeing as he's not trying to hurt anyone or even being a grump but rather someone who is trying as hard as he can with no success whereas his rival Squiliiam has and is breathing down his neck every time...and whenever there's a random musical number in the series like here with 'Sweet Victory', it usually steals the show! An awesome song plus awesome visuals plus a really awesome climax makes for not only an awesome episode...but also the best SpongeBob Squarepants episode of all time!


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...and those are my Top 10 SpongeBob Squarepants Episodes Of All Time!  Thank you so much for reading...and to Stephen Hillenburg, thank you so much for everything that you did in giving SpongeBob Squarepants the sense of humor that it needed to become one of the most influential and groundbreaking cartoons of all times.  You will be dearly missed and may you rest in peace...

MLEEP Reviews: BoJack Horseman - One Trick Pony | #BoJack

Season 1, Episode 10: One Trick Pony
Written By Laura Gutin Peterson

When we last left BoJack Horseman, he was trying to come up with the ultimate plan to sabotage the wedding of Mr. Peanutbutter and his ghostwriter Diane Nguyen but to no avail as every plan that he came up with just brought the happy couple together more and more...and now it seems like it may be all too late for BoJack as the book of his memoirs is about to be complete.  Let's return to Hollywoo as the shooting of an all new movie is about to begin with a 'One Trick Pony'!

ONE TRICK PONY: While BoJack shoots a movie at Mr. Peanutbutter's house, Diane finishes her book.

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PROS:
  • Continuity with 'Our A-Story Is A "D" Story'-with the events of the stolen D from the Hollywood sign being one of the biggest moments in the show's history so far, it's actually rather interesting to see it being made into a movie with the rather hilarious misfortune of BoJack reluctantly playing the role of Mr. Peanutbutter who stole BoJack's idea in that episode to steal the stolen D from his house and return it to its proper place on the Hollywood sign only to use it as a proposal gift to his now married Diane who knows that BoJack secretly has feelings for her throughout the time that they've known each other...I feel your pain, BoJack!
  • The humor-most of the humor in this episode comes from the celebrity appearances and how they are allowed to poke fun and make jabs at their career choices and what kind of work that they tend to accept in the world of entertainment nowadays like a rather reluctant Wallace Shawn who you more than likely know as Rex from the 'Toy Story' franchise accepting the role of BoJack Horseman in the same movie that BoJack is reluctant about playing Mr. Peanutbutter in as well as Naomi Watts stating the reason why she got into the entertainment industry is because she loves phoning it in and wants to play a two dimensional girl in a romantic comedy with no inner life of her own...and if you couldn't already guess, she's playing Diane in the movie as well!
  • Todd Chavez-with Todd finding out the truth about BoJack's plans to ruin his chances at creating a successful rock opera during the events of 'Zoës and Zeldas' back in last week's episode 'Horse Majeure', it is so great to see him developing as a character with how he is not taking any more of BoJack's bullshit behavior with how successful his life has been ever since from being Mr. Peanutbutter's personal driver to offering ideas to Quentin Tarantulino about how to make the movie that everyone in the main cast is working on truly something to see...good for you, Todd!

CONS:
  • BoJack Horseman-I get that BoJack is supposed to be someone that you don't wanna root for and I know that he is being pushed to his breaking point by being forced to play his sitcom rival in a movie with a concept that was stolen from him as well as having everyone suddenly turning on him from Todd to Naomi Watts, but he had agreed with Diane from the start that people deserved to know the truth about him warts and all of a sudden he turns on her and even goes as far as firing her just because he doesn't like how the book paints him in a bad light and makes him look like a huge asshole...but something tells me that we're just gonna have to wait until next week to see what happens next and see if BoJack really can make a better book about himself!

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Overall, looks like this 'One Trick Pony' was able to turn out yet another really fun and entertaining episode in showing how everything in BoJack Horseman's life from his entertainment career to his social life is crashing down on him and it definitely deserves that 9 out of 10 rating. But will BoJack be able to create a better version of his memoirs and will he able to make things right again with Diane? Join me next week for what is sure to be a 'Downer Ending'!

#BoJack



One Trick Pony-9/10

SEASON 1 OVERALL SCORE: 8.9/10

Monday, November 26, 2018

MLEEP Reviews: Frozen - 5 Years Of Fixer Uppers | #LetItGo

Image result for frozen 2013
FROZEN
Written By Jennifer Lee
Composed By Robert and Kristen-Anderson-Lopez
Produced By Peter Del Vecho
Edited By Jeff Draheim
Directed By Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck

Five years after this runaway hit came out and people still won't shut up about it being a cultural phenomenon...I mean, I haven't seen an animated film from Disney get this much attention since 'The Lion King' with how everyone is still singing the songs and quoting lines from the movie along with merchandise still being sold in stores.  Like most of you, I kinda have to agree that it is all over the place and is most likely overplayed...but I'm not gonna lie when I say that I'm one of those people who loves it just as much as anyone else.  Now that five years have gone by, does the film still leave us with a 'Frozen Heart' or is it time to finally 'Let It Go'?  Let's find out, this is 'Frozen'!

When their kingdom becomes trapped in perpetual winter, fearless Anna joins forces with mountaineer Kristoff and his reindeer sidekick Sven to find Anna's sister Queen Elsa and break her icy spell. Although their epic journey leads them to encounters with mystical trolls, a comedic snowman named Olaf along with harsh conditions and magic at every turn, Anna and Kristoff bravely push onward in a race to save their kingdom from winter's cold grip.

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There are so many things to talk about with this movie that it's hard to know where to even start, but probably the thing that impressed me the most is their ability to break certain cliches while still holding true to others that make Disney so popular since they do it in a way that's not so obvious while feeling natural in the way that they set up the characters.  Unlike what they did with the movie 'Enchanted' where they just hammered the lesson in that they were going against these cliches, it just feels like they are part of a story that they would tell even if it wasn't related to Disney because it ties into what is going on nowadays and will continue to happen in the future.  For example, there is still a romance that blooms between Anna and Kristoff in a few days...but they also mock the fact that Anna is going to marry someone that she just met in the form of Prince Hans which was of course a big criticism of female leads in the past.

In a way, this also makes sense for the characters as well since Anna has been shut away for so long that she would just give herself up to anybody-it's a new experience and Anna is excited, but this movie also shows the dangers of being too trusting to anybody at the same time.  You might be against the idea of there being a villain at the last minute, but it really does show a great lesson for both kids back then and kids nowadays as well with the way that pretty much anyone and everyone is on social media nowadays.  Anna and Elsa are perfect extremes to learn something from with Elsa being the introvert who wants to stay away from people much like how some people can stay glued to their computers or phones and not go outside much at all while Anna is what happens when you reveal too much about yourself and just giving her heart out to anybody...people need to know how to socially interact if they're going to survive.

Speaking of Anna and Elsa, that brings me to the characters who are extremely likable.  Not only do we have two princesses in this, but one of them who isn't evil and is actually really respectable and smart goes on to being queen while the other isn't dainty and basic and who is instead really really funny since they don't mind if they make Anna a ditz here and there because it is totally explained why since the situation totally backs up why she would both be this way and leaving the audience loving her passion.  There's just something so nice knowing that a majority of the humor that comes from this movie comes from the main characters and not just all in comic relief-even the obvious comic relief that they do bring in in the form of Olaf isn't really that bad even if some jokes work better than others.  Whereas most Disney sidekicks get their humor from yelling and being loud, Olaf actually whispers a lot of his jokes and it actually proves to be quite effective with how we've never seen that in a Disney fairy tale before.

The music?  What can I say, you're more than likely all still humming these tunes: Let It Go, Do You Wanna Build A Snowman, For The First Time In Forever, the list goes on!  Robert and Kristen-Anderson Lopez who made their music debut in the 2011 'Winnie The Pooh' movie left me wanting to see them go on to something big with how great the songs were in that movie...and holy shit, did they get rewarded for their talents because it's just insane how popular these songs are since people are still singing these songs and there's even special edition screenings of the movie with sing-along lyrics.  What makes these songs so great is that they actually help the movie and tell the story...this is what the Disney musicals did with how they didn't go the 'Elton John' way where you probably wouldn't miss much if they were taken out or the 'Phil Collins' way where he just sings in the background instead of just having orchestral music with nothing changing whatsoever and instead explaining what the characters are going through in order to move the story forward.

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Overall, it's no surprise that 'Frozen' is one of my top ten favorite Disney films-hell, it's even in my top five!  For a film that left me doubtful at first with how it just looked like 'Tangled On Ice' when the initial announcement/trailer was made, it brought me right back into that feeling that I was seeing something big and grand from Disney again...and on top of that, it was a fairy tale.  When was the last time that a traditional fairy tale took the world by storm?  It may be exploited too much and all over the place, but I'd rather see kids and adults rewatch something like this since it has so much creativity and intelligence to it rather than something like 'Transformers' or 'Twilight'.  'Frozen' is one of those few Disney films nowadays that I can just proclaim as an instant classic that I know people will be continuing to watch years later with their kids and even other adults...for all these reasons and more, it definitely deserves that 10 out of 10 rating.  What can I say but 'let the storm rage on...the cold never bothered me anyway'. 

Saturday, November 24, 2018

MLEEP Reviews: Ralph Breaks The Internet | #WreckItRalph2

RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET
Written By Phil Johnston and Pamela Ribon
Composed By Henry Jackman
Produced By Clark Spencer
Edited By Jeremy Milton
Directed By Rich Moore and Phil Johnston

Eighteen years after Disney's last theatrical sequel in the form of 'Fantasia 2000', they return to create a legitimate sequel to one of their previous films which for this time is their 2012 hit 'Wreck-It Ralph'.  While 'Wreck-It Ralph' was not the 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit' of video games like the marketing led us to believe, it was still very well crafted with strong animation to accompany a lot of heartfelt moments in the story that helped bring Disney into the modern age.  But now that Ralph and Vanellope have made their way from the arcade to the Internet, is the idea as amazing as we thought it would be or will we end needing to clear our history?  Let's find out, this is 'Ralph Breaks The Internet'!

RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET: Video game bad guy Ralph and fellow misfit Vanellope von Schweetz must risk it all by traveling to the World Wide Web in search of a replacement part to save Vanellope's video game "Sugar Rush." In way over their heads, Ralph and Vanellope rely on the citizens of the internet-the netizens-to help navigate their way including an entrepreneur named Yesss-the head algorithm and the heart and soul of trend-making site BuzzzTube.


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PROS:
  • The story-while it may seem underwhelming at first with the narrative for the first half of finding a replacement steering wheel for Sugar Rush on the Internet being similar to the 'Save The Rec. Center' plot line that we have seen many times before along with having sideplots that go absolutely nowhere, the movie still managed to pack quite a number of surprises when exploring the world of the Internet and the second half is when we really get into the heart of the friendship between Ralph and Vanellope and moral of the movie of how one's dependency on others can often lead to something very toxic...it not only works very well on its own in a very thought provoking manner as well as providing some subtle commentary on Internet culture on how it can be a dangerous and mean-spirited place, but it also stays true as a sequel to 'Wreck-It Ralph' since it can ultimately be the core of the first film!
  • The animation-while not the first time that the audience has entered the world of the Internet in an animated film, but this would easily be one of the best interpretations since it does everything that the first film accomplished and expanded upon its range to explore more art styles with the most prominent feature of the animation being the amount of detail in their ability to create large worlds in order to present the movie in a massive scale yet implement so many different things in order to make the new surroundings for the characters feel living and functional; the best examples being the main Internet hub and Oh My Disney while sites like Google and YouTube are used in order to enhance the backgrounds and not make it feel like a corporate sellout of marketing...Disney truly went big with the animation both in quality and quantity!
  • The characters-whether you've seen the trailers or looked at the poster, this is a entirely huge cast of characters and yet there are only two main characters that it would prominently present; those being Ralph whose development has a lot of parallels to the story's structure from being dumb yet strong while trying to be a good friend to becoming the personification of the movie's message of how depending on others can lead to toxicity and Vanellope who is more of a complex soul searcher than a smartass comic relief that she was in the first movie from starting off with being the one in need of help the most to learning more about her true needs of wanting some unpredictability in her life and not knowing what will happen next.  While the secondary characters play a part in the plot, they are given limited time on screen in order to give a lot of room for Ralph and Vanellope like KnowsMore to Spamley to Yesss...not to mention that there are also characters who play a key role in Vanellope's search for her true belongings like Shank and the entire lineup of the Disney Princesses-the first time that you get to see all of the princesses on screen together with a majority of their voice actresses coming back to supply their voice like Paige O'Hara as Belle or Idina Menzel as Elsa, but whatever expectations you may have had about them can be forgotten since they are better than what you had hoped for!

CONS:

  • N/A

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Overall...for a studio that rarely ever makes sequels, 'Ralph Breaks The Internet' was a pretty damn good successor to the original 'Wreck-It Ralph' despite having problems in the writing for the first half and having too many characters to work with.  This is easily a fun watch for everyone, but my recommendation is to watch it among friends or even your best friend since the message will leave a stronger impact if he or she is there to experience it with you.  Before you all say that you need to watch the first 'Wreck-It Ralph' before going to see the sequel, it is honestly optional since it doesn't depend that much on context from what happened before.  It may not have left the strongest impact as a Disney film, but 'Ralph Breaks The Internet' will leave you happily satisfied as a well made meme...so for that, I'm gonna give 'Ralph Breaks The Internet' a rating of an 8 out of 10.  And remember, everyone...the bunny gets the pancake!

Friday, November 16, 2018

MLEEP Reviews: BoJack Horseman - Horse Majeure | #BoJack

Season 1, Episode 9: Horse Majeure
Written By Peter A. Knight

When we last left BoJack, he had tried to make amends with his old friend and mentor Herb Kazzaz from 'Horsin' Around' before he passed away from colon cancer after having six months to live but to no avail as Herb refused to give him closure after BoJack failed to stick by him for his scandalous behavior back when they were in their prime.  But now is the time for action for BoJack as the wedding of Diane Nguyen and Mr. Peanutbutter is about to be crashed by a 'Horse Majeure'!

HORSE MAJEURE: While a lovestruck BoJack tries to sabotage a wedding, Todd accepts a surprising new professional role as Mr. Peanutbutter's personal driver.

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PROS:
  • Continuity with 'The Telescope' and 'Our A-Story Is A "D" Story'-as many of you remember at the end of last week's episode, BoJack unexpectedly kissed Diane after she told him that it took a lot of guts to do what he did by trying his best to apologize to his old friend and mentor Herb Kazzaz before he passed away...only to have Diane push herself away and leave a lovestruck BoJack staring at the ocean. On top of that, it is great to see the proposal from Mr. Peanutbutter to Diane finally getting expanded on with preparations being made for the wedding at the same time that BoJack is planning on sabotaging it in order to confess his true feelings for Diane!
  • The humor-much like with 'Our A-Story Is A "D" Story' and 'Say Anything', it is nice to get a healthy dose of comedy after the break that we had from it with 'The Telescope' and it has come back in full swing with many laugh out loud moments like Mr. Peanutbutter being pulled over by Officer Meow Meow Fuzzyface for chasing the mailman and Todd's 'smashing' attempt at breaking into Mr. Peanutbutter's study!

CONS:
  • Vincent Adultman-I don't know how many people who watch 'BoJack Horseman' actually like Vincent Adultman as a character, but even I knew that Vincent is 'very obviously three kids stacked on top of each other under a trench coat' as BoJack says since this is a trope that I have seen numerous times in many other animated television shows and movies with the same payoff...and knowing that Princess Carolyn is flirting with what is obviously children to both spite and ignore BoJack, this is sure to raise some serious red flags with the rise of pedophilia in the entertainment industry as well as the world of the Internet!

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Overall...despite having a character that left me feeling really uncomfortable, everything else about 'Horse Majeure' tied up a lot of loose ends from past episodes culminating into what was another epic win of an episode and I'm gonna give this week's episode a rating of a 9 out of 10. See you all next week when we're making a movie with a 'One Trick Pony'!

#BoJack



Horse Majeure-9/10

SEASON 1 OVERALL SCORE: 8.88/10

Thursday, November 15, 2018

MLEEP Reviews: Mulan - 20 Years Of Bringing Honor To Us All | #Mulan20

Image result for mulan 1998
MULAN
Written By Rita Hsiao, Philip LaZebnik,
Chris Sanders, Eugenia Bostwick-Singer and Raymond Singer
Composed By Jerry Goldsmith and Matthew Wilder
Produced By Pam Coats
Edited By Michael Kelly
Directed By Barry Cook and Tony Bancroft

After 'Hercules' left a really bad taste among critics and audiences everywhere, Disney really needed something in order to get themselves out of the ditch that they were sinking in.  This is where the movie 'Mulan' came into play the very next year and it ended up being a modest hit with both critics and audiences seeming to liking it just okay-even today, that seems to be the general consensus in what everyone thinks about the movie.  As for me, I guess I'm on the same boat...but I feel that I like and dislike 'Mulan' for different reasons that everybody else does.  What are those reasons exactly?  Let's find out, this is 'Mulan'!

Fearful that her ailing father will be drafted into the Chinese military, Mulan takes his spot though technically unqualified to serve. She cleverly impersonates a man and goes off to train with fellow recruits. Accompanied by her dragon Mushu, she uses her smarts to help ward off a Hun invasion while falling in love with a dashing captain along the way.

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So, just what is it about 'Mulan' that has people liking it so much? Well, I feel that the main reason why is because of the girl power aspect of it with how they feel that Mulan is a strong female lead going around swinging her sword while fighting battles...and that would be great if she was a little bit more interesting. I'm not saying that Mulan herself is a boring character because she isn't totally forgettable, but I can't help feeling like I've seen this particular character archetype-that archetype being the free spirit that everyone says should be one thing but wanting to be something else that is highly unconventional and ends up changing everyone's perceptions. It's not a bad moral, but I feel like I've seen it before and Mulan's character seems much more tied to the moral than it does of an actual character. However, what pulls Mulan as a character through are the scenes where she's acting like a male soldier under the name of Ping...but we'll get to that in a moment.

The second reason why people seem to like 'Mulan' so much from what I've seen is Eddie Murphy as Mushu. Sorry, folks...but I don't. Mushu just feels so out of place and I didn't find myself laughing at much of anything he says...I didn't see a character, I just saw Eddie Murphy doing the voice of a cartoon. In something like 'Shrek' when he is voicing Donkey, it makes more sense due to being the kind of world that it is...it doesn't seem to fly well within Chinese history however, but I will say that he does get a funny line of dialogue every once in a while like 'there are a couple of things I know they're bound to notice'. The problem that I have with Mushu is the same for the Chinese culture since I find it to be underplayed. Much like with 'Hercules', you get really excited about what Disney and their animation can do with culture from another country only for it to end up being glanced over except for maybe a few backgrounds and a couple of designs. I guess that Chinese art in many ways celebrates the white space, but I feel like there's a better way of showing it off and exploring more into it-the biggest scene that comes to mind is the scene with the ancient Chinese ancestors which is done more like a meeting at the elderly nursing home. I know that it is supposed to be played for laughs, but I just didn't find it that funny and it seemed more like a throwaway moment than anything else.

The final reason is the villain Shan Yu. I'm not sure whether or not people like him, but I personally think that Shan Yu is the most forgettable villain ever put in Disney history and I'm being serious when I say that I don't remember a thing about this guy at all-his design is boring, his dialogue is boring and what he does is boring! I mean, this is a fierce warrior who burns down villages and yet I can't remember one line out of him. The only thing that I kinda remember about Shan Yu is that the colors in his eyes were reversed and yet I don't get why they even went with that design-if that's the most memorable thing about him, that's probably not a good sign!

So, what do I enjoy the most about 'Mulan'? Honestly, I really enjoy the comedy...and I know that sounds weird seeing as I just bashed Eddie Murphy and the modernization of Chinese culture, but I enjoy everything else-mainly the side characters who poke fun at gender roles like when Mulan is trying to fit in among them who are trying to act tough while failing miserably from the anger prone Yao to the pacifist Chien-Po to the showoff Ling. Like I said earlier, it's really hilarious when Mulan is trying to blend in with the rest of the army-in fact, there's actually a lot of subtlety to this as well like when Ling wants to shake hands with Mulan and yet she accidentally hands him her hand like she's expecting him to kiss her. At times however, I feel like the gender issues get a little too weird when the guys are whistling at the women in the fields and Mulan covering her face while they laugh...I don't know, is that a little too odd?

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Overall...like I said at the start, 'Mulan' is okay in my opinion. While certainly not one of the stronger Disney films, it does have its good scenes and the heart of the film does indeed from how comedic the side characters can be. I didn't expect a whole lot of culture, but I ended up with just the right amount of entertainment...so for that, I'm gonna give 'Mulan' a rating of a modest 5.5 out of 10. After twenty years, Mulan really has brought honor to us all...

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

MLEEP Reviews: A Bug's Life - 20 Years Of Circus Comedy | #ABugsLife20

Image result for a bug's life
A BUG'S LIFE
Written By Andrew Stanton, Donald McEnery and Bob Shaw
Composed By Randy Newman
Produced By Darla K. Anderson and Kevin Reher
Edited By Lee Unkrich
Directed By John Lasseter

With 'Toy Story' being kind of a surprise monster hit, it was a sad day for Disney when one of their biggest names in the business Jeffrey Katzenberg left shortly after 'Toy Story' premiered at the same time that Pixar was working on their next animated film about bugs...only for Katzenberg to start up DreamWorks and claim that he owned the idea of doing a computer-animated movie about bugs thus resulting in a very bizzare giant race to see who could get their family-friendly animated bug movie out first with the movies 'Antz' and 'A Bug's Life' coming out within weeks of each other.  But now that twenty years have gone by, can these little bugs still make a truly big adventure?  Let's find out, this is 'A Bug's Life'!

Flik is an inventive ant who's always messing things up for his colony with his latest mishap destroying the food stores that were supposed to be used to pay off grasshopper Hopper. Now, the strong-arming insect is demanding that the ants gather double the food or face annihilation. To avert disaster, Flik goes on a journey to recruit fighters to defend the colony...and when he meets a band of high-flying circus insects, he thinks he's found his salvation.

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The concepts of both 'Antz' and 'A Bug's Life' may be extremely similar with the ant befriending a princess while leaving the colony in search of adventure ultimately ending with him saving the day, but they are in fact very different from each other.  While 'Antz' was more like a Woody Allen film except mixed with action and adventure, 'A Bug's Life' was definitely more family-friendly and colorful...and you're probably gonna hate me for saying this, but I have never seen 'Antz' due to growing up more with 'A Bug's Life' which was a film that I watched a lot as a kid to the point where I drove my sister insane.  But despite being more family-friendly and colorful than 'Antz', 'A Bug's Life' hasn't really aged well in the past twenty years and most of it comes from a majority of the characters not being as strong as they were in 'Toy Story'.  The elements that made 'Toy Story' so great like a simple setup and complex characters has been replaced for a complicated story with black-and-white characters with there being an obvious hero and villain...in fact, a majority of the ants aren't memorable either except for maybe a few of them who are named and have some purpose to the story.

As a stand-alone film, 'A Bug's Life' is just kinda your generic story of mistaken identity...and that leads into the generic consequences as well in the form of the 'liar revealed' premise which as many of you know I can't stand where you know that the hero is just gonna be taken back into the group after having been thrown out and made to feel like he or she isn't a part of the group with the plan that no one thought was going to work actually being the thing that saves the day in the end.  It's not funny, it's not suspenseful and it's not dramatic because we know everything that's going to happen...but for a lot of people, they somehow don't mind this kind of story and like seeing the hero being cast out only to get the nerve to come back and be strong again.

But what saves the characters in 'A Bug's Life' as well as the movie itself has gotta be the circus bugs-they are easily the highlight of the entire film ranging from Denis Leary as Francis The Ladybug that is constantly being mistaken for a woman to David Hyde Pierce as Slim The Stickbug that is constantly used as...well, a stick.  The way that these characters work off each other and the constant one-liners are just hilarious and the point where they finally figure out that they're supposed to be warriors and not performers is one of the highlights of the film...I mean, just look at how cowardly they suddenly all turn!


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Overall as a stand-alone film and especially as a followup to 'Toy Story', 'A Bug's Life' is pretty bland and weak...but despite having stuff that we've seen before, it doesn't have anything really terrible in it since it does have a few positive things about it like the circus bugs and the bright colors...for that, I'm gonna give it a rating of a 8 out of 10.  As Randy Newman once sung...'it's the time of your life, so live it well'.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

MLEEP Reviews: BoJack Horseman - The Telescope | #BoJack

Season 1, Episode 8: The Telescope
Written By Mehar Sethi

When we last left BoJack Horseman, he had just gotten out of one major low point in his life with his ghostwriter Diane Nguyen accepting a marriage proposal from his sitcom rival Mr. Peanutbutter...and now it sounds like the worst is yet to come for BoJack after having received a phone call from his former mentor Herb Kazzaz while Princess Carolyn dealt with problems of her own in the form of merging agencies.  Let's find out what happened with BoJack's side of the story as we return to Hollywoo for this week's installment...The Telescope!

THE TELESCOPE: When he learns that his old friend Herb Kazzaz from 'Horsin' Around' is dying, BoJack tries to mend fences.

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PROS:
  • Continuity with 'Prickly-Muffin'-as many of you remember from back in 'Prickly-Muffin', BoJack's former co-star Sarah Lynn revealed to BoJack that his old friend and mentor Herb Kazzaz had developed colon cancer and only had six months to live...not only is it great to get to see BoJack's side of the story from last week's episode, but it is also amazing to finally see what was some rather disturbing news finally getting some closure at last in what was quite possibly the deepest episode of the entire series so far!
  • The humor-with most of this episode being told through flashbacks to the 80's and 90's, most of the humor in the episode just comes from how the show staff all out satirizes these decades from the many shops and billboards promoting or selling whatever was popular from that time period and even the song that BoJack listens to on his car radio pokes fun at how pretty much every song sounded back then from techno 80's to grunge 90's...but don't worry, there are still plenty of other good laughs throughout the episode as well like BoJack nearly running over the elderly armadillo who rolls herself up to prevent being hit as well as the security guard dogs at the entry to the studio!
  • The metaphors of Hollywood and the telescope-as stated by Herb's girlfriend Charlotte to BoJack when she wonders how fame will change who he is when seeing how strong of a friendship he has with Herb, 'Los Angeles is a pretty town on top of black tar...by the time you realize you're sinking, it's too late'...this is a phrase that would later be repeated by Diane and ultimately come back to bite BoJack in the butt after realizing how much he has changed through his actions with how much that they have harmed or hurt those around him...and when the telescope that Herb gives BoJack to look through and see the city that they will run together when they have everything they ever wanted is smashed, that is a sign that this friendship is never gonna be rekindled and that the damage has already been done!
  • The relationship between BoJack and Herb-this is easily the best thing about the entire episode as we get to see how both BoJack and Herb started off as stand-up comedians taking whatever jobs that they could hoping to audition for their big breaks in what would soon become 'Horsin' Around' only for both of them to become rather unpleasant with each other as time goes on from Herb getting into some rather lewd behavior to BoJack to stab Herb in the back for not sticking by him when people rightfully so call for the cancellation of their series ultimately ending up with BoJack trying his best to apologize to his friend before it's too late while expecting everything to work out like a sitcom and Herb refusing to accept the apology as he feels that BoJack abandoned him in his time of need!


CONS:
  • N/A

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Overall...if you took the episode 'Amending Fences' from 'My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic' and made it deeper and more human than it has ever been before, then you get 'The Telescope' since this is the episode among everything else that I have seen so far of 'BoJack Horseman' that has made me step back and rethink my life choices both as a person and as a content creator-in fact, this very episode reminds me of what I went through with my uncle back in 2014 when he was dying of pancreatic cancer.  Unlike what BoJack went through with Herb, what I went through with my uncle was a simple case of misunderstanding and we managed to amend fences before he passed away...but I can't help wondering what could've happened if things didn't work out in the end.  'The Telescope' is an episode of BoJack Horseman that has to be seen to be believed in how great of a show this has become so far...what has quickly become my new favorite episode so far more than deserves that 10 out of 10 rating.

#BoJack



The Telescope-10/10

SEASON 1 OVERALL SCORE: 8.87/10