Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Your parents were obviously total failures.

My son is in second grade. Well, he was, as the school year is already over for that lucky punk. Me? I have to trudge along for another couple of days.

There are a ton of things to worry about when you send your little one off to school, and as a teacher I'm privy to some super-sketchy insider information, but my wife and I routinely find ourselves fretting over one thing in particular.

We're not sure he has any friends.

Which is entirely brutal no matter how you look at it, but unless this dude's pulling a major Keyser Soze on us, I'm telling you, what breaks my heart in half?

He's a really nice kid.

As are George and Harold, the two main characters in Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie. Well, they're at least really nice to each other. If you're a teacher, or worse, a principal, you might not be such a fan of this dynamic duo.

But somebody definitely likes these boys, to the tune of over 70 million books sold. Based on the wildly-popular series of kids' books by Dav Pilkey, this animated flick, while typically hyper-active and full of fart jokes, is shockingly (and pleasantly) a very nice story about friendship. After the dumpster fire that was the previously unmentionable kid's flick [review], my sites were pretty low...which may explain why I enjoyed the movie so much.

George and Harold have been in the same class for years. When they're not fighting the injustices of how boring and soul-sucking elementary school can be, these two goofballs are up in a rad tree house concocting yet another adventure of Captain Underpants, their homegrown comic book character.

After yet another prank has their principal Mr. Krupp threatening to separate the boys into different classes (and in their minds immediately ending their life-long friendship), George and Harold end up, of all things, hypnotizing the disgruntled head-of-school. Instead of a worst-case scenario, now our guys can instead focus on being best friends again. And endlessly embarrassing their principal along the way.

Even though I liked the movie, Captain Underpants is kind of the worst, you know?
While the humor is laser-focused on eight-to-nine year-old boys, Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie somehow manages to be a solid crowd-pleaser nonetheless. The humor, pacing and overall look of the film, all help to perfectly capture the goofy and imaginative world of what it's like to be a kid. Or, at the very least, a young boy (little girls are waaaay smarter then us rock-throwing, fart-sniffing morons). I'm not sure I ever had a friend as good as either George or Harold (I had older brothers...which may have scared some of the nerdier types off), but I could certainly appreciate what these two dudes shared. And judging by his emphatic 10! ("I loved that movie!"), I think my son did too.

Speaking of things that I basically/magically created with my wiener, here are the Yays and Boos. I keep hoping that I can get a break from all these kid flicks, but sure enough, Cars 3 is soon to be staring me in the face, or parking on my neck, depending on how you want to look at things.

The lunchlady's voice is surprisingly brilliant.

  • There's a pretty rad little animated intro here that you might want to check out.
  • I'm 900% sure my son didn't get them, but the constant Uranus jokes were actually appreciated. I snickered at the gas giant a moron.
  • During the gloomy Invention Convention, someone of course invents something toilet-related. Also of course, it totally malfunctions. The result? An epic dance party. I think that falls under the of course category, too, doesn't it?
  • An educator who can't run a television in front of a classroom full of students is a joke that will simply never, ever get old.
  • Okay guys, serious business for a second. There's a two-minute part of this film that feels exactly like a scene from Sifl & Olly. That popping noise you just heard? That was my skull.
  • Eventually our boys sneak into their principals house, and yes, it's as sad as you always imagined it to be. I'm pretty sure even his cereal was Not So Cheery-O's. (do all kids think their teachers have no lives? wait...don't answer that)
  • A previous enshrinee in the 80s, Yellow's Oh Yeah, further cements its place in the soundtrack Hall-of-Fame.
  • The breakdown of a child's brain, while played for laughs, seems like indisputable fact. Like, let's have a TED talk asap about this, please?
  • There's a heavy use of random dolphins that I enthusiastically support.
  • A running gag of someone being run over? Has someone been reading my dread journal again?
  • Honestly, the fart/burp musical number was a little lowbrow for even me. That said, I'm not gonna lie, it totally slayed. I haven't heard that many kids laugh that loudly since I accidentally cursed during a lecture (I said 'ass' and it's the stuff of legends).
  • Ah yes, the flip-o-rama. If I had a nickel for every time a kid showed me that part of a Captain Underpants book, well, I could probably make two or three local calls. On a payphone. In 1982.
  • And finally, watching my son watch a movie that he was just so damn excited about. I know, I take him to all kinds of stuff, but he often plays it cool (like his dad, sadly) and you can't even tell he's having a good time. But this one? He was all in, being a goofy, nerdy, fun-loving kid. Yay!
Yes, this is Mr. Poopypants.
And also yes, he totally sucks.
  • I swear I've heard more than one adult say Captain Underwear in reference to this film. Please, fellow Old People, say it right. Don't give them any more ammunition, okay?
  • Dude, I have had some bad Principals before, like turrible, but Mr. Krupp is the worst. 
  • Pranks in Movie School are funny. Pranks in Actual School? Typically not.
  • Who is this Melvin kid? Goodness, I'd have to immediately report it, but can someone please kick this kid's ass? Or at least give him a wedgie of the atomic variety...
  • Is it funny that this guy who thinks he's a superhero is basically an out-of-control psychopath? Seriously. I felt like I was laughing at someone with major mental health problems...which is something I'm not typically psyched to do. 
  • Mr. Poopypants, yes...that's his name, is as bad as he sounds. Sadly, and perhaps an even bigger Boo? It all kind of makes sense. 
  • At one point, the school (or something) is closed for ebola. If you only knew how many times the subject of ebola has been used as a joke in my classroom, you'd understand why I immediately buried my head in my hands as soon as this was uttered.
  • And finally, remember when I mentioned the 'alleged' joke science of kid's brains? Well, funny as it was, ol' George and Harold, it turns out, have brains that basically find everything hysterical. The Boo? There are really kids like this. No, really. They exist. And they're terrifying.

Lately, time for blogging and coherent movie watching (more on this later) have each been damn near impossible to come by. The NBA and NHL Finals ate some of my delicious time, my brother Bryan's annual visit (more on this later) took its share, but the number one culprit for essentially murdering Two Dollar Cinema? My son's baseball team, the Pirates.

Yep, ol' m.brown has been not only dealing with kids all damn day, but now he's coaching them at night, too. Wait, what? You seem like a reasonable person, Blogger Guy... I know, I know. But when you have kids, you do a lot of dumb crap.

But guess what? Matty was selected to represent his team in the All-Star Game. Awesome possum, right? But what might be even, uh, awesomer? He was selected by his teammates.

Maybe he's a good kid after all, huh? Maybe he's actually got some friends after all.

(and maybe the kids at his school are a bunch of stinky a-holes)


  1. I'm pretty sure all my kids are too old and too mature for this movie (with the possible exception of my husband, who lives for off-color humor in all its forms). I do remember when my kids were reading the Captain Underpants books, though.

    1. I've had a ton of students show me the flip-page things over the years, though I can't say that I've ever read a word of the actual text.

      This was totally in my son's wheelhouse, but I wouldn't fault anyone who decided to skip it if they thought they were too old for this. Additionally, I wouldn't fault anyone who WAS indeed too old, but decided to catch it.

      Why do I feel like your husband and I would totally get along?

  2. First off, a big yay for your little guy being chosen for the all-star game! Consider yourself one up on me. All three of my kids played a sport at one time or another and combined for exactly zero all-star games. They also consider themselves too old for this movie so if/when I see it, it'll either be alone or with 100 screaming kids over the summer with the camp I work at every year. I'd prefer the former, but whatever.

    1. Thanks, Dell. Hopefully this won't be his last, but like a dick, I keep telling him it could be. The world's a tough place, kiddo. Might as well learn that now.

      Ooh...this sounds like this could easily be part of your summer camp experience, though it may be too new for the stuff they typically put out. I'd bet my next paycheck that at some point a Chipmunk movie is offered up, as those squeaky bastards can't be held down.

  3. My son wants to see this but I'm currently just pretending not to hear him when he talks about it. I'm glad to hear it's at least amusing for when I can no longer do that.

    Pranks were a huge no go at my school. The last week the principal would always announce over the intercom that they would fail any senior that pulled a prank during the last week.

    1. I'm telling you, it's really not that bad. Kevin Hart actually is a strength, too, as his voice work is pretty entertaining. Oh, it's definitely not for adults, but I was still entertained (though, that probably says more about the quality of adult I am, versus the quality of film, huh?).

      Pranks are not cool. As a teacher, clearly not a fan, but even as a student. Some a-holes would always try to rope me in to something, and I always had to bitch out. Do your thing Stoner Guys, I fully support you, silently. And passively.

  4. Oh that's so cool about your son being in baseball team! And even cooler from the reader of your site perspective that you are about to have that super long summer break soon!

    1. Hahahaha...yeah, we're all pretty stoked that he's found something he's good at. Well, outside of annoying me.

      Yes, summer break has officially begun. I just published a review and hope to start cranking them out. I swear there's one I need to finish...but I can't recall which one it is.

  5. Woah! I didn’t think about the movie this way. I thought it is just teaching the kids to be brave. Well, I will watch this movie before I show it to my kids. I have always carefully found the content for my kids. Last year we watched all the series by Andy Yeatman on Netflix.

    1. It could totally be about teaching kids to be brave, that's entirely possible. But I think that the two boys, if they were brave, was probably due to the fact that they had each other, you know? Their friendship made them strong.