Every year, as a teacher, you're guaranteed to get that kid. The one that's only happy when everyone else is utterly miserable. And last year, that student was a young lady named...well, let's call her Joanna. Joanna hated everything about school. Every adult. Every kid. Every subject. No lie, for someone who was weeks out of elementary school, this young lady was terrifying.
But before she got kicked out for coming to school high (at age twelve), not coming to school at all, telling most adults exactly where they could go (and what they could do to themselves when they arrived), and basically trying to fight everyone, I decided we were going to be friends. Best friends. Our bond? It was going to be over books. Good books. And whatever book was her favorite?
I was going to read it. IMMEDIATELY. And we'd have our own little book club.
This is something that I did.
|You guys might now the two on the right, but I didn't recognize them from jack...Black.|
- Wow, his aunt (the generally awesome Jillian Bell) somehow made a Yankee hat even lamer. Impressive, right?
- Jonah from Veep (that's what it says on his license now, I'm sure of it) shows up for a glorious 90 seconds as an inept _____. (he's a cop, but you could pretty much assume that whatever his job is, he sucks at it)
- The zamboni getaway was tremendous...ly slow. Kind of reminded me of that steamroller gag in the first Austin Powers.
- Ken Marino in anything is great. Ken Marino playing a horny gym teacher in a kid's movie? Greater.
- Slappy, who likely terrified my children in their sleep, (as voiced by Black) was awesome. He reminded me of a much more aggressive Lil' Penny, just replace dope shoes with creepy cackle.
- In the first one, it's an all-out gnome battle. In the sequel, they take on a horde of gummi bears. Either way, kids fighting infinite tiny whatevers? Oh, that's the right kind of ridiculous.
- Speaking of whatevers, but minus the tiny, can we put our hands together for the giant praying mantis in part one, and the massive balloon spider in part two? Sure the CGI of each might be second-tier, but the designs are top-shelf.
- Of course Ken Jeong shows up in the inferior sequel, right? No surprise there. But what it really astonishing? He's actually kind of hilarious. He plays this neighbor dude who's a super-fan of Halloween, and somehow, I didn't hate him.
- And finally, silly as these films are, it was nice to watch something with my family that no one in the house had seen before. Sure, my wife and son fell asleep during each flick, but Violet and I knocked 'em both out in the first try. She's pretty much a smaller, cooler version of myself, except she's infinitely more sarcastic than I am. Oh God, imagine? Talk about a little monster...
|My kids almost died when Slappy was playing Rocket League.|
- First flick's nerdy friend is pretty bad. I mean, the kid does a good job, but...wow.
- Slappy, the little doll-thing in the middle, does a lot of driving in the first one. But I'm not sure...how, exactly.
- Unless, of course, he uses his magical powers, you know, the powers that allow him to pull a young boy's pants down repeatedly.
- Oh, and speaking of the (likely-traumatized) kid without the pants, he's the absolute worst character in this series. Why are bullies always written so poorly. I know we've got no time for his backstory, but holy moly, they're always so over-the-top ridiculous. And the only thing worse than being the Bully? Being the Bully's sidekicks. Those dudes' screentime generally peaks at snickering and/or holding the protagonists arms down. Wait, they also get to help up Capt. A-hole when he eventually gets his comeuppance, so there's that.
- Mom in part two sucks pretty hard. She comes around a bit...but, yeah. Not great.
- Jack Black is in the second one for an odd amount of time. Really. He shows up, like, fifty minutes in, and he's clearly the best part. Not sure if he was just busy...or what was going on.
- And finally, the ending of the first one. Main Guy falls in love with Stine's daughter, but it turns out, for...supernatural reasons...they can't be together. Or they couldn't until dad emphatically and purposely makes it so. Uh, you'd assume Stine was once a high-school kid, right? Uh....this is awkward. Like, thanks Mr. Stine, for making sure I can still bone your daughter. Good lookin' out.