Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Anybody up for some shenanigans?

Jonah Hex has one. So does Doctor Strange.

Hellboy has two. And his name is Hellboy. Blade? The Daywalker has a trilogy, for crying out loud (even if I don't count the last one, honestly). And the Fantastic Four? However many they have...well, it's too many. And speaking of too many, I still wake up with visions of Dr. Manhattan's um, giant stethoscope, swinging through the sky. Yikes.

My point, if there is one, is I get it. It seems like all kinds of superheroes - including those of the once obscure variety - have had their movie made. Heck, maybe even their own franchise.

I mean, Hollywood once gave the green light to Green Lantern. 

While Hollywood is likely searching for yet another Batman to light up a marquee, poor Robin has yet to get his big chance. He's painfully aware that it's probably never coming, either. Painfully, self-aware, in fact.

In this summer's Teen Titans GO! To the Movies, based on the ubiquitous Cartoon Network show of the same name, the Dark Knight's sidekick hilariously laments this cruel reality with his sidekicks, the Teen Titans. Though the animated flick starts out as a rainbow explosion of sight gags and fart jokes, it quickly becomes incredibly subversive and beyond self-referential. If you've seen the show, you know what to expect. And if you haven't? This might be a good place to start.

After getting embarrassed at a big premiere, Robin decides that he and the rest of the Titans need to immediately leave Jump City and head to Hollywood. There, they meet leading-director Jade Wilson (that name sounds familiar, hmm), and she bluntly tells them the only way they'd ever get their own movie, is if they were the last superheroes on the planet. So what does Robin do? Um, quite brilliantly, he undoes every origin story. 

I mean, there is no Batman...if Bruce's parents never get killed. 

If only my Big Wheel had been powered by radness. 
Though the sequence is brief, watching the Titans essentially destroy all of the DC franchises might have been my favorite three minutes of what this/last summer's had to offer. It's entirely ridiculous, sure, but so shockingly clever, I could actually feel the smile on my face (thank God, theaters are dark). Of course, there are tons of unintended consequences to Robin's devious plan, and the Titans are forced to undo what was undone. 

From this relative high point, the story veers into after-school special territory, with Robin's choosing fame over his friends. Surprising no one, his selfish plan doesn't pan out and the only people left to show him what, you know, what really matters, turns out to be the people he shunned in the first place.

I don't know what the deal is with this version of Batman (he's always laughing?)...but I love it.
Speaking of mistakes that need to be corrected, here are the Yays and Boos. We actually caught a few episodes of Teen Titans GO! this morning, and the amount of hysterical nonsense crammed into twenty-two minutes is beyond impressive. The feature is basically four episodes strung together, but with the occasional breather for story instead of commercials for Nerf guns.

I can stop blaming the dog and pin it on Balloon Man, instead
  • The little short in the beginning was the right kind of unrelentingly chaotic. Can we get a full-length Batgirl flick, please?
  • They totally nailed the Marvel opening. 
  • If that wasn't the longest fart gag ever, I'd be surprised. 
  • I am the insulted. Goodness, I love to hear Starfire speak.
  • Okay, all the music numbers (even on the show) are fantastic, but the opening introduction one here might just be the standout.
  • But....the upbeat song about life did have Michael Bolton riding a jetski...on a rainbow...in space. While a dolphin played drums. So it might be a tougher call than I originally thought...
  • Dude, they got Nic Cage to play Superman. AGAIN. And presumably, without his long hair.
  • I'm not sure what I'm more stoked for, Alfred: The Movie, Batmobile: The Movie or, Utility Belt: The Movie. I guess I'll see whichever one MoviePass lets me. At 3 A.M. On a Wednesday. In 2032.
  • Fine, he's not Deadpool, but Slade sure looks cool...with his guns. And his swords. And his Deadpool-style costume. 
  • The Lion King-style dream was very well done. Didn't think my kids would catch the reference, but I forgot, we raised them right.
  • That low-budge felt movie looked incredible!
  • Sorry to ruin the surprise for you...but I can't help it: we get a Stan Lee cameo. *squeals*
  • Holy rabies, Robin develops the best/worst catchphrase ever: Crack an egg on it. Caw-CAW!
  • The code input sound? So cool. (also: the beat they made with the crystals)
  • I think I laughed a bit too loud at the destruction of the Bat Scooter (and the resulting chaos).
  • Same with Robin's plea at the end. Why would he even say that?
  • And finally, it's pretty rare around these parts, but Matty gave this one an air-tight 10 out of 10. Here's quite possibly abnormally reserved for an almost nine year-old boy, but he fully came alive discussing this one during our stroll out to the car. His sister? Not as much of a fan, but she really did enjoy all the butt and poop-related humor...which will likely be the death of me, I'm sure of it (potty humor is totally her thing). 
Kind of a Judy Jetson vibe here, amiright? (rowr)

  • Aw, poor Green Lantern. When they mention his turn in Hollywood, he puts his head down: We don't talk about it. (for the record, I didn't mind the live-action flick...)
  • The Challengers of the Unknown. Who are these guys? Why do I feel like I would absolutely love how terrible they are?
  • Man, I kind prayed they would kill him off or something, but even at home (actually, especially at home), the sound of Beastboy's voice makes me want to turn into an animal. Perhaps the squid that Oh  Dae-su conquers? Just so it ends as painfully as possible.
  • But while any Beastboy is too much Beastboy, this movie is painfully low on the Starfire. Holy moly, she is the best thing ever (and if you ever see the episode where she is hooked on goldfish water, I dare you to disagree).
  • Ah, darn those unintended consequences. Turns out ridding the world of superheroes wasn't the positive that the Titans initially thought it'd be. Oops.
  • Speaking of, um, undoing the Ninja Turtles was pretty easy, right? But how they got Aquaman? The worst. 
  • So, uh, Utility Belt: The Movie? It looks like it might be decent, you know, assuming you wanna lock in on Batman's crotch all day.
  • That catch-phrase Robin says? Amazing, as I've said. The Boo? The number of times I've said it. (and gotten no response)
  • Of course, the poop joke is all my kids want to talk about on the ride home. Yes, it was a good poop joke, sure...but it reminded me of a picture a student once showed me, so no. No thanks you to anything about multiple people crapping on an out-of service toilet (his mom was a health inspector).
  • That D.O.O.M.S.D.A.Y device is actually pretty scary because I'm sure at some point, a movie-streaming service is going to be the death of us all. Shoot, I'm fairly certain MoviePass is trying to murder me.
  • And finally, can we be honest? Raven is the team MVP, hands down. Clearly, she's not getting the credit she's due. She's basically the Scarlett Witch of the Teen Titans (aka mystical badass saving the day repeatedly) And the fact that Swirling Trash Demon has already made a live-action appearance before Raven is beyond appalling. DC, make this right. I'm pretty sure Alexandra Daddario's schedule is free. 
Pulling in under thirty million bucks, it looks like Teen Titans GO! To the Movies wasn't much of a draw at the box office (though the budget was significantly less). I wouldn't say that's really a shame or anything, as the damn show airs for at least nineteen hours a day on Cartoon Network. But as a (modest) fan of the Teen Titans gang, there is some good news in an underwhelming reception.

We'll probably get a sequel.

Or a remake. 

And then a sequel.


  1. I heard what they do to my baby in this one and I just rocked back and forth

  2. That montage of them taking out the D.C characters was probably the only time I actually laughed during this. I can't believe they essentially made this a musical and didn't even include Night Begins to Shine.

    Anyways, I mostly hate this show because the Teen Titans from the mid 2000's was sooooooooo much better and 100% agree with Raven being the MVP and not getting credit due. Every time Beast Boy calls her "mama" I die inside.

    1. Yep. It was basically a kid-friendly SP:BLU wasn't it?

      Clearly, I laughed more than you did...but then again, I don't hate Shrek. As for Night Begins to Shine....truly a missed opportunity. That song is so rad.

      I have no idea about the one from the mid 00s, as I was a sad, sad version of myself back then. Working bad jobs and playing GameCube...

  3. For mysterious reasons (and for the D.C montage) I really want to see this but I loathe toilet humor. LOATHE. So it's got me on the fence here :(

    1. *spins phone cord around finger* Let's talk about these 'mysterious reasons', shall we?

      Wait? You don't like the potty humor? And you've come back here...more than once? Are you feeling okay?

  4. I hate that I haven't seen this yet. Maybe...MAYBE I might catch this before it disappears from theaters, but probably not. In that case, I'll definitely catch it when it hits Redbox, Netflix, or whatever.

    1. Despite being the only animated game in town, it bailed out of our theaters pretty quickly - so good luck tracking it down. If you at all dig the show, however, it's a solid addition. Otherwise...hold off and grab this one at that magical pawnshop, after scoring two brand new 4ks and a mogwai.