2020 Reviews 2020s

Scoob! is a Total Misfire

I am not sure if me not writing on Scoob! until now is due to my busy schedule or my apprehension towards diving back into the giant misfire. I watched Scoob! the night it had its “Home Premiere” and haven’t written anything about it until now. Of course, I could have just rated the movie and tried to forget about it, but I felt I needed to air out – or maybe rather rant about – some of my frustrations with it.

I admit, I didn’t have high hopes. Scoob! can be filed under “Movies That Looked Worse and Worse From Trailers.” When I was growing up, I loved Scooby-Doo Where Are You! and would rewatch episodes all the time. If I were to rank my favorite animated shows from my childhood it would probably be in my Top 5. 

Nostalgia is a powerful thing and many major companies are trying to prey on it, especially Disney. I like to refrain from being cynical and believe that when these reboots come out and don’t live up to what we knew growing up, we are still able to fondly remember what came before. Although, in Scoob!‘s case you can’t exactly call it a reboot because new episodes still air on Cartoon Network with Scooby-Doo and Guess Who?. Unfortunately, whenever I remember Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! I can almost guarantee I will remember how disappointing Scoob! was.

Scoob! comes across as a giant cash grab, but any animated movie that tries to appeal beyond kids to Gen-X, millenials AND older zoomers through nostalgia definitely is. I imagine the board meeting at Warner Bros. going something along the lines of them trying to come up with a new animated movie, tossing away “risky” original screenplays, and going with an already established property with no real heart or love behind it. The fact that Scooby-Doo is currently making new episodes on Cartoon Network makes it even more obvious they wanted to appeal beyond children to capitalize on profits.

I have no idea what the thought process was behind Scoob!‘s screenplay. I remember Scooby-Doo as a group of teenagers or young adults solving mysteries. What I don’t remember is Scooby-Doo being an adventure show that featured Greek mythology. I have no idea why Scoob! functions like a Despicable Me movie with the characters from Scooby-Doo and whatever other Hanna-Barbera characters Warner Animation Group could cram into it. I would say Scoob! is about as bad as it gets when it comes to “nostalgia-baiting.” 

Oh, did you like Scooby-Doo, Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines, AND Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels growing up? Well don’t worry, we’ll find a way to shove them all into one movie to appease you and try to set up spin-offs.

What makes me most mad about Scoob! is it’s not a Scooby-Doo movie, it’s an animated movie that features characters from Scooby-Doo. Where was the mystery? I think the reason there isn’t a mystery is because the writers at Warner Bros. didn’t want to have to come up with one. But they certainly found a way to feature lame jokes that reference Netflix and IKEA. 

For a movie that tries to appeal to not just children, it feels very much like something that will only appeal to children. It’s generic and uninspired. Almost all of the jokes are for kids. The only part I truly enjoyed was the Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! opening homage. The rest of the movie I’m just trying to forget.


2015 Reviews

Pan (2015)

Pan fails to be a necessary revisit of Peter Pan.  The movie never knows what it wants to be.  One of its greatest weaknesses is not knowing if it wants to be a darker Peter Pan movie or a movie geared towards children.  The film’s overall look may be mature, but its story and dialogue say otherwise.  There are too many goofy, cringe-worthy lines and the narrative is juvenile.  The filmmakers never found a balance between kid-friendly and adult.  As a result, the movie seems like it is not really for anyone.

Something that is frustrating about Pan is how much is brought to the table and how little is explored.  A possible romance between Hook (Garrett Hedlund) and Tiger Lily (Rooney Mara) is an example of something the filmmakers added that is so underdeveloped and unmotivated that the audience does not care.  It is hard for the audience to care about anything in Pan because the filmmakers keep introducing new things and possibilities, only to throw them away almost immediately.

I advise you skip Pan.


2015 Reviews

While We’re Young (2015)

While We’re Young proposes many questions during its 97-minute running time.  The concept of authenticity plays a huge role in the film.  While We’re Young has you fooled for a large part of the movie, resulting in you asking yourself whether or not you can accurately tell when someone is telling the truth or not.  In other movies it seems much more obvious, but not in this film.  Despite its dramatic undertones, this is a very funny film with several clever, well-timed jokes.  Ben Stiller and Adam Driver are fantastic together and stand out in this great film from writer/director Noah Baumbach.