TATM: Talkin’ About The Movies #258: The Boss Baby & Ghost In The Shell

THE BOSS BABY

**

The Boss Baby poster.jpg

Synopsis:

A suit-wearing briefcase-carrying baby (voiced by Alec Baldwin) pairs up with his seven-year old brother to stop the dastardly plot of the CEO of Puppy Co.

Review:

At this point, do I even need to say why DreamWorks animation is not the same animation company it used to be? I think my negative reviews to Trolls and Home perfectly sums up everything that is wrong with the studio at this point, the basic gist being that DreamWorks Animation has become nothing but a panderhouse for targeting only to kids rather than universal appeal that their older movies have.

And The Boss Baby looked like it was going to be yet another pandered mess of a movie with its’ kid centered humor, a pretty lackluster plot, and marketing so bad that it makes me want to vomit violently for how bad it is.

BUT….much to my surprise, The Boss Baby was not anywhere near as bad as I thought it was going to be. Yeah, this is another example of a movie that actually has effort to it that is marketed so badly, it makes you think there is no hope for this movie. But there is quality to this movie, now does that make it a particularly good movie? Not really.

First, let’s talk about the positives. First off, Alec Baldwin as the title role, perfect casting, Baldwin’s one liners are some of the funnier aspects of the movie and the chemistry with the brother is really good too, Miles Bakshi is a solid young voice actor.

Second, the animation is inventive and really impressive looking. I loved how they took a lot of inspiration from, of all things, the old Ralph Phillips cartoons from the Looney Tunes. It’s nice, it’s vibrantly colorful, and it definitely looks impressive.

Third, the movie does run at a brisk enough pace where it’s edited tightly and at 98 minutes, it comes and goes.

Other than that, the biggest problem with the movie is that it’s not that investing.

The overall story is too cliché riddle and generic, this is essentially a by-the-numbers buddy comedy that combines with a plot that’s pretty much Cats & Dogs except replace the cats with babies and the movie doesn’t even try to cover it up. Every cliché you can predict coming is here. It’s like they didn’t care, maybe if they had made it seem like the whole movie was just a vision of what the brother was seeing and not happening in real life, it could’ve been good but they don’t do that, they take the typical cliché route and it suffers because of it.

A lot of the jokes in this do not work as well as I think the movie intends them to, I mean, the fact that they force Alec Baldwin to do a line from Glengarry Glen Ross in the stupidest way possible, the jokes really do not work here.

The characters are nothing impressive and some are just downright annoying, specifically the parents, not that they aren’t voiced well by Lisa Kudrow & Jimmy Kimmel but the way they were just acting, with this condescending attitude like they know everything and you don’t, it’s like Steve Martin’s character in Home as the asshole captain. The parents are this film’s equivalent. Steve Buscemi as the bad guy is pretty forgettable.

That’s the best way to describe The Boss Baby, forgettable, it’s certainly nowhere near as bad as something like Turbo or Home but there’s nothing about this movie that just pops out except for Alec Baldwin and the animation, that’s it. The movie is not a mess but it’s not a good movie by any means, it’s a boring generic movie that could’ve been a whole lot worse from what the previews were showing. For little kids, they will definitely like it but this is one of those movies that 20 years from now when those little kids grow up, they’ll look back on this as not being so good.

GHOST IN THE SHELL

*

Ghost in the Shell (2017 film).png

Synopsis:

In the near future, Major (Scarlett Johansson) is the first of her kind: A human saved from a terrible crash, who is cyber-enhanced to be a perfect soldier devoted to stopping the world’s most dangerous criminals. When terrorism reaches a new level that includes the ability to hack into people’s minds and control them, Major is uniquely qualified to stop it. As she prepares to face a new enemy, Major discovers that she has been lied to: her life was not saved, it was stolen. She will stop at nothing to recover her past, find out who did this to her and stop them before they do it to others. Based on the internationally acclaimed Japanese Manga, “The Ghost in the Shell.”

Review:

Before you ask, I have not see any of the original Ghost In The Shell anime films in full, I’ve seen bits and pieces of the original movie but not all the way through so I’m going into this mostly without knowing a whole lot so I will look at this movie for what it is.

And with that said, even if I haven’t seen Ghost In The Shell the original, I can tell you that Ghost In The Shell the live-action movie is a pile of garbage. I hated this movie so much, it was nearing levels of Lucy badness at some points.

However, the upside to Ghost In The Shell is that it has a gorgeous visual style to it, the visuals in this are easily the best thing about this movie, this is a gorgeous looking movie that has some incredibly striking imagery to it.

But that being said, this movie forgets that the most important aspect of making a movie is that visuals do not make the fucking movie.

The rest of the movie is just a mess. Some of the action sequences can look really good, the scene where the Major is fighting the guy in the rain puddle looks impressive but for the most part, nothing about this movie strikes bull’s-eyes.

Scarlett Johnasson is bland in this as the Major, she’s not trying hard enough to distance her performance in this to not make you think of Black Widow. The rest of the cast is just kind of bland in here, nobody really gave a good performance in this. And the whole movie just feels lifeless as a whole.

The script itself is too cluttered and cliché riddled for an action film and the three writers here just don’t feel like they actually gave a crap about what they were doing. Director Rupert Sanders, who made 2012’s far superior Snow White movie, Snow White & The Huntsman, at least shows that he had intentions on making this look like the anime in live-action form.

I mean, I could’ve given the movie the same rating I gave Boss Baby as being kind of generic but impressive looking…..and then, the big twist in the end comes into play and then, this takes a turn for the absolute worst.

Okay, remember the controversy swirling around the whole whitewashing of this movie? Well, guess what, the movie tries to make a reference to that in the end and my god, it’s bad. So, here it is:

Killian, Scarlett Johansson’s character, follows an address to an apartment occupied by a widowed mother, who reveals that her daughter, Motoko Kusanagi, ran away from home a year ago and was arrested, before taking her own life while in custody. Unable to process her emotions, Killian leaves and contacts Aramaki, who intentionally allows Cutter to eavesdrop on their conversation. Batou, Togusa, and Aramaki each survive attempts on their lives by Cutter’s men, while Killian follows her memories to the hideaway where Motoko was last seen. There, she and Kuze meet, and recall their past lives as anti-augmentation radicals who were abducted by Hanka for use as test subjects.

Cutter deploys a “spider-tank” to kill them, and Kuze nearly dies before Killian is able to tear off the tank’s motor, losing her left arm in the process. Mortally wounded, Kuze offers to merge his “ghost” with Killian’s before a Section 6 sniper kills him. Batou and the team rescue Killian, while Aramaki executes Cutter with Killian’s consent.

The next day, Killian, now repaired and embracing her true identity as Motoko, reconnects with her mother before returning to work with Section.

YES….that happens. And you want to know what the worst part about this is, Scarlett Johansson said that she would never play the role of a person of a different race than her own and guess what, THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT SHE DOES HERE!!!!

I mean, my god, what a gigantic fuck you to not only this movie, not only to the fans of the franchise, but also to movies altogether. I swear to god, this is something Paramount did on purpose. It’s important to remember that DreamWorks was originally suppose to release this movie through Touchstone Pictures but once DreamWorks went back to Universal, Ghost In The Shell moved over to Paramount. If I’m right, the movie was already complete when it was still at DreamWorks, I have to believe that Paramount threw that twist in a reshoot once they got their hands on it. It’s like Paramount said, “hey, you hate that we didn’t cast an Asian actress for the role of Major? Well, guess what, here’s what we have to say to that.” And then they just give you the middle finger.

Ghost In The Shell takes everybody’s personal fears about making a Hollywood adaptation of a classic anime feature and shows you your nightmare finished product in full. It’s got impressive visuals to it but other than that, this movie is just bad, it’s not entertaining, it’s not exciting, the characters are badly written, and the twist at the end ruins any chance of this movie succeeding. Avoid Ghost In The Shell like the fucking plague.

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Posted in TATM: Talkin' About The Movies

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