TATM: Talkin’ About The Movies #267: Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie & Wonder Woman

CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS: THE FIRST EPIC MOVIE

****

Synopsis:

Two overly imaginative pranksters named George and Harold, hypnotize their principal into thinking he’s a ridiculously enthusiastic, incredibly dimwitted superhero named Captain Underpants.

Review:

Now, I grew up loving these books as a kid, I was not into books all that much as a kid and the Captain Underpants books were my way of getting back into reading and I loved these books so much and I was waiting for the longest time for them to adapt this world into some format, an animated TV series or a movie just something. Now, 2 decades later, I’ve gotten my wish and what was the end result?

Not only did this end up being as awesome as I was hoping it would be but it ended up being friggin’ awesome. I had an absolute blast watching this movie, this is the best movie DreamWorks animation has done since How To Train Your Dragon 2 and considering that this is the last film from DreamWorks under 20th Century Fox, a deal that has definitely delivered more misses than hits, they end that run on an extremely positive high note.

When you think of Captain Underpants, this is exactly what I was expecting for an adaptation of this series, they really grab all the details from the books to a tee from including stuff like flip-o-rama to lines from the books to even their attention to detail on designs from the book, specifically nailing the evil laugh of Mr. Krupp from the book, it’s so spot on from the book, this is one of the most faithful adaptations to a book series ever made. Fans of the franchise will definitely look at this and go, “this is definitely what this series is all about,” and the movie does a good job of blending the first two books together into one movie.

The animation in this movie is spectacular, especially with the miniscule budget of $38 million, this animation looks really good, not only capturing the spirit of the books very well while also being both colorful and vibrant as well but capturing a lot of that animation quality seen in The Peanuts Movie too.

The voice work is surprisingly well done, Ed Helms makes a great fit as Captain Underpants and Kevin Hart & Thomas Middleditch as Harold and George are excellent together. Nick Kroll is great as Professor Poopypants too and even Jordan Peele and Kristen Schaal have fun little roles playing Melvin and Edith.

The overall humor is really good, this is one of the few times that I will actually allow toilet humor or grossout humor in a kids film and not criticize it because this movie is designed for that and it fits. I also loved the satirical and self-referential humor spread throughout the movie too.

The overall script is good not great, if there’s one flaw to the film is that some of the script elements don’t really add up. There’s a whole conflict about George & Harold’s friendship being in jeopardy because they will be put in separate classes and the two think that their friendships are on the line for good….even though they live next door to each other….and their treehouse literally connects to their backyards…and they will only be separated in school. I mean, I get that they are kids and they think that’s the biggest deal on the planet but really, it didn’t really come off as a conflict to me, that’s just me.

With that said, Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie is one of the most faithful adaptations of a book series ever made and DreamWorks’ best animated feature in three years, brilliantly animated, very funny, well voiced, for the fans of the franchise, this is right up your alley. Even people who aren’t fans of this franchise I think can get into this movie and enjoy it for what it is. Is it a perfect movie, no, it definitely has its’ flaws but on the whole, this is such a great, great movie and I really want to see more of these animated adventures with Captain Underpants in the future.

WONDER WOMAN

****

Synopsis:

Before she was Wonder Woman, she was Diana, princess of the Amazons, trained to be an unconquerable warrior. Raised on a sheltered island paradise, when a pilot crashes on their shores and tells of a massive conflict raging in the outside world, Diana leaves her home, convinced she can stop the threat. Fighting alongside man in a war to end all wars, Diana will discover her full powers and her true destiny.

Review:

Let’s be honest, the DC Cinematic Universe has not been the competition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe that a lot of people expected. Man Of Steel was a jumbled mixed bag of a movie, Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice was a cinematic disaster on the levels we haven’t seen since Phantom Menace, and Suicide Squad was just okay. So, of course, I went into Wonder Woman with a lot of trepidations and worries that WB and DC will never change because they’ve got their heads so far up their ass that they don’t want to listen to the people who are saying “you need to change shit up.”

So, now I have seen Wonder Woman and with that said……WB……I owe you an apology.

Not only did you actually make a good movie in the DC Cinematic Universe based off of one of the best aspects about Batman V Superman but best of all, you actually made a damn good female centered superhero movie. I mean, how many bad female centered superhero movies have we had, Red Sonja? Catwoman? Elektra? It’s amazing how far we have come and out of all the people who can be the first one to deliver a good female centered superhero movie, it’s the DC Cinematic Universe.

This was a really good movie and a lot of it comes from Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, I have seen so many people say that she can’t act, she’s not a good Wonder Woman, she’s not worth it in Hollywood, watch her in this movie, she is excellent, she’s the reason why a lot of this movie works, she fits the role of Wonder Woman to a tee so well and she actually does show a good range of acting throughout the course of the film while also sharing some good chemistry with Chris Pine’s Steve Trevor, Pine also giving a really good role in this movie as does most of the cast.

The idea of making this a period piece on the level of Captain America: The First Avenger was a smart move on the part of the filmmakers as it leads to a lot of really good visual work as well as some nicely done action sequences, which I’ll give this movie a lot of credit for, the slow-mo action scenes are actually used to good effect in this film…for the most part, I’ll delve more into what I mean on that later on.

I also appreciate how this movie was standalone, there’s barely any mention of any of the other DC films with the exception of the Wayne Enterprises wraparounds that bookend the film. For a universe that had one of its’ biggest problems being that they couldn’t stop advertising the shit out of future films, the fact that they simmered down of those big time here is an impressive feat. I did like how they had homages to the dark allies of Batman and the alley scene from Superman: The Movie along with others like that throughout the film.

Something else they improved on drastically, more character development and more quieter moments, those were huge elements missing form the previous films in this series and they did a good job of developing the characters and allowing for more quieter and emotional setpieces all throughout.

Even the visuals were nicely done too, the lasso of truth was especially well handled in this film very well and especially the makeup on Doctor Maru and the music by Rupert Gregson-Williams was very good, although I’m still not used to that Wonder Woman theme song.

I mean, everything sounds pretty good, this sounds like not only DC’s best movie in years but one of the best superhero movies of all time, all right, they have finally done it over at DC….I would be saying that if it wasn’t for the last 20 minutes of this film.

WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD:

OH GOD, the last 20 minutes of this film almost broke me. Basically, Diana kills off the bad guy, played by Danny Huston, thinking she has killed Ares and that war is over…it isn’t. Now, honestly, the movie should’ve just ended with the scene where Steve gives up his life by destroying the plane filled with the poisonous gas while Diana is fighting the bad guys but nope, we have to have a scene where Ares is actually the bad guy so it’s basically Wonder Woman going up against a god in another overblown CG action climax and MY GOD, WB REALLY???? REALLY???? YOU ALMOST DID IT, YOU ALMOST MADE AN ALL AROUND GREAT DC MOVIE AND YOU FUCKED IT UP?

The last 20 minutes of this movie are absolute shit, this is the stuff that we hate the most about the DCEU, why? Because it’s unnecessary, the hero has already taken down the main threat and that should be it but nope, we’ve gotta one up the ante with an even bigger bad guy to fight so we can thrown in Michael Bay unnecessary explosions.

It’s a bad scene made worse by the fact that you have David Thewlis doing that clichĂ© line reading of “join me, we are stronger than they are, we can take over the world and if you don’t I will kill you and everybody you ever loved and…” SHUT THE FUCK UP!!!! GOD!!!! I hate it, I hate every single bit about this because it’s completely unnecessary and it ruins an overall great movie. And before anybody gets on me for not hating Marvel for doing the same thing, I thought the exact same thing for the end of Guardians Of The Galaxy Volume 2 because Kurt Russell’s character was doing the exact same thing, trying to convince the hero that they are better than everybody else and to join them or he will kill everybody he knows and loves and just stop. It’s fucking 2017, we don’t need to be treated like we’re fucking morons here.

And what’s worse, the action sequences are completely different in the final 20 minutes then they were in the rest of the film, there’s no slow mo action and it just felt like there was nothing about this scene that tied into the rest of the film. You could not convince me that the last 20 minutes were reshoots because of how it didn’t fit into the rest of the movie at all, like WB had this fear that this was going to fail to not get a sequel, they needed to throw in the big god battle now. You didn’t need to throw that it in there, you ruined the pace of the movie, you ruined the fun of the movie, and you took the film down a notch, the last 20 minutes almost ruined the film as a whole for me.

I will give it credit for not pulling a copout near the end and actually have Steve alive, because if they had done that, I would’ve dropped my rating more.

Despite how bad the last 20 minutes were, the overall Wonder Woman movie we got is a gigantic step forward for the DC Cinematic Universe headlined by Gal Gadot’s excellent Wonder Woman portrayal, some great action, nice visuals and a much better written script. The DCEU is heading back in the right direction now if only they can fix Superman.

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Posted in TATM: Talkin' About The Movies

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