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Movie review: 'Underdog' (2018)

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

Underdog (언더독, trailer) is a South Korean animated film from 2018, written and directed by Oh Sung-yoon at Odoltogi Studio, and co-directed by Lee Chun-baek who previously directed Leafie, A Hen into the Wild.

The main character is Moongchi, a dog who loves and trusts his owners, so he's understandably confused when he's deliberately left behind in the woods. Luckily he soon meets a group of other abandoned dogs who take him in, surviving in an empty slum on the edge of the nearby town.

While his fellow strays beg and scrounge to survive, Moongchi is still figuring things out. Wandering up the mountain into the forest, he meets a small group of wild dogs and wants to impress one of them, a female named Bami. Trouble is brewing for both groups, and soon they must unite and find a new place to live.

Opinion: The top ten furry movies of the 2010s

Your rating: None Average: 3.4 (7 votes)

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They say hindsight is 20/20, and its 2020, so that must mean a look back is in order. In lieu of the usual top ten best movies of the year, let's actually, for once, do a furry list on the furry site and countdown the ten best furry movies (or at least the ones I liked the most) from the last decade.

Review: 'Cats'

Your rating: None Average: 2.2 (6 votes)

cats.jpgCats is such a bizarre phenomenon, I don't really know where to even start.

It's not just the movie. That a stage play based on a series of children's nonsense poems would not only be made, period, but that it would go on to be one of the most popular plays in some of the biggest venues is one of those things that make people say things like "well, it was the 80s" and "cocaine is a hell of a drug". Heck, there isn't even a lot of anecdotal evidence that drugs were involved any more than usual, if at all.

But, of all the inexplicable things, I'd like to point out the original tagline of the movie, which is so generic for such a weird property, stood out to me. "You Will Believe".

I will believe what, exactly? Neither the poems, play nor, it turns out, this feature length film has much in the way of thematic content, other than maybe "cats". Certainly, questions of faith or belief are not addressed. You could say the "jellicle cats" are a sort of feline cult to the moon, but there is no interest in the philosophy or theology of this possible cult. Certainly, I didn't come away believing there is some "Heaviside Layer" that would grant cats an extra life if they sing a song really good. Furthermore, I don't think the movie was trying very hard to make me a "believer".

So let's actually talk about the movie. The very first shots are set at a human level, as a canvas bag with a cat inside that we will learn is named Victoria (Francesca Hayward) is thrown out the window of a moving vehicle, apparently abandoned by her human owners, who we never see. This departure from the stage play, where we are given a point of view character who is new to the world of movie to have stuff explained to, is a welcome addition.

It's also the only thing the opening scene gets right.

Reminder: 'Zootopia' is 'Zootropolis', and has always been 'Zootropolis'

Your rating: None Average: 3.4 (5 votes)

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Disney launched its new streaming service, Disney+, earlier this week, though not without its share of hiccups (fortunately, the Pirates of the Caribbean did not eat the tourists). However, one strange glitch involving the popular furry movie Zootopia has people believing they've found proof of an alternate dimension where the movie is known as Zootropolis.

Could it be a "Mandela effect", where people remember history in a way that doesn't quite match up with our current universe? Named after Nelson Mandela, who apparently did not die in a South African prison the way some people seem to remember. Mandela effects are taken by believers to be signs of alternative realities, and that people with these kinds of memories are somehow sliding between different realities. Non-believers tend to think that they're caused by people inventing imaginary superpowers and pop sci-fi quantum realms rather than just admitting they don't know as much about South African history as they thought they did.

WowNow - A whole bunch of animated films to avoid

Your rating: None Average: 4 (9 votes)

I had some friends over recently, both furry and dragon fans, to show them a retro and entertainingly stupid 1991 anime mini-movie called Capricorn. We poked holes and made fun of it. The following day, in a spirit of— amicable masochism I guess, my friend Dav treated me to the recent movie trailer for A Dragon Adventure:

Confused and somewhat alarmed by the quality levels, I started to look into where it came from.

I am well-aware that computer-animated films with talking animals are churned out all over the world, and most of them are of pretty terrible quality. The theory is that kids will watch anything. So if you believe that, then who cares about quality? Just work on a small budget and make money. What I hadn't done was to take a look down this particular rabbit hole. Now, having done so, I regret it.

Review: 'Arctic Dogs'

Your rating: None Average: 3.6 (13 votes)

arcticdogs.jpgSo, the premise of the movie is that there is a fox who really wants to be a dog. I'm sorry, but I'm having trouble understanding who thought this was a good idea.

Well, movie with an unrealistic premise aside, what is Arctic Dogs? It is directed by that auteur of furry cinema, Aaron Woodley, whose previous movie, Spark: A Space Tail, I reviewed here.

In case you don't want to read a whole different review on top of this one, I'll just spoil that one for you and say that I did not like Spark very much. But, Aaron Woodley now has the unique distinction of having directed two fully furry movies, featuring fully-anthropomorphic animal characters without any humans, theatrically released to American cinemas. That's a notable achievement. We now seem to have a mainstream director who specializes in furry movies. That's good!

Pity about the movies.

The British Bunnies are Back

Just today the trailers for the upcoming sequel to Peter Rabbit have hit the Internet. Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway is coming to theaters next April, once again directed by Will Gluck. According to Wikipedia, “The film stars the voice of James Corden as the title character, with Rose Byrne, Domhnall Gleeson, Margot Robbie, Elizabeth Debicki, Daisy Ridley, and David Oyelowo also starring.” Meanwhile The Hollywood Reporter says, “The sequel to 2018’s Peter Rabbit catches up with Thomas, Bea and the rabbits that have become a makeshift family. Despite his best efforts, Peter can’t seem to shake his mischievous tendencies. When adventuring out of the garden, Peter finds himself in a world where his mischief is appreciated. Conflict ensues when his family risks everything to come looking for him, which forces Peter to figure out what kind of bunny he wants to be.” Check out the trailer for yourself.

The Tiger With Good Manners

Here’s more from Animation World Network: “Channel 4, Lupus Films, and HarperCollins have announced the voice cast for their upcoming animated film, The Tiger Who Came to Tea… Based on the classic children’s book by Judith Kerr OBE, the half-hour film will bring the vivid images and irresistible story of this classic picture book to life.  Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock, Avengers: Infinity Wars), Tamsin Greig,  David Oyelowo, David Walliams, and Paul Whitehouse will portray the characters of Daddy, Mummy, Tiger, Narrator and Milkman respectively, while seven-year-old newcomer Clara Ross will make her TV debut as Sophie. Published by HarperCollins Children’s Books and produced by Lupus Films, The Tiger Who Came to Tea tells the story of what happens when the doorbell rings as Sophie and her Mummy are sitting down to tea in the kitchen. Confronted with an unexpected guest – a big, furry, stripy tiger – they invite him inside where he proceeds to eat everything in sight before making a timely exit, just before Daddy gets home. Inspired by the author’s daughter, The Tiger Who Came to Tea was first published in 1968 and has sold over 5 million copies. Lupus Films’ distinctive, hand-drawn animated style will bring the story to life, introducing the characters to a whole new audience. Channel 4 will broadcast the one-off half-hour special this Christmas.” Now we’ll see if it becomes available in North America after it airs in the UK.

Review: 'The Lion King' 2019

Your rating: None Average: 3.8 (15 votes)

thelionking.jpg"Be prepared!"
- Boy Scout motto

"No, hold on. Sorry, that's The Lion King."
- Doctor Who, "The Christmas Invasion"

The Lion King is a 2019 movie directed by Jon Favreau. It is a faithful adaptation of the 1994 animated movie of the same name, using cutting edge, realistic CGI animation to create it's cast consisting entirely of talking animals.

The original version is considered a classic of animation; this movie follows the original closely enough that most of its positive attributes are contained. There is enough deviation from the original that those familiar may get something new from the experience. Like most adaptations, most viewers will find the "original" is preferable, however.

So, that's the review, okay, bye!

Trailer: 'CATS'

Your rating: None Average: 4.3 (6 votes)

Just two months after the live action Sonic the Hedgehog movie's character design caused such a backlash that the movie was delayed to 2020 to fix it and on the very day the controversial "live action" Lion King hits theaters, we have yet another entry in 2019's "was 'live action' really a good idea here?" canon. The trailer for Cats is out now, and to quote the villain of the aforementioned Lion King (which is also a Boy Scout motto), "Be prepared."

Review: SLoP 2: SLoPpy Seconds

Your rating: None Average: 3.7 (15 votes)

gidget-5c746a080706b-1.jpgLook, the best joke in the first Secret Life of Pets is that if you do the trendy thing of acronym-ing it's title, it becomes SLoP, which is funny because it's true.

Honestly, I can't even say I remember the first movie very well. I did see it. I mostly recall that I didn't really like it that much. So, as you can probably deduce, I wasn't entirely looking forward to the sequel. The trailers also prominently featured coprophagia, so that wasn't helping anything.

But about those trailers— if you take out the inter-titles and the music, you just watched that scene in the movie. That's exactly how it's cut in the movie. All of the trailers are like that. They're just scenes from the movie. The movie is cut like a trailer.

And the weirdest thing about this movie is that, somehow, despite being just scenes from the movie, this is a case of bad trailers being way worse than the actual movie. This is a very weird movie.

'Detective Pikachu' becomes the first widely-released "fresh" video game adaptation in Rotten Tomatoes' history

Your rating: None Average: 4.2 (9 votes)

No well-reviewed film adaptation of a video game has ever achieved a combined positive review score of 60%, the threshold needed to count as "fresh" on Rotten Tomatoes. Until now.

With 158 of 242 reviews from professional movie critics at least somewhat positive, the first live action Pokémon movie, Detective Pikachu, has managed to squeak into the "good" side of the Tomato-meter with a score of 65%. Its average critical rating is lower, at 5.97 out of 10 - not every critic assigns a movie rating. However, its Audience Rating is much higher at 83%! (Although the Audience Score is notoriously vulnerable to "review bombing", Detective Pikachu was never likely to be deliberately targeted.)

Endgame

Your rating: None Average: 3.1 (8 votes)

endgamerocket.jpg"Oh, I'm definitely putting copyrighted Avengers music in this."
- Ceeday, "Heres The MF Endgame"

"I am Iron Man."
- Black Sabbath, "Iron Man"

As I'm writing this, Avengers: Endgame has made $2,272,706,419 in theaters around the world, according to Box Office Mojo, making it currently the second highest grossing movie in cinematic history, with the number one spot well within it's sights. It only has approximately half a million dollars to go to take that spot, and that's a lot of money, but it's been out only one full week.

Whether it ends it's theatrical run first or second, one thing is certain. A review on a small news-site (with readers in the high double digits!) catering to a niche demographic will not be the deciding factor. There is no world where I write a rave review that sends everyone back to the theater, nor is there a world where I so utterly critically destroy this movie that theaters empty like, well, like what happened at the end of the last Avengers movie. Of course, the real reason to review this movie is because I reviewed the last one, and I reviewed that one because it's got a talking raccoon in it, and the coming possibility that the biggest movie ever might soon feature an anthro character is something that should be noted on a furry site.

SPOILER ALERT: The Russo brothers say I can spoil the movie now, but don't worry, I won't. However, if you haven't seen Avengers: Infinity War and want to see it unspoiled, hold off on hitting read more.

'Sonic the Hedgehog' ... the movie... the trailer

Your rating: None Average: 2.7 (7 votes)

Fun fact: no movie directly adapted from a video game has ever scored as "fresh" on the review aggregate site Rotten Tomatoes. Oh, there have been movies about video games that have reached the "fresh" side of the Tomato-meter. And we may have a soft place in our heart for, say, the oeuvre of Paul W.S. Anderson, but most of us will admit 46% for Mortal Kombat is probably fair, if a bit harsh. The point is, unless Detective Pikachu somehow lives up to the surprisingly positive amount of hype it's gotten, there may not be a "fresh" video game adaptation for a while yet.

But, a new challenger approaches! Starring James Marsden and Jim Carrey (as Dr. Robotnik), Sonic the Hedgehog, an adaptation of the classic series of Sega games, will hit theaters November 8 of this year. The newly released trailer is below.

Update 5/2: The director of the movie has Tweeted that the design for the titular character will, in fact, be changed before the final movie is released. Also, while we're here, quick correction; 2018's Rampage did garner a score of 52% on RottenTomatoes, and the article has been edited to more accurately reflect this. This has also caused the movie to be delayed until February 14, 2020.
Update 11/12: New trailer with new design has dropped.

The cats in the 'Cats' movie will be motion capture creations; was that the right choice?