Thursday, February 22, 2018

T’cha- La LAAAAAA!

It’s pretty telling about the quality of Marvel superhero films that an opening night viewing of a character I don’t follow in the comics at all was a “must see” event for my daughter and I.

Take Batman, James Bond, Mortal Kombat, and The Lion King, stir in a generous helping of excellent writing, great acting, stellar visuals and general awesome- then put the whole thing in a blender, set it on Kirby, and you’ve got Black Panther.

Whoah! What an excellent job of using the universe they’ve created to build new stories in, and using the reputation they’ve created to attract top quality actors, writers and directors.

My thought patterns went, “This is comic bookish exciting and fun, but the characters and story are also complex ; the good guys aren’t perfect and the bad guys have justifiable realistic motiva...HOLY $#!@ Rhinoceros!”

It’s got some competition for the most fun, but it may be the most well-made film Marvel has done.  Villains should be the heroes of their own story. This one goes a bit further. With some minor changes to key events, the hero and villain roles could have been switched.

My daughter ranked this as her overall favorite Marvel film.  Yes, it's a story of the rise and options of kingship, but the fact that a large portion of the most intelligent, most confident, most emotionally stable and most powerful characters in the movie were women likely drove her assessment.

For anyone else keeping score: Marvel’s revamped the lower tier (and more than fairly racist) M’baku the Man-Ape into a complex, impressive and entertaining character in a major motion picture, before DC has gotten Justice League founder Martian Manhunter on the big screen.

There’s no reason to wait for me on Marvel films anymore, just accept that they’re awesome, grab the family and go see them.

However, the number of those superhero movies plus others, means it’s also pretty telling just how many of them are coming out these days when I totally missed the theatrical debut of one of my favorites.

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie was released the same day as Wonder Woman and I only saw it recently…

For shame!

The movie does an outstanding job of adapting the books (REALLY FUNNY collections of bad puns and poop jokes) to a new medium.

This may be because creator Dav Pilkey was smart enough to trust people familiar with animated movie making to transfer his vision, instead of trying to do it himself.

Coming up for an even funnier full name for Professor Poopypants showed the levels of effort put into the enterprise.

It maintained the commentary about importance of all types of intelligence, diversity, individuality and creativity. It utilized clever puns and wordplay.  It broke, or shattered may be a better word, the fourth wall and commented on its new medium.  Yet, it still retained Flip-o Rama!

George and Harold’s friendship is still the keystone to everything.  However the film did some accelerating, and combining of the first group of books to make the story start at the same point the books really hit their stride.

The new medium allowed for some changes that helped with the emotional connections needed for a full length movie above and beyond a children’s book. They also made it easier to connect to the characters.

George and Harold’s pranks, while still hysterical and epic, are much more the defensive reactions against the oppressive system and less trouble for other students.

The idea that Captain Underpants is formed of kernels of goodness in Principal Krupp makes him far less one dimensional as well.

The soundtrack is filled with insanely catchy and fun songs, with Weird Al himself providing the theme. The puns and self-references fly like crazy. Robotic toilets are used for both good and evil.

Plus, there’s a sock puppet section,

And, most importantly, the world is saved because of a Uranus joke.

Of course it’s awesome.

Speaking of excessive delays:

The Fifth Edition of the George Awards is overdue!

If this film had come out earlier, it would be holding a prime spot in the top tier of the “fart jokes in film” list.

Other years I’ve kicked off the George Awards with a poetic or musical introduction.

To continue that tradition, we proudly present a belated Fart Joke George Award to
Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie and its performance of:
“The 1812 Ofarture!”

Come back shortly for the Fifth George Awards!

Here we go again!

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