Thomas Lennon

Rocky and Bullwinkle (2014, Gary Trousdale)

Is it really so hard to make a Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoon? It’s somewhat unfair to just crap on the writing (by Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant), the acting (June Foray’s back as Bullwinkle but barely in it), the editing (it’s hard to say if Mark Deimel’s timing is off or if it’s Trousdale’s direction), or even that direction because the CGI animation itself is pretty bad.

The first scene with Fearless Leader (Lennon voicing and doing better than his writing anyway) laying out the plan to Boris and Natasha, Robert Cait and Lauri Fraser respectively, is iffy enough but once Rocky and Bullwinkle show up the animation takes a nose dive.

The short is nine minutes with credits. The filmmakers couldn’t manage to do nine minutes of mediocre work. Instead, it just gets worse and worse (in all departments). Whoever told the CGI animators they’d done a good enough job on the fur textures for the animals was either lying or the wrong person to be judging such things. The CGI is distractingly bad, which is something since the short rushes through its jokes like no one timed them. Especially the visual gags.

Though the animators don’t seem like they’d have been able to do appropriate facial expressions for the visual gags so whatever.

And whoever thought the Lady Gaga montage was a good idea was also wrong. It’s astounding how bad presumable “Rocky and Bullwinkle” fans are at making Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoons.

1/3Not Recommended

CREDITS

Directed by Gary Trousdale; screenplay by Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon, based on characters created by Bill Scott and Jay Ward; edited by Mark Deimel; music by Tony Morales; produced by Denise Nolan Cascino; released by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.

Starring June Foray (Rocky), Tom Kenny (Bullwinkle), Thomas Lennon (Fearless Leader), Robert Cait (Boris), Lauri Fraser (Natasha), and Robert Ben Garant (Narrator).


HowardCantour.com (2012, Shia LaBeouf)

Obviously Jim Gaffigan’s titular character in HowardCantour.com is supposed to be annoying, but is the film itself supposed to be annoying. The music is grating, trying to get the viewer agitated; LaBeouf’s direction is desperate as well. This short isn’t supposed to be pedestrian, so instead it’s tiresome.

There are a lot of problems. First, Gaffigan’s no good. He’s making fun of pretentious Internet critics, but apparently not the ones who mock LaBeouf’s big budget pictures. It’d be a lot more fun if the short were based on Armond White than some plagiarism of a Daniel Clowes comic.

As a director, LaBeouf hasn’t got anything particular about him. Except the annoying music and the slo-mo effects he uses to make the music more irritating.

Portia Doubleday is bad as one of Gaffigan’s sidekicks, but Thomas Lennon is fine as the other one.

Big names, some (fake?) controversy, bad film.

1/3Not Recommended

CREDITS

Directed by Shia LaBeouf; screenplay by LaBeouf, based on a comic by Daniel Clowes; director of photography, Matthew Irving; production designer, Chris Giammalvo; produced by Jeff Balis, T.J. Sakasegawa and Rhoades Rader.

Starring Jim Gaffigan (Howard Cantour), Thomas Lennon (Rocco Eppley), Portia Doubleday (Dakota) and Dito Montiel (Holly Pondyoke).


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