Okay, I'm not even going to apologize for loving Kung Fu Panda and the sequel, Kung Fu Panda 2. Sure, I'm an adult male, and traditionally, adult males are supposed to like action, car chases, and boobfests. I must admit to liking the boobfests. And action. And car chases, come to think of it. But that's not my point! My point is, I'm entitled to enjoy watching whatever I like, and far from making me "uncool," because I like the occasional cartoon, it makes me the coolest person ever, because I don't let other people decide things for me. I'm a chubby, hairy, 270 pound gorilla of a man, and I like cartoons! If you got a problem with that, well... take it up with my mom. She'll kick your ass.
I loved the first Kung Fu Panda. I totally identified with Po, the main character, voiced by Jack Black. Who, as we all know, is pretty cool. Why did I identify with Po? Because he's fat, always hungry, and people made fun of him all the time, too! Erm, also, I wanted to learn Kung Fu when I was a kid. It's true. I never actually did learn kung fu, but honestly, just like Tigress says to Po in the second movie, when Po expressed an interest in learning a harder style of kung fu: "I don't think it's... your thing." Kung Fu is probably not my thing.
Kung Fu Panda 2, however, is a really nice movie. Just like the first one, it's very streamlined. The movie never drags. It's excitement and action and laughs from beginning to end. Completely unlike Po, there is no fat on this movie. There's a solid message, I've seen it twice already, and laughed uproariously the whole time.
Just to illustrate one part (and hopefully this doesn't ruin the movie for you), Po faces down his arch-nemesis from the top of a building, shouting down at him while the villain holds Po's friends captive. Unfortunately, Po is so far away from the villain that nothing of Po's rousing speech can be made out at all, so the villain keeps asking "What?" until finally, Po takes off his straw hat, and hurls it with all his force at the chains holding his friends captive! Unfortunately, the straw hat flies about 30 feet, then veers off its course and flutters about in the wind, falling to the ground ineffectually. At which point, Po hides his face, as if no one saw that complete and utter failure on his part. I giggled like a school girl on crack. It reminded me of me so much, it was like watching home movies.
I am pretty sure they are going to make a kung fu panda 3. I don't really see why they wouldn't. I'm not sure how well the second one did at the box office, but if the first one did so well they made a second, and the second one was just as good (which it seemed to be), then I am all for making a third. To be completely honest, I have seen the first Kung Fu Panda about 30 or 40 times now. Much like a small child whose parents put the same video on for them to watch a hundred times, I still enjoy watching Kung Fu Panda. I was almost going to watch it again tonight, after having seen the second movie for the second time, but I ran across Bridge on the River Kwai, which I hadn't actually seen before, so decided to watch that instead.
I also saw another movie earlier, Dazed and Confused. It's a 1993 movie about a bunch of high-schoolers graduating in 1976. There's a lot of stars in this movie, making either their first appearances or rounding out the cast, like Milla Jovovish and Mathew Mconaghey or however you spell his name. I found this movie quite odd. It starts out on the last day of school, which first attracted me to watching it. There's nothing like the feeling of the last day of school, I often dream about it. All through spring you want to leave school and just go out and have fun, and finally the school year is over and you are released! For at least three months, in most cases, but anyway, I am sure you know what I mean. I suspect it's like a prisoner being released from a long confinement, when the steel doors finally open up and you're free to go. At least, that's what it always felt like to me.
In any case, this movie didn't seem to be about that at all. For almost the entirety of the movie, the high-schoolers seemed to be chasing down the younger boys at the junior high school nearby in order to give them paddlings. I'm not really sure where the writer of this movie grew up or what the rules there were, but I can't say as I ever recall a bunch of older high school boys chasing me down all over town to give me a paddling, and I only graduated 12 years later. Now I don't see anything wrong with being gay, but if chasing down young boys in order to paddle them doesn't scream of unwanted homosexual pedophilia to me, I'm not sure what does. But hey! I've seen reviews of this movie on netflix, and people who say they graduated in 1976 rave about how realistic this movie is, sooo... I guess I'm glad that by the time I was headed for graduation, those roving bands of spankers had become a thing of the past. Yea.
The rest of the movie is pretty much a bunch of 14 to 18 year olds driving around, playing pool, drinking beer and smoking pot. There's some sort of message there about not bowing down to the man, drinking and smoking pot as much as you please, because that's all that seems to happen in this movie. There's no sex, no nudity, no real violence and nothing really heartwarming or moving seems to happen at all. I was watching this sort of commercial on Turner Classic Movies between war movies earlier today and some famed director said that there should always be a point to a movie, otherwise, why make it? But this movie seems to be the exception to that rule. I don't see a point to having made it, but perhaps watching it while smoking, drinking and perhaps being paddled would make me enjoy it more. Hmmmm. No. I don't think that's ever going to happen.
I also don't think I'd ever watch it again, other than if I was hopelessly in love with Milla Jovovich and absolutely had to see every movie she's ever made. While she is quite scrumptious, I don't think her rare appearances in this movie make it watchable. Ben Affleck running around as the main, ah, "paddler" is not only not surprising, but in retrospect, totally understandable. Matthew mconaghey (never could spell his name right) appears here as a drunken older stoner looking to hook up with freshmen girls... Which, probably is so much like his real life persona that this wasn't even acting for him. Seriously, have you ever heard him try and speak coherently when he didn't have a script? But then i don't guess women care much if he speaks or not. (shrug)
Well, I hope everyone had a nice Memorial Day! With temps near 90 here already, I'm hoping the rest of summer is just as nice and toasty! :-)