I've had a couple movies in my Netflix queue ready to watch for weeks now, but I've just been too busy to watch and review them for you guys. Maybe you've seen them already, Kung Fu Panda 3, and True Memoirs of an International Assassin. Maybe not. They're both comedies, which are always fun to watch around the holidays. When you aren't watching horror movies, that is.
Kung Fu Panda 3 (2016) is, obviously, the third movie in the Kung Fu panda series of movies. This time, Kai the Widow Maker has defeated master Oogway in the spirit realm, and stolen Oogway's chi. It is enough to transport him back to the realm of the living, where he intends to steal the Chi of all the Kung Fu Masters. Of course, there is no greater Kung Fu master than Po, the Dragon Warrior. Wait, what? Po? A Kung Fu Master? What the hell am I saying? That's ridiculous! Can Po stop Kai before he destroys everything, in his lust for power? Probably not.
I got to say, I love all the Kung Fu panda movies. I think I was a Kung Fu master in my last life, if you believe in that kind of thing, because these stories just seem to resonate with me. Watching Po's journey through the teachings of martial arts, displayed here in all their beautiful cartoon glory, has been quite the adventure. I was even thinking of making my very own Tigress doll! Okay, I really wasn't. That might be going a little too far. Besides, I have the carpentry skills of a small child with a dull hatchet.
This last movie seems a bit short, if you ask me, coming in at about an hour and 25 minutes, plus ten minutes of credits. I guess it does take a lot of people to make this kind of animated movie, but cutting the movie short just so you can afford to pay them all seems a bit harsh. Can't they, I don't know, work for free, and uncredited, so we can see a good long movie with less credits rolling through the end? Meh. I guess that's too much to ask. I sure wouldn't work for free. Or uncredited. Hell, at this point, I'd work for food.
Decent story, good plot, terrific voice acting by all concerned, and hell, I even learned a few things. I think that's the most important lesson the Kung Fu Panda movies can teach you. You learn a little about yourself each time you watch them. This time, I learned I can still belly laugh like a Santa Panda, and the movie reminded me that I can eat like one, too! Just in time for Thanksgiving! Perfect timing! :-D
True Memoirs of an International Assassin (2016) is a Netflix original. Kevin Smith stars as a writer who pens his first novel, trying to drum up readership by passing his imaginary exploits off as fact. Unfortunately for him, his exploits hit a little too close to the truth for some, and he's abducted and persuaded to assassinate the president of Venezuela. Can he pull off the sham of the century, just to sell more of his books? And just how much more valuable do a writer's works become, after he dies?
This one wasn't bad. I can't say as it changed my life or anything, but I laughed a couple times. Acting was passably okay. An interesting look into the writing process, to be sure, watching Sam whatsisname (Kevin Smith) write and rewrite his way into one hell of a mess. No nudity, but the chick was reasonably cute, and there were a couple veteran supporting actors. Nothing exactly surprising, as I had the plot figured out about 8 seconds in, but I don't think anyone would have trouble figuring it out. The title pretty much gives it all away.
Personally, I think Netflix would be better off spending their time getting hold of all those horror movies made in the 1980's that are rotting in vaults somewhere, turning to dust before they can be brought to all the horror-loving youth of the 2000's. But, I guess instead of trying to hunt those things down and pay for the film rights, it's just easier for Netflix to churn out crappy movie after crappy movie after crappy movie. Yes, I guess Netflix has turned into the SyFy of the 2000's. Though this particular movie wasn't horrible, the rate Netflix is churning these things out, they're right on track to become the Asylum film company of the 2020's. If only Netflix made just horror movies, that might be okay, but when you start churning out crappy comedies and crappy chick flicks and so on, well, you see the problem. Or, maybe you don't. It's pure anarchy, that's all I know. Anarchy.
Just caught the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving special, which is probably my favorite charlie brown holiday special. Charlie Brown might miss the football in the first 20 seconds, but he does his best to handle fixing an entire impromptu Thanksgiving dinner for all his friends, and then, he takes them to his grandmother's for supper. The Halloween one is funny, and great, and really kciks off the holiday season for me, but Linus and Sally miss out on the Tricks or Treats, Linus nearly freezes to death in the Pumpkin field waiting for the great pumpkin, and charlie brown messes up his costume and ends up with a bag full of rocks. And Snoopy gets shot down by the red baron, and has to fight his way back from behind enemy lines! All the major characters seem to take a hit on Halloween, and the Xmas special is way too preachy, but not on Thanksgiving.
You can't really have a better ending to a holiday (or a holiday special) than a fine meal, and Snoopy somehow manages to cook an entire Turkey Dinner (with pumpkin pie!) for himself and Woodstock. I've heard some people complain about how Woodstock eats Turkey, making him a cannibal, but come on. One, it's a damn cartoon. Two, some birds eat other birds. Woodstock is usually shown hanging out in a nest, and looks yellow, and hardly has any feathers. I'm pretty sure that's a fair indication that he's a young chick, freshly hatched, not quite out of the nest yet. Who can say what sort of bird he'll grow into? Maybe he's a baby Hawk or Falcon, who do, in fact, eat other birds for supper most days. Three, you don't talk about bird fight club. You just don't.
In other news, tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and I have this annual tradition where I give thanks for stuff. I am thankful I managed another 31 posts this october, and I am thankful my family is still alive and kicking (knocking on wood (my head) so I don't jinx myself), and thankful that I still have my sense of humor after all these many, many many years. Geez I sound like I'm retiring, and I haven't even really started my career yet. Meh. One of these days, I'll be thankful for figuring out what I want to do when I grow up. Until then, I'm grateful for what I got. I appreciate the little things in life. :-)
That's all for this week! I'll be stuffing my face with family tomorrow, as usual. Errr. Not actually with family. I mean, I will be with family, and eating, but not eating family. Because, that's just weird, and disgusting. Also, probably illegal in some states. This post has gone down a very dark and lonely road. :-/ Let's just cut to the end! Happy Thanksgiving! :-D