Month: April 2020

Sports – 2020 NFL Draft Recap

Category : Sports

The 2020 NFL Draft is complete.  Seven rounds, three days, numerous trades, two hundred and fifty six of players chosen, and thirty-two teams with new players on their rosters.  In my Mock Draft, I attempted to predict the first round, and of course I got it mostly wrong.  It was fun to guess, but here’s how the first round really shook out:

1. Cincinnati Bengals – Joe Burrow, QB from LSU

2. Washington Redskins – Chase Young, DE from OSU

3. Detroit Lions – Jeff Okudah, CB from OSU

4. New York Giants – Andrew Thomas, OT from Georgia

5. Miami Dolphins – Tua Tagovailoa, QB from Alabama

6. Los Angeles Chargers – Justin Herbert, QB from Oregon

7. Carolina Panthers – Derrick Brown, DT from Auburn

8. Arizona Cardinals –Isaiah Simmons, LB from Clemson

9. Jacksonville Jaguars – CJ Henderson, CB from Florida

10. Cleveland Browns – Jedrick Wills, OT from Alabama

11. New York Jets – Mekhi Becton, OT from Louisville

12. Las Vegas Raiders – Henry Ruggs, WR from Alabama

13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (⇆ SF) – Tristan Wirfs, OT from Iowa

14. San Francisco 49ers (⇆ TB) – Javon Kinlaw, DT from S. Carolina

15. Denver Broncos – Jerry Jeudy, WR from Alabama

16. Atlanta Falcons – A.J. Terrell, CB from Clemson

17. Dallas Cowboys – Ceedee Lamb, WR from Oklahoma

18. Miami Dolphins – Austin Jackson, OT from USC

19. Las Vegas Raiders – Damon Arnette, CB from OSU

20. Jacksonville Jaguars – K’Lavon Chaisson, LB from LSU

21. Philadelphia Eagles – Jalen Resgor, WR from TCU

22. Minnesota Vikings – Justin Jefferson, WR from LSU

23. Los Angeles Charger (⇆ NE) – Kenneth Murray, LB from Oklahoma

24. New Orleans Saints – Cesar Ruiz, C from Michigan

25. San Francisno 49ers (⇆ Min) – Brandon Aiyuk, WR from ASU

26. Green Bay Packers (⇆ Mia) – Jordan Love, QB from Utah St.

27. Seattle Seahawks – Jordyn Brooks, LB from Texas Tech

28. Baltimore Ravens – Patrick Queen, LB from LSU

29. Tennessee Titans – Isaiah Wilson, OT from Georgia

30. Miami Dolphins (⇆ GB) – Noah Igbinoghene, CB from Auburn

31. Minnesota Vikings (⇆ SF) – Jeff Gladney, CB from TCU

32. Kansas City Chiefs – Clyde Edwards-Helaire – RB from LSU

Movie Review – The Willoughbys

Category : Movie Review

Director: Kris Pearn, Cory Evans, Rob Lodermeier

Starring: Will Forte, Alessia Cara, Ricky Gervais

Year: 2020

My son called The Willoughbys the weirdest movie he’d ever seen, and that’s saying something, because I’ve put that kid through some weird movies.  It’s a strange combination of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, James and the Giant Peach, and somehow The Grand Budapest Hotel, a kids comedy with an old school feel and modern bizarrity.  It’s a rough 90-minute ride, with moments of perfect comedy and complete boneheadedness, based on a book that no one’s ever read by an author who’s done much better.  It’s up & down for sure, which could be a positive if you consider that everyone has the chance to enjoy some part of it, but it’s a select few who will enjoy the entire film the whole way through.

The Willoughbys are a proud family who have always been geniuses, and who have always grown wonderful red mustaches.  But recently their lineage has taken a weak turn in the form of a pair of parents who only want to be together to stare into each other’s eyes, with no time for impacting the world for the better.  Heck, they don’t even care to acknowledge their own children: Tim the eldest and most nervous, Jane the singer and dreamer, the twins who are both named Barnaby.  The Willoughby kids know that it’s up to them to restore prestige to the family name, starting with getting rid of their ridiculous parental units.  But this self-orphanization has unintended consequences, and leads to unexpected adventure.

The Netflix movie is based on a Lois Lowry book, and it definitely carries a Roald Dahl feel, which they reference, as well as Mary Poppins and other classics.  It’s brought to us by the guy who did Cloudy 2, with music from Mark Mothersbaugh, so the atmosphere is all over the place, as is the content and the plot.  It’s an odd mix of old fashioned and new, which again is referenced in the film, so it’s as if they knew all the problems they might face and decided to simply address them, which I think is laudable.  There are times that the action is pure hilarity, especially when led by Will Forte, who I think is a national treasure.  But there are other times when Maya Rudolph helms the ship, and that’s when the story suffers.  Her role is weird, the entire movie is a question mark, and although there are times to have fun, there are far too many times when you’re simply left scratching your head.

My rating: ☆ ☆ ☆


Movie Review – The Last Samurai

Category : Movie Review

Director: Edward Zwick

Starring: Tom Cruise, Ken Watanabe, Koyuki

Year: 2003

Looking back, it would be easy to drag The Last Samurai for being a bit toneless, but comparing what Tom Cruise did to what Scarlett Johansson continues to do makes the film seem absolutely guilt-free.  At first glance, this is a Hollywood attempt to put an American in a Japanese role, to make white samurai because audiences are dumb, to give us watered down, ridiculous, Matt Damon on the Great Wall of China detritus that we’ll think is fun despite its stupidity.  But I’m here to shout this movie’s praises, because it is anything but white-washed drama and cultural appropriation.  I know I can’t be the best judge of that, I know my privilege will always get in the way, but I’ve been a fan of Last Samurai since its genesis, have watched it half a dozen times, and really appreciate the way that it gives us a standard plot with an artistic flair, while trying its best to be more Dances with Wolves than Prince of Persia.

Nathan Algren is an American West war hero known for his brutal talent in pacifying native tribes, a reputation that haunts him and leads him to drown his memories in drink.  He simply wants to forget the atrocities that he’s been a part of, but the US Army wants him back in the saddle again, this time in Imperial Japan.  The government there is encountering a problem very similar to the one that Algren so efficiently dispatched; modern technology is attempting to destroy natural history and natural history is fighting back.  The samurai, one leader in particular named Katsumoto, are refusing to allow the Emperor to spread his railroads and Western habits across the land, literally attacking greedy progress in an attempt to protect the soul of Japan.  Algren must train the Emperor’s armies and lead them in killing the samurai, for which he will be well-paid, but after which he might never be able to look at his own face in the mirror again.  When he is captured by Katsumoto, Algren is given the rare chance to review his own decisions, to choose the right side, and to come away a better man.

This film really is more Dances with Wolves than something like Exodus: Gods and Kings, and that’s highly to its credit.  The base for the story comes from actual history, advisors did this in China around this time, they just weren’t American, but that’s the extent of the make believe; Eastern lords really did hire Western experts to try to force their countries and their peoples to be “modern”.  I’ll never understand that, it’s so strange and sad, but it happened, and here’s a fictional look at how it might have gone down.  Obviously the capture, the budding friendship, the potential romance, all that is just Hollywood theatrics, but so what, who says you can’t blend history with drama, it happens all the time.  What I’m saying is that, even from a more modern perspective, this film isn’t an insensitive money grab, the worst that can be said of it is that it romanticizes the Japanese and the samurai, much like emotional Westerns often romanticize the American Indian.

Last Samurai is a fine balance of history, melodrama, action, and heart, with solid acting and a memorable feel.  It boasts great performances, great music, great fight scenes; honestly I’m not sure how we don’t respect this film more, somewhere above The Patriot and below Braveheart.  Edward Zwick knew what he was doing in creating something familiar and easy to watch, but still unique enough to be entertained by, and his early work shows his true talent: Glory, Legends of the Fall, Courage Under Fire.  Cruise is perfect for this part, I’m honestly a big fan, Watanabe is wonderful, the quiet romance with Koyuki is lovely, the samurai at the village will become your heroes, and the ending will break your heart; what more could you ask for from an epic adventure set in the Land of the Rising Sun and molded this cleverly into something that we’re hard-wired to love.

My rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆




Movie Review – Killer Klowns from Outer Space

Category : Movie Review

Director: Stephen Chiodo

Starring: Grant Cramer, Suzanne Snyder, John Allen Nelson

Year: 1988

If you’re a believer in the value of a best/worst movie, a b-flick that’s so god-awful it’s amazing at the same time, then welcome to the wacky world of Killer Klowns.  This film, if it can be called that, is so utterly devoid of anything remotely resembling cinema that it becomes almost anti-enjoyment, while somehow circling around to premier entertainment as well, like an evil snake biting its own poison tail.  Words can’t express how dumb Killer Klowns from Outer Space is, how bizarrely pointless and insulting, BUT, paradoxically, how wildly fun.  It takes a special kind of stupid to like this movie, but that’s kinda where I’m at, although I’ll also give it the lowest rating I possibly can, because, well, I’m not completely insane.

The residents of Crescent Cove are about to be visited by aliens, which isn’t the weirdest part of this story.  The aliens look like clowns, like giant, mutated, over-exaggerated clowns, and they’re out to collect humans and put them in cotton candy pods, which is just plain bizarre.  Mike & Debbie, making out up at the point, stumble across the visitors when they go searching for what they thought was a shooting star, only to find a big top tent in the middle of the woods and a bunch of dead people already wrapped up inside.  They go to the local cops, but of course no one believes them, at least until the Klowns start blasting everyone in town and turning them into goo for their own food and/or amusement.

I’m not even sure where to start; Killer Klowns from Outer Space deserves a spot in the Wack-a-doo Hall of Fame.  It’s nutty, it’s nonsensical, it’s ludicrous and insulting, it’s nightmarishly bad; there’s no reason to watch this at all, literally at all.  It’s not really a movie it’s more like a skit, but with Klowns and the world’s worst actors.  How it ever got made is beyond me, but here we are, and now I can say I’ve seen it.  At the same time, there’s something fun about watching the stupidest thing ever made, so if you’re a glutton for punishment or, like, high, you might have the time of your life checking it out.  I sure had fun, I thought it was pretty hilarious, while also knowing as a stone cold fact that it’s rock solid shit.  So I will give it as few stars as possible, but also look back on the 80 minutes it took away from my life as 80 minutes festively, if not exactly well, spent.

My rating: ☆



Book Review – ‘Salem’s Lot

Category : Book Review

Author: Stephen King

Year: 1975

If you’ve read any of my book reviews, or even some of my movie reviews, you know that Stephen King is my favorite author.  My love for his work and his work itself both go much deeper than simple horror, and that’s why I think he’s such a goddam genius; the scares of the surface lead readers down a dark path to haunting metaphor, with superb storytelling along the way, making masterpieces more common than mistakes.  I recently decided that I needed to figure out which King books I had missed reading, so I made a spreadsheet that some would find exhausting instead of exhaustive, but that I enjoyed building.  He’s written 71 fiction books, I’ve read 43, and now I go along chronologically to fill in the gaps that the other 28 represent.  First up, King’s second ever published work, ‘Salem’s Lot, which is by no means perfect, but shows us what’s to come from a brilliant and twisted mind.

Ben Means is a relatively successful author who, after a personal tragedy, returns to a childhood home to write a new book.  He wasn’t born in Jerusalem’s Lot, but he spent a very impactful period of his youth there, which left him with a nostalgia for the small town and also an unending fear from one night he can’t quite shake.  It involved an old “haunted house”, where a family was once killed, and which now serves as an inspiration for dares among the more rowdy kids.  Ben received quite a fright there all those years back, and so now returns to face his fear, and to be inspired to craft a story from his memories.  But something has changed in ‘Salem’s Lot; a new owner has moved into the dreaded Marsten House, feeding on the evil that once resided there.  Townspeople begin to die at an alarming rate, putting Ben and his new companions in the middle of a war for the soul of the village, and perhaps for the world.

You should know that this is a vampire story, plain and simple.  In later years, King would bend traditional horror standards into his image, creating evil that’s not quite as clean as just a monster that we’ve all heard stories about and know how to kill, making his tales more about the inner evil of man than just the outer evil of devils.  But this is the beginning of his career, he leaned on the crutch of convention a little more than he would later in his tenure as the King of Horror, which can’t be held against him really, but should be known if you start reading this book thinking that you’re diving into a universe of allusion and meaning.  Also, this was the building block for all of King’s little-Maine-town-with-a-big-problem books, of which there are many, as you well know if you’ve ever picked up much of his fiction.  He loves that recipe, it works well time and time again, we’ve read it many times before, but it started here; a young writer, a small town, its amusing residents, its dark secrets.  This was the start of it all, even more than Carrie, and so many would follow, some much better, of course, and never perhaps this raw.  Get ready for vampire visitations, stakes through the heart, love amidst the tragedy, the awesome King/Maine/literature/paper mill/soda pop references we’ve grow to love, just maybe on a slightly smaller and less perfected scale than will surely follow, as even the master learns a thing or two.

My rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆



Sports – 2020 NFL Draft

Category : Sports

Football is almost here!  It’s just a matter of time before the season begins.  The first step was Free Agency, and now the Draft!  This Thursday @ 8:00 pm the 1st Round of the Draft will be on in prime time and I’ll be glued to the television.  This is a very interesting draft class and it’s hard to predict who each team will pick, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun trying.  So, based on the opinions of experts and my own uneducated musings (and including a couple draft spot trades) here it is, Olie’s 2020 Mock Draft:

1. Cincinnati Bengals – Joe Burrow, QB from LSU

2. Washington Redskins – Chase Young, DE from OSU

3. Detroit Lions – Jeff Okudah, CB from OSU

4. Las Vegas Raiders (⇆ NYG) – Tua Tagovailoa, QB from Alabama

5. Miami Dolphins – Justin Herbert, QB from Oregon

6. Los Angeles Chargers – Jordan Love, QB from Utah St.

7. Carolina Panthers – Derrick Brown, DT from Auburn

8. Atlanta Falcons (⇆ Ari) – CJ Henderson, CB from Florida

9. Jacksonville Jaguars – Javon Kinlaw, DT from S. Carolina

10. Denver Broncos (⇆ Cle) – Jerry Jeudy, WR from Alabama

11. New York Jets – Ceedee Lamb, WR from Oklahoma

12. New York Giants (⇆ LV) – Tristan Wirfs, OT from Iowa

13. San Francisco 49ers – Henry Ruggs, WR from Alabama

14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Jedrick Wills, OT from Alabama

15. Cleveland Browns (⇆ Den) – Mekhi Becton, OT from Louisville

16. Arizona Cardinals (⇆ Atl) – Andrew Thomas, OT from Georgia

17. Dallas Cowboys – K’Lavon Chaisson, LB from LSU

18. Jacksonville Jaguars (⇆ Mia) – Isaiah Simmons, LB from Clemson

19. New York Giants (⇆ LV) – Xavier McKinney, S from Alabama

20. Miami Dolphins (⇆ Jax) – Austin Jackson, OT from USC

21. Philadelphia Eagles – Justin Jefferson, WR from LSU

22. Minnesota Vikings – Kristian Fulton, CB from LSU

23. New England Patriots – Jacob Eason, QB from Washington

24. New Orleans Saints – Patrick Queen, LB from LSU

25. Minnesota Vikings – Tee Higgins, WR from Clemson

26. Miami Dolphins – D’Andre Swift, RB from Georgia

27. Seattle Seahawks – Yetur Gross-Matos, DE from Penn St.

28. Baltimore Ravens – Kenneth Murray, LB from Oklahoma

29. Indianapolis Colts (⇆ Ten) – Jalen Hurts, QB from Oklahoma

30. Green Bay Packers – Laviska Shenault, WR from Colorado

31. Los Angeles Rams (⇆ SF) – Jonathan Taylor, RB from Wisconsin

32. Kansas City Chiefs – Cesar Ruiz, C from Michigan


Movie Review – Rookie of the Year

Category : Movie Review

Director: Daniel Stern

Starring: Thomas Ian Nicholas, Gary Busey, Amy Morton

Year: 1993

It may not be such a great cinematic achievement, but man does Rookie of the Year exist inside a baseball lover’s mind and somehow share with all of us the joy of being young at a ballpark.  As a father to a little slugger myself, I know the thrill first hand of cheering for someone in uniform, the elation of seeing them get a hit or an out, the dismay at seeing them make a mistake, strike out, or walk away feeling like they failed.  It’s a passionate game, you have to be passionate to really play, and for most of us all we’ll ever feel is the excitement of watching our team or our player try their best to compete with the best, but that’s a feeling that’s hard to replicate.  This movie harnesses that emotion though, it’s a true testament to the sport, and that helps audiences ignore the fact that it’s an early 90s kids flick that has no talent behind it whatsoever; all it ever really needed was a true love of the game.

Henry Rowengartner is a 12-year-old who’s bonkers for baseball, and one day they might even let him play.  He’s part of the local team, he lives & breathes the sport, but he’s kinda accident prone, always failing to make the big catch at the big moment.  That insecurity hurts him in all aspects of life, as losers move in to date his mom, girls at school seem way out of his depth, and his dreams just slip on by.  But one more Rowengartner mishap might just change all that, if Henry has the strength to hold onto the reins of destiny.  At school he slips on a baseball, breaks his arm, and wears a cast for months, but when the cast comes off his arm is like a tightly torqued trebuchet, hurtling the heater over 100 mph like the best in the big leagues.  The Cubs even sign him to a contract, which is a dream come true, at least while it lasts, and if Henry can gain some confidence in the talent that he already had.

This was actor Daniel Stern’s one and only film, you know him better as Marv from Home Alone and Phil from City Slickers.  You can tell why he never made it as a director, but he at least did one thing right with Rookie of the Year; he filled it with his love of baseball.  You can feel it from the opening credits on, this is a movie about kids and a game, how growing up pretending to pitch in the 9th inning of the World Series is about as American as apple pie.  I enjoyed watching this movie with my family because we were rooting Henry on, and maybe living a little vicariously through him; at least some of us were.  The music is good, the comedy if goofy, there are so many memorable moments that washed over me in nostalgic splendor, and you can’t forget this story, which is just ridiculous enough to be awesome.  Sure the acting is bad, the direction is awful, and the plot is all over the place, which stops this movie from becoming something really special.  But how much more special can you really be when you’re the baseball version of Mighty Ducks?

My rating: ☆ ☆ ☆



Movie Review – Dean

Category : Movie Review

Director: Demetri Martin

Starring: Demetri Martin, Kevin Kline, Gillian Jacobs

Year: 2016

Dean is the poor man’s People Places Things, but that’s still a nice compliment.  Jemaine Clement’s heartwarming drama about love in the time of illustrating was a one-of-a-kind gem, but now we have two of them, because Demetri Martin decided to try his hand at the niche genre as well.  To his credit, he made the story personal, didn’t involve having kids, and allowed for a side story starring a much better actor than himself, so maybe that all proves that he knew what he was doing; borrowing heavily from something interesting, trying his own spin on it, and involving other talented people.  I guess it was that formula that resulted in the strong film Dean is from start to finish, a lovely little dramedy that’s at least unique enough.

Living in New York and currently failing as a comedian/writer/artist, Dean is at an emotional crossroads that he just can’t navigate.  Ever since his mom died he’s been lost at sea, not knowing where to go or how to get there.  He can’t draw because he’s fixated on death, can’t face the future because he doesn’t want to let his mom’s memory go, and can’t function around other humans because he’s so torn up inside.  There’s no doubt that he’s talented; his darkly funny drawings have already published, he’s just having a hard time tapping into that creativity in wake of events that he simply can’t manage.  A spontaneous trip to L.A. might be the thing to snap him out of his funk, especially when he meets the lovely Nicky, but first Dean will have to figure his own shit out, before he’s ready to invite anyone else into his screwed up world.

Dean is definitely very similar to other films we’ve seen before, but first) that tiny genre isn’t very popular or played out, so it’s OK to add in one more, and second) Martin does enough on his own, adds in enough that is fresh, to make his movie something quite nice.  This is his baby; he wrote it, directed it, and starred in it, and he really hasn’t done much since except to voice an animated show; this might be Martin’s magnum opus.  But that’s OK, it’s more than a flash in the pan, it’s a love story that has a lot to say and a tale of pain that we can all relate to in some way.  The plot is about his own life, it’s very sad, very personal, you can feel that, and the comedy balances nicely with the tears, all the more funny because we were just hurting so much.  Martin’s not the greatest actor, but his personality is so endearing in such an odd way, and the people he surrounded himself with were rather perfect: Kline, Jacobs, Rory Scovel, Reid Scott, Mary Steenburgen.  Dean is touching enough for most people to watch and weird enough for a few to really enjoy; if you’re lucky enough to fall into both of those categories you’ve found yourself a real winner.

My rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆



Movie Review – I Am Legend

Category : Movie Review

Director: Francis Lawrence

Starring: Will Smith

Year: 2007

I’ve been slightly into vampires lately, mostly in book form, so I thought I’d finally watch I Am Legend, which I knew was a post-apocalyptic movie but which I thought I had heard focused on vampires as the monstrous form humanity took in the wake of its own destruction.  Turns out that was only partially right, because yes there are creatures that avoid the light, come out at night, and seek human blood, but they are far more zombie-like than vampiric.  That was a bit of a disappointment, and so was the film as whole; it was shockingly dull and created almost solely on recycled garbage, with an ending that will make you swear off cinema all together; not great, Will.

Colonel Robert Neville, an Army man and a brilliant scientist, is the last human left alive in New York City.  Well, there are others present, but they aren’t exactly human any longer.  There was an outbreak of a virus that was meant to cure cancer, but it has done anything but, breaking down humanity to their basest and most bloody desires.  Now, all alone because he is immune, Robert hunts NYC for the undead in order to use them as test subjects for a potential cure, using his own blood as a base for the vaccine.  With his trusty dog Sam at his side, Robert tries to survive the monsters and the loneliness, as he labors forward with what, for all he knows, might be mankind’s last hope.

God, what should I have expected, with a director like Francis Lawrence.  Constantine, I Am Legend, Water for Elephants, Hunger Games 2, Hunger Games 3, Red Sparrow; not the best filmography.  Dude is basically a music video creator who thinks he can make epic adventures, and he simply can’t, not to satisfy good taste anyway.  His movies are formulaic, they’re indulgent, they focus on the big instead of the little, and that weak approach is very evident in this film.  The virus element is cool, Will is likeable, I loved the dog, but then when things start to actually happen you start to feel disappointed, because it’s not high quality.  The monsters look stupid, the CGI is awful, the characters at the end are completely pointless, and the climax is hit-yourself-on-the-head-and-close-your-eyes-to-the-horror bad.  I Am Legend may have made a splash when it was first released, but I wouldn’t recommend checking it out again or now; there are much better options available many different places.

My rating: ☆ ☆



Movie Review – Trolls World Tour

Category : Movie Review

Director: Walt Dohrn, David P. Smith

Starring: Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, Rachel Bloom

Year: 2020

If Trolls was a 90-minute pop song that you kinda liked, Trolls World Tour is a 90-minute Netflix spin-off episode that your kids made you watch and you barely survived.  I liked the first enough, or should I say I allowed myself to like it, because it was catchy, it was fun, it was silly, my family enjoyed it, and so I did too, by proxy and perhaps reluctantly.  But the sequel is every misstep that the original managed to sidestep, every single stupid error in judgement that we were so worried about before, come back to haunt us when we thought we were clear.  I can’t stress this enough; this isn’t even really a movie, it’s more like some cash-grab series on a streaming service that grownups aren’t meant to watch.  I wish I could go back in time and be one of those lucky adults who haven’t seen this, but it’s too late for me; save yourselves!

So Poppy has become the Queen of her troll clan, but little did she know that there are other Trolls scattered across the land, and that she’s about to become much more familiar with them.  First, some history.  Apparently all Trolls used to live in peace and make music together, back when all things were happy.  But that utopia was broken, and the Trolls took their music to their own territories: Pop, Country, Funk, Classical, Techno, and Rock.  Back to the present, Barb the Rock Troll Queen wants to get the band back together, but her idea of a reunion is simply to shut down the other shows and make everyone play her music, because obviously Rock is the best.  Poppy, the ultimate optimist, thinks that she can convince Barb to be her friend and to give up her power trip, but Branch isn’t so sure that’s possible.  Off they go on an adventure to save the world from having its good differences eliminated; life is too large for only one song.

Did we know during the first movie that those Trolls were Pop Music Trolls?  I get that the main character’s name is Poppy, and they definitely sang pop music, but I thought that was part of the happy shtick, I don’t think they were specifically only about pop music, unless I’m misremembering.  This movie seemed to take for granted that we knew the whole time what I think they might have just made up on the spot.  That bothered me for some reason, I didn’t like it, and that premise is something the entire story is based upon, so I had trouble getting on board.  We were supposed to be learning along with Poppy, finding out about the world with her, but she’s a really shallow character, one that’s supposed to be picking up a hundred lessons in the span of just over an hour, and it simply didn’t work for her or for us.

This isn’t a movie; it’s an episode.  My kids watch some really thin shows on Netflix that are based on hit movies, and that’s fine, that’s a genre, spinoffs exist, but they’re made for children; they’re short, they’re just entertainment, they don’t try to be anything but useless fun.  The problem comes when you try to take that recipe out in the open water and think it’ll float the same, because it simply doesn’t.  The plot was stupid, the lessons scattered, the music spotty, all reason to watch thrown out the window so quick that it’ll make your head spin.  Everything that worked the first time failed the second, because no one was invested and nothing was laid down skillfully.  The characters were ridiculous, the songs were weird, Barb made very little sense, guest stars popped up everywhere they were unwelcome, and halfway through I felt like I was being dragged across jagged jokes & stale plot lines to my doom.  Trolls World Tour is more torture than true storytelling, and that’s a huge disappointment, especially since we’re all at home watching as if we’d headed to the theatre; if we had we’d have walked out mad.

My rating: ☆ ☆