Hop (2011)


Talking Rabbits Freaks Her Out

I confess that the only inspiration behind wanting to watch today’s movie was to shit on it.  I feel like it’s been a while since I really got to ridicule a movie for how bad it was since it seems people have actually been requesting movies that they genuinely want my opinion on, as opposed to movies they just want to punish me with.  But I need to watch a piece of shit every now and then.  It builds up my immune system.  And it’s a lot funnier when I hate the movie and can give you numerous reasons why.  When I saw today’s movie was available in a RedBox, I reserved the shit right out of it.  So let’s get into a movie that you all may have seen commercials for, but were all probably well aware of the fact that you didn’t want to see it.  This movie is Hop, written by Ken Daurio, Brian Lynch, and Cinco Paul, directed by Tim Hill, and starring James Marsden, the voice and physical form of Russell Brand, Kaley Cuoco, the voice of Hugh Laurie, the voice of Hank Azaria, Gary Cole, Elizabeth Perkins, David Hasselhoff, and Chelsea Handler.

On Easter Island (ha ha, fuck you movie), all of the world’s Easter needs are handled underground, run by Mr. Bunny (Hugh Laurie), the current presiding Easter Bunny.  He hopes that his son, E.B. (Russell Brand), will take over for him one day, but EB just wants to play drums and open a vaguely successful string of video game stores that he will later sell to GameStop.  EB runs away to Hollywood in hopes of finding success as a drummer (The White Stripes could use a new one).  His father sends his royal guard, the Pink Berets, after him.  Fred O’Hare (James Marsden) (also, could you lay it off with the puns already?) has just been kicked out of his house by his dad, Henry (Gary Cole), and told to find a job.  His sister, Sam (Kaley Cuoco), lets him stay at a mansion that she’s housesitting.  On the way there, Fred hits EB with his car.  EB’s dead, the end.  Okay, it didn’t go that way.  Instead, EB feigns injury in order to get Fred to take him in.  Through the course of the movie, Fred and EB must find their true calling in life.

I definitely found a few things to make fun of in this movie, but the weirdest thing that happened here is that I did not hate this movie.  I’m a surprised as you are!  This movie is actually pretty cute and I’m sure kids would really like it.  There are even a few jokes in the movie that made me laugh and I did not see that coming at all.  The story of the movie is nothing new and reminded me a little bit of the Prince and the Pauper by the end.  It’s a couple of stories about people that want to do something, or don’t know what they want to do at all, and the people around them just don’t get them, man.  This story is so familiar that I tend to refer to it as “My Life”.  Later on is the Prince and the Pauper part, where Fred decides that he would like to be the Easter Bunny so that EB can go about his dream.  This is around where the story really loses me.  How the hell is a human going to be an Easter Bunny, let alone the Anything Bunny?  It’d make a lot more sense if the chickens that helped out actually took over after their coup d’état.  Chickens make more sense for a holiday that centers around eggs anyway.  And if it was going to be a human, why not a woman instead?  They actually have eggs.  That’d be a pretty icky Easter though, and it’d have to happen every 28 days.  These, of course, were not the only things that didn’t make sense to me in this movie.  First off, why the hell would Sam let her slacker, loser brother housesit a giant and expensive mansion owned by her boss?  The movie actually made the biggest surprise they could have by not actually making him burn the house to the ground by the end of the movie.  He actually left a fairly small footprint on the mansion.  Fred also makes a really big deal about trying to hide the fact that EB is a talking rabbit, but the greater majority of the people in the world inexplicably don’t even bat an eye at it.  Except when it serves the story, that is.  Like when EB makes a scene at Fred’s sister’s Easter play, when people are suddenly interested because they wanted to waste about 10 minutes with a whole ventriloquism bit they wrote.  Also, though you kind of expect their specific talents to play into the resolution of the movie, I felt like it didn’t make that much sense that EB was able to save Easter by playing the drums.  The puns in this movie got on my nerves because it felt like they weren’t even trying.  The upcoming Easter Bunny’s name is EB, the other guy’s name is O’Hare, they work from Easter Island, etc.  They were either not trying or they actually thought this shit was hilarious.  Many other jokes didn’t work in this movie, and some of the stuff just seemed crass, like the random fact that EB shit out Jellybeans.  It’s gross, unnecessary, and the reasoning they tried to make behind it was stupid.  EB showed Fred to prove that he was a special bunny.  Apparently him talking wasn’t getting that job done.  And there’s also one big spoiler that made me have a problem with the entire movie ::SPOILER ALERT:: The Easter Bunny isn’t real.  ::END SPOILER::

The performances in this movie were exactly what they were.  First off, all of the bunnies (and mostly EB) were so ridiculously cute in their animation.  Women will swoon.  I may have swooned myself, but I’m not entirely sure what swooning is.  Is that when you pass out and wake up with no pants on and covered in blood that’s not your own?  EB himself had occasional moments of funniness, but almost as many occasions of annoyance.  I think that’s due to Russell Brand lending his voice to the character.  I’ve always felt like Russell Brand’s idea of comedy was to constantly have things coming out of your mouth and then, even if only 10% are funny or worth hearing, at least people will still leave thinking he was hilarious.  What didn’t annoy me about EB was that he was a fantastic drummer.  Sure, there was no good reason for him to drum in the movie, but he was animated to be good at it.  James Marsden was mostly manic and over the top on his side, with a little bit of stupid mixed in, but he never really bothered me.  Gary Cole was mostly an asshole through the movie.

This movie doesn’t have a lot to offer you unless you have kids, but I think you’ll actually find it mostly cute if you end up watching it with them.  The story is silly, nonsensical, and somewhat dumb, but it’s also really cute and has a couple of funny moments in it.  If you like Russell Brand, that would be a plus for you with this movie.  If you’re like me, he’ll be very hit and miss but bother you much less since you barely have to see his face.  I’ll recommend this movie for kids, but say skip it for the single people.  Hop gets “I am a bunny and am incredibly sexy” out of “This must be the rags part of my rags-to-riches story.”

Let’s get these reviews more attention, people.  Post reviews on your webpages, tell your friends, do some of them crazy Pinterest nonsense.  Whatever you can do to help my reviews get more attention would be greatly appreciated.  You can also add me on FaceBook (Robert T. Bicket) and Twitter (iSizzle).  Don’t forget to leave me some comments.  Your opinions and constructive criticisms are always appreciated.

The Ring Two (2005)


I’m Not Your Fucking Mommy

“Alright people, we have a good concept and a good idea, let’s throw lots of money at it.”  “But what about the story?”  “WHO CARES?!  You’re fired!”  The next movie in my October Horror-thon started like this.  Well that’s probably not true, but it’s what I imagine.  This movie is the sequel to the Ring, called cleverly the Ring Two, starring Naomi Watts, David Dorfman, Daveigh Chase, and Simon Baker, with small appearances by Gary Cole, Sissy Spacek, and Mary Elizabeth Winstead.  Let’s dive into this well!

Right here I spoil the end of The Ring.  At the end of that, we find that Samara’s (Daveigh Chase’s) adopted mother suffocated her and pushed her into a well where she stayed for 7 days before dying and becoming an evil, hateful spirit.  And a VHS tape.  To try to save the life of her and her son, Rachel Keller (Naomi Watts) opens the well to free Samara, only to have her son Aidan (David Dorfman) tell her that doing so freed her of her prison and she was now able to kill more freely.  Rachel figures out that she lived because she made a copy of the tape and showed it to someone else, so they do that with reckless disregard for the poor fuck they show their tape to.  6 months after the first movie, a very special episode of Dawson’s Creek starts in Seattle and we spend about 10 minutes watching 2 teens flirt.  But, with an ulterior motive beyond getting some vagina.  This boy is trying to save his life and talk a girl into watching a tape, even though she seems ready to go (if you know what I’m saying).  Turns out he’s watched the cursed tape and needs to show it to someone else to save his life.  Unfortunately, the girl doesn’t watch and he gets killed.  Coincidentally, Rachel and Aidan have moved to Seattle and Rachel is now working for Max Rourke (Simon Baker) at a local newspaper.  She hears about this death and investigates, catching a vision of Samara saying “I found you.”  So now Rachel must REinvestigate Samara to find out how to stop her from taking over the body of her son.  To do so, she finds Samara’s birth mother, Evelyn (Mary Elizabeth Winstead when in flashback, Sissy Spacek now).  Evelyn tells Rachel that the only way to stop Samara is to kill Aidan, which I’m cool with ’cause that boy is creepy.

Oh how the mighty have fallen.  The Ring Two takes all the suspense and creepiness out of the original and turns it into a very typical ghost movie, complete with possessions, poltergeist activity, and full body apparitions.  They completely forget about the tape that made the movie famous in the first 20 minutes of the movie, and then they jump back into a rehashed treasure finding movie and bad ghost movie.  The first movie seemed as if it went to good writing and suspense because they had a low budget, but when it made bank, they threw a lot of money at the sequel and boosted the special effects at the expense of the suspense.  They lost the blue tint to the first movie and replaced it with water raising out of a bathtub and turning into Samara.  Instead of Gore Verbinski, they went with a fan service by attaching director of Ring (the Japanese basis for The Ring), Hideo Nakata.  But the movie loses a quality of visuals that is either because of him or the director of photography.  The movie looks grainy in parts like an early episode of Scrubs, and others just have odd camera angles.  This could also just be a bad DVD transfer, I suppose, but I like blaming people.  And the ending, where Rachel ties up the problem in a nice little bow by closing the top of the well, they actually have the nerve to give her a classic action/slasher line to yell at the monster.  Samara had been inhabiting Aidan and calling Rachel mommy (even though Aidan calls her Rachel) and Samara was climbing up the side of the well to stop Rachel from closing it and she called out to Rachel with “Mommy!”  And Rachel comes back with “I’m not your fucking mommy!”  Fer reals?  That’s just the nail in the coffin for me.  I liken that line to lines like “Smile you son of a bitch” from Jaws or “Get the Hell off my plane” from Air Force One.  They work in those movies, and would work in a typical cliche ghost movie, but we go in there expecting suspense like the first and get this.

Not all is bad here.  Naomi Watts still turns on the acting.  I have a lot of respect for her as an actress, but it’s nice to see that she tries hard at every roll and not just the good ones.  One of the big performance problems of this movie was that Aidan got a lot more screen time in this one and didn’t really seem up to the task.  He was still creepy for most of it, but it was just overexposure.  And when Samara took over, he got REALLY creepy, no longer the morose kid that sees things but now a creepy, overly loving kid that smiles all the time.  You ain’t cute, you’re creepy.  Stick with what works for you.  The creepy, corpse walking thing that Samara does in this one is pretty damn creepy though, so kudos to that person.  I also felt myself wishing that Sissy Spacek had been the adopted mother and got to be in the good Ring movie, and then you could put the person I’ve never seen in a movie again in the crappy one.

So that’s that.  They ruined a good horror movie by taking all the art and suspense out of it.  Hopefully they won’t do it again.  I give this movie a “Cy…onara!” out of “I’ll be back!”  …No seriously, they are actually bringing it back.  And it’s gonna be The Ring 3D.  I hate it already.

And, as always, please rate, comment, and/or like this post and others.  It may help me get better.