A Goofy Movie (1995)


It’s Only Powerline, Dad, The Biggest Rock Star on the Planet

Today’s review request sat my butt down in the Delgadoian and sent me back to my childhood.  Oh wait, I mean DeLorean.  How could I have made such a mistake?  Either way, this movie is a cartoon from my childhood that I’ve always been super fond of.  So much so that it lead me to purchase it the first time I saw it on DVD.  But then I never watched it.  There have been far too many things from my childhood that have been smashed by watching them in adulthood, and I didn’t want this to become one of those things.  But when my friend Christian posted a video to Facebook of two of the songs from this movie, it lead to it becoming a review request.  There’s a very real chance that Christian may have just shattered a beloved childhood memory of mine.  We’ll see, I guess, in my review of A Goofy Movie, written by Chris Matheson, Jymn Magon, and Brian Pimental, directed by Kevin Lima, and starring the voices of Jason Marsden, Aaron Lohr, Bill Farmer, Kellie Martin, Jim Cummings, Rob Paulsen, Pauly Shore, Jenna von Oy, Frank Welker, Wallace Shawn, Pat Buttram, Joey Lawrence, and Julie Brown.

Max Goof (Jason Marsden speaking, Aaron Lohr singing) is trying to make it through high school.  The combination of the clumsiness he’s inherited from his father, Goofy … Goof, I guess (Bill Farmer), and his own teen angst makes it kind of difficult.  His mega-crush on schoolmate Roxanne (Kellie Martin) doesn’t help things.  On the last day of school before summer Max, along with his friends Pete Junior, or PJ (Rob Paulsen), and Robert “Bobby” Zimmeruski (Pauly Shore), stage an elaborate concert, in tribute to everyone’s favorite “rock star” Powerline (Tevin Campbell), to interrupt an announcement by Principal Mazur (Wallace Shawn), with Max as Powerline.  The concert has the desired effect of making Max instantly popular and making Roxanne talk to him, but he also gets in trouble for it.  Worth it!  Max now has a date with Roxanne to watch the Powerline concert.  Unfortunately, the combination of the phone call from the principal and some bad advice from Goofy’s friend Pete (Jim Cummings) lead Goofy to think his son is in danger of going down a trouble-making path that will eventually lead him to the electric chair.  Goofy’s response is to take Max (against his will) on a trip to Lake Destiny, Idaho, on a family fishing vacation the likes of which Goofy himself went on with his father.  Max must tell Roxanne that he can’t go to his date with her because he’s been shanghaied and, not wanting to disappoint her, he fabricates a story about going across the country to dance onstage with Powerline.  Roxanne is now really excited to have Max wave to her from the stage, and Max is now in really deep shit.  Can he hijack his dad’s roadtrip in order to somehow get onstage and get the girl, and what will happen to his relationship with his dad if he does?  We’ll find out!

I’m slightly embarrassed to say this, but I still really like this movie.  I don’t doubt that my own reminiscences are kicking it up a notch or two in my brain, but I found this movie to be really charming with a good message and some pretty catchy songs.  The premise of the movie is pretty ridiculous, but then again, it IS A Goofy Movie.  The first thing that struck me about the story in this movie was that it was probably the reason I was always so excited for summer.  I can recall at least three animated movies that I loved back then that started with everyone in school being so excited for summer, thus getting me very excited for summer too.  Unfortunately for me, I never went on adventures in my summers.  In fact, I barely went outside, but I was still excited for the IDEA of summer.  After that, I got a little confused about why Max was thinking he was a loser after the song in the auditorium.  You just impressed the entire school AND got in trouble for it.  Neither of those things point you towards “loser” status in high school.  You’d be the bad boy that is a pretty awesome dancer!  But that got thrown back in my face when he actually WAS made popular AND got the girl as a result of his actions.  I found it a little weird that this was clearly a kid’s movie but the biggest motivating fear that Goofy had was that his son would end up in the electric chair.  I understand that is motivating and all, but isn’t that a little dark for a kid’s movie?  The thing I didn’t understand even more was that Max ramped up his lies to Roxanne so much.  It didn’t work to just say “I really want to go on this date with you, but my dad is forcing me to go fishing with him”, but you don’t need to take it to “He’s taking me on a trip … to LA … to dance on stage with his old buddy Powerline … and I’ll wave to you from stage … but only after Jesus comes out … and only if I can defeat Albert Einstein in a boxing match on stage … I’m going to shut up now.”  For the remainder of the short movie, they fill it with ridiculous situations, over the top goofiness and slapstick while Max is being a buzzkill and we’re just feeling really bad for Goofy.  Goofy was trying so hard to connect with his kid, who was in turn not having any of it.  I felt bad for the guy.  And it gets worse for Goofy when Max changes the trip on Goofy’s map in order to get him to LA, but I feel like Max was harshly judged for it.  First of all, fate was CLEARLY telling Max to do it when the map pops out of the glove compartment on it’s own and the pencil rolls out and stops, pointing to LA.  God clearly wanted him to change this thing!  Secondly, Goofy gives him the map to navigate and tells him he can pick any stop on the way to Lake Destiny he wants, but then gets all butt hurt when Max takes them to LA.  You told him he could pick ANY stop he wanted!  He just chose LA.  It’s still on the way!  The movie ends with a nice little message about how your parents might not be your cup of tea, but they love you and just want to connect with you, so you should stop being a douche about it all the time.  I definitely didn’t listen to this message when I was a kid, but I’m pretty sure I took another message that messed me up.  I feel like I’ve avoided getting into any relationships because of this movie, because it is so hard to find out what a girl’s favorite artist is and get on stage with them at a concert just to impress them.

The characters mostly worked in this movie, but they were also just well known Disney characters for the most part.  Max was the main star of the movie and was pretty easy to relate to when I was that age.  We all know what it’s like to be embarrassed by our parents and think they’re the worst, but most of us grow up to at least realize that they were trying their best for us, even if it wasn’t what we wanted.  I hope my mom doesn’t read this and come at me all gushy and huggy over this.  I felt really bad for Goofy through the movie.  His heart was in the right place.  Pete, as he was supposed to be, was an asshole.  Most of the bad situations Goofy ended up with Max in was because of bad advice from Pete, who was no great father to begin with.  I feel like most kids nowadays could probably count themselves lucky that they don’t know who Pauly Shore is, but this movie reminded me.  His character was pretty obviously just trying to capitalize on his inexplicable fame at the time because it was just Pauly Shore as a dog … thing … or whatever the hell Goofy and Max are.  Speaking of which, Roxanne was pretty attractive for a … whatever they are.  She had the classic hair in front of one eye and the little Marilyn Monroe beauty mark on her cheek.  I don’t know, this is probably an attraction I should not be having.  I didn’t get how Max was calling Powerline a “rock star” when he was OBVIOUSLY  a “pop star”.  Tevin Campbell supplied the singing voice for Powerline, but I really enjoyed the songs in this movie, particularly his songs “Stand Out” and “I2I”.  And this movie is REALLY a musical, having two songs in a mere 10 minutes of movie, but the songs were all enjoyable to me.  But the star of this movie for me is Frank Welker as Bigfoot.  That Bigfoot character still makes me laugh today.  He’s somewhat intimidating when he needs to be, but most of the time he’s kind of adorable.  I still laughed when the headphones landed on his head and he started getting into “Staying Alive” by the BeeGees.  The part that made me laugh was when Goofy and Max were having a serious conversation in the car and, through the back window, you could see Bigfoot dancing in the background.

Sure, this movie is goofy, clearly for kids, and really cheesy in parts, but it charmed me.  I loved the animation, the songs, the characters, and even the cheesy message of the movie.  I even laughed during this movie, and that is completely left of the ordinary for a kid’s movie.  But it’s a fun, charming little movie to me.  I grant that there is a very strong chance that people won’t like this movie if they didn’t see it when they were 12 as I did, but it’s worth taking a look at, especially if you have kids.  I still enjoyed this movie.  A Goofy Movie gets “It’s the Leaning Tower of Cheesa!” out of “It’s been handed down from Goof to Goof to Goof … and now, it’s yours, son.”

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Back to the Future Part III (1990)


100 Year Ago?!  That’s THIS Year!!

I’m so depressed now.  I have finished watching my favorite trilogy and there are no more to watch.  The reviews for the finale have gone up a little bit from the 64% that Rotten Tomatoes gave Part 2 into 71% for Part 3.  But that’s not what I say because Rotten Tomatoes just doesn’t take me seriously for some reason, so fuck those guys.  You guys came to hear what I think about this movie.  Let’s find out now in my review of Back to the Future Part 3, again written by Bob Gale, again directed by Robert Zemeckis, and again starring Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Thomas F. Wilson, Mary Steenburgen, Lea Thompson, Elisabeth Shue, Matt Clark, Pat Buttram, Harry Carey Jr., Dub Taylor, Richard Dysart, James Tolkan, Donovan Scott, Burton Gilliam, Bill McKinney, Flea, Jeffrey Weissman, Marc McClure, Wendie Jo Sperber, and ZZ Top.

At the end of the last movie, Doctor Emmett Brown (Christopher Lloyd) disappeared, having been inside the time-travelling DeLorean while it was struck by lightning, leaving nothing but a flaming 99 in the sky and a stunned Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) watching from the street.  But his spirits are lifted when a mailman (Joe Flaherty) shows up to give him a letter from September 5th, 1885.  In the letter, Doc explains that the time circuits sent him back to the old west, but he doesn’t want Marty to come save him.  Marty returns to the Doc Brown of 1955 and enlists him to help get the DeLorean (which was left in a cemetery-adjacent cave) and repair it so he can return to 1985.  But, as they load up the DeLorean, Doc’s dog finds a grave with Doc’s name on it, saying he was shot in the back over a matter of 80 dollars by Buford “Mad Dog” Tannen (Thomas F. Wilson) and left his beloved Clara.  Marty determines that he must go back to 1885 to save the Doc from his fate.  Upon returning, the DeLorean’s fuel line is struck by an arrow and Marty is chased out of a cave by a bear, falling down a hill and knocking himself unconscious on a wooden fence.  He wakes up in the house of his ancestor, Seamus (Michael J. Fox again) and Maggie McFly (Lea Thompson).  Marty goes into Hill Valley and runs afoul of Tannen, but is rescued by the Doc.  They resolve to return to 1985, but without gasoline, they must find another way to get the DeLorean up to 88mph.

It’s probably going to shock you all to hear that I loved this movie as well.  The story did not falter all the way through, the movie is supported by the same quality of music, it’s still fun, has lots of comedy, lots of action, they bring back the romantic angle, and there’s some minor darkness to the movie, though not as much as Part 2.  Plus, they made it mostly a western, so I’m totally on board.  Perhaps the darkness of Part 2 drove people away because they just wanted these movies to be fun, but who knows?  The only negative I had was that the ending was slightly disappointing, but we’ll get to that a little later.  I thought for this movie that it would have been a bit annoying to see these movies in theaters as there’s a big cliffhanger at the end of Part 1 and 2 and then having to wait 4 years after the first and one year after the second to get satisfaction would be difficult.  I never had to deal with that though, as I started watching them when my mother already owned all three on VHS.  They do the history repeating itself thing again in this movie, which they would kind of have to as it was in all of them.  Thomas F. Wilson’s character again walks into a bar/diner type of place and harasses Michael J. Fox, having to quickly cover the DeLorean because the love interest in the movie is about to walk in, the Doc apologizing because the diorama he made is not to scale, the Doc has made another Rube Goldberg machine in the old west that makes his breakfast, and Wilson’s character again falls into manure.  Marty even makes reference to it when he says “Why do we always have to cut these things so close?”  Also, Marty’s “Hey, look!  A distraction!” thing continues to get him out of sticky situations.  The “Eastwood Ravine” thing was also very similar to the Twin/Lone Pine(s) Mall thing.  They bring the romance back into the movie that was kind of missing in Part 2.  Part 1 had Lorraine and George, Part 2 kind of has a vague romance to Jennifer and Marty, but not a strong one, and Part 3 brings in Clara Clayton for the Doc to fall in love with.  I liked her character and I liked that the Doc would get some.  It seemed a bit out of character for him to fall so deeply in love so quickly, but that’s how love do sometimes.  I also liked that he saved her from death, and the whole discussion about the name of the ravine.  It makes sense because taking Clara out of 1885 would not change history because she was supposed to have died, so she wouldn’t be missed.  The whole “chicken” thing for Marty that started in Part 2 got tied up in this movie, leaving us with a nice message about not letting people’s opinions of you do something stupid.  They also kind of set up this entire movie (and at least one big pay off) from when Biff was watching A Fistful of Dollars in Part 2.  The climactic scene at the end on the train was also pretty spectacular.  The ending of the movie itself disappointed me a little bit.  ::SPOILER ALERT::  I feel like it kind of strains credulity that the Doc could invent another time machine using a train from 1885, one that could not only travel through time, but also could fly (which either meant he was able to do it 130 years earlier than the rest of humanity, or he was able to travel to 2015 before visiting Marty in 1985).  But, honestly, this isn’t what disappointed me.  I would’ve been bummed if the Doc was stuck back in 1885, even if he did have Clara.  I liked that he was able to continue time traveling, plus had his wife and 2 kids.  What really disappointed me was that there was only three of these movies.  I want more, damnit!  ::END SPOILER::

What a surprise!  The cast didn’t really change and they all still rule.  Michael J. Fox displayed more range in Part 2, but was still fantastic in this movie.  I liked him as a old west gunfighter too.  But why the hell would he give up that sweet pistol?  I understand he had no use for it, but it was an awesome gun.  Fox also got to be Seamus McFly, and I loved the accent that he put on for it.  Christopher Lloyd gets to display more range in this movie, mostly being the wacky Doc that we love, but once he’s around Clara, he’s all gushy-eyed and in love.  After they have a fight, he pulls off super depressed about it very well.  I also found it really amusing when Marty says “Great Scott” and Doc says “I know, it’s heavy.”  The best thing Doc ever did in the series was in this movie, when he tripped one of Buford’s gang members as they ran away.  Get ‘im, Doc!  I liked Mary Steenburgen as an addition to the cast.  She seems exactly like the kind of person that Doc would fall for.  She’s a teacher, she’s smart, strong, a little bit clumsy and goofy, pretty, and she digs on Jules Verne.  Thomas F. Wilson played the same kind of character, but he really worked as an old west bad guy.  That guy could play a bad guy in any era.  I actually got really angry at him when he was getting all frisky on Mary Steenburgen.  That’s Doc’s girl!  Lea Thompson isn’t in the movie as much, but I also liked the accent she puts on as Maggie McFly.  That may have been where my crush on her was cemented.  It was her regular hotness, but with an adorable accent.  Another great part about this movie is that it got to bring back many forgotten old west character actors such as Pat Buttram, Harry Carey Jr., Dub Taylor, and (my personal favorite) Burton Gilliam from Blazing Saddles!

I doubt these reviews were very surprising to you, and for that I … well I really don’t feel anything about it.  These aren’t supposed to be surprising, they’re supposed to be entertaining, just like the Back to the Future series.  …Yeah, good segway, Robert!  I love this movie because it takes everything we loved about both of the previous movies, added a western, and lost nothing in the process.  This is a great movie.  I would have to say that I kind of agree with Rotten Tomatoes in my ratings of the series, but not to the degree they go to.  I would say that the first movie is the best, Part 3 is the second best, and Part 2 is the third best.  I would say my reviews of them would be closer to Part 1 = 100%, Part 2 = 95%, and Part 3 = 98%.  I love these movies, what can I say?  As with both other movies, every person in the world should see these movies.  Even if you didn’t like one of them that much, you have to enjoy all three back to back.  Some of my favorite movies ever, and quite possibly my favorite trilogy ever (because Star Wars and Lord of the Rings aren’t really trilogies anymore, are they?).  Back to the Future Part 3 gets “See you in the future” out of “Your future is whatever you make it.  So make it a good one.”

Hey, peeps. Why not rate and comment on this as a favor to good ole Robert, eh? And tell your friends! Let’s make me famous!