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Non-Review Review: The Happytime Murders

The Happytime Murders may be the worst film of the year.

There are any number of issues with The Happytime Murders. The film is only ninety one minutes long, but feels interminable. The film has no idea what it is about in any meaningful sense, beyond assembling a number of familiar tropes in a very familiar way. Beyond that, the film seems to believe that rehashing familiar clichés is amusing of itself, some sort of self-aware postmodern ironic anti-comedy where the reference to the thing is enough of itself to become a joke.

It really blows.

A larger problem is that the film assumes that seeing puppets do “adult” things has greater novelty than it does. The Happytime Murders is a film that is consciously powered by the juvenile thrill of watching beloved children’s characters caught in inappropriate situations – swearing at one another, smoking cigarettes, engaging in vigorous sexual activity. This glosses over the fact that there are plenty of other media that has already covered this ground. The Happytime Murders runs on a joke that has already been repeated and rehashed several times.

However, all of these concerns distract from the biggest issue with The Happytime Murders. It is just not funny.

The boy in blue.

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Supermarionation: Memories of the Gerry Anderson Shows…

Pert of me wonders if I’m writing of an experience unique to those who grew up in the British Isles. I’m not sure if the fad ever really caught in the United States during the sixties when the shows were originally produced or if they enjoy the same sort of nostalgia that they do over here. Of course, the production and success of Team America: World Police would suggest that American audiences are familiar with work of Gerry Anderson, but I somehow doubt that the shows he produced (most notably Thunderbirds, Stingray and Captain Scarlet and the Mysterions) made as strong an impact to kids who weren’t exposed to them every morning before school.

Having a ball...

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Non-Review Review: Thunderbirds Are Go!

I happened to be flicking through the channels when I stumbled across Thunderbirds Are Go! For those unfamiliar with the concept, Thunderbirds is basically the television series that Trey Parker and Matt stone affectionately spoofed when making Team America: World Police (in fact, it was really the only “affectionate” part of the production). Anyway, Thunderbirds Are Go! was the series’ first attempt at a theatrical motion picture, shortly after the first season finished and shot back-to-back with the second. As far as “movies based on television shows” go, the film is essentially a feature-length regular episode. However, in this case, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.

"They'll never see through my cunning disguise!"

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