There’s no need to fear….

§ December 20th, 2007 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on There’s no need to fear….

So I rented the live-action Underdog movie from the Netflix, to much mockery from friends and colleagues, and…you know, it wasn’t half-bad. It was slight, to be certain, but it was quickly paced, and maintained a pretty good sense of humor throughout. Plus, the CGI required to make the animals look like they’re talking is fairly seamless…there’s a moment or two where the animal faces have that CGI “shine” of something obviously being animated, but for the most part, it’s not distracting.

There are also a couple amusing references to Superman: The Movie that must be deliberate (and may very well be explained in the commentary track I haven’t listened to yet), involving Underdog’s confrontation with (appropriately enough) a catburglar on the side of a building, plus UD’s romantic interlude with Polly over the city.

I was going to comment on the amount of property damage in the film, but watching the original Underdog cartoon included on the DVD reminded me that property damage (and inept flights and landings) is pretty much par for the course where Underdog is concerned. I know property damage is standard practice for superhero adventures, but every time I see a building demolished or a telephone booth exploded, et cetera, I think to myself “someone’s gotta pay for that.” Yes, even for a movie about a flying dog with a cape. I can’t help it.

Of the cast, Patrick Warburton as Barsinister’s assistant Cad was fun, and Jason Lee’s voice acting as Underdog was okay, if not quite as…well, nebbish-ish(?) as Wally Cox’s original interpretation. Lee’s Underdog, when he recites his rhyming dialogue and spouts his catchphrases (“There’s no need to fear…Underdog is here!”), has just a touch too much…smarm, I guess. Not a lot, not overwhelming, but certainly containing a bit more self-satisfaction than Cox’s vocal performance, which sounded more like a combination of Underdog trying to convince himself and Underdog just being entirely oblivious.

But, of course, the movie contains the greatness that is…Peter Dinklage as evil scientist Simon Barsinister himself:

Peter Dinklage makes everything better.

So, not a vital movie, certainly no award-winner, but a pleasant enough way to spend an undemanding 80 minutes. It’s “family-friendly,” if that’s a concern…several poop jokes, but I’ve yet to meet the kid that doesn’t appreciate a good poop joke. Plus there are a handful of mildly gross jokes regarding what a dog will eat or sniff, but they don’t involve anything any family with a dog doesn’t already know.

Okay, let the mockery of me begin. Line starts here.

Related: Underdog has what may be my all-time favorite cartoon theme song. Here’s the original, and here’s the Butthole Surfers’ version.

In other news:

  • New Bispectacult comics podcast, with the “Bispectault Classic” team of Dafna and Kid Chris! Listen twice!
  • Not sure why I’m reading the Countdown: Search for Ray Palmer series of one-shots, since they’re all essentially the same thing: our dimension-hopping heroes end up in another parallel universe, the natives get pissed at them for some reason, and, whoops, turns out we just missed Mr. Palmer, off to the next Earth, then. Okay, the plot isn’t the point of these books…it’s taking a tour of the multiverse, showing us what swell new universes are out there. But still, even with my nostalgic interest in the multiple Earths thing, I wonder if there wasn’t a more…condensed way of doing this.
  • Also, I kinda like Countdown: Arena.

    Sigh. Line starts here.

  • I hit a customer with a little truth:

    Customer: “Hey, why are they canceling Exiles?”

    Me: “Well, they’re not, really…they’re relaunching with a new number one.”

    Customer: “Really, how come?”

    Me: “So Exiles can have a brief bump in sales as everyone orders a few extra of 1 and 2, before going back to its original sales level.”

    Customer: “Gotcha.”

Comments are closed.