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Just plain awful
Look, much has been said about how bad this movie is, but you can't fully comprehend just how awful it is until you watch it for yourself. Not that I'd recommend that, because I certainly feel like my brain rotted at a rather exponential pace while I sat through this whole thing. I'm not gonna recap all the musical numbers and asides that make up this abomination, because others have done that plenty. I'm just gonna say that the fact that this was allowed to be created is an argument against humanity's continued reign as the dominant species on this planet, and probably even against our continued existence.
So bad that it's good... for longtime fans
I enjoyed Return of the Caped Crusaders quite a bit, and found myself laughing uncontrollably from time to time, but that being said, this movie is honestly only as strong as its fan service.
Before I get going, allow me to briefly introduce myself as a Batman fan. Batman has been my favorite superhero for as long as I can remember. I grew up watching the animated series, and have since dove headfirst into Batman stories across a wide variety of mediums, but my first introduction to Gotham City was when my parents showed me the old 1966 movie starring Adam West. As such, it holds a special place in my heart, and I always like to watch reruns of the old series when I can, even though its lighthearted camp is quite different from what Batman has been for much of his existence. I am not one of the many people reviewing this who thinks that this is what Batman should be (I personally think the Arkham games capture Batman best), but I do think that Return of the Caped Crusaders and its predecessors are enjoyable parts of the Batman mythology.
Where Return of the Caped Crusaders succeeds is in fan service. It is very much in the spirit of the old series it is based on, and isn't afraid to make jabs at the show's more ridiculous aspects, as well. I won't spoil these delightful little Easter eggs, as they are far too much fun to discover oneself, but I think it is safe for me to mention that Batman's teaching moments with Robin and the absurd mannerisms of many characters are definitely fair game. Even the settings are just like the old show; unnecessary labels on items of importance abound! But fans of Batman in his other forms are not left out to dry, as small, but fun, references to later Batman adaptions are sprinkled throughout, and they are a real treat to long time fans.
However, as I stated in the summary, this really is a bad movie, even if it is enjoyable. The fact that this movie is animated allows for situations which would not have been possible (at least budget-wise) in the old show and movie. While this does pose intriguing possibilities, it made me realize that part of the charm of Adam West and Burt Ward's adventures of old lied with the constraints it worked within. And to be completely honest, at times this movie tries a little too hard to recapture the magic of that bygone era in Batman history. It can sometimes be a bit cringe worthy.
Thankfully, all of the fan service makes Return of the Caped Crusaders an enjoyable visit to a time when Batman was simpler and more innocent, in spite of its obvious shortcomings. Those who enjoy Adam West's take on Batman will definitely find this to their liking, even if it isn't their preferred take on the Dark Knight. For others, however, the camp may be a bit too much.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008)
Great addition to the Star Wars universe!
The Clone Wars is definitely a worthwhile addition to Star Wars, and more than just a kids show. While the first season is alright (though still much better than the 2008 movie that served as an introduction to the series), things start to pick up in season two, and really take off in the second half of season three. Yes, there are a handful of weak episodes scattered throughout the series, but overall this show is great, especially for Star Wars fans.
The Clone Wars is at its best when it is dealing with more mature themes through multi-episode arcs, and it really delivers at these points. A couple of these that stood out to me are episodes 7-10 of season four, which focus on the clone troopers of the 501st legion, as well as a villain centered arc that is spread out through seasons three, four, and five. These highlight arcs also generally end at the perfect time, without feeling rushed or overly drawn out. The viewer is given plenty of reasons to care about the main characters on all sides of the conflict the series is set in. In addition, most of the voice work is superb.
Now, not everything about this show is always great, which is why it doesn't deserve a perfect rating. At times it does try a little too hard to be a children's show, perhaps to balance out some of the darker episodes, but these episodes generally fall flat and are often fairly predictable. Any episode featuring Jar Jar in a central roll tends to embody the weakest parts of the series, with the overused trope of a clumsy comic-relief character (who isn't terribly funny) bumbling their way through a dangerous situation and emerging victorious through no real doing of their own. Other episodes simply fall flat, and these are sometimes stretched into three or four episode arcs. These arcs are often dragged down by irritating supporting characters who feel like overused caricatures.
Where The Clone Wars really shines, however, is how it expands on the Star Wars universe. Events that are only hinted at during the prequels are more thoroughly explored, concepts such as the Force are explained more in depth, and some characters and themes from the prequels are redeemed or otherwise just made better through further exploration. The scope of the galaxy Star Wars takes place in is really expanded, with numerous new planets, species, and concepts introduced. As a lifelong Star Wars fan, all of this is what really kept me coming back for more, and I know that I am far from being alone in this regard.
So ultimately, I would definitely recommend this series to others, especially Star Wars fans. And yes, this includes those who hate the prequels. While it has its weak points, these are few, and pop up infrequently enough that much patience isn't required to get back to what the series does best.
Mr. Nobody (2009)
Imaginative and Engaging
Mr. Nobody is the type of movie that sticks with you for a bit after watching it, and a number of factors go into that. Jared Leto's stellar performance, the unique (and at times confusing) premise, and the stories told throughout are just some of the highlights.
The film opens in the year 2092, as 118 year old Nemo Nobody is the last living mortal on earth. As he nears death, he is asked to recall his life, and what follows is a jumbled recollection of seemingly contradicting accounts of what may or may not have happened in his life, focusing largely on Nemo at ages 9, 15, and 34. At first, the contradictions can be extremely confusing to the viewers (as well as those interviewing 118 year old Nemo), but before long you learn to accept it as a part of the movie's commentary on the impact the choices we make can have on our lives, and by the end of the movie, one can make sense of the contradictions.
Ultimately, Mr. Nobody is anchored by outstanding performances by Jared Leto, Toby Regbo, and Juno Temple, while the rest of the cast contributes performances that range from good to great. Clocking in at a little under two and a half hours, this film demands your attention with multiple gripping story lines involving drama, romance, coming of age themes, and some subtle science fiction. I would not recommend this movie to those who need to understand exactly what is going on at every point in a movie, but I would highly recommend it to everybody else (keeping the R rating in mind), especially those who enjoy a good mind bender.
Believe Me (2014)
Something of a niche movie, even among Christians
I personally really enjoyed Believe Me, but it won't have as much appeal to everybody. Much of the humor in this movie comes from the main characters trying to blend in with Christians, but if you aren't part of this type of Christian culture, some of the jokes won't make as much sense or could completely fly over your head. I'm pretty heavily involved with a college ministry, and so are my friends I watched this with, and most of us thought it was hilarious, largely because things they point out that are totally true about a lot of Christians in their 20s at this point in time, and much of it is ridiculous. However, I could easily see some Christians being offended by some of the humor.
That being said, there are still some points that will be funny to most audiences. Max Adler's character Baker is one of the funnier parts of this movie, and his interactions with Miles Fisher's Pierce are gems. Nick Offerman provides laughs, though his role is a small one. These aren't the only parts that general audiences could find funny, but they are some of the standouts.
One area where this movie separates itself from other Christian movies is that it isn't preachy. Yes, there are messages to be found, but you have to pick them out and think through them for yourself. This is not the type of movie that is designed just to make Christians feel good about themselves after watching it (they actually poke fun at those movies in one scene), but instead it takes a look at some real issues that are present inside modern Christian life, and could definitely be enjoyable for other audiences.
While I do believe most people could find some enjoyment in this movie, I would recommend it most highly to Christians ages 16-30 and those involved in ministries which really target that age group.