Saturday, August 30, 2008

Scooby Doo (2002) and
Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed (2004)

When I first saw Monsters Unleashed, which may or may not have been before I saw the 2002 release, I was mostly confused, and only slightly entertained. Granted, I saw it dubbed in Spanish in a little theater in Bolivia, primarily because we were in the city (as opposed to the orphanage where we were living/working), it was really hot, we had just bought delish hierba from some boy shoe-shiners in the park, and the only other goddamn movie playing in the whole city, for a least a month straight, was that fucking Passion of the Christ. Oh, the Catholics. Hence, Scooby Doo 2. I was lucky enough to understand most of the concepts and all of the CGI, but I missed the most absolutely essential, makes it all worth it, saving grace for these films: Matthew Lillard is a genius! In all fairness, I may have an unnecessarily special place in my heart for Señor Lillard, but I just can't help buying movies that he's been in. Mostly because he's so god-awfully ugly (I'm totally right, right?). SLC Punk was good, no es? And what about...Wing Commander, or Thir13een Ghosts, Hackers. Or what about Summer Catch and She's All That (damn, how many movies have Lillard and the Prinze been in together [according to imdb triva: 5]?)? But of all these movies, the Scooby Doo's are a whole new level of Lillard spectacularity. I don't know if he's acting, or if he could ever act in the first place, but there's no denying that he does the best Shaggy I have ever seen or heard in my life. It's uncanny! It's like the animated Shaggy just stepped into real life and started eating things! I mean, the other characters, played by Sarah Michelle Gellar, Freddie Prinze Jr (They actually married in 2002, so I guess they met on the set of the first movie. Man, it's so iconically teen king and queen, all-american couple!), and some no-name, are just exaggerations of stereotypes encouraged by the audience (Fred is arrogant and doing Daphne, who's always getting captured, but simultaneously can kick ass [how could they not take advantage of those hard-earned Buffy skills?: besides, who wants to see Sarah Michelle when she's not fighting off monsters with battle axes?] and Velma's getting left-out, but works for NASA and has her own fan club [she also gets to do it with Seth Green in the second one {so many high school dreams coming true all at once!}.]). As for Shaggy: he's dead on. As I said, it's really uncanny (You know, Warner actually pushed for a Golden Globe: he def. should have won!). Check it out for yourself. You will have a new-found respect (or just some to begin with) for the Lillard and his Shagster. The rest of the movie is pretty predictable. In fact, I can encompass both live-action pieces with the same descriptive phrases: Color coordinated outfits, guest appearances (Mr. Bean, Sugar Ray, Seth Green, Isla Fischer, Alicia Silverstone, etc), tons o' CGI, bright colors, food and fart (and weed) jokes, monsters, lots of teenagers (or people who can't leave behind their glory years) and a ridiculously "hip" soundtrack. It's Scooby Doo for the new ADD generation! And I'm totally cool with it. I like ridiculosity and shiny objects and when the good-guys always win. I also love Sarah Michelle Gellar (you can track her post-Buffy aura with the Scooby Doo trivia: the first movie is all about her, but the second one has little to say [on anything for that matter; I guess people were just over it {her and the movies}]), and I really really like children's movies. So this one pretty much settles nicely. Ahh, the simplicity of romantic idealizations. And while it's definitely new and different from the original (beware all those hard-core 'stick to the classics' fans), it can definitely help you escape from reality on a Thursday night (or any other night for that matter).

Final Judgment: "How can you go wrong with CGI, a classic concept, and all that 90's star power?"

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