Posted by: Mad Ness Monster | 12/10/2009

“Delgo” review

Welcome to the long-awaited conclusion of Movies the “Avatar” Trailer Reminded People Of!  I’d like to give a special shout-out to the one thing that helped me the most in getting through this:
shipyahhhd
(Pumpkinhead, for the record, is hard to find but is just about the only beer I will voluntarily consume.)
So what we have right here is perhaps the single most damning Movie the “Avatar” Trailer Reminded People Of. Thanks to many of the visuals in the trailer, James Cameron’s amazing and spectacular animated adventure that would be like nothing we had ever seen before looked… a LOT like the biggest box-office flop in the history of animated films.
The long, sad, strange story of “Delgo” and it’s long-ass trip to the screen and subsequent spectacular bombing and almost instantaneous transformation into the butt of jokes (“LOL, more like ‘FAIL-go’ amIrite?”) cast a deep dark shadow over my viewing of the film. I can’t even honestly say if I really liked it or not. I didn’t *hate* it, even though the plot was pretty dumb and I wanted to murder Chris Kattan’s character over and over. My immediate reaction was very much like Nathan “My Year Of Flops” Rabin (see links below): it is by no means a really good movie, but it’s weirdly admirable in a way. The dudes who made it weren’t out to sell action figures or make jokes about “American Idol” or blow stuff up for twenty straight minutes or whatever. They actually wanted to tell a story.
It’s not a particularly creative story at all, but even so.
Plus, I can’t help but feel really bad for everyone involved with this movie. 😦
Now, I should have mentioned this earlier but I’m writing this series of reviews well in advance. So who knows, maybe “Avatar” will kick all our asses and change animation forever and change filmmaking forever. (Everyone was sure “Titanic” was going to fail too, remember?) As of the time of writing, the creators of “Delgo” are considering a lawsuit against James Cameron. Really. More power to them, I say.

The Best Parts:
1 minutes in – Space whales! Hummingpterosaurs!
3 minutes in – DRAGONS!!!
4 minutes in – Why don’t the Fairies attack from the air?
(Once again, I am way too genre-savvy for these kinds of movies.)
6 minutes in – She’s the envy of every Otherkin cosplayer.
8 minutes in – ORC CRUELTY!!!
13 minutes in – Ah, the rare Meet Cute/Deus ex Machina Airlines combo.
15 minutes in – GLOWY STUFF!
17 minutes in – “After all, you spent your early childhood there as a tadpole.”
18 minutes in – I don’t think amphibians have those things…
19 minutes in – And… something tells me there was a scene cut out here.
21 minutes in – “Cool, I can make humans freak out a little by arranging these in a circle!”
26 minutes in – What just happened?
31 minutes in – Wild Oddish Appeared!
32 minutes in – SOOOO MANY SPARKLIES!
37 minutes in – “Seriously? Stuck in a cage forever with this assclown?”
38 minutes in – You wouldn’t think Fairies would have a problem with bugs.
42 minutes in – “If it’s the guy with the hat, you’ve got a deal.”
45 minutes in – Crap, that can’t be good.
48 minutes in – This is where we get to watch Not-JarJar get eaten right? (Spoiler: He doesn’t get eaten.)
49 minutes in – His name is “Bogart it?”
51 minutes in – Eee! I want a messenger gargoyle!
54 minutes in – “Hell, you’ve seen how clichéd the story has been so far, right?”
57 minutes in – “Who cares where Not-JarJar is? F*** that guy!”
1 hour in – Why do the Fairies need to fly around on dragons anyway?
1 hour, 1 minutes in – And why can’t this dragon do a barrel-roll?
1 hour, 5 minutes in – Use the Not-The-Force!
1 hour, 7 minutes in – “Curse your drawn-out and confusing betrayal!”
1 hour, 8 minutes in – I don’t think amphibians have those things either…
1 hour, 12 minutes in – This would probably be a lot more emotional if I had any idea what was happening.
1 hour, 16 minutes in – “I want to rip you to pieces SO much.”
1 hour, 18 minutes in – I don’t think I want a messenger gargoyle anymore.
1 hour, 19 minutes in – Let me guess, Disney Villain Death?
1 hour, 21 minutes in – Yep.
1 hour, 22 minutes in – “And so, the Frog-Muppets and the Fairies vowed to coexist in peace forever. The end.”
“But what about the Orc guys?”
“What about ’em?”
“You didn’t think it was a little awkward when the Muppets and Fairies only started cooperating when they ganged up on the Orcs together? Wasn’t that just more fantasy racism that ran completely contradictory to the movie’s intended message? Why can’t Muppets and Fairies live peacefully with the Orcs too?”
“Eh, f*** Orcs they’re evil.”
1 hour, 27 minutes, 42 seconds in (end credits) – OK, these job titles demand elaboration. WTF?

Things I Learned from this Movie:
* – Sucks to be an Orc in a Magical Land.
* – Don’t vandalize mystical sanctuaries.
* – Amphitheres are another kind of dragon that looks awesome while flying and lacks majesty on the ground. (At least Wyverns have legs.)
* – Fantasy Heroes: Don’t do stupid riding stunts on whatever bootlegged Chocobo equivalent lives in your Magical Land.

Things That Can Save Any Movie:
Cool Creatures?
The creature designs are actually very imaginative. I especially appreciate how the resident Killingyoubeeste equivalent in this Magical Land isn’t your usual Not-Lion or Not-Bear or Not-Tyrannosaur or Scaled-Up Version of a Common Animal Phobia Subject or Thing That Combines the Worst Parts of the Preceding Animals. Instead it resembles something unpleasant from the Middle Cambrian period. I’d be a happier sci-fi fangirl if more alien creature designers read up on the Burgess Shale fossils.
Good Soundtrack? Eh.
Hot Guys? Fairies and Frog-Muppets, if you’re into that.
Pretty Scenery? Yes. As with the creatures, I felt as though the creators of the film had this awesome setting in their imagination — THEN they banged together a story and characters.
Nifty Animation/Effects/Art Direction? Um… quality-wise, it isn’t half as good as a more recent Pixar film, but it’s a lot easier on the eye than “Spirits Within” was.

Drinking Game Potential? Drink when you start wondering when the cut scene is finally going to end and you get to start playing the game. 🙂
Head Movie Potential? Oh yeah. In fact, if the “Avatar” connection doesn’t make this movie a cult hit, maybe it’s overall trippiness will. Plus there’s a guy named Bogart-it.

Rating: Jordan rating (3)
Jordan riding either a bootlegged Chocobo or Pernese Dragon equivalent. (Yeah, I’m being generous because I feel bad for everyone involved with this movie.)
Credits
A Fathom Studios Film released in 2008 by Freestyle Releasing.
Heckuva job there, Freestyle Releasing.
Released on DVD in 2009 by 20th Century Fox. Screenplay by Patrick J. Cowan, Jennifer A. Jones, and Carl “Might as well write a fantasy film if I’ve got a surname like this” Dream. Directed by Marc F. Adler and Jason Maurer.
Cast
Hoo boy. I don’t think you’re ready for this but here goes. Freddie Prinze Jr., Jennifer Love Hewitt, Val Kilmer (?!?), The eminently punchable Chris Kattan, Anne Bancroft (!?!), Michael Clarke Duncan, Burt Reynolds (?!?), Eric Idle, Louis Gossett Jr. (!?!), Malcolm McDowell, Kelly Ripa (?!?), John Vernon, and Quark.
Related Links
IMDB page
“My Year of Flops” review
CHUD review

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