Briefly put, Daphne & Velma was a very odd and silly movie, but in a way that really worked well. Or as Velma says, "It tastes like gerbil...but in a good way!" I would highly recommend that those who are worried about watching this film give it a fair chance. The biggest worry for most people seemed to be the feminist undertones, but honestly, they were barely noticeable in the film. This was a really fun little movie and I'm so glad I gave it a chance.
Before I get more into the review, I want to strongly recommend that those who have not seen the movie yet do not read this review, because there are spoilers ahead!
The movie begins with Daphne discussing the possibility of aliens on her web show. Her online friend, Velma, is a supportive yet critical fan of Daphne's and challenges her findings, because "there's always a rational explanation." Daphne then tells Velma that her mom (who travels around the world) has been transferred to Ridge Valley High, and Daphne will be going to school with her online bestie.
This scene is the one I had the most criticisms about. I would have liked to have seen Daphne and Velma becoming online friends, or at least interacting with each other a little more, before they immediately jumped to meeting each other in real life. When you think about it, it's pretty extraordinary to have an online friendship so strong that you actually meet each other "IRL" (as Daphne says)! I've actually never met an online friend in person, and very few people online even know my real first name. It would have been nice to have some buildup to this, so the audience could be excited along with Daphne and Velma. Instead, the film rushes this scene and takes away from what could have been a really sweet and friendship-building event.
Anyways, Velma seems a bit apprehensive about Daphne coming to her school, but Daphne doesn't seem to notice. She turns on her "pump up playlist" and goes down to eat her french toast breakfast, on her first day of high school.
Daphne goes to school and sees Velma, but Velma doesn't even acknowledge her. Meanwhile, Daphne meets her senior advisor Carol, and is nearly hit in the face with an energy-ball of some sort. Carol shows Daphne around the school, and explains the "Bloom Bracket" to her. The Bloom Bracket gives all of the student rankings, taking into account academics, extracurricular involvement and even social media posts. As Spencer says, "it's like a GPA on steroids!" Daphne meets Spencer and Mikayla, two intellectually bright students, and Spencer discusses an odd invention he wants to create, which would allow your phone to make a pie.
Carol and Daphne run into Velma, who is still acting strangely and is not speaking to Daphne at all. Daphne goes after Velma to talk to her, telling Carol she is Velma's friend, much to Carol's surprise because she does not believe Velma has any friends. Later that day, Velma runs into Daphne again, when the lights begin flickering and a ghastly noise is heard throughout the hallway. Velma lies to Daphne and says she is "going to the sports match...in the sports classroom" and pretends not to notice the odd occurrence. Daphne and Velma see Spencer walking through a secret passage in the lockers, appearing to be in a zombified trance. Velma tries to leave again and repeats that she needs to get to that "sports classroom." (fantastic joke btw, and a very Velma-ish thing to say haha).
All of a sudden, something runs into the two girls. Daphne sees it is her dad. Back at home, Daphne's dad confesses to her that he has been following her around everywhere all her life, and tries to make everything perfect for her. It is revealed that Nedley actually controls every detail of Daphne's life including making her french toast (even though he had made her eggs previously), throwing a button on the floor so Daphne wouldn't be hit by the energy-ball, being Daphne's "playlist controller" and playing her pump-up playlist, and even going so far as to dress up as a female lunch lady to serve her caviar in the lunch line.
In honesty, I genuinely felt sad for Daphne! It's crazy that her dad controlled her that much and did basically everything for her. However, it was very amusing watching him dance to Daphne's pump-up playlist lol. I really liked the callback to Daphne's parents names (Nedley and Elizabeth) from The New Scooby and Scrappy-Doo Show and A Pup Named Scooby-Doo. They could have easily just made up names, so I thought it was cool they stayed consistent with the rest of the franchise. It was wonderful that they made Daphne's parents an interracial couple. Not that it's a big deal or anything, but IMO, it's good to see increasing representation in the media that there are other types of families besides the nuclear, same-race family that we seem to glorify in the US.
The next morning, Daphne has a bad start to her first day on her own, realizing "the violin serenade every morning must have been my dad" when her alarm clock goes off...well, just like any other alarm clock does. Daphne goes to school in an all-purple outfit, because her dad was apparently also her clothes closet (I'm confused though as to how, like was it a machine that he ran or was he actually picking out clothes for her every day?). Carol helps Daphne pick out a new more color-coordinated outfit when she gets to school, which is purple with aliens on it.
Daphne confronts Velma again, but she wants nothing to do with Daphne. After a cool reference to "The Curse of Crystal Cove" (it was nicely worked in too, it didn't feel forced at all), Velma tries to walk away. She accidentally runs into the school janitor, Three-Mop Maggie and wrecks her mop. The students quickly make a viral video of the incident, which was cheesy other than the "Dat mop life" caption (I think that's what it said, it flashed by within a second and was backwards on Daphne's phone). The janitor then storms away angry, because she's tired of dealing with "dat mop life."
Later, in science, Daphne tries to be partners with Velma, and she refuses until Daphne guilts her into doing so. Daphne notices Spencer acting very strangely, yet somehow no one other than her notices, despite that he is literally eating a paper towel. Velma then intentionally sabotages their experiment and splatters purple goo all over the two girls' clothes.
The girls are taken to the office of the school principal, who just happens to be Velma's aunt. They are asked to sit on "the best couch for conflict resolution" while the principal's "Timothy Bot" (basically like Alexa or Siri) goes haywire and begins calling "My Bad Boy." Daphne and Velma argue it out, and Velma reveals she just pretended to hate Daphne because she knew about what was going on with Spencer, and it's been happening for years. The girls eventually agree to solve the mystery together, after the couch nearly crushes them together. The principal comes back in and sees the girls have become friends again. Daphne tells the couch that "Velma totally sucks" so it will push her closer to Velma for a hug, which was sooo adorable! The Timothy Bot then uploads all of Principal Piper's bikini pictures to Facebook, much to her horror.
The next day, the two girls sneak out of an assembly where Tobias Bloom is presenting his latest invention, much to Daphne's frustration that she won't get pizza. Velma reveals to Daphne that she destroyed her robot child (who she unfortunately programmed to have human emotions - that was so sad lol) so she could create a formula to melt the locker where Spencer went through the secret passage. They melt the locker, but there is no secret passage, and they are caught by Three - no, make that Two Mop Mollie and sent to the principal's office again.
The principal, who apparently has no more disciplinary skills to offer, gives the girls "shame stickers" and asks them to tell her how shamed they feel. They also have cafeteria duty for a day, and run into Griffin Griffiths, the second hottest guy in school, and his dimwitted friends. I absolutely loved the dumb jocks in this film, they were so hilarious! Daphne mocks Griffin's "hot" status in school, but another kid accidentally hears it and believes they are talking about him in a flattering way. Velma's response is priceless here, particularly when he asks if they want to go out with him. "No, you should go away now." Rejected! haha
That brings us to the next scene, which is quite possibly one of my favorite scenes in the entire film. Daphne sees a lunch cart they could hide in and spy on Griffin, because she believes he may be behind Spencer's zombified state. She points for Velma to look, but Velma instead looks at the gym coach, who is about to eat a slice of pizza out of the garbage can. "No, Coach Williams, don't do it!" she yells. But it was no use, and he eats the pizza out of the trash and amusingly looks very pleased with himself for doing so. Even better was when Daphne redirects Velma's attention, and Velma looks again only to say "Oh no, he's doing it AGAIN!" lol.
Velma and Daphne enlist Carol's assistance to get on the lunch cart to spy on Griffin and his friends. Griffin and his friends discuss fatherhood, and Ryder says he wants to be a good dad. In a very amusing twist, Mike then announces that sometimes he wishes Ryder was HIS dad, because that's not awkward at all lol. My amusement with the dumb jocks continued as Mike suddenly becomes very paranoid and says "I'm being crazy again, aren't I?", and then jumps up as if he heard a wild animal when one of the girls accidentally bumps the cart. Griffin then says he has to leave because he forgot his phone in his locker, which has something very important on it. Daphne and Velma believe this is something to do with the mystery, so they follow him.
It's revealed that Griffin actually secretly likes to watch cat videos alone in the hallway. The girls see him watching one called "Cat Me If You Can" (It's actually listed in the end credits!), until suddenly, Griffin goes into a trance and goes through the secret passage like Spencer previously had. The girls are caught again by Principal Piper, who punishes them with the "Shame Drones." Sadly, the Shame Drones did not live up to their name and were pretty lame. The girls realize that whoever is on the top of the Bloom Bracket is being targeted, so Velma decides to put herself on top of the Bloom Bracket by sabotaging the other students.
There's a really sweet moment here, where Daphne assures Velma that "things are hard now, but they always get better." This film did a great job in making one of its main messages about optimism. In such a seemingly-scary, insecure world that we live in now, it's so important to remain optimistic and see the good in everything. It's a value I try to follow in life, especially with all the political drama and violence that's been plaguing the United States as of lately, and optimism honestly is what keeps me the happy person that I am and to believe in people, and life. I'm really glad the film touched on this message, as it's very important in this current cultural climate, especially for the children and teens growing up.
Velma makes it to the very top of the Bloom Bracket, only being held back by Mikayla, who we see earlier in the film with Spencer. The girls sabotage her art exhibit by turning the lights off, and inadvertently knocking over one of her pieces of artwork. Daphne sees a cloaked ghost, and accidentally discovers the secret passage which Griffin and Spencer went through. The girls run away from the ghost, in their classic running poses, and there's a fun little reference to Velma losing her glasses. Once in the secret passage, they find Mikayla, who has apparently been captured in the short time that it took to navigate the secret passage. The girls release her from the tube she is trapped in, and devise a plan to trap the ghost. They manage to trip the ghost, who is not actually a ghost, but really Daphne's dad in a bathrobe following her again.
Daphne is astonished her dad is still following her, and feels like he doesn't believe in her. Her dad then realizes that he is following Daphne because he is scared for her, rather than because she isn't smart or capable enough to live her life in the way she wants to. There's a sweet bonding moment, and Velma points out that Tobias Bloom would be the only one who knew how to invent such technology. Daphne's dad points out that there's a sticker which says "Tobias Bloom" on the machine that Mikayla was trapped in. Velma then scolds Daphne's dad and says not to ruin the girls' moment.
Honestly, this is really one of the few "feminist" scenes I can pinpoint in the film, and that's not even really much. The feminist thing was more of an undertone, and wasn't obtrusive at all to the plot. It's a great message to be putting out there to girls and women, young and old alike, that they can do anything they put their mind to and shouldn't ever feel second-best to men. The opposite is also true, though this message is important because it more often occurs with women than men.
The girls come up with a plan to expose Tobias Bloom and save their mother, who they video chatted with and were cut off after her mom encountered Bloom. The girls break into the building and bop the guard over the head with a small rock. It's difficult to hear, but Daphne's dad's commentary in the background is hilarious! (Did you just break into that building? You're grounded young lady...That's assault!) The girls go alone into the building and go into an elevator, where the lights are turned off and the classic "spooky eyes" scene is incorporated. The elevator is programmed to bring out the girls' greatest insecurities about themselves.
This scene had a really cool message too. Like it or not, we live in a society which tries to make us someone we're not and fit in with the latest trends. So many people are insecure about themselves, whether mentally with characteristics about their personalities, or physically with how your body looks. This movie sends a great message about being comfortable with who you are, whoever you are and facing up to your insecurities. This is such an important message which all viewers, young and old can relate to.
The elevator brings out Daphne and Velma's biggest insecurities, and to escape the elevator, they have to admit their flaws and think optimistically about themselves instead. They also had to fight off a pack of wolves...well, at least they would have, if Tobias Bloom would have remembered to put the wolves in the elevator. I found Daphne's huge insecurity about never having a female president interesting. It was a good, non-obtrusive way to work feminism into to the movie, but it also seemed odd that Daphne's "biggest insecurity" in life (which is said right before the president comment) was not having a female president. Though then again, if her dad has sheltered her so much, maybe it actually is her biggest insecurity!
The girls overcome their insecurities and admit to themselves they only human, so they are not perfect. They escape the elevator and run into Tobias Bloom, who reveals he has captured the brightest minds at Ridge Valley High and uses a machine to suck all of the intelligence and ideas out of them, so he can use them to make inventions for his own company. After they set Daphne's mom free and destroy all of Bloom's robotic spiders, they realize Tobias Bloom actually isn't human, but rather, a hologram being controlled by someone else.
The girls run into Carol, who reveals that she is the one controlling Tobias Bloom. She ran the entire company by herself, and had been kidnapping kids for years and placing them in tubes like the one they saw Mikayla in earlier. Daphne and Velma figure out that Carol is not actually a senior, but is actually 26. I found this whole dialogue hilarious, especially "well, you look great for 26!" Being in my mid-20's myself, I find it pretty amusing that kids and teenagers think I'm "old." However, I felt more explanation regarding Carol's plan would have been helpful. It's hard to imagine that Carol could have run the whole company (which is apparently world-famous, given Daphne's mom left a job in Tokyo to work for Tobias Bloom) for years by herself, without anyone knowing what she was doing or that Tobias Bloom was just a hologram. I think they could have made a really cool, intricate explanation to go along with it, but the "reveal" scene seemed very rushed to me and didn't make a lot of sense in hindsight.
I found it interesting that there were no ghosts or monsters in this movie at all. Even though it's uncharacteristic of a Scooby-Doo film, I felt they did a great job with the mystery overall. It does, however, make it a bit challenging in terms of the site's movie guide. I've been debating whether I should put "Tobias Bloom and Carol" as the villains, as the majority of people reading the movie guide are there because they want to read the summary before watching the movie, and I don't want to put a big glaring spoiler in the guide for those who haven't seen it. I think what I'm going to do is put the villain as "Hologram" along with a picture of Tobias Bloom while he's glitching, and thus distorted enough where you can't tell it's him, alleviating the spoiler issue while still accurately documenting who the villain is. I also wouldn't need to list Carol, as technically (at least how I saw it) she was the equivalent of the "unmasked" villain. If anyone has any other suggestions though, I'd be more than happy to hear them!
Anyways, Carol is arrested and the Bloom Bracket is taken down. The jocks are initially frustrated about it, but quickly come to the realization that the Bracket is literally a representation of societal peer pressure and how competitive our culture is. While this is a good message and a great reinforcer of the earlier "be your unique self" message, I still found the jocks' realization of this to be quite amusing, considering how dimwitted they acted throughout the rest of the film. Velma makes up with Three-Mop Maggie by giving her the mop she wrecked, Daphne makes up with her dad, Principal Piper continues dancing with her yogurt cup, and there's a sweet moment with the girls hugging Mikayla at her exhibit.
Overall, I thought this movie was terrific and one of my favorite Scooby films from more recent years. Between the great humor, interesting mystery and fantastic messages about self-confidence and being yourself, this film definitely accomplished what it set out to do and made for a very entertaining, silly movie. My only minor complaints were that the beginning scene, with Daphne and Velma becoming friends, felt a bit rushed, as well as Carol's explanation for her master plan lacking some clarity. Regardless, the movie was still great, and I would love to see a sequel! Given the sort-of cliffhanger ending, I think they could definitely make another movie without being repetitive or unoriginal. I've actually already watched this film twice since it came out!
Though the trailer worried me a bit, the acting was actually very good. I thought Sarah Jeffery's version of Daphne was very relatable, in fact I would say I'm a bit like Jeffery's Daphne in real-life, in the sense that I'm very optimistic and always have a lot of hope even when life isn't going great. Sarah Gilman's Velma stayed very true to the character, even down to her witty lines and dry humor from Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated. As I mentioned, I liked the dumb jocks a lot as well as Principal Piper. I also thought Vanessa Marano did a great job as Carol, and her friendly-yet-sarcastic personality really threw me off the trail that she was the culprit. I really liked Brian Stepanek as Daphne's father as well. He did a wonderful job playing a protective character that was a bit goofy. Spencer's actor also did a good job, for the little bit of the movie he was in where he wasn't "zombified." Besides Jeffery and Gilman, I would say my favorite actor in the film was Courtney Dietz, who played Mikayla. She seemed really into her role, and gave Mikayla a great personality whereas some of the other characters (i.e. Three-Mop Maggie, Griffin Griffiths, etc.) could be a bit dry and the acting felt forced at times.
I absolutely loved this film, and I really hope they make a sequel someday! I'm really interested to hear what you all thought of the movie, so if you've seen it, let me know what you thought in the comments!
This past week, I just got a chance to watch the "Scoobynatural" crossover episode. Without exaggeration, I think I can safely say it was the best Scooby crossover to date!
Personally, I've always loved the more adult horror take that Zombie Island had on the series' classic formula. That's part of the reason I loved this crossover so much. It provided more of an adult look at Scooby than we've ever seen before, and in fact went a bit further than Zombie Island in that regard.
The reimagining of "A Night of Fright is No Delight" was ingenious and fit so well with the darker tone of the episode. I absolutely adored all the references to the old episode, from the obvious bits such as the will reading or the cousins' death to the subtler nods like the drainpipe or the washing machine being used as a trap. The ghost's design was extra creepy, especially with the ability to use his chains as a weapon and the ghostly shriek it had!
Never having watched Supernatural before, I still felt very at home with the series and characters and really enjoyed Sam, Dean and Castiel, especially Dean's amusing rivalry with Fred. The only thing I found a tiny bit annoying about this episode was Dean's constant pursuit of Daphne, though I was happy they didn't go too overboard with it like they did with her and Starchild in the KISS movie.
Also, can we take a moment to appreciate how adorable it was that Dean wanted to maintain the gang's purity? I found that little storyline very cute, and honestly I even began agreeing with Dean when the gang had their little freak-out towards the end. I was like, aww, I want them to keep their innocence too lol!
I'll admit, before I watched this crossover myself, I was surprised by the several comments I saw from fans wanting a whole series like this crossover. I initially figured that it was probably simply the typical fanboying/fangirling that you see with crossovers, but having seen it now myself, I would totally be interested in seeing a full Scooby series like this someday. I loved the level of darkness and maturity this crossover had, and if their goal was to make me want to see more, they definitely succeeded! I've even considered watching the rest of the Supernatural series now after this crossover.
I hope someday that we'll see another crossover as good as this, because quite frankly, this was perfect! I was even genuinely creeped out by a few parts, especially the decapitated Cosgoode Creeps!
After hearing my thoughts on this crossover, I'd be interested to hear what all of your thoughts were!
Over the weekend, I finally got a chance to watch this latest movie. It was definitely one of my favorites in recent years! I haven't done a review here in a while, and since a few people requested I do one via comments and email, I thought I'd post my review of the film for you all to read. I should probably note that I'm not all that familiar with the Batman franchise as it seems many of you are, so I wasn't as familiar some of the Batman references as a lot of you all may be.
And of course, if you haven't had a chance to watch the film yet, I would recommend waiting to read this post, as there are spoilers ahead! :)
This was a fantastic film right from the beginning! Generally, the recent Scooby DTVs (particularly the LEGO ones) have been a bit of a hit-or-miss in certain aspects, but this one was a big win from all departments for me!
I loved all the references! It was so clever how they worked the intro for The New Scooby-Doo Movies into the intro. Admittedly, I haven't caught up on the Scooby-Doo! Team Up comics and the issues I've read have been very random and in no particular order. I did, however, see it mentioned elsewhere online that the film also had several allusions to the Scooby-Doo! Team Up comic series. I noticed some familiar superheroes that Scooby has teamed up with from some of the recent comic solicitations I've posted on here. I believe almost all of the superheroes have been in previous issues of Team Up, including Plastic Man, Aquaman, Martian Manhunter, Black Canary (who was actually from this month's issue!) and Detective Chimp. The only superhero I don't think had appeared previously was The Question (who, admittedly, I had never heard of before this film), though I may be totally wrong on that.
I also liked the huge lineup of Batman villains! It was fun to see Joker and Penguin teamed up together again, as I'm presuming it's some sort of reference to the New Scooby-Doo Movies episodes they both appeared in (I don't think they had ever teamed up before. And you can probably tell by now that my knowledge of the Batman franchise is very limited lol). I'll admit I wasn't familiar with all of the villains, though I did recognize classics like Catwoman, Poison Ivy, The Riddler, Two-Face and of course Harley Quinn! I was a bit disappointed when we didn't see any of the Scooby villains, as was promised in the original press release! I was expecting them throughout the whole film, and was a bit disappointed when they never showed up at all. That poses the question of why the press release included them in the first place, which I can't think of any reason other than maybe the film was retooled at the last minute.
The mystery in this film was so interesting and intricate! I'll admit I never would have expected Clayface to be the Crimson Cloak, until of course he started morphing/bubbling up while in the disguise. I absolutely loved the Crimson Cloak as the main villain! His voice, particularly when he whispered "Batman," was sooo spooky! The physical aspects of his disguise were really cool looking as well, and much different from the typical ghosts we've seen in the past. The twist ending where the Riddler was actually behind it all was really unexpected! I personally love when they add endings or layers to the mystery that are difficult to figure out, because the mysteries can sometimes be overly easy to guess, particularly in some of the latest DTVs.
The one criticism I did have about the overall mystery was why the Mystery Analysts didn't believe Batman about the Crimson Cloak letting all the villains out of Arkham. They had all seen the Crimson Cloak the first time he appeared with Batman and the gang, so it didn't entirely make sense why they suddenly wouldn't believe Batman and side with Detective Bullock. They all could have vouched that they had at least seen the Crimson Cloak with Batman earlier, rather than not mentioning anything and allowing Batman to take the blame. This may be something I missed not being a big Batman fan, but I didn't like how they made the Penguin quack. It sounded overly cheesy and didn't fit with his last couple of appearances. However, I don't know if his quacking was simply left out of his past appearances in the Scooby franchise, or if that is normal for him in other Batman episodes/movies.
Lastly, I have to say I loved the gang dressing up in the Batman costumes. It was the perfect ending to a perfect movie! It was quite heartwarming to see Batman rescue Professor Milo in the end and reunite him with his father. Daphne's final comment regarding that she knew who Batman really was so cute! You'd have to have a heart as cold as the Joker himself not to find that incredibly adorable!
Overall, I absolutely loved this movie and would highly recommend it to all Scooby fans! I'm half wondering if this movie is a testing ground for the next series, Scooby-Doo! Guess Who? if it is truly a revival of The New Scooby-Doo Movies as has been rumored. Either way, I hope to see more fabulous movies and crossovers like this one sometime in the future!
I just picked up my copy of the movie today... it was a good movie, but not overly amazing like I was hoping for.
The KISS superpowers and Crimson Witch were really cool!
The songs they picked were all good...although did anyone else think that the "Shout it Out Loud" song sounded a bit off from the original version? "Detroit Rock City" fit very well into the movie! I'd say "Rock and Roll All Nite," "Shout it Out Loud" and "I Was Made for Lovin' You" were my favorites.
The new song "Don't Touch My Ascot" really sucked! I was disappointed that WB hyped the new song so much, and then gave us a song that they probably took like 5 minutes to make. I was hoping that KISS would cover one of the classic Where Are You songs!
I loved the reference to Quest Laboratories! The reference to the Phantom of Vazquez Castle was great too!
The Daphne-Fred jealousy got annoying because they've overdone it already in the other movies. Maybe this was just me overthinking this but I thought 16-year old Daphne being in love with the 63-year old Starchild was kinda gross.
It also didn't feel very much like a "Halloween movie" as WB had advertised it.
Overall, a good movie but not amazing. 7/10
As promised, here is my Moon Monster Madness review.
I was underwhelmed by the movie, I thought they could have done a lot more with the plot, but they really didn't. I felt the plot was thin and pretty predictable, the biggest example of this being where everyone was being knocked out (leading very unsubtle up to Daphne flying the ship). It might be just that I thought the last few movies were so good that they are overshadowing this mediocre one.
I didn't like any of the jokes really, especially Fred's and the android's grew very tiring, and Fred seemed like a complete idiot in this one (which is saying a lot from my POV, I didn't mind Fred's personality in Pup at all but I hated his personality in this one). Also hated the over the top stuff in here (the part where Daphne was repeatedly slapping her hair on Velma's face for almost a full minute made me cringe, and was my least favorite part of the movie). The only joke I really thought was funny was the "Knock, Knock" "I'm not home!" part with U-Boat.
Also, the plot line of Daphne and Velma angry at each other was interesting at first, but got old later. Also, how exactly can Daphne fly a spaceship perfectly but can't drive a car?
One part I found interesting was the line where Daphne comments that her brains are more important than her hair, it made me wonder if the writers put that in there because of the controversy over Daphne's body image in FrankenCreepy.
Anyways, I didn't hate the movie, but I just found it kind of lackluster and uninteresting compared to the last movies.