Firstly, I would like to highlight that I would strongly recommend not reading this review if you have not yet watched the movie. There are spoilers ahead! You have been warned, so keep reading at your own risk if you haven't watched it.
After 33 years, the frightening tale of the 13 most terrifying ghosts upon the face of the Earth is solved...kind of.
The movie starts off with Vincent and his friend, Mortifer, fighting off the 13th ghost, who we finally discover is called Asmodeus. Asmodeus is captured and sucked into the chest, but the wandering spirits nearby in the woods attempt to get the chest from Vincent and Mortifer. Mortifer offers his life for the chest, and tells Vincent to run while he distracts the spirits (which sort of look like mini-Shadow Demons!). Vincent escapes, while Mortifer is consumed by the spirits. This was a very dark, promising setup to the movie which made me genuinely energized to see the rest of the film.
Then we have the intro. While I liked the nostalgic feel of the intro and Vincent's narration, there were a few major issues I had with it. All the demons were listed off, except for two demons which were oddly skipped over. Zomba and Nicara were never mentioned in the intro, which admittedly bugged me as those were two of my favorites. Additionally, though the other 10 demons were mentioned, two of them were sort of erroneously referred to. The Shadow Demon is said to be one of the 13 ghosts that the gang captured, which he's not. Queen Morbidia was the actual demon in that episode; the Shadow Demon was simply the ghost of someone's shadow who was actually not that evil at all. Also, instead of the ghost captain, which this movie finally confirmed to be one of the demons indirectly, the cyclone spirit was shown. The cyclone demon was not a separate ghost from the chest; it was actually the combination of Maldor, Morbidia, The Mirror Demon and Zomba when they were released from the chest. I did enjoy the intro other than that. The writers seemed to have good intentions when creating it, but they fell a bit short researching their facts and oddly leaving out two of the demons. That was a bit disappointing, as simply watching the two episodes would have prevented those major continuity errors with Morbidia and the ghost captain from happening.
We then have the scene shift to the gang chasing a person in the mall, who is quickly revealed not to be the perpetrator by a policeman. The man claims he was just running because he was "afraid of teenagers." Admittedly, I had a love-hate relationship with that joke. It was sort of funny and random, but also a bit annoying when they repeated it again at the end. The policeman tells the gang that they're out of their depth, and they should leave the crime-solving to the professionals. He also tells them Scooby needs to be on a leash due to the leash laws of the town. Feeling disgraced and humiliated, they listen to the policeman and hold a rummage sale for all of their stuff. Oddly, they didn't feel the need to listen to the policeman about the leash laws.
At the rummage sale, we see a lot of cool references to old Scooby villains: The Black Knight's suit, The Ape Man's mask, The Ghost Clown's mask, The Space Kook suit and mask, The Witch Doctor's mask, The Werewolf's mask ("Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Werewolf?"), The Shark God costume, The Abominable Snowman costume from Chill Out, Scooby-Doo! and The Black Samurai's mask. One man named Bernie Alan comes to the rummage sale and asks how much a crystal would cost. This panics Daphne, Shaggy and Scooby, who realize that it's Vincent Van Ghoul's old crystal ball. I'm not sure if this was intentional, but I can't help but wonder if the name Bernie is a reference to Bernie Gumpshure, the dog who replaced Scooby in "It's a Wonderful Scoob" after he quits solving mysteries.
Daphne, Scooby and Shaggy accidentally contact Vincent Van Ghoul through the crystal. Vincent says that the 13th ghost that they never caught, Asmodeus, has been attacking his castle. Fred and Velma, who are rightly confused, ask Daphne, Shaggy and Scooby to explain what's going on. They explain about the "summer" where they captured all the 13 ghosts except one. It is also explained that Fred and Velma were at camp during that summer. Daphne, Shaggy and Scooby enlist Fred and Velma's assistance in going to help Vincent capture Asmodeus in the Chest of Demons. Then, in a very cringeworthy scene, Daphne pulls a thin sheet off the other red Mystery Machine (called the Miss-tery Machine), which has apparently been in her garage the whole time but Fred and Velma never noticed. Such a stupid and unbelievable scene. How would Fred and Velma not have noticed that gigantic vehicle under a thin bedsheet for months? You can do better than that, WB.
Daphne takes back the unofficial role of leader, including driving the Miss-tery Machine, because Fred doesn't know how to drive a stick shift. I must admit I liked Daphne's new look in this film, definitely very empowering for her character. On the way there, in a scene very similar to what Rankor did in "Coast to Ghost," a phantom car chases the gang and runs them off the road. The Miss-tery Machine plunges off a cliff into a cold body of water, but luckily, their trusty rubber duck (a recurring gang from 13 Ghosts) breaks their fall.
Thankfully, the gang safely makes it to Vincent Van Ghoul's castle. They don't see Vincent right away, so they walk around a bit, but quickly run into Asmodeus, the 13th ghost. Asmodeus chases them around for a while, until they eventually find Vincent. Vincent asks where the chest is, and Shaggy replies that he mailed it to Vincent. Vincent says he doesn't have it, because Shaggy sent it to the castle in the Himalayas which was apparently an "Air Boo 'n' Boo". This was quite possibly one of the worst scenes in the movie, as it makes so little sense. The joke wasn't even funny, and it definitely wasn't worth creating that huge continuity error. And additionally, why would Shaggy send it through the mail? He knows how dangerous the chest is, and especially with the 13th ghost still out there, why would he risk that? Why would Vincent not ask him if he had the chest to make sure it was still safe? This doesn't make any sense, people!
Because of Shaggy's error (or rather WB's error), the gang goes to the other castle in the Himalayas to find the chest. Upon arrival, they split up in the same style as in 13 Ghosts - Velma and Fred on their own, while Shaggy, Scooby, Daphne and Vincent pair up together. The latter group runs into the phantom car again, which revs its engine to create an avalanche which they have to escape. Meanwhile, Velma and Fred run into Flim Flam, who is still a con-artist selling lots of merchandise inspired by the demon chest.
Daphne, Shaggy and Scooby finally enter the castle with Vincent, and run into Asmodeus who attempts to steal the demon chest from them. Asmodeus chases them around the castle, at one point switching to the demon-head form that all the demons took when Shaggy and Scooby originally opened the chest (in "To All the Ghouls I've Loved Before"). I thought this was a cool addition to the film, and it warmed my heart slightly that WB at least cared a little about this film. Eventually, Asmodeus corners Shaggy, Scooby, Daphne, and Vincent. Vincent says his powers haven't been working ever since Asmodeus showed up (which isn't really explained in the end, oddly), so in defense, he breaks the crystal ball, which explodes into a dense fog.
Daphne, Shaggy, and Scooby wake up outside, and quickly discover Vincent is still trapped in the castle with Asmodeus. Fred and Velma also crash-land in that area at the same time. Velma reveals that she has taken her glasses off because she doesn't need them anymore, as all her views of the supernatural have been questioned. Daphne claims that it's too late, because all the castle windows and doors are frozen shut and there's no way to get to Vincent. Fred then reveals he actually didn't go to camp in the summer, rather, he went to cheerleading training. While it was a good effort at humor, the joke wasn't particularly funny to me and seemed a bit cringeworthy and out of place.
In one final effort to stop Asmodeus, Shaggy, Daphne and Scooby make it back into the castle while Fred and Velma go to see Flim Flam again. Shaggy, Scooby and Daphne overhear Asmodeus try to steal the demon chest, which doesn't make sense to them because it can only be opened by the living, which Asmodeus is not. While I've seen a lot of fans complain about this, so it's worth bringing up that this wasn't even consistent in the original 13 Ghosts series. Many demons tried to steal the chest, and in some cases, open it even though it is said by Weerd and Bogel that the demon chest can only be opened by the living in the first episode. Three examples of this are Zomba, Time Slime and Zimbulu, the latter two of which actually did successfully open the chest.
Fred and Velma convince Flim Flam to come back with them to the castle. In a horrifyingly cringeworthy "trap," Scooby, Shaggy and Daphne pretend to be the 14th ghost to scare Asmodeus. Not only is the 14th ghost costume more terrifyingly cheesy than all 13 ghosts combined (it's literally just a white sheet with eyes and a mouth drawn on it), but there also is no 14th ghost which Asmodeus is well aware of. So, excuse my language, but what the hell did they think was going to happen?
Vincent, Shaggy, Scooby and Daphne are now all cornered by Asmodeus, until Velma, Fred and Flim Flam save the day with the Vaccu-Spook from the original series. Oddly, they only suck Asmodeus's cape off, even though the Vaccu-Spook was supposedly at its highest power (you'd think Asmodeus would have sucked in too). They reveal that Asmodeus is in fact not a real ghost, but Vincent's old friend Mortifer. Mortifer dressed up as Asmodeus so he could steal the chest back from Vincent to sell it. It's left a bit confusing as to why he wanted to sell the chest, knowing how dangerous it is, which bothered me. But what really bothered me was the ending. At the end, Mortifer escapes and revs his car engine once more to start an avalanche and trap the gang. During this sequence, the (possibly) real Asmodeus appears in the human-like form of a ghost, and disappears into the mist. Right after this, the policemen capture Mortifer and escort him to jail (or to the "ghoul-ags" as Vincent says, which I didn't find any of Vincent's spooky puns very funny).
Asmodeus is revealed to be Vincent's ancestor, Asamod Van Ghoul, who became evil and was imprisoned in the chest with the other 12 ghosts. Velma reads from the Grand Tome of the Chest of Demons that "revenge" is loosely translated as "redemption." Asmodeus just needed his good name cleared so he could be at peace. Though he was originally evil and placed in the chest as one of the 13 ghosts, he had "plenty of time in the chest to think about his misdeeds." Later, Velma comments to Flim Flam that she just made it up to comfort Vincent. It's left unclear how much of the story she made up, or if the ghost we saw was actually Asmodeus being redeemed. This was incredibly frustrating for me! It literally wrapped up nothing, except for the slight chance that there was some truth in what Velma had said. The real Asmodeus could still potentially be out on the loose somewhere, but we don't know for sure and may never know. At the very end, Flim Flam gives Shaggy some "Lotsa Luck Joy Juice" (from the first episode of 13 Ghosts) and the gang flies off in the Flying Mystery Machine (which WB messed up on too, in the original series it was the Mystery Flying Machine).
Overall, while this movie had some good potential, the gigantic continuity errors made me not like it quite as much. It also didn't have quite the same feel as the original 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo series, and felt just like one of the more recent DTVs. This movie was clearly made for the adult fans who remember 13 Ghosts, in order to the 50th anniversary of Scooby. It really irritates me that WB couldn't have done a better job researching the show and getting a feel for it. Even if it didn't have the same tone, at the very least they could have taken a few hours to watch some episodes of the show. That would have prevented most, if not all, of the continuity errors we saw in this movie. Also, Velma asking "What's a Scrappy?" is probably the worst continuity error of them all, as she met Scrappy numerous times in The Scooby and Scrappy-Doo Show (1979) and The New Scooby-Doo Mysteries. I would have liked to have seen Weerd and Bogel make a cameo as well, so it was disappointing that they didn't. If we're going by the assumption that 13 Ghosts occurred chronologically after The New Scooby and Scrappy-Doo Show and The New Scooby-Doo Mysteries, there is also a large continuity error here. In "The Crazy Carnival Caper," Shaggy says that they have all graduated from high school. Here, it is said that they are all 17 years old. Most of these continuity errors were so easily avoidable, so letting them happen was as stupid as Rankor willingly going into the demon chest to avoid the sunlight, saying "Thanks, you guys are real pals!" (He actually does say this in "Coast to Ghost," effectively capturing himself without the gang having to do anything. I still can't get over how stupid that is! How is he one of the 13 worst ghosts on Earth? He actually has to beg with SAPS to let him in, despite how powerful he should be lol)
In terms of the positive aspects of the movie, if you don't consider the continuity errors, the plot was pretty solid and Asmodeus had a very cool design. Daphne taking the leadership role and getting a new look was awesome, and the Easter Eggs were fun to see. I'm going to rate this film a 6/10. I'd maybe watch it again someday in the future, but I'm not in any hurry to and I'm sure the continuity errors will continue to make me cringe. Let's hope Return to Zombie Island is better, though I'm a bit nervous now given this movie.
Do the kids today still say that their wig has been "snatched" when something really shocking/cool happens?
Regardless, I'm a bit shook at the moment. Those of you who have followed the blog for a while now know how much I love Ghoul School, and just in time for the 30th anniversary of the film this year...the girl ghouls are coming back!
In the most recent Halloween special of O.K. K.O., Let's Be Heroes! (another cartoon currently running on Cartoon Network), the main character Enid meets back up with her old friends, who just happen to be the girls from Grimwood's! In the episode, Enid tries to come to terms with the fact that she has been lying to the Grimwood girls about being a witch. During a showcase of their powers, Enid must reveal that she is actually a ninja.
As even better news for the US fans, you do not have to wait at all to watch the new episode, titled "Monster Party." The episode has been made available on Cartoon Network's website as a special preview. You do, however, have to log in with your TV provider to be able to watch the episode (in other words, if you don't get Cartoon Network on cable, you won't be able to watch the episode here either). The episode officially airs on TV in the US on Sunday, October 21, 2018.
The episode managed to pull out all the stops for this episode, and got three of the original voice actors for the Girl Ghouls to reprise their roles. Pat Musick voices Elsa, Russi Taylor voices Phantasma and Susan Blu voices Sybella. Two new voice talents, Natalie Palamides and Kristin Le voice Winnie and Tanis, respectively.
As for my review, I'm still conflicted. I've just watched the episode and it's...uh...strange? I was really disappointed in Sybella. She seemed quite out-of-character to me and nothing like she did in the original film. The others seemed pretty in-character honestly, other than maybe Tanis, who lost the "sweet and innocent" part of her personality other than in the flashback when she was sucking her thumb.
As a quick side node, you'll notice that it's spelled "Sibella" rather than "Sybella" as I'm spelling it in the episode - but I'm still not convinced lol! The characters were quite off, and Scooby-Doo didn't have the hyphen in it in the credits. It's possible Susan Blu, Sybella's actress maybe forgot the spelling as well - it's not like it's a super popular film or anything, and she must have had hundreds of voice roles. So I'm going to be stubborn and stick to my "Sybella" spelling lol.
Scooby, Shaggy and Scrappy aren't really mentioned other than the brief joke about "the guy with his great dane" being weird.
I'm incredibly glad they made at least something to follow-up to Ghoul School (I'm still really shook at the fact that they even did it, regardless of how good or bad it was lol). However, it was a bit underwhelming for my taste. There didn't seem to be much of a storyline other than fanservicing those of us who remember the original film. The animation was a bit rough, and the horrible attempt at rapping near the end was almost painful to listen to. I may have also lost a few brain cells listening to the intro song lol.
Overall, I can't deny that I'm happy they made the episode. The Girl Ghouls are such underappreciated characters, and it's fangtastic to know that at least some people still remember them. However, the execution was a bit poor and lacked an actual plot. I'll also admit that a "what the hell am I watching?!?" thought came into my head several times throughout the episode (particularly the tree breakdancing part). The one joke I laughed at was Enid reading the "hot ninjas" magazine, it's just so amusingly random!
Yesterday for Scooby's 49th anniversary, I decided to do my typical Scooby mini-marathon of "What a Night for a Knight" and Scooby-Doo! The Mystery Begins. This year, however, I decided to also throw in the most recent Scooby film (which was released on Tuesday), Scooby-Doo and the Gourmet Ghost.
Before I give my review, I'd like to warn that spoilers are ahead!
Overall, this was a great movie and probably my favorite so far of the crossovers. The film had a really solid, interesting plot, and didn't overly focus on the guest stars at the expense of Fred, Velma and Daphne. In the past crossover movies, it feels like they have been ignored and not focused on enough. However, this movie seemed to have the perfect balance between the guest stars and the main characters.
I personally have always been fascinated with the history of America's beginnings and the Revolution, so naturally I really enjoyed that aspect of the film. The time-lapse opening was so cool, probably one of my favorite openings to any Scooby film. The historical feel of Rocky Harbor Resort provided a very nice setting.
Honestly, I'm not sure how I feel about Bobby Flay being Fred's uncle. It seems odd, given how good of friends the gang is, that Fred would never mention he had a famous uncle. If Bobby Flay was my uncle, I would be telling everyone haha! Also, as a in-universe observation that the writers probably didn't even consider, Fred has a lot of uncles! Did his parents grow up in the 1900s were the normal amount of kids was like 13? lol
Bobby's cat Nacho was so cute! He's such a helpful little guy. :) I'm a huge cat person, so I loved that they included both of the chef's cats in the film.
As for the other guest stars, for the most part, I liked Giada and Marcus. I have no idea how famous Marcus Samuelsson is in the chef world, but it seems like he really got the short end of the guest star stick. It felt like he was barely in the movie!
One large complaint I had about the film was the humor. The jokes all seemed very cringeworthy, and none of them were particularly that funny. I hated Skip Taylor, it was painful to watch some of his scenes. I normally like characters who are bit silly or dimwitted, but this was just over the top.
Speaking of which, did anyone else find Fred's comment about TV personalities to be really strange? The part where he says "It's not like a TV personality to flake out of their responsibilities." in a super sarcastic voice? I mean, what the crap? lol
Another scene that really annoyed me was when Daphne gave Fred an angry look for clapping for Giada, just like everyone else was. The "Daphne is jealous of Fred" joke had its ship sail a long time ago, it's to the point where's it's not even remotely funny any more. It's just plain painful.
I really liked the Red Ghost in this film. He was genuinely creepy looking, especially the "shushing" pieces. It felt like something out of a horror film!
The mystery was pretty good, though it was relatively easy to figure out. From the moment we met Henry Metcalf, I knew he was the Red Ghost. It was pretty easy to put the pieces together that he wanted to preserve the image of Edward DuFlay after Noseworthy revealed that there was speculation that he was a British spy. I did not, however, guess that the realtor and Henry were the same person. That was a cool twist!
For the most part, this was a really solid Scooby movie which definitely gave me hope for the future of the franchise. The plot was excellent, and it was cool how they worked the history of the American Revolution into the film. There were some genuinely spooky moments in the film, and a fantastic mystery! My one complaint was that the humor was pretty poor, as the writers mainly relied on bad puns and slapstick humor for the film, which wasn't particularly funny.
Quick side note, I apologize for not including pictures in this post like I normally have for reviews. I decided to buy it digitally on iTunes, and apparently, you aren't allowed to take screencaps off of iTunes? The second I try, the screen grays out and I get a message saying that screenshotting any film from iTunes is no longer allowed. So sorry about that guys!
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.