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Posts Tagged ‘Cookie Monster’

Monster spend last few months on vakation where me bone up on cursive writing, try all tree boardings – wake, paddle, and water for first time (Me MUCH prefer first two!), and generally healing from mental scars inflikted by 94 straight weeks of Supermovie reviews.  Now me back after much-needed R&R (Rest and Remi Martin) and rarin’ to go!

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Watching dis movie be like taking in spectakular fireworks show.  In sepia.  While your girlfriend breaks up wit you over de phone.  For two and a half hours.

Movie open on alien world Kripton where scientist Kal-El inform ruling council planet be doomed because of environment (Al Gore-El was right!).  Meeting interrupted by rebellious General Zod and co. who stage coup.  He offer Kal-El to trow in wit him, but Kal-El refuse.  Den have to eskape and get chased back to his home (Couldn’t he have just said “Okay, me wit you?” and den snuck back nice an easy?  No?) where he launch his son away in a space ship wit someting called “De Codex”!

Zod and co. be captured and punished by getting encased in giant vibrators before being fired into De Phantom Zone.  And den Kripton explodes.

Nooo!  Don't banish me to de sea of vibrators!

Nooo! Not de vibrator rockets!

aheJ4oP

On Earth, years later, Kal-El’s son grow up to become Clark, handsome shirtless guy who save co-workers from oil rig fire before washing up on shore somewhere and steal somebody’s clothes (THIEVERY!  SUPERMAN BE A THIEF!).

His shirt got burned off in de fire.  His beard and pants be just fine tho!

His shirt got burned off in de fire. His beard and pants be just fine tho!

Flashback to young Clark who get picked on all de time, saves skool bus full of kids, and be super-hypersensitive to EVERYTING – like dat time monster ate 6 boxes of Oreos and suddenly able to hear people’s hair grow.  And bee farts.

Flashforward to Clark working at diner.   Customer give him a hard time.  So he destroy guy’s truck (MALICIOUS DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTY!  SUPERMAN BE A VANDAL!).

Military discover strange objekt buried in 20 000 year old ice in Arctic.  Dey be VERY sekretive and maintain AAA security, only letting ONE snoopy reporter (Lois Lane) onto site and one guy who presumably wander on wit no background check (Clark), and den allowing BOTH to get on buried objekt…which aktually be a ship! Clark awaken it, save Lois from floaty cobra robot, den drop her off before flying ship away to somewhere inept military unable to track it (say, other side of de mountain).  Hologram of Kal-El fill Clark in on his backstory after which Clark puts on super suit, flies around, and crashes.  Dis be de ONE fun beat in otherwise bleak movie.

Flashback to young Clark fleeing tornado wit his family.  Dad goes back to save dog in car and injures ankle.  Cars and tankers get blown around by wind but, for some reason, dad rooted to spot like he built into ground.  Clark wants to save him but Dad waves him away.  Naaah, don’t bother.  So he die.  And Clark left feeling guilty for not helping.  Tanks, Dad.

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Flashforward to news reports.  Space ship heading for Earth!   Creepy cool message from General Zod demand Earth turn over Clark.  Clark turn himself into military – who turn him over to Zod.  And Zod demand Lois as well.  Why?  Beats monster.

Clark taken up on ship where become weak and experimented on.  Lois locked up but, luckily, she have Kal-El hologram device dat Clark slip her (Guess he had hunch to bring it along and give it to her – just in case!).  Hologram Kal-El save her.  Ish.  She get in pod and plummet to Earth.  Clark regain super strength for reasons monster not exaktly clear on,  den save falling Lois IN DE NICK OF TIME!

Turns out Zod plan to terraform Earth and repopulate it wit Kriptonians kept in “De Codex” much like plot of dat episode of Stargate, Scorched Earth.  After all, if dey keep Earth as is and not terraform, dey would ALL be a bunch of supermen – and who wants dat?

Clark fly to town and take on Zod’s soldiers, getting into fistfight at IHop just like us regular folks!

While Zod initiate terraforming machine and start killing thousands of citizens, Superman on other side of planet destroying another tingie (Yo, super dude. Priorities!).  Military manage to destroy terraform machine on their own (Tanks for nothing!) and Lois plummet from back of plane.  Clark sweep in and save her IN DE NICK OF TIME!

Superman to de reskue...uh, too late.  Never mind.

Hurray!  Superman to de reskue…uh, too late. Never mind.

Showdown wit Zod!  Mayhem!  Destruktion!  Thousands more killed!  (Yo, super dude.  Couldn’t you take dis somewhere else?  Space?  De desert?  Out over de ocean?)

Finally, he defeat Zod by cleverly…breaking his neck.  Wait!  What?!  Superman kill Zod?!  (KILLING!  SUPERMAN BE A MURDERER!).  Okay, okay.  Mebbe dis be new version of Superman.  He killed Zod and clearly anguished about it.  Rest of movie will explore heavy burden of murder on his conscience.

Or not.

Clark gets job as reporter working wit Lois.  (OBSESSED!  SUPERMAN BE A STALKER!)

De End.

Overall, everyting make story sense (more or less) and performances pretty good, but dis be filmic equivalent of having to attend an uncle’s funeral at Six Flags.  Wit unbelievable romantic B story tacked on.

VERDIKT: Dis not your father’s Superman. Or your grandfather’s superman. Hell, when it come right down to it, dis not Superman at all. It be a movie about some other guy with super powers.

RATING: 6 chocolate chipped cookies.

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Boy, dere be nothing worse den doing someting really embarrassing like slipping on a banana peel and falling down a flight of stairs or making a really shitty movie.  Fortunately, dere be convenient way to cover such faux-pas.  Just adopt ye old “Me meant to do dat!” excuse. Ie -

Rosita burn down Mr. Hooper’s store during Cinque de Mayo celebrations = “Me meant to do dat!”

Bert and Ernie misplace Elmo during White Party in Miami = “Me meant to do dat!”

Grover pass out at strip club and wake up wit shaved ass = “Me meant to do dat!”

So Monster have sneaking suspicion dat, at some point during produktion of dis movie, producers realize Black Scorpion going to be a massive turd.  Instead of pulling plug, dey make tweaks to movie to make it seem intentionally cheesy.  Unfortunately, it such a slap-dash patchy job dat movie end up feeling like a schizophrenic Frankenstein monster who REALLY like to show her boobies.  A lot.

Movie begin wit cop father telling young daughter, Darcy, terrible age-inappropriate bedtime story about lying killer scorpion.  Monster suppose it could have been worse.  He could have told her de one about hooker and pirate wit peg leg.

After telling story, father go out and gun down some bad guys.  And an innocent ER doctor.

Years later, Darcy grow up to be a cop.  She be pretty good – until her father gunned down and she get kicked of police force for threatening killer wit gun.  It lead to dis fantastik exchange:

Police Chief: You’re suspended.

Darcy: It’s because I’m a woman.

Police Chief: It’s because you pulled a gun on a suspect.

Darcy: But he killed my father!

Oh.  Okay.

So what a girl to do?

Well, if you’re DIS girl, you dress up in totally inappropriate unwieldly outfit, don mask, call yourself Black Scorpion and go out and fight crime.  She beat up bad guys.  She use her energy boots to jump really high.  Wait.  Energy boots?  How she get energy boots?

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Dey call him Argyle because…er…search monster.

Eventually, our heroine confide her true identity to someone.  Her supportive detective partner she in love wit?  Of course not.  How about some goofy criminal.  Better!  But why she confide in him? Because she need him to turn her car into a poor woman’s batmobile.

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Percival J. Smogley III

Meanwhile, not-so-super villain who look like reject from de old Mighty Morphin Power Rangers t.v. series enact plan to bas entire city.  He warn everybody and tell dem to pick up gas masks at Bureau of Research and Engineering and Atmospheric Technology for Health. Yep, for some reason, BREATH corner de market on gas masks.  And no one de least bit suspicious.  Villain survey de street-level panic on his wall of twenty-four t.v. screens.  But because he too cheap pay for cable, all twenty-four monitors show de same channel.

Big anti-climactic climax take place at….BREATH headquarters! Surprised?  Me not want to spoil big reveal dat ER doctor shot by Black Scorpion’s father secret identity of villain so please do not read dis sentence.

Movie end wit partner telling fellow cops dat Darcy save de day!  And dey all laugh because, of course, Darcy a girl.

VERDIKT: Gratuitous nudity greatly appreciated, but not enough.

RATING: 3  chocolate chippee cookies.

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Crow posterFull disklosure: Monster not a fan of mimes.  It be a phobia me have (like heights, tight places, and Celine Dion) dat go all de way back to monster’s childhood.  Me often try to figure out why dis be, and always come up wit tree possible reasons: 1. Mimes be second-cousins of clowns who, everyone can agree, be creepy mofo’s.  2. Mimes never speak clearly mean dey have someting to hide.  3. When monster just a kid, me get punched in eye by drunken mime.  For dese reasons, me tink me not like mimes.  Also because, for many years, street mime dat perform outside monster’s apartment building always doing invisible wall gag.  It not so bad except dis particular invisible wall be bathroom stall.

Anyhoo, all dis to say: me not like mimes.  So when presented wit dis movie about an undead mime (!), monster about as enthusiastic as Grover at a waxing bar.

But dis movie surprise monster.  In a good way.  Not like sucker punch in de eye.

Let's do the time warp agaaaaiiiiin!

Let’s do the time warp agaaaaiiiiin!

The Crow be a classic revenge tale.  Boy meets Girl.  Boy loses girl – and life.  Boy comes back from de grave and kill a bunch of bad guys.

After he and his girlfriend get killed by bunch of thugs, Eric Draven take it very personal.  He crawl out of his grave, don pancake make-up, and become…Super Mime.  No, scratch dat.  He become…De Crow!  But, er, why he wear pancake make-up?  He not exaktly trying to hide his identity.  He tell everyone who he really be: cops, a kid, de bad guys he about to kill.  It not as if police can go arrest him at his new cemetery loft.

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He be good at killing AND art.

Drawing inspiration – and power – from a crow, Eric, aka De Crow, start exacting revenge on thugs responsible for ruining his life.  One by one, he pick dem off, skewering one wit multiple knives, pincushioning another wit needles, taping another into his car before sending it speeding off a dock AND blowing it up, culminating in big shoot-out and Gothic rooftop swordfight in dead of night and driving rain!  It all presented as pretty straightforward revenge fare, but it very satisfying because all de elements work.  Solid direktion, a good skript dat only occasionally cheesy, and some very good performances.

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He like it spicy!

Movie work so well because it, at it’s heart, be a story about love and loss.  De Crow not be your typical vigilante but a tragik figure.  Dis conveyed in his backstory, his love for his girlfriend, in brilliantly broody performance by Brandon Lee, and in his relationships wit two secondary characters: a by-de-book cop and a street kid wit a chip on her shoulder.  On de surface, de latter seem as cliched as de movie’s plot but, like de plot, it transcend formula and stereotypes to deliver a film wit surprising heart and depth.

Verdikt: Puts almost every other bloated, big budget superhero movie to shame.

Rating: 8.5 chocolate chippee cookies!

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Guyver - posterMovie begin wit an opening scroll, just like Star Wars.  Unlike Star Wars, however, opening scroll accompanied by voice-over because Guyver fans either illiterate or too damn lazy to read.  As far as info dumps go, dis be as big a dump as a movie can take.  We learn dat dere be creatures living among us called Zoanoids.  And dey led by a Zoalord.  And dey work thru a company called Chronos Corporation. And Chronos Corporation working on a mysterious someting called De Unit.  And a scientist working on De Unit steal it.  And he be on de run from Chronos Corporation and its various Zoanoid subsidiaries.  Phew. Okay.  We up to date.  Now we can start aktual movie!

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Quit smoking wit de cigarette-helmet!

We open on scientist on de run.  Idiots chasing him spot him from top of bridge and yell “There he is!”, alerting him. Dis give him time to hide De Unit.  When bad guys show up, he mutate into…hokey Halloween costume.  Bad guy responds by mutating into…another hokey Halloween costume.  Two “fearsome” creatures face off.  But fangs and claws just for show.  Instead of biting and clawing like most self-respecting monsters, it’s Marquis of Queensbury rules as de creatures exchange punches and occasional kicks to each other’s rubber gonads.  Bad guys win but De Unit nowhere to be found.

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Trick or treat!  Oh, trick?  How about de fakt you paid to see dis movie?

CIA agent Luke Skywalker pay visit to scientist’s daughter, a woman who run a judo skool.  He tell her he was about to meet her father when he witnessed him being murdered.  Oh, sure, me suppose he could have hurried over to help or maybe even yelled at de bad guys while dey be killing her dad, but dere be no point in crying over spilt milk.  Or dad blood.  Luke all full of qwestions for her but she not have any answers.  Hell, she barely able to string two sentences together.

Unbeknownst to her, she being stalked by creepy judo student, Sean – but dats okay because Sean be our hero.  One night, he be wandering thru a dark alley, minding his own business, when he get surrounded by what passed for a scary street gang in 1991.  Dey beat him up but Sean end up fusing wit De Unit which he, coincidentally, found and helped himself to while watching a police forensic team search for it.   Sean transform into De Guyver and proceed to beat up and kill gang members while dispensing what passed for wry witticisms in 1991.  In keeping wit crap aktion movie tradition, scene culminate in someone ending up head first in a trash can.

Meanwhile, Agent Skywalker try to console grieving daughter.  He talk about her dad.  She cry.  He console her – and try to move in for a kiss.  Seriously.  Dude.  Her dad just died!  Fortunately, dey be interrupted by friend who drop by.  Agent Skywalker tell dem he will go out and pick up someting to eat – because, presumably, he never heard of delivery – and leave.  While he gone, scientist’s daughter get kidnapped by bad guys.

BUT before bad guys can get away, Sean arrive on de scene.  He reskue scientist’s daughter and dey run away.  Bad guys turn into rubber monsters and run after dem, seguing into agonizingly long chase sekwence.  At one point, Zoanoid end up on movie set and get instruktion from direktor who believe he be aktor in shitty monster costume.  Ha ha!  Joke on direktor.  He aktually a REAL ZOANOID dat just LOOK like aktor in shitty monster costume!

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De only ting phonier den dat rubber monster suit be her akting.

Cornered in a warehouse, Sean transform into…De Guyver!  More slapping, punching and kicking.  But Guyver get beaten and unplugged.  He end up deflating faster den Grover’s blow up doll at a Jamaican Sandals resort.

But all not lost!  In a twist you never see coming – because it not make any sense at all – Sean come back to life after scientist’s daughter recover Unit’s control crystal.  How she do dis?  Oh, after being brought back to bad guy’s lab and shown de control crystal, she pick up some handy piece of equipment and send gutless scientists running for cover “Look out!  She might hit us wit dat stapler!”), allowing her time to just help herself.

Sean and De Guyver are back!  And better den ever….uh…back about as good as before.  More punching, kicking, and slapping.  Agent Skywalker mutate into giant cockroach and, in one of movie’s most heartfelt moments, die. his little cockroach head going limp in Guyver’s arms. Dis make Guyver VERY mad and, after defeating various Zoanoids, be beat up and blow up Zoalord.  De end.

But wait!  All bad guys not dead yet.  J.J. from de old Good Times t.v. show and some other guy survived.  Guy tells J.J. he needs him to do someting for him.  And J.J. reply: “Dynomite!”, really nailing what passed for a very funny in-joke…in 1991.

Verdikt: Lots to hate here and it impossible to cover everyting.  Me need second review to cover atrocious music and transitions alone!

Rating: 2 rubber chocolate chippee cookies.

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TA posterDis movie about as subtle as Grover at a stripper convention.  It take a potentially funny premise, den beat it into de ground wit de most obvious and heavy-handed execution possible.  It as if makers of dis film assume audience be so stoopid dey need to make absolutely certain dere be no doubt dis supposed to be a parody.  Norbit be a nuanced masterpiece in comparison.

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Neeeeerd!

Movie open wit PSA on dangers of toxic waste dumping.  We cut to Tromaville, toxic waste dumping capital of de U.S., where a nerd janitor, Melvin work at a health club.  “Nerd” actually be too kind.  He be a borderline brain dead Urkle.

Melvin get picked on by bunch of health club members who humiliate him, den chase him thru a window.  Melvin end up landing in vat of toxic waste, get horribly disfigured and run home.

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Dis be monster’s reaction when he realize dere still half hour left in dis movie.  Noooooo!

Once home, he transform – from idiot nerd to big brawny mutant. From dis point, movie just a collection of extended fight sekwences where new-look Melvin beat on thugs, most of who have basic knowledge of kung fu.  Along de way, Melvin reskue and fall in love wit a blind girl who move in wit him at toxic dump.  Me know, me know.  It sound sort of funny.  But trust monster.  It not.

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You know I’m bad, I’m bad, you know it!

Movie obviously made at a time when bar for comedy set super low. How low?  Well, “hilarious highlights” include: racism, gore, attempted rape, shooting of seeing eye dog, gun pointed at baby, and innocent young boy getting head crushed by a car.

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Incognito lover’s stroll

Dey sure not make dem like dey used to.  And dat because dey used to make dem real crap.

Verdikt: It have all de makings of a movie so bad it be good, but dis turkey so bad it aktually BE bad.

Rating: 1 chocolate chippee cookie.

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DS posterDr. Strange?  More like Dr. Creep!  Apparently, dis guy not familiar wit de Hypocritical Oath, but he all sorts of familiar wit “doctor-patient confidentiality”…if you know what me mean.  No?  Well, let monster put it dis way.  When he around de ladies at work, he like Cookie Monster at a bake sale.  Or Grover at a topless bake sale.

We introduced to Dr. Stephen Strange who be a psykiaktric resident at local hospital  – and major player.  And not necessarily in dat order.  Dis guy more unprofessional den Dr. Bunsen Honeydew at a Science World “History of Lube” exhibit.  He sexy talk wit head nurse and den kiss her – in middle of hallway in front of everyone – which lead monster to assume dey be in a relationship.  But when good-looking mental patient end up in his care, he not have any problem hooking up wit her either.  At one point, another female patient visit him complaining about painful ulcer.  He say to her: “I’ve got an extra bed and I can give you something to help you sleep.”  Sure you can, doc.  Sure you can.

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Today’s hospital special: Free Temperatures Taken!

Meanwhile, a sorceress who worships a demon puppet is given tree days (Why tree days?  Why not!) to kill an old wizard before he can pass down his power to worthy successor – or, barring worthy successor, creepy doctor who happen to own a weird ring.

Old guy, it turn out, live in downtown brownstone dat renovated to resemble Fred Flintstone’s digs.  He be shacked up wit younger man, Wu, who look after his needs and refer to him as master.  Er.  Yeah.  Old man show him drawing of sorceress and tell him to remember her face.  Really?  How de hell he supposed to do dat?  It be like police putting out APB on actor who played Archie Andrews in de live action movie and distributing comic book for identification purposes.

It turn out old man be on to sorceress and head out to confront her.  She pull de old bait and switch, showing up, den disappearing, den mind controlling innocent woman into pushing him off bridge down to street below.

Old guy get up and limp away.  “Hey, buddy!”somebody call.  “You sure you’re alright?”  Of course he alright!  He only plummeted 20 feet onto concrete and get hit by a car.  You’ll have to do better den dat if you want to kill a wizard!

Cue weird synth music!  Cue inexorable extended guitar solo!  Cue trippy dream sekwence!  Cue astral travel!

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Hey!  Who took away my keyboard?!

Dr. Strange “treat” young woman mind-controlled by sorceress.  He shake hands wit old wizard and get power – also, possible cold.

But sorceress gain entrance to old guy’s bedrock pad and string him up on astral plane where he lose his powers and resemble Alice Cooper’s dad.  Dr. Strange follow and battle sorceress who, it turn out, really just looking for someone to love and have a baby wit.

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Dazzling visual effekts!

Overwhelmed by Dr. Strange’s manly moustache, she try to hook up wit him – but he rejekt her and den blast her wit energy bolt just in case she not get de message.

De End.

Except movie goes on for another half an hour.  Strange goes thru lame ritual.  He become official apprentice sorcerer.  He screw with street performer.  Puppet demon punish sorceress by making her really old.  And, mysteriously, a couple of scenes later, she back to her old self, on Earth, and now a self-help guru.

Now really De End.

Verdikt:  Cheesy and lame but unintentionally hilarious and mercifully short.

Rating: 3 chocolate chippee cookies.

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GQ posterDis movie remind Monster of time me, Big Bird, and Grover attend furry convention (Why not?  We furry…AND fuzzy!) figuring it be great opportunity to network wit other muppets.  But, sadly, no aktual muppets in attendance – just bunch of frisky imposters.  At one point, horny wookie chase monster into utility closet and me have to crawl thru vent to eskape.   Me lose guest badge and pants and not able to get back in, so miss parade, furry rave, and motivational speech by H.R. Pufnstuf.  Big Bird get into fistfight wit Magilla Gorilla impersonator and spend night in jail.  Grover bang Candy Kong.  Anyhoo…

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Requirements for casting lead: Great hair?  Check!  Great chin?  Check?  Great actor?  Well…two out of three not bad.

Galaxy Quest either a love letter, or scathing editorial, of SF t.v. fandom.  Which way you interpret film will dictate your response.  Monster not a huge scifi fan.  When me see police box, me not automatically tink time travel device but good place for stacking policemen or emergency porta-potty.  And while me not know able to tell difference between a Minosian and a Mintakan, me familiar enough wit likes of Dr. Spock, Bubba Fat, and Lando Kardassian to get humor of de movie and NOT be offended.

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Space babe!

Movie begin at fan convention for much-loved SF series, Galaxy Quest dat similar to t.v. version of Phantom Menace, though not as cheesy.  All former cast present for panel and autograph session including douchebag former lead.  But science fiction becomes science fact when former t.v. Commander get enlisted to help group of aliens resist machinations of evil lizard beings.   And before you can say “Grabthar’s Hammer”, he be joined by rest of his reluctant co-stars in an epic space-faring adventure.

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Give him a hand.  He’s British!

De movie poke fun at scifi t.v. tropes as our fish-out-of-water heroes assume de personas of deir fiktional counterparts, referencing an old t.v. show dat deir alien allies believe to be aktual “historical records”.  It all lead to aktion, adventure, a surprising amount of pathos (Yes, he be one of the Tree Musketeers!), and lots of laughs.

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Alien nerds!

It culminate in a thrilling albeit incredibly stoopid climax involving highly convenient time travel.  Boo!

Still a very good, very funny movie dat give Monster newfound respekt for you pasty-faced geeks.

Verdikt: Me want to rate it even higher, but dat time travel twist at end be a disappointing cop-out.

Rating: 8.5 chocolate chippee cookies.

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