Thursday, June 11, 2015

Kickassia (2010) Review:

One must remember when it comes to amateur movies, there has to be a level of expectation set prior to the viewing experience. One of the biggest things audiences have to accept is that the budget is significantly lower than normal professionally made movies. This will obviously affect the look of the film in a number of ways. The idea behind it though is that the people working on it are putting in as much effort as possible to make their endeavor the best it can be. For the crew behind, there's no doubt that they are a group of people that love what they do. With each sub-section of the site having different internet personalities covering various mediums, the range at which this team can expand is endless. As flawless and creative as it sounds, being ambitious has its uphill battles and making a feature length movie is no easy walkthrough. With that said, sacrifices have to be made.

"Follow me heathens!"
A very large component to this feature length movie that was renounced is the story believe it or not. It's funny how Doug Walker (AKA The Nostalgia Critic), the guy who can't stand bad movies, makes a movie with no story. What a paradox. The film is about The Nostalgia Critic wanting to takeover a 1-acre plot of land called Molassia. That's really all that it is and it's done rather quickly. The rest is the NC and his followers going through the stages of a dictatorship, i.e. - oppression, then revolution. It's very bare bones to say the least. Joining the NC are a number of other recognizable internet personalities like the Cinema Snob (Brad Jones), The Nostalgia Chick (Lindsay Ellis), Linkara (Lewis Lovhaug), Spoony / Dr. Insano (Noah Antwiler), Joe Vargas (Angry Joe), Phelous (Phelan Porteous), Film Brain (Matthew Buck) and several others. For the characters listed above, it's difficult not to enjoy who they play because they're playing who they are on the main site. They all have their own special qwerks that make them, them. The only possible downside to this is that if you don't view the site from time to time, the viewer may feel more alienated than familiar with the cast.

But aside from the actors’ respective character roles, the writing once again suffers from a lack of any clear motivations or background info. The reason for The Nostalgia Critic to want to go stark raving world domination crazy goes largely unexplained. That is except for the fact of just starting small and then slowly taking over the world. But to be honest, it's out of character because Doug Walker is still The Nostalgia Critic, so why and when did he get so maniacally evil? An example of background information going unused is the character of Spoony with the alternate personality of Dr. Insano. Where did Dr. Insano come from? There must be an origin for him. Anyone watching this for the first time with no other prior channelawesome experience won't have a clue how Dr. Insano materialized. However, even with this second giant defect, the comedy saves this almost script-less movie.

There are certainly a number of laughs to be had here. Whether it be The Nostalgia Critic yelling at high pitches, Film Brain being overly dramatic, The Cinema Snob talking with a snarky attitude, Spoony being too paranoid or Phelous being super sarcastic, the actors looked like they had fun doing their takes. Plus, the facial expressions these actors make are quite hilarious. Another good point is when the cast breaks the fourth wall by acknowledging the budget the film was on. It's not clever but it still is funny. Either that or watching goofy fight choreography with stock footage punching noises that sound like it was taken off a Mortal Kombat video game. Heck, they even got The Angry Video Game Nerd (James D. Rolfe) for a quick, as he would call it an "obligatory cameo". Rightfully so and well said. The only other element that feels obligatory and also bad is the special effects.

Phelous is not happy....
Again, it's understood the budget was limited for this production but some of it really looks out of place. Maybe post-production was rushed? It just didn't look right in certain scenes. Then again, camerawork was decent for its finite budget. Cinematography by Rob Walker (Doug Walker's brother) maintains a steady hand for his shots and even gets a number of interesting action choreography. Although, it is hypocritical that there are several shots where the camera is hugging an actor’s face. For anyone who doesn't know, Doug Walker loathes that kind of camerawork with a passion so how he let that go, I'm not sure. Weird isn't it? The final ingredient that worked in this film's favor was the music provided by Michael "Skitch" Schiciano. Accept for a couple scenes, which involved borrowed music, much of his composition sounded original. Again due to cost issues, there's a good chance that the way the music was orchestrated was on a very tight budget. Understandable and considering the final product, it deserves a pass.

For Doug Walker's earlier film entries under his alter ego The Nostalgia Critic, the end result is a watchable romp for its comedic moments, its diverse bunch of internet personalities, appropriate music and camerawork (although its special effects are quite shoddy). As for a story, a plot barely exists with little back-story or motivations fleshed out.

Points Earned --> 6:10

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