Thursday, October 22, 2015

Box Office Review: Goosebumps

 A good friend, who chats, texts and emails movie reviews and news with me, sent me his review for the new "Goosebumps" film starring Jack Black. I trust you'll enjoy his review as much as I enjoyed reading it. Ladies and Gentlemen, a Maskerpiece Theatre guest writer, Alec the Great and his "Goosebumps" Box Office Review!

Be sure to comment below and share your thoughts. 

A Goosebumps movie in late October…and it stars Jack Black…Can’t miss, right? Well, sort of.  This movie has a lot going for it.  Creature effects by the very talented Fazil Ahmed (Guardians of the Galaxy and Dracula Untold) and direction by Rob Letterman (Gulliver’s Travels and Monsters vs. Aliens) I should have loved this movie, but I left the theatre feeling…well, not much.  It was intense and exciting.  It was decently acted by all parties.  Jack Black, of Tenacious D, plays a reclusive R. L. Stine (as well as voice acting a couple of monsters).  Perhaps the issue is that I walked in with high hopes.

The concept of the film is similar to another film I really enjoyed, Inkheart.  An author’s characters and creations, literally fly off the page and take on lives of their own.  Here, let me explain it, no there is too much, let me sum up.  R. L. Stine (Jack Black) is living a quiet life in a small town with his daughter (Odeya Rush).  A young high-schooler (Dylan Minenette) moves next door with his mother, who just got a job at the local high school (the one the boy attends, oh the high school embarrassment) and on his first day he meets a Fogel-esque (yes I just made up a word referencing Superbad) friend (Ryan Lee), who in his own cowardly way worms his way into the movie with some pretty impressive, girlish shrieking. Boy meets Girl, and monster-based hijinks ensue.

First off, I will admit that my only experience to the Goosebumps books was reading them as a teenage camp counselor to my campers at summer camp, so my knowledge of the Goosebumps Cannon is not prolific.  I was not geeking out to see creatures I had only read spooky stories about brought to magnificent life on the big screen.  I was excited based on the previews, which, from my perspective, demonstrated a Jack Black portrayal of R. L. Stine that in Pied Piper fashion, lead the three Children on a Willy Wonkian tale of pure imagination.  That was not the Jack Black that I witnessed.  He was a semi-reserved eccentric, but never wacky, lonely man who simply wanted to rationally deal with an irrational problem and keep the children safe.  He was excitable, but frankly, I expected School of Rock Jack Black and I got Professor Jack Black, Esquire.  That said, the children were fantastic and these young actors did an amazing job bringing reality to an insane situation.  They were quirky, but believable.  Future big-named stars the lot of them if there is any justice.

I had high expectations, but in the end, it was an hour and forty-three minutes of movie.  It was entertaining, but not great, and it looked great.  I wanted to be able to tell people, “You have to see this movie!”  Alas, the best I can bring myself to is, “Meh.”  I give it one ghoul and one giant mutant praying mantis.  If you are an avid Goosebumps fan, go see this movie, if not, go see Hotel Transylvania 2: You will laugh more, have more quotables after-the-fact, and generally, a better experience.

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