There are two movies coming out this weekend, neither of which I intend to see. One, Yogi Bear, is an apparently terrible movie based on the equally awful cartoons. The other, Tron Something, is reportedly a not-all-that-great film which is a sequel of a film which wasn't all that great.
So anyway, I'm seeing a lot of writing about these two bad-to-mediocre movies, and I keep seeing two things already hinted at above that are bugging me. Here's an example of the first thing: Mike Hale, in the New York Times, says of Yogi Bear, "...this mostly live-action film is a bland 21st-century family comedy without a single moment that captures the wit, energy or sophistication of the original, which by now dates back more than 50 years."
What on earth is he talking about? The original Yogi Bear cartoons were not good! OK, they may make you nostalgic, or you may have loved them when you were six-years-old; you can claim that the voice actors were good, or mitigate their terribleness by claiming that they had low budgets and that Hanna-Barbera's limited animation technique has a charm all its own, but there is simply no getting around the fact that anything that ever had Yogi Bear in it constituted the art of animation at its worst. Wit, energy or sophistication? Not in evidence in Hanna-Barbera's product from the Yogi Bear era, particularly when considered in relation to what came before (the golden age of theatrical animation) and after (the renaissance of the art form in the 80s and 90s) it. It's alright to be nostalgic about it, I guess; heck, "Afternoon Delight" makes me nostalgic, but that doesn't mean it's good.
Moving on to Tron! The reaction I'm seeing to this movie so far is, "Awwww, gee... after all that hype, and with all the neat special effects, it's just not a great movie." Sounds familiar! Sounds like the original Tron! I was 17 when the original came out, and I remember thinking, "Cool computer animation. Too bad they had to waste it in such a corny movie." So why the surprise that the sequel is also, according to most reports, kinda hokey and dumb?
So anyway, that's what bugged me on the internets today.