Thursday, November 21, 2013

Foodfight! (2012): $65m down the drain

Foodfight! (2012)
dir: Larry Kassenoff

Sometimes there are no words to describe a movie. Sometimes there are too many. Sometimes I'm not sure if there are too many or too few, and all of the words want to come out at once while also staying in my brain.

Foodfight! is my new favorite awful, awful, terrible movie where everything that could ever go wrong does in every possible way. This is a movie that cost 65 million dollars. This is an animated movie that has Charlie Sheen, Eva Longoria, Hillary Duff, and Wayne Brady as the lead voices. This is a movie that took 9 years to make. Foodfight! is a movie that is border incomprehensible, is ugly beyond words, inappropriate beyond measure, and is only appropriate for watching while drinking with your jaw agog and your eyes bulging out as you get a headache from the visuals that look like a acid-induced nightmare. And, I think that sentence is being polite.

Foodfight! wants to ride the coattails of Toy Story, but instead of animating beloved toys, it would animate the marketing icons everybody tolerates into a heroic story against the generic brands, while also reminding you that prunes are icky. But, Foodfight! fails in every way shape and form. All of the real world brands are delegated to background characters, while incomprehensible original icons are given the jucier roles. The new icons are some cereal-selling dog that looks like McGruff the Crime Dog, a chocolate-hawking squirrel that is suffering from some disease that makes its cheeks look like testicles, and some raisin saleschick who is also part cat who looks like she's straight out of Yiffy porn. These characters are voiced by Charlie Sheen, Wayne Brady and Hillary Duff, respectively.

Sunshine Goodness, the yiffy kitty is introduced as the interspecies love interest of McGruff, who is the crime-fighting detective of this grocery store icon subworld. Just as McGruff is about to propose to the kitty, she disappears. 6 months later a generic Brand X is introduced into the supermarket by a stupidly distorted madman voiced by Christopher Lloyd. Brand X, despite being generic with a black box, has a blisteringly hot female spokeswoman icon for some reason I haven't figured out. This woman spends her time dressing like Britney Spears or Jessica Rabbit with the intent of seducing a dog and a squirrel.

Of course, Brand X just wants to be the only brand on the shelf, and is slowly killing all of the other icons, who are also the lifesource of their products. In walks the Nazi iconography and even more inappropriate sexual imagery (see above). Since this is a family film, McGruff and pals figure out Brand X's plan, and foils it with a...terrible foodfight.  But, the twist is that the hot Brand X spokeswoman is actually an ugly fat spokeswoman for prunes which had been discontinued for not selling well. After the rejection, the ugly fat spokeswoman went to Brazil for plastic surgery and is now out for revenge. And, the audience goes...HUH?!

No, really...there was a brand of prunes which had been cancelled that had a zit-covered fat lady as their spokeswoman. Who went to Brazil to become a spokeswoman for Brand X.  Huh?

Obviously, this plot is already on notice for being so fucking brain damaged that it hurts. But, that's only the beginning.

The movie, for costing $65m, at times looks like it was made for the Sega Saturn. Or, maybe just the Genesis. Look at the frightening image to the right. If that rendering of an average shopper doesn't scare the living shit out of you and haunt your nightmares, I don't know what frightens you. But, if you manage to look closely, you will probably notice that the modeling is generic and boxy, with repetitive texturing and nightmarish skin tones. This is a basic lack of talent. This displays that the director didn't know the capabilities of his employees, nor how the software functioned. Of course, rendering humans is notoriously hard, especially since there is that hideous uncanny valley. Looking at the photo, I think I can easily call this the uncanny pit of hell between too close to real and not close at all. The use of what looks like a fish eye lens sure doesn't help things much. These are new depths to that uncanny valley. And, this is just one example of the terrible animation.

Take a look at this incomprehensible image. A wallpaper of noses in a segment of the movie featuring an ally that is a giant doctor nose. This weird repetition gives the whole scene a weirdly surreal depth that feels like a hypnotic acid nightmare.

When the movie isn't being brashly, obnoxiously ugly, it is being brazenly offensively inappropriate. An example is the first screencap that combines The Graduate's sexiest come on image with Nazi imagery with planes coming out of her crotch. It's not just visuals that are inappropriate either. At one point, Gruff tells the hot chick "I'm not the one who's going to be puppy-whipped, you cold-farted itch." No, I did not typo anything in that line of dialogue.  To top it off, the climax is a chick fight between the hot nazi chick and the yiffy kitty.

Then, there's the actual brands that got used...which are supposed to be the movie's raison d'etre. Mr Clean gets shat on by a fucked-up looking frog in the opening scene. No, I'm not joking. He's also apparently great at stickball. The California Raisins do play in a band. And, um...there was Charlie the Tuna and the Twinkie guy. But, they do nothing much. The only icon to get used appropriately is Mrs. Butterworth attacking people with pancakes (because she's a syrup! Get it?). Every other icon is sort of there. And, it's just lame as hell. There's also some shirtless spokesman with giant muscle tits and a thong. And, the Brawny dude. I don't even know.

This movie's complete and utter density of failure, combined with its reprehensible ambition to fill a kids movie with as much advertising as one could possibly condense into a movie makes this the perfect movie to hate watch. Sure, you're laughing at Larry Kassenoff's dreams go down the drain. But, his dream was completely offensive in trying to get kids hooked on marketing while they were growing up and impressionable. It isn't merely good that he failed, it's great that he failed with such a miserable goal.

Required Viewing. It must be seen to be believed.

1 comment:

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