Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2 (2004)

Why are infants an unrepresented majority within the film world? It’s not hard to see that there is an extreme lack of motion pictures which take you to the point of view of the baby. Even with the successes of the hugely popular animated series Rugrats, prejudices against babies still continue and experienced and accomplished filmmaker Bob Clark was aware of this when he made his groundbreaking masterpiece, Baby Geniuses in 1999.

Bob Clark’s contribution to cinema is certainly not difficult to see. Best known for his 1983 classic, A Christmas Story, his resume also includes such critically acclaimed features such as Porky’s, Porky’s II, Rhinestone, Loose Cannons and Turk 182. Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2 proved to be Clark’s final film, which I feel can rank alongside other great final works of famous directors, such as Krzysztof Kieslowski’s Three Colors: Red, Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut and Sergio Leone’s Once Upon a Time in America but do I have sufficient reasoning for comparing Baby Geniuses 2 to such ambitious cinematic works of art, a simple look at the phenomenal talent behind Baby Geniuses 2 and it all comes clear.

Producer and screenplay writer of BG2, is none other than Steven Paul, who is even listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s youngest film producer in 1979 and it comes as no surprise that such a young prodigy went on have more success as the producer of 2007’s Ghost Rider. The groundbreaking original plot of BG2 was written by Gregory Poppen, with previous credits including The Prince and the Surfer and Arthur’s Quest. With these expert writers along with the direction of Bob Clark, firmly places BG2 in the hands of master filmmakers; Toppling the original Baby Geniuses to rank alongside the likes of The Godfather: Part II or The Empire Strikes Back as one of the greatest movie sequels of all time is no easy task but they did it.

In the lead adult role of BG2, is Hollywood legend Jon Voight, in arguably his most challenging role to date, as the villainous Bill Biscane. Biscane is truly one of the greatest movie villains of all time, his character is so deep and complex, comparing him to Captain Ahab of Moby Dick would be an insult.

The special effects employed into BG2 is just the icing on the cake and a prime example of CGI used to its full potential, it only helps immerse you into the experience more. I haven’t seen GCI affects this groundbreaking since I first lay eyes on the T-1000 in Terminator 2. The babies’ mouth movements also give the film a surrealist atmosphere.

To continue talking about this film, I fear I would to it a great injustice by spoiling it. To put it simply, this is the best movie I have ever seen. The ending alone had me in tears and melted my heart. This movie changed my life; it motivated me to achieve my dreams and ambitions. Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2 is a symbol of the great things mankind can achieve. Your time on this planet won’t be complete unless you view its sheer perfection.

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Million Dollar Baby (2004)

Champion Filmmaking

***This Review Contains Spoilers***

Million Dollar Baby is a movie I find works on different levels. On my first viewing, I found the majority of the film great right up until the plot’s heartbreaking turn of events, it easily ranked as one of my new favourite films of all time. On second viewing, however, I found substantially even better as I was waiting in dread for the proceeding events; I mean almost literally quivering in fear knowing that dreadful scene in which Maggie falls to the ground and her neck lands on the side on a stool. Thanks to this movie I now fear the very sight of a stool. Million Dollar Baby is one of the most emotionally draining films I’ve ever witnessed. It’s such a powerful experience I can’t just immediately watch another film right away and I’ll still be thinking about it for days afterward; a film so absorbing you don’t want it to end. Yet the last forty minutes after Maggie Fitzgerald’s life-threatening injury are so difficult to watch. Morgan’s Freeman’s monologue in which he tries to justify a reason to pull the plug on Maggie as she got her shot and can leave the world thinking “I think I did alright” really made me appreciate being alive.

I don’t know if it was the filmmaker’s intent but I certainly get the impression Million Dollar Baby has a pro-assisted suicide message which will rub many people the wrong way. I will point out though I’m not against movies containing a message which supports a point of view, regardless of my views on the issue at hand as this (on top of making more people aware of an issue) can create a vocal point of discussion as well as being thought-provoking.

Eastwood has only become better over time, delivering an amazing streak of directorial efforts during throughout the 2000’s, with stories of unpretentious human emotion. His direction on Million Dollar Baby (as well as many of his other films) is astounding in how he makes the art of filmmaking look easy. It amazes me the effectiveness of his films despite their simplistic (at least on the surface level) and humble nature. Never has the presence of a fighter training in a darkly lit gym ever looked so immaculate. Likewise, Eastwood can combine serious drama and subtle humor perfectly. I love his smart-alecky sense of humor such as the scenes in which he annoys a priest for his own amusement or my personal favourite moment, Eastwood and Freeman’s conversation about socks. Not to mention Morgan Freeman’s narration is pure heaven to listen too, never as exposition been pleasurable. If only Morgan Freeman could narrate my life. I know its easy to throw around the “M” word, but in this instance, I will use it. Million Dollar Baby is nothing short of a masterpiece.

The Angry Video Game Nerd (2004-Present)

This Game Sucks…

The reviewing of poor media products on the internet has become a whole genre of comedy in itself. Movies, video games, anime, comic books, music, etc, all have dedicated reviewers who will pick them apart and criticize all in the good name of entertainment. One of the most famous perpetrators and originators of this genre within the cyberspace of the internet is none other than The Angry Video Game Nerd. The Nerd (James D. Rolfe), is a foul-mouthed, short-tempered retro gamer, destined to review as he would call them, “sh***y f**king games”.

The Nerd’s trademark humor is comprised mostly of strong profanity and over the top comparisons to describe how awful a game is, i.e. “This game is so hard it would actually be easier to outside in a thunderstorm and dodge rain”. It’s an acquired taste but trust me when I say there are few times in my life in which I laughed as hard when I first discovered this guy and watched his Ghostbusters review back in 2007.

This is partially due to many of the games he reviews being so horrific they almost review themselves but also because of James’ charisma as a performer. Let’s face it, almost everyone who goes on the internet and makes videos in which they try to entertain or inform (including top subscribed You Tubers, although I won’t name names) are either dull or are trying to force a personality onto themselves. James, on the other hand, is just a complete natural. He’s always an absolute joy to listen to and makes the art of appearing on camera and reviewing media (whether comically or straight) seem easy. However, James is first and foremost a filmmaker and thanks to this The Angry Video Game Nerd had considerably greater production values than most other internet content. Frankly, the guy is one of my personal heroes.

I still continue to enjoy new episodes of The Angry Video Game Nerd. I’m glad James now only makes several episodes per year, whereas at the height of the series productivity we had two every month. Some of the more recent episodes are among some of the funniest he’s ever done, not bad for something which debuted on YouTube 9 years ago. I just hope he will keep the character in this state of semi-retirement. With The Angry Video Game Nerd, James Rolfe managed to create something totally original. Countless imitators will come and go but the original will never be topped.