Monday, October 12, 2015

Liar, Liar Vampire Nickelodeon Original Movie Reviewed

I've played every Castlevania!

What is it? single-camera Nickelodeon Original Movie
Where did it air? This is just a shot in the dark but something tells me...Nickelodeon. 
Who stars in it? Brec Bassinger, star of Bella and the Bulldogs and Rahart Adams, main love interest of Every Witch Way. Amazingly enough, I actually really like both those shows.
Why are we reviewing this? Because a Nickelodeon Original Movie willing to make a reference to a character having played every Castlevania game deserves a fair shake of a review.

I have a feeling that again this is going to be the exact opposite of what everybody else thinks but...I already liked Liar, Liar Vampire better than Invisible Sister. Or instead of dragging that in, I just liked Liar, Liar Vampire period.

Let's get one thing out of the way: Rahart Adams is just a little rough in this. If you've seen Every Witch Way or if you're like me you dare to actually be an active fan of that show you knew this coming in. I for one didn't find it too distracting. In fact I completely get what they were going for casting him in this role in the first place. I don't know if the roughened edges really quite ended up enhancing the role like the director and studio execs imagined it would've, but me, whatever, I'm fine with it. Cue a billion people calling me a hypocrite for dinging Rowan Blanchard for exactly this problem, especially when it was a problem that was completely non-existent for her in the first place. 

I haven't had a chance to rewatch Invisible Sister yet, but the more I think about I think I just have a problem with Cleo more than I do the Rowan behind the Cleo. Cleo seemed so dead-on serious when absolutely everything and everyone around her would've been perfectly at home partying in Dexter's Lab magically transported to Bikini Bottom with CGI fairy step-parents to a kid being played by Drake Bell who is obviously doing the role to try to pay off that crippling debt he has now. Molly's boyfriend was literally a live-action cartoon character. Literally. Again, he would've been just at home on Total Drama Island or 6teen. Maybe even Johnny Test (uuughhh, I can't believe the guy who did BTR and 100 Things is the same exact guy who did that). Come to think of it, it's almost as if Cleo was trying to rebel against being a cartoon character on a live-action cartoon, and the big climatic resolution of the movie was Cleo learning to live with and accept the fact that she's a cartoon character on a live-action cartoon. Now there's a plot twist for you!

Rahart Adams' Davis, on the other hand, is goofy enough to fit along with the rest of the movie and I had fun with it. A plot like Liar, Liar Vampire, while technically more grounded is just more inherently goofy than Invisible Sister still, so I'm glad they just went with it. That's one thing that can be both the boon and downfall of Nickelodeon original movies vs. DCOMs; they don't even try any pretense at being anything but goofy and silly, and how it works as a success or failure depends on either if the silliness is simply entertaining enough or if there's some heart to go along with it. Heart is what made Splitting Adam work, and for Liar, Liar, I'll have to think about that some more. But I was entertained, so I'll put it down as a success. 

Brec Bassinger really is the Rowan Blanchard of Nickelodeon right now. For starters Bella and the Bulldogs really is the closest thing and best competition Nick has to Girl Meets World right now (at least in terms of thematic compatibility) and she's a pretty good actress. She handled the savvy/sane-one-in-cartoonland role pretty well, maybe in a more successful way than Rowan, maybe the same. She wasn't really so...dark and wound-up about the social order in her school like Cleo as so much as using Rahart's Davis as a proxy for her revenge. This means that, instead of Cleo trying to exactly mimic Molly we have Davis just being influenced into actions dictated by others (not just by Brec's What's Her Face - yeah, I forgot already - but by the whole entire school). The ending with the revelation that the girlfriend knew the farce all along seemed like it was going to be a cop-out that would've absolutely knocked a grade point off but then the movie pulled the rug on us on that one too. People were pissed off at Davis for being a fake for less than five minutes before moving on to her being a fake and moved on from that in less than five minutes as soon as Crazy Van Hellsing Wannabe shows up. See, high school really does work like that.

I'll hold off on final scores and stuff until Mike chimes in, I imagine we could go back and forth on this one for a little bit longer.

Oh no. I just realized I have to sit through this.

I saw the promos for this movie and it immediately turned me off. I mean, just going by what was already explained........someone thinks this guy is a vampire due to wacky coincidence after wacky coincidence. Then he just goes along with it and everybody seems to think he is a vampire. This is, um......what you usually get from Nickelodeon movies so I did not waste my time watching it. I still hate the fact that they put Fun Size in theaters because apparently, they thought it was actually good enough for that. I don't even remember that movie making a whole bunch of money or even getting positive reviews. A little homework for me. Unknown, maybe you could look into that?

I'll see if I can catch this on a replay. I still have that Thundermans/Bella and the Bulldogs review coming up. What I have decided to do is review both new episodes tomorrow and for every other episode that has come for both shows on Wednesdays so far, I'll just do joint reviews until I'm officially caught up. It's going to be tough because The Thundermans gets reruns all the time while Bella seems to air probably twice a week. In fact, I bet Nickelodeon airs this movie twice more during the week and never again just to dig it back up next Halloween.

The last Nick movie I remember liking was Rags. It wasn't an excellent movie, but Max Schneider and Keke Palmer. Plus, both of them are great singers so you could expect some enjoyable music, and the overall story wasn't half-bad either. The modern-day version of Cinderella was cool, and not only did it feel honest, it was also charming and something that I wouldn't mind watching again. Also, Spectacular! was a decent movie. Yeah, Nickelodeon will never have Disney Channel's reputation for original movies. They should just stop and give movies to their actual SHOWS. You know, like Disney does sometimes? Good Luck Charlie, Wizards of Waverly Place, Suite Life, Even Stevens. I mean, Hannah Montana and Lizzie McGuire went to theaters, and you can't even give The Thundermans a movie? How dare you, Nickelodeon?! HOW DARE YOU?!

I'm sorry, I lost my train of thought. But yeah, I'm going to have to take a rain check on this movie. Friday? Oh no, Friday's a different story. The series finale of Jessie, Part 1 of Girl Meets World: The Texas Movie. We're covering it all. Plus, some possible pregame analysis all weekend long. 

I remember first watching Fun Size and I thought it was amazing. Then again, that was on actual Halloween night (at home, on DVD) and I may or may not have been hopped up on candy. And beer.

Exactly a year later I popped it in, what a difference sobriety makes. Forget about people actually thinking it was good enough to be in theaters, it was shocking to think that people thought it was good, period. It was shocking to think thought it was good. What was I thinking? Seriously?!

My biggest pet peeve is when kiddie shows feel like they have to ape more adult movies - raunchy adult movies, no less - and expect that the plot and jokes will transition perfectly after putting them through the censor and moral guardian wringer and "punching up" the material with an endless stream of topical pop culture references that are supposed to be inherently funny in their own right without an actual punchline (Niki Minaj! Taylor Swift! Where's my writing paycheck?) This and Zuri are a big reason why the Jessie portion of Good Luck Jessie NYC Christmas makes me desperately want to punch someone in the face. 

It's pretty easy to see that, again, that's what they were going with Fun Size with The Hangover again trickling down into a tired missing babysitting charge plotline. You know what? After Good Luck Jessie, after Fun Size, and especially after The Hangover Part 2, I think we can all agree that the world would just've been better off if The Hangover simply never existed in the first place no matter how good it may have at first been.

Yeah, I'll let Mike get back on Liar, Liar Vampire and see if he'll think better of it. I guess I better do the same for Invisible Sister as I guess it's only fair. BTW did you get my link to Gotcha Day yet, Mike? Also feel free to chime in on the other stuff, I see you added some text to my blog announcement. Sorry to drop that bomb on you suddenly, there will be more announcements coming up.


  1. Eh, I'm not sure. the plot sounds weak and Nick has ot made a good rep with me for TV Movies. The past few has been poorly market rushed jobs that are gone even sooner than they arrive. Maybe Splitting Adam is hte best thing ever, but Nick seems to just forget about it as well as the other movies.

    Plus they more or less add to Nick ripping off Disney, which is part of Nick's problem right now.

    1. I'm really curious as to what Nick has ripped off from Disney. I've seen a lot of people say Every Witch Way was copied from Wizards of Waverly Place, but I honestly didn't see it.

    2. Every Witch Way is an Americanized version of Grachi, which was a Nick Latin America show which...kind of sort of was a ripoff of WoWP, something they could get away with since WoWP wasn't shown on some or most Latin markets. I think EWW really stands on its own though.

      And everything on Nick and Disney rips of The Hangover now because for some reason those chuckleheads LOVE that movie and think, yes, it'll totally perfectly transition onto a kiddie network. To quote Emma: ...idiots.

    3. I was referring more to just how their sitcoms have recently taken from the disney formula a lot more than the used ot. Weird, since Disney used to be accused of ripping off Nick. (See iTake on Dingo). The Thundermans and Haunted Hathways are the ones that take from WOWP, although they can stand on their own

      Also, you gotta love that Every Witch Way's acronym is EWW.

  2. "That's one thing that can be both the boon and downfall of Nickelodeon original movies vs. DCOMs; they don't even try any pretense at being anything but goofy and silly, and how it works as a success or failure depends on either if the silliness is simply entertaining enough or if there's some heart to go along with it."

    I completely agree with you on that point. I would always say something along those lines whenever someone would try to compare Girl Meets World to other kids' shows as if the other kids' shows were lesser because they aren't "tackling" what Girl Meets World is. They're just here to entertain; not everything has to be so serious. And even if other shows started delving in to deeper topics, I can already feel the GMW fans making ridiculous comparisons in regards to what was better.

    1. There is an actual temptation to say that, because it pushes the fanbase to want every show to be like GMW, that GMW...kinda, sorta is helping to ruin kiddie TV. Needless to say I think it's bit unfair, but if what we've had so far is any indication I think the writers of some other shows (including Jessie) would end up just ineptly handling the attempt or transition towards being a GMW-wannabe. I guess we'll see in Stuck in the Middle, since that kind of strikes me as being GMW-ish with a latina, single-cam flavor.

      Also, silliness doesn't get enough credit. Liv and Maddie do an almost perfect job balancing both silliness and seriousness.

  3. Oh, new content to argue over. Jk, but i do tend to comment just to disagee,. Anyway, Fun Size was meh.I reviewed it a while ago and thought it would suck, but it's just kind of bland.

    Really, the "adult" stuff is no different from you might see on Victorious. The movie just let them swear for real. Nothing terrible, nothing special.

    The Jessie section in Good luck Jessie was fine. It starts off weird but gets better with the nice ending. I actually like the hangover stuff, because you can apply the general premise of just passing out after a hard night, to anything. It made that episode fun and both I'm in the Band and Zeke and Luthor had fun with it.

    The Hangover had a good and bad infleucnce on culture, with some good stuff (more R rated comedies) but also bad in more BAD R rated comedies. Including 21 and Over, which somehow had the same writers.

    1. I don't even remember them truly swearing in Fun Size. It's not like it was rated R. Was it even PG-13? If so, WHY? I've seen bat mitzvahs with more chutzpah.

      You're right about The Hangover having both good and bad influence (the bad almost solely being through clueless imitators including...itself. And the movie you mentioned). It's just like Halo and Call of Duty...which incidentally also have themselves among bad imitators. That's the Hollywood life, mindlessly rushing into be copycats without understanding why the original was great.

      I'm going to have to disagree with you on Good Luck Jessie, that was just bad, on an objective level, period.

    2. It was PG-13 and it about what you expected from Nick trying to be adult.

      I reviewed Good luck jesse so if you want more on that, here you go:

    3. Nice review, but I guess I just can't help myself view that episode with more cynicism than you. Especially how I want to do the Can-Can to Laughing Joking Numbnuts' nuts (my name for Ahren and McLaughlin). I'm aware that Ahren is a woman sans nuts but I'll make it work damnit.

    4. I'm not a cynical persona in general...if i was, would i be watching disney channel? Anyway, i have little issue with those writers outisde of morning rush, and even then tha one was okay until the ending.


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