Double feature tonight: "SpongeBob: Sponge on the Run" and "Shaun the Sheep: Farmageddon." I really enjoyed the latter. It's clever, inventive, and very funny. But then it's Aardman, so of course it is. It has three "Doctor Who" homages, too, which I loved.
There are lots of other homages to, including "2001" and "Close Encounters of the Third Kind." The story is more or less a variation on "E.T." But it's a good one. If you have Netflix, definitely check it out.
"Sponge on the Run," on the other hand, was mediocre. It has a couple of funny moments, but it cribs so much from itself that it verges into the derivative. Gary going missing, SpongeBob going on quests, Plankton trying to steal the Krabby Patty formula: been there, done that.
It didn't help that they used "Sponge on the Run" to introduce the new "Kamp Coral" series, with several "flashbacks" setting it up. That just got in the way. And it ruins the continuity, too, since SpongeBob and Sandy meet for the first time in the very first episode.
And they decided to get rid of King Neptune for some reason and replace him with King Poseidon. Just use Neptune again. I just kept wondering the whole time if he was supposed to me the same character or a different one. And if different, where'd Neptune go. Do they both exist?
I love "SpongeBob," and the previous two movies were a lot of fun. But this one, not so much. I hate to say it, but being relegated to streaming as fodder for the "new" Paramount+ is about what it deserved. It's not really worth a theatrical release.

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More from @varadmehta

7 Apr
The Oscar nominated cartoons didn't do anything for me, I hate to say. I'd already seen "Burrow," which was the short that was supposed to play before "Soul." And it's probably going to win. The rest were pretty forgettable. The French one was weird.
The best was probably "To: Gerard" and it wasn't even nominated. There was another one called "The Snail and the Whale," which was sort of like last year's "The Bird and the Whale." But that was better.
Last year's French cartoon was better than this year's French cartoon. If I was disappointed last year, I'm even more underwhelmed by the bunch this year.
Read 6 tweets
6 Apr
I really, really, really should've finished that "GOP-big business breakup" article I started back in the summer of 2018. If I ever get a time machine, I will go back and tell my 2018 self to not be lazy and get off his ass and write it.…
I could see it, but as with any such "discovery," I deserve no credit because I never put it into print. Image
Worse than not buying cheap bitcoin, frankly. Image
Read 4 tweets
5 Apr
Liz Cheney could remain as Wyoming's representative in the US House for a long time.…
Cheney's position isn't very important and that helps her. No one gives a crap about conference chair. Trying to sell a GOP House caucus with her in the top job to the base, on the other hand? Good luck with that.…
Read 6 tweets
5 Apr
"Big Leaguer," 1953 MGM movie directed by Robert Aldrich about amateur ballplayers attending a professional tryout camp in Florida for the New York Giants, is a modest little film, but Edward G. Robinson is in fine form as the ex-major leaguer who runs the camp.
Among the real pros appearing in "Big Leaguer" are Giants Hall of Famer Carl Hubbell and future Dodgers GM Al Campanis, who would become infamous for his comments about African-American players on "Nightline" in 1987.
Speaking of 1950s baseball movies, there's one called "Rhubarb" about a cat that inherits a baseball team. I saw it ages ago on TV (back when the local UHF stations would show old movies in the afternoon) and want to see it again, but I don't think it's ever been on TCM.
Read 4 tweets
4 Apr
"In fact, blue slips were invented by Mississippi Senator James Eastland, the 'voice of the white South' (as if it needed one), to give segregationist senators a tool for blocking judges who would enforce desegregation. They are literally a Jim Crow idea."…
Blue slips for judges were in use in the Senate by 1917, when James Eastland would have been twelve. Mad Scientist Fat Albert got this totally wrong. Quelle surprise.
"The Senate Committee on the Judiciary created the blue slip (so called because of its color) out of this practice [senatorial courtesy] in the early 1900s.)"

That's from a Congressional Research Service report on the history of the blue slip. Oops.…
Read 4 tweets
4 Apr
This makes a good point that Trump's "transformation of the judiciary" was overstated, but it then overstates Biden's potential impact, which will be limited because he'll have more blue-state district judges and fewer circuit court openings than Trump did.
Talk of "flipping" circuit courts can be misleading. Trump nominally flipped the Second Circuit, but it had one very liberal Bush 43 nominee who Biden will replace, flipping it back. But the Second also doesn't do en banc hearings, and that's where the total composition matters.
On the other hand, Trump didn't flip the Ninth Circuit, but he did put ten judges on it, including two of the most liberal appeals judges ever, and take it from 16-6 when he took office to 16-13 when he left. And that makes a huge difference. Only his SCOTUS picks were bigger.
Read 5 tweets

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