Joe Does the Movies: Accessible movie reviews in Toronto

You are here: joeclark.orgCaptioning and media access
Accessible cinemaReviews

See also: List of available reviews

Previous   ¶   Next

Looney Tunes: Back in Action

Seen: 2003.11.20   ¶   Reviewed: 2003.12.28

I don’t get why the mainstream critics, as if to show their superiority to the material, are all saying the same thing: There’s no plot here!

There doesn’t bloody need to be a plot here. They’re cartoons! The story is an osteoporetic skeleton on which to hang unending sight gags and references, plus some screaming dialogue. Besides, there is a plot and it is actually rather surprising: It’s all about Hollywood firing the old-timers in favour of the new kids on the block. Why wouldn’t tenured film crickets notice that? I guess it’s not actually present if it isn’t found in a film that screens at Sundance or Telluride.

I loved this picture to death because I screamed all the way through. A comedy that’s funny rather than structurally funny: No wonder crickets dismiss it. Only the most vulgar of the lower orders dare to “laugh out loud.”

Daffy Duck’s single line, upon viewing a kinky latex outfit, of “How many galoshes died to make that little number?” has me set for life. (Do you understand how handy that line is going to come in at the various bars I frequent?)

Theatre experience

Great. The chinstrap-bearded playa is back and signs me in after I remind him not to ask me to sign myself in.

I walk in and the place is empty save for two girls in the back right by My Seat. “I’ve had more people over to my house for a movie,” I tell them. A few more people do trickle in.

Caption quality

Eh, what's up, Doc? is in fact “ehh.” “Eh” rhymes with “day.”

(all sigh with joy), rather as I did throughout the picture.

The Brothers Warner are pre-IDed in captions as WARNER: and BROTHER:.

(horn bugles).

Ungainly break and incorrect dollar rendering, too:

My films have made

$950 million dollars.

This one I simply couldn’t believe. What’s wrong with you people?

with a jet-propelled micro

-grappling hook.


DRAKE: What was that

noise, son?

("Un Homme Et Une Femme" plays") should really be in lower case save for Un.

ELVIS AND BUGS: (while tritely singing “Viva Las Vegas” – too obvious, and the Mel Blanc–manqué voice of Bugs is unconvincing): “and” should be lower case.

(Junior Senior's "Don't Stop the Beat" plays).

Description quality

Miles Neff narrates. This was kind of a tough job, since the describers had to recognize and name half a dozen classic-movie aliens (the only one I managed to write down was the easiest, a Dalek). (Speaking of monsters, at least in the Celluloid Closet sense: “A cartoon Peter Lorre grins.”)

Also a lot of rebuses that are hard to describe, and cease to be funny in voice. And most recherché of all are the many paintings Elmer Fudd and Bugs disappear into in the museum, all of which are IDed by artist and title.

It goes to prove the old maxim that you need to be really smart to do good comedy.

“The cross-dressers boot him high into the air and curtsy”: Another line for the T-shirt.

“Kate looks at Bugs, who shrugs.” Someone’s a poet and doesn’t even know it.

“Daffy and DJ skedaddle over a busy street.” Why not?

“DJ and Kate lie back under a silvery space-age blanket”: It’s mylar, kids.

“The chairman opens the cage and Taz charges the vice-president”: That latter part happens offscreen.

“Tweety wears an African cap and dashiki.” Indeed!

A subtitle must be read by Miles Neff, a task that was no doubt a dream come true: “I tought I taw a puddy tat.”

Wile E. Coyote, hewing to classical tradition, communicates solely by holding up placards nailed to stakes. STOP and OUCH, for example. THEY DON’T PAY ME ENOUGH, too.

Similar to the great works of art: “It depicts a monkey holding a pair of cymbals.” “The energy shoots into his head, changing him into a capuchin monkey.” Listen, I couldn’t tell monkeys apart. “Where they find a capuchin monkey wearing round-lensed glasses”: Here the monkey is embodying the chairman, whose trademark round-lensed glasses had hitherto not been mentioned, rather muffing the joke in description.

The copyright credit Neff reads out is different from the one on the screen (in one of its three clauses). I wanted to hear the credits for the voice actors, which were really interesting. The music credits were read far too slowly, very much at the expense of the visuals.


Kate is IDed as such in description but as HOUGHTON: in captions.

Exit interview

I think a mom in the audience asked me about the gear, but don’t quote me on that.

Anyway, the system worked perfectly today. I was FULLY DIALED IN and loved every minute of it. So I had a playa call over a manager (later seen on the patio of the Black Eagle; he pretended not to notice me, and I didn’t ask him how many galoshes died for that little number). I told him I usually have to complain that something went wrong, but since nothing at all went wrong today, I thought I’d mention that!

Previous   ¶   Next