If you’re buying a tablet for a child this holiday season, and they are gamers, then this article will be of interest. It involves that speedy blue character, Sonic. Well, sort of.
Jessica Johnson first thought she had been defrauded when she saw $16,293 deducted from her bank account. Then she learned son George, 6, had racked up app-store charges playing Sonic Forces starring the imperiled Sonic the Hedgehog.
Moral to this holiday story: don’t leave your credit card attached to a tablet that a child uses without a password s/he doesn’t know. Two-factor authentication, when available, as well as immediate text alerts for all purchases made online is also advised.
Definitely showing this to Kara. Our grandchildren both want tablets for Christmas. I already warned her about attaching these tablets to accounts with a credit card enabled for in-game purchases. If there is no credit card attached to the accounts and/or in-game purchases are disabled on the account without a parental (grandparental) override, they can’t make any purchases, period. We can buy them in-game goodies on a case-by-case basis.
Have to agree with the mother in the story on one aspect of the story, though, that these in-game purchases can become predatory at some point.
No idea if the pandemic will change the date (probably so), but a sequel to Sonic The Hedgehog is scheduled for release on April 8, 2022.
The Rock as the Sonic’s fiery red compadre Knuckles in a rumored sequel? Maybe.
How Knuckles would factor into Sonic the Hedgehog 2 isn’t entirely clear just yet, but having a mega star like Dwayne Johnson bring him to life would no doubt give the sequel a huge boost at the box office and just the very fact that The Rock is interested certainly bodes well for the franchise’s future.
If The Rock plays Knuckles — and yes, it’s just rumors (the sequel and Knuckles), so no guarantees — who will play Tails? You can’t have Knuckle and Sonic without Tails, can you?
While Tails was a young, male fox, something tells (scares!) me Hollywood will want to rebrand him as a female and make him Sonic’s girlfriend instead of best buddy. They could also make him gay, since that seems to be all the rage these days in movies. I probably shouldn’t speculate and give anybody ideas, but you can’t have Knuckles appear without Tails because Tails was the second character to appear in the videogame.
Sonic is still #1 at the box office in week #2, with CGI Buck from The Call of the Wild not quite able to keep up with the frenzied pace:
While Sonic had the best start for a video game movie, it still has a lot of work to do to catch up with other video game adaptations. Warcraft is the highest grossing video game movie of all time globally, with more than $439 million at the box office, while Pokemon: Detective Pikachu trails just below with $433 million.
The following is a critique and pull quote reviews from other movie bloggers, so SPOILERS will be shared. If you haven’t seen the movie yet, then you may want to return to this post after you’ve seen the movie.
Let’s start with the bad, before the good: Dr. Robotnik overplayed by Jim Carrey
Why I ever thought Jim Carrey might be cool as Dr. Robotnik changed about 15 minutes into his overblown, exaggerated, cliched Ace Ventura Robotnik portrayal. We’ve seen this Jim Carrey before in multiple other movies and I’m over the shtick. Somebody give Carrey a chill pill.
Dr. Robotnik in the videogame is menacing and diabolical, not spastic. Come on, Jim Carrey, stop being so obvious with your Jim Carrey plays Robotnik characterization.
It’s important to note that as I’ve read through reviews by others (some are pullquoted below), my opinion on Carrey’s performance is not widely shared. Seems like others by and large are praising his performance. My biggest issue with Carrey’s performance is we’ve seen it before. It’s not fresh, new or even in the spirit of how Dr. Robotnik was in the game. Others will disagree, maybe some of you reading this right now.
I will give credit to the final scene on the mushroom world with Carrey where he has the tricked out mustache. In that scene he plays Robotnik at the right speed and tenacity. Wish he would have downplayed the rest of the movie. Just my 2 1/2 rusted pennies.
SE-GA! Proper love for the videogame Sonic The Hedgehog
At the same time, even if you’ve never seen or played the Sonic game, you aren’t lost in a bunch of vague references.
Bizarre Olive Garden Product (over) Placements
When I think of Sonic, I don’t think of Olive Garden, and yet this movie wanted me to — desperately. Running shoes would have been a better product tie-in. Maybe even energy drinks, but Olive Garden? I guess Rockstar, Red Bull, NIKE, they all passed on any co-branding.
Nothing takes away from the restaurant. Olive Garden’s endless salad is one of the best out there. I’ll give credit where it’s due. They don’t sponsor this blog, nobody does as of this writing, so that’s a free endorsement.
Just don’t get what they are thinking this will do for their brand. Instead, how about the fast food burger joint named, er, Sonic?
Sonic CGI looks good
The main fear realized in the first trailer is quickly swept away. Sonic looks good in this movie. The CGI is solid and never takes the viewer out of the action. We believe this cute little blue alien is on earth, speeding around. He’s portrayed as a lonely alien and his one secret friend is a policeman who talks to donuts.
When Sonic finally is exposed, hiding in the policeman’s side building, they both are freaked out by each other. Sonic convinces his friend to help protect him from the bad guys (Dr. Robotnik and his various evil drones).
It’s a very familiar fish out of water cute alien story (E.T, Alf, Howard The Duck, and so on), but it’s not as cliched as it sounds.
Reviews by Others
Let’s see what others think of Sonic The Hedgehog.
adamryen / I Am Your Target Demographic (4/5): “As a fan of the Sonic games, this was everything I could’ve wanted. I laughed often, and the jokes came from all directions, almost every character contributed. The action sequences were vivid and interesting, while there were also quiet moments with a lot of heart.”
Bryan Caron / Chaos Breeds Chaos (Grade: B+): “Though the film is an odd mix of elements and the occasional missed opportunity (how do you cast a powerhouse like Neal McDonough and leave him behind after a mere five minutes?), Sonic the Hedgehog is definitely a step in the right direction for movies based on video games.”
Cookie N Screen: “…there are many aspects of this movie that still could have been better such as the depth of the characters, the predictability of the story and the design of Sonic himself. However, don’t let that stop you from checking out the film for yourself.”
The Critic’s Sanctum (7.5/10): “It’s cute, has fun callbacks to the series, is easy to digest by any audience, and you can definitely tell a lot of care and effort went into portraying the subject matter.”
Darren Lucas / Movie Reviews 101: “…a fun action movie that brings the video game character to life with ease to make us understand his pain and desire to be important in somebody’s life.“
David Poole / GotGame (8/10): “…isn’t just a good film for fans; it’s a good film for the whole family. With the momentum of the blue blur, it’s highly likely that this will be the start to a series of films.”
Emperor Pyros / OmniGeekEmpire: “I’m happy to report that they did the blue blur justice. Forreal, this movie is a wholesome experience for the whole family to enjoy.”
EYG / Embrace Your Geekness / Doc: “I hope this movie makes all the money this weekend and becomes a huge hit, if only for the reason of rewarding the studio for taking the time and spending the money to make the effects right. It was important for the film to look right and they should be rewarded for that.”
Film Music Central: “Defying my worst fears, Sonic the Hedgehog is a cute movie that makes for a great time. While the story has a few pacing issues, Jim Carrey’s performance as Dr. Robotnik makes up for most of the issues, and the hints of what may come in a sequel leave me eager for more.”
Geeks Of Color: “What hurts this movie, which is again enjoyable, is the choice of setting. The themes of loneliness, making your own family, and finding your home, could have been told in an environment and with other characters that are fantastical.”
greigzilla / We’ve Got (Back) Issues: “Sonic The Hedgehog, while a much more polished product than you’d think, only really hits top speed when it’s antagonist is given free reign to expell his particular brand of chaotic humor (his dance sequence in the back of his mobile lab is vintage Carrey) but the whole deal is aggressively acceptable on all levels.”
Keith Noakes / KeithLovesMovies (78%): “Run, don’t walk, and see Sonic the Hedgehog, another good video game film and if not, at least it’s another chance to see some classic Jim Carrey.”
Mercedes / DG Speaks: “This movie is all about the power of self-love, friendship, and community. It makes you take a hard look at what you value in life and how far are you willing to go to protect it. It was definitely the perfect flick for Singles Awareness Day.”
Mirza Baig / Welcome To Movie Ark: “…it isJim Carrey who steals the show here. Here, Carrey is in his over-the-top 90s self, and molds his trademark style inside the video character very fluidly. And most importantly, even gets his own insane dance sequence that had me laughing out loud.”
Mister GQ Blogs / Alexander S (8.5/10): “Go with friends, go wth family go alone if you want. If you’re a fan of Sonic you will definitely enjoy this movie.”
Rachel’s Reviews (7/10): “…is a cute movie that the whole family can go see and have a nice time together. It has a big heart and the character of Sonic is well rendered and voiced.”
rgagne / Ten Stars or Less (8/10): “I like to go against the grain when it comes to movie ratings and what I like and don’t like. I left Sonic thoroughly impressed with this movie and will welcome a sequel if it stays on par with this one”
Serpent’s Den: “Between this and Detective Pikachu, I can only hope we are the dawn of a new era for video-game movies, which have had a notoriously bad track record for a long time. But these two films show that they can work, at least when the filmmakers actually care about them.”
ScreenBunka (7/10): “…is a film that knows its place and doesn’t try to break the mould. For a film aimed primarily at kids, it’s surprisingly fun for adults.”
That Shelf / Courtney Small: “…there is plenty of goofy humour and action that will have children and adults laughing with equal measure. Sometimes mindless fun is all one needs to warrant running to the cinema for.”
The Elder Blogs: “All round thoughts on this film was it’s a great family film, filled with laughs and a bit of nostalgia. It is NOT a Sonic origin story so get that out of your head if you haven’t already seen it.”
The Movie Dweeb: “It’s refreshing to see a film not-produced by Disney to convey a message about loneliness.”
X-Geeks: “…is a fun, family-adventure packed full of humour, excitement and heart. Despite the movie following a VERY predictable and formulaic blueprint, there is plenty of enjoyment to be had, with the movie having a strong appeal to both family and adult audiences alike!”
Amused in the Dark: “This movie is a bleeding hot mess. It is not a good movie. It’s not even an adequate movie. I won’t lie and say I wasn’t entertained. There are a few moments of joy and smiles to be found sure, but when those moments are gone the movie is pure cringe”
Calvin Kemph / The Twin Geeks: “It’s a stripped-down road movie that does not worry about why it’s being made, despite a sizable budget, it exists to exist. Perhaps some of the time meant for shaping it went into serious redesigns. But the most serious redesign needed is in the script. There is only so much goodwill Jim Carrey can bring, as we’re constantly leaving him for undercooked filler.”
Dyl’s Movie Stuff: “It was a valiant effort by the cast and redesign CGI team, but, unfortunately, no one could save Sonic the Hedgehog from its uninspired script.”
GLUE / Annie Banks (5/10): “…approaches a popular franchise from an unsophisticated, fun-loving and childish angle that sets the Sega Cinematic Universe off on a mediocre pace. Sonic is cute, but it taps out at that.”
Joe Rover: “While it wasn’t everything I hoped for, it was better than I thought it’d be. I left the theater laughing and I couldn’t stop talking about it. I wanted to see it again the next day.”
Lee Butler / Movie Meister Reviews (1/5): “If I were to judge the film purely on the content (which was so slim I fit it into a half paragraph) it might’ve been a 2 and a ½ or 3 star film that I didn’t hate… art doesn’t occur in a vacuum and the absolute dumpster fire surrounding this project and the people that got stepped on along the way absolutely influenced this score.”
Projected Realities: “…wouldn’t quite be the pinnacle of its genre even if its humor didn’t continually sabotage it, but it’s an enjoyable if thinly written journey that’s often as weird as it is predictable.”
rogerinorlando / Movie Nation (1.5/4): “This isn’t the best film to make one’s feature directing debut with. But Jeff Fowler had an animation research job on “Where the Wild Things Are,” so he’s just happy to be here. It’s doubtful anybody else could have gotten more out of this limp script.”
Trailer Trashed: “The overall film isn’t that bad. If you have kids and a few hours to spare, then the simple plot and bright colours will likely keep everyone entertained. “
The Cinema Cynic (4/10): “…is certainly never anything less than watchable, but due to a very weak script that fails to take full advantage of potential offered by the abundance of source material, it never gains any kind of true momentum.”
Major Film Reviews: “I’m struggling to think of how they managed to pull of a Sonic the Hedgehog film and not make it absolutely terrible; and it isn’t terrible, it’s passable, enjoyable for the kids, bearable for adults, with Jim Carrey once again finding his stride”
victorsmyname: “At times the movie is enjoyable, but I won’t go so far as to call it good. And this is such a boring final verdict compared to what we could have had if they’d kept the original Nightmare Sonic for the film”
Linked above and wondering what would be the cool thing to do next? Commenting once in awhile is always good (I like reader and other blogger interaction). If you have the trackback/pingback come to your site then just approve it because after people read your review then they can come here and follow links and read someone else’s review. What comes around goes around and sharing is the ultimate “thank you!” on the internet.
Did I miss your review? Use the comments to tell me about your movie-related/review blog and I’ll follow. I like following movie-related blogs and pull quoting from my reading list as well as other new blogs shared, liked and discovered.
Week #7 of 2020 (2/13-2/16) sees four very different films: a videogame movie about a supersonic blue alien, a romance involving a couple researching her mother who just died, a remake of a 70s TV show and a dramedy involving a family of four not enjoying a skiing trip.
Only one is sticking out and recommended, racing ahead of the others ….
I somewhat expected Jim Carrey to steal the show in this videogame adaptation, but he’s actually one of the underwhelming features.
The speedy little alien has sort of an E.T type storyline that works. It’s a faithful recreation from the SE-GA! game to big screen. The animation is good and it’s an entertaining film that deserves to do good numbers at the box office. Oh, and bonus: check out the super cool 8-bit gaming end credits.
Not the Fantasy Island I was looking very forward to seeing and very much deserving of Blumhouse in front of the title, but this might appeal to viewers who like every single little thing explained ad nauseum.
Open to debate who had a worse time: the family portrayed on the skiing vacation or the viewers slogging through this unfunny, mostly cold, dry movie. Julia Louise-Dreyfuss and Will Ferrell have some of the worst ever chemistry of any married couple portrayed on screen that I’ve seen. Sure, they are having marital problems in the film, but I can’t really see how they ever had any happy times. What a great example of when to seek a divorce.
Want to see what else we recommend NOW PLAYING at the theater?
Here are other movies we’ve seen at the theaters recently and liked (maybe they are available in your area still) that are recommended. Any movie rated at least 3-stars is recommended. You should read any 3-star review (click the title), because sometimes we do qualify those recommendations, meaning we were entertained, but it doesn’t mean that the film was that good.
4-star movies are highly recommended and films rated as 4 1/2 or 5 stars are must see.
Mario from Nintendo has always had competition from platform game Sonic. It was always about speed in the Sonic game as the blue hedgehog would run through the zones collecting rings. Don’t ask me to tell you what the point of the rings were, but I’m sure the movie will re-educate me. Dr. Robotnik is played by Jim Carrey.
Videogame movies have a brutally bad track record. Not just in my opinion, but among many. Am hoping this one is good and looking as much as or more forward to watching this than any other videogame movie I’ve seen in the past.
I have mixed emotions going into this one. Definitely interested in seeing, but feel like it’s probably not going to capture the primary essence and soul of the 70s TV show which sort of bordered on irony involving the fantasies. Sometimes it was dark, but it never was a horror anthology series. Sort of like a cross between Twilight Zone and Amazing Stories with Mr. Roarke and Tattoo keeping it grounded. I think without Tattoo we’re not going to have the comedic elements, which were crucial to grounding the series.
Also, I remain curious why the need for Blumhouse to brand their own name to this (see: Why is Blumhouse adding their name in FRONT of Fantasy Island?) Does this have any real impact on anticipation for the movie? Not really. I already knew Blumhouse was involved and they have an above average record with making profitable movies on small budgets. I’m a fan of returning to smaller budget filmmaking and applaud what Blumhouse is doing. I may not enjoy all of their films, but they are building a studio name and brand.
When I first heard about this movie, it was one of the most anticipated movies of 2020 for me. That interest has waned somewhat, but it’s the film I’m most looking forward to watching this weekend.
This has the distinction of being the featured new romance movie. It doesn’t seem to be a rom-com, more like a dramatic love story. Am interested, but am not sure we’ll be watching this first. I’m letting Kara decide which one we see first, so maybe she’ll pick this one, who knows?
Will Ferrell has been very hit and miss in movies with me. He’s a funny guy, but a bit formulaic at times. I like that Julia Louise-Dreyfus is starring opposite Ferrell. She was great in Seinfeld and I haven’t seen in her awhile. I hope this has many LOL moments. We’ll see.
ANTICIPATION for Week #7: 2/13/20 MOVIES
How much on scale of 1-10 anticipating the 2-13-2020 movies?
Fantasy Island – 8/10
Sonic The Hedgehog – 7/10
Downhill – 5/10
The Photograph – 3/10
Are there screenings in our area to see these movies?
All four movies are confirmed wide screenings available at theaters in our area with screenings available starting on 2/13/20. All will be watched, rated and reviewed.
Birds of Prey (And The Fantabulous Emancipation of one Harley Quinn) [FIRST LOOK]
I didn’t know anything about Harley Quinn until seeing the trailer for this movie in the theater. Didn’t know she was Joker’s girlfriend. Didn’t even know she was a comic book villain. Since that time a couple months ago, I subscribed to DC Universe, started following — and liking very much — her animated TV show and am reviewing all season one episodes as they’re released every Friday. I’m also starting to read her comic books.
Also learned that there was a single season (13 episodes) Birds of Prey TV series — and Harley Quinn was in it — that’s also available on DC Universe. Plan to watch at least some of that, too. Maybe the entire series if it’s really good. This movie, bearing the title, could be more about that group than just Harley Quinn, as it shares the title. I would have been just fine with a Harley Quinn movie by itself, but OK.
Anyway, my anticipation for this movie has increased exponentially. I haven’t seen the movie Suicide Squad, which is the first feature film to include Harley Quinn, but the reviews I’ve come across were unfavorable. Am sure I’ll see that at some point, but probably not before this opens wide in theaters Feb 7, 2020.
Anticipation for Birds of Prey : 9/10
Peter Rabbit 2 RELEASE DATE CHANGED from Feb 7, 2020 to April 3, 2020
Haven’t seen the first Peter Rabbit film, but this seems like it’s in that middleworld between children-friendly and adults. Trailer isn’t making me super excited for the movie. Was surprised to see it grossed over $350 million, which explains the presence of this sequel less than two years later.
After seeing what Blumhouse did with Black Christmas⭐️⭐️⭐️ I’m less excited about what they will do here. Also, as lamented (several times), Fantasy Island without Tattoo is missing something important. This is still a movie I’m looking forward to watching. Just hope they don’t make it some cheesy, jumpscare-laden horror comedy. I would like something darker and scarier, feeding into the macabre and yet moral tales of the original TV series. If they lean that direction and execute, I could end up a huge fan.
Anticipation for Fantasy Island: 7/10
The King’s Man RELEASE DATE CHANGED from Feb 14 to September 18, 2020
Am getting a League of Extraordinary Gentlemen vibe from these trailers. I know it’s not the same thing, but that movie left me feeling cold to films like these. This one could pull me out of this funk … if it doesn’t suck.
Trailer makes this seem as mostly a romance which is fitting for Valentine’s Day release, but other than the woman trying to explore her mother through the photographs left behind doesn’t seem to have an otherwise compelling story. It could surprise me though.Timing is good.
This was my most anticipated movie of February, up there with Fantasy Island, but now Harley Quinn edges them both out. I’m still excited about seeing how the speedy videogame character tears through the film, also Jim Carrey as Doctor Robotnik looks like a fun bad guy.
Anticipation for Sonic The Hedgehog: 8/10
What About Love RELEASE DATE CHANGED from Feb 14 to September 25, 2020
Sharon Stone in a supporting role it appears. No official trailer yet as of 1/1/2020, so nothing more to go on except for the Wikipedia page. I’m leery of digging too deep into that page before seeing the movie.
No trailer, no anticipation.
Bloodshot RELEASE DATE CHANGED from Feb 21 to March 13, 2020
Have been a fan of Vin Diesel in action, notably the Fast & Furious franchise, so curious how he works this one through.
Sad to see Harrison Ford – Han freaking Solo – so weathered and old. I know, I know, happens to all of us, but Harrison Ford in a dog movie? Yeah, it’s based on an awesome novel but I’m not sure about the casting here.
Based on the Jane Austen novel and very little interest in seeing. Less than I did going into Little Women, but then that movie was a delightful surprise. Maybe this one will be too.
Anticipation for Emma: 1/10
Las Pildoras de Mi Novio (My Boyfriend’s Meds) [FIRST LOOK]
LOL! The boyfriend forgot his meds?! Trailer is pretty funny. I don’t know if it’s all subtitled, but don’t really care, it’s got me curious what exactly happens when this guy is fully off his meds?
Anticipation for Las Pildoras de Mi Novio 5/10
Bad Trip RELEASE DATE CHANGED from Feb 28 to April 24, 2020
Looks like reality TV gone wild. Sign me up! Will admit that I’ve never been a huge fan of reality TV, but there have been some shows (I liked Cops,The Osbournes and Gene Simmons Family Jewels and some others). The whole catch the audience real reactions to crazy scenes is often too gimmicky to hold my interest through a TV series, but in a movie maybe it will work. This one looks like it could be very funny, I just hope the trailer isn’t showing the best parts.
Boy, this is going to be a tough reboot sell for me. I consider the original Universal monster movies virtually untouchable. That includes the amazing Claude Rains as The Invisible Man. Here, it’s another Blumhouse production, which on the positive side means it won’t be filled with a bunch of crazy expensive CGI, but will this be a fresh take or bad reboot? Curious, but cautious.
Anticipation for The Invisible Man: 5/10
Has great blurbs. If a movie trailer relies on blurbs, I’m almost instantly suspicious. Show me how good it is in the trailer, not with a bunch of quotes in the trailer telling me how great it is. Don’t know about this one.
Anticipation for The Whistlers: 2/10
Ranking the February 2020 movies by anticipation (as of this writing)
Birds of Pray – 9 / 10
Sonic The Hedgehog – 8 / 10
Fantasy Island – 8 / 10
Bad Trip – 6 / 10 (release date changed to April 24, 2020)
Burden – 5 / 10 — LIMITED
Las Pildoras de Mi Novio – 5 / 10 — LIMITED
The Invisible Man – 5 / 10
The Call of the Wild – 4 / 10
Bloodshot – 4 / 10 (release date changed to March 13, 2020)
The Photograph – 3 / 10
The King’s Man – 3 / 10 (release date changed to September 18, 2020)
Peter Rabbit 2 – 2 / 10 (release date changed to April 3, 2020)
The Whistlers – 2 / 10 — LIMITED
Emma – 1 / 10
What About Love – (release date changed to September 25, 2020)
What movies in February 2020 are you looking forward to seeing?
Paramount gets it. They showed off an early trailer and fans rejected the CGI for Sonic The Hedgehog. Instead of ignoring this criticism, they responded and fixed it:
“Thank you for the support,” Fowler wrote on Twitter at the time. “And the criticism. The message is loud and clear… you aren’t happy with the design & you want changes. It’s going to happen. Everyone at Paramount & Sega are fully committed to making this character the BEST he can be… #sonicmovie #gottafixfast “
In 2019 (heck, in 2009 the same was true) it pays to listen to fans. After all, we’re the ones out here spending $$$$ on your products (including video games like Sonic), services, TV shows and movies.
There was some conspiracy talk about this might have been the plan all along: release a crap trailer first, then soak up the free press and go back and redo for another round of press. Although some might say this is creative marketing, that doesn’t seem to be the case here.
How about more movies workshop their movies in the open? Maybe this will be the start of something we should have had a long time ago on the internet. Social commentary through the creation of a movie.
Am somewhat concerned about Elizabeth Banks with the new Charlie’s Angels movie as well, saying, “those trolls are horrifying.” How about embracing internet criticism, instead of making every critic on the web out to be a “troll”?
Sonic The Hedgehog is coming to theaters everywhere on Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2020.