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The first thing you might think at this time is, “Dude, what the heck? We’ve been on stand by for over a month!” I’m devastatingly sorry for the “hiatus”, and I’ll explain everything at the end of the post. But for now, let’s kick off our movie review, shall we? Basketball is one of the most famed sports on the face of the earth, and I can name a round of players right off the bat: LeBron James, Shaq O’Neal, Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan. And few people may know it, but Shaq was actually in a 1996 fantasy comedy called Kazaam. Needless to say, he was the titular genie. Needless to say, it received horrendous reception and is actually deemed one of the worst movies in history. Later that fall, Michael Jordan decided to try his luck at a crazy movie like Shaq’s. And honestly, throwing Looney Tunes into the mix is crazy enough. Add basketball, baseball, golf, and the physics of the cartoon world, shake vigorously, and you’ve got yourself today’s movie: Space Jam.

Things seem pretty hopeless for Jordan and the “Toon Squad”, doesn’t it?

Released in November 1996, Space Jam is a live-action/animated family comedy from the director of over 80 Super Bowl commercials, plus music videos for the likes of the Beatles and Michael Jackson. This movie actually marked the debut of Lola Bunny, Bugs’ “female merchandising counterpart”. In simpler language, she’s his girlfriend. The plot of the movie is that space aliens known as Nerdlucks are sent by their nasty boss to capture the celebrated Looney Tunes cohorts for space amusement park attractions. Michael has also thrown in the towel and given up his spot on the Chicago Bulls to pursue a career in–*shiver*–baseball! In this period he meets publicist Stan Podolak, who tries his best to ensure nobody bothers Jordan. It was just one fateful day on the golf course when everything changed. Michael was just posing for a picture, reaching down into the hole to retrieve the ball. That’s when he got sucked into the hole and was transported to the cartoon world. Turns out that Jordan was recruited to whip up the Tunes into sporty shape after they are challenged by the Nerdlucks to an all-or-nothing basketball game. Jordan is reluctant at first, but he seems to be in it to win it after being squeezed into a ball and dribbled up and down the court. And by seeing the Nerdlucks, you’d think that this would be a piece of cake:

Not for long, though. When the Nerdlucks intrude a basketball game disguised as a spectator, they use their powers to harness the bodies of players on the court and make them look bad on purpose. They also steal the ball, too. We later realize that when they touch the ball, it gives them some sort of power that turns them into grotesque beefcakes known as the “Monstars”. Now the tables have turned, haven’t they? But Jordan and the “Toon Squad” have some secret weapons up their sleeve, and the end of the match is nothing but a surprise…80

Don’t get me wrong, Space Jam is a good Looney Tunes movie. Actually, it’s a great Looney Tunes highlight. But it’s actually not a very good real movie. Sloppy crossover animations, a weak script, an uninspired plot, some questionable soundtrack (especially in the showdown), and a lack of faith towards both Jordan and the Tunes makes this probably one of the most…what’s the word? Oh, yeah– disappointing, obscure, and just plain weird movies I’ve ever seen. But that doesn’t stop this movie from becoming a true cult classic in my eyes. It’s no Who Framed Roger Rabbit, but it works well enough for me. In a nutshell, Space Jam is good in the light of Looney Tunes alone, but bad in any other light. Yep, from its messy opening credits all the way to its exceptionally special “That’s all Folks!” call-off. Roll the chart, please. But before we do that, how about we see a clip or two? :D

 0 out of 5 – Educational value –  The movie is meant more for entertainment than education.

 1 3/4 out of 5 – Positive messages – The Tunes and Jordan work together in the b-ball showdown to put off their best effort against the Monstars. (Or Nerdlucks, technically. :lol:) Jordan shows perseverance and tries to cheer up his team whenever they are down. And in this case, they are down a lot.

2 out of 5 – Positive role models –  The Tunes and Jordan work together in the b-ball showdown to put off their best effort against the Monstars. (Or Nerdlucks, technically. :lol:) Jordan shows perseverance and tries to cheer up his team whenever they are down. And in this case, they are down a lot. (What, I got a little roped up!! :x) Bugs pushes Lola out of the way and takes a devastating hit for her, which proves that he has the hots for her and will do anything to protect her.

1 out of 5 – Ease of view – Space Jam is pretty hard to comprehend, considering its style of live-action/animation crossover. Like I said earlier, the crossover animations were sloppy.

4 out of 5 – Violence – Lots of pratfall from both live-action and animated characters, but it soon gets out of hand. Stan is on the level above Jordan after his turn at a baseball game, but he falls off. Michael gets sucked into the hole and through to the Tune world kinda gruesomely. Speaking of gruesome, the Nerdlucks transform into Monstars in very grotesque ways. Oh, I also said that Michael gets squeezed into a ball, right? Also, the Monstars seem to easily crush the Tunes during the game…literally. At the bench, the Tunes are in obviously horrendous shape. Elmer’s actually in a straitjacket! The tables turn and the Monstars face various problems: the hoop is covered with explosives that trigger when a Monstar attempts to dunk, creating an explosion that covers the whole screen. Yosemite Sam and Elmer Fudd use guns to shoot the teeth out of a Monstar. The same Monstar tugs Daffy off his face, stretching his skin at uncomfortable lengths. When the skin retracts, his face is in a mangled mess. As I said, Lola is almost crushed by a Monstar, but Bugs takes the hit for her. But all of this is typical Looney Tunes slapstick cartoon violence, meant more for laughs.

 1 out of 5 – Inappropriate Content – A Monstar gets his shorts snagged, revealing his butt to the audience. Bugs and Lola share a few steamy kisses. Bugs also kisses Jordan (clean on the lips), to ensure that he is in the Tune world.

1 out of 5 - Language – “Butt” is about as “colorful” as it gets.

3 out of 5 – Product Placement – Big Mac, Gatorade, Nike, Looney Tunes (obviously), etc. Technotronic’s “Pump Up the Jam” can be heard during a select scene in the movie, and you may recognize a few other tunes as well, including “I Believe I Can Fly”.

3/4 out of 5 – Drinking, Drugs, and/or Smoking – Michael gives the team a special liquid formula to increase their skill, but it’s nothing but water with a placebo effect.

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Smarts: C- (2 pts)

Fun: A- (4 pts)

Humor: A (4 pts)

Entertainment: A+ (5 pts)

Style: A+ (5 pts)

FINAL SCORE: 20 out of 30 (even I’m surprised.), 3 stars out of 5, 59% out of 100%

CONSENSUS: Space Jam may serve well in Looney Tunes terms, but it’s actually an underrated movie with an uninspired plot, a cheesy script, obscure animations, and drab jokes. This sports comedy mishmash could serve kids well, but could leave older audiences less than entertained.

PRICE: On Amazon new copies cost $27, while used ones cost $5. On Amazon Instant Video, you can rent the movie for 2 days for $3. Like what you see? Buy it for $10. Don’t forget the two-disc special edition, though; it costs $18 on average, new ones cost $11, used ones cost $8, and collectibles cost $23. There’s also another 1-disc 2000 version which buys for $6, while new and used copies cost $4 on average. The movie’s OST costs $10; new ones cost $4, used ones go for a penny.

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I told you I’d explain this huge break in the schedule. Two words: house rules. Apparently I’m on the web a tad bit too much, so I’ve been adjusted and that’s why we haven’t seen something new for weeks–I haven’t been on the computer half the summer! It’s a new record! I am really, really sorry and will try to make this up to you as best and as soon as possible. :( :( :( Anyway, here’s Sammwak, calling off from Skokie, Illinois! Good morning, good afternoon, good evening, and/or good night, folks.

~S~

p.s. Would You Rather o’ the Week: Would you rather be a small guy with large skill, or a large guy with small skill?

p.p.s. Random Video o’ the Week: Over the summer, I’ve become an official Disney XD fan due to shows like Lab RatsKickin’ It, Pair of Kings, and Ultimate Spider-Man. This summer’s format? A “Nonstop Summer”. Adam Hicks, a Disney XD veteran (formerly the Luther of Zeke and Luther, now on Pair of Kings), even created/deejayed a song about this Nonstop Summer with the help of fellow deejay Cole Plante. You’ll instantly recognize stars from Lab RatsPair of Kings, and Kickin’ It. This upload of the video, as there are many of them, had the most views overall at almost 30,000, with 140 likes and only 4 dislikes. It was released in June this year by , and don’t underestimate the fact that it’s only a minute long; trust me, it’s awesome. (Also check out a “Nonstop Summer” video collection of “we’ll be right backs”, “coming up nexts”, and “you’re watchings”! :D)



Hey guys it’s Sam. There are just some cartoons out there that are so darn popular, they even get interpreted into other terms of media, like Mickey Mouse in Beauty and the Beast or something like that. And some of those people have permission all on their own, like it’s perfectly normal. Especially a specific group of praised puppetry known as the Muppets, created by the late Jim Henson, aka “the Muppeteer”. While they’ve been alive for almost six decades now, the Muppets have also been known [besides their show in the late 70s and early 80s] to star in film, twisting classics like The Wizard of Oz and A Christmas Carol. But there’s been no Muppet mix-up quite like this. Taking you to the days where treasure hunting was practically everything, this Muppet movie from 1996 told you to “set sail for Muppet mayhem!” And Muppet mayhem it was.

You may know them as Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy, but in this modern twist they are Captain Abraham Smollett and Benjamina Gunn, prisoners of love with a past affiliation of being ex-fiancees.

Muppet Treasure Island (1996), a musical action-dramedy film, the fifth Muppet feature film so far, re-enacts Robert Louis Stevenson’s timeless Treasure Island that’s been with us for over a century. In this revamp, our Muppet pals are back on the attack, with Captain Smollett (Kermit) and his colleagues engaging in wide-open-sea warfare against a pack of ruthless pirates. They’re also headed toward the same goal: a chest of buried treasure, the movie being called Muppet Treasure Island. As with the previous film (A Muppet Christmas Carol), the more essential roles are ironically played by human beings, but they’ve always had a good reason to conceal it. The protagonist of the movie, also of the book, is an orphaned boy named Jim Hawkins who befriends fellow Muppets Rizzo the Rat and the Great Gonzo (he wasn’t Gonzo the Great as of 1996, I guess). If you’re familiar with movies full of shabby, singing seamen who all too easily drain the barrel of rum, then I guess this is gonna be old for you. If you’re familiar with movies full of wisecracking, singing puppets who all too easily make good money, then I guess this is gonna be old for you too.

It’s not that Muppet Treasure Island is bad…it’s just not great, either. I didn’t get completely sucked into the action as I hoped I would for a Muppet movie, and they had bad timing to balance between funny moments, serious moments, and those moments where Muppets unexpectedly break into song annoyingly. And if you see the pie chart above, these musical moments appear all too frequently. You’ll be laughing hysterically at one scene while being completely bored out by the next, but Muppet Treasure Island clearly isn’t the best Muppet movie…just not the worst.  On the bright side, the movie in general is a cheerful and energetic take on the classic, full of supposedly solid gags, though honestly less centric than the originals. But it also does tremendously well breaking the fourth wall more than once (“He’s dead? And this was supposed to be a kids movie!”)  And a Muppet movie should pay reasonable attention on each Muppet throughout the movie (but not as much as an ensemble movie would), not juggle scenes between man and Muppet. That’s just hard to pull off. The music isn’t half-bad, either. Check out these songs from the OST called “Boom Shakalaka” and “Cabin Fever”.

Chart, please.

 2 out of 5 – Educational value –  The movie is meant for amusement only, but it being a Treasure Island twist, it introduces characters and situations from the book. Jim Hawkins and Long John Silver are actually characters from the book, for instance. Also, words are defined like “helm” and “North Star.”

 3 1/2 out of 5 – Positive messages – This movie makes great use of the phrase “Everyone might not be who they say they are.” For example, Long John Silver appears friendly at first to young Hawkins, but this proves later on to be a scam. Hawkins who feels as if he has no family finds out that the conceptualization of family isn’t simply defined: a family can compose from people (or Muppets, or a “whatever” like Gonzo) who aren’t really affiliated with you, but love and protect you and have your best interests anyway.

3 1/2 out of 5 – Positive role models – Young Hawkins, a centric character, is “honest, brave, and true” throughout the movie, and the key Muppet (Captain Smollett) is compassionate, trustworthy, and reliable. The overblown, comical baddies are greedy and destructive, but they do suffer the side-effects of their misbehavior.

3 3/4 out of 5 – Ease of view – Muppet Treasure Island, like I said, isn’t the best Muppet movie to date, nor is it as centric as past and future titles, but its humorous gags, catchy music, and cheerful energy make for a good, acceptable apology for its own flaws. And that’s all that matters in the Muppet world.

4 out of 5 – Violence – A surprising amount for a G-rated movie, whether pratfall, slapstick, or actual. Hawkins and his “family” are pursued by angry pirates throughout their home. Pirates are chased by the sparks of gunpowder before eventually having it set off, evoking an explosion with fiery consequences in Hawkins’ home. Gunnery and swordplay occur frequently. There is one minor seaman character named Dead Tom, who is basically a skeleton. Knife threats and torture/death referencing occur, as well as the appearance of wild tribal pigs. Smollett and Benjamina are tied by their feet and dangled precariously above the sea by their own will. Someone dies onscreen, eyes shut and mouth open. A Muppet named Mr. Errol pretends to be a ghost long after walking the plank, and this proves successful, making all the shipmates jump overboard in fear. It’s all exaggerated violence and, like with any kids movie, is meant to be more funny than scary.

 2 3/4 out of 5 – Inappropriate Content – Benjamina makes a slightly steamy comment to Long John. Smollett ends up grabbing and holding his dress-wearing ex-fiancee by the feet after her rope gives way above the precipice, putting him in a traumatizing stance, if you know what I mean. Play the cards right, I ain’t gonna tell you. One Muppet defines the sea as “the big, blue wet thing”. Hawkins is mistaken by a Muppet as being a girl.

1 out of 5 - Language – Salty language for salty pirates, of course. Slight sprinklings like “hell” and “damnation” occur from the pirates’ oral perspectives.

2 1/2 out of 5 – Product Placement – The Muppets are very famous titles in the cartoon world. Fourth-wall fracture occurs twice: “He’s dead? And this was supposed to be a kids movie!” and “…we couldn’t save the movie!”

3 out of 5 – Drinking, Drugs, and/or Smoking – Rowdy pirates are onscreen drinking in a tavern from pewter mugs. Long John Silver brings a couple servings of the best brandy around to toast to the voyage, but Smollett refuses to allow it, saying that there will be “no drinking on this ship.” Long John then proceeds to ensure that every last drop of alcohol is tossed overboard. One Muppet repeatedly fills their cup and dumps it out the window, converting between Long John’s attempts and Smollett’s refusal.

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Smarts: A- (4 points)

See-Again Ratio: A- (4 points)

Fun: A+ (5 points)

Entertainment: A+ (5 points)

Humor: A+ (5 points)

Style: A- (4 points)

FINAL SCORE: 27 out of 30 (not bad, for a Muppet movie), 4 stars out of 5, 82% out of 100%

CONSENSUS: It may not shine as brightly as other titles, and it’s not as Muppet-centric, but Muppet Treasure Island is still a worthwhile entry full of great gags, music, and energy, despite it being arguably the most violent Muppet movie yet.

PRICE: Thy proclaim thee has a desire to possess a version made to be similar or identical to Muppet Treasure Island? Surely! Thou Kermit’s 50th Anniversary particular version will require the payment of $10 with 34% of thy savings. Thee used particular version will require the—y’know what, sounding like a gentlemen is really boring. The used copies of the movie are $7, while the new are $9. The regular version has a new price of $36, and a used one of $7. At Blockbuster, a weekly rental costs $5, no subscription required, with only about a day to wait.

IS THIS A POPCORN PICK?: Despite all I have pointed out, yes, I guess it truly is a popcorn pick.

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HOMEWORK TIME!

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REWARD: Smiley face! :D :D :D :D :D :D Enough of that, thanks for tuning into Sammwak, providing the cure to boredom since 2010, for 23 months, approximately 690 days, 16,560 minutes, 993,600 seconds, and and over 993 million milliseconds. And I’ve never been more honored to say so.

But also, Sammwak will be entering its 24th month of existence this April. And we all know 24 months = 2 years. Which means…Sammwak is having a birthday bash! That’s right, on [Wednesday,] April 11, the same day my first post was created (with 7 others), Sammwak will be turning two at about 6:24 pm that day. And to serve my homages to my blog and faithful, my birthday bash will release the same time. So tune in to Sammwak on April 11 at 6/5c for the biggest birthday bash on Earth! (Even bigger than mine.) But for now, good morning, good afternoon, good evening, and/or good night.

- Sam ;)



Hey guys it’s Sam, and I don’t have time to watch a lot of movies on my own time, but I do watch a lot of movies as a class. And one of those was what our class finished in—what seems to be a questionable spot—Spanish class. So yes, the movie was in Spanish, but with English subtitles. And this is a movie I honestly question sometimes about the horrible cases of negativity it received (but then again, the director’s past movies have apparently been bad as well). It’s a rather “true blue” movie that splits two worlds conjoined by one adventure…this movie is The Smurfs, or Los Pitufos in Spanish.

The amount of blue in this movie is simply unbearable.

You may know The Smurfs (based off of the Belgian comic series of the same name, alongside its eponymous TV show) as the competition against Cowboys vs. Aliens, both of the movies releasing on the same day. You might remember how the true blue flick lost by just $0.8 million! You might remember how critics and audiences had different perspectives of the movie in negative and positive ways. But we’re here to learn about what had to say about it. Let’s start off with the story: Papa, Grouchy, Brainy, Clumsy, Gutsy, and Smurfette end up, in a pursuit from evil wizard Gargamel and also via vortex technology, in the human world (more specifically, the Big Apple) apart from their rightful Smurf home. They then must find a way to get back home while still avoiding Gargamel and they run into humans in the process. These humans are Patrick and Grace Winslow, a husband-and-wife couple with a basset hound named Elway. These two merge and learn the benefits of teamwork, leadership, and bravery on the Smurfs’ wild adventure.

The movie actually wasn’t half bad. I don’t know why critics had their usual lip to set on the movie, since it was polar opposite of what it critically received. The movie was inspiring, adventurous (you know I love a good cliffhanger and hero-gets-tortured and beat-up-the-bad-guy scene), epic, and actually quite funny. To add into that, the movie was also full of great messages like leadership and teamwork and putting others first. And for a movie about a bunch of three-apples-high little blue dwarfs running around the NYC looking like obnoxious Na’vi offspring dwarfs (no offense), that’s saying something.

 1 3/4 out of 5 – Educational value –  The movie is meant for amusement only, but the Smurfs do teach kids about teamwork, while Papa Smurf and the Winslows teach about the importance of putting family first.

 3 out of 5 – Positive messages – The Smurfs offer positive messages about cooperation, teamwork, and family togetherness. Clumsy Smurf’s transformation into a fearless hero in the end (spoiler alert) is a great lesson that none of us is just “one thing,” even if that’s what we’re most known for by our friends and family.

2 1/2 out of 5 – Positive role models – Grace is kind and helpful, even though the Smurfs frighten her at first. Papa always thinks of his fellow Smurfs first, and then himself. The other Smurfs are optimistic and sweet, and Patrick even learns fatherly duties from Papa Smurf.

3 3/4 out of 5 – Ease of view – The Smurfs is a great movie that teaches kids about what it feels like to work as a team and put others before you, although not all the spots of the movie are bright ones. Despite getting the critical hammer lowered on it, and despite losing a rather fierce competition, The Smurfs is a cleverly plotted flick that mixes humor, adventure, and good messages all in one great combo.

4 out of 5 – Violence – Gallons of pratfall and cartoonish violence, but it does get more serious in the clutches of Gargamel, the film’s villain who is always trying to capture the Smurfs. Gargamel’s cat Azrael almost always gets thrown into danger’s path, with his master asking “Are you dead?” to see if he made it. The Smurfs and Gargamel end up in a cat-and-mouse pursuing in a shop, and they  find each other once more in the climax’s epic battle which results in some injuries, but blood and/or death is out of the question. Azrael coughs up a clump of Smurfette’s hair in a graphic style that may disturb some viewers. Papa Smurf “takes one for the team” and stays behind to be captured by Gargamel and have “essence” extracted from him in a rather torturous scene. Gargamel also uses wand magic to capture Smurfs and flash a spell into the sky Voldemort-style. He also gets hit by a bus, but does not die. A sequence that might frighten the very young occurs in which Gargamel terrorizes Smurf Village and destroys many upon many of Smurf homes. A vision predicts that Clumsy will mess everything up by failing to catch a wand.

 1 3/4 out of 5 – Inappropriate Content – The Winslows show affection—holding hands, embracing, and finally kissing (twice)—in short-and-sweet manners. Smurfette stands over a subway grate Marilyn Manson-style, but her “brothers” are more interested in the breeze, one even flashing his butt as an “enchanted forest.” One Smurf flashes his boxers before jumping into the portal back home. Grace is pregnant.

2 out of 5 - Language – The word “smurf” is used frequently as a substitute for many other words (like how Finn and Jake use this same formula for the word “math”), the results including “Smurf off”, “You smurfin’ crossed the wrong smurf”, and “Smurf me”, among other clean words like “smurfabunga” and “hypersmurfilating”. Real live words that rank on the colorful-language list include “oh my God” and briefly “d-mn”.

3 1/2 out of 5 – Product Placement – It’s not a surprise that the consumerism levels are literally flowing through the roofs, with appearances like the Blue Man Group, NBC’s Community (it’s true), Samsung Blu-Ray, Apple Inc., M&M’s, Aerosmith Guitar Hero, CBGB, Bluetooths, FAO Schwarz, ALEX toys, Madame Alexander dolls, and references to Katy Perry’s “I Kissed a Girl” (which is coincidental due to the fact that Katy provides the voice of Smurfette) and Braveheart.

0 out of 5 – Drinking, Drugs, and/or Smoking – This aspect is not featured.

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Smarts: B+ (3.5 points)

See-Again Ratio: A- (4 points)

Fun: A (4 points)

Entertainment: A (4 points)

Humor: A (4 points)

Style: B (3 points)

FINAL SCORE: 26.5 out of 30 (I did not see that coming), 3 stars out of 5, 77% out of 100%

CONSENSUS: It may not shine as brightly as advertised, but The Smurfs is a diverse movie with the humor, adventure, and positive messages to make it worthwhile, but it honestly can’t be saved from its sometimes blunt expectations.

PRICE: You sure you wanna go all true and all blue? See what I did there, I made the word blue. Anyway, The Smurfs costs $20 with a 44% savings addition. Too outrageous for you? $8.50 is the narrowed-down new price, while $7 is the used price. Take your pick, and if you can’t, go to Blockbuster where you can buy the movie new for $24, or have it for a solid 7 days with the weekly rental price of $5. And if you can’t accept that, well…I don’t think you can trust me anymore, can you?

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Like, rate, comment, and sing that Smurf song to the subscribe button until it explodes of annoyance overload! And stay tuned for more awesome stuff on Sammwak! Can you believe it? It’s already Valentine’s Day! <3 Sorry for a little late delay, but you know what that meant: more awesomeness!

- Sam



Hey guys it’s Sam, and you might remember the time when I complained about there being no Captain Underpants 9 yet back on my other site, 2Sam2Mwak. Well, Wikipedia hooked me up with the release dates I needed, and those are the release dates that I’ll be sharing with you! It’s like a game of phone tag, isn’t it?!?! Except, there are no phones…or tags, I guess. If you read my post (if you haven’t click on the colored lettering above) about it you’d know Dav Pilkey’s top excuse for the delays, but let’s just slice through the cheese and get what we need. And plus I’ll throw in some Pilkey videos to certify you aren’t just reading passage after passage, because that’s all boring and stuff!

This cover art seems strangely promising, but my mind's telling me it's fake.

If you’ve read Captain Underpants 8, you’d know how the book would end: a coming-soon ad for Captain Underpants 9, also known as the Terrifying Re-Turn of Tippy Tinkletrousers, confirming Professor Poopypants to be the first villain in Captain Underpants history to be a main villain for two books. That ad was back when the book published in 2006, and a confirmed 6 years later is when the book will release…this year. In the final days of August 2012, the ninth epic novel we’ve been itching for is finally coming out. August will also be the month of the scheduled release of the eighth and final promotion for F.A.R.T.S. before its official publishing in the fall, “Fartistic: The Art of F.A.R.T.S.” Pass the spray, please! Dav hasn’t cracked much open about it, but we’ll naturally learn more as the year progresses, won’t we? And to make things even better, by the very end of the first month of the next year (Jan 2013), a tenth waistband-warrior novel is scheduled to release! Captain Underpants, among being able to leap buildings wedgie-free and being faster than a speeding waistband, is known for being more powerful than boxer shorts. But will his next foe provide his met match in the Revolting Revenge of the Radioactive Robo-Boxers? That’s for you to find out, and me to squeeze the juice out of, hopefully. But are these boxers boxer shorts, or actual boxers, like pugilists, the people you see in the ring knocking the wind out of one another?

At the end of the eighth book, there was also a “coming soon-ish” ad for other books, and one of them was Captain Underpants Cartoon-O-Rama #1: Heroes, Villains, and Super Creeps, a how-to-draw book starring your favorite friends of Jerome Horwitz Elementary, with the exaggerated promise of 78 billion cartoons to learn in 22 1/2 easy lessons. I’ll say this in the easiest and nicest way possible: yeah, right. The release date of this is TBA (that’s a fancy term for when we don’t know the date yet, alas “to be announced”), but it still sounds somewhat promising.

What happens when you give products twists of your own without butchering them? You get stuff like, I dunno, parodies. And Dav Pilkey himself once conceived one of those in a parody compilation that never made it to market because of his girlfriend believing it would be too offensive (Try saying that to the Topps Company’s face.), and it was at that time in the mid-90’s when Dav scrapped the idea and began working on the first Captain Underpants book instead. These unreleased parodies included Where the Mild Things AreThe Babysitters ClubbedSmellalunaFurious GeorgeThe Tragic Schoolbus, and SarahPlain and Portly. But now in the early 2010’s, Dav’s at it again with FrankenFart vs. the Bionic Barf Bunnies of Diarrhea Land, a “confirmed” book that we barely know about. Written by Dav’s “evil doppelganger” Evil Dav, the book, according to the cover art (all we saw of it) in its ad, the book will contain “high-brow”, “sophisticated humor”, and “relevant social commentary.” Gosh, I never knew Evil Dav was such a proficient speller. FrankenFart also made a cameo as an “easy-to-read book” in Captain Underpants 8 itself, being read by the exceptionally dumb Melvin Sneedly—wait, here’s the kicker—in the parallel universe. We  know an exceptionally little amount about this book, but the details of the book inside and out are TBD (that’s a fancy term for to be determined), but that seems like an exceptionally good book compared to the exceptional amount of times I use the word “exceptionally.”

If you know your proper kung-fu-caveman graphic novel adventures, you’re likely to have heard of Ook Schadowski and Gluk Jones. If you read their first adventure, Kung-Fu Cavemen from the Future (which I personally own via Christmas gift), you’d learn about how they stopped the effect of the combination of two generations of the Goppernopper family from destroying the natures of Ook and Gluk’s surroundings, and now via “coming soon-ish ad” the announcement of Ook and Gluk’s next adventure, The Adventures of Ook and Gluk Jr.: Kung-Fu Cavekids in Outer Space, commenced and is currently, like Captain Underpants Cartoon-O-Rama, with a release date that is TBA, as well as the main crafting of it, let alone its premise.

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So there you have it—all the release dates of the Pilkey books we’ve been waiting for. Comment, rate, and give that ole subscribe button a good wedgie! And check back next Monday, Tuesday, or any other day of next week for a new dose of awesomeness. For now, this is Sammwak, giving a reason of why I want a Facebook. Here’s my plan: I’ll name myself “Nobody”, and when I like someone’s post, it’ll say Nobody Likes This! Wasn’t that a kneeslapper?

- Sam

p.s. More Pilkey fever? Well, my friend, infect away with these cool FUN FACTS!!!

  • Did you know that Dav Pilkey’s picture book The Paperboy won the 1997 Caldecott Honor award? See, Pilkey’s an award-winning author. Other awards he’s earned is The National Written and Illustrated By… Awards Contest for Students in ’86, winning the 14-19 age group with his first-ever book, World War Won. His book Dog Breath (1994) also won the 1998 California Young Reader Medal.
  • Dav was caught in a magnitude 6.8 earthquake in the Pac. Northwest, rocking his house for 30 seconds while painting the illustrations for the first Super Diaper Baby. Various possessions of his broke, but luckily none of them were his paints. Now that’s what I call nothing more or less than a miracle.
  • The main villain of the fourth waistband warrior novel, Professor Pippy P. Poopypants, was designed after Albert Einstein, and few people know this, but Einstein’s middle name was actually Pippy.
  • Super Diaper Baby 2 was partially somewhat designed after Dav’s old childhood comic saga, Water Man. If you’ve read the book (*spoiler alert*), you’d know how Rip van Tinkle slides into the bank and slides each bill under the door, and this was exactly how Water Man’s evil twin Mazumba used to sneak into and rob banks. You know how Rip van Tinkle can evaporate into a cloud and rain pee drops that find their ways into chimneys? This was how Water Man’s evaporation worked, but all the drops would go into one chimney and reform themselves into Water Man again.
  • The Ricky Ricotta’s Mighty Robot series by Dav Pilkey (as well as illustrator Martin Ontiveros) was originally Ricky Ricotta’s Giant Robot, but this was varied when young fans realized that the Robot isn’t “Giant”; he’s just 12 times taller than a mouse, which would make him only about 2 1/2 feet tall, but if you still have a Giant Robot copy, hang on to it, since no more copies of that kind are published and it might be valuable one day!


WARNING! Before proceeding any further on this post, please note that it contains recklessly speckled spoilers, so this post is labeled with a “SPOILER ALERT” seal. Proceed with known caution. And if we spoiled the movie for you, we are 0% responsible.

Hey guys it’s Sam, back with a review about not books, or games, but movies! If you’ve seen that I haven’t been releasing much movie reviews lately, raise your hand. ************* I bet everyone in the room just raised their hands. Anyway, I’m going to review a Disney classic that I’m lucky I got off of my “movies I’m embarrassed I haven’t seen yet” list. Why was the 20th century just that one collection of 100 years to start whipping up Disney classics? Snow White, Pinocchio, the list is just too big to name! Could this be a pick worth your popcorn? Let’s find out. Is it Beauty and the Beast? Nope. Peter Pan? No, not that classic. Cinderella? That’s just gross. Who couldn’t have guessed Pocahontas?

“If you kill him, you’ll have to kill me, too.”

- Pocahontas stands between her father and her true love.

Pocahontas was that super-old movie that became the first Disney movie to star a real historical character, Chief Powhatan’s daughter, Pocahontas, as well as the thirty-third Walt Disney Animated Classic. This movie was a 1995 flick that actually mixed true olden facts with humor, romance, and even sorrow. But hey—history was full of hard times. This movie was about indeed Chief Powhatan’s daughter, Pocahontas who has been sentenced to marriage with the “extremely serious” Kocoum. She then finds love for the Englishman John Smith soon after he saves a young man’s life from a watery grave, who turns out to be from the people the Indians plan to attack. So it’s sort of like a Gnomeo and Juliet story. Or Alpha and Omega. This love gets accompanied by the hilarious acts of Percy the dog, Meeko the raccoon, and Flit the hummingbird. Seriously. My hats go off to these Three Stooges.

It’s a guilty pleasure kind of movie, since things slow down a bit throughout the movie. People break into song at unnecessary times without warning, the scene where Pocahontas talks with Grandmother “Tree Monster” Willow drags by unnecessarily, etc. etc. etc. Make sense? But still, it does teach you about Pocahontas, John Smith, and just how funny a menagerie of three completely different animals can make me laugh my shoes off. Pocahontas is pretty much a 81-minute social studies lesson. And what’s better? A soundtrack’s worth of amazing music, almost 30 tracks? Don’t mind if I do, folks!

 2 3/4 out of 5 – Educational value –  Some facts may be tattered over time and time again, but at least the movie gives a clear image of Pocahontas and John Smith, although they really did not find each other…it’s what was told in my social studies book. Historically inaccurate, yes. A clear telling of different stories, yes.

 2 out of 5 – Positive messages – Pocahontas has divine messages that educate John about the use of the word “savage”, assuming that Pocahontas’s people live simply for a lack of sophistication, when they really use communication in far more advance that John’s colleagues. The youngest of viewers might be confused with messages like, “A man is not a man unless he knows how to shoot.”

2 1/2 out of 5 – Positive role models – Pocahontas is considered a headstrong daughter to her father, Chief Powhatan. He takes her words very seriously upon decisions, and the British leadership is not as kind or thoughtful.

3 out of 5 – Ease of view – Pocahontas is a good movie that suffers bland tempo decrease from time to time, with a hugely boring outcome once the credits roll. Good award-winning music? Yes. Romantically heartbreaking? Yes. All flash, no substance? Yessiree!

3 1/4 out of 5 – Violence – Two Native Americans get shot, one actually killed. Pocahontas’s father nearly kills John at the edge of a cliff if it hadn’t been for his daughter’s quick rescue. Much of the plot is about two warring sides: the British and the Indian natives. Expect to see sharpened and brandished knives, swords, muskets, and shootouts. There is one perilous scene with a ship on a stormy ocean where a man almost drowns. A song sang by the British ranting against savages, using phrases like “Their skin’s a hellish red”, “Dirty shrieking devils”, and “Killers at the core” will probably terrify younger audiences, and even audiences like me.

 2 out of 5 – Inappropriate Content – Pocahontas and John share the main love of the movie, always taking time to look into each other’s eyes. The two even share passionate but steamy make-outs…twice! Another mature aspect is that the Pocahontas-John pair is quickly intimate with their body language.

1 out of 5 - Language – Lots of mean phrases like “dirty savages” and “filthy heathens” that are as mean as they get. The phrase “hellish” appears in one of the verses of “Savages” (“their skin’s a hellish red”), which somewhat says that H-E-double hockey sticks is a bad word.

3 1/2 out of 5 – Product Placement – Pocahontas is now the seventh-announced Disney Princess, whose brand reaches tall and wide. Expect to see branding on consumer’s merch, food, books, sites, and other media.

1 out of 5 – Drinking, Drugs, and/or Smoking – A ship scene features men filling their mugs with uncorked wine from a keg.

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Smarts: B- (3 points)

See-Again Ratio: B+ (3.5 points)

Fun: B+ (3.5 points)

Entertainment: A- (4 points)

Humor: A (4 points)

Style: A- (3.5 points)

FINAL SCORE: 21.5 out of 30 (ouch?), 3 stars out of 5, 70% out of 100%

CONSENSUS: It’s a beautiful story followed by impressive voice acting and realistic emotion, and it deserves its right as a Walt Disney Animated Classic, but Pocahontas takes way too long to progress from sequence to sequence, and that’s when the blandness begins to pour in…

RENT, BUY, OR SKIP?: Rent it. Please. If you’re probably 5 years old, you could skip this off the griddle. If you’re mature enough to maintain this violence, buy it for your own good. It’s a bit of everything, with different opinions.

PRICE: If you’re really willing to take the hit, Amazon sells the tenth-anniversary edition for an astounding 31 dollars. But hey—at least I didn’t fork over that huge $79 price. Some Instant Click method Amazon has sells the regular edition for a quick $15. The golden classic collection sells for 83 freaking dollars! But its used price of $30 doesn’t really improve things much. Blockbuster sells it for a weekly rental of $5.00. Pick your price and stay with it.

IS THIS A PICK WORTH YOUR POPCORN?: That’s the question you may have all been dying to hear the answer of. My answer is sorta, because it’s a great movie and all, but it’s terribly slow and bland, is its problem. Definitely a yes to those three animals, however.

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Well, that’s all for a Monday of Sammwak-ness! Come back next Monday for another sweet-as-sugar post here on Sammwak! And come back the Monday after that for our “2nd” annual Christmas special! Don’t miss it, or I’ll miss you when we celebrate hardcore!

Your friend,

Sam

p.s. Here’s our question of the day: These creepy things called Animorphs invented by a crazy lady from right here in Michigan named K.A. Applegate are now my most feared behemoths. What scares you the most? Respond in your comment below!



Recognize this face? Yup, it’s the one and only Shel Silverstein, the one who gave us the thumbsucking epidemic song I took a look at earlier last month. Shel may be one of the weirdest guys I’ve met since my classmates on Backwards Day. Anyway, Shel’s got a lucky thumb to A) not to be sucked, and B) to get another spot on T4T, this time for his timeless song “A Boy Named Sue”.

This song was so popular, its name even had to be in the name of this album, where the song came from.

“…my name is Sue! How do you do? Now you’re gonna die!”

Surprisingly enough, “A Boy Named Sue” (also incorrectly referred to as “Boy Named Sue“) is not entirely of Shel’s work. He was just the writer of the song, the real user of this song (besides Shel) being Johnny Cash on his 1969 live album, At San Quentin. It has to be one the weirdest, funniest, and most violent songs I’ve ever listened since Avenged Sevenfold’s “Beast and the Harlot” went to the Guitar Hero 2 track list. The album A Boy Named Sue and his Country Songs coincidentally released the same year of Cash’s live album, both scoring Grammy Awards for their versions of the song in the process.

The storyline revolves around…well, title says all, a boy named Sue. Named as a joke by his father, he becomes the laughingstock of the area, but he’s the one that gets to the last laugh when he grows up to be a hard-hitting master of mass destruction, even beating up his own father as a revenge plan. The song is very groovy especially for one of Shel’s works, and especially deserves to be recited by a bored farmer in a rocking chair.

0 out of 5 – Positive messages – The song being revolved around violence for the most part, this song lacks any positive messages whatsoever.

1 out of 5 – Positive role models – Sue does show good examples of bravery, standing up against the toughest of moments revolving around that dastardly name.

4 out of 5 – Violence – Have you been listening to all that I’ve been talking about so far? “A Boy Named Sue” gives violence a new name, and I still can’t believe they got that crazy back in the sixties!

  • Sue narrates that if a guy laughed at his name, he’d bust his head.
  • Upon seeing and recognizing his long-lost dad, he simply beats him up, throwing a chair across his teeth, giving him a haymaker between the eyes, and almost threatening to kill him if his profound love didn’t change him. His father also extremely violently rebounds, knifing off some of his ear.
  • At the very end of the song, Sue lashes out against his name, and his reactions to it if he ever heard or saw it, or his father, again.

1 1/2 out of 5 – Inappropriate Content (saying the S word would be vulgar) – Besides violence, the only thing that’s not really appropriate, or nice, is the gender shaming and male stereotypical themes this song has.

2 out of 5 - Language – The worst word encountered isn’t even dirty, but it’s “heck.” Shel did a good job of replacing Cash’s dirty lyrics with new, clean ones. The two points of language points to Cash’s version of the song this time, ranging from “son-of-a-B word” to the H word.

1 out of 5 – Product Placement – Shel was one of the 60s’ most famed artists in almost every category on the stardom ladder. Music, books, movies, you name it, he’s stuck his head into it.

1 out of 5 – Drinking, Drugs, and/or Smoking – Shel and Cash both refer at the start of the song, to the father of Sue leaving behind a half-filled (Shel)/empty (Cash) bottle of booze.

The first couple of lyrics in Johnny Cash's version of "A Boy Named Sue", chronicled in an impressive black-and-white comic style.

Entertainment: A (5 points)

Laughs: B+ (4 points)

Style: B (3 points)

Smarts: A- (4 points)

Fun: A (4 points)

Final score: 2o out of 30 (Over halfway there)

Rating: E 10+ (Shel’s version), T (Cash’s version) (do I have to talk it over again?)

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Click on the video to listen to Shel’s version of “A Boy Named Sue”.

Click on this video to watch almost six minutes of a segment of the foul-mouthed Johnny Cash’s show, shown in 1970, released online in 2008 to over 200,000 views. This video does feature a quick duet with the two creators of the song, also featuring a touching Shel solo to “Daddy, What If”.

“A Boy Named Sue” is a blast listening to, and your inside self is going to be laughing its head off while getting seriously grossed out at the same time, but overall, it’s one of Shel’s best songs. End of story.

Like what you saw? Subscribe for more, and if you blog here at WordPress, there’s that little button with a star on it that says ‘Like’. Click that. Did you do it? You should. I also may not be up to date with blogging after this, because the entire Moorsbridge 5th grade is headed to Sherman Lake camp! So, check out my other posts to do you time here on Sammwak!

- Sam

p.s. And to bid you a good farewell, I will give you a Shel-style goodbye poem:

Goodbye, goodbye, I hope you come back

To Sammwak here, and that’s a fact

Over 40,000 hits to date

To all of those I can’t relate

So always remember to come back

And enjoy the glory of what is Sammwak!



First of all, for starters, you might be asking, “Sam, did you fall into Dizzyland and take a trip to Boringville?” Of course, if you say this, you lack a heart. But maybe I did, and maybe I didn’t. And maybe I’ve never talked serious talk on this blog for months. But according to worldlifeexpectancy.com, did you know that the second-most likely death in African-Americans was cancer? And that’s what I’m here to talk about…breast cancer, and how you can help stop it.

Help me and you can have the world in your hands!

Geeks, scientists, or people-who-search-stuff-up-on-Wikipedia-due-to-extreme-laze kind of people know that breast cancer is bad. You may think it’s nothing but a tissue cancer, when it’s really something as severe as deaths worldwide. Scientifically, breast cancer comes from the inner lining of milk ducts or the lobules that supply milk. Lots of foundations are bent on bringing breast cancer to its ultimate eradication. (just a fancy way to say “destroy; put an end to”) My mom was a victim of that cancer in late summer 2010, and I haven’t been able to shake it off since. For any of you out there whose parents have been victimized, don’t mourn for the rest of your life! Stand up and fight back! Like me, the son of a victim! With just enough help, we can make a difference in this war and if we win…parents all across the globe win. (Sorry if I sound too Friends for Change-esque.) I took advantage of my Social Vibe widget and chose a foundation to sponsor. I could’ve sponsored wildlife (World Wildlife Fund, WWF) or humanitarian causes (Red Cross), but I chose Keep a Breast over all of those choices. On this blog’s sidebar is a badge with an outline of pink. That’s my Social Vibe widget in action. And so can you when you click where it says you can help for free. (Which is good, for all you penny pinchers out there.)

Have the World Warrior honor if you help bring breast cancer to an ultimate KO!

So, if you have a heart, click that button and help save that woman’s life. If you don’t, then you have no right to be on Sammwak! Go away. You should not be here. Do not pass go. Do not collect 200 dollars. Do you have parents tarnished by other causes? Comment me what you have to choke out, and I might have my sister blogs sponsor the foundations around them!

Your friend,

Sam



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