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Tripping the Rift - The Movie
Over the course of 75 minutes, Chode and his crew are going to have to not only avoid the killer clown but also escape a slave labor camp, plan a “birthday” party, find missing treasure, suburban life and much more.
Good and the Bad
Unfamiliar with the TV series before I started this film, I knew almost right away that this was a project created specifically with the already established fan base in mind. The writers waste absolutely no time with breaking out the parody humor and the fourth wall humor. Within the first scene the writers take shots at Terminator and Young Frankenstein and a joke about the film's budget is made within a few seconds of the opening credits ending effectively breaking the fourth wall for the rest of the film.
Sadly that's about as clever as the humor gets and honestly, after all the set up that the staff goes through for these jokes you would think that they would be much cleverer. The writing in this film never peaks above amateur for the majority of the film with crude jokes that lack any kind of real substance being thrown out every few seconds. When the verbal jokes don't work though, you can at least count on the staff to make up for it with an even worse visual gag.
At first I thought that my opinion was a little harsh and that I was being unfair. It was about that time that a colleague actually dropped in and watched a few minutes of the film with me. After one particularly crude joke, we looked at each other and I could only say 'It's about 75 minutes of that.' She just kind of nodded her head and walked away with absolutely no word or indication that she was remotely interested in viewing more.
And that's really where this film loses most of its points. Due to a desperate need to pander to its already established fan base, this film doesn't do anything to attract a new audience which is why it was doomed to obscurity before it even began being completed.
The writers didn't even bother to re-introduce the characters somewhere near the start of the film besides an occasional passing mention of one of their names but that didn't do nearly enough to actually make me care about the characters in any real fashion leaving me bored within twenty minutes.
Possibly one of the ironic points that this film has going for it is that despite it constantly being used to tell a stupid gross out joke, the animation in this film isn't that bad. While the space setting gives the staff some pretty big creative license with the characters, the designs aren't that bad. The characters all have a unique look to them and I love the attention to detail that the staff used.
The sound and audio of the film wasn't terrible at all. The playback was clear and even and I didn't notice any drops in quality or distortion.
75 minutes of constant gross out jokes ended up being 60 minutes too many in this case. While people who are already aware of, and fans of, the original TV series that this film is based off of I really can't see that many other people are going to be overly impressed with this. If you're into this type of comedy, there's a better than average chance that you had already discovered this series on your own and thus discovered the film. If you didn't already know about 'Tripping the Rift', you were probably better off before.
Final Grade: 60% - D
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L.B. Bryant is an established reviewer based out of Tacoma, WA. While juggling responsibilities as staff reviewer for almost a half dozen sites, he also reviews anime DVDs at his own site, Otaku Review.
Actors: Maurice LaMarche, Stephen Root, Gayle Garfinkle,
Jenny McCarthy, Rick Jones
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