Jules Verne plus Walt Disney equals really bad special effects and a disjointedly confusing story. Most of the blame surely rests with Disney since I doubt very much that Verne’s novel included an aged and slumming Maurice Chevalier sitting on a fake horse and singing about climbing mountains. More
I suppose that when a TV show runs something like 35 years, you’re bound to run into some episodes that feel like they were just thrown on the air to fulfill whatever commitment the production company had to the network for original programming. Disneyland, after all, couldn’t exactly run Pinocchio, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea or Pollyanna once a month. Sometimes you had to rely on that tried and true variation of kids getting mixed up in small time crime that could be resolved in two one hour long episodes.
You can have Dr. Seuss’s If I Ran the Zoo with its totally made up monsters, exotic lands, and that praise-craving brat Gerald McGrew. If I ran a freaking zoo, I’d do it just like Mitch Collins (Hal Holbrook) did in Wacky Zoo of Morgan City with its run down and surely dangerous and inhumane cages, toothless lion that has low blood pressure and eats oatmeal, camel who can only eat a couple of carrots at a time due to digestive issues, and penguin who demands to swim in warm water. More
Once the movie actually starts (the opening credits take long enough that we have to hear every bit of that horrible, horrible song sung by co-star Annette Funicello with the Beach Boys inexplicably backing her up) director Robert Stevenson (Jane Eyre, The Gnome-Mobile) slavishly hews to the same structure as its predecessor, The Misadventures of Merlin Jones. That means there’s not so much an actual movie going on, but rather two more installments of the Merlin Jones TV show which never existed. Of course, when you’re dealing with a gizmo that lets you learn in your sleep and a flying machine you pedal yourself, this is a good thing. More
If this movie let me down at all, it was that there simply weren’t enough misadventures detailed, though even the filmmakers would acknowledge this and immediately respond to American’s insatiable appetite for pointless experiments involving chimps and long-suffering girlfriends by serving up a sequel, The Monkey’s Uncle, only a year later.
There isn’t a story per se going on in this one – it’s more of an episodic slice of life affair, detailing a few days in the topsy-turvy life of Merlin Jones, a guy that spends his time driving around town with a helmet containing lots of wires and electrodes on his head. More
Time was, this country was one great big expansive opportunity to do whatever a person wanted to. There weren’t any rules and quotas set up by feminists, liberals, and activist judges because Big Government knew what was best for you. You needed to drive all over the upper Midwest during the summer to sell real estate and leave your kid at home by himself? Knock yourself out, bub! Just make sure you bring a big ass turkey home for Thanksgiving! More
I think Chris (Ron Howard) missed an important life lesson from his experiences with his dog Smoke. What Smoke showed Chris, but Chris was too busy pouting to see, was how you shouldn’t trust anybody and that when you are literally a red-headed step-child like Chris was in this movie, your best friend will ditch you as soon as he has the chance.
Take the best damn dog in the whole wide world, Smoke, for example. He’s all about sucking up to Chris when Chris is saving his pussy canine ass from certain death. They’re inseparable and we’ve got a couple of montages in the movie to prove it!
Chris and that crazy mutt would do anything for each other and stand toe to toe against any enemy, fighting the good fight, no matter the odds! At least until Smoke’s real owner shows up! More
J.D. was of course the country hick who pined away for the girl next door, Willadean. Though he would no doubt chalk up his inability to even get a whiff of Willadean to the unfair competition provided by the city slicker who just moved into the neighborhood, an impartial observer would surely have no choice, but to lay the blame squarely at J.D.’s watermelon-stained feet. More
I thought I was watching a douche commercial when this movie began. With its shot of two people on a beach and its cloying “These Are The Best Times” song playing in the background, I assumed that a regular dosing of Superdad was going to refresh my most secret of places. Sadly though, I was left with that not so fresh feeling and even more incredibly, by the time Superdad complains to his daughter at her wedding that he smells, I was wishing that this was a douche commercial! More
There’s really no mystery here. There isn’t any castle. And while you do get two Draculas, one is an actor in a cheesy horror movie and one is little kid with fake teeth, cape, and dog sidekick named Watson. So why didn’t I care that nothing remotely promised by its sexy title was actually delivered?
What if I told you that instead of a mystery, we had a case of stolen jewels? And if I said that while we couldn’t rent Dracula’s castle for this movie, we got a lighthouse sitting atop a rocky cliff? More