Did that not because the movie is not well made, which it is indeed (although i expected it to be better!) but because i never liked the original Popeye cartoons as a kid ...i loved Felix The Cat, or Betty Boope and the mandatory Mickey Mouse and even the creepy old Koco The Clown, which did keep me watching despite being so boring as well as nightmarish ... and in spite of the fact that they were all at least two generations 'behind' me when i was a small child in the mid 1960s ... (my most fave was Heckle and Jeckle though, which decades later i found out it was mostly a banned cartoon in some US states ... and the Flintstones ... and well ... some others as well ...)but i never got to terms with Popeye, not even later when i grew up and developed a taste for some items i didn't quite like earlier ...
There appear to be an infinite number of live-action movies based on cartoons and 90% of them are just plain bad. You could probably rank them next to movies based on video games as the worst kind of film genre out there. This was none other than the first ever live-action movie based on a cartoon. As such, is it a case of first installment wins? I mean, I've seen so many downright awful live-action adaptations that are nothing like the source material and are just plain stupid. But really, this film holds up way better than most of those other movies. Again, I'm going to admit some bias with this because it stars Robin Williams. It's great to see him in one of his youngest roles.What I really do love about this movie is how faithful it is to the cartoon. I mean, if you seriously compare the clothes and appearances that it had, you really will find out this movie is pretty spot on. Obviously, it's hard to adapt a cartoon, but they really do want to do it faithfully. It seems like most of these films make the mistake of not being cartoonish enough or being too cartoonish. This really did seem to go pretty well in the middle. For all the slow parts, there were some really good goofy sound effects and cartoon like slapstick. It actually does feel like you're watching the original cartoon. It does hold the distinction of being the highest ranked live-action adaptation on RottenTomatoes.And yeah, it does have faults. It probably could have been trimmed by a half hour as the story seems to get a bit too complicated at times. It's still great to see characters like Wimpy and Lil' Swee Pea represented so well. I really do like the atmosphere of the movie. I especially like the scenes in the diner where they're tossing these cartoonish looking burgers around. It just has a nice quaint feeling to it. It gets best near the end where it really starts to feel like a standard Popeye cartoon. It actually works pretty well as an origin story. You see Popeye meeting the other characters and discovering spinach. I would not go so far as to recommend this, at least not to people who aren't Popeye fans. Of course, in an age of horrendous films like "Jem And The Holograms", it's worth watching over and over. ***
Back by popular demand it is time for "Matthew Rambles". What you missed rants, so do I but there will be some soon. Right now I got to ramble about this movie. When I first heard about this movie, I found out something about it. I was four when I saw a pirated video of it on Betamax and it had Arabic and French subtitles! When I was young I was familiar with Popeye with the cartoons. Whether it is the Fleischer Bros. (1933 to 1941), Isadore Sparber (as in the Famous Studios era from 1942 to 1957), the turgid Al Brodax cartoons (1960 to 1962) or the Hanna-Barbera reboot (1978 to 1983) I knew who was who. When I got the movie, I thought to myself, "Oh it is Popeye, I don't care!" When I got it I had fun, for a few moments. When I got older, I read that it was turgid. After giving it another watch, I found out why this was bad. It was so bad that Mad Magazine spoofed it as FLOPEYE! Thanks to a new set of eyes, I found out why this movie is not good! First of all, who is Robert Altman, who had a ton of dramas in his filmography, trying to cater this movie to. Those who watch musicals, or dramas and comedies you can see on a dull January? When KING KONG was remade in 1976, it was catered for those who watch disaster movies because Dino Dellaurentiis wanted to give this movie a disaster movie fell to it. POPEYE - THE MOVIE was made to rival the success of Richard Donner's SUPERMAN - THE MOVIE (1978). How can you cater a movie like this to those who watch a film like SUPERMAN? Second, while the cast is fine, Bluto is a bit of a problem. Bluto needs to have a big body and small head. Lou Ferrigno would be a good choice. Third, which is following number two, some scenes might be too scary for small children. Bluto angrily approaching Popeye, which leads to him rolling like a wheel. A small child would say, "Does this happen to a real person?!" Also, prostitutes in that musical number called "I am what I am" and the octopus (scientific name, Octopus-Cartoonicus) are other reasons why this movie is rated PG. Fourth, the writing. Since when did Popeye not like spinach?! Whenever danger rears its ugly head, he takes his spinach. When he eats it, his arms get big, his legs get big, his chest get big. You don't get to see that in this movie. In fact it can only work with nice stop-motion animation with a model of Popeye and have someone like Jim Danforth or David Allen animate it. We would like to see the octopus get clobbered. In fact it did get clobbered, it flew sky high. It would be funny if it lands explosively and when the smoke clears, you see something like cooked calamari or sushi. Now that is a good gag. All in all, POPEYE THE MOVIE is a mess. It is a Frankenstein Monster made of a drama, a musical, a western, Homer's The Odyssey, various cartoons and comics for which the film is based on and cinematography from Frederico Fellini films as the bolts on the beast's neck. This movie caused a trend that Hollywood would be doing over the next 35 years. Some went well such as the original TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES trilogy and A FAIRLY ODD MOVIE: GROW UP TIMMY TURNER. Other are just plain terrible like well, MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE, THE FLINTSTONES, INSPECTOR GADGET, THE ADVENTURES OF ROCKY AND BULLWINKLE, SCOOBY-DOO, UNDERDOG, SPEED RACER, DRAGON BALL EVOLUTION, YOGI BEAR, JEM AND THE HOLOGRAMS, the TRANSFORMERS franchise and the atrocious ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS franchise. This film like any other movie has a cult status. Other people love it. My mother loved it and praised it like CITIZEN KANE. I wish I could praise, but I got a new set of eyes. Recently she found some moments where some scenes let her down. Bottom line, give it a watch at your own risk, because it is a guilty pleasure of mine. Rated PG for violence, mild language, some prostitutes and peril.
Superb example of taking a cartoon character and doing absolutely nothing with it....absolutely no story , unsustainable noise that the producers try to pass off as music. "he needs me he needs me he needs me" ---What? You can't write another line of verse and find a word that rhymes with "me"? And, I didn't realize for the first few unending minutes that Poopdeck Pappy was supposed to be "singing" during the long, boring boat chase. Annoying background noise with him complaining about children or some such meaningless banter. The original Popeye The Sailorman song, performed at the end of this horrific mess, was the only thing even remotely true to the cartoon. Williams mumbles throughout the film and Duvall is just plain annoying. She's almost as annoying as in The Shining. This attempt at movie-making was written as they went along. terrible. I can only hope that the special town set they built for this tragedy went to the homeless locals in (Malta, was it?). Someone should benefit from the building of this fictitious town. Certainly moviegoers did not benefit. I was 27 in 1980. I remember walking out of the theater and thinking " what the heck!!!" It's on a movie channel right now and I am laughing very hard, both because of some of the reviews I've just read and am torturing myself (AGAIN)while watching a movie that is so ridiculously bad. Robin Williams...please donate your fee you got for this mess to some worthy charity, Maltan refugees.