Posted : 5 years, 6 months ago on 26 May 2013 04:03
(A review of
UPDATED as of 9/6/18
My Introduction to NC
Ever since I first watched the review of Tom and Jerry: The Movie on YouTube in mid-July of 2009, I began to watch the other reviews made by Doug Walker, including the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles films, Super Mario Bros., Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, and Space Jam. Those were all posted on YouTube once before he had his own website called thatguywiththeglasses.com, which started on April 2008. Although he returned to YouTube in 2013. And on December 2014, the website was renamed into channelawesome.com. What made me curious about him is that when I watch the “We Got to Have Money” clip, there would be someone that posts about him. I decided to check him out for myself, and I haven’t looked back ever since.
Who is NC?
For starters, the Nostalgia Critic is like a mix between Daffy Duck, the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland (1951), the Jack Lemmon character from The Great Race, and Blackadder. Just like James “Angry Video Game Nerd” Rolfe is to retro video games, Doug Walker is to nostalgic movies. Most of the movies he reviewed, including The Wizard, Batman & Robin, Kazaam, Double Dragon, Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, Jingle All the Way, and Good Burger, and as well as TV shows like Captain Planet and The Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog were comedy gold. Even his video game review of Bebe’s Kids on the SNES was hilarious.
NC is Doug's Alter Ego
The NC is also a character, in which doesn't always and entirely reflect on Doug's opinion. For example, the character hated The Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog for being too crazy and making no logic sense. Doug, on the other hand, didn't really despise it. He made an NC review of it because he thought there was enough to make jokes out of it. Even he and his older brother and co-writer Rob have differences of opinion. Doug thought Casper was okay and Tank Girl was meh, but Rob really loathed both of them. The NC review of the latter mostly reflected on Rob's opinion.
Different Style Reviews Are Funny, Too
He doesn’t just yell, scream, and curse in every video; he could be sarcastic and praise anything, like in his Surf Ninjas review, where he calls everything genius. But in the end, he finally admits that it’s god awful. He also did something similar like that again in his review of Blank Check. Another good example of doing something different is his Good Son review, where he doesn’t talk, but holds up cue cards and subtitles; just think if that’s Wile E. Coyote reviewing the film. In his review of We’re Back! A Dinosaur Story, instead of dressing up as the Nostalgia Critic, he dresses up as Raoul Puke, a parody of Raoul Duke from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
The Flaws of NC
However, Doug is not always on top. He would sometimes make dozens of mistakes. Some examples include calling a forklift a bulldozer in his Barb Wire review, saying 9+9+9=21 in End of Days, and made a tasteless Marlboros joke on the late Mako in TMNT (2007), despite not having any knowledge of him at that time. He even once mistaken Robert Prosky as Art Carney in Last Action Hero. In addition to that, he sometimes would have spelling errors and doesn't pronounce or get someone's name correctly. He also has limited knowledge on animals in general. Not every joke he makes is gold. He would not always think twice about them, either. Some can range from forced and unnecessary, distasteful, annoyingly overused, and to the part where there's too much padding or a joke going on too long. His later reviews would sometimes try too hard to be more like Family Guy, which is really not a good sign. He would review movies that really don’t need to be reviewed, whether it’s not flawed enough, not enough to make fun, and the fact that someone else already reviewed it or it's been done to death. Most especially for the latter, if the review wasn't funny, if Doug didn't bring anything fresh or new to it, or did it just for the heck of it without putting any real effort. He also has the habit of using words and phrases like "bland" (there's plenty of other vocabulary to use aside from that), "I don't know" (I'm thinking he's either not confident enough on what to say, didn't pay attention, didn't do enough research, or just wants to get things done fast), and "characters/plots we've seen a million times" (you can't always expect originality). When not in character, Doug can be a nice and humble guy (though not so much in the recent years and is becoming more like his ego). But at times, he can be a biased and self-important hypocrite, whether in character or not. He may have said having a lessor opinion doesn't make one a bad person and everyone can have their own unique opinion. But he would still draw his own opinions as facts and say it's okay to like this but not okay to like that. I sometimes get the feeling that he would try to force his opinion into other people's or change their minds on purpose.
Doug Doesn't Do Enough Proper Research
From time to time, he would make factual errors. This is one of my biggest gripes from him. I think he sacrifices that to focus more on comedy and as well as look at movies and TV shows with little to no knowledge of its background information or source material. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but it's still important to get the facts straight. Although he sometimes does intentionally make mistakes for the sake of a joke. Some reviews where he failed big at his research are TMNT (2007), Old vs. New: Willy Wonka vs. Charlie, Top 11 Villain Songs, Top 11 Dumbasses-in-Distress, James and the Giant Peach, a couple of his Disneycember reviews, Pearl Harbor, The King and I (1999), Sailor Moon, Foodfight!, and The Matrix Trilogy. But strangely enough, reviews such as the Top 11 Cereal Mascots, Alone in the Dark, The Thief and the Cobbler (Arabian Knight), Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland, he did his research fine, save for some minor errors. And yet for others, he goes back to research 101 and does little of them. He has plenty of time to do them and even some of them can be so darn simple to look through. It pretty much seems that he's too choosy and does it whenever he feels like it rather than spend more time with it. What's real ironic is that in the NC review of North, he questioned film on whether it did its research or not, whereas he doesn't do a lot of research, either.
Screaming and Yelling Aren't Always Funny
Doug even sometimes throws a tantrum over the most trivial things. It can be funny when he gets angry over things that don't make sense or something very wrong or stupid with it. But if it's something so insignificant, a plot point that was actually explained, or something that's actually true or intentional, it's not that funny. Most especially when he screeches. Accusing Quest for Camelot for not explaining anything, missing Last Action Hero's intention of being a parody, misunderstanding the atmosphere in Psychlo from Battlefield Earth, and making a big deal over a sailor saying he can't swim in Pearl Harbor (most soldiers and sailors during WWII weren't always trained swimmers), evidently shows Doug's rants being unfunny and insulting to the viewer's intelligence.
Paying Close Attention is Important
It boggles my mind that Doug sometimes doesn't even pay close attention to plot details, whether it's big or small. He would even dislike movies for having plot inconsistencies, even though some of them were clearly explained or suggested. Some films include District 9, The Dark Knight Rises, Interstellar, and The Matrix Trilogy. Even in family films, including the ones by Disney, he questions plot points that aren't even that hard to follow or something a ten year old kid would understand. When it comes to being a critic or a film reviewer, it's pivotal to pay attention, whether being invested by it or not. Otherwise, choosing not to do it is just lazy. In addition to following the film closely and not doing enough research, giving out false information would alienate people for those who haven't seen the film or know little about them.
Dwelling is Not Always a Funny Joke
There’s really no need to, in NC reviews, address and dwell on incidents and failures like the Mako fiasco from the TMNT review, excluding the death of Optimus Prime from Transformers: The Movie in the Top 11 Saddest Nostalgic Moments, Melvin! The Brother of the Joker, and Let’s Play Bart’s Nightmare. I mean, Doug's Sidekicks review dwelled too much on the Mako incident, and even made the worshipping gag a very forced running joke whenever a movie stars him. Also, the James and the Giant Peach review lamented a lot on Let's Play Bart's Nightmare, which was posted before it. Dwelling on things like that are not legit jokes.
The Divided Fanbase
One other thing that bothers me about NC the most is the fanbase. Well, the fanbrats, to be precise. The way I look at them are they can be oversensitive, blind, immature, and hypocritical. The Top 11 F***up lists are the first that comes to mind that do show it, especially with non-legit mistakes like having a minority opinion, reviewing a film that is based on TV show that Doug did not grow up watching, and not doing Old vs. New: War of the Worlds. The fans even accused him of calling a pan a pot in his Gordy review. But ironically, Doug was right the whole time, as it was technically a saucepan. And yet he still caves in with them and listed these things as mistakes because he doesn't have the necessary backbone to face the wrath of the fans, which is very pitiful if you ask me. Having NC being called the devil and him saying it'll haunt him till the day he dies, for not including Optimus Prime's death is way too idiotic and subjective. Another thing that irked me about the lists is that he overlooked much bigger and more legit errors. The fans can occasionally point out even the most petty mistakes. Some of the other parts of the bad fans are a bunch of yes-men and women who blindly agree everything he says and thinks everything he does is gold. Even some would defend him like he's Jesus or has always been funny. What makes the fanbase more frightening is when you check out an anti-NC video on YouTube, it would have more dislikes than likes or the bar would be nearly half and half. Ever since Doug's vanity project Demo Reel came along and being canceled due to bad ratings, the general NC fandom has gotten much worse and more divided than ever.
Doug's Overly Long Jokes Suck
His extended jokes are one of the times when he really misses the mark and he's not good at them most of the time. That almost makes him a poor man's Seth MacFarlane. Here are some of the worst that I can think of:
*The phone call to Adam Sandler in Eight Crazy Nights. It even lasts over two and a half minutes. I'm not even kidding.
*Soundwave's nearly two minute romantic comedy speech from The Transformers (G1 Series). I was literally like, "GET ON WITH IT!" before the halfway point.
*The “No, no, no, no…” gag from Drop Dead Fred, which lasts about a minute.
*Chasing down Casper at the end of his Casper review. His animated photoshopped Casper throughout the review is also annoying more than he is funny. And I mean Jar Jar Binks-annoying.
*The scene with Santa Christ in Santa Claus: The Movie. To me, that was the prelude of NC jumping the shark.
*The Tarantino-ing joke from Signs.
*The robot joke from Rocky IV.
*Trying to pronounce Tone Loc’s name in the Bebe’s Kids film review.
The First Time I Nearly Quit NC
There was even a time where I literally felt like being done with NC, which happened in early 2010. It was Batman vs. The Dark Knight (he favors the former more for illogical reasons), Willy Wonka vs. Charlie (he was being unkind to the latter that the review itself is pointless and also got plenty of facts wrong), his Bum review of Avatar (one of the movies I like that he doesn’t), and some of his reviews posted in the first quarter of 2010 that caused me to think that way. Not only I felt that he hasn’t been at the top of his game since early 2009, but also the things that I disagreed with him on left a bad impression on me. I once or a few times removed him from the “Favorites” section and try to move on without thinking about him too much. But it just won’t go away and the NC has already grown on me. Since there was still potential in him and had plenty of other bad movies to review, I remained a fan (but that'll change again three years later), even though I don’t always agree with everything he says. And I did learn my lesson on everyone having a different opinion.
Doug's Questionable Choice of Films in These Countdowns
Outside of NC, he posted the Top 10 Movies That He Hates But Everyone Else Likes and vice-versa in early 2011. I find some of his choice of films very questionable. Like, how are Cars, Signs, With Honors, and Nell that well-liked by many people? There are other movies that he finds overrated that would have been much more appropriate for the list such as Shrek (he likes Shrek 2, however), The Matrix, Saving Private Ryan, and The Hangover. If he revised the list right now, which I think he really should, he would very likely add The Dark Knight Rises, Interstellar, The Jungle Book (2016), and IT (2017). As for the Top 10 Movies That He Likes But Everyone Else Hates, films like Punch Drunk Love and Unbreakable aren't that hated by many people. Films that he is in a minority of that he liked that would be more fitting are Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome and The Nativity Story.
My Personal Disagreements with Doug
Aside from the movies that he doesn't like, I have a couple of other disagreements with him. In his Top 10 Worst Clichés, he put "the poetic singer" at #5, or more appropriately "the wailing woman singer." Used in films like District 9, Avatar, Gladiator, Black Hawk Down, he would criticize it as pretentious and its purpose to force sorrow or sadness. But it's one of my favorite tropes, and I have a thing for choir music. Even in bad movies, I would still enjoy it. Doug can be a good singer, but his impersonations of a woman wailing is just cringe-worthy and bad that it makes me not want to appreciate it anymore and hear them the same way again. The other things that I have heavy disagreements with him are his opinion on the ending of Toy Story 3 and the character San from Princess Mononoke (he didn't outright pan either film, though). He thought the former was more laughable and corny than sad. I shed some tears at that scene, and I think he's not giving enough thought about it, as it can happen with other people, too. Now his opinion on the lead female character from Princess Mononoke just makes me want to press the berserk button, considering it's one of my top 30 favorite movies. He dismissed her as a missed opportunity and comes across as whiny and bitter. It also didn't help that he has gotten some facts wrong about her. Her name is actually San, not the film's title. She's also not half-wolf. Even the film clearly explained that her parents were killed when she was a baby and then was raised by wolves. I think she's a more complex character than Doug gives credit for. He also obviously wasn't paying close attention or even did some not-so-hard and quick research. While on the subject of Hayao Miyazaki, Doug even mistaken Chihiro's real name as Sen (he even spelled it with a Z his Top 10 Favorite Movie Moments) in Spirited Away, even though that's clearly not the case. When I first saw that movie and Princess Mononoke as a teenager, I understood the parts that he didn't get and got wrong. How insulting and sad that he still can't get his facts straight in movies and TV shows that he really likes. That should be one of the red flags that he should not be count on as a reliable film reviewer, when it comes to facts, research, and valid criticisms. Even before his Disneycember reviews of 2014, I was already on the verge of quitting him for good.
2009 was a mixed bag for NC reviews. He was off at a solid start, thanks to Good Burger, A Kid in King Arthur's Court, The Good Son, The Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, and the worst movie he and Rob ever saw, Garbage Pail Kids. But a bit after his great Moonwalker review is when the writing on the wall starts to show, mostly with his highly requested and yet disappointing TMNT (2007), his flopped sketch, Melvin! The Brother of the Joker, Batman vs. The Dark Knight, and Full House. He did redeemed himself a bit with reviews like North, TMNT: Coming of Their Shells Tour (with James "AVGN" Rolfe), and Steel. However, the rest of the year were a hit and miss. The hits are Short Circuit 1 & 2, We're Back! A Dinosaur Story, Uwe Boll's Alone in the Dark, Black Check, Suburban Commando, Congo, and the Siskel & Ebert Tribute. The big misses were Last Action Hero, Top 11 NC F***ups, Willy Wonka vs. Charlie *shudders*, and Casper. There's also the disappointing Star Wars Holiday Special, despite its moments. And the rest of the reviews in 2009 were either okay or meh.
2010 is when most of the reviews range from above average to mediocre to poor. It also has some of the most disappointing reviews that Doug has ever done, including Quest for Camelot, Home Alone 3, Drop Dead Fred, Chairman of the Board, and Arabian Knight (The Thief and the Cobbler). But there were good reviews such as Commando, Bio-Dome, The Care Bears Movie, A Troll in Central Park, Leprechaun, My Pet Monster, Waterworld, and Little Monsters. He also did the Animaniacs Tribute, where he interviews some of the people involved with the show, and the Commercial Special, which he looks back at nostalgic commercials. The reviews that almost came close of being good are Battlefield Earth and Lost in Space. But they were hindered by certain parts of it that contained unfunny yelling and screaming.
2011 is when Doug is back on top for the most part. There were quality 'A' reviews like The Neverending Story III, Dungeons & Dragons, The Return of the Commercials, Inspector Gadget, Baby Geniuses, Milk Money, The Avengers (1998), The Haunting (1999), Doug's 1st Movie, Moulin Rouge!, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000). It even had some underrated gems like The Langoliers, Airborne (1993), Alaska, Simon Sez, and Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2. But it did have some stinkers like The Lost World: Jurassic Park, Revenge of the Commercials (The material and jokes were a step down compared to the previous one. And the subtitles starting with the third have become more lazy and uninspired. The first two were good: "After These Messages" and "We'll Be Right Back," respectively. The third one is "Exclamation Point." Really, why not something like, "Don't Go Away?"), Jaws: The Revenge, The Tommyknockers, The Cell, and most particularly Let's Play Bart's Nightmare and James and the Giant Peach. Aside from that, it was Doug's best year since 2008.
But 2012 is a big step backwards compared to the year before. And I personally think that's when the show has officially jumped the shark, most particularly the Top 11 F***ups Part 3. 2010 was more of a seasonal rot to me. Anyways, Star Trek Month was pointless, although save for The Final Frontier and Insurrection. What really makes it a downgrade, however, were the highly unnecessary and subpar reviews like Starchaser: The Legend of Orin, The Transformers (G1 Series), Heavy Metal, Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2 (MikeJ already did it and covered it pretty well), Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, and Total Recall (1990). Although the year still had good reviews such as Patch Adams, Richie Rich, A Simple Wish, Jack, The Wiz, and Scooby Doo (2002).
Doug has been through a lot of hard work in late 2011 with all of these movies that he had to sit through and even suffer for quality reviews. Not to mention that a couple of them were listed in his Top 11 Worst Movies He Had Ever Reviewed (posted in October 2012). He even had a mental breakdown in his honest review of Twilight: Breaking Dawn - Part 1. In some of his 2012 reviews, you can probably tell that he's exhausted and has hit burnout. If he really felt like taking a break, he could taken a full month off; January would have been ideal. However, that means no January theme month that year. But in order to keep the site running, he could have done like two to three commentaries on reviews each week. I think one month would have been long enough for him to be recharged after all that pressure and work in 2011.
The Anniversary Specials
Now for the anniversary specials, they’re not anything special or worth a newcomer’s time, really. Kickassia is below average due to the incoherent writing and jokes, and the rushed ending. Although it was cool to see Doug dress up as M. Bison from the Street Fighter movie. Suburban Knights was okay. It really would have been so much better if it weren’t for parts 2 and 3, which were mostly filler and offered some lame gags. The scenes and lines by Noah “Spoony” Antwiler and Brad “Cinema Snob” Jones have gotten some laughs, but they’re not enough to save the two parts of the video from being almost entirely pointless. Another big problem with SK is the constant build-ups that lack a real payoff. Just to give an idea on how bad the specials are, think if the Monty Python crew lost their funny and credibility. However, To Boldly Flee was easily the best of the three big anniversary specials. But it’s not anything fantastic, as it still has problems such the penis jokes in the earlier parts that have gotten old too quickly, and some of the scenes that could have been executed better. Some of my favorite parts in the film are the homages to Flight of the Navigator, the Star Wars films (most notably Revenge of the Sith and Return of the Jedi), and Shrek 2.
Doug's Failed Vanity Project
After the finale of To Boldly Flee, Doug announced his first retirement as NC and began his pet project, Demo Reel. But it only lasted five episodes. Also, Channel Awesome's ratings, web traffic, and profits have sharply decreased since then. Honestly though, I watched only the first episode of DR, I was pretty bored by it due to the one-dimensional characters, badly written jokes, terrible execution, and unable to decide what it wants to be. It does have promising ideas, though. The problems were that Doug didn't take full advantage of it or putting a lot of heart and effort into it, despite wanting it to get made since his debut, and didn't give enough thought about the potential failures and drawbacks. He also foolishly thought it would be his magnum opus and have another hit in his hands, but it backfired horribly and became his greatest failure since Let's Play Bart's Nightmare and Melvin! The Brother of the Joker.
NC Reborn In An Unspectacular Fashion
In early 2013, Doug announced his comeback as NC. But the series became more sketch-oriented and used the people he hired from Demo Reel, Malcolm Ray and Rachel Tietz. And the reviews are posted bi-weekly, unlike the reviews before To Boldly Flee. What is posted every other week are NC Editorials, which I really don't care for a lot and watched very few of them. They're just mostly there for filler and are like the dumb-downed version of Leon Thomas' Renegade Cut. Another reason why they're unneeded is because of Doug's lack of real research and true knowledge. The editorials in general also come across as too preachy and pretentious, and they make Doug look like a snobby pretender that states the obvious answers and conclusions. I just don't understand why he couldn't do both DR and NC. Or instead of doing those editorials like he's Mr. Know-it-all, he should have done mini reviews of nostalgic movies that usually don't have enough to make fun of or riff on for a full review. It'll be like his Disneycember reviews, but a bit longer. And it can either be positive, negative, or mixed. But that's pretty doubtful on Doug's part. I think it was a big mistake for him to cancel DR permanently, despite its rocky start. If it lasted longer, then it would have started to grow the beard or dramatically improve. Plus, if that and NC were still going and posted every other week, at least everyone, including Doug, would win. But what's done is done. He ditched the editorials in mid-2017, though. But he's already four years too late to do that.
2013 (NC Jumping the Shark Once More)
2012 was already bad enough, but 2013 is when NC is getting much worse. It's mostly due to the poor choice of things to review such as Catwoman, Jurassic Park, Top 11 Dumbest Lord of the Rings Moments, Sailor Moon, and even the not-so-nostalgic Sharknado and Devil for Nostalgia-Ween (Oh, the irony). They are signs that Doug is running out of bad nostalgic movies to review, too lazy to find a nostalgic movie that's worth reviewing or ripping up, and becoming too desperate for material. And I didn't even bother wasting my time watch them, with the exception of Catwoman. As for the Top 11 Dumbest LOTR Moments, it should have been called "The Top 11 Nitpicks in LOTR" because "dumb" is too subjective. Also, part of it was Rachel's idea, as she wanted to play a LOTR character because she's of fan of the series. And for that, I don't give a flying darn about her. Even though Doug has two weeks to write and research, he still can't get his facts right and most of the jokes don't live up to the glory days. The show's new format that involves the sketches with Malcolm and Rachel has made the show unbearable, needlessly too long, and unwatchable. The pre-Demo Reel NC reviews were an average of 20-25 minutes long. Now, they're usually nearly 30-40 minutes, thanks to the sketches. The sketches always feel too forced in, and lack genuine humor, substance, and engagement. They can also be too distracting and disjointed. One of the most disappointing reviews of 2013 is Eight Crazy Nights. Considering that Adam Sandler has been off of Doug's radar for so long, it was a big letdown. Another disappointment was Dawn of the Commercials. Although the material is an improvement over the third commercial special, but it was still plagued by unfunny skits (most especially the sexual harassments sketches involving the Wicked Witch of the West), and the too much padding on the "America" joke in the Denny's commercial. Also, the subtitle for that commercial special is called "The Fourth One," literally. Come on, Doug, be more creative. I'd prefer something like, "Stay Tuned." The year was so lackluster, I was seriously on the eve of being done with NC again. But some of year's few standout reviews are Son of the Mask, The Cat in the Hat (2003), and The Last Airbender. And one review that came the closest of being classic NC is The Christmas Tree (The Worst Christmas Special EVER!).
The Underwhelming Fifth Anniversary Special
The fifth anniversary special, The Uncanny Valley, was a big step down, in terms of humor and substance. Although honestly, I only watched the first part and didn't bother watching the other segments. The first part was called Dragonbored. I was so underwhelmed by it due to the cookie-cutter characters, the flat humor, the poor writing, and its bad execution on its fish-out-of-water story. It's a reminder why Demo Reel failed and shows that Doug and Rob can't write a good narrative script. The main character being a despicable game-a-holic jerk and facing the consequences at the end was poorly handled. One of the reasons is that he's not a total jerk-face and the actor that played him acted too nice. You'd feel more sorry for him than being glad that he got what he deserved. But on a positive note, there has been no anniversary specials since then. They're just a waste of time and energy, anyways. There was going to be a tenth anniversary special, but it got canceled due to the mass exodus of the Channel Awesome producers on March and April 2018. It happened because on how CEO Mike Michaud treated everyone and the disastrous behind-the-scenes drama of the previous specials (serves him right). [Link removed - login to see]
Doug's Unfunny and Uncharismatic New Regulars
I can understand why Doug kept Malcolm and Rachel to work on his reviews. Because it would be mean and unfair just to fire them when he just hired them and made them sign a contract. It also seems he wants to work with other people rather than just him and Rob. That's also an understatement. I have nothing against Malcolm and Rachel personally, though, but they always feel shoehorned in than necessary. They're also not only rarely funny, but they always lack real likability, charisma, and personality to impress or improve the show. Former Channel Awesome member Bhargav "Ma-Ti" Dronamraju had those things when he occasionally appeared Doug's NC reviews. One of the other reasons why Malcolm and Rachel aren't funny could be due to Doug and Rob's poor writing and execution, they don't always take full advantage of their talents, or give them good and worthwhile material to work with. These people are also supposed to challenge Doug, share their ideas and thoughts, and tell him what works and what doesn't. A year after NC's revival, Rachel has left Channel Awesome to pursue a career in Los Angeles, California. Doug was supposed to have a tribute video to her in his Face/Off review, but he accidently and clumsily deleted it (Oopsie!). Rachel was replaced by Tamera Chambers, who was Anne Hathaway's Catwoman in the NC review of Catwoman. I do have to say that she's way better, mostly because she has a better fit for comedy than she did and knows how to have fun with the material. But I'm still no fan of them. They're just about as funny and charismatic as dishwater and it's not hard to look at them as Rey and Finn rejects. And really, what did Doug see in them when he first hired them?
The Lacking Sketches
Another reason why Doug still uses the sketches is because they tend to get more hits than the reviews with little or without them. It's so ironic that people have been vocal about it, but the reviews with the sketches still get more views for whatever reason. I guess they're popular for the wrong reasons. However, the sketches can actually work as long as they're funny, engaging, not too long, more straight to the point, and are at least relevant to the review or subject matter. Or even a better idea would be have two separate versions of the review: one with the sketches and one without it. Although it does come as awkward if one part of the review leads to a sketch, but instead skips to the next part of the review if the reactions or scenes feel incomplete. Maybe the best alternative for Doug and everyone else would be he could have just continued Demo Reel, like he intended, and do that and NC every other week. But keep NC free of Malcolm and Rachel/Tamera. If Doug was more wise than he is, then he probably would have done one of those things a long time ago and right after his NC comeback announcement. I watch NC for his simple style of reviewing bad or off-the-wall nostalgic movies and guilty pleasures in front of the camera, not for his forced and overlong sketches with his lackeys. They're just a waste of time and kills the pacing. Plus, why fix it if it's not broken?
What Happened to the Creative Title Cards?
I even miss the title cards created by MaroBot, who has been under the radar since NC was first dropped out. Now, it's just bland, generic, lazy, and uninspired photoshopped images. Doug would even make stupid and obnoxious faces in them, and some of them can be very unsettling. It's so weird that in his Drew Struzan Tribute (posted way back in 2008), he says there should be more artistically creative posters and less posters that are photoshopped and have tired elements, colors, and poses in it. Seriously, why doesn't he stay true to his own words? I find that very sad, really. Some of the other members that worked for Channel Awesome, including Linkara, Cinema Snob, Todd in the Shadows, and The Blockbuster Buster have their own creative title cards. So why in God's name doesn't he continue that, but just hire another person to do it, if unable to contact the former creator?
Critically Acclaimed Films and NC Humor Don't Always Mix Well
Film reviews like Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Total Recall (1990), and Jurassic Park aren't nearly as fun to watch compared to his negative and guilty pleasure reviews on bad films. Thanks to his petty nitpicking, badly executed jokes, and forced memes, he could sometimes spoil the enjoyment of a good film that you won't watch it the same way again. But one of the few exceptions is Commando. You can still have fun watching it, even after watching NC's review. If I wanted to see someone point out the negatives in a critically acclaimed movie, I'd stick with CinemaSins, thank you very much. They may not be as wildly humorous as Doug, but at least their videos are shorter, better paced, and sketch-free. Although they can go a bit overboard on the nitpicking and sometimes make factual errors. Plus, the narrator's voice is not as obnoxious to hear and he doesn't yell a lot.
Doug once was going to do Matilda in 2010, but decided not to due to the film's large cult following, in which the fans demanded him not to bash on the film. Instead, it was later done by Lindsay "Nostalgia Chick" Ellis in 2012. Anyways, Doug yet again still did Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. It may not be on the same level as Raiders of the Lost Ark or The Last Crusade, but it still has an audience and decent entertainment value. Heck, even Temple of Doom has a higher rating score than Matilda at IMDb (they don't always mean anything, but still). If Doug still has a schedule on future reviews, which was discontinued after Sequel Month in 2011, some people would have implored him not to do Temple of Doom.
The Contrary to Reviewing Acclaimed Films
There’s nothing wrong with him reviewing movies that he likes or films he doesn't like that has gotten positive reactions. He just needs to be more careful which movies he'll do. Reviews like Commando and Hook worked because the flaws he pointed out were bigger, more valid, and it had enough things to make fun of. Moulin Rouge! also worked because it was a musical review and despite Doug hating the movie so much, it was reviewed by two other who liked the movie: Lindsay "NChick" Ellis and Brent "Brental Floss" Black. Plus, when you watch the review, you can tell they have put so much passion and effort to it. Films like Total Recall (1990), Jurassic Park, and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom are too well-known and most people have talked about what’s good and what’s bad about them. Say, if you watch the reviews of Commando and Total Recall (1990) or Hook and Jurassic Park back-to-back, there will be a big difference or more between these reviews. I think doing reviews of well-regarded movies should be more about making it funny (as long it's in good taste) than nitpicking. That worked well in Commando.
He Shouldn't Be Called "Nostalgia Critic" Anymore
I really don't like the fact that (most particularly since NC's revival) Doug is doing more recent films or films that are less than ten years old. That just kills the purpose of having the Nostalgia Critic name and can mislead newcomers. He should have renamed himself to "Mad Movie Critic," "Mad Movie Critic & Friends," or even something like "The Strawman Critic" (if he wants to be more honest) while's he at it ever since his return. I don't care what other people would say or think if that ever happened; he should have done so just to have a more accurate name. Really, why should he still be called "Nostalgia Critic" if he has no cut-off date? That be like if someone was called "The Retro Gamer Reviewer" and yet that person reviews current-gen games when the next-gen has just started. Even Angry Video Game Nerd was once called "Angry Nintendo Nerd." It's because James Rolfe used to tear up video games released on Nintendo systems. But when he started doing games on Atari and Sega consoles, he changed his name into something more fitting. It's so beyond me that Doug didn't bother changing the title right from the start of his comeback. He's just Nostalgia Critic in name only with elements from Demo Reel shoved in. That also makes it more of a sketch/variety show than a review show. What's even more pathetic is the movie he chose to do for his 10th anniversary episode is the not-so-nostalgic Norm of the North. Not to mention there are other people that have done it before (and better).
Although it is okay if he does it every once in a while for films less than a decade old that are based on something nostalgic like Alone in the Dark, Son of the Mask, Les Miserables (2012), Bridge to Terabithia (2007), Man of Steel, and Alice in Wonderland (2010). I'm also alright with him doing non-nostalgic films as long it's done on a very rare occasion, like The Room (special request) and The Last Airbender (he did a v-log series on the show). But for films such as Ponyo (his 200th episode),The Odd Life of Timothy Green (that's what made him came back as NC), Sharknado, and Devil, The Purge, the M. Night Shyamalan movies after The Village, and Jupitar Ascending are just unacceptable and very poor choices. Although the first former wasn't that bad, but still. Plus, doing them back-to-back or too often is just overkill. Again, I'd go with CinemaSins if I wanted to watch someone acknowledge the flaws in a recent film.
Is Doug Really Running Out of Nostalgic Films to Review?
There's plenty of more nostalgic movies for Doug to review that has potential for jokes and material. The ones that usually come to my mind first are Clifford, She's Out of Control, House Arrest, Stuart Little 1 & 2, Gumby: The Movie, Heavyweights, Meet the Deedles, Ed, Black Knight, Max Keeble's Big Move, No Holds Barred, 3 Ninjas: High Noon at Mega Mountain, Snow Day, The Rugrats Movie, Nothing But Trouble, Coneheads, Dudley Do-Right, Dude, Where's My Car?, Willy the Sparrow, and the two movies with Sinbad, Houseguest and First Kid. Heck, those number of movies would have been more than enough to fill the entire year if they were done bi-weekly. There is also potentially much better and more original January-themed months for Doug to do like Doggy Month (Bingo, See Spot Run, Beethoven/Beethoven's 2nd, and Air Bud), (nostalgic) Musical/Music Month, and Police Academy Month (he'll review two installments each week, save for the last one, Mission to Moscow). Seriously, were those movies less of a top priority for Doug to review? Is he too lazy to find other nostalgic movies? Does he choose not to review them? Can't he think of good jokes and material for them? Or is he too cowardly to do some of them? Movies like Houseguest and First Kid are extremely unlikely to get an NC treatment, since he and Rob hate Sinbad and they want avoid him like the plague. These movies have so much potential and material to make them enjoyable NC reviews, really. For movies like Barney's Great Adventure (even their father shares the same name as the purple dinosaur's), Jury Duty, Little Nicky, and Black Sheep (1996), I can understand. But what's their excuse for not doing any of the movies that I just mentioned? Comparing them to movies such Garbage Pail Kids, Bio-Dome, Baby Geniuses 1 & 2, Son of the Mask, The Cat in the Hat, The Master of Disguise, The Last Airbender, Eight Crazy Nights, and Foodfight! can't be that difficult to sit through. But whatever their exact reasons are, I couldn't care less what they review right now, as they are really losing their touch. Even if they did do one of the movies I want to see them do, it's already too late.
Nicolas Cage Month (Really, Those Are His Best Choices?)
It's not a bad choice for themed month, considering the first review was posted on Nicolas Cage's 50th birthday, but the choice of movies are rather poor. While Face/Off is nostalgic, but it's almost in the same league as Total Recall (1990). A lot of people, including MikeJ, has made fun of The Wicker Man (2006), and it's not truly nostalgic, despite being based on a nostalgic film. He also looked at it from a "so bad it's good" perspective rather than doing an Oldish vs. Newish on it, like he did with The Haunting (1999). Plus, he hasn't seen the original Wicker Man (shameful). Ghost Rider may be nostalgia-based, but there's other older films more suitable than that. But honestly, I did not waste my time watching any of them. Seriously, films like Con Air, Deadfall, and Vampire's Kiss would have been far better choices.
2014 (That's It, I'm Giving Up!)
This is when I finally gave up on Doug. After his great Christmas Tree review, I once gave him the benefit of the doubt. But I was wrong and felt betrayed. The new intro and theme song, which was been in use since 2013, now has sound effects to various clips used in it. It was fine before it and didn't really need it. Plus, it somewhat makes it hard to sit through, especially the screaming and someone getting abused. I also miss the end credits where it plays music from the movie that is reviewed. Now, it's just the same song from the opening, and it gets tiring fast. His reviews after Nicolas Cage Month have been either okay or passable. The only reviews that I liked were Ghost Dad and the Disney Afternoon. Although for the latter, I really wish he gave Malcolm and Tamara better jokes and material. But the final straw for me were The Lorax (2012) and The Blues Brothers 2000. For the former, he said almost the exact same criticisms from a much better review by Lindsay "NChick" Ellis. He also rehashed some ideas from his Cat in the Hat (2003) review. His review of The Lorax (2012) has laziness and desperation written all over it. He even once said he won't do it. But he really should have stick to his guns. As for The Blues Brothers 2000, the review was boring, underwhelming, and lacking. Doug's choice of movies to review after that have been subpar at best and only a few of them have nostalgic value to them. These things are what made me be convinced that Doug isn't trying anymore and has really lost his way. It's like he has forgotten what made him funny and talented to begin with. I haven't watched another recent NC review right up until Maximum Overdrive (finally an 80's film since his return). The Rise of the Commercials was a great comeback to his nostalgic routes... for once. The subtitle for that is "The Quickening." That's still dumb and kind of awkward, considering Doug isn't a big Highlander fan as much as Noah "Spoony" Antwiler. His Christmas-themed reviews, including Grandma Got Ran Over by a Reindeer and A Christmas Story 2, were mediocre and below average, respectively. I still have no plans to watch his other reviews I've skipped since The Blues Brothers 2000. Same goes with the ones from 2013 that I've passed.
Matrix Month (The Final Nail to the Coffin)
Sometime in 2014, Doug said that he might do a Matrix-themed month for January. When it was officially announced, it did not surprise me one bit, considering his quality state in recent years. I have absolutely zero interest of watching them, obviously, and especially that CinemaSins did the whole trilogy (on a way shorter length). They may not have a big relationship with Channel Awesome, but it still shows that Doug has really become more lazy and desperate. Although I don't care if he did The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions, but that doesn't mean he can do the first movie as a regular NC review. He clearly hasn't learned one thing from his review of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Really, who wants to sit through 32 minutes of Doug criticizing and over-nitpick the most trivial things at the first movie, with the addition to the sketches? People can watch CinemaSins' take for a crisp and much shorter 14 minutes. Not to mention that it's the narrator's favorite film of all time. That is even pretty much like when Brad Jones panned his all-time favorite movie as the Cinema Snob, Caligula.
Doug is Way Past His Prime
Right now, I'm pretty much done with NC due to that he's not in his 'A' game like he used to be. His reviews (and sketch episodes) are becoming more self-indulgent, mainstream, preachy, and lowbrow. His jokes are also becoming more tired, forced, lazy, and mean-spirited. He still hasn't learned some of his past and ongoing mistakes no matter how many times people tell him what he has done wrong. His weaknesses and shortcomings are becoming more clear as he makes more videos and other projects. Why he didn't even take his own advice about making and learning from mistakes in his Odd Life of Timothy Green review is beyond me. It also shows how much of a big hypocrite he has become. And he's really losing his creative and comic mind. It sadly seems Doug brought back NC just for the money, and to mostly please the lowest common denominator crowd and the fanbrats that didn't take his first leave that well. It's obvious that he's either going bankrupt or too lazy of finding and tackling nostalgic movies worth doing that range from regular bad to so-bad-it's-good to guilty pleasures. He just doesn't really care anymore. When I first heard he was coming back as NC after Demo Reel flopped and as well as The Christmas Tree review, I expected better from him. Instead, his comedic talents are waning and he is becoming a desperate sellout. It's like he's doing whatever it takes to stay relevant.
Why Doesn't Doug Do These Anymore?
It's also a shame that he won't do sarcastic reviews like Surf Ninjas anymore, or even silent reviews like The Good Son (that was very likely a good accident). He does angry and upset reviews because he thinks that's what most people want to see him do. Well, that part is mostly true, but he needs to have enough variety and substance in order to prevent his humor from growing stale. While it is fun to see NC tear up bad movies, but the reactions need to be subtle and the jokes have to work.
Doug is Sure Getting Desperate, Isn't He?
Even though I'm done with him, but finding out this just shows he that has gotten much worse since I left and makes me glad that I did. Starting with Jurassic World, Doug would even do movies that are still in theatres, breaking his own rule as stated in The Review Must Go On, and they're clipless and more sketch-oriented (recreating the scenes) as a result. He would even do old movies like Hocus Pocus clipless, too. That is so that he doesn't have to deal with the copyright Nazis on YouTube. Doing these kinds of videos are further reasons why the Nostalgia Critic name should be dropped, although it's already too late to change that.
NC's a Fan Hater to Pokémon (Seriously?!)
Ever since Conquest of the Commercials (The subtitle is "Ehenzeeahneh." Yeah, really. *faceplam*) posted in late 2015, Doug in character (I find that hard to believe, though) has been making tasteless and mean-spirited jokes to Pokémon. Says the same person who won't review Matilda because of its large cult following, and yet later did Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, The Matrix, and now trashing on Pokémon. What a way to be consistent. The only way for him to break that part of his hypocrisy is to do an NC review of Matilda, as he intended. He could even lose a large audience, be forced to quit NC and reboot Demo Reel, or even go work with Seth MacFarlane for all I care. Anyways, why is he picking on a franchise that he barely knows, assumedly hasn't played any of the games, or watched a couple of episodes of the anime? It makes me wish that he didn't have to review Pokémon: The First Movie way back in 2008 to begin with. Same goes with Digimon: The Movie he reviewed with Hope "JesuOtaku" Chapman (who is now transgender, added Jacob to his first name in 2016, and left Channel Awesome in late 2014) back in 2012 a few episodes before calling it quits the first time. Neither review weren't that great, anyways. But he had to do them because many people requested him to do them. He should have refused right in front of them and make them deal with it and move on. In addition, Doug loves Disney's Frozen and has said that everyone should like it, but he's not okay with people liking Pokémon and thinks they should be hating it, despite him having little to no knowledge about it. God, what a total snobby hypocrite who has insane double standards. It's fine for him not to like something that's popular, but that doesn't mean he can attack the fanbase, shove his opinion down to people's throats, and make low and cruel jokes about it.
Doug is Real Delusional
In his review of Christmas with the Kranks, he really doesn't get the full picture on why people dissed Demo Reel and his later NC reviews. He thinks people panned them because they're different. Actually... no. Some of the reasons why people pick on them are because of Doug's forced and half-baked jokes, poor execution, dragged on filler, and failing to live up its potential or hype. He also believes reviews with sketches, actors, and special effects are more ambitious than his older reviews and prefers doing it that way. Just because something is more ambitious doesn't mean it's always better. Doug is sure in denial of his own flaws, and that's pretty arrogant. NC reviews done differently than the ordinary ones like Surf Ninjas, The Good Son, and We're Back! A Dinosaur Story worked because they were freshly done and executed, and most of the jokes were good. Also in some of his vlogs, he idiotically thinks that reviews with more views means it's real good. It's not just the reviews with the sketches that get more hits, but also the choice of film that he reviews, most notably a controversial choice that will divide many people. If Doug wants to make money based on that logic and is really that desperate, then he should do films like Avatar, Matilda, District 9, and even a real review of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory already (Go on! I dare you. I double dare you!). Let's see if he'll get more of an audience and yet lose a lot at the same time if he has the guts to rip one of those movies into a new one. It should be very interesting... *eats popcorn*
Does Doug Think Attacking Certain Fanbases, Including His Own is Funny?
He also sometimes satirizes the fanbase for the NC show in general or for certain films. But some of them were in very poor taste. One of the worst cases of that is in his Eight Crazy Nights review. He portrayed the Happy Madison audience as hillbillies and rednecks that would laugh at poop humor, but not at stuff like Abbott and Costello. Then he later put them in the bathroom and threw a grenade at them. The way that Doug handled them was too moronic, offensive, and mean-spirited. Just you think he couldn't possibly go any lower, in the beginning of his IT (2017) review *sigh*, a recurring character named Hyper Fangirl (Tamera Chambers) is being booed by the audience, then she pulls out a machine gun and starts firing at them. What's even worse is that the review was posted not too long after the deadly mass shooting in Las Vegas. Really, how can anyone still be a fan of NC after that? Even that scene alone can make people lose all respect for Doug, even though it's a different character that did it.
I Liked NC Then, I Loathe Him Now
The Doug/NC that I knew a way long time ago is gone and might not ever come back. His older reviews are becoming real hard to watch and appreciate, thanks to how much of a big hack he has become. Even his face makes me sick every time I look at him. It's like ever since Demo Reel came along or was in the early stages of planning, he became an entirely different person. I also think the failure of DR affected him hard, considering that he wanted to make it right from the beginning. It's almost like he suffered flanderization of himself. I'm sorry to say this, but his time is officially up and has already overstayed his welcome long enough. When will he ever officially throw in the towel? If he's not going to learn the wrongs from himself, listen to real criticisms, grow a thicker skin, and prove himself he can make funny NC reviews again, why bother? Plus, I just can't take his hypocrisy, pretentiousness, arrogance, ignorance, poor excuses, and lazy and absurd criticisms anymore. I used to like Doug for what he used to be, save for a couple of mistakes. But now, I really despise him for what he has become, damaging his own creation and legacy, wasting good opportunities that he could have been easily done when he was still at his limelight, turning back on what he used to stand for and his own original purpose, and for him being an insult to my intelligence. The more I learn about his true colors when it comes to film criticism and how he treats certain groups of people or fans, the less I like him. He's seriously beyond redemption right now and it's already six years too late for him get back on top. It's just painfully tragic that he went from one of my comedic idols to one of the most obnoxious, self-absorbed, hypocritical, pretentious, pathetic, and overrated entertainers I've ever seen. That is like being betrayed by a friend you've known for a very long time; when you discover that person's true nature, you just want to turn your back on him/her and leave it all behind. He's also like a leader that promised great things that are about come, but it did not live to your expectations and gave you nothing in return.
Screw This, I'm Outta Here!
Since I couldn't stand Doug/NC anymore, I've decided to pull the plug on going to the Channel Awesome forums and remove it from "Favorites" again in between mid and late 2015. I mean, I just wanted to move on without that much stress and negatively. Plus, I'm already holding enough grudges against Doug. Although I would sometimes check only the film section of the forums, since that's where I go to the most, apart from the NC section. But still, I just want most of him and Channel Awesome and out of my hair. The downside of leaving the forums, however, is some of the good and inspiring people who were there actively. I really enjoyed reading their posts. And I wish I could meet more of these kinds of people personally. But because of Channel Awesome is crashing and burning due to many producers leaving the site, the forums have been shut down. I must admit that some of my posts, mostly the early ones, were a bit immature and unprofessional. But I've changed a lot since then.
What Made NC Funny and Watchable?
I think what made NC funny from the start is not because of the screaming, cursing, and yelling, although they are part of it. It was his clever and subtle gags, snarky and sarcastic comments, and his priceless reactions towards scenes, parts, and abnormalities. He's supposed to be a person that looks back at the bygone era (mostly the 80's, 90's, and films that are at least ten years old) and makes reactions and jokes of anything wrong, screwed up, or abnormal about the film or TV show. I can imagine him doing the Wee Sing series and how he would react to it for being so bizarre and surreal. I doubt he has watched them, but it still would have been fun to see him review them. The show also used to have so much passion, enthusiasm, humanity, and fun. Doug was also influential without being too snobbish, as he would inspire people how to criticize films better and ironically enjoy bad movies. The NC is a great concept and character. It is just going in the wrong direction, mostly due to Doug's poor decisions, lack of critical thinking and second thoughts, and his skewed priorities of pleasing the lowest common denominator crowd and doing more recent and mainstream material over nostalgic, less-known, and obscure. I also think that NC is just the first of many steps for him before becoming a Seth MacFarlane wannabe and a third-rate Saturday Night Live comedian.
Doug's pre-Demo Reel episodes are mostly a big hit and miss. Even with his faults, he is really good and funny whenever he hits bullseyes. His golden age reviews from 2008 to half of 2009 are the ones that are worth checking out. It is recommended to check those out first before watching his later ones, including the 2011 reviews, which I think is Doug's best year (not to mention that's his 30th year). But there are definitely reviews that I would suggest newbies to steer clear of (see my Worst Nostalgia Critic Reviews). Most of his 2012 and post-Demo Reel reviews aren't really that worth the time, even for curiosity (watch them at your own risk). I hope there's someone that will follow the footsteps of NC or someone who is like him. But that person would actually do in-depth research, take criticisms, analyze movies more professionally, pays more close attention, not having lowbrow humor, and is more considerate to the fans.