Never in all my years have I watched a movie so downright unexciting, uninteresting and mind-numbing in my entire life. If that’s not a boring film, I don’t know what is. It’s so dull, drab and dreary until it gets to the point where I almost slept through it.
In all honesty, I never cared about the film to begin with. I only pledged my money to the Kickstarter project just to obtain Dante Basco’s autograph, which is something I’ve always yearned for since 2005 when I watched American Dragon: Jake Long and realised Dante Basco provided his voice for the titular protagonist, Jacob Luke “Jake” Long/American Dragon. From that point on, Dante Basco is one of my favourite voice actors (but he is still not quite up there with the all-star likes of Tom Kenny, Tara Strong and Charles Martinet, all-time favourite voice actors wise).
The film started out as a Kickstarter project back in 13th February 2017 known as Bangarang: A Short Film Before Rufio (not to be confused with the song, “Bangarang”, by Skrillex feat. Sirah. It’s also featured in the Sonic Boom video game advertisement) and it serves as the prequel to the old 90’s movie, Hook, starring Dante Basco and the late great, Robin Williams (he is known for voicing the Genie from Disney’s Aladdin and Madame Gasket, who is Phineas T. Ratchet’s mum, from Blue Sky Studios’ Robots), and ended in 15th March 2017. 1,476 backers pledged a whopping $68,790 (exceeding its initial goal of $30,000) to bring this project to life. According to all of the backer tiers, the backer rewards (both physical and digital) are supposed to arrive on April 2017.
Below is the list showing all of the members of the Bangarang short film:
- Writers: Jonah Feingold, Jeremy Mittleman
- Producers: JJ Rubin, Luke Lenza, Jeremy Mittleman and Jonah Feingold
- Executive producers: Dante Basco, Rawn Ericson II, Diana M. Wegner, Jon Wegner, Bo Sharon, Giacomo Giannotti, Claudia Diaz Conjuangco, Jenapher Samantha and J.V. Hart
- Associate producers: Jordan Gam, Elliot Smith, Brenda O’Dell, Alfred O’Dell, John & Nancy Feingold and Jeremy Boros
- Lead cast: Sheaden Gabriel, Dante Basco, Olivia Trujilo and Keilyn Bryant
- Supporting cast: Tyler Ross, Cheryl Tsai and Jasika Pruitt
- Director of Photography: Ben Mullen
- Production Designer: Natalia Brito
- Editor: Grace Zahrah
- Line Producers: Madison Leibman
- Costume Designer: Sulai Lopez
- Music Composer: Tim Callobre
- Casting Director: Sammy Amiransari
- Unit Production Manager: Sam Nulman
- First Assistant Director: Alec Schiff
- Cast: Roofus – Sheaden Gabriel
Principal Cullen – Dante Basco
Ella – Olivia Trujillo
Julani – Keilyn Bryant
Sid – Tyler Ross
Roofus’ Mum – Cheryl Tsai
Shuana – Jasika Nicole
Playground Kids: Janelle Wolf
Karee Jo Garmann
- Talent Coordinator: Ash Burritt
- Stunt Coordinator: Damien Bray
- Fight Coordinator: Hymnson Chan
- Production Supervisor and Art Director: Jason Chadwick
- Art Assistant: Jay DeCosta
- Set Decorator and 1st AC: Noah Ramos
- 2nd AC: Harris Khan
- Script Supervisor: Ash Burritt
- Sound Mixer: Ben Anderson
- Boom Operator: Gaffer Jihan Casquejo
- 1st Company Grip: Joanna Nguyen
- Best Boy (Electric): Erick Turcios
- Key Grip: Zach Kienitz
- Grip: Matthew Planer
- Dolly Grips: Derek Rasmussen and Orlando Orodonez
- Set Lighting Technician: Amber Steele
- Location Manager: Sam Nulman
- Makeup Department Head: Jessica Yarborough
- Hair Department Head: Lauren Bencomo
- Assistant Editors: Myles Kramer, Ben Proudfoot and Tom Vatterot
- Assistant Visual Effects Editor, Post Production Supervisor, Post Production Assistant and Production Coordinators: Josh Seaman and Julius Sean
- Behind-the-Scenes Videographer: Jose Cruz and Kairos Media Productions
- Behind-the-Scenes Photographer: Zachary Saldana
- Production Assistants: Kadar Pierre, Keenan Ellis and Tobias Gallegos
- Post Production Sound Services: Richard Carlos
- Set Medic: Rufino Romero
- Craft Service – Catering: Mia’s Cuisine
- Second Unit Director and Second Unit Crew (same order as above)
- Visual Effects Supervisor: Tyson Johnston
- Visual Effects Producer, Visual Effects Art Director and Visual Effects/Animation: Justin Melillo
- Colourist: Dimitri Rajapaske
- Technical Company Credits and Special Thanks: Kickstarter, Moving Picture and Jim Hart
The synopsis is about a 13-year-old boy named Roofus who is destined for greater things in life. His mum have no choice but to leave him in a foster home and as well as answering the questions which are left unanswered such as where the word “Bangarang” originated from, how Roofus obtains his mohawk and why he is the leader of the Lost Boys. Together with his best friends, Julani (a boy of Jamaican descent) and Ella (a force of nature of a latina girl), they figure out how to help their friend in his darkest hour, search for his happy place and to make his dream a reality. According to its official Kickstarter webpage, it’s about believing in yourself, letting go of your past, not allowing your past define you, forging your own destiny and allowing it to come to fruition.
Regarding the story and the meaning behind it, I believe Stooshe’s “Let It Go” song (not be confused with the infectious song, “Let It Go”, from Disney’s Frozen), “My Past Is Not Today” song from My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Rainbow Rocks and Skylar & Plux: Adventure On Clover Island executes it well than this sad excuse, monstrosity of a film when it comes to conveying the meaning to their audiences and fans (the players in Skylar & Plux: Adventure On Clover Island’s case).
Days turned into weeks and weeks soon turned into months the more the backer rewards were delayed with each passing day, week and month, it didn’t take me long to realise the project is poorly managed, dubbing it as the Mighty No. 9 of films, if you know what I mean. No matter how many times I tried to contact Dante Basco and Jonah Feingold, they rarely or never reply on Kickstarter and their social media platforms. To make matters worse, whoever handled the film’s official e-mail address never answered to my e-mail. Months of waiting soon transformed into pure, unrelenting frustration and my respect for Dante Basco started to wane due to how many times they left us backers on radio silence when it comes to not answering the private messages on Kickstarter, almost never replying to the tweets, e-mails and messages I sent to Dante Basco, Jonah Feingold and the Bangarang team and notifying the aforementioned backers by posting up updates on Kickstarter. If this continues to keep up, you can bet I won’t be supporting them in the future if they ever show their faces on Kickstarter with a new project. To sum up all of this, I’ve been waiting for my backer rewards since April this year.
I may have been satisfied with my very own physical autographed picture of Dante Basco as Rufio from Hook but I can’t help but be irked about my physical letter not signed by the film team whilst the other backers have their letters signed by the abovementioned team. I still don’t understand why. Either the team failed to remember to sign my letter or they didn’t bother to autograph the aforesaid letter because I somehow angered the director. On the other hand, I’m kind of not too bothered with the team not leaving their autographs on my letter since Dante Basco’s autograph is all I wanted and the only reason why I backed the Bangarang project in the first place.
Figure 1: The fact my letter isn’t signed by the Bangarang team while some people have their letters signed is downright insulting.
Figure 2: As it stands, Dante, Jonah Feingold and the Bangarang team made promises they can’t keep.
If you haven’t watched the film, Hook, or you don’t remember anything from it as a result of not watching it for numerous years, you’ll feel completely lost but in a negative way while watching the prequel due to the fact you don’t know or don’t recall the name of the characters, actors and actresses, locations and so forth. It’s not the kind of film you’ll lose yourself into.
The characters are unmemorable; the same can be said about the actors (honestly, the only actor I know is Dante Basco himself) and actresses, locations etc. Not to mention, the storyline isn’t straightforward to understand and it’s extremely easy to forget after a short period of time.
Similar to the Kickstarter video game, Yooka-Laylee, Bangarang suffers from terrible pacing obviously. The first minute, the film felt like it dragged on for countless hours upon hours without any sign of stopping. The next minute, there are times when I had the urge to switch to a different YouTube channel, considering the aforementioned motion picture aired on Dante Basco’s YouTube channel. If the film doesn’t get you hooked (pun intended) in the first few minutes (which causes you to glance at your smartphone, surf the internet on aforesaid smartphone or catching up with one of your hobbies), something is definitely wrong.
In terms of satisfactory or “bad” (and I use the term loosely) movies, Ratchet & Clank Movie (it’s not as horrible as some of the Ratchet & Clank fans and a lot of the film critics make it out to be in my opinion) and… heaven forbid… dare I say it? The Super Mario Bros. film surpasses this borefest of a movie.
Speaking of the Ratchet & Clank Movie, its director, Kevin Munroe, is a much friendlier man and he’s one of the nicest guys I’ve spoken to in my life (I still miss having conversations with him on Twitter) unlike Jonah Feingold who mistreats some of his Kickstarter backers by blocking me on Twitter after inquiring him a large amount of times regarding my backer rewards, why they have been delayed due to me worrying to death about their whereabouts and my friends constantly asking him to give me a follow on Twitter since I’m one of the innumerable amount of backers that made this snoresfest of a film that bored me out of my mind a reality. Therefore, he’s an unpleasant, sleazy and unsavoury bloke who I don’t have the distinct pleasure talking to, especially on Twitter. However, it doesn’t change the fact Kevin Munroe is one of the reasons why the Ratchet & Clank Movie unfortunately bombed at the box office last year.
Figure 3: Goes to show Jonah have complete disregard of respect and courtesy to his Kickstarter backers.
Beauty is skin deep and this phrase rings true. Besides, what if a handful of handsome guys turn out to be absolute jerks? This is the case with the Bangarang director (and Sir Brad Starlight from Craig McCracken’s Wander Over Wander). Some people may assume Jonah Feingold to be handsome but he is nothing more than a rude, impolite, offensive and uncouth and most importantly, an unprofessional person, showing his true colours.
Figure 4: An individual assumed Jonah Feingold is “handsome” but he’s ugly on the inside, personality wise.
Whichever way you look at the Kickstarter situation, this is how he SHOULD’NT treat his Kickstarter backers. It’s uncalled for, unjustified, undeserved, irresponsible and immature. This kind of behaviour is inexcusable and this shouldn’t be left unpunished.
In conclusion, I’ve seen better films in my lifetime and Bangarang will never get you hooked. I suggest you never, ever under no circumstances trust Jonah Feingold (any member of the Bangarang team and Dante Basco) with your hard-earned money if they ever utilise Kickstarter again for their next project. Let’s hope From Bedrooms To Billions will fare well with The PlayStation Revolution film and not disappoint me in contrast to Playtonic Games and Dante Basco, Jonah Feingold and the Bangarang team letting me down with Yooka-Laylee and Bangarang: A Short Film Before Rufio respectively.