Calvin Tucker’s Redneck Farm Animal Racing Tournament Stats and Records

There are none! Sorry folks, looking at a blank page is no fun, but I still have to upload the stats even if there aren’t any this time. I got gold medals on all of the tournaments after all.

Calvin Tucker’s Redneck Farm Animal Racing Tournament Review

That’s a really long title right? It’s a little sadder when you realize what it’s actually abreviating. Calvin Tucker’s Redneck….hmmmmm. It’s all very intriguing and a little sad. On the main menu, they actually edit the title and take the word Redneck out. The game developers and marketing guys must have not been on the same page, but I suppose that it happens. This is certainly not one of the high budget games that you will look at and be amazed at how far it’s gone. The gameplay actually looks better on the Nintendo DS, but I can’t confirm that at this time.

When you enter the game you have a free play mode and tournament mode. Being the epic gamer that I am, I launched right into the tournament mode. There are about 5 tournaments if I recall correctly and each one is 4 races with the exception of one that is only 3. Each stage is only two laps so it’s actually a fairly short mode. Keep in mind that you need to win the tournament or you’ll have to try it again. I had to try again 2-4 times, but the game wasn’t very difficult. The controls were the only challenging part and you get the hang of them eventually.

The gameplay is fairly straight forward as this is a racing game. Get to the finish line first and you’re the winner. You hold the Wii Remote horizontally in this game, which is usually the default setup for all racing games. You gain items throughout the course that you can use to throw at opponents or give yourself a boost. Each character has their own special ability that you get to use every time you collect 8 coins. There are a lot of coins in each level so getting enough coins is a rather simple process. It shouldn’t take you very long at all. You really want to be a character who has a good special ability since it can make a big difference between winning and losing.

Almost all of the characters in this game are called Billy, which is a really fun concept. I forgot which Billy I used, but he’s the one who has a booster as his special ability. I highly recommend going with that guy for the tournaments once you unlock him. Alternately, having a special ability that throws something at an opponent can also be very useful when you’re in a tough spot. Remember to keep your eyes on the road at all times since even a small bump can really launch you off the track. Bumping into other opponents will typically hurt you more than them so I wouldn’t recommend that either. Just steer clear of everyone else and drive a solid game. So long as you do those two things, you should be all set to rock and roll.

As for the soundtrack, it’s a little on the generic side. The themes that play are what you would expect from a farm title. I would have preferred themes that took the racing a little more seriously. Something action packed and quick would have been my ideal choice for the game even if the actual gameplay isn’t very fast. As it is, the music doesn’t really help the game. Neither does the graphics. They aren’t downright terrible, but I have seen Super Nintendo games that have looked better so take that as you will. The character models aren’t very clear and it can be very hard to see an obstacle until you are already crashing, which isn’t cool.

A good thing to remember is that you can hit the minus button to reset your car after you crash. I didn’t learn that until the final tournament and it can really help you when you’re in a pinch so always keep that option in mind and it’ll help you a lot throughout your races. The controls are a little sketchy when turning, but they’re not as bad as they could be. I believe that the main problem is just that the cars are super weak so banging into anything will really cause you to do a big turnaround and get into some trouble. That’s where the reset button comes in handy.

There’s not a lot of replay value here and you can probably be done with the game in a few hours depending on how easy the races are for you. If you do find them to be very easy, then you can probably beat the game in 2 hours and have nothing left to do. This is not a game that has a whole lot of replay value and you may never pick it up again unless you have someone to play it with. The multiplayer option is its only form of replay value and that’s only if you want to play this over a better racing game like Mario Kart.

It’s easy to think of this as a bad game, but it’s actually a tough call between giving it a 4 and a 5. I got it for only a dollar or 2 so the content wasn’t bad considering that, but it’s almost not fair to lower the bar for the game on account of the price. At the same time, I could see the game getting a slightly lower score if I had bought it for retail price way back in the day. It’s safe to say that the rating has a small impact on what I ultimately end up giving the game.

Overall, The Calvin Tucker game is certainly one of the weaker racing games that I’ve played in a while. It’s better than Quad Kings, but that’s not saying a whole lot. I felt like the game didn’t really put a lot of effort into the actual racing, which is a little odd considering that it’s a racing game. I can only assume that the budget was incredibly small, which is why it doesn’t look or sound very good. The gameplay is the main part though and it’s not really that bad. If the game had been a lot longer then it may have been an issue, but it was a very short game so I didn’t mind it all that much. I think that I’m going to have to give the game a 4. It may be the best 4 that I’ve ever played, but I don’t think that there are enough positives to totally warrant a 5. This is one racing game that you may want to skip, but if you find that you have an extra 2 dollars lying around, maybe you should skip out on ordering that frappe and just buy this game. It’ll last you a little longer than the frappe after all!

Overall 4/10

The Lazarus Effect Review

Gee…I wonder who the main villain of this film is. Even if you haven’t seen the trailer, there are only so many actresses on the poster who look like the character in the center right? You can guess between the two actresses listed and it should be easy to guess correctly. This is a modern horror film that I actually saw the trailer a while back. I knew that it would be terrible, but I saw it to see if I could at least drag some good feats out of this. I wasn’t disappointed!

A group of scientists decide that they will bring things back to life against the school’s orders. They succeed in bringing a dog back to life, but then some corporate white collars decide to shut down the project. The “heroes” laugh this off and try to make another experiment, but someone forgot to pay General Electric so a spark is sent off and destroys one of the characters. They bring her back to life, but…she seems different. She seems…evil!!!!!? (Shocker!)

My hunches are typically right when it comes to a film being good or bad. I can usually tell if I will like it or not based on a single trailer. Not a teaser, but the full thing. That being said, you still have to be careful to go in with an open mind, but this film makes it easy for you since there’s animal violence within seconds of minutes of the film starting so I was able to confirm my theory. It may sound strange to watch a film that you know will be terrible, but it’s actually not uncommon.

See, the best reason to watch a film is to enjoy it. After that, another very legitimate reason is to just watch the film for feats. This way, I can add the fighters to this site someday in the battle section. A final reason that I watch films for at times is just to appreciate the dialogue as well as the banter between characters. If a film’s script is really good, I can at least have a few chuckles as I get ready to write my negative review. I do the same thing for video games. (minus the third option since there is almost never any banter in video games) Based on the poster/dvd cover, I knew that the villain would have some good super powers. After all, villains in horror films are always overpowered and typically have a range of attacks like reality warping and teleportation.

One of the ways that this film went wrong was the fact that it has way too many jump scares. Seriously, when you show us a vague object in the background and start speeding up the music as the scene gets darker and darker, everyone and their pet bird knows that a jump scare is about to happen. You’re taking the scare out of the jump. Every jump scene here is utterly predictable and you’ll just be laughing. Actually, this is a Great film to watch in a group as you try to poke fun at it the whole time. Seeing the Mystery Theater 3000 tackle this would likely be very entertaining. There’s just so much material to work with here.

An obvious negative here is the animal violence issue. It feels like I have to mention this in every single horror movie and it must be a trope of some kind. Naturally, the dog dies. It’s so unnecessary and disturbing. The fact that the heroes are bringing things back to life also ensures that you see quite a few dead animals throughout the film and this movie was doomed from early on. However, it brings me to a nice topic of discussion that many philosophers and scientists still debate. As far as I’m concerned there is no debate, but I’ve seen this question asked several times in real life and the answers that other people give are always sad. They always seem to believe that the end justifies the means.

The characters are all fine with experimenting on animals. When the main character decides to finally try a human everyone immediately starts to back up. “Experimenting on animals is okay, but a human..humans are real!” is essentially what the characters try to say. For many people, animals don’t have rights and anything is fair game. If killing 10 animals means that you will save 100 humans, a lot of people would jump on board in an instant. If you were to rephrase the question so it’s 10 lives against 100, people would still go for it, but there would be many more who would simply find it preposterous. It’s a very sad train of logic that I’ve always disagreed with right from the start. The fact that all the characters believe this just makes it all the more sad.

The other topic to tackle relates to one of the final sane lines by the main villain. Zoe asks why she was sent to Hell over one mistake when she tried to make up for it by doing good things for her whole life. That’s an incredibly easy one to answer, good works are not enough to send you into Heaven. You can lead the nicest life imaginable. You can fight in wars and save hundreds of people or always put others first and help out whenever possible, but you still won’t go to Heaven if you haven’t accepted Jesus Christ into your life. It’s a concept that many people cannot wrap their heads around and the outcome is quite sad, but unavoidable. It’s tough to think that you could be a great person and it will not make a difference, but we are all sinners and don’t have the power to save ourselves. Zoe found this out the hard way and now she’s working on bringing as many people down as possible. Considering how all of the other main characters act, it shouldn’t be difficult.

To Zoe, Hell is essentially reliving her worst moment in life over and over again. I don’t see this being very far fetched as that could certainly be what Hell is like. Hell is simply unbearably bad. So, whatever hurts you the most emotionally and physically will be what happens there. It’s why Hell is a truly scary place and it’s never ending. Another difficult concept to grasp, but one that you must as it will really affect how you live each and every day. You will certainly treasure each day on Earth as you realize what a privilege it is to live in such a pleasant world even if it’s far from perfect.

It almost goes without saying that I couldn’t stand any of the characters by the way. We have the average teenager who smokes a lot and is constantly making crude and inappropriate comments. He was terrible. The main character believes that experimenting on animals is okay and he doesn’t seem to think too highly of the dog’s intelligence. His final scenes are also terrible and he’s unlikable. Zoe essentially cracks and we find out that Hell broke her and turned her evil. While that may not be her fault as she is insane for the final part of the film, it doesn’t help her become a good character although she is a threatening villain. The intern seemed out of her depth the whole time as she tried to fit in and the final member of the group didn’t really have any character.

The script is one of the things that prevented any of the characters from being likable as they were constantly swearing. It’s to be expected as horror films in general have some of the worst reputations when it comes to the script. The characters will swear whenever they are surprised, upset, or excited, which is constantly. While it’s not the worst writing that I’ve seen, it’s certainly down there and hurts the film once again.

At the very least, Zoe is a strong villain. She seems to have some reality warping skills as she can literally send you to Hell. She has high speed regeneration, possibly some kind of body snatching ability, super speed, telekinesis, super strength, and much more. As with most horror villains, she can essentially do whatever she wants including turning off the lights with her mind. How spooky right? For films like this, you’re essentially watching to see how she destroys everyone in whatever gruesome ways she can imagine. No worries though, all of the bodies are somehow kept intact for the twist ending.

You do know that there is a twist ending right? All horror films are basically required to have one and this is no exception. How one guy’s body survived being in a metal container that was crumpled up is beyond our wildest imagination, but I’m sure that Zoe has a power to help with that. She also has a large blood supply so that she can give some to everyone that wants to have powers without wearing herself out. Must come back to that high speed regeneration eh? As with most twist endings, we can assume that humanity was ultimately destroyed.

Overall, This was a pretty terrible movie, but at least it was predictable. It followed the horror stereotyped and formula to a T. You can probably guess just about everything ahead of time. “Will ____ die DReager?” “I’ll do you one better Bill, they’re all going to die and at least one of them will be in a Man of Steel way” “Right on Reager!” Now, just copy and paste that answer to every single horror film where there’s one villain up against a group of teenagers and you’ve got yourself the correct answer. If horror films where you get to see really unlikable characters destroyed by a villain that they cannot even begin to fight against are your thing, then you’ll love this film. Just try to get past the animal violence and the poor script. Meanwhile, I’d recommend watching Scooby Doo Zombie Island if you want a movie that has more heart. On the bright side, I did like the corporate agents who came in and owned the main characters without breaking a sweat.

Overall 1/10

Terminator Genisys Review

All right, I managed to see the latest installment in the Terminator series! The trailer was one of the best ones that came out this year and it’s why I had rather high hopes for it. This certainly seemed like it would be an improvement over most of the films that came out. The fact that they made it more of a summer blockbuster aimed at just about everyone was an instant advantage as I wouldn’t have to wait a few months for the TV airing. It’s certainly fun and was nearly the best film in the series, but the writing holds it back. Still, this is definitely a good film to check out!

The plot is essentially a re imagining of the first two films with some time elements that change the future. The Terminator arrived early and helped Sarah live through the events of the first two films while also getting Kyle up to speed. The mission is to destroy Skynet in the future before the true future occurs. Kyle agrees that this is a good call although he disagrees on when they should destroy Skynet. Once the heroes get that sorted out, they embark on their most dangerous battle yet!

As you may have heard, reviews have not been kind to this film. It’s also not doing very well in the box office and that isn’t even too surprising when we go back to the trailer. It’s the kind of trailer that almost looks too good and the general audience definitely wouldn’t like it. Go back to Man of Steel, The Amazing Spider Man 2, and other films like that. Even I Frankenstein and Spider Man 3 would count to an extent. If there is a lot of CGI, action, and essentially comic book/video game styled plots running around, then it is typically doomed to bad reviews. For films like these where the action is at this level and the trailer looks exciting, you can bet that it will be doomed. Not necessarily at the box office as they still do tend to do well, but the reviews will be harsh. So, for a big anime/video game/comic/action fan, they’re typically a good sign that the film will be quite good. Terminator didn’t disappoint.

Before I really get into talking about the film, I’ll quickly take a look at the big negative that I had with it. The writing was terrible, specifically the script. There’s a lot of excessive language to be found here. You’ll hear the s word for what feels like dozens of times and even the more extreme word appears once. These moments really hurt the film and I had to take a whole star off of it as a result, which took it from being the best film in the series to number 3, as it falls behind the legendary T2 and the less critically renown T3. It still clobbers the original Terminator film as well as Salvation, but it’s a missed opportunity. Even if the film is going for a realism effect, you wouldn’t expect the average joe to be swearing this often. It’s like the characters have the word on standby so that they can say it whenever they are surprised, scared, or excited.

The romance is also handled rather poorly, but long time fans of this site will not be surprised at this. There’s really no reason for the 2 main characters to like each other except that this is a theater film and it is expected. It’s worse when you consider the fact that Sarah knows that she is supposed to like Kyle. There’s just no way that this would work after that and she shouldn’t even like him since Kyle isn’t the nicest guy on the block. He nearly jeopardizes the world and he’s very slow on the uptake. As per usual, there is also some fanservice here because the characters have to go into the teleporter while naked because clothing throws the system out of place. I still find it amusing that the new ball effect from the third film is completely ignored nowadays. It was a decent effect, but the original is still the best as it’s short and to the point. I’m not sure how one character’s truck manages to endure the lightning blasts when one bolt causes a car to be ripped in half later on, but…that’s just how it goes.

That’s really it as far as the negatives go. One area where the film is mixed on as it’s not particularly strong or weak in is the characters though. As with the first film, I still don’t like Kyle at all. He comes off as very defensive since he’s always pointing his gun at the heroes and he completely overreacts with the original Terminator. Falling in love with someone over a picture is incredibly shallow and I could go on and on about why he is such an unlikable main character. This guy just doesn’t have what it takes to hold his own film. Sarah isn’t a whole lot better, but she is a definite improvement. I liked her a lot in T2 because she was a very tough heroine who got the job done. (Although I wasn’t a big fan of her in the original film)

In this film, the writers clearly tried to go for that as she still has a gun and fights Terminators several times, but she’s not as battle hardened or skilled in combat. She does still spring traps and beats the average hero (Kyle….) but the romance plot at the end hurts her case a lot. Especially considering that it was a whole plot where she was trying to defy her fate. Going along with it at the end just didn’t seem like a smart option at all. Giving her an extra action scene or two would have certainly helped her case along with less panicking when danger arrived. I think that her character would have been a lot more likable if Kyle was not around as the dynamic between her and the Terminator was good. They had some good teamwork against the first villain so seeing more of that throughout the film would have been enjoyable and the banter between them could have made the film even more fun.

John Connor makes for a decent character. His transition happens fairly early on in the film so you won’t have to worry about him being the generic war general for too long. I didn’t care for him in that form all that much, but he wasn’t too bad. He was just way too vague and should have told his army troopers a little more if he really wanted them to prevent the time travel from happening. After that, he certainly gets a lot more power and we needed one of those insane characters who thinks that he is a hero right? He’s certainly not the John Connor that you’ll remember from the other films, but he actually does beat the other 3 portrayals of John rather easily. This one meant business and he was also more charismatic.

Naturally, the original Terminator is the character who steals the show. He gets in some quality burns on the main cast and most of his dialogue scenes are the best parts of the film. Unlike the third film where he admits that he is an obsolete model, he constantly denies it here as he faces off against the new and improved Terminators. He is older and his parts are starting to break, but he has a lot of determination and puts up a good fight in every scene. He’s very likable and acts a little more like his appearance in T3 than T2 as he still has a big sense of humor and is constantly showing signs of emotion. It’s a good sense of character development for him. In the audience, people laughed when he showed off his grin for the first time. It’s why I wish they wouldn’t spoil humor scenes in the trailer sometimes as it would probably have a bigger impact if you weren’t expecting it.

Humor aside, The Terminator also knows how to get the job done. He still makes sure not to destroy any civilians even while in self defense. He’s very intelligent and a great fighter. While the newer models have special abilities like shape changing and regeneration, The original Terminator still has the edge in physical power over most of them. He overwhelms the opponents through physical strength and that’s always a good tactic although having regeneration would probably be a little more fun for him so that he wouldn’t have to get pounded so often. Finally, we have a fun character who’s named Detective O’Brien. He does a good job of instantly outshining most of the cast as he takes the situation in stride (Unlike Kyle) and helps the heroes out of a jam. For decades, people called him crazy, but the detective never lost hope in his assumption that the heroes were time travelers. You just gotta love the guy and I’m glad that he got to help out without getting killed off right away.

The soundtrack is certainly good as well with the classic theme showing up. The scene where the original Terminator first shows up to take care of his past self was definitely intense. While I agree that he is no match against his younger self, I would have liked a more even battle. (When the fight first started, I had the opposite opinion, but when we saw just how old and broken the current version was, the opening fight scene felt more accurate to me) The music definitely has more emotion than you would expect from the average film.

The film’s tone and atmosphere really help it to be a blast. I’d say that it’s very similar to The Amazing Spider Man 2, which is certainly one of the most underrated films to have come out in recent years. Unlike the past Terminators to an extent (Because 3 was a little similar to this one) this film is a lot more upbeat and cheerful than the older ones. There’s essentially nonstop action and the characters are constantly moving. There are several scenes that were so good they felt like they could have been a climax in another title and the film never takes itself too seriously. While this hurts it critically, it greatly increases the replay value and enjoyment during the film. There are no really violent scenes unlike the first three films, which is certainly a positive. This way you can really focus on the action.

As great as the tone was, it wouldn’t have been enough without some good action scenes. The fights here are the best ones that we’ve seen aside from the big brawl in T3 where the Terminator fought the TX. (Too bad she couldn’t appear here, but it’s too soon in the timeline) Each of the big fights, Terminator vs Terminator, Terminator vs T1000, Terminator vs Final version Terminator, were all really great. They easily beat most of the fights that you will be seeing in theaters and I’d say that the fight scenes here were the best of the year. Beating out the Age of Ultron climax as well as the final showdown in Jurassic World. I don’t see Ant Man or Star Wars topping these, but it’s always possible. These are likely some of the best fights that we’ve seen since Man of Steel, but it’s a tough fight as the Winter Soldier in 2014 had some good ones as well.

Some scenes you will already be familiar with like the one where the Terminator jumps off of a helicopter, but it doesn’t take away from how good the scenes are. Genisys really did a good job of showing off the effects and the design for the final boss in particular is really good. It almost goes without saying, but the film’s pacing also benefits a lot because of this. With all of the nonstop action, the film gets to cram in a whole lot without dragging out. The film’s only 2 hours, but it has at least 3 hours worth of content into it and you’ll never be looking at your watch. Something is always happening, whether it be a funny scene or an intense one.

As for the time travel elements, this naturally leads into intriguing territory where you can try to fit in the pieces yourself. Nothing relating to time travel would be a negative for me as I get to make my own theories on what happened. Even if there are things which would be counted as plot holes, it wouldn’t hurt the film as it’ll just make you grin and try to connect the dots. Also, it’s not like a plot hole would matter all that much since all someone needs to do is send another Terminator in from the future and everything will change. As long as time travel exists here, the cycle will never end and Skynet will never be truly defeated, as much as the characters would like for this to not be true.

My main issue with the time travel is one of the final scenes as a kid is given a message. It happens way too late in the kid’s life so it shouldn’t have existed in the first place if you ask me. It’s a time loop, but it still should have happened years sooner so it could have made a difference. As it is, the future will never happen as a result of what happened. Now, what I did like about this film is that they explained that even if a character destroys his parents before he is born, he will still exist. This is a theory that I’ve always agreed with as the character is already alive so a shift in the past should not affect him in the future because his life is already written. In a sense, you are immune to the time shifts because you are now out of time. On that note, the film got it down perfectly.

As for the rest of the time travel, it’s a little iffy on how the T-1000 arrived so quickly. If you ask me, he arrived too soon. In a way, you could just say that the first 4 films never happened to save yourself the hassle. As soon as the original Terminator was sent to the past, everything changed. Why did the heroes wait so long to stop Skynet? Surely, they could have destroyed key facilities and kept on delaying the project for decades at a time right? Maybe it was just flashier this way. Maybe the characters didn’t think that they had what it took to prevent such a disaster. Either way, I felt like the plan to stop Skynet wasn’t really thought out so well on their part.

Of course, it was still awesome to see the first film live again through the opening. Since I just saw the first four films, it was really fun to look at the visual cues and try to fit this in the timeline. I really just prefer to consider it as an AU to the previous films as they no longer fit in the current timeline as their reality has shifted. They did happen, but they don’t matter to the main cast anymore. One cool part is that the sequel to this film probably won’t even need to worry about time travel as things may happen linearly now….right? While it is possible, I’m assuming that time travel will definitely come into play. After all, a big plot point that has not been concluded yet is, who sent the original Terminator to the past to stop the first four films from ever happening? The answer hasn’t even been hinted at yet and I’m just really hoping that it is not John or Kyle, but a completely new character. The problem is that with time travel, it could literally be any character from any timeline so the writers can have a field day deciding who did it.

Naturally, you’ll need to stick around through the credits to check out the final scene. It should have been a little longer so that something more could happen, but I can always appreciate a good cliffhanger. Marvel started the epic tradition and I feel like all companies should keep on going with it. It’s a nice way to build up some hype for the next film and just for yourself if the sequel gets cancelled since things aren’t looking very good for it right now. The next film has a lot of potential if it does come out now since the fights may be a little higher tier and we may get some more answers. I’m also wondering what Skynet’s next play will be. They ended up having the last laugh in T3 and T4 so I suppose that it’s about time that the humans got a quick victory since they haven’t had a glimpse of it since T2.

Overall, Terminator Genysis is a really fun film. This definitely reminds me why I love the concept behind the franchise so much. While it is not a film for everyone, you will greatly enjoy it if you are looking for a really action packed film that never lets up and is always hitting you with a mixture of humor and intensity. The soundtrack is fun and the film never drags on. Another good thing about Genisys is that there aren’t any really bad scenes that will make you wince although the romance at the end comes close. Kyle makes for an underwhelming main character and Sarah is not quite as tough as she should be, but at least she contributes and you will greatly enjoy the detective. The Terminator steals the show as you would expect and the final boss is a legitimate threat. Skynet’s true form isn’t quite as fun as the one in T4, but I have a feeling that Skynet’s true form in the next film will be more threatening. You can tell that this is only the beginning for the heroes, but I have a feeling that the Terminator franchise will not be able to top this film going forward. Hopefully they can surprise me. As long as the writing quality does not deter you, this is definitely the film to check out. Once you see the action scenes, you won’t regret it!

Overall 7/10

Jupiter Ascending Review

This is one film where even the trailer looked bad. Typically, even if a film ends up not being good, the trailer will still grab your attention. Not Jupiter Ascending as it just looked iffy the whole time. It’s hard to describe, but it looks like a mainstream film that should have been a TV movie. Either way, that’s essentially what happened and the film didn’t end up being too good.

Jupiter is rather unsatisfied with her life right now. She helps out with her family by keeping houses clean and scrubbing toilets, but she feels like she was destined for better things. One day, she is nearly kidnapped by aliens, but saved by a different alien and told that she is actually a princess/queen who is the rightful ruler of Earth. That’s not a bad deal, but it also means that three different enemy groups are after her so Jupiter will constantly be on the run. Can she ever go back to her old lifestyle?

The film is a bit of a train wreck from start to finish. Let’s get the positive out of the way first. The action scenes are fairly fun for the most part. The energy affects are fairly neat and I love the fact that one of the big battles takes place in the middle of such a large city. Usually, that just doesn’t happen because the budget is too low or because the films just don’t realize how cool that kind of fight looks. There are also quite a few spaceship battles (Although those are less exciting) and the action was certainly a highlight. The only battle that I didn’t care for was when Caine fought against the lizard hybrid at the end. That fight was a little more brutal and not quite as flashy as the others. In the end, I would definitely give the action a thumbs up.

From there, thing get a little dicey for the film. For starters the romance is poorly handled. Jupiter falls in love with Caine seconds after they meet. Now that’s what I’d call a romance based purely on looks and I don’t see such a relationship going very far. It’s just not a good way to get the main characters together and the film just seemed to add that plot in because it was expected. It doesn’t help that both characters are unlikable as well.

Jupiter complains about her situation a whole lot. She also played a big role in losing the argument at the dinner table because she gave the answer to her opponent while trying to be passively aggressive. It’s why that tactic never works. Even once she’s a ruler, Jupiter never becomes a very likable main character and spends her time being surprised at what’s happening. She’s fairly gullible and gets into a lot of bad situations. Her big scene at the end involves a quick skirmish, but she doesn’t look impressive during that fight either.

As for Caine, he’s as generic as they come. He’s very gruff and certainly not the nicest of companions. He seems to be a little full of himself and his personality just ensured that I wouldn’t like the guy. Acting a little nicer to Jupiter would have been a great start, but it just proved to be too much for him. He also gets humiliated by his boss when they fight and all of his big lines just fall flat.

None of the other characters are likable either, but you may have expected that. There’s the comic relief character who is just here to make everyone feel bad and the other family members who don’t understand Jupiter’s plight. Not that they should as far as the alien part is concerned, but they don’t have any real development. The villains are also rather two dimensional and are really just here so that the film can have some antagonists. They can’t really fight and just rely on the minions to do the fighting for them.

There are also a few bounty hunters in the film who are just around to look cool. They vanish rather quickly and don’t add anything to the plot. Their laser guns are cool I suppose, but that’s just not good enough. One plot involving the bees was also unnecessary and it’s not fun to see the bees just flying all over the place. If I was Jupiter, I would have left that house as fast as possible even if she couldn’t be stung due to her aura of royalty.

While this is a sci-fi film, you’ll feel like nothing really happened by the end of it. Jupiter learned that she owns the Earth and stops a few villains. The rest of the film is mainly fluff and just expanding the universe when it’s not necessary since this is probably not getting a sequel anytime soon. If it ever does get a sequel, hopefully it will prove to be much more interesting than this one.

Ascending also touches upon the classic reincarnation idea as the heroes and villains are brought back into the world once in a while. The claim for this is that the DNA is exactly the same so it may as well be the same person right? Even if the mind is different, the body is the same. I don’t buy this at all, but at least now the villains can tell Jupiter how much she looks like her mother. They all don’t really age since they have a pool of youth that restores their body at the expense of everyone else. It’s a rather shady business, but the aliens don’t really have any morals to keep them from doing this. Generically, the pool also leads to some unnecessary fanservice as one of the characters decides to show Jupiter how to use it. It’s rather self explanatory if you ask me, but Jupiter did seem to be a little slow on the uptake at times.

This is the kind of movie that is simply better as a video game. If the gameplay played out like a Star Fox game or even a 007 title, it could be a lot of fun. Otherwise, this film wasn’t very enjoyable and it just feels worn out the whole time. It tries out a lot of ideas, but it only does so generically and even the fight scenes began to get a little generic by the end. The effects for the battles were still better than average and I liked the boots that Caine wore, but that’s hardly enough to save a film.

Overall, Jupiter Ascending is a movie that you should take a pass on. The action scenes are the only good thing about it and the rest of the film is just unoriginal and not very interesting. Adding in a good villain could have really made a difference, but with no characters to root for, you’ll quickly lose interest in the plot. At least Jupiter starts to appreciate her situation and doesn’t complain as much in the end of the film, but as long as she doesn’t mind showing off her new skills on skyscrapers, the world will likely find out about her ordeal very soon. When that happens, Earth will finally be able to fight back and take out the aliens. If you want a good alien story, then you should probably go watch Broly The Legendary Super Saiyan. That’s an alien story with a lot of tension and action!

Overall 3/10

The Swarm Review

This film definitely came out a good while ago. Whether you’ve heard of the film by name or not, you’ll likely be familiar with the concept. For some reason, a film about bees attacking the world just seems like something that you’ve heard before. It’s not a concept that will excite you and the film certainly doesn’t do that. This is a classic that has not aged very well.

Dr. Crane is found at a government installation and all of the agents are dead. The officials fear that enemy agents managed to break in, but Dr. Crane admits that it was actually the bees. Nobody believes him for a little while, but they are forced to realize the truth when more cities are attacked. The bees have launched a war against humanity and Dr. Crane says that they have been planning the war for some time now. The heroes will have to be careful about how they handle this because they will be doomed if other insects join the fight against the humans.

The film is very long so it likes to take time to develop the scenes. That’s not a good thing since it means that simple actions like taking a walk can drag on for quite a while. The opening scene where the agents find the dead men lying around takes at least 5 minutes before they call in the backup. By the end of the film, you’ll have wondered why the heroes are losing to bees instead of remembering what the plot is.

My main problem with the film would actually just be the fact that I don’t like the concept. It’s always been a little gross to see humans covered by insects and that means that none of the action scenes are enjoyable. The Bees are also animals and while animal violence doesn’t apply to them too much, it’s still not going to really help the film in the long run. That’s why a film can only be as good as its concept and this concept had a lot of limits to it.

There’s also a lot of plot hax as the bees are basically immune to everything and nearly impossible to stop. We get a few twists and the heroes think of a plan at the end of the film, but the death count is incredibly high. Hundreds of thousands of people died against the bees so it really was like a real war. If the Bees can do that much damage to us….imagine what the flies can do! It should be noted that the Bees were actually Super Bees who could destroy the average human in 2-3 stings. That’s why the heroes were so defenseless against the creatures.

This film is incredibly old so there’s no real soundtrack. That being said, we still get a really emotional death scene where a scientist realizes what he has to do to stop the bees. The only downside is that he must die to test out his serum. The guy decided to take a large dose of venom and by the time he applied the antidote, it was too late. The scene is supposed to be really sad, but the scientist just acted so unintelligent that it’s hard to buy the emotion. He should have had an assistant with him and he shouldn’t have started the dosage up at such a high level. His sacrifice was essentially in vain.

I do like the determination that the army had as they went into this fight. The commander always talks a good game and he didn’t make the mistake of underestimating the opponents. That being said, he was forced to defer to Mr. Crane on this war, which meant that he couldn’t actually go through with the war efforts that he wanted to try. Both Mr. Crane’s and the commander’s tactics proved to be useless anyway so it wasn’t a big loss, but he was much more interesting than the main character.

Mr. Crane wasn’t a bad main character by any means, but he may have been a little naive. He persisted in waiting out the Bees even when the casualties were steadily rising. He really had no plan to stop them for a while and the losses shouldn’t have been acceptable to him. Worrying about the environment is good, but America was getting close to being destroyed, he needed to act sooner. His possible romance subplot was also rather iffy and not integral to the plot…it was just there to be there.

There’s a little kid in this film who helps to doom his fellow students as he launches an attack on the bees. It was one of those emotional subplots that we didn’t need. While he did a good job of taking down a lot of Bees, he should have known that they would retaliate. The citizens are partially to blame since they had quite a bit of time to get inside, but many of them were still caught unprepared. After the first traumatic attack, I’d imagine that everyone would be especially careful not to be outside too long.

There’s also a subplot where two guys are flirting with an old lady. With all of these subplots, it’s no wonder why the film was so long right? This was mainly just filler and some levity likely intended to take your mind off of the somber Bee plot. The moral is essentially that both guys should have just been satisfied to stay in the friend zone. It would have saved them a lot of grief and they wouldn’t have had to become enemies through their fight over the lady.

At least the writing is all fairly good in the Swarm as this was back in the 1970’s. The characters mostly sound distinguished and Mr. Crane is constantly trying to out think the government. It is hinted that he allowed the Bees to destroy the military base without trying to warn any of the guards and that adds some tension to the equation. I still love the classic dialogue from these olden films and the English language is still my favorite because of how smart and quick it sounds.

It was a little surprising to see some of the victims of the Bees. I wasn’t expecting a good number of the school children to die, but I suppose that it was left in since it wasn’t a violent death. (On screen anyway) It’s too bad that they couldn’t escape though since they didn’t really need to add to the body count. It was already so high by that point. We did get some decent action scenes at the end as the humans grabbed their flame throwers, but they were doomed from the start. There are millions of bees after all and a quick sting is enough to take the fight out of the humans. The Bees even start to give you visions of a giant bee that wants to sting you. Their abilities are certainly fierce!

Overall, The Swarm really isn’t my kind of film. If you want to see how humans would fare against the Bees, then you should like this film. If you buy into Crane’s theory that they are out to get us, then it’ll be even more fun for you as the Bees strategically take down base after base. The film is really dragged out though and it just isn’t that much fun to watch. The Bees don’t work as antagonists for me and while Dr. Crane and the government agents are decent, there are no really good characters. Even the climax may not be all that exciting for you. This is a film to pass and I doubt that it will scare you either as it feels more like a comedy than a horror at times.

Overall 3/10

Sarah Connor vs One Above All

This is a tribute to T2! Sarah Connor definitely changed a lot from the first film and it was in a good way. She was definitely willing to fight in this film and she helped out in the early scuffles. By the end of the film, the villains had started to adjust to her, but she still did much more than the average human character would be expected too so she wins this tribute. The One Above All is a tough figure, but he’s simply outmatched here. Sarah Connor wins.

Homura Akemi vs Bass

Homura Akemi has had a fun time grabbing some quick wins, but it’s time for Bass to come and put a stop to that. We all knew that he would be appearing at some point, it was only a question of when. His abilities are limitless and none of Homura’s conventional weapons will be able to damage him. Bass is simply too durable and far too quick. That’s why he has never been defeated on the blog. There is simply no character who is more powerful than this legend and that includes Homura. Bass wins.

Sarah Connor vs Homura Akemi

This is a tribute to the original Terminator film. While Sarah Conner would go on to be a fairly hardcore heroine, I didn’t care for her in the first Terminator film. She made the tough calls when necessary, but Homura handled her tragic fate a lot better. In a battle between these two gun fighters, Homura has the edge in experience and weaponry. She has won yet again, but her streak of wins has come to a close. Homura Akemi wins.

John Connor vs Homura Akemi

This is a tribute to Terminator 3. John may mean well, but he’s a little outmatched against Homura. John never took things in stride and it’s hard to believe that he leads the human resistance in the future. Maybe that’s why Skynet always wins. One bullet from Homura and the match will be over. John simply can’t hope to keep up with her and Homura Akemi is definitely on a roll right now. Homura Akemi wins.