Breakdown Review

This review is of the edited TV-14 version of the film. All thoughts below should be addressed as such as a review of the unedited version would be more negative
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It’s time to look at an old 90s thriller. This is the kind of film where the whole premise is built around the characters not being very intelligent which is always worrisome. It’s not that good as the film tends to be more annoying than thrilling. An upside is that the music is surprisingly good though so you have something nice to listen to.

It all starts with Jeff and Amy driving to a new home. They have to drive through a long stretch of empty land to get to their destination though. They nearly bump into another car on the way which causes Jeff to get a little stressed out but at least the collision didn’t actually happen. Unfortunately their car does suddenly go dead though. A truck driver comes up and offers to drive them to the next town. Amy accepts and since Jeff believes that this isn’t a dangerous move he agrees with Amy going alone while he stays with the car. He quickly realizes that the wires were cut which is why the car wasn’t functioning so he heads to town shortly afterwards. Unfortunately everyone claims that Amy never went there. The driver also denies taking her and Jeff quickly realizes that quite a lot of people are in on this. If he’s to stop the villains he is going to have to grab a gun.

This film doesn’t make the conspiracy too huge like some other films. It’s a relatively small operation as the villain group is just comprised of a few different people, but they are all in key places. It is a little iffy how they have been so successful for so long with the police not doing anything to stop them though. They’ve had a pretty easy time of it and the other characters are so oblivious that they don’t notice prisoners right in their very house. Naturally that makes Jeff’s job even harder.

I am glad that the cop who showed up got one shot in before he went down at least. Otherwise his appearance would have been particularly disgraceful. All the cop does is give the villain a temporary fighting chance. The cast for this film is pretty small all things considered. The only real characters here are the squad of villains and the main couple. Naturally none of the villains are meant to be likable characters and Amy is gone for almost the whole movie.

Jeff is a decent lead, but definitely not the smartest one. As I mentioned earlier you can’t just split up and let someone get into a truck with a total stranger. You can definitely be an optimist and hope that things will go well, but to a certain extent you’ve also gotta be cautious. There’s a reason why they tell you not to talk to strangers. Things can always get very tricky at that point. Fortunately Jeff is very strong and able to climb even in a weakened state. Ultimately he did stay persistent throughout the adventure. His only other big mistake was near the end when he let all of the villains stick together as he left to find a car. You have to at least shoot them in the leg to keep them from hatching another plan. It almost cost him everything once more. I’m not sure if him being super optimistic like this was intentional, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t and so he just doesn’t come off as the most believable character.

Films revolving around kidnappings like this one are definitely hard to pull off because they can easily cross the line and just become not fun to watch. The ending is crucial and at least the film didn’t go the dark route which would have really crippled the score. That being said, it still goes out of its way to make sure that it’s rather dark with all the missing posters in the police office and through the discussions of how many times they’ve succeeded before. It makes the whole film rather dark and just not really one that you’ll ever have any interest in re watching. The film is rather short, but ends up feeling really long as well.

As I mentioned earlier, I did enjoy the soundtrack though. We get some really solid tense music and other good tunes that worked well for the action scenes. That’s definitely something that I can really appreciate since most films tend to just skip the soundtrack portion and end up being rather generic. This one put some actual thought into it and it ended up working out quite well. Probably the best soundtrack I’ve heard in a non franchise film in a long time.

Overall, Breakdown is not a film I’d recommend. At most it serves as a decent cautionary tale for common sense when on the road. Taking a car trip through such a place was always a risk and there’s not much you can do about your car breaking down. The rest of the film is rather preventable though and while the villains could have popped up and done things anyway, at least the heroes wouldn’t have made their job even easier. Also, while Jeff’s pen plan did end up working, once you give the money to the villains they really do have no reason to keep you or the hostage alive so you can never just give them the objective without making sure that you have a way to end things yourself. It’s like in all of the films where a villain holds you at gun point and tells you to get in the car. The heroes always obey and I just have to shake my head. If you get in the car then dying is the least of your worries and it’ll probably be more painful. At least if you run or tackle the guy you’ll die right away of succeed. Don’t make the job easier for these villains. If you want to watch a better thriller, check out Jack Reacher which has solid action scenes and good pacing.

Overall 3/10

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Top 10 RWBY Fights

All right, it’s time for another RWBY list. The series has had a lot of quality action scenes throughout and that’s what has gotten the series so popular in the first place. It’s also pretty well balanced as every volume has been able to deliver a fight worthy of this list. This list isn’t quite as hard to create as picking the best characters but it’s still not easy either. Here are a few quick shoutouts to some of the fights that nearly made the list. The Food fight back in volume 2 was definitely a lot of fun. It was a friendly exhibition between team RWBY and JNPR but both teams really gave it their all and the choreography was on point. We have never gotten to see the 2 teams fight before and at this point it is unlikely that we ever will so this was the closest thing to such a team fight.

Another pair of shoutouts have to go to the 2 train fights that didn’t make it on the list. Blake vs Torchwick and Weiss vs the White Fang lieutenant. While the former fight was quite solid it was short and naturally less impressive than the season 1 fight. The Weiss fight was great and certainly delivered with a lot of quality visuals but it was just edged out by a few more fights. This one would fight with the Vernal fight as a close runner up. I also liked Yang’s battle against the two dancers in her trailer, but the fight was super short. All right, let’s launch into the list!

10. Ruby vs Torchwick and Neo
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After seeing Neo completely wreck Yang back in season 2 I think it’s safe to say that everyone was looking forward to Neo’s next big fight. Well it finally happened here and as expected she had the upper hand. It is a little hard to say how well Ruby would really do against her since the fight was 1 vs 2, but Neo seemed to have the lead regardless. It’s a really solid fight that shows off the villains teamwork. The intense music in the background serves to amp it up even more.

9. Pyrrha vs Cinder
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How could the final fight of Season 3 not make it? Pyrrha put up a really good fight considering that Cinder had ascended to be one of the 4 Maidens by this point. Her magnetic abilities are put to good use here and the fight has a lot of shockwave effects to emphasize how much power both of these fighters have. Even once you think Pyrrha is down for the count she manages to get one last hit in. A shame that her opponent was simply on another level.

8. RWBY vs Torchwick
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We’ve seen teamwork from the villains so it’s time to look at the reverse. Team RWBY utilizes a flurry of combo moves in this match and it’s nice to see since during the timeskip between seasons 1 and 2 it’s expected that they would have had a lot of time to train. Each member is a lot more experienced now than they were before. We also got Yang’s cool “Die” song along with the best showing of her semblance in the whole series. Torchwick himself doesn’t get to fight much here, but his mech suit was certainly impressive. In general this is still the only real time we’ve gotten to see team RWBY fight a powerful opponent. Hopefully we get to see a fight like that in volume 6.

7. Torchwick vs Blake and Sun
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This season 1 climax fight was great. For starters we actually got to see Torchwick fight hand to hand and it proved that he wasn’t simply a thug who hides behind his men. We knew that his cane was good from episode 1, but here he was easily crushing Blake and gave Sun an even fight. I don’t think he would have beaten Sun, but the fact that it is a possibility is certainly impressive. The fight is well choreographed and very fast paced.

6. Penny vs Pyrrha
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This fight is probably a little underrated since it occurred amidst the plot really starting for the show so you were busy thinking about everything else. Penny’s manipulation with her swords is very similar to Pyrrha’s magnetism and makes for a fun match up. The music for this fight is really good and it’s just very fast. Both opponents are very skilled, but at the end of the day there is never any doubt as to who would emerge victorious.

5. Mercury and Emerald vs Coco and Yatsuhashi
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The Tag Team matches in the tournament were definitely a blast. While the Weiss and Yang match didn’t quite make the list it was also pretty solid. This was the first time we got to see Mercury and Emerald fight for real and they lived up to the hype. The fact that they won this round so easily shows what a threat they are and it’s why to this day it’s hard to say whether any tag team of RWBY could hold their own against them. Mercury did most of the work in the opening stages and probably could have won in the 1 v 2, but Emerald’s illusions are just as handy. These guys are definitely a force to be reckoned with.

4. Tyrian vs Qrow
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This fight is incredibly impressive and shows what a battle of professionals is like. Qrow and Tyrian are clearly fighting at a very high level here. Surprisingly Tyrian seems to have the edge for most of the fight which shows what a threat he is. The scene of Tyrian punching him was awesome since we rarely see a fighter attack without their weapon. The group fight prior to this one was a lot of fun too and this was easily the highlight of season 4. I’m definitely eager to see Tyrian reappear in the next volume. Also hopefully Qrow gets back to this level of power.

3. Yang vs Neo
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This fight doesn’t have anything fancy. Neither fighter is using any kind of special energy blast and they aren’t in a volcano or anything. It’s simply a very basic hand to hand fight where both combatant is doing their best to bring the opponent down. That’s part of what makes the fight so impressive as it’s just a really serious battle of skill. Neo is clearly a few steps ahead here and even takes the time to make fun of Yang in the process. Definitely a great way to debut (Not counting cameos) and Raven’s appearance at the end was also pretty hype.
2. Yang vs Mercury
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For a while this had been my favorite fight and it still holds up incredibly well. The battle music really sets the stage here. As soon as the first punch is thrown the tempo never slows down. Both fighters are absolutely relentless using every attack in their arsenal until the opponent is down. Their fighting styles of hand to hand vs kicks is also a nice contrast. It also helps that I’m a huge fan of both characters!

1. Raven vs Cinder
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For all the heat the last volume has gotten in terms of avoiding fights, it definitely delivered with this one. While it’s hard to say if it was worth spending almost the entire budget in a single fight, it’s hard to deny the results. We got to see two of the strongest characters in the series duke it out and they weren’t pulling their punches. The strength and speed they exhibited is what you would expect from a Maiden. It was a great way to wrap up volume 5 and it’s also a high bar for all future Maiden fights. I will accept nothing less after seeing how great this fight was.

So that’s my Top 10! I look forward to seeing how many fights volume 6 will add to this. RWBY lists never get old, but my next ones/editorials will likely venture out into other franchises so be on the lookout for those!

Transformers: Power of the Primes Review

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It’s time to look at the final installment in the online Transformers trilogy! The trilogy has definitely showed a lot of promise at times but has been limited by how short each episode was. It’s a shame because a full length season of Transformers hype with this backdrop could have been really cool. No sense in thinking about the what ifs though. While this season was not quite as good as the last one, it’s still a pretty fun adventure.

Last time Megatronus arrived and showed Megatron’s crew a glimpse of his power. He’s on a level that none of the other bots could really comprehend. Megatron decides that the team needs to grab the legendary blaster along with whatever other ancient weapons can be found. Optimus Primal agrees to help them but makes it clear that if the situation gets dangerous he will ditch them. The heroes accept these terms and prepare for their final battle. Meanwhile Overlord and Rodimus Prime continue to destroy all robots in their path as they look for Megatron. Eventually all of the fighters find themselves in the big climax.

The show dug itself into a big hole with the final episode of the 2nd series. The issue is that they made Megatronus too powerful. Not only does he have greater physical power than the combiners, but he has the greatest speed stat out of all the robots as well. This makes it so that no fighter can reasonably hope to challenge him and win. What the show does is quickly get rid of his speed in this season and on the whole that works as a big nerf. Suddenly everyone can fight him and the heroes even pin the guy down for quite a while. It’s a bit of a shame, but completely expected since he was simply too powerful. Megatronus is still a great villain though and I like the design.

Overlord also finally gets to have his closure with his subplot about taking down Megatron. Naturally the Decepticon is a little preoccupied at the moment, but Overlord certainly doesn’t care about what is convenient for his arch nemesis. He’s definitely a strong fighter and the show does a good job of depicting that he is a heavy weight. I do think Megatron would defeat him in a fair fight, but it would be a close battle. Overlord certainly does tend to win any fight that he is involved in.

Then we’ve got Rodimus Prime who ends up being controlled by Unicron. It’s certainly a bit of a change in dynamic there as initially you just think of him as an evil version of himself. I wonder if the show always meant for him to be Unicron or if that was changed for some reason. Either way he does make for a good villain although I didn’t care much for his redesign at the end. I thought his normal design looked good as it was. I dare say that he could might have even been stronger than Overlord and Megatron by the end although it’s hard to say since he fought a souped up Primal and that guy didn’t fight anyone else so it’s hard to compare them all. It’s unfortunate for Rodimus though as his ending definitely isn’t very happy.

Meanwhile Megatron makes for a good leader. It was definitely fun seeing him take over for Prime for once. Of course it wouldn’t be so out of place in the comics, but as far as the shows go this was definitely a very new take. Considering who he was teaming with Megatron is definitely the perfect pick for the leader. He gets the job done and has the power needed to back up his command decisions. The rest of the team would have been completely lost without him.

The most annoying character in the series is definitely still Perceptor. He seems to only be around to get in the way. Even while the characters are fighting to the death he is worried about his tech and yells things like “Be careful guys!” This guy is completely unrealistic and doesn’t seem to care about the lives of his friends. That makes it impossible to root for him and at the end of the day you want him off the team. To date he has not had any moment that has made him even close to being a likable character.

Windblade is still solid although her role here is certainly smaller than in the last 2 seasons. While she initially seemed to be more of a leader figure or at least one of the most important characters, that role was given to Megatron so she isn’t left with a whole lot to do. She is still around for the whole season of course, but at this point none of her weapons can even singe the armor of the villains so she isn’t all that helpful.

One of the big guest stars here was Optimus Primal of course and he definitely comes out of nowhere. I’d say that he was a fun character, but he does come across as rather annoying the whole time. He is very quick to try and ditch everyone, but surely he must realize how futile that would be. The villains would inevitably go after him next and he isn’t strong enough to stop them. Helping the heroes is his best chance at ultimately keeping the blaster safe which is his purpose. Also, he definitely should have taken the shot against Megatronus considering that targets don’t get much easier than that. He ends up being really strong, but as a character it is hard to root for him.

We certainly do get a lot of action here which is nice. The climax has a lot of fun moments and the energy blasts always stand out. It is impressive to see Megatronus just rip his opponents apart. I do think the Autobots should look into making their heads a little more secure though given how easy they seem to be to pry apart. In particular this doesn’t end up boding very well for Victorion but I’m confident that the writers just don’t like her at this point. She looks so terrible across all of the seasons of the show that it can’t be accidental. They certainly succeeded since I’m not a fan of her either. The whining can be a little endearing in a comical sense at times, but that’s about it.

Ultimately you may wonder why the Dinobots were added. They were fun to have around of course, but aside from Grimlock the others were just around to get wrecked. Even Grimlock didn’t look all that good for the most part. I do appreciate the fact that the series brought so many people in but it did seem to be more out of obligation than anything else. Even Predaking showed up very briefly for some quick destruction scenes and a fight.

The writing is pretty solid throughout. The script takes itself seriously and works well in constantly showing that the heroes don’t really have a chance without overdoing it. The show isn’t very heavy handed in that respect. Even the characters I don’t like aren’t super annoying or anything aside from Perceptor who is fairly unbearable the whole time. I would be interested in this creative team tackling another show someday but with an actual budget and full length episodes. I think at the end of the day an important thing to note is that the episodes didn’t drag on. It would be hard for them to do so, but nonetheless it was a fun ride.

While the animation still looks like really old PS1 graphics, I still do like it. It’s pretty nostalgic and works well for the mecha. It would never beat any really solid traditional animation style, but it’s still not something that I’d consider as a weakness for the show. It’s clunky and it does make it difficult on the show with the fight scenes since nobody can be too agile but it’s still vibrant for the blasters. It also does get the dark color scheme across pretty well like in the image below.
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Overall, The trilogy is now over. It’ll certainly be forgotten rather quickly and didn’t end up making much of a name for itself but it was a fun ride. At the very least it doesn’t take a whole lot of time since the episodes are so short and there are only 10 episodes. Even watching all 3 seasons back to back wouldn’t take very long either. It does end on a cliffhanger but it’s barely even worth noting since it won’t amount to very much. The odds of this getting a sequel are slim to none. I think the best way to look at this show is as if it’s just a promo trying to get you interested in the franchise. It’s a movie that was split into many different parts to pad it out a bit but if you merge it all then it makes for a fun film that will admittedly feel a little rushed since the plot will change many times during the adventure. If you’re a big Transformers fan then you should certainly check it out. Otherwise it’s probably best to start with a different one like Transformers Prime.

Overall 7/10

Batman ’66 Meets Wonder Woman ’77 Review

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It’s time to look at the big crossover between the retro Wonder Woman and Batman series. As they both starred in different eras the comic decides to have adventures that take place in both along with a third that he even sooner. It’s cool how the series was able to tackle all 3 eras and even added a sense of continuity by making them all connect to each other in some way or another. If we ever do get a Justice League comic with these characters it would definitely be intense!

The first comic takes place when Batman was still just a child. The Nazi’s wanted to obtain a book he owned that would lead to the Pit of Eternal Youth and many other places including Wonder Woman’s home. Ra’s Al Ghul and his criminal organization also wanted this info. Finally, Wonder Woman and government agent Steve Trevor also showed up to grab it. Batman’s in a little over his head here, but he needs to try and get the book to safety while also looking out for Talia. Although little does he know that Talia can certainly fend for herself as she was already taught much about martial arts when she was a kid.

It’s a fun comic and probably the only time we will see Batman’s parents for a while. Talia was probably the highlight here as it’s a nice look at how she could have been as a hero if not for the guidance of Ra’s. She probably would have been an even better Batgirl than the one we are all used to. Wonder Woman had a pretty easy time mowing down the opposing troops herself. Protecting the kids would probably be the toughest part and even that seemed rather simple for her as well. Even Steve got to contribute a bit.

The middle story has Ra’s make his way to Paradise Island. No man can arrive there without an escort so Batman convinces Catwoman to take them there. The villainess has a rather large role in both the second and third stories as she even gets a redemption arc. Her fans will likely be pleased as she does tend to go back and forth a lot but at the end of the day she always does have a lot of potential for good. Batman is rather skeptical the whole time as he should be, but doesn’t make a scene. He also doesn’t have much choice since she asks for sanctuary on the island and Wonder Woman grants it to her.

There’s not too much to say about this comic as it’s very to the point. The heroes fight with Ra’s and his team. We do get a cameo from Wonder Girl which was cool as she stood up to Ra’s. Naturally the comic does its best to keep Ra’s away from Wonder Woman because he wouldn’t last a second against her in an actual fight. Honestly that’s why Batman’s villains stay back for most of this collection as well. They can give the Dark Knight some trouble, but Wonder Woman? They are of no consequence to her and that’s considering that this isn’t even close to her strongest incarnation.

In the final story we have Wonder Woman head back to Gotham because Ra’s has returned once more. You have to respect the fact that he keeps on coming back for more each time. The guy just never gives up. Unfortunately she finds out that Batman has retired and now Robin is the only fighter left. Wonder Woman can’t accept this and convinces Batman to come out of retirement. Granted, he basically has to make this choice since Ra’s finds out about the Batcave and brings the fight to him. A more serious Bruce Wayne rejoins the fight and it’s a pretty fun climax.

This is the story that ends off the collection and it’s certainly a great pick for it. Aside from the fact that the stories were intentionally chosen in chronological order, it just feels like the most epic adventure from the 3 with the highest stakes. Ra’s is finally taken out of the equation as well so in theory the heroes no longer have to worry about him. That will certainly be a big relief for them.

The characters were all on point as you can probably guess. I’d say that Wonder Woman looks the best here as she looks out for humanity and saves the day many times. Batman isn’t as impressive since he gave up at one point, but did recover quickly and beyond that he looked solid as always. Robin still tries hard whenever he pops up and it was nice to see him as Nightwing. He deserves his share of respect at that point since he is a veteran and the heroes give it to him.

The artwork looks pretty solid throughout the issues. The character models are on point and the action scenes look nice as always. It’s not quite up to par with the mainstream DC adventures but it does a good job of recreating the look of the old shows. The panels all stand out so it’s always easy to see what is happening at a glance. Even though there is quite a lot of pages in this collection, it will all be over very quickly with how solid the writing and pacing are. This will come to no surprise as both individual series were always very good in these two areas though. If anything the writing is why these titles got so big in the first place.

Overall, This collection hits all the right notes. It’s a crossover where both heroes get a lot of tim to shine. It’s definitely interesting to see a more serious Adam West here even if you will miss the light one from the second story. I suppose that is definitely setting him up to play the role of Batman in Justice League as one more people would be familiar with from newer stories. That or since he was re inspired by Wonder Woman, he will go back to his usual style in time. Either way, hopefully we actually do get a Justice League story soon. That would definitely be a lot of fun.

Overall 8/10

Luna vs The Grinch




The Grinch likes to mess with holidays, but when it comes time for an actual fight he isn’t all that skilled. Don’t get me wrong, The Grinch is still stronger than someone like TOAA. However, he can’t hold his own against dragons and the rest of Luna’s powerful deck. She even has spells and traps which can quickly take him down for the count as well. Luna wins.

Anna Williams vs Fred Flintstone


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Anna Williams is always overshadowed by Nina in the Tekken games, but her hand to hand skills are at a high level nonetheless. Fred has a club which can deal massive damage, but I don’t think he will be landing any hits on Anna in this battle. She is far too quick and would have him down for the count in the blink of an eye. Anna Williams wins.

Kairi vs Cheep Cheep



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With Kingdom Hearts III over the horizon it’s time for Kairi to finally earn her first win. She is a quality character after all and shouldn’t be lumped together with the iconic minion known as Cheep Cheep. For the record, I do think Cheep Cheeps have some of the most underrated designs out of all the classic Nintendo minions. These guys are hype! That’s not enough to win though. Kairi wins.

Donatello vs Water Horse




The Water Horse is in a bit of an awkward position because he is too small to be considered a Kaiju but too large to be considered a Giant Monster. As a result this creature doesn’t seem to have a lot of fans. It has a lot of raw power, but that won’t mean much against Donatello’s large arsenal of tech. He’s also a close combat master so that’s another feather in his cap. He can take his time and will win this match without too much effort. Donatello wins.

Gloom vs Barry William Cox


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Barry William Cox is definitely not a nice guy and I doubt he has a whole lot of fans. It’s entirely possible that he doesn’t have any fans since the movie isn’t a very remembered film or the type where characters get fans. Needless to say, Gloom will no longer stay tied with this guy. Gloom’s actually a pretty fun Pokemon and she can claim the win with a Solar Beam blast. No way Barry can survive this! Gloom wins.

Raphael vs Python




It’s definitely pretty surprising to see Raphael here since he’s a pretty good character. Somehow he just wasn’t strong enough to beat any of his opponents prior to this match. Well, that all changes against the Python. Snakes are pretty cool and they have a lot of fun trivia to back them up, but that won’t help against a ninja master like Raph. A few good hits is all this turtle is going to need to win the fight. Raphael wins.