The Shawshank Redemption Review

This review is of the TV-14 edited version of the film. All thoughts below should be addressed as such as a review of the unedited version would be more negative

This is a movie where even if you haven’t seen it you’ve probably at least heard of the title. It was a really big movie after all. It’s a long epic about a tough stretch through prison and trying to get out of it in one piece. This is a powerful title but ultimately it’s far too mean spirited for me to ever call it a good movie. Getting through the initial prison chapter is rather rough and not even a solid ending could really save this movie.

We start things off with Andy being taken to court as he is accused of murdering his wife and the guy she was cheating with. He denies the charges but the circumstantial evidence is too strong and he is promptly locked up. He is then taken away to the most powerful jail in the world. Here the warden, Norton rules with an iron fist. The prisoners have no rights at this point so you either play ball or things are going to be very rough for you. The prison guards will beat you up at a moment’s notice and these are true beatings. You likely haven’t seen anything quite so intense in a while. Andy does meet some decent folks at the prison including a guy named Red who is good at getting any kind of materials from the outside. Andy will need some kind of a plan if he wants to escape this place but it definitely won’t be easy.

Right off the bat I can tell you that a big reason as to why the film is so bad for me is the villain group known as the Sisters. These guys are basically here to remind you why prison is such a tough place to be. They basically embody all of the classic horror stories about what happens in prisons and they make life really rough for Andy for a long time there. By the time that chapter of the movie is finished and that group is no more, it is quite late in the game without much of a way to get back up. The sheer amount of grit and violence here is something you may partially expect from a prison film but it doesn’t really make things any better either.

Of course people say the best thing to do is not to wind up in jail but that’s not always possible. For example Andy actually is innocent but he wasn’t able to prove that to the jurors and so he wound up here. Just about everyone in the movie claims that they are innocent as well but for the most part they all say this just to say it. You have to assume there are other innocent people here as well but it’s really tough to actually find out who qualifies and who doesn’t. It ultimately doesn’t matter once you’re stuck in there either.

After all you’re basically doomed at this point. If you don’t get taken out by one of the other prisoners or beaten up by the guards then you still have to deal with the Warden. Norton is one of the biggest crooks here and he is absolutely determined to keep all of his power. He isn’t even satisfied with being the King and also wants to be super rich. This works out well for Andy in a way because this gives him a little break as he helps the guy swindle lots of money.

It definitely pays to know your accounting and how to cook the books. At this point the books weren’t just cooked, but deep fried! It all ends up tying in to the end of the film and there are some good twists in there. One thing I can say about Shawshank Redemption is that there is always a lot going on. Some characters like Norton will alternate between being full fledged villains to guys that are actually helpful for a little while. The important thing to remember is just that you can’t really trust anybody though.

I actually liked one guy named Tommy who showed up later in the film but unfortunately he wasn’t ready for a prison quite like this one. Not everyone has a terrible time in Shawshank but I would wager that the vast majority do. Tommy’s stay didn’t seem that bad until the end but your luck just can’t hold out here. Meanwhile I have to give Andy a lot of credit for staying sane and not letting the place break him.

A good portion of the film is about hope and not giving in to despair. He definitely pulled that off and then some here. A lot of characters would have definitely broken well before he did and he had a lot of patience to keep up with his plans all the way through to the end. Meanwhile there is one more big player I hadn’t mentioned yet and that’s Red. He’s the realist of the group and gives a lot of the narration. He’s seen the worst that the prison has had to offer and has managed to navigate the place.

I’m sure it wasn’t easy to create so many connections across the jail and yet he pulled it off. He has a strong reputation in the place as well and it seems like nobody messes with him. In the jail your reputation is really the only thing that you have so you absolutely have to try and have a strong one at all times. If you don’t then you’re really as good as doomed. I liked Red and thought he had a good conclusion to his story. Ultimately the film may have been very grimdark most of the time but at least the ending is one with some hope rather than going for some kind of twisted ending.

Overall, The Shawshank Redemption is definitely not a film that I would recommend though. Prison is often not the ideal backdrop in any film for me because usually that’s a place that is going to be gritty. You can have really cool prison scenes like in one of the Fast & Furious films but when that’s the main location it’s almost always going to falter in the end and you don’t want to stick around for that. If the film could dial down the darker elements of the film then it would be a lot better and I’m sure you could do that while still making the prison an intimidating place. Instead though, watch Naruto: Blood Prison. It’s easily one of the weakest Naruto films out there but it still does the whole prison plot a lot better than this one could.

Overall 1/10

Star Ocean: The Divine Force Review

Right here, right now, it’s time to talk about Star Ocean! I can’t say I’m super familiar with the series compared to other RPG titles like Final Fantasy but I like the genre and I like sci-fi so you can’t go wrong. I figured I’d get this one day 1 because it looked like fun and it makes for a really fun game. It took around 30 hours to clear this one so you’ve got a sizable amount of story and cutscenes to get through. I consider this to be an absolute win and I look forward to playing more games in the series.

The game starts off with captain Raymond piloting his ship when they are attacked by the federation. His crew all manage to escape but they are scattered on a nearby planet which isn’t very developed. There are no high tech weapons or equipment on the planet and of course its medicine isn’t great either. Raymond knows he has to find his friends very quickly or it could get rough. He meets up with Laeticia, a mysterious girl who talks in a very formal manner and her bodyguard Albaird. They have a mission of their own and volunteer to help Raymond find his friends if he helps them out with some things as well. Time is of the essence so he agrees…hopefully these two are on the up and up!

As with any RPG you can bet that the plot changes a whole lot and gets expanded on as you play more and more. The story is very detailed and there are a whole lot of cutscenes talking about the rules of the federation and why it isn’t so easy to just hop in and save everyone with high tech teleporters. Raymond is aligned with a planet that opted not to join the Federation and so there is a lot of bad blood there. Meanwhile the federation really wants everyone to join to a rather unhealthy degree and they seem really shady. That’s not even accounting for all of the drama on the planet itself with the King and his subjects being on different pages as well.

At times this can make for a bit of a slow beginning as a result of that but the story really does pick up the more you go through the game. Once the various alien species show up then you get a lot of extra developments. You also have a lot of super forms and then a whole plot involving A.I. and how alive they truly are. It’s all pretty good stuff so you’ll have a good time. Ultimately it may not surpass some of the bigger RPG titles in a pure story sense but it’s well balanced in all areas.

As for the gameplay, it’s a 3D hack and slash. You have your basic attack, strong attack, and quick attack. Unlike most games where these are locked in, you can completely customize which button you want to use for which attack. You have around 15-20 by the end so you can just stick to using the attacks you want or mix and match. You can also assign full combos to each button to make things a bit easier. Personally I mainly just stuck to one attack. Once I got the flurry move I wanted I never ended up using another physical attack. It was just way too good and by the stats it was the strongest move so why switch it anyway right?

Aside from the main fighting moves you also have a final smash type attack that charges as you fight. It can be really handy in taking down the last bits of an opponent’s health bar. Then you have your DUMA which is basically a little robot that lets you hover in the air, create barriers, and do charge attacks. This guy is worth spamming on all minions because you can quickly get behind them for sneak attacks that deal extra damage. Additionally you can change directions in mid air while attacking which is handy as well. It won’t always work on bosses but it’s good to keep in mind.

Meanwhile the graphics are definitely really solid. The art style may take a little getting used to. I’ve heard some refer to the characters as looking like dolls and after that you can’t help but notice it. Still the visuals are on point and this still feels like a new gen title. A good amount of effort was put into it. Meanwhile the opening theme for the game is really solid. It’s a fun rock theme that feels like something out of the 90s. It was definitely real nostalgic to hear that although in the game I would have liked to have seen some more memorable boss fights. Surprisingly within the actual game you won’t have too many distinct tracks. They sort of just blend together for the most part.

In terms of content you’ve got a lot here. The main game is 29 hours as I noted but then you’ve also got a fairly extensive amount of replay value. There are numerous endings to obtain in the game and then aside from that you can try to get the Platinum trophy which will definitely take a while. I’d be surprised if you could beat it in any less time than 50 hours. This is a full adventure and even that may be understating it. So you’ll definitely be getting a good amount of content for your dollar and it’s worth the full price.

As far as the characters go, Raymond makes for a pretty good main character. He’s not afraid to talk tough to the Federation and tells it like it is. He doesn’t make promises without learning the details first and he is always thinking. It’s clear why he is the captain of a full crew because he is a very smart main character. He can be impulsive but balances the two attributes really well.

Then you have Elena who is a solid main heroine. As an android she tends to look at things logically but unlike most she is still able to keep her common sense and can understand humans well enough to act like one. Sometimes you’ll even end up forgetting that she is an android. She’s probably one of the most well rounded characters in the game and you can always count on her in a pinch. Without her the characters would have not made it quite so far.

Laeticia is the other main heroine here and she goes through a good character arc as she learns how to really be a great ruler. Raymond helps her become more flexible and she’s good in a fight. I definitely enjoyed her character and even her bodyguard Albaird looked decently good in the game. By the end he also loosened up a lot and was ready to stand with the other heroes.

Nina is a bit younger so she doesn’t get to fight on the front lines as much but she does well as a medic. While she is technically around for the whole game, her role feels a bit smaller though. Midas is someone who very reluctantly starts to help but that’s mainly thanks to Malkya. The two have a solid connection as she is basically immortal and he is super interested in science so it works out well. Then we have Marielle who is given a really tough time by Raymond at first due to her ties to the Federation. She does well in not making the same mistakes that most of them did though and gradually earns his trust.

Finally there is DUMA who is a fun robot type character even if he can take a little long to get on the ball about what’s going on here. Since he looks at everything logically, it can throw him for a loop when people don’t follow any kind of logic. So we’ve got a strong hero group here but the villains are more on the forgettable side. You’ve got corrupt kings and leaders but some of them are almost interchangeable. I liked the two alien villains a lot more and ultimately they were just minions. The final boss has a cool design though so I’ll give him that. At least you know that the battles will be visually entertaining the whole time.

Overall, Star Ocean: The Divine Force is a great game. It’s got a very detailed plot and the gameplay is on point. There’s actually a lot to dive into there so you’ll want to really absorb the tutorials. If I’m drilling down a bit more the one thing they messed up on is the equipment screen. When trying on an equipment it shows you all the characters and who it would work on but no indication of which character you are viewing currently which is a little annoying. Super minor since you can back out of the menu to check that but it’s the kind of thing that a quality of life update would certainly fix. It’s got every element that you need in order to have a great time and I hope to see the series continue with more games in the future. Perhaps we can get some more space exploration in the next title but either way this worked out well. If you’re on the fence about the game then I would definitely recommend making the tough call and buying it now. You won’t regret making the purchase.

Overall 8/10

Prancer Review

When you think of Prancer you’re thinking of a fantastical adventure like with Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and his friends. Not a more emotional film about a kid who wants to do the right thing. I think this film had some potential but ultimately the characters can be more on the annoying side and Prancer’s role wasn’t quite big enough. It’s an okay movie but it’s not going to hold its own with the big Christmas hits.

The movie starts with Jessica showing off her reindeer knowledge and having a good time with her friend Carol. She ends up seeing a mysterious reindeer around but it vanishes before anyone else can notice it. Eventually it appears again and she realizes that this is Prancer. Somehow he got injured and has been split up from Santa and the rest of the reindeer. Jessica figures she will nurse him back to health and then set up a meeting spot with Santa to get the guy to take this reindeer back into the group. This won’t be easy though as her father John is going through hard times economically and he is thinking about giving Jessica over to his sister Sarah. Jessica is not happy about this at all but what can she do about it? Also, can she keep the reindeer secret for long?

The deck is absolutely stacked against Jessica here but she never gives up. That’s just not the way she does things. My first main issue with the film is that John can be rather mean the whole time. He never feels very understanding towards Jessica even when she is doing her best. Jessica makes mistakes sure, but she always apologizes and is very respectful towards her father. Usually in these films you see the kid being disrespectful and never apologizing so when he’s still harsh to her despite this it just feels off. The film overplayed its hand with John and makes him far too unlikable so it’s hard to root for him at all or even sympathize to the extent that you normally would. He’s basically an antagonist for most of the movie.

Then you have Jessica’s brother Steve who is also rather mean the whole time. He blackmails Jessica into doing his dishes for a year so he won’t tell their father about the reindeer. Sure he gets his emotional scenes later on where he stands by Jessica but he was a bit overblown in the opening scenes. Surely he could have made the demands a little better than that right? So I think this boils down to the writer where they wanted to put Jessica in a tough corner but they just weren’t good at holding back. So instead of the characters just being a little rude and setting things up for the heart warming second half, they accidentally made them really mean.

It’s a tough balance but you have to walk a careful line in these films or you make the characters go too far past the point of no return and that’s exactly what happened here. The film ends up suffering for this a bit as a result. Then you have the drama with Jessica and Carol as Jessica takes everything super personally. In this case you feel bad for Carol since she didn’t realize she was offending Jessica by saying she didn’t believe in God and Heaven. Jessica’s reactions were certainly not very graceful at all and this is one time where you didn’t really sympathize with her. She never really has a full apology to Carol on this either or at least not to the extent that she should. Carol really didn’t do anything wrong but got treated badly for most of the film.

Then there’s the neighbor Mrs McFarlane who was reasonable enough but I’m not really sure what the point of her character was. When you think about it she didn’t really do a whole lot here. I suppose we got to see that she wasn’t so bad after all but if you cut her out of the movie then nothing really changes. I expected her to have a much bigger role in the second half/climax because that’s how the setup felt. Not saying it’s objectively a bad decision to have her vanish but it just felt like an odd one.

Prancer also should have done more. Of course during the film you are meant to wonder if he is just a normal reindeer or not and that mystery keeps up until the film definitively makes a statement in the final scene. I liked the way that it ended so that worked out for me but I definitely would have given Prancer more to do. Either he was getting into mischief at the house or being kidnapped which isn’t the best role for this guy. If anything Prancer holds the film back as a result.

With a Christmas movie like this you are looking for an uplifting adventure where you can have a lot of fun. That’s the whole point you could say right? Well this one just isn’t super happy most of the time. You feel sad when Prancer is on screen since he’s hurt and injured. Then you feel sad when everyone is picking on Jessica or when Jessica picks on Carol. There are more sad scenes than happy ones here and as a result that makes the movie a bit lopsided. At the end of the day you could call it more of an uplifting film by the end but it doesn’t consistently grab that tone. So instead you have a balance where half of the time the movie just isn’t very fun.

The writing is decent even if the writers don’t know how to make some characters antagonistic without being over the top mean. With better writing I think you could have really done well with this movie. Perhaps have the main characters be grown ups instead even if it does mean rewriting the approach a bit differently. You could have succeeded with the kids though, it just would have taken more effort. Because of that I’d end up putting this film in the middle. I can’t picture myself ever re watching it over another Christmas movie but I still wouldn’t call it bad. I think that would be too strong.

Overall, Prancer may not be the film you were expecting but you can still get some good moments out of it. I found parts of the film to be a little too mean spirited so that can make it difficult to get to the ending though. It’s a fairly unique film as I wasn’t even totally sure what kind of vibe it was going for at times. I suppose you have to give it credit for trying to be really serious while also balancing the Christmas cheer, it just didn’t pull this off. Only watch this one if you really want to see some Reindeer in live action but otherwise you should watch the original Rudolph movie.

Overall 5/10

Battle in Outer Space Review

With a title like this you know that you’re gonna be in for a fun sci-fi ride. Well, Battle in Outer Space definitely does not disappoint on that front. You’ve got a lot going on here right from the jump and the pacing never slows down. The movie actually goes on past where I thought it was going to end and makes for a good final act. While I would have liked the aliens to have definitely appeared more, I can’t say that the film ultimately disappointed me. It had a lot of fun moments throughout.

The film starts off with a lot of crazy disasters happening across the planet. It’s almost as if gravity just stops working at times which is making things very tricky. The UN holds a summit and while this is going on the aliens abduct Dr. Ahmed using some kind of tractor beam. When he shows up again to sabotage things the scientists are ready and take him out. We are able to locate the enemy base in space and so we send a rocket over there to stop them. What will make matters difficult though is how easily they can mind control someone. What if one of the main characters has been taken? Iwamura and Katsumiya have two main objectives. They have to stop the aliens once and for all, then they also have to rescue Etsuko who was kidnapped.

Let me start off with the weakest part of the film which is definitely the fact that the aliens barely appear at all throughout the story. There is one main scene where you actually see them but they look super weak as Katsumiya is able to take down a bunch of them. Basically these guys are not immune to the space guns and also have no super strength. Katsumiya literally just runs over and grabs Etsuko. He then pulls her out despite the two of them being surrounded by so many aliens. Even all of them combined weren’t able to do anything to him and that’s just a bad look.

It’s clear that the aliens absolutely need their tech to win in this case as the individual aliens are super weak. It’s certainly an odd thing to see as you’re usually used to the aliens looking really tough and formidable. That just wasn’t the case here, not by a longshot. I liked the tech and they certainly talk a good game from behind the loudspeakers but that’s about it. You would need to see a whole lot more out of them in order to really have any kind of confidence in them as true antagonists.

Well, I suppose you don’t need a strong antagonist to have a good alien invasion film and this title proves it. The reason I enjoyed this film first boils down to the writing. The film stays engaging throughout as we have quality characters here and a solid story going on. I always like a classic alien invasion and getting to see the United Nations deliberating about it was cool. We really got to see the governmental side of things here as there is no super main character here to save the day.

Katsumiya would be the main character here but he’s not some super skilled CIA fighter or someone that can stop the invasion with a well placed explosive. He’s just here to save Etsuko and then get out. The army is still the one pulling in the big guns to try and stop the invasion as a whole. It’s not so easy to take on so many fighters like that and this is a movie that is using a teamwork approach. Then there is Iwamura but unfortunately he doesn’t look great here. He is often out of his depths and so he isn’t able to be nearly as helpful. Etsuko unfortunately spends a decent chunk of the movie being kidnapped so she isn’t able to help too much either.

So the individuals aren’t the important factor here but what the army is doing to stop these aliens. The movie definitely nails that aspect right out of the gate. The aliens also deal a whole lot of damage to the planet so you know that even if they are defeated, it’s not going to immediately be all sunshine and smiles for the heroes. Now I mentioned how the film seemed like it was about to end. Well, the main chunk of the film is the rescue mission in space and of course we start blasting away but then we get a whole other act on Earth as the aliens prepare another assault.

It does make sense in hindsight that they still had more weapons at the ready but it had just felt like so much of a climax already in space. Regardless it was nice to get some extra action at the end there. You can never have too much combat after all. I don’t think this will end up being more memorable than most of the other big action titles out there. It really lacked the aliens in an alien invasion film but since the rest of the elements were still in play it ended up working out.

Overall, Battle in Outer Space is a film that I would recommend people to check out but I would do so with the reservation that they know the aliens won’t really be appearing. It’s important to underscore that since some people may go in expecting them to not only be appearing but to get a big role. It’s totally understandable but the film is engaging enough even without them. A modern remake would probably be fun with this concept but in the meantime I just enjoy any alien invasion film I can get my hands on. Particularly one from the olden days like this installment since they really knew how to build up to the attacks and have a lot of very solid dialogue between the characters. It’s all handled in a rather low key/calm way that you wouldn’t expect to usually see. There’s not much more to say about the film because it is quiet direct and the story is straight forward. What you see is what you get and in this case that works out well.

Overall 7/10

Kao The Kangaroo Review

I always enjoy myself a good platformer. It has to be the safest genre out there aside from fighting games in that you know you’ll always have a good time here. It’s a very non risky gameplay style because whether it’s high budget or cheap you’ll be having some fun. Now this one may not be AAA but it was good. The game could be a little glitchy but at the end of the day I had a good time. It’s a short game but one that makes the most of each hour.

The game revolves around a kangaroo named Kao who was having a good time in the village but unfortunately his father and sister have both vanished. His mom pleads with him to stay but Kao has to learn what happened to them. He finds a pair of gloves with incredible magic power and decides that he will save the world and reunite his family. He is warned by a wise old man that the gloves may corrupt him and even turn Kao evil but he isn’t worried. Kao knows that he is strong of heart and can accomplish anything.

So the game has 4 worlds and each one has 3 levels and then a boss. You should have the game completed within a few hours max so it’s not very long but the levels are well designed. I had a fun time playing through them and I may even go back for the Platinum at some point. You can run, jump, and punch so all the basic controls are here. You can also wield elements to solve puzzles and of course take down enemies. I would have liked to have seen more elements but it was probably hard to fit too much in before the game was ending.

Now I mentioned that the game is glitchy. For the most part I don’t really care about glitches much as long as they don’t really impact the game. Sonic 2006, Frontiers, and Pokemon Scarlet are all known as games with glitches but they never impacted the gameplay so I wouldn’t really take note of them. The only reason why I note it for Kao is because I had to redo an entire level due to a glitch at one point. Basically the game doesn’t freeze time while you are talking to someone so I got attacked by minions before I could finish the cutscene. As a result the guy didn’t give me the gem and I couldn’t talk to him again so I had to restart.

Then other times the audio would cut out and you would get these loud static noises so I had to really lower the volume on the TV. These things are pretty noticeable so I would say the game could have used some more time on the debugging phase. Fortunately these are still rare in the end so they won’t really hold the score back either. At the end of the day I would have liked the game to have been longer but it still delivered on giving me a fun adventure which is all that I can ask for. As long as I can have fun then that means that the game did something right.

The story may not be the most original out there but it works out. Kao’s sister is one of those tough characters with a lot of personality so I can appreciate that. The old guy is very wise with all of his teachings so he’s about what you would expect as well. Kao’s father looks bad since he couldn’t master the gloves and got wrecked so easily but I’m sure he’s a good guy. The main villain is super forgettable though so you won’t be afraid of him or anything. I liked the gloves though, he made for a fun side kick.

There are a lot of elements here that would lend themselves over to a sequel really well. I can’t say that I’d be there day 1 or anything like that but I would definitely have a good time with a sequel and would buy it at some point. There isn’t a lot of replay value here though. I suppose you can go for the Platinum trophy which involves getting all of the collectibles. This should take you a few extra hours I’d say but even then not a whole lot of them. You’ll be done with this in a flash

The graphics look good. The character models are on point and I do think that they put a good amount of effort into the backgrounds. It’s a game that visually holds its own at all points. Then the soundtrack is also good. I’d give a special shoutout to the voices though. I loved Kao’s accent and he had this gimmick of overaccentuating the accent on every other word. It made for fun listening and it also makes the character more memorable. He’s not afraid to take risks and go after the villain so I’d give him some good props there. He won’t be winning any awards but he’s better than characters like Crash and Knack.

Overall, Kao The Kangaroo is a fun game that I could recommend to gamers of all ages. It’s a fun platformer that is very simple and straight forward. So you can just appreciate the levels as you jump around and get to the end of the game. I’d have appreciated a few more hours of content to really make this one last but at the very least you can’t say that they wanted to pad things out. The game does what it wants and then just ends after that. No dragging things out or just going on to keep going on and I can respect that.

Overall 7/10

Tiger & Bunny Comic Anthology Review

Tiger & Bunny have returned but this is definitely their weakest outing. It’s not too surprising though because when you think about it, Anthologies always put you in a tough spot. You either have a story that’s really good so you’re annoyed when it doesn’t get to continue or you get a bad story that you want to finish already. It means that win or lose you are always thinking about the next story and that’s not the right way to go. On the whole the Tiger & Bunny cast is hardly one of the strongest either so a series of comedic tales for them would have a tough time landing anyway.

The 4 volume series is basically just a bunch of little stories about the heroes during downtime. It’s like the events in between the usual action scenes that you would have during the main stories. So we see how they all interact and each of their personalities are dialed up to 11 for the comedic antics. In general the idea of seeing the everyday life of the characters is fun and I’d like to see a spinoff like that for a bunch of big Shonen Jump titles but the main Tiger & Bunny show already does that.

Between the big arcs you always have the smaller adventures where they just have fun the whole time. So this isn’t really novel in that sense. Then as far as the comedy goes, the writing isn’t amazing or anything like that. You’ll have some funny stories but most of them aren’t all that funny and it boils down to the characters not being funny enough on their own. The jokes with Origami, Fire Emblem, and Bison don’t really work right out of the gate and those are 3 fairly big characters.

Blue Rose’s stories mainly revolve around Tiger and there are only so many ways you can do that one. So they are good but after a while you will notice some repetition there. I like it when Tiger is oblivious as that really fits his character and doesn’t even come across as forced the way that some of the others are. Dragon Kid and the King of Heroes probably could have had some fun stories but surprisingly they are given the shaft most of the time. I like to see them though and focusing on these two would have been a good idea for the series.

The artwork also changes a whole lot depending on the story. As a whole I would put the art below average though. It doesn’t feel like this would be the best work for any of the artists as they’re going in to do a story but you don’t see a whole lot of detail outside of that. I suppose the chibi stories are distinctive but as a whole you won’t be impressed here either. At least you can always follow along with what’s happening but as a non action title it’s not like that’s super hard anyway.

It may seem like there’s not a whole lot positive to say about this one but that’s because aside from being a filler where you get to see some wacky adventures, there isn’t much of a purpose to the collection. In fact it would be hard for me to even go into long detail about the collection compared to most other titles because there isn’t a main story or anything. It’s a bunch of short stories but ones that are so short there isn’t much to dissect in them. So this is very much a collection that you read but by the end you’re just not impressed. I think they would have been better off doing one shot volumes for various characters as spinoffs to expand the universe. That could have been more fun.

Or if you want to do a fun slice of life adventure then go all the way. I’m talking about a serious heart to heart adventure series where you have the characters just talking about things and maybe having a small adventure along the way. Season 2 did that after all and while it wasn’t my favorite adventures, at least they gave it a real effort. So forget the small anthology format and just go about it with this. Tiger & Bunny have fun banter in the show and you could certainly replicate that here. Not as a gag or anything like that but as a serious emotional story. It could work really well I’d think and is at least worth a shot over this.

If you’re going to do a comedic gag type anthology like this then the writing has to be exceptional. Unfortunately that just doesn’t happen here and it’s a lot easier said than done. It’s incredibly hard to be consistently funny, especially when you are trying to be. It’s why a lot of the funnier scenes in media tend to come from titles that aren’t even comedies because you can take your time and think of a great joke instead of stuffing 50 in and calling it a day as you hope that a few of them will land. I wouldn’t say any of the jokes in the manga really land all that well, at least not to the point of laughing while the TV show will actually have some good gags thrown in there.

Overall, I’d say you’re better off watching the show, movie, or reading the main manga over this one. The appeal would really be to Tiger & Bunny fans but with everyone basically out of character half the time or just exaggerated it misses out on actually giving you the fun day to day experience you were hoping for. It misses the boat and so you could read this one but there isn’t much reason too. I would just say to give it a skip altogether and there is no shortage of T&B titles to check out anyway so you’re good to go there.

Overall 4/10

Jonathan Kent vs Mockingbird

This is a tribute to Battle of the Super Sons. Jonathan Kent has powers which should keep on getting more and more powerful as he develops. Mockingbird has already reached the peak of her power which is a bad sign since that means the gap will only continue to grow from this point on. She just isn’t going to be able to keep up with his speed or power so ultimately that puts her in a rough state right from the jump. This fight isn’t a winnable one. Jonathan Kent wins.

Geeta vs Leon (Pokemon)

Geeta is the top champion in the Paldea region and so it stands to reason that she is one of the most powerful trainers on the planet. Well, be that as it may she is not going to be doing a whole lot against Leon. She wasn’t very impressive in the new Scarlet game while Leon is coming off one of the best showcases a character can have in a tournament. His Charizard should be able to clean up shop here and this fight won’t be very difficult for him. Leon (Pokemon) wins.

Call of the Night

Vampires? Yeah it’s always hard to make a really good adventure revolving around that element and this title is no exception. We’ve got the usual blood sucking here but additionally there aren’t a lot of hype characters to try and counter this. The main guy/heroine definitely aren’t particularly likable yet. If you have an excellent plot like Records of a Fallen Vampire then perhaps you can make it but otherwise you’re in for a tough time. If we start getting a bunch of action scenes then this title may end up improving but for now it feels like it won’t be able to get beyond the premise. I’ll have a review for the series up once I’ve completed it.

Overall 2/10

Support Your Local Gunfighter Review

It’s time to continue the support series but this one is a decisive step down from the first one. It’s still a good movie and perhaps if the first one did not exist then it would have been great but the whole time you just feel like this one loses on every front. The main character is a massive step down but even the jokes aren’t quite as funny. The movie is just a bit more on the desperate side and could have used some more time on the writing table to really nail down. Still, if you want a film with some funny moments then you should still have a good time here.

The movie starts off with Latigo deciding that he wants to escape a train before he can become married to Goldie. The guy really doesn’t want to get married so you have to figure that Goldie is either mean or just too much for him. It’s just not easy to sympathize with the guy because it seems like he was super drunk and did make it seem like he was interested in her. In fact it seems like he is a huge flirt the whole time and it even known for this so it’s a horrible look for the guy. Well either way he escapes and heads to a nearby town where he pulls the moves on the owner Miss Jenny who likes him too now. There’s also a girl there named Patience who likes him so Latigo is having his fun.

It’s not all fun and games though as there is a big war going on between Taylor and Ames as there always seems to be in wild west country. Latigo figures he’ll make a lot of money and mess with them. One thing leads to another and he gets a guy named Jug to pretend to be the world’s greatest marksman, Swifty. Now nobody will want to mess with them but if the real Swifty shows up then it’ll all be over. There is no coming back from that, it would be game over. Still Latigo can take the money and split right? Well, he is also a gambling addict and can’t help but put all of his money in the tables. Ah great….

You can see why I can’t sympathize with the guy. Far as I’m concerned he’s basically an antagonist here. He digs himself into these holes and would not be in so much trouble if he would stop flirting and getting drunk. The fact that he makes no move to get away from these bad habits just shows that he isn’t trying to improve. He actually does seem to be good with a gun but they don’t go into that in the film much. He constantly tells Jug that he’s no good and is very slow but the film seemed to be hinting that he was only doing that to try and protect Jug. So you’re waiting for him to end up getting some kind of big fight in the climax and yet…it doesn’t happen. So what was that build up for?

Not saying it would have absolutely saved his character or anything like that but it would have been something right? Give me a reason to root for the guy a bit. Even with the gambling it’s annoying because he’s constantly talking about what a scam it is and then he falls for it anyway. The man has no willpower and then succumbs immediately. That’s not a good combination no matter how you slice it. The gambling scenes are pretty intense at least so that’s a start.

Goldie and Miss Jenny don’t make for great characters either. Jenny fell for his emotional story way too quickly and for Goldie I don’t see why she would still want to be with him when Latigo is always running away from her. Even if she were to claim him, wouldn’t that not be very satisfying knowing that he always wants to leave? Seems like it would be a waste to me at least and that’s part of why the romance here is very weak.

Latigo’s partner Jug can be decent at times at least. I wouldn’t say that he’s very likable either and he’s the classic character who is strong but not very smart. At least what I do give him credit for here is that he doesn’t back down from a fight and is ready to go in. He may not be smart but at least he doesn’t run away so easily. The two big villains Taylor and Ames are really forgettable though. Even though their war is a main plot element the whole film, you will find yourself struggling to care the whole time. It’s just not a very interesting story.

I did like the true villain Swifty though. When he shows up the characters have to take note because he has the skills to take the whole town down should he feel the urge. I would have definitely handled the climax a whole lot differently though. It makes for a decent comedic burst I guess but in this case playing the climax straight actually would have been a whole lot more effective. The ending would have been more satisfying and so the film would have benefitted as a whole.

Overall, This film is just not super funny for being a comedy and that is what hurts it here. At the end of the day you need to be funny and be funny consistently. That is the trick for making a really good comedy film. It’s just funny enough where you will have a good time either way but the lackluster characters and underwhelming climax will take away a lot of the replay value that it could have had. I’d recommend giving it a watch if you like westerns and/or comedies but you probably won’t be going for the rewatch. Just the initial viewing will be enough for you to get the full experience and then keep it moving. Still a shame that they didn’t make more movies like this though. I think there would have been a lot of potential to make several parody type films like this. When executed well you can picture just about any kind of profession working in this style.

Overall 6/10