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Creed II Review

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It’s time to look at the new Creed film. While boxing movies may have never become a huge genre, it was always one where you could immediately think of 5 films. That’s because the Rocky series exists. It set a really high bar for the genre so then when it left you couldn’t help but miss it. When the first Creed film came out it worked as a nice sequel to the franchise. Now we could finally see a whole new generation of fights. While I believe the first film holds the slight edge, this movie does a good job of staying on the same level and certainly delivers with the fights.

The movie starts with Adonis claiming the heavyweight title from another guy. He is now the world champ and has begun to settle into his role as a master. He and Bianca are starting a family and things are going well until Viktor shows up. He is the son of Ivan Drago, the guy who murdered Adonis’ father. Naturally Adonis has a hard time trying to refuse Viktor’s challenge and decides to get into the ring once more. The problem is that Adonis is a quick fighter, but his hits don’t land a lot of damage. If he isn’t careful then it’s going to be all over. He has nothing to gain while Viktor has nothing to lose.

From the start of the film’s trailers and plot summaries I was a bit dubious about Adonis’ decision to fight. Of course it’s all very personal to him of course and he brings up the fact that Rocky essentially did the same thing, but it was a little different. In Rocky’s defense, Ivan murdered Apollo right in front of him so he had to get in there and avenge him. In this case, it’s all behind Adonis, but he just wants to prove that he can win where Apollo did not. Adonis can bring honor back into his family name. He trains and everything so it’s not like he walks into the match blind, but I do think it certainly wasn’t a great call on his part. If you gotta take the fight then take it, but don’t block everyone out in the mean time. Adonis even pushes Bianca away for a while during this period.

By the end of the film Adonis has realized once more what is really important and effectively ends his character arc..until the sequel. While he may have had a few rough patches I would still say that he is a pretty solid main character to root for. Meanwhile Bianca has her music plot although it doesn’t get a whole lot of screen time in this installment. From what is shown we can tell that Bianca is doing quite well though. I’m glad the film didn’t try to go for the “Adonis is jealous” route here as that would have been petty. Adonis is certainly not that kind of character. Bianca’s definitely a solid heroine and it looks like her career will keep going on in the next film as well. I don’t know how long the shelf life for a boxer is but there’s a good chance she will outlast him.

Viktor is the main villain here and he definitely looks a lot stronger than the guy from the last film. In fact, the film makes him look so powerful that you may have a tough time believing that Adonis can hold his own at all. The guy is just way too strong and Adonis’ hits don’t have nearly as much weight. There’s not much to Viktor aside from being the villain here, but I’d say that this works pretty well. All you really need to know about Viktor is that he wants to win to please his father so naturally his drive is very strong. At the same time he definitely fights dirty so I don’t think you will be forgetting that he is the villain anytime soon.

Rocky still serves as the main mentor role here and does a good job in it. His fighting days are certainly gone, but he’s still an excellent coach because of his experience both in and out of the ring. Since he overcame the health problems in the first film they aren’t a concern this time around. While it would be nice to see him fight as a homage to the old films it isn’t all that realistic because of how old he is. When Ivan shows up you get the feeling that the guy can still fight, but Rocky is certainly not in a condition to do so. He still gets the good one liners in though. Meanwhile Ivan is a pretty solid villain like Viktor. His only failing I’d say is that the guy puts way too much stock in trying to impress the Russians. He really shouldn’t care after they abandoned him. I suppose his national pride blinded the guy until the end.

Sort of a side note, but it was nice to see Max here. He’s always pretty fun on ESPN First Take so seeing him here was pretty surreal. If anything it made the boxing matches feel a lot more realistic and legit here compared to previous films. The movie does a good job of making you feel every blow. You can instantly tell which shots had glancing damage and which ones really made the character feel it. For the big comeback punches you’ll have the slow-mo feature at the ready. I’m sure that a big reason why you will be watching this film at the end of the day is for the fights so they do deliver.

As for the soundtrack, that one is definitely a step below the classic Rocky films. The new tracks just aren’t nearly as inspirational. They don’t make you feel like it’s time for the hero to take down the opponents and save the day. They may be fast paced tunes, but I can’t say that the lyrics seem all that great. Even the script can be a bit weaker than the old films as it has a bit more language. Nothing too bad, but still just enough that it can be a bit noticeable.

If there is any other weak aspect of the film it is definitely the romance. It did take up quite a bit of time and I think the first film already had that plot completed. The extra drama we got here could feel forced at times. It seems to be resolved though so I’m assuming that for the third film it won’t really be a factor. I’m still wondering what that film will be about, but I’m betting that somebody arrives to challenge Adonis. It would just make sense right?

Overall, Creed II is a solid boxing movie and works as a good sequel to the first Creed. It’s got everything you would want to see in this film. It’s reasonably long with solid pacing so it never feels like it is being dragged out. The main cast of characters are all rather solid. If the film intends to redeem Ivan and Viktor by the end I have to say that they still have a lot of work to do. I still consider both to be villains. While Adonis may not have looked quite as good as in the first film I think he’ll be back at his best for the third film. I hope they get Max to sign on for the third film as well since his insight is always appreciated. Of course, throwing in Skip Bayless or Stephen A. Smith would also be exciting. If you haven’t seen this film yet then I would definitely recommend doing so.

Overall 7/10

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Meitantei Conan: Hannin No Hanzawa-San

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Conan’s got himself a new spinoff. Having the main character be one of the villains is definitely a fairly unique idea. We’ll see if it pays off for the series or if it’ll end up jumping over the shark here. One thing’s for sure, I’ll have the review up once the series ends.

Overall 7/10

Scooby Doo Team Up Volume 5 Review

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It’s time to look at another volume of the Scooby Doo Team Up series. With a lot of the bigger heroes already accounted for this volume mostly focuses on the less known heroes. That being said, these guys are mainly household names, but just not in the same league as the big 7. As always it’s a fun collection with a lot of fun moments and good pacing. By now you will likely know if this series is your style or not, but I’d definitely recommend it.

The first story has Green Arrow and Green Lantern show up. They have been travelling across America trying to find out what the true nature of the country is. Unfortunately their findings have not been all that positive as of yet and they believe that things aren’t going well for the country. Fortunately the Mystery Inc is here to solve a case and along the way they will remind the heroes that there is always hope. Can this band of adventurers and heroes really help this village visit the outside world though? Yes, part of the plot is that a group of people have secluded themselves in a little village and refuse to go to the outside world but now they are being haunted.

It’s a good first story although the whole thing is definitely a little odd. First off, Green Arrow is just really out of character here. He’s constantly being a pessimist and can’t stop thinking about politics. I also wasn’t crazy about the resolution of the story here. Basically the ghosts were the kids of these people who were trying to scare them into going back to town. The reason is that they moved away but are now lonely without their parents. I mean…they could just visit the parents right? It seems like they wanted everything to go their way and it is never necessarily pointed out that this is the wrong approach. The kids just seemed very entitled.

Then we have a crossover with a Kung Fu dog that I’ve never heard of. Essentially the gang are being attacked by fire breathing dragons who know Kung Fu. Scooby Doo and the gang are usually prepared for anything, but for once they have met their match. That’s why calling in the dog made sense, but unfortunately he doesn’t know how to fight and the Kung Fu was all a sham. I feel bad for fans of this character. Fortunately Daphne knows how to fight which ultimately helps the team make it through this adventure. It’s a reasonable comic although I can’t say that I’m a big fan of the dog. If he can’t really fight then I don’t see how he will be able to help anyone.

A pretty fun story features a bunch of obscure groups. They solve mysteries under the sea, in space, etc. All of the groups have similar costumes and egos. This one is pretty strong because the group ends up insulting the Mystery Inc’s effectiveness so naturally this starts a rivalry. Even if this should be pretty lopsided in favor of the team that can actually fight I always like to see the Mystery Inc talk tough. Fred certainly doesn’t back down from a challenge. If Shaggy and Scooby weren’t constantly embarrassing the team I’m sure their rep would be even better than it currently is. By the end the group managed to pull their own weight though and it was fun seeing all of the obscure DC teams. They all seemed pretty likable and I wouldn’t mind seeing more of them.

Typically in all of these stories the heroes are teaming up with DC fighters who are much stronger and better equipped to handle a situation. This next story is the first exception to that. There are a group of alley cats who are always causing trouble. This time they have pretended to make a ghost to scare off the cops. Fortunately this cop is pretty smart and calls in the main characters. They decide to solve the case which puts the cats in a pretty bad spot. Things get worse when the Real Estate agents show up to make a mess of the situation. It’s pretty nice to see Fred and the gang get to tackle some actual ghosts here since that’s their area of expertise. You could argue that they controlled the pace and tempo of this case.

Then we’ve got a story that takes place in the distant past. It turns out that there was an original Mystery Inc who worked in the Wild West. They were called in to deal with a monster, but there is also a fugitive of the law in this place who is being hunted by Cinnamon and Jonah Hex. The guy seems innocent though so the Mystery Inc may have to step in. It’s certainly interesting to see the group operating in the past even if it may seem like a bit of a stretch. I suppose it’s the only way they could team up with someone like Jonah Hex though so it’ll have to do. I’ve never heard of Cinnamon, but it’s hard to tell if she’s real or fake. I’m personally thinking that it may be the latter.

Plasticman also shows up. His sidekick was tricked by a fortune teller into thinking that his days are numbered so naturally he is spooked. Fred and the gang don’t believe that the magic was real since they don’t believe in the supernatural but as bad things continue to happen Shaggy and Scooby lose their nerve once more. It’s a fun enough story and I suppose it’s good for some of the guest stars to be spooked so it’s not always Shaggy and Scooby making their group look bad. Plasticman’s abilities are also pretty useful when he uses them right which the comic has him do.

The art is pretty good for all of the comics and is part of what makes the collection so fun to read. The art is very streamlined and everyone has their iconic designs. You can glance at a page and instantly know what is happening. The art is very clear and the colors are vibrant. Each issue has good pacing and writing within so that each story is able to be told without feeling rushed. As the collection contains 5-7 comics it’s also a pretty good value. I hope to see many more Scooby Doo Team Up volumes.

Overall, Scooby Doo Team Up is a fun series. It’s a nice crossover series that gets to put the Mystery Inc in a lot of crazy situations. While they may not always be very well equipped to handle a situation you always have to give them credit for trying. These issues could easily work as normal episodes in the show which is probably the whole point. It shows that the comic writers know what they are doing here. If you haven’t checked this volume/series out then I definitely recommend fixing that. Everything is basically on point here.

Overall 7/10

Shy Guy vs Pichu




Suggested by Destroyer Shy Guy is a pretty formidable Mario character, but he won’t really be able to keep up with Pichu’s speed. Pichu has destructive power and abilities that Shy Guy can only dream of. How can he hope to stop such a threat? Maybe if losing his mask gives Shy Guy super powers that could help, but until we see precisely what those abilities entail I’m afraid that he will have a difficult road up ahead. Pichu wins.

Petey Piranha vs Piranha Plant


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Suggested by Sonic Petey Piranha is a pretty powerful Mario villain and I’m actually surprised that he had not fought on the blog prior to this as all of the other Piranhas had. (Dino Piranha, Piranha Plant, Peewee Piranha, etc) Piranha Plant is a tough fighter and all, but he’s definitely not quite in the same league as Petey Piranha. Petey can swing his cages with immense power and also has a lot of durability. There’s no way a normal plant can stop him. Petey Piranha wins.

The Odd Couple Review

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It’s time to look at the original Odd Couple film. The TV show was always pretty fun but how would the movie fare in comparison? Naturally you aren’t going to go in expecting it to beat the actual show but if it could still be a fun adventure and work as an episode then that would be a success. I can safely say that this was a pretty fun movie. It’s definitely aged well and the concept is timeless.

The film starts off with Oscar having a card game with his buddies as per their weekly routine. Initially I actually thought that one of the friends was actually Oscar since he was certainly pretty confident in his chair and smoking to boot. They’re all having a good time until they realize that Felix has been out a while and may be trying to destroy himself. Fortunately that guy managed to pull his back so now he was unable to do it and makes it back home. Oscar realizes that Felix can’t be by himself for a while so he suggests that Felix moves in and then they will be roommates. Felix agrees and so their story begins. However, Felix may prove to be a bit more of a handful than Oscar ever could have imagined.

Right away you may be on team Oscar here as he was willing to make a pretty big change in his life just to help Felix. He was perfectly content living by himself and only did this because Felix still seemed to be a bit crazy. He’s also quite patient with Felix’s antics. Felix chases off all of Oscar’s friends, makes him miss the big moment in a Baseball game, is embarrassingly loud at restaurants, cries a lot, etc. Oscar is able to look past this since he does want to be a good friend. Oscar’s not perfect and he’s certainly not the cleanest guy around, but he always seems pretty reasonable.

Then we’ve got Felix. He’s a lot harder to sympathize with since Felix ends up taking everything too seriously and just makes things way too difficult for Oscar. Some things just feel deliberate like his allergies. Even if his method is effective, he just comes across as too socially insensitive. Felix either doesn’t realize that half of the things he does are so extreme or he doesn’t care. Both options don’t really help his case all that much. So when the two characters inevitably fight and Felix thinks about moving out you have to admit that it’s the right call. If the bridge can’t be mended then at the end of the day it is still Oscar’s place and he can make living there pretty uncomfortable for Felix.

The film goes at a pretty good pace. Some scenes may be a little long like the opening where the main characters think that Felix might die though. It went on for such a large chunk that I was wondering if the film’s main story was going to include those friends the whole time. It’s a fun scene all around though so maybe the length was necessary to ensure the writers could throw all of the jokes in there. I wouldn’t have minded seeing more of the friends really. They seemed decently nice even if they were on the completely opposite side of Oscar in how tolerant they were of Felix. They didn’t even give him a chance.

I’d say that the writing is pretty solid as well. The characters are mostly reasonable and the contrast between Oscar and Felix is depicted well. You can almost instantly see how the dynamic will play out because the two characters’ traits can be guessed as soon as they appear. If there is a weak point in the movie it would have to be the part with the Pigeon sisters. They aren’t all that entertaining and are probably the most exaggerated characters. They laugh at everything and seem like rather odd neighbors for sure. the “romance” angle here is mostly just used for comedy as you know Oscar has no shot as long as Felix is around. While the scene does give Oscar a big reason to finally leave Felix for good it could have been done another way.

The climax is also why Felix certainly couldn’t end up being a good character for me. Timid or not, he totally deserted Oscar there when the main character needed him the most. When you start something you gotta see it through and Felix did not. As a result he basically betrayed Oscar. This gets even worse in the ending where we find out who he ran to while making everyone else worry. Felix is a humorous character so I’ll give him that. The guy has his moments, but when the chips are down he is someone that you absolutely cannot count on. He will let you down every time.

As far as the soundtrack goes there is really one big theme, but it has certainly gotten iconic over the years. The TV show remixed it a bit, but if you’ve seen the show you will still recognize the theme as soon as it shows up. It’s a pretty good slice of life theme and adds some atmosphere to the first scene of the movie. Based on the beginning you actually may get the wrong idea about the genre for a little while which is nice. The film did a good job with the misdirect there which really started the film off on a good note.

Overall, The Odd Couple is a pretty fun film. The jokes are well delivered and the dynamic between the main characters works well for this kind of plot. Oscar is definitely the guy I was rooting for as his more laid back approach just makes him a lot easier to get along with. Still, Felix isn’t as bad as he could have been as with these kinds of films one character usually ends up being super unreasonable. Felix doesn’t falter much until the end of the film. If you haven’t seen this film yet then I’d recommend checking it out. It’s just a pretty balanced movie that makes for a good watch.

Overall 7/10

Guyver vs Misty Knight


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Suggested by Anonymous Guyver has returned once more and now he is up against the skilled Misty Knight. Misty has a robotic arm which does amp up her strength. However, that will make it even clearer to her why she can’t win this fight. Guyver is covered with armor and can take any of her hits. Meanwhile her durability still isn’t any better than a normal human’s so one good hit will really seal the deal here. It’s over for her. Guyver wins.

Jar Jar Binks vs Guyver


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Suggested by Anonymous Jar Jar Binks finally makes his debut onto the blog. This guy was never really much of a fan favorite, but I suppose he has his charms. That won’t be enough to do anything of real consequence against Guyver though. Guyver is a pretty powerful fighter who also has speed which makes him a balanced opponent. None of Jar Jar’s tricks will be of any use against him and Guyver will barely be able to even enjoy the match before it’s over. Guyver wins.

Yamcha vs Slade




Suggested by iKnowledge Yamcha is back and now it’s time for him to teach Slade a thing or two. Slade’s a good fighter and a quick learner so he will quickly realize that he is outmatched here. Yamcha is so strong that he was even able to go up against a Saibaman. It may not have ended all that well for him, but the important thing is that he is always improving. I wouldn’t be surprised if this match ends in an instant. Yamcha wins.

Yamcha vs Ulik



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Suggested by iKnowledge Ulik is a pretty powerful guy. His hits would even shatter a mountain if given the chance. However, Ulik is up against a casual planet buster in the form of Yamcha. Yamcha’s Wolf Fist is also very fast and one hit would instantly destroy Ulik. When you’re up against an opponent who is both faster and stronger than you there really aren’t a whole lot of options at your disposal. I’m afraid that Ulik will not be able to find his way out of this situation and will quickly be defeated. Yamcha wins.