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The Prisoner of Second Avenue Review


It’s time to look at a fairly old black comedy film. It’s one of those films that has a pretty solid premise and starts out good. Then the film unfortunately falls off the deep end and never quite managed to recover. You sort of know where the movie is going with this before it gets there and it’s not the direction it should have gone. The film just isn’t all that satisfying and at the end of the day the characters do end up being prisoners of second avenue.

The film starts off with Mel losing his job. It had been a steady job that he had for many years, but that is all over now. Adding to his woes is the fact that someone broke into his house and stole all the clothes, money, and items. His wife Edna is distraught as well, but she manages to keep herself together. She even gets a job to support them while Mel looks for one. The problem is that Mel can’t seem to find a job anywhere and so naturally he gets jealous of Edna’s success. Mel decides to guilt trip Edna about this every waking minute and quickly loses his mind entirely. Edna will have to do what she can to bring him back from insanity, but can she pull this off?

Mel is really what drags the film down here. A lot of unfortunate stuff happen to him for sure, but his reaction to all of it certainly isn’t all that good. I think him losing his mind goes a little too far. It gets to the point where he starts swinging a knife around and yelling about global conspiracies. It stops being funny pretty quickly and just goes into being very tedious/annoying. I couldn’t wait for him to finally get past this. It happens when he mugs someone on the street and steals his wallet.

That’s when the film decides to double down by having Edna lose her mind. It’s the film’s way of trying to say that anyone can and will snap once they lose their job. It really undermines how hard Edna worked to keep the family stable the whole time. Couldn’t she have at least gotten her win here? By the end the message is that Mel will once again support them, but Edna had been doing pretty good on her own. A better ending would have been for her to have kept her job with Mel just learning to accept this. As it stands, he didn’t learn to accept anything. Things just finally went his way and he decided to stop sulking. Edna cracking the way she did felt extremely forced and unnecessary.

This movie is at its best when it’s just poking fun at everyone and embracing its comedic elements. For example, Mel’s relatives were handled pretty well. They naturally want to see him get well, but aren’t about to throw their life’s savings at him. In their defense, paying 20,000 to start a summer camp where he would be the head sounds like a terrible idea. This guy’s insane, how can he be around kids? I don’t think it would do him a whole lot of good either. Then the psychologist they got him seems like a scammer who rushes out of the room as soon as the paid hour is up. He doesn’t care about Mel’s problems in the slightest.

Maybe Mel’s plot would have been better if we were ever given a reason to care about him, but he has a sour attitude from the start. He complains about literally everything and just never stops. Rather than seeing the silver lining in a situation he always seeks out the small rip in what’s good. Nothing ever works out for him because he doesn’t see the good in things. Take his vacation to his brother’s place. Mel spends the whole time complaining and trying to leave. He never gave them a chance.

It’s almost ironic that you will probably be rooting for the neighbors in all of their encounters during this film. Mel picks fights with the guys above him and the girls next door. In both cases I would argue that they’re in the right while he’s in the wrong. The girls are just trying to have a good time and they weren’t all that loud as evidenced by the fact that Edna couldn’t hear them. You have to make an effort to be annoyed. Then the neighbors upstairs have little kids who are trying to sleep so having Mel yelling at the top of his lungs late at night is naturally upsetting. They were just trying to cool him off by dunking him with the ice water. It may be a bit drastic, but Mel certainly started it.

The fast paced dialogue is definitely the film’s strength. We do get a lot of witty moments and as I mentioned the humor is quite good when it is trying. Just the sheer fact that the apartment is so run down is a great source for many jokes and such. It’s also good to see New York City from back in the day and how so much has changed and yet so much is the same. It always makes for a good backdrop for any film.

Overall, This movie was pretty fun at times. For the most part it’s a humorous adventure. It just begins to take itself too seriously once Mel goes crazy and never truly recovers from that. Those scenes are just painful to watch and Edna should have been able to have gotten a win at the end. Instead she goes down with Mel and by the end none of them really have their dignity left. I was also expecting them to get more of a win with the shovel once it started snowing, but then the film ends abruptly. In my head canon the neighbors basically won this round since they did blast Mel twice.

Overall 5/10

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My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Mirror Magic Review


It’s time to look at the big climax to the trilogy! The Mane 7 have gone to the theater to see how the film went. Naturally it was quite good, possibly the best film they ever saw. The heroes are pretty nice people so they don’t want to make a big deal of this, but then they see that Juniper is working here and decide to pay her a visit. After trying to sabotage the film, Juniper was fired and forced to work as a sweeper at the theater. The Mane 7 remind her of this and let her know that it’s what she deserves. Juniper decides to get back at the heroes and finds a mirror. With it she can throw people into other dimensions and even finish her chores quicker. She slowly begins to use this mirror more and more until she is completely hooked on it. Now she does not want to ever turn away from it. Why should she when this grants her super abilities?

Sunset realizes that she’s going to need pony power for this one and calls up Starlight Glimmer. Together they can succeed where the Equestria Girls failed. Juniper may have magical abilities, but the heroes have the power of friendship on their side! The big battle between good and evil starts here and it will definitely ensure that you never look at the characters the same way again. It was nice to see Juniper get a super form here as the other specials had been pretty down to Earth. Seeing the characters go cosmic again was definitely a blast.

Meanwhile, Juniper is a pretty fun villain here like in the other special. I do think that it’s basically impossible to sympathize with her at all. Considering how many crimes she committed in the last special, you’d think that she would be incredibly grateful to be working anywhere right? Instead she spends this time griping the whole while. She’s clearly very bitter about everything and hasn’t learned a thing in her exile. By the end we find out that she just wanted friends, but I’m not sure that I buy this. There was certainly no indication that this was the case until the very end. I think the heroes basically tricked her into believing that this was the case.

I do think Starlight Glimmer was pretty out of character here though. This seems to be the case a lot of the time when the Ponies show up in Equestria Girls though. Starlight acts like a complete beginner here. She isn’t very powerful or confident which isn’t like her. She gives some advice here and there, but spends most of the time just staying in the background. She could have been cut out of the film and nothing would have changed. That’s my main problem with the whole thing. Starlight should have been brought in to have a big fight with Juniper or something. Otherwise why even show up? Still, at least we finally got the big meeting between the two characters even if it was handled poorly.

All told, this trilogy ended on a pretty high note. The writing was good and the special’s short length really allows for the action to start up right away. I still say that Starlight was misused here, but you can’t win them all I suppose. The mirror was a good piece of tech so hopefully it shows up again. It could easily be used for a bunch of different plots which would certainly be fun.

Overall,, I have finally finished all of the Magic specials. With this I am one step closer to catching up with the MLP series. That will certainly be a pretty big milestone. If you haven’t seen these specials yet then you should do so. All 3 of them combined are barely an hour so you really can’t go wrong there. The low key best character of this is probably still Juniper’s uncle. the guy really did his best to help her turn over a new leaf. It’s just a shame that she persisted in staying with the darkness. At least now that she’s friends with the MLP characters she’ll have positive influences. (Provided they remember to check up on her from time to time)

Overall 7/10

My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Movie Magic Review


It’s time to look at the next installment in the Magic trilogy. The heroes have arrived on the set of a Daring Do movie and are looking forward to seeing it be made first hand. As Rainbow Dash is a big fan she is determined to help the crew do it right. Unfortunately a ghost has been scaring people off the set and now even the props for the movie have vanished. Without those the movie will have to be put on indefinite hold. Dash can’t have that and so she decides that the group will find this ghost. She even brought along her super speed amulet so she can take this villain down a few pegs. Still, will that be enough to defeat an actual ghost?

This really plays out like a classic Scooby Doo film. It’s pretty neat to see how the MLP crew would handle such a task. Of course, it is a bit obvious who the culprit is from the start. I think the one area where the special made a mistake is in only having a small cast around. From those characters only 2 of them feel like actual suspects. You have a spoiled actress who keeps saying that she wants out of this film and then you have a movie attendant who really loves being in the film business. Hmmmm, who’s the likely culprit? Well, the actress would be the obvious guess since she doesn’t like the movie, but through that you know who is actually guilty. Still, even if you know who it is the actual mystery is still pretty fun.

I do think it was a bit of a stretch how the villain outran Rainbow Dash though and then captured her. Rainbow Dash isn’t a normal human like the rest of these characters, she has actual super speed? The whole thing felt like plot hax to be honest. Still, it did add a little sense of danger which is always good though. The team’s plan to capture the villain was also pretty well thought out. It just goes to show that the ponies have brainpower as well as brawn.

The ending was handled pretty well as the villain starts to go through the motions of pretending to turn over a new leaf and all of that. The director doesn’t buy into it and wants the person off the set. This time the culprit basically gets off with a slap on the wrist, but I guess it makes sense since this character is likely still a minor and as such can’t do a whole lot of hard time anyway. She’s banned from the set and that’s really all you could ask for.

From what we saw it looks like the Daring Do film will be a riveting success. I was half expecting the actual Daring Do to show up, but I guess she could have ended up stealing the show. Surprisingly there aren’t any real songs here, but I suppose maybe that would have been out of place with the whole mystery angle going on. I’d say that the first special beat this one as a result, but Movie Magic certainly did have a little more danger and suspense in the plot so it was pretty close. There’s not much to say about the graphics as they are effectively the same as in the first special.

Overall, Movie Magic is a good follow up to the first special. The main characters are a pretty close knit team by this point so it’s nice to see them making plans and such to catch the enemy. The villain was also fairly memorable and made for a good antagonist. I’ll talk more about her in the final special review. The 2nd special in a trilogy is usually more for set up than anything else and that’s exactly the case here. The third special is where everything finally connects and we learn who is really pulling the strings here. Lets just say that everything has been leading up to this moment.

Overall 7/10

My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Dance Magic Review


It’s time to look at the first of 3 Equestria Girl shorts. Initially I was going to review the 3 specials as one post as some sites seem to list it as season 1 episodes 1-3, but at the same time it’s hard to find an actual title for what that series would be. It sort of tows the line between being 3 separate specials and a quick miniseries. To make it simple I figured I would just treat it as 3 quick specials. As such these reviews will be a bit smaller since it’s like reviewing an episode.

In this special, the Mane 7 are trying to earn some money to repair Camp Everfree after the events of the film. Unfortunately things are not going very well on this front. The group has not made a lot of money and the deadline is almost here. That’s when Rarity has the idea of entering a Dance competition where the grand prize would give them all the money they need. The risk is that the entry fee will clean them out so they either win it all or lose everything. The rest of the MLP members reluctantly agree to this. Rarity is confident that they will win, but another wrinkle is thrown into the plan when a group of rival classmates steal Rarity’s idea for the show. With only minutes remaining, can Rarity think of a way to still claim first place?

This plot has been used before in the main series where some characters stole Rarity’s ideas as well. As she has the mark of generosity that makes her a very easy target for hooligans like this. It can be a bit annoying to see Rarity so oblivious, but this is why she isn’t the leader of the team. You can bet that this wouldn’t have worked on Sunset Shimmer or Starlight Glimmer. It’s a good conflict here as the heroes can naturally go and beat these kids up with their super powers or they can make the heroic call and let them be. I’d at least report them, but it’s your word vs theirs which makes things fishy.

Alas, this special isn’t really about big conflicts and such. The heroes decide to help the bullies out anyway since they were so desperate. It turns out that these students weren’t so bad after all and all of that. It’s a bit hard to swallow of course, but I suppose it is what it is. The Mane 7 have always been pretty good at forgiving people so it’s not exactly surprising that it would play out this way. I do think Sunset was ready to fight if necessary though which is why she’s such a good character.

This was a good way to start off the trilogy as we got some good musical beats during the dances. The special had a lot of energy throughout and had good writing. The animation looks pretty similar to the movies although naturally it’s not quite as detailed. It’s bright and colorful which is the important thing. I’d compare the animation to Rescue Bots or something of that nature. It won’t be winning any awards, but it’s not bad either.

From the villains, Sugarcoat is annoying though. She’s not grateful in the slightest and is quick to mock the heroes even once they are all on the same side. She seems to think that she is a little better than everyone else and her arrogance is unwarranted. Look, I’m all for arrogant characters, but if you just got saved by someone in this contest you probably shouldn’t be talking tough for a while. The others may have also started out as villains, but at least they knew to stay quiet once the Mane 7 had pity on them.

Overall, Dance Magic shows that it’s good to be kind, but you also have to be ready for all of the cheaters in the world. They aren’t going to just let you get past without a fight. It’s one thing to help someone out if they seem nervous, but if you’re in a competition you shouldn’t show off your routine before you have it securely patented and registered. Rarity taught us these valuable life lessons. If you haven’t seen this special yet then I’d recommend changing that. It’s pretty fun and easily works as an episode in the series.

Overall 7/10

Tecmo Bowl Review


It’s time to look at a retro Football game that I got to play courtesy of Nintendo’s Switch online catalog. It’s definitely a pretty good bargain I must admit. You just can’t go wrong with something like this. The game is effectively free and so it’s a nice blast to the past. It’s a pretty fun game and reminds me of Backyard Football although the controls aren’t quite as precise. It’s naturally no Madden, but it’ll give you some reasonable entertainment for a little while.

Naturally you are playing Football so I would expect you to know the rules to really enjoy the experience. It’s like a sped up version of the game as most plays tend to go for big yards. Running the ball is pretty self explanatory as you run wherever you see an opening. There is no acceleration button here so it’s all about knowing when to make your move. Passing can be a little more difficult at first as it’s the most different from Madden. Your icon will be over one player initially. If he isn’t open then you quickly cycle through other options with the A button. You have to go in order though so if receiver 1 is open and you’re already on 2, then you’ll have to cycle through 3 before going back to 1. As such you’ll probably be sacked by then.

The defense is also relentless here. They don’t drop any picks so if you throw a ball and your guy isn’t open, it will 100% be intercepted. The computers don’t make mistakes and that’s something that you will be learning right away. The difficulty is refreshing but at the same time if really makes you not feel like passing. 90% of the time I’d just recommend running the ball or choosing a pass play and running it in anyway. Making the field goal kicks is pretty easy so as long as you’re in range then you’ll do fine.

The graphics aren’t bad. I don’t think they’ve aged all that well, but you’ll know what is happening at all times which is the important thing. There isn’t much of a soundtrack either but what is there is fine. There isn’t a whole lot of replay value here as you might expect. The only mode here is to just keep playing more and more games. Without the visuals/stat tracking of the Madden titles you probably won’t bother to play too many games here. You’ll get the jist of the title before long and then it’ll be time to call it a day. Tecmo Bowl is a fun starter game and it really reminds you of he good ole Arcade Football days. It does a good job of that for sure.

Overall, Tecmo Bowl may be a simpler version of Madden, but it definitely will still take time to master the controls here. You really can’t afford to make a mistake here as this game is not forgiving in the slightest. Play your cards right and you can win, but if you don’t then you’ll probably get blown out. If you haven’t played this game yet then I recommend changing that and trying it out now. You’ll have a good time here and I wouldn’t mind a modern 2D Football game. There’s actually a lot that can be done with this style although I don’t see Madden testing out something so new like this anytime soon.

Overall 6/10

Sailor Jupiter vs Dormammu




Suggested by iKnowledge I’m not particularly impressed with Jupiter despite being known as one of the stronger Sailor Scouts. I just don’t think she can really hold her own here. Dormammu’s powers are enough to even challenge the Sorceror Supreme. At that level of power a little thunder isn’t going to do a whole lot. Jupiter has definitely met her match here and would need a better level of speed to begin to launch a counter attack. As she is now, Jupiter doesn’t stand much of a chance. Dormammu wins.

Mewtwo vs Blue Pikmin



Suggested by Sonic Blue Pikmin has finally returned for another round, but he is up against a foe too mighty to overcome. Mewtwo is one of the strongest Pokemon out there and even ignoring that he has proven himself many times over as being a strong fighter in general. A single attack should easily end this round and there really isn’t a thing that the Pikmin can do to save himself. Mewtwo wins.

Hudson vs Felicia




Suggested by iKnowledge Hudson is a pretty strong Gargoyle. Although he is old, his strength and speed are still impressive enough to put him above most mere mortals. That being said, Felicia is incredibly quick so Hudson’s one disadvantage (his age) will really become a factor here. I don’t see him being able to do much against Felicia which will quickly result in his ultimate demise. There’s just not much that he can do here. Felicia wins.