Justice Society: World War II Review


The Justice Society is a group that has always been overshadowed by the Justice League in the past. They’re a group with a lot of heart but typically can’t keep up in the power levels department. Plus, they tend to only be around in the past so there aren’t a lot of opportunities to show them off. Well, they finally got their own film and it’s a pretty good one. I feel like the setting holds the film back a bit and I never quite warmed up to the group but in the end you will have a good time with this one.

The movie starts off with the Justice Society group getting formed in the past while the Flash helps Superman fight off Brainiac in the present. Superman’s having a tough time for once as Brainiac is kicking him around and nearly finishes the job before the Flash steps in. However, the Flash was so eager to help that he accidentally ended up going a little too fast and warps to the past. The Society needs some help to fight off the Nazi’s so Flash is eager to support but will they still stand a chance once the Atlanteans get involved?

Now I know what you’re thinking. The Flash can whoop all the villains in an instant and then run home right? Well, to make sure that didn’t happen, the film has Flash lose most of his speed. The idea here is that since there are now 2 Flashes at once, the Speed Force can’t quite handle it and so they’re both slower since they’re tapping into the Speed Force. I have to assume that the Force gets stronger later on since you have guys like Bart and Wally using the Speed Force at the same time as Barry. So it might feel a bit convenient but I can respect wanting to keep the power levels from being too crazy.

Even with that you might not buy into the Flash having a tough time with most of these situations and that’s valid. Part of the issue with having the film be set during World War II is that there aren’t many real threats to go up against the group. It’s a little harder to throw in tension when you’ve got superheroes fighting off random guys with guns. It’s naturally satisfying to see the Nazi’s get wrecked of course but by the same token you won’t feel very nervous for the heroes even when the stakes are high. The movie isn’t afraid to get rather serious about how not everyone will make it out of this one.

There’s also a really good twist the film has later on which completely helps to redefine what’s happening. I thought that was excellent and it allowed the film to really effectively use the setting. You could probably even take it farther but it may run the risk of the Justice Society being overshadowed in their own film so that could have been risky. As it was, adding Aquaman and his right hand man was a really good idea here because now Wonder woman had someone to fight. Obviously she is really the power hitter of the group and so you need someone who can actually fight her.

Aquaman vs Wonder Woman is absolutely the highlight of the film. Their fight has a lot of back and forth to it and can be surprisingly long. It’s not a one and done kind of deal which is great. Aquaman seemed to have the slight edge in their fights but it was fairly even so it would take him a while to win. Personally I’d consider Wonder Woman to be stronger in most continuities but she always did seem weaker in the older eras so I suppose I can see how Aquaman would win here.

Either way having super powered action is definitely the way to go. The present fight against Brainiac was also fun. Honestly it’s almost too good since that makes for a much more engaging story than what’s actually happening in the war. You already know most of the main storybeats of World War II after all even if they’re adding extra super villains and threats around. In the present it’s anyone’s guess as to what’s happening. That’s enough on the setting though.

For the animation, it’s using the style that the last few DC films have so it is definitely a keeper for this continuity. While it’s definitely a lot weaker than the more traditional DC films like Superman Doomsday and all the New 52 items, the fight scenes look good. While the colors may all be faded out in that New Frontier/Superfriends kind of look, the choreography shows up. Aquaman was swinging his staff around like he was Thor using Mjolnir. The battles are fast paced and definitely work well.

The soundtrack isn’t particularly memorable though as I couldn’t recall any main themes. The character designs are all on point with the exception of Wonder Woman. She reminded me of Rocketman for some reason with how her head was extremely sharp and seemed like the crown was on so tight that the whole shape changed. You’ll know what I mean as soon as you start the film. I never really got used to it and hopefully her appearances in the modern era wouldn’t have that issue. It was the only design that didn’t quite seem right.

As for the characters, it was a solid cast overall. Barry felt a bit more like Wally with how he was joking around the whole film. Barry’s personality does change a whole lot based on what continuity you’re in though so I wouldn’t say it’s out of character but a little different from the Barry I’m used to. He tends to sandbag in the fights a whole lot but does good in clutch situations. Superman naturally looks great in the present even if he still tends to make some rookie mistakes. In the past their version of Superman’s definitely not as good though. Definitely not someone who will have your back.

Then we have the Justice Society and their gang seems rather wound up as they yell a lot and are quick to move against Flash. I thought they were completely unreasonable during the first meetup and it took them a while to really get going. Surprisingly Hawkman seems to be the most levelheaded member of the group. He tries to get everyone to work together and also talks them through the tough moments. It’s definitely one of his best animated portrayals yet.

Wonder Woman has fun with the group and seems like a decent leader. She makes some questionable decisions (Leaving Black Canary to guard the Flash…really? but is ultimately the reason the group is still alive as she can deal with the threats that nobody else can. Hour Man still makes for an interesting hero with how his powers work but man is it a huge weakness. He just can’t stay active for very long and his powers are constantly running out as a result of that. Jay is the Flash from this team and I thought he was good. He seems to have not practiced with his powers as much as Barry so he doesn’t know how to do a lot of things but he also comes through with one trick that Barry didn’t know so that helps to even it out. He’s a nice enough guy and does tend to support Barry.

Black Canary gets a rather big role here as she gets some character development. She can be rather rude to Flash without provocation and we learn why that is later on. Her power is certainly very helpful that’s for sure. Finally there’s Steve Trevor who may not really be a member of the group but he’s always around to help and provide cover fire. You have to give him credit for jumping into all of these dangerous situations without hesitation. Takes a lot of guts to do that and he is definitely a great role model for all the heroes.

For the villains, Aquaman’s right hand man wasn’t particularly interesting. Mind control is definitely handy for many reasons but as a villain he barely had any real personality. He’s the kind of guy who plays all of the sides but can’t really fight on his own. As for Aquaman, he has no strength of will here and gets manipulated all of the time so it’s not a great look for him. He has great power but really needs to work on his mental defenses.

Overall, Justice Society is a very balanced movie. It’s got a lot of positives going for it without a doubt but ultimately doesn’t excel in any one area which is why it won’t go down as one of the more memorable ones. I’d like to see the Justice Society return in the present someday, now that could make for a pretty good battle movie. Still, if you’re looking for a solid movie to watch then you can’t go wrong here. The pacing is good and it’s an all around enjoyable experience.

Overall 7/10

Persona 5: The Animation: Stars and Ours Review


It’s time to end the main journey of the Persona 5 cast. With just about everyone down for the count you’d think that this is all over right? Well not quite as a new villain shows up and the heroes have to quickly try to save the world last time. This time they are not fighting merely as thieves but as protectors to stop corrupt cosmic beings. It’s all in their hands now!

After stopping Shido things should have gone well but instead humanity has started to forget about the Phantom Thieves. That wouldn’t be so bad except that the Holy Grail has decided to end these guys once and for all and is turning this into reality. The heroes will cease to exist if they aren’t remembered soon and Joker is thrown back into his metaphysical cage. Can he get the band together one last time to stop this god or will he be taken down for good?

This special really gets out there with how powerful the villain is but Persona usually does like to get crazy by the end so it was nice to raise the stakes here. It’s hard to say exactly what the Grail’s goals are beyond just messing with everyone though. Perhaps that is it as it’s the negative feelings of everyone brought forth into life. It seems like the Grail tends to be evil in most shows where it appears and this one’s no exception. The fact that it can actually talk and has a cool super form is pretty near though. It makes its presence known right from the start as a fighter who should not be trifled with. There may not be a lot to him but he made for a solid final boss.

It was also nice to see the old jail cell appear again because this was one plot that never really got resolved. The whole time they’ve been telling Joker how he needed to be rehabilitated and all of that but he seemed like a nice guy from the start so it was always odd to him. Well, it turns out that the whole thing was a farce at least for a while now. Fortunately the two jailers had enough strength of will not to make a big mistake. I still wouldn’t say that I’m a big fan of them considering how close they came to ending it all but despite their vow but better late than never.

Joker manages to save everyone pretty quickly so it doesn’t become a full adventure or anything but it was a nice side journey. We also get to peer into Mementos for part of the climax and you get cameos from all of the other villains. The idea of a shared dungeon where everyone interacts was pretty interesting when they first showed it in the anime and it’s still cool here. It does make you feel like most people need to watch their backs though because all it would take is one really strong soul to overpower the others.

Joker and friends are strong enough to resist but they have powers of their own which helps a lot. The average person would not be quite so lucky. This leads into the main battle with the Grail as it is so the whole dungeon really was dangerous from the start. Now we find out by the end that destroying Mementos would also remove the powers that the lead has or at least that’s a main part of it. Presumably everyone else loses their powers as well so there will be no more dimension hopping but I have to wonder how that’s possible.

In theory shouldn’t everyone still have a dark side at some point or another? Did the heroes really cleanse the whole world of negative thoughts in one shot or was it just the city? I’m not a big fan of the whole losing powers thing because while it may be a common type of ending, I don’t think it made much sense here. I don’t see how the realm would go away or why the powers would fade. Furthermore, it also hurts the chances of a true sequel. yeah you could say the heroes just got their powers back or it was just a temporary loss but doing that from the beginning would be preferable.

It’s also a shame because the heroes had been doing so much good work throughout the city. They stopped a bunch of the corrupt adults and were making the world a better place one step at a time. Having to lose their abilities is just a really rough fate should they decide to stop the Grail. The way the ending plays out is decent. It’s happy enough and all but I don’t think it’s quite as complete an ending as it could have been otherwise. At least you don’t have to worry about cliffhangers I suppose.

The animation is pretty standard here. We get a pretty intense face off near the end but this one doesn’t have as much action as the last special. It’s definitely more of a dialogue based adventure this time around as the heroes get their closure. Then for the soundtrack you’ve got all of the fun Persona themes so that’s always a thumbs up. Persona did not hold back when it came to the musical tracks that play the whole time.

One of the most memorable parts here is definitely when the people forget the thieves and they start to fade away. It’s like something out of Infinity War and I thought it was really impressive at least. Fortunately Joker had the demons and parallel world looking out so the jail prevented him from losing it all but it was still close. I also thought it was just intense how the Grail could make that possible and cause people to forget so quickly. The Thieves weren’t exactly private figures after all so that was an impressive feat.

Overall, Persona 5 may have ended in a different direction than how I would have done things but it’s still good in the end. The story is interesting from start to finish which is always the important thing. The main cast was solid here and everyone got to help out. In these two specials I wouldn’t say that any member got a big role in particular aside from Joker but just being there to help out in general is always appreciated. Teamwork through unity right? The Grail made for a solid final boss so in the end the special made the right moves here and I look forward to seeing what Persona experience is next. This is definitely a good title to check out now if you haven’t already seen it.

Overall 7/10

Persona 5: The Animation: Dark Sun… Review


After the show ended things off on a rather intense note, it was time for this special to continue the story along. It’s fair to say that the show’s ending was never going to stick but it was fun to entertain that notion in the meanwhile. This one brings things together to a pretty decent end although it’s fair to say that it’s still another cliffhanger, just a different one. It picks up right where the show left off so it’s nostalgic to see the whole cast here. Since we’re pretty deep into the adventure, there is no downtime and the heroes just get right to work. Naturally this post will have spoilers for the show so proceed with that in mind.

After Akechi murdered Joker he played it up as a suicide and went about his way. It turns out that he’s been working for Shido this whole time and all of the incidents have helped get Shido up to the world stage. The guy is very close to becoming the prime minister now and naturally needed everyone out of the picture. Well, it turns out that Joker faked his death through a clever trick involving switching the two worlds so that Akechi murdered a virtual version of him. Now the team has to saddle up and take Shido down but can they really keep Akechi off their backs long enough to pull this off?

The special goes pretty fast from this point. The intro where they have to explain how the trick worked take some time but then it’s off to the races. I thought the trick was pretty solid although I have my doubts on how well this would work. It really all comes down to two things I have an issue with. The first being that when you switch worlds there is no indication of this happening. Can it really be so smooth? Usually there is an effect where the world itself distorts and the characters all seem to notice this so how is it possible that it didn’t alert Akechi?

The best thing I can think of is they opened it up as such a large territory that he was not in the blast radius but that doesn’t seem to have been something they could really do. My other issue is with the virtual bodies themselves. So we know that a virtual body will die in the same way as a real one based on the previous castles only the body will then disintegrate into a pile of black smoke. How did they prevent Joker’s body from vanishing until after Akechi left? Furthermore, how did the security guard’s body not vanish after Akechi took him down? Akechi monologued for quite a bit so the guy should have been long gone.

In short, I don’t think their plan actually should/could have worked here. At least not with the info we get here, perhaps the video game was more detailed about it. Ah well, then we cut to the heart of the adventure which is to try and take Shido down but of course Akechi will still try to stand in their way. He gets a lot of props here as he was taking on the whole team at once. At one point they ask how he can use more than one persona but Joker’s been doing that since the very start of the show so they should be asking him that. I suppose Akechi is just super talented since he never actually explains how it’s possible.

The various mysteries throughout the show are all wrapped up pretty well here. Akechi does start to go off the deep end a bit but all in all the guy’s still my favorite character. He was usually one step ahead of everyone else and his plans were really on point. The guy was certainly crazy and a total villain but he executed this well. He’s the kind of villain you enjoy watching because his goals make sense and he’s just charismatic.

Shido is a little less interesting in that respect but he makes for a good final boss here. The guy actually knows a little bit about the mental abilities and alternate world. While this is something unknown to most, it makes sense that the big boss should be in on the loop. It even opens the door to some interesting storylines like if they trained a bunch of government assassins to pull this off as well. Perhaps in a sequel or something like that.

The animation is good here. It’s still nothing top notch or anything but works well enough for the fights. Persona isn’t always a very action packed title but this one had a good amount of fighting. With Akechi here that makes sense since the whole show was building up to this and you wouldn’t want to have an underwhelming climax at the end of the road. For the soundtrack we don’t get the big lyrical songs this time around but the beats still work. I’ve always liked the Persona soundtrack and this one’s no exception.

For the main characters they all get their chance to help out. Joker takes most of the credit here as he was strong enough to go up against Akechi and also took most of the risks in the plan. It’s just clear from the start that he’s the most powerful. The rest of the gang helps out as best they can as well. Without them Joker would have definitely been doomed either way. Even Sae gets to help out quite a bit and her role as a cop/investigator is always coming in handy.

If this did end up being the ending to Persona 5 I dare say that it would still work out pretty well. Sure, the heroes are still in a dangerous spot and not all of the villains are down for the count but for the most part things would be going well. It would also be open ended just enough where there could be a sequel. Of course there was a sequel and I’ll be reviewing it pretty soon. I would have liked Akechi to have done more but I am still satisfied in the end and I can see why he’s a fan favorite.

Overall, Dark Sun is a solid follow up to the main show. We get to see the updated version of the opening song here which is fittingly called Dark Sun so that’s nice. If you liked the show then you should definitely like the special. In some ways the special even beats the show as it’s able to focus on just one case and give it the full attention of around an hour. It does a lot within that time and it’s nice to just see the gang back in action. It might not make a whole lot of sense if you haven’t seen the show though so you won’t want to check this out as a stand alone title.

Overall 7/10

Rango Review


Rango is one of the rare titles where I played the game before watching the movie. To be fair, this may be the best way to do things. Eh, I suppose it’s about the same either way. I wouldn’t say Rango is able to hold its own against most of the animated films nowadays but it’s still decently good. If the character designs were all improved and the bird got to fly away then I think this would have bumped the film up a notch.

The movie starts off with showing us how Rango has slowly gotten to be a bit crazy. It makes sense since there is nobody for him to talk to and he’s basically trapped inside a little jar all day. After a while it makes sense that you would crack under such circumstances. One day he ends up falling out of the family car and is on his own at the desert now. This allows him to have a fresh start so he tricks everyone into believing that he is actually an expert gunslinger and they even make him a sheriff. The position does come with its own set of problems though like the fact that the town is incredibly corrupt and he really needs to be watching his back at all times. One wrong move and he may be down for the count.

Like I said, the film’s main issue at times is that it just doesn’t look great. The animation isn’t bad per say but the style’s really not all that pleasant so films that are decades older end up looking better. This is a film that’s carried more by the writing angle as the graphics are just out of luck. The best animation here is when the bird is flying around after Rango early on. That was fairly intense at least.

The soundtrack isn’t very memorable so we can bypass that. There are a few comic relief villains running around the whole time who aren’t that impressive but the main villain was pretty good. His name is Jake and the guy really knows how to put fear into the cast. They absolutely do not want to mess with him and are pretty much traumatized by the guy. It’s easy to see why as you get the feeling he would crush any of the heroes in a straight fight. I’ll also give the mayor some props here as the guy also had great ambitions on his side and really did well to last as long as he did. In the end the guy almost ended up winning out.

On the heroes side I guess they were okay. First up is Rango and I do like his quick way of talking. The guy’s one of those classic con artists who tries to distract you with how quickly he’s talking the whole time while adding lie onto lie onto lie. He does have a lot of confidence in his own way and is quick to bury his mistakes. I did think he was a fun character. Perhaps not someone you could use as a role model but someone who is a fun character to take the lead. On the other hand along with this comes the fact that he does choke under pressure and can be a bit of a flirt who gets distracted easily. Those qualities end up hurting him a bit.

Then there’s the main heroine Beans who has a glitch within her where she just goes completely still and is unconscious for a little bit. It’s a unique character trait and so I would say that it works pretty well. It does tend to happen at inconvenient moments of course but I would have it no other way. Beyond that I can’t say that she is super memorable though. In a way you’ll remember that trait more than the rest of her character which I would not say is a good thing. Particularly as the main heroine here although it’s fair to say that her role isn’t huge or anything like that. I think the film could have focused more on her and Rango not getting along at all like in the opening and doubling down on that.

The opening villain here was a character I was rooting for though. When the bird showed up I was ready for him to take down Rango so it was unfortunate when that didn’t end up happening. I think he should have survived, burying the bird was a bit much. The scene’s played for laughs and all so it’s not like the movie’s trying to be dark but it still seemed like a bit of a downer.

Ultimately Rango does have a lot of humor built in and I’d say that it ages well. It is a light hearted western kind of film after all and I want to say that just about every scene has a joke in it. Usually this is at Rango’s expense as he messes up over and over again but I guess you can give him some credit for always getting back up again. I’m sure that by now a lot of other characters would have given up. It just goes to show you that Rango was really made of sterner stuff.

Overall, You’ll have a decent time with Rango so if you’re looking for a fun film that you haven’t seen before then this should be up your alley. There’s no reason to watch it over a number of better animated titles out there but if you’ve seen them all by this point then you may as well watch Rango. So it’s more of a half hearted recommendation on my part. Rango is a good movie but I just felt like there were enough things going against it were there is not a whole lot of replay value. You’ll watch it and then it’ll get buried as if it was never around. I still blame a lot of it on the artstyle and to be fair, that should be a big factor to think about in an animated film right? Just throwing that out there but it makes sense if you think about it.

Overall 6/10

Jujutsu Kaisen 0 Review


It’s definitely good to be in an age where all the big anime films get to go to theaters now. It’s nice having that complete experience there and the audience was pretty engaged throughout the experience. Seemed like a mix of people who knew the future events and anime onlies. There was certainly one guy the whole time who thought Maki was quite mean and well, she is rather aggressive with the main character for a while but she mellows out by the end. All in all Kaisen’s definitely a great film and I look forward to seeing how the next one stacks up.

The movie starts by introducing us to Yuta Okkotsu. If you saw season 1 of the show you’ll likely remember him getting a lot of hype throughout. He hasn’t gotten to appear yet but the others mention him as being a big threat so you get to see how he made it there. As a kid Yuta became engaged to his best friend Rika. Unfortunately she was hit by a car and died almost immediately afterwards but their connection was so strong that a curse came between them and now Rika lives on eternally as Yuta’s protector. Any who would dare stand in his way will get obliterated by her. This has depressed Yuta to the point of being suicidal but then he is contacted by Gojo, the strongest sorcerer of the human world.

He takes Yuta to Jujutsu High where he will become a sorcerer. He joins the first years Maki, Panda, and Toge. Yuta may not be strong on his own yet but his cursed spirit Rika is incredibly powerful to the point where Yuta is considered to be a special grade fighter. Unfortunately this has also caught the attention of the evil sorcerer Geto. Can Yuta stay alive long enough to master his abilities and free the curse on Rika so that she can be free or will he be defeated and the modern timeline isn’t what we think?

The movie moves at a fairly quick pace. Yuta appears and gets recruited within a few minutes. Then you have the origin story with Rika thrown in very quickly and more details are spread in throughout the movie. We get several missions so you could see as Yuta improves his abilities. There is a little time skip near the end so we don’t get to see the exact point Yuta goes from being a decent member of the team to a super powerful one but it helps make the final battle more intense. When Yuta suddenly shows up with all kinds of new abilities and techniques, you can tell that he’s been training very hard.

It’s also nice seeing Yuta in the younger days here. He almost feels like a completely different character from the Yuta I’m used to. He’s more like your classic Shonen lead here even if he might seem to have a bit more of a subtle edge than others. He was quick to volunteer to destroy Maki’s clan along with her and it shows how he values his friends above all else. I like Yuta in all of his appearances so far so he’s a character with a lot of range. He may start off as timid but ultimately he still steps up to do the right thing when it counts.

He is also a quick learner and doesn’t shrink away from combat. The way he handles Rika is also part of what makes him a great character. He never goes through a phase where he is afraid of Rika or blames her for everything. Even when he’s upset he just blames himself and never tries to make this appear to be her fault. It was a mature way of handling things since Rika was just doing her best to help him. Perhaps it was not in quite the way he was hoping since she could be quite violent but she is a cursed spirit at this point so it’s likely not easy to hold herself back.

While we don’t get to see the human Rika much, she was definitely a very solid character. She is extremely loyal as evidenced by her cursed spirit form and always had Yuta’s back. She really helped to make things as easy as possible on Yuta and I appreciate that she stood up to the bullies. Yeah it felt a little hard to believe that her first 3 victims survived the attack. I suspect this was a way to make sure that Rika never turned too close to the dark side but the way we saw their bodies mangled and the amount of blood that they lost….I don’t see how they could have possibly survived. Well, good on Rika I suppose.

As always Gojo is a very fun character here as well. When you have a character this powerful you do have to suspend a little disbelief for how he doesn’t just obliterate everyone. It feels like he could have dismantled his opponent and kept on going unless he has grown exponentially stronger in the year after this prequel takes place. You could say that he’s sandbagging a little as well but from how the movie’s story went you feel like he would want to be there in the climax.

Either way he’s definitely a fun character as always. I liked that he made it clear to the elders that he would protect Yuta if they tried to murder him. He’s always been the kind of guy who stands against corruption and that’s what I like to see. As you’d expect with a film like this there is a really big climax so you get a ton of guest stars and cameos from the rest of the Kaisen verse. It was nice seeing Todo and the crew as well as all of the pros. They may not get to be here a lot but they all get to use their signature attacks which is fun. I always enjoy seeing everyone come together for the climax for some action.

Of course the biggest roles go to Yuta’s teammates so lets talk about them. Maki gets a large role as she is teamed up with Yuta in the first mission and they get to hang out a bit. She has her own baggage which is touched upon in this film a little bit. As a result Maki’s gotten to be rather aggressive and always picking fights since she feels the need to prove herself. I tend to like this character type and Maki does well here. Ultimately her fighting style means the character would likely be limited against stronger opponents but she still does her best to fight back and also helps to improve Yuta’s close combat skills quite a lot.

Panda probably gets the smallest role out of the 3 but he gets to have the longest fight against Geto which helps to even that out. He really did well all things considered and was able to move quickly enough to hit Geto while also repelling the spirits. That’s not an easy thing to do. His fans should definitely pleased with his role. Then you have Toge who does his best to try and get Yuta to fit in. The fact that he can’t really talk at all for fear of using his abilities makes this a bit difficult though.

I’ve always had a major problem with Toge’s abilities before and the movie doesn’t change that. Just using a single word causes him to be in absolutely terrible condition. With the throat medicine he can do a little better but when your ability’s drawback is that huge it just doesn’t seem worth it. It’s a great ability but I think they should give him enough durability to be able to use it a few more times. It would definitely make his technique a lot more dangerous.

Then we have the main villain Geto. The villain has some depth to him as his goals are quite grand but in the meantime he keeps up a good front so he is able to earn a lot of money. A lot of the times it feels like the villain wouldn’t bother putting up a front even though it would cost him a lot in the long run. So it was a good way to show that Geto was quite smart and wouldn’t be falling for those kind of traps. It’s also impressive that he can fight from both long and short range. Not just any kind of opponent can do that.

So I liked him quite a bit. He makes for a memorable villain. He also has a whole team of villains with him for the attack but there isn’t enough time for any of them to get a lot to do. They seemed interesting enough and I’ll give the author credit for giving them all distinct designs and character designs. There’s just no way to give them enough to do to make them really memorable without stretching the film out another 30 minutes or so. Of course I would definitely be cool with that but I can see how it wouldn’t be needed.

The soundtrack is excellent as expected. You get a few new lyrical songs here and a lot of solid tunes. They really help to enhance the scenes and you can feel the danger in every moment. As I mentioned earlier, the pacing here is fairly quick and the music’s always moving quickly as a result too. It doesn’t mean there is a fight scene every moment of course and the big fights tend to be in the second half but there’s always something going on and any time you think it’s about time for another action scene to pop up, it does.

As always Mappa delivers with the animation as well. The action scenes are really good and the hand to hand (Or rather blade to blade) fights are extremely fast and savage. The choreography is excellent and you can feel the power behind the hits. These are the kinds of fights that you figure will age well forever. Even 20 years from now you won’t be able to deny that these are great fight scenes. Not surprisingly my favorite battle is the one between Geto and Yuta. It’s a fight that the film builds up for a while so you know it’ll be good but even with the time skip you may not be prepared for quite how good Yuta is.

The action can get intense but I wouldn’t say the film is too violent. The most disturbing scene is likely when one guy’s head is stretched apart by demons. That one was definitely a gruesome way to die but for the most part the attacks are limited to the combatants or aren’t too intense like that. So I wouldn’t say there’s anything extra to worry about beyond the usual action you would expect to see here.

The movie has its share of humor which lands well. The characters tend to have rather crazy facial expressions whenever Gojo mentions something out of the blue or is messing with them. The chibi effects are used well and since Yuta is out of the loop on everything, he tends to have some good reactions. It never gets excessive so it’s just enough to keep that nice balance. The writing is also really solid. Outside of the Gojo power level moment I wouldn’t say I had any other big items to mention. Even the romance here with Yuta and Rika was decent enough. I’m usually not all for the romances in films but this one was executed well. No drama, rebounds, or any crazyness here. Just two good friends who hit it off and their bond even surpassed death.

I guess on the power levels part I’d give a small mention to Gojo just letting Geto run out in the first place when he shows up with the crew. (All roads go through Gojo I suppose) I think with his speed and ability Gojo could have saved the hostages and stopped Geto. Again I guess that’s just what happens when you have someone as impressively powerful as Gojo. You expect him to solve everything when he’s around.

Now the film does have an after credits scene which is great since you should always have that. I think I would have picked something a little more exciting as the final scene to be honest but it’s nice enough. It’s more of a happy scene to confirm some characters in the present. Won’t say much more than that to keep you in the dark about it, but as always that means you should stay past the credits.

Finally the question you’ve been wondering. Would Yuta in this film be able to defeat Yuji from the TV Show? If you include Rika then I would say Yuta wins without question. It’s hard to see Yuji being able to defend himself from a two pronged attack like this. If Rika is out of the picture then Yuji wins because he’s just a better street brawler and has more control over his black flash techniques. Rika should always be counted in a Yuta battle though so as of now the original main character wins. That’s just how it goes.

Overall, Jujutsu Kaisen 0 was definitely a great film with a lot of replay value. The action was on point and it made for a very solid introduction to Yuta. I always like the idea of building up two main characters but not having them meet for a long time. The longer you wait, the bigger the payoff when it finally happens. It’s rare to see this though. Beyblade (Manga only), Seraph of the End, Fate/Zero, and a very few select others have done this but it’s very rare. After all, it’s tougher than it sounds to have two characters keep getting separate plots and adventures without having them tie in since you have to be careful that neither side feels rushed all the time. Kaisen’s a good example of a series doing this well as you are definitely ready for Yuta to meet Yuji. I’d definitely recommend checking this one out whether you have watched the anime or not. I would say it’s fairly friendly to newcomers as the TV show events are not really referenced so this can feel like more of a stand alone.

Overall 8/10

One Piece: Episode of Chopper Plus: Bloom in Winter, Miracle Sakura Review


One Piece has the next arc remake with this movie tackling the Tony Tony Chopper arc. While this arc is not considered to be one of the stronger ones and tends to pale in comparison to the new ones, it’s always nostalgic to see the old team. I’d say the crew also learned from the last movie remake and made sure that this one had longer fights and a longer length in general so it felt more like a complete experience. It’s still hard to do a whole arc in one movie but I’d say they did a good job with this one.

The movie starts with the gang on the ship as usual but then Nami gets seriously ill with some kind of virus. She is fading fast and so the heroes stop by a local island to find a doctor. Unfortunately all of the doctors are gone except for one who is regarded as a witch named Dr. Kureha. She lives alone atop a giant mountain so Luffy will have to try and carry Nami there. The main obstacles in his way are: The terrain which is naturally dangerous, Nami’s health which is fragile right now so Luffy can’t fight or make too many sudden movements, and the Wapol pirates who hav e returned to retake the island. Can Luffy save Nami in time or is it too late?

While the whole crew it here, Luffy does most of the work. Zoro and Franky get to beat up some minions and Sanji fights some of the animals but for the most part the rest of the crew is written out. The way they got Sanji out of the big fights was the most awkward though as he injures his back somehow and can’t fight anymore. That scene was really hard to buy. Sanji’s back gave out just like that? I’d have preferred him to lose to one of the pirates instead since at least he would have gone down fighting.

As for the villains, there are two main ones here. First up is Wapol who was in the original arc as well. The guy may not have been super powerful but he does his best with the chomp chomp fruit. He gets a rather big powered up form at the end which may not have been enough to save him but it looked cool enough. Then he has a brother named Musshuru who was made up for this version. He looks rather skilled as he is able to trade blows with Luffy and keep at it for a while. I can’t say he was a very interesting villain but I’m always up for some good fights.

After all, that’s part of the fun in this movie. The characters get to see a lot of action this time. Also, the animation style is very distinct. It’s going for a bit more of an abstract feeling at times with a different color set than usual. I wouldn’t say it beats the classic style but it does help the film stand out which is an important thing in a movie. You want it to feel extra special and this is one way to go about that.

The soundtrack has your typical One Piece themes. Nothing very new and different but they always sound good so I didn’t have a problem with that. The music tunes are fitting for the scenes that they’re in. You can feel Luffy’s determination as he climbs the mountain while the music is going and why he’s a solid lead. The film has its share of emotional moments after all and the soundtrack balances them pretty well.

There are two main doctors here, the one from the flashbacks and the one in the present. In the present we have Dr. Kureha who has done well to continue practicing medicine even when she sees all of her colleagues “vanishing” or being directly captured by the villains. It’s a risky line of work but she doesn’t falter and definitely ends up being a really solid character. She’s the kind of character who has a tough time actually voicing her true feelings but will always help silently.

Dr. Hiriluk is the other character but I did not like him. His personality type is that he’s a really nice guy who is chasing a dream that is nearly impossible to achieve. He wants to make the Sakura blossoms bloom in this winter land despite everyone telling him that this is crazy. Along the way he meets up with Tony Tony Chopper and the two of them become close friends. It’s all good so far but then Hiriluk realizes that he will be dying soon from an incurable disease.

He then makes the wrong choice by shooting at Chopper to make him go away and to get some distance between them. Chopper had been traumatized by guns before so this felt like a really cheap move by the Doctor. I also think he should have just been upfront with Chopper about this. Tell him that death is near and then they can at least enjoy some happy days together at the end. It is much better than trying to destroy your reputation and friendships. So I lost a lot of respect for the Doctor at that point.

Finally we have Tony Tony Chopper who is a nice enough guy. He was never my favorite member of the Strawhats as the guy isn’t much of a fighter and I don’t think his comedy scenes work as well as some of the others but he still does have his moments where he helps out. Ultimately Luffy and friends are able to get him to a better spot but he gets outshined by all of them here.

Overall, Episode of Chopper is a fun adventure. If this is your first way of seeing the arc then you should still be fine. This movie does a good job of recapping things. Some of the events are a little different like we have some members of the team who shouldn’t be around yet. That might confuse you a little when you go back to the show and see them introduced but I want to say that it’s a very small amount of people who would have actually started the series with the movie recaps instead of watching the show. The movie is a good action adventure film in the end. It’s not trying to be much more than that and doesn’t need to be. Whether you like the franchise or not, you should have a good time with this one.

Overall 7/10

One Piece The Movie: Episode of Alabasta: The Desert Princess and the Pirates Review


Alabasta’s definitely one of the most well known One Piece arcs. For those who don’t answer with Arlong Park, this is the arc where people would say One Piece really got good. We got the first big villain group with a ton of memorable fighters and everyone got some action. I do think it’s an arc that has aged well but one that has been long since surpassed by adventures like Water Seven, Marineford, and Wano. Still, it’ a pretty solid adventure although I would say it’s weaker than the show version in just about every way so that’s the version that you would want to watch instead.

The film starts off with Princess Vivi as a child riding Pell throughout the kingdom of Alabasta. Things were really good back then. She then wakes up in the present aboard the Going Merry. She is with a band of pirates known as the Strawhats and a mysterious guy appears who can assume the form of anyone he has shapeshifted into before. He can add new people by touching their face. One of the faces he used was of King Cobra, Vivi’s father. She is worried that Alabasta is in danger so the crew sets a course for the kingdom immediately. She as not wrong, the terrorist known as Crocodile has set his sights on the land. Can the Strawhats stop him?

Now from the jump you’re assuming that the movie can’t possibly adapt a whole arc in one movie so some concessions are going to have to be made. That’s normal but at the same time it feels like the fights are what loses out most of the time. Some of the fights are practically off screen or we just see the end of them. Take the iconic Zoro vs Mr. 1 fight. It’s so short here that you’re barely able to get into it. I think the film could have focused on more of that and instead cut out the Robin flashback and some of the Alabasta flashbacks. If you’re reliving the arc then odds are that you’re doing so for the fights right?

Each fight just feels so short and you wish they could have been extended more. Even the Luffy vs Crocodile fights are pretty short when you really think about it. Of course they do get a bit more length to them compared to the others though. Things move at a very fast pace at least, you certainly can’t say that the story was dragging or anything like that. While I wish the fights were longer, it is still impressive that the movie went all the way to the end though.

There’s just no reason to choose this over actually watching the anime itself unless you desperately need to save a ton of time. In that sense this could be better as a rewatch or refresher for fans but if you’re a big enough fan to be revisiting an arc then you’ll probably just be watching the episodes again. Considering that this is a movie I kind of expected the animation to be better but I wouldn’t even say that is very impressive. Maybe it’s slightly better than the show?….I may not even go that far.

The animation style seems a bit different like it’s going for the more stretchy style like in Naruto vs Pain except that was stretchy so you could have terrifically fast fight scenes with a lot of energy. You didn’t really have that here so then if the fight’s going to be slower you may as well go with a more detailed style and that would be for the best. I did like the sound effects used when punching the sand though. That part did feel grander than usual.

I feel as though the film just wasn’t particularly high budget though. Maybe that’s why they had to rely on some extra CGI shots and a ton of still shots like this was a manga. Unfortunately those are also reused which ends up hurting the visual experience. So….the visuals didn’t quite live up to what this could have been which is what I’m getting at here. The soundtrack is fun enough though, has that classic One Piece feel to it for sure.

For newcomers it is probably less friendly to jump into than films like One Piece Gold or Strong World but I guess you just have to get on board and try to follow along with what’s going on. The story of Alabasta still hits right. It was a smart plan of Crocodile’s to use shapeshifting to get the country to fight amongst themselves. It certainly would have worked really easily if not for Luffy and the gang stepping in. For once I can’t even blame the civilians because the plan was quite thorough even including whole camps and villages being completely wiped out.

Crocodile works as a very solid villain. He’s smart enough to know when someone is trying to betray him and is also powerful enough to put a stop to that right away. Even now he is one of the more impressive fighters and the ability to turn into sand is really good. Of course haki would eventually wipe out that advantage but at this point in the story it really made him someone who could not go down very easily. His fights with Luffy were definitely a blast.

His group really gets no time to develop though. You won’t find any of them to be particularly memorable as they are taken down in short order. Bon Clay has the biggest role by far since he is the one who really jump starts the adventure by showing up and using his shapeshifting. It’s a good ability to have but mostly in non combat scenarios. Once you’re in a fight though then you need to have something else. Fortunately he does have his kicking abilities which are apparently good enough to even give Sanji a run for his money.

As for the crew, well they show up to take names. Zoro even looks like the Captain when the film first starts as he is in the front and all. He looks very capable throughout the movie and wins his fight with dignity so I’m reminded why he is my favorite Strawhat. Sanji definitely takes his share of Ls here like letting Bon Clay manipulate him during the fight but ultimately comes through for the team. Usopp has one of his best roles here since there’s not a lot of time for his comedic moments with how fast everything is moving. As a result he gets to tank one of the more painful looking hits and keeps on going.

You get the feeling that Usopp isn’t quite as powerful as some of the others but he certainly looks brave here. He came through when it counted. Chopper doesn’t get to do much but seems like a nice support. Nami even wins her fight 1 on 1 which was really critical. She’s not usually someone you have on the front lines so that was really impressive. As for Luffy, well he definitely loses quite a bit here even when everyone’s hopes are resting on him but he comes through in the end which is what counts. It was fun to see the film keep cutting away to everyone saying how Luffy was going to win while he was getting absolutely demolished in the fight.

Robin gets some foreshadowing here as we see a bit of her past but the film doesn’t really end up finishing that plot. Of course that’s what happens when your film just adapts one story arc in the middle of an ongoing. To be fair, it wouldn’t feel like a cliffhanger or anything with how the film ends. On that I can at least say that the film does have a true ending here.

Overall, Episode of Alabasta is a good film, but a weak adaption. I don’t think it’s impossible to adapt the arc into a movie effectively but you need to change up the pacing a bit. The fights absolutely needed to be longer to have really done the story justice. I also think that as a movie this film should have looked a lot better. Mainly the film’s only weaknesses are from when you compare it to the show though. If I saw this as a big One Piece movie in a universe where Alabasta did not exist in the manga, that would probably help it. It’s why I still say it’s a pretty good movie. You’ll have fun with it and it’s a nice way to see the adventure from another angle but of course you’re better off watching the show version so you get all the details.

Overall 7/10

Ben Hur (2003)


It’s definitely been many years since I saw this film so it was time to give it the re watch. The story of Ben Hur is always a classic and this retelling was really solid. It definitely feels nostalgic with how long it’s been and the animation holds up quite well. It tells the story in a really streamlined way so you get the key parts while still keeping the runtime fairly short.

The movie starts off with Ben’s old friend Messala finally coming back to town. It’s been several years so Ben is thrilled to see him, but unfortunately Messala has changed quite a lot. The guy now works for the roman empire and will even cheat at little things like a race. Fortunately Ben sees this coming and was able to win anyway. I was glad about that because losing to a cheater like that would have been quite sad. Throughout the intro Messala keeps on bragging and trying to get Ben to join him.

The film leaves no doubt from the start that Messala will be the big villain here. He even takes Ben into custody on false charges where Ben has to work for years of hard labor. With his family gone and his wealth/power stripped away, Ben will now have to really look deep within himself to find out the next steps. Should he look for revenge? Live in peace? Try to find his family? Ben has a lot of options here but will have to choose very carefully.

Fortunately Ben was blessed to meet with a lot of reasonable people throughout his journey. He got to live in a rather good environment after being washed ashore which ended up happening as a direct result of Ben refusing to kill and being a loyal ally through and through. Ben always gives everyone a fair shake and it works out here. He’s just a nice guy who follows the rules and ultimately does well during crunch time. Only at one time is he tempted for revenge by joining the army and ultimately doesn’t go through with it.

Not to say that joining the army would be bad of course but it’s clear that at that point he was quite upset and needed to calm down. Ben had been through quite a lot by this point. Fortunately he was able to meet up with Jesus Christ on two occasions who showed him the true meaning of compassion. From then on Ben had a renewed energy about himself. His journey certainly would not have had a happy ending without this faith.

Esther is the main heroine here and while she means well, I do think she made the wrong call in lying to Ben about his family being dead. Even though it was a direct order from them, it’s still not the kind of thing you should do there. A lie even with good intentions ultimately has a way of bouncing back and causing all sorts of trouble. It’s why you also shouldn’t pressure someone to lie on your behalf since it places a big burden on them. The burden of information can be a heavy one and so just because you know something doesn’t mean that you should automatically spread it around so much.

At least once the truth was out in the open then they could all be a family again. Ben’s family also did well in enduring their hardships for as long as they did without any complaints. They really didn’t want Ben to worry. While Messala was the main villain here, we also had the corrupt kind. I think the film may have gone a little too far with making him sound so whiny though. I know it’s to show that this villain wouldn’t last long and was outmatched but I think you should still make them sound tough so that you can sense the danger they’re in.

That’s why I enjoyed Messala. Ultimately he got what was coming to him but in the meantime he was portrayed as a serious threat. First he tried to get Ben on his side and then after that he did everything that he could to tear him down. You could tell Messala was evil to the core here and so he was not going to hold back. Anything he could do to put Ben in a bad spot was something he was going to do right away. He had no doubts on that.

This film also directly has Jesus Christ appear which is cool. A lot of times you don’t see films actually go this far as to have the characters witness the true events of the Bible. I can understand why many would be hesitant of course. You don’t want to do anything that directly alters the timeline or changes events but if you do it like in this film then there’s no real risk. It’s not like Ben is suddenly giving speeches to the masses or having a lengthy conversation with Jesus. This is a nice way to just have him see what’s happening though. It’s also something that would be good to normalize as a main character in a movie witnessing any historical event.

Ben also learned a lot from these experiences. He would have died had Jesus not come to his aid in the first meeting and then later on he got to learn more about the Bible and really become a Christian. It was a good way to connect everything together and to also directly have those Christian elements in the film. Ben Hur is a film that was not beating around the bush and that’s a very good thing. It ultimately adds some extra depth to the film. It takes a lot more courage to make this up front than to be subtle after all and what’s more up front than having Jesus appear in the flesh?

Overall, Ben Hur was a solid title. I dare say that I even preferred it to the live action version. The film effectively streamlines everything so you get the main points and nothing drags on. It’s also a bit more of a toned down version so you can really enjoy the horse races more. In general I prefer not to see animals in the mix at all but this film does all right there. I liked the animation and even the occasional CGI shift like when the boats are approaching. It felt like something out of a video game in a nostalgic way. If you’re looking for a solid film with a good main character that you can respect, this is the title to check out. Ben Hur’s the kind of character that can serve as a role model to anyone because he goes through so much and never falters. He ultimately uses this as a chance to get closer to God and so that made all of the trials worth it.

The Phantom Tollbooth Review


The Phantom Tollbooth is an old story that has aged exceptionally well. You’ll absolutely be having a good time with this movie because it’s really just a wholesome adventure all the way around. The movie goes by quickly and the fantasy world is constructed well. We may not be there for a super long period of time since there’s only so much you can do in one movie but the film did a good job of making it all memorable.

The film starts by introducing us to a kid named Milo. He’s bored because he doesn’t care much for school and there isn’t anything to do at home either. Milo doesn’t see the point in an education since he feels like he will never get to use any of this stuff anyway. Well, one day a box arrives complete with a car to a whole new world. Milo decides to enter it and is now accompanied by a talking dog named Tock. The world is currently at odds because the numbers and letters have had a disagreement so rhyme and reason were banished from the kingdoms. Milo needs to try to find a way to establish world peace or that could be game over for the planet.

One thing you’ll notice right away is that the film does a good job of playing with words. almost every word has another meaning here. For example, the “Watchdog” is a dog with an actual watch inside of him. The names are all quite clever and the world seems insane but at the same time it does run on a kind of system. Milo also ends up taking some of this in stride quicker than I would have expected. He isn’t spending half of the film asking what’s going on or anything like that which is always a good thing. It’s always a shame when a character isn’t able to adapt to the fantasy world.

Milo’s not a standout character or anything but he works well enough as the lead. He does his best to help the planet out. Milo does get into trouble at times to be sure but he always ends up bouncing back and doing what he can. In the end isn’t that all you can really ask for? Of course he definitely did mess up with trying to get the sun to rise and that was probably his biggest mistake. Even if he had the skills it would have certainly messed up everyone’s routine since not enough time had passed.

As for Tock, he’s a good sidekick to have around. He knows quite a lot and is pretty good about getting Milo up to speed in a simple way. He doesn’t overcomplicate the issues and just tells it all to Milo direct. You’ve got the two kings who are both suitably petty. I did much prefer the words guy over the numbers king though. Mainly because I think he has the better point. I don’t care how good you are at numbers, you definitely need letters if you want to do anything. Meanwhile you could make a strong case for numbers not being quite as necessary. Of course you do need both in the end but letters are absolutely the winner here.

From the various villains, the best had to be the Terrible Trivium. This guy really stole the show the instant he appeared. He suckered the characters into doing meaningless tasks almost immediately and his design is even rather fierce. You do not want to get on his bad side, that’s for sure. I would have liked more of a final fight for him of course but this isn’t really that kind of movie. He still did well to slow the heroes down and remained a memorable part of the film.

The Humbug was another fun character. I think just from his name you can probably guess a few things about his personality right? Well, you’d be right on the money there and he’s a nice contrast to Milo and Tock who are just having a good time being heroes from start to finish. So we’ve got quite the solid cast in this film and the writing is really on point. There’s no point where you feel like the film is dragging on or that the scene isn’t engaging. When creating a crazy world it’s certainly possible to make things too crazy so that it all feels forced but that’s not an issue here. The crazy logic makes sense in its own way and it makes for a fun world.

The movie is really low key when you think about it. It’s an adventure without a whole lot of danger and excitement but the quality writing and characters are what keeps this one on solid ground from start to finish. The movie’s ending leaves room for a sequel should Milo ever have any doubts again. I do think it was rather rude of him to hang up on his friend though. Keep in mind that his friend stayed on the line when Milo vanished which was apparently only a few minutes at best. Surely Milo could have waited so they could have both talked about their adventure right? It shows that the friend was more loyal than Milo was.

Overall, The Phantom Tollbooth is a fun film. It isn’t particularly dynamic or anything but it’s really a fundamentally sound film. If you ever have someone ask you what’s a good movie that just stands on its own without any huge gimmicks, this one’s a good example. No big action scenes, special effects, or anything like that. It’s just a good story and a fun watch. I’m not sure a modern remake would be able to do it justice but I would be interested to see how that all pans out. Also, while this film succeeded without fight scenes, I certainly wouldn’t turn them down if a modern remake wanted to add those. That could be rather fun.

Overall 7/10

Scoob! Review


Scoob got a lot of hype when it was first coming out as that big theatrical level Scooby Doo animated film. With the live action films not doing very well, this was the next chance to do something big. Well, it’s a pretty fun film I’d say. Ironically I would say the animated dvd films look significantly better visually but this movie is better than some of the more recent films. So all in all I was satisfied with this one. It’s not one of the best Scooby Doo films but it is easily not one of the weakest ones either.

The movie starts off with a new origin story for Scooby Doo and the gang as we see how they meet up and stop their first criminal. From there we get to the present where the heroes want to go professional. Unfortunately their potential investor says that Scooby Doo and Shaggy are liabilities. The two of them storm off without actually getting to hear what the gang really thinks and then they get kidnapped outside of the bowling alley by the Blue Falcon and his crew. They explain that these two are crucial in the fight against against Dastardly as he tries to get some relics together for his plan of unspeakable evil. Shaggy and Scooby want to prove that they aren’t the weak links of the team and agree to help.

So we’ve got our adventure here but of course that does mean Fred, Velma, and Daphne are stuck in the subplot for most of the film. It’s an enjoyable one though and at least they were ready to help their pals from the start. They even confront the Blue Falcon’s squad without fear when they see how the team is belittling Shaggy. They were loyal friends despite the guilt trip from the bowling alley employee. Honestly that’s really on Shaggy and Scooby for just running out of there before the rest of the gang had a chance to do anything.

Still the portrayals for the 3 characters are on point. I’d have liked Fred to have gotten one really solid scene where he gets a good trap ready or something though as it felt like he got the biggest shaft from the crew. Velma is a lot better than usual here as they balanced her skepticism well with actually helping the crew out. She does a lot of detective work the whole time and contributes quite a lot. Hacking Dynomutt so easily may be a bit cheesy but that was a big contribution. Then Daphne does well in building up everyone’s morale and establishing a friendship with one of the enemy robots. That would end up being absolutely massive in the film.

For Shaggy and Scooby…well I’m still not big fans of them. I think Shaggy is definitely the weaker character here though. As a kid we see how he was really lonely and meeting Scooby really helped him get his life back on track. They have a great friendship but Shaggy gets jealous way too easily later on. I’m confident that if he told Scooby to keep the collar he would have done so. Scooby was just focused on saving the world while Shaggy wasn’t focused at all. He would just make passive aggressive comments at Scooby throughout the movie and it didn’t feel justified. Mix that in with Shaggy dashing out early and he was too emotional here.

He also needs to face the facts that he and Scooby are the weak links since they’re scared of everything and always running away. It’s why I like the idea of them trying to prove themselves here but you just know that it won’t stick and they’ll be back to running away. Unfortunately that’s just completely part of their characters now. At least Scooby tries to step up when he gets the super hero costume which is why I give him more points here. You can see some improvement.

As for the villains, well Dastardly is fun. He’s a classic kind of villain who is super confident and always has a trick ready to take the heroes out. He come sup with a lot of clever plans and outsmarts the Mystery gang on more than one occasion. His classic partner Muttley doesn’t get to appear much but he was a fun character. They definitely make for a good duo. The robotic minions were also fun and had a nice design and transformation feature going.

Then we have Blue Falcon who is definitely one of the highlights here. That guy’s a blast. He may not be a good hero yet but he doesn’t let that get him down. He has a lot of confidence in himself. The film goes out of its way to remind you that he’s not very strong or smart as it goes on but I like how genuine he is. The Blue Falcon is at least trying his best and that’s the important thing.

Then you have the two allies who are always taking shots at the Blue Falcon but I think deep down they look up to him. Dee Dee is the genius of the group so she finds out the villain plans and gets the tech ready. She can also fight with her equipment which is always very helpful. Then you have Dynomutt with all his features and the guy is constantly daring Blue Falcon to do better with how often he is breaking him down.

It’s fun to have all of these characters running around. It does mean that this is a very different kind of Scooby Doo film as there isn’t a true mystery this time around. I mean you have the whole Scooby Doo ties to the plan and what Dastardly is trying to do but it’s less of a mystery and more about just following him along. The Blue Falcon’s group also makes this feel more like a superhero film but that’s always fun. This works as a good change of pace for the series. It’s risky as the first title in this franchise to not be a traditional Mystery Inc adventure but I had a good time with it.

I think a very important thing here is that the writing is considerably better than some of the recent ones. The characters aren’t super exaggerated and the story is fun to follow. Those are exactly the kinds of story elements you need in order to make for a good movie. I wouldn’t say any of the jokes are laugh out loud funny but the movie has some funny scenes and lines. So all in all you’ve got a very strong all around film here. It’s nothing great that will change your life or anything but I wouldn’t say it has any true weaknesses either. The pacing is right, you’ve got a good cast and the film really goes by quickly. I’d be glad to see more adventures here.

Overall, Scoob! does a good job of setting up the future of the franchise for a new audience. I do think you could and should switch the animation style as it isn’t great but it works well enough. If you aren’t comparing it to the main series then it really works well enough to do the job. It’s just hard to beat classic hand drawn animation of course. If you’re looking for a fun film to watch and spend some time with, then this is definitely a solid option for you to check out. I’m looking forward to the sequel and seeing where they go with it. You can never have too much Scooby Doo! Hopefully Scrappy gets to show up next time though, now that would be fun.

Overall 7/10