4 Star Movies, Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

The Legend of the Lone Ranger Review


It’s time to look at another adaption of the Lone Ranger. Unfortunately this movie was not good. In fact, I’d say it was a bad movie. I’ve certainly seen much worse and I wouldn’t say it’s terrible or anything like that but it’s just not that engaging, interesting, or fun. It really doesn’t do much to make you think of the Lone Ranger as a solid franchise or anything like that. Ultimately it just drives you away from the franchise entirely. Maybe someday they will make a good Lone Ranger film but perhaps the series just doesn’t translate well into cinema without mixing up the plot a bit. Throw in some sci-fi or something and that could help.

The movie has a whole lot of time jumps and origin stories thrown in. It starts off by showing us John as a kid though. His parents get murdered so he heads with Tonto into town. Another relative of John’s shows up though and takes him back to civilization. John then meets up with his brother and the rest of the Rangers. They’re betrayed by one of their own though and they all get slaughtered except for John who is saved by Tonto. John once again gets to be a part of the tribe and now he is determined to avenge his brother and the rangers by taking down the leader of the villains, Butch. Tonto agrees to come along so now the Lone Ranger won’t be alone this time. The two of them set off for an adventure filled with action and hype.

Right away one problem with the film is that John effectively has two origins/sob stories here. Why do you gotta murder his parents which causes him to join the tribe and then murder his brother and the rangers later on? It seems to be like they did this to give John a reason to go back to the tribe but why take him away from them in the first place? Didn’t really make a whole lot of sense to me and if anything it just drags on the film quite a bit. You really did not need to go down this route and if the film had just avoided that then I believe it would have had better pacing. There’s not a lot that would have saved the film from its next flaw though.

It’s just rather boring. It’s hard to find any really great characters here and the plot is as slow as molasses. It takes eons for anything to happen in this film to the point where you’re tired out by the climax. Considering that this is a wild west film where everyone is corrupt, there aren’t a ton of gunfights either. One of the longest action scenes is when John is on a wagon that is attacked by wagons. The other characters try to shoot at the bandits. What does John do? Nothing. He just stays seated until the others are bumped off at which point he goes to the front and surrenders. That’s a great way to ensure you survive of course but it’s not the kind of action you expect from the hero of the story. I had to do a double take on that because I was absolutely not expecting this. I suppose the Ranger does what he wants though.

The only character I’ll give major props to was Tonto. He was a very loyal friend who had John’s back at every turn. He’s someone you can count on and I appreciate the fact that he was always there. He may not have been a terrific fighter or anything like that but loyalty is ultimately worth more than skill. Tonto showed that John didn’t have to do everything on his own and that’s a good thing because John was not ready to handle this. I do like the mask though. It may not be a very inspired costume but it’s definitely an iconic one at this point. Who knew that putting on a mask could do so much to make you a hero right?

As for Butch, he’s your classic villain in a wild west setting like this. He wants to be rich and cause chaos. Taking out the President will certainly achieve both objectives. This guy has enough men to launch an attack on pretty much any location that he pleases. There’s really nothing to him beyond that. He’s just another guy for John to eventually mow down once he gets past all of the guards. The President was pretty fun too. I’m always up for getting the President involved. I would have liked to have seen him really mix it up with the villains though like something out of White House Down. That would have been a blast even if it would have maybe gone against the tone of the film a bit.

In general I’m not a big fan of wild west films but I’m sure you can do them well if you really try. We needed more humorous scenes at least like the one where the ranger talks about how it’s not the bullet that destroys you but the fall. Then he is promptly destroyed by a bullet and was at ground level so there is no fall to be had. It’s one of those visual irony scenes that works pretty well because of the timing. I mean, it may be tragic in part but I’m pretty sure this was played as a funny moment or at least the movie knew that it was being ironic. With more writing like that and a focused plot this film could have been good. It’s not even like it made any super big mistakes.

The movie just comes across as rather boring which is something that you never want to be. The last thing a movie wants to be known for is not being engaging. The songs this film had are pretty uninspired and it doesn’t sound like the singer was really into it either. That doesn’t help. Then you’ve got some scenes that go on for quite a long while like John trying to get used to the horse or getting knocked out yet again and having to be nursed back to health. The movie will probably be more engaging if you’re really into nature and just like seeing the backgrounds but for me I need to be having a lot of activity on screen.

Overall, The Legend of the Lone Ranger is a film that just didn’t work out. It forgot to actually include any thrills along with the plot. The backgrounds get very repetitive and the old setting doesn’t work either. The writing isn’t particularly impressive nor is the cast very memorable. The Lone Ranger may be a decent concept but this film definitely didn’t show me any of that. Don’t get me wrong, this still beats the newer Lone Ranger film but that’s really not saying a whole lot at all. I’m confident that the next Lone Ranger film will be able to beat this one. It has to….right?

Overall 4/10

7 Star Movies, Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

Le Samouraï Review


It’s time to look at a French thriller from a while back. The title may be a bit misleading though. I suppose it’s using the Samurai term more figuratively than anything but if Jef thinks of himself as a samurai then he’s quite mistaken. He’s just a common murderer trying to evade the cops long enough for the next job. This film was better than I had expected and gives a pretty satisfying case for you to watch unfold. We know that the main character is guilty so the suspense is in seeing how the cops will be able to arrest this guy.

The movie starts with Jef walking into a club. He nonchalantly walks all the way over to where the boss is and shoots him in front of everyone. He then returns to a Poker game with some of his associates. The cops quickly arrive and take him in as a suspect along with 99 other people. Jef manages to get out of there without being seen as guilty since most of the witnesses were unable to ID him. His bosses don’t like the fact that he was caught at all though and decide to put him down. Meanwhile the Policeman in charge of the investigation is confident that Jef is his man. He wasn’t able to prove it quit yet but he is determined to get the information so he has the Police tail Jef. Jef must now shake the mafia and the cops if he is to get out of this in one piece.

When your main character is actually the villain a film always has to walk a pretty fine line. It shouldn’t bother with trying to make the lead likable as it is far too late for that. The only option left is to have you root for the good guys here to take down the lead. You still need a lot of twists and turns involved here to keep things from being too easy though. It’s definitely interesting seeing this from the villain’s point of view and this movie makes the most of it. The police are given a lot of credit with the various tactics they use to try and catch him. Both sides look intelligent and have a lot of different plans at the ready. The excellent writing is part of what sells this film.

The Police chief instantly became the best character after just a few minutes with his character. He’s very sharp and has a good intuition. He plays things by the book and ultimately doesn’t cross any lines in trying to get his man. He just knows how to run an investigation and cover all of the bases. Tailing someone is pretty difficult, especially someone like Jef who is a professional but the unit here is quite good as well. Throughout the film the chief continues to pour on more and more pressure so that Jef will inevitably make a mistake and then they can slam him with everything they’ve got. Now that’s really high quality Policework.

As for Jef, he’s just your average hitman. He was paid to take someone out and he did. The piano player Valerie questions why he would do it and he even explains that his targets may or may not be good people. It doesn’t matter to him, he just wants the money. Valerie’s character is an interesting one since Jef has some theories on her but the film never goes out of its way to tell us if we should believe him or not. I’m inclined to think that he is right based upon the final mission of the film though. She seems to be a loose end which would support his theory but was definitely an interesting character either way.

Jef plays the situations rather well for the most part although the final scene wasn’t a good play. This is intentional as it seems he wanted to stop causing trouble for someone but after going through all of this that just doesn’t seem like the way to go about things. If anything it puts the heroine in some more trouble since this doesn’t really help her case. Jef’s character is very robotic in how he goes about his business. Even by the end of the film we really don’t know almost anything about his character and that’s good with me. The mystique behind everything going on is part of what makes the Noir genre so much fun.

The heroine Jane is also interesting. She’s definitely very loyal to Jef and that’s part of the tragic element here. It’s always a shame to see a character like that get in with the wrong crowd. That said, it’s not like she’s a good person either. It seems like she is playing the field and turns out to be as much of a crook as Jef. In a way that makes them perfect for each other and cuts the sympathy points down even further for both of them. There’s never any doubt on your side as to who you should be rooting for. So that’s a good thing, the writers knew what they were doing.

it’s also just a very fun movie to watch because you get a good understanding of the police procedures in France. It’s a little different and very methodical. I liked seeing them try different experiments like having the suspects switch clothing and line up. The chief definitely was very thorough in the measures he was using and it’s easy to see why he did so well. I do think the audio bug was a super longshot that was never going to work but I suppose he had to at least give it a try right? It’s not like there was much harm in the attempt since Jef was on guard anyway. There were also quite a lot of agents running around which was fun to see as they tried keeping tabs on him.

Overall, Le Samourai is definitely a solid film. It’s a low key thriller so don’t expect a lot of shots or anything like that. It’s more of a mental thriller as the characters play cat and mouse with each other. The police chief knows Jef is the guilty party but he does need solid evidence in order to convict him. That’s why Jef is able to be quite cocky about the whole thing since the alibi is so air tight. Then we’ve got his revenge trip on the mafia group. Their agent looks pretty naive the whole time so I assume he was new to the force. Otherwise he just looks awful in one scene that occurs. You may chuckle at that moment even if the rest of the film is super serious. The ending is also satisfying which is the right way to cap things off.

Overall 7/10

7 Star Movies, Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Review


It’s time to look at a comic book movie. It didn’t exactly get the same amount of fanfare as something like Spiderman or Superman, but then again..why would it? This film is based on a comic that isn’t super well known or anything. The poster’s pretty cool though and the concept is interesting. I wonder how many people would have really noticed its arrival though. The whole thing felt rather low key to me. It’s a fun film, one that certainly could have been better but it should hold your interest. It looks like a sequel is doubtful but if we ever do get something more in this series there’s a lot they could do with it.

The movie starts with the government approaching Quartermain and asking for his help. Someone is trying to start a World War by bombing different countries and blaming each other for it. Quartermain doesn’t want to get involved as he’s tired of fighting for the country but a group of gunmen show up and murder his friends so now it’s personal. He heads back to base where they have rounded up a group of the toughest fighters on the planet. This exclusive group is made up of Quartermain, the man who cannot die while in Africa; Captain Nemo, the greatest sailor who ever lived and who has access to boats that should not exist yet; Mina Harker, a vampire who possesses the ability to transform and also has regenerative abilities; Skinner, The legendary Invisible Man; Dorian Grey, A man cursed with complete immortality as long as he doesn’t look at his picture; Dr. Jekyll, A Man who can transform into the beast known as Hyde.

Together this group must team up to stop the villainous group led by Fantom. The tough part will be getting along with everyone as they aren’t exactly used to working as a team. Most of these guys are loners and have done a good job of saving the planet on their own. Why should they want to play second fiddle to someone now? It’s part of what I always love about crossovers. When you crossover characters who are from stand alone adventures it offers a lot of promise for various team dynamics because by nature they shouldn’t want to be on a team. This film doesn’t really go into that much though apart from some opening banter with Quartermain and Nemo. The rest of the group seem to just ignore each other for the most part and focus on the mission. That’s nice and all, but I would have liked some more banter. I think the film could have gone really far with that.

From the lore I’m familiar with most of the characters but not really with Mina Harker. We definitely needed someone from Dracula’s camp to fill in the ranks though so she made sense. Adding in a Mummy would have been nice too but as it is I suppose the team was pretty large. Let’s start with the positives here first. The action scenes are definitely pretty solid. The opening gunfight was pretty good as Quatermain had to deal with several enemies all at once. It’s a simple fight next to most of the others in the movie but did a good job of showcasing his skill with a gun. He’s definitely well ahead of Tom in that regard.

The effects are also pretty nice in general. The film uses a lot of darker environments like something out of Man of Steel or BVS. The solemn atmosphere works pretty well with this group as none of them are known for being particularly cheerful. At most maybe the Invisible Man and even then I wouldn’t say the guy is always laughing or anything like that. Everything is rather grayscale so there’s not much time for vibrant colors but none of the characters really have a moveset like that so the film’s not missing out on a whole lot this time. I also appreciated the city landscape.

One of the weaker parts of the film is Skinner though. Naturally he uses his invisibility to be a little cheap at times and I’m surprised Harker didn’t just rip him to shreds after his whole scene. He allows himself to be manipulated rather easily and vanishes for large parts of the film. Given how he was handled I think the character could have easily been cut out. Realistically he just should have been given a much better role though. As always, I wasn’t a huge fan of the vampire stuff though. The drinking blood scenes are always rather gruesome and not really my thing. The battle of regenerations with Dorian and Harker was also intense but not nearly as interesting as it could have been. I also feel like the last person you should ever turn your back to is someone who keeps on saying that they have the ability to regenerate wounds. You know….it just doesn’t make sense to do that.

At least Quatermain makes for a solid main character though. He’s got experience and seems like the perfect guy to lead this group into the fray. He may be rather normal next to the others but he’s a crack shot which is what counts. The film could have maybe picked people with different abilities though. Quatermain, Harker, and Dorian all have immortality. The only difference is that Quatermain’s only works in Africa, Harker can also transform, and Dorian’s regeneration is close to instant. In a fight Dorian would definitely demolish the other two to be honest. The weakest member of the group is Tom though. He’s an American Agent here to watch over everyone and help to stop the war. He crushes on Harker (Like almost everybody in the film) and that’s really the extent of his character. He was never all that interesting.

Nemo’s a good character. It is interesting to see him as a hero since apparently he was a villain for a while. He certainly doesn’t do anything villainous here though so I guess he has completely turned over the new leaf and is not looking back. Harker’s motivations in this mission seem a little smaller than some of the others to the point where you really have to assume that she is doing this out of the goodness of her heart. If that is true, well that’s definitely really nice of her. I can certainly say that not everyone would do that. That being said, she doesn’t seem super nice like that so it would have been interesting to have given her more of a plot.

I already talked about Skinner so lets move on to Dorian. He’s a pretty interesting character to be sure. He has a history with some of the other characters and never really looks all that concerned compared to the rest of the cast. Why should he be right? Dorian is effectively invincible. Nothing can harm him for very long. He has quite a large role in the film and it’s a pretty pivotal one. Finally, Dr. Jekyll rounds out the group. I’m not typically a fan of his character and this film didn’t really do anything to change that for me. He’s still the same ole scientist as always and his Hyde form is all brute strength. I guess I wouldn’t say he’s that bad, he’s far better than his film appearance at least. Still not my kind of character though.

Fantom is the big villain here and he looks good. He has a big twist at the end that I thought was brilliant and makes him more memorable You have to give the guy credit for always being at the right place at the right time. I was not expecting him to corner the heroes 20 minutes into the film. it feels like they barely leave the base before he’s already there and ready to mock them all. I suppose he expected things to play out a certain way based on scenes later on but otherwise it’s definitely an interesting moment to be sure. The plan is one of those convoluted ones where you feel like he could have done things in a much easier way but I suppose he got greedy and that is definitely a trademark for any villain.

Overall, A lot is definitely going on in this film. It can get pretty convoluted and messy but that will keep you engaged. It’s also a good way to mask the fact that the characters aren’t always very interested. By having everyone run around you can help disguise that. In the end this turned out to be a pretty good film. As I said it could and should have been a whole lot better than it was but I was still satisfied with the end product. At the very least it still delivered on giving us quality action scenes and that good crossover appeal. I like seeing various characters interact with each other and a crossover of iconic public domain characters is a good way to go about it. (At least I’d assume most are public domain at this point and Skinner was a good loophole on the Invisible Man) If you like action films and know these characters from your childhood it should at least be a nostalgic watch.

Overall 7/10

8 Star Movies, Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

The Commuter Review


It’s time to take a look at a fairly recent thriller film. At least to me films from 2018 still feel very recent. I remember the trailer for this one looking pretty solid at least. I’m always up for quick thrillers with a mystery angle and having it on a train is always a good idea. This isn’t really anything you haven’t seen before but I still thought it was fairly great. There’s a good amount of replay value here and the writing is definitely up to par.

The movie starts by introducing us to Michael. He’s had a pretty good career and a solid life. He has a complete family and has gone on the same commute to work for so long that he even knows all the regulars on the train. One day he is suddenly fired with no real reason behind it. This comes at a pretty tough time since now he won’t be able to pay for his son’s school and the family were just skating by financially. He doesn’t tell his wife what happened yet and boards the train. That’s when a lady named Joanna shows up and insists on talking with Michael. She gives him an offer. There is 25000 dollars hidden in the bathroom that is Michael’s to keep as long as he finds someone on the train who doesn’t belong and puts a tracker on them. Additionally, he will be paid another 75000 after doing this. She dashes out at the next stop.

Michael ponders the offer a bit and decides to take the money while not doing the job. He is prevented from leaving the train though and warned not to tell anyone or it’ll be game over for him. Michael may be a regular but can he really identify one person in a train this large? One thing going in his favor is that the person he is after won’t be getting off until one of the last stops and he has until the stop before to get the job done. If he doesn’t then his family is forfeit but if he does this then does that mean that the person he tags will be doomed? Trading lives is not something that you’re supposed to do and Michael has gotten himself into a jam.

You can definitely fault the lead a bit here for entertaining the offer. If he wasn’t willing to commit this crime then he just should have left the train or stayed aboard and done nothing. (The latter may not sound smart but if you never go to check the bathroom you’d just assume the person was crazy right? He probably would have still been doomed with the latter option but he wouldn’t have done anything wrong) Trying to grab the money and leave is still pretty bad. At best you’re trying to cheat some criminals but at worse you’ve just become an accessory to murder. You don’t want to be accepting blood money right?

Most of Michael’s moves are pretty smart in the film otherwise. He does a good job of limiting the suspects while also trying to contact the cops and his family. He handles the situation like a pro after the opening act and it makes sense since he’s Ex NYPD. His only really sloppy scene though is how he tries to exit the train. So, what he does is he waits until the very end when everyone has already left and then tries to exit. Naturally the villains notice and stop him. My question is…why wait until everyone is already off? Wouldn’t it be better cover to exit along with everyone else? It would have effectively been impossible to stop him. I’m sure they could have still coerced him back in with a phone call of his family or something but it would have been difficult to do that in time. If he left with the crowd he would have gotten away completely and it was the one scene in the film where I raised an eyebrow at him. Otherwise he did well though.

It’s always interesting to see the main character get involved in fight scenes now since he’s so much older. The film is definitely playing it out as Michael being too old to really engage with someone in a 1 on 1 fight. He tries his best but is on the losing end of each encounter here. It makes sense that he wouldn’t be able to beat someone who’s probably around 20 years younger than he is. It would look worse for the young guy as opposed to being a really good thing for the lead. Still, that’s where creativity comes in and Michael did good in still putting the scanner on during one of his scuffles.

As for Joanna, I have to admit that I expected her to have a much bigger role. The circumstances of what is going on with her character remain a mystery to the end. She makes for a fun villain but I have to admit that keeping her on the train the whole time may have made for an even more enjoyable mechanic. Of course, it would be difficult to do that without writing yourself into a whole lot of trouble so I can understand why that did not happen. There isn’t much of a supporting cast otherwise. You’ve got the various guys on the train and Michael’s friend from the police. That guy is around for the occasional call. Otherwise Michael is effectively on his own here. The various train characters are pretty fun. The best one is probably the insurance agent. I liked his confidence and how openly antagonistic he was. Naturally he’s not the kind of guy you want to be sitting next to on such a ride though. He’s better in a film like this than in real life.

Overall, The Commuter is a pretty fun film. The movie makes the most of the limited environment. I’ve never been on a big train like this one and have never had any interest in doing so. I came close once but the train derailed before I got on so that’s one ride I’m fairly glad to have missed out on. The characters are good and the writing is on point. The film is a thriller with mystery elements thrown in which is a pretty great mix. That gives you all the elements you need in order to construct a solid story. The movie isn’t super action packed or anything but you do get the occasional fight scene here. The climax is pretty intense as well. You may question the likelihood of some things occurring or nobody noticing things in other moments but this film did a great job of covering its bases. It’s hard to be 100% at any point but this film comes really close and even if you have some questions, I don’t expect any would be major or actually feel like plot holes. You could put in a reasonable explanation for what goes on. I’d definitely recommend checking this one out.

Overall 8/10

9 Star Movies, Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

His Girl Friday Review


It’s time to look at a comedy film from a while back and I have to say that it has aged exceptionally well. The dialogue is sharp and quick with a lot of great lines constantly thrown at you. The characters are solid and despite having a long runtime the film never lets up or loses your interest. That’s something that can be rather difficult and gets more difficult the longer your film is. That’s why I can say with great confidence that this is a pretty great film.

The movie starts with Hildy heading to Walter’s office to explain that she is about to marry someone. She had divorced Walter a while back although he keeps trying to win her over. She figures that now maybe he will finally stop in these attempts since it just didn’t work out. She also made sure not to give him a lot of time. She is moving to Ohio in a matter of hours. Walter knows he must move fast so he quickly decides to treat Hildy and her rebound Bruce to a quick dinner. During that dinner he sets his plans into motion. He’s got quite a complicated plan but if it works out then he will have gotten Bruce out of the picture and finally gotten back together with Hildy. Will Bruce stand for this or even realize what is going on?

The setup here is perfect from the start. The movie introduces Walter as a very fast talking guy who is used to getting what he wants. The opening banter with Hildy already establishes her as the only character who can really keep up with him. The rest either get slammed out of the office or tricked into doing what Walter wants. A big part of the film is really a battle of the minds between Walter and Hildy. Walter comes up with plans and Hildy uses her reporter skills to outwit him at every turn. The problem is that Walter is playing with a full deck of resources while Hildy only has Bruce as her backup and he is decidedly not one of the smartest characters here. More on him in a bit, but this just shows how well Hildy was doing to be able to keep up with Walter under these circumstances.

She was a reporter for many years and according to Walter, one of the best as well so this is no surprise. She shows her skills on many occasions as well as in some subtle moments. One good example of this is when the gunshots started going on outside. All of the reporters ran outside instantly while she stopped to set up the story and then left. The rest got back way before her but only with pieces of the story and some unrelated findings. Hildy made sure to get the complete story before returning. A lot of comedy hijinx would ensue but that was a quick way to clue in the viewers that she was clearly experienced and knew what she was doing. The whole thing is handled really well.

Once Walter arrives they also team up and pick up on each other’s plans rather quickly. It shows why they were perfect teammates in a story and why they are so deadlocked when they go up against each other in a battle. They’re both just very used to the usual games that go on. So the banter here was quite excellent throughout and the best part of the film. They really tear into each other although Walter always keeps up the appearance of being a super nice guy while Hildy keeps going for shot after shot. It’s a clever ruse on Walter’s part to make it look like he’s taking the high road the whole time.

The supporting cast is pretty solid as well. I can’t really say that there were any characters I disliked. The one that made the most impact was probably Louie. He’s a very loyal member of Walter’s team who is even willing to commit crimes in order to help out. Walter wouldn’t have made it nearly as far without him at the ready. Walter’s group is also quite diverse in how they handle his different crimes. Forget different reporting divisions, Walter has whole crime divisions set up! Now let’s talk about Bruce. So he’s the token “nice guy” who means well and does want to make Hildy happy. He’s not able to keep up with the quick banter or wit of the other characters but what should that matter as long as his intentions are good right? Some people just aren’t able to act in that wildly high speed interaction style. The main problem with him is that aside from that he’s not too smart. He isn’t able to see through any of Walter’s plans.

I wouldn’t blame him for this normally except that Hildy warned him from the start that Walter was no good. She told him time and time again and yet he kept believing Walter over her. Look, anyone can pretend to be a good guy on the outside for a while. I understand wanting to take that at face value which is a good thing but if your fiancee soon to be your wife in a day is telling you that her Ex is no good…shouldn’t you listen? I feel like that’s something that goes without saying so I kind of have to blame him for everything that happens. Even at the end he is very quick to run off without really listening to her. He could have waited til after the story but by this point he had been manipulated so much that you just can’t take him seriously. Still a nice guy, but unfortunately a very gullible one as well.

Walter and Hildy steal the show either way and are the best characters. Walter is one of the best main characters I’ve seen in a while and Hilda does the same for heroines. The film wouldn’t be nearly as impressive without them. I also liked the scene of Walter manipulating the sheriff into taking the desk away. It’s a classic case of reverse psychology and one that was being executed really well. I have to say that the Sheriff never really stood a chance here. He was completely outclassed in wit as soon as the round began and there was never a chance for him after that. There were a lot of corrupt guys walking around and by the end of the film the paper will have slammed most of them. You do have to recall the very first scene of the film where Walter sends the governor a letter though. That will become important for the final scene of the film which was a nice way to tie things together.

Overall, His Girl Friday is a great film. It really nails all the dialogue and plots running around. The film’s just a lot of fun. Some of these plots could have backfired if not executed exceptionally well like Walter’s sabotage efforts. The idea of the Ex trying to ruin a couple about to be married is something that can easily go sideways. The reason it works is because Walter may be corrupt and a trickster but at least he does actually seem like a very nice guy otherwise. He’s one of those “Nothing personal” guys. It’s a hard angle to do but the film got it. I’d highly recommend checking this out if you like a good comedy title. It doesn’t get much better than this.

Overall 9/10

7 Star Movies, Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

The 7th Voyage of Sinbad Review


It’s time to look at a classic Sinbad film. Believe it or not but I’ve never really seen a Sinbad movie before. He’s one of those classic characters that I certainly know about but that’s about it. The guy’s effectively been a mystery to me. I’m also not typically a big fan of pirate films because I’m not a huge fan of the water. You typically can’t have great fight scenes there and while the ocean might look nice, it can get old. Fortunately this film is actually quite good though. I’d definitely say that it will keep your interest pretty well and has aged very well.

The film starts with Sinbad deciding to rest a bit on an island. His crew has been on a long voyage to get the princess Parisa back to the kingdom where she and Sinbad will be married. Their visit to the island is a short one as it turns out a Cyclops lives there. A magician known as Sokurah joins the crew but insists that they go back to the island because he clumsily dropped his magic lamp. How do you drop a lamp that is pretty much all powerful? The lamp has some limits like the fact that is can’t directly attack but its use is still only limited by your imagination. Sinbad says it would be foolish to go back to Sokurah has to think of a plan. His plan is to shrink Parisa down to the size of an apple. Sinbad must now go back to the island to reclaim the Lamp which will allow Sokurah to turn her back to normal. Can Sinbad really stop the Cyclops?

Pretty fun plot but I give Sinbad too much credit in it. Put it this way, Sinbad actually doesn’t realize that Sokurah shrunk her down. He seems to think it was some kind of crazy coincidence even though Sokurah was about as obvious as he could be. Seriously, it seems like he would have had to draw a huge sign or something given how slow on the uptake everyone is. This guy pits the two kingdoms against each other with ease. Part of the issue is that Parisa’s father is quite gullible indeed and thinks Sinbad’s kingdom is to blame. I get the kingdom rivalries and all but this was just too obvious.

I guess you had to get Sinbad back to the island somehow though. His portrayal here is a bit different than what I was expecting but not in a bad way. He’s actually not the kind of guy to take on any risk. He chooses his battles and that’s worth noting. It’s why he initially says that going back to the island is crazy. It’s not so much that he’s afraid of the Cyclops but why fight a battle that you don’t need too? There is wisdom in what he says.

I liked Sinbad. He’s a pretty good guy and a solid fighter. His best scene is probably when he has to take on the whole crew once they start a mutiny. I was expecting a few people to turn on him but just about everyone? That was intense and a great fight scene for sure. Sinbad had a few allies but they never really got much of a role so it’s hard to tell if that was a homage to his original crew or just some loyal fellows.

Parisa is also pretty solid. I did appreciate the fact that she tried helping despite her size. She was good with helping unlock the heroes while they were in the cage and any contribution is a good one if you ask me. She was much better than the two kings. Her maid was also pretty unreasonable so Parisa comes across as the voice of reason here. I’m not sure what they would do without her.

As for the villain Sokurah, it’s hard not to like that guy. He’s so obviously evil the whole time. You half expect him to start cackling at any given moment. Yet, his powers are very real. If he can do all of these things like altering someone’s shape and shrinking others, I feel like he could have taken down the Cyclops a lot easier than he did. Maybe he has a size limit but even so if he had hyped up his magical powers sooner the kingdoms may have actually helped him. Kingdoms love raw power so they would very quickly have him as an ally.
Finally we have Barani but he didn’t work so well as a Genie. I didn’t like the fact that he would always say that he would try to grant a wish. Don’t try….you’re a genie!! He should be able to just do it and in the end he always does so I question why it was so difficult. Barani is just underestimating himself at this point.

Ultimately a big reason as to why the film was so good is because the writing is on point and the pacing is solid. The script is quite solid and gets us a lot of good banter with all of the characters. As I mentioned, it’s also just aged really well in general. Sinbad has a lot of good fights like with the Skeleton or the crew. It’s all ahead of its time in that respect. It’s also a pretty surreal film like when the Ogre first shows up. It can be a bit sudden and unexpected if you aren’t familiar with Sinbad because of how realistic it all appeared to be at first. We even get a monster fight near the end which I was definitely not expecting.

Overall, I dare say that this is the definitive version of Sinbad. I haven’t seen any other Sinbad films so this might feel a little early to say but it’s just that good. It hits all the right beats of what a Sinbad film should contain. How can you go wrong right? The film is also over in a flash. It doesn’t drag on at all and its fairly close to getting an 8. There are some films like this where I’m tempted to give an 8 but I guess it would need a bit of an extra push. Still, there’s nothing wrong with being a 7 because that just means you were very fun. This title has a lot of replay value and I would recommend checking it out.

Overall 7/10

0 Star Movies, Live Action Movie Reviews, Reviews

Scary Movie (1991) Review


It’s time to look at a horror film from a while back. This one isn’t very well known and for good reason. It’s pretty terrible from the jump and never gets any better. There are more fake outs than jump scares in this film and the setting is just an excuse to be as violent as possible. There’s barely even a plot for most of the film as it’s just the main character wandering into every possible exhibit as he scares himself more and more with each passing exhibit.

Warren is the main character here and he’s the only one who really matters. So it’s Halloween and everyone in town is getting excited to enter the haunted house. It’s apparently a big attraction every year that is really popular with just about everyone. Effectively you have to go to this place if you think of yourself as a cool guy. Nobody wants to miss out and with peer pressure that means Warren has to go as well. His “friends” are quick to mess with him constantly. He is pretty susceptible to peer pressure in all its forms and the characters have no trouble getting him to do stuff like smoking. Well, he is now in the haunted house but worries that the escaped criminal is in the house with them. (We learn earlier in the film that he has escaped custody. Warren must now find a way out of the house before he is taken out of the picture permanently.

One of the main points of the plot is deciding if Warren is right or if he is blowing things completely out of proportion. In defense of the film, it does a reasonable job of letting you come to your own conclusions. That’s about the only positive I can think of here. As I mentioned, the film has a ton of fake jump scares. They’re all pretty graphic due to the nature of the film though. This is a pretty older aiming haunted house so there’s blood gushing everywhere and a ton of crazy visuals. It’s one of those things were if all of this was real this would be an easy R. It gets a pass I suppose in part because it’s so old and all but also because of it’s all fake.

There are actually haunted houses like this though. I remember one that was on the outskirts of the city or NJ if I remember correctly that was supposed to be incredibly intense. You have to be over 21 and sign some kind of waiver before you go in. Then you get to see a lot of terrible imagery that’s basically satanic and even get in on the action. It’s effectively a way to legally act like a criminal and those kinds of haunted houses have never piqued my interest. Even the tamer ones I take a pass on. I’ve never been to a haunted house and will probably never go to one. It’s not really my thing, nor is Halloween for the dressing up part but I do buy myself a nice chocolate that day.

Back to the film though, it’s just way too gritty and grim the whole time. The imagery throughout the film is pretty terrible. Warren also makes for a terrible main character as he’s too over the top with how nervous he was. He should have just had the courage to say he wouldn’t go into the house. I would have gained a ton of respect if he had done that because then he was at least standing up for himself. You gotta be able to do that and not just let people walk all over you. That’s an easy way to get yourself mixed up in all kinds of trouble. All the characters here were just annoying. The only one who was at least trying to help was a kid and even then Warren would not follow him.

After a while you have to take this out on the film’s writing as well. There’s no way that Warren reasonably couldn’t exit the haunted house. We see at one point that dozens of people were in the house so they all leave except for Warren who trips numerous times and then keeps getting stuck in a trance. The characters did what they could to save him and it just didn’t work out. Warren was really not being helpful at all. There was also one character who was randomly laughing the whole time. I think the director was trying to go for a very surrealistic kind of vibe where you can’t trust anything you’re seeing but I wouldn’t say it did wonders for the film either.

The camera work is pretty terrible as with the rest of the film. It can get pretty violent at times when we do get to the real action as well. The atmosphere is thrown in your face the whole time so it’s not like the film gets tense either. This one just really fails at everything it tries to achieve and ultimately that is part of why it was completely doomed. Some films start off on the wrong foot but get better. This was not one of them as the ending was also pretty terrible.

Overall, I highly recommend avoiding this film. It was just lousy and I didn’t even talk about the fact that it forced in some animal violence near the beginning of the film. It made pretty much every attempt it could to continue sinking to the next level and succeeded in that respect. It’s unfortunate but that’s why it makes sense that nobody’s heard of this film. If you want to see a Scary film that handles things better then check out something like Insidious. As far as this film is concerned, just try to pretend that it doesn’t exist and you’ll be just fine.

Overall 0/10

6 Star Movies, Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

Lethal Weapon 4 Review

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

It’s time to finally end the Lethal Weapon series. It had a pretty good run to be sure but all shows must end at some point right? It was a pretty solid series and now that I’ve seen them all I would rank the entries as 1>3>4>2 although they’re all pretty close. 1 and 3 are neck and neck just like 4 and 2. This one ends the series pretty well and gives all of the characters some closure. The ending is a bit on the weak side as it gets drawn out but otherwise this film is sure to bring you a lot of fun thrills and action as it goes on.

The movie starts with Martin and Roger trying to take down a guy who is using a flamethrower. The problem is that this guy is armed to the teeth with armor and guns. The scene is surprisingly long as the two characters keep trying to take him down but nothing works. His armor is simply too sturdy so eventually they’re forced to come up with a plan. They actually get promoted to Captain now. The main case of the film is they catch a guy who was smuggling people into the country. They didn’t get the leader though and he is looking for one family that escaped and is currently getting refuge at Roger’s place. This is technically illegal but Roger wants to do his part to help them out. Will he be able to protect them from the villains who are coming his way?

A positive for this movie is naturally the banter between Martin and Roger as always. They make for a solid duo and are always at the ready for whatever will come their way. The opening fight drags a bit but we get all of the classic explosions you would expect. The whole thing is a bit sad for Roger though as Martin keeps a pretty big secret involving Roger’s daughter away from the guy. You’d think as partners they would tell each other everything like that. It’s not really Martin’s business but he did pry until he got the details. It’s just sad for Roger since everybody knows except him which is definitely not a good thing.

I also liked the fight scenes here. The hand to hand choreography was naturally pretty good and the villain definitely left more of an impression this time around. Wah Sing Ku was an excellent fighter and could even take on more than one opponent at once. That’s the kind of villain I want to see challenge the heroes and really test their limits. Even by the end of the film he really had the upper hand and definitely would have won if it was 1 on 1. He definitely gave them a better fight than anyone else had in the previous films. I also liked his fight on the rooftop against another villain. We really hadn’t seen a big villain vs villain fight in the previous films.

Where the film falters aside from the beginning is also the long ending scene at the hospital. It was a bit over dramatic and just kept going on and on and on. I think most of that could have been shortened right away. Leo’s antics also got a bit more painful than usual like with the dentist scene. I think that could have been cut and everyone laughing over there was a bit much. Still, in the grand scheme of things these are pretty small scenes so it’s not like they will hurt the film much at all. It’s still a very fast paced adventure with quality characters.

There’s not much new to say about the characters. Martin is just as good a lead as always even if he is slowing down in his old age. He takes quite a few losses in this movie which I guess it natural since he just can’t keep up with the younger guys in their prime anymore. He still has a lot of fun at Roger’s expense though. Meanwhile Roger is also fun. He definitely isn’t thrilled about his daughter falling for a cop. What are the odds right? At least the guy is portrayed as being very decent. He also makes for a good supporting character here and adds to the dynamic. Whenever you have a new character in a series that character needs to contribute something so it’s not all just fluff. Fortunately the film definitely gets that right here which was important. Lorna also helps out in the fights which I was glad about since she was such a fighter in the last film. She’s very pregnant so there’s not as much that she can do but she comes in clutch when it counted. It seems like she would suddenly not be pregnant during the fight scenes a bit but you can suspend some disbelief for a quality action scene.

It’s one of the better scenes in the film because you never really see the 3 characters teaming up like this. Made for a bit of an ensemble fight scene which was really nice. I dare say the film could have included more guys in the final fight since the heroes were so outgunned but there is something to having the main two team up for one last fight. They basically knew they were doomed and went in anyway which is pretty much the whole point of the scene. Throw in the quality writing of the two characters debating if they should even enter this fight and you’ve certainly got a winner. They probably should have retreated to where the other cops were to be honest, but I can never fault a character for going in and trying to take down a villain. You gotta to what you gotta do.

Overall, Lethal Weapon 4 is a pretty good film. Ironically it drags in both the beginning and ending but the middle is solid as always. It really ticks the same boxes as the previous films so as long as you enjoyed the first 3 films you should like this one. It’s just a solid action film at its core. I’d be up for more sequels but if it has to end then this was a good way to do it. Pretty much every character got their happy ending and that’s the right way to end the series. The main characters were also starting to get quite old so I don’t think they would have been able to last much longer anyway. You can definitely do a film about old guys running around but it’ll be tougher on the chase scenes and hand to hand action.

Overall 6/10

2 Star Movies, Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

Bikini Beach Review


It’s time for another beach adventure. Unfortunately this one really doesn’t help the series. It’s basically the same as the last beach adventures and that’s an issue. There’s no real substance here and the movie basically brings in the same plot lines that it has been recycling over and over at this point. There’s not a lot of fresh content to be found and that’s a shame. I don’t think there’s a whole lot you could do with the premise anyway though. The beach just doesn’t make for a good backdrop in a film as it gets old pretty quick. It’s unfortunate but that’s just the way it goes.

The basic plot though is that a guy known as the Potato Bug has come into town. He wants to show everyone what true music is. Frankie still refuses to marry DeeDee so she decides to hang out with the Bug to make Frankie jealous. Meanwhile a local publisher known as Honeywagon has decided to prove that the teenagers are a menace to society. With his trained chimp he will make a monkey out of them yet. Much to the sadness of the main characters they are getting humiliated by this ape. He just seems to be smarter and faster than they are.

The film has a ton of weaknesses so let’s look at one of the few plots that actually was reasonably solid. That would be Honeywagon’s plot. He writes papers about how corrupt the teens are and you almost can’t help but root for him. The guy has a few legitimate points here because the teenagers aren’t really being all that productive. They’re just heading to the Beach and doing whatever they want for hours on end. They are always making jokes and messing with each other and they do this pretty loudly so it must be tough on the seniors. Honeywagon is proving that we have to get them off the beach and I had to agree. As the film goes on he naturally starts to weaken but even so I was rooting for the guy. I also thought he got a really good burn in when he explained that the teenagers weren’t even as smart as the monkey.

The rest of the plots aren’t very good though. For starters, the Potato Bug is portrayed to be pretty awful at just about everything. Even the singing seemed pretty bad and only half of the teenagers seemed to enjoy it. I don’t think he had much of a point in the film. He was only there to make Frankie jealous and either way that happens in pretty much every film. It’s not like it’s anything new at this point in the game. Frankie still won’t marry DeeDee no matter what tricks she pulls and she always goes back to him anyway. It’s not as tense since this always happens and Frankie has also proven that he doesn’t mind hanging out with someone while waiting for Deedee to come around.

In general I didn’t think the monkey scenes worked either. They tended to be rather boring most of the time. As always the film also suffers from a steady stream of fanservice as well. Pretty much no scene is safe from this and it ultimately takes away from the movie quite a lot. The movie starts off with a fanservice scene which sets the tone for the rest of the film. You can’t expect quality writing or pacing here either. This film feels quite long as it plays through and has virtually no replay value. There’s just not much good to be found in this film.

I guess I’ll give the climax some props here. At least we did get an extended fight scene with everyone. I could do without the chase scene but the fight itself was excellent. All of the characters got to contribute a bit with their haymaker and combos. Even Honeywagon got in on the action and seems to have some basic super strength which served him well here. Without Honeywagon the heroes may have been in trouble. The monkey also ended up helping even if that plot was always a bit cheesy. The whole film is meant to be cheesy though so that’s nothing new.

How much you enjoy the film just depends on how entertaining you find all of this. It’s got a lot of slapstick and is intentionally very over the top the whole time. The jokes are all recycled but meant to clearly still get their laughs. I like a good old fashioned comedy as much as the next guy but a film centered around the beach for laughs just idn’t going to work. What would have been interesting would have been if Honeywagon had taken the teens to court and we got some back and forth with the characters. Now that would have been pretty interesting and I dare say that it would have helped the film quite a bit. What we need is a winter version that takes place entirely in the courthouse. It would be a very different kind of film but that’s the point.

Overall. The main characters really prove Honeywagon right the whole time. All they can think about is hanging out and being at the beach. None of them are particularly serious or smart. Most of his burns land because the teens just can’t defend themselves. Some of them can’t even read because they’ve been at the beach too long fighting with gangs. If Honeywagon had ultimately won that would have been pretty cool and a great twist if you ask me. If you really love beach movies then I guess you can watch this. It’s pretty much the same as the rest of the beach films although with arguably a weaker plot than most. Really, that potato guy was just awful. Maybe that’s why the film has so many songs so you can try to forget about the story for a while. It doesn’t work though because the songs aren’t particularly good either. I’d definitely recommend taking a pass on this one.

Overall 2/10

7 Star Movies, Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

Lethal Weapon 3 Review

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

It’s time to follow the pair of cops on another adventure. Lethal Weapon 3 has a little more fun with the premise compared to last time as we see them foil a few quick crimes in addition to the main plot. Due to this I consider it to be an improvement over the second film although I ultimately still wouldn’t put it over the first film. It’s a fun way to end off the trilogy so to speak even if we did get a fourth film after this one. The series has managed to be pretty consistently good so far.

The movie starts off with Martin and Roger getting themselves involved in stopping yet another criminal plot. They end up being a little out of their depth when trying to defuse the bomb though. Blowing up a building was the last straw though so they have been demoted from their positions. Martin and Roger keep getting involved with a lot of different crimes like people trying to steal money, running around with guns, etc. The cops are going to need the heroes back in the action pretty quick because an ex cop known as Jack has shown up and is abusing his power. He ventured undercover into the prison and even murdered a witness. If Martin and Roger don’t stop him soon, Jack will have finished enacting his plan and made millions of dollars.

Right away you can tell that this film is a lot busier than the last one and that’s a very good thing. There’s always something happening with a lot of ongoing plots at once. That’s always a good thing to do in a thriller kind of film because it helps keep you glued to what’s going on. When you keep changing the location and the case then you have to do your best to keep up. We actually see Martin and Roger doing a lot of patrolling in this film which is good because that is one of their main tasks. I also feel like the film was having a little fun with this. The characters can’t even sit down to have a burger without someone getting murdered or trying to evade arrest.

We get a new character named Lorna who is pretty fun although regrettably the film could not resist going for the romance angle right away. It’s handled pretty terribly like in the last film. Lorna and Martin don’t get along at all in the beginning and then suddenly they hit it off later on. There’s no real reason for this and it all just happens way too quickly. Even if you know it’s coming it doesn’t make the plot any better. Still, as a character Lorna is still good though. She’s always ready to put the main characters back in their place and she can actually fight pretty well which is always a thumbs up in my book. Lorna can hold her own and has apparently cracked a lot of cases back in her day.

Martin is still a solid main character as always. He jumps into action at every turn and never lets a villain get away. He’s much more intense about his job than any of the other characters. Roger may get fed up about how many risks Martin takes but at the end of the day it’s what makes Riggs so effective. He holds his own story pretty well. Meanwhile it’s a fun film for Roger as well. The dynamic of him trying to play it a bit safe now is enjoyable and since he’s so close to retirement it makes sense as well. Nobody wants to be taking huge chances when they’re so close to being out the door right?

Leo also returns here and does his best to help the characters out. He’s even helping Roger sell his house which is pretty nice of him. The guy has come a long way from being a big drug dealer. The rest of the cast is pretty self contained. You’ll recognize some supporting characters like the captain of the police or the psychiatrist that Martin doesn’t take seriously. They all help to make the police base pretty inviting and it’s easy to see how everyone gets along so well with the banter. The place is pretty informal so everyone can just relax and have a good time.

The writing here is solid and the pacing is definitely good. As mentioned, something is always happening here which is part of why the film manages to be so good. I think it was quite a solid way to kick off the first 3 films while leading us up to the final one. The action scenes here are good and the movie manages to balance out the buddy cop dynamic while still being an intense thriller. Jack may not be a particularly memorable villain but he was reasonable enough. I think I would have liked to have actually seen him fight a bit more though. That would have made him more memorable.

Overall, Lethal Weapon 3 gets real close to topping the original film. It didn’t quite do it but operates at the same level. I was glad to see Martin get another dog here. Now he has two and they seem to get along quite well. It also shows that he has pretty solid morals since he wouldn’t attack the first dog even when the villains owned him. If you want to watch an action film that also has a lot of fun then this is definitely the title for you. There’s really not much to say against it as this film hits the right notes and doesn’t drag on. We’ll see if the next film continues the trend and ends things on a high note.

Overall 7/10