Harry and Tonto Review

This review is of the TV-14 edited version of the film. All thoughts below should be addressed as such as a review of the unedited version would be more negative
Harry and Tonto is a movie with a fairly basic premise. The two of them are going on a big adventure and getting to see the world. Nothing wrong with that in the slightest of course but I would say the execution was not very good at all. It ends up being rather boring a lot of the time but the writing is always very weak. It reminds me of some Woody Allen films from a while back where it’s just the characters talking but the script is so bad that it falls on its face. That’s pretty much what happens here so you don’t even have that to keep the film afloat.

The movie starts by having Harry get mugged again. The neighborhood used to be good but it’s really been sinking a lot. So he goes to move in with his family but it’s rather tense there as the place is really small. One of his grand kids has taken a vow of silence for some reason and only his son is glad about him staying. So Harry decides to go on a journey with his pet cat Tonto. Along the way they run into a girl who ran away from home named Ginger. The initial goal is to find more of Harry’s family members and even an old flame before he decides where to stay but along the way it just becomes more about experiencing life.

A movie like this can only survive if the characters and writing are both really great. That would probably be the case for a 50s or 60s film but one this late in the game has more of an annoying dialogue style than anything else. When the conversations aren’t about mundane things like the weather, you have Harry being shocked at how depraved the world has gotten. He’s able to hook up with a random girl during one of the drives for money and the runaway Ginger is not shy about just stripping down. Other characters talk to him about when the last time he had an affair was and it’s like nobody ever grew up here.

The romance that we do get later on in the film is more of a cringeworthy affair. Then to show us that Harry can never really be happy, he’s thrown for another loop near the end. The world is moving fast and just won’t let him catch up. In theory he’s good now but this rollercoaster had too many pitfalls. By the end I wouldn’t say there are any real likable characters. Harry’s son would be the best for sticking by him the whole time. The rest of the family wasn’t too helpful like the guy who lost all his money, the son’s wife who wasn’t subtle about wanting him to leave, the daughter who didn’t even try, etc.

Harry was definitely on his own. Harry was a prideful man too so it’s not like he tried super hard though. He did the best he could to keep his old place but once that was gone then it was pretty much all over for him. Tonto was good the whole time though. He always ended up making you nervous though when he’d run off in general because this was the kind of film that wouldn’t pull its punches.

I think Harry may have ultimately had a better time staying in his neighborhood. Sure it was fairly dangerous but at least he knew everybody there. I’d say the best moments were when the film would slow down to actually let him enjoy the adventure. Like going to the casino and trying to play dice for a bit. At least there he got to have a little more fun before unfortunately not being able to make it to the bathroom in time. The crazy adventure with the chieftain in the cell was certainly something that’s for sure.

Maybe Harry needed to have a dog for some more fun Hijinx. But there really isn’t a lot to the film so it does come down to the human. Harry just wasn’t interesting enough to lead his own film. I dare say that he needed to be a little younger to have an easier time of it. Otherwise you have to be super charismatic and likable which didn’t really work here. Having Harry be a very confident guy who figures he’ll have a new place in no time flat could have been a good angle to have here.

As for the writing, maybe you needed more of a solid hook. If not, I think some humor could have gone a long way here. Yeah, this time I would say throwing in some jokes would not have hurt. It would be a good way to keep the adventure light and also give the characters some more substance to talk about. Just something to make it be a lot more interesting because otherwise you’ll be falling asleep here. Also, they probably shouldn’t have written Harry as having a wife who ultimately died before him because it just makes him look even worse when he is still interested in other women and messing around. At his age he should be all over that and definitely not going for a rebound. That’s really it, just live the rest of your life with a lot of fun and enjoyment but not trying to start another relationship like that.

Overall, A film can certainly get by without having much of a focus or a plot but to do that you need to be very funny or wholesome. One or the other can certainly do the trick but when you’re neither then that is going to be a really big issue. This film never ended up getting interesting. It’s a shame because a journey movie will usually be good even if just to see all of the various sites along the way. Maybe if that guy who was with Ginger could have stayed longer then he would have been a good addition to the party. Could have added something to the dynamic I suppose. A subplot that wouldn’t end tragically like Harry finally getting to meet the girl who liked him way back in the day.

Overall 3/10

Jurassic World: Dominion Review

It’s time to bring the Jurassic World series to a close. It’s been quite the run and while I have yet to find any of these titles to be good movies yet, it’s always neat seeing dinosaurs. You could just say that the films are usually doomed from the start because it’s hard to have a dinosaur film without the dinosaurs themselves eventually running into peril. The animal violence sabotages the film right from the jump and this one is no exception with several hunting scenes. I’m afraid the franchise has overstayed its welcome and needs a new premise like robotic dinosaurs to get to the next level.

The film starts off by giving us a massive info dump about the dinosaurs having taken refuge in all parts of the planet. There is no escape from these dinosaurs and so Biosyn has taken this chance to quickly become one of the biggest companies in the world. Yes, it’s time to rake in those profits like nobody’s business! They were granted exclusive rights to grab the dinosaurs and so everyone else needs to stay back. Naturally they aren’t doing this out of the goodness of their heart though and seem to be doing something nefarious with the insects in their company. If they aren’t stopped quickly then the entire planet could be in danger.

There are two main plots here. First, you’ve got Owen and Claire who are still trying to raise Maisie as best they can, but they seem to have gotten lost in the sauce as in trying to protect her from everything around them, they’ve effectively trapped her in a house. Maisie quickly started to resent this and so she ran off and gets captured along with Blue’s kid. The heroes are in a race against time to find her and so we get a good amount of action here as they get to relive their action hero days.

In the B plot, the 3 main characters from the original trilogy have to try and get proof of Biosyn’s wrongdoings by infiltrating their headquarters. This plot has less action by comparison as they do their best to find out the facts but it’s all a bit more low key. I feel like this is intentional as the old characters do things by the book and it’s a very old fashioned type approach while the new characters are having fancy gun fights and hand to hand combat scenes. Naturally the main plot was typically more interesting. Then eventually the plots converge.

Lets get the obvious issue out of the way first and that’s the animal violence. Within 20 minutes of the film starting you have a rabbit eaten and a wolf murdered. Later on you’ve also got birds taken out and a fox hunted down. Of course eventually this also goes to the dinosaurs as they attack each other and one gets stabbed. It’s inevitable that this would happen with so many dinosaurs around and that’s the real issue here with dinosaur films in general. They are cool to see but of course they won’t stand a chance against properly armed fighters or bigger dinosaurs so someone’s going to get hurt. Each time that happens, the film ends up losing some momentum.

The other biggest issue I’d say is just that the film feels very long. The pacing isn’t air tight and it actually does drag on a bit. The plot with the old main characters can almost get boring at times. There are a lot of chase scenes and everything but when the film slows down, man does it slow down. You don’t care too much about the conversations on the dinos because we’ve heard it all a million times before. You just want to get to the good stuff and the film peaks early in that regard.

The best part of the film is when Owen and Claire confront two of the villains. Owen has an excellent close quarters fight against the knife wielder and it’s the best action scene in the movie. It reminds me of how his fight in the last film was also the best scene. I think it’s time for these films to transition into being more about the hand to hand combat because that’s clearly the best part of these films. I did think Claire was not intense enough in the moment which felt out of character though.

Keep in mind that they are trying to save the kid and it’s a matter of life and death. Owen certainly acted like it with how he was going at the guy and not taking prisoners but Claire’s battle had a lot more comedy mixed in and she was still trying to ask questions and all. I would have liked her to have tackled her villain and got right into the action. It all works out in the end but the villainess really got off easy the whole time.

Owen and Claire do make for solid main characters though. They get the job done and get a lot of good scenes. I do think they made the wrong choice in isolating Maisie as much as they did though. Yeah you’ve got to be careful but wouldn’t it still be better to be in a city environment than in the middle of the woods? Seems to me like being isolated is a bad idea when everyone around the world wants to get you because eventually they would. Just get some fake IDs and a decent disguise and you should be good.

I do think they could have played up the fugitive angle for these two characters a bit more though. In general there’s also more the movie could have done with the whole dynamic of having the dinosaurs on the go too. Having them just randomly running around the world seems like it should have had more of an effect on the planet than what we’re shown. Only around 30 deaths due to dinosaurs?? I find that extremely hard to believe.

These two are joined by Kayla later on in the plot as she gets roped into the adventure. Initially she’s here just for the money but gradually gets a conscience about the whole thing. She’s a decent fighter and helps them out when they’re in a pinch. Without a plane the heroes definitely would not have gotten very far here. As for Maisie, she is quite the rebel in this film and gets everyone into trouble. I’ll give the parents more of the blame here though because she did try to talk things out first several times and it felt like they weren’t giving her any great options.

For the other plot, well Ian definitely steals the show from the 3. He’s just way more of an interesting character than the other two. Ian always tries to find the bright side of things and remains calm even under pressure. His character is always a blast and while he isn’t as much of a field agent as the others, he does come in clutch on many occasions. Without him getting into the company first the others would have had a much tougher time of it.

Ellie and Allen are held back a bit by the inevitable romance which feels like it’s way too late. You can see the romance a mile away but cmon now, they’ve only just gotten reunited after how long? There’s no time for all of that and these two feel like they’ve been out of the game for so long that they’re a bit out of their depth. Their plot just never comes close to being as interesting as the main one.

On their plot you’ve also got Ramsay who gets quite a lot to do. The guy ends up being rather helpful the whole time so that’s good. The B plot has its share of danger and everything but 9 times out of 10 you’re ready to go back to Owen and team. Finally there’s the main villain Lewis and I’m not sure exactly what they were going for with him. He can be rather serious at times and then almost incompetent at other moments. He’s always very hyper/manic so he doesn’t always have time to finish his sentences. He works well as a funny villain in that degree even if I’m not sure how intentional that was which is a bit of an issue.

If he was meant to be more of a serious villain then the film failed but if you’re supposed to laugh at him a bit then that works well enough. He had some of the funniest scenes in the film although I would say Ian was still the most humorous character in the grand scheme of things.

While the movie is fairly lighthearted the whole time, it does have some grim moments like when two kids are attacked by a bunch of locusts. I was actually a little shocked at that because it just comes out of the blue and man, they were not expecting that. Of course you could try to say that they escaped but it was probably all over for them. I would still not call the film particularly violent or anything compared to older ones though. It’s certainly not touching the original films in that regard. Even the dinosaur fights usually happen when it’s really dark so you can’t actually see too much of what’s going on. I like to think that was to hide the violence and not because they’re afraid of how the CG looks.

The movie uses the classic Park theme at one point but for the most part it feels rather quiet. There aren’t any standout tunes at all which is a shame. Good music can really help take you to the next level and it could also have been used to make some of the slower scenes a little more exciting. In fact, that really might be what the film was missing. Throwing in some more good music could have really helped take the film to the next level or at least get a 1 star boost or something.

There’s certainly more to dislike here than to like. There’s also virtually no replay value because of how long the film is and how it ends up dragging instead of really utilizing that length. There are quite a few portions of the film that it feels like you could almost cut out so that it goes along a bit quicker. Now this may not sound good for fans of the original trilogy, but I think a strong case could be made that Ellie and Allen should have been cut out. All you need is Ian for their plot and when Maisie shows up she can take care of the rest. The two characters are almost filler if you think about it.

In a way the biggest way I can tell that the film wasn’t super interesting is I’m already running out of stuff to talk about and usually reviews for films in theaters tend to be on the longer side. There’s usually a bunch more to talk about but I guess that’s it here. At least the T Rex does get to show up and I will give the film props for the dinosaur models. I still think they look cool at least. I liked the one with the claws, that was nice. The film definitely could have used more day-time scenes with the dinosaurs so we could really appreciate how they looked though. A dark climax makes sense for the scary vibes but c’mon, this film isn’t really scary like that.

Overall, Jurassic World ends on a bit of an eh note. I would say this beats Fallen Kingdom for me but it loses to the original Jurassic World. I’m inclined to say Jurassic Park III beats this one as well. This one probably beats the first two though so all in all…that means this one’s roughly in the middle or slightly above the middle. That’s not bad. It’s not a particularly high bar for me though but it’s a start. If you really like dinosaurs then you should still get a lot out of this movie but it really should have been more exciting than how it turned out to be.

Overall 3/10

The Fury 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

When you mix in government conspiracies with cool sci-fi powers then you’ve got an interesting balance of things to work with. The Fury has a lot of interesting themes without a doubt but it also felt unfocused at the same time. I was often more interested in what the main guy was doing than in the kid who was trying to get used to her powers. The ending won’t leave anyone particularly satisfying which ends up hurting the film a lot in the end.

The movie starts with Peter enjoying a nice vacation with his son Robin. Robin is gifted with psychic abilities far beyond the realm of ordinary men. Peter thinks he should accept it as a gift which will take him to greatness while Robin isn’t too thrilled to have these abilities. The point quickly becomes moot as Peter is shot and Robin is kidnapped. Ben led this uprising as he wants to have all of the psychics for himself and takes Robin to his school for the gifted. This guy has a ton of power and influence so it won’t be easy for Peter to catch him which is why we fast forward a few months into the future.

The new main character now is Gillian and she has blood manipulation powers in addition to the usual telepathic type abilities. So if she makes any kind of physical contact with someone then they’ll start to bleed. Any old wounds will open up and they can die in moments. She hopes that going to this fancy school for psychics will help her but little does she know that the place is as corrupt as it gets. Will she be able to get out of this place safely or is she already in too deep?

The plots with Peter and Gillian do end up converging of course but until that happens her plot just feels rather uneventful next to his. When Peter is around you see him taking on armed guards, stopping pickpockets, having car chase scenes, etc. He’s on a very personal mission to save Robin and the stakes are high so you just naturally get invested. Since months have passed you can also understand why he is really stressed and rushing through this because the villains can do a whole lot of damage in that time. His fears are quite warranted as well from what we see.

Peter makes for a good main character. He’s always moving forward and has his guard up at all times. Even when the stakes aren’t in his favor like when he’s captured, Peter stays focused and even manages to get some jokes in. It’s tough to make him lose his cool and any scene with him was usually quite solid. His girlfriend Hester was also really solid. You know from the start that things probably aren’t going to go over too well for her since she’s infiltrated the villain’s base and is his spy on the inside. When you work with a secret agent your days are usually numbered since you’re not the lead.

Hester is always willing to take risks and help him out and deserves credit for that. Meanwhile I was not a fan of Robin. He’s in a tough spot so of course you do have to cut him a bit of slack but whenever he’s on screen you can see him making the wrong choices. It’s hard to say what he should have done without knowing the context, but with his psychic powers it would have been best if he just took them out. He has a whole lot of power so now’s the time to use it instead of allowing himself to be manipulated the whole time.

The group put him through a lot and effectively broke Robin so it’s tragic but that doesn’t make him a good character either. In the end he couldn’t get past this and was not a likable figure in the movie. His guardian Susan wasn’t good either. Basically her role in the group was to keep Robin preoccupied by having an affair with him even though her heart wasn’t in it. It was just a task for her and it worked for a while which is a strike against Robin for not really realizing. Can’t say I was a fan of hers either, it was certainly a super stressful task though.

Then there is the main villain Ben who is really not that smart sometimes. Sure, things have worked out for him so far so I guess he has some kind of a plan but I would say that he got lucky more times than not. His whole psychic school didn’t seem to have as many defenses as you would expect to keep these powerful fighters locked up. Then his decisions in the ending…man I don’t know what he was thinking. Did he really expect a happy embrace or full gratitude for what he had done? I feel like Ben was really not thinking clearly with how he approached the ending. It makes for a memorable send-off, but it just didn’t make any sense from his perspective.

Finally we have Gillian and as the main character she gets a lot to do but I never felt like she was a great character. She has valid reasons to be nervous about her powers so I understand why she wanted to go to the school (Even if I agree with the mother on the whole thing not sounding right from the start) but it felt like the plot would carry her along. She never seemed to proactively find things out. She gets the main guy into trouble by panicking about her telepathy but beyond that she rarely dives into the fray herself.

Part of the issue here is that it feels like the whole movie could have happened without her and not a whole lot would have changed. Her experiences within the school didn’t ultimately change anything that the film could have just worked around with more intel from Hester. At least Gillian gets to do things in the climax, but of course by then the film is already ending so it’s not like there’s a whole lot of time left by that point.

Also as I mentioned the ending is just bad on all accounts. It certainly goes for the horror vibe at the end as things randomly get super violent. One character’s death is quite over the top as she is spun to death after taking a lot of injuries. You get the big explosion at the end which is also a bit intense but certainly not on the same level. Then one character decides to take the easy way out…even though he knows this could doom another character. It felt so out of character and rushed. The whole climax just didn’t work and that whole thing should have been scrubbed. It’s like the movie decided to abruptly change gears here. If anything maybe it could have benefited from having a sequel.

The setting of the world itself is interesting because I’d like to see how other countries are handling the psychics and what’s going on here. This almost could work as a back-door pilot to the X-Men with the way that the powers were going. If the film had decided to become a full on action I think that would have worked really well too. You just need less experiments and a villain with a bigger goal to really make this work like with the film where kids could enter people’s dreams and were being used as weapons. Now there’s a grand goal and the film had a clearer picture on what it wanted to do. This one just doesn’t go into that level of detail and so the whole thing doesn’t have the full effort that it could have utilized to the max.

Overall, This movie was good for fairly large portions of the adventure but it all falls apart at the end. The ending is one of the biggest things you’ll remember so that was certainly unfortunate. The movie’s really all over the place with the tone as it’s happy sometimes, comedic, then dark and serious, then happy again, etc. A good chunk of this is because of the Gillian plot which would eat up a lot of time but didn’t really change things. I think if the movie picked either Gillian or Peter and stuck to that plot then it would have really worked out way better. You’ve then got one film which isn’t divided up so much. Ah well, maybe next time if they do a remake but in the meantime you can give this one a skip.

Overall 3/10

Dr. Phibes Rises Again Review

It’s time for Phibes to return once more to try and claim his victims. This film is fairly similar to the first. It starts off a little more traditional as one of those horror titles with a lot of quality dialogue and for a minute there I thought this one was going to shatter the original. Then Phibes actually shows up and this quickly becomes more of the same as the first. If push came to shove I would probably give this one the slight edge over the original but by no means is there a big gap or anything. They are very close to each other.

So of course last time Phibes sealed himself away but it turns out that he actually had a grand master plan all along. A mechanism automatically freed him after a certain amount of time and now he is free to start the murders again. His sidekick Vulnavia is back from the dead somehow but that isn’t really explored. She even feels like a completely different character as she seems to possibly like Phibes now but that’s really a doomed goal from the start since the whole point of his quest is revenge for his wife. He’s not going for the rebound now.

The main character this time is Biederbeck who is working in Egypt to find the river of life. He’s got a good start by grabbing the papyrus and all but now this has put him in the way of Phibes. Phibes will be arriving to take this back since he needs it to possibly bring his wife back. Biederbeck knows that someone dangerous is after him but doesn’t care. He knows that the prize at the end of the tunnel is all his and that’s all that he cares about. I appreciate how tough the guy acts at all times but he never seems to be all that smart in thinking about the big picture. Will Trout be able to keep Biederbeck alive or is this game over?

You can see the dark humor elements a bit more here though like in some of the murders. For example, at one point the villain starts to crush someone in one of those traps where the walls are closing in. As he yells for help, Phibes pulls out a giant fan out of nowhere and turns it on which makes everyone think a storm is brewing. As a result nobody gets up to help the poor guy and he is taken down for the count. The whole thing is rather tragic but there just isn’t anything Trout can do for him.

So you have Trout and his partner laughing about the storm and having comic relief scenes while this guy is taken out. So that was at least one effective use of the dark humor. For the most part I would say the other murders are still on the serious side though and it plays out very similarly to the first film. If you liked the first film then you’ll probably like this one and vice versa. The plot may be different but the story and characters are basically the same either way.

I would say Biederbeck probably isn’t as good as the lead in the first film. It’s close and there are some qualities of his that I appreciate more like not being afraid of Phibes but ultimately you know that he won’t be able to back up the tough talk. Diana was a solid heroine who certainly did her best to talk him down at times, but he just wouldn’t hear of it. Trout is still a fun comic relief character. He’s completely helpless the whole time even though he talks as if he is in control.

By this point the government does realize that Trout’s not doing so great but there just aren’t a lot of other people for the job. Trout’s sidekick gets a little more to do here but it’s not like he’s any more effective than Trout so that’s barely even a consolation by this point. Both of them will ultimately just be standing around while Phibes takes everyone out. That’s really all that they can do.

Because of how direct the film is, there isn’t a ton to say about this one. The first movie had more discussion points like the whole plague theme and everything. This one is just more by the numbers as he goes around bumping everyone off but in a very uninspired way. He’s taking everyone out effectively for sure, but it’s not like there is a big gimmick or anything this time around. To me the most memorable scene is still when he just pulled a giant fan out of nowhere to simulate tornadoes. It’s easy to forget but this guy was a genius after all so it makes sense that he could do stuff like this.

Perhaps leaning into that angle a bit more could have done the film some good. Have his murders all be related to really high tech items that he has created. The more odd and outlandish the better if you ask me. Pull that off and everything will really fall into place. Not sure if that would have actually made this film take the leap all the way towards being a good film but it could have at least given it a little boost. Something to help you remember the film and to differentiate it from the rest.

Overall, This is a sequel that isn’t exactly changing the game in any way. You can really skip it and you won’t miss anything and if you liked the original film then you may as well check it out. I really doubt that you will be remembering it for very long. It’s just not particularly memorable like that so it’ll become a vague memory before long. Maybe one day they’ll make a third film but I feel like this is the kind of movie that almost nobody remembers and for good reason. Horror titles like this were a dime a dozen back then and many more memorable ones have come out over the years.

Overall 3/10

The Bone Collector Review

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

The Bone Collector is a film where you have a gut feeling that it won’t be very good from the jump. Films about solving mass murders can be interesting when they focus on the detective work of course but usually when it’s about one still in progress it can be shaky since the guy is still out there bumping everyone off in every other scene. This movie stays rather gritty throughout the film and never ultimately gets past that.

The movie starts off by introducing us to Lincoln who is in a rather tough state. He suffers from seizures and can no longer walk or move around. He is permanently trapped to his bed and so he has decided to end it all. Lincoln fears that another stroke could send him to a vegetative state and so he wants to end on his own terms but right before it’s time for that operation, a mass murderer appears and Lincoln may be the only one who can stop this guy. It’s hard to say what his motive is, but he’s going around murdering people in disturbing ways. Lincoln will have to solve this case quick and so he requests that the new agent Amelia be brought onto the case.

Naturally it’s a little irregular to be bringing someone new onto the front lines for a big case like this but Lincoln liked the way that she handled the crime scene. Throughout the movie there is a little tension with the other cops as the main boss in particular resents this. Ultimately Lincoln and Amelia are the two people best equipped to handle this though. Amelia will have to tackle darker parts of the job than she ever intended to though and may need to rethink her career path after this. Either way this will not be easy.

Making Lincoln unable to move is something that from the jump seemed to be added so you could be worried for when the villain finds him. I think that’s the entire point of the plot since it’s inevitable that they would come face to face but of course there would be no way for Lincoln to fight him. We do actually get a struggle at one point but it’s hard to buy into any of it playing out the way that it did. Remember that Lincoln can barely move at all so the villain really has to drop his guard for this to be an even fight.

It ends up being a rather gritty battle for sure and not a climax fight that ends the film on a great note. You definitely do feel bad for Lincoln the whole time though because that’s a really rough situation to be in. Apparently there is no cure for him and also no way to predict when the seizures will occur so in a way he’s always forced to live in fear. It’s hard to imagine going through the day like that and he did well to still stay focused and help out in the mission.

As for Amelia, she’s a solid main heroine. Naturally there are times when this gets to be a bit much for her since she has never had to deal with a big murder case like this before but it’s always understandable. Lincoln asks a whole lot out of her and while it’s because he believes in her potential, you don’t blame her for walking out several times. This is really not what she signed up for in the slightest.

The cast is fairly small though because there aren’t many other big characters here. You have the police chief who shows up to try and get in everybody’s way but there’s not much to him beyond that. You have Lincoln’s nurse Thelma who does a good job of watching over him. She does her best to keep the atmosphere light and prevent Lincoln from making any big mistakes. Then you’ve got the villain but he is hidden for almost the whole film. He’s just your average murderer though and there’s not a whole lot to his character when he does pop up.

Ultimately what holds this film back is that it just goes out of its way to be really dark the whole time. I wouldn’t even call it super violent although it certainly has its moments but the film makes sure that everything happens in the most disturbing ways possible. Nobody actually gets an ordinary death here, there’s always got to be a whole production around it. Sometimes keeping it simple is just the better way to go about it.

There also isn’t time for almost any happy scenes throughout the film either. It’s always very dreary and depressing in part because even when the heroes are not talking about the case they’re thinking about Lincoln and the fate he has chosen. There’s definitely a lot to digest there for the characters and at the same time it’s hard for them to tell him not to go through with the operation because they don’t really know what it’s like to live like that. The film at least has a happy ending though. For a while there you’re really not sure how that’s all going to play out. These films don’t always end on a nice note like that.

Overall, The Bone Collector is a film that you definitely want to stay far away from. There aren’t a lot of good things to say about it and I would struggle to find some serious reasons to actually recommend it to someone. You can definitely find better thrillers and mystery films if you really try. Titles that would absolutely destroy this one and so there’s no reason to check this title out. I could see a film about archaeologists collecting bones to have some potential though. Maybe it could have some Indiana Jones type traps or something.

Overall 3/10

Old Review

Old is a movie that certainly got a lot of promotion. You always figure it should have some kind of a twist since the producer is known for that and the very premise goes hand in hand with having a good twist in there. There are some mysteries and it’s all very interesting but it fumbles the ball quickly. The characters are unlikable and the film explores a lot of the things you’d rather not see in quick aging instead of more interesting ideas. As a result it ultimately starts to drag and just really messed up here.

So the main characters Guy and Prisca have been having a lot of relationship issues lately. Their marriage is pretty much at an end so they’re just going to do this one last vacation and then call it quits. Well, their kids are excited for this at least and it seems like it should be fun. The place has complementary drinks and the whole thing is very high-end. They’re even invited to a private beach with a few other select guests but that’s when things get tricky. It doesn’t seem like there is a way to leave the Beach and they all start to grow older so time is limited here.

Naturally the hook is on seeing how the characters grow old and what they do about it. It’s a solid hook but you absolutely need something more than that if you’re going to make this a very memorable experience. This film opted to do that with character drama as they inevitably start turning on each other and everyone goes crazy. It’s not out of nowhere as the film does set up some legitimate reasons for why this group is so crazy but it doesn’t help take away from the fact that it’s annoying.

In a life or death situation the last thing you want is for everyone to start cracking right out of the gate. Of course a film may need some drama but I dare say that it would be executed better without this angle. Seeing the characters team up and keep on trying new things would absolutely have a much better effect. This way the characters are still likable and you’ve still got some drama as each attempt wouldn’t work which would put them in a tougher position. These are just some ideas off the top of my head that I think would have done a whole lot of good here.

Guy and Prisca start off on a rather rocky note and it doesn’t get much better for them for most of the film. Particularly once we find out why their relationship is in tatters. They put this aside to help the kids which is good but at no point are they all that likable. Then you have the kids Maddox and Trent. Maddox is okay but Trent definitely looks really bad here as he decides this is the best time to mess around. You’d think that he would hold off on doing anything crazy when all of this is going on but I guess not. I’ll throw blame onto Kara as well here as it takes two to tango.

It was a bad moment that also leads to a completely unnecessary scene as the gang have to work on helping Kara give birth on this island. Really now? You can probably guess that with the whole aging thing this doesn’t go over very well. Then you’ve also got a live surgery operation that has to go on and you quickly realize that the film is really trying for max shock value here. There’s a lot of interesting ideas you can do about being trapped on a beach with time moving so quickly like this but surgery and giving birth aren’t two items I would put on the list there.

Then with the characters going crazy it’s not like there’s many opportunities to team up either. So Charles is a surgeon but he was already losing his mind and this just made things worse for all of them. He ends up being the biggest obstacle here and on a small beach like this, having just one person against you can be absolutely deadly. The guy runs around with a knife trying to attack the others almost from the jump. Right when he appears you know something’s off and it just gradually gets worse and worse throughout the film.

His wife Chrystal at least seemed reasonable. Perhaps a bit stuck up but she wasn’t losing her marbles the way the others did. Unfortunately almost nobody is safe by the end so eventually she went looney as well. Agnes and Sedan didn’t really have a chance to crack. Patricia was in a really tough spot from the start so the whole time gimmick was going to get to her. For Jarin I thought his plan to swim wasn’t very well thought out. It’s a shame since he seemed like one of the most reasonable members by far.

In fact, he has the best idea early on and it was disappointing that nobody tried it. So this whole time you may be wondering why the heroes don’t just walk off of the beach right? Well, every time they walk to the exit they get dizzy and then end up fainting. The characters figure this is because of how time moves so quickly here that their bodies need time to adjust almost like when swimming deep underwater. So Jarin figures that maybe this won’t be an issue if they go really slowly.

That makes a lot of sense and I think it would have worked. Now, would it have actually resulted in a happy ending for all of them? Eh, probably not since getting out of the beach isn’t necessarily a win condition here. They’d probably still lose but from their perspective I think it is absolutely worth it and something they should have tried for. It would take a lot of time but still would have easily been the best chance of success.

Without saying what the twist is this time, I can say that it does make sense. It’s a bit more on the low key side so it’s nothing crazy but at least it does work which is the important thing. It’s a reasonable ending all things considered and at least isn’t super dreary or anything. The characters actually played it smart in the climax this time which was nice. If they had made any big mistakes or something then that would have been annoying.

Overall, Old is not a film I would recommend. The concept behind the island and the mystery is definitely interesting but it goes all “Lord of the Flies” way too quickly. Mix that in with just trying to be gritty for no reason and you lose a lot of the atmosphere that this film could have generated naturally. There’s just so much potential and promise that you can do with this kind of film and ultimately it just wasn’t there. This is a movie that you will definitely want to skip out on.

Overall 3/10

Se7en 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

When you’ve got a film with the heroes trying to stop a mass murderer you can often come up against the rather tricky dilemma of establishing this plot while trying not to let things get too dark. Having a psycho be the main villain usually makes this quite impossible though and this film was not able to survive it. It definitely gets twisted for all parties involved and with no real winners here you’re going to want to skip this one.

The movie starts with William getting ready for retirement. He’s had a good career on the force but it’s time to call it a day. Unfortunately his plans are slowed when a mass murderer shows up and starts creating headlines. William is paired with a younger detective known as David who is eager to prove himself here while William just wants out. They do not get along at all with William constantly pushing David. Still, the two will have to get their act together and quickly or this John Doe will continue his murder spree. The only pattern so far is that he’s murdering people along the line of the 7 Deadly Sin. Each of his murders are then stylized based on that.

You feel bad for William because of course something like this had to happen right when he was about to retire. Couldn’t have waited just a few more days right? Now in a way he can’t walk out because if he does it’ll be like he ran away from the case and he’ll probably also be living with a lot of guilt. William is incredibly jaded by this point as well since he’s been working in such a corrupt city for so long. He sees awful crimes every day and at this point doesn’t see a lot of hope left for humanity. There’s nothing left here for him if he stays on the job.

Unfortunately he’s also the best detective around and he knows this very well. Part of why he’s so antagonistic to David at first seems to be to try to get him out of here. He’s concerned why David specifically volunteered to enlist here and the guy never really gives him a straight answer which doesn’t help matters. Meanwhile David’s more of an optimist who thinks he can make the world better one case at a time. He’s got a lot of energy and definitely wants to prove himself. He means well and makes for a good main character. I actually thought he was a little better than William here.

Sure, William is more talented but the fact that he is so jaded means that he just isn’t enthusiastic about anything anymore. At least David is doing his best at all times to make sure that things go well. Then you have David’s wife Tracy who is not happy about being here at all. She would rather be in just about any city but came along because she wanted to be supportive at all times. She’s definitely well meaning in that respect but it would have been best to have a full conversation with him about it. Even their apartment is in rough shape and shakes whenever a train approaches. It would be very difficult to live like that for very long.

The actual villain “John” is your average psycho so there’s not a lot to say about him. He wants to see the world burn and to bring everyone to his level. He has a whole methodology on how he murders everyone but also enjoys it quite a lot and gets called out by the main characters. At the end of the day he’s just a criminal who has to be stopped. The guy has a lot of plans and certainly gets around but you’re just hoping he’ll be caught pretty soon.

One common issue with these kind of films is how much the villain gets away with before being taken down though. There are 7 deadly sins so you would hope the heroes could stop him after maybe 3 right? Really show how they prevented a tragedy but no, you quickly realize that he’s going to get all the way down the list so by the time he’s stopped, he’s already won in a sense. The film is definitely going for a very tragic ending with how this all plays out. There’s definitely no happiness to be found here that’s for sure.

The film takes a little time out to show how crazy parts of the legal system can be though with the villain admitting that he’ll just plead insanity if they actually try him in court. Since recordings outside of the court room don’t count he can blatantly admit to being the murderer as often as he wants but it won’t count. The whole thing definitely feels really crazy and I feel like the film was trying to point out how absurd the whole thing is. It’s unfortunately realistic in that sense. Sure, there’s a chance the heroes could win in court but it would all be a gamble so even by the end they’re playing to the villain’s tune.

Throughout the movie you’ve got a very heavy atmosphere since each of the deaths are so tragic. Each person is murdered in increasingly disturbing ways so it’s not like the murders were even quick or anything like that. Most of the murders aren’t on screen which is good at least but you do always see the aftermath and know what went down. It’s definitely not a film you’ll want to check out if you prefer to avoid the darker elements like that.

In the end that’s why the film can’t succeed. You ideally want a film where the heroes win and save the day on a fun adventure or if you’re going the darker route, have a villain who wins but has interesting ideals or the murders are quick and matter of fact. The more deranged you make the villain, the less likely the film is to succeed because it’s just going way too far the whole time. You don’t have time to enjoy the film because you’re constantly getting hit with these moments.

Overall, Se7en is a film you’ll want to avoid. It’s a rather gritty film where there are no winning battles. You can easily see why Williams is so jaded because every time he solves a case and sees these horrors, he has to know that more atrocities are being committed at the same time. After a while you just feel like giving up and that’s pretty much what happened to him. If you want to see a murder mystery film that reigns it in a lot more you’ll want to check out something like Clue instead. You’ve still got a lot of those themes and elements but without all the extra details that you’d rather not see.

Overall 3/10

The Sorcerers Review

This is definitely what I would consider to be one of the more mean spirited movies. It’s really just about someone getting absolutely crushed by another person’s mental abilities and you’re just thinking, “You have to fight!”. Whether that means talking into the mirror and saying the words fight over and over again or getting a pair of glasses since the lead is always grabbing his face, you have to find a way to resist the telepathic abilities of the enemy. If you don’t, then the game is already over before the match has even begun.

The movie starts off with Mike not being the nicest fellow as he ditches his girlfriend and best friend for no real reason. He decides to just hang around town to have a good time but gives up on this and ends up going to a bar. At this point he is approached by an old man named Marcus who guarantees he can give Mike a good time. Mike figures this doesn’t sound ominous at all and follows the guy to his flat where he is strapped into a chair and hypnotized. When he awakens from this he doesn’t feel any different and leaves but now it turns out that he can be mind controlled by Marcus and his wife Estelle. At first it’s innocent enough as they have him break an egg and they just enjoy feeling different sensations. Then things grow a little darker and Marcus starts to have second thoughts about this.

While Marcus seems like he would be the main antagonist here, he’s mostly just kicked around the whole time. He looks so weak in the film too that you have to shake your head. Like come on man, you can do much better than this can’t you? It feels like he is just not contributing much at all here. Surprisingly he still talks tough the whole time and while he ultimately makes a move at the very end, he just handled everything horribly. How do you get defeated so completely like this?

Meanwhile Estelle is definitely as cruel as can be. She isn’t afraid to push the envelope and do what she feels needs to be done. There’s nothing really interesting about her though. She gets drunk at one point and starts talking about making this a game so it seems like she just always wanted to prove that she was stronger than Marcus? Perhaps there is a good backstory in there somewhere but this film definitely didn’t have time for that.

As for Mike, like I said he’s basically got 0 agency in this film. He doesn’t remember what is happening to him while he is being mind controlled and has absolutely no way of stopping it. He has 0 defenses and just gets turned at the drop of a hat. Even when he isn’t being controlled he doesn’t seem like a nice character. The guy ditches his friends for no reason and is always very defensive. He’s not quite a murderer like what the villains turned him into but it’s clear that he’s not going to be much of a protagonist.

Alan and Nicole are the other two main characters I suppose but it’s not like they can do a whole lot about this. They suspect that something is going on with Mike but it doesn’t make sense since they’ve been friends for so long so they try to get more details. It does make sense why this whole thing does not make sense since of course mind control is involved but they would have no way of knowing that.

The only exciting part of the film is the climax where we get a whole car chase. The cops are mostly on the back foot here as they keep missing the turns but ultimately they still keep at it until the end. The heroes are really left with no answers but the ending is conclusive. It is just not a very satisfying fun. You’ll feel bad for the various victims who are attacked here. Ultimately they won’t get a whole lot of justice here with how things ended up.

It’s not at all rare to have a film like this where the villain has their fun until dying but the times it doesn’t work is when the heroes don’t get to do much. You can definitely say that this is true of this film because if you think about it, the heroes did almost nothing here. Ultimately the old man had to make a move himself and it certainly took him a long time to do this. The movie ends up dragging because you know how it’s going to end but the build up is just so crazy long. It feels like it never ends until the film is over.

At least I do still like the British way of speaking here. The various mannerisms like ending a sentence with “isn’t it?” as a rhetorical question is always nice. The script isn’t bad either and if the film was longer or the writing better then the movie could have capitalized on this with some strong dialogue. Unfortunately it wasn’t meant to be and so we didn’t get to fully experience this as much as we should have.

Overall, The Sorcerers is definitely a pretty weak film. It really just has the character get mind controlled over and over again without putting up any kind of defenses. That’s what really holds him back. I would have liked to have seen some restraint or at least being able to confront the villains in the end. It would be more interesting than just seeing him broken down over and over again. The whole film has a rather underground vibe to it as everything is dark and dreary even though it’s still day time. The idea of being able to share sensations is interesting enough but the downsides will always outweigh the positives. In a way you’re putting your life in someone else’s hands after all.

Overall 3/10

Leviathan 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 for a monster movie but unfortunately not one that comes close to topping a bunch of the classic ones. This plays out more like Alien than Godzilla after all. Some interesting ideas here for sure and I liked every moment with corporate but in the end this could not become a winner. Instead it is doomed to be forgotten as one of the titles that just couldn’t keep up in the end.

The movie Steven and his team of underwater miners getting ready to finally leave the submarine. They’ve been down here for months and are eager to get back to dry land. They just have to grab some more materials and then they are set. Their group is slowly starting to crack up too so this was really good timing but one of the guys gets greedy and brings up a treasure chest. It’s not just any old chest either and contains a drink that implants a monster. This creature will not stop at anything in its quest to destroy them all. Can Steven and his group stop this thing or are they about to be completely eliminated?

Now with a movie like this it’s not a huge surprise that the cast is unlikable but it’s still disappointing. There is only so much that you can do when the cast is unlikable after all. I’ll get into each crew member in a second here but Steven did not have a lot to work with. Steven could be a little naïve as well with how he thinks corporate is looking after them so he’s not perfect but I suppose he probably wouldn’t have taken the job if he hadn’t thought that to some extent. Who would really think that corporate is absolutely leaving you to dry right?

The film is not subtle about how corporate is corrupt here. Every time Martin appears on the phone it’s to tell the heroes that there are some delays or not to worry about things. She says it all in a very fake voice the whole time though so you know that she never means it. It makes for a very satisfying scene at the end of the movie while also making her not look very smart though. Lets just say that by the end of the film she shouldn’t be expecting a warm reception and should have some kind of backup plan at the ready. Otherwise she’s just not putting herself in a good spot here.

Okay so lets talk about the rest of the characters. Sixpack is the worst member by far. He just wants to mess around with one of the ladies on the ship and doesn’t think about anything else. He defies orders all of the time and puts the whole crew’s safety in jeopardy. He’s absolutely not the guy that you want to have your back because odds are that he won’t have it. Doc is one of the main characters and while he’s not as bad as Sixpack, he’s certainly not very responsible himself.

Picture this, you’re underwater and end up damaging your suit. This is serious but you know that you have a doctor watching you so it’ll be okay. That’s when you get the call that the doctor stepped out. Really? Doc does this kind of thing a lot based on how the characters discuss this and it’s basically because he wants to drink. A character very nearly dies in the opening minutes because he wasn’t there and Doc does not care.

Doc then makes some horrible moves at the end like trusting corporate one last time and backstabbing his allies. From there I knew that he had absolutely no chance of making a comeback for me. There’s just no excuse for any of this when you’re the ship’s doctor and the one that everyone is depending on. That’s just an awful look all the way around.

Bowman was rather reasonable so she’s one of the few crewmembers that wasn’t annoying. Unfortunately there isn’t much of a place to escape to on this ship and her role ends up being rather small. Ultimately the experience was too much for her and she probably didn’t suffer as much as most of the others ultimately would. Justin was probably the most helpful member of the crew and did a lot to support Steven here. That’s why the ending feels like a bit much because of how things play out. This guy really put in a lot of work.

The movie doesn’t seem to be too sure of what it even wants to do in the end though. There is happy music playing throughout the climax even when it should be a very somber tone at the time because of how things went down and you know….almost everyone is dead. Still the happy music goes on and then we get the big punch at the end. The punch was hype at least, that’s definitely the way to end things even if I think corporate could have played that a little smarter. You don’t want corporate to win per say but just make it an interesting fight and I think that makes for a more interesting climax.

Sadly the monster doesn’t have a great design for most of this. It’s more of a Blob than anything as it controls the human hosts. Think of it like a symbiote that’s running around but instead of a cool Venom design, it’s just undead. It makes the human hosts rather warped and isn’t super fast but makes up for that with power. If it catches you then it’s game over. The shark that appears for a second for no reason had more intensity to it than the monster.

Monsters reanimating a person’s body will never be as threatening or scary because that means it’s bound by how a person can move. Switch that out for a creature that can zip around at super speeds and now you’ve got something more dangerous. It also makes for more gross scenes like when we come close to the Alien chestburst scene and just in general the humans begging to die as the alien walks around a bunch. (It’s basically an alien after all) This film very much wanted to redo the Alien story while underwater and I gotta say that it did not work. Going for an actual underwater creature would have been a whole lot better.

Overall, Leviathan is not a winner here. It starts off on the wrong foot by having a really rough main cast of characters and doesn’t get any better with that underwhelming monster. When you mix it all together, you’ve got a thriller that isn’t ready for prime time. I would say the movie for once would be better without a monster. Have them stuck down there and they have to figure out how to get up without corporate stopping them. Then you could have a good thriller story with a lot of mind games. Not sure the writing would be up to it but the premise would work a whole lot better if you ask me.

Overall 3/10

Eyewitness 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

Eyewitness has a fairly interesting premise but it’s one that is bogged down by a very weak character cast and has a tough time getting to the point of it all. It also ended up introducing a dog character into the mix and you know how that tends to go. So on the whole you’re going to want to avoid this one, it’s just not the big win that you’ll have been hoping for.

The movie starts out with Daryll working on his janitor’s job as usual. He tries to convince the bosses to let his friend back onto the job but they say no as he was apparently disrespectful back in the day. It’s easy to believe this because his friend Joseph is not the nicest camper out there. The guy is always complaining and getting himself into trouble borrowing money from loansharks and things like that. One day he even breaks back into the building to talk with Daryll. The very next day Mr. Long is murdered and naturally Daryll figures that Joseph may have done it.

He does decide to hide the fact that Joseph was in the building to protect his friend but then he finds out that his favorite reporter Toni is involved in the mix. Daryll decides to pretend that he knows more than he does so that he can go out with her and Toni really wants a big scoop so she agrees to this. Meanwhile the killer is watching and planning their next move. Is Joseph really the culprit or is it someone else? Either way Daryll is now right in the crosshairs of danger.

Right from the start you can probably see how I had a problem with some of these characters. Lets start off with Daryll. So he is completely obsessed with Toni to the point where he flirts endlessly and makes a fool of himself. He messes up the interview as he keeps on talking about her and just strings her along for a while. Keep in mind that at the moment he’s in a relationship with Joseph’s sister as well. They don’t care for each other much but he should still wrap that up before starting anything else.

Daryll just feels incredibly desperate the whole time and it’s too much. I won’t blame him too much for withholding information about his friend to the detectives since it did look incriminating and he wasn’t sure if Joseph did anything but any scene with Toni was just bad for his character. Even by the end I can’t say that I ever warmed up to the character.

Likewise Toni doesn’t look good here for falling into this romance. Of course from her end she is just doing it for the story and doesn’t even like him initially but that’s barely even a consolation by that point. It doesn’t speak well to her morals to be willing to go this far for a scoop. I don’t care how good the story is, you just don’t want to be going that far for it. Then you have Joseph who isn’t likable at all. Lets even take him breaking back into the job away for a second. He didn’t have any malicious intent there.

Punching Daryll was completely uncalled for and same with his outbursts upon finding out that Daryll liked someone else. He then proceeded to borrow a ton of money from loansharks on some really suspect deals. That tells me he also isn’t very smart here. He creates a lot of trouble for himself the whole time and this ends up spilling over to Daryll as well. When you bring other people down with you that’s never a good thing.

The most interesting part of the film is the one that doesn’t get brought up a lot. So the villains are basically transporting people out of dangerous zones and into the U.S. They had been working with Long and a number of other gangs to do this. Effectively working with the enemy to get their own goals across. Typically they avoided having to murder anyone but Long’s group tried changing the bargain so they were dealt with quickly. So the main villains here had a pretty interesting goal and not one that was overtly sinister. There’s a lot that could have been built on this but it’s not a factor for most of the film and is just very brief.

Also, as mentioned earlier we do have some animal violence which is a big no no here. As soon as the dog appeared I got worried and clearly that was for good reason. it just rarely ends well when you have a dog in a thriller and there’s just no purpose to the scene. You could have had the effect of the villains showing Daryll they were serious by skipping to the part where the villain breaks into his house. That would have absolutely still gotten the message across without things going off the rails here. A dog dying will never enhance a film and can only hurt it. That’s the message more film makers need to hear.

Also, the film could have given the detectives more of a role. I thought they were actually interesting but then they miss out on almost the entire thing. By the time they act the film is basically ending so there was not a lot of time to do anything. They talked tough and had a decent dynamic going but the film really just wasted these characters. Could have been a really engaging subplot if they got more to do.

Overall, Eyewitness is a film that could have been a lot better at least from the general premise. You need the main character to be a lot better though. Have Daryll be someone who just wants to be famous which is why he’s dragging this out as opposed to it all being for romance. You also shouldn’t have included the dog in it at all. Without that then this film would really have potential. There were some interesting themes that could have been expanded on. Ah well, maybe for another film. If you want a thriller about crime, check out Clue instead.

Overall 3/10