Gun Crazy Review

Gun Crazy is a very appropriate title for this film. It shows how you can quickly be dragged over to the dark side when you become reliant on your gun too much. The main guy started as someone who just enjoyed his hobby and had a good time but by the end that’s no longer the case. Unfortunately I would say he wasn’t the most stable guy from the jump anyway with how the film shows him murdering a bird. Even though he stops murdering after that it was a very bad look for him. It’s hard to really rebound from something like that.

The movie starts with Bart stealing a gun and he’s taken to court. Some people say he’s dangerous but his friends stick up for him and ultimately he gets to stay free. Years pass by and he goes on adventures but eventually he goes back home and meets a traveling gunwoman named Laurie. She’s exceptional with a gun and has defeated everyone prior but Bart defeats her much to the happiness of the crowd. They then get together and everything looks like it’ll be just fine until she shows her true colors. Laurie wants to live a very fancy lifestyle at any cost and because Bart doesn’t make enough she wants to start robbing banks and stealing money from people. This is where Bart needed to very quickly shut this idea down completely. Laurie says that she will leave him if he doesn’t become a crook with her and he folds. Can he convince her to stop?

I can answer that right now, he can’t. Look if someone wants to be a criminal then there is very little that you can do to stop them. A person needs to absolutely not want to be a criminal and then you can throw attacks on him. The problem here really gets serious when the criminal enjoys the life of crime because at that point we’re really talking about a psycho who can’t be stopped. Laurie is very open about the fact that she loves using a gun and being as rich as possible. Her personality doesn’t change and in fact seems to get worse and worse the more they talk. Any ideas Bart may have had of fixing her were just dreams at this point.

Hey that’s just who she is, but his tolerating this and going alongside it makes him just as guilty. I don’t care how many times he said this was a bad idea or that they shouldn’t do it, he still went along for the ride. You can’t have it both ways and he really made his choice here. It was inevitable that things would continue to get worse and Bart has to own that. No excuses and no double talk, he is a criminal too and so you’re rooting to Bart and Laurie to be taken down by the cops as soon as possible.

Bart even chooses Laurie over his childhood friends Dave and Clyde who stuck up for him through thick and thin in the court room. It was a shame that he was so quick to point his gun at them as well. They were good friends and even tried to plead with him one last time even if it was no use. I don’t think there are very many friends who would have been willing to stick their necks out like that but these did. They didn’t even bring their guns to the confrontation to help their odds but it was no use.

Bart was just too far gone and he was also gullible as Laurie would always manipulate him by saying exactly what he wanted to hear. You just have to take a stand at some point because deciding not to just makes you look really bad. Well, I’ve bashed this guy enough. It goes without saying that the same issues are present with Laurie but at least she isn’t hesitant about the whole thing. At the end of the day if you’re a villain then you’re a villain, it’s better not to be complaining about it. It’s a shame that she was able to drag him so far into the criminal world though.

The film definitely should have cut out the scene of Bart shooting the bird too though. It doesn’t add anything to the film and actually hurts the message. It may be the reason why he doesn’t shoot animals anymore but the reasoning would have been even better if he had never murdered a bird before. That’s exactly how I would have handled it and it would have made the main character a bit more salvageable. A bit more mind you as he would still look pretty bad late on. It wouldn’t be as bad at least.

It is always interesting when you watch a film where you are rooting for the main characters to lose the whole time. I think it can absolutely work but I would say that it is a bit tougher to achieve than a classic hero. You have to balance things right where you still see the real heroes take down the main characters at some point or make sure the leads don’t go too far in being unbearable to everyone because if the tone gets too malicious or annoying then that wouldn’t be good.

In this case the main characters weren’t likable in the slightest so you’re really rooting for them to lose but a bit more balance could have been nice. Maybe if they’re going to be crooks anyway, have Bart keep Laurie from taking her gun so they’re still robbing people but it’s a slight concession. He’s at least making sure nobody gets hurt. You could have had Laurie lie to him and still bring her gun but it would make Bart have a little bit of a backbone there and then I could say with a straight face that he actually did something as opposed to just getting pressured into making all the wrong calls all the time.

Overall, Gun Crazy is an interesting film about why you should always be careful about who you pick to be your girlfriend. Make sure that you are choosing someone whose morals align with your own and that if you did make a mistake you stay true to your ideals to the very end. The instant you concede on that is a moment where you have lost yourself and it can be very hard to get back to where you were. There are things you can never take back and murdering someone is absolutely one of them. Bart would do everything Laurie would say and that’s not the basis for a good relationship. In the end I would say to give this one a skip. At the end of the day you want a film with a better lead and this one just doesn’t have a whole lot of great qualities to bring to the table.

Overall 4/10

The Witches Review

While I was not a big fan of the movie, I do think the poster is really sharp for this title. The colors are on point and it’s all vibrant so this really stands out. Definitely the kind of poster that would get you really hyped to see what was going on here and that this was not a title to be taken lightly. I think having an older main character could have really helped here or if you consider the grandma to be the lead then she should have been younger. Then we could have gotten more banter or some fun fights.

The movie starts out with Helga explaining to her grandson that witches are very real and they mean business. She once barely survived an encounter with them as they dealt injuries which will never heal. She scares him about all kinds of witch fun facts but his mom tells her to cut it out. The parents leave and are promptly destroyed so now Luke lives with Helga. Unfortunately Helga got diabetes though so the two head to a hotel which just so happens to be hosting the grand witches event. Every big witch is going to be there and if they recognize Helga then it’s all over. Even if they don’t though, they target any kid that they come into contact with and that would include Luke. Can Luke escape their fury or is he doomed?

I do like that the movie really set up its own lore about the witches and created the rules really quickly during the exposition at the beginning. Witches primarily go after kids and want to destroy them all. Kids literally smell bad to them which may be part of why they want to annihilate them. Beyond that Witches have all the usual spells you might expect but for some reason they don’t have a whole lot of confidence in their own abilities. Even the leader Eva quickly backs away when Helga, a senior citizen is around like when she tried offering Luke some candy at the beginning. I don’t think that one really made any sense because she should be able to easily crush any kid standing in her way. So what was going on here? What was the film cooking?

That’s why we needed different main characters so we could have some fights here. As it stands, Luke can’t do anything but run so he spends a lot of time running. The problem even with this scene is that he somehow outruns a bunch of adults while he jis just a little kid and not moving particularly fast. I thought that was a real stretch the whole time. Luke’s also a bit obnoxious as the main character like bringing his mice around to the hotel.

Mr. Stringer is treated like an antagonist but he is absolutely right that bringing rats to a hotel which specifically does not allow animals is not a good thing. Moreover, Luke actually takes them out of the room under the guise of teaching them new tricks and is completely unrepentant about this. He really gets into as much trouble as he possibly can and it’s hard to follow a main character like that. His immaturity makes him annoying rather than endearing and you know that he has absolutely no shot in a fight against any of the witches.

Most of the film follows him around so of course that limits just how exciting the whole thing can be. Then we have Bruno who Luke meets early on and they become friends. At least he’s more fun because he fully embraces the fact that he’s completely in the way and it makes for a decent dynamic. This guy eats parts of the food in the hotel and drags the reputation further into the mud. He’s every hotel owner’s absolute worst nightmare. He fumbles quite badly in the second half of the film though when Helga brings him to the parents so he can explain that he is a mouse now but the kid is quiet because he was busy eating. The kids can actually talk with their normal voices while being mice so it should be easy to prove their identity but of course he messes up their one chance.

Then you have Helga who means well but is just way too old to do much of anything. She doesn’t really have any fire or passion to her and so we don’t get any cool banter with the witches. Mainly Helga just avoids them until the witches are too small to defend themselves and she can land a winning blow. Of course that is probably how you have to play the matchup if you’re in her shoes but it doesn’t make me enjoy her character any more. She defends Luke even when he’s making the wrong choices and is a loyal grandmother but at the end of the day she is definitely not one of the standout characters here.

Although there were none so it’s a bit of a trick question. I did like Mr. Stringer at least, he was doing his best to run a good hotel and the odds were just against him this time which was unfortunate. He will have his chance one day though. Once the kids and witches are gone he will be able to rebuild. It is impressive just how many witches there were though, clearly this group is good at working under the radar. Considering that they have to wear human suits constantly it’s not an easy task.

Their true designs are definitely really grotesque though. I would have much preferred if they could have looked fierce or intimidating instead. I think good witch designs can absolutely work well and make for a really powerful scene in the audience when they transformed. Instead with this design they seem rather frail like they can be defeated at any moment. They also have a lot of infighting which ends up hurting them a bit as well. Ultimately they probably would have taken out a lot of humans in the short term but down the road they’d likely be stopped and once one of them slips up, it won’t be long before the humans catch the rest of them.

Overall, I think the issue with this film is that it has an interesting plot but one that can’t really be capitalized on with the main characters as they are. You just need better leads and that would instantly enhance the film. On the other hand there isn’t really enough humor to help the film get by as a non action title either. It ends up not being the most interesting watch as it all just feels a bit mismatched. Like the main characters would be more commonly found in some kind of slice of life film instead of dealing with a witch invasion. We do get a wholesome ending at least so there’s that but remake this as more of a full action movie or a mystery thriller and I think you would really have something here. Also you can cut out the whole turning into mice thing and give them a different plan. Lets not include the animals if we can help it since that can always be really dicey. They were mostly all humans here so at times it doesn’t feel as bad and injuries are mostly off screen but the last one was still a bit intense and having them die as humans would work better than dying as mice.

Overall 4/10

Jaws of Satan Review

This review is of the 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

Jaws of Satan is certainly a very dramatic title. Right off the bat you can tell that this will not be your average snake attacking the world. That being said, it sort of plays out like one anyway so it’s not like there is a whole lot of difference here. It’s very similar to a frog film I saw a while back where you had this mysterious frog giving everyone orders. Here it’s a King Cobra instead but of course it may have a real identity which you can figure out based on the title.

The film starts off with two guys travelling via train with a shipment of a lot of animals in the cargo area. Unfortunately what they haven’t realized is that Satan has hitched a ride with them. He’s currently in the body of a snake and intends to destroy everyone that he can! Using advanced telekinesis he blasts one guy out of the train and takes the other one down. He’s not getting close to his actual target, Father Farrow. Farrow is warned by a psychic that he is being targeted but he doesn’t believe this until she is bumped off shortly afterwards. Maggie from the hospital calls in Paul, a snake specialist to deal with this epidemic of evil snakes but deep down Farrow knows that he is going to have to step in. Can they win this battle?

Now we are meant to believe that this is Satan himself from all the dialogue and such but it still seems like a bit of an odd move to have him show up as a snake to slowly order other animals to finish the humans off instead of doing it himself. All horror villains have some kind of rules by which they abide of course but we need something so we can understand what they are. Instead in this way I don’t really know why he’s doing things the way that he is. I also think some dialogue would have been nice.

So in a way it didn’t matter whether this was Satan himself or a generic King Cobra because aside from the telekinesis it wouldn’t really change much of anything. I guess it does give the title a bit more of a bite though and while I wouldn’t say this was a very good film it does handle the atmosphere well. The whole town starts to feel a little more spooky as everyone is taken down by the snakes so I would have to say that this part was very effective.

Now where the film trips up is first that the characters aren’t very solid. So you have Evelyn as the town psychic who is decent enough but needlessly cryptic. Look we’re not dealing with the FBI here so why couldn’t she have just told Farrow what she knew over the phone instead of having to drive over there? Of course she never ends up making it and as a result it takes him longer to piece together the puzzle. Then you have Maggie who is good at her job. She has to deal with a lot of traitors like the coroner who hides one of the bodies but ultimately she gets around that. I liked the scene of her commandeering the ambulance itself because after a while you definitely do have to go with some drastic measures here.

She has to get the body to convince Paul after all. Paul is also good at looking at a snake bite and determining things but he does get off on the wrong foot with Maggie and it’s completely his fault. He comes across as rather judgmental and quite a bit rude so it was funny when Maggie talked about how nice he was. That’s not really the first thing that comes to mind when you think about this guy…but hey I guess I am probably underestimating him a little bit here. I don’t think the dialogue in this film was always very well thought out.

The heroes have basically no teamwork here as they all get sent into the cave one by one. Again, if this is Satan here you’d think he would have some more powers than having to trick everyone into a cave one at a time but I guess that’s just how it goes. It’s hard to be all that afraid of the snakes though as even with the music and all you feel like the humans should beat them most of the time. Snakes can move really fast through lunges but that’s about it so if you are standing away from one then you should definitely be able to outrun it right? I mean it shouldn’t be as crazy or scary as the film would have you believe.

There’s one long scene where the snake gets on the bed and has a stare down with the heroine. I think at that point you just have to jump up and run. Your odds shouldn’t be terrible and I’d argue that they’re better than waiting for Paul to show up with his net. Just make a break for it and you should be good! Feels like the film basically squeezed in the whole scene just as an excuse for some fanservice early on though which you tend to see in the B grade horror films so that tracks even if it is unfortunate. I guess it’s also a way for them to get closer but after the first impression you’d like to think that this wouldn’t be in the cards either way.

The film can have some disturbing images like with the bites and some of the usual violence but for the most part I would not say that it is as excessive as other similar films. It seemed to show just a little bit more restraint which is always nice. I also liked how some of the snakes could actually be defeated at least like the farmer who captured it and showed the body to Paul. I mean at the end of the day they are just snakes aside from the leader. That said, having snakes as a villain also inevitably means there will be some animal violence and unfortunately that does happen here. One snake gets shot to bits in what was a pretty intense scene and it’s why we need mecha snakes. Animal films are always going to be doomed because at the end of the day one of them is going to get hurt.

Overall, This film wasn’t going to be going very far either way. The cast isn’t quite good enough to hold their own film and the main villain may as well be a normal snake. We could get some good banter now and again during the film but for the most part we would just watch the snake slowly order the others to take people down and it felt like long periods of time would go by without much happening. The climax at least has a fun fire visual but you’re just not going to be taking much out of this film. It beats the average horror type film and at least has some semblance of replay value but there’s not enough here for me to recommend you give it a watch.

Overall 4/10

Kiss Me Deadly Review

Kiss Me Deadly is an interesting noir title in that you are effectively watching a villain as the lead. Not saying Mike is downright evil or anything but he is basically a shady guy who ends up getting tangled with the actual crime syndicate and that ends up leading to a whole lot of trouble. The story is good but it is another title that is held back by the main character. It can also get a bit gritty and gruesome for an old school noir title like this.

The movie starts off with Mike on a drive when he comes across a lady who is running for her life. She says her name is Christina and to drop her off at the next bus stop and then to forget her. However, if they don’t make it, then he must remember her. Unfortunately the two are captured by a group of villains who torture Christina to death and nearly bump Mike off too but they get sloppy and he survives the encounter. Mike has no idea what is even going on but he figures it has to be something big when he is questioned by the cops right away. The mysterious villains also start to threaten him into dropping the case so now he wants to look into it more.

Mike runs a bit of a shady business where he tries to find proof on if a husband or wife is cheating on the other. He has a secretary who takes care of the seducing while he begins to work on playing both parties against each other. It’s definitely not the most noble kind of work and the cops call him out on it but Mike doesn’t care. He will keep doing this so he can get more and more money as needed. This is one of the reasons why you just find it hard to root for the guy. His secretary Velda even basically begs him to let her stop doing this kind of work but he refuses which really tells you what kind of guy he is.

Now there are some fun parts to this. When the villains show up to intimidate him, Mike is able to respond in kind and doesn’t fold so easily. The guy makes threats of his own and has a lot of shady connections throughout the city. So that part is pretty neat and it makes for an interesting wrinkle into the mix but at the same time it just doesn’t erase the less desirable traits he has. It’s just too bad he couldn’t keep the tough attitude while beating up the enemies but still staying somewhat heroic. It would have really worked well. By the end he ultimately starts looking rather sad and defeated as he finally tells the cops that he was out of his depth. It wasn’t a great way for his journey to end.

The early torture scene was also really intense. Definitely not the way you expect to start this film off. For the most part it’s got a rather sullen atmosphere and it’s more about how everyone appears to be suspicious but it’s not generally all that dark or violent. Perhaps they wanted to start the film off with a bang but they definitely could have chosen a less gruesome way to do this. Additionally if you’re friends with the lead then you’re probably doomed but that’s usually how it goes.

The dialogue here is sharp as always though. I love all the veiled threats and how everyone is talking really tough. There is a lot of sarcasm thrown around and the fact that Mike is so tough does lend itself well to the banter. All of those things are good points within the movie. It definitely goes by rather quickly even though it is a long movie. It all feels like one well connected adventure and that element of the story, the lead having a lot of connections is one that they should bring back. Mike may be a questionable private investigator but he is still a PI so when the villains go after him it’s nice that he has some way to defend himself and figure out what is happening.

Meanwhile Velda definitely should have quit the business right away. Ultimately things are never going to go all that well for her in this business and so the sooner she gets out the better. Lily is an interesting character but again not one you would want to trust very much. She is always ready to put on the charm to try and get Mike to do what she wants but he’s not the kind of guy this will usually work for although he will enjoy the situation when it’s something he would have done anyway. She is desperate as she runs from the villains but that’s never really the approach you want to go with.

Mike’s friend Nick was a nice guy even though you knew he was doomed. I like that the guy always had Mike’s back at least and was eager to help. If anything Mike was using him since he didn’t really let Nick know just how dangerous this whole thing was. If he had been straight with Nick then things could have been different but Mike is all about using those who are close to him. Definitely a shame when you think about it.

The supporting characters were solid here. I liked the villain with the glasses who was always very polite but as one of the ringleaders of the villains you knew that he couldn’t be trusted. Definitely someone you had to be cautious with but the demeanor was pretty funny. Then there is the main cop who doesn’t get along with Mike at all. Their first impression was certainly lousy which didn’t help matters for either of them for a long while there. Still he was okay at his job. I think the cops could have ultimately done more on their end but it’s not like they had a lot of help either so they were on their own since Mike wasn’t cooperating.

The ending here definitely escalates really quickly though. The special effects for this were fun, it was like we suddenly entered a sci-fi movie or something. I wasn’t expecting that at all although in a way that’s why it worked. It just hits you like a sudden tank and that could have really tied in as a sequel with characters picking up the pieces. The film does work as another example of the viewer not knowing all the answers since we’re looking at things from the lead’s point of view though so I understand the appeal there.

Overall, I think a noir film that is basically villain against villain could be really good. The film would just need to lean into that more by having him be a full fledged villain. He certainly acts the part like when he shoves a drawer closed while someone’s hand is in it and slaps around a poor receptionist. This guy doesn’t play nice and won’t take no for an answer when he wants answers. You just need to do that without him sacrificing the main heroine’s dignity and I could also do without the torture. This ends up being a weaker noir title as a result and you’re better off skipping it for now.

Overall 4/10

Passengers Review

Passengers got a lot of posters back when it came out but they did a good job because I really didn’t know much about the film. It’s definitely not a big alien invasion sci-fi so don’t go in expecting that. It’ more of a quiet title about finding out if you can live by yourself or if you would go crazy. This is the kind of film where there’s a lot to say but ultimately I don’t think the execution was very good. The main character holds this one back a lot because he makes some massive mistakes and I wouldn’t say that the ending is very satisfying either.

The premise here is that a bunch of people decided to voluntarily go into stasis for close to 100 years so they could wake up on a new planet and start a new life for themselves. The spaceship they’re on is super safe so they’re guaranteed not to wake up early. Well Jim wakes up around 88 years early unfortunately. The ship has enough supplies to last him for the rest of his life so technically he can absolutely survive on his own but at the same time but now he’s lonely. So he wakes up another passenger named Aurora because he’s hoping to marry her but can’t let her know that he intentionally woke her up and pretends it was a glitch. Can he keep this pretense up and won’t it completely wreck the romance?

So right off the bat Jim looks really bad here. There’s just no excuse for waking someone up. You’ve just ended that person’s life because she won’t be able to reconnect with society now. She is doomed to only have this guy for company and it’s not like he has the most selfless of intentions. There’s just no excusing this and it massively hurts his character.

Jim did last a year or two on his own before waking her up but even then he should have kept on going. The ship has all kinds of entertainment like basketball and dancing, not to mention a sentient robot that can talk to you. I wouldn’t be surprised if it has books and other things as well. Will you get bored from time to time? Sure, absolutely that will happen without a doubt but at the same time that’s just how the ball bounces.

Now, there is one other option and that is to wake everyone up. Just explain that the pod opened up early so you woke everyone else up to help out. Jim wanted to wake up the pilot and the tech crew but unfortunately they are in a different room from the passengers and so far it’s been impossible to open. So way I see it you wake everyone up or nobody. At least with everyone up then you can all figure out a way to open up the door and teamwork can go a long way. With just two people you’re not going to go far and of course it’s just super selfish. Survive on your own if you can’t make that call.

There is one thing the film doesn’t touch on that feels important though. This ship was stocked with the expectation that the crew would be asleep for the entire journey so in theory there aren’t going to be a ton of food supplies here. Certainly not enough for everybody so that’s another thing to consider if everyone is woken up. At the same time, even for one person you’re probably going to run out.

The original plan was to wake everyone up 1 month before arrival. So that’s one month of food for 5200+ people. That’s 15,600 meals and you can assume that they would have stocked some extra so maybe 20,000? Now lets look at Jim. If he has to live out the rest of his life here and I dunno, he’s probably late twenty’s to early thirty’s? I’m sure they said his age but I forget. We’ll assume about 27 as a good middle ground and with no threats or bad food to worry about lets say he lives to 87 just go keep the numbers round. That’s 60 years of 3 meals a day. 365 X 3 X 60 = 65,7000 meals. Lets now say he dies early at 67 just because. Then that’s still 43,800 meals. If Jim even lives for twenty years he will exceed the amount of food prepared for the whole ship.

So now we’ve voided the only reason for waking everyone up because they’re all dead either way. You can’t survive a month on no food so if they wake up and no food is there then they’re a goner. So again you have to wake everyone up and keep it moving. Learn how to create your own food but in a ship like this I wonder how possible that is. We see a garden near the end so I guess that could work. I have my doubts though and it’s the one glaring hole that I felt the film didn’t dive into. It’s not like it’s the point of the film but it’s worth thinking about since a huge part of the film is about deciding to wake up Aurora or not.

Well, I’ve already talked about Jim enough so we can end it there. He’s just not a good character. Meanwhile Aurora was reasonable enough. At first she tries to come up with lots of ways to escape but Jim has given up so completely that he won’t help at all. You’d think he would at least be interested in hearing her out a bit in case she thinks of something. It’s not unheard of that someone could think of an idea that you couldn’t right?

Naturally the romance falls absolutely flat here though. You just can’t root for it at all since the whole thing is based on a lie. When she finds out the truth she is naturally upset but is basically told not to blame Jim much and there are no other options so you know they’ll end up together. It’s one of the annoying things about the film. I feel like you don’t forget a big lie like that so they should never get together. Make them friends or something and she takes the high road but a romance absolutely does not work. Easily the worst aspect of the film without a doubt.

The deception just can’t be walked back particularly because it’s possible he would have never told her if the robot didn’t rat him out. Even the scenes that should be charming and fun have a darker edge to them as a result since you’re rooting for Jim’s downfall. It’s why Arthur was a fun robot since I absolutely think he sabotaged Jim on purpose. That was my interpretation of the scene at least. That little smirk of his before talking told me everything that I needed to know. The fact that there is a robot here who can talk is yet another reason why Jim should have been satisfied. Their talks were reasonable.

We also get one of the crew named Gus who shows up briefly but he’s basically just here for some exposition and to open up the crew hangers. I would have cut him out of the film entirely to be honest because he really serves no purpose and doesn’t have great advice either. I would have been more upset with him if I was Aurora and his inclusion in the film ultimately doesn’t really change much.

We do get some danger and action at the end of the film so it’s not purely calm the whole time, just for most of it. The climax isn’t bad, there’s not a whole lot you can do in space to be honest but the visuals still look good. We even almost got a quick fight with Arthur going crazy and waving that knife of his.

Overall, Passengers is a film that really can’t survive the main character. I think there’s a lot of promise here if you just change up the story so the main two wake up. Yes, the romance would still be super cheesy but at least it wouldn’t be starting them off on the wrong foot so you have a better time believing in it. Romance is the main focus of this film so when that falls away then everything does along with it. Remake the film with that one change and you’re looking at a world of difference.

Overall 4/10

Edward Scissorhands Review

Edward Scissorhands is a film that’s actually quite a bit different from my mental image of how the film would play out to be honest. I wasn’t expecting a horror per say but I was expecting something very dreary the whole time with a lot of dark lighting and jump scares. Okay….so I guess kind of a horror. Instead the film is like an odd slice of life taking place in a happy town. It’s maybe more of a surreal comedy. Either way I thought it had some good ideas but ultimately I wouldn’t say it was particularly good.

The film starts off by introducing us to Peg…actually it starts off by revealing that this is all a flashback first. That’s still one of the absolute worst story telling devices if you ask me. For one thing it guarantees that the person survives. That’s more of an issue with action titles compared to one like this but it can still be annoying. Additionally you’re always more engaged with the present than the past so automatically it makes you want to jump back to the present again instead of being stuck in the flashback. No matter how you slice it that just makes this a very questionable decision.

Back to the story though. Peg is a saleswoman so she goes around trying to sell products but everyone knows her already and nobody wants to buy anything. That’s when she heads to the creepy mansion…for the first time I guess? It seems like Edward has been here for a while so I guess she just chose not to go to the castle but she doesn’t seem scared or anything. Maybe the film mentioned she had moved in recently or something…but this actually makes less sense the more I think about it. Hmmmm……well she goes in there and meets Edward who as the title suggests has scissors for hands. She invites him to live with her since that seems tricky. The town like him at first but gradually you realize this will not stand because humanity is always really tough on any superhero/monster/creature in these kinds of things. No way it stays peaceful for long.

Right away I can tell you that my main issue with the film is really just that Edward constantly scarring and cutting himself always feels rather painful. It’s hard to look at the guy directly with all of the scars that he has. You just want to turn away and as he is a main character that’s not exactly an option here now is it? The movie does a good job of showing just how hard it would be to live like this though. Every single action you take now has to be thought about very carefully because a slight slip of the hand could cause serious injury. In an instant your very life can be changed and it’s not like he can take them off either.

In general Edward is also not a character who is used to the ways of the world and so he can come off as a bit naïve and new to everything at first. He has to be taught everything as if he was a kid and that’s usually not my favorite character type. If he was a little more sharp it would be more difficult for the characters to put him in tricky situations or gain the upper hand. There is a pretty solid twist involving his character though which was good. I thought that it landed rather well and if they ever want to do a sequel to this film it would certainly make things really easy. I would like him to have learned from this experience though and be a little more knowledgeable in general.

There’s one neighbor here who is desperate to get together with Edward but in general she seems to be desperate for anyone. Her very first scene is about trying to seduce the pipe guy but fortunately he stays strong…is how I interpret the scene tbh. We don’t see the climax of this. The scene of her trying to get Edward is certainly a bit painful particularly since it’s not like he even understands the concept of romance yet. In general all of the romance in this film is particularly weak for that reason. I don’t see how you can build a proper relationship when one of the characters doesn’t really know what is going on beyond the most basic part of the concept.

I do like the set designs though. The town looks fantastic with how colorful it is. Everything really stands out and it’s a perfect contrast to the dark castle which is as ominous as ever. Tim Burton is definitely good at maximizing the visuals or anything that he does. In a way he probably did too well on the parts that are hard to look at like the scars and all but otherwise he should still get full props on the town.

The main character in a way is Kim as she grows to know Edward and like him but I wouldn’t say that she was great. She’s another character who falls to peer pressure and allows her boyfriend to trick Edward and get him into trouble. She doesn’t realize the full scope of the plan at first but she still did know that she was helping to commit a crime and was getting Edward into trouble when he didn’t know any better. She took advantage of the fact that he would help her do anything and that wasn’t a good look.

Meanwhile Peg did well in bringing Edward into her home and doing her best to help him out. She worked hard on learning how to apply make-up to hide his scars and treated him normally from the start. If the rest of the town was like her then things would have gone well. Her husband Bill was also good and very nonchalant about the whole thing. Nothing could ever phase him and that’s what I liked about the guy. It would be very easy to panic at what’s going on but he just takes it all in stride.

I liked how in general all of the characters acted like this was actually a bit of a normal thing. It’s a really great break from the usual panic and all of that about how they’re in danger. Just see this as a positive and keep it moving. The movie has a lot of fun light hearted scenes as well like with Edward giving everyone and their pets a haircut. He is really great with those scissors and you would expect him to be since he has been using them his whole life. You still get a little anxious whenever he’s cutting the dog’s fur at such high speeds though. I feel like even if I knew he was an expert I wouldn’t be able to let him give my dog a haircut because I’d just be stressed out. Like the 1 in a million chance of something going wrong would happen to me.

Overall, Edward Scissorhands is a very unique film. I think it deserves a lot of credit for going in a different direction than you would expect. It is fun and also fairly ambitious. At the same time it’s not really for me. The scars just make it too hard to watch Edward in any of his scenes and I also thought the ending was a bit of a downer. It’s not a satisfying way to close things out with some characters looking awful and ultimately nobody stepping up. In a way no character looks good by the end and they all should take a massive part in the blame. Given that this is all a flashback we can assume that nothing changed in the present either which is really terrible when you think about it. Perhaps a sequel could lightly retcon some of that if it takes place a year or two later or something like that.

Overall 4/10

Dick Review

The concept here isn’t bad since you could think of it like an alternate version of Bill and Ted. The real problem is really just that the movie isn’t too clever. It goes for the obvious jokes right away but after that there isn’t much left. Even the obvious joke doesn’t work since I know a Richard who still goes by the short version so the name isn’t dead yet. There was a good amount of potential here but right from the jump you get the feeling that it won’t live up to that.

The movie starts with a flashforward as a news guy tries to trick Woodward and Bernstein into revealing their source for the whole Watergate scandal but they don’t fall for it and then we find out what happened. The movie revolves around two teen girls, Betsy and Arlene. They aren’t very smart at all and can’t keep a secret for more than 5 minutes. One day they happen to be near a heist which ends up becoming a big deal and the White House staff has reason to believe that they know more than they should about Watergate. So President Nixon decides that the best way to keep them quiet is to keep them close and hires the two to be his official dog walkers. They have fun with that since who wouldn’t want to walk a dog in such a prestigious place right? Arlene even falls for Nixon but little do they realize that he is as corrupt as they come.

The film has fun making Nixon as big a bad guy as you can imagine. He is practically making evil plans in every scene that he is in. The guy is always planning something negative at the very least but the girls just never notice. It would take a whole lot to get them to realize that he is the villain so of course he keeps pushing the envelope further and further until they have to notice. If he would just pretend a little harder and not make obvious mistakes like leaving the tape recorder active then he would probably have gotten away really easily. Ultimately he wasn’t the smartest character either.

It’s always intense to see how the White House used to look though. It’s hard to imagine people just walking in and going upstairs like you see in this movie. It’s just all very lax and Betsy/Arlene really have the run of the place by the end. One unfortunate subplot for the whole staff is that they start making spiked cookies unintentionally and of course everyone loves them. This even helps with global peace so it shows what a strong meal can do.

From the main two I would say Arlene is the main weak link. She just gets crushes on people way too quickly as she already had another crush at the start of the movie. Just jumping from crush to crush like that in an instant is definitely a bad move. Then for Betsy she is a lot more outgoing and aggressive but that can be a detriment as well like when she has an affair with a random guy just to buy time for the tape to be stolen. It’s a really desperate plan that’s for sure and one that’s not worth it. Better to even try knocking him out but otherwise he seemed like the kind of guy who wouldn’t mind if the two just ran in and stole the tape. He probably wouldn’t even realize that was happening at that point.

The main focus of the film is how the two girls manage to have a massive effect on the president’s office and how every big decision actually went through them but it’s not a premise that can stand on its own without any backup. I don’t even think you need to make the two girls smarter necessarily because you can absolutely have a fun film with the characters not knowing anything. You just need a really clever script though and this film doesn’t have that.

Then you have the two reporters. I actually thought Woodward was solid and he did a good job of getting intel and always trying to be on top. I liked that guy but his partner was on the annoying side. Bernstein never really helped on his own and would only show up to steal the credit. Seems like an annoying guy to have around and I can see why Woodward was always upset. Here he is putting in a lot of work to grab the biggest story of the century and he’s only going to get 50% of the credit. That’s rough.

In a way it worked out that Nixon was the villain because if the president was a good guy then he may have been in trouble with how the main two immediately started spilling all of their secrets out to everyone. They did not hold the secret at all and that’s a shame. It’s another moment where they look really bad even if that is part of their characters. This is exactly why you need more than just the two off them wandering around and having stuff just happen. Maybe throw in a paranoid White House worker who starts following them or have the girls live at the White House instead of going there part time. They could keep hearing new confidential topics over and over which would cause more issues to keep occurring.

You need something to keep the film fresh for longer than it was. Without the writing improving it’s possible that this would just drag the film out instead of saving it but that’s really the best way to try and start working on making this one better. There is barely a plot here beyond the original premise so there isn’t really a whole lot to discuss here either. Either you will like the main dynamic the girls have or you won’t. That will make or break the film for you and it’s really that simple. There just aren’t a lot of other things going on here and the film can largely be aimless.

Overall, This movie isn’t all that good. It may give you a smile once in a while but there was just so many more things they could have done with the film. It wasn’t nearly as funny as it should have been and that’s really fatal for a comedy movie. There really isn’t much replay value to be found at all here. This movie could absolutely use a remake to see if they can do the premise a little more justice. I definitely think they would do better this time but we’ll see. It’s always a fun line of making things funny without making it too forced.

Overall 4/10

The Cloverfield Paradox Review

The Cloverfield series loves to have movies with pretty much nothing to do with the original. You always get a little stinger at the end and that’s basically it. Unfortunately that is the case here as well as it just isn’t very relevant until the final scene and even then that is more of a tease than a full connection. The series is toying with the fans by this point so it’s best to watch this as a stand alone sci-fi film instead. Even then I would say it’s below average but I suppose it’s not super bad or anything. The logic of the universe just isn’t that great so while it’s trying to be very mysterious and cryptic, it feels like the movie is just cheating instead. There’s definitely one scene in particular that I’d say fits this bill.

So the Earth is in a big energy crisis and they have sent representatives from various countries to find a solution. This group was thrown onto a space station far in the sky and they have to do whatever they can. So they decide to work on a device that should give the Earth unlimited energy but unfortunately this goes sideways and they seem to open up a portal into another world. They have to try and get back to where they used to be but it won’t be easy. They have to fix parts of the spaceship that don’t work anymore and a lot of weird things keep happening on the ship. Are aliens among us?

This movie is dealing with a lot of sci-fi elements but doesn’t really get too out there with creatures and the like. The main dilemma here is really that they have to question everything they knew about physics. Everything’s just scattered and odd happenings start occurring like people phasing through walls and a hand just running around. Where I thought the film messed up was in throwing some clickbait to try and make you think that a bunch of aliens would show up. There’s an odd scene where these cables start choking someone and basically murder him as he gets crushed by a super magnet but you have to question how it happened. It seemed completely sentient the way it was moving but the rest of the film gives no indicat4ion that it was. So yes it’s a strong scene and definitely gets you nervous but it doesn’t make much sense within the context of the rest of the film. It’s more shock value than anything.

Not saying the movie would have been better off with aliens but this scene could have been changed a lot. The idea of trying to help an alternate version of yourself through writing is interesting and the film could have made that something interesting but even that element doesn’t get as much depth as you would expect. So what we have here is a sci-fi film that is only half heartedly jumping into the various concepts that it introduces. This is what keeps it from being the next big thing. Well, at least that’s one of the reasons.

We’ve got a decently big cast here and I wouldn’t even say the members are that bad. First up is Ava who is the main heroine here. She didn’t even want to go on this mission but it was the only way to potentially save her husband since the Earth wouldn’t be surviving much longer. So now that she is in space she has a lot of regrets and the idea of an alternate planet appeals to her. I will say from the jump that I think even being tempted to leave is not a good idea here. An alternate version of you may seem similar but ultimately it’s a complete different person.

So it’s best not to get attached or to distract yourself from the mission. Meanwhile you have Jensen who is a mysterious lady that appears on the ship after things start to get crazy. She reminds me of a lady who showed up late in the game in another sci-fi title called Astra Lost in Space. Jensen is a wild card here as of course the main characters can’t trust her but at the same time it’s not like they have a lot of choices either. At this point you really need all the help that you can get and you just have to hope that it goes well.

Ava’s husband doesn’t get a huge role but in a small subplot he tries to help a kid stay safe. It’s not like there are too many safe areas left but at least helping someone would be good. This plot is definitely going for the more emotional kind of vibes as it’s rather somber. It’s not until the end that this really goes anywhere. At least I did like the ending here though. This was a good cliffhanger and it gets you ready for the next film. Of course as always that seems like it’s probably a longshot but if it were to happen then that would definitely be cool. At least it ends things off on a hype note.

With a lot of drama going on in the ship you feel like this is yet another case where the heroes would do so much better if they weren’t constantly fighting among themselves. Inevitably this starts to become a country vs country thing. Some characters at least try not to get mixed up on this but it’s a very enclosed battleground so it’s not like there are a lot of places to run either. You’re basically stuck here as you just try to stay alive. There are some things that happen where you can’t blame the character for being in a bad spot like the poor guy who started merging with the wall. There wasn’t really a way to avoid that one but other things like creating a gun just amps up the odds of people snapping at each other.

The effects are good though. I thought that the spaceship looked good and it was big enough where you didn’t feel that the crew was too confined. We still got a decent amount of other sceneries throughout. On land everything was in a fairly bad spot early on so this may have been the best location for the movie to take place if you were trying to avoid the monsters for some reason. Meanwhile having the film take place on land would have been the best way to do a proper Cloverfield 2 so even to the end it feels like they are avoiding giving us what we’re really looking forward to and that’s another giant monster movie.

Overall, The Cloverfield Paradox shouldn’t have included the word “Cloverfield” at the end because this movie is barely connected to the franchise at all. They seem to love including this word just to drum up sales and it’s a bad idea. Keeping this as an individual sci-fi film would have been a much better idea. Ultimately it’s not like it would have changed a whole lot about the story itself but you can probably enjoy it more that way as opposed to waiting for the monster to appear each time. I think there are some interesting nuggets here to be sure but ultimately not enough to keep you really invested. This would have worked better as a full TV series as they start to see the differences between the Earths or maybe as a multi film series. As a stand alone you have to cover a lot of ground and so there isn’t time to really have the characters talk about this situation that they’re in. It makes for a bit of an underwhelming experience especially when it feels like the movie isn’t exactly sure of how these things work. Spending more time on the implications of this other world and some good dialogue could have helped it go to the next stage. Instead you will want to wait for the next Cloverfield film.

Overall 4/10

The Eye Review

This is one of those films that I think did have a little potential but ultimately it just wasn’t that great. It could be a bit repetitive at times and the climax wasn’t quite as intense as you would expect it to be. The ending didn’t quite go the way that it should have but I give the film props for not being too explicit involving the eyes or making any of the visions too ghastly. The movie actually felt like it had some restraint more times than not which is always appreciated.

The movie starts with Sydney doing well at another concert and she has been able to become a professional even while being blind for almost her whole life. It’s pretty impressive and everyone is in awe but now it is time for her to finally get her sight back. She goes through with the eye transplant and it’s all super blurry for a while but this is supposed to be normal. What isn’t normal is that she can now see into the realm of the supernatural. Ghosts of people who died but never moved on plague her at every location. She can’t get them to stop and while her goal has always been to see, she is starting to wonder if she was better off blind. Is there a way to make these visions go away or is she doomed? What if she is actually crazy and the eyes aren’t cursed?

One issue the film has is with repeating the same ghosts quite often which takes away from the fear factor. You have this kid who is nervous because he got bad grades at school so he tends to loiter around. If she tries to talk to him then he jumps out the window but respawns where he was as if this is Call of Duty. In a different kind of film you would probably have this be an emotional story where one by one she talks to all of the ghosts and helps them move on so they won’t be like this anymore. She does do that to an extent at least with one but for the most part she is just busy getting out of here.

The film’s premise is definitely similar to something like Mieruko-Chan but played out without the more supernatural edge. This one stops at the visions instead of embracing the genre more. Sydney definitely does not handle this well although I don’t blame her since the visions are rather tricky. It can be a little hard to tell if she is ever in any real danger though because most times the villains just seem to pass by her. I think she may have been burned once by one of her memories but it fades eventually. What she should have done was to test this a bit. Try to grab one of the ghosts instead of hiding all the time. Once you know that they can’t hurt you, wouldn’t that give you some piece of mind?

Again, Mieruko-Chan handles this really well so I’d recommend that series if you want to see someone who has to live with always being able to see the supernatural all the time. It’s a bit inconvenient for Sydney but she could have handled things better as opposed to shutting off the lights and just hiding at home for a while. By the end of the film she slowly starts to get used to things and the ending is wholesome in some ways but the very ending just feels like a waste. I would have witched one aspect of the film which would have left room for a potential sequel. Even if there was no sequel, keeping in this element would have just been a lot of fun.

So the film drops the ball on the ending. As a character I’d say Sydney is okay but not all that good. She falls for Paul way too quickly and considering that they have something close to a patient doctor relationship that’s not a good idea. Sydney tries to use some pseudo science in the film to try and explain what she’s seeing and brings up a study about someone who claimed they could see things from the previous owner of the eyes. I have doubts on if this is really possible although I’d readily believe it for the brain, but I wouldn’t deny the chance. It just makes things even trickier for Sydney. If she really thinks that she is just seeing visions then there is even less to be scared of right? You can’t be hurt by visions so then that’s it. Just ignore them as best you can and keep it moving.

It’s probably hard not to react to them so scenes like what happened at the restaurant would still be tricky but I do think Sydney could have handled things way better than she did. Meanwhile Paul cracks a little too quickly on going back against his doctor’s oath to tell her about the previous donor. You really gotta be careful about breaking your oaths too quickly or people just aren’t going to trust you. I suppose most will never find that out but I wouldn’t say that is a great consolation either way.

So in general I would say that the premise was better than the execution here. There are some fun ideas and you could really have some fun themes about not judging the undead. Maybe have Sydney be scared for a while but gradually she sees that these people aren’t that bad and helps them out. There was a kid who helped her out in the hospital that wasn’t so bad. It could have even been a bit of an uplifting film in that case instead of this half hearted horror attempt. The movie is just scary and it’s just all over the place most of the time. The special effects are decent I suppose. Of course the scenes in the hospital are the weakest since you still don’t want to see any part of the operation but the film doesn’t linger on this much.

Overall, The Eye is below average for me because it really didn’t do anything great with the plot. The premise has so many areas for good potential and it didn’t use any of them. That’s a big miss if you ask me since the possibilities are really endless with this. Having eyes that let you see the dead would absolutely be annoying so that’s 100% true but lets see the main character try adapting to the situation a little bit instead of getting tossed and turned the whole time. You can do better so I’d say to skip this one.

Overall 4/10

Christine 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

You may remember Christine as the bully from Carrie but the name is a coincidence. This car has been a demon for a very long time and is around to dish out the pain. The movie is about how corruption spreads fast and you have to be careful who you hang with or you could be in trouble. The main guy’s friend is annoying with how quickly he goes on the dark side though.

So the movie starts by introducing us to Arnie who has had a rough time of things. He gets picked on, has really strict parents, and just doesn’t have a high opinion of himself. Well, one day he finds a super beat up car that looks like it’s on its way to the scrapheap and decides to buy it from this shady old guy. His friend Dennis tries to convince Arnie not to do this but he does anyway. Miraculously Arnie is able to make this car look brand new and all of a sudden he has become an overconfident school delinquent. Dennis sees that Arnie is getting worse and worse but what can he do about it?

I’d say that Dennis is definitely put in a really tough spot here. There’s only so much that you can do as the best friend. He’s not family and it’s not like he’s an adult figure so his best bet is just trying to reason with Arnie as friends. Unfortunately that guy is so far off the deep end that it’s really tough to do so. Dennis is a stand-out character for trying so hard. Additionally, Dennis did risk his life in stepping in when the bullies had Arnie outnumbered 5 to 1 and disarmed the guy with the knife.

It was a great scene for him and he really didn’t lose faith in his friend until the end. Dennis really did everything he could. Meanwhile you can basically flip everything that I said for Dennis for Arnie. That guy was annoying on every front. Look, he definitely did have a tragic origin story, I can’t argue against that. The bullies scene was really rough and knowing that he has to go through things like that at school is tough. It’s also easy to see why he has so much self doubt.

The main issue is once he gets the car Christine and suddenly does a 180. If the car is going to mess with his mind, I’d like to see it be gradual so that we know Arnie is actually fighting. Instead the guy goes crazy almost immediately and starts taking this out on Leigh, his parents, and everyone around him. He stops being sympathetic real quick and at the end of the day he chose the car over everyone else. How much of that was mind control and how much of that was really him is the question that the film leaves you with.

It’s hard to say but I’m always big on willpower. If you didn’t produce then that’s game over. So Arnie letting himself be turned evil like that was just bad. Especially when he turns on Dennis who was always in his corner. Beating up on the bullies and taking them out? Yeah that’s rather intense but you definitely see how it could happen. Once he started driving crazy on the highway and acting hostile towards Dennis then things were really crazy. Likewise with taking such a hard stance with Leigh after she had nearly just died by choking in his car.

Arnie’s pretty bad but then I’d also say that Leigh should have completely cut ties with him after the first incident as well. Don’t go back to him after that no matter what he says. Following him into the garage led to another blow-up since the car was his top priority and even after that she’s trying to save him. Perhaps she was extra perceptive that it was the car messing him up but realistically that’s not the first thing that you would think of. She was rather easy on him.

Another character who suspected the car awful quickly was Rudolph. He’s a detective but a rather odd one. I don’t see how anybody could jump to the supernatural conclusion too quickly but this guy seemed to suspect it right away. He was asking a whole lot of questions about the car and how it was fixed so quickly but I’m not even sure what he was getting at. It felt like he had to be hinting that he knew the car was supernatural but that’s really a headscratcher. How he could possibly have jumped to that conclusion (Even if it was correct) is a bit beyond me there.

Props to him being a great detective I suppose. He was a nice character though and I would have liked to have seen more of him. As for Christine, well she’s evil from the jump so it’s not like you can reason with her. She gets jealous quickly and is always ready to exact lethal revenge. If she hadn’t gone after Leigh then you could have at least tried to paint her as a more sympathetic character trying to protect her owner but since she is possessive like that, then there’s no shot. Of course she did the same thing in the past to the previous owner’s family so she was just always like that. I’m cool with the film not going any further into the past because I think it actually makes things more scary to know that she was just randomly an evil, sentient car as opposed to some long backstory about how she turned out that way.

The film isn’t quite as violent as the average King title. The car does take some people out for sure but usually not in super gruesome ways. The violence at times is more implied than shown explicitly. One guy gets rammed to death for example but whereas in another film we would see every moment of that for a drawn out period of time, it’s not quite as intense here. Christine is in general a bit of a mean spirited film though with the average bullies running around and causing trouble. They really go all in by attacking a second time and then you have Arnie’s boss who is rude to everyone for no real reason.

The romance here is really on the weak side for obvious reasons. The relationship with Leigh and Arnie was never going to work out with him being on the dark side and all. I really hope the film wasn’t gunning towards a rebound later on but I’ll choose to believe it wasn’t since it ends pretty quick. I was expecting a different romance plot to continue but the other girl pretty much got completely written out after the opening scenes.

Overall, Christine isn’t really a fun film to watch but at least it’s fairly tame so I wouldn’t say that it’s too bad. There just aren’t very many happy moments and with Arnie being corrupted immediately, you can’t even root for him to really be saved by the end. If you really like evil cars then that might be enough to push it over the edge for you but otherwise I’d say to skip this one. Meanwhile one character nearly chokes to death here and it reminds me why I have to eat so slowly at Jumbo’s pizza. The cheese is so thick that I swear it’s a choking hazard so I always warn people about that when I recommend the place. Top 2 pizza in the whole world but definitely an intense one so don’t take big bites.

Overall 4/10