All That Heaven Allows Review


All That Heaven Allows is a film about how you need to ultimately ignore social commentary on your personal life decisions or you’re probably going to regret it. Put it this way, there will always be those who object to your actions so if you try to please everyone not only is that an impossible goal but you won’t be able to have fun yourself either. Sometimes you really do just need to think of yourself and the lead heroine doesn’t quite understand this for a while.

The movie starts off by introducing us to Cary who is a very recent widow. Well, she is ready to move on and wants to meet someone but isn’t quite hitting it off with anyone. There’s an older man who likes her and initially I thought this might be the age gap romance from the film’s summary but she turns him down. She falls for someone who is over 10 years younger than her but he likes her back and so they figure they can be happy together. Trouble arises when Cary faces pressure from her “friends” as well as her two kids who think she is acting rashly. Should she rethink this romance or plunge forward?

There’s a lot to discuss on the romance angle alone. I guess lets start with the social factor. Cary really shouldn’t care less about what everyone else thinks. The only two she could put some stock in would be her kids, but the neighbors next door? They were insulting her ever since the very first scene before she even met Ron. Why would she want them to cheer her on anyway? This seems to be fortunately more of a relic of the past but for a while it seems like people were expected to fit into the social clubs since they were all “friends” even though nothing could be further from the truth. The problem as Cary soon sees is that at the end of the day they won’t care once she goes to their point of view.

To these people, they’ll be glad that they forced Cary over to their side but won’t do anything beyond that. Cary’s the only one who has to live with her choices. Same with the kids who very quickly move on and have no qualms about leaving the status quo. It was only an issue when Cary was making the decision. Madoka Magica had some good commentary about that back in the day. If you make a wish or decide to live for someone else, you need to make sure you’re doing that for yourself. If you’re doing it for someone else and expect some kind of eternal gratitude then you will always end up being unfulfilled because odds are that it won’t happen. Even if it does, it would be temporary.

Now lets talk about the other factor which is the age gap. In general I’m not a fan of age gap romances at all. You very rarely see them in films though. In general you expect a romance to be within a few years. Now obviously assuming both characters are over 21 I think you can reasonably have an age gap of around 10 years. I’ve always considered 10 to be around the maximum that makes sense. Any further and it just won’t be very balanced. It increases the likelihood that of one member deciding to fool around since the older one can no longer keep up or one member dying way too soon so the other is stuck behind. Of course romances are ultimately up to the individual but it’s just hard to see one working over 10 years. You can certainly have a crush on someone over 10 years older than you but going all the way to marriage does seem hasty.

So in the film I can agree with the logic of the characters saying this was a bad idea. Of course most of them put it in a very insensitive way so the only person rationally trying to explain this was Cary’s best friend Sara who was really solid in this film. She explained her objections but still supported Cary throughout the whole process. She’s a nice friend to have for sure since you need someone who has your back. Regardless I would not say that the romance in this film is very good. It’s all rather rushed so Cary does come across as rather desperate the whole time. Ron doesn’t really show his inner thoughts quite as much so I guess we have to assume that he’s on the level but it would be hard for me to trust him the whole time either.

At the very least the film is certainly going for a unique premise. Cary is a decent main character but I have to deduct a lot of points for allowing everyone else to control her decisions. She makes a significant amount of compromises during the film which really isn’t fair to any of the parties involved. You have to stick to your guns and the fact that Cary could not do that meant that she ended up being a weaker character. As for Ron, well he really tried his best to help Cary out. He fixed the cup, remodeled the house, and I would say he sufficiently showed that he was going to be an agreeable fellow. At the same time he wasn’t willing to bow to the other characters the way Cary was which is what put them at odds. His points were reasonable so I was more on his side in this one.

Then you have the kids who are mostly here to get in the way. The son was an ingrate the whole time and all of his points were nullified by how rude and disrespectful he was the entire time. At least the daughter always tried to talk about things in a rational way while keeping emotion out of the deal. I could certainly respect that. I also liked how she liked to psycho analyze everybody. It may not have worked all that well at the end which was unfortunate but that trait helped her stand out for a while and I dare say gave us some of the funniest scenes in the movie.

Overall, All That Heaven Allows is a reasonable film at best. I feel like the title is fairly misleading and I just can’t get behind the romance which really limits the film’s potential from the start. The gap just seems too extensive. What keeps the film from being bad as it easily could have turned is the fact that the writing is solid. The cast may not be all that likable overall but at least even the insults are all done in a pretty professional manner. I always enjoy these old school burns which are delivered so smoothly. Even the characters have to take a step back most of the time as they wonder what exactly happened. The film probably could have cut out the drunk character constantly trying to get at Cary though. Now there’s a subplot that feels rather unnecessary. (And also makes Cary look even more unreasonable for even wanting to be a part of that crowd) If you want a better romance film then I would suggest checking out a Doris Day film instead.

Overall 5/10

Night Tide Review


Night Tide is pretty much bonkers. As the film is going on you are wondering what the point is. On Wikipedia I see this is sometimes labeled as a horror film but don’t buy into that. Nothing could be farther from the truth. This is as much a horror film as the Maze Runner. There are some ideas here that are decent at best but then you have to contend with a slow moving plot and a climax that just isn’t nearly as dynamic as it could have been. I wouldn’t call it a bad film but it’s really right in the middle.

Johnny has finally gotten a break from being in the navy for a bit so he heads to a bar to try and find a girl. His useful pretense here is that he came for the music. Well, he quickly meets a lady named Mora and desperately begs her to go out with him. She eventually concedes and the two get close but Johnny finds out there are ominous rumors about her. She had two other boyfriends recently and both ended up being drowned. There’s no evidence that she did it…but it’s a bit suspicious all the same. So, what can ole Johnny do now? He is still desperate to be with Mora so he decides to just roll with it but this could be his last decision.

I think we can all assume from the start that something fishy is going on here. The thing is, Johnny just isn’t a likable character in the slightest. Aside from being desperate for romance he’s not the sharpest tool in the shed. He knows that at the very least he needs to be careful when there’s a full moon out. Don’t go near water but Mora asks him to go with her to the deepest part of the ocean so naturally he says yes. Johnny only has his main character plot armor to protect him because his decisions certainly don’t put him in a great spot. Then you’ve also got the fact that his feelings are very weak. Let’s just say that he’s very quick on the rebound so he doesn’t seem to even care which girl he is with.

Not the kind of lead you want to see. I wasn’t a big fan of the heroine Mora either. Of course I can’t say if she is truly a heroine or an antagonist as the film wants you to figure that out, but either way she really gets tricked pretty easily. Surely she should have known something was up in previous incidents. I think it’s fair to say she was probably a bit loopy but she seemed sane enough to be able to connect the dots if you ask me. Instead she just kept on sinking. Even when you have a mysterious lady hurling some kind of threat at her, Mora is quick to leave instead of seeing what this is all about.

The only other big character here is Murdock and he’s definitely one of those guys who likes to spread rumors. He talks a lot about the ocean and such but also slips in some more suspicious things about Mora. There’s nothing much to say about this guy but in his final scene he helps to make Johnny more unlikable as well by convincing the lead to see his point of view. There really wasn’t anything to see here though which is why it doesn’t quite work out so well.

I wouldn’t say the writing is that bad, but it feels like there was no ending in mind. Throughout the movie there’s a bit of a suspenseful feeling in the air. The color scheme is rather dark for the film and the beach can look pretty ominous at that point. In the climax it’s raining and pitch black out so when Johnny enters the tent you know that something’s going to happen. The film excels with these moments as you should be pretty interested in what’s going to happen next. With a more satisfying ending I dare say that this would have worked out well.

The issue is that the ending just feels pointless. Nothing was really accomplished and then the film decided to take the easy way out by leaving all kinds of possibilities open. So you can effectively choose your own ending here and that’s never the route you want to go. A film should be confident in its choice from start to finish. An ambiguous ending on its own isn’t bad but the execution here was poor. The final scene will probably make you roll your eyes when you consider that not a lot of time has passed since a recent tragedy but the characters don’t seem to care much. That may be indictive of the film itself though. In general the film’s biggest weakness was just not having enough strengths. It’s not a bad movie but it’s not a good one either. It just coasts by with a lot of soulless scenes that can be decent at times but never end up connecting into something better. The movie has some dream scenes that show you what the film could have been like though. Those tend to be pretty intense and more like the posters the film was advertised with. If the film had gone down that route I’m sure it would have at least been more exciting.

Overall, Night Tide is a unique film. It’s suspenseful and keeps you engaged just long enough where the film will just fly by. On the other hand, the ending makes sure you don’t enjoy the journey as much as you could have and holds the whole thing back. A better main character would have gone a long way as Johnny evidently just wasn’t ready for the big stage like this. The movie does squeeze in a quick action scene at the very end though so that was pretty neat. I was beginning to think we probably weren’t going to have any so that was good at least.

Overall 5/10

Hush…Hush, Sweet Charlotte Review


Whenever you have a film where the main antagonist turns out to get bullied by another one, you have to handle things delicately or the whole project is liable to fail. Can you really take such a turn of events seriously? Now you can handle this quite well in an action setting but in more of a dramatic fashion like this one? Well, it definitely raises a few eyebrows. This film is fairly good all things considered but I do find parts of it to be rather unbelievable. I have to question the writing at times as well.

The movie starts with a flashback where we have a lot of drama going on. Charlotte’s father finds out that she intends to run off with this whiny guy named John. John is already married and both characters know this but he intends to cheat on his wife anyway. Charlotte is cool with this so keep in mind that from the start we know that she’s not exactly a heroic character. Well, the father forces John to turn Charlotte down but he quickly gets hacked to bits for his trouble. We fast forward a few decades and Charlotte is now an old lady that nobody wants to hang out with. Everyone believes she murdered John and people give her a wide berth. The town has tried to be patient as well but her house is supposed to have been torn down but she refuses to leave it. She even goes as far as to shoot at the workers.

Fortunately her cousin Miriam has returned to help smooth things over. Charlotte wants her to convince the town to let her stay in the house but Miriam says this is impossible. Miriam intends to convince Charlotte to leave. The issue is, if Charlotte is still a vicious murderer, is Miriam really safe? Perhaps she should leave quickly. The town is in a tough spot either way since Charlotte has a gun and isn’t afraid to use it. From here on out we get quite a number of twists and turns as the plot goes underway.

And that’s no understatement…there are a ton of twists here. Some which make more sense than others. I’ll go through this while sidestepping any big spoilers and reveals. For starters though, this is the kind of movie that only works with a lead character like Charlotte who is consistently giving everyone a hard time and isn’t very smart. She rarely knows what is going on and panics about everything. There are several times in the film where there is a twist later on that should not have tricked Charlotte the first time but only did so because she handled the whole situation horribly. She badly needed some more will power for certain things.

I also thought she really sunk in terms of personality and toughness by the end. She goes from openly threatening to murder everyone at first and being the toughest character in the room to suddenly being pushed around by everyone. It was hard to watch Charlotte by the end because she was falling for everything. She really needed more of a backbone and it’s just hard to believe because of how tough she was at the start. I admit that the whole thing just didn’t feel particularly earned.

The film’s pretty tame aside from the opening scene. The guy getting axed to bits can be surprisingly intense since the rest of the film is much more of a low key thriller. That said, many of the characters also make similar decisions where they look terrible. You’d think the guy getting hacked to bits would have run off somewhere right? At least reacting a bit more would have made sense. Then you’ve also got Velma who is pretty nosey and tends to find out quite a lot but is very obvious about it. If you’re digging up some dirt about the villains, why would you walk up to them and explain how you’re going to go to the police? It’s just not a smart play by any stretch of the imagination. It’s awfully convenient for the villains though.

Then near the end of the film you have two characters loudly talking about their entire plan in detail for the world to hear. They’re laughing, drinking, and basically having a party. One of them even throws a glass cup away where we hear it loudly shatter and they continue on with their speech. This isn’t in a secret room or anything. No, it’s right in the front yard so that doesn’t make things any better either. It’s a scene that doesn’t make much sense at all, but it is what it is I suppose

So the writing’s not amazing in moments like that. On the whole the film has good enough writing where the plot is interesting. It’s just that when you really zoom in on it, things don’t really seem to add up the way that they should. That or the characters just act very unnaturally in order to get the plot moving. I would argue it starts up right from near the beginning of the film. Still, the movie did have a core focus and a real story unlike other similar titles like “Whatever happened to Baby Jane” which were just awful from start to finish.

I already spoke at length about Charlotte and why she’s a pretty bad character. Miriam no better here. She has her own set of issues and loves doing a lot of different manipulation tactics. Then you have Doctor Drew who seems rather desperate throughout the film. He’s not really someone you can trust all that much to get the job done. Finally there is Velma who is at least more of an interesting character than a lot of the others. Too bad she isn’t very smart though or she could have been a standout character.

The movie’s ending is pretty conclusive though and does end the film on the right note. It’s pretty much an ideal ending in a lot of respects as everything is wrapped up nicely. The film manages to hold onto some points thanks to that. I do think the movie started out better than it ended though. The movie could have gone in a much different direction and I think it would have worked out better that way. Charlotte’s personality shift is still something I can’t really come to terms with.

Overall, This film was really skirting between a 5 and a 6 the whole time. It’s certainly not a bad movie but just how good was it? It was interesting upon first watch although I wouldn’t say there is any replay value to be had here. The writing was rather weak during the film but at least the script was okay. It’s hard to believe almost anything going on in the film so you do need to suspend your disbelief for a bit. As long as you do that then you’re fine. So I’d say that the film ultimately clocks out in the middle. It was close to breaking out but has too many flaws. If you’d like to check out more of an intense mystery you’ll want to look elsewhere.

Overall 5/10

Mr. Soft Touch Review


Mr. Soft Touch is a film about a guy deciding to get revenge on some gangsters for taking over his shop. It’s a different spin than usual though as he just wants his money back and isn’t going around shooting them all down. While the film has some pretty good writing humor, I ultimately wouldn’t give it a thumbs up because of some suspect characters and the main character just not being all that likable even by the end.

The movie starts by introducing us to Joe. He has stolen a ton of money and is trying to escape the country but unfortunately his friends were unable to find a boat that leaves before Christmas. He needs to survive for a night somewhere but that won’t be easy since the Mob is everywhere. Joe is able to masquerade as a criminal and get taken to a settlement home where a social worker named Jenny will look after him. Joe figures this will be a decent safehouse as a last resort since there is literally no alternative but when he sees how much help these people need, will he really be able to leave? Some tough choices will have to be made.

Soft Touch has some fun moments and good bits of humor throughout. One nice moment was when the tough guys at the home try to scam Joe out of some money with the dice. He takes them down and clearly has some kind of experience with these games from a while back. He knows a scam when he sees one but does a good job of playing dumb the whole time. This lets him claim the upper hand. It was a nice subversion where usually the main character would have gotten suckered. The main tough guy also reminded me a lot of Spider-Man from the recent movies so it was interesting to see him in more of a villainous role.

You can tell that the people at tis place all meant well. It was a nice cast of characters here. At first they weren’t all happy to see Joe and it was hard to blame them since he wasn’t playing ball but eventually they all formed a pretty good group. In particular I liked Rickle. He had a tendency to go off on long rants about everything but that’s the kind of character who is always good to add levity to the equation. It’ll help keep everyone’s spirits up there which is really important.

Then you have Jenny who is a solid heroine. She does a whole lot for her community and really tried to help Joe out when she thought he was someone else. I would make the case that she is far too lenient though. Her job is about mercy and it’s an important function but since the guy who was charged was an abusive drunk then it seems like he was already too far gone for any of this to help. Jenny also had a traumatic backstory as a kid which makes it all the more impressive that she is putting herself out on the front lines and helping out a bit. She may be a little extreme but I would definitely say that she is a good person.

Then we get to Joe. I just couldn’t find myself being able to root for him. I understand him taking the money back after the mobsters stole it. That makes perfect sense since it was his and the whole thing seems unfair. Why does he not help Clara get away from Victor though? That seems like a pretty toxic relationship that he just looks the other way with. The film would have been a lot better without those two characters since they just hurt Joe a whole lot by extension. Then you’ve got the fact that Joe doesn’t do anything to help out the people in the settlement house before it’s too late. Byrd offered him a rather decent deal at the time but Joe wouldn’t hear of it.

Joe tries to make things right by the end but it is far too late for that. Even the scene where he gives his jacket and the money to the little girl comes off as rather suspect. At first it seems like a nice gesture but then Jenny points out that it was also a way to take the risk off and it’s hard to see it any other way at that point. The girl’s life was in serious jeopardy with the mobsters finding that kind of cash on her. Joe just puts too many people in harm’s way. He has some good plans but they all end up putting people in more danger while he escapes. It’s not a very heroic approach at all.

As for Byrd, I thought he was a pretty solid reporter. The guy put the pieces together a lot quicker than you would have initially expected. He clearly has some bad history with Joe but the guy did make a good offer to call the cops in. He just wanted some intel. I wasn’t really sure why Joe wouldn’t tell him at this point since his partner is dead and the mobsters are everywhere. Maybe it was a pride thing or just because Byrd was partially responsible for his partner dying since he didn’t do anything. Byrd did save Joe’s life a few scenes earlier though which is hard to forget. Byrd surprisingly doesn’t take this all that personal later on when they meet up again.

At times the movie seems to move really fast with characters sort of going through a character arc off screen. One example is the romance between Jenny and Joe. It goes from nowhere to suddenly she’s begging him to stay and some of the big speeches you would expect if they had been together for a long time. It doesn’t always flow as organically as you would expect. I suppose the film just wanted to move straight on ahead to the next moment but some scenes would just happen really suddenly like that.

Overall, Mr. Soft Touch would have been better with a better main character. Someone who was actually standing up for justice to stop the mobsters, not just because they crossed him. I would have liked better reasons for why he didn’t accept Byrd’s help or also a scene of him helping Clara out of just confirming Victor’s innocence. From what we saw of Victor he just seems like a very bad guy and Joe not doing anything about it doesn’t help in the slightest. The film’s pretty light hearted for the most part I’d say and has a nice Christmas theme going. It mainly just gets serious at the end with the ending being a little surprising. Definitely not the smartest move on both Joe and Jenny’s part. I think they could have handled the whole thing a lot better. Either way you can do better than this if you’re looking for a good Christmas film to watch this year.

Overall 5/10

The Exterminating Angel Review


When you see a title like “The Exterminating Angel” you know that things are about to get pretty intense. Well, that’s exactly what happened here. The movie can be pretty odd at times. The plot is certainly unique and I would say that the movie is good. It’s one of those films that knows when to end as I feel like if it had stayed going on for a bit longer it may have ultimately backfired pretty hard. There’s always a time to continue a plot and a time to end it. The film stayed within those parameters pretty well and stayed afloat right in the middle. I wouldn’t say that is any real replay value to be found here but it will definitely keep your interest on the initial watch.

The movie starts out with a bunch of friends getting together for a nice dinner. Unfortunately all of the hired help have decided to head out early for various reasons. The host is not happy about this but can’t exactly force them to stay. Unfortunately even after the dinner everyone is sticking around for some reason. As the next day rolls around people realize that something definitely isn’t right. For some reason they are unable to leave the main room. Keep in mind they can enter the kitchen and such but can’t leave the place. The rules of the boundaries seem to vary a bit but mainly you can’t leave the house and nobody can enter it either. That means the main characters are going to have to think of a plan quickly or it’s going to be game over for all of them.

In a way it’s a bit like the Children of the doomed film but instead of falling asleep the characters are just boxed in. It’s not like there’s a physical barrier blocking them or anything like that though. It’s just an invisible urge telling them not to go and none of the characters are brave enough to leave either. I personally take this to be a being blocking them. Perhaps some kind of demonic spirit masquerading itself as an Angel which would fit the title. The conditions for being stuck in the house seem to be rather specific with the time loop getting involved. I’m assuming this is a punishment of sorts to make the characters rethink their decisions. Through the dialogue we see that just about every character has done something rather suspect or is keeping a dark secret. Characters are cheating on each other, stealing, etc. Most of the people here don’t seem to be good people.

Some stay strong while others crack almost instantly. It really shows how the extended stay brings out each character’s true form. Some just aren’t up to handling this kind of pressure or they’re okay with hanging out with people for a bit but not for very long. I should say the film has a pretty fun ending as well. It definitely sets things up for possibly being an even more intense scenario. In this case the people inside are going to be crammed in even more than in the main scenario so I don’t see things ending particularly well for them. It’ll be a repeat of the original scenario except they won’t stay strong for nearly as long.

One of the main themes here is really about how anyone will crack so you just have to see how much you buy into it. There were quite a few big fights going on in the main place by the end. For my money it’s why I would be hesitant to go on any of those month vigils where you go with a group of people to the mountains or a resort and hang out for that period of time. Seems like it would be hard to just be stuck like that for so long. It’s not a good idea for sure.

I should mention that the film is in Spanish with subtitles throughout the film. I haven’t seen quite too many films in this language so it was pretty interesting. Mix that in with the fact that the dialogue can be rather strange intentionally and you’ve got some interesting writing here. I enjoyed it, the writing is part of what makes the film so interesting here. It can be tough to differentiate some of the characters though. Mainly the hosts stand out as well as the guy who was always acting out and his sister who would always defend him. The brother character cracked immediately and was easily the worst character in the film. All of his scenes were pretty painful and you would hope that the other characters would just tie him up or something. Breaking the comb was really unnecessary and all he would do was put the characters in a worse position. His sister was just as guilty for accepting all of this.

The best character would have to be the main host. He tried to keep up a certain aura of politeness throughout the whole movie even as everything went sideways. I don’t see how you can possibly blame him for any of this and yet one guest does. As if this guy could actually have known that this invisible force would block everyone in. The guy who died early on definitely had the easiest time in the film since he got to avoid this. He has a line about how he’s glad he will miss the Extermination so maybe since he was near to death he could actually see exactly what was blocking everyone. It definitely adds a little more credibility to this actually being a supernatural being blocking everyone in as opposed to just their psyches. I like the idea of the disembodied hand actually being the spirit wandering around looking for who to take down next.

Overall, The Exterminating Angel is a pretty interesting film. It’s all about seeing who will crack first and why you don’t want to be stuck in a room with everyone for very long. By the end the characters have all really started to turn on each other. I’d say that the best part of the film is certainly the first half as they slowly start to figure out what’s going on as well as the ending because the twist was a lot of fun. The second half isn’t quite as fun with all of the characters going crazy. It doesn’t go full on Lord of the Flies fortunately but with the characters being nice and awful at the end it isn’t quite as fun as it could have been. I would recommend checking this out at least once so you can see what an interesting plot this is. It’s certainly a very original story but you probably won’t be coming back for more.

Overall 5/10

Annabelle 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

The Conjuring verse has definitely gotten pretty big at this point. With the main titles plus two different spinoff series I dare say that it’s easily the biggest horror universe in cinema. It may not have as many installments as some others but I’d like to see any other one have two spinoffs. Then maybe we could have a time travel story at some point that brings them all together at once at their peak and maybe even bring some of the human characters from all of the films along. This one’s pretty solid for a horror film. I wouldn’t say that it’s without fault but I wouldn’t call it a bad movie either.

The movie starts with Mia and John getting ready to finally have a kid. John has the bright idea to give Mia a doll that looks like it was run over several times as a gift. She likes it so I guess maybe this is just the style she’s into but I dunno, I get bad vibes from it right away. That night they are attacked by a bunch of lunatics and Mia ends up getting stabbed. Fortunately they all live including the baby. Now the three of them should be okay but Mia keeps seeing ghosts like the evil lady showing up or Annabelle herself giving her the evil eye. Is Mia going crazy or does the doll actually want to take her down?

The first scene with the home invaders caught me off guard because I was so sure that they were apparitions and weren’t really there. I mean that’s just horror 101 that the heroine thinks she sees something but it’s all fake right? The fact that they were actually here was pretty interesting. It also made for an intense fight scene as John had to try and take both of them down on his own. He handled himself pretty well until the cops were able to show up and fortunately put an end to things. It definitely helped to establish the world as being a pretty dangerous one and also showed us why Mia would be on edge for the rest of the film. She just can’t feel safe anywhere.

It doesn’t help that Annabelle is causing a lot of mischief. She turns the toaster on by itself, loves to turn on music over and over again, and doing other things like that. She rarely ever moves to do anything on her own though. She likes to scare Mia but never presses the issue more than that. In fact when going on the offensive she seems to prefer to summon a ghost of an older lady or even uses a kid form to take names. Seeing her try to fight as a doll would have been a little more entertaining but I guess she didn’t want to chance it. Like the Nun she is technically a demon inhabiting the doll or using it as a medium but I guess she has freedom to do other things as well.

She’s at least strong enough to mess with Perez even when he’s literally in front of the Church and has his full gear on. He definitely should not have looked back though. Why even look back when you could do a Football dive into the Church and be safe? That’s definitely what he should have done if you ask me and then he would have been in good shape. At least he wanted to help the heroes though so I’ll give him props for the attempt. He was definitely a nice guy. Then you have Evelyn who also did her best to help the main characters out. She may have been a little out of her league with these supernatural forces but who isn’t right? At least this way Mia had some support.

John made for a good supporting character here. He was supportive of Mia the whole time and really did everything he could to help her out in the end. Taking the night shift was a bit dicey but I suppose there’s not a whole lot he could have done to stay home. If anything losing his job would probably make things worse for both of them. In the end he also helps prevent her from making the ultimate mistake which would have been really unfortunate. Mia does her best to stay sane the whole time and escape Annabelle’s attacks but they do start to get her on the edge. The most intense trial she probably had to go through here was heading to the basement. The elevator definitely was not in her favor but it makes sense. If anything I feel like it should happen more often in horror films. I don’t know about the elevators they use here but if you’re being chased by someone and jump into an elevator the odds of it shutting instantly are slim to none. At my elevator at least if you click to go up or down it’ll open up the elevator right away before you can move to a new floor. It always has top priority.

Mia does her best to look into the whole Annabelle situation but ultimately it’s one of those things where there isn’t a whole lot to dig up. There isn’t a way out and she’s basically unbeatable. When you think about it that’s the moral of the story. I can’t say that the ending was particularly satisfying either. We don’t really get a twist ending so instead Annabelle gets a lot of props in the normal one. My real issue here is that one of the characters basically plays Annabelle’s game thinking that this will balance the scales but it has no real effect. Perhaps at most it slows Annabelle down but based on the grin at the end and everything it’s definitely not something that will be a permanent win. Thing is, you can’t trust demons so why even play their games in the first place? Annabelle certainly isn’t one of the stronger demons but she is still a demon nonetheless.

Overall, Annabelle is definitely more of an atmospheric kind of horror title. The demon isn’t going around murdering everyone for the most part. Usually she just causes a lot of dangerous pranks and tries to mess with Mia’s psyche. I’m glad that the film actually incorporated this into the plot though. There are a few deaths but really not all that much when you think about it and close to half the body count here was unrelated to Annabelle herself. I didn’t care for the ending which was a bit sour but I wouldn’t say this film was bad. It didn’t rely on much or any shock value which was pretty nice. We didn’t have to hear some super long and tragic origin story either. Annabelle is just a crazy demon that wants your soul and doesn’t need much more of a background than that. The crazy murderers from the origin got a bit of an origin story which I thought was pretty pointless but I suppose it tied into Annabelle’s origin so we needed it to an extent. I wouldn’t call this film super strong but it’s a decent horror film if you want to check out out. I would sooner recommend Ghostbusters though.

Overall 5/10

Beetlejuice Review


Beetlejuice is definitely a very popular horror film so you’re bound to have run across it at some point or another. The theater play certainly ran for a while as well. It’s a pretty interesting story and it can be a fun blend of humor and supernatural like Ghostbusters or something like that. Unfortunately it is held back by the main villain Betelgeuse who just isn’t able to hold the film here. His screen time actually isn’t all that long which is good but he still tries to drag down the scenes that he is in.

The movie starts with Adam and Barbara settling into their new house. Unfortunately they end up dying in a car accident. They are now ghosts who are stuck inside their own house and cannot leave. They are now forced to watch a new family show up to live there. They need a way to chase these people out so the house will remain theirs but their various scare tactics aren’t working. There is one person who can help, a ghost known as Betelgeuse. However the guy has a rather shady reputation and all the experts are telling the leads not to summon him. Should they listen?

The main characters aren’t the greatest leads so it’s good that we got the next family to come in. Adam is way too passive the whole time and just lets everything go on around him. The first thing Betelgeuse does when he shows up is attack Barbara and Adam literally does nothing about it. I think I may have heard him utter a half hearted “hey” when he did it but that was it. He certainly means well but at the end of the day he just doesn’t do much. He looks really bad in the final scenes of the film as well. Seriously you’d think the guy would have been able to do more. Barbara is a little better. She still isn’t very active at times but at least she’s a bit tougher than Adam. I feel like she also should have been against summoning Betelgeuse after the initial scene though.

No, the real characters show up when Charles and Delia along with their daughter Lydia appear. This family is ready to have a swell time in the new place. From all of the characters Charles is definitely putting in the most effort in order to relax. He’s a glass half full kind of guy where nothing can really keep him down. He’s just got a nice way of spinning everything into a positive around here. It’s part of why the ghosts can’t really mess with him. You can’t mess with a guy who’s having a lot of fun right? Then you have Delia who’s a bit more eccentric and certainly very particular about interior design. She’s eager to have the ghosts around later on even though she was super skeptical beforehand.

Lydia isn’t quite as fun as her parents. She’s going through that goth phase where she is pretty depressed all of the time and even writes a foreboding letter at one point in the film. The characters definitely need to keep a very close eye on her that’s for sure. The family also has a friend/uncle named Otho who’s a lot of fun. That guy has some pretty solid tricks at his disposal. He was easily able to take down the two nearest ghosts which is impressive and in general he doesn’t scare easily. So we’ve got a pretty strong cast here. It would help if Betelgeuse was better but it just wasn’t meant to be. You can tell what kind of character portrayal they’re going for here but instead of funny he just came across as annoying instead.

One of the best scenes in the film helped to highlight how solid most of the cast was though. There’s a scene where the ghosts force the characters to dance to a crazy song for a while. Instead of running away they’re all pretty pleased with themselves for being able to keep up with the choreography. I thought this scene was handled really well with the humor and is an example of a moment that was written very well. The movie definitely had some fun lines here and there as well but this was the standout moment. As you would expect the film goes all in with some of the creepy visuals here and there. The scenes of Adam and Barbara destroying themselves to show the new tenants how scary they were was definitely something else that’s for sure.

Beetlejuice has a good blend of humor going for the most part but it’s movie where the flaws definitely do show more than in others. It’s hard to really put this one above the breakeven point as a result. One thing I would have done to take this to the next level would either have been more scenes of the new family hanging out since they were a lot of fun or maybe exploring the fantasy land outside. Those giant worms were pretty impressive and it raises a lot of questions about what the world of death is really like. I guess every ghost is sorta trapped in their domain aside from visiting the spirit world? I’d also question how much a spirit can influence. On one hand they seem to be able to interact with objects but not directly with people. Of course Betelgeuse can, but I suppose he’s a unique case. Maybe it’s one of those things where you have to build up your power.

Overall, Beetlejuice is definitely a classic. I don’t think it’s aged as well as some of the all stars like Ghostbusters or Men in Black but I can see why a lot of people find this to be a pretty fun watch. There’s a lot going on and the movie tends to move at a quick pace. Throw in some fun visuals like the outside world and you’ve got enough elements to keep you interested. I’d also say that there’s definitely a whole lot you could do for a sequel as well. I feel like this movie is primed for a sequel at some point. By now it’s definitely old enough for the nostalgia to work. Halloween may be over but if you want one last trip down memory lane then this could be a good one to check out.

Overall 5/10

Transporter 3 Review


It’s time to look at the final film in the trilogy. The first two Transporter films were both pretty solid. I thought the second beat the first by a narrow margin. Unfortunately this one is quite a bit weaker than the first two. Essentially it’s going for similar themes and fights, but just ends up weaker in every area compared to the first two. While I wouldn’t say this is an inherently bad thing as losing to good films isn’t a problem, this film just isn’t that good. I’d say it does just enough to skate by on not being called a bad film but it’s a little too close to the line for comfort. It’s a shame because the film has quite a lot of potential with the premise alone.

So the film starts off with some scenes involving a giant boat trying to land but realizing that it can’t. The captain calls his Russian mafia friends and they confirm that they are close to finishing off the deal. They seem to have some kind of blackmail on the environmental minister. He’ll be signing their papers in a day so that they can offload all of their boats. The minister sends his men in to stop this but only a day is a pretty tough timeline. Meanwhile Frank is enjoying retirement. He turned down the latest assignment to transport and just relaxes with some fishing. Unfortunately his day is ruined when an old friend bursts through his window in a car along with a lady named Valentina. The guy dies since he goes too far from the car and then Frank gets mugged. He is forced by the villains to take the job of transporting a few packages along with Valentina to a far away destination. Now that Frank has the wrist device he also can’t go too far from the car or he will be blown up. The problem is that he and Valentina don’t get along at all. She’s quite antagonistic the whole time despite Frank’s best efforts. Looks like it’s up to him to get out of this situation.

I will say that the film’s beginning had a few warning bells. Nothing too serious to be honest so I don’t want to overstate it. The film’s problems would get worse as it went along. Still, the intro was rather dull. The scenes on the boat still feel pretty pointless to me. At the very least I don’t see why you would start with these scenes. Some guys break into the cargo area and die to the poison? I suppose this is to tip us off that the boat is related to criminal activity…but that was pretty obvious from the jump. The boat characters maybe appear for 2-3 minutes total for the rest of the film. We then cut away to fishing which also isn’t very exciting. The only good part here is the car chase while Frank narrates over it. It’s just a very slow beginning.

The other warning sign is that Frank doesn’t look very intelligent at all. He notices that his friend has a weird tech thing on his arm and the friend begs him not to let them take him to an ambulance. Frank ignores this and after they take him away finally realizes that it’s because the thing on his arm was a bomb. The friend dies of course. So….maybe we can cut Frank some slack because this might not be a common device. You see it all the time in movies but we could say it’s not normal. Still, you’d expect him to be a lot more on the ball with this. Getting knocked out shortly afterwards wasn’t a good look for him either although to be fair he gets quite a habit of getting beaten up when it’s a sneak attack.

I don’t mind the idea of having to stay close to the car though. It’s a good way to build up tension. You may have a hard time believing how he catches up to the car at times but it’s a solid plot gimmick nonetheless. Additionally, I still do like the fights in Transporter 3 even though they are a noticeable downgrade from the first two films. Gone are the days when Frank would win his fights with advanced martial art techniques. One thing I really liked about the first film was that he was shown to be an expert fighter. He was using crazy hand to hand techniques you’d never seen. I’d actually say as a pure fighter he is even better than Jason Bourne, Ethan Hunt, Dwayne Johnson, and James Bond. This guy is just an excellent fighter without a doubt. In this film he uses more basic moves. He still beats everyone up and looks generally impressive but the choreography isn’t at the same level. There are a ton of jump cuts. For that reason, the opening fight in the flashback is easily my favorite fight scene in the film. I thought a lot more effort was put into this one than the others that would come later on.

Where the film goes wrong is really with the main heroine and the inevitable romance that follows. Valentina is one of those characters who gives Frank quite an attitude the whole time. Typically I’m okay with characters having some attitude. She has no reason to trust this guy and it’s a stressful situation right? Well, the problem is that this isn’t totally true. We learn later on some interesting twists about her character but they completely contradict her actions. The film would have been so much easier and quicker if she had been upfront with him. Her reason for staying quiet at the end of the film is comically bad. It’s just hard to understand what’s going through her head. Not only is she unhelpful but she actively puts them in danger like with the whole scene in the grocery store.

This long scene which involves her getting drunk and really just undermining her character makes her look really bad. I can’t cut her any slack for these actions “because she was drunk” because she knowingly chose to get drunk and high during a situation when they need to stay sharp and not die. She also forces a romance between her and Frank by blackmailing him with a bomb. Seriously? That’s got to be one of the worst romance starters I’ve seen in a long time. Literally if he says no he blows up and he can’t walk away either…or he will blow up. Not a whole lot of options to him and she has fun humiliating him for a while. Naturally he ends up enjoying the romance so it’s not a problem for him but this was a really, really bad scene. This plotline was bad from start to finish.

Valentina’s character never rises above this. She tries to be supportive later on but it’s too little too late. I’d also mention that she does a poor job of trying to get the villain driver to slow the car when Frank is behind them. All right, that’s enough on her character. Frank is a decent lead but he looks far worse than in the last two installments. Putting aside the romance and his getting mugged at the beginning of the film in addition to him not realizing about the friend, he even endangers his friend. It’s a comedy scene but he heads to a mechanic he knows and asks the guy to look over the car. We then get a big fight scene where the film resists the urge to use oil for a third time straight although you know it was close since they were fighting with cannisters. The friend asks if it’ll be okay since all of these big villains will wake up soon and Frank just says to go home. They all saw the guy’s face and presumably know his name. Frank just didn’t seem to care. We also just generally get less scenes of Frank humiliating everyone with how good he is in a fight. The guy is an old pro at how this works so showing more of that like in the first two films would be a good idea.

I’d also argue that the final scene of using the bomb with the main villain put Valentina in danger needlessly. As it is the explosion threw her under some rubble. She was okay but it could have very easily gone sideways and her death would have been really pointless there. Frank just can’t help but show off I suppose. The Inspector returns as a supporting character but his scenes feel a little pointless at this point. It’s the same ole jokes from the first two films and he’s always far too late to really do anything. He seems like a nice enough guy I suppose but you get the feeling that he was squeezed in.

Man, this is sounding like a negative review right? I’d say it’s just because the negatives of the film are so noticeable. The positives are still there but just not as strong as they could be. The soundtrack is pretty solid for the fights. I’d say that the lyrical songs we get are pretty weak though. The film succeeds as a thriller in the sense that we do have a lot of nonstop action and fights when the characters are on the road. I enjoyed the chase scene where you have the two black cars on the highway. The cars looking almost identical works pretty well for solid visuals while they’re bumping back and forth. There was some nice strategy used here as well. In general the film always delivers with the chases. There are less jump cuts than with the hand to hand fights as well which is good.

Overall, Transporter 3 is a downgrade from the first 2. The heroine is no good and her actions just don’t make sense especially once we get her flashbacks. It’s a shame because her character had potential as a tough female lead who could keep up with Frank. Her father is certainly presented as a tough figure at least. He actually talks back to villains and doesn’t just roll over with the blackmail. The guy’s got a ton of pull for an environmental leader. I didn’t realize they were quite so tough. At the same time, Russia always has a rep for being very tough so it was nice to see this guy keep that persona as opposed to losing it just because he was a good guy here. If you liked the first two films then you should still check this one out since it completes the saga. It’ll still deliver on the usual action and fight scenes that you would expect. The writing and everything else just experience a bit of a decline here so it’s easy to see why they didn’t go forward with another one in this saga. I think someday they should do a nostalgia fourth film though. The film just needs to focus more on the Transporter angle and give us some solid fight scenes.

Overall 5/10

Light in the Piazza Review


It’s time to look at a romance film from a long time ago. We get to spend most of it in Italy so it’s always fun to have another location at the ready. It’s definitely a very busy area with a lot of people running around throughout the film. The heroines even come close to getting hit by a car near the beginning of the film. I wouldn’t say it’s all that good, but the film has some unique twists. Ultimately it’s just hard to get behind the romance plots here and Meg has one scene near the end that is very suspect.

The film starts with Meg and Clara enjoying the sights in Italy. Clara ends up dropping her hat but fortunately a nice young man by the name of Fabrizio shows up to snatch it. He has some fun running with the hat before finally giving it back to Clara. He instantly confesses to being deeply in love with Clara but Meg tries to break this off right away. See, Clara effectively has the mental abilities of a child so she always speaks her mind instantly and throws tantrums. She also falls in love quite easily and ultimately has gotten rejected quite a few times once they find out. This is what happened even in the latest relationship before this one which is why they went to Italy. So, Clara is always rebounding with someone and that makes you doubt how serious the relationship itself is.

With this in mind Meg just wants to avert another disaster but Fabrizio is far too cunning. He is fairly wealthy so he pays everyone off so they say where the main characters are at all times. It’s pretty impressive in some respects since this was before the age of cell phones. That means the guy had to do a whole lot of legwork to keep up with them. He’s determined to be sure but can’t really take no for an answer. He works well for a movie but I don’t see this approach working out too well nowadays otherwise. At least he never doubts his love for Clara so even if it started out as purely superficial (Love at first sight can be nothing else as you know nothing about the person at the time) it’s fair to say that it was genuine shortly after. The language gap if anything was actually a good thing since it helped them connect. The film is consistent in portraying Fabrizio as a nice guy.

Now, Meg could have quickly just laid the cards out on the table and see if he still feels the same way. Ultimately she just isn’t able to work up the courage to do so. She bonds fairly well with Fabrizio’s father Signor although that guy is less reasonable. He gives us the worst scene in the film where he convinces Meg to briefly cheat with him and would have gone further if she hadn’t declined. Definitely not a classy guy in the slightest since he is supposed to be married as well. Why couldn’t this guy have stayed classy? He was handling himself rather well for most of the film but definitely messed up the landing there. The whole ID fiasco was also sketchy.

It’s effectively the film trying to throw a quick red herring into the mix. Now if this is a big cultural thing then I guess it could work, but I don’t buy Signor forgetting Fabrizio’s age. I figured there would be a twist about that but the film never really goes into it. When it comes to age, so long as both parties are over 18 a few years isn’t a big deal. I think you definitely can’t go over 10 though or at least I don’t see it going well. Ideally you should be within 2-3 years of each other but I don’t think a few more make much of a difference either. Eventually it becomes a bit relative. Signor seemed more interested in the money by the end though as he perks up when Meg lies about their giving them a bigger gift from the father.

The way the film ends, Fabrizio and his family don’t know much of anything yet. They’ll have to deal with the consequences of the money and Clara’s status at a later date. Perhaps they will never find out as Meg suspects since their days are mostly spent sitting and gossiping but the money will have to be addressed. I wouldn’t be surprised if Noel would just give it though. Now that he won’t have to pay for the school either way he will have extra money on hand so perhaps it won’t really matter. Either way Signor was definitely no good and as I recall his character he would have to be the worst one in the film.

The film’s writing isn’t bad. Again, I can’t buy into the romance because it all feels like a lot of rebounds but in general it is hard to write romances. You tend to see more misses than hits in that field. Otherwise it’s a fun enough script and it’s also interesting seeing the process of learning Italian. I find it to be a little difficult since I’m already a little familiar with Spanish so it just gets confusing with the slight changes. I’m sure if you learned it first then it would be a lot easier or for some it may be easier to learn it after since a lot of it would be the same.

As for Clara herself, she’s an ok character. She can definitely be pretty unreasonable at times like not wanting to listen to any worries about Fabrizio and getting a bit obsessive at times. She definitely put him as the top priority even though they just met which isn’t a good move. Romance shouldn’t be at your top of the list of priorities. It ends up wrecking her day more often than not since she can’t really enjoy any of the other activities on the trip. They all seemed pretty fun too like hanging out as fancy restaurants and visiting the landmarks.

Overall, Light in the Piazza is definitely one of those stories about how love triumphs over all. At the end of the day Fabrizio’s persistence was definitely rewarded. He never gave up and did everything he could in order to win over Clara’s heart. In truth he won it over very quickly and Meg was the only real obstacle in his path. It does show that you have to be careful since everyone can be bought though. Even the hotel manager wasn’t safe as he called right when they left the place. So, next time someone nonchalantly asks where you’re going you may want to think twice before giving out that information.

Overall 5/10

Battle Angel Alita Review


Now it’s time to take a look at a big thriller film that came out a while back. The trailers for Alita always looked like a lot of fun. It definitely had a solid budget behind it and the story looked to be on point as well. You just couldn’t go wrong with this one or so I thought. As I watched the film I was pretty happy with how it turned out. The movie was easily at the level of an 8 star movie and it’s safe to say that this would automatically put it as one of the greatest Sci-Fi films of all time. Unfortunately then the film jumped the shark with one critical scene that shot itself right in the foot. It’s a shame but at least I can still have a lot of hype for the sequel now since it’s unlikely that it would do the same plot point again. I mean…it better not because that would just be terrible writing!

So the film starts off with a scientist named Dyson finding a broken robot in the junkyard. He repairs her and names the girl Alita. She doesn’t know where she came from or anything like that but she seems to have a talent for fighting. Dyson warns her not to get into trouble but in this corrupt future that’s a tall order. She meets up with a guy named Hugo who quickly takes her to the rowdier spots in town and she also notices Dyson heading off on one of his bounty hunter missions. The more Alita finds out, the less content she is with just observing. She aims to fix this future if it’s the last thing she does.

Lets quickly get some background on this future. There are two main areas of society. Those who live in the air and are considered high class, and then you’ve got the guys on the ground who struggle to survive. The only change you have of ever getting to the rich zone is through Motorball. If you become the grand champion then you will be elevated. Everyone else makes money however they can. It’s a brutal world where you can be murdered just about anywhere. There are no cops anymore and the black market is right out on the open. You’ve got gangs who go around ripping people up and seeing off their mechanical parts. So, no place is really safe which is why I have issues with Dyson not helping Alita get combat ready. Even if he didn’t want her to get in danger, wouldn’t he feel better if she was at least in a super safe body with extra durability?

So lets talk about all of the things the film does right first. The special effects here are quite solid. The battle scenes are all excellent. Right when Alita takes down the thugs in the alleyway you know the rest of the film is going to be a blast. There’s a lot of great choreography here. I also think a good amount of it was probably borrowed from Spider-Man with the poses and landing techniques as well. It all moves very quick with a solid back and forth during each battle. These feel like battles inspired by a manga and definitely hold their own as some of the best live action fights I’ve seen in a long time. You don’t really see this kind of action outside of CBM’s usually so you’ve always got to savor the genre while you can. If we get more manga adaptions like this it shouldn’t even be such a rare thing. This is what a DBZ fight could turn into down the road.

The graphics are so good that a lot of scenes from the film look like they’re straight out of a CGI film. During the whole movie Alita always looked CG although I suppose to an extent that’s because of the edits they did to the face. It reminds me of those phone apps where you take a picture of yourself and get an anime look. The main character looks like that process was done to her throughout the whole film. Mix that in with the interesting sci-fi backdrops and I wouldn’t have been surprised if you told me that the whole film was real locations that were digitized and this was low key a CGI film all along. It’s all pretty surreal and unique which works out quite well here.

Battle Angel Alita also makes the most of the sci-fi backdrop. This may be a pretty grim future but at least we kept the tech this time around as opposed to those futures where everything is back to the wild west for some reason. I also liked the Motorball sport. My only question though is if you’re fast enough to get to the lead, once you have the ball shouldn’t you be able to just race to the finish? It seems like whenever someone would grab the ball then the others would suddenly catch up. All I can think of is the ball is that heavy or when you grab it you feel a lot of pressure so you go a lot slower. Regardless, it’s a pretty fun sport. Definitely high stakes since you can get wrecked at any point but I suppose that’s part of the point.

I wouldn’t say I can recall many of the tunes here but I remember them being solid while watching the film. Then we’ve also got a very strong main character in Alita. What I like about Alita is that she’s very quick to jump into action. She doesn’t back down when it gets dangerous and also doesn’t hesitate. Her scene in the alley was pretty powerful as she took down the 3 enemies who stood in her way. When you consider that she had no memories at the time and this was her first fight after being rebuilt, it was pretty courageous of her. You can tell that she makes for a dependable ally. My favorite scene for her was in the bar though when she challenges everyone to stand up or to stay as cowards. She delivered quite a lot of damage to all of them there and I liked this confident portrayal of her character. She started out strong and ended strong. Alita’s not a main heroine you’ll be forgetting anytime soon.

It’s not surprising that the film had such great positives. As I mentioned, it was on track for an easy 8. So where did it falter? Well, there’s one scene where a dog shows up and the instant that happened I had a lot of warning bells go off. Unfortunately the villain decides to target him and the heroes all sit on their hands and just allow it to happen. The film tries to minimize the damage by having the dog murdered off screen but it’s still a rather vicious scene and one that was undeserved. We didn’t need this to happen and it also doesn’t make any sense in context since Alita should have been able to block the attack. It’s not like she needed any extra motivation either. No matter how you slice it, this was just for shock value and it completely destroyed the film’s score with a massive 3 point swing.

The writing is pretty good otherwise though. The film decides to go edgy with one line Alita has, but otherwise there’s a good script here. One scene that was unintentionally funny though was the big villain meeting. So you’ve got Grewishka, Chiren, and Vector all in the same room. Up to now we can assume Vector is the leader. Well, he comes in talking really tough and intimidating Chiren so Grewishka threatens Victor…by saying that Chiren shouldn’t be messed with. Vector then feels the fear as Chiren threatens him and hit the ground…then he gets up and threatens Chiren so she backs off. The whole thing had me doing a double take because then who is the boss? Well, once Vector’s eyes started to light up then it all made sense so the scene quickly has more context since this happens right after that but otherwise it was worth a good chuckle.

There’s a little more detail to this at the end of the film. I wouldn’t say that either Chiren or Vector made for particularly solid villains though. Chiren made her choices but ultimately couldn’t live with them which doesn’t make a lot of sense. Then you have Vector who’s not exactly the smartest villain around. His plans weren’t terrible I suppose but you’d think that he could have acted a lot sooner once he knew where Alita was. He basically gave her complete freedom until it was too late. I did like Grewishka and Zapan as villains though. Grewishka was definitely determined and managed to put up a solid fight multiple times. While he was critical in destroying the film, as an antagonist he was pretty fierce.

Then you have Zapan who is rather weak to be honest but he was really solid in the scene where Alita beats the guy up. Look, he’s super petty but that’s part of what makes him a fun villain to have around. He gets off extremely easy all things considered though. I just don’t get it. Alita should have taken him out a whole lot sooner so what happened to Hugo was really her fault to an extent. She needed to be more decisive even if he was terrible at explaining things himself. I also liked the lady villain who fought Alita in the android because she had a good amount of confidence but she didn’t exactly last very long.

I had some problems with Dyson though. Again, the guy didn’t do much to protect Alita in this crazy world. He should have prepared her with the new armor right away and taught her more. Why be surprised when she starts rebelling with how restrictive he was right? Then there’s Hugo who is one of the weakest characters in the film. He’s a total villain for a large chunk of it and the romance is pretty weak. Hugo and Alita shouldn’t have connected and even by the end it’s hard to really sympathize with the guy. He always makes the wrong calls again and again. He was definitely holding her back.

Battle Angel had quite the body count though. You may be surprised at how many people get sliced apart. The film’s not super violent or anything as they’re robots a lot of the time and even when a human gets sliced in half the camera quickly cuts away. Still, the deaths tend to happen very quickly and without warning so it can catch you off guard if you’re not ready. It really shows how this world is so dangerous and why you need to be careful. If you don’t have cool robot abilities then you probably should hide at home because it seems like going outside is pretty much rolling the dice. There are just so many crazy abilities to watch out for and a human stands no chance. In a way you want to turn into a cyborg as soon as possible because then at least you have a chance to defend yourself.

Overall, Battle Angel Alita is a very fun movie. You’ll have a blast for about 95% of it. I can’t stress enough how unfortunate the whole dog thing was. It was just not needed but it is what it is. I’d recommend checking this film out if you like Sci-Fi action. There’s a lot of that to be had here and all of the technicals are at a super high level. This is a film with masterful pacing and you are unlikely to find a better Sci-Fi around right now. That said, I have a lot of confidence that the sequel will be just as good. After seeing the hype ending to Tokyo Drift I wasn’t expecting another ending to be quite on that level for a while but this one is also very good. Definitely gets you hyped the right way.

Overall 5/10