Creed III Review

It’s time to end the Creed trilogy. Well we may get more films but for now it’s a trilogy at least. The trailers for this one were pretty fun but the whole time I kept thinking that this should be the easiest victory for Creed by far. Could the film convince me otherwise? No, so on a power level standpoint I was a bit iffy about how the fights went down but either way this is a quality film.

The movie starts off with Creed winning another championship and deciding to retire while on top of the world. Things have really been going well for him but then one day his childhood friend Dame shows up. The guy had been locked up for many years due to something that happened in the past but he wants his chance to be a boxing pro. Creed lets him have that chance but the guy fights dirty and immediately rises to the top and tries to make Creed out to be the bad guy. Everything Creed has built is now at risk of being destroyed so he will have to enter the ring one more time. Can he manage to defeat Dame?

All right so lets put this into perspective here. Dame has been in jail for over 10 years. Yes he could still stay fit and everything but that’s 10 years of no boxing experience while Creed has already been known as a prodigy and quickly became the heavyweight champion of the world. You mean to tell me that in a few months Dame was able to get up to world champion level and give Creed a good fight? This isn’t Dragon Ball Z, I had a hard time believing this for a minute. I think the kind of story they were trying to tell here is a solid one about old friends leading you into trouble but there should have been more of a nerf to Creed to make the fight fair. His shoulder was a little banged up so I think maybe saying his leg was weak too could have worked.

Then we see how Creed has to rely on his mind to win the fight rather than brawn. It would tie in really well to the speech he gave his daughter too. As it stands though, I just didn’t buy into the power levels. Additionally you have to remember that Dame was fighting super dirty but the refs were missing every dirty hit. You mean to tell me that they continued to miss these hits in all of the fights after the opening one as this guy rose to the top of the ranks? Nah not in today’s world with constant 24/7 coverage, highlights and re runs. It’s just not happening so he should have been kicked out long before this was an issue.

A lot of convenient things had to happen in order for this confrontation to occur. Of course once we get to it, the actual fight was definitely really solid. We got a lot of solid moves here and the combat itself was really fast. You got to see just how fast the champs are in the ring. We even get a moment in the fight where it’s just the boxers and the audience fades away so you can focus on the moves. Neither fighter was pulling their punches and you are watching Creed for the actual boxing after all so if the fight’s good then you’re good.

Creed is a good main character here as you would expect. He can shut down a lot when his wife is trying to talk to him which can be annoying though. In a lot of ways he makes the situation a whole lot tougher than it really needs to be in this case. That’s the only reason why I would say he did go down relative to the last two films. It just felt like the old him would have confided in her more or at least would have done a better job of hiding his worries. He’s not helping anyone by stressing her out and staying silent. There were so many ways that he could have handled the situation considerably better than how he did. Instead he just made Dame’s job a lot easier in many respects.

Low key what would have been satisfying would have been for Creed to call his lawyers and just tell them to put a smear campaign against Dame. Point out all the cheating in the matches and get him suspended. Then Dame would always believe Creed did this but would have no proof. Boom you’ve just gotten your revenge without ever having to get into the ring. Of course that probably wouldn’t sound as appealing to Creed but it is an interesting plan of attack.

Bianca does well here and is trying to be there for Creed no matter how many times he tries to pull away. She was perhaps a bit oblivious when it came to Dame like inviting him over to the party when Creed was clearly not very comfortable but at the end of the day I still put that more on him for not saying anything. There’s only so much you can figure out on your own.

Then for Dame, well I can’t say that he’s too likable. He comes across as very entitles and super ungrateful almost from the jump. Creed does a whole lot to help him out, including even crossing some lines to get him opportunities that he shouldn’t really have yet. He’s doing everything he can and Dame still thinks it’s not enough and keeps bringing up the past. He seems like someone who will never be satisfied and then as soon as he starts to rise up he turns on Creed.

The guy was just using Creed until he could stand on his own and then start to backstab him. It’s a really bad look for Dame all the way through. Based on what happened in the past of course he could be a little resentful of how things played out but he shouldn’t even blame Creed. Dame made his choice to help which was good but then you have to live with that no matter how it turns out. Blaming someone else for your own actions is always something that you should just not do.

I also thought that the film went too easy on Dame by the end. Yeah he had a tragic backstory but it doesn’t change what he did in the present. He seriously injures different characters and does so intentionally. So by the end you really want to see him get beat and then preferably taken to jail. Instead the ending i played off more in an emotional way, like he’s change now and everything. It just feels too soft and isn’t very satisfying as far as endings go. I think that could have been a little smoother.

Meanwhile I liked Chavez but since you knew that he was doomed the whole time, his scenes didn’t hit as hard as they could. The guy just never looked super impressive which is a big issue. He is technically one of the strongest in the world right? So lets see that. Instead it just felt like the guy was a decent boxer and that was really it. If the series keeps going with more films I think it should start sowing the seeds for more characters to expand the verse. Open up the boxing world a bit because it just feels a bit too small right now if this guy is one of the best.

On the negative side, the soundtrack was considerably weaker than the first two films and probably the weakest in the Rocky franchise. You don’t have a lot of songs that pump you up the way that the old ones did. For the final battle when both competitors were walking into the ring, that’s usually when you get the really exciting songs and that didn’t happen here. Neither song got me particularly pumped. It’s not really my style of music in a sense but you should still grab a good variety of solid songs for a title like this.

The film definitely gets dramatic with several twists here and at least one supporting character not looking so good here with the secrets that she was keeping. In a lot of ways you could say that a moral here was in how keeping secrets will always backfire in the end and put you in a bad spot. It’s best to just tell people what’s going on and defuse the situation before it gets too serious.

Overall, Creed III is a solid film as you would expect. The fights deliver the way they always do and the story is good. Where the film gets held back a bit is in part due to the underwhelming music but also that the plot doesn’t hold up as well as the others. Creed is borderline out of character with how many secrets he is keeping and keeping Bianca at bay. If he doesn’t do that then this film plays out very differently. Additionally Dame just isn’t the big threat that the film wants us to believe he is which is another big issue there. Watch this for the fights and enjoy the action but I don’t think it’ll have quite as much replay value as the first two.

Overall 6/10

Double Dragon Review

Double Dragon is a film that opens with its best fight scene right off the bat. That means you start off strong which is good but the huge downside to doing that is it means the rest of the experience is going downhill. Now granted, I did enjoy the film. It’s not great but I thought it was decently good. You are just surprised that the rest of the films aren’t as good as the opening because that showed you exactly what kind of potential this film had.

The movie starts off with Billy and Jimmy fighting against another pair of fighters in a martial arts tournament. They are doing well but unfortunately Billy makes a huge mistake and gets cocky which costs them the match. So they head home in disgrace and are then attacked by an enemy gang. See, this film takes place in the “future” which is the past at this point but the world’s not doing so hot. This is basically a dystopia as there is smog everywhere and a lot of acid all over the place. It’s really not safe after dark but Billy and Jimmy are rebels like that. They barely make it home where Satori lets them know about the dragon medallions. It’s rather sudden but they have to keep their half safe before the villain Shuko can get it or the whole world will be in trouble. Can these two teenagers man up and save the day or are they about to get absolutely rocked?

So like I said the opening fight is the best part of the movie. The fight scene actually has a lot of choreography to it and you can appreciate the stakes here. Nobody wants to lose in a tournament setting and Jimmy was actually doing really well until Billy ruined it for him. The fight had good music as well and with the film being based on a beat em up type game this is what you would expect. Unfortunately there are very few actual hand to hand battles after this and none of them are quite able to measure up.

Instead we have a lot of chase scenes and humor subplots but they don’t hit as hard. On the car chase I can at least appreciate the high tech gizmos that come into play with it but it doesn’t really stand out much. Then for the humor it’s often hit or miss. I like a lot of the puns and dialogue that the film is going for but some parts are just too outlandish and dragged out. For example one of the villains is named Bo and after he is defeated the villains decide to turn him into a huge Hulk type monster.

Now he’s nearly braindead and it seems like a rough fate for the guy but based on the music and scenes this is supposed to be funny to an extent. I’d say that the film definitely got lost in the sauce on this one. Any scene with Bo quickly became painful after this. You just did not want to see that guy at all and it’s not like he was a great villain before that but he definitely got even worse afterwards.

Then there is this whole subplot about Marian trying to unite the gangs and having what I guess you could equate to a nicer gang. They’re still vigilantes but they’re not so bad. With the police being extremely ineffective in this film as her own father the chief was nervous the whole time you do want this group out on the streets but it was a bit of a boring subplot. You were just waiting for the main characters to take the stage again.

The film does pick up again in the climax for the battle against Shuko though. We actually get to see the power of the Medallions in action and that also means that we have some more hand to hand fights at last. This does bring up some power level issues though because the medallion is supposed to be a big deal. It can even end the entire planet after all so what are two teenagers and their fists going to do about it? Well, at it turns out they can apparently do a whole lot about it. Kind of an odd way to dehype the object right?

Basically it can split you into shadows and has some other vague abilities including the ability to control someone else’s body but Shuko looks way too unimpressive. I just don’t buy him losing to the characters like that. Now I will say one hype thing about the climax is that we do get the iconic costumes at last. The costumes look really good too so the effects team held nothing back here. They should have given the heroes those costumes from the start but this was still a good way to end things. It showed you a bit of promise on how things could have been.

The movie tries to really nail the bantering dynamic between Billy and Jimmy but you just don’t feel like it works. There aren’t enough scenes of them actually being pals so it feels like they low key just don’t like each other. Even by the very end of the film one of the brothers tries to run away with the girl and ditch the other one only to be outsmarted by the guy already being in the car. It’s of course played up as a funny ending but yeah they spend most of the film being at odds with one another. The sequel probably could have fixed this but that’s not really in the cards.

Overall, At the end of the day Double Dragon isn’t a great film but it’s a pretty fun one. It’s a very old school title with a lot of campy action and witty banter. While not all of the film’s humor lands, I’d say that enough of it does. The villain has a classic base and the effects hold up well so you will appreciate the scenery behind him. The world isn’t very well thought out and it’s not super memorable but the film did try being grand here. There’s just enough unique elements about the film to make you want to keep coming back. I dare say there is a good amount of replay value to be found here although a modern remake could likely execute on the game’s premise way better. This could and should be an elite film just based on the game so I need the next one to focus on the fights a whole lot more.

Overall 6/10

Night Nurse Review

Night Nurse is a film that feels relatively uneventful for the most part. It’s a fairly by the numbers film that is really old so in a way what is considered by the numbers now, probably wasn’t at the time. Even so I had a good time here but what really made the film fun was the ending. It’s a real sudden ending that is a blast and makes the whole thing worthwhile. I don’t feel as though this film will ever really stand out in a crowd but I had a good time and that’s what counts.

The movie starts off with Lora trying to get a job at the hospital but unfortunately the interview doesn’t go well. The head nurse barely even looks at her since her formal education was not up to the hospital’s standard. Lora gets lucky when she bumps into Dr. Bell outside and strongarms him into letting her join up. It was impressive that she got in but I do remember thinking it was a bit rude the way she practically threatened Dr. Bell. The guy was just trying to have a nice day and she immediately got real aggressive. Well, her days go by smoothly and she even treats the wound of a guy named Mortie. Things get tricky when she is given more of a private position to look after Mrs. Ritchey’s kids who seem rather malnourished and unhappy. The kids’ mother is a drunk and there’s a shady guy named Nick around. They have a private doctor looking after he kids who cannot be questioned and so the whole setup seems rather nefarious. What can Lora do about it?

The tough part is that there isn’t a whole lot that Lora can do at first. She’s a nurse who is brand new to the job and so she has no sway. She’s told that this is just the way their doctor wants things to go in order to cure the kids and without more experience it’s hard for her to just go against that. She needs some kind of captivating evidence and it’s not easy. It’s a good thing that she has a friend in Mortie though because that guy comes in handy.

See, Mortie knows a lot of people all around the city. His connections may not always be above board but he definitely gets results. I like his energy and he really helps Lora out in a lot of ways. One of the most direct ways was when he stepped in later on to face off against Nick. He wasn’t going to let Lora get attacked while he was around and then the ending scene is the cherry on top. While you probably don’t want the films to romanticize the crooks too much, this was a pretty nice take on getting to his good side. Lora helped him out when he was in a pinch and so he quickly returned the favor. It was just nice all around.

Meanwhile Lora is a solid main character because she takes a whole lot of risks in order to help those kids. A lot of other nurses probably would have looked the other way and just justified this by saying that the doctor knows best. Instead Lora went with her gut instincts and helped out here. It was also fun to see her really intimidating the drunk guy who attacked her early on in the film. Her getting some revenge was good since that guy was definitely a creep all the way.

The main villain here is Nick as he has big plans for the future and is willing to murder anyone to achieve his goals. Naturally punching a lady isn’t even beneath him here. If he can push someone around then you better believe he is going to do that. The guy has no scruples and definitely doesn’t hold back. I also have to blame Mrs. Richey a whole lot here because she sort of knows what is going on but doesn’t care because she is drunk 24/7. She’s trying to just completely avoid her life which is the most irresponsible thing you can possibly do as an adult. She had responsibilities and just threw them to the winds.

Lora had a friend in Maloney who made for a good colleague. She ultimately doesn’t do a whole lot when it comes to the actual climax and taking care of the plot but it’s always good to have at least one friend around. Otherwise you’re truly on on your own and that makes everything harder. Dr. Bell was also solid even if he gets pushed around a bit. The guy knows his stuff and was a good ally to have.

In terms of the film being a bit uneventful, I think it could have used more scenes of Lora sleuthing around a bit. Maybe have her looking through files and trying to find evidence of malpractice. She certainly took a lot of risks and still uncovered the crime but it could have helped you feel like the movie was doing more. Skip the scenes of her trying on clothes which basically just exist for low hanging fanservice bait and have more scenes involving the main plot itself. This film is fairly short so you could definitely extend it a little and I don’t believe there would be any issues. It never got boring either but there’s still more you can do here.

Overall, The Night Nurse has aged well for its time though. Lora’s a tough protagonist and I’d say she compares favorably with a lot of the other heroines from back in the day. Most were not quite as proactive as she was. Lora never turned away from danger and just kept on pushing. That’s exactly what you want to see from your nurse because then you know that your kids are safe under her care. As for the milk bath idea that the maid kept suggesting, I could see it being good for your skin but ultimately I doubt it’s much of a treatment in itself. I just can’t see it being some kind of miracle treatment but in desperate times it is important to try out anything if it gives you a chance. I always thought it would be interesting to try once but in general baths aren’t really my thing so I’ll stick to the showers. If we ever get a remake to this film, the most important thing is to keep Mortie’s role almost untouched. He provides a lot of good humor here but also satisfying moments in general.

Overall 6/10

Yesterday Review

I remember seeing the trailer for Yesterday way back in the day. It’s got a solid premise to it and reminds me of a writing prompt challenge on Reddit. You basically take a scenario and then see how far you can run with it. That’s basically what the film is doing here and so it’s not trying to let you know how this scenario came to be or anything like that. It just takes the premise and goes forward. I don’t think the movie did as much as it could have with the concept though and the ending isn’t super satisfying but I thought it was a fun ride overall.

The movie starts with Jack not doing so well at yet another musical performance. He is trying to write a lot of hit songs but the problem is that people just aren’t very interested. He tells his manager Ellie that he is finally giving up for good. His plans are put on pause though when he is run over by a bus. The world loses electricity for a moment and then a bunch of things are erased from history. All of a sudden nobody knows who the Beetles are, Coke a Cola doesn’t exist, and a number of other things are gone. The world just changed overnight and Jack is seemingly the only one who remembers the old universe. Nobody knew who he was before but with the power of the Beetles perhaps he can change that! Will he finally be a household name or is it possible that he just doesn’t have the voice for this?

So it’s a fun setup and I actually like that it wasn’t just the Beetles who are gone. By also removing soda and other things, it shows that this world is different in quite a number of ways and we’re just focusing on the change that Jack cares about. It gives the writers complete control to come up with a lot of interesting dynamics in here. Jack can try to get famous now but he will always have that fear in the back of his mind that history can reset and then suddenly he will be doomed. Is it worth it to get famous like this? Also, is he doing a disservice by using the music as his own?

Now to the moral question there, if the Beetles completely don’t exist then I don’t see anything wrong with using the music as your own. Put it this way, if Jack doesn’t sing the songs then they will never exist in the world and nobody can enjoy them. Yes he should be ethical enough not to try to really wring every penny out of the people but I don’t think it’s a problem to get rich off of this. So he can go and play as normal and it should be fine. My problem with Jack is more basic. The man does absolutely 0 research. He is on several interviews where people ask him why he chose the name of the song and he just has a baffled look on his face every time. You’re telling me he never thought that someone would even ask that question? It just makes him look so bad to be caught unaware each time. That’s not a good look for him and this happens way too often.

My problem with Jack is he doesn’t adapt to the situation and approaches everything half heartedly. This leads into the main problem in the film which is the romance. This part gets way overly dramatic and takes away from the fun little story that we’ve got here. So Ellie likes Jack and basically that’s why she’s always been driving him around for the last 20 years and is his manager. She just wants to help him out as much as possible and hopes he will notice her someday. So she has to take some blame here but I’ll get to her in a minute. For Jack, well he didn’t notice all those years and that’s fine. He may have just assumed she was being a good friend and that’s actually a very reasonable position. When you’re dropping hints they have to be legitimate hints because otherwise it may have just been the person being kind. If I was Jack I wouldn’t assume that Ellie liked him like that because at least as the viewer we see no indication of that.

Where Jack goes wrong is she actually does confess in the middle of a party. Jack was in a hurry but you absolutely have to respond and instead he just dashed off. Yeah that’s a full rejection if I’ve ever heard of one so later on when he tries to explain it just comes off as forced. He made his choice and now he has to live with it. It’s just way too late for him and so later on when he’s confessing and trying to win her back you can’t root for him. Particularly since she has already gotten a rebound boyfriend by this point. That should have been the end of the romance earlier and the film ends on that sad note where he is super rich and has everything in the world but lost Ellie in the process. Sure it’s not the super happy ending a viewer may want to see but it makes a whole lot of sense.

Then for Ellie well she should have confessed sooner. It’s traditional that the guy confesses to the girl but that’s not how this works. You’re not living in a movie and so you could lose your opportunity if you don’t go for it. If you like someone then you have to make the move. So Ellie had 20 years where she could have asked him out or at least been more direct about the whole thing. Then she got another boyfriend rather quickly even though she admitted that she still liked Jack. That’s really the biggest problem here because then she’s just using poor Gavin and as soon as Jack was ready for her she ditched him in an instant. That’s not a good romance and it reflects badly on her for that quick rebound.

I can’t say that Gavin had a lot of self respect either since he admits that he knew he was the rebound. Look if you know that you’re the rebound then you shouldn’t say yes. I don’t care how big your crush is, it’s not worth being the second choice because at any point you may be pushed back into that spot. You just need to get over your feelings and find someone else. So the romance was definitely the weak point of the film and will have you groaning the whole time. Don’t even get me started on the ending. I won’t go into specifics here but a lot of times there seems to be a black and white choice about being happy or being rich and I always feel that you can do both. So I didn’t agree with a certain decision by Jack.

On the whole the film was fun though and part of what makes it succeed is the fast pacing. The character cast is strong for the most part too. I liked Ed’s boss Debra as a solid villain the whole time. Every minute she was on screen she was insulting somebody and that was fun. She is not someone who will talk behind a person’s back, she’s just direct with her insults and I can appreciate that. It would have been nice if Jack could have talked back at least sometimes though instead of just taking it every time. It’s part of what makes him look bad here since he should have been saying something to his defense instead of just taking it each time. Cmon Jack you’ve gotta have more confidence than that.

Speaking of low confidence though, I thought Ed didn’t look good at all. Early on he challenges Jack to a contest and then when he loses the guy sulks immediately and goes to bed. Cmon you can’t act like that just because you thought that you would win. It makes you look like a sore loser. There’s also Jack’s friend but that guy is annoying since he squanders every opportunity. You’re supposed to feel bad for him but all of his issues are his own fault so how could you feel bad for him?

Towards the end of the film we ratchet up the tension a bit as two new characters come in that threaten to shake everything up but it’s more of a red herring. I thought that the idea of these characters was interesting but also brings up more questions about the premise. That’s why I would not have included them. Again I don’t think it’s bad that the film chose not to explore why these things were removed from history. We just have a scenario and you roll with it but adding a new element makes you think about the origin which is the problem. I feel like they were just there to make the scene rather tense but should have been cut out completely.

After all this is more of a comedic film first and foremost so it’s not like you needed a lot of danger. The film is at its best when it’s just having fun and the humor does land rather well most of the time. I thought the writing and script were solid as well. I’d even give the soundtrack a thumbs up since the little jingle that would play when he noticed something was off was pretty fun. Even just having one theme that stands out put this one way above most movies.

Overall, Yesterday is a good movie. I do feel like it left a whole lot of meat on the bone though and could have been better with a stronger pair of leads. Re-organize the romance a bit and remove the extra characters from the equation. Do all of that and this movie gets exponentially better in an instant. It’s still a movie I would recommend checking out though and I’d be down with more films like this where something happens and we see how the main character handles it. In a way this is like an Isekai even if the main character hasn’t left because he has knowledge that everyone else does not. It’s part of why the genre has gotten so big because it’s fun to imagine what you would do in that person’s place.

Overall 6/10

The Luck of the Irish Review

It’s time for a fairly unique movie. See, I wouldn’t call this a comedy film but I wouldn’t call it particularly dramatic. Slice of life doesn’t really feel quite right here either. Apparently this should be called a comedy film but it’s not that funny…which sounds like a big shot against the film. Still, the writing was good and the pacing is on point, it just felt like the movie needed something to give it an extra boost. Some kind of plot element or big event that would push things forward a little more so in the end there aren’t really any ways in which the movie stands out so it won’t survive the test of time.

The movie starts off by introducing us to Stephen who is a reporter. The guy is pretty good at what he does but at the same time he doesn’t feel too fulfilled. His fiancé is rich and her father owns the company so he has a stable environment but in a way it’s like he hasn’t earned the job. Additionally there is a bit of a power dynamic here that he can’t ignore. One day he heads to Ireland on a business trip and meets a nice lady named Nora. He also wrestles a leprechaun to the ground. His life is a little more exciting now and once he goes home, both of them mysteriously appear there. The tricky thing is that he already has a fiancé so can he really get together with Nora?

The weakest part of the film in many respects is the main character. Stephen spends way too long being rather indecisive and not choosing whether he wants to be with Nora or Frances. He lets this decision hang in the air for a very long time and so he comes across as decisive. I also thought he could be rather rude at times like when he attacked Horace the leprechaun. Seriously he does this twice and you’d think that he would be nicer about the whole thing. Stephen comes across as greedy and not all that heroic. So you’re not really rooting for him and it feels like his problems are only rather big because of the mistakes he made. If he could just handle things a little better then he wouldn’t be in this predicament.

Meanwhile Nora is nice enough even if she should probably also be putting some distance from Stephen. She did sort of get the best of him by forcing him to eat a ton of food while she just watched though. Now that is what I’d call a true power play! The food looked okay although with stews I find them risky because of course it all depends on what is in them. Mix in the wrong vegetables or other items and we’re going to have a problem. Nora is kind throughout the movie though so you’re hoping that things go well for her.

Meanwhile Horace is a good character but at times he can be a bit oblivious. He also tends to get in trouble like drinking too much and not really knowing how to be a proper assistant. Sometimes he becomes a bother on purpose to mess with the fiancé Frances though. At the end of the day it’s always good to have a magical being on your side and he helps Stephen out quite a bit even if the lead doesn’t know it. You feel like the whole thing is rather unfair to Frances though. Of course she is portrayed as more of an antagonist here but the whole thing really isn’t even her fault. We never see her be all that rude or mean at all.

In fact she is trying to help Stephen’s career every step of the way and he doesn’t seem all that grateful. If he didn’t want to work for her father then he could have just chosen another career or handled things differently. So again I don’t have a whole lot of sympathy for the guy. Also her father David seemed fairly decent. I mean he was a bit on the corrupt side and the kind of guy who would ask you to write any kind of paper for him but again Stephen could just leave. David never used his position as leverage against him.

Where the film succeeds is in being a very peaceful film with good vibes. It’s the kind of title you can absolutely have a good time with as you just watch the characters walk around. The scenery in Iceland is fun and I do appreciate the accents. While there is always something going on, since there aren’t too many big dramatic events happening, it still keeps that calm atmosphere. It doesn’t feel dragged out at any point either so even if it seems like the plot is very light, it’s not played out.

Again I would say that it could have used a little extra something to push it over the top but I would still call it a good film either way. It’s definitely not a bad film either way and I would actually recommend it if you are looking for something fun. Sometimes you just want a calming experience and if the main character was better then I would have given it another star too. It works in spite of him and not because of him.

Overall, The Luck of the Irish is a film you can have a good time with. Nothing much happens but I dare say that’s the intent as this is a very laidback film and thrives in that kind of atmosphere. Stephen is lucky that this isn’t one of those Leprechauns who is out for blood though. Attacking one of them in the way that the lead did would usually get you into trouble, especially when you are after his gold. Hopefully Stephen has mellowed out and won’t be trying any more stunts like this going forward. You like to think that he will be doing things the right way going forward.

Overall 6/10

Starship Troopers 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

Starship Troopers is definitely a very well known film even if it’s one that you might not know the details of. It’s the title itself that is more popular than anything and the franchise has withstood the test of time. It fully embraces the sci-fi nature of the adventure and this feels like a true Star Trek type adventure. It can get a little overly violent at times and you should definitely expect a big body count. There are parts of the film that work better than others but at the end of the day I’d say it was solid.

The movie starts off by explaining the situation which is that the bugs are slowly taking over large parts of the universe and the federation isn’t having any of that. They are always recruiting more people to stop these monsters but that also means that the body count is rather high. A lot of people don’t make it out of the situation in one piece which is what makes things tricky. Johnny’s parents don’t want him to enlist because they are wealthy so they could shield him from having to go and fight. Johnny wants to do his part though and additionally his girlfriend Carmen is enlisting so this way they can be together.

Unfortunately they are assigned to different platoons so they will need to try and make a long distance relationship work. This will be tricky though because Carmen’s commanding officer is a guy named Zander who has a lot of natural charm. Meanwhile Dizzy has always liked Johnny but he never really noticed her since he only had eyes for Carmen. Carl is the only one standing apart from all of the drama and he is determined to do his part for the war effort. This is a huge war against the bugs and so it makes sense that the friends wouldn’t all be together. That would probably be a little too convenient right? That’s actually something the movie does really well which is to build a realistic environment and world that shows the scope of this battle.

One thing Starship Troopers does right here is establishing all of the characters and giving them each things to do. They all have individual goals of their own outside of what they are doing as a team. Sometimes it can be easy to zero in on the main character but everyone gets their time to shine here. Now some characters like Carl do look really suspect in the end though. It’s hard to tell me that the sacrifices were really worth it. Carl ends up being a very logical type of character who believes the ends justify the means and I tend to be at odds with characters like that. After a point sacrifices just get too numerous even if you do win in the end.

Johnny was a decent character but he made a whole lot of mistakes. I would say 1 or 2 too many as the movie went on. The scene where he takes off someone’s helmet to try and repair it before that guy gets blown to smithereens was a bad look. It seems like this is textbook safety 101 not to remove a helmet during a live firing session so that just wasn’t good. Then later on he’s still chasing after Carmen even when it’s clear that she’s moved on. Yeah it probably sucks for him that they had to break up like this but try to take it with class. Instead he picks a fight with Zander and the whole thing wasn’t a good look for him. He does put up a good fight there so physically he is strong but it wasn’t the best battle to fight.

Meanwhile Zander seemed rather reasonable the whole time. Yeah I thought the romance was weak since it felt like a total rebound but as a character he’s just really confident in himself and has the skills to back it up. He’s very similar to Johnny since they’re both rather cocky but Zander has more experience under his belt and you figure that he won’t be making any critical mistakes during clutch time. That’s what really separates the two of them.

Dizzy is definitely more on the tragic side since her feelings for Johnny are basically shut out for most of the adventure and then things get tricky later on. She was always good at giving him moral support though and seemed like a good friend. As for Carmen, well breaking up with Johnny and moving on so quickly was definitely not doing her any favors here. I feel like moving on that quickly just isn’t good and it was a little overly optimistic to assume they could go back to being good friends right off the bat. It’s really not a relationship change that can be accomplished so quickly and she should have given Johnny more space. He didn’t take this very well of course and at the same time it’s fair to say that rushing up to him as if they were still good friends was too soon.

By the end of the film the heroes all have to put aside their differences to take down the bugs though. The war is what matters above all else and these bugs are strong. Half of the landing parties are decimated on site because the bugs are largely immune to the guns except for if you hit them in very specific places. It is difficult to do that though and so the body count continues to rise real fast. This is mainly where the violence comes from as the characters are eaten and quite literally ripped apart. You feel like the main characters needed better weapons badly because otherwise it’s like you’re entering just to get slaughtered.

The film does acknowledge the propaganda the federation puts out to the new recruits. It was handled in an interesting way where commercials just take over the movie from time to time and they’re all about how cool it is to become a soldier. The whole world is built that way and it makes for an interesting dynamic. Most of the commercials are fairly cringe although I suspect that is the point here.

It’ll be fun to see Johnny as more of an experienced pilot. There’s a lot more you could do with this premise and way more battles that are to be fought. The aliens continue to improve after all and the humans have to follow suit or they will quickly be surpassed on the evolutionary ladder. It adds an extra layer of tension to the adventure as opposed to these being mindless monsters so that’s a good thing. You also had a number of solid supporting characters like Jonny’s teacher and the head drill instructor. All of this combined to help make the film a more complete package.

Overall, Starship Troopers is a good movie. If you’re a little queasy about violence then it may give you pause but beyond that the movie delivers on the sci-fi aspects and there are a lot of fights. The movie also fleshes out the world around the fights a whole lot which I thought was a very good idea. It’s an important way to make you more invested in the overall experience and it succeeds. We’ll see if the other installments in the franchise can top this one or not.

Overall 6/10

Vertical Limit Review

Climbing has never been something that really appealed to me. Aside from feeling like my arms would fall off I’m also not big on heights so it’s not really a combo that works for me. That being said, you can absolutely have a fun movie about it. This one is okay but my only issue is that the climbing itself can be a bit dull. I felt like the movie never reached that second gear where it could really differentiate itself and make a difference. Still if you are looking for a run of the mill thriller type film then this should still work out well enough for you.

The movie starts with Peter and Annie climbing a big mountain with their father and a bunch of other climbers but unfortunately there is an accident which causes a lot of them to fall. This causes the main characters to fall as well and the line connecting them isn’t strong enough to carry all of their weights. This causes Peter to have to make the very hard decision to cut their father free at his request so that he falls away and the other two live. Years pass and Annie has never forgiven Peter for this. She continues to climb in honor of their father while Peter has decided to completely retire. They are both coping in their own way but now Annie is about to go on a super difficult expedition and Peter is worried that she is going at this too hard as if she has something to prove. She denies this and decides to continue on as planned but when things go sideways it is up to Peter to save the day.

It can be a little rough to see Annie blaming him for everything but considering the stakes of what happened, I can’t blame her for holding a grudge for all these years. I disagree with her blaming him for this but at the end of the day once she does then that is a grudge which can go on for your whole life because losing a life is not something that ever goes away. She also does take a few too many risks although at the end of the day many main characters take risks so it’s not like that’s a really novel thing either. Ultimately she decided to shoot her shot even if it didn’t go very well here.

See, she is climbing one of the tallest mountains in the world along with a rich man named Elliott and one of the world’s greatest climbers in Tom. Elliott is desperate to climb this mountain so even when Peter and the team back at base tell them to turn back he refuses. He is getting to the top of that mountain and says that nobody is going to be able to stop him. At that point you can either turn back or follow him but it’s hard to actually stop him. That was certainly the best time to back away but unfortunately they don’t and they all get trapped. With a very limited amount of supplies it is only a matter of time until they turn on each other.

On Peter’s side he has quite a few people helping on the rescue mission but you figure that most of them are probably doomed at this point. Usually in any survival type film like this you can expect a modest body count because you can’t just have everyone make it all the way to the top. That would just feel too easy and so the cold starts to wear them down. The movie does a good job of showing just how cold the whole place is and how you even have to use an oxygen device of sorts to keep enough air in your body. It was pretty interesting.

My main issue though is that climbing can be quite repetitive and this film was no exception. Long chunks of the film are just about climbing up and slowly trying to get to the top. Not a bad thing by any means since that’s the point of the film but you need to spice things up like having them dodge avalanches a lot or something. Because the scenes quickly all start to blend together as they keep climbing the endless amounts of snow. Maybe it’s the fact that it’s a snowy mountain which makes this all the more apparent but all the terrain just looks the same. So it’s like you’ve got a few scenes on loop and that doesn’t help the overall experinece.

I actually thought the film was more interesting near the beginning as we meet the characters and get a lot of banter. There is also a mysterious character named Wick who is a full longer when it comes to climbing. He seems to have some beef with Elliott and this leads into a whole emotional backstory. Wick makes for a good character and he’s definitely not someone that you want to cross. In terms of overall climbing talent he would likely be the best one here.

You feel bad for some of the other climbers who are good but just have bad luck. For example there are two climbers who seem really skilled and can hold their own. The problem is that nobody told them that the explosives they were carrying were triggered by heat aka sunlight. Nobody knew this but they happened to be the ones who were told too late. It was a death that felt pretty much unavoidable for them so that’s why it was tragic. The rescue mission to save a few ended up costing a few and so it ends up being a whole cycle. At the end of the day of course you do have to do everything you can to save the people who were trapped/stranded though even if the burden is rather high. Especially since Peter was saving family but even if they had been strangers it is the right thing to do.

Wick’s subplot does add some drama here so that helps to enhance the story somewhat. Tom was also a good character but my only issue with him is that at the end of the day he folded. He knew that continuing with the climb was a bad idea but allowed Elliott to pressure him into continuing anyway. On the mountains and in life in general you have to trust your instincts. The instant you abandon them is when everything is lost because those are what you need to trust at all costs. Once he was frozen/sick you knew that things weren’t going to go great for him.

Meanwhile Elliott is quite unrepentant in how he will do whatever it takes to survive. This is someone that you absolutely can’t trust under any circumstance. He will always save himself first when the chips are down, that’s all there is to it. That alone is enough to make him the main antagonist here. It’s the kind of film that didn’t need a main villain per say but I think he works well enough. You’re constantly waiting for someone to take him down.

Overall, Vertical Limit may not be the most engaging film but it’s a fundamentally sound one. It doesn’t make any big mistakes and the cast isn’t bad. Wick would probably be the more interesting main character but his plot did get full closure and a resolution so he worked well within his role. It may not be my first recommendation for you but if you’re looking for a very specific sub genre of climbing then you can do pretty well with this one. You’ll probably feel cold while watching it too since there is so much ice everywhere.

Overall 6/10

Pacific Heights 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

Pacific Heights is one of those films where you feel like the main villain gets real lucky. His strategy of sabotage is very high risk since if you try this with the wrong person you are absolutely going to get shot. A lot of people just wouldn’t tolerate this guy’s antics right from the jump. The movie can be a bit annoying in that way as the main character also makes so many mistakes that he basically sabotages himself here. You wish that he would be able to make the right move at least once instead of crashing further and further.

The movie kicks off with two people being beat up and then we cut to Drake and Patty as the main characters. They are brand new landlords who have made an investment into buying a house so they can lease out the rooms. It’s a big investment but this does tend to be a fairly lucrative career as you can make a whole lot of money out of it. You do have to have a strong personality for it though because you will have to deal with crazy residents from time to time. They’re confident that they can find the right people though and so when Carter shows up and is too scared to do a credit check, Drake is not worried. This guy is going to pay “up-front later” which sounds like a contradiction but since when do wire transfers bounce right? Well the money never arrives and the guy has locked himself in the room while doing a lot of drilling. He’s also invited other people into the apartment and they are doing something crazy there. Can Drake and Patty stop this guy before he wrecks their livelihood?

Now one thing you should know is that landlords have a whole lot of power. Why do you think you hear so many stories of people being kicked to the curb? The power is not unlimited but Drake absolutely had some real options here. Not allowing Carter to buy the house before paying would certainly have been a good start but after that you’re not yet doomed. He should have broken the lock when he found out it was changed because that goes against the building policy. By the time he calls the locksmith all of the damage is already done. He should have gone to the cops way sooner instead of trying to handle it himself which is really where things backfired a lot.

Later on he is baited into entering the building again while there is a restraining order in place which was not a good idea and he just falls for every trap like beating up on Carter in front of the cops. He really makes the villain’s job super easy. He also didn’t react well with his girlfriend because he got so stressed out that he starts to be rude to her as well so even their relationship starts to get a little rocky. Drake’s whole life is falling apart and to a large extent he is the one digging his own grave.

Of course at the end of the day Carter is still the villain here and the one who needs to be blamed but you just know that Drake should have handled things way better. Patty had a much cooler head throughout the film. Unfortunately she didn’t tend to think of many ideas to help so in that way both of them were doomed but at least she wasn’t actively sabotaging their only chances of winning the case. See, they hire an attorney (Stephanie) to represent them in kicking Carter out and it should be an open and shut case but Drake being tricked into assault and violating court orders doesn’t help things at all. It was a really bad look for him.

As for Carter, surprisingly there isn’t some kind of big twist like Drake bullied him in high school or he wants revenge on the family for firing him. None of that, to this guy it’s just a business and he makes a whole career out of messing up people’s homes. It’s certainly a crazy hobby if I’ve ever heard of one but he just keeps going at it and has done all right for himself all these years. He got beat up in the opening so at least that group gave him a scare but realistically he’ll just use that to sue and cause a fuss unless you hide any evidence linking you to the beating. So you either have to take him down for good or put him in a position where he can’t sabotage your place later on.

I absolutely don’t blame the other neighbors for moving out either because there’s no way they could put up with this. The loud drilling at night was just way too crazy and of course Carter also causes a whole roach infestation. Roaches are hard to deal with and when you know where they are coming from but can’t do anything about it then that becomes a problem. The house was basically not salvageable at that point. I’m impressed they were even able to start rebuilding the place after the way everything was broken.

Patty’s plan of revenge had some promise although I think she needed to take it a little further to be really effective. Ultimately if she had gotten away a bit sooner then at least he might not have figured out it was her but at the end of the day it’s still just a minor inconvenience at best. You need to find a way to lock him up for a longer period of time although a large part of the blame also goes to the lady who agreed to pay Carter’s bail because that was crazy.

The film’s fairly tame although the climax naturally gets a little intense. Ultimately fighting in an unfinished house will always feel really dangerous because there are nails everywhere. Drake looks awful throughout the climax so the less said about him the better. I can tell you that I definitely expected much better out of him. At the very least the adrenaline and rage should have carried him through a lot better than they did.

Overall, Pacific Heights is one of those films that’s mainly annoying because of how the main character does everything half heartedly and as a result he constantly gets into trouble. You have to go 100% at anything you try to do because otherwise you are definitely going to be in trouble. At the end of the day I would say the film was decent. It doesn’t have a whole lot of replay value to me but it wasn’t bad either. If you’re looking for a film where the resident has the edge over the landlord for once then this is an interesting one to check out. You just know that if this guy went up against any experienced landlord then he would be in a whole world of trouble and I don’t love his odds of surviving.

Overall 6/10

Foreign Correspondent Review

Now we’ve got a good retro spy film to discuss. This is always the way to go if you want some quality entertainment. You usually have a good sense for how things will play out but the characters and dialogue are almost always on point. This film is no exception and so there is a good bit of fun to be had here all the way through. The pacing is good and by the end you had a fun time which is the key thing here.

The movie starts with John the reporter being tasked with a special mission. He’s going to be a foreign correspondent for his newspaper and find out the secret details going on abroad that nobody knows about. The boss figures he is the perfect guy because John could not care less about foreign affairs. He doesn’t even know any of the guys involved and so he’s definitely qualified to give a very unbiased look on if the world is close to a world war or not. Still when he gets there John ends up getting embroiled in a much bigger controversy than he ever could have imagined.

As you can maybe tell from the ending this movie takes place a little before World War 1. It makes for an interesting backdrop as there are some tensions brewing but nothing has actually happened yet so America is mostly out of the loop. This ties in well to the ending which takes a fairly bold stance. It’s an effective ending although while it works for dramatic effect I do think two characters should have cut out a bit early. Like say your message real quick but then get out of there because ultimately if you die too soon then you won’t be able to help out further which would be a big issue. In theory you want to get the right mix of spreading your message and staying alive.

John is one of those fairly cocky main characters who figures he can do anything. This mission will be child’s play since he has been such a star reporter all these years right? Well, that’s what he figured but you know that it may not be so easy. Throughout the adventure he has to deal with assassins and trying not to get kidnapped which can be draining. There was one assassin in particular named Rowley who was apparently really good at his job but also used to humor a bit. When the guy appeared you couldn’t help but chuckle because he’s super old and not a fighter. Basically what he would do is just push you at the last second into traffic or off a building. That’s what he does and to his credit since it works so much I suppose it is a valid strategy.

John gets out of danger most times but not every time. Ultimately there is only so much he can do and he is captured at one point. He always keeps his spirits up though and looks pretty good here. Then you have Carol as the main heroine. They don’t get along great at first but eventually they become allies. She is someone who has already gotten involved in the world of politics and has grand ambitions of her own. Since she sees John doesn’t take them seriously that is why there is some tension at first. She does end up helping quite a bit during the film.

There is a rookie mistake John makes later on though when he sees someone being kept prisoner in the hidden entrance to a windmill but leaves to tell the cops. Naturally by the time he returns the guy is gone and the whole thing looked like John was insane. You can’t ever leave the scene of a crime because it just won’t be there when you return. You have to try and stay one step ahead of the villains or you’ll quickly fall behind. Eh…that sounds a bit too obvious right? But you get what I’m saying.

Another positive I’d say for the film is how many different locations we go to. The characters drive through the desert, fly in a plane, get trapped at sea, go to parties, etc. It felt like something was always happening here and the pacing was very fast. I’m not sure how long this film was but it felt like a fairly long one in a good way. It didn’t drag on or anything. If anything I would say that it just makes some iffy decisions near the end which don’t really help matters.

First off you have Stephen who is one of the main antagonists of the film. He is helping the Germans and setting up murders and kidnappings for them. He does a lot of really bad things and it’s heavily implied that he has done a lot more off screen. So by the end the film has the characters give him way more credit than he deserves. Without getting into specifics he does one nice thing which ends up saving some lives but you have to consider that doing something nice doesn’t make up for being an evil person. It just doesn’t. Sure it’s great that in a high stress moment he did something fairly selfless but the guy was fairly unrepentant up to then and the sheer scale of his crimes were staggering. I think the world deserved to know the truth rather than John and the team attempting to suppress everything before Carol stopped them.

Meanwhile there is an old man named Van who is really put through the wringer in this film. The guy gets tortured and it’s rough seeing an old man have to go through that. At that age you’re hoping that the rest of life will be more like easy street as opposed to everything getting so tough. I think the film should have cut that torture out, maybe just mention or imply it instead but it was a rather dark moment in a film that was otherwise pretty light.

The ending is definitely intense as mentioned earlier and so the film really managed to accomplish a lot. It shows just how much a reporter can do on his own to try and spread some news and help the heroes out. Ultimately John did his part and at least in this film’s timeline he was pretty instrumental in the end. His boss did a good job by selecting him for the assignment. I’d have enjoyed seeing more of him because the opening scene in the news office was fun. Ultimately that was just the vehicle for setting up the adventure but it was cool either way.

Overall, The Foreign Correspondent is a good film. It’s one I hadn’t heard of before and I do think to an extent it will likely be lost in the shuffle compared to other films which are simply better but the important thing is that this is a good film though. Through and through it is one that I can recommend. There aren’t a ton of films about reporters running around to get a scoop but you could definitely use this as a blueprint to set more of those up.

Overall 6/10

Hard Time Review

Hard Time is one of those movies that is basically all about a day on the job as an officer in a corrupt environment. As the film is going it hits all of the usual beats you would expect it to while throwing in some twists to keep things fresh. It’s a fairly by the numbers film with some good action and a solid story behind it. Ultimately it is held back a bit by some uninteresting characters and a generally weak introduction. The movie mainly picks up once all of the big players like the mob start to take an active role but can take some time in getting there.

The movie starts with Logan on graffiti watch which he finds boring and a bit insulting since he is used to the tougher cases. Unfortunately for him he has gotten into some trouble over the years for getting a little too aggressive and violent in in some instances. Well he spots an active crime in progress and quickly steps in to help but after a long chase scene one of the crooks shoots the other one and escapes. Fortunately Logan prevented him from stealing the cash but now he is apparently the lead suspect in the shooting and is being taken to court. He’s going to need his attorney to really bring her A game to beat the charges but they don’t really get along all that well from prior encounters. She doesn’t much like the cops and he doesn’t much like attorneys. They’ll have to put these differences aside for now but ultimately the best way for Logan to ensure his innocence is to find the people who were actually behind this and bring them to justice. He better do this quickly as the mob is after him as well.

You may wonder how Logan could possibly have been framed for shooting the one crook. Well, during the chase there was a point where he finally caught up to the crooks but badly underestimated them so they stole his gun and his handcuffs. Unfortunately Logan did not share this with his attorney which comes back to bite him later on and it also makes the whole thing a lot more realistic when you consider which gun was used to murder the crook with. This was definitely all on Logan since you really do need to tell your attorney everything if you intend to stand a chance in court. A single omission or lie can completely turn the tables against you and at that point it is very hard to gain the upper hand again.

It was also rather sloppy of him to let the crooks go there. Basically he had them at gun point and told them to have their hands against the wall. Usual strategy so far so good. Where he went wrong is he gets in close to shove one of them and starts to talk tough so the other one just backs up and lands a kick on Logan. Once he’s down then it’s easy for the two to overpower him from there. This is a common mistake they make in the movies. If you have a gun then the whole point is to stay at mid range. If you get within arms reach then you are basically asking them to make a move. It’s definitely not worth it and will get you killed every time. If anything Logan is super lucky that they didn’t finish him off there. It’s not like they planned to frame him either, they just figured murdering him would increase the heat so they were better off running.

In general Logan does look good during this film, it was just the opening that hurt him a lot. He goes on to defeat multiple attackers even after he was tied up and he never really looks back. Logan is a tough fighter to bring down and he knows it. Perhaps that’s why the confidence got to his head but by the end he is taking numerous opponents down and showing why he was the best in the business. He also figures out the truth of what happened before anyone else which helps him a whole lot in the climax. His partner Charlie would have been really doomed without him.

Now as I mentioned above there is a lot of corruption in this town as the mob owns just about everyone. This becomes a bit of a subplot later on and the film wants to make sure you don’t forget it so we get a lot of flashbacks. That’s one thing which is overdone in this film. We don’t need a lot of flashbacks in any movie because you should remember what you just saw unless it was a really small detail that you want to point out. This one has flashbacks to moments over and over again which didn’t need it. The film’s not as confusing or complex as they may have thought it was. Ultimately the cast is also small so you shouldn’t have a problem remembering any part of the movie. Just saddle up and you’re all set.

Logan’s partner Charlie isn’t quite as impressive as a character. He let himself get really out of shape which is dangerous in his line of work. The guy doesn’t really end up helping Logan much at all. He does talk tough with just about every character in the film but considering that he would likely lose every fight, it wasn’t as impressive as it could have been. I wasn’t giving him any major thumbs up at least. I actually liked the rookie a lot but unfortunately he didn’t get to appear all that much. He was very confident in himself though and that goes a long way.

I really liked the idea of the mafia showing up to weigh in and complicate matters. It helped make the world feel more alive even if I was surprised that they didn’t do more at the very end of the film. The climax was definitely very explosive though. It’s almost tragic in a way because the body count gets a little high and you have to wonder if all of these guys are villains or some are just getting manipulated. If the latter is the case then that is really a rough way to go out. You have to figure that some of the villains probably got away in the end just by sheer numbers but on the whole it’s still a semi happy ending. Things may be tough for Logan as well with the court case. Technically that may not have really changed much even after the climax and then one villain also seems to get off rather easy. There was actually some decent humor at the very end though which did give me a bit of a chuckle.

Overall, Hard Time was a fun movie. It’s a fairly standard action title all things considered but it delivers with the fights and a solid main character. You’re invested in seeing how it all ends and we get a lot of action near the end. I’ll be interested in seeing how the sequels play out but at the end of the day this is a film which delivers even if it is fairly unknown compared to most other big titles. You want action and it delivers so it accomplished the objectives it set out to achieve.

Overall 6/10