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Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure Review


It’s time to look at a comedy film from a while back that’s definitely pretty well known. It did manage to get two sequels after all. It’s hard to find main characters that are less intelligent than these guys. Bill and Ted consistently look pretty bad throughout the whole film. The writing is pretty solid though. The film can definitely get a bit overboard with how silly it is at times. It’s definitely going for a comedic approach you don’t see quite as much nowadays. Still, it manages to land pretty well for the most part. I don’t see this title as having a lot of replay value but on your first go around it’s fun enough.

The movie starts off with Bill and Ted goofing off as usual. Unfortunately this has finally come back to bite them. Ted is at risk of failing history and if that happens then he will get sent off to military school. He tries to study with Bill but they’re just no good at this and the presentation for the final is tomorrow anyway. Fortunately they have some help. In the future, Bill and Ted are supposed to change the galaxy as we know it through their music. So an envoy is sent to the past to rescue the main characters from their plight. What happens is they send a time machine to the present so Bill and Ted can travel back in time and bring back a bunch of famous figures to answer the historical questions that they needed. This is a bold plan. Can the heroes pull it off? Or…have they already done so since the future already exists for them to do it?

Time travel is always an interesting concept in part because people can never really decide on what the rules should be. Personally, my favorite time travel rules are rather similar to DBZ’s. When you go to the past, you can’t affect your own timeline since the events have already happened. Effectively you are traveling to a parallels timeline where the events will now be different. As such you can’t get stuck in any of the time loops that you see pop up here and there. That’s because the events didn’t already happen, they’re all fresh as soon as they occur. This film is using a different theory though that you actively change time as you go through it. Because of that, the heroes are now in a time loop. The loop doesn’t make perfect sense by the end though such as some scenes we get of the heroes already doing things that they haven’t yet like recording a message of leaving notes. The only way that works is if you did another time travel adventure but the problem is actually starting it as they’d need to use more machines and actually time things perfectly which I don’t trust the leads to do. It does get pretty messy but it’s a very unique way to show time travel which was cool.

After all, there has to be a first encounter in order to set up the loop and I don’t see how that works. Clearly Ted would have been sent to military school without the help so the future wouldn’t be around to come back to the past and save him. If they were, then it would mean that the future doesn’t actually need Bill and Ted after all. Either way that does not bode particularly well for the heroes when you think about it. It’s part comedy so no need to think on it too much but it’s something that does stand out the more you think about it.

As I mentioned, the film’s pretty fun. As a comedy it really needs to be in order to succeed. It doesn’t mean that every joke will land, it’s rare for any comedy film to pull that off. Still, more land than the ones that do not which is the critical factor here. Personally I mainly enjoyed when the heroes were in the present compared to being in the past. I thought the film could have had more fun with these figures from the olden days enjoying modern life. We do get some of that near the end though which was nice. We even have a big mall fight where the cops show up to take them all down. It makes for a pretty solid action scene.

As for Bill and Ted as characters, I wouldn’t say that any of them are particularly likable. Both of them don’t study hard so they have nobody to blame but themselves on why they weren’t ready for the exams. I wouldn’t say they’re the most heroic characters either. This is the kind of film that isn’t relying on the leads which is good. The cast wasn’t really anything to write home about in general. The fathers of both kids were pretty unreasonable the whole time. We don’t see Ted’s mother but Bill’s was trying pretty hard at least. The lunch may have been burned but the attempt was on point. I liked the teacher even though he didn’t get to appear a whole lot. He may be a pretty strict guy but he still gave everyone a chance which is the important part. The fact that he let them have an opportunity to succeed shows that he cared at least.

Overall, By the end of the film you’ll have heard the word “excellent” quite a lot. One of the main reasons why this film was able to succeed is also that while Bill and Ted were portrayed as being very unintelligent, they weren’t super annoying about it. I’ll take “excellent” and the electric guitars as running themes over other options they could have had. The film also widely avoids crude humor which I was pleasantly surprised about. This definitely goes a long way as well. In short, this film was actually written pretty well. It succeeds in the approach it’s going for and the film just flies by. Ultimately I was entertained and it’s not like the film is very long either so it definitely doesn’t drag on or anything like that. It’ll be interesting to see if the sequels can quite match up to this one. If you like comedy films then this is a good one to check out. It’s not the best or anything like that but it holds its own and the sci-fi/time travel angle helps make this one fairly unique. I’m always in favor of using time travel to change history if it’s an option and these characters certainly don’t have any qualms against it.

Overall 6/10

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Fail Safe Review


It’s time to look at another film about possible nuclear war. It’s certainly a fun topic to take a look at and definitely makes for a pretty intense film. I love seeing governments talk about this stuff in movies like this, especially while it’s happening all around them. A whole film about this is pretty ideal. The only thing that holds this movie back is the ending which….is pretty bad. Oof. Definitely not an ending you want to see but otherwise this one is pretty solid.

The film starts with the Air Force giving a tour to some of the funders. It’s all pretty routine as they explain how we have counter measures set up for if someone starts triggering World War III. They run these drills every month or so. During this test there is a UFO which the army is unable to identify. It turns out to be a false alarm but unfortunately due to a system malfunction the bombers get orders to blow up Moscow and there is no way to call them back. The President will have to think of something quickly in order to stop this from happening. The only option now appears to have the rest of our troops actually shoot them down ourselves. Is it really worth shooting our own soldiers down to prevent the bombs from dropping?

A big part of the film is really about what lengths we are willing to go in order to prevent this tragedy. Blasting our own men is just the tip of the iceberg as we also order our soldiers to effectively commit suicide and then tell the Russians how to completely destroy our planes and missiles. This means that in any future battles we will be at a massive disadvantage. Effectively the more we do to avert this current crisis, the more likely we are to lose the next one. This begins causing some dissent among the officials as they all have different ideas on how to play this. You’ve got the President, The Vice President, A professor, the General at the scene, and then the board room. Everyone’s got an opinion and they’re all willing to share it.

My favorite character was definitely the Professor. The guy is definitely on the extreme side but is certainly quick on his feet and makes for a lot of entertaining banter. He’s been heavily interested in death since day 1 and so getting put into a position like this is quite interesting for him. He believes that since the attack has already begun we should press our advantage and send in an attack squad. This would then force Russia to surrender and we’ll have won the war without firing a shot after the bombs. While there is nothing necessarily underhanded about doing so if we presume that there is no way to stop the bombs, it does turn an accident into a full war offensive.

So while he may be extreme there and we don’t need to follow up the attack, I find the president to be too extreme in the other side. He wants to avert a diplomatic disaster so he agrees to bomb New York to appease the Russians. Wait a minute…that’s a horrible idea. Not only was our sending the bomb a mistake but we find out that it is partially the Russian’s fault as they intentionally jammed our communications and then kept on jamming it as our fighter plane approached their territory which is why we couldn’t call them back. You can’t answer an accident by intentionally destroying 5 million of our own people. It’s an eye for an eye only it’s worse in this case since we’re delivering both blows. I feel like the President wouldn’t live much longer after people find out what he did here.

He tries to justify this as making everything even but it’s just not so. As the leader of your station you have the utmost duty to protect your people. Whatever happens that’s the job. I’d say his first mistake was trying to shoot down our own pilots, the second was giving the enemy the tech to take us down, the last and biggest was in blowing up New York. I wouldn’t say that the film glorifies this and it’s still a well made movie so I consider it a character error as opposed to a film error. The President made his call even if it was the wrong one so this is a solid film to check out. That said, it’s still just pretty bad. put it this way, once our nukes are going to hit Moscow only two things can happen. One is that they will retaliate and then that will force the U.S. to blow up the planet. The other is that they don’t retaliate and while this will be a diplomatic nightmare, things will go on as usual.

You have to accept those as the two outcomes of this action. Blowing ourselves up just isn’t a factor. It’s far better for us all to die together as one planet than for the country to turn on itself. That’s just not a good idea. It would have made for a good twist if one of the pilots had hijacked the final plane to prevent it from dropping the bomb or for the interpreter to have taken the President out. Certainly would have been very unexpected but it would have been a good move for justice to have prevailed. Of course you never know how you will really react in such a situation but I like to think we wouldn’t do this.

Overall, Fail Safe is definitely a pretty interesting film. I like all of the discussions and plans of how to handle this situation. It’s a film that inherently doesn’t have a lot of replay value since most of the fun is in seeing how things will play out. It’s like a mystery, once you know all of the answers then it won’t be quite as interesting to check out the next time around. At least a mystery allows you to see if any hints were dropped while this movie doesn’t have such an advantage. Still, if you haven’t seen this movie before then I would definitely recommend changing that. It’s one of the better political thrillers to check out even if you’ll shake your head on the ending.

Overall 6/10

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Bringing Up Baby Review


It’s time to look at another crazy comedy with Grant at the helm. It’s a bit weaker than his other ones mainly due to how slow on the uptake the main character is and the heroine not being very likable but it does still have that crazy charm which keeps it in the green. If you’re up for a lot of madness and watching a guy wreck his life throughout all of this, you’ll need to check this one out.

The movie starts with David working on a giant dinosaur. His life has been going pretty well lately. He is slated to finally marry his fiancé tomorrow and the final bone for the skeleton arrived after 4 years of excavating. Now the only thing left to do is to convince the rich millionaire’s lawyer to donate another 1 million dollars to the museum and everything will be peachy. There is just one obstacle in his path, a lady named Susan.

Susan shows up while David is golfing with Mr. Peabody (the Lawyer) and steals his ball. David chases her down but then she steals his car as well. She keeps on messing with him to great effect and it’s looking more and more like the guy doesn’t have any real chance left for the grant. Can David make a comeback or should he escape now while he still can? The longer he hangs out with this girl the more likely he is to keep on ruining his life.

I should also mention that we have a tiger running around and a dog who loves to bark at everything. David was already not very good at trying to finish a conversation and now he really has no shot. While he can be a fun lead, it’s hard to sympathize with him all that
Much because he makes a mistake on just about everything he does. A whole lot of his problems would have been solved if he had explained things better or taken charge. Instead he often finds himself wrapped in the craziness and unable to get back out. He should have went back to resume the golf game once he got his ball back and sued for damages on the car afterwards. Even right through the film’s ending you can’t help but feel like things did not go very well for him. The ending also doesn’t make a whole lot of sense with him hiding even though right after he acts like he’s happy that this is happening. Maybe he did go crazy by the end. I don’t really think he knows what he is getting into here.

As for Susan, I didn’t care for her either. Here’s the deal, you can be a bit of an oblivious character who gets in people’s way and stay likable. There are a lot of solid characters like that. The issue is that she is a little too over the top with how she misinterprets things. In the second half of the film she is intentionally sabotaging David so that she can pair up with him but in the first half there is no indication of this. She really thinks she is in the right car and that the golf ball is hers. It can be tough to take these scenes at face value because it just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Either way her doubling down on all of this doesn’t help matters either. She wouldn’t even let David try to explain what was really going on. Of course this is for humor but it doesn’t land as well as it could have. Had she been an antagonistic character messing with him from the start I dare say it would have worked a little better.

It’s fun to see the little dog and leopard running around. I’m not actually a big fan of having real animals in film since you hear all the stories of them not being treated very well back in the day. The scene with the two of them fighting definitely didn’t seem very pleasant. Since I’ll never know one way or the other I’ll at least try to assume that it was okay on the back-end though. Gotta focus on the on-screen action. For the story plot, it was nice to have the dog troll the main characters in the backyard for a while. Digging’s a pretty fun sport even if my Sonic never does a whole lot of this.

We’ve also got some supporting characters thrown in near the end once David is taken to Susan’s aunt’s place for dinner. We meet a big game hunter who tries his best to make friends with the others. He was a pretty reasonable character. His animal calls were on point even if he ended up getting trolled a lot. The drunk guy was definitely out of his league here though. Having all of these characters around did help for the prison scene later on which is probably the highlight of the film. The cops show up to start dishing out arrests and manage to nab almost the whole main cast. You also can’t blame them here because the heroes were acting awfully suspicious. It gives us some back and forth and these were humor scenes that really landed. All of the scenes during the prison subplot were excellent and I wouldn’t have minded spending more time there to be honest. It was a nice change of scenery and really made the main characters focus.

As for the main plot about getting the funding, if I were the aunt I certainly wouldn’t give David the money after all that. Are you kidding me? He wouldn’t get a dime! While the circumstances did attribute to how crazy David got near the end, you can’t get past the first impression. It’s not one she would be likely to forget and then you have the rock getting thrown at Mr. Peabody and actually landing. David doesn’t even refute the charge since at this point he’s long since given up. Since nobody actually clears up the misunderstanding, most of the characters here must not have a particularly high opinion of David here.

Overall, Bringing Up Baby is a fun film that maybe overstays its welcome a bit. It probably could have been a been shorter and they would have kept the film more focused with solid jokes layered into it. The main two characters aren’t nearly as solid as some other other duos in films like this. Still, there are enough fun scenes here to keep your attention and throwing in the dinosaur bone was a good plot device. It’s the kind of film that has some solid replay value built into it with how quickly things happen. You more or less know how things are going to go down so it’s about the experience along the way. Although, I was expecting a twist where Susan was the lady giving the money away so the film threw me a curveball there. I’d recommend checking it out if this sounds like it’s up your alley.

Overall 6/10

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Lethal Weapon 4 Review

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Overall 6/10

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Lethal Weapon 2 Review

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

It’s time to look at the sequel to the original Lethal Weapon. Martin and Roger are back once again to mess with the villains and push themselves to their limits. It’s a pretty fun sequel although I wouldn’t say it’s as good as the first one. We get a solid amount of action and banter of course but it’s always tough to beat the initial team up between the characters. I’d definitely recommend giving this one a look. On the whole the only things holding it back are a rushed romance and a death that felt a bit gratuitous near the end. Having the character bumped off seemed unnecessary.

So the film starts with Martin getting into another high speed chase scene to stop some crooks. The case ends up spiraling out of control a bit and it turns out that these villains are part of a pretty big gang. Martin doesn’t leave it at that though and manages to track these guys down to an embassy. It turns out that these guys have diplomatic immunity. Their leader Rudd is quite smug about this since he can basically do whatever he wants with that card. While I think the film plays off the immunity a little too strongly (Openly being caught for a big crime would suspend it) the heroes are forced to back off and are officially told to drop the case. Martin is determined not to do so though and continues to hound Roger.

Most of the film is Martin basically tailing Rudd and making his life as miserable as possible. He breaks into the guy’s house multiple times, stalks him outside, etc. Some of these occurrences I think actually weren’t planned like passing him on the street since Martin seems surprised, but maybe he actually knew the guy would be driving that way. Either way Martin is definitely quite persistent and it’s what makes him a solid cop. He never backs down and intends to do whatever he has to in order to stop these guys. As with the first film he’s definitely a pretty enjoyable character.

Then you’ve got his partner Roger who’s always solid. He gives us a lot of good banter with Martin. The villains try to intimidate him several times as well but Roger never quits the case. He’s definitely made of sterner stuff and will take any risks needed. Now, he’s not quite as aggressive as Martin in this respect as he doesn’t mind hanging back. Roger goes more on the side of caution while Martin uses the YOLO method and does whatever he wants. It’s what makes them an effective team even if Martin does seem like he’s the one who does all of the work more of the time. Without Martin they would definitely be pretty doomed.

The heroes have a new partner in the form of Leo this time around. They’re supposed to be protecting him but he knows so much about the villains that Martin decides to use him instead. The film’s pretty tragic for Leo since he is trying his best to help the whole time but things don’t always go so well for him. The heroes letting him get kidnapped was just pretty iffy and Leo never really gets his proper respect. If you think about it, he gives them more leads than any other character. Without Leo they wouldn’t have made a whole lot of headway here.

Rudd is the main villain. He’s not really much of a fighter but he’s a strategist and you do need your leader to be intelligent so you can take the wins when needed. He’s fairly generic and I wouldn’t say that I’m a fan or anything but he’s not bad. He serves his purpose well enough and makes sure that the villains are a thread. His secretary Rika also gets a pretty big role. She definitely seems a lot nicer than the rest of his employees and really just needs the job. It’s more of a sympathetic background because it doesn’t sound like it would be easy for her to just find another job. She also doesn’t know all of the details of how corrupt they are.

As mentioned earlier, the romance in this film is pretty weak though. It basically comes out of nowhere and is extremely rushed. There’s no development or anything and they basically talk/meet for a few minutes before things heat up. It’s one of those classic Hollywood romances that just doesn’t work and really doesn’t contribute to the story. At most you can say it’s giving Martin some more motivation but with some other twists that come in later on he already had more than enough of this. These villains have definitely done quite a lot of stuff already as it is.

The film goes in a slightly darker corner by the end even if the overall tone of the film is fairly light. It shifts as needed for the scenes and these films definitely aren’t taking prisoners. It doesn’t move quite as quickly as the first film nor is the banter quite as prevalent. Still, this is a sequel that still does the franchise justice. It’s close enough to the first film where you can tell it’s a quality watch and I’ll definitely be ready with the review for the third film soon.

Overall, Lethal Weapon 2 brings in a lot of the fun dynamics and reasons which made the first film pretty good. Leo was a fun addition to the case as well. I’m not sure I bought the diplomatic immunity part for most of the film since they caught the villains red handed. I don’t think any kind of immunity would save you from that. The plot was definitely quite long and elaborate but that did keep the movie from having fun with mini cases and such. If you like a good action/thriller film then I recommend checking this one out. It’ll definitely keep you engaged as the film goes on.

Overall 6/10

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The Man With 9 Lives Review


It’s time to look at a retro thriller film of sorts or you could call it a bit of a sci-fi. Either way it’s pretty interesting to see scientists use ice cubes to preserve people here. It just goes to show how far we have come from the old days of theory and such. The actual premise is decent although the execution means that the characters all have to look pretty bad for it to succeed. Leon should have been pretty much doomed from the start and got awfully lucky here. Things had to go just right for him in order for this to work out.

The movie starts with Tim showing off his new treatment on preserving people by freezing them. He learned it from the great Dr. Leon who vanished 10 years ago. Unfortunately the hospital doesn’t like that he was showing this treatment off without running it by them first and so Tim is told to take a vacation. He takes his partner Judith along and they decide to go to Leon’s old house. They manage to find him and a group of scientists in the basement so the heroes unfreeze them. Now that Leon has a new lease on life he is determined to prove that he can make the frozen treatment work perfectly. The problem is that the others want to leave and Leon won’t let them. He intends to experiment on all of them until he perfects this formula and so in the meantime some of these guys may end up dying. Can Tim stop Leon or will he actually agree with the doctor?

It’s always a bit iffy when the main character starts acting like the villain has a point. Hey, maybe they do once in a while but this isn’t one of those cases. Leon is being pretty dicey from the start with how obsessive he is. He also did a poor job of explaining himself to the committee in the opening act of the film so it’s easy to see why they didn’t believe him. The committee wasn’t planning on being reasonable either though so the whole scenario had a lot of different people to blame. I thought Leon did a good job of locking everyone inside and ensuring his continued existence. In the present they should have definitely taken him down sooner. He’s got a gun but there are around 6-7 of them. If they rushed him they would have been able to claim victory easily.

So I didn’t really care for Tim. As far as leads go he is definitely not one of the better ones. He’s not particularly skilled and falls for traps rather easily. Judith isn’t the best heroine either as she falls for Leon’s tricks just as quickly as Tim. She is easily manipulated by Leon and that doesn’t bode well for her. Through it all, the best characters probably were the committee. I at least liked how tough they were talking the whole time. They were very quick to reassure themselves that they couldn’t be tried as guilty for the murder they helped contribute to.

I think one thing that would have made the film more engaging would have been to have actually had all of the characters locked together in the ice room for the majority of the film. Leon would be the only one who could let them out and they have to gradually try to convince him on why they need to get out. Since Leon has the gun it’s not like the others could force him to let them go and that’s where the tension would be. The movie still had some tension but without this setup the film wasn’t able to capitalize on much. You also have a hard time buying into the fact that Leon is holding them all at bay so easily. When the lights turned off I felt like chuckling at how Tim handled the scene. He went down like a log.

Overall, The Man With 9 Lives is a decent movie. It’s not particularly thrilling or anything but the writing is solid and the pacing is good. There’s not a whole lot to say about it in terms of plot or characters because they’re all quite standard. At the end of the day that’s the best way to describe this film. It’s certainly not bad but it’s not as if it’s very good either. One watch is really all you would need as this has very low replay value. It takes you through the motions with a very clear beginning, middle, and end. It just has no real impact so it survives purely on fundamentals. If you like a classic science story about a scientist taking things too far then this is a solid one to check out. The interesting visual of the main character dropping ice cubes on someone to preserve them for years is enough to at least make you think this film is trying to go for something unique. Otherwise I’m sure you can find better options to check out.

Overall 6/10

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Three Days of the Condor Review

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

It’s time to look at a conspiracy film involving the CIA. Unlike Hopscotch though this one is played pretty seriously. There are a lot of twists and turns to be found here so you definitely can’t trust anyone. At the end of the day the characters all have to watch their backs. Knowing too much information can definitely be dangerous in this kind of scenario. Although in these movies even if you don’t find something out you can be in danger too. The CIA is just pretty dangerous although in theory the main characters knew that when they signed up.

The film starts off with Turner heading into the office for a normal day at his CIA job. He shows up late and uses the back door to help undermine the security efforts of the team. Everything’s a bit of a joke to him, but why not? He works in the mail division of the CIA and believes that things will be pretty safe here. Well, one day when he goes out to lunch the rest of his team is murdered. Turner calls in for help but the attacks keep on coming. It appears that the enemy has someone on the inside. Turner no longer knows who he can trust in the CIA and they believe he has turned rogue. His only option is to try and prove his loyalty but when you don’t know the extent of the villains’ influence then this is definitely a pretty tricky situation.

Ironically Turner taking the back entrance for lunch is what saved his life. The rest of the group was definitely not ready for this attack. I would have liked to have seen them take down at least one of the villains but it’s pretty realistic. The security protocols here are sound but the group grew lazy and complacent in the security. The instant people walked through the front door unannounced the CIA should have had their guns out. The problem is that this is a regular occurrence between deliveries and such so they were caught unprepared. In truth they should have had even tighter protocols. Nobody should be allowed through that door without ID which means that nobody in the building should even be allowed to order lunch. Of course, even in real life a lot of these places take many security chances.

I can’t say I’m a big fan of Turner though. I don’t mind his antics early on but I don’t feel like he handled being on the run so well. Mainly what holds him back is the whole plot with Kathy. He certainly needed a place to hide out but he was pretty iffy with how he handled the whole thing. Once he went to complete kidnapping that basically made him a villain as well. The romance that ensued was also fishy because it felt extremely rushed and almost like stockholm syndrome there. How do you fall for the guy who just kidnapped you and Kathy apparently had a boyfriend already. I think that whole plot should have been written out and those scenes are what keeps this film’s score down 1 point.

Kathy’s just not a realistic character in that sense and suffers from the same issues as Turner. It does seem like she’s a nice person at least and does her best to help Turner. It makes for the team up that he needed since he would be doomed on his own, but either way you know he’s only prolonging the inevitable. Conspiracy films like this are pretty fun because of how stacked the deck is against the lead. Turner is constantly outnumbered and has to try and survive on his own wits and wile.

I liked how the ending plays out. Naturally there’s basically nothing I can say about that but it was a fun dynamic. Turner has to make a tough call and live with the consequences. There’s a good amount of suspense and tension as the film ends and it’s all pretty satisfying. The film may not be as explosive as a modern spy type film but at the same time there was still more action than what I was expecting. We got some fun gun fights and the villains even used a classic video game tactic where you throw some objects in front of you. I’m not sure how useful that is in practice and it didn’t do much in this film but it was fun to see.

There are quite a few CIA members who show up during the film. You have to decide who’s in on it and who isn’t. One of the best scenes in the film because of this was the round table meeting at the CIA base. That’s because you have the top 12 or so members talking things out. You suspect that some of them are actually moles but not everyone. Some of them want to legitimately find Turner to help him out while others want to backstab him. It adds an extra level of tension especially when some members might suspect something. This isn’t the kind of film that will really delve into that as it’s a subplot at best but definitely a compelling one.

Overall, Three Days of the Condor is definitely pretty fun. It’s at its best when the film is really playing up the tension and danger elements. I thought the story was well constructed and the plot is pretty interesting. Throw away that random romance and it would be even better. The film is pretty intense and the villains make their presence known right away. If you like a good film about trying to survive with everyone out to destroy you then this is a fun one to watch. It’ll keep you engaged from start to finish which is what every good thriller should do.

Overall 6/10

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

The Thrill of It All Review


It’s time to look at a pretty old rom-com with Doris Day. This is a film with a pretty fun plot although the ending doesn’t really work so well. I’d say the main character ended up making the wrong call. Still, the writing is pretty strong as always and the humor is consistent. It’s a film that you’ll have a fun time watching even if it doesn’t end up being one of the all time greats or anything like that.

The movie starts with introducing us to Gerald who delivers a lot of babies. It’s pretty fun work and he’s really well known in the neighborhood. People just like the guy. Meanwhile his wife Beverly runs the home and does a good job of looking after their two kids who are always getting into mischief. Well, one day the two of them attend a little gathering and watch a commercial for a new soap. Beverly ends up telling a story about how she used the soap and the boss of the company immediately wants her to do the commercials. Beverly is reluctant at first but they will offer her a ton of money so she accepts. Beverly quickly becomes a sensation and now the company’s products are all flying off the shelves.

The family is doing really well financially but it’s having a social toll. Beverly and Gerald both work rather difficult hours now so they are never home. Gerald starts to become jealous at this point and realizes that he will have to find a way for Beverly to leave her job. He tries quite a lot of tricks to get her out. Will Beverly be able to keep her job or will she ultimately need to go back to being a housewife and leaving this wealth on the table?

This film came out quite a long time ago, but even so it’s hard to really sympathize with Gerald all that much. He gets on her case about this almost right away so at that point the hours and such hadn’t been an issue yet. He just didn’t want her to leave the house for a job and seemed pretty proud of it. What hurt his case right out of the gate was when Beverly produced an article he wrote about how women should explore career opportunities to find fulfillment. He quickly says that it didn’t apply to her which isn’t really much of a counter argument. He really tries every trick in the book to get her back so Gerald looks bad throughout the whole movie. Particularly as a lot of the things he would get upset about weren’t even directly Beverly’s fault. The studio had a tendency to take things into their own hands which would ultimately backfire.

Gerald’s tricks could also get a bit dirty at times like pretending that he was cheating on Beverly. That’s certainly not something to do lightly and just makes him look pretty bad. Beverly was never doing anything like that. As a main character she’s pretty solid. The fame never even remotely goes to her head and she handles all of this like a class act. She still has to work with the kids throughout this at times so she’s busier than ever. Beverly may not always be able to make the times work for everyone but at least she tries. It’s also pretty honest work. It’s not like there’s anything remotely sketchy about her line of business. It’s advertising for a very reputable company.

The company also desperately needed Beverly. Their current commercials were really using quite desperate measures to try and sell the soap which would not work on most of the viewers. After all, the guys who would fall for these tactics aren’t likely to buy soap. It’s worth noting that this is another scene that makes Gerald look quite bad. Come to think of it, the guy definitely has a lot of unfortunate mishaps throughout which make me root for Beverly even further. I think the main things he could reasonably get upset about was the studio taking over his home and the big swimming pool destroying the backyard so he can’t golf anymore. Those are pretty sudden and hard to adapt too.

As this encompasses the main plot , Gerald’s jealousy is the only thing that holds the film back. From the start you already know how this is going to end which is unfortunate. The film could have definitely have had a better ending. It’s not an ending that wrecks the film though. Either way I thought it was pretty fun and the writing is on point as always. The cast of characters are fun and even if Gerald is on the wrong side, he has a lot of fun moments as well. The Thrill of It All as a very quick pace about it so something is always happening during the movie. That’s always been an important aspect for any film.

Overall, The Thrill of It All may be dated in many respects, but it’s a movie that is worth watching. It tackles some nice topics like how people are still quick to buy things if they see it in a commercial. For me commercials are mostly pointless for products but if it’s a food commercial then I’m in. I think everyone has something that they are willing to look into further if it’s on a commercial. The film also pokes fun at how some shows would use the same plots over and over again and the audience doesn’t catch on. It’s pretty exaggerated but definitely fun to see. I’m always up for a few good natured shots thrown in. If you’re up for a fun little film about getting rich overnight then this is a solid one to check out. Who hasn’t thought about suddenly being on TV like this?

Overall 6/10

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

Doctor X Review


It’s time to look at a very old film. This is probably one of the oldest films I’ve seen at this point which is definitely saying something. Even though it’s from the 30’s it still feels pretty modern compared to some I’ve seen. It certainly has aged better in some respects than the original King Kong for example. The sound quality is definitely clear and the visuals work well enough. It’s definitely not going to remembered as one of the better murder mysteries but I would say that it was fairly decent. A little predictable in places to be sure though.

The movie starts off by introducing us to the Moon murders. Basically someone is going around and eating people in the dead of night. It happens whenever there is a Full Moon and unfortunately there seems to be a full Moon almost constantly in this town. The cops figure it has to be someone from Xavier’s institute since the murder weapon is there. Xavier is certain that none of his professors have done this but introduces them to the cops. All of the scientists are pretty quirky and have suspicious personas. Dr. Wells has often studied cannibalization and is fascinated by it. Another one doesn’t want the police around for some reason and the others range from rude to distant. The cops rule out Wells because the guy only has one hand and the victims were all strangled but are unable to further deduce who it could be. Xavier gets the cops to agree to give him 48 hours to run his own experiments and find out who the guilty party is. Will he really be able to crack the case.

Figuring out who the murderer is shouldn’t take you longer than 5 minutes once we’re introduced to all of the suspects. There are at least 2 big things that sell him out as the culprit. When you watch the film let me know if you spotted them. Still, the film keeps on going as the characters try to put the missing pieces together. Xavier’s idea to get everyone to a secluded place to find the killer is a good idea until you think about it. If one of these guys is the murderer then what’s he going to do about it? Most of the professors are quite old so it’s not like they could fight the guy off. This plan also has to hope that the murderer doesn’t make a move and agrees to strap himself to a chair. Additionally, the villain could also have the strength of will not to suddenly throw himself into a fit of rage after watching a play. The fact that everyone is convinced that the villain would expose himself like that is a bit much.

The main character here though is the reporter Lee. He gets a lot of screen time. He’s very earnest about his work but definitely is not the most skilled agent. He tends to bump into just about everything and makes a lot of noise in the process. He does show up when it counts though and the final fight is pretty fun. There’s a lot of back and forth as he gets thrown around but keeps on getting back up. His fire idea was also pretty good. I’m not sure about his rushed romance with the heroine Joan though. It always seems suspect when they get together after one of them just had their life saved. Almost feels like gratitude going too far. Movies tend to always have rushed romances like this though.

Joan was ahead of her time in some ways though. I like the fact that she actually had a gun with her when confronting Lee the first time though. You definitely should have a gun with you when confronting would be burglars. She also foils Lee from stealing some pictures for the newspaper as well which is definitely good. Keep in mind that even after this deceit and such she falls for him. On the flip side, she does panic quite a lot. Screaming upon finding the father in his own room was rather odd. The dialogue makes absolutely no sense in that scene. Then later on she is unable to move while the villain is getting ready to move. She was not tied up or anything so why wouldn’t she at least put up a fight or attempt to escape? Joan definitely froze up at the worst possible time.

Overall, Doctor X is definitely a slow boil horror film as they examine all of the possibilities. It’s a pretty interesting film at least even if you already know the answer. The suspense will really come from trying to figure out how many victims the villain will get before he is caught. Some of the characters can be a bit annoying though like the butler. He went quite overboard in trying to scare the maid the whole time and she certainly made it easy on him. You’d think that Xavier wouldn’t be tolerating any of this but he doesn’t do anything about this. If you’re up for a classic horror film then this one could be up your alley. It’s not the best but I’ve certainly seen worse and it does avoid the animal violence error. Even the actual murders are largely off screen or not really violent which is nice since you never know what to expect if a film’s old enough.

Overall 6/10

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

Death on the Nile Review


It’s time to look at a mystery film. Both versions of Murder on the Orient Express were quite great. I do tend to enjoy a good mystery after all and a boat is a decent setting. It’s definitely not as good as a train setting but it’s close enough. This is a solid film although it can’t really hold a candle to the Orient Express. It would have been hard for any film to follow that up though and I’d say that this one does give it a good shot. There are a good amount of suspects and the film is fair in letting you decide who the culprit is.

The movie starts off with Linnet finally heading back home after being away for a while. She is quickly introduced as a very rude person who flaunts her wealth with no remorse. Her friend Jackie convinces Linnet to hire Simon as the head of the estate because Jackie and Simon are engaged but both don’t really have any money. This is a pretty iffy request if you think about it and while it’s not personal, that’s why you don’t hire friends. Regardless, Linnet hires Simon, but turns the tables on Jackie by quickly stealing him away. The two of them get married and now Jackie stalks them wherever they go. Linnet and Simon decide to get on a cruise to get away from her but Linnet is quickly murdered. Fortunately, Poirot was on the cruise and now it’s up to him along with Colonel Race to get to the bottom of this. It’ll be tough though since everyone on the cruise has reason to murder Linnet.

One thing about this film is it does take a loooong time for the murder to happen to the point where I’d almost consider that to be a spoiler. Still, it’s technically the main plot so I included it in the summary but if you go in blind it’ll probably be extra fun although you would suspect it early on. I think parts of the opening could have definitely been trimmed to get to the murder and investigation a little earlier though. We need a lot of the scenes to establish motives and all, but parts still could have been trimmed up some. It wouldn’t be necessary depending on the cast but most of the suspects aren’t all that interesting here compared to the first film.

The film successfully shows Linnet to be a rather mean person. I do think that her reactions were a bit extra the whole time though. Just having Jackie show up everywhere shouldn’t freak Linnet out each time. Just take it in stride already. I do have to question how Jackie has enough money to follow them everywhere though. She apparently didn’t have much money earlier and I don’t recall any scenes saying she inherited a ton of money or anything like that. These details are minor in some respects, but in a way the whole case depends on these two details which is a bit iffy. There are a lot of other things Linnet could have done that would have changed everything. I think in part that’s what also makes this a weaker case than the first movie. Everything has to go absolutely perfectly for the murder to work out to the point where it’s less believable than the events of the first film.

Naturally I won’t say who the murderer is, but when the method of the murder is explained it’s rather hard to buy into. It seems as if everyone on the ship was deaf and didn’t have very good eyesight. I can’t say much more than that without it at least hinting as to who the murderer is, but I wasn’t sold. Even considering that though, the film does give you a fair chance at figuring out the murderer. You just have to decide whose motive is best and also how well each of their alibi’s stick. Since every character has an alibi you get to determine which one doesn’t hold true. It’s a pretty fun mental exercise as the film plays out. So even if the ending may be a bit tricky, the case itself is nice and engaging.

Poirot makes for a fun lead. He’s definitely very confident at all times which is really good for a detective. Who wants a detective who doesn’t believe in his skills and gives luck a lot of credit? Poirot also enjoys messing with the others quite a bit and also likes a nice meal. He doesn’t let a bunch of murders get in the way of his appetite. Race makes for a fun sidekick as he follows Poirot around. While he may not be quite as quick to figure things out as the sleuth, Race is definitely helpful here because without him Poirot wouldn’t be able to just run around everyone’s cabins so easily.

Lets take a look at all the suspects now. First up is Jackie who has threatened to murder Linnet quite a bit over the course of the film. She has a gun in her possession and the motive is naturally so that she can be back together with Simon. Simon’s motive is easy, the guy doesn’t have a dollar to his name and so if he murders Linnet then he gets everything. The guy is obviously flighty given how easily he leaves one engagement to the next so maybe he’s found someone else. You’ve got Louise who has worked for Linnet for many years. Unfortunately for her Linnet hasn’t given her any inheritance yet to go and be with a guy who’s already married. Linnet tried to explain why this would be foolhardy but Louise wants her married man and may do anything to get some money.

Then you have Andrew who has been stealing money from Linnet for years. Now that she’s married it will be a lot harder to do so without getting caught despite the husband admitting that he loves to sign things without reading them. If Linnet gets bumped off then nobody can ever prove that he swindled the money from her in the past and he will be home free. Schuyler is an old lady who loves precious gems like the ones Linnet owns. There’s no way Linnet would ever part with them so perhaps knocking her off would be the best way to grab them. That would settle the matter pretty quickly. Then you have Schuyler’s maid whose family was ruined by Linnet’s father. This forced the maid to lose everything and work as a maid to a cruel boss. The maid refuses to even talk to Linnet.

Salome writes a lot of romance books but she is being sued by Linnet for some similar characters. Salome doesn’t have a whole lot of money and wouldn’t survive this lawsuit so one way to end things would be to take Linnet down once and for all. Rosalie is Salome’s daughter and her motive is pretty similar. If she can take Linnet out of the picture then her mother won’t go bankrupt and their lives can resume as normal. Jim is a guy who doesn’t like rich people very much and especially not Linnet. He mentions several times that somebody should bump her off so perhaps he nominated himself for that role. If he were to take her out then the world would be closer to being balanced once more. Finally, we have Ludwig who has been taking a lot of heat by Linnet for various treatments he has given that did not work out. Several of his patients have even died and if this publicity keeps up then he will be destroyed. The only way to stop her from talking would be to silence her.

So those are all of the suspects and motives. As you can see there are a ton of suspects here. Part of why the film is so long is that it tries to develop all of them. Some of the characters look real similar too so it can be easy to mix a few of them up. Still, the more suspects the better because that gives you more options and makes picking the correct culprit a whole lot more difficult. One tough thing though can be that at times some of the accents are a little tough to follow. Race comments on that quite a few times since Poirot loves to troll him by speaking in French. It’s always suspicious when someone isn’t talking in English.

Overall, This is a pretty fun film. The first half is a bit on the slow side but once the murder happens then the film picks up as you would expect it to. The writing here is definitely pretty solid. While I do have some issues with how the death ultimately occurred I still wouldn’t say that it is totally impossible either. It just comes across as very convenient the whole time. I had no other real issues here. If you want to see a solid murder mystery with a lot of moving pieces then I definitely recommend checking this one out. You can’t really go wrong with a quality mystery after all.

Overall 6/10