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

Guns of the Magnificent Seven Review


It’s time for Chris to round up some more gunmen in this third installment in the series. The series actually seems to take the premise of Suicide Squad more seriously than that film did with how high the body count is in these titles. Chris’ friends almost always die in these so you can see why they are always so hesitant to join him. Sure, Chris will live but the rest of them are usually all out of luck before the day is gone. It doesn’t feel like a great balance to them when you put it like that. This one is definitely better than the second film but still a far cry under the first. At least the series is back on an upward trend.

The film starts off with the rebellion leader getting kidnapped by the villain forces. This time the enemies are actually the government as Mexican forces are trying to get these rebels to submit. They aim to break the captured leader and end this once and for all. Max is able to escape and finds Chris over in town who has just helped a thief get away from being hanged. He convinces Chris to help him in exchange for some money and Chris must now round up a few guys once again. He really never has a chance to relax in these days. With the 7 of them rounded up he heads over to the prison to free the rebel leader. Will he really be able to break into the base and take out a huge number of adversaries though?

Let’s look at the supporting cast here. First we’ve got Keno, who was actually guilty of stealing a horse as revenge. The guy is a pretty good shot and pretty reasonable. He seems like the new version of Vin although he’s not quite as solid as the man from the first film. I’d still put him as the best ally in this movie though and is fun enough. Then you’ve got Cassie who is definitely happy to come along since at his old job the boss was quite unpleasant and treated him like a slave. Cassie doesn’t put up with any nonsense so he’s a pretty solid character to have on the team. He also seems to be the strongest physically.

Then you have Slater who is pretty annoying. The guy only has one good arm now so he’s always upset. Having only one arm is very difficult when you’re a shooter but he insists on taking it out on everyone else which definitely isn’t a good idea. He gets Cassie upset a few times and it was really all Slater’s fault with the remark he made. Then he goes on a drunken rampage shooting left and right. Even the way he goes out is pretty terrible. This guy really never managed to become a quality character. P.J. is another character who wasn’t very good. In his case the issue is that he is so sickly. He really wasn’t ready for a gunfight like this. It’s great that he came along to help I suppose but he looks very unimpressive next to the other characters.

Finally you have Levi who is a nice guy. He’s pretty old so he can’t move around quite as well as the younger guys but his gun skills are the real deal so he does help out a fair bit. He also takes one of the kids under his wing. Levi was a fun addition to the cast. So on the whole most of the characters were good. Meanwhile Chris is solid as always. I do feel like his skills seem less and less impressive with each movie, but he still ultimately gets the job done which is what counts. He manages to take down the enemy captain which was crucial. That guy managed to take down quite a number on his own which made him a pretty imposing villain.

This movie went back to its roots in some respects which was good such as developing the characters before uniting the group. Each one actually got a full scene to himself this time as opposed to everyone just teaming up right from the jump. It’s important to set up all of the characters individually before they team up. It gives you more of an actual reason to root for them. The villain also gets more development this time around. He has some good back and forth discussions with Chris. The guy is definitely as ruthless as they come and makes for a pretty intense villain. He certainly isn’t messing around.

The oddest part about the film is probably the music selection though. While the next installment would take this to a whole new level, the music here just didn’t feel appropriate at times. You’d have the very happy hero theme playing even during a sad scene or a moment where nothing is going right for the heroes. It felt like the soundtrack was so limited that they had to keep on playing the theme. It’s played even more than the main Star Wars theme and you know how much the films like to use that one. I don’t think the music director did a good job here. It’s not enough to have a solid theme, you need to know when to play it.

As always the villagers look pretty bad for the most part. The leader of the main group of rebels was a drunk who wasn’t taking anything seriously. It’s easy to see why the group had absolutely no luck over the last few years with a guy like that in charge. You can’t hope to succeed if your leader isn’t taking things seriously and that was definitely the case here. By the end the rebels move on without him, but if they had showed up earlier then way less people had to die. It seems like the cavalry always comes way too late.

The action scenes are solid as always though. The gunfights are good and the heroes make good plans the whole time. The Magnificent Seven feel a little less invincible this time though. The main villain took out 2-3 of them by himself which would have been pretty much impossible in the first film. I suppose eventually Chris was bound to run out of the top brass sooner or later though. These guys would just have to do in the meantime.

Overall, Guns of the Magnificent Seven is a solid film. It’s not quite as good as the first one but it’s good enough to check out if you like the genre. The music is not always placed well as it seems like the guy in charge would just slap the main theme on whenever he felt like it, but it is a catchy theme. Some parts of the film can definitely get a little dark with the main characters not doing anything to save them. Naturally in such a position they would likely lose and then there would be even more casualties but I never like to see the heroes do nothing as people are getting murdered. This one is more of a standard wild west film, you won’t be disappointed if you go and give this one a look.

Overall 6/10

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

Planes, Trains and Automobiles Review


It’s time to look at a comedy film from a while back. This one’s definitely pretty well known. I didn’t know anything about the plot itself, but the title is certainly iconic. After all, why would you ever need to use all 3 methods of transportation in one day? Well, things get pretty tough for the lead. The humor is usually pretty funny with only sometimes going over the edge. That’s normal for a comedy film as no matter how hard you try it’s hard for every single joke to be funny. The goal is to at least make sure most of them land successfully.

The movie starts with Neal wrapping up a long meeting. Unfortunately the boss took forever to decide on what design he wanted to now Neal has to dash in order to catch his flight so he can spend Thanksgiving with his family. It’s not in the cards though as all planes have been delayed. He meets up with a guy named Del who says that they should team up. Neal gives that option a hard no for a while but nothing he tries is working and now it’s late. He follows Del to a hotel room the guy picked up and this would be just the start of their partnership through this crisis.

Your enjoyment of the film may depend on how much you like Del because the film could seem unfair depending on your answer to that. Without a doubt Neal is put through the wringer in this film. Del tricks Neal into spending money constantly as Neal is saddled with virtually every bill. Neal clearly makes a lot of money but that’s not the issue here. Nobody wants to have to be with a free loader the whole time and that’s exactly what Del is. He always manages to be quite slick in getting Neal to make payments so it’s hard to just overlook that. He’s costing Neal quite a lot. By the end this is all brushed to the side as we find out that Del’s a nice guy, but it just doesn’t feel even or balanced. Neal came out of this in a worse position than when he started.

Neal was also quite patient with Del before blowing up near the end. He may have gotten a bit extra at that point, but Del had really done nothing to help him prior to this. Neal also had the worst luck in the world up to this point. Even at the beginning of the film he ended up losing the cab and then Del stole the next one. It was certainly a great way to start the film though. The whole taxi chase was pretty great and Neal really put up a good fight there. He’s a consistently good character throughout the film and the only scenes where he faltered was during the car rentals. He was really picking a fight with everyone at that point so naturally he got beat up. Talk smack and get whacked after all.

As for Del, it’s hard to sympathize with him. He may be a nice guy or so he thinks but he ends up being a lot of trouble for everyone. Del has to at least be a little self aware of how much trouble he is causing everyone. There are some things he does where you just know that it can’t have been an accident. He absolutely knows what he is doing at times despite denying it. The fact of the matter is that he gets in Neal’s way throughout the movie. Neal ends up being the bigger man and is still nice to Del, but it would have been nice if Del could have contributed at least a little. By the end of the film it’ll be hard to see why they are even still friends. Del burned Neal one too many times as the movie went on.

Most of the humor in the film revolves around how crude Del is. He doesn’t have a great sense of personal hygiene and so we do get quite a bit of crude humor. Those scenes don’t tend to land quite as well as the smooth dialogue based humor. The more outrageous moments can work well too like Neal showing up for his car except that it is no longer there. Now that’s an emotional moment where you can get behind the character because he was really counting on it being in that spot so it was certainly a let down when it wasn’t there. I’m sure no matter what humor style is your favorite you will have some laughs here because there are enough laughs for everyone. The humor has a lot of variety.

When you think about it the movie’s cast was actually pretty small. Del and Neal are really the only two characters. You’ve got minor characters here and there that try to mess with the leads but that’s about it. The two are able to hold the film quite effectively though. Neal as the protagonist and Del as the antagonist. Good banter goes a long way in films and this one is an example of a successful pairing. They help the film just fly by and you can’t be an effective comedy without strong characters. Between the characters and the film’s strong writing you’ve got a successful formula.

Overall, This is a fun film. A lot of the humor is effective and Neal makes for a fun character. The movie’s plot is engaging and it is definitely an “everyone’s worst nightmare” kind of scenario as you miss the plane and get stranded with all of the hotels being booked. Honestly I would have just stayed at the hotel all night instead of going to a dicey motel. I’d take my chances with the food court and while it is hard to stay awake for so long, you can definitely pull it off for one night when the stakes are this high. If Neal had been a little more patient with this whole thing then maybe he could have spared himself a long voyage. If you haven’t watched this film yet then I’d recommend checking it out.

Overall 6/10

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

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil Review


It’s time to look at the long awaited sequel to the first Maleficent film. That one was definitely quite good and I remember being impressed because it actually did surpass my expectations. It showed that there are still new ways to adapt some of the old classics. Maleficent also made for a quality character. Unfortunately the sequel is quite the step down from the first one. It’s not a massive shift in terms of score as this is still a good movie but there are a lot of questionable moments of characters making terrible decisions and Aurora’s character was completely wrecked.

The movie starts out with Aurora deciding to finally get married to Phillip. She is a princess and he is a prince so this will be a good way to unite the two kingdoms so everyone can live in harmony and forget about the corruption of the world. Unfortunately that’s not the way it is to be. Phillip’s mother Ingrith is not pleased with this and decides that she will fool these suckers into letting their guard down. She invites Maleficent into the castle and frames her for the murder of the king. Maleficent leaves and gets sniped out of the sky like a rank amateur while Aurora loses all of her intelligence and obeys Ingrith’s every whim. Realizing that the humans are going to win at this rate, Borra convinces all of the demons to attack the kingdom. Can they stop the evil humans?

I’ve got several problems here and the graphics aren’t one of them. The film looks quite solid. I like the energy effects and the destruction scenes we have are very good. The soundtrack isn’t terribly memorable but it does work well for the dramatic scenes. There’s a good amount of technical effort that was put into this film. Additionally the script was solid and the pacing was on point. You won’t be bored during this movie and it is careful not to make any big mistakes. So far so good eh? Well, lets talk about some of the issues here because the writing was not up to the task this time.

First off is Aurora. I haven’t seen a character catch as many Ls as this princess in a very long time. She’s one of the more unlikable characters and is now my least favorite Disney princess. First off, she doesn’t believe Maleficent when the lead tells her that she didn’t murder the king. Instead Aurora chooses to passively believe the quite obviously evil queen. Then Ingrith convinces Aurora to turn her back on the dress that the fairies made for her in order to fit in. Aurora is very quick to ditch her heritage and even agree to live in Ingrith’s castle. Aurora has absolutely no agency in the film and sides with all of the worst people. She’s proven here that she is not ready to leave and completely betrays Maleficent’s trust. It’s too bad because Aurora used to be a good character but I think she let romance cloud her judgment and forgot that she has an equal stake in this.

Then you’ve got the gullible monsters who walked straight into the murder house. Why didn’t any of them suspect something when no humans were walking in to the church? They do know that the humans have despised them for a long time so as soon as they noticed that Aurora wasn’t there they should have left. You never walk straight into a villain base without a plan. Then as some of them started getting murdered by the smoke they all started panicking and running. Why didn’t the massive tree monsters try breaking one of the many windows in the castle? They also should have attacked the girl playing the trumpet a lot sooner since she had no real protection. The monsters just looked incredibly weak and I had an issue with that. The scene made no sense.

We also can’t forget how weak the demons were. They were a disgrace as the humans were actually beating them. Humans! You can’t lose to a human, it’s just not done. This only happens when the humans are evil, when they’re good guys then they suddenly can’t fight for beans. It was pretty annoying to see everyone get wiped out by Ingrith’s armies and when they finally start to make a comeback they are forced to stop fighting. The worst example of this was Borra. After watching most of his allies get murdered by one guy he flies in to avenge them but prince Phillip stops him and gives the other guy a full pardon. They’re back to being friends in the next scene. Really? This army guy just betrayed everyone and murdered tons of people but he gets a full pardon? I think a full rebellion is liable to break out in this kingdom over the next few days because that was just wild. I still don’t get how you can lose to humans but let us press on.

Prince Phillip is super oblivious to everything. Aurora should have been telling him what was going on sooner but he also should have kept himself in the loop a little more. He let Ingrith handle everything and that’s really not the case when you’re king. He also clearly did not visit his father in the hospital bed at all since he didn’t notice the obvious wound on him that would have proven that Maleficent was not to blame. He just trusted the report and had no real agency. That’s a big red flag for a character.

Ingrith makes for a good villain in part because she is the only intelligent character around. She actually makes a lot of good plans and takes down all of her opponents with ease. She comes close to murdering Maleficent twice and also takes down whole armies. While she is on the right side at least she is actually an effective ruler. Ingrith knows how to lead her armies and how to take down opposing armies. Something tells me that Aurora and Phillip will not be able to do the same.

Then we have Maleficent who is all bark and no bite in this film. She loses most of her hype with how she has to try and be nice to everyone while Ingrith doesn’t bother with such things. Maleficent loses every verbal debate they have quite badly. I was shocked at how one sided all of their discussions were to the point where I couldn’t really blame Maleficent for running away. I do blame her for getting sniped so easily though. Then in the final fight she should have taken more of the enemies down or at least beaten Ingrith. Losing to her 1 on 1 was the ultimate moment of sadness for her character.

When you boil down to the heart of things, my main issue with this film was the writing. The characters all just looked terrible and seemed to have the average IQ of a slasher film protagonist. They made it awful easy for the villain to do what she wanted to all of them. I would have preferred more of a balanced fight and for the humans to have actually taken some losses. They get away with literal murder in this film as it feels like an unconditional surrender for the fairy folk by the end. The humans now have complete reign over everything.

Overall, This sequel just couldn’t match the original. It’s a decent movie and one I could see again but it makes a whole lot of mistakes. Aurora is hard to watch with how terrible she is and the ending just doesn’t feel fair. Maleficent should have just wiped everyone out and moves somewhere else where she would have been better appreciated. I think that would have done quite a lot to balance things out. If you like the original then you should still check this one out. Logic aside the film is still pretty entertaining with only some slow parts to hold the pacing back. If we get a third film hopefully it embraces the action a little more with a better outcome to the fight. The rest of the demons also need a buff since they looked so weak.

Overall 6/10

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

Short Circuit 2 Review


It’s time to take a look at the sequel to the original Short Circuit. This time we get more of a focus on the sidekick Ben as the leads from the last film do not return. I actually thought this film was an improvement over the first one. I still wouldn’t call it great or anything, but it was pretty entertaining and I did like the climax. We get a fairly iconic song and a lot of tension.

So the film starts off by showing us that Ben is now selling tiny Johnnys down at the street. I don’t know how they let him sell government technology like this or even how nobody is buying them when they are clearly super sophisticated. There’s a lot of plot details that you just have to roll with right off the bat. Anyway, that aside he ends up meeting a girl named Sandy who is interested in the product. She wants 1000 of them within the month so she can finally have a good deal to show her boss. Her job is on the line because she has been unable to develop any good toys for the company. Ben is convinced he can’t do this, but he is stiff armed by Fred into doing so. Once Sandy leaves the two of them realize that they are in big trouble. Especially since some thugs keep showing up to their factory and beating everyone up. Luckily Johnny 5 shows up and decides that he is going to help these two.

Johnny 5 is incredibly advanced so making the 1000 is a piece of cake at this point. As a result the film needs to add some drama to make the film longer. We get that in a few different ways. First we have Fred who is trying to sell Johnny for big bucks which causes a trust issue between them. Then you have Ben who has fallen for Sandy immediately and keeps trying to ask her out but failing. Finally you have 3 comic relief villains who are trying to steal from the nearby bank. When intimidation doesn’t work it appears that they will have to use Johnny’s naivety against him. It’s an underhanded technique…which means it is perfect for these villains! Johnny also isn’t the smartest tool in the shed so it’s not like it’s a very difficult plan.

The main thing that holds this film back is the romance plot. It’s one of the worst ones that I’ve seen in a while. The point of the plot is to be rather cringey as Ben isn’t exactly used to dealing with girls, but that doesn’t make the plot any more tolerable. It’s all rather cheesy and forced the whole time. Even Ben should know better than to just read off the screen when it’s saying absurd things. The whole plot goes a bit too far. Ben is a lot better than he was in the first film, but he’s not yet a great character. He still gets in over his head and makes too many mistakes.

Fred is the far more entertaining character. He’s got a lot of street smarts so he isn’t about to get tricked or swindled by corporate. He does let greed go to his head though and it’s hard to simply wave off his betrayal of Johnny 5 in the climax. He really was going to sell the guy which is crazy since by then he knew that Johnny was alive. When it came time to fight off the thugs Fred also looked absolutely terrible. He is definitely the definition of a character who is all talk and no action. Still a fun character who elevates the movie though.

Then we have Sandy who is a big step up from the first heroine. Her journey to try and impress her boss is a lot more sympathetic than what they were going for with Stephanie. She is really desperate to do well this time and puts in the effort. The romance is pretty cheesy as I mentioned but at least Sandy was just ignoring that bit for as long as she could. The cast of the film isn’t all that big so the only other major character would be Oscar. Compared to most of these characters he is a genius so it’s pretty easy for him to get his plan across. The heroes just didn’t really know how to deal with a character like this. Johnny looked terrible in letting the comic relief villains sneak up on him in the end though.

That does take us to Johnny. He is much better than in the first film because he is no longer quite as new to the game. He still does act like a rookie at times like when people trick him into breaking into cars though. Johnny also tends to lose most of his battles by underestimating his opponents which isn’t a great trick either. I know this all sounds negative, but what helps is how he handles himself in the climax. Right when the “I Need a Hero” song starts to play you know that things are going to get good. Yes it’s a little over dramatic but this is a moment where a little cheese is fine. You’re not really meant to take this seriously but it’s still a powerful moment since Johnny is close to death at this point. It was a solid way to redeem his character right at the end and it also bumped up the movie’s soundtrack at the same time.

Overall, Short Circuit 2 was more fun than the first one. The writing was a little better with some more enjoyable jokes. Perhaps it is just that the New York style or humor works better for these guys. Fred was just a really good character to have some banter with Ben. Johnny also looked better and the climax was actually fun. It’s too bad we never got a third film since they were having this upward trend. Perhaps it will still come out at some point although it sounds like that isn’t very likely at this point. If you want to see a fun little film then this is a solid one to check out. It really doesn’t connect to the first almost at all so you can easily just jump into this one.

Overall 6/10

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

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off Review


It’s time to look at a fairly iconic film from back in the day. Just about everyone’s heard of Bueller’s Day Off from back in the day. How could you not? It was basically a game changer at the time with breaking the fourth wall and those parts have aged pretty well. It’s a fun film where the characters go all out in how crazy they can get although Ferris and Rooney are carrying this film from start to finish.

The film starts off with Ferris deciding to stay home from school this time. It’s a beautiful day out so he really doesn’t want to have to miss it. He fakes being sick and then once his parents leave he is ready to have fun. He calls up his best friend Cameron and also gets his girlfriend Sloane to leave school early. The 3 of them then decide to do everything they’d want to do in a day including going to a parade, a fancy restaurant, a pool, etc. They have quite a lot of time to really do whatever they want to do over the course of the day. The only thing that could possibly get in their way is Ferris’ old enemy…Mr. Rooney.

Mr. Rooney is definitely the best character in the film. He’s the only character who is actually able to see what’s going on right from the start. The others are just being manipulated and tricked, but not Mr. Rooney. The tough part is just that he’s pretty much outnumbered right from the start. Even when he gets hard proof through the computer it gets deleted because Ferris is apparently a top hacker on top of being a genius and everyone’s hero. Rooney has a lot of confidence though and goes all in when he’s sure that he’s got Ferris beat. He endures quite a lot of punishment from the cast by the end of the film. At one point he even gets kicked into an unconscious state. That being said, this part wasn’t his best plan. Even if he did bump into Ferris at his house…what would that prove? The whole point is that Ferris was supposed to be at home sick.

Rooney does end up giving us one of the most tense ending scenes I’ve seen in a while. He’s forced to choose between getting on a bus with some kids of trying to make it home in his beaten condition. The problem is that once he enters the bus it’s actually his group of students which makes things even worse. His rep is really never going to be the same after that but since the school would be gossiping anyway I wouldn’t take it too hard if I was him. It just means he’s really got to get Ferris now, but it’ll be tough since even the police force is on his side.

As I mentioned, Ferris is the other character who looks great throughout. He has plans for just about everything and things always do seem to go his way. Whatever Ferris tries ends up working and a good reason for that is that Ferris took the time to get to know everyone. Everyone already likes Ferris as a person so that makes it easier for him to get away with things. If he already had a bad rep then things would be a little more difficult. One of the more emotional moments is when a drug dealer explains how Ferris is a good guy to talk to and has a lot of advice on various things. It shows that Ferris is going around really doing his best to help everyone he comes across. Now that’a selfless character.

Meanwhile you’ve got his sister Jeanie doing her best to bust Ferris. She is jealous of the fact that things always go well for him and wants to get him in big trouble. It makes her appear as pretty petty the whole time. It really shouldn’t matter to her and she should just attend school. She even actively goes out of her way to hurt people trying to help Ferris like when she threw away all of the donations for him. That was definitely a very mean thing to do. Her character is just too far gone to redeem by the end and her quick affair with the drug guy didn’t help matters.

She wasn’t my least favorite character though. That would have to be Cameron. Cameron is Ferris’ best friend and he actually was sick at the beginning of the movie. He spends a lot of time complaining about this and telling Ferris he should have stayed home. It’s a little late for that once you’re actually outside so that just makes him a bit more annoying. He panics quite a lot and then when he has his big moment at the end all he really does is mess up the car and put everyone else in even bigger trouble. Even if Cameron’s trying to prove a point, wrecking a car that is worth so much money is just a bad idea. It really doesn’t help anything and he’s just annoying throughout. Ferris probably would have had more fun if it was just him and Sloane.

Sloane’s a reasonable character although despite appearing throughout the movie it’s hard to really gauge what her personality is. She seems to enjoy just tagging along with Ferris’ adventures but otherwise probably wouldn’t be quite as wild as him. It seems like this isn’t exactly a new occurrence as she plays along with his scheme pretty casually and doesn’t tend to panic much. That’s how it should be, you gotta just take things in stride so Sloane did good.

The film’s at its best with Ferris messing with the adults and just having a lot of fun. He’s certainly done a good job of getting his room all tricked out so that he can run this scam. The only thing is that when you think about it, he’s got so many things set up that he must have done it more than once. His parents act like it’s the first time and usually he just cuts out school the normal way. If Ferris did plan all of this out for one shot then he really did put in a ton of effort. You may feel bad for the parents here because they do their best to be really supportive of Ferris throughout.

Overall, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is a fun film. The idea of taking a sick day off on a beautiful day makes sense. Typically I would always take one sick day per semester too for kicks although I didn’t have to pretend to be sick since you are allowed an unexcused absence. Part of what really makes the film work is the big rivalry between Ferris and Rooney. You need that kind of dynamic for the film to work and both of them fulfill their roles perfectly. Cameron and Jeanie’s roles could have been axed though and it wouldn’t have really changed much. At times the film can be a bit exaggerated with how badly Rooney is beat up, but this does go hand in hand with the tone the film is going for. It’s an extreme comedy so some slapstick like that is to be expected. If you haven’t watched this film yet and are in the mood for a good comedy then I’d recommend checking it out.

Overall 6/10

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

Blind Date Review


It’s time to take a look at a rom-com from a while back. It definitely gets quite crazy and is at its best when the film is being as nuts as possible. The very premise does hurt a bit though as Walter is not a character you can really sympathize with from the start and Nadia also looks pretty bad in not going with her instincts. All in all, everyone comes out of this film pretty messy, but it is an entertaining movie with a fun guard dog.

The movie starts off with Walter getting ready to head to a party, but he doesn’t have a date. He’s desperate enough to ask his brother Ted for help despite being burned on many occasions. Ted sets him up with a character named Nadia. The only warning Walter needs to abide by is that she really can’t handle having any alcohol. Walter realizes that he has a very prestigious party to go to with Nadia. His job is on the line here to land this big investor and he would never want to do anything to ruin that. So…with a heavy heart and a clear mind Walter buys Nadia the biggest bottle of alcohol he can find and pressures her into drinking it. She does and proceeds to go nuts on his party. Maybe this wasn’t exactly his best idea?

Walter’s one of the biggest fools I’ve seen in a while and no matter how much he blows up at Nadia later on you have to pin 100% of the blame on him. None of this would be happening if he had just not given her the drink. I’m going to give Nadia some grief for this later on as well, but Walter’s got to know better. This was a serious party with people he knew and not respecting Nadia’s wishes to avoid the drink is pretty bad as well. He also tries to take revenge on Nadia by messing up her party but he’s not even drunk so he has no excuse. It’s just petty revenge at that point and makes him look terrible. At the end of the day a blind date is always going to be risky because you don’t know the person. The whole concept of a blind date is a little suspect if you ask me.

As for Nadia, if she knows that she can’t have alcohol then she should really just put her foot down. As someone who doesn’t drink alcohol myself, people naturally offer me to have some quite frequently. There’s always a lot of pressure to drink, but as long as you’re comfortable in the fact that this isn’t who you are, it should be easy to turn it aside. I’m not going to say that peer pressure is underrated because a lot of people have trouble with it, but one surefire way to block it out is to fully accept yourself. That’s something Nadia hasn’t quite done yet. She has the drink and then goes crazy. Now, we know that when you’re drunk you still wouldn’t do anything that you at least didn’t think about while sober. Nadia doesn’t do anything super out of character and if anything she does help some people out. It just comes at the expense of dignity and Walter’s job.

While it’s played off as a bad thing, she did help one lady get a bunch of money by suing her husband so that part worked out. Unfortunately the film does try to still give us the romance plot between Walter and Nadia which really doesn’t make any sense here. The two can’t stand each other from start to finish so it’s a little hard to buy into the ending. Nadia is also way too quick to give a deal to David that she will marry him if he helps out Walter. That’s just not a deal that you can make. She should have tried just about anything else, but basically selling yourself away forever is not the thing to do. Particularly not to someone that bad.

David’s the worst character in the film. He’s a super violent ex of Nadia’s and it’s easy to see why the two aren’t together when the film starts up. He’s constantly trying to murder Walter and gets pretty crazy about it. The film makes it a point to say what a bad guy he is. The fact that his Dad is a judge just makes for a lucky break for him since he gets away with a whole lot more than he would otherwise. The court scene is fun as always though. I always like a court room setting whether it is played seriously or for laughs. In this film’s case it was definitely the latter but it worked well. I liked the judge, the guy made for a charismatic character. He may allow family to get in the way of justice, but at least we can assume that he is able to handle most cases in a fair manner.

The climax involves a long espionage sequence as Walter tries to break in the building, but must get past the guard dog. One mistake that most owners make in this film is that they always tell the dog to quiet down when he’s trying to alert them to danger. Isn’t the whole point of having a guard dog hoping that he will bark if a stranger is near? I mean…this isn’t exactly rocket science people. If the dog is barking and he never does that then something is wrong. All of the characters act like he’s never barked before so that should warrant a full examination of the grounds. This is a comedy, but I bring it up because it happens in serious films too. It’s always a shame for the dog who is just trying to do his best.

At times the film goes pretty far with its slapstick humor to the point where the characters will likely never regain their reputation. How do you bounce back from all of this? The most tragic part of the film is when Walter gets his car stolen by a gang of thieves and even gets held at knife point. He was a few inches from death which has definitely got to be traumatic. The scene is pretty crazy because these guys even kidnap the entire house somehow. I figured it was a movie set at first but surprisingly the film didn’t seem to go that way.

Overall, Blind Date is a fun film. The romance is very weak and just seems to be there to fulfill the cliches. The film is at its best when the characters are ruining each other’s lives or the climax at the end which is a lot of fun. It may go on for a little too long, but I liked seeing the guard dog chase everyone around. It’s always nice to see everyone trying to sneak around in such a large mansion. While this film won’t quite have enough replay value or high points for me to make it a high recommendation, it’s still a solid comedy film if you haven’t checked it out yet.

Overall 6/10

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

With Six You Get Eggroll Review


It’s time to look at a rom com from a while back. This one gives us a fairly standard plot but with more moving pieces than usual. Even if you already know how the entire film is going to play out it’s a pretty reasonable watch. I’ve seen better in the genre, but that doesn’t take away from this one still being an entertaining watch. You’ll have a good time here and ultimately you’ll probably be rooting for the cafe chef.

The movie starts by introducing us to Abby who is currently a widow. After her husband died she has been raising the 3 kids by herself. Her sister believes that it’s time to get a new husband and so she calls up Abby’s old friend Jake and basically forces Abby to ask him out. While their initial meeting does not go well they quickly get together. The problem is that Abby’s 3 kids are not approving of this and neither is Jake’s daughter. Can this extended family learn to work together or is this relationship just doomed to not work out?

In these kinds of films the kids definitely do their best to really get in the way. I don’t really blame the kids as you never want to see the rebound occur. At least in this film it’s been a few years for each of the main characters so that helps but it’s still pretty soon. So I was rooting for the kids as they kept going with their sabotage attempts. They did a good job and at least got to have some satisfying revenge with the bumper cars. After a while though it’s impossible for the kids to ignore the fact that Abby and Jake seem like good people. At the very least Abby is consistently solid while Jake has a few slip ups.

The humor is pretty good which helps the pacing of the film. Quite a lot happens here and the humor helps to mix up the usual story beats. One good example of this is the cafe chef I mentioned earlier. He’s always looking out for Abby and his first scene is a real stand out. You feel bad for the guy because he’s just trying to make sure that his shop stays as a reputable movie spot. The guy has to deal with a whole lot and in the end he still does go out of his way to help Jake. He was my favorite character in the film.

The writing is pretty solid although that goes without question. While the boys don’t really get along with Jake until the literal ending of the film, Abby does a good job of getting through to Stacey. That plot was handled a lot more maturely than I expected. Abby got Stacey to appreciate what a tough job it is to run a home of 6 people and then showed her gratitude by letting Stacey go back to her usual days of having fun. It actually worked out well and would have been just the start of the families getting together until Jake blew things out of proportion.

I actually wasn’t a fan of Jake in this film. He started with a bad impression as he lied to Abby about having to leave the party early to catch a plane. If you’re going to leave early you need to be upfront about it. Lying just for the sake of it is always a terrible move and there is simply no excuse for it. Then if you’re going to lie about it you can at least have the self-respect to stay indoors and not go shopping that night. That’s an easy way to get your cover blown…especially in a small town. Then he is vague about why he has to cancel their next date which results in more drama. Jake just couldn’t make the right moves at the right times. He also blows up at Abby several times as he tells her to be quiet and doesn’t listen to reason. I think Abby probably should have given up at that point.

Meanwhile Abby stays strong throughout the movie. She has a much tougher time of it than Jake but still keeps her cool. Unlike Jake she did make progress with the opposite family’s kid. Abby also has a very successful wood cutting business and I wouldn’t have minded seeing more of that. One part of the film’s message that is always dicey is how the characters need to find someone because you can’t possibly be happy by yourself. It’s certainly not a mindset that you see as much anymore because it’s just not accurate.

The romance wasn’t terrible, but it’s still pretty cheesy. I was definitely hoping the characters would ultimately stay as just friends to defy the tropes. If you think about it, they get together awfully quick which makes the whole thing feel even more like a rebound. There’s also a random neighbor who tries to stir up some drama, but she never really becomes a big factor so her inclusion is just to add a scene or two. I was glad that both families had a dog though. It’s always good to see a pet having fun and the film stays classy so we don’t get any random scenes that would hurt the picture. Having a dog appear in a movie is always pretty risky after all.

This is one film where the kids had some good points as well. Why should they have to sleep on the floor or in the kitchen when the characters literally have a second home? It’s not exactly the most enjoyable thing to do and the characters should have worked things out a little better. I understand why they all wanted to be in the same apartment, but that would just increase the resentment. It’s hard to go from having your own room to not even being in a room. At least in the end they get a bigger house because that was just not going to work.

Overall, With Six You Get Eggroll is definitely a unique title. I doubt any other film would ever have a name even close to this. It really had nothing to do with the film, but maybe having a nonsensical title like this helps to make you memorable sometimes. At the end of the day this isn’t the kind of film where the title would probably have much of an effect on the box office. If you’re in the mood for a good romantic comedy then this is a solid film to check out. I didn’t really have any problems with it. It’s pretty cheesy but the writing and pacing are both on point so it’s considerably better than a lot of other films in the genre. At times the film will stretch your disbelief with how some of the setups work, but usually this results in a good joke which balances things out.

Overall 6/10

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

Santa Claus Conquers The Martians Review


It’s time for a pretty surreal film. Right from the title you probably could have guessed that though. Santa’s conquering the Martians?? Now, don’t get your hopes up for a Star Wars type film where Santa goes in guns blazing as he takes out dozens of aliens. This sadly isn’t that kind of film. It would have been pretty amazing if he was going around blasting everyone so you can imagine my disappointment when it didn’t happen. It’s still a pretty entertaining film at times, but also boring at others. That may sound contradictory but basically some scenes age really well because of how cheesy they are. The scenes that aren’t over the top just tend to be pretty boring. Some of the main characters are also kids who can’t really hold their own story.

The film starts off by showing us the planet Mars. The parents aren’t happy because now all the kids do is watch Earth TV. Interestingly they aren’t happy about this because the kids are always getting distracted and decide that they need to bring in Santa to give them some more freedom. I don’t see how the solution really helps to be honest. I’d understand if you wanted to turn off the TV, but wouldn’t bringing in Santa just make it worse? He’ll introduce them to the spirit of Christmas and will get them to embrace their individuality but that goes against the planet’s system. If anything you’d think that the people would be more against that. I suppose I shouldn’t examine the plot too much….but it was still an interesting start.

The two kids the martians happen to run into are Billy and Betty. Kimar figures they can help him find the real Santa Claus since the Earth is filled with tons of fake ones. The kids know that he is in the North Pole and assist with finding him. The martians aren’t of one mind with this though. While Kimar and Dropo like the kids, Voldar wants to destroy them and stay with the old ways. Fortunately the kids have Santa to help them out…but is he really that helpful?

The kids are pretty cheesy and oblivious to everything. As a result they really aren’t my kind of characters. They just tend to slow down the film and get in the way of everything all the time. I was just waiting for them to get with the program. As for Santa, he’s definitely a little more “down to earth” than most. In his first scene he’s smoking a cigar which may have been a common thing to do back in the day, but it’s rare to see Santa doing that. It’s a bad influence for the kids so you wouldn’t really expect him to do that. I’d also have liked to see him act with a bit more urgency on Mars.

There’s nothing bad to say about Kimar. He’s trying to do what’s best for Mars and even if it involves crossing planets he is ready. I suppose he can be a bit oblivious to Voldar the whole time, but that’s about it. He’s just a good leader. I certainly preferred him to Dropo who doesn’t work well as a comic relief character. It goes back to how part of this film’s humor worked while other parts do not. I think the parts that were intentionally trying to be funny ended up falling flat while the film in general had a nice campy atmosphere even if it may not have been intended.

To expand on this, just look at the martians. Their costumes are so terrible that it’s a little funny to look at them. It’s like a Star Trek design from the original show, but with poor effects. The Star Trek aliens have aged really well, these have not. Then you have the fact that the government actually knows about Santa to the point where TV gets him on an interview. So that acknowledges that there is a guy who travels the whole world in a day and gets everyone presents. How is that possible? It’s not so something doesn’t add up here. My guess is that the government helps him deliver all of the gifts. It’s also nice to have aliens visiting Earth and not going around trying to murder everyone for a change. These guys just want to have a nice Christmas.

As for the villain Voldar…I guess he checks off the right boxes. The guy is really over the top and his goal doesn’t really amount to much more than he doesn’t want to have Santa on board. He’s fine with the current system. If put to a vote I would have imagined that most people on the planet would feel better, but the sage agreed with Kimar which probably had a lot of sway. Going back to the plot for a sec, I still feel like there were so many more ways to help the kids than to bring Santa. Why not think up some activities for them or let them do what they want? The main reason why they would have been stuck is because they wanted to stay traditional but bringing in Santa goes against that either way so then it becomes a non issue.

Overall, Santa Claus Conquers The Martians is a reasonably good film. I definitely wouldn’t call it a very good one or anything just because it can get dull. The absurd premise is really what will need to hook you. If it doesn’t then you’re basically out of luck. It’s the kind of plot that I tend to enjoy so the film works for me, but I will acknowledge that they could have done a whole lot more with the premise. Santa did “conquer” the martians with his idealogy but I would have liked a physical takeover. An easy way to do it would have been to have most of the planet agree with Voldar as I mentioned and Santa has to break his way through the city. It would have been a very different film of course, but definitely one that I could get behind.

Overall 6/10

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

Little Man Tate Review


It’s time to look at a film about a kid who is super smart. It can always be tough growing up as a genius because the world around you just seems like it’s going in slow motion. The film gives a good look at the pros and cons of either going to hang out with the other geniuses or continuing to try and lead a normal life. The main kid can be a bit annoying though.

The film starts off by introducing us to a class working on a piano number when the main character Fred decides to play it backwards to style on everyone. His Mom DeDe picks him up and they have another happy day as normal. Things change when a secret organization finds out how smart the kid is and so they send a pamphlet to the kid’s house. Dede is against sending him away but it’s what Fred wants to do so she relents. Will the place be quite as fun as Fred thinks it’ll be or will he regret not staying with his Mom?

Fred is still a very little kid so you do have to cut him some slack. I don’t know how old he is since I really can’t determine age with them. 3 year olds look like they’re 8 and vice versa. I can start to decipher age a bit better once they turn into teenagers but even then it’s super hard. I don’t think I’ll ever have a firm grasp on age and that’s fine, I can’t think of a scenario where I’ll ever need that. Either way Fred’s just a kid. He does a reasonable job of handling himself around the other kids. It’s hard for him to make any friends and so he tends to jump the gun when someone is just being friendly. He doesn’t mope for long or get depressed which is good. Really he just had 2 big iffy scenes.

The first is when he comes back from his vacation and insults DeDe. The whole scene was pretty random because out of nowhere he’s just being really rude. It doesn’t last for long but it was tough for DeDe since she had gone to such lengths to paint a piano for him. Then there was him declaring that his Mom was dead on TV which was another scene of him being pretty over the top. The pressures just finally got to him. By the end he realizes that DeDe was right all along and his character arc wrapped up. It would have been nicer if he could have realized all of this sooner, but I suppose a lot of time people just have to figure things out the hard way. You can advise and warn them as much as you want, but it just won’t work out. Again, Fred is a kid so it makes sense that he’ll have a lot of weak scenes. It’s why kids can’t hold their own films without a strong supporting cast.

As for that supporting case, Dede definitely did a good job of keeping things together at home. She’s not seen as too smart in an academic sense, but she definitely shows great intelligence with how well she handles the whole situation. As a single mom she has to work, manage the house, and raise Fred at the same time. She does all of this flawlessly and you never see her acting down around Fred. She keeps her energy up at all times and does her best to shield him from danger while also letting him pursue his dreams. The scene where Dede threatens Jane is also good because you do believe that she would finish the job. Dede is very protective of Fred and makes for an excellent Mom. Additionally she never takes any of the insults or jabs at her seriously and just lets them bounce off. Dede’s easily the best character in the film.

Then you have Jane who effectively represents the dark side of the force. She gets Fred to come with her as she leads him learn as much as he can about the world. It’s a little unfortunate how her character arc goes at times. For most of the film she is portrayed as being a very nice/capable person as well. She may have different values than Dede and had a much weaker argument, but at least she was doing everything that was best for Fred. Towards the end of the film the writers randomly made her a lot more oblivious like when Fred had a nightmare and she told him to get some water. This really went against how caring she had been in all of the earlier scenes. This leads to the climax where Fred realizes that he made the wrong call.

We still get a happy ending and that includes Jane who quickly goes back into character. There was just a brief period of time where we went through the Home Alone syndrome where the nice new lady has to look bad to make the old one look better. It wasn’t even necessary here since Dede was a great character either way. In general I would say that the writing was pretty good here. The characters are all written realistically so you don’t get random bullies running around or things like that. The scene of the college students watching Fred’s textbook for example is a fun enough scene. Rather than picking on him most students in such a setting likely would do that. When you’re the smartest person in a class people will gravitate towards you right away. There was even the one nice student who hung out with Fred for a while even if he didn’t intend for this to be long term. It was a nice apology for hitting him with the Basketball.

The film is fairly happy all the way through with some sad scenes sprinkled here and there. Typically the film is sad when Dede or Fred aren’t having a good time, but don’t really have a good way to get out of the situation. For Dede she usually just has to deal with it until she can see Fred again while for Fred he isn’t able to connect the dots that he would rather be somewhere else. Then you’ve got Jane’s partner who has to eat burnt dinners all the time. He never really gets anything to do, but seemed like a pretty humorous character whenever he was on screen. The guy just never got to do anything. There’s also the tough kid from the early part of the film, but he doesn’t have much of a role except to show Fred that sometimes fame can get to your head.

Overall, Little Man Tate is pretty solid. When you’re a genius you process things differently than everyone else so it is an odd feeling. Nobody can ever truly know the inner workings of someone else’s mind so it’s hard to say how it would feel, but the film’s interpretation is pretty solid. At the end of the day your core personality is still the deciding factor on how you will have fun. You could be the smartest person in the world, but still not care much for school and you would still like to just hang out by the pool all day. For others they would prefer to be super busy. In Fred’s case I’d say he learned that it’s just more fun to be around family and hang out by the pool. It’s hard to beat that life after all. If you haven’t seen this film yet then I’d recommend checking it out. It’s got good range from the sad scenes to the happy ones and makes for a complete experience.

Overall 6/10

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

The Misadventures of Merlin Jones Review


Time to look at a fairly old film about how being too smart in just one field can backfire. A lot of times we see films about scientists who are smart at making things but then don’t really understand the consequences of their actions and the whole thing blows up in their face. Merlin is no exception to this as he makes a lot of dangerous assumptions which get him into trouble. It’s a pretty entertaining movie and I could see this being a fun show to watch if it were on TV.

There are effectively two storylines in the film which don’t really have anything to do with each other. The first one starts off with Merlin working on another experiment of his. He ends up zapping himself and now he has the ability to read people’s minds. It’s an incredible ability to have so long as people don’t know you have it. Naturally that means the very first thing he does is try to tell people. Things get serious when he finds out through this mind trick that the judge plans to steal some gems and then murder someone. Can Merlin stop this guy?

The second story has Merlin get hypnotized. He figures that this is a pretty good trick and decides to hypnotize a chimpanzee into being tougher. Things begin to escalate when the judge convinces Merlin to hypnotize him and commit a crime. It’s all well and good at first but since the judge doesn’t remember the crime and Merlin was found at the scene things aren’t looking good for the kid. He may be in some real trouble now.

So those are the two stories. They’re definitely interesting but ultimately I can’t put Merlin in a very positive light. The guy makes too many mistakes and both stories would have ended a lot sooner if he had just made the rational decisions. He should have kept listening to the mind before jumping the gun and for the hypnosis he should have added a fail safe. He just didn’t think things through all that well. Particularly in the first story I would argue that he was guilty of contempt of court with how many crimes he was committing.

Merlin plays dumb half the time, but he was definitely being pretty annoying the whole time. He is always talking back to the judge and jumps to conclusions a lot. The worst part is that it’s so easy to prove you’re reading someone’s mind. Just do it the way he convinced Jennifer, have the person think of something or pick a number and then say it. There isn’t really a way for someone to not believe when you do that. Then it’s a matter of waiting, he should have just waited it out a bit more with the judge. It’s good that he was able to control what thoughts he could hear later on though because the only drawback of telepathy is that you can go crazy if you start hearing everyone’s thoughts and can’t turn it off.

Jennifer was definitely a lot of fun though and a great heroine. She was always jumping to Merlin’s defense and would declare his innocence to the world. She was super trust worthy and someone who had Merlin’s back no matter what. Without her he would have been doomed many times. If anything Jennifer sometimes cuts him too much slack like when he blows off their date to work on some more science projects. It’s not like it was for a class or anything, he just skipped their date for no reason. I can also see why she was upset about him going to another girl in the second short. He was mind controlled, but he should have at least had some will power there.

The best character throughout both specials was the judge though. He tells it like it is and always has a commanding presence. He’s a very reasonable guy considering how crazy the town is. I also like the fact that he has a double identity as an author that he hides from the world. It adds a little more depth to the character. He’s not just a judge. Since he deals with Merlin and Jennifer a lot they do get away with more than the others, but the judge does realize that they are sometimes in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The writing here is pretty fun. The characters are enjoyable and the laid back atmosphere of the town works well for a title like this one. It’s not the most exciting or thrilling story around, but it’s enjoyable. The time goes by quickly. The film isn’t without its weaknesses though. For starters the whole hypnosis scenes are iffy. I still don’t buy into hypnosis on command like this. It works so quickly that you have to assume that the characters have 0 will power. It was also iffy of the teacher to give Merlin a command to kiss someone and with the character half heartedly saying to stop the whole thing was a mess. It single handily ensured that the first story was more enjoyable.

There’s also the plot with the chimp that wasn’t great. The chimp definitely didn’t want to be with the bully and so Merlin was right on that one. We don’t see anything beyond the bully being curt as usual which is good since that’s not a plot that the film would have really benefited from. I think this film should have really stuck to the first short. It’s just a lot stronger than the second one and had more substance to it. I suppose neither side was all that bad though.

Overall, Merlin Jones would have made for a fun TV show. I think there would have been a good audience for it and back in the day when I watched a lot of other Disney shows I would have tuned into this one. The writers would need to think of a lot of different inventions and gimmicks, but it would have been doable. As a film there is just less to do and by trying to fit two stories into one film it is less focused. Both stories really have nothing to do with each other so it only serves to break the flow. If you want a fun little film to check out then this is a good one to watch. It’s one of those movies that is just fun to watch and will entertain you all the way through. Just don’t go in expecting any big hype moments.

Overall 6/10