The Client Review


The Client is one of those films where you have different factions who are both technically good guys but they’re at odds with each other so you have to choose who to root for. Meanwhile the real villains are still on the loose so you have to hope that the heroes can take them down in time. The Client is definitely a solid film, one that would have been even better if the main character was older but still good all the same.

The movie starts with Mark and his brother Rick out in the woods when they see a guy trying to destroy himself using fumes from his car. Mark decides to prevent this from happening but ends up being caught. Fortunately he is able to escape right as the guy is blown up but this traumatizes Rick so that he can no longer talk. This ends up being a big deal because the guy who destroyed himself had the big testimony that was going to seal the case for Reverend Roy. Roy figures that he may have told the kid the location of the missing body that would be the ultimate proof to convict one of the gang heads known as Muldano.

Mark is approached by the mob and told not to say anything though or they will destroy him and his family. As evidence of their sincerity they burn down his home but of course nobody can prove it. Mark figures that he will need an attorney and hires a lady named Reggie. She is nice enough to be doing this case for free but how much can she help Mark when the guy is keeping so many secrets from her? The trial is in a few days so everyone is on the clock.

The Mob and Roy both want to be the first ones to the body to destroy or salvage it and they each have a hurdle here. The Mob knows where the body is but have a hard time getting past security to find it. Roy wouldn’t have that trouble since he is security but doesn’t know where the body is. That’s why the whole situation with Mark keeping the secrets tends to be annoying. I’m often not a fan of kids being the main character in a film like this and this movie really reinforces why that is the case.

There are a lot of scenes here where if Mark was a grown up then the film would have ended early. Strike a deal with Roy to enter the witness protection program or something and then tell him about the body. That would have been the best way to do things and would have ended the film in minutes. The problem is that he won’t tell anyone including his own attorney. I thought Mark was very ungrateful to her considering that she doesn’t even need to be helping him. Reggie does everything that she can but Mark tends to storm off every other scene instead of actually helping.

Suffice to say, he was one of the worst characters in the film. Any scene with him was one where he was impeding the legal process and just putting everyone into more danger than they needed to be. Reggie would have wrapped this whole thing up a lot sooner otherwise. Maybe tell her that a member of the mob broke into the hospital so they could get some more security around the place? That would have been productive at least. His mother’s also rather mean to Reggie for no real reason either.

Reggie is really given a tough task here but she still does her best to get to the bottom of this in every scenario. She talks tough to Roy during each of their confrontations and usually comes out on top. Only time she is left on the defensive is when Mark withheld more crucial info from her that Roy was able to find. It’s tough to defend someone when they give you fake stories all the time. Ultimately she did go with him to the dangerous spot to find the body and really came in clutch each time.

As for Roy, he was a fun character. I like the levels of confidence he brought with him to each of the hearings. It’s easy to see why he is known as one of the best in the business. When he has an opening he takes it and just rides this all the way to the end. He does want to get more political power but it’s clear that he has earned the position that he has currently. He studied a lot to get to this point and it’s all paid off quite nicely. Even in his first questioning with Mark he was able to defeat the kid quite handily. A few more minutes and he would have won if not for Reggie showing up.

The villain Muldano is more on the forgettable side though. There’s not really a whole lot to him. He flies off the handle too much which is what gets him into these jams in the first place. When the alarm went off in the climax his only hope was to quickly charge the heroes since fleeing would confirm that they got the bodies. Ultimately he wasn’t quite brave enough for this and that’s why he’s not the top boss of the mob.

The Client is really solid because the writing is strong. Put the kids to the side and you can really focus on the solid banter between Reggie and Roy. They’re both professionals on opposite sides of the fence here so they really have to go at it. The court scenes with the judge were a lot of fun as well. These bits don’t take up most of the movie but the scenes that we do get are really presented well.

We also get a good amount of thriller elements and a reasonably tense atmosphere that works well here. I don’t really have any big negatives here aside from the main character who was just really grating the whole time. I would have written him out after the intro scene so most of the big scenes were with Reggie instead as the mob goes after her. It would switch the movie up a bit but also ensure that all of the characters are solid.

Overall, The Client is a good film and I’d recommend checking it out. You really get to see the dangers of being a witness and ensuring that you have a good deal set up before telling all that you know. If Reggie wasn’t there to make sure of that, it seems like Roy’s team would have left the witness off to dry. In a dangerous business like this you have to keep your guard up and wits about you at all time. I’m always up for a film that deals with the court room so this worked out nicely.

Overall 6/10

Tall Story Review


All right, it’s time for a Basketball movie of sorts. It’s not the main focus per say but it does play a part in what’s going on. This is a movie where I would say the first half beats the second as the comedic parts are good but once the film gets serious it starts to trip up a bit. Ultimately the moral here is that you need to stick to your studies!

The movie starts with Professor Leo getting ready for his first day of school. He’s going to be an ethics professor and he’s looking forward to getting these kids academically prepared for success. He’s given the school tour by Professor Charles who lets Leo know that this school is very dedicated to its Basketball program. This is to such a point that there is a huge statute in honor of the sport and it is the only thing that the papers care to publish.

Well, Leo can make ethics work into that. Then the professors are knocked over by the new student June. She lets them know that she is only attending this college to secure Ray’s hand in marriage. To do this she will have to get him to stop focusing all of his time on school and so she asks for their help in arranging this. She is steadfast in this goal but will Ray ultimately choose to go with her or will she end up being disappointed?

It’s also worth noting that a big part of the film’s drama is also about the Russian team coming over to do battle with the school. This team has defeated every school in their tracks under mysterious circumstances at times but the principal and teachers are confident that they can win as long as they have Ray. Ray’s never lost a battle and doesn’t intend to start now. Hopefully the romance doesn’t get in the way of this eh?

Most of the humor here is in how up front June is about all of this. She doesn’t mind anyone knowing about her plans aside from Ray. She isn’t beating around the bush either and systematically starts tearing down all of Ray’s barriers. You feel like the guy is doomed from the start with how he can barely resist her. By the time they’re babysitting together it’s all over. I will have more to say about that when I talk about him.

But for June, she gets a positive score here. She saw an opportunity and she seized it. You have to appreciate the hustle and June was also able to support Ray as best she could during the climax. There was a lot of planning from her end so she also gets top marks in strategy. As a main character she does her part in making sure that the movie is entertaining from start to finish.

Now for Ray, I was not a fan of his. First off, he lets the romance impact his play on the field. Whenever someone is playing a sport or doing any activity you don’t want to see any excuses. Ray starts stinking it up on the field and doesn’t seem to care because he is having such fun. The tournament is coming up so he needs his head in the game. Then when he gets his groove back, he gets a package of money from the Russians telling him to throw the game.

There’s a lot of ways to handle this like immediately giving it to the police, the Basketball coach, the teachers, etc. Instead he just holds onto it initially which is not a good idea since it’ll make him more suspicious down the road. Additionally he decides to flunk a test so he will miss the game but that will just ensure that the college loses. He kept on making the wrong choices over and over again when this really wasn’t that hard. Hand the money over to the cops and it all would have been squared away rather easily.

So while June had a strong will, I thought Ray’s was rather weak. The main antagonist Leo can also be dicey at times. I enjoyed most of his earlier scenes as Leo tries to make sense of this crazy situation but towards the end he seemed a bit exaggerated. Once he learned the truth about the whole thing he should have just let Ray go back on the team. If he wanted to do a make up exam then that’s fine as well but just give it instead of intentionally dragging out each question.

After a while it just seemed like he was being stubborn just to be stubborn. There was also no reason for him to out June near the end as it served no purpose other than to put her in trouble. So Leo really used up any good fortune he had earned up by then. I appreciate him sticking to his guns before learning the truth and keeping Ray in a failed state. That’s fine and as an Ethics professor it makes sense. After that though? There’s no real excuse there. Additionally giving a makeup exam doesn’t seem too far fetched.

Everyone was putting pressure on Leo including the principal. If the team had lost the game I have a feeling that Leo would have been fired on the spot. The principal doesn’t get a huge role here but whenever he appears the guy takes over the stage. You can tell that he is serious about the team winning this one. Charles is a solid professor as well and a lot more reasonable than Leo. He has a very laidback attitude and is just able to roll with all of the punches rather than making a big deal about everything. That’s the kind of guy you want to have on your side.

As the Basketball coach you can probably guess whose side Sandy was on. This is a game that especially means a lot to him and he made good on his word to put in as much pressure as possible. I definitely liked that guy. Finally there’s Myra who is June’s mother and she is also more reasonable than Leo. She even has a bit of a competitive side to her as she jumps in on the sport betting behind Leo’s back. You can see where June gets her personality from. Myra usually won’t go into the spotlight to throw in her support but she is always on the right side.

The film’s fairly quick and really breezes by. The only weak point I would say tends to come from the romance side of things. I won’t say that the romance between June and Ray is bad, it’s actually fairly decent for this kind of school story. No, it’s the inclusion of another couple who own a trailer that can be a bit much. They’re the kind of fake friends who won’t actually help you at all despite talking a great deal. I didn’t like that Ray and June actually bought the trailer because it feels like they were fleeced. The whole sequence of scenes were also the only parts that really felt like they dragged out.

This other couple wasn’t funny and the idea of moving in there and wasting so much money rather than getting a proper place just doesn’t make any sense. Ultimately it was Ray’s money so I’m going to have to give him another big L for even thinking about this. June also takes part of the blame for being excited about it so they’ll both take a hit there.

Overall, I would have liked to have seen more of the actual Basketball game but in the end this was a decently solid title. It’s a pleasant enough romantic comedy which hits the right notes on both angles. Hopefully Leo learned his lesson and will be a more reasonable person going forward. At the very least that’s what you would hope. If you’re looking for an old school title to watch then I’d recommend checking this one out.

Overall 6/10

Happy Death Day 2U Review


The sequel is now upon us. The first film had a cool concept but I didn’t think it lived up to the potential it had. This one does a much better job of handling the adventure. It may have mostly thrown away the horror elements from the first film but you’ve still got the various murders, there’s just much more things happening in this film. Maybe too many since one plot just vanishes.

The movie picks up right where the first film left off. Tree has escaped the loop and is finally together with Carter. Ryan isn’t thrilled about this since that means his room is still off limits but he heads to his lab to finish working on the time travel machine. Unfortunately the teacher doesn’t like this and shuts the project down. Ryan is promptly murdered by a guy in a baby mask and ends up going back to the start of the day. Looks like he is trapped in a time loop now and the only one who can possible help him here would be Tree since she has a lot of experience with this.

I would say that the decision to make Ryan the main character is an awful one since he was such a terrible character in the first movie but this title actually has a good fake out about this. So don’t worry Tree is still the main character here. Plus she still keeps the character development from the first film so she’s a much better character through and through. This time around she actually acts like a lead and does a good job of taking down the enemies.

The story goes in a few different directions from the plot I outlined above so get ready for some twists. In a way the movie has to try and make the scenario a bit harder on Tree because otherwise she would solo this experience on her second playthrough. She takes down one of the villains within minutes and with her gun she takes another one down rather quickly. It’s nice to see her just jumping into action here.

At the same time, I also feel like the movie doesn’t take that far enough. At one point the characters need to use a bunch of time loops to try different theories and suggest that Tree just destroys herself a bunch of times at the end of the day since it’ll be less painful than getting murdered. I was against this plan from the start. It’s used as a comedic montage where she keeps dying over and over again but half of those deaths seem just as painful if not more so than actually getting murdered. (Jumping into a tree shredder is such a gruesome way to die)

Jumping out of a plane is probably the easiest death but why do that when you can still just take down the murderer? So we need the machine to work in order to stop the time loop but at the same time, why not take the chance to try and take the murderer down a few more times? Alternately, shoot yourself with the gun since it would be instant but I think just using each attempt to take the murderer down would be more satisfying. Presumably Tree still has to die to reset the loop but if she’s wrong then this will help the timeline more.

Now there is a bit of a subplot where there’s a doppelganger of another character from a different dimension who is trying to murder Ryan. It feels the most random because nothing comes of it and that whole plot just vanishes early on in the movie. I think the movie probably should have just skipped this plot entirely and it would have not changed anything. The idea of multiple universes is explored in detail later on anyway and there are a lot of ways you could set up the machine being broken like the principal throwing something at it.

There is a scene after the credits though which sets up things for the next film. If the 3rd film actually follows this plot then things are about to go in a really different direction. I got some Dreamscape vibes from it with how large scale this may end up being. It’ll be interesting to see how that goes. in that case this would probably be a complete sci-fi thriller as opposed to any remnants of horror sticking around but we’ll see how that goes.

This time I thought the writing was greatly improved from the first film. Maybe it’s because the film is leaning more into being a full comedy this time but I’d also say that it’s really because the characters are more likable. I already spoke about Tree but it’s true for the rest as well. This time Ryan isn’t completely one note the way that he was in the first film. He actually gets some development this time around which is good. I’m still not a big fan but this is a world of difference.

His two assistants are okay, there’s not much to them but they have some okay banter. Carter still seems way too easy with how he has a girlfriend but is ready to have affairs with other people. So while Tree has gone away from her cheating habits, they seem to still be strong with Carter. Even Danielle ends up appearing as a much more reasonable character this time around. She ends up helping the team when it counts and is also more understanding of Tree with regards to missing meetings and such. She’s nice enough where you will feel bad for her by the end.

Lori also gets a brief appearance which may not make her look all that great morally but it’s still some extra development. The heroes and villains all get more to do this time around and that’s one of the benefits of being a sequel since you can go over events quicker with no intro to slow things down. Someone like Tombs is still just a crazy killer with no character but he’s more of a plot device than a character anyway. Even Gregory’s wife gets to do some things this time around, her character certainly went in a different direction than I had expected that’s for sure.

So with the writing being my main issue from the first film, this was an immediate jump. I also just like Tree taking a more active approach here and really taking it to the villains. Speed running through the loop scene from the first film was also nice. It’s almost nostalgic seeing some scenes from the old film before everything appears distorted. There aren’t really any memorable tracks here but you can’t win them all.

Overall, Happy Death Day 2U is a very different film from the first film and in all of the best ways. If you came for the horror then you’re out of luck because that is really gone. You only get horror vibes for maybe the first 15 minutes of the film when it’s giving you the fake plot. This is done really well though with the proper amount of scares and tension. I haven’t seen the trailers, but I think it would be a missed opportunity if they showed much footage beyond that. The idea of having Ryan as the main character is a scary one but it would make the whole story changing that much more effective. I feel confident in saying that the real movie here beats the fake out version from the intro. As more of a sci-fi fan I was cool with the changes here. We even have a lot of big emotional moments as well which can always be a bit hard to take seriously when you’re already filled to the brim with comedic, thriller, and sci-fi moments but the movie has a little of everything and makes for a good watch.

Overall 6/10

Dreamscape Review


If you were able to weaponize a dream that would have to be one of the more dangerous prospects out there. How can you defend yourself if you’re still dreaming? Well, this film delves into that and it makes for a very interesting watch. It’s the kind of sci-fi concept that’s cool to check out and the film keeps it engaging by throwing in some monsters too.

The movie starts off with Alex using his psychic powers to win at the horse races again. Unfortunately he’s not too subtle with his constant winnings and so people are starting to hunt him down to get some of those profits. This leads to him being desperate enough to get into a car with some shady characters who take him to Professor Paul. Paul was a part of the group that originally ran the tests with Alex and got him these psychic powers.

Well, the experiments have continued and they need Alex once again. Alex was always one of the most promising cadets after all so they need him now. The idea is that Alex can jump into a person’s dreams and help them contend with previous traumas or even just give the scientist some info based on the dream. Ideally this is a way to help humanity because you can end nightmares and other forms of stress. Unfortunately, the government has other plans for this.

If you die in the dream you die in the real world so what better way than to use this for an assassination right? There is a particularly disturbed guy named Tommy at this lab and he has psychic abilities that rival Alex’s own. Alex will have to decide if he stays at the lab to help the patients who really need him or if he should get out before he is in some real danger.

Now when I say psychic powers, I should emphasize that we’re talking purely mental here so don’t expect people to be throwing trees. Alex can see through trading cards and into the mind to an extent. He can go into someone’s dreams but he can’t go into their minds like that when they’re awake or at least not to a serious degree. He can pull out some thoughts from the top of their minds at least.

Alex is a solid main character and I can see why he ran off the first time. It definitely doesn’t seem like this is the kind of place where you would be safe for too long. They’ll use you for the intel and then you’ll be taken out. Growing up in such a facility is probably why Alex is very tough in the present. He’s always got a barb ready for the other characters and has a lot of bravado. He ultimately does decide to help a little kid who was having nightmares even though a lot of other people died earlier.

So Alex does have his heroic qualities as well. Mainly the only scene I really didn’t like is when he went into Jane’s dream to have an affair when she had been declining him in the real world. It’s definitely a low move and it’s hard to see how their romance was still able to flourish despite this in the present. That seems like it would be a relationship killer to me.

As for Jane, well she tries to keep things professional but Alex isn’t interested in that from the start. Jane’s not on board with the more shady elements of the job so she does have more of a moral compass than the other staffers but there wasn’t a whole lot to her character. You’ve got Paul who wants to keep the experiments on the level but he ultimately reacted a little too slowly. Maybe if this was less of a charged area he would have been okay but the instant he stayed late at night and said no to the villain I knew it was game over. It was a tense scene when he walks into the hallway though. The guy just didn’t act until it was too late but he does at least have a backup plan set into motion by then.

Bob is the main villain here and the guy is rather intense. The film plays out a bit like a government conspiracy title at times and he does a really good job in that role. You can tell that he’s willing to do anything in order to have that weapon. These corporate kind of villains always manage to be very interesting and this guy’s no exception. Then you have the crazy Tommy who is all too happy to join in with this.

He’s a guy who always liked using his psychic powers for evil so it’s a perfect fit. Alex is really the only person that Tommy can’t intimidate. In the fight scenes that take place in the dream, I like how creatively Tommy uses his abilities. Really he could have murdered Alex in an instant if he wasn’t so busy toying with the guy the whole time. It’s why you never want to play with your food.

There’s also Charlie who is definitely the most random character in the film. Somehow or other he knows about what is going on with the dream wars and manages to track Alex down. The guy must have a lot of connections but at the same time he had no exit plan which doesn’t go over very well for him. Choosing a crowded location was a good idea but ultimately it just wasn’t safe enough. I was glad about his inclusion though because the conspiracy scenes are some of the most tense ones in the film.

Finally there is also the President but he’s not the smartest member in the group. I don’t think having bad dreams would be enough for me to subject myself to a super risky dream experiment that is still in the trial phase. Nah, I’m definitely not doing that. He also comes across as weak with how he isn’t able to touch Bill even though he was almost murdered. This guy’s the President? I don’t care about red tape at that point, you blast Bill and then cover it up. He should at least have that much power.

The film definitely has a really intense ending on two fronts. First is Alex’s final decision and battle which is a really effective scene. Then you have the final moment which will make you really think everything over again like Inception. My view is that the ending isn’t quite real, but it’s hard to say how far back it goes. Depending on how far back we’re talking…well that could be depressing for Alex.

An area where the film really excels is with the actual dreams. I liked the visuals we had there from the Nuclear aftermath to that creature that Alex had to fight. The dreams had a solid atmosphere to them and even the opening dream with the guy getting cheated on had a very grainy look to it that let you know this was a dream right away. I could have done without that crazy dream but it certainly felt weird enough to fit right in.

Overall, Dreamscape is a solid thriller. It has that classic 80s feeling as well where something just isn’t right but it’s hard to put your finger on it. Everyone seems dodgy and the whole area seems unsafe. You get the feeling that Alex is always being watched even when no one is around. That general atmosphere of unease is hard to nail and the film did a good job with it. I’d recommend checking this out if you want to see how the world of dreams can be a very dangerous thing.

Overall 6/10

The Lone Ranger (1956) Review


So far the Lone Ranger has not had a very good track record with the movies. I wasn’t particularly a fan of the other two versions I saw but seeing as how this is one of the original versions of the character, maybe it would have more potential. Fortunately that did turn out to be the case and in fact I would say it’s way better than the other two. I wouldn’t say it’s great but it will keep your attention more than the others.

The movie starts off by introducing us to the Lone Ranger and his partner Tonto grilling someone about the recent talk of Indians with saddled horses going around and committing crimes. There is currently a treaty in the land so that the Indians and settlers respect each others turf but this group appears to be ignoring it. The guy doesn’t know anything but refers the heroes to town. There, the governor asks the duo to take a look into this since they are the only ones he can trust. Tonto and the Ranger solemnly promise to look things over and see that justice is served.

This is one of those films where there are not a lot of likable characters on either side though. The Indians are led by Red Hawk, a man who has helped the Ranger many times in the past but he is now getting old and is slowly trying to step down as leader. The main issue is that his replacement is quite eager for battle and would jump into a war as soon as possible. If this were to happen then casualties would be unavoidable and that’s not something either side wants. Still, Red Hawk confirms that none of his men would do such a thing.

As for the guy stirring up a lot of trouble, his name is Kilgore. He’s the guy who keeps reporting these crimes but of course aside from him and his men there aren’t many witnesses. There’s certainly no time to catch any of these guys so it really becomes a battle of words which is not ideal for getting to the truth of the matter. He wants to raise his daughter as if she was his son so that she can inherit the ranch and all of his belongings someday.

Kilgore’s wife isn’t happy about this but he basically threatens her to stay silent on this. Given that this guy is a complete mob boss who isn’t above murdering just about anyone, it’s not exactly easy to get him to back down either. Of course he needs to watch his back since one of his men, Cassidy is a bit of a loose cannon. The tables can easily turn in this kind of thing.

But at the end of the day they are your classic wild west villains. There isn’t anything particularly cool about these villains. They want to grab a lot of land and conquer as much of it as possible. There isn’t really anything to their development beyond that so I wouldn’t really consider them to be all that interesting.

As for the Lone Ranger himself, it is interesting how his secret identity is that of an old man. It’s an interesting angle but it defeats the purpose when he then shows himself right afterwards. I feel like with an identity like that you need to keep it on ice a bit longer and put some distance between both of your personas so that nobody will suspect anything. If you just appear back to back then it’s very suspicious.

As an old man I suppose he intends to get people to lower their guards. It works once but as an old man instead it makes the others feel bolder at times like when the Ranger attempts to interrogate a store owner. Lets just say that it did not work in the slightest. The Ranger has a cool scene where he shoots the rope before the town can hang Tonto though.

Long Ranger is a serviceable lead. He’s not the most interesting guy I’ve seen but he’s not bad either. He wants to fight for justice and get everyone to the right outcome. It’s a classic kind of character personality. The Lone Ranger doesn’t really add anything to it, but he doesn’t take it away either so it all ends up balancing out in the end.

As for Tonto, he certainly takes a lot of the risks here. Keep in mind that all of the villains are trying to eradicate the Indians so the Lone Ranger sending Tonto on a solo mission deep into enemy territory was very risky. If the horse didn’t alert the Ranger in time he definitely would have been too late. Tonto definitely had to risk it all in order to claim victory. He fought well too, but nobody can be expected to defeat a whole town. The Ranger definitely gives his allies tough missions like that though. The instant he asks a man named Ramirez to help him out, you’ll be a little worried for that guy.

Back to Tonto’s mission though, this is really where the Sheriff looked pretty bad. He talked tough throughout the movie but when it was crunch time he ultimately faltered. He just watched as this guy was about to be hanged and didn’t do anything. The leader of the relations office tried helping so I’d give him a lot more credit than the Sheriff. It’s just hard to come back from that.

The music in the film was pretty catchy. The Lone Ranger’s alter ego had a fun enough theme. I suppose the classic hero theme has also aged well over the years. So all in all, you’ve got a pretty decent combo there. I dare say that the music is a little better than I expected. The writing is on point as well. It’s a fairly chipper adventure although at the same time, the film can certainly get serious when it wants to be. It manages both genres well.

There isn’t as much action as you might expect though. The Ranger does get to have a fist fight with Red Hawk but that’s about it. Beyond that you just have a few gunfights here and there. Surprisingly the Ranger even gets bested in one of those fights near the end. I was definitely not expecting him to get shot in the chest. At the same time, I was not expecting him to tell Killgore where his wife was hiding so the Lone Ranger really liked to surprise me.

Overall, The Lone Ranger is a franchise that tends to not really be my speed because I’m not big into the Wild West or any of the old eras like that. That said, I think this film captured the essence of the franchise a lot more than the newer films. It had enough fun dialogue and character moments to keep me entertained. I wouldn’t say there is a lot of replay value here though. If you pit it against a lot of other classic films then it would lose but on its own the film really isn’t bad. It could stand to have a little more action but it does the job if you want something quick to watch.

Overall 6/10

What a Way to Go! Review


It’s very hard to make you sympathize with a main character who doesn’t want to be rich but this film is going to have a go at it. It’s a fun comedy film that embraces how crazy this concept is. I thought the film may have let their foot off the pedal for a bit in the second half and eased up too much but in the end you’ll definitely have a good time.

The film opens up with some guys dropping a coffin and realizing that they may get sued for all of their dollars. We then see Louisa running to the IRS and trying to give away her vast wealth to the government. They definitely can’t have that and instead take her to a psychologist: Steffanson. Steffanson wants her to explain why she would possibly want to give away her millions of dollars like this. Well, she doesn’t want the money because it always results in the death of her husbands. The rest of the film is effectively an anthology of stories styled after different kinds of romance films.

The first story introduces us to Louisa who really despises money. The reason for this is because her mother is obsessed with it and that has always left a bad impression with Louisa. The richest man in town is in love with her and the Mom is thrilled because their family will finally be rich. Louisa doesn’t like this though so she decides to instead get married to the poorest guy in town, a man named Hopper. Hopper is a man of strong character and family values who refuses to sell his house to the rich tycoon. Crawley (The rich guy) doesn’t take kindly to this and wants to bring Hopper down no matter what it takes.

This was a good way to kick things off. It was my favorite story of the bunch and I also thought the film was at its craziest here. Between Louisa’s mom referring to her as a product and Hopper not noticing when Crawley intentionally splashed him with mud you had a lot going on here. Hopper is really portrayed as someone who is as oblivious as possible but part of why I liked the guy is that he does step up when he realizes that this is hurting his wife’s reputation as well.

Naturally the moral of the film is that money itself is evil so this naturally corrupts Hopper. He starts working unlimited overtime and is never home when it counts. He becomes a millionaire and takes over the city quickly but it comes at the expense of hanging out with Louisa which is a shame. Hopper ends up dying of overwork but at least he did leave Louisa well off and still seemed like a good guy. He ended up letting work become his priority which was a grave error but he meant well. In this story there’s not a whole lot that Louisa could have done differently so I don’t think she should have any regrets.

Next up Louisa moves to France where she falls in love with a poor painter named Larry. All right, this time nothing could possibly make him turn rich right? The two have a pretty happy marriage for a while until one day Louisa suggests that maybe Larry should use some music for his painting machines instead of random noises. (He paints with a pretty genius style whereby sound vibrations power his machines and perform the artwork) Unfortunately the music works too well and Larry becomes rich almost instantly. Like with Hopper, Larry has no time for Louisa anymore and is promptly crushed by his own robots who decided to turn evil.

Ignoring the Sci-Fi ramifications of this, it was a pretty intense way to go out. Louisa didn’t stay in France to stop these would be terminators but I’m sure she wishes she hadn’t mentioned something about the music. Still, it’s hardly her fault to throw in a constructive idea, particularly as it was the first time. It is iffy that we’re on the second marriage so soon…but more on that later. Now she is even richer but still has nobody to share it with so Louisa realized it was time to move on.

Next up, Louisa married a guy called Rod who is already rich. Since the guy is so rich, her deadly curse should not affect him right? After all, before death occurs you have to get money in order to activate it. Unfortunately she is not so lucky. His assets still manage to multiply multiple times over and not even trying to get away from the money is enough to save him. This is probably the weakest of the segments mainly because the film doesn’t even try to give a reason for her to like him. It seems like she only married him to test the curse to be honest and of course this backfired. They knew each other for a matter of minutes before they got together. (Slight exaggeration I suppose but a few days at most)

Finally, we get closer to the opening scene as she meets up with a struggling dancer named Pinky. I suppose “Performer” might be more accurate as he does a lot of routines. Things are going well with their marriage until Louisa says he should try performing without all of that crazy face paint he wears. Pinky obliges and becomes a worldwide hit. Oh the shame. Now this is probably the only case where you could blame Louisa because you’d think she would have recognized the curse being in effect at this point right? Still, it’s a hard way to live when you have to watch your every comment or else you may end up becoming rich.

It was a fun segment and all but by now you could definitely guess how things would play out. The climax in the present is pretty intense though. I actually ended up liking the Psychiatrist as the main villain since he clearly had a plan going. That said, how the actual movie ends could have been a little different. I would have ended about 1 minute sooner from where it did which would have been a funny way to close things out.

So on the whole, the humor lands pretty well. It was fun to see the quick segments during each part where Louisa describes the kind of film each marriage was like. It was a nice tribute to the various films although the French one would get a little dicey. If that is an accurate picture of what those romance films are like then I can say those would probably lose out to the others on average. The writing is solid even outside of the humor so the characters are fairly well rounded and memorable. I would have changed the ending but what we got was still decently good.

It’s a comedy film so you don’t want to take things too seriously but at the same time, Louisa did marry like 4-6 times in one movie. That’s an awful lot of relationships over the course of a lifetime right? It just seems to go way too fast if you ask me. In fact, what that tells me is that they were all rebounds and these relationships weren’t all that genuine. I would say the only person she may have truly loved was Hopper and even then that was in part to spite her family so it’s hard to say. Marrying this many times just seems crazy even if there was no curse.

Also, despite all these crazy happenings, I still can’t imagine just trying to toss all your millions like that to the government. At least find some charities or businesses that you want to donate to but have some kind of a plan. If you just throw it away like nothing then that seems like an awful waste to me. Particularly since Hopper literally died to try and give her a better life. Surely throwing the money away would be a disservice to his memory.

Beyond that Louisa is a fun character. She has a good disposition and does her best to have fun. She was content even without any money in each scenario so it’s not like she’s very high maintenance. She has a lot of bad luck though which is definitely unfortunate. Things just don’t end up going her way which is most unfortunate.

Overall, What a Way to Go is a pretty interesting idea for a film. It’s certainly hard to frame being rich as a bad thing but I suppose if your husband is going to die immediately after you get rich each time then I can see why that would be an inconvenience. It’s just not worth it if you have to have the money by yourself. The film would be even better without the rebounds but then you would have a totally different film. I do think that it starts to lose steam towards the end as it just doesn’t shake things up as much as the opening half. It should have gone a little crazier and had the characters be more exaggerated in order to end on a high note. Still, this is a good film and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a good rom-com.

Overall 6/10

Pride and Prejudice Review


Now this is a pretty famous movie. At the very least you will have heard of the book at least at some point in your life. These old school romance titles certainly took the world by storm but I haven’t had the best experiences with these in the past. Would this film be any different? Fortunately I would say yes. While it still does have some issues, there are enough strengths where I would call this a good film. It’s fairly long but does have at least some replay value thanks to the strong dialogue. That’s absolutely the film’s biggest strength.

The film follows Mrs. Bennet and her various kids. She has a bunch of kids that’s for sure and they’ve all grown up into young ladies. The main issue is that none of them have found a husband yet. Bennet is convinced that they need to marry fast before they get older. She also wants them to marry someone who is fairly wealthy since they need some cash and quick. Part of the incentive is also the status boost. Bennet is always gossiping with the other ladies and this would help her out quite a bit.

The situation grows brighter as two rich men move into town. One of them is a man named Wickham (Gee…think this guy might be a villain??) and then you have Darcy. Both of them are immediately rushed by all of the women in town. This town has quite a lot of ladies who want to secure a bachelor. While Wickham loves the attention, Darcy isn’t too interested. He doesn’t want to marry a commoner and believes that only rich people are interesting. He likes talking smack about the other characters behind their back and just seems like a rather unlikable guy.

Darcy does try to keep the pretense up but Elizabeth heard his words. Now whenever he tries to make a move on her, she insults him and declines. This quickly turns into the main plot of the film as it’s a cat and mouse game between the two of them. The more she insults him, the more Darcy grows interested in her. She wants nothing to do with him…but this is a romance movie so we’ll see if she can stick the landing.

This was the strongest part of the film though because as I mentioned, the dialogue is quite good. Elizabeth gets a great amount of insults directed at him and they are cleverly worded. She always says things that could technically be seen as polite and nice if read on paper, but the lines are spoken with a rather obvious inflection. She wants him to know that he’s being insulted and he gets the message loud and clear. Darcy doesn’t realize that Elizabeth overheard him either so he’s puzzled at why she is so rude to him.

I’m glad that Elizabeth didn’t spill the beans on this since it would have made things too easy. It’s not like there are any misunderstandings like in a modern rom-com either. Darcy really doesn’t like poor people and that’s a pretty legitimate reason for Elizabeth not to want to be with him. Of course she doesn’t need a reason to reject him but it works well. So I’ve spent a lot of time talking about this main romance but that is the core of the film. My only issue is with how the plot resolves. You probably know how it will end 5 minutes into their dynamic and I suppose the odds of the guess being wrong was pretty slim.

Meanwhile Lydia looks pretty bad. Unfortunately she does not have Elizabeth’s cunning nature, nor her skills at keeping the guys in line. Lydia is purely in it for the money and as such is completely oblivious to everything that is happening around her. It’s pretty tragic because things could have really gone south if not for several characters intervening. I wish someone would have told her what a situation she was in. The reason for not doing so is likely that it’s already late now and telling her would only add to potential troubles. She probably still should have been informed though.

Then you have Mr. Collins who exists to worship the rich Lady Catherine. The guy really seems to have no self respect and doesn’t mind groveling the entire time. It’s definitely not a good look for him and you’ll be shaking your head the whole time. Does he really realize what he is doing? The sad answer is yes. He is also not a very loyal fellow I would expect with how he moves on from love to love with ease. When he ends up selecting one of the ladies in town you just have to shake your head because it doesn’t seem like it’ll be a very happy marriage.

Lady Catherine was good though. She is a very extreme character to be sure as she is ultra rich and also has complete disdain for people without money. She has taught Darcy all that he knows after all. Still, she gets a lot of solid lines as well and makes for a good antagonist. Her role is memorable that’s for sure.

In a big way that’s also what helps this film out a lot. The characters are actually pretty memorable and get enhanced by the script. While a lot of other old romance films like this had forgettable characters, you will at least remember Catherine, Elizabeth, and even the more unlikable characters like Darcy and Collins. On the whole the cast isn’t likable but I doubt the film was even trying to get you to sympathize with them.

Effectively it’s like the world of Black Clover where the nobles are extremely arrogant and don’t like the commoners at all. It’s part of why the romance doesn’t work here though as it’s still hard to see Elizabeth falling for Darcy. He was helpful in the end for sure but that means he should get a thank you, not the full marriage. I think if you take out some of the romance or at least change the ending then the film would be an even stronger appearance. It would fully stick the landing which is important.

Overall, Pride and Prejudice beats out most of its rivals from the era. It’s an old school romance film that has better writing than I expected. Outside of Elizabeth most of the characters may not have been all that likable but they had a lot of good lines. Some of the humor may not have aged as well like the talk of drowning the main characters but you also have a lot of lines that do live up to the day like basically any insult Elizabeth gives to Darcy. If you’re looking for an old school romance film and don’t mind it being super long, then this is a good one to check out.

Overall 6/10

The Blue Gardenia Review


Time for a classic noir thriller. One of the key things to remember if you ever find yourself in a Noir type situation is that you shouldn’t drink. Getting drunk is absolutely without a doubt one of the biggest mistakes you could make here. It puts you in a bad spot right out of the gate and there is really no escape. The whole movie would play out a lot differently without that.

The movie starts with Norah getting ready to celebrate her birthday on her own. Her fiancée is still away at war so at least she can have a good time on her own. Unfortunately she gets a letter that he has decided to marry someone else instead. Broken and confused, Norah decides to go out with a local flirt and gets herself as drunk as possible. This leads to him driving her to his place and taking advantage of the situation. She fights back and when she wakes up he is dead.

Norah heads home hoping to put this behind her but it’s all over the news now. The cops badly want to find whoever murdered the criminal. They are slowly getting closer and Norah’s only hope may be reporter Casey. He claims that he will help protect her from the police and get her a reduced sentence but can she really trust a member of the media? Norah will have to decide quickly before time is up.

Getting drunk really does put you in a bind. It’s also why you don’t want to make any snap decisions when you’ve just had a bad day. Norah went on this date in large part just to try and get over her fiancé. Still not good to go with such a shady customer though. Now since Norah lost her memories of what happened after drinking she doesn’t know if she truly murdered him or not. It certainly appears to have played out that way but she can’t be sure.

On this note though, it is absolutely correct that she fought back. At one point when asking her roommates hypothetical questions about the situation one of them says you can’t just take down every guy who gets handsy. That seemed to be underestimating the situation quite a lot. Even if she ended up murdering him with the final strike, that was definitely in self defense so it’s not like she tried to destroy him. It was her or him at that point and she had to fight to survive.

Of course most of the film is really about Norah fighting her inner doubts. If she could at least remember what happened then she would feel a lot better about the whole thing. As it is, she is just very confused. I wouldn’t say she was a great main heroine but she’s okay. She doesn’t do the rest job of hiding what happened but granted, being in such a situation is pretty stressful so you can expect some slip ups.

As for the reporter Casey, he was a pretty fun character. He had some good banter with the local police as the chief called in during his attempts to find the identity of the murderer. It is quite brazen of him to be saying such things like trusting him over the cops in a public forum like that. He also underestimates how many people are keeping up with the case which ends up catching up to him. He was a charismatic guy though, same as the police chief. I wouldn’t have minded seeing more of those guys.

The roommates don’t leave nearly as much of an impression though. I was expecting the big book fan to do a lot by the end but in a way her character never went anywhere. She’s knowledgeable about things as the smart member of the group but she never gets to use her intelligence for anything. The other one at least helps Norah out by the end and gives a good amount of moral support.

Compared to most Noir films there isn’t a whole lot to talk about though since the story is so direct. There’s really only one plot twist here and there’s virtually no foreshadowing for it so it just sort of happens without a lot of time to piece it together on your own. The movie has quality writing and an engaging story which is really what you want to see early on. It helps keep the rest of the film interesting and the pacing tight.

I’d put it under the average Noir film though as it is just lacking that depth some of the others have. There isn’t much to theorize or discuss which is not necessarily a bad thing but it does mean that this one won’t have the same staying power. I think I would have maybe added one more character, perhaps someone trying to throw some blackmail into the mix which would ultimately be a red herring. Just some kind of crazy twist, perhaps involving her Fiancé. Imagine he shows up and never told anyone that he didn’t even leave for war at all. Turns out the whole story was fake. At this point we’re discussing pure hypotheticals though.

Overall, The Blue Gardenia is a good movie. It has strong writing and an engaging plot. At the same time, there aren’t a whole lot of stand out characters here. I would have liked one of Norah’s friends to defend her here by reminding her it was in self defense or something like that. The guy who got murdered was also extra sleazy, would have been nice if he wasn’t quite so morally bankrupt. The movie has a satisfying ending so you’ll enjoy the ride. I’d certainly recommend it if you like Noir titles or just want something suspenseful.

Overall 6/10

Con Air 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.

Con Air is one of those films where a whole lot has to go just perfect for the villains to even have a chance at kicking things off. While you will have to suspend some disbelief, I suppose the idea is that 99% of the time this fails so the film is about the one time that things do work out for them. It’s a good movie that I can’t help but feel could have been even better.

The movie starts with Cameron finally back home from the army and ready to have a good time with his wife and future kid. Unfortunately he is attacked by 3 hooligans and ends up murdering one of them in self defense. Despite this obviously being the only course of action available at the time, he is close to 10 years. Seriously? That definitely seems pretty iffy considering that his only other course of action would have been to die. Stopping these guys without accidentally murdering them would be incredibly difficult.

Well, the years pass and Cameron is finally about ready to be released. Unfortunately the government wants to save a few bucks so they’re going to put him on the jet that will be storing all of the max criminals on it. They don’t trust their own guys with any guns so there is only one that is located in the pilot room and some weapons on the basement level. All of the criminals are handcuffed so they figure that it’s all good. What could go wrong right?

Well, unfortunately the crew handles this really poorly. They let the criminals take control of the plane almost immediately and fall for every trick in the book. They’re overwhelmed with ease and now Cameron is stuck on the plane with these guys. He’s really trying to get home to his daughter before it’s too late but he knows that first he has a job to do. He can’t turn his back and let these criminals go free.

Initially I thought this might be a film where Cameron is knocking off the criminals one by one to thin out the herd before making his move. Instead it’s more about lying low and trying to get word out to the proper authorities. Of course, Cameron does do his share of big damage by taking out several of his opponents.

Cameron’s definitely a great main character. At the end of the day he’s a hero who does his best to try and save the day even when it would have been easier to leave. Especially once one of the prisoners ends up getting really sick because he needs his insulin shot. Cameron won’t leave without helping him out and it’s lucky for the heroes since they would have been absolutely doomed without him.

As a side note, the accent may be trying a little too hard but it’s fun. Half the time it just felt like Cameron was being sarcastic to everyone rather than him actually having the accent. This kind of action hero just doesn’t get old and since we had the intro scene as a way to know just how tough he is, it’s not surprising when Cameron keeps on taking his opponents down.

Of course a lot of these guys are absolutely terrible characters. It may be expected and even intentional since they’re villains but it immediately lowers the odds of good character banter. You’ve got Johnny who is just a disgraceful character. Any scene with him is painful. You’ve got Pinball who doesn’t have much personality beyond the fact that he definitely wasted too much time chatting which cost him big time. Earl doesn’t show up until the second half but I suppose he was a lot more interesting than some of the other villains. The fact that he could pilot the ship was also very convenient. Without him there the villains would have been in for a tougher time.

The main villain here would be Cyrus. He’s the leader of the crew and the one who comes up with the big plan. The other villains definitely fear him as he has quite the reputation. That said, at this point it’s not like any of them are master fighters or anything so I wouldn’t necessarily say that any of the villains look all that tough. Cyrus talks tough but that’s about it. Same with Diamond Dog. The whole time you’re waiting for him to do something or attack Cyrus but it doesn’t really play out that way.

The villain who got the most hype throughout the film was a guy called Garland. He’s supposed to be the worst of the worst which is where the film builds some of its tension from. I would have cut him out entirely though. Most of his scenes are to build up some tension as we know what a bad guy he is and then he finds a kid unattended. The film knows exactly what it’s doing with all the long drawn out shots with these two characters and it definitely needed to tread carefully.

I have to say if anything happened to the kid the film was going to lose major stars because it’s just such an unnecessarily dark avenue to go down. It’s no exaggeration to say that the film avoided utter disaster by not having things go badly there. Still, there’s no reason to have Garland around so I would have definitely cut him off the team.

As for the other humans, well you’ve got Duncan who handled everything really badly. The guy is an agent who was sent on board to try and get some intel out of one of the prisoners. The whole idea was extremely suspect from the start though and it’s hard to picture it working. Still, the guy has a gun so he should be ready but he takes it out immediately and then panics. Look, in this situation where you’re effectively surrounded you have to use the gun if you take it out. There’s no time to play chicken or talk tough with the villains.

This guy didn’t feel very professional. Vince is his boss and that guy’s pretty entertaining. He’s certainly very eager to always blow stuff up but I suppose that strategy has worked out well for him thus far. He gets into a lot of arguments with Mike on how to handle things so expect a lot of banter there. Those are some of the more enjoyable parts of the movie though so it was good to see them. Neither one of them were particularly impressive though and didn’t help much.

Cameron’s really on his own here no matter how you slice it. The film has a lot of solid action and get ready for a ton of explosions. You’ll be feeling bad for the army the whole time though as it seems like they really can’t catch a break here. The villains are blowing up their cars left and right. I like to think that proper military strategy is never this awful in real life because in films it makes the strategist look awful.

The military literally walks in a straight line to where the villains are. Naturally they keep getting blown up and picked off. Surely someone would have said that this was a bad idea right? So it’s not a case of the villains looking smart but the heroes just looking terrible. There has to be a better way to assault a heavily armed villain base than to walk in a straight line like that.

Overall, Con Air is definitely an intense film. It’s got a good hero and good writing to keep it on the positive path. It would have been nice if the villains weren’t all so edgy the whole time though. The only decent one appeared to be Mike. Now, this is a bunch of max prison offenders so of course they would be the worst of the worst but it’d be nice if they at least acted normal at times. Instead you just keep agreeing with Cameron’s one liners about how this was an awful plan from the start. Once he gets on the plane there aren’t really many times for breaks so get ready for a whole lot of action scenes. If you want a pretty entertaining film about hijacking then this is a good one to check out.

Overall 6/10

Limelight Review


Limelight is a film about a star who is well past his prime and doesn’t realize it. It’s always rough to know that you can no longer do something at the high level you once did, but it is inevitable depending on what that skill is. For example, you can’t really play Football past 60 and it’ll be tough to nail the Super Smash Bros melee inputs when you’re 80. Eventually you’re going to have to throw in the toesl and the main character learns that the hard way here.

The movie starts with Calvero having another tough day. It’s been difficult to find any kind of roles to play despite once being the king of comedy. He has a lot of drinks to accelerate his demise and then heads home only to find that a girl named Terry has nearly died after inhaling a lot of gasoline. He restores her to health along with a doctor and convinces her to stay alive this time. He’ll help her become a terrific dancer and he’ll try to get a new gig. Can his old humor style really transition into the new world though?

This is a pretty laidback film for a while even if it does get a little more intense by the end. The opening segments of the film is mainly about Calvero goofing off to try and make Terry feel better while trying to ignore his own difficulties. It’s difficult though because he really wants to make people laugh but his acts just aren’t very good. Not only does he only know 2-3 acts that he repeats over and over again but people don’t find him funny. He’s basically told to leave and his name is poison to the various shows.

Calvero gets the message but it’s not a fun one to understand. At least Terry is a hit which Calvero is happy about but he has not been able to reclaim the same success and feels as though he is holding her back. He’s a pretty well natured lead who makes for a fun guy but it does seem like he didn’t put the proper amount of effort in.

If your humor style isn’t working then it’s time to get some new acts. Keep on developing new material and eventually you’ll hopefully get somewhere. When he tries his new name out even Terry has to remind him that he can’t expect to be an overnight sensation after the first act. I suppose it’s partially because he’s older but the guy doesn’t have a whole lot of patience the way that he might have had in the past.

As for Terry, she’s a solid heroine. She does what she can to look after Calvero including telling the audience to cheer and laugh as much as they can. To the audience’s credit, they did a good job of this as they were extremely loud at the end of the film. Fortunately Calvero didn’t suspect a thing which is good but also sad in its own way. Calvero really could not read a room which is absolutely fatal for a comedian. You need to be able to read the audience to know when to cut a joke short or improvise which he just couldn’t.

Terry ends up falling for Calvero but as he and the film notes, it’s not really true love. She has mistaken her feelings of admiration and gratitude for love here. Calvero does his best to keep on trying to show her the light on this and it’s good since that romance would have been pretty bad. As it stands, he stayed strong on that note. Any kind of relationship with Nevill afterwards would come off as a rebound though so I like to think that Terry stayed strong as well. Either way, she was definitely a good friend/ally to have around.

Then you have Neville but there isn’t a whole lot to say about him. He has liked Terry for a while not but always tends to lose out which saddens him. He knew her a while ago back when she worked in a store and would give him some extra money and materials. Certainly a nice thing of her to do. Is he perhaps mistaking gratitude for love as well?

One of the best characters here had to be Postant. While he doesn’t get a huge role, he is a true scene stealer. Basically he’s the boss of the show and calls the shots. He has a good working relationship with Calvero and is a very reasonable person. I like his confidence and way of speaking. He does what he can to help the lead as well.

I haven’t spoken much about Calvero’s acts so lets talk about why they don’t succeed. The first he that he pretends to have a trained flea and performs tricks with it. The first issue as you can see is that it’s all pretend. People aren’t going to find that particularly funny or impressive since there’s nothing to see. Like, what’s the point of the exhibition at all right? It’s not a good act.

Then you’ve got the dummy act with his partner where they keep trying to fix a piano for a very long time. Even the audience had a very hard time fake laughing for that one although they did their best. This is really why he fell out of favor. The guy just wasn’t that funny and I would say he wasn’t even remotely funny. Every trick he did completely flopped.

That’s why I say Calvero ultimately needed more acts. The guy is good with instruments so maybe do some musical jokes. Switch to stand up comedy or something. His two routines just got stale the instant they started and so he was really doomed from the jump. That said, part of why I’ve never wanted to be a comedian is it’s hard to make other people laugh. I stick to making myself feel the humor. I can always get a good chuckle out of myself and humor is just so subjective that trying to tailor your humor to a bunch of people sounds crazy difficult. Kudos to the people who pull it off but for every success there are a bunch of performances that don’t make it to the big leagues.

Overall, Limelight is a good film. The writing is solid and the cast is good. I think we could have done without the romance plot but it’s handled well and I do like that the film goes out of its way to explain that this isn’t quite genuine. The movie’s also surprisingly long for such an old flick but it doesn’t drag on. That just means it has plenty of time to squeeze everything into the mix and it makes the most of this. I’d say the ending could have been a bit better to fully stick the landing but ultimately this is a title I could definitely recommend.

Overall 6/10