Suspicion Review


Suspicion is a good reminder that you never want to take things too quickly. If you meet someone you probably shouldn’t get married the next week because you still don’t truly know the person. You have to give yourself some time or else you’ll be starring in your own Hitchcock thriller as you get stressed out at all times.

The movie starts with a drunk Johnnie getting on a train. Unfortunately he went to the first class section despite only having a third class ticket. He manages to save himself from disaster by snatching a stamp from the girl sitting across from him. Her name is Lina and while she wasn’t thrilled about this, she allows it to happen. She figures they’ll never meet again at least.

Unfortunately their paths do cross again. Johnnie convinces her to skip Church which shows what kind of example he is setting already and teases/insults her a bunch. She finds this charming though but then he vanishes again. She waits a while and eventually he turns up and asks her to marry him. She agrees…of course. Well, now things should be on the up and up but after they’re married he drops the biggest bombshell. He is broke without a penny to his name. He hopes they can live off of her inheritance but she explains that it still won’t be enough to afford this big house.

Their marriage continues to get bumpier and bumpier as she finds out that he has been lying about everything. He sells her chairs without permission, goes gambling and even steals some money. All of these acts add up but Lina decides to allow them because she’ll allow just about anything. The only issue is…she begins to think that he may be out to murder her. Can Lina escape this situation?

Suspicion does a good job of gradually raising the stakes throughout the film. At first Johnnie is just a playful bully who messes with her hair. Gradually he moves on to breaking and entering, but he does it in a charismatic way where it’s supposed to be quirky as opposed to dangerous. Then he starts lying constantly but each time it is seemingly to Lina’s benefit in the end or so he claims. Then we go to theft and that’s starting to get more serious. Even the cops may have to show up. Finally when you reach the murder tier, it looks insane that Lina is still around but because this all happened gradually, to her it never felt like a sudden rise.

As with many Hitchcock films there is also a lot that is left to your imagination here. You can really read the ending in a two main ways and a lot of sub paths from that branch. The first is that Johnnie is still lying. Certain incidents to which he should not have had a part in involving brandy and a sudden accident would have been his doings. If this is the path you believe happened then he is definitely an extremely dangerous character and Lina is not out of the woods.

If you’re on the second path and do think he was at least genuine at the end then that means Lina isn’t in danger and Johnnie at least had some lines he wouldn’t cross. I’m inclined to believe the second path is what happened, it at least feels that way but I dunno. I wouldn’t say it with a lot of confidence, it’s my pick but you could make rather strong cases for both. Naturally it would change the atmosphere of the ending. If Hitchcock wanted to make it obvious the final scene would be Johnnie offering Lina a glass of milk but that would be rather on the nose.

Suspicion’s greatest strength is how engaging the story is. The extra details also give it a good amount of replay value. There’s a lot to think about here. The writing is good as always and the movie is reasonably long so a lot of things get to happen during the run time. Nothing is rushed in the slightest and the ending is satisfying either way.

It’s a credit to the film that it succeeded despite my not liking either of the two protagonists. I didn’t like Lina because she gets pushed around way too easily. She fell in love with Johnnie right away but it’s hard to see how since both of her first impressions with him weren’t great. In the first he basically steals money from her and in the next he tricks her out of not going to Church and then tries to pull a fast one on her in the garden. He suckers her so many times and she doesn’t seem to care.

She even gets upset at Beaky despite his story making complete sense the whole time. I didn’t like the way she handled some of these moments that’s for sure. Then we have Johnnie as the lead. Well, there’s not much to like about him. He’s a playboy who’s apparently been in numerous affairs already. He is completely untrustworthy and you can’t have a true relationship without trust. It just doesn’t work and would always be doomed to fail.

The whole reason why Lina gets these suspicions about Johnnie is because she knows that she can’t trust him. He is directly responsible for every bad thing that happens in the film. There’s just no excusing the lying all the time. Selling the chairs without telling Lina was also really bad since she kept explaining that they were family heirlooms and could not be replaced. Then you have his whole stealing 2000 pounds from his employer. The list goes on and on and he gets rather terse with Lina for no good reason.

So in a way both main characters made quite the match here but I really didn’t like either one of them. The only good character here was Beaky. He added a lot of fun to the adventure and kept the characters on their toes. He was not smart in the slightest though considering his allergy to drinking. A single sip causes him to have seizures to the point where he nearly dies. In that case why does he continue to drink? You’d think that he would give it a rest then and not put himself in those situations. It’s a shame that he didn’t think things through.

Overall, Suspicion is definitely a very solid film. I would certainly recommend checking it out and see how you interpret the ending. There’s a lot to think about so pay attention to each detail as this goes through to the end. You may find it hard to like or sympathize with the two main characters but just hang in there until Beaky arrives and he shows them what’s up.

Overall 7/10

Vice Versa (1948) Review


It hasn’t been too long since I saw the newer Vice Versa so it was time to see how this one stacked up. It’s certainly a lot older but it has a very sophisticated feel to it with the script. The movie has a lot of fun with all of the characters using big words to the point where I’m fairly confident it was to parody the very nature of this to an extent.

The movie starts with Dick getting ready to go to school, only he doesn’t want to this time. He doesn’t really explain the reasons to his father Paul much so he just cries a lot and makes a scene. It’s certainly not the most effective way to get your point across, that’s for sure. Paul explains to Dick that school is a blast and he should enjoy it more. So Paul wishes on his magic stone that he could be a boy again while Dick does the opposite. Now that they have flipped roles, Dick forces Paul to go to school. Can Paul handle these tough kids? Will Dick be able to manage his father’s affairs? Also, what is that magical stone that I just mentioned?

Well, going back a bit, the corrupt Marmaduke got a hold of this magical stone. He then learned it was corrupt so naturally he brought it over to Paul so he could throw the bad luck at him instead. He didn’t realize it was a magical stone though. Unlike other versions of the movie, you only get 1 wish for each person this time. So no just wishing yourself back to normal right away.

From the two plots, Paul’s is a lot more interesting. On Dick’s side you have him flirting with the maid the whole time which gets old fast. You’d think he would be using his newfound power to do something a little more useful instead of just messing around. He’s rather sloppy as well and doesn’t help his father’s reputation in the slightest.

There’s one subplot where he has a duel with Marmaduke and it’s the only part of the movie that really dragged on. The duel just keeps on going and going and going. The joke was well played out by this point as everyone chased each other around the castle the whole time. We even got a court scene thrown in. That was at least the silver lining moment of this subplot since those scenes are always fun. We even got to have the audience all come together with music.

Now with Paul’s plot, we got to see him go up against Grimstone which was fun. Grimstone is a particularly tough teacher/principal who makes sure his students are not slacking. He doesn’t even allow them to have candy or anything like that. When they play soccer, they have to let him win or they’ll go into detention. Grimstone is without a doubt the best character in the film. He also has the most sophisticated vocabulary among the whole group. He is always talking like a rather regal figure.

He doesn’t exactly teach by the book but I also wouldn’t say he is too exaggerated. He makes for a much more interesting villain than Marmaduke. Marmaduke has big plans but at the end of the day he got outsmarted by Paul when he was still a kid and probably should have been more careful when talking about his big plan. He was practically begging to be defeated.

Then you have Fanny who is definitely playing the field the whole time. You’re not actually meant to like her either way since she’s another antagonist but why couldn’t they all be as solid as Grimstone? As for Paul, he’s a pretty enjoyable main character. He certainly did like school back in the day although he seems to have grown out of several aspects of it at this point. He complains a lot and gets the other children in trouble. He probably should have thought about that a little more before getting on their bad sides.

That’s one thing you will notice right away here. Paul and Dick keep forgetting they have switched bodies for the entirety of the film. Even right through the final scenes they keep on mixing up what’s going on and talking to people as if they know them. There’s no way you can forget that you’re in a different body considering that the way you see the world is so different. The height difference is absolutely crazy on that front. So part of you wants to think that this is just the film trying for some more parody moments but it’s hard to really get on board with that idea.

The movie doesn’t play this as a gag after all but totally straight. It’s a comedic scene of course as they both keep getting turned away but it doesn’t seem crazy that they forget nor is it addressed. It’s rather surreal and the only explanation here is that both characters really aren’t smart at all. I can’t think of any other reasons in-universe on how they could keep on doing that.

While that part may be questionable, the actual writing in the film is still excellent. All of the dialogue will keep your full attention. That old school way of talking is always a blast and really gets you psyched. It’s just something you don’t see a lot of outside of that. It also makes the film flow by pretty quickly aside from the duel. In general Dick’s subplot was on the annoying side and you can’t possibly like the kid since the power went to his head immediately. If I’m Paul I’m definitely punishing him now that the adventure is over.

Overall, Vice Versa is a pretty good film. It makes for an enjoyable experience and you get to see what would happen if things were switched up like this. The whole magic stone plot was also pretty intense although the villain should have held onto it. I certainly wouldn’t just hand it off to someone without running some experiments. Imagine if it ended up making Paul rich instead? Marmaduke would regret it for the rest of his life.

Overall 7/10

The Shadow Review


The Shadow isn’t exactly a household name so if you have no idea who this guy is, that’s fine. All you need to know is that he is basically Batman and lives in a city like Gotham. I liked how close this whole movie felt to being an unofficial Batman movie and it made the most of this. The writing is strong and the action is good. It’s just a pretty solid all around title with a lot of replay value.

Lamont started out as a bit of a villain himself. He used his wealth to really become a villainous leader the likes of which his city had never seen. This would likely disrupt the status quo so some ninjas kidnap Lamont and give him a choice. He can become a crime fighting superhero or they’ll murder him. Lamont very reluctantly agrees to these terms after he’s roughed up. Many years later he returns to the city under his new superhero name..The Shadow.

By day Lamont just enjoys his money and keeps a low profile, but by night he terrorized villains. Unlike most heroes he also starts up a network of allies using the people he saves. Effectively they owe their lives to him now so he says he will collect on favors from time to time. He’ll call up one of these guys to ask for intel or even sometimes just for a ride. It’s in your best interests to stays on this guy’s good side so people don’t really complain.

Unfortunately the world is about to be shaken up because Genghis Khan’s descendent Shiwan has returned. Honestly I thought that was Genghis the whole time but apparently he’s a descendent according to Wikipedia. I suppose he may have mentioned that like once in the whole movie but there’s not much difference in how you would imagine their characters to be. Shiwan is creating a bomb so he can take out the pesky humans. He has been trained by the League of Assassins (Close enough at least) just like Lamont so this won’t be an easy fight. It may be time to call in for some backup.

Right from the jump, The Shadow looks like a solid hero. I like how he is always laughing hysterically when he chases the villains. That’s definitely a good way to put the fear into them. After all, when you’re one of the villains then it sounds like you’re being hounded by someone who’s truly insane. It was rather dark and foggy during the opening action scene as well so it’s hard to know what’s going on.

Then you have Lamont’s super powers. First, he can use telepathy to mess with your mind. It’s like the Jedi Mind Trick, if he tells you to believe something then you’re going to believe it. There’s really no discussion or debate here, what the Shadow says goes. Then he can effectively turn invisible. Now this is likely related to the mind tricks as well. He causes you to see what he wants you to see.

He calls it “Clouding their minds” whenever he talks about his abilities. It’s like having nonstop illusions so there’s no way any human can even come close to taking him on. He’s quite impressive and it’s nice to see a superhero who really can hold his own. Back in these days you’d usually expect the hero to take a lot of L’s.

Another reason why the Shadow is good is because he talks a good game. The guy isn’t afraid of anyone and even talks tough to Shiwan. The Shadow just doesn’t back down. He doesn’t have a perfect record here as he does nearly go to a watery grave against someone who wasn’t all that powerful but for the most part he looks rather good here.

Then you have the main heroine Margo. She has telepathic abilities as well which is a solid counter to The Shadow. Unlike his mental clouding abilities where he has to proactively activate it to trick people, she can see directly into other people’s thoughts. It’s a passive ability so effectively it’s always on. For a man with a secret identity that’s a very risky proposition. Margo was a solid heroine though. She does her best to help out and the fact that she has powers allows her to do this a lot easier than a normal person would have been able to.

Shiwan is not very impressive as the main villain though. I was seriously not impressed. We know that he can fight given how much training he has, but surprisingly we don’t really get to see this. I was surprised by that at the very least because usually we would get a big fight in the climax. So he talked tough but I felt like he couldn’t quite live up to it which hurts him as a character tremendously.

The music throughout the film is also great. Get ready for a lot of tunes that sound like something out of the Batman 90’s show. It’s all really authentic and adds to the mystery surrounding the Shadow. Seriously if you just change the name to Batman, I think a lot of people wouldn’t even notice and this could be treated as a What If for Batman. The effects have also aged pretty well. I like how they handled all of the shadow fight scenes. The hand to hand in general is good as always.

Overall, The Shadow was better than I thought it would be. It’s a very solid all around title and does a lot of things in a rather unique way which separates it from the pack. Seeing Lamont constantly laughing the whole time for example was a genius decision. I don’t know if he does that in the comics as well, but it’s a good way to differentiate himself from the other heroes. Additionally, it just seems like it would be really effective. If you haven’t seen this title yet then I definitely recommend changing that. Any comic book movie or action fan won’t want to miss this.

Overall 7/10

The Man in the White Suit Review


This is the kind of film where you really can’t tell a whole lot by the title alone. This could be a spy film, a thriller, or something else. In this case it’s the latter as this is a comedic film about someone trying to enact real change. It’s got a good blend of humor and serious moments here. The climax even gets emotional enough where you may shed a tear. It’s a well balanced title that I could definitely recommend to any fan of the cinema.

The movie starts out by spoiling the entire ending of the film which I always thought is the worst way to start a movie. Seriously, don’t do this. It destroys all the tension straight off the bat and makes you shake your head. If at all possible I recommend skipping the first few minutes until we cut away to the flashback where the real film starts. Trust me, that is absolutely your best bet.

So the real start has corporate is talking over some deals with textiles and fabrics. See, this company is one of the biggest Mills in the world and they employ a lot of people who help insure that their fabrics are top notch. Unfortunately someone wasted a lot of money on some kind of music machine. This man (Sidney) is promptly fired and apparently this is not the first time it’s happened. The poor guy has been through a lot of jobs although to an extent it is his fault since he keeps stealing lab equipment and doing unauthorized purchases for his experiments.

Sidney manages to get hired at another mill and begins his experiments once again. Turns out it was not a music machine he was making but rather, an advanced fabric that will never stain or go bad. You could finally have a shirt that you can wear for eternity or a pair of jeans that will never wrinkle. Not a bad idea eh? Sidney pitches it to the company and is proud to say that he has changed the world but there is one…wrinkle to this. Nobody actually wants this invention.

Clothing manufacturers realize that this will incredibly reduce their profits since people won’t need them anymore. All the production/assembly workers at the Mills don’t like this since they won’t be needed anymore so they get in on the action too. The entire Worker’s Union is ready for some action. Sidney’s family, friends, and acquaintances are all after him now. It’s quite clear that if Sidney ends up making this invention that he will have alienated everyone he ever cared about. Can he still go through with it?

It’s definitely an emotional part of the story because Sidney’s motives were really not bad. He saw an issue and decided to fix it with science. The way he went about doing it was not the best but he ultimately came through on the product. Everyone turning on him felt like it came out of nowhere from his eyes since he had never even noticed the opposition. It was a rough blow to have to try and endure.

Now, for my two cents on it, I think it is a good invention. The film and the various characters in it all portray this as being a bad thing since it will erase so many jobs. The thing about that is, it will be true for any technological invention. Imagine the response when cell phones were created which hurt the landline companies or email which hurt the postal service. The thing is, any technical advancement will always hurt what came before it. It’s certainly not something fun to think about, but that’s just the way that it is. Ultimately it balances out as new kinds of jobs are created. Perhaps at some point there will be an invention so good that it doesn’t have a replacement but clean permanent shirts won’t be one of them.

In the movie you’re meant to root against Sidney but I couldn’t bring myself too. It was such a bold idea that you would hope he escapes and lives to fight another day. Either way you can bet that we have a really solid climax that is actually played pretty seriously.

While the review may make the whole movie sound serious, keep in mind that it is a comedy film first and foremost. The movie has a lot of fun with these concepts and making the characters a bit on the exaggerated side. The machine itself has a fun little music jingle that plays whenever it is on. You have to wonder how people didn’t notice it sooner with how loud the thing is. It also leads to a very hype ending to the movie that could even lead into a sequel should the writers ever want to bring that back into the mix.

The character cast is surprisingly big but that helps to add to the grand feel of the movie. You’ve got a lot of managers here, a big boss who is so old that he can barely move and of course a lot of middle management involved as well. There’s also a main heroine here who wants Sidney to succeed since it would mean her fiancé would have more time for her instead of always worrying about the job. Unfortunately he doesn’t turn out to be the best guy.

At one point the characters decide that the only way to get Sidney is to use the main heroine as bait. Effectively they want her to do whatever it takes in order to convince him and even her fiance agrees to this. You can tell that their bond was over at this very point. I wouldn’t consider any proper romance to develop with Sidney after this, but the scene of her pretending to try and get his interest was painful. It also makes Sidney look pretty shallow here since he allows everything to happen before telling her that he’s still going through with his invention. Nice guy….

That’s the only weak element of the film. The rest of its run is just very strong with a lot of excellent writing and dialogue. The humor is handled really well too with a lot of solid execution and throughout you will find the scenes quite funny. It’s less of an over the top humor style and more about subtle things that just don’t sit right. It’s all in the reactions or in the sound of the music. It’s also fun when corporate is running around trying to figure out where their money went.

Overall, The Man in the White Suit is a pretty original film. It’s got a solid story and great pacing throughout. I can’t say that I’ve seen a film quite like this one before. It’s unique in all the right ways and if you just want a low key film that’s pretty fun, this is the one to check out. You definitely won’t regret it that’s for sure.

Overall 7/10

Enemy of the State 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

Whenever you start thinking about all the different tech that may be tracking you at any given second it can always feel a bit overwhelming. Just remember that even with all of that tech there are constantly new mysteries every day so you’re probably good. Of course when every big department is after you at the same time, it gets a little tricky.

The movie starts with the government silencing one big politician who was voting against a new bill that would allow the government to use surveillance on its citizens to an even greater degree than usual. One guy gets it on camera though and just barely manages to give it to Robert before getting taken out. The issue is that Robert doesn’t realize he was given anything and now the government is trying to take him out of the picture. Can Robert survive?

From Robert’s point of view, he had been trying to get a present for his wife. He has a rather hectic case involving the mafia right now so it’s been a long day. Robert is used to dealing with tough characters but the mafia guy is threatening to murder him if he doesn’t bring in the guy who got the incriminating tape of him within a few days. Shortly after the government breaks into Robert’s home and he’s on the run. With a smear campaign targeting Robert and his own family putting in some distance, he’s in a lot of danger now. Can he escape this conspiracy?

Robert is really lucky in that he ends up knowing someone in a big position here. Rachel is his correspondent and serves as the mediator when working with the mysterious Brill who supplies him with all kinds of information. Robert has never met Brill but he’s going to need that guy if he wants to stand any chance against the government.

Particularly because you’ll notice during the film that Robert is hardly the smartest character around. You’d never guess he was an attorney because everything seems to go over his head. I haven’t seen a character slower on the uptake in quite a while. By the end of the film he’s starting to piece things together but without Brill he would not have lasted very long at all.

The first half of the film really involves a ton of chase scenes and the feeling that the government is getting closer and closer to taking him out for good. It makes for a fun game of cat and mouse as they don’t always directly go after him. They use some tricks along the way like canceling his cards and making up a bunch of stories about him. After all, all they gotta do is discredit him and get the guy isolated. From their end they have a lot that they can do.

In the second half once Robert meets Brill I’d say we get more into the counter attack part of the movie. I dare say this half is even more fun because it’s nice to see him finally back on the attack and actually making some headway here. Brill is also a pretty fun character. He’s quite experienced and knows how to take the government on in a game of wits. It’s clear that Brill was one of the best back in his day.

Even the Mafia plot gets a very satisfactory ending that I wasn’t really expecting. It’s easy to forget about that plot with how much is happening but it ends up being very important. It’s always fun when you have a plot that comes full circle like that. It also makes for the best scene in the entire movie. Certainly a pretty hype way to end things off.

There’s a small sub plot where the government at large starts to learn about this conspiracy but it doesn’t really go anywhere. It would have been fun to show that they at least have some control over their own tech and operatives when someone goes on a power trip but that doesn’t really happen. Ultimately it’s Brill and Robert who really have to do everything on their own.

I wouldn’t say there are a lot of supporting characters here. You’ve got Rachel who is a little unreasonable at times. She is definitely in a rather tricky spot but blaming Robert on this when in the middle of a government conspiracy? I dunno about that. Especially once we learn some twists involving her which should have meant she would have had a clearer picture of things.

Then you have Robert’s family. They’re not bad but definitely not too ready for what’s going on. It’s the kid’s fault that a lot of the events play out the way that they did. If the kid hadn’t taken something then it’s hard to say how differently this plays out but certainly very different. Robert’s wife also falls into the government trap pretty easily. Now we learn some things about Robert that make this an easy trap to fall into but it certainly doesn’t help the situation. Even once they make up you feel like they’re wasting a lot of time with all the hugging and loving when there are literally government agents around every corner closing in. Robert doesn’t have this kind of time.

I should say that with the knowledge of Robert’s past it does prevent him from being a solid character as well. So really the best characters here are actually Brill and the main villain Thomas. Thomas really makes the most of his scenes and you always get the feeling that he’s in control. The guy won’t go down easy at all and has planned things out well. You do feel like there’s no way he should have this much power unchecked but it just underscores the fact of why this new bill would be dangerous. Clearly the government in this film cannot be trusted with this level of power.

A film like this can only be as strong as its writing and fortunately the writing is on point. The movie will keep your attention easily enough and that stands true for the whole film. I definitely tend to enjoy this genre of everyone using tech to go after someone. It’s pretty nice to come up with tactics to stay off the grid so to speak.

Overall, Enemy of the State is a very solid film. It’s a good thriller that is quite long and manages to flesh out each story beat and plot. It’s long enough where the film is even able to change the very approach and feel that it was going for between each half. Now that’s pretty impressive. The cast may not be all that solid but it’s not like the characters are really bad or anything. Robert still makes for a fun main character at least and the mental battles between Brill and Thomas are what you’re really here for even if that doesn’t happen until near the end. If you want a good political thriller exploring what it means to wield a lot of power then this is a fun one to check out for sure.

Overall 7/10

Creature from the Haunted Sea Review


When you have a film with a title like this you know you’re in for a treat. After all, films with monsters in them tend to be fun and this one is no exception. A whole lot happens throughout the movie so while it is fairly short, it doesn’t really feel that way. Roger Corman’s films tend to be rather sub par but this one surprised me as it was actually fairly good.

The movie starts out with Capetto making a deal with some resistance leaders. He will get their men onto safe land and will transport their treasure using his boat. He’ll get a nice commission of course. The general and his men agree to this deal but what they don’t know is that Capetto plans to backstab them and take the money for himself. His plan is simple, he’ll leave traces of a fake monster aboard the ship and bump the henchmen off one by one. Eventually they will all get scared and run off while Capetto keeps the money.

What Capetto doesn’t know is that an American agent known as Sparks as infiltrated his crew and is trying to find some proof of their wrongdoing. He intends to fight as hard as he can in part because he thinks Capetto’s main girl Mary-Belle needs saving. The guy is so hopelessly obsessed with her that no matter how many times she says she likes the life of crime he doesn’t believe her. What none of these characters know is that there is a true monster running around as well.

From the start you can tell that the film is having a lot of fun with this concept. It’s definitely not a serious creature feature as even for its time you’re not meant to take it seriously. The costume for the monster is really good though. His eyes kind of pop out at you that’s for sure. He also has good gripping strength so if he grabs you then it’s all over. There is just no escape at that point. It doesn’t do a whole lot in the film at first but by the end lets just say that the body count is pretty high here.

Capetto and his crew are to blame for a lot of it as well though since they bump off a lot of the resistance guys themselves. They want the treasure after all and bumping people is really the only way they know how to get it. Capetto is a smooth customer and works well as the main villain. He is able to gain people’s trust rather easily considering that he is openly a criminal. That takes a lot of skill and intelligence.

Then you have Mary-Belle who is a reasonable heroine. She certainly doesn’t mind insulting the rest of the characters quite a lot. In particular she definitely insults Sparks a lot but it’s certainly justified since the guy is way too obsessed. He has a lot of fun dialogue as the narrator but as the character himself he is clearly too distracted to do his job properly. The guy is always messing up and if he is America’s best agent then we are certainly in trouble.

Then you have Jack who falls for one of the island girls in a subplot that seems rather pointless. See, the characters crash land on an island where naturally they meet up with an island girl and her mother. Both of them get their own romantic subplots as Pete, the animal guy also falls for one of them. Pete’s gimmick is that he can mimic any animal cry with ease. He can sound like an elephant to suddenly a giant monster. Naturally you can see how this would help the plans that Capetto had in store for the others. It also leads to a rather odd sequence of Pete and the island girl communicating through the roars. One of them was also throwing a lot of insults constantly but these guys only understand English so they never picked up on it.

A comedy/parody like this really thrives on having a lot of fun moments and poking fun at a variety of story elements without dragging on. I would say this one definitely pulls that off without issue. For starters the film is pretty short as mentioned earlier and it is very entertaining. The writing is pretty solid with some good one liners and characters stating the obvious. It can all get quite dramatic like something out of a Noir title but without earning it the way most films would.

The ending is even a little unexpected I would say. There was one character that I didn’t think was going to die in the end who ultimately wasn’t able to survive. As mentioned, the body count here is high, perhaps a lot higher than the average creature feature. The ending is also pretty cool with the monster actually getting some personality in the final shot. Now that’s how you do it.

The voices for some of the characters was also something else. The voice imitation guy for example would sound really deep at some points and then would go back to normal. I would say this was true for a few characters but mainly his guy. I think the sound mixing guy was having some fun while getting this all ready. Ultimately I wouldn’t say this is a film you’ll never forget or some kind of amazing title but it was pretty good and a lot of fun. Ultimately that’s the proper foundations towards making a good movie.

Overall, Creature from the Haunted Sea was pretty good, definitely better than I had expected. It has a good mix of humor and suspense along with an interesting cast. While they are interesting, saying that they are fully likable may be a different ball game. Most of these guys are all either crooks of desperate flirts who may as well be crooks. None of them are meant to be all that likable but at the same time the film doesn’t go out of its way to paint them as terrible characters or anything. They do murder people but by and large they stick to knocking people off rather quickly. If you want to check out a film that’s rather outside the box then this one will be up your alley. Just watch out for the monster because he means business!

Overall 7/10

Tea for Two Review


Time to look at a classic Doris Day film. This one may not be as strong as most of her other titles but it’s still a pretty good movie all the same. It definitely goes to show that you have to be pretty careful when entering into a deal because you never know how things will turn out.

The movie introduces us to Uncle Max who is having a rather bad day. See, he’s a very rich man, however the stock market just crashed and he lost all of his money since he had placed it in stocks against the advice of his accountant. Now Max is utterly broke but he doesn’t know how to tell Nanette this so he stays quiet. Meanwhile Nanette is getting swindled by a corrupt talent show owner named Larry. Larry has fed her a sob story about Jimmy’s family being under some tough times so she needs to donate a few thousand to his failing show. She agrees to do it, however Nanette has to be the leading lady. Larry agrees while also promising the part to another girl.

Nanette asks Max to give her the money but he doesn’t want to. In part because he doesn’t have any money to give and in part because it’s Larry and everyone knows what a crook that guy is. This leads them to make a bet. If Nanette can resist saying the word yes for a full week then she will have won the money. If she loses then she won’t be able to buy anything crazy for a full year. The race is on!

Tea For Two embraces how crazy the plot is rather well. I would say the best gag in the entire film is when we find out that the accountant is effectively the one who bankrupt Max since he short sold all the stocks that Max owned. Rather than holding a grudge Max never even calls him out on it so you can’t help but think that he didn’t realize this or jus isn’t very smart. Either way the accountant had the last laugh there but is still right by Max’s side the rest of the film. I guess it’s nice that he wants to help now but the damage is already done.

The accountant has a bit of a rushed plot near the end that doesn’t make much sense though. It’s one of those romances that happens so fast you have to shake your head. It doesn’t feel like it was set up at all. Pauline is another side character in the film who is mainly here to help Nanette out. After all, Nanette tends to be fooled rather quickly so Pauline does her best to get the lead not to say yes very easily. Unfortunately Nanette is not easily stopped. It’s always fun to see Pauline throwing a lot of insults at the villain though.

Nanette does get fooled way too easily though especially considering how she already knows that Larry is no good. They constantly mention this and everyone mocks the guy. Why would she believe such a fantastic story from him without at least asking Jimmy straight up first? That would have been the best way to handle things. At least Nanette is quite persistent in trying to win the bet and never falters no matter how many sacrifices she has to make.

Jimmy is equally to blame though as the guy never clued Nanette in. He only does once he admits that he has fallen from her so he felt bad keeping the secret any longer but the translation to that is that unless he loves someone he has no qualms with keeping important secrets. That’s not a good sign in the slightest. As a result I couldn’t back this romance up either.

Larry is as much of a total villain as you can be here. The guy is extremely pushy, lies all the time, and isn’t even very smart so he makes a lot of mistakes. You’re not meant to sympathize with him in the slightest. He’s fooling around with multiple girls at once and of course nobody tries to stop him. Ultimately it seems like all of the main characters were rather weak and would rather look the other way than to try and set things right. It does make for some fun shenanigans but at other times it just backfires.

He gets away with a whole lot with Nanette like greeting her with a kiss and constantly grabbing onto her. She always breaks free and insults him but after the fact it feels a bit late. Stopping him first off should be the main goal and you’d think one of the other friends would help out but they’re always just twiddling their thumbs.

Max was definitely my favorite character. Sure, the stocks didn’t work out but it is hindsight. You can see why he went there instead of bonds as those don’t tend to grow a whole lot. They just stay in the same place over and over again but are safer. So it’s a tough call of course but Max means well. He brings a lot of fun humor to the film throughout. He doesn’t hold back when it comes to trying to win the deal but doesn’t cheat or do anything like that. He just goes all in.

At the end of the day the writing is good and the film really flows by so I wouldn’t say I had any real issues with the movie. At most it just feels like the plot is a bit forced because I don’t see why Nanette would believe Larry’s story for even a minute. Not after all the crazy scenes we see of him trying to trick everyone and generally acting as awfully as possible. The guy has no manners and somehow thinks he is still together with Nanette. You can’t reason with someone like that and so that part has not aged well in a logic sense. Somehow everyone still trusts the guy which is crazy but the ending for his character is done really well.

Overall, Tea For Two is weaker than the other Doris Day films in part due to the cast not being quite as solid as normal and both romances not being very good. Still, the movie excels with its humor and you are bound to have a good time. Even if the characters annoy you it’s not as if any of them are awful. You’ll be glad for the flashback to start though as the film begins with you thinking that the kids are going to be main characters and that would not have been good. If you like Doris Day films or just want to watch a fun little comedy then this is a good one to check out.

Overall 7/10

Dumbo (2019) Review


Dumbo is certainly a classic from the old days of Disney. I’m sure just about everyone is familiar at least with the concept of the character so a remake definitely had the deck stacked against it. Ultimately it’s a fun remake and it is quite different from the original which helps it stand out. That being said, it doesn’t quite have the charm of the original as it cuts out all of the more fantastical elements to make this a more grounded experience.

The movie starts with things looking hopeless for the heroes as Holt arrives back home from being in the army only to find that things are in disarray. His wife died and the circus they belong to has fallen under tough times. Holt lost an arm and his kids are also not doing so well as they have stopped enjoying their youth. Then the owner of the circus, Max ended up buying an Elephant with a kid but the kid has huge ears and is the iconic Dumbo. There are no refunds but Dumbo wows the audience with his flying. Are things finally on the up and up for the heroes or is the powerful Mr. Vandevere about to put an end to this?

Dumbo is a fairly light hearted film at its core but it does get serious at times like in the intro. Most of the characters outside of the main ones aren’t the nicest folks as seen with how they treat Dumbo and the others. They tend to meet rather intense ends though which was good to see since picking on Dumbo is quite mean spirited.

Dumbo is a fun character although he is always very nervous. You’d like to see Dumbo take charge and just start running around the place after a little bit but it’s not really until the film is ending that he finally gets brave. If we ever get a sequel then I like to think he will be able to use his new experience flying to become a true hero to the rest of the elephants. In a way he can be their champion.

As the main character, Holt does well. He struggles with some self doubt at times but for the most part I thought he handled the situations in stride. It’s not as if it’s easy to adjust to only having one arm but you won’t see him complain about it even once during the film. The most difficult part is really connecting with his two kids and that’s not something he is really able to do for most of the film. He doesn’t have quite as strong an attachment to Dumbo and mostly he’s focused on just trying to learn a new act.

So I liked him well enough but the only time I got a little nervous was when the film introduced Colette and started dancing around making that a potential romance subplot. That would have been horrible considering that his wife just died so this would be moving on way too quickly. Fortunately the film never really goes in that direction and so I like to think they remained as good friends. I’ll give the film a lot of credit for showing some restraint here since that can be pretty rare in these things.

Colette was a fun heroine as well. Initially when she appears in a crazy getup with Vandevere you sort of figure she’s going to be an antagonist as well. One of those villains who is quite smug about being rich but her character ends up being a lot more complex than that which was appreciated. She had a good arc and did try her best performing along with Dumbo. It was an unexpected character change after the initial scenes but a welcome one to be sure. They even had a team up near the end against Vandevere.

Vandevere certainly works as the main villain as well. The guy just wants as much money as possible and will do whatever he can to accomplish this goal. Max was a little naive to really think that partnering with this guy would be such a good idea. Particularly since the circus had been doing well. Vandevere certainly panics a lot towards the end so you can definitely say that plot line was resolved in a satisfying way.

As for the two kids Joe and Milly, I wouldn’t say they were all that good here. Even if they helped give a positive connotation to the word “Dumbo” I’m not sure about calling the elephant that. Seems like it would just be traumatic right? They (Milly in particular) do a good job of training Dumbo at least and are the ones who form a good bond with him but if anything I think that role could have been given to Holt. The issue with the kids is that they aren’t really ready to take on opponents like Vandevere.

They mean well but they don’t know how to banter yet and tend to say things at the wrong time which puts the other characters in a pickle. Finally you have Max who made for a fun captain. He brings in a lot of the humor type scenes and is fairly over the top as you would expect. The guy always wants to be on the winning side so if something earns money then he loves it. If not then don’t expect him to be a happy camper. At the end of the day he does step up though.

So by and large it’s a fun story. It’s one that feels considerably different from the original Dumbo movie but the story is solid all the same. The effects look nice enough but what really stands out here is the soundtrack. The movie has a lot of themes like something out of the Marvel Cinematic Universe films or even Spider-Man 3. The themes have a very epic feel to them which may not always match the scenes but sound epic under any context. It was very surprising to see this film have such a great soundtrack but it absolutely amped up the experience. Dumbo’s writing was also good so that helps round things out nicely as well.

Overall, Dumbo is a good remake of the original. It really hits on the important aspects of the movie such as having a solid cast of characters and flowing pretty well. You won’t be bored here and while Dumbo gets bullied, the film doesn’t take it too far which is good. It would be annoying if Dumbo had to go through a lot. Like for instance there is one scene where it looks like the clowns are going to throw water on Dumbo which would have been awful but fortunately they didn’t do that as it was a different act. It’s little things like that which help the film from going too far. Mix in the great soundtrack and you’ve got a pretty solid movie here.

Overall 7/10

Bullitt Review


Bullitt is definitely a true noir film to its core but with a more modern aesthetic than the older ones. It’s a pretty good title with a lot going on at all times. It’s a bit on the longer side to be sure so that lets the movie really have a lot of characters the whole time. As I’ll mention below Frank doesn’t have to be a one man army this time as he actually has some good help.

The film starts on a really high energy note during the credits. We see the burglars taking a lot of guys out with hit and run tactics or just classic gunfire. It’s a pretty interesting start since we don’t yet know what’s going on but what better way to start a film like this right? The answers are all given slowly during the movie.

Frank is the main character here. He’s a detective who has been assigned to protect Ross, a mobster who is going to be a crucial witness against a big criminal organization. Frank is fairly confident that they can handle this so he and his two partners take shifts on who will protect the guy. Unfortunately his partner is not that smart and lets Ross get near the door. Not a great idea when you’re watching over someone and things are already getting suspicious…..Naturally both the partner and Ross get shot.

Well, now everybody’s in a whole lot of trouble. Chalmers, one of the higher ups is blaming Frank for this. Frank meanwhile thinks something is really fishy about the whole set up so he hides Ross’s body so nobody will know that he actually died from his injuries. In theory this will lead the hitmen out into the open. Of course this will put Frank at odds with both the cops as well as the villains.

It’s a classic revenge story here as Frank has gone off the reservation in order to get back at the guys who did this. Frank makes for a pretty good lead. He’s certainly not afraid to talk tough to anyone else, including his superiors. Even the plan to get the body tucked away was a risky one that not just any character would pull off. I wouldn’t say Frank is a spectacular character or anything but he does handle the situation well.

Then you have Chalmers who is one of the other main characters. He’s the guy who really wanted Ross for the court case and is the one who made the deal with the guy in the first place. Naturally he’s on Frank’s tail the whole film because he needs the body. The reason Frank doesn’t want to play ball is because this guy seems rather suspicious. His name was used for the burglers to break in and bump Ross off plus the guy seems really desperate to get Ross.

It doesn’t help that Chalmers is also a jerk the whole time such as a scene when he tries to effectively get one of the doctors fired by complaining about him for no other reason than he wanted the guy to give him a different answer. These elements add up to make him someone you don’t really want to partner with. He does make for a fun character because of how exaggerated he is the whole time though.

You’ve also got Frank’s direct boss who was very good. The guy was put in a rather tough spot with all the pressure coming down on him but he still held strong. The captain does have to make certain decisions as part of his job that don’t always align with Frank’s plans but he never turns tail and runs or anything like that. Frank also has another good partner who had a good interrogation at the cafe where he actually outdid Frank as the main guy was a little too much in a hurry. It was nice to see that Frank had some capable allies here.

There is a bit of an extended car chase we get midway through the film but it wasn’t as exciting as some of other classic chases you get in these films. I think part of the issue was the cars they were using couldn’t get up to great speeds so it’s a little less frantic. It’s probably the only scene that I would say dragged a bit here. Always fun to have an action scene though so that was neat.

As this is more a film about cat and mouse games, there aren’t a ton of action scenes. You affectively get 3, the opening shootout, the car chase, and then the climax. Each action scene is pretty solid though so it works out. The story is engaging too so you never really miss the action. After all in a mystery like this you’re most interested in figuring out who the villain really is.

The climax was a lot of fun though. We don’t get a whole lot of action scenes at the airport so it made for a good backdrop. The film even uses the overall layout of the airport to its advantage as it plays a role in dealing with the villain. All of the plots meet up in this section as the climax should.

The only plot here that felt like it didn’t really belong was some mild tension with Frank’s girlfriend Cathy. The case was dragging so she believes it’s taken a big toll on Frank and on them too. Now that’s not necessarily incorrect but considering the high stakes going on right now and multiple people dead as it is, it’s not like Frank can back out now. She also only appeared for maybe 2-3 scenes top in the whole film so it was easy to forget that she was even around.

Overall, Bullitt is a pretty good movie. It’s got a solid plot/premise and good execution all around. The soundtrack has some pretty good tunes thrown into the mix as well like the opening credits theme. If you’re looking for a pretty solid thriller to check out then this will definitely work out pretty well. It’s a strongly written film that doesn’t really have any weaknesses.

Overall 7/10

Mr. and Mrs. Smith Review


Mr. and Mrs. Smith is one of those films that has a great premise and is followed by really solid execution. The idea of both characters being special agents and not knowing about the other just makes for a fun dynamic. It’s not one that is really explored all that often either so it’s a really fresh idea. I’d definitely be up for a sequel to this someday.

The movie starts with both characters trying to get their relationship back to normal after things have gone south. Their relationship coach asks a lot of questions but the characters are clearly having a tough time of it. We then cut back to the origin of how the two met each other. Fittingly enough, it’s during a big fire fight and they use each other as alibis. Presumably both of them probably had some role in the festivities. They got married real quick and that should have been their happily ever after but things have soured.

At least one of them is always away from home and their excuses aren’t the greatest. The reason for this of course is that both of them work as hitmen for big organizations. Mr. Smith is sort of like James Bond working for M16 and Mrs. Smith is the highest ranking agent of a Charlie’s Angels task force. Both of them terminate all their targets and have earned solid reputations. If someone is causing you trouble then you call their organizations in.

Well, things take a turn when they are both sent after the same target. Who will be able to complete the mission? Additionally, both Smiths keep growing more and more suspicious of each other so a mission like this is naturally going to have everything bubble to the surface. There’s a lot of quality tension there to be sure and the film is fairly long. This works to its benefit since it means that there is enough time to really work this plot over.

There’s a lot of positives here from the witty dialogue to the special effects and action scenes. A film like this wouldn’t be able to work if the writing was bad. You need to have quality interactions between the characters and we get that here. A lot of bluffs are thrown out and both of them get pretty serious about trying to take the other down at some points as well.

There is an interesting difference to their approaches though. Mr. Smith is constantly holding back and trying to take Mrs. Smith down without seriously hurting her. Mrs. Smith on the other hand has no such qualms and outright tries to murder him several times. It’s very interesting to look at because it does show their different styles. At the end of the day Mrs. Smith was willing to put her job above Mr. Smith while he was unable to do the same against her.

In the end I would say that’s part of why I preferred him as a character. Even if he’s not always great at showing it, he was consistent in putting his wife first. I don’t think there was any point where he really wavered in that. Mrs. Smith had more questionable scenes in that respect. You could say at one point with the guns they came close to taking each other out in a mutual sense although at that point things had already been escalated a whole lot.

Both of them had fun ways of storing their weapons inside the house as well. It’s too bad a lot of the weapons had to be destroyed by the end. A lot of the film deals with the mental game of chess between the two characters but we do get some solid action segments like the gun fight I just mentioned and the climax in general. There’s a lot going on here and while it’s a more light hearted adventure, you can still expect some plot twists as well.

Each character even has their own supporting cast even if they were a lot weaker than the main two. Eddie is Mr. Smith’s friend and the guy has some really fun moments. On the other hand he has some moments that drag on too and it’s clear that he’s not the greatest friend. Now would he put his job over Mr. Smith? Absolutely without a doubt, just in this case the money wasn’t all that high. Then for Mrs. Smith, none of her allies get as much screen time as Eddie but presumably they can fight pretty well too. They just don’t really get the chance to do it.

The best confrontation between the main two is likely the dinner scene as they try to gather data. There’s a lot of suspense since they really don’t know what’s about to happen. We even get a second of complete silence when the wine glass almost hits the floor. All of their confrontations are great but that one certainly stands out.

Of course while I said I prefer Mr. Smith, Mrs. Smith is still a solid character as well. She’s clearly prepped pretty well when it comes to fighting. Against anyone other than Mr. Smith you figure that she would probably have the edge. She hasn’t had any trouble before now after all and has vanquished enough targets to be considered the top officer in her field. Her style may be a lot more rigid than Mr. Smith’s play it by ear approach but it gets the job done.

If the film has any weaknesses it’s that of course in Mrs. Smith’s only solo mission at the beginning of the film she is using seductive tricks to take out the villain. I’d rather she just showed up guns blazing since it seems like this always happens to every heroine agent who shows up in the field. The film does have some fanservice here and there although it’s nothing too crazy. I would also say the interviews at the beginning and ending of the film were not quite as interesting as the rest. It’s there to really give the film a beginning and ending of course but I’d say there are other ways the movie could have done that.

I don’t really have any other negatives though because this is just a really solid all around movie. It’s hard to say what would be the primary genre between comedy, action, and thriller because it really tackles all 3 quite well. When the film wants to get serious it gets very serious but then you have the great cutaways where the film suddenly gets light hearted and it works very well. A good example of this is when the two main characters show up at their neighbor’s party right after completing life or death assignments on their end. It’s a great contrast. The movie’s style of humor is definitely very effective.

Overall, Mr. & Mrs. Smith is a fun film. The dynamic works really well especially when you consider that neither one of them are exactly heroes. If they were then there wouldn’t really be that sense of danger between them, it’s because they are vigilante hitmen working for shady organizations that you have to ask yourself if the other one is in danger after a point. The film really makes the most out of the premise but a sequel could still be a lot of fun just because it’s one of those ideas that you can absolutely pull off a few more times. As long as the writing stays solid then the rest will follow.

Overall 7/10