Gemini Man Review

I remember seeing the promotions for Gemini Man when it was first coming out. It definitely looked like a pretty interesting story with the main character having to go up against himself. You can’t really go wrong there right? Well, the movie delivers and while their confrontation may end up being a rather small part of the movie, it’s still a fun concept. The film delivers on having a good amount of action scenes and so in the end I was satisfied here. I’d be up for a sequel.

The movie starts with Henry taking someone out as per his job as an assassin but his shot is a little off the mark. He doesn’t shoot someone else by mistake or anything but he figures that it’s a sign he needs to retire. In this business you have to be 100% accurate after all and he’s done well for the government so they should let him go right? Well, not this time. He’s seen as a liability now who may know too much and so a bunch of assassins are sent after him. Henry takes most of them down no problem, but one of them looks just like him. Now Henry’s conflicted about just bumping this guy off and wants to learn more. Accompanied by agent Danny and his old friend Baron, Henry will have to travel the globe now.

I always like it when a movie picks up right away and that happens here. The assassins attack very early on in the movie. We get to see why Henry is known as the best because taking these guys out isn’t really a problem for him. The only reason he struggles at all in the movie is really because of the dilemma of having to beat his younger self. Otherwise it’s shown time and time again that nobody is going to beat Henry in a straight fight. The guy’s just too good at what he does.

So the fight scenes are interesting with how he’s fighting defensively and still having the upper hand. I thought he did a good job with the smoke bombs and in general did handle himself like a pro. Henry’s also just a likable character. He’s trying not to sink further into the darkness especially now that he knows the government may have had him bumping off some innocent people. His days of being an assassin are long gone but of course he still will take out almost anyone else who comes after him.

The villains need better armor though. I can’t tell you how many of these guys were wearing armored helmets and the shot ended up piercing right through them anyway. That’s definitely not a good look for those guys. There was only one exception to this for the final boss who actually had real solid armor. That was a great 2 v 1 fight too. The film pulled out all the stops here and this could have passed for a comic book fight with how fast everyone was moving. Now this opponent wasn’t exactly normal so I can’t praise the armor for everything but it stood up to a whole lot of punishment which is what a good armor should do. Especially since it’s from the government here.

I wouldn’t be surprised if the government was holding back to save on expenses with how corrupt they appeared to be here though. This was definitely not one of the more heroic versions. You had a few of them make a bunch of excuses throughout the whole film on how this was not their fault and how they couldn’t actually do anything about all of this but it just felt like excuses all the way through. At least the main villain Clay was straight forward about being a villain. He just wants to make as many clones as possible and he figures that will reduce the amount of lives that have to be lost in every war.

The whole premise revolves around the idea that these clones aren’t real people though which is problematic at best. Personally once a clone has been created I would say it’s a real person particularly since they can feel emotions and everything. You’d have to create a clone with no emotions or traces of a soul to even start to convince me otherwise and that would be a tough one. It’s an interesting motivation though and I did think Clay was a good villain.

As for the heroine Danny, she’s solid as well. She helps out a lot during the fights and never holds the main character back. I’m always glad when the characters are all doing their part as needed and Danny really proved herself by jumping in during the climax and getting some shots across. Her conversation with Junior was also good and so she showed why she is a full fledged agent.

Then you have Baron who is here as the comic relief sidekick to an extent. I mean, he’s not really a sidekick as he’s got his own thing going on. I guess it’s better to say that he’s a friend who shows up with his helicopter to help out but he doesn’t get to do a whole lot here. You never feel like he has the same expertise as the other characters. Props for coming in to help but that’s about it for him.

As for Junior, he makes for a solid villain here. Naturally he’s really kept out of the loop here on who the heroes and villains are so that makes the deck stacked against him right from the start but as the film goes on he gradually gets to learn more and more about what he should be doing. Junior doesn’t always make the right moves here but ultimately he’s a good kid that grew up in the wrong setting. Once he’s able to get past that then he’s all set for future adventures.

The ending to the movie is satisfying and so you’ve got a solid action movie right here. There aren’t any real memorable tunes here but the special effects are good and the battles are on point. The pacing is good and the writing is solid so this really does nail down the fundamentals. Surprisingly there is no stinger for a sequel or anything like that so this really seems to be a completely stand alone title.

Overall, Gemini Man is a pretty good movie and I’d definitely recommend it. At most I think the only negative you may have here is that the actual fight between the two main characters stops being the focus early on. We only get to see them have an all out fight where both are trying their best once and it’s clear that Henry could have won that match in an instant. Once he chooses not to go for the win, that’s when you realize that we aren’t going to get those big battles at least with these two. There is still a solid fight underground but Henry is never really trying to win. Still, we do get a lot of battles either way so it’s not something that would really hurt for the film for me.

Overall 7/10

Total Recall (2012) Review

Total Recall is one of those remakes that did a really good job of managing to surpass the original. It’s a good action movie all the way through that never lets up on the thrills. There’s a lot going on here and while it may not be a thriller that’s super different in any way, I would say the fundamentals are always on point so you have a good time here. It’s got that YA feel both in the look and feel of the film but also in how you feel this could have been a trilogy if it wasn’t moving so quickly. Of course the good thing about that is that the film never drags on.

The movie starts by introducing us to the state of the world. So things are not going great right now. The world was completely ruined and so now there are just two sections. One part is for the rich continent which has taken over most of the world and then you have a small colony that does not want to be forced to join this union. There is a bitter battle going on between both sides but the colony is considerably weaker. They have less people on their side to defend themselves and less tech as well.

This is all way over Quaid’s head though. He just goes about his life as always and just complains to his friend Harry that the days are kind of boring. He’s married to Lori and they have a good time but he feels unfulfilled. That’s when he ultimately decides to go and give Rekall a shot. This is a place that will give you fake memories which feel real so now he can finally do all of the stuff that he never could in the real world. Not a bad bet right?

Well, maybe not a great one either. Everyone warns him not to do it, apparently your mind can be fried and the whole thing sounds shady. Quaid wants to do it anyway but before the procedure can go through, he is viciously attacked by a whole squad of troopers and Quaid ends up murdering them. He runs home where his wife tries to murder him and everyone claims that he’s someone that he’s not. Has Quaid been living a fake life this all time? He has no answers yet but he’s wanted by just about everyone so it’s time to buckle up and start racking up the wins.

The fight scenes here are all effective. I definitely enjoyed the hand to hand which was handled well and you got the king of secret agent vibe you would see in James Bond or Jason Bourne. There’s never a particularly powerful fighter on the villains’ side which is too bad but there are still a good amount of action scenes in general. Lori puts up a good fight but usually Quaid is not actually trying to hurt her which is something you really need to put into perspective here. It definitely changes up the dynamic quite a bit.

The effects are solid but I will say that you never feel too engaged with the world building here. It’s a classic kind of dystopia story but Hunger Games and Divergent built their worlds a lot better right out of the gate. For this one a lot of names and terms are thrown around but you have a hard time actually caring. It all just feels uninspired in that sense. Even the whole elevator system of getting from one side of the planet to the other could and should have been a lot more interesting than what we actually got.

Part of why I thought this had the vibe of a trilogy was because there were so many players it didn’t feel like we were going to get to everything but then the final 20 minutes turn the pacing up to turbo. We’re bumping people off left and right and closing out all of the plots so things have a bit of a magical ending. I have a hard time knocking fast pacing and if you know that there’s no sequel then it’s good to throw everything into the mix but then some characters feel wasted.

The big leader of the resistance is hyped a whole lot throughout the movie and does not come anywhere close to living up to that as the movie goes on. He’s extremely underwhelming the whole time. Back to Quaid though, he’s a decent main character. I wouldn’t say great though because it does feel like he ran to Rekall too quickly. What if his mind was shut down? He didn’t really stop to think about how that would affect his wife and friends. It was a bit selfish of him to just head for that machine straightaway like that.

As for his friend Harry, well he had a fun attitude about him. I can’t say I liked him much by the end but he did well in humoring Quaid all the time with how the guy was bored of the routine. Switching seats so quickly the way he did was a good way of being supportive. Meanwhile Lori is pretty much the main villain here with how she’s trying to murder him the whole time. She made for a fun opponent to be sure even if she probably could have handled things better to accomplish her goals.

At first Quaid was seriously confused and not sure what was going on. So instead of trying to choke him out, why not reassure him and say that things will work out? Keep up the role until you actually have a great chance to shoot him in the back. She had every element of surprise in her favor so this really should not have been hard. She could absolutely use that as a way to claim victory here and that would have worked out. Quaid wouldn’t have really had a way to stop her.

As for Melina, she’s a solid heroine. I think it’s clear that she isn’t quite as skilled as Lori but she does her best to stay in the mix and land a lot of good shots in. I would say that she definitely still does good the whole time here. The complete cast here is rather small to be honest although we also have the leader of the government who runs around talking tough. He’s a very classic kind of leader villain so there isn’t much to him beyond his plans to take over the world. He did outthink most of the cast for the whole film though so kudos to him there.

At the end of the day what makes Total Recall work is how it’s really just nonstop action the whole time without any chances for a breather. The fights keep on coming and while the whole amnesia plot can usually be more annoying than interesting, it wasn’t executed poorly here. It’s also interesting to see Quaid not even be able to trust himself since he knows how thorough the brainwashing can be. The final part of the movie has some pretty interesting moments with trying to make you doubt what’s what. I don’t think it’ll end up fooling you at all but it’s still a nice try.

Overall, Total Recall definitely beats the original for me. It doubles up on the action and just never lets up. It’s a solid all around film and while it may not stand out in many ways, it just executes on the premise well. This is a better YA film than most and definitely deserves to get a sequel. Its only real weakness is that the worldbuilding is incredibly weak but that’s something that should be easy to fix. At least I don’t see that being a hard one to correct so if it can just pull that off then we’ll be good and this can make a name for itself.

Overall 7/10

Terminator: Dark Fate Review

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

It’s certainly been a while since the last Terminator film. Genysis still ranks up there as one of the best installments in the franchise and seemed to be getting everything back on track so it’s a shame that we didn’t follow it up. Dark Fate is still pretty good though. I thought it had a solid story and good call backs to the originals. That said, some parts of the plot may be a little tough to buy into. With time travel there’s always a way of course but that doesn’t stop me from giving it a second glance at times.

So the movie starts off with with the Terminator showing up and destroying John Connor. He has just completed Skkynet’s mission at long last so that has sealed humanity’s hope. The films always made it clear that if John were to die then SkyNet would win. Humanity no longer has any kind of chance at surviving and it feels bad but at least we lasted a long time. Sarah reflects on this but then something odd happens…the world doesn’t end. There is no SkyNet and there is peace across the planet. What’s going on?

Well, Terminators still keep on appearing but it’s hard to say what their goals are and Sarah just goes around blowing them up. She gets mysterious text messages that let her know when they are coming. Their new target is now a girl named Dani. Dani is being protected by a cybernetically enhanced human named Grace but the newest villain (Rev-9) is a difficult man to keep down. It looks like they may all have to team up to stop him this time but it won’t be easy.

So a big thing here is that poor John was destroyed fairly early on. It’s been a rough road for him since the guy seems to always either die or get mind controlled. The main plot part I get skeptical about here is how SKyNet isn’t around anymore. Legion is the new villain since apparently SkyNet was never created but that doesn’t really add up for me. The whole point is that John is the only one who can stop Skynet so when the Terminator blew him up, that should be it. Now there are a lot of time loops, paradoxes, and everything going on with these films so there are a lot of ways to explain it away but it still feels a bit iffy.

Then apparently even if you beat Skynet they will just be replaced by another villain so it’s like there’s no point to whatever the heroes do. They’ll just be doomed either way. It’s not as bad as Star Wars episode 7 suddenly erasing the previous 3 movies by having the Sith army rise up again but it still does undermine the efforts a bit. I would have kept Skynet around as the main villains because it could have been an interesting way for the heroes to try and resist fate. Knowing that they are in a doomed timeline but they keep fighting anyway would really be a solid story right?

Well, Dani does a good job of taking up the mantle here. She’s more grown up than John was here so she’s able to take the situation more in stride than he ever could. I liked her confidence and she did make sure to step up when the chips were down so I appreciated that. She stuck up for her brother pretty quick even if it meant talking tough to the boss. Even at the end when they’re discussing plans, she is quick to volunteer to be bait. I definitely had no issues with her here.

Then you have her bodyguard Grace. Grace does well for a human against these robots but it’s a shame that she can’t use her abilities for longer periods of time. It felt like every other scene had her running out of energy or gasping for breath. She would need water often to keep her body heat down and it felt like the future humans really needed some better tech. If this was the best that they can do then it’s no wonder that they’re losing the war. That said, in a way the villains barely needed to send anyone to the past in that case. I could say the same about Skynet though, it’s always hard to believe the humans stand any kind of chance but they always manage to pull through somehow.

As for Sarah, she talks really tough and isn’t afraid of all these attackers. It’s rather impressive of her. Now the hype can be a bit much with her apparently taking down a bunch of terminators already though. I know she’s got a lot of guns and has the element of surprise but taking out terminators casually? It’ll take a lot for the film to get me to believe that unless all of the terminators have started getting really sloppy. Power levels aside, she is just a fun character though.

Then you have the main villain Rev-9 and he’s definitely cool. The guy’s even got a bit of a personality as he has fun messing with the humans. He’s very smooth with how he lies the whole time and that lets him sneak up on people. To the outside world this is just some guy but he knows how to get serious when fighting the heroes. His ability to split into two people was really cool and same with his regeneration and ability to manipulate his body. This is the kind of opponent that’s very dangerous to fight and he does deliver in each fight.

Finally you have Carl who gets a run role here. As the original Terminator you know that he’s seen a thing or two in his day. It’s impressive how well he holds up against the newer models since he’s very dated at this point. The idea of him just relaxing and enjoying the family life is also pretty interesting. It’s nice that he actually got to have a bit of a happy period of time here. Carl takes a lot of injuries and verbal shots from the other characters but never falters. He really did well to show that even a Terminator can have a heart. It never feels particularly cheesy either but just like a solid character development moment.

The fights are definitely really good here. The choreography is on point and you really get the feeling of the Terminator being portrayed as the hunter here. The characters are doing their best to stay out of his way and to keep moving while he just chases them relentlessly. There is no escape from an opponent like this and the film portrays that really well. There’s always a feeling of fear in the air.

Additionally I’d say the special effects were solid. Perhaps they could have done more in the future setting as I feel like Terminator 2’s dystopia looked more impressive which is saying something. This one didn’t get that same feeling across. The effects for Rev-9’s abilities are top tier though. The soundtrack is also good. Again, not as impressive as T2 but you get some of those old themes in the mix here. There weren’t a lot of new themes that I found to be very memorable though.

The writing is good and the film doesn’t drag on so all around it’s a solid experience. At most this film can suffer from the issue of having a villain that’s too powerful. You constantly feel like Rev-9 could have just ended them already. Every time he doesn’t you are a little skeptical just because of how crazy strong he is. All he should need is an instant to take Dani out.

Overall, There’s definitely room for more films and sequels as always so I’d like to see that. It would be cool if they can bring Carl back in some way and with time travel on the table that really shouldn’t be very hard. Throw that in and then things should get pretty interesting. I tend to like all of the Terminator films so I’m sure I’ll be satisfied with the next one as well. Just give me a lot of action and some time travel for good measure. Then I’m all set every time.

Overall 7/10

The Giant Gila Monster Review

This film came out just a few years after Godzilla which is pretty cool. It definitely didn’t wait long to try and capture that giant lizard kind of feeling. It’s a pretty good film even if the budget is noticeably low for the monster so half the time he looks like a normal sized animal. The camera angles weren’t quite clever enough to try and hide this either. The writing is strong though and the film is always keeping things interesting with a human antagonist in the mix for when the creature isn’t around.

The movie starts off with a bang as the Gila monster takes out two teens who were on a pleasant drive. This is within 5 minutes of the film starting so that’s definitely one way to make your Kaiju have a lot of presence right out of the gate. From there we cut to the actual main character Chase. Chase is someone who really likes his cast cars and learning how to hot-wire them so they can go at crazy fast speeds. He is more responsible than the rest of the teens though and keeps them in check which is why he has the respect of the Sheriff. Initially they don’t think much about the kids vanishing and figure they may have just gone off to elope.

Mr. Wheeler insists that the sheriff does a more thorough job on all of this though so he enlists Chase’s help to figure out what happened. Part of the issue here is that the area is incredibly large and the Sheriff force is quite small. It’s really just the Sheriff most of the time which is why he needs to ask the teens for help. Another issue is that this area is really dense and hard to get through because of all the branches and shrubbery. It’s possible that the monster could have been here for years and nobody noticed.

While Gila does appear early on, it’s a long time until we see him show up again after that. The human story is good enough so you’ll stay engaged but I would have liked a little more creature action. It may have been hard on the special effects team but that would have been a really good way to make him appear more as a true threat. Then the characters would definitely not want to mess with this guy. It would probably change the film’s plot a bit since more disappearances would mean that the town would have to take things serious a little sooner but I think it would have been a good move.

Instead the film is more about showing what a responsible guy Chase is. He does make his mistakes like towing one of the vehicles before the Sheriff can see it, but he does help a lot more than he doesn’t. Chase also still manages to balance out time to hang with the other teenagers, do the detective work, while also working on his car business. He’s quite busy and we quickly find out why. His little sister Missy needed some work done on her legs so that she could walk again and so Chase has done his best to put up the money. He’s used all of his savings on this and works really hard so that he can get more money.

In short, Chase is really shown to be a great guy who does his best at all times to make ends meet and to help out. Without him the Sheriff would have really been in trouble here. At the same time I did like how Chase’s mistakes come back to haunt him later on when Mr. Wheeler gets involved. Little scenes like Chase stealing the broken car’s tires and headlights (Since he figures the owner won’t need them anymore) are brought up as evidence for Mr. Wheeler that Chase needs to be detained. It’s hard to argue against some of that evidence as well. We know that Chase was hard up for cash but theft is still theft.

Mr. Wheeler made for a solid antagonist in general. He isn’t a complete villain or anything as he just wants to find his kid but along the way he gets more and more unreasonable. In a way that’s probably how he is coping with his loss here. Wile the death happens immediately in the film so it’s not too sad for the audience, it’s certainly crushing to Wheeler as he has to start contending with the idea that his kid is dead as the movie goes on. I was almost starting to think they would find a way for the kid to have lived in the end as part of some perfect twist ending but the film doesn’t go back on that.

Chase’s girlfriend Lisa also does well here. She definitely doesn’t want to be split up at any point and so she accompanies Chase on his more dangerous mission. She helps out a lot with the nitro and also covers Missy when the bombs go off. Throughout the film she is very supportive and does what she can to help. The movie certainly knew how to develop strong characters. Same with the Sheriff who would stick up for Chase and called Wheeler out on his bluffs. The Sheriff was a very reasonable man and I would say he handled the situation quite well.

This movie has very strong writing which makes up for the monster not appearing all that much. You really get to enjoy the human characters here and their dialogue. The movie can feel a little long at times so for once I won’t say that the pacing was perfect but there’s really nothing to dislike in this film. It’s just a pleasant title from start to finish. I will say that I was skeptical about the nitro containers not bumping into each other with the way the characters had it set up though. Holding them all less than an inch from each other while driving a car? That’s not happening and I wonder how Chase thought he could have done this on his own. Seems to me like he would have been doomed there.

If the film has any negatives it’s that the songs aren’t very catchy. It’s definitely going for a very old beach movie kind of vibe which makes sense since this was the era but the songs haven’t aged really well. The actual soundtrack was really impressive though. There was a Twilight Zone kind of theme that would play every now and again that I thought was really solid. It helped build up the intrigue and suspense for whenever the monster would show up or even when the characters were investigating it. That was surprisingly solid.

Overall, The Giant Gila Monster is a fun film. The effects may not have aged well but the writing certainly did. The characters are all very professional and know how to get things done. It’s hard to picture a character being quite as responsible as Chase nowadays. I could have used more monster action but fortunately the human moments were strong enough where this was able to work out in the end. I’d definitely recommend this one if you’re looking for a solid creature feature.

Overall 7/10

It Happened Tomorrow Review

It’s time for a happy film from back in the day that involves a little messing with time. I always like any film that deals with temporal events and this one is no exception. It does tend to mess around with the idea of “The future cannot be changed” which I don’t buy into since the instant you know about the future you can certainly change it….but for now that’s neither here nor there. Either way you should definitely have a good time with this one.

The movie starts out in the future to completely spoil all events in the film by showing that Lawrence and Sylvia are alive. Big mistake if you ask me. We then cut to the past where Lawrence really needs some big news so he can become a big reporter. He starts to wish that he could see into the future and so his old colleague Pop tells him that it may be possible but it would take 10 years off his life. Lawrence doesn’t care, he just wants the future now! So Pop gives him tomorrow’s newspaper which allows him to quickly predict some events that are going to happen. With this in his toolbox you would think that Lawrence is unstoppable but there is one big catch that appears right away. The catch is that the cops think he is some kind of criminal mastermind because he always knows when the crimes are about to happen. Can he clear his name and marry Sylvia or is it all over for him?

Lawrence definitely handled things in a rather sloppy way which is what got him into trouble in the first place. I think if he had just been a little more low key then he could have really used the future to his advantage but he was caught up in the moment. It’s understandable so I won’t really dock points for that. Who wouldn’t be thrilled about suddenly being able to see the future right? Of course the whole 10 years cost thing should ring as a very ominous warning but for some reason Lawrence is never too worried about that.

I was glad that he ran to the race tracks to get rich too since that seems like the best way to use your future powers. Maybe don’t do it as obviously as winning 4 races in a row though. Be subtle and win one at a time or something. Or if you really want to sell this, keep a good mix of winning and losing so that you earn more than you lose but it’s hard to prove that you know the future. It’s absolutely the best way long-term.

Of course this is a comedy so I’m not expecting them to go super in depth on the inner workings of how to use the future tech to stay low-key. He did well with it overall which is what counts. Meanwhile the second half of the film has him being rather subdued the whole time because he learns that he will die soon and believes that the future can’t change. It makes for some fun scenes like when he is attacking a gunman without fear since he figures death is impossible. I thought that was handled exceptionally well. On the other hand, I thought he could have done more to stop the prophecy. He’s going to die at the hotel? Fine, go literally anywhere else!? Go to a faraway restaurant or just keep driving into the distance until the time has passed.

There are a lot of ways you can escape your fate which is why I never buy into the future being in stone. The only way that works is when you don’t know the future in which case it’s all moot since you couldn’t know if it is changing. It definitely makes for a really entertaining premise though and part of what really helps the film excel is how solid the writing is. All of the characters have really solid dialogue and the pacing is definitely on point. There’s no time to get bored here and you will be grinning all the while.

Even the supporting characters are quite solid here like Inspector Mulrooney who is convinced that Lawrence is mixed up in some shady business. It all adds up so I’d definitely be agreeing with him in these circumstances. Sylvia’s dad is also solid as he does his best to protect Sylvia and put an end to Lawrence. I’m surprised he didn’t at least try to shoot Lawrence instead of making peace with him though. Kudos to the guy for respecting Sylvia’s feelings there even if he could have taken Lawrence down for good.

Pop is a nice old guy too even if he’s always vague to the main character. He’s certainly not too helpful with trying to get down to the bottom of things, that’s for sure. His papers are what set everything into motion though so I like to think he was trying to teach Lawrence a moral from the start. Sylvia’s a good heroine here who does her best to help Lawrence out. The romance itself may have been a little rushed so I had a hard time buying into it, but I suppose they all had happy endings.

This is the kind of film where there isn’t a ton to talk about because the plot is ever changing but it’s still a simple story. The positives here are all in the execution like the humor being delivered well and the characters having a lot of fun reactions. All of the fundamentals of the film are on point so you know from the start that this is rather high quality. I certainly had no issues with it and there’s a lot of replay value here.

Overall, It Happened Tomorrow is definitely a solid film that I would recommend to anyone. The whole plot is just very interesting and has enough potential where you could do a lot of films like this. It never really has to end if he can just get more newspapers and you could always pull off sequels or remakes with the same kind of setup. This film has aged really well and so I would definitely recommend checking it out, you certainly won’t be disappointed!

Overall 7/10

The Mummy’s Tomb Review

It’s certainly been a while since I saw the last Mummy film. It wasn’t exactly one of the most interesting universal movies but it’s always nice for any movie to get a direct sequel like this. Showing the incredibly long recap was a bit much though. I’m not even opposed to showing old footage as a recap since it’ll have been a while since people saw the original but only if it doesn’t affect the actual runtime. In this case the movie is only 60 minutes and that includes the recap which is too bad. You’ll be done with this film as soon as it has begun and it’s a shame because it’s actually reasonably good. With a longer length this could have been the definitive Mummy film which may not be saying a ton but it’s a start. Right now the trilogy involving the Scorpion King would take that title.

So the movie starts by recapping the last film with Steve explaining to everyone how it went down. It’s a bit hard for people to believe though so Steve’s audience treats it more like a story than anything else. Meanwhile Andoheb gets Bey ready to take over as Kharis’ master. Bey decides to destroy everyone related to Banning and his expedition so he sends out the Mummy, Kharis to destroy everyone. One by one he starts to bump off people in the town so they are forced to acknowledge the grim reality that this Mummy may be real. Is it all too late though?

When the mummy first appeared, humanity received a grim reminder that there were forces beyond their comprehension at work here. This movie doesn’t really go into the horror elements much though. I would argue that even as Kharis is murdering people it never actually goes for a very scary vibe here. Perhaps it’s the way he murders them. See, his arm is rather busted by this point so all he can do is move with one arm to choke people. Mix this in with the fact that he can barely move at all and it’s a rather unimpressive way to die.

It’s hardly out of the norm for this to be the case in these old movies but even more than usual it’s just hard to buy into this all happening. At most you could say the old lady isn’t strong enough to resist. For the rest there is no excuse though. When someone has super strength that doesn’t mean you should just instantly be taken down for the count. You still have to be able to resist, use some judo, or just run. The mummy is slower than a normal person walking at a brisk pace. He’s also rather loud so you can always tell that he is on the way. Makes your job of surviving that much easier.

So in a lot of ways the movie ends up being rather funny but that works for me. I always manage to have a good chuckle when this is going on. The deaths are never all that violent or anything, they just happen and things move on as normal. The characters are very reluctant to actually believe in what’s happening though. At one point John has witnessed almost every member of the original team get murdered and he still persists in believing in science. Sure, you don’t have to believe in the Mummy but shouldn’t you at least be taking the threat seriously?

It felt like there was a bit of a disconnect with how nobody was really taking the string of murders as seriously as they should. This is really a big deal if you think about it especially for a small town. I know the sheriff/police captain said he was on it but it wasn’t until the very end that the town really got involved. In the meantime they were just picked off like it was nothing.

In particular Steve goes out in a very sad way. I’m using sad more in the sense that he looked bad though because I can’t say that I got very emotional here. So Steve goes into a bar to get drunk because he has no situational awareness and then after that he ends up running into an alley somehow. How did this happen? We saw how he got to the bar and how he left, there was no alley anywhere in sight so it just didn’t make any sense. He struggles a bit but should have been able to have escaped. The geography just didn’t make sense.

I wouldn’t be shocked if that was a plot hole but I can’t say I was quite invested enough to do a really deep dive here. Isobel made for a solid heroine and in the end she gets a happy ending with John. It would have been nice if there was more time to really develop their characters but again the film was just too short for that. All you really know about John and Isobel is that they’re good people. Seriously it’s hard to really talk more about their personalities beyond that. They do the right things and always keep moving to their goals but that’s it. They have a quick wedding and all at the end but it’s really just an after thought.

The reason this film is good is really because the writing is solid and also because the characters are just fun. It’s a movie that goes by quickly and not just because it’s only an hour long. I think the Mummy should get a power boost for a sequel though. Even if it removes some of the more campier elements of the title, I think it’s worth it because the Mummy should be able to do more than just choke people with one hand. I also think the cult members could be more interesting. It feels like the same guy in every film even if the mantle is always turned to someone else.

Overall, The Mummy’s Tomb beats the original and works out pretty well as a thriller title. Just go into it with a bit of a grin on your face and you’ll have a blast. If you’re expecting to take this film seriously then you will not have a good time. Seriously, this film just isn’t nearly as serious as it thinks it is. (Because I do think the film was trying to be serious) I’ll have a review for the next installments in the series pretty soon and we’ll see if they can match this one.

Overall 7/10

Forever, Darling Review

Forever, Darling is definitely one of those old school comedy films which isn’t afraid to get really crazy. It feels like the movie just keeps on changing the scenery and having the characters go from adventure to adventure. As a result it’s a film that’s very busy in a good way so you won’t get bored or stop being entertained. I had a good time with it. I won’t say it’s a game changer in the genre but sometimes you just want a classic comedy film and this one will do the trick there.

When the movie starts the two leads are not in a great spot. Their marriage used to be incredibly strong but over the years they’ve grown tired and each person is doing their own thing. I would say they’re still in a fairly decent spot but the main disagreements come from the fact that Lorenzo does not get along with any of Susan’s friends and he tends to take shots at them causing a bit of a rift with Susan. Unfortunately Lorenzo’s job causes him to not be at home very often and it deals with bugs so it’s not really Susan’s cup of tea. That’s when a guardian angel shows up to put the fear into Susan and help get them together again. Will he end up being helpful or just get in the way?

The summary may make it sound like this guy’s the main character but honestly he doesn’t do as much as you would expect. In fact I dare say that he does get in the way most of the time. Seriously his stares and popping in randomly only serve to create more misunderstandings. After all, only Susan can see him and she is not very good at being subtle on this. In fact she is extremely slow on the uptake I would say as she puts herself in so many bad situations. Eventually she stops calling attention to herself but that takes a long while. I still think the Guardian Angel could have helped out more. The only message he really gives is that Susan needs to follow Lorenzo through thick and thin instead of going on her own path.

In fairness, I do think Lorenzo tended to be on the right in these things. Susan’s friends would always be badmouthing him right from the start. From how the film picks up it certainly seems like they tend to start the fights so I can see why Lorenzo would resent them. They are always giving Susan a lot of bad ideas and the problem is that they are always at home so they have hours to trick her while he is away. Getting away from those guys is the best decision he could have made. Perhaps he could have been more subtle in his insults but isn’t it better to say something directly than to beat around the bush? I’d say that’s true in many instances at least.

Lorenzo’s also just a fun character. Naturally he and Susan have their share of issues but most of the time you’ll just see Lorenzo laughing and having a good time. He tends to see the bright side of things and it takes a lot to get him upset. Susan definitely pushes him to that level but I thought he was really patient up until that point. It just so happened that even he had a limit by the end and when your whole experiment is ruined and things have been going wrong nonstop, it’s easy to see how that would happen.

Meanwhile for Susan, I’ll give her points for trying her best to take an interest in what Lorenzo does. She may not really understand a lot of it but the attempt was certainly made. Additionally she did go with him on the trip and left her friends behind. Unfortunately she just tends to make a lot of mistakes and this was all amped up with how comedic the film was so she tended to make a big mess of everything. It certainly did not help her bond with Lorenzo more. If she had just ignored her guardian angel when he was in the background she could have made this film a whole lot shorter.

Ultimately Susan’s still a good character but she just made things really hard on herself. There weren’t too many supporting characters to note. Of course you had Susan’s friend who was always being very dramatic. She works well as an antagonist I suppose. Susan’s father was at least always on hand to try and help Susan explain her side of the situation. I thought he was a good character who at least meant well the whole time even if his explanations didn’t always serve to help matters at all.

I’d say the biggest positive for the film is that its so chaotic the whole time. You’re in for a roller coaster experience and while the movie may not be very realistic or anything, it’s the kind of light hearted comedy that makes for a good watch. The movie is interesting from start to finish and you go through the story beats quickly. I personally wouldn’t have minded if the characters stayed around the house instead of heading to the great outdoors but that’s just how the plot went. I would even say the dynamic is strong enough where the plot could have gone in many different ways while still being effective. That’s when you know that you have two solid characters here.

Overall, Forever, Darling is a fun film. It’s a fundamentally sound movie that doesn’t have any real weaknesses. The characters are good and the writing is on point. The humor tends to land more than it does not. Sometimes the jokes can be a little stretched out but when you’re running with a quick pace like this film you’ll likely forget all about it in the next scene. The long jokes are more the exception than the standard, most of the jokes are quick so we can jump onto the next one. The main characters are put through a lot but ultimately the ending is satisfying and you’ll have a good time with this one.

Overall 7/10

High Sierra Review

High Sierra is a film about a criminal who takes his journey to its logical conclusion. From the start you have a general feeling for how this will play out. The main character is an unrepentant criminal who has stayed in the game for too long. At this point your criminal career doesn’t tend to end until death so he just keeps on going until he can’t anymore. I thought the movie was good but the particularly weak cast keeps it from going to the next level.

The movie starts with Roy being able to leave jail at last. It pays to know criminals in high places after all and Big Mac asks Roy to do one more heist for him. The guy desperately wants his riches and Roy agrees but the one thing the lead doesn’t like is that he will have to team up with two rookies, Red and Babe. These two are amateurs in absolutely every area of the business and they’ve even brought along a lady named Marie for the ride. These two choke under pressure and are always talking tough so Roy’s going to have a hard time on his hands> Can he still pull off the heist and what’s this about bringing a dog along for the ride as well?

Throughout the movie you can see how Roy gets frustrated at the rest of the cast because they do have a habit of making things more difficult on him. When you can’t trust your partners in a life or death situation then that makes things a lot tougher right off the bat. Sure enough, they do get into trouble. Red and Babe are the worst characters in the film by far and the sooner they were written out of the film the better.

The dynamic with Roy and Marie was much better even if she was not quite ready to be a big time criminal either. She has been around the block long enough not to make any big mistakes or get in the way but at the same time this isn’t completely her scene. She is part of why the main characters keep Pard (the dog) around and I am glad that she is so nice to him the whole time. I don’t think Pard should be in such a dangerous environment though. One wrong shot or step and it could be too dangerous so the sooner he wasn’t on screen the better.

Pard was a really great dog of course and knew a lot of tricks but I don’t think he would really want to be a criminal. Pard seems like an upstanding citizen to me. While Marie is good, she does get a bit jealous at one point and I think she focuses too much on romance. Romance is probably something you shouldn’t pursue when you’re in the company of criminals. Not the best batch of options after all.

As for Roy, well I liked him in a lot of ways but also not in others. His positive qualities boil down to the fact that he is confident and efficient. He is also a decent guy compared to the rest as he quickly steps in to help Marie and isn’t about to let these criminals do whatever they want. Nobody pushes Roy around and it’s easy to see how he became such a respected figure where nobody wants to mess with him anymore. Now as to why he was not particularly good. He ends up falling for a lady named Velma who can no longer walk.

Roy agrees to fix this for her and even calls in a surgeon. Keep in mind that the family is very poor and could not afford such an operation so Roy agrees to do it. Velma’s grandfather lets Roy know that she is taken but he doesn’t care. So the surgery is a success and then he asks her to marry him and sulks when she says no. My main problem with this is that the operation going well should have been the best day of her life and yet Roy had to ruin it by bringing this up.

He couldn’t take a hint either and just as bad was the fact that he didn’t try to hide his disappointment. So he goes out of his way to make Velma feel absolutely terrible on her big day and then he also insults the guy she intends to marry right away. Not only was his infatuation really rushed as it came out of nowhere but it just hurts him as a man. The instant he said he would pay for the surgery he should have been able to put on a brave face no mater what happened. You just end up feeling bad for Velma and the family by the end of it all.

As to the actual plot, well the heist is fairly quick but doesn’t go all that smoothly for the main characters. The two guys ended up holding Roy back quite a bit and the whole thing also just took too long. They should have definitely been out of there before the final interruption so I don’t get how it was taking them so long. The time they went wasn’t even that bad and the plan was decent but nothing works forever and that’s why time was of the essence.

The writing in the film was pretty solid. The pacing is good too and so the movie is always keeping your interest from start to finish. I thought the ending was effective and so you get a complete package here. The film is fundamentally sound so even if I think it could have been better, it’s one that I could recommend. Personally I just would have either removed the Velma subplot or made Roy handle it a little better. I just didn’t think it made sense how much the whole experience broke him since he seems like a guy with a lot of experience who would have been in this situation before.

Overall, High Sierra should have skipped the romance but even with it, this is still a solid title. I guess you could call it a heist film but that doesn’t seem right and calling it a thriller makes it sound more action packed than it is. I almost think drama would be the best genre for it, but either way just think of it as a low key film where the lead is trying to pull off a really big crime. It also serves as a reminder on why you shouldn’t drink too many beers as that can end up having a heavy cost.

Overall 7/10

In the Line of Fire 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

In the Line of Fire is a fun thriller with a good amount of action in it. It’s not going to have a ton of fight scenes but the action is more about the chase scenes and the characters trying to stay one step ahead of the other. It’s a really solid back and forth and while the film has an exceptionally weak romance, the rest of the film manages to stay strong from start to finish. It’s a very consistent watch.

The movie starts off with Frank solving another case/beating the bad guy as he betrays the villains he was spying on and saves his partner. It should be time to relax now but then he is called in on what would usually be a routine inspection but it becomes much more than that. There’s a guy who calls himself Booth that is planning on taking down the president. It won’t be easy to take him down of course but this guy has such a confident air about him that Frank knows he is serious. After all, Frank knows people well and he was also the guy around when JFK got bumped off. He can’t let this happen a second time. If it comes down to it, will he be able to jump in front of the bullet?

Especially back then it feels like it was probably really easy to try and take a shot. I remember an old saying about how if someone is ready to trade lives to destroy the other person then it is almost impossible to stop him. At that point there are few security measures which can rule that out. It’s why suicide bombings are so hard to stop as well. This guy is clearly obsessed but it’s difficult for Frank to get that across to the execs. One reason is because the President is losing the battle right now and re-election is very close at hand. If he misses out on his appearances then he could lose everything.

There’s also the fact that they get a lot of threats to the president all the time and so it’s hard for most of them to believe that this is anything different. This was back in the days where you could call the FBI and ask for an agent by name. It was just a different time so even the guy having Frank’s number doesn’t put as much fear into them as you would expect. That said, you like to think they would do a little better at following up on the guy once they see him in person on multiple occasions. By that point he is an actual danger because he apparently has the means to follow the president anywhere. Also shows that he has a lot of money.

Their interactions are always fun. Booth likes to say that he and Frank are friends while Frank naturally says that he is crazy and tries to get to him. You can definitely tell that Booth is insane and none of his points hold up at all but since there’s no way to get to him, you can see how Frank is frustrated by the whole thing. Frank’s also a lot older at this point so he has a tough time being on the field and moving around a lot. This just isn’t his game anymore but he has to get back into it because nobody else will take this seriously. Also, Booth has specifically picked Frank as his opponent and might not play ball with anyone else.

In a way Booth’s like the Riddler. He keeps giving Frank clues so that he can “stay in the game” since Booth wants this to be a fair fight. He very easily could have said nothing and would have assassinated the President with ease. Sometimes you can use a villain’s insanity against them and that’s what paid off for Frank here. Booth was a strong opponent but he laid the seeds to his own demise.

As for Frank, he really gets to ask himself just how tough he is. Can he make the tough calls when it counts? Everyone knows Frank can shoot someone as needed but actually taking the bullet is the big question. Frank’s partner deserves a lot of credit in that arena as he’s willing to risk his life for Frank on several occasions. I thought the partner was the best character in the whole film to be honest.

For Frank, he’s a solid lead but he’s the kind of guy who likes to joke around and be rude to hide his feelings. So he tends to pick on Lilly quite a lot even though he likes her. So…it’s almost like school yard flirting where you’re mean to the person you like. The romance here is awful though as he’s just way too old and the whole thing is so cliched. She even mentions how this can’t possibly work but the whole time you know that it will. That’s probably the worst part because by all accounts she should be right. How can this possibly work? It makes no sense when you think about it and the whole thing is super rushed.

It hurts her character a bit too since you know that she will ultimately break down after saying no the whole time. As an agent she does well and at least takes everything seriously. The romance was just so out of place though. As a whole the writing was good. I thought the adventure was planned out well and there was never a dull moment. The script may not have been amazing as it seemed like the channel may have had to edit it a bit or it could just be poor sound mixing on the movie’s part. Either way I would expect Frank to talk like this since it definitely fits his character type.

Overall, In the Line of Fire is a solid film. The movie makes good use of how old Frank is to show that he’s not going to win this on brawns alone. He has to really use his wits to track Booth down and he’s playing catch up for most of the film. There’s one moment where someone is bumped off and the heroes don’t find out about it for an extremely long amount of time. It takes so long that you almost forget about this moment which shows what kind of a lead Booth had. The film gets points for not bumping off the dog also. When Booth looked at the picture of a dog in someone’s office I got worried, but the movie doesn’t go there. So if you want a solid thriller about an agent going up against an assassin in a battle of wits then this is the title for you.

Overall 7/10

The Black Dog Review

This film reminds you that it always gets tricky when you’re low on cash and there are shady characters around. It becomes a whole lot easier to say yes to these crazy deals when you don’t see any other alternative nearby and that gets the lead here although he should have still stayed out of it. Ultimately it’s a fun action thriller. I wouldn’t say it’s amazing or anything but it does well enough for itself where I could recommend it.

The movie starts off with showing how Jack’s in a tough spot. He did some time in prison for running some people over and in the meantime his wife has done her best to make ends meet but it just isn’t working. The house simply costs too much money and there’s no way to keep it even with Jack’s new job. His boss Frank approaches him with an offer though. Jack is to transport some goods across a long distance and if he succeeds then he’ll be given enough money to make things right. Jack has no driver’s license and the shipment sounds sketchy but ultimately the desperation wins out and he agrees to the deal. He’ll be riding with Earl, Sonny, and Wes but immediately they are attacked. The FBI and various villains are all after him. What could possibly be in this shipment that’s so important?

The villains really don’t waste any time in chasing Jack either. It feels like he’s only driving for about 5-10 minutes before they show up to bump him off. That’s the risk you take when agreeing to do an underground drive for some sketchy characters though. The film does a good job of constantly throwing action at you. I thought the pacing was pretty good here and as long as you like the truck moments then you should be good here. There isn’t much time for things to stay quiet at any point.

Aside from the main plot you also have the FBI agent who is constantly arguing with his rival. That made for a good dynamic as the new guy kept on trying to play psychologist while the FBI agent would just be aggressive the whole time. They definitely did not get along at all although you know by the end they will end up respecting each other. Either way it was a fun little gimmick to keep the government stuff interesting. You know I always like the government stuff either way but the comedy here was fun.

In the main plot things were a little more serious. After all, Jack’s not doing this for fun or anything, it’s all to try and make life easier for his family so he doesn’t even bother trying to get to know the guys. He’s just here to complete a mission and that’s it. He’s good on the fly though as he takes out several opponents and knows how to use a gun. He maybe could have beaten the guy in between the cars easier if he had just thrown him off but it’s hard to think of everything right away.

Jack makes for a solid main character. He’s no nonsense and is just doing what he can to get out of this alive and in one piece. He does well at calling the villains’ bluff and doesn’t lose confidence at any point. He’s just a tough guy and not someone who can be intimidated either. His allies weren’t the strongest though. First up is Sonny who actually was good. The guy may not like how the villains always alter their plans but he was ready beyond that. Probably should have been more heavily armed considering the line of work he’s in though.

Wes was the most annoying character here though. He’s always whining and the guy isn’t very smart. He serves as an obstacle to the heroes the entire time and never becomes all that useful. You’re waiting for him to be left behind or taken out throughout the journey because he just puts the heroes in a worse spot every time he talks. He is always delivering bad news to the point where it even gets funny after a while. Still, there was no way to like this guy.

Earl’s okay, it’s hard to get a read on him. See, the guy seems rather shady the whole time but it’s always hard to prove it so like the main character you’re watching him in a wary kind of way. The guy has confidence in his own driving and singing abilities though so you have to respect that. In the end I thought he was a fun character.

Then you’ve got the two main villains Frank and Red. Frank is your classic bad guy who wants money and to be powerful. There’s not a whole lot to him but I’d say he’s decent. What he lacks in skill and interest he makes up for in efficiency. Still, I doubt you’ll remember him in the end. Red is much more memorable and I thought he was interesting. The guy is one of those crazy villains who thinks that quoting scripture means that he’s on the right side when he’s really just twisting it all to try and help himself. I thought he was an entertaining villain the whole way through though and did give us a fun extra climax.

Now as for the Black Dog angle, it was random but interesting the whole time. So apparently in this film if you are on the road for too long then you might see a black dog that attacks you. It’s a hallucination but one that a lot of drivers see so this rumor has really gotten around. It’s interesting but just feels really random the whole time. It does make for a really intense flashback though and shows how Jack got himself into trouble the first time.

The part of the movie that feels a little tacked on and not really necessary was the family drama though. I don’t think we really needed the whole hostage part to be thrown in. Felt like it was just ticking a box. I would have preferred the whole action parts took place during the drive. Then he arrives home with a classic “That was easy!” moment as he winks at the screen and we cut to black. It wasn’t a bad sequence of scenes or anything but it just felt really random. It was impressive how Jack still called the guy’s bluff a few times though. He handled that differently from most leads.

Overall, The Black Dog was a fun film. I would consider it to be a very average action title. It’s not going to do anything that you haven’t seen before but it also doesn’t really make any mistakes. As a result it’s a title that you can easily go back to at any time. You may have less reason to do that because there are stronger options but it’s always going to be out there. It’s also an easy recommendation because it’s such an easy action title.

Overall 7/10