1 Star Movies, Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

Lake Placid Review

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

It’s time to look at a horror film from a while back. It’s actually got a few sequels so I’m sure just about everyone knows the tale of Lake Placid. It’s not the kind of film that you’re likely to forget anytime soon. Unfortunately it falls into the quick traps of a lot of animal violence as well as weak writing throughout. This is not a thriller that will be ranking very highly at all. I like to think it had a shot, but the result was very predictable all things considered. When your main villain is an animal it’s just hard to get past that. The film never even tries anyway.

The film starts with Kelly having a pretty bad day because her man was stolen by her best friend. She is then sent out to find out how a giant tooth was discovered belonging to a seemingly extinct race of gator. She is greeted by Hank and Jack who are currently working the case. Both of them don’t really want her in since she’s not really part of this and to their defense, she really doesn’t seem prepared at all. From the start she complains a ton about everything and makes it all very difficult on the heroes. Still, they can’t convince her to leave and so the group heads to the spot of the murder. A giant gator ate half of someone and so they aim to stop him before more victims arrive.

Another wrinkle in the case is good ole Hector. He worships Alligators and wants to make sure this one is taken alive instead of murdered. He loves danger and risking it all. The guy’s pretty insane but the heroes put up with him because he is the world’s leading expert in all things gator. He puts up a lot of traps and things of that nature. The heroes are certainly about as divided as you can be. I can’t think of a main cast that bickers this much except for Suicide Squad or something like that. They’re all fighting absolutely nonstop.

First problem is of course the animal violence as I mentioned. Quite a lot of them die when up against the gator including a nice cow. The film tries to save face at the very end of the film by having the final cow escape. I was glad to see that but it doesn’t excuse the dead bodies earlier or the part of the origin story where we learn someone had been feeding animals to the gator. It’s all about as morally bankrupt as you can get from the villain who isn’t even arrested at the end of the film. You’ll have to suspend quite a lot of disbelief there since this person is responsible for several murders.

The other issue is that the writing is definitely quite obnoxious. Hector is the biggest reason for this. He’s created to be a very blunt character who is always saying something inappropriate. He somehow seems to have a lot of luck regardless. The heroes shouldn’t have been listening to him at all with his crazy theories and how he kept holding everyone back. I was ready for him to leave as soon as he appeared. Pretty much any scene with him is a thumbs down. Meanwhile Hank is a much better character although a lot of his scenes are the “banter” between him and Hector which limits his potential. At least Hank was serious about his job though. He did his best to stop the gators, it just so happens that he wasn’t prepared for this level of monster. Nor were most people I imagine.

The only parts of the writing that could be fun were with Jack and Kelly. She loved to complain a lot which he would typically have a quick comeback for. Naturally this turns into the usual rushed romance, but ignoring that it was a fun dynamic. Kelly is a fun character. She’s a solid example of someone who’s made to be annoying in a good way. She’s always complaining about something but I’d say that it actually worked out pretty well for her. At least the lines are sound. Meanwhile Jack is also a solid character. He’s got plans and doesn’t put up with as much foolishness as most of the other characters.

As for the gator himself, it was a pretty fun design. Nothing particularly unique mind you as it was effectively just a giant alligator. That is the whole premise of the film though so it makes sense. It’s not like it was supposed to be an alien hybrid or anything like that. I wouldn’t have minded if they did something to make him look a bit more unique though. We get a quick jump scare at the end of the film but it’s resolved so quickly that I feel like it was almost a bit pointless. There should have been an extra fatality there to make this new threat feel more real. I feel like that would have worked better.

Overall, Lake Placid is definitely not a film that I would recommend. Choosing a gator as the main villain was a pretty solid move because we haven’t really had a lot of films with them. For some reason it’s not the monster that is usually used for these films despite having such an intimidating design. I think that’s a bit of a mistake because he could easily hold his own film. Of course, that’s only if you have to make a film about an animal as the villain. Clearly you should try to avoid such things. If you don’t mind terrible writing and animal violence then check this film out. Otherwise I highly recommend Air Bud instead as a much more wholesome film with quality moments.

Overall 1/10

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Little Women (1949) Review


It’s time to look at the next adaption of the classic Little Women story. While it will feel very familiar to the last one as they mainly tackle the same events, I’d say that it is executed better. Personally I found this one to be quite a bit more enjoyable than the last version. Some of the plots still aren’t the best and the final romance feels rushed but at least the film tries to address this since there are technically a few time skips. I’ll give the film some points for effort there even if ultimately it didn’t work.

The film follows a group of sisters who are currently having fun times. Their father has went off to war and so the family isn’t doing particularly well financially but they have each other which has always been enough for them. Jo is the main character and she is an aspiring writer. One day she aims to be featured in the papers and to have her books published. In the meantime she writes plays for the family to perform. One day a boy moves in next day and they hit it off but Jo is determined to stay as friends. She believes that none of the main characters should fall in love because then the dynamic will change. She’s not wrong, but can you actually say no to romance in a movie?

Jo’s idea isn’t all that bad. The idea of having a friend is a good one. You shouldn’t always feel pressured to take that to the next step. It’s not really her place to hold any of the other sisters back though. It may be a shame that the dynamic has to change but ultimately that was bound to happen one way or the other. Time is not stagnant and so eventually every dynamic ends up crumbling. You either adapt with it or you’ll spend your time relying too much on your memories of the past. The film’s pretty predictable on if Jo ends up succumbing to romance or not so be prepared for that.

There are quite a few subplot though as each sister gets her own plot. They meet people, one of them grows sick, etc. The film isn’t afraid to tackle some tough themes as well with one character dying. Each character has their own burden to bear whether it be physical or emotional. Part of what hurt in the previous version was that it was really hard to care much about the story. It was all just way too old and the writing came across as rather sluggish. This one does a better job with the writing and streamlining the plot. There also appeared to be a significant age gap in the final romance in the last film which is corrected here. It’s hard to see an age gap of more than 10 which I tend to consider as the cut off. Even that is already on the wider side.

Jo’s definitely the most entertaining character of the group. She’s got a lot of energy and tends to dismiss formalities and just be herself. It’s something that was quite rare back in the day so it really makes her stand out from the rest. Meg, Amy, and Beth are reasonable characters as well although there is less notable about them. While Beth is a lot younger than the others she always composes herself well with solid dignity. Meg and Amy mainly follow the standard path of falling in love right away. They’re solid characters even if one of them does end up rebounding with someone who liked Jo at one point which is a bit sketchy. You’d think that if someone likes the sister you would definitely not start a relationship there. It seems a bit like a betrayal even if the relationship was over. I just don’t think that’s something you should ever do.

There’s not a whole lot more to say that I didn’t already say in the first film. It’s pretty much the same movie only this one is newer. Due to the nature of the movie it’s also not like a whole lot happens. The runtime is fairly long though. I’d say that the writing is fine. It may not be winning any awards anytime soon, but it does the job and everyone feels like a real character which is important. It’s all fairly realistic for its time. That’s why I’d like the next Little Women adaption to get a little more out there. Have it take place in the future or something. I think that would end up being quite excellent as a change of scenery would end up helping quite a lot. It’s exactly the surge of new energy that the film could use and I think it would end up taking it quite far.

Overall, Little Women seems to be pretty faithful to the book based on how similar it is to the last one. It’s a classic slice of life story and if anything may be one of the most fitting installments in the genre. This is exactly what you would expect out of a slice of life if you ask me. There may not be any danger or villains but you do get to see the characters live out their lives and change as time goes on. It’s all quite dramatic in a social way. If this kind of plot really interests you then you should check it out. Personally I think slice of life films need a bit more comedy to really hit it home for me. If you play it too serious then it becomes a bit too close to real life and so I don’t really see the point of the film. A good film needs to be highly entertaining. This film isn’t, but it’s not boring either which is why I place it squarely in the middle. It’s not a bad film but I couldn’t imagine watching it a second time.

Overall 5/10

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Blade: Trinity Review


It’s time to look at the final Blade film. Does it end on a high note or end up disappointing? Well, it’s better than the first film but I wouldn’t say it’s as good as the second so it’s squarely in the middle. I liked that we got some more fighters this time around. It’s about time Blade had some backup. On the other hand, the plot feels pretty aimless the whole time and there isn’t much of a focus next to the first two. It feels like events just happen so Blade can go around beating people up. That’s not a bad story idea of course, but to me it felt like there wasn’t much of a plot beyond that.

So the movie starts with Blade murdering a bunch of vampires as normal. Unfortunately one of the guys he murders was just a human pretending to be a vampire. Unfortunately people see this so now the government is after him. The vampires have finally framed Blade. This lead to his capture but fortunately he is busted out by a pair of allies known as Abigail and Hannibal. They get him back to base and explain that Dracula has been resurrected. The 3 of them will need to take him out before the villains figure out the trick on how to be a day walker. This won’t exactly be the first time that Blade had to take down a powerful foe though so he’s ready for this. Blade isn’t the kind of guy who goes around losing fights after all.

I do have a bit of an issue with the opening. Blade is questioning why the guy didn’t die and is shocked to find out he wasn’t a vampire. We do have tons of familiars who are humans that Blade has been murdering throughout the films. Why is this guy any different? Seems to be like Blade is a little more surprised than he should be. Framing him would also be very easy for this same reason since he’s never cared who he murdered before. If they’re working with the villains then he ends them. End of story. That’s just how Blade works, he’s never been the kind of guy to even think about offering up some mercy. I’d be surprised if he were to stop now.

Unfortunately as part of the framing plot this does mean that Blade and Whistler spend a lot of time fighting off actual cops and government agents. You understand that they have to use some self defense, but this goes beyond that as they openly start shooting and bashing away at them. Whistler even uses a giant explosion that without a doubt murders a bunch of them. This is an ongoing trend that happens in numerous scenes. It feels like the heroes murder as many innocent people as villains in this film. It was a rather odd way to end off the trilogy. It does portray Blade as even more of a Punisher type of vigilante but I’m not sure if we needed that here. I think some of these scenes could have been cut or at least altered to show that they weren’t actually murdering anyone.

Beyond that Blade is still a solid lead though. He talks tough and is always ready to take the villains down. I like the new extended cable weapon he has since it’s very useful for taking down scores of enemies from a distance. If you ask me it’s easily one of his most useful weapons by a long shot. The Whistler gets his share of hits in as well. Without powers there isn’t a whole lot that he can do, but he’s always ready with background support. The two new characters are really the ones who are here to fight on the front lines.

First you have Hannibal who is mainly here to crack a lot of jokes. Apparently he used to be a vampire and got cured which is neat but it wouldn’t have made any difference if he wasn’t. This tidbit of knowledge doesn’t matter in the slightest. He manages to get a big win near the end although I can’t say it feels deserved since he should have lost that round. I found him to be a reasonably entertaining character although it would have been nice if he were a little stronger. Then you have Abigail who has an excellent opening scene and continues to look good throughout the film. She’s a solid hand to hand fighter and uses a crossbow that can even light up and burn opponents to death.

Blade finally has an ally who can really fight alongside him. She isn’t a vampire so she has no super abilities but her close quarter combat skills are enough for her to take multiple opponents down so that’s quite impressive in itself. She’s a big reason as to why the setup of Blade having allies worked. If both of them were comic relief it would have been a little pointless. As it stands, she can only continue to get better and better as she fights along with Blade and a fourth film with them would have been interesting.

As with the earlier films the fight scenes are really solid here. We get quite a few good battles and this time each character gets their own fight. This leads to a pretty wide variety of battles. Blade tends to have the best ones, but as mentioned Abigail’s was solid as well. Dracula’s battle with Blade is a highlight and we got a lot of back and forth there. Dracula’s character itself wasn’t amazing though. He spends his first fight scene running which is pretty odd for a guy who prides himself on being the King. You’d think that he would welcome a challenge right off the bat. I suppose vampires just can’t help but fear Blade.

As always the graphics are really solid here. The effects are on point and the soundtrack is also great. We get the classic rock themes that you always want to see. For the negatives, it’s really the same as always. The film’s pretty violent with everyone getting bumped off. There’s a lot of blood draining going on for sure. We also add a new wrinkle as we see dog vampires that end up getting bumped off. It was so completely unnecessary. The instant I saw the dog appear I knew the film was setting itself up for a fall. I’ll give the movie props for not having them die on screen but it’s of little comfort. The film would have lost at least a star if that had happened and if it lost 2 there wouldn’t have been any lower for it to go. The writing isn’t the best here, but it could be worse. At least the script tried being a little different from the previous ones.

Overall, Blade 3 had some good ideas but also faltered in others. On one hand it was nice to see Blade having some young allies who could actually fight alongside him and weren’t evil. The soundtrack continued to be really good too and amplify the fights. On the other hand, the film is as excessively violent as always and this time there were even animals. Additionally the plot itself felt the weakest. After Dracula resurrects and the heroes have their opening fights it feels like the film stagnates for a while until we get to the climax. It didn’t feel like the pacing was quite as tight as the last two films. I’ll give the 3 films this, they were all pretty consistent and roughly on the same level as each other. That may not have been a good thing for their score, but you can’t win em all.

Overall 2/10

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Blade II Review

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

It’s time to look at the sequel to the original Blade film. This time we’ve got him in an actual group so you can expect some of the other characters to get big fight scenes as well. I’d definitely say that this one improves upon the original for me. It’s not by a whole lot as there’s only so much you can do with a gritty vampire film. Still, I’ll take any improvement I can get and we got more special effects with the fight scenes so get ready for some sped up superhero action!

The movie starts off by slightly retconning the ending to the first one. Despite being in a near death state and then shooting himself, The Whistler managed to survive somehow and the vampires have kept him alive for kicks. Blade finds out and frees him. Shortly afterwards Blade is attacked by a pair of vampire ninjas who reveal that they have come to ask for his help. There are a few super vampires running around that are immune to silver and garlic. Defeating them will be nearly impossible without Blade. To this end, they will make him leader of the Bloodhounds which is an elite fighting force that was originally meant to destroy Blade. This is a fragile alliance at best, but Blade figures he should take down the super vampires so they team up. Are the vampires hiding something from him?

There’s definitely a lot of action in this film and the choreography is on point. Blade has definitely nailed the whole “slow walk towards the villains” routine as this point since he does it so often. I do have to give the films a lot of credit for how smooth his outfit looks. It’s very accurate to the comics and honestly it looks pretty crisp. Whenever Blade shows up you know he’s about to take down a lot of monsters. Those fights are always a lot of fun and accompanied by solid rock songs. The Blade series has had a pretty dynamite list of songs and this one is no different. I miss the early 2000s rock that we used to get for the various fight scenes. It still happens sometimes but it is certainly a lot more rare.

The special effects have also improved since the first film. I already spoke about the fight scenes but even the vampires getting blasted away. It’s all pretty neat. My favorite fight in the film was Blade against the two Ninjas. It’s an example of solid choreography with some back and forth action compared to Blade just absolutely dominating the random minions who can’t fight back. Those fights tend to be pretty fun as well but you really can’t compare the two. An even match like this ends up being quite satisfying even if surprisingly Blade may have lost. It depends on how fast he regenerates since his hit would presumably be fatal since it was silver and the ninja attack wouldn’t be, but it would have been a clean shot that could be fatal anyway.

The plot of having to team up with the villains is also pretty interesting. It’s always a very tricky dynamic trying to work with someone who could back stab you at any point. I also like that Blade keeps the upper hand for most of these interactions. He humiliates one of the vampires when they start getting smart and throughout calls all of the shots. Whenever they point a gun at Blade he does the same to them. The early banter are some of the best parts of the film. I consider the plot to be a little more interesting than the first film’s as well. It does have the benefit of being a sequel so we already know the characters.

Now to the negatives which are effectively the same as the first film. For starters the film is incredibly violent. We see a lot of characters get drained and murdered by the vampires. Characters are stabbed and tortured as well. The violence never really ends in these films which can be a drag. It takes away from the moments of the film that actually are good. I have to say that the opening of the film makes everyone look bad no matter how you look at it. It feels like the guy is a bit of a sucker when he’s being led down a series of halls into a locked room with suspect characters. I don’t remember the place looking so shady when donating blood. I get that this is a special place but even so it was obvious that it was a trap. Then it makes the trappers look bad since this is way too obvious. Anyone who is “caught” in the trap is suspect themselves so it was never going to end well for someone.

The writing is okay. There’s quite a bit of language that this version fortunately skips which does help to a degree. It still seems to be a bit of a crutch for the writers. I also have to dock some logic points for how they don’t even bother trying to explain why Whistler survived. There’s just no way he would have lived through what happened and as hard as the film tries to do so, there’s no way they can explain it. I suspect that’s why they don’t even bother. I don’t even see why the plot needed to be brought back since Whistler doesn’t even do a whole lot during the film. Him leaving his post at one point was also an odd red herring. Why not bring your communicator for when your partners are being bumped off?

Overall, Blade II brings in a more interesting plot as well as better fight scenes than the first film. This does result in a better experience for me. That being said, it still can’t shed the vampire roots of the film. I don’t see how the films can get much higher without toning that aspect down a bit. The violence can be quite excessive. Even though none of the vampire members were particularly likable it was still pretty neat to have a whole group structure. It’s probably the closest we’ll see of Blade on a team for quite a while. Ultimately I could see him getting a new movie or show at some point though. If you really like vampire films then you should check this one out I guess since it delivers on what you’d expect with everyone getting bumped off in gruesome ways left and right. On the other hand you can definitely do better.

Overall 2/10

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Glass Review


It’s time to look at the end of the Unbreakable trilogy. It definitely has not been the best one as both of the opening films were pretty bad. Perhaps it could pull off a bit of a miracle and end on a high note? The film tries its best but ultimately falters. As with any films from this director the movie doesn’t really start off that bad. It’s reasonably engaging throughout but the film quickly starts to lose steam and each plot twist is worse than the last. The final ones will almost make you roll your eyes because of how it hurts the logic of the film. The entire premise doesn’t work either but more on that in a minute.

So it’s been around 10+ years since David was running around and beating people up with his superhero powers. He is now a team with Joseph. Joseph finds the bad guys and David puts them away. Their latest target turns out to be Kevin as that villain managed to escape last time. David corners him and they have a pretty close fight but a company of soldiers appear and defeat them both. David, Kevin, and David’s old enemy Elijah are now being held in a psychiatric facility. Ellie explains that her job is to eliminate their delusions. Her theory is that these three characters don’t have powers and merely think that they do. What if she’s right?

Here’s the deal and perhaps the most tragic part of the film. This plot could actually work….if the first two films did not exist. Then it would really be her word against theirs and it would be completely possible that they do not have powers. A lot of people are delusional so you could totally ride that plot line to the bank. I think that could have made for a very interesting thriller. The problem is that this is the final film in the trilogy.

In the first two films we learn beyond the shadow of a doubt that both characters have powers. David is able to bench press over 350 pounds without ever coming close to that before and he knows that he has never been injured. Ellie’s comebacks against that are extremely weak and for some reason David doesn’t bring up any of the counters that he could have. I don’t really blame him though because Ellie probably would have dismissed them anyway.

Then for Kevin I dare say it’s even worse. He was shot multiple times in the first film and bent steel. Ellie’s comeback is that he could have grabbed a pair of pliers and used leverage to bend the bars. Nice theory…but we actually saw him do this in the last film and we know that the bullets hit him and weren’t weakened dummy rounds as she said. Again, this could have been an interesting exchange but since we know it’s fake that hurts the plot a lot. A great deal of the film is spent in the asylum as Ellie makes her various cases. The vast majority of the film takes place here and it drags on quite a bit.

This is in part because Elijah is pretending to be brain dead for most of the film and David never talks much anyway. That means that a lot of the dialogue is from Kevin who is the worst member of the 3. He’s crazy and totally evil which doesn’t work as a good combo if you’re one of the main characters. All of his scenes are pretty suspect. I didn’t like him in his movie and I certainly don’t like him here. Most of his personas are also pretty weak since in this film they joined the horde. In Split at least some of them were still good guys. In this film they all seem evil except for the Kevin persona who is naturally the weakest.

David talks a little more than the first film which is good. He’s still a little too quiet though and I’d like to have seen him talk a bit more and defend himself. He tends to take a pretty passive stance in the fights so the opponent always lands the hit first. He’s incredibly sloppy which is probably intentional but gets him into a pretty bad spot at the end. His weakness to water is also pretty massive to the point where it’s pretty tragic. He almost might as well not have powers. David’s also super gullible thanks to some scenes at the end. By default he’s one of the best characters here though.

Joseph was probably my favorite character. He helps David out a lot and is also pretty cautious. He warns his Dad that the cops are after him and also tries to make a case to get him out of the psychiatric place. Things may not turn out in his favor but at least he tried. I’d have liked to see him try harder to save David in the end but realistically it probably wouldn’t have done a whole lot of good.

Ellie is one of the key players here and she certainly gets some twists. Unfortunately those twists really don’t make any sense and don’t help her character. She’s definitely interesting but her goals are impossible unless the characters are incredibly gullible. I suppose she is a fun enough character, definitely pretty ruthless when she wants something done.

Elijah is still the big mastermind villain as always. I don’t see the point of the brain dead routine for most of the film though. If it’s to get people to let their guard down, then why keep showing that he can break out of the cell? If anything he’s lucky that they didn’t beef up security or start tying him up at night. Things go according to his plan and he has a lot of backups, but this part of the plan made no sense to me. It was also unfortunate because it meant that he wasn’t able to talk for most of the film.

Mrs Price gets to appear a bit here and she’s a fun character. I liked her in the first movie. Her role here is fairly minor as she just hyped up Elijah a bit. She never really tries to tell Elijah that he shouldn’t be evil here but I suppose it’s possible that she did off screen. Hard to say but maybe at this point he has had such a hard life she doesn’t blame him for falling off the deep end.

Casey’s character takes an unfortunate arc in this film. She appears to have a huge case of stockholders syndrome here as she’s grown to like Kevin and keeps defending him. The guy is a mass murderer who has been apparently murdering a bunch of people off screen. He would have gotten 3 more victims at the beginning if he wasn’t stopped. It was cool seeing Casey show up because it made this feel even more like a crossover. She just needed a much better role.

As I’ve mentioned above, the film is at its best during the intro scenes when it’s building up the crossover effect. There may only have been 2 films earlier but this feels like a big crossover right away. One of the things that helps with this is that we got supporting characters from both movies. The fact that it’s able to get a bit of hype going is impressive since both films weren’t good. So I’ll give the movie some props there. It was at least engaging for a while.

Ultimately I have to give the writing a thumbs down though. A lot of the scenes just don’t make any sense. The ending is also just pretty bad even aside from that. David’s plot certainly ends in a rather gruesome way. It’s definitely a callback which is interesting and all but not the way I’d end it there. I’m glad we did get a twist ending of sorts at least even if it’ll never actually lead to anything.

Overall, Glass was exactly the crossover you could expect from these two films. It is the best film in the trilogy but unfortunately that is not enough to actually make it a good movie. If you watched both of the earlier movies then you should check this out since you’re so close to the end as it is. That being said, if you want a hype crossover with more quality I’d recommend checking out Batman V Superman. It also builds up the atmosphere quite nicely but then also delivers with an amazing payoff at the end. That’s exactly the kind of experience that you want.

Overall 3/10

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The Thrill of It All Review


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Overall 6/10

3 Star Movies, Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

The Third Day Review


It’s time to look at an old film that really starts to fall down towards the end. It’s a mystery film that tries to throw in a lot of twists and turns to the point where the red herrings start to not make any sense at all. The movie’s a little compelling at the start but gradually it gets less and less interesting which is really not a good thing for a mystery film. If anything it’s probably one of the worst things that could happen to a title in this genre. Quite unfortunate but not every mystery film is destined to be a winner.

The movie starts with Steve walking out of a car crash. It was a close shave for him but he’s alive which is what counts. Unfortunately he has no recollection of his life prior to waking up. The man has complete amnesia and that’s not good. It turns out that he’s rich and about to make a deal that will earn him and his company a ton of money but at the expense of all the jobs in the town. Effectively he is about to sell out to corporate and his wife is also upset at him. Nobody seems to like Steve and according to his mother in law it’s because Steve has been acting pretty terrible lately. His father in law is in a coma as well and Oliver despises Steve as well. Steve needs to find out what happened and also try to lead a better life, but is it too late?

Amnesia is definitely one of those things that is pretty scary to think about. Waking up and suddenly not knowing anything about yourself is intense. Even when people try to give you the full scoop there will always be some nagging doubts that they could be lying to you or something. This case of amnesia is pretty convenient as Steve remembers how to do everything. He has memories of everything not relating to his life, but I believe this does have some basis in fact as amnesia patients sometimes do remember lots of things due to muscle memory. It’s just the recollection that is gone. Films about amnesia can be pretty hit or miss. This one was handling the concept well until it wasn’t.

One random red herring is a scene with Alexandria and Oliver. Her dress was apparently a little too low so he helps her push it up. The whole scene seems way too familiar and at that point I figured perhaps they were both traitors and in on the conspiracy. I believe the film is actually trying to push that thought as well but in universe Alexandria has no reason to do this. At best you could say she is still upset at Steve and wanting to mess with him, but she also dislikes Oliver and so I can’t picture this chain of events happening at all. It’s a pure red herring.

Additionally what hurts the film is the annoying climax. So part of what was going on with Steve in the past had to due with Lester’s wife. The guy has sworn revenge and made this clear to Steve several times. He should definitely have let his wife know to watch out for him. The scene of him walking into the house and telling Alexandria to get in the car with him is pretty suspect. Most likely he would have just taken a gun out if she hadn’t gone with him, but going with the guy in the first place is a stretch. You just don’t hop into a car like that, even if this was the 60’s. Lester is also a character that we absolutely didn’t need. The film definitely wanted to have some kind of dramatic final showdown but it should have definitely skipped out on that. The whole climax is pretty bad and adds a darker layer to the film.

Unfortunately the flashbacks also hurt Steve quite a lot. He was definitely being pretty unfaithful there and the ole “he was feeling weak” excuse doesn’t cut it. Even in the present you can make the case that his moral compass isn’t great as he lets quite a few people kiss him. One of them does this multiple times and he just seems to find it amusing. Keep in mind that his wife is standing right next to him the entire time. No matter how you slice it Steve is just a pretty terrible character so I couldn’t even root for him. When you’ve got a film where the lead is bad like that it definitely hurts quite a bit.

Alexandria is a solid character. She definitely seems to have very valid reasons to be upset with him as the film goes on. If you ask me she appears to be totally justified and unlike Steve she wasn’t being unfaithful. Alexandria puts up with quite a lot throughout the film. Finally you have Oliver who gets a pretty big role in all of this. He certainly has a few twists. The guy definitely doesn’t like Steve but puts up with the lead so he can get his cut of the big pay day. The old Steve seemed to not have realized this although Oliver is pretty obvious about it from the start so it’s hard to see why.

One final issue I had with the film is how everyone is intentionally vague to prolong the plot. When Steve asks his mother-in-law to explain things she intentionally never says anything. She talks a lot without saying things of substance. Can’t she just quickly tell Steve what is going on? She’s cryptic and this is something that happens a lot in mysteries. People just don’t give you straight arrows and it’s particularly annoying in this film since the writing isn’t particularly amazing or anything like that. It’s decent writing I’d say, but not in a way that doesn’t make this feel forced. It’s probably the worst element you could do in an amnesia type film.

Overall, The Third Day isn’t a particularly good film. Usually you get more engaged as the mystery starts to be explained while this one did the opposite. At times the resolution of a mystery may not be as grand as you had hoped so I can see a slight dip, but this one just crashed. The film had a ton of potential and I feel like it was ultimately squandered here. The film could have been so much better but that was not to be. If you want to watch a good mystery film I recommend checking out one of the Sherlock Holmes films instead. Those are all much better than this one.

Overall 3/10

1 Star Movies, Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

Blade Review

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

It’s time to look at one of the original comic book films from back in the day. Blade is largely forgotten nowadays although it seems to have had a bit of a resurgence in recent years. It’s a vampire film which naturally does limit how good it can be to a large extent. Unfortunately the comic book aspect of the movie was unable to do enough to take it back to the next level. It makes all the usual mistakes of a vampire film and ends up being rather similar to Resident Evil. Resident Evil would ultimately have the edge though with its top tier soundtrack and a more interesting plot. Come to think of it, zombies may also beat vampires for me although it’s close since both don’t make for particularly good movies.

The movie starts off with one human being lured away to a vampire party. They are about to finish him off when Blade appears and destroys the lot of them. Unfortunately he decides to toy around with one of them a little too much so he manages to get to a hospital and murder a bunch of people as well bite Karen. Blade takes Karen over to his base where the Whistler tells Karen that it’s all over. She’s already dead and they’re not going to help her. Karen’s not thrilled about this so she decides to stick with the gang. At the very least she should be safer with the pros right? Blade doesn’t have much time to guard anyone though because he’s on a quest to avenge his mother and himself by murdering Frost. Frost is the one who turned Blade into a vampire after all and this is the closest that the hunter has gotten to being on his trail.

Right from the start Blade introduces itself as a film that is going to go all in with the violence and vampire action. The first scene probably has more blood almost all of the other comic book films. The violence never lets up either as we see people eaten and blown up. The TV edit does cut away from a lot of the direct moments which is quite telling considering how violent the film still was. Automatically there’s no way the film was going to get a very high score because of how excessive it all is. Definitely be sure you’re cool with the violence if you plan on checking this one out.

I’ve also never been a fan of the drinking blood angle which is pretty hard to avoid in a vampire film. It’s part of why those films are always destined to lose if you ask me. While it can be possible to do a good vampire story (Records of a Fallen Vampire) it is very difficult and not particularly likely. The villains aren’t particularly fun either. You’ve got Quinn who is the main comic relief of the villain group. He is always in a party mood and doesn’t take things too seriously. This never bodes well for him in a fight and you know from the start that he has absolutely no chance against Blade. He’s just completely out of his league.

Then you have Frost who can be a decent main villain in some Blade stories but he doesn’t work here. They really play up the fact that he’s a much younger vampire than the others so he’s always fooling around. The guy is pretty smart and does take the vampires to new heights that the old ones wouldn’t have reached. He definitely gets some points there and is a reasonably strong villain. Ultimately he’s not nearly as charismatic as he thinks he is. The rest of the villains don’t really get much of a role. For the most part they’re just here to get blown up.

For the heroes we’ve really got 3. First is Whistler who is the mentor figure of the movie. You can probably tell how his story will end up the instant he is introduced. He’s human so there’s not a whole lot that he can do against vampires with their special abilities. Still, he doesn’t back down from a fight which is really important in this kind of thing. He’s a bit of a downer though as he doesn’t even try to give Karen any hope. Karen is a solid heroine though. She does actually get involved in some of the fights and adapts pretty quickly to using a gun and other such tactics. I was glad that she spent more time being pro active as opposed to running or something like that. She was even able to work on a cure right away. Karen contributes quite a lot to the cause and that’s why she’s a pretty solid character. I’d be up for seeing her in sequels someday.

Then we have the main character Blade. He feels sort of like a more brutal Batman at times with how he will suddenly appear and start taking out the enemies. The main difference of course is that Blade murders his opponents. At first he tends to spare the humans although in some fight scenes it’s really hard to tell if he spares anyone. By the end though he is all out of mercy and just takes everyone out. He’s a pretty great lead. Blade’s serious and down to business throughout the movie. The film did a really good job with this portrayal and I’d say that Blade is pretty much perfect. I also like all of his tools and weapons. It makes for a pretty good arsenal in these battles.

The fight scenes are pretty good in the movie as well. When it’s not going out of its way to be particularly gritty we have some solid hand to hand action and swordplay. The scene of Blade arriving in the climax was handled particularly well as he got down to business. His opening fight against the vampire army was also solid. The movie helps to enhance these scenes with a solid soundtrack as well. We get some pretty fun rock themes for the battles. They have a nice retro feel that you don’t really see quite as much anymore in the modern films. For some reason rock music doesn’t seem to be as popular for the average fight scene which I don’t understand because the fast tempo should always be in season.

Overall, Blade is definitely what you would expect from a vampire action film. The action can be good but ultimately the film is held wayyyyy back by the vampire angle. It goes way too far in being overly dark and gritty. I can’t recall the last film I saw which was quite this violent. The body count is pretty high and you usually won’t be able to go more than a few minutes without something super violent happening. The film can be having a fun little scene and then you’re thrown into the next villain scene or something crazy happening. Pretty much any villain scene will end with something violent happening. These instances certainly add up so I wouldn’t recommend this film. It’s all just too excessive. If you want to watch a good supernatural action film then it’s time to watch the Avengers 2012 instead. It delivers on all of that without going overboard. We’ll see if the next Blade films are able to improve from this one or if they will ultimately make the same mistakes.

Overall 1/10

Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

Cloverfield Review


It’s time to look at a film I haven’t checked out in a very long time. Cloverfield was definitely not a monster film I enjoyed very much the first time. I thought the party scene took forever to get through and shaky cam has never been my style. It’s definitely a little better the second time around so I’d bump my score up a bit from the first time. Ultimately this film still could have been way better if we had a standard camera and got to see it more from the government’s point of view or one main character. Think Rampage or Godzilla 1998. That said, Clover still has a pretty intimidating design and seeing the Statue of Liberty get taken down is still an iconic scene.

The film starts off with the main characters at a party for Rob. He’s finally got the Vice President job he’s always wanted. So all of his old friends are there including his brother Jason and best friend Hud. Jason is supposed to record everyone giving Rob a quick message but doesn’t want to do it himself so he gets Hud to do it. Hud’s apparently not the most serious person around since Lily has to stress to him that this is serious a few times. Still, Hud gets a few messages on board before the first Earthquake happens. The main characters head outside and get a glimpse of the monster. They all start to head out of the area but then we find out that Beth has been injured and is unable to head out of her apartment. The heroes must head back into the danger zone to rescue her. Will they be able to do this?

So the film’s main gimmick is the classic shaky cam. So Hud’s carrying the camera around the whole film which is how the viewers see what’s happening. Naturally the guy stumbles a lot and while he’s running around the camera also tends to move so it’s not the clearest picture. That makes sense of course in context but as a directing decision I can’t say that it’s a good one. It’s a lot better to have a focused view so you can really get what is happening. Part of the fun in these monster films is seeing the monster break all of the buildings. You can’t help but feel like you are missing most of the action since we’re following these characters. It’s similar to how we missed the first big Godzilla fight in the 2014 film because the guy decided to take the train and we got a big time jump. The gimmick definitely does hold the film back to an extent.

The other main thing holding the film back is the writing which is pretty bad. The characters are all introduced as being very unlikable right from the jump. First you’ve got Hud who gleefully tells everyone who will listen that Rob had an affair with Beth. It’s really none of his business and it’s easy to see why Lily didn’t want him to know initially. He basically proves her right that he’s a pretty bad person. Jason also should have known that telling Bud wasn’t a good idea and it’s not something they needed to know. Jason’s also the one who dumped the responsibility on Hud so that wasn’t good. Marlena is all right, although she’s mostly just along for the ride compared to the others. I’m actually surprised she even went with the group since among them she had the least amount of reason to do so.

Rob and Lily are definitely the best characters here. Lily was at least keeping a level head during this and was one of the first to jump in and fight the mini monsters. She was quick and decisive which is important in a crisis. Rob was also pretty loyal to try and go save Beth amidst all of this. He didn’t handle the party particularly well but at least this was a really good scene for him. If the script were a little better then I think the characters would have benefited from this quite a lot. Instead a ton of language is thrown in throughout which seems to be cliche for disaster films as everyone keeps on panicking throughout.

For the positives, Clover’s design is solid as I mentioned. The destruction effects have also aged pretty well. It’s all very realistic looking and a nice view of how things could be if a giant monster were to attack the city. Certainly it would be pretty devastating and crazy outside. Even if you escaped the borough there’s no way of knowing if you’d really be safe or not. For all we know this is just the first creature of many and you don’t know if the government created it or if it’s an alien. The film doesn’t really answer any of these questions and that’s probably for the best. The mystery and suspense is part of the fun and knowing the answers to these questions would take away from all of that. It was also nice to see the government’s missile strike to try and take him down. It did look like it did some nice damage even if Clover didn’t ultimately go down.

The atmosphere is also pretty good. The film’s pretty bleak and has that end of the world vibe without trying to get too depressing. Hud can over dramatize things at times but that seems to be his core character anyway. The smoke cloud after Clover’s initial attack reminded me of the visuals from Batman V Superman as well. You’ll definitely be interested in seeing what happens next. The ending should have had more if you ask me. There is a brief extra moment if you stick through the credits but I need more intel. They said that the area was formerly known as Central Park so are they saying formally because it no longer exists or because this recording is from way in the future? As I mentioned we do want to keep the mystery so don’t explain it much but give more of a stinger. I want to see a bunch of monsters running around or something like that. Of course, it may have made the wait for the sequel even tougher but it’d be worth it.

Overall, Cloverfield is a pretty engaging film. It does have its weak points which keep it from ranking higher though. The first person camera look just doesn’t work for movies and the writing needed to be better. The film doesn’t drag on though which is good as it’s a pretty quick film that always stays on point. The mini clovers were a little on the weak side since the heroes were able to down them but at least it helped to give them a chance while keeping in the danger factor so that worked pretty well. It’ll be cool if we actually get a sequel to this someday. The various spin-offs don’t really count to me since we haven’t actually seen what happens at the end of the events of this film. Despite the title being thrown around everywhere I feel like the other films don’t have anything to really do with this one beyond some small connections to technically put them in the same universe. If you like a good monster destruction film then this one is worth checking out. It is a unique perspective to see this from the ground level civilians as opposed to a professional.

Overall 5/10

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

Doctor X Review


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

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

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

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

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

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

Overall 6/10