The Other Review


Most films have something to bring to the table even if they aren’t particularly good. Resident Evil had good fights and a tight soundtrack, Pixels had a lot of humor and good graphics, and even Transformers had nostalgia on its side. The Other is a film that has none of that. There is a saying that goes “Smash? More like Trash am I right?” in the world of twitch. That one wasn’t accurate but if you throw in the Other instead of Smash then you’re actually on to something.

The Other starts off by showing two kids playing at the lake. They aren’t very nice kids so they quickly take the time to intrude on a neighbor’s property. From there things only escalate as one kid begins to murder everyone in the family. Can Niles stop helping him long enough to stop this guy or is he as evil as he appears? Just calling them kids is gonna get confusing the whole time so the important thing to remember is that the evil one is called Holland while the less evil one is Niles.

“Strangely” nobody ever sees Holland or even comments about him. Then there is the fact that the two brothers look identical. The twist is pretty obvious especially with a theme being that the main character can talk to the dead. As a result any scene with him in it is pretty bad. None of his “nice” scenes will work for you since you won’t fall for his tricks and either way it’s annoying how he always tries to change the subject. He just can’t face reality.

This film is just super mean spirited. Bad things just keep on happening to everyone in the family and none of them get a happy ending. You can also blame this on the writing and a poor script. There is nothing to grab your attention here and you’ll have a hard time paying attention since there is no one to root for. The film drags on and on for the whole duration. None of the characters are particularly smart either.

Even after one of them ones what is going on she decides to keep leaving the lead alone in the same room as other characters. Surely she should know how things would play out from there right? If not, then that definitely makes her look bad. We also can’t forget how she is able to play the control a dead person game and yet she doesn’t use it to try and find the missing person at the end. The whole film is leading up to her using that ability for this sole purpose and it doesn’t happen. When you’ve got supernatural powers that can save lives you really need to use them. Far as I’m concerned she’s an accessory to all of the murders that take place in this movie…and there are quite a lot of those.

Overall, The Other is definitely a film that you’ll want to avoid. None of it is any good from the characters to the plot. It’s ultimately just a big waste of space and you’ll be glad that you skipped this one. It’s a shame that such a good title had to be wasted on this movie but that’s how it goes I suppose. Not all of the films can be winners and some are destined to fall all the way down to stinker territory. There’s not a whole lot more to say about the film as it isn’t terrible in an entertaining way. It just falls down the stairs from the start and never climbs back up. It fails at being a movie.

Overall 0/10

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Village of the Giants Review


It’s time to look at an old film where giants came into being. I would say that it’s about how power corrupts, but these kids were already corrupt from the start so it’s more like they finally got to push people around. The film is pretty aimless for the most part though with many scenes being dedicated to dancing and singing in order to stall for time. It’s definitely a film that’s gonna get a thumbs down from me.

The film starts off with a group of teenagers crashing their car and they spill out into the rain. They’re all pretty rowdy so they start a mud fight and dance for a while. After that they figure they should try to find some shelter and head to a nearby village. In this village, Nancy and Mike have stumbled onto a new discovery courtesy of a kid named Genius. It’s a spongecake that turns you giant once you eat it. Mike is determined to get rich from this, but ends up giving some of the formula to a cat, 2 Geese, and a dog. Pretty soon the whole village knows about it and wants their hands on it. Mike tells them no, but the teens show up and eat it anyway. Now they’re all huge and they want to take over the town. Can Mike stop them?

This movie has quite a few problems so it’s hard to know where to begin. To start with, there is way too much singing and dancing here. That wouldn’t be a problem if they were good of course, but none are. The dances are the same motions over and over again. Each dance seems to last for an eternity and then the songs also tend to drag on. They never add onto the plot either so they’re definitely just here to drag out the film. The plot would barely have lasted 40 minutes otherwise.

Then the writing is consistently iffy. Mike ends up cheating on his girlfriend for a bit just to mess with the villains and fool them into thinking he was being tricked. Not a very nice partner to have eh? They tried the same trick on the girl only she didn’t even entertain it. (Although she was getting dangerously close) So you already can’t root for the heroes. Mike also doesn’t seem all that smart like when he tries to fight the leader of the teens. He’s luck that the hit didn’t completely destroy him. There’s also a scene where the town tries to tie up one of the giants and they actually succeed which was a scene that made no sense. With a single movement he could have knocked them all over, but instead the giant just seemed confused and almost mindless for a moment. It just didn’t make any sense.

Naturally the teens don’t make for good villains either. There’s a little friction between a few of the guys as they bicker a lot and for a wile there you think there’s going to be a power struggle. Surprisingly it never happens. The leader just folds every time the group wants to do something drastic. They definitely have a lot of fun making fun of the adults, but beyond that it’s not like they had much of a plan. Honestly they just would have gotten bored after a few days I expect. It all would have been routine by that point.

You can probably guess from the premise that this film isn’t really meant to be taken seriously. It’s definitely comedic for the most part but the film just isn’t quite as funny as it thinks it is. Take away the dancing scenes and that would have helped the film a bit for sure, but even without that there just isn’t much to the film. The dialogue is very weak and there are no likable characters. It would have been fun to have seen more of this from the adults perspective though. Maybe have a bunch of government guys walk in and start making demands or something. Instead the adults seem a bit slow on the uptake like when they order the teens back into the theater. I mean…they could have just squashed the cop so he got lucky. Also, how did nobody notice that they kidnapped the sheriff’s daughter? That seemed a bit iffy. It would be easy to grab her of course, but surely the town should have known about it.

Part of the problem throughout the film with the humans putting up a resistance is that the giants are way too strong. They could have easily ended the whole match in an instant if they do desired. The fact that they did not is really just plot hax. The film is riddled with plot hax. The characters should have had no chance until the formula wore off. Of course, the villains should never have gotten the formula if Mike was a little smarter and didn’t leave the key right next to the safe it was guarding. That defeats the purpose of the safe.

Overall, Village of the Giants is definitely a film you’ll want to skip. It’s pretty over the top but not in a good way. The Giants don’t actually alter the plot much at all. The film would have been better if it was just about the potion going out of control and making everyone giant. They would have had to learn how to cope with this smaller world now that they were giants. Instead we had to see Mike take down a giant spider which certainly wasn’t good. The film’s very cheesy and in some ways that’s good, but it makes too many errors to really stay afloat. Cut out the fanservice and this film could have had a shot. As it stands, you should stick to Godzilla for real movies about a giant creature.

Overall 3/10

Captain Marvel Review


It’s time to look at Marvel’s latest installment in their expansive MCU franchise. Thanks to an early screening my brother got tickets to I was able to see this film a few days before it came out. It’s definitely a solid film that delivers on all fronts. It has all the classic MCU trends for success; strong dialogue, solid action, and quick pacing. The film doesn’t slow down the tempo and by the end you’ll be satisfied.

The film starts off with an early mission with Carol and the other Kree operatives. It’s a classic extraction mission as they need to get one of their agents out of a hostile environment. The situation does not go as expected and deteriorates quickly. Carol now finds herself on Earth and must confront memories that have haunted her recently. Are the Kree keeping secrets from her? Whether she likes the answers or not, Carol knows that she has to seek them out.

There’s naturally a lot more to the plot than that, but that’s a pretty general description so you won’t have anything spoiled. This is an early review so I’ll be even more careful than usual to avoid spoilers. Now, there is a general feeling among many reviewers that it’s bad to be predictable. A feeling where if you know exactly what’s going to happen in a film then it did something wrong. I don’t agree with that. Captain Marvel isn’t particularly subtle. All of the twists and turns are very predictable and you’ll always know what’s going to happen next. You’ll know which characters are the villains and which ones are the heroes. As Carol tries to figure out her past you’ll end up figuring it out first. To call it the most predictable superhero film may be pushing it, but there aren’t any surprises here, at least when it comes to twists. That’s likely due to a mix of the MCU formula telling you what to expect and general context clues.

I’d argue that this isn’t a bad thing though. What’s important is the execution. As long as the film does a good job of getting to its goal then knowing where it’s going isn’t a bad thing and that’s what the film does well. It’s always a fun adventure. This is thanks in no small part to Carol herself. She holds the film quite well as a lead. I buy into her tough persona a lot more than previous heroines like Black Widow and Gamora. I’ve always liked characters who are fairly aggressive and Carol here is like Hal Jordan or Wonder Woman. Nobody’s going to push her around and anyone who tries eats a photon blast. Captain Marvel is consistently defiant throughout and that’s always a good thing. She’s a lot smarter than other leads as well in a practical sense as she doesn’t fall for an obvious trap near the end of the film that I think many others would have. I look forward to seeing her in End Game. The only concern naturally is how powerful Captain Marvel is. She’s closer to fighters like Superman and Supergirl than someone like the Hulk. It’s easy to see her quickly taking down someone like Thanos here. I think the writers are going to have to be extremely cautious with how her character is portrayed going forward. It’d be pretty annoying to see her nerfed or losing a fight for no real reason.

Another plus for the film is the writing. MCU films are always a action/comedy blend which aim for a 50-50 split. The top notch films like Infinity War, Avengers, Winter Soldier, etc have a good blend. It’s the case for most of them to be honest as the franchise has been consistently great. The only exceptions have been films like Ant Man and Guardians of the Galaxy 2 which were on the weaker side. This one is a great example of how to do it right. There’s a lot of solid banter throughout and quality jokes. The humor scenes are funny though and aren’t forced. They also don’t take away from the fights. The heroes aren’t joking during battles, they take the stakes seriously and only joke before/afterwards.

This also contributes to the film’s quick pacing. It has quite a bit of replay value here since no act drags on. The film’s always moving and that’s always important. A film shouldn’t just be good the first time around, you should be able to re-watch a movie and still enjoy it. That won’t be a problem with this one. The action scenes are solid and the film’s rapid humor style ensures there isn’t a large build up before the jokes that would be harder to sit through if you already know the punchline.

I’d say that the effects look solid as well. They certainly aren’t for everyone as the higher-tier the fighters get the more obvious the effects become. It’s why people didn’t like Man of Steel’s effects despite being incredible. The colors are flashy here and the suits look good. Captain Marvel’s costume is incredibly accurate to the comics and stands out. The action scenes great and seeing Marvel fly through space blasting away at enemies is really cool.

Naturally there is an after credits scene here so be sure to stick around. It’s definitely one of the better ones. I always particularly enjoy when these scenes further the plot along. It’s one of the more direct continuations though so I’m wondering if they’re going to have to show this in the actual End Game film as well or not. I’d appreciate the boldness of not doing such a thing of course as at this point you should be able to stick around for an extra minute or two to see what scene is at the end. I can understand skipping the more comedic ones of course, but since you don’t know which scene it’ll be you just have to test your luck.

Of course the supporting cast here is solid as well. Nick Fury’s always been a fun character and it’s nice to have a younger version of him running around. He gets a pretty big focus here and is certainly right in the middle of many of the events here. He’s always quick on his feet and supports Carol pretty well despite having no powers. Coulson also shows up here although it’s more of a guest appearance than anything. He doesn’t do anything particularly big, but it’s always nice to see him around. There’s also Goose, the cat from the trailers. He’s naturally a lot of fun and I’m always up for having animal show up so long as nothing bad happens to them.

Then we have the Kree operatives. Yon-Rogg makes for a very capable commander. He’s a solid combatant and always thinks strategically. I definitely thought he was a good character. There’s also the sniper Minn-Erva who is pretty ruthless. You can quickly understand her character which speaks to the writing. She doesn’t get many scenes but definitely ends up being one of the most compelling Kree members. The rest of them don’t make much of an impact. Meanwhile for the Skrull there is really only one major member. He’s decent, but not nearly as interesting as the Kree.

I like how the Supreme Intelligence was shown here. It’s definitely a tough character to adapt and the way it was handled here makes a lot of sense. They also gave it a good amount of character even if you wonder how much of it is genuine. It’s definitely pretty cool. If Captain Marvel gets a sequel then I definitely see it getting more of a role. Of course, I would definitely have some serious questions about its appearance. You will have some questions by the end as this film takes place in the 90s as advertised. A lot has happened since then after all.

The film has a lot of inspirational moments as expected. Between the standout visuals and the music there are definitely a lot of memorable moments here. While the 90’s music may not pop the same way that the first Guardians did, the tunes are good. I liked the song that plays during one of the final fights. It was really unexpected, but that partially plays into why it was so successful. There’s a lot of quality choreography during the fights as well. These villains don’t go down so they just keep re-entering the fight. Makes for an extended climax which is always good.

Overall, Captain Marvel is definitely a great film. I really had no complaints with it. It managed to succeed in all categories. Putting aside the crossover films it’s definitely one of the MCU’s best titles. If we don’t count sequels it’s certainly in the top 5 debut titles for a hero. I definitely recommend checking this film out in theaters. It’s also the kind of film that certainly benefits from a big screen so you can really take in the epic visuals. It’s always tough to continue making solid film after film so Marvel definitely deserves a lot of credit for that. Now the wait begins for End Game. The trailers have been pretty lackluster for that one, but it is nice that Marvel’s trying to keep the film pretty hidden. They did a good job of that for Infinity War as well as I managed to duck all of the TV spots. I’m definitely expecting a lot of fights for End Game.

Overall 8/10

The Remains of the Day Review


It’s time to look at an old drama film. It’s definitely got a pretty unique premise although the film’s long run time does stretch it to the max at times. It’s definitely a unique movie nonetheless, but you probably won’t be on the main character’s side by the end. He made too many mistakes too many times. After a while you just gotta walk away.

The film starts off in the present, but only stays there briefly. Stevens is going to meet with Miss Kenton as he hopes to re-hire her for the mansion. There just aren’t enough people around to service the place and she was always one of the best. However, a lot of things have changed since they last met. Then we get a flashback which goes for about 95% of the film to back when they used to work for Darlington. See, Stevens is the head butler and he trains everyone else. Miss Kenton was hired as the main housekeeper. Then you have a bunch of other staff who show up as needed and Stevens’ father who is the under butler. At first all is well, but then the head of the house, Lord Darlington starts to seemingly side with the Nazi’s. Making matters even worse is the fact that Stevens’ father is too old to be working and keeps making mistakes. Will Stevens make the right call here?

Unfortunately he never does. Stevens is constantly making the wrong calls throughout the film. He’d rather overlook his father’s mistakes than call him out on it. Likewise, he rarely has regard for anyone else. He’s very quick to distance himself and takes everything Miss Kenton says super personally. While to an extent it’s not good to get caught up in the politics of the office, he ends up taking it too far here. When someone asks him a question he always pretends not to have any clue what they are talking about. Then when his boss Darlington starts to go over the edge with firing employees and such, he just watches and obeys. He even goes through with firing the girls even though they had been great workers.

You just can’t sympathize with the guy at all. All the scenes in the modern day just hurt Stevens further. He’s not a good lead and Miss Kenton made the right move in leaving. That romance angle wasn’t handled too well though. She hints that she was only marrying the other guy because Stevens wasn’t paying her any attention. If so, did she truly love the guy? That seems like a textbook rebound if you ask me. If that guy was second fiddle, then that doesn’t seem like it’ll be a great arrangement. Kenton was certainly great at her job but that was unlikely to be recognized in such a place.

Darlington seems reasonable for a while, but as the film goes on he starts to get pretty iffy. The scene where he has Stevens fire the two girls shows how far he was gone by that point. The new owner of the house is a lot more likable though. His name is Lewis and we also see him in the flashbacks. He was the only guy to stand up to this alliance from the start and warned that things wouldn’t be as rosy as they appeared. He ended up being quite right. I wouldn’t have minded seeing more of him. The guy was definitely a fun character.

As I mentioned, the film is over 2 hours though. You’re probably wondering what else they could do in 2 hours and that’s just it…there’s not much more of a plot to talk about in this period of time. The rest is all about the drama and as you can imagine that is hard to hold a film with. The dialogue is good and the writing is solid, but the characters aren’t very likable. Right from the start they’re all warned not to start romance with the other employees, but nobody listens including the main characters. As a result they fall into the same dilemmas that they were warning against at the start.

The characters also play a very passive role in the film. As the events are transpiring they don’t actually do anything about them. To their defense, there is not much that they actually could do, but it does limit how exciting the film can get. As I mentioned, this one’s a pure drama so excitement isn’t one of the priorities. At least the film doesn’t really make any mistakes either. It just goes through the motions.

Overall, The Remains of the Day is a fundamentally sound movie. It makes no real errors and just proceeds to go through its plot without making any mistakes. At the same time, there is no real hook to the film either. It’s almost as if it’s on auto pilot. By the second half of the film you are either really invested in the characters or your interest will have completely died out. It will certainly end up being one of the two. Still, if you haven’t seen a film like this then it’s a good idea to. By “a film like this” I mean a movie that plays and it’s like you’re a spectator. There’s nothing good or bad about it. It’s just going through the motions. It’s like watching the medium in its purest form in a sense.

Overall 5/10

Scooby-Doo! and the Curse of the 13th Ghost Review


It’s time to take a look at the movie sequel to the classic 13 ghosts show. This one finally shows us the 13th ghost and how he stacks up against the first 12. It’s a fun movie as they all tend to be although the writing was lacking somewhat here which does prevent it from being nearly as good as it could have been. It’s more or less what you’d expect but the lack of a supernatural twist does hurt it somewhat.

The film starts off with a flashback where Vincent and Mortifer are running away from some demons. Mortifer is unfortunately caught and destroyed (Someone dying in a Scooby Doo film? Immediate red flag) while Vincent escapes with the box. Together with the Mystery Inc he recaptured 12 ghosts. However, Scooby, Shaggy, and Daphne decided to pretend that they did not know who Vincent was and threw the magic ball in a closet somewhere. Well, in the present the gang are having a garage sale as they were forced to stop being detectives after messing up a case. They need some quick cash. Fortunately, that’s when the crystal ball pops up and Vincent begs their help in stopping the final ghost. Velma and Fred are confused so now Daphne will have to step up and lead the team. Is she ready for this?

Unfortunately this is where the film is at its weakest. Rather than make Daphne a good leader it chooses to make Fred a bad one. Suddenly he doesn’t know how to set up a trap and the film goes out of its way to make him look bad. Daphne has to set up the traps because he forgot how to do so. He also can’t drive stick for some reason so he has to let Daphne drive the whole time. She basically takes control of the team away from him and part of the moral is that she was always the better leader. Fred even admits in a rather heart warming scene that he was never a leader, that’s just what they had thought. He’s a Cheerleader and decides to start cheering for everyone. He just looks really bad the whole time and it must have been a rough time for his fans.

Meanwhile, Daphne looks hardcore of course. To make up for Fred she has to double down in how effective she is. Daphne does give up a bit easy, but for the most part I’d say that this is still one of her best appearances. At least she is ready for this fight. You can’t say the same for Velma. Naturally she is still sticking to her story that there are no such things as ghosts. The film does its best to make her fairly justified in this by the ending though. Who knows, maybe it was all mass hallucinations or something. It would have been better if she didn’t keep flipping back and forth though.

Shaggy and Scooby are the same as always. They constantly panic and eat so not much else to say there. The scene of them meditating with the villain goes on a little too long I’d say as well. No way he would actually buy into that I’d say. The rest of the humor is pretty good though. Vincent makes for a fun supporting character. He’s a bit more helpless than I had expected but I did like all of the puns he would make. If he actually can’t use magic either though, it does give Velma’s theory a little more weight. There’s also a local teenager around. I won’t say who he is, but I think you’ll know immediately who he is. This isn’t the kind of film that has a bunch of suspects so if a new character is introduced you can start narrowing down who he must be.

The animation looks pretty solid as always. The team has this franchise down to an art. It’s looked good all the way back from when it first started all the way through the current days. The animation could fool you into thinking this was a DC film at times. The animation styles always look really similar and I suppose that makes sense as well since Warner Bros is involved. There isn’t much of a soundtrack though, but the series isn’t exactly known for that. The movie’s fairly short, but the pacing is good so it never gets boring or anything like that.

Once the final twist occurs some things won’t seem particularly realistic though. Lets just say that one character has to be an absolutely fearless racer with superb driving skills. This villain shows up everywhere and has quite a few skills. I dunno, I’d like to have seen the heroes challenge the evil car a bit more rather than running away the whole time. I suppose that almost may have been out of character I guess, but the team’s been through a lot so they shouldn’t really fear anyone at this point.

Overall, Curse of the 13th Ghost is not a film that will leave a lasting impression on you. It’s just a lot weaker than some of the recent films like the Wrestling ones, Cooking challenge, the outer space one, blue falcon, etc. It’s not so much that this film is bad because it isn’t. It earns a pretty good score. It just feels more like an average adventure compared to the rest and part of the problem could be the fact that there is no actual mystery here. That’s sort of the main focus of the series. You can get around that at times with a compelling premise of course. This one had a good premise, but simply didn’t follow up on it. That’s what held the film back.

Overall 7/10

RWBY: Official Manga Anthology Review


It’s time to look at RWBY’s recent manga anthology. This one got 4 volumes, one for each of team RWBY. It’s definitely nice to see more RWBY material even if so far it hasn’t taken advantage of the manga format as well as it could have. The current ongoing RWBY manga has a lot of potential, but the original one was basically an anthology as well as it retold each character short. I’m not a huge fan of anthologies and part of the issue is how not much of a story can happen in those. This one has that issue as well along with some stories having good art while some do not. Ah well, I’ll still take what I can get.

Of course, I usually start off by talking about the plot, but that won’t work here. I’ll start with the artwork. As I mentioned, it really varies depending on the story. Some of them look quite good with nice character designs and details while others aren’t really all that solid. It makes for an up and down reading experience. Each volume is a good size though so there is space for quite a lot of content.

On the other hand, this is still RWBY. As a result the characters can hold their own story with ease. It’s just nice to see them around in more stories. Due to the limited length per episode it’s not as if the writers can show us a whole lot of bonus material in the show. That’s sort of the point of the current RWBY manga as it will allow us to see more of the characters than the show could. For example in Yang’s volume there is a story where she beats up on a bunch of fake Neo dolls to exact her revenge. Then Neo sees this and is quite disturbed.

If anything, I’d say that the series plays out like a RWBY Chibi episode. Think of all those shorts and then packing them into a manga. So there’s certainly nothing bad about the series. I definitely enjoyed reading all 4 volumes. They’re fun and make for solid reads. It’s also a decent way to get someone to check out the RWBY series if they haven’t seen the show yet. The volumes are all about character interactions after all.

As each character gets her own volume they each get a lot of screen time. Yang’s definitely still the best member but each of the 4 bring something to the table. With Weiss’ glyphs she could probably give Yang a good fight if she was trying. Meanwhile Blake and Ruby are also quite skilled so it’s not like they would lose very easily. I suppose if we had gotten another volume it would have finally been time for Jaune and his team to show their stuff. They show up in these volumes of course, but it’s different being a side character versus a lead.

On a side note, I definitely do like the artwork for the volume covers. They really stand out and have a lot of detail. If that’s how the art looked inside then this series would have been even better. The actual volumes are quite high quality and as I mentioned they are bigger than the average volume. As a result they feel a bit like an omnibus. It’s a style that I wouldn’t mind becoming the norm. It’s not big enough where the volume would be awkward to read, but big enough where it feels special.

Overall, The RWBY Anthology is good. It’s hard to really discuss it much due to the style of the manga though. The current ongoing will likely end up being the definitive RWBY series though since it has an ongoing story. It’s a shame that the ongoing’s art is also a little below average though. Maybe RWBY characters are just really hard to draw or something. It could be a while before those stories come out in America though so now it’s back to the waiting game. I don’t know when the RWBY comics are coming out, but maybe those will be close. I’m wondering if those will also adapt the show or if they go for something totally different. I’m hoping the latter as we don’t need two adaptions. Maybe have the comic writer take their own spin on the franchise. That’d be pretty cool.

Overall 7/10

Need For Speed Most Wanted Review


It’s time to look at the next Need For Speed game! One impressive thing about the franchise has always been how long each game is. This is another title that will potentially have you busy for 20+ hours and that’s no small feat. EA really put a lot of heart into this series back in the day so I’m curious if that will continue to be the case as I get close to the end of the game series. Most Wanted brings back all of the good elements from Underground 2 while improving on them. It’s the definitive NFS game so far.

The game starts with you heading into town for some good races. You find the top dog and challenge him to a race. Unfortunately he cheats and steals your car. You now have to rise back up to the top from the bottom with a random car. The problem is that your old car was the best in the world. Defeating that is going to be very difficult. There is one lady in your corner who defends you from the blacklist, but ultimately you’ll have to take down all of the racers if you want your dignity back. Are you ready to challenge these guys or is it curtains for you?

At its core the main gameplay of Most Wanted is naturally racing. You have to beat the other cars to the goal. If we go more in depth, the game has a consistent flow chart of how things work out. To challenge a member of the blacklist (There are 10 people on the blacklist) you have to meet certain criteria. This includes: Complete 6 races, 5 Milestones, and achieve a certain amount of bounty. The races are self explanatory, but there are various types like Drag, Circuit, Sprint, Speed Trap, Lap Knockout, and a Time Attack. They all have differing rules but as long as you drive carefully and quickly you’ll be okay. I personally like Sprint and Speed Trap the most. Just boost at the right times and you’ll be set.

Milestones involve escaping the police and doing some time trials. These start out easy but by the end of the game they are quite difficult. For example, one milestone is to run from the cops for 13 minutes without being caught. You can definitely imagine that this is not very easy. If your car tips over then it’s likely over. There’s also the spike traps that are left out which serve as one hit KO attacks against your car. If you’re hit then it’s all over. The bounty also naturally goes up by destroying cop cars or surviving for a while.

Once you’ve taken down 1 or 2 members of the blacklist you’ll be able to see how the game goes from there. While there aren’t many cutscenes here there are still a few more than in the last game. I imagine that the number should keep going up as you go through the series. The cop takedown videos are pretty fun when you lose although it would be nice if they were skippable. By the end you’ll have seen them many times so they aren’t quite as hype by then.

The graphics are definitely pretty nice. The fact that this game finally takes place in the daytime is cool as it makes for a great contrast during the gameplay. It’s like you’re finally back in a real city. The soundtrack is pretty similar to the last one. At least you are given the option to disable songs you don’t like which is very handy. That is already a pretty big game changer if you ask me. The soundtrack isn’t amazing, but the tempo of the songs certainly fit the races.

There’s a good amount of replay value here. Even after you have beaten the game there are a bunch of races to play. Perhaps not as much as you may think, but certainly enough. You can also just have fun running from the cops for hours. It’s an aspect of the game that won’t get old. Then you’ve also got Challenge Mode which has over 50 things to tackle there. The final challenge is sort of like the final mission in the game as the cops have everyone after you. Don’t think it’ll be easy to evade those guys. This time they’re playing for keeps.

One interesting thing is that you can max out your car before the final two members of the Blacklist show up. You will literally have a car that has all its stat figures maxed out. That means that the final two cars aren’t even worth equipping as they are actually slower than yours. It’s an interesting decision and it was almost a bit odd. Still, I guess it shows that you just have to keep your driving at a high level because at the end they’ll all be matching you. I do recommend trying for the pink slips when you beat the rivals on the blacklist since getting a car is worth the odds.

Also, one thing I liked about the final blacklist race is how the villain appears to cheat which fits with his character. He’ll suddenly vanish from the map and appear in front of you or take a shortcut that you don’t have access to. He beat me once using these cheap tricks. It was cool though because I can’t think of a time a game has done that before and it just makes sense. He cheated the first time, why wouldn’t he do so now? The villain’s name was Razor I believe and while he’s definitely not even a good villain, I did like the voice. It oozed confidence from start to finish.

Overall, Need For Speed Most Wanted is definitely a great title. If you haven’t played a Need For Speed game then I’d say you should certainly start with this one. It’s got the huge hub world from Underground 2, but without the style point grinding. The story also takes more of a focus as you can choose to just do the story battles and go from there. The other games forced you to do a bunch of extra races. Next up is Carbon and I’m interested in seeing how that game is set up. It looks like it might be a bit shorter than these last few, but it’s still Need For Speed so we’ll see about that.

Overall 8/10

Tokyo Mew Mew A La Mode Review


It’s time to look at the quick sequel that came out after the original Tokyo Mew Mew. In omnibus form it’s only one volume so it definitely doesn’t take too long to go through it. It’s a fun sequel but one that does end way too fast. It feels as if the series was cancelled with how abrupt it all is. It doesn’t have the depth of the first series, but it isn’t bad. It’s just uninspired and hits a lot of the beats from the original without the needed length to make the whole thing flow.

After the Mew Mew team destroyed the villains’ ambitions the world probably thought they would enter an era of peace. Unfortunately that was not to be. Monsters continue to spawn in the streets and the heroes are having a much tougher time than normal due to Ichigo moving away. Without their leader the team is lost. We are then introduced to a girl named Berry. She was an ordinary teenager until one day she accidentally receives Mew Mew powers. The cafe owners who run Mew Mew behind the shadows think she has a lot of potential and tell the old heroes that Berry will be their new leader. Ichigo also comes back home temporarily to help the team until all of the monsters are down for the count. The team is pretty stacked now so surely they can win right?

If you think that the whole Berry thing sounds rushed…you’d be right. She basically becomes leader of the team overnight. It’s fortunate that the rest of the team are so understanding of this. Berry is a nice enough protagonist. She’s very similar to Ichigo, but maybe a little bolder and more willing to jump into action. It doesn’t really help the romance angle any more than the first series though. I definitely have no complaints with Berry. I think she is able to hold her own series pretty well. She’s certainly the best of the Mew Mew members at this point. Meanwhile the main guy this time is Tasuku. Tasuku is definitely better than the guy from the first series as he actively does his best to protect Berry and help her get through her personal problems. The guy is pretty selfless and he can even fight a bit. He does fall for mind control pretty easily though and the resolution to that plotline doesn’t help his case either with how quick he snapped out of it. That means the mind control couldn’t have been all that strong. While mind controlled he definitely doesn’t make for a particularly good villain either.

It kind of goes without saying, but naturally I wasn’t a big fan of the romance here. It takes a long time to really go anywhere and the dynamic was better when they were childhood friends. No reason why they couldn’t have just stayed that way. Still, I’ll say that the romance was better than what we got in the first series. That one had way too much back and forth with all of the different guys going after Ichigo. At least this time Berry was only with one guy the whole time.

Now lets talk about the new villains. Or at least most of them. The villain group was fairly big, but some members didn’t get to do anything like Sweet Juliet or Blue Bayou. They’re around to fill out the ranks, but the series ends before they can do anything. Happy Child has an interesting design for sure but he definitely isn’t much of a threat. Really, one of the only tough villains here is Royal Highness. He strikes using mind games and deceptions. That may not sound too impressive but it’s relaly all you would need to take down most of the cast. For the ones that remain all you need are some quick energy bolts. I can’t say that he was an interesting villain though.

Duke is effectively the leader of the group and she even has a hat that looks like something out of the Ku Klux Klan. Right away you can tell that she’ll be one of the big bads here. That being said, she doesn’t seem to have all that strong of a resolve to be honest. She is very quick to re-think her whole plan and that’s part of what hurts the ending to A La Mode. After all of the destruction and nationwide terror her group basically just calls it quite. In a matter of pages they go from trying to destroy the world to just walking away. It’s way too rushed and just hard to believe in general.

The series ending so quickly also didn’t let us properly explore some of the subplots. One example of this is Ichigo who begins to lose her powers for some reason. As a result she can only transform for a few minutes. It’s actually a pretty interesting idea but I’d like an actual reason for it. The rest of the members don’t seem to be affected, but at the same time they are barely characters here. They each get like 2-3 lines of dialogue, but for the most part are just in the background. It’s a shame since having them interact more with Berry could have been fun.

The art is pretty good though. It’s always pretty clear so you can see what is happening during a fight scene. The characters are all drawn differently so you won’t mix them up either. It’s definitely the strongest part of the manga. Not to say that the rest is weak or anything, but the art is just very solid. You won’t have any problems with it as you’re reading through the volume. There’s no problem with the writing either. The dialogue is good and the characters do a good job of saying what they mean. There are never any big misunderstandings because the characters are trying to be vague.

A La Mode’s concept is good and it’s nice seeing the old characters again. I’d definitely be up for more one shot sequels for other titles with a new main character or just bringing back the old cast more like what Fire Red did. Either way it’s fun to see how they’ll make the new villains a threat. In A La Mode’s case I’d argue that they never were much of a threat though. At most they could challenge the heroes when it was one on one, but whenever the teammates would show up it was over. There just wasn’t much that the villains could do at that point.

Overall, A La Mode is a sequel that feels like filler for the most part. It doesn’t really add much to the story, but I’m sure people were probably hyped when it started back in the day since the original Mew Mew ended with a big cliffhanger. I think keeping Berry’s more mysterious personality (Okay, she only had one line but I got that vibe) from the ending would have made her a more interesting character here. It would have also been very unique for sure. I definitely recommend checking this sequel out if you read the original. The series definitely has pacing issues, but overall I would put it above the first series. The plot does start right away so that’s always good.

Overall 6/10

My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Rollercoaster of Friendship Review


It’s time to look at the next Equestria Girls special. This time it is centered around Rarity. Once of the Magic specials was also about her so she’s certainly getting around. Unfortunately this is definitely not her best appearance but she finally gets a big fight scene so that was cool. As always, this was a pretty fun special and since it is fairly short we got to the meat of the story right away.

Applejack and Rarity applied for a position a long time ago with a famous movie star. Unfortunately Applejack did not get the position while Rarity did. Rarity even got a promotion before starting. Vignette shows up to introduce herself and unfortunately she seems to be very self absorbed. Immediately Rarity begins gravitating to her more than the other characters and Applejack begins to feel left out. At first she thinks this may just be normal jealousy, but is it possible that Vignette is actually shadier than she appears?

Naturally you’ll be a little irritated at Rarity betraying her friends so quickly. It’s not out of character or anything as Rarity tends to do this a lot, but after all they’ve been through together you’d just expect her to do a little better. That’s why Rarity has never been one of the better members of the Mane 6. She’s probably the only one who doesn’t really fit her element all that much. Still, she does work to make amends for all of this during the film. Her fight with Vignette is fun as she can reflect energy while Vignette can project it. I would have liked to have seen Rarity fight a little more, but what we got was certainly sound so I can’t complain there.

Vignette makes for a solid villain. You always want to have a rich villain because it makes sense when they take the whole thing in stride. Vignette has always gotten what she wanted in the past so it makes sense that once she got such a cool weapon she would begin using it. She doesn’t owe society anything after all. The ending can maybe get a little cheesy with her, but she was never inherently evil I suppose. She was just super naive and possibly evil. She just needed to remember that social media friends are real friends. Once she accepts that then she will really be a better person.

Applejack looks reasonably good here even if she possibly does take Rarity’s betrayal a little too hard. She’s still friends with the rest of the girls so that should be a nice consolation. Even if Rarity were to leave she would have a bunch of friends. Still, it’s because she took the whole thing so seriously that she was able to find out Vignette’s real objective. Applejack may not have been able to win in their encounter, but it’s hard to deal with one hit KO attacks.

The other characters mainly get the shaft here as naturally not everyone can get a whole lot of screen time. Still, they all contribute here and there. Sunset once again showed that she has the greatest skills out of all the characters. She was able to win in a game that was made to be rigged. If that’s not talent then I don’t know what it is! Twilight did her best but playing by the book doesn’t always work. She needed to throw her ring with her heart instead of her mind.

There’s only one bad subplot here and that is the one with Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash. It’s an annoying trope that I can’t say I’m surprised to see. Rainbow Dash is usually the brave character so naturally the film thought it would be humorous if she got scared of the roller coaster while Fluttershy could handle it. I’m fine with Fluttershy not being scared for once even if that seems odd, but Rainbow Dash shouldn’t be nerfed. The whole thing feels super forced and as a result Rainbow Dash looked pretty bad here.

Naturally the animation is pretty consistent with the rest of the series. The character designs aren’t bad and the animation is pretty good. There aren’t really any memorable songs here this time, but the intro theme to the special is always fun. It does remind me that the main MLP show needs a theme song revamp at some point. Something with a cool techno/rock beat to it. I think that would take the music to the next level.

Overall, The Rollercoaster of Friendship was a good special. It’s not quite as good as any of the main movies, but with only about an hour to work with I think it did a good job of including everything it could. Take away that one subplot with Rainbow Dash and it would be even better. Still, this is definitely a title that I can recommend to anyone. It’s got a lot of heart and there’s nothing all that bad about it. With this I am basically caught up with all the big Equestria Girl stuff. All I have to do now is watch a bunch of the shorts and I can say with confidence that I have finished the world of MLP. (Until more stuff air)

Overall 7/10

The Meg Review


It’s time to look at a pretty recent shark film known as The Meg. This one definitely had an interesting trailer for the most part although it definitely seemed to shift in tone quite a bit. For the most part this film takes itself seriously but always keeps a light tone throughout. It makes enough mistakes to keep it from being a good film, but does avoid the critical error involving a dog that could have been tricky.

The film starts off with a group of divers heading lower than they’ve ever gone before. They’re in a submarine so at least they feel pretty safe against the elements. They are a part of a group that is being funded by a billionaire known as Jack. Unfortunately they are attacked by a giant shark known as Meg. There is now no way to bring them back up so the team is forced to call in former expert Jonas. Jonas quit because of an incident where he was attacked by a giant shark and was only able to save most of his team. Well, they want him to go back in the ocean again, but can Jonas really face the same beast twice?

Meg is one of those movies where the plot gradually changes as the film goes on. If you watch the trailer before seeing the movie you can guess what the final act will be as you are waiting for the scene to happen for a very long time. The movie is pretty fun. There’s good pacing and the plot is certainly engaging. While the cast isn’t amazing, they’re better than what I’d consider to be the average for this kind of film. I may as well say up front that the film did a great job in saving the dog. There’s a scene where you think it may be all over for the little guy and it was going to be over for the film’s score as well. Fortunately that didn’t end up happening which saved the film 2 stars I’d say. Now that could work as a jump scare, but I still think films should mainly avoid the animal angle.

Of course, it does put the film in a dicey predicament as the main villain is an animal. How do you stop Meg without injuring her? Well, the quick answer is that you can’t and that limits the film’s potential from the start. Naturally I’m rooting for Meg the whole time because she is just trying to live in a tough world. It’s the pesky humans who keep getting in her way all the time. Meg makes for a good antagonist. She’s pretty huge and certainly vicious. Meg puts up a great fight throughout the film.

While the film’s theme is nowhere near as hype as the classic Jaws tune, the movie does its best to give Meg a theme as well. It works reasonably well in setting up the tone for her scenes. The effects are solid as well. Now lets talk about the human characters. I thought Jack was a pretty solid character. The billionaires in these films are always a lot of fun. Of course, you get the feeling they’re gonna die as soon as they appear since that’s pretty much a staple for this character type. Well, at least his scenes are very memorable throughout. He’s constantly talking tough and for the most part thought things through well. He just got a little sloppy by the end. I also don’t see how you can trip in such a situation, but it felt like all the characters in this film were constantly tripping. I guess the boats can be slippery.

Jonas makes for a good lead. Contrary to Dr. Heller’s assessment, he made the right call when leaving the ship in the intro. I thought that should have been obvious when the whole thing exploded seconds later. They all would have died. Jonas still goes back to help everyone out even though he isn’t particularly thrilled at the prospect. He tackles all of the tough jobs including using himself as live bait. I do think the heroes started stretching their luck with some of the plans though like having him swim towards the shark and launching a tracker. From that close distance in all likelihood Jonas would have been doomed. It’s basically a suicide mission but the characters don’t act like it’s that dangerous.

So, the writing can be a bit dicey at times, but it isn’t terrible or anything. Another instance of bad writing it one of the side characters. He’s basically only around to crack dicey jokes and is one of the first guys to go. He’s another guy where you know he is doomed from the start. He doesn’t add anything to the film and that’s certainly worth noting. The main heroine is good though. Suyin is always ready to jump into danger and is the first one on the rescue mission to help the stranded divers. Her daughter also gets quite a bit of screen time. She can be a bit iffy when trying to play matchmaker but definitely knows a lot about the sub. It’s always good to start learning about tech and such at a young age.

Overall, The Meg is an action film that delivers on everything it promises. There are some films where you basically know exactly what you are getting into from the start. This is one of those movies and that’s not a bad thing. The film’s consistent. It still lost a lot of points for animal violence and a dicey script, but if you’re not someone who minds the animal violence part then you’ll probably enjoy the film. The action scenes are on point and Meg definitely lives up to her hype of being a huge shark.

Overall 3/10