Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

War of the Gargantuas Review


It’s time to look at a classic creature feature film. This one is about monsters that I’m not all that familiar with. They look a bit like King Kong but even more humanoid. The movie has a bit of a pacing issue near the end as it feels like they could have shaved some time off, but overall it’s a solid film. You’ve got some good action and the government is surprisingly able to defend themselves pretty well against the monsters. These guys definitely couldn’t go toe to toe with Godzilla, but you can definitely respect their power.

The movie starts off with a sailor getting attacked by a Giant Octopus. He is saved when a monster shows up and begins to do battle with it, but this becomes an “Out of the frying pan and into the fire” scenario as the monster begins attacking the ship. Somehow the sailor survives all of this and heads home to warn everyone else. The cops don’t buy this story for a second, but they become true believers once the monster shows up and starts terrorizing towns. Some believe that Frankenstein has returned, but his creators aren’t so sure. One thing that they do know is this monster must be stopped and stopped pretty soon or everyone will be in trouble. It is weak against sunlight so they will have to weaponize that.

Paul and Akemi are the main characters here. They raised the original Frankenstein who ultimately ended up becoming Sanda. It’s rather interesting that they call him Frankenstein because to me at least the monsters look nothing like that icon. I’m glad the Kaiju ultimately got different names later on. The problem here is that another monster known as Gaira has shown up and he is against the humans. He wants to destroy everyone and is definitely a rather vengeful creature. Akemi wants to protect Sanda but it’s a tough challenge right from the start since he is protecting Gaira. Sanda later realizes that Gaira isn’t on the right side, but it takes a while for that to become apparent.

Akemi is a solid heroine and means well. I’m glad that she sticks by Sanda throughout. She has a more active role than you would suspect. Paul is also pretty solid and does his best to help out, but he isn’t quite as personally invested in the situation. He seems to think of everything as a game with how laid back he is. That could just be his way of dealing with the situation though so that’s not to say that he was completely uncaring about how things were going. He was a good character.

As for the monsters, they weren’t my favorite ones. As I mentioned they look a bit like King Kong, but you could cross that with the Yeti. Together that really makes up the Kaiju pair. There aren’t any real differences between them except that Gaira is evil while Sanda is the heroic one. They are pretty evenly matched and get into a lot of battles. They aren’t extremely durable as the government is able to combat them, but this government was surprisingly high tech. They have a bunch of energy lasers at their disposal and endless rockets. If this was the government going up against Godzilla and the other popular Kaiju maybe they would have had a real shot. Electrifying the water was also a solid plan and they really had Gaira pinned down at that point. It is always a little sad to see the Kaiju on the losing end, but it’s handled well. If anything you’ll just feel especially bad for Sanda at the end.

The writing here is pretty fun and the Dub always makes these Kaiju films even more enjoyable than they would be otherwise. The voice acting is just great. There’s a good blend of humor here while still staying serious when the situation calls for it. The police chief breaking into the room and forcing the guy in a coma to talk was just brilliant. Characters just push themselves through situations and that’s the kind of persistence you need in order to stay alive in these films.

The main cast is really small here, but that’s fine. You’re mainly here for the monsters after all and they appear within the opening 5 minutes. They showed up so fast that I was pretty impressed. Naturally there are still a lot of moments without them, but the humans can hold their own scenes pretty well I must say. There’s also one long song that comes out of nowhere. I can’t say that it was my kind of tune, but I’m still glad she managed to get out of there in one piece. For a second I thought she wasn’t going to make it out in time.

Overall, War of the Gargantuas is a solid film. I admit that it will have less replay value than some of the other Kaiju movies due to its sheer length but it is a good film. I think the best special effect in the film was the Octopus’ glowing eyes. It really made him look fierce and that’s why these Kaiju suits have all aged well. You just can’t beat that level of detail. If you haven’t seen this movie yet then I would recommend changing that as soon as possible. It’s really got everything you could ask for and while it may not ascend to the same heights as Godzilla or Gamera, it’s a great example of what a Kaiju film is. Show this to someone who is getting ready to jump into the genre and needs reassurance that the whole genre isn’t just Godzilla movies.

Overall 7/10

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Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

Village of the Damned (1995) 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 the gritty remake of the original film. This one decides to switch out the tense atmosphere for just murdering everybody and misses the entire point of the concept. It’s not as if it’s a great concept from the start, but the original movie had 1000x the quality of this remake. The 1995 film just isn’t very good and I had to give it a full thumbs down in this go-around. Better luck next time I suppose…also I would switch the title as well.

The movie starts off by introducing us to a nice little town. Unfortunately one day everyone abruptly falls asleep and it’s like the whole town was shut down. The government is called in and agent Verner shows up. It turns out that everyone in the village is now about to have a baby so she offers them all a ton of money to keep the babies. These babies have super powers which mainly involve telepathy but also a shared memory so they learn at the same time. They quickly begin bumping everyone off in the village so the government is forced to consider drastic options. Is there any good in these monster children or are they all corrupt from the start?

The main guy here is Alan and his kid is really the leader of the pack. He wants to see the good in the kids, but after they murder his wife he finds himself having a hard time coping. Verner wants him in the thick of things though because he is the only one who can really handle the truth about these babies. It puts him in a pretty tricky spot. He seems to have the most optimism that there could be some good in them despite what happened early on in the movie. He’s a reasonable character and at least he put up some mental defenses. I would have liked him to be more pro-active rather than giving up after his wife was bumped off though. It’s hard to take revenge against kids, but maybe moving out of town or trying to arrest them. Almost anything’s better than just giving up.

Meanwhile the other parents all have their little plots as well. Some go drunk and crazy because they aren’t used to kids being so powerful. Others try to still be normal parents, but this becomes impossible. Ultimately the kids are all evil and want to end humankind anyway so it’s not like it really matters what the people do. They all have to be extra careful though because if they make any kind of mistake or look at the kids in a mean way it’s curtains. The penalty for any kind of action against them is automatically death which is pretty intense. They also make sure to destroy the humans as painfully as possible and punish them multiple times.

This version of the movie is just very dark in this respect. The kids take over the village rather quickly. They’re impossible to defeat at least with how long the people take to act. One such scene is when the government is called in and they all stop to tell the kids to put their hands in the air. What’s the point of doing this when they can just break your mind and make you shoot everyone else? If you’re coming in to eliminate the kids then you shoot right away. If that wasn’t the game plan then you shouldn’t have shown up at all. Coming in half ready just means there will be more victims. It is an excuse to have a long fight between the cops and the army which ultimately doesn’t accomplish much of anything.

The saddest death is probably for Verner. You had a feeling that the kids would get to her eventually but there was a point where you thought she had a chance. After she warned Alan to get out she should have made a beeline for anywhere outside the town. Not leaving immediately is ultimately what cost her. The luckiest characters would definitely be the ones who get hit by the bomb since it’s at least an instant death instead of it being drawn out.

Only one of the kids does not appear to be totally evil and even he waits until the very end of the movie to do anything. I would have liked to have seen him stand up to the other kids a little sooner. Alan does buy him enough time to make a stand so it’s better than nothing. At least Jill and David get a happy ending which is one more happy ending than anyone got in the Omen. This is still a terrible film though. I think part of the issue here is that a lot of violence is committed towards non-combatants.

Over the top violence is bad in any context. I would argue though that there is still a world of difference between someone like the Terminator and a bunch of army fighters getting destroyed than a local school teacher who has nothing to do with anything. A lot of the people who end up dying in this film really had no malicious intentions and just made a mistake along the way. For them to meet such a gruesome end really doesn’t do anything to service the plot and just feels gratuitous. It’s really poor writing that is just an excuse to feature more deaths. This film really relies on shock value at the expense of every other part of the movie.

Overall, I’d recommend staying away from this movie. We’ve got another big 0 here and you can probably see the trend. Films about evil kids are usually just pretty terrible and especially when you make them as gruesome as this film. The murders are really bad here and some of them are even worse than what you’d expect to see in something like Scream. I highly recommend watching the original instead if you want to see this plot, but honestly you could also just skip it entirely. There’s really nothing here that you absolutely need to see and I wouldn’t exactly call it an enjoyable experience either way. What you want is a real film with action scenes like Man of Steel or something.

Overall 0/10

Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

The Omen 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 take a look at the Omen. It’s a fairly well known film but definitely one that falls through the bucket list and ends in the can. It’s one of those movies that’s terrible from start to finish to the point where I subconsciously started 3 sentences in a row with “It’s” and that’s not the way you want to start any review. From the premise you already get a general sense of where this is going and whenever your baby is the Anti-Christ or the Devil you’re in for a tough time.

The film starts off with Robert and Katherine having a baby but supposedly it didn’t make it through the operation. A religious guy shows up and tells Robert he should hide this from his wife and adopt a different baby that they will pretend is his son. There’s so many red flags here I don’t even know where to start. Introducing a kid into your life on the foundation of lies is a terrible way to start. Katherine may never find out but that isn’t even the point. You’ll be lying to her every single day that you withhold this knowledge. Lies of omission are sometimes debated on whether they are lies or not but even getting around that I’m sure he’l be referring to Damien as “their son” many times as the years go by which will be direct lies. It’s also something that Katherine deserves to know and to have made a choice on. The other red flag here is that this supposedly religious guy is telling him to lie. That’s why you always want to take a double look. Just because someone claims to be a person of the faith doesn’t automatically mean that you should trust him/her.

So they take the kid in, but strange things begin to happen. No animal wants to be anywhere near Damien. His nanny also takes her own life which leads to a Ms. Baylock showing up as their new caretaker. Neither Robert or Katherine actually requested her, but somehow they are fine with this and allow her to stay. She defies them at every turn and constantly breaks the rules, but none of them have the courage to stop her. Before long Baylock turns Damien against the parents and by the time they are ready to do anything about it they are too late. So ends this film.

Omen is just a very mean spirited film from start to finish. The evil kid routine is definitely one of the weaker horror plots and I really don’t think you’ll ever be able to turn this into a quality movie. Damien is unlikable from the start and he just gets away with so much. You just want Robert or Katherine to do something about it, but they never do. One such scene is when Katherine tells Robert not to let them destroy her, but he promptly travels to a different country and while he is gone they finish her off. How could he leave her alone when he knows that she is in such danger?

Lets also back up to when Baylock brings a dog to the house when Robert forbade it. That should have been game over. He should have fired her on the spot, but didn’t. She also wanted to be alone with Damien and did not allow the parents to see him. What kind of parents would allow this? She even got a room inside Damien’s room while the parents are down the hall. Nothing about any of this makes any sense and of course she would end up brainwashing him. Robert and Katherine were downright negligent here. I’d also argue that Katherine should have kept her guard up more with Damien running around the house. She also should have flat out told Robert that he threw her off the roof with the hit, but at best she implies this. The characters make terrible decisions throughout the movie which ultimately leads to their reckoning.

Keith is really the only character here who was at least trying to do something. He figured out the supernatural element early on thanks to his photos, but had a hard time convincing anyone of it. By the time he got some actionable intel his fate was sealed. Omen has a lot of destiny themes so ultimately you knew he wasn’t going to get out of this one alive. Robert didn’t really help matters though. Then Baylock makes for a tough villain, but the film gives her way too much influence by having everyone else avoid dealing with her.

The writing here is as terrible as it gets. Nobody makes any logical decisions at any point in the movie. Robert is also super slow on the uptake when the one guy is trying to warn him about the Anti-Christ. It makes sense that he wouldn’t buy into it at first but as things begin to happen you’d want him to piece two and two together. Of course the guy did end up getting blasted by lightning and then impaled so everything was against him. Damien sure has a ton of power considering that he’s just a kid and the same for his followers. The humans don’t really have a chance so what’s the point of this movie?

Overall, Omen has very slow pacing and a terrible plot. This is one of those films with no redeemable qualities. It can get pretty violent, but more importantly it’s just very mean spirited. Nobody gets a happy ending and evil wins in the end. I don’t think even the best of movies can pull this off. You can have a movie where the villain wins in the end like Homura or one where there isn’t really a happy ending for anyone, but if you mix them both then that’s a recipe for disaster. There has to be something in the ending that you can sink your teeth into and salvage, but like this there really isn’t anything. It’s just an unpleasant experience and there is no replay value here. I’d recommend taking a visit down to Popeyes and trying the chicken sandwich instead of watching this movie. Trust me, you’ll feel more hype waiting in line than any scene in this flick.

Overall 0/10

Comic Reviews, Comics, Reviews

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Volume 14 Review


It’s time to look at one of the volumes for the main MLP:FIM series. We’re jumping all the way to volume 14 so these issues are actually fairly recent. It’s also cool that the Cutie Mark Crusaders get an issue here since I just got to read their mysteries from the spinoff. It’s definitely a solid volume and while I would give the earlier volume the slight edge, this one brings the same level of quality that you would expect from the series. Without further adieu lets take a look at em.

The first story is a sequel to the episode where Rainbow Dash kept throwing away Pinkie Pie’s pies. Pinkie has decided that she needs Rainbow to learn to love pie. Her method for getting Dash to see the light is to make a bunch of different pie flavors. She figures that Rainbow is bound to love at least one of them and that’ll be her chance. Rainbow doesn’t want to hurt Pinkie’s feelings again, but she really doesn’t like pie. What can she do? It’s tough for Rainbow because half the time she is trying to be nice and that’s why the issues happen here. Rainbow really tries to be a good sport about this, but as always Pinkie uses that as an excuse to go a little too far with her plans. She should have taken the hint that this was no fun for Rainbow.

It’s a pretty fun story and I was definitely on team Dash here. Her idea on how to get the message across to Pinkie was really quite sound. It worked effectively and also wasn’t a mean way to do it. Pinkie’s a little slow on the uptake at times, but it does sink in at the very end and Rainbow did it in a way where they could keep their friendship. It’s a solid story with a really solid resolution.

Next up is the Cutie Mark Crusaders issue. The rich moneybags is bringing his daughter along and she does not have a cutie mark yet. Rarity advises him to have her go to the CMC camp where they help little ponies find their calling. Scootaloo quickly realizes that this pony isn’t having any fun, but Apple Bloom and Sweetie Bell are confident that if they do things the way they always have it’ll work out regardless. As a result they also shut down all of Scootaloo’s ideas to make things more exciting. It looks like she will first have to convince her friends to change things up before she can help the other ponies.

I think Sweetie Bell and Apple Bloom are a little out of character here. It’s not like them to just shut down Scootaloo at every turn. It gets to the point where they cut her off and act a little rude. I’m also surprised Scoot didn’t talk back even a little. It’s great that she’s so nice, but if there was ever a time to be a little aggressive then this is it. Ultimately she talks to them and they agree to do her ideas, but not in time for the camp. I suppose there is always next year though. The main plot with moneybags goes pretty well as he isn’t disappointed in his daughter getting a telescope mark. He seems like a very reasonable guy. Certainly the supportive father you would want to have as a young filly.

With the third comic we bring the center stage back to Twilight Sparkle. She is attending an event where the rulers of each species arrive to learn more about each other’s culture. Most of them aren’t used to learning about others and are really just here to brag about themselves. Twilight is still fascinated by all of this, but things get a little dangerous when they find a scroll that says Equestria didn’t pay off the Griffins and must give up half of their land. If Twilight doesn’t find some other material to prove they paid Equestria will be changed forever in a diplomatic incident. This event just got a lot more tense.

When something like this happens you quickly learn who your real friends are. The leader of the griffins is quick to say that he wants half of the land or money with interest enough to bankrupt Equestria. Once they find the scroll he changes his tune, but it’s way too late for that. We saw his true colors quite vividly. The real villain is another member though who is enjoying this quite a lot. It’s not some grand conspiracy like he made the paper up, but he does seize the opportunity. It’s also nice to see the rulers of all the other kingdoms weigh in here. There have definitely been a lot of other species introduced over the years and it’s easy to forget that they have a lot of characters as well. My Little Pony isn’t all about the ponies anymore. I’d like to have seen Celestia stand up for Equestria a little more here, but I suppose she did what she thought was the fairest course of action.

Finally we have the anti sugar club. An old lady shows up and demands that Ponyville bans sugar. She points out all the legitimate safety concerns and the ponies quickly jump on her side. Well, most of them do. A small resistance group including Applejack and Rainbow Dash hide in the barn where they eat as much sugar as they can. Ironically this would quickly lead to everything the old lady warned them about. Twilight points out that sugar in small doses isn’t so bad though. It’s a fun comic, but Ponyville is way to quick to turn on everyone. I can understand them not wanting to have sweets for a while, but why act mean to Mr and Mrs Cake as well as Pinkie Pie? It’s not like they were baking cakes with the intent of harming people. I also thought it was a stretch that Pinkie Pie joined the old lady so quickly.

From the four comics this was the weakest one mainly because the ponies turned on their heroes so quickly. After everything the Mane 6 have done for them you’d expect a little more loyalty. The old lady isn’t necessarily wrong in that sugar is the biggest killer of them all, but you don’t need to ban it. Self control is the important thing here and eating sugar is a choice. If you choose to have a lot of it then that’s just the way the ball bounces. If you ban everything that is bad for you then you’ll run out of things quickly and will embolden the underworld. Pinkie Pie would also be the first to get sick with how many cakes she’s eating. The issue does address that though as Pinkie admits that she has a ton of vegetables off screen. Good to see that she stays healthy.

The art varies a little more compared to the other trades. I’m guessing some issues were done by different artists. It can be a bit more scattered with ponies appearing off model, but overall is looks pretty good. The colors are on point and it’s definitely a comic that is very easy to read. You’ll be breezing through as you enjoy the nice adventures. The writing is always solid and these issues just make for a fun read. There’s really nothing negative to say about them.

Overall, Friendship is Magic continues to be a solid series. My favorite issue was the third one. It was a good way of getting all of the different groups to put aside their differences and team up. It’s also nice to see how proud of their cultures each animal is. The dragons may be rather arrogant, but beneath that it’s just because they want to make sure their fellow dragons are given respect. The same can be said for all of the others. By the end of this ceremony they are all a lot closer than they were before it started. I’ll be starting the next volume pretty soon so get ready for another review!

Overall 7/10

Book Reviews, Books, Reviews

Bendy and the Ink Machine: Employee Handbook Review


It’s time to look at the Bendy guidebook that came out a while back. I like the angle of calling it an Employee Handbook as it guides you through the inner workings of the company. The first half of the book is basically a walkthrough of the game and then the second half gives you illustrations, concept art, and fun facts. It’s a fun way to learn more about the universe of Bendy. Also if you missed out on a lot of the audio tapes like me you get to see them all here which is pretty cool.

It’s been a long while since I’ve written a book review and this one doesn’t technically have a plot so it’s definitely a nice way to jump back in. There’s really nothing negative to say about the book because it does a really good job of getting you the information you need. The writer had a lot of fun with the script here as there are a bunch of inside jokes. Things take a sinister turn now and then with the narrarator always having a passive aggressive tone. They let you know that taking vacations is not going to happen here and double down on the fact that you should be really happy at the job.

You learn through clippings and employee quotes that most of them aren’t getting paid for the overtime they put in. Additionally they have to work in a very noisy environment and there is a ton of office gossip. It sounds like Drew really got more and more corrupt as time went on. He didn’t even give too much credit to the guy who built the amusement park for Bendy. As the book goes on you really see how the whole thing spiraled out of control. I think all of the blame can really fall to Joey here though. He seemed to know or at least suspect that something wasn’t up but did nothing to stop it. He pit employees against each other and kept making the work conditions worse until something had to give. His special projects also ate away at all of the organization’s budget until it naturally had to go under.

Sammy definitely seems like the diciest person on the staff. He appeared to be losing his mind early on so it doesn’t even come as a surprise when he goes off the deep end. His appearance was one of the most powerful moments of the whole game though and I was a little sad that we didn’t get more development for him in the book. He’s a pivotal figure and while this is the kind of series where we likely will never get all of the answers, it will still be cool to learn a little more about him.

I did learn how to draw Bendy at the end of the book which was pretty cool. I didn’t try to draw his partners yet since they seem a little more complex but I’ll add that to the bucket list. It’s a nice little addition that I’m glad made it into the book. I also took a look at the bacon soup recipe which sounds reasonable, but I’m not a big soup fan so I’ll probably skip on that. I feel like I’m not a big fan of soup because I like my food to be solid. It would explain why pudding and jello don’t really rank for me either. I’ll eat em all of course, but they aren’t my first choice.

There’s not much else to say here but I’m ready for that Bendy sequel. I know they are saying it’s not a total sequel in some ways, but I really hope it is. Maybe that’ll be some kind of plot twist. Really the game doesn’t even need to answer any plot questions, I’m just ready to learn more about the time loop and fighting off Bendy a little more. It’s impressive how many theory videos there are about Bendy. That’s the kind of following you get when the writing is on point and you build such an interesting lore into the game.

Overall, The Employee Handbook is a pretty fun book to read through. It’s definitely helpful for trying to get the Platinum in the Bendy game since they show you all the collectible locations and give you tips along the way. You could even read it as you play through the game although I wouldn’t recommend it since part of the experience is experiencing everything first hand. The book would spoil some aspects for you if you’re doing both simultaneously. Even if you don’t buy the game it’s a pretty interesting look at the back-end and maybe it’ll even convince you to buy the game. It’ll definitely have succeeded in a major way if that’s the case.

Overall 7/10

Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

Let’s Scare Jessica to Death Review


It’s time to look at a horror film filled with characters making terrible choices throughout the movie. It gets to the point where you have to question their sanity and this is definitely not one of those films that wins any consolation points. From the camera work to the characters nothing about this film clicks. You sort of get that feeling right from the start that things aren’t right and it ultimately pans out. I’m afraid that this film won’t be scaring anyone.

The movie starts with Jessica getting out of the asylum and getting ready to move to a new place with her husband Duncan and their friend Woody. Jessica has them stop by a cemetery first since her hobby is to trace the gravestones and the put the pictures up in her room. To each their own I suppose, but considering that she was just in a pretty bad place I’m surprised they didn’t try to get her out of this habit. Jessica encounters two ghosts along the way to the house but decides not to say anything in case people believe that she has finally cracked. They make it to the house and discover that someone already lives there. Her name is Emily and she has no place to stay. Emily quickly begins to seduce Duncan and Woody while also making Jessica really self conscious about her own appearance. Keeping all of this in mind Jessica decides to fail at basic logic and invites Emily to stay indefinitely.

At this point I’m sure everyone walked out of the theater but that’s the basic premise. Jessica must now struggle with her own issues as well as the fact that Emily plans on stealing everyone away. The whole village also doesn’t like Jessica and Duncan for some reason so they won’t be of any help. With the world crashing all around her Jessica starts to deteriorate more and more. Are these ghosts actually there or is there some kind of conspiracy to try and break Jessica’s mind? One way or the other she will definitely be finding out pretty soon.

I think we need to take a step back here and just look at why letting Emily stay is one of the worst movie decisions I’ve ever seen. This is on par with deciding to run back into an abandoned house where the murderer is just to pick up a piece of paper or insulting a terrorist with a rifle to show off in front of your friends. I think the only possible case you could make here is that Jessica was being a good person since Emily was in a bad spot. That’s not good enough I’m afraid. That’s because Jessica already got multiple red flags like Emily intentionally scaring Jessica and then her messing with Duncan and Woody. Helping other people is great, but if you already know that they’re going to make your life a nightmare it isn’t worth it. There was absolutely no benefit in letting Emily stay.

By horror movie rules you know that it wouldn’t have ultimately mattered. She would have gotten Duncan anyway, but at least Jessica could have delayed things a little bit. All she did her was speed things up and that was not a great move. It was a terrible move. It’s hard to really take the rest of the situation seriously after this because Jessica really invited this on herself. It also doesn’t help that she is not a very confrontational person by nature. Jessica will let the others walk all over her and that means she is already at a considerable disadvantage here. Jessica was not a good main character and is simply too soft. She even allows Emily to take her to the lake by herself and gets attacked multiple times but still does not say anything. That’s just going too far. Jessica also overrates her own abilities as she keeps telling Duncan to stop trying to protect her only to crack even further afterwards.

Meanwhile Duncan is a terrible character. I don’t care how charming Emily is, (The film wants us to believe that at any rate. She looks half dead the whole film which ties in to a plot twist) he’s married. That’s game over. Full period. There’s nothing she could possibly do that he should allow to have him break his vows. It just makes him come across as weak and also makes him a terrible person. It’s fine for Woody to have an affair since he isn’t even with anyone, but that’s it. Woody’s the most reasonable character of the 3, but he’s working on the tractor during the entire film so he never actually notices anything. He gets played like a fiddle and then wrecked so he really doesn’t get to contribute at all. Jessica really should have asked for his help a whole lot sooner.

From the start of the film we see that everyone has a scar in the village. They’re also all antagonistic towards the main characters to the point where they are backup villains. Surprisingly the film doesn’t address this until the very end and it happens so late that I thought the film was just going to back away from that plot. You can probably guess what is happening here as the film does offer some foreshadowing with Emily. I definitely don’t think it was in her head or that it was a dream. I think everything happened and the plan all along was for the villains to mess with Jessica. Even the title supports this and I think they just did their job so well that even the viewer may have some doubts. Jessica is just terrible at fighting back against this kind of thing so she walked into all of the traps.

Overall, this is just a terrible film. There’s nothing enjoyable about it. It’s really just a film about a homewrecker messing with everyone and the characters are too weak to stay strong. The supernatural elements are so brief that they may as well not even be there. The camera work has that dusty feel about it which is hard to describe but occurs a lot with the more distasteful indie type films. It generates a rather foreboding atmosphere on its own which is impressive but usually it means that you’re about to watch a stinker. The film drags on with its slow pacing and the terrible cast doesn’t do it any favors either. There are no good music tracks to listen to and so the film really failed on all accounts. There’s nothing to salvage here and so I’d recommend checking out just about anything else instead. You’ll be glad that you skipped this one.

Overall 0/10

Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

Scream 3 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 the third installment in the Scream series. The characters are back once again and this time they are going to have to deal with another murderer. Sidney really can’t catch a break. The last film really ended with things basically going to rock bottom for her since all of her friends are dead once again. Well, she’ll have to prepare for more losses in this movie but at least it’s slightly less personal for her since it’s not like she even knows any of these guys this time.

Sidney made the logical choice of deciding to live in the outskirts of the world by herself now. She has a huge chunk of land with many different security systems both outside and in the house. She even has a guard dog. Nobody knows where she lives and that’s exactly the way that she wants to keep it. Unfortunately she does see on TV that people relating to the Stab movie series are being murdered one by one. Those movies are based off of her real life experiences from the first two films so she realizes that someone has once again started the murder games. She isn’t sure how to proceed or if she should get involved. The choice is taken out of her hands when she receives a call from the murderer though. He is after her once again but this time she has a gun at the ready.

Sidney’s gone from being your average school girl to Alice from Resident Evil. At this point she is no stranger to dealing with lunatics and it really shows. Her character is amazing in this film as she takes everything in stride and jumps into danger. She refuses to let the villains intimidate her and at this point the only thing that scares her is the ghost of her mother. Sidney does have some PTSD and considering her experiences it’s a wonder that she’s coped with it so well. Sidney’s even got a job listening to everyone else’s troubles which sounds tough. After this film it’s safe to say that she’s the second best horror protagonist I’ve seen besides Alice. It’ll be tough for anyone else to pass her and if you have any doubts just watch the climax. She really came prepared for a fight and can actually punch quite well. We saw her throw a punch in the first film and there’s always been some foreshadowing for it. It’s just nice to see her really go all out here.

I have to give the film major props for one thing that it did not do. I don’t know if this was also a parody but if it was then it’s really clever. As I mentioned Sidney has a dog here and that’s an instant death flag not just for the dog but for the movie. It’s a trope that in pretty much every horror film an animal has to die. Well, this one managed to avoid the temptation and the dog was actually a red herring. He never got to appear again until the ending and I’m fine with that. Actually, I’m thrilled about it! Scream 3 was my favorite of the 3 films even if only by a little and having a dog die would have thrown it down into last place.

There is one really random scene here though where a character I don’t remember ever seeing before shows up to deliver a tape of the guy who died in the second film. He points out that in trilogies anything can happen so he warns the characters so they don’t get murdered. It’s nice that he wanted to give some advice and the scene is so surreal that it’s actually pretty funny. Still, most of his advice is stuff that doesn’t tangibly help the characters. “None of you are safe” sounds like great advice but they all already knew they were targets so if anything it just scares them more than they already were. I’m sure they appreciated the help either way though.

Since Sidney doesn’t get involved til later on in the film you could almost say that Dewey and Gale were the main characters here. Naturally they get to bicker in their opening confrontation once again. I dare say that this was their best meeting of the 3 films as they each get a lot of burns and you have the great music in the background as always. I really think they shouldn’t get back together at this point because their dynamic works so well as rivals. We also get a third addition to the mix as the actress playing Gale steps in as well. She’s gotten so far into the role that she has her own Gale persona at this point and uses it quite a lot.

You should not get attached to too many of the characters though because standard horror rules apply. Unless you are from one of the first two films you probably shouldn’t count on surviving in this one. If you just had a cameo in the first film then you should watch out as well like poor Cotton. He’s the opening stinger this time and it is a bold opening since you may have suspected that he would be safe. At the same time he never had the same kind of plot shield as Sidney, Gale, or Dewey would have had. The opening scene is definitely tragic for him, but at least he does put up a fight. It was just not a battle that he was going to win.

So Dewey and Gale aren’t bad. Gale is starting to feel a little old for the chase scenes and investigating, but she’s still jumping into danger at every turn. At the very least you have to admire the fact that she never gives up. Dewey’s also getting old as you can see with how often he gets beaten up every time. At least he tries though. One of the new characters is Officer Kincaid. He’s a detective who wants to crack this case. He talks really tough but somehow you just never feel like he’s going to stand much of a chance. I suppose it’s up to him to prove you wrong.

I do have one big gripe with this film though. How come none of the characters seem to remember what a voice changer was? It’s treated like a huge twist at the end of the film that such a thing exists, but the villains have been using it since the first film. Every film has a voice changer and with the Stab films that exist here I presume that the villains used it in those to. It should have been their first clue when they start hearing voices or when Sidney says that she knows her mother spoke to her. Somehow nobody even acknowledges this as a possibility and it just felt very odd. It’s either a huge plot hole or it’s part of the parody element. Sometimes it’s hard to know what’s being parodied and what isn’t anymore. Still, it felt a bit off.

As always the film is pretty violent though. I feel like the deaths weren’t quite as gruesome as the first two though. I wouldn’t necessarily say that it’s less bloody than the first two but characters are mainly getting stabbed this time and not going through painfully long deaths. Not like it makes a huge difference after a point though. It’s still very over the top and you’d expect nothing less from a slasher.

The soundtrack is about on par with the second film. It’s still way above average for a horror film, but not quite ready to take on the first movie. The suit has still aged pretty well though and the effects are on point. The fight at the end of the film is the best fight in the series and it all works as a solid tribute to the first film. I imagine a lot of this movie felt pretty nostalgic for long time viewers who grew up with the original two.

Scream 3 definitely has the most fun with its parody elements in the final climax though. From the “Let’s split up” every 5 minutes to characters slowly opening doors and getting stabbed it just feels like they choose a lot of the wrong answers. The scene with Dewey getting hit by a boomerang gun couldn’t have been meant to be taken seriously. As I mentioned he does appear to get weaker each time. The characters also need to stop aiming for the chest against every villain especially when it doesn’t seem to be working. I think after someone’s already murdered tons of people you can go for the head shot, but if not then at least take out a leg or an arm. It’s a tougher shot but you can just start spamming at this point until you run out of bullets.

A film like this never truly has a happy ending for the characters when you consider how much they’ve lost. Still, it is a happier ending than the last film for Sidney. This time she still has her dog, a safe place to stay, and even some friends in Dewey and Gale. She’s also conquered her demons at last. If not for the fourth film you’d expect this to really be the ideal ending for her. The other characters also got reasonable endings here. The film does offer up what could be interpreted as a trick ending to close things out though. In this case I don’t really think anyone is actually there, but I do think it’s crazy that Sidney left the security system off and the door open though. That would almost throw all of her character development out the window in a single scene….is what you would think at first thought.

I’d say that it’s more showing how Sidney is now resolved for whatever comes her way next. She’s through with running away. From now on she is taking on all challengers and welcomes any crazy who wants to attack her. This is a little overconfident and it’s not smart, but at this point Sidney’s just so fed up with the world that it’s the way she wants it. That’s how I interpreted the scene at the very least and it’s the closest Scream has had to a true cliffhanger ending. Surprisingly the films never really have that final jump scare.

Overall, Scream 3 is the best film in the series up to this point. I have not watched the fourth film and it could be a while before I see it so I don’t know how that one will stack up. As always if you like the Scream series or slashers in general then you’ll definitely get a kick out of this. It’s just executed considerably better than other films of this nature. As I mentioned above it still has the usual elements that hold it back like the excessive violence and the knowledge that all of the characters are doomed from the start so those scenes just feel drawn out. One example is Ghostface chasing down all the actors in the house and bumping them off one by one. Even as they run away you know they’re doomed anyway so it’s more mean spirited than anything. It’ll never be able to reach the average action film, but in the world of horror this movie’s not so bad. One of these days we really need a big horror crossover film so Ghostface can test his luck with the other horror icons. I don’t imagine he’d get so far though, he’d probably end up getting stabbed.

Overall 2/10

Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

Scream 2 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 Scream 2 which brings back pretty much everyone for another round with the murderer. Last time a few of the heroes got away so we’ll see if they are so lucky this time. This sequel is a little better than the first one but of course a slasher film can only get so good.

The film starts with a scene where the characters are watching a screening of Stab, which is a film adaption of the first movie. This theater decided to try something a little extreme as everyone brought in a fake knife and a mask. This results in the villain sneaking in and claiming his first 2 villains. Then we cut to the main part of town where Sidney is still dealing with the aftermath of what happened last time. People prank call her all the time and with the movie out it’s gotten worse. Still, she has managed to mostly be at peace. This all changes when news of the murders gets out and it seems like the new one wants to repeat everything from the first film. Can Sidney manage to survive this encounter?

Let’s go through the basics real quick. The film is extremely violent as you would expect from this series.  Everyone dies pretty brutally and the body count is fairly high so you can expect a lot of scenes like this consistently during the movie. There’s not really much the movie can do to rise up with this level so with the score doomed pretty early on the question becomes whether or not the movie can at least be entertaining in the meantime. After all, you can have a 1-2 star film that will at least give you some fun scenes like the Resident Evil series or you’ll get some that are just a slog to get through from start to finish like the Exorcist. This one is closer to Resident Evil.

One thing that does help the series is the fact that the cast returns from the original film. Establishing some kind of continuity like this is pretty rare for any horror series so it’s impressive that Scream pulled this off. It may ultimately not feel like much of a silver lining but at the end of the day I’ll take what I can get with these. It at least helps to balance all of the tragic elements like the opening scene where everything that can go wrong for the victim does. Everyone was super oblivious there. It’s probably the saddest scene in the film especially because these characters really had no heads up and almost nothing to do with anything. Their names simply were on the list.

The script naturally still has a lot of characters talking like sailors, but at least we still do get some fun lines here and there. The characters all talk really tough at times and they’re pretty aware of what’s going on which is good. The back-up camera man for example correctly realizes that he’s probably in a lot of danger since Gale has decided to get mixed in with this dangerous plot once again. The movie loving character also talks really tough to the villain although he probably shouldn’t have gotten so close to the abandoned van in the middle of the road. That’s definitely a rookie mistake.

Sidney is back as the lead and she is definitely a solid character. She has gotten better as the films progress. At the time of writing this review I have also seen Scream 3 and that is her best portrayal but lets not get ahead of ourselves. After the events of the first film she is naturally pretty wary of being around people. When the murders start escalating again she wants to do something about it, but everyone else just tells her to calm down. It’s hard to say what the best course of action is for her since either way there’s no guarantee she will be safe. How I see it the murderer is after her either way so it makes sense for her to get involved in the case. At least she’ll be around the cops which should help in theory at least.

Meanwhile Dewey and Gale are back to bickering as usual. There banter with each other can always be fun, but then it’s cheesy how quickly they get back together again. The music is perfect for their first meeting in each of the installments though. I dare say that Dewey gets weaker with each film, but at least I do like the fact that he is always trying to help out. Surprisingly he never gets scared off and considering what he’s been through that is impressive.

Likewise Gale doesn’t let anything get in the way of her story. She does get a little sloppy in the climax here, but the fact that she always seems to make it to the climax is a sign of her persistence as well. Gale is basically the Lois Lane of the series and does whatever she has to in order to get the scoop. She’s one of the best characters in these films. Meanwhile the guy she saved from execution shows up as well. Cotton is pretty upset as Sidney due to being framed and seems rather unbalanced throughout the film to the point where he even threatens her. He just seems really shady and I wouldn’t trust him if I were the other characters. He seems to be reasonably tough though and that’s always handy. As long as he is not the murderer then he can possibly be helpful.

There are some minor characters like Sidney’s roommate and her new boyfriend, but neither one of them are terribly important unless of course one of them is the culprit. For now I’m going to count Ghostface as his own character so I don’t blow the mystery. I will say that this Ghostface is a huge improvement over the one in the first film. For starters he isn’t getting kicked around the curb by every person he tries to attack. This one actually wins most of his fights. While his goals are just as delusional as the first guy, at least they aren’t as deplorable. This is definitely relatively speaking though since murder is murder. He gives a crazy speech about how the court case would go down and that could be an interesting movie in itself. There are other important characters in the climax, but there’s not much more I can say on that here without major spoilers.

While the soundtrack doesn’t quite match up to the first film’s dynamite tunes, this one still sounds pretty good. They just don’t seem to have some of the really solid rock themes from the first film and that’s too bad since it would have been cool to grab those. It’s still got more music than most films have by default though which is always good. The effects are also pretty solid. Ghostface’s simple design actually works well and makes him appear more menacing than most other horror icons.

One area where the film doesn’t standout as much as the first film is in the victims fighting back. As I mentioned in the original film they all landed a lot of hits while this time it’s more like a classic horror villain. It does make Ghostface more of a serious villain but it also becomes slightly less realistic as just about anyone would at least try to put up a fight. The film actually captures a lot of elements better than most like with how it takes multiple stabs to take anyone down in these films while in others people magically die after a single hit. You expect people to put up a fight between hits but that doesn’t really happen this time.

While a horror trope is that the villain is around every corner, the films have been pretty good with keeping it mostly realistic here. There is one scene you will question though as the guy somehow escapes a car and runs all the way around the street to get within stabbing range of the characters and doesn’t make a sound. Keep in mind that this is a deserted block in the middle of the night so there are no sounds that could drown out his. I dunno about you guys but when I leave a car it’s pretty noisy just due to how cars are. The guy was also just in a car crash so he’s pretty wounded. Honestly the characters should have quickly finished him off while he was knocked out, but I suppose it’s hard to just straight up murder someone like that if you’ve never done it before. The best friend was right (as always) in saying that they should have just gotten out of there. Anything is better than heading back into stab range.

Overall, Scream 2 is an improvement over the first film. I’d say that the villain is an improvement and the writing is better as well. The characters aren’t quite as crude and that’s probably because only the good characters survived the first film. At the same time the film couldn’t really improve on the score. The violence is still way over the top with Ghostface messing with most of the villains from the get go and as the viewer you know that they have no chance. I don’t think there’s really much of a way around that with these slasher films. At least realistically since they could just have the characters die off screen but then it would basically switch genres. If you liked the first Scream then I’d recommend checking this one out. It feels like a direct continuation and it does improve upon the first film in almost every way.

Overall 1/10

6 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Brawl Brothers Review


The SNES classics continue thanks to the Switch online. This time I’m looking at one of the old beat em ups for the console. I still think that beat em ups work best in 3D, but 2D ones still have their charm. The quality will naturally also vary with how much effort was put in and how new the title was. This one is a pretty reasonable game, but the fact that there are no save points and you do eventually run out of lives holds it back. You never want to have to try and beat a whole game in one batch. The rewind feature and access points mean that you can beat this game if you really want to, but it’ll certainly take some time.

There was a plot in the booklet I’m sure but the game just jumps you right into the action. Every time you beat a level someone joins your team so just keep going til you save everybody. Each level contains several areas. You have to defeat all of the enemies and reach the end to get to the next level. You have a standard attack which is your best move, but you can also dash attack and jump attack. Finally your character also has a special attack, but I don’t recommend using this unless you are completely desperate. That’s because this attack actually drains your health. Yes….your health actually goes down here. I can’t really see how that would ever be worth it here since health is a very rare commodity and your special attack isn’t even that good. It’s basically a flurry of quick punches.

All of the levels are pretty straight forward except for one where I really have to question the level design. It’s a maze and you never want to see any of those in a fighting game. You’re in the sewers and the goal is to get to the end. The problem is that all of the doors are fake except for one and they have you going through 4 different areas that all look the same. Without looking up a guide online you’ll be here for a very long time. I was beating enemies for about 20 minutes before realizing that something wasn’t right with how the level was still going. Sure enough I was going in circles over and over again. That definitely didn’t feel very legitimate especially since the level never gave any indication that it was going to be a maze. In a game like this you really can’t afford to have a level like that.

Beyond that level the game was good though. I do still like a solid brawler game even if this one definitely does feel dated with how many mechanics it is missing. A simple save feature and the ability to re-start at the level you’re up to would be a game changer. The graphics are pretty solid for its time. The levels look good and so do the character designs. Each level is different the game has a lot of different character models. The soundtrack isn’t memorable though, but you can’t win em all.

The game’s length seems to be about 2 hours since I beat the first half in under 1. It’s a tough game though and if you intend to beat it without save states or the rewind feature then you will be here for an incredibly long time. This title is no cakewalk and it will do everything in its power to take your lives away. The mechanics often make it easy for the villains to get cheap shots on you even if it feels like you were in the right spot at the right angle. Sometimes I would rewind up to 10 times just to get the hit because they would somehow move too quickly. It’s probably unavoidable I suppose. There’s not a whole lot of replay value here since after beating the game there is no post game content. That’s it, you’ve cleared the story and that’s its own reward. Considering that the game is free there is still more than enough content to satisfy you here.

Overall, Brawl Brothers is a game that may not have gotten very well known nowadays, but it did show us what a beat em up could do back in the day. Of course there were many others like Double Dragon which were more popular so this wasn’t quite the one that would change the genre forever. I’d recommend giving it a play. There’s a lot of fun to be had here. You may not clear the game but I think you’ll appreciate the setting and effects. I’m also getting closer to clearing the SNES and then it’ll be time to take a look at some of the other NES games that I skipped.

Overall 6/10

Comic Reviews, Comics, Reviews

My Little Pony: Ponyville Mysteries Review


It’s time to take a look at one of the My Little Pony spinoff comics. This one is about the Cutie Mark Crusaders so right away you know that it’s going to be pretty good. These guys have always done a tremendous job of holding their own stories and I don’t expect that would change here. I was right and these are quality adventures. The mystery angle is also really nice since it adds that extra element of tension into the mix. Lets take a look at the various stories here.

In the first story the Crusaders learn that someone is stealing supplies from a hospital. This is pretty big news since you wouldn’t expect that kind of behavior from anyone in Ponyville. The new nurse is also being blamed for this so the crew have to solve the mystery very quickly before things get out of hand. Fortunately they have connections with almost everyone in town so they get to work on finding out what is happening here. It’s a pretty good way to start off the volume. The hospital actually has a bit of a point with the nurse being partially responsible for the thefts though. After the fist few times you would expect her to keep a closer guard on the supplies. suppose it may not be entirely her job to be security as well as being a nurse but to keep your job it’s worth doing a little extra for a while.

These are mainly fun issues so don’t expect big villains or the like. Typically there are just a lot of misunderstandings going on, but that doesn’t take away from the fun factor here. The next story has a pony getting ready to break the bowling record, but the pins keep being stolen at night. As a result he isn’t getting any chances to practice and this could hurt his chances at smashing the record in the real game. The Crusaders are put on the case and suspect that it may be a rival team. After all they would stand to gain quite a lot from knocking out this team. When it comes to sports sabotage is definitely a big deal so if anyone is responsible for this they may end up being banned from the sort. The crusaders have to be extra careful not to catch the wrong person here.

This next comic likely had the highest stakes. That’s because a fire appears in the Ponyville retirement home. Whoever is responsible for this could have easily destroyed a few ponies even if that wasn’t the intention. Due to this it is unlikely that anyone will fess up for the crime so this is another job for the Crusaders. Naturally they have a hard time believing that any of the nice elders of the village would do such a thing, but the evidence is pointing that way. They have to put aside their feelings for this one and just dive in. While my favorite issue is the second one, this story definitely continued the comic’s solid level of quality.

Following that up is an issue where the spa water in Equestria is being drained away. This isn’t good for the ponies who all look forward to a quick spa visit so the Crusaders try to figure out what is going on. They follow some pipes over to the Apple farms and Apple Bloom is saddened to learn that her own family may be stealing the water. She decides not to question them though and the group run around town trying to figure out what is going on. Have the apple family finally become criminals or is it possible that someone is framing them? This is a fun issue, but definitely one where things would have been solved quite easily if the ponies had either confided in the Mane 6 or just followed the pipe to the end. They sort of just stopped at the tree rather than making sure that the pipe actually stopped. They didn’t see any water so why would they assume that it just ended abruptly on the farm? Once a certain villain shows up then you’ll quickly realize what just happened.

Finally we come to an issue where Rarity is forced to ask the group for help. Songbird Serenade is coming to Ponyville in 2 days and she wants a lot of outfits to be ready. Rarity was also looking after her priceless artifact, but took her eyes off of it and so naturally someone stole it. The crusaders need to figure out who would do such a thing and put a stop to it right away. There are a lot of people who have openly stated that they would like the artifact, but sometimes the true crook isn’t the one that you initially suspect. This was a pretty fun story and the heroes definitely cut it really close. A few more minutes and they likely wouldn’t have made it in time to stop the villain from making a clean getaway.

As expected the artwork is pretty good here. It actually beats the main series as it just feels more consistent. I won’t say that it’s absolutely top notch but it gets the job done and the character designs are on point. You’ll always know what’s going on and it makes for an enjoyable read. The writing is on point here and none of the stories were weak. They all had their charm and an interesting story to back them up. Ultimately what else could you ask for?

Overall, Ponyville Mysteries was fun. It’s a shame that it never got another volume, but I suppose at the time the series was trying to have a lot of mini titles as opposed to multiple ongoing stories. That’s fine, it’s a legitimate strategy so long as the others one shots are solid as well. If you haven’t checked this comic out yet then you definitely should. Whether you are a fan of MLP or not, this is just a fun comic to read. It’s good entertainment to sit and read on a weekend. It’s long enough to tell complete stories while still being short enough where you can down it in one shot. I’ve rented a few more MLP comics so you can expect more reviews on the way!

Overall 7/10