Without Love Review


Without Love is one of those films where you definitely know how it’s going to play out. Any film where the characters initially say that they’re not going to let things get personal or romantic are doomed to fail right from the jump. It’s just not going to work, the friend zone never seems to exist by the end of these films. Either way it is a fun film. It may be a script that’s not one of the more realistic ones but when you factor in that the film is part comedy/parody then it works out.

The movie starts with Patrick running into a really drunk man named Quentin. This works out well for Patrick since he is looking for a place to stay temporarily so he can run some government experiments. He tricks Quentin into letting him spend the night and then even orders a bunch of equipment into the house. When the actual owner of the house shows up (Jamie) she isn’t exactly thrilled about this. Patrick is able to convince her in a rather roundabout way to keep him. Afterwards they exchange origin stories.

Jamie had a perfect marriage until her husband died while Patrick has had a pretty rough experience. Both of them are completely done with romance as a result….or so they say. Jamie has an idea that will solve their problems. She tells Patrick they need to marry each other in a loveless marriage. Why? She doesn’t know but it’s an idea and Patrick likes it so they quickly get married. Now she will assist him in his work but the more they work the more they start letting things get personal although they can’t admit it. What can they do?

The only thing I couldn’t help but wonder the whole time though was….why would being married make the work any easier? There is really no good reason for them to have gotten married if we’re being honest. The only decent reason would be that Jamie actually liked him from the start and figured that getting married would help lower his guard. It’s an effective strategy if that was the case although the film doesn’t play it off like that. It’s more like it just happened gradually.

It’s definitely one of the most predictable romances you’ll ever see but as they say, friendship is impossible in these kinds of things. Jamie’s a good character but she does get pushed around rather easily. The opening scene where she is effectively tricked by Patrick was certainly something. Additionally, she does put herself in some rather tricky circumstances like hanging out with the local flirt who constantly tries to get to her even when she is married and running to his side when she has a fight with Patrick.

The film has a rather bold ending which leaves you with a lot of concerns. Then you have Patrick who acts a bit like an anime tsundere with how he won’t admit his feelings. Now, if he completely kept them off then he would probably be right here since they both agreed not to have any feelings for each other. He just ended up staying true to their original goal for a lot longer than she did. Ultimately he couldn’t stay the course though which you could probably predict. There are so many misunderstandings between the main two because they are never on the same page.

There’s also a backup romance plot between Kitty and Quentin but it doesn’t have a whole lot to do with anything. Quentin tries to recover from his drunk opening but from the dialogue we learn that he gets drunk a lot which isn’t a good look for him. He was also quick to move on from Kitty so when he rebounds at the end it’s hard to buy into. Likewise Kitty reveals she has had a lot of affairs. It’s always hard to root for a romance when both characters have been playing the field the whole time.

Despite being hyped up as one of the big villains, Edwina doesn’t show up until near the end of the film. She’s the one who messed Patrick up and doesn’t appear until near the end but they don’t have any kind of big confrontation. That would have been interesting but she basically doesn’t do anything here. It does make Patrick look bad for not being very definitive throughout the whole movie though. It’s part of what puts a wedge between him and Jamie.

As far as the writing goes, I would say the film does a good job. There are a lot of good lines and the characters are reasonable. The fast talking at the beginning of the film is fun as Patrick turns every line against the drunken Quentin and then when he one ups Jamie. Now, it’s hard for me to believe the latter scene in the slightest but it still makes for a fun little moment.

It’s easy to forget but there is a government plot in here as well since the whole point for trying to get a place to stay is so Patrick can build some devices in secret. Devices that let you withstand more Gs in space and things like that. She helps quite a lot and he even test runs some of the equipment but surely the government could do better than to have him working in this basement right?

Put it this way, the whole point is secretly but in a small town where everyone knows each other, isn’t it super suspicious when a bunch of giant moving vans appear taking out a bunch of tech and bringing it all to one house? I feel like the government fails on the secret aspect of this mission. Also, I couldn’t help but feel like some of the story points were just rather contrived though like the wedding that makes no sense. The film could have done a better job of at least explaining why this would even be remotely necessary or even useful.

Overall, Without Love is going for a slightly different angle at romance but ultimately turns into a standard romantic comedy. It doesn’t hold up nearly as well as some of the other ones that I’ve seen recently but it’s decent. Even if the characters were able to play this straight and live in a loveless marriage I would say it’s a bad idea. Marrying for tax breaks or just to say you’ve been married just doesn’t seem like a good idea in the long run. For that it sounds like deep down each character really just wants to have a best friend. While the films may deny it, it’s certainly possible to have friends even as a grown up. Maybe that’ll finally happen in one of these films coming up…but I wouldn’t hold my breath.

Overall 6/10

Shantae: Risky’s Revenge Director’s Cut Review


While the first Shantae game felt a little more experimental as it worked with the mechanics that would one day become legendary, this one immediately feels very modern. It’s got a lot of the classic character illustrations from later on along with the great music tracks. It’s aged quite well as this looks and feels a lot newer than the GBC era. If you like platformers or Shantae then this is definitely one that you don’t want to miss.

The game starts with Risky attacking town once again and Shantae is unable to stop her from getting away with a magical lamp. As a result the Mayor fires her from her duties of being a protective genie of the town. It’s definitely a pretty rough day for her, but Shantae won’t let herself get down in the dumps. She still intends to save the day and to do that she will need to find 3 seals/artifacts. Her uncle won’t tell her why they are needed though. Is it possible that Shantae is actually putting the world in more danger now?

I do think the Uncle is being rather shifty with not just telling her what’s up. That would very easily put everyone on the same page and it would just make more sense. I mean, why all the secrecy right? Risky clearly knows what is going on so now the villains have an edge in information. Shantae’s other friends may not be super helpful either for the most part but she does have one useful ally. Sky is able to help her with a lot of missions here that are needed to complete the game like making a frappe.

Rottytops also makes her big debut in this game and she’s a fun character. Not exactly the most heroic one out there of course but as a zombie she is always expected to be rather unpredictable. She’s just a fun character to have around. Then you have Risky herself who is always a great villain. She really has fun mocking you if you end up losing the level which is a nice touch. The cast of characters in Shantae is fun. They’re a colorful bunch who always have a lot of energy.

I think that’s part of what has always given the series a lot of charm. Throughout the game all of the characters are bouncing with energy thanks to the exaggerated idle animations and the art style. The graphics look excellent and I’d say a big part of that is how well crafted the art style is. The soundtrack is also ahead of its time with the solid themes. The music themes have been remixed a lot over the years and they always land well.

As for the gameplay, it is greatly improved from the last one. The hair attacks have some real range now which is pretty huge. You feel like you can hit opponents without having to take a counter attack at the same time. Everything’s a lot faster. The only part you can tell hasn’t been fully finished is the dance transformations. Instead of a shortcut for each dance, you have to let the dance linger on longer for each transformation. Later games would add a button shortcut which is quicker.

As with all Shantae games, there is a good amount of strategy here as well. Each new form allows you to access new areas so it’s important to keep on back tracking to where you used to be each time to see if there are more collectibles to get. The hub world is rather large so make sure you wake up every teleporter you can. It’s not exactly instant travel but it will save you a lot of walking. There is a map but it’s definitely not the most helpful since it doesn’t show you your position on it most of the time. There’s also one point in the game where they get the directions wrong so you end up having to run around the hub world a bunch.

The main game isn’t very long. You should have it beat in 4-6 hours I’d say. In terms of replay value, you can always go back and try to get all of the collectibles and health upgrades. I believe the ending illustration also changes based on how quickly you complete the game so that’s fun as well. I wouldn’t say there is a huge amount of replay value for these things with the post game content but the game is fun so you should have a good time exploring the levels.

Unlike the first game you aren’t able to keep on rewinding and using access points. So in that respect you might expect the game to be a lot harder but I would say it’s easier either way. That’s probably why they felt that rewinding wasn’t needed. Thanks to your extended range you should be able to get through most areas without an issue. The only time you’ll be dying will be for particularly difficult platforming moments or if you’re trying to rush through an area since you’ve already been through it many times before. As long as you take your time then you’ll be good.

Around town you’ll see various side things you can do like joining the battle tower or buying upgrades at the shop. The tower’s a really good idea for earning a lot of gems. For the shop I would recommend maxing out your hair’s attack/speed since this comes in handy quite a lot. After that I guess maxing out your fire and the pike ball are good. Also you should buy the 9 pack set of health bars. Each drink completely restores all hearts so that means you can fight a boss while essentially having 10 health bars. Even with that the final boss did take me a pair of tries so this is definitely not someone to underestimate. As with most platformers the key is to figure out first how to hurt the boss and then you’ll be good from there.

Overall, Shantae: Risky’s Revenge definitely feels like the point where the series really became modern. All of my big issues from the first game were addressed here. Ultimately I would still put Half Genie Hero as the best Shantae game of course but this one holds its own. I definitely recommend checking it out if you can still get a copy from Limited Run Games or you can always go the digital option.

Overall 7/10

The Crawling Eye Review


This movie’s definitely a little interesting with the promotion. See, the name of “The Trollenberg Terror” sounds a little more hype to be honest and also doesn’t spoil the final boss too quickly. Although if the poster is the same then it doesn’t matter either way I guess. I decided to do a quick check and the Eye doesn’t appear until the final 17 minutes. Of that time I’d guess its screen time is probably more like 12 minutes or less when you factor in all the planning and the ending after him. To think people said Godzilla didn’t appear much in his films…

The movie starts with showing us a mountain climbing “accident” where one of the climbers quite literally lost his head. A lot of people don’t want to come to Trollenberg anymore and why should they right? Climbers are vanishing left and right and there is rarely even a trace of them. Now, that part was interesting since they explicitly say that people always vanish entirely so I guess the alien monster got sloppy on that one?
We then get our main characters Anne, Sarah, and Alan. Alan is a UN worker who has dealt with the occult before and it didn’t exactly go very well for him the last time. It was a very similar circumstance with clouds showing up and then people going missing. He gradually lets us know more about the last incident but conveniently always waits until events happen. For example, last time he also witnessed zombie survivors who tried to murder everyone but doesn’t tell anyone here until someone is nearly murdered.

Still, while he knows that this is real, he is hesitant to actually make a move due to the fact that last time there was no evidence. Then you have Sarah and her telepathic sister Anne. Anne feels some kind of urge to want to stay in Trollenberg. Unfortunately, she is a telepath who is quite susceptible to the alien’s attacks so she keeps trying to climb the mountain where she will be murdered. Fortunately, each of her attempts are always foiled or things would have gotten pretty dicey for her. I’m glad she is trying hard but you wish she could do better. In general that’s the issue with telepaths at times.

Throughout the movie she keeps on saying things like “Watch out!” “Stop!” and things like that. The problem is that her warnings are never very specific and if you listened to them then the heroes would never make a move against the villains. Additionally, she is trying to fight the enemies on her own so of course when she tries to climb the mountain then it makes the others think it can’t be that dangerous right? Even by the end of the film she just gets choked by one of the villains so her powers never end up helping. Sarah does her best to help Anne but doesn’t end up doing much in the film.

From the main characters I would say Alan is the best one. Put it this way, he didn’t want to try and tell people or the government about what was going on but only because when he did the last time he got burned for it. So at least he tried once and in this film he punches out the villains several times so you have to give him some credit there. He is also the one who comes up with the fire bombs plan which ended up being incredibly effective as well so there’s that.

As for the eye monster…well it doesn’t look great. Like I said, he barely even gets to appear and is defeated almost instantly. I have no doubts that he is actually very tough of course but….you just can’t go down that easily. Aside from the people he took out off screen he basically beat like 2-3 people max. That’s not a very impressive number. The monster’s yell is pretty intense though, it really has quite the voice so you’ll hear it for miles.

Part of the plot here is that the monster can mind control people for a limited time after murdering them. Of course…this only works if it doesn’t rip their heads off like the first guy so again I have to admit that the first scene just seems like it’s just there for shock value. The bodies all vanishing makes a lot more sense for what the villain is going for here. The humans look terrible though as two of them lose to a dead guy with an axe. The first guy you could give the excuse of being caught off guard but the second guy? I don’t think so….

The writing is pretty solid as you would expect for a retro film like this. It builds up the suspense pretty well and this could even feel like a Twilight Zone episode. You see the fog coming over to the mountain although probably due to budget reasons don’t expect to get a clear view of it. You may be reminded of The Fog horror films but just remember that this one came first so it actually had the initial idea. That’s what I like to see, it’s most impressive.

Aside from having low screen time though, the creature should have been buffed a little more though. The main characters should not be able to push it back with a single axe. That just looks pretty bad for it and one stick with some fire at the end of it should not be enough to do much of anything. Nah..I can’t buy that. It’s a giant monster, it should be causing massive damage right? If you ask me that makes the most sense so we should have had it completely crushing the mountain and storming the base. Of course the humans would be a little doomed of course.

Overall, The Crawling Eye is a good creature feature movie. Lets face it though, the movie would be even better if the monster had gotten to appear more of course but as it stands, it still made for a pretty interesting villain. What the film should have done was just reduce the amount of time put into the intro. The dialogue is all pretty compelling but we’re here for the monster. Alternately, extend the run time of the film by around 20 minutes which should cover you pretty well on that avenue and then also get you more time for the hype action.

Overall 7/10

The Great Race Review


It’s been a while since I saw a film that was nearly 3 hours. Out of all the films I wouldn’t have guessed that a comedy like this would be one that would have such a long run time. It just would have struck me as a bit unlikely. Still, it does accomplish a lot in the time that it has. It probably could have trimmed some of the scenes a bit to be honest but at the very least it won’t be a film that you forget anytime soon. The Great Race really did feel like a huge ordeal that went past a whole country.

The film starts with introducing us to the contrast between Leslie and Professor Fate. Leslie is one of those guys who is a complete star and succeeds in everything he does. Everyone throws themselves at the guy and he is able to escape from a balloon in mid-air while tied up. He’s an ace driver and is talented at all he does. Then you have Fate who is incompetent at everything he attempts and everything turns out badly for him. No matter what he tries, Leslie is always one step ahead of him. It’s at the point where even if he isn’t outright mocking Fate, the villain takes it personally. When he finds out that Leslie has decided to have a race from New York to Paris, Fate knows he has to join. If he is able to defeat Leslie here in front of the whole world then he will have finally gotten his revenge. Can he really pull this off though?

Yes, the race does actually last for the duration of the movie. This is due in large part to the fact that nobody can possibly go this whole distance without breaks though. They stop at many different towns along the way ranging from Kingdom revolt to a small town where they want to show off their hospitality. Leslie is always ready to waste some time since he’s sure that Fate is no threat and Fate always ends up stopping as well. After all, he can’t win due to Leslie lowering his guard. He wants to defeat the guy fair and square.

There is one other big player in the film and that is Maggie. She is very vocal about being the first female reporter ever. She forces the head of the paper to let her into the race and to cover it that way. You have to give her this, she is definitely very confident in her abilities. She is willing to challenge anyone on anything to prove that she can hold her own. Of course, challenging Leslie isn’t the best bet since this guy is already more advanced than most characters. She was a fencing champion for example but so was he so that didn’t go well. He’s just too skilled.

We get a lot of good back and forth between the characters though. Maggie tends to lose out on these exchanges but she does put up a good effort each time which is the important thing. Then finally we have Fate who gets wrecked by everyone throughout the movie. He’s usually the punch line for each joke so as you can imagine things don’t go particularly well for him. He is a genius to an extent as he can build just about anything but always finds a way to mess it up. His character arc can be rather tragic but then you remember he’s a villain so you can go back to chuckling at him. He does help give the film a lot of energy though because he is a big part of what makes the film fun.

Of course, it all depends on how much you enjoy this humor style. It’s a very retro style with the heavy emphasis on slapstick and physical gags as characters get blown up and beaten left and right. We even get a wild west type bar fight where the characters are knocking each other around. This part definitely felt like a parody of the usual kind of fight with how over the top it was. The characters were literally tearing the place down as they fell through windows or into the stairs. It’s an extended fight that definitely worked really well. There’s also a big pie fight that happened later on but nothing can beat the fisticuffs.

There is even a sword fight later on or I guess it may be more effective to say a fencing battle. Part of the fun in having such a long run time is that you can take time to do all sorts of things. Now, if one plot had to be shortened though, I would have reduced the length of screen time for the King in the plot where he switched places with Fate. I have to be honest, the King wasn’t that amusing. His whole gimmick is using his crazy laugh over and over again but he doesn’t have much personality beyond that. You’ll feel like rolling your eyes at the guy by the end.

The movie is at its best when it’s straight up acting like a parody. Fate infiltrating Leslie’s board of directors meeting was pretty hype since his disguise almost held up. Using a race to finally end the various car rivalries was nice as well. Fate’s plans all blowing up in his face was always amusing as well. Perhaps it could have been repetitive if the same gag as used over and over but it was always a different thing that stopped him. This is one area where the Beach films could learn a thing or two as the motor gangs there could be very repetitive. It shows what a good difference in writing ability can achieve.

In a film that is as over the top as this one it makes sense that not all of the jokes would land though. On the whole I would say this one got more right than it got wrong. It’s just a pleasant film that is fun to follow along with. The movie sets up the dynamic with Leslie and Fate very quickly which is effective since it stays in place for the rest of the film. We also have a subplot with the newspaper agency trying to survive as the Woman’s Rights movement takes over the building. At one point the leader is even taken down and forced to plead insanity as he vanished. Now, none of this is outright stated on how it happens but one moment the leader is there taking names and the next he is at Happy Farms and his wife now owns the company. I was not expecting that so it was a good gag.

With a movie going for as humorous a tone as this you can expect that it would have some fun with the ending. It’s a bold one to be sure but in universe I think everyone would be absolutely livid with the main character. The race is quite important after all so messing with it is definitely not a good idea. We get one last big explosion for the film as well which was pretty neat. The writing was on point and at the end of the day that is crucial for any film.

Overall, The Great Race is a very fun film. We get a lot of great banter between the characters like Maggie and Leslie. I could have done without their romance there as it definitely felt rather rushed though and it also felt like Leslie would try and dodge the debates by pulling the moves on her. I’d have preferred they stayed insulting each other the whole movie as that would have made for even more great dialogue. It’s also ironic that she is the one plan of Fate’s that actually worked rather well but in this case that was not a good thing for him. There are a lot of other events that happen throughout the film as the race has numerous pitstops but you’ll have a good time checking them out as they arrive. This film is very much a relic of its time but one that works in every era.

Overall 7/10

Weathering With You Review


Lately it seems a little rare to see one of these anime rom-coms where one of the characters doesn’t just die tragically. This time the plot’s still emotional but not going for quite as much of a traumatic kind of story. It’s a very solid all around title and one that has a fantastic ending. Honestly the ending’s so good that I almost threw it an extra star because it wraps up the product so well. Either way this is a very good film.

The movie starts by introducing us to Hodaka who is in a bit of a rough patch. He can away from home and is trying to tough it out in Tokyo. Since he is a minor with no ID and running out of money, this isn’t easy though. Fortunately he does end up meeting a local CEO named Suga who offers him a job. It doesn’t pay much but now Hodaka has somewhere to live. He also meets up with a nice girl named Hina who has the power to generate sunlight over a limited area. Since Tokyo has been experiencing rain for months on end, Hodaka has an idea. They can charge people money for Hina’s services. She will make it sunny on special occasions as per the requester in exchange for the fee. Everything seems to be going well but can it possibly last?

Weathering With You definitely throws a lot of trials at the main characters. Usually whenever they get out of one situation then another one is quick to pop up in its place. Still, as long as they have each other they are able to get through it. In a way I would say Hodaka’s toughest trial was the intro scenes since not having any money and being in a strange new place has to be tough to overcome.

I’d say this is a pretty upbeat movie though. It helps that Hina is definitely an optimist who always sees the bright side of things. As a Sunshine girl that is certainly to be expected. She’s a good cook and is just very talented. Bringing good fortune to the people around her is definitely something to keep her emotions up as well. Throughout the movie Hina is always thinking of everyone around her and doesn’t mind making sacrifices if it’ll help everyone else out so she’s definitely a star character.

Her little brother Nagi also means well but he definitely flirts a lot so I wouldn’t say he is quite as fun as the little sibling in other films like A Silent Voice. Nagi is smart though so he does come in handy several times. He’s also good at tackling when needed which was helpful in the climax. Then you have the supporting characters from the job. First up is Natsumi who wants to get more of a real job but in the meantime she throws herself into her work. She may buy into all of the supernatural elements a little too easily but at least this makes her interviews with the various people quite genuine.

You can also tell she is the responsible member of the household since Suga tends to be a lot sloppier. Suga is mainly focused on trying to win a custody case but still tries to do the right things along the way. He can be a little dense in the second half of the film though as the writing is on the wall but he’s still slowing everyone down. I think to a reasonable extent you can see why he was trying to put distance between him and Hodaka though. Perhaps he could handle it a little better but that was a tough spot to be put in. The scene of stopping him on the skyscraper though? Nah…I can’t get behind that one.

As for Hodaka himself, I would say he’s weaker than some of the other characters. For starters, while he likes Hina, he gets distracted way too easily. Hodaka didn’t exactly handle himself very gracefully when he first met Natsumi or even later on when they were chatting at the park. Those scenes keep him from being a better character as he doesn’t seem like the most loyal of guys around. That said, he is able to ultimately recover his character a good deal by the end.

The ending is really one of the best parts of the film. See, a lot of times you have characters make the “tough” calls where they decide that they have to put the good of the world above the few. You’ll see a character willing to make a sacrifice to save everyone and the characters either half heartedly agree or don’t really try doing anything about it. Hodaka made a clear choice that he would save his special someone even if it means that the world has to go back to a time of peril. It’s the right answer. Characters like the Flash (coughshouldhavesavedhismothercough) could learn a thing or two from him. It was a spectacular move and he didn’t have any doubts about it or start regretting the move.

No, Hodaka just went in and made the right call without a split second’s hesitation. That’s what I like to see in a main character. So I had some issues with him but that was just such a good scene that he had to rise up a bit there. The film even dealt with the fallback from this and it was handled really well. At the end of the day, you can never let someone make the ultimate sacrifice if you can stop it.

The animation here is great as expected. The character designs are on point and the animation is very smooth. One character even grabs a gun at one point which made for a powerful visual. There are less supernatural elements here to get you a lot of impressive visuals but at least as far as going for a more slice of life look went, this one got you everything you could need. I had no issues with the graphics. The soundtrack was also solid. The best theme was the brief rock theme that played during one of the motorcycle chases at the end. There are also a few lyrical songs of course and those were good as well.

While the movie doesn’t go in this direction I started thinking we were going to meet some rain girls who were causing the current downpours and that would lead to some kind of fight scene. In the end that didn’t happen but it would have been fun. I did enjoy the nonstop rain though because that’s where the animation got to focus its attention. The rain is different from pure water like in the recent anime film I saw so they got to go for different techniques. Watching a heavy rainstorm out your window is always an incredible sight and the movie captures that pretty well.

The food also looks good as expected. It’s always a lot of fun seeing how the dishes look in the movies. For example, here we had Hina make a solid ramen infused with potato chips and that did look pretty good. I’ve messed around with potato chips a lot in my day like for mac n cheese or pizza, but I haven’t tried it in a ramen. It does look really good though so I could definitely see that working out well. The fast food at the hotel was also good. With solid writing and pacing throughout, you could say that this film started off on the right foot and just kept on going that way.

Overall, Weathering With You is definitely a film that I would highly recommend. It’s just a lot of fun and while the characters go through their share of challenges, they handle them rather well. McDonalds even gets its due respect as a character has one of their burgers and realizes that it’s the best meal he’s had in years. This isn’t surprising, McDonalds has always had some of the best food on the planet. Most people don’t realize this but they have the best burgers. Mix in the excellent ending and you definitely have a winner here.

Overall 7/10

Child’s Play 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

I gotta say, I was not expecting corporate to return here so that was actually pretty impressive. Once again, they have the most interesting scenes here as the board discusses what to do with the whole Chucky incident. This is the kind of story arc that could really make for an amazing movie. I’d be really interested to see how this plays out. Unfortunately, this only makes up the first few scenes and then they don’t appear again but it’s a good way to set things up. Beyond that, this is more of the same from the second film.

Chucky has returned and once again he wants to take Andy down. He tracks the kid down to a military school. Andy is now 16 so he’s a lot older than he used to be but is still having a tough time of it thanks to how Chucky ruined his life. This school is also quite extreme to the point where the leader of the military squad is an open bully that nobody even tries to stop. Andy gets harassed on a daily basis but at least he’s safe right? His world is about to get rocked one more time.

At this point you definitely have to feel bad for Andy. He’s not only lost his home and his family at this point but now he’s in a school that is shown to be quite awful and Chucky still finds him. If he fights back then people think he’s insane and if he doesn’t then more people end up dying. It would seem that no matter what he does, things end up going sideways regardless. At the end of the day Andy does his best to help out Tyler and do the right thing so this may be his best appearance. He even fought back when Shelton landed a cheap shot on him. The best part is the fact that Andy was actually beating Chucky up throughout the film but got interrupted before he could finish the villain off. Andy wasn’t playing here.

As for Chucky, he may get a lot of wins in the film as he bumps people off but in some ways I would say it was probably his weakest appearance from the three films. If you think about it, he would only attack people when he had an overwhelming advantage and was quick to pretend he was a doll again otherwise. His spell to change bodies also seems to never really work so at this point you feel like he needs to try something else or lock someone in a building before trying it so he doesn’t get interrupted.

As for Whitehurst, he may be the worst character in the film. He completely ignores the fact that someone got murdered right in front of him and then decides not to help to prevent other murders. He allows other people to get left on the spot as a result and doesn’t actually make a move until the very end of the film. That’s not a good way for a character to get into my good graces. He just wouldn’t step up when he was needed and that’s a shame.

As for Tyler, he’s a kid so you can cut him a little more slack with how Chucky was tricking him the whole time. It can actually make sense in some respects since you wouldn’t expect a toy to be evil like that. He was quick with a knife too which was important. Then you’ve got DeSilva who is the main heroine here. She’s pretty good with a gun even if that had no real payoff in the film. Where she really shines is in how she defies the bullies more than the others. She talks back to Shelton and his cronies and is also able to do pushups with ease. As a result nobody can intimidate her so she makes for a strong ally.

Shelton and his crew are definitely quite exaggerated though. I haven’t seen bullies get this much free reign in quite a while. After a while you’ll start to roll your eyes at what these guys are doing. You also know that things probably won’t end well for the main one since they never do in these films. Unfortunately as a result this film has to have the worst script and writing yet. Each character has a sailor’s mouth here including Chucky as they hurl insults at each other. It’s not surprising that the bullies would be spreading this around but why has nobody stopped them yet? This military school is definitely portrayed as being quite corrupt.

As you would expect the film is quite violent as well. The characters all die in rather gruesome ways for getting in Chucky’s way. Just when you think someone’s going to live, you remember that you’re watching a Chucky film and get back to your seat. The film definitely isn’t hiding the fact that these characters are going to be absolutely crushed because each scene lets you know that right away. The barber had been an interesting character but he had death flags from the start. It would have been interesting if he had actually been able to give Chucky a haircut but the odds of that were absolutely astronomical. Chucky just wasn’t going to go for any of this.

Overall, Child’s Play 3 is about on the same level as the second film. If I absolutely had to pick one film over the other….I would probably say this one is a tad better. It’s very close though to be sure. Both are almost identical films as they go for a lot of shock value throughout as each character is murdered in a gruesome way and Chucky keeps surviving his own death to come back for another round. His stamina and durability is absolutely bonkers. At this point he’s seemingly died almost 10 times so that’s quite the feat. We’ll see how he does in the next film and if that one can manage to top this one. I certainly wouldn’t rule it out. I’m ready for a new setting and to see how the next group handles Chucky. Surely more people would be open to the idea of an evil doll or at least banning the good guy brand after a third incident right?

Overall 2/10

Child’s Play 2 Review

This review is of the 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

Now this is more like what I expected the first Child’s Play film to be like. Unfortunately that is not a good thing though. This film decides to get a lot more violent and dark as it transitions from a classic horror film to more of a slasher. Chucky isn’t playing anymore and he’s just going to go around and murder everybody. It definitely doubles down compared to the first film though so in a way this lets Chucky take more names but a film relying on shock value and over the top violence will ultimately not succeed.

The movie starts with Andy having to move in with his new foster parents. Unfortunately his mother is deemed insane due to the events of the first film which is actually a rather dark ending for her since she is no longer able to protect Andy herself. Everyone figures Andy is just crazy but his new parents are determined to help him out although Phil is rather wary the whole time while Joanne thinks this can work. They are also raising a teenage girl named Kyle who is in her rebellious phase in part because she is always being taken from foster home to foster home so she doesn’t want to drop her guard. What they don’t know is that Chucky has returned from the grave thanks to the company patching him back together. He is now ready to take some names as he dominates the cast.

I have to say the first scenes with the company is probably the most interesting part of the movie though. We see how corporate is dealing with this. As expected, they want to bury the whole Chucky incident entirely. They don’t believe in a living doll or anything like that but it could hurt sales. The CEO is introduced as a very tough character who won’t be putting up with any nonsense. Getting in his way at all is definitely incredibly risky. That said, these guys never stood a chance against Chucky either way. Chucky is able to easily overpower everyone.

See, here’s the thing about Chucky. He’s technically not all that strong. He seems to have the arm strength of a man who’s always injured. He’s certainly not as strong as a grown man given how people overpower him at times but he’s still reasonably tough. The thing is, he doesn’t have much weight though. He weighs the same as an average doll so people are still able to throw him around with ease and that’s the guy’s big weakness. So you’ll notice that in most of his scenes the guy has to rely on getting people with sneak attacks or where they are unaware.

The most embarrassing death for a character would have to be the CEO’s partner. That guy just wasn’t ready for the water gun but at that point he should have quickly ran or attacked since he knew it was fake. Instead he did not make a move until it was too late. It’s a rather vicious scene for the guy but you feel like he could have made some better options to escape. I guess he was in panic mode though which is fairly realistic. Chucky keeps on destroying people in a variety of ways as the film goes on. Each method usually gets more violent than the last so get ready for that.

As for the characters, well Andy is okay I guess. He definitely hasn’t forgotten what happened but there’s just not much he can do since he’s a kid. Either way nobody believes him and it’s not like he is old enough to make his own decisions so he is constantly put in rather dangerous circumstances like when he got tied to the bed. That was definitely a rather close shave for him. Then you have Kyle who does her best to help out near the end. Her character arc is a fairly good one since she was skeptical like the rest of the characters but once she got some concrete proof she was ready to step in.

In these films I don’t blame the characters for being super skeptical because the idea of a talking doll is rather bonkers but it’s good that she moved at the end when needed. The climax certainly goes all out here as it seems like the characters have to keep on murdering Chucky over and over again until he goes down. It’s definitely foreshadowing for the third film since you already know that this guy doesn’t go down easy. So it was a pretty intense climax there but you just know the technician was only there to be bumped off. The instant he appears you know what is going to go down.

Overall, Child’s Play 2 is definitely striving to be a lot more intense than the first film. I dare say that the violence surpasses the original one when it’s only halfway in or something like that. If you’re big on horror films I would say you’re definitely better off with the first one. This one doesn’t exactly go for anything particularly clever or noteworthy. The whole film is really just an excuse to see Chucky murder everyone. Every scene practically yells out who the next victim will be. Really what the film should have done is have more of the corporate scenes. I’m telling you, that’s where the hype part of the story would have been. I’d love to see a film about corporate trying to do damage control on this. You don’t even need Chucky to appear in theory as it’s more of a social film dealing with the fallout of a horror title. Now that’s something that’s never been done before and has a whole ton of potential.

Overall 2/10

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime: Rimuru’s Glamorous Life as a Teacher Review


That title’s definitely a mouthful isn’t it? In theory I could have taken out the franchise title since you don’t always need to have that as part of the intro but in this case it did make sense. This one’s a 3 episode special about Rimuru’s days as a teacher. It’s a fun little adventure and works well in this universe where Rimuru already does get to have a lot of down time between battles. You can picture him hanging out at the school for a while to flex and show why he’s a better teacher than the rest. It’s a solid adventure that goes by in a flash.

The special starts with Rimuru slacking off at school as per usual when Jeff shows up. This teacher has always had something against Rimuru. Rimuru doesn’t know if it’s because he’s always slacking off or the guy is just jealous that he transformed the most problematic class into the most powerful one. Either way Jeff lets him know that a big protection test is coming up at the school and as always Rimuru’s class won’t be invited since they don’t have equipment. Rimuru quickly changes that so now his class can in fact enter. The rules are simple, the kids will drive a van/wagon past the mountain plains and into town where they will drop off the teacher unharmed. They will all then participate in a cave challenge fighting monsters.

To keep things fair, the students will be guarding different teachers. So for example Jeff’s students will be guarding Rimuru and his students will be guarding another teacher named Tiss. Your points are based on how quickly you make it to the castle along with how smooth a ride it was. Rimuru’s not particularly concerned since his kids are far more powerful than your average class. They each have spirit animals and basic offensive magic skills at the ready. Still, this trip may be more dangerous than they had expected.

The special does deliver on the action as the kids are inevitably attacked by bandits. They handle them rather well and then even have to fight off an actual demon. They don’t look quite as good in that battle but I don’t think anyone would have been quite prepared to handle this guy. Not only does he have regeneration but he is also very fast and powerful. Such a foe is completely outside the limits of a usual school test. Fortunately we had Diablo show up to clean things up by the end. The guy continues to prove why he is one of the best characters in the series which is why it’s almost a bit funny that he hasn’t technically appeared in the main show yet outside of a cliffhanger, a prequel episode, and now an extra episode.

You can tell he will definitely make a splash when he gets a proper role. There’s also a bit of an epilogue as Rimuru helps cure a fatal illness because he’s just that good. One thing you figure out very quickly while watching the slime adventures is that there isn’t much that Rimuru can’t do. Thanks to Great Sage he is a super genius and he has so many extra abilities that he is also a whiz at combat. This makes him pretty much untouchable to at least 90% of the cast which is no small feat. He’s a fun character and definitely looks good in these episodes.

Then you have the rival Jeff who is fun. I mean, you know he is completely and utterly out of his league in the fight but it doesn’t take away from his being a rather amusing character. It’s always fun seeing these characters give the lead a hard time, particularly when like here it isn’t overdone. He’s not trying to frame Rimuru or do anything drastic, he just throws out a lot of insults.

Then you have the third teacher Tiss. She’s a nice person but you feel like she should be a lot stronger than she is. My main issue is that she looked up to Shizu as a great role model and aspires to be as powerful as her. You would expect that she would have started training then right? Unfortunately she acts like she has never held a sword a day in her life. How does that work out? It just doesn’t make any sense no matter how you slice it. I’m hoping when she next appears she would have gotten a lot stronger.

Meanwhile the kids are good, they continue to defy expectations and actually appear as very solid characters. I would say the weakest of the group is Gale mainly because the guy barely seems to have any character next to the others. Kenya is a blast though and is always ready to charge the enemy. With his sword and design he looks like someone out of Dragon Quest. Then you have Chloe who is also always ready for battle. Her chosen weapon may not be the best one but she makes up for it in hidden talent. Then you have Alice who is quite possibly the most powerful of the kids. She is a little more on the timid side but definitely fights when it counts. Ryota is also a fairly quiet kid so you won’t see him make a name for himself, but he is there ready and willing to help at all times.

While the special is a fairly light hearted endeavor, the action scenes are pretty serious. Kenya actually sliced off one guy’s arm which was unexpected but of course the guy had a potion to regenerate it. I’m glad Kenya had been prepared for this though. The kids put up a brave stand against the demon as well which was nice to see and of course this led to Diablo stealing the show as always. It was a great climax and the perfect way to end the special. If you merge the three parts this works quite well as a mini movie. It’s got a complete plot and while Rimuru doesn’t get to do a whole lot in terms of fighting here, he’ll have plenty of chances in the main series anyway. This one really focuses on why he is known as such a great teacher. He may be rather hands off in his approach but his sheer genius makes up the difference.

The animation is on par with the main show. It’s a very solid display for the character designs and backdrops. I definitely have no complaints with how anything looked. The soundtrack is also taken from the show so this is good as well. It is able to really capture the feeling of just being another pair of episodes which is good. It’s a seamless transition. The pacing is on point so this will also keep your interest all the way through.

Overall, This was a fun trilogy of episodes. I wouldn’t say there is a ton more to discuss since it’s a rather straight forward plot. It’s a quick challenge to see which class is best and we all know that Rimuru’s absolutely destroyed the others no matter what Jeff says. Of course, they all have super powers and spirit boosters so it may not be super fair, but that’s neither here nor there. I’d be cool with Jeff returning in the main series for more of a rivalry with Rimuru from time to time. The kids also still want to visit Rimuru’s village so I assume that is probably going to happen soon. If you want a fun little adventure to see the old characters again this is definitely a good special to check out.

Overall 7/10

Devil Doll Review


Chucky’s not the only film with an evil doll. I saw The Devil Doll a while back so now it’s time for a film with a very similar name. The other one definitely had a lot more fun with the premise although this one plays it straight with actual shows on the dummy and a lot of ominous music. That said as you watch the film you have to decide if Hugo the dummy is the real threat or if something else is going on.

The film starts by introducing us to the great Vorelli and his dummy Hugo. They are quite famous nowadays with their ventriloquist shows. A local reporter named Mark is assigned to check this guy out and see if his hypnotism is for real. This guy’s not very smart so he brings his girlfriend Marianne to try this out. She ends up getting mind controlled on stage into a great dancer.

Now you may think that’s the end of it at least, but the reporter doesn’t believe it though and decides to push Marianne further by having her invite Vorelli to a party to stay the night. She reluctantly agrees after he keeps on insisting. Will this all turn out to be a huge mistake? One thing’s for sure, this is not going to be just any ole party.

Devil Doll definitely has a lot of ominous music even if it is the same track that plays over and over again. It’s an effective way to build up tension despite how overused it is and shows that the film isn’t playing around. It feels like half of Vorelli’s scenes are him staring into the camera as part of the hypnosis. Again, this makes the reporter look so bad since he knows something is fishy but puts Marianne in a bad position more than once.

I could have done without the mind control gimmick though. An evil doll/ventriloquist is already plenty of plot for any film. Do you also need this angle? Effectively Vorelli uses this to force an affair with Marianne and also enjoys his secretary. It’s definitely one way to show this guy as being a big villain but that’s definitely a plot that should have been removed. Not to mention that you should always be able to overpower mind control with pure willpower. Vorelli’s definitely got to be the worst character and as the movie goes on he hypnotizes people into doing more and more scandalous things.

As for Marianne, she’s okay I suppose but lets Mark push her around too push. She should have definitely said no to inviting Vorelli particularly since everyone is afraid of his hypnotism. It’s basically asking for trouble to have him around. It also would have been nice if she could have resisted he hypnotism or been able to tell someone when he was talking in her mind.

Then you have Hugo who doesn’t do anything for over half the film. That’s a long time with no action considering that the film is in theory based around his character. The thing is, the film’s title is a bit misleading. It should have been called the Hypnotist or something like that instead. That’s really what the film is about. Hugo does does have his own plan at the end and at least defeats someone but it’s more incidental than anything. If this was meant to be a red herring then it was effective.

That said, Hugo himself was not very smart at all. Why even let a hypnotists mess with you and a dummy? The whole thing seemed nefarious from the start so it’s no wonder that things finished the way that they did for him. Even allowing himself to be in a trick when the guy had a huge knife….all so risky. Of course, Vorelli isn’t the sharpest guy either so the tables tend to turn on him very quickly.

The writing for the film on the whole is pretty good with all of the retro dialogue and everything. It always makes for an engaging script but as a whole it couldn’t save this film. This film definitely seemed to be going for a much darker approach than most from this era. The whole hypnosis angle is really just an excuse to basically have Vorelli take advantage of everyone. The fact that Marianne is stuck in mind control for a good portion of the film by Vorelli just makes for a tiresome watch. You’re waiting for Hugo to take him out already.

Of course the reporter despite everything he knows from Hugo’s origin story to how Vorelli is acting like a hypnotist doesn’t suspect anything is up when Marianne says she will marry Vorelli. Why? Shouldn’t he suspect something or at least attack the guy? Instead he just goes to have a drink at the local bar so Hugo has to do all of the work in the climax. No worries, the reporter does return after everything is over. Why did Hugo wait so long before doing anything though? Maybe he’s not particularly powerful but he put up with a whole lot during the movie. All I can think of is perhaps the hypnosis was also working on him which is fairly embarrassing if that’s the case.

Overall, Devil Doll is not a film I would recommend. It’s one of those titles where the villain gets away with a little too much the whole time. Hypnosis can always be a rather dangerous plot element in that sense depending on how far they go with it. In this case it sours the whole experience. At least we did get an action fight scene with the Dummy though. There was a lot of actual back and forth with the characters swinging at each other. While Hugo appears as more of a hero by the end, he did straight up murder the assistant though who at best was an accomplice so there aren’t any real heroes here. Everyone is acting rather nefariously and for their own gains. Even the reporter put his story above Marianne’s safety. With nobody to root for, you almost wish Chucky had been here to put an end to things.

Overall 2/10

WandaVision Review


WandaVision is the first of the big Marvel TV shows to come out. One of the big hooks for these is unlike the previous shows such as Agents of Shield or the various Netflix properties, this one would be plucking some rather big characters straight out of the movies and into TV format. As a result you can expect more big events and for scenarios that actually impact future films. WandaVision definitely delivers on this as the events feel quite massive and you can bet that the films will feel an impact here. I did have some issues with the show’s pacing but lets dive in.

The show starts by introducing us to Wanda and Vision who appear to be living in a rather old era. It’s like something out of I Love Lucy or I Dream of Genie with the two getting involved in some wacky adventures. Each episode plunges us 10 years forward in time or at least with what the show is paying homage to but in real time it’s just the next day. Something doesn’t seem right though, why are the characters stuck in what appears to be an alternate world? Something just doesn’t seem right here.

Most of the show is about this mystery. The first 3 episodes keep this up and then in episode 4 is when we finally start to crack the puzzle. As a result it makes things rather interesting for a review since that is about a third of the way through the show. The actual plot twists are at the halfway point so would that be a spoiler? Since the hook of the show is figuring out what is happening I would say it is so I’ll try avoiding those plot threads for the most part.

So, the intro episodes for me are the weak links. The show isn’t quite as funny as it thinks it is with the various homages. It’s fun noticing what shows the series is going for but the issue is that it isn’t quite as good as any of those. The Office certainly made better use of the Mockumentary style, The Brady Bunch seemed to be more entertaining and likewise in each era. I think the issue is that the show was trying very hard to be as wacky and intense as possible to simulate these shows but as a result it doesn’t feel natural.

So I wasn’t big on the old time parts. The whole time I was always looking forward to the meanwhile plots as we see what everyone else is doing. Also, you can start to piece together what the plot is very quickly even if it takes the characters in universe a little extra time to pick up the pieces. The show is at its best when it is fully embracing the twists. The final two episodes are definitely the highlight of the show for that reason. It’s certainly nice to see the characters in a slice of life setting but it would have worked best in modern day.

I was satisfied with the various twists and explanation of what is going on though. It all makes sense and you can also see why it would be hard to intervene at this point since the Avengers aren’t in the best shape at this point in time. Iron Man’s not really in the picture, Cap’s gone, and Thor may be in space right now. You’d have to hope that someone like Ant Man is around and the odds of him even hearing about this event are slim to none.

For the characters, Vision is probably the worst one here. I really can’t cut him any slack. The guy moves as fast as molasses once he finds out more and more information so you can’t help but feel like he’s partially responsible for what is going on. The second he realized that something was wrong you would figure that he would quickly act or do something to help out. Instead he just drags the whole thing out as long as possible well past the point where you will lose patience with the guy. At the end of the day, his acting can help save lives so the longer he doesn’t do anything, the worse it gets. He had to be the most frustrating character in the show without question.

Meanwhile Wanda definitely has a lot to do here of course. Without going into details, you can see how her character has changed drastically even when you just see flashbacks in the show to her younger days. Her powers have gotten quite a lot of respect in the movies so we already knew that she was quite powerful. This whole show is really setting up that she will only get stronger from here. Power corrupts so this is rather dangerous and her actions in the show don’t exactly make her a beacon of hope.

All right, time for a quick pair of spoiler paragraphs. Skip these two if you haven’t seen the show yet but it’s time to dive into some of the bigger items here. All right, so it turns out that Scarlet Witch was holding everyone here against their will. She went from being a morally dubious character to a flat out villain and it’s not really something you might have guessed initially. The show did set her up as being suspicious as early as episode 2 to be honest but it’s all rather gradual. She seems rather insane and spiteful but you may write that off as just being fed up at the villains until it’s too late. I think she is going to make for a very interesting villain. Someone who isn’t quite pure evil yet but is quickly going there. Based on the end credits scene in the show I think she is going to be absolutely psychotic in short order. She does seem to be set off pretty easily and in a way this whole show could be considered as a super villain origin story.

In that sense you can see why the government wanted to wipe her out. Hayward and Monica represent two extremes in the army. Monica is insistent on treating Wanda like a victim who is only holding everyone hostage and threatening to murder her because she’s unstable at the moment. Hayward doesn’t want to try any negotiating and believes just shooting Wanda is the easiest way to do this. As a result both of them seem really unreasonable. I think you’re meant to be on Monica’s side as Hayward starts going so extreme that he even tries to shoot kids straight up. As a premise you do need to take Wanda down for sure, but there should be lots of ways without destroying her. Her durability is still that of a human’s if you can attack before her shield’s up. I do think peace is out of the question once she has hundreds of hostages the way that she does though. With her power said to be even stronger than the Sorcerer Supreme by the end, Strange may actually need some help in dealing with her. I can see why her powers are greater though, if you think about it, she essentially altered reality for an entire town and created new life forms complete with true super powers. That means she can conceivably do something similar like creating the original Avengers to fight Dr. Strange. There are so many exciting possibilities here and needless to say they all spell bad news for Agatha as well since she’s really at Wanda’s mercy right now.

Okay, spoilers are over now so back to our regularly scheduled program. We have some supporting characters from the old days like Darcy. She’s good at trying to crack the case although she does give the government a lot of grief whenever she helps. She definitely reminds them that she is doing this because she has to and not because she wants to. Monica also gets a fairly big role in the show and looks good. While I do think she needs to look at things in less of a “peace at all costs” approach, at least she is trying to reach out to Wanda. She probably just needed more of a plan though but we are setting up some fun things for her character in the future.

Inside of the dome we also have some supporting characters like Wanda’s kids. I’m not a big kids person but they could have been more annoying I suppose. At least they have powers which is pretty cool. That definitely separates them from the average kids at least since they can now defend themselves. You also have some neighbors like Agatha and I’m sure the instant that name is mentioned a lot of people will have various ideas on how that would play out.

Then the show has a really solid climax which was nice to see. We’re definitely at a point where shows can even look like movies now so I’m glad to see this show embracing that. No reason to shy away from big comic fights now. You can just get straight into the action and we get a prolonged battle from multiple sides which was fun. Things are definitely starting to get high tier by the end and magical battles are always fun. There’s just a whole lot you can do with that.

So WandaVision is a show where I’d say it really turned up once the action got going. Not necessarily fight scenes but once we got less of a focus on the old TV show motif and more into the actual plot. I admit that at times it felt like those scenes were straight up filler that were just holding the big plots up. The TV shows are a big focus of WandaVision so taking them out would effectively be changing the show but I think they could have had less scenes for it. Maybe it was just the execution that was off for me but that’s really the only thing that holds the show back from going further.

In a way the show was going for a low key horror vibe despite the classic show settings because you can see that something is off the whole time. So, if the show had committed to this more fully I think that could have been interesting. Grab a Stranger Things vibe or something with each question leading to more mysteries. You would need to retool the plot a bit but for example, Vision realizes he is in a world created by the Grand Master and none of it is real or he’s in a simulation. He confronts Wanda but even she isn’t real and he’s in Mephisto’s lair. Something like that would have been really scary but those are just alternate paths. I feel like the shows were sort of stuck in the middle so while you had that feeling of unease, it wasn’t quite enough to keep you compelled.

The writing is on point though so whenever the show is in the modern setting then it’s pretty interesting. I always like seeing a lot of government scenes so the moments with Hayward and the team were always fun. He may go all in but at least the guy did his best in commanding the troops. At the end of the day it doesn’t matter how many average humans you have though, it’s not going to do much at all against a true magic user.

Overall, WandaVision is a fun show. At only 9 episodes it is definitely over in a flash and can feel like an extended movie. It’s a fun thing about having the show format since you can cover a lot more ground than a film ever could. The first half of the show is a little slow and they didn’t have to do the dog like that by the end. Beyond that the second half turns up though. There are a bunch of twists and turns here so while you may understand the main plot and get most of the twists early on, ideally at least a few can throw you for a loop. I wasn’t expecting the after credits scene after all which was really solid. I can’t wait to see where that one goes since we should get more action out of it. I’d definitely recommend checking this title out and we’ll see how the rest of the shows fare coming up. Oh yeah there was also a song that shows up in the show which was pretty catchy.

Overall 6/10