Saturn Girl vs Iron Tager

Suggested by iKnowledge Iron Tager may not be the fastest Blazblue fighter but he is still strong enough to take the advantage here. Saturn Girl will have a tough time trying to keep him at bay and mostly her attacks do revolve around getting close to her opponent. The instant she gets close to him he will be able to defeat her with a devastating strike. His raw power is just too great. Iron Tager wins.

Saturn Girl vs Hawks

Suggested by iKnowledge Saturn Girl has powerful telepathy to be sure but I don’t see it being enough to take down Hawks here. Hawks is extremely precise with his strikes and his feathers allow him to land numerous blows all at once. Saturn Girl may be able to predict the attacks by reading Hawks’ mind but ultimately she still won’t be quite fast enough to dodge them all. He will still end up having the edge in combat and she doesn’t have a real way to counter him. Hawks wins.

Blue Thunder Review

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

Blue Thunder is one of those films that has a fairly interesting plot but also unlikable main characters. There is one particularly egregious scene which realllllllly ends up hurting the movie as well. Ultimately if you are looking for those rare helicopter fight scenes then this one should be the ticket for you but otherwise it’s definitely time for a good skip. Watch Top Gun 2 instead for a solid film involving aerial combat.

The film starts off by introducing us to Frank and Richard who are two helicopter pilots who basically do frequent patrols around the neighborhood to make sure everything is going well. Well one day they come across a crime that seems like a potential mugging but the victim was a councilwoman and she ends up dying. It was a very odd neighborhood for this kind of attack and Frank notices things that don’t make sense around the area which all get missed in the police report. Unfortunately he doesn’t have much of a leg to stand on as he’s already known to not be the best at just following orders and his boss thinks he is sort of going off the ravine again. Can Frank get to the bottom of this mystery?

See, this is normally where you’re supposed to get annoyed at the boss because he’s slowing Frank down and not letting him do his job. Usually that’s the case at least but here’s the problem, Frank actually is a very bad employee. It’s not even one of those things where it’s close. He abuses his power in order to spy on people. The worst scene in the whole film is Frank and Richard invading a lady’s privacy and staring at her through the window from long range so she can’t see them. It’s really an awful scene all around and well past the boundaries of being even remotely funny. It’s just inappropriate and that alone should cost them their badge.

So when Frank is getting upset about the bosses zeroing in on him…well he definitely earned it. That scene also has nothing to do with the film and seemed to only have been added as fanservice. Cut that out and the film is immediately a lot better. The worst part is that the characters don’t really pay for that. Sure Richard has a painful time during the film to be sure but it’s not directly related to this scene. Then Frank gets to play the hero as he runs around blasting at everyone.

The film is at its best when it’s focused on the actual mystery. For example Frank’s friend Kate helps him out by going to the reporters and we get a fun little side plot near the end. One of the villains even sends a goon after her but fortunately she didn’t fall for the trap and then the reporter came through in time with the security guard. That was definitely fairly tense and the reporter was impressive. He felt like he could have been the lead in a different film.

As for the main villain Cochrane, the guy is definitely not very subtle about being a villain but when there is so much corruption in the ranks why would you bother hiding right? The guy can basically do whatever he wants to a large extent and it’s not like anybody is going to be able to stop him. He’s just going to do whatever he wants and will keep on doing it until someone can stop him. He plays the villain role well and is the most entertaining character in the film to be sure. The guy’s just so sarcastic the whole time.

The effects for the helicopter scenes definitely hold up really well too. I’ve always preferred planes in most areas since I feel like they are faster, more agile, better equipped, etc. But you still don’t want to underestimate the Helicopters because there is a lot that they can do. Part of the focus in the film is that they are testing an experimental one which will have so much firepower that it is basically a mini army in its own right. The dilemma here is obviously that having so much firepower within the city is a huge risk, especially if it’s in the hands of someone like Frank.

I’d say he proves that he’s not trustworthy for using it throughout the film. It also has a lot of invasive hardware in it like a super long range scanner to hear anything anyone says from any range. Not exactly the kind of tech that you just want anyone to have right? It was even funny in a way how in the army demo the company gave we saw a ton of innocent people being destroyed in the simulations. There just isn’t a way to get this kind of weaponry to ever be super safe without some collateral damage. Not without some kind of big technological breakthrough at least. The action scenes are good though and the film’s pacing is on point.

Overall, This film had potential but that one scene just dragged on way too long and was way too detailed. It also destroyed both main characters in an instant to the point where they were impossible to root for. The conspiracy angle was done well although most films have done it better. We get some minor hand to hand kind of action here but mainly it’s about the vehicles and that is handled well. I still wouldn’t recommend this film but it’s fairly close to the border of being a solid pic. If you can get behind that one moment of Frank being the villain then you should have a good time here.

Overall 4/10

One Missed Call Review

It’s time for a retro horror film and One Missed Call definitely lives up to what you would expect there. It’s a horror film that plays it very by the numbers without a whole lot going for it beyond being…well a classic horror film. This one involves phones and a villain so powerful that it’s like you’re fighting against destiny itself. The film doesn’t have a particularly strong cast or memorable visuals to keep it afloat but at the same time it’s certainly not the worth horror film I’ve seen. I doubt I’ll even remember it too vividly several years from now.

The movie starts with the most intense scene in the film to be honest as a lady walks towards a pond when a giant hand emerges and drags her under. It also grabs the cat so the film decided to start off with an animal death for some bizarre reason. Leaving that aside for a moment though, the scene gave the villain a pretty intense design right off the gate and it was memorable. It reminded me of the Redead hands from the Legend of Zelda games. Unfortunately after this you will not see any memorable designs like that at all. In fact once we see the actual mastermind at the end of the film, the villain looks super unimpressive. Basically normal if you will and that’s no fun.

All right so back to the plot. Everyone is worried about the way the girl died and then another girl gets a voicemail from her number but it’s from a future date and has another girl’s voice. This girl promptly dies at the exact time of the voicemail and this “Phone curse” continues to spread. Each victim receives a call from the last victim with a voicemail dated at the exact time that the next victim will die. In essence the instant you receive this voicemail you are already dead which is a sobering thought unless you can escape destiny. Beth is the main heroine of the movie and she has a little time while all of her friends are bumped off. Once they are gone though then she will be next in the firing line. Oh I should also mention every victim gets a candy that they spit out after they die. Pretty random detail but its so random that it’s actually kind of interesting so I’ll give the film credit there. Of course it is explained later on but even if it wasn’t that’s the kind of randomness that can make the situation even scarier.

Fortunately she has the help of Officer Jack who believes there is something to this. Unfortunately the rest of the police don’t buy this so he’s on his own. Now it’s great that he believes since there is some evidence to support it at least but the guy is super sloppy. So the biggest potential evidence here are the phone calls right? Tangible calls that you could trace to see what is going on. Well…over halfway into the film he remembers that you can do this and looks them up but it was such a basic thing he could have tried from the start that it really stands out. You just think “Cmon man” because it would have been easier if the film just said all records mysteriously weren’t there. Really make this as supernatural as possible.

After all this is supernatural so why would it need to follow conventional rules anyway? Jack mainly does good here but I do have to say that one mistake so many characters make is putting their eye right next to the keyhole. Seriously even in real life you don’t want to do that because the door isn’t very well secured at all. Just being near it is a dangerously bad idea. Trust me on this, you do not want to do that! Just stay away from the door and he was probably doomed anyway but it didn’t help matters.

We do get the tragic backstory leading up to the origin of the curse later on and the film gets fairly dark with the lore as you’d expect. Again all fairly common for this kind of film but it also just feels rather forced. I think the movie should have actually not had a backstory for what was going on here. It’s way spookier for this to be happening for no real reason. Just give us a way to actually fight back and then you’re set. For example, that giant undead creature from the opening was super spooky so that’s all you need on the scares front. Have the team try to figure out a way to defeat it.

I knew the film would be cheating as soon as the Star Wars “Force Choke” scene happened. So one girl named Taylor had a really good idea. She allowed herself to be recruited by a supernatural TV show where they record people being possessed and try to save them. These guys may be crazy or scammers but now she’s surrounded at least right? Well the ghost/demon/mysterious villain shows up anyway and just chokes her using invisible intangible powers. There was nothing Taylor or anyone could do and that’s when I realized how futile this was going to be. The villain was too powerful.

In any horror film you have to try and balance out the villain being really powerful and imposing while also giving the heroes some kind of chance to fight back. There always has to be some hope or else why are you even watching right? If the only option is to wait around for your death then that’s inevitably going to get boring and so the film needed to introduce more of a weakness. Taylor’s death just felt unfair the whole time because unlike the other characters I actually thought her plan was as close to full proof as possible.

I haven’t talked much about Beth and in large part that’s because there isn’t a whole lot to say about her. She really stands for being your average everyday person just trying to get out of this situation but she doesn’t have much character beyond that. You’re hoping that she will get out of this in one piece but that’s definitely not a guarantee in a film like this.

Overall, I can see why One Missed Call wasn’t really a hit. The film wasn’t super balanced and didn’t always seem to know what it wanted to do. It’s a fairly serious film with an intense threat but the world wasn’t very fleshed out and there’s nothing to write home about here. While the film isn’t super violent, you definitely do have some intense deaths here. The dark backstory is also intense of course. I did like some of the spooky visuals like the Centipede and the hand in the opening scene but that was about it. The rest of the film just didn’t land and you should give this one a hard skip.

Overall 3/10

Konga Review

Konga is one of those films that ended up failing because it forgot the very premise it was supposed to execute. Why are you watching a film called Konga? Well…odds are that it’s because based on the title you want to see a really good giant creature film right? that makes the most sense but a super large chunk of this is about a super annoying scientist trying to have an affair with his student and this plot drags the whole film down. We don’t actually get the large Konga until the final minutes and it’s way too late by then.

The movie starts with the legendary researcher Charles finally getting back to the country after being presumed dead for a while. He has been living in the wilderness with a tribe learning more about animals and manipulating DNA. He figures that he finally has a way to turn Gorillas into giant monsters and this has a lot of possibilities for human evolution. His assistant Margaret was hoping he would finally be ready to settle down with her and they could start a family but it looks like that isn’t in the cards anymore. No, instead he is completely obsessed with only two things, his experiments and his student Sandra. Can Margaret put a stop to this guy?

I’ve got so many problems with this film but lets start off with Charles. He’s the main character but he’s such an unlikable villain that you are hoping he will be taken out soon. The guy wants to revolutionize science and yet he sets it back by murdering everyone else who were coming up with similar ideas. He claims to be completely focused on the job but then he tries to get with Sandra and makes that a priority. This guy doesn’t actually seem super serious/focused on his work so he becomes all talk by that point and it’s why you can’t respect him as a character. Even if he was a jerk you could at least understand what was going on if he was serious about his scientific advancements.

The instant he lost sight of that the guy was too far gone. Meanwhile I didn’t care for Margaret as the heroine either. For starters she didn’t jump in to protect Sandra when she was being attacked. Additionally Margaret allows herself to just be verbally attacked and ignored all the time. She likes Charles for some reason but you still have to stand up for yourself. She kept all of his affairs in order while he was gone and the guy never shows any gratitude. Instead he keeps making empty promises about how they will still get married some day and she believes them. She seems very naïve here throughout the movie.

Additionally Sandra is also rather oblivious the whole time. Charles isn’t very subtle about his flirting here and how he keeps trying to get her by herself. At first I figured she noticed and just didn’t mind but by the end we see that she hadn’t really considered this. Instead she thought her friend Bob was just being jealous when he tried to warn her multiple times. I don’t get how nobody sees the red flags on this character.

Bob at least decides to fight Charles and even has the upper hand during their skirmish. You can’t blame him as much for sparing Charles’ life because murdering someone is an absolute last resort and Bob wasn’t trying to go down that dark path. He was just put in a really dicey spot the whole time. He gets props for at least roughing the guy up a bit though. The other students were being too busy making fun of the guy to do anything productive.

All right, so what about Konga then? Well he’s stuck in the cage for over 90% of the film as Charles runs experiments on him and keeps saying how expendable the creature is. Naturally once Konga does break free he quickly makes sure to murder as many people as possible before being shot down but of course the issue here is that at the end of the day he’s an innocent animal being gunned down due to being put in the wrong place at the wrong time. It makes for a very somber ending right there and you really wonder what the point of the film really was. It fails as a creature feature film and the character cast was really weak.

The writing can be okay at times. I do still enjoy the old writing style and everyone sounds very polite and proper but you still can’t help but be annoyed. The film’s pacing is solid so it goes by quickly either way. There is definitely no reason to actually go ahead and watch this movie though. There are way better ones out there and there just isn’t anything in particular that would make this movie a must watch compared to others.

Overall, Konga may be a cool name for a film but this is not going to be the next Godzilla. Konga is a film that will likely be lost to the mysteries of time and that’s for the best. Definitely stay away from this film and remember that the main takeaway is to always be wary of announcing your secret research until it is ready. Otherwise you may get bumped off by a rival like what happened in this film and then that definitely would be a tragic way to go out.

Overall 3/10

Lord El-Melloi II’s Case Files {Rail Zeppelin} Grace note: Waver, Reunion, and the Magic Lantern Review

This review’s been a long time coming in part because I was toying with different ways of listing the title. The normal TV show was already a mouthful and then the TV special had an episode title of sorts. I wanted to go with “New Year’s Special” or something but nobody seems to really refer to it that way as a title and most barely even use this episode. I could have called it special episode but that seemed too general. So after a ton of back and forth…you’ve got this mammoth title!

The basic plot here is that Waver ends up meeting two of his old classmates from back in the day. Amleth who is good at illusion type magic (This is Fate so that’s a super simplified version of his abilities which are a lot more technical than that) and his partner Camus who used to be good friends with Waver. They’re really looking forward to the big class reunion coming up but when Waver wakes up the next day he has reverted back to his days of being a child. What could have caused this? He needs to figure out a way to reverse this and quickly or he will be the laughing stock of the reunion! Additionally there may be something a little more sinister at play.

It’s definitely always fun to have a special that takes place across Christmas and New Year’s. This is a fairly low stakes adventure that is more about showing you all of the characters and having fun with the cast than an end of the world event and that’s what you would expect for a fun TV special like this. Just about all of the supporting characters from the show appear to help out or just to tease Waver at times.

We do get one brief action scene for Gray to use her mystical Saber type abilities but beyond that this is a chance for fans to see the old Waver interact with the new cast. While this spell did not affect his mind much at first, the longer he’s in his younger body the more he starts to act like his old self as well. He just can’t drudge up the same level of confidence when he looks this young after all. It doesn’t help that he was never much of a fighter either so take away his confidence and then things really get dicey.

The special is part mystery. Now obviously you know something is up with either Amleth or Camus (Or both) since they’re the new characters here acting really shady. Illusions are also one way to make someone appear younger right? As the special goes on we have to find out the motive behind this because surely you wouldn’t go through all of this work just for some kind of personal prank right? Nah that wouldn’t track and of course we do get a sob story by the end so watch out for that.

Ultimately the motivation isn’t great. It’s a very personal one to be sure but it just makes one character look a bit whiny/petty. One character was certainly a bit oblivious back in the day so someone’s feelings got hurt but in that case I’d say what I always say. If you’re the one who likes someone else then the initiative is on you to make the move. If you prefer to just drop hints then that’s fine but they should be rather direct hints since vague ones can absolutely be misinterpreted. By the end Waver feels rather guilty about how he used to be but at the same time I think it’s a bit harsh. You can’t expect to recognize everything as the situation is unfolding. Looking back with hindsight is also not effective since that’s completely different.

The writing in the special is on point and so it all goes by very quickly. The animation is also very solid. While we don’t get a whole lot of action here, Gray’s attack animation is as stunning as ever. Additionally the soundtrack is still really good as you’d expect since Fate always has grand music. The grand feel of the soundtrack works just as well for the mystery here since the characters are always in such elaborate mansions. The character/location designers for Fate always do a great job.

Overall, This was a fun special. There isn’t a whole lot to talk about since it’s under an hour and the plot is part mystery so you don’t want to spoil things. That said, it’s solid on all sides and so you could recommend it to anyone. Someone who is not familiar with Fate will probably get less out of it but you can appreciate the fun vibes of the special and the mystery either way. It has a good blend of humor and suspense to keep you engaged all the way through. Hopefully we get more content in the El Melloi part of the franchise soon because mysteries within the Fate verse definitely work really well. With all of the complex magical spells all around it makes for a lot of possibilities in any case. It definitely increases the variables compared to a normal detective kind of adventure even if you always have to assume Waver will need to be lucky in order to not just get blown up by the culprit since most could just take him out in a single blow. It’s tough being a scholar in a world of warriors but I suppose until the next Grail War he should be mostly safe.

Overall 7/10

The BioLizard vs Manthing

Suggested by Destroyer Manthing has never been quite as impressive as Swamp Thing but he can still fight really well with the right emotions. That said, once again the BioLizard wins this one via a zoning battle strategy. He can fire off a ton of lasers right out of the gate and they will prevent Manthing from ever getting close enough to deal any real damage. There just won’t be much of an out for him here and he will end up being absolutely crushed. He needs more long range options. The BioLizard wins.

The BioLizard vs Nightmare

Suggested by Destroyer Nightmare has his powerful armor and swords at the ready. This guy is fierce and definitely a top contender among the Soul Caliber fighters but at the same time I just don’t see him being able to get up close to deal his damage. He will fall much sooner due to the barrage of attacks and will be down for the count. The Ultimate Lifeform is just too strong. The BioLizard wins.

The BioLizard vs Shriek

Suggested by Destroyer Shriek won’t be able to deal any damage to the BioLizard so right off the bat that is a big reason as to why this fight won’t be close. The creature’s durability levels are simply too high and all of Shriek’s efforts will immediately be countered. There just isn’t any path to victory, they have all been sealed off long ago and as always the BioLizard’s energy blast onslaught will be too much to overcome. The BioLizard wins.

The BioLizard vs Silver Sonic

Suggested by Destroyer Silver Sonic is fast but he doesn’t quite have the skills of the real Sonic The Hedgehog and you will need those in order to take down a foe of this caliber. The BioLizard is way stronger than any foe Silver Sonic has faced off against over the years and a single energy blast should be enough to win the day here. There just isn’t much that the robot could do to defend himself. The BioLizard wins.