Lake Placid Review

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Overall 1/10

The Deadly Bees Review

It’s time to look at one of those films. I’m talking about the kind of film that will make you cringe and wonder what the point of all this is. It’s tough from the start to make a horror film about Bees since the writers will wonder how to make them a threat without using any animal violence or destroying a bunch of bees in the process. So what did the film do? It opted to go with both options and as a result this is one film that has not aged well. Of course, that implies that the film was ever good which would be a mistake.

The film starts with a famous actress having a bit of a melt down. She’s been under a lot of stress so her doctor recommends that she go live in the country for a while. He gets his old friend Ralph to take care of Vicki. At first she is content, but gradually notices that everyone is acting rather oddly. Ralph is a bee keeper so there are always bees around but they’ve started murdering people lately. Ralph’s neighbor Manfred lets Vicki know that Ralph is crazy. Apparently he just wants to murder everyone with his bees. Vicki decides to help Manfred find proof of this before she goes back home where it’s safe. She also decides not to question the fact that Manfred also has a bunch of bees. Who is guilty and will Vicki be able to live through this experience?

This is the kind of film where you can’t trust anyone because they all act suspiciously in one way or another. In Ralph’s case, he’s always rather rude to everyone. He tells Vicki to stop snooping around the Bees but doesn’t give her any reason. He quarrels with his wife constantly and doesn’t give you any reason to trust him. Then you have Manfred who is extremely shady and doesn’t get along with Ralph. He throws around a lot of accusations but only does so when Ralph isn’t around so the guy doesn’t come across as the bravest individual around. Perhaps he is just jealous of the other guy’s bee skills. Then you have Vicki who feels rather naive the whole time. She just believes whatever she is told and is convinced into doing the most dangerous tasks. She should have immediately tried leaving the island and letting the cops try to get to the bottom of this. Even though things work out pretty well for her, it felt more coincidental than anything else.

As mentioned earlier, there is some animal violence here which dooms the film. Ralph naturally has a dog and this doesn’t end well as the dog decides to go after the bees. Lets face it, the only reason why the dog was added in the first place was so we could get this scene which is rather mean spirited. The Dog just shouldn’t have been included in the film at all. We also have a lot of Bees dying which is certainly less emotional but it all ends up hurting in the end. Nobody wants to die on account of bee stings, it’s a rather brutal way to go out. As a result, each death just comes across as more painful and needless than it ought to have been. It’s a disadvantage of being a film about Bees so the instant you choose that as the film’s focus you have already dug a little hole for yourself.

I won’t say which person is actually the evil one, but I will say that it doesn’t matter for this next criticism. The innocent party knew that the other one was guilty so why did he not do anything about it? As a result multiple people die including Ralph’s wife, the Dog, and even the neighbor down the road who came over to help. Yeah, the girl seemed to be trying to get the title of mistress and seemed shady, but she still didn’t need to get such a violent end. The innocent guy decides to just copy the villain and starts breeding murderous bees of his own. Of course the villain finds out about that and decides to shut him up. The plan felt like it wasn’t thought out very well. Of course the police wouldn’t have believed him either way, but he should have just tried to burn down the neighbor’s bees when he had the chance. Both men live right next to each other so it should be a very easy feat. The innocent party just stayed very passive the whole time and would have certainly been bumped off at some point or another.

It’s too bad we didn’t see more of the Agent in this film. He seemed like he would have made for a more enjoyable character than any of the others. I like how he was only worried about the island because it meant that he wouldn’t be getting any more money from the actress for a little while. It may not be the most noble reason, but the guy was very straight forward and you have to admire his earnest nature if nothing else. A film taking place back in Hollywood with the rest of the cast scrambling for opportunities while the actress was gone would have also just been more entertaining than what we got.

Overall, Deadly Bees is definitely not a film that I would recommend very highly. In fact, I wouldn’t recommend it at all and you should actively avoid it. There is nothing redeeming about the film. Bees don’t make for good antagonists and the film takes all of the bad routes that it can. There isn’t a single scene that feels inspired or well shot to the point where you would get a look of amazement. It just does everything by the book and does so in a way that will make you shake your head. Needless to say, this doesn’t bode well for any future Bee films either. Maybe what we need is a film about robot bees instead, that could work.

Overall 0/10

Isle of Dogs Review

It’s time to look at the Isle of Dogs. This film looked worrisome from the get go for a plethora of reasons, but the main 2 were the stop motion animation (The worst form of animation) and the fact that it revolves around dogs. Unfortunately the film goes above and beyond what I had thought it would do and turns out to be one of the worst films out there. Brace yourself because this film is brutal!

So, the film takes place in the future and dogs have all been found to be dangerous since they are contaminated with a disease. The government banishes the dogs to a lonely island where they will all end up dying. One kid heads there to find his lost dog, but this will be a difficult quest. There are robot dogs after him to ensure there are no survivors and we also have an election going on in the background. Can the kid find his dog?

The film was doomed early on as there is a ton of animal violence. I can’t think of the last time I saw this amount of dog violence in one film. It’s almost constant as they get bit, die, and undergo a lot of injuries. While the bulk of them are on screen the film also makes sure to remind you on many occasions that they’ve also already had many more injuries. The film tries to be very dark and gritty throughout its run. The movie succeeds on this, but of course that isn’t a good thing.

Not only do we get all of this happening, but the stop motion intentionally makes all of the characters look disfigured and bruised as much as possible. It’s to the point where it’ll be hard to look at the screen for most of the characters since they just look so messed up. This is the case for about 90% of the film so it’s not like it was just a quick scene or two. The injuries stay on the characters continuously in part thanks to the fact that the stop motion is keeping the same character models for so long. You’ll be cringing for the entire movie, just not in the usual cringe like when a character says something painful. It’s just because you can’t bear to see what’s happening.

Usually stop motion films can be fun for the very rapid fire styled dialogue where the characters go on and on with burns and comebacks. There is less of a chance for that here because of how seriously the film tries to present itself. There is never a chance for happy conversations like that. The cast of characters is also pretty bad. The main kid is just a nuisance the whole time as he tries to assume command of Duke when he should be worrying about getting off the island alive. He wastes time going on rides and playing fetch and generally acting like he doesn’t have a clue. The kid’s a terrible character and just not very smart to the extreme.

I don’t need to go into much detail on the animation since I already expressed that it wasn’t very good, but the main reason behind that is that it’s always very choppy. The scenes quickly jump around and there’s no time for any real detail. The film just makes everything look grotesque, but as a result there naturally aren’t any good visuals to be enjoyed. The soundtrack was all right I suppose. I can’t really fault the film in this area since it wasn’t bad. The music would work well in a better film since some of the tunes had potential. It’s nothing to write home about, but it worked well enough.

Aside from all of the dogs running around we had the political subplot as I mentioned. That plot is dreadfully slow and most of the scenes are just about the American transfer student trying to show everyone that the mayor is corrupt. The problem is that nobody really seems to care and her plans don’t go anywhere until the kid and the dogs actually appear. Otherwise all of her efforts would have been futile so her plot really didn’t end up amounting to anything.

I also have to say that keeping the languages untranslated was a terrible decision as well. You could have characters talking for whole minutes and you can’t understand any of it. It’s pretty obvious what they’re saying but it ends up being a waste of run time if you ask me. The film could have used that extra time to do anything else. It’s just a design choice that I think really didn’t work and just added to the list of woes for the film.

If I had to choose a best character it would be the Chief since he was pretty tough. It’s a shame that by the end he was forced to be more tame though and ends up going through a rather predictable character arc. The other dogs were good enough even if their resolve wasn’t quite as good. The villains are fairly generic and just evil for kicks. The last minute change of heart wasn’t all that believable so you were still ready for them to go to prison.

Finally, the film is also too long. It’s a little over an hour and a half with very slow pacing. It feels like nothing much really happens in this film. Most of it is the kid traveling with the dogs until they ultimately arrive at their destination. Any time you may try to get invested in the film you will be knocked back out by a dog scene. It’s impressive that the film got so many big names into it, but that’s not enough to actually earn the movie any consolation points. I’m afraid that it’s all over for this film.

Overall, Isle of Dogs is definitely a film that you will want to give a hard pass. Whatever message is was going for ends up getting completely lost among all of the senseless violence and cringe character injuries. I don’t think the film ever had much potential with its general plot though and if it wanted to be good it would have needed an entirely different story. I can say with confidence that this is always a really bad sign. Perhaps better animation could have helped as well, but not enough to really matter. I’d highly recommend watching a film like Air Bud instead.

Overall 0/10

Ben Review

It’s time for the sequel to Willard. As you can probably guess, this won’t really end well for the film. The first one had just about everything that you wouldn’t want to see in a film. While this film shows some marginal improvement with a better cast, it’s still so bad that it doesn’t really make a difference. There still aren’t any real positives to speak of so the film can’t really gain any ground. Furthermore, the concept was never good to begin with so it’s not like the film could fall back on its potential.

So, Ben escaped from the proper authorities last time. Now he is back and he has brought an army. The plan is for Ben and his friends to decimate the city and put all of the local grocery/supermarkets out of business. This plan hits a snag when Danny shows up. He’s a nice kid who always wanted to sing, but simply doesn’t have the talent. He has some kind of condition with his heart so it’s hard for him to breath or move all that much. Ben takes pity on him and decides to become friends, but he still has to defend himself from the cops. The cops suspect that something is up, but are too busy with their banter to give it too much extra thought at the moment.

At the very least, it’s nice to see the cops get more of a role. They talk and act with complete seriousness so you know that the threat is real. They arm themselves to the teeth with flame throwers, guns, sticks, and all sorts of weapons. These guys definitely didn’t come to play, they came to win! It’s all part of the plan, but alas it is not that easy. The Rats are smarter than they look and somehow can still compete. It’s almost funny when one guy runs out of the tunnel and informs the chief that they’re losing. By this point there are at least a dozen guys who ran into the sewers with their flame throwers and they’re still losing? I don’t know what to say about that. Once you have a fire weapon, the rats should not be able to break the line. Maybe the guys started to space out or something.

The rats definitely get a lot of hype so the humans are on the defensive for quite a while. At least they still manage to keep secrets from each other so none of them are on the same page. One of them even rubs in the fact that if the rats were a little bigger things would be dicier. Clearly these guys needed more grenades and such. While the climax is a lot more explosive and intense than the first one, it’s still built around animal violence so it’s no better.

As a whole the film was certainly less violent than the first one so that’s nice. It’s still violent enough to issue some warning bells though. Danny also doesn’t work well as a main character. First off, he’s pretty annoying like just about any other kid in a movie. Second, giving him the heart problem just felt like an excuse for some drama and it never added anything into the film. That subplot never should have made it past production. The sister’s insistence on Danny having an imaginary friend was also pretty dicey the whole time since he made it clear that it was real from the start. At first you just assume that she’s covering for him, but she actually ended up believing it. It was awful convenient for the kid that’s for sure.

As for Ben, he is now a family man which is an interesting twist. That being said, he’s not a particularly good one since he ditches his family every day to hang out with Danny. This plot point also felt out of place since it’s completely out of character and makes no sense. I believe the writers felt like it was the only way they could get Danny into the story, but then maybe they shouldn’t have gotten him involved at all. The rest of the film actually wouldn’t change at all and it would have helped a bit. Shorten the run time and increase the focus on the cops. Those are the first steps towards being a bad movie instead of a terrible one.

On a miscellaneous note, I still feel like people aren’t as scared of rats as the film series would have you believe. Sure, people find them kind of creepy and gross so they stay away, but you wouldn’t yell in terror at the mere sight of them. You certainly wouldn’t engage a few hundred of them, but you’d act with some dignity. Once they start biting you you’d run away instead of sitting down and just taking it. Honestly, the pain of getting dozens of bites in an instant should be enough to force you to move on pure instinct alone. I just don’t see a person freezing up even if it is more dramatic. At that point the fear is gone and only the pain remains. Much like when you start this film. You fear what’s going to happen and then once it plays the fear is gone and now you have to endure the terrible songs.

Overall, I’d say that Ben was unfocused. It tried having way too many plot lines and incorporating a bunch of characters even though there was no reason to do so. It should have just been Ben vs the World like you’d think from the posters. We don’t need happy human subplots. Maybe if they toned down the horror aspects it would work, but you shouldn’t do both. The writing isn’t good and there is still a lot of animal violence so at the end of the day you can be sure that this film didn’t fare well for me. It’s a title that you should forget and move on from as soon as possible.

Overall 0/10

Willard Review

It’s time for one of those films that you know will be bad from the start. It has Rats in it which is a problem since it’ll lead to animal violence and the main character is super whiny. You can barely ask for a worse combination to start the film off with. Add in the gratuitous violence and you’ve got yourself another 0 to roll with. There are no redeeming factors in this movie so we may as well just jump in.

The film starts off with Willy heading home when he’s cornered by his boss (Al) and a co-worker. They mock Willy for a while because he forgot his papers once again and then they drive off. Willy is part of the sales department so he has to get the orders or the company can’t earn money. He doesn’t seem to care though because he only gives everything 10% of his effort. Any more than that and he would actually have to try. His father used to own the company but Al helped expedite his death with business pressure and took over the company. Willy’s family says that he should try to take the company back, but that doesn’t seem possible in his current state. If anything, it seems like he may be getting fired if he doesn’t clean up his act. Willy decides to start taking care of some rats in his spare time. Not out of any noble gestures, but so that he can satisfy his inferiority complex by being superior to something, in this case the rats. Willy goes on his power trips right away and edges closer to insanity. Will he live through this?

In case you couldn’t tell, I didn’t like Willard from the beginning. I never found him sympathetic because a lot of his failings on the job seem like his fault. Even if he has a lot of work I want to see him put an effort into finishing it. If he was truly overworked, I would have liked for the film to give some evidence on that. We know Al doesn’t like Willard, but we don’t know that the work was too much for the guy. He didn’t handle any of the situations well either. The party scene is a good example of this as he just leaves instead of talking things out with the guests. They didn’t seem all that reasonable, but Willard basically just lets everyone walk all over him until he snaps. He is all about extremes with no middle ground. Willard also takes his frustration out on the rats which essentially makes him no better than Al. It’d be nice if he could see that, but that wasn’t in the cards. Willy is essentially a bully as well so there’s no rooting for the guy. He murders and yells at rats just to satisfy his ego.

I was actively rooting against him, but the problem is that there aren’t really any characters to root for. The main heroine is the only decent character and even she can be a bit odd. Buying Willard a cat out of the blue is not something you do. I think it’s fair to say that a lot of people aren’t looking for a pet and couldn’t just accept such a responsibility out of the blue. Still, she meant well at least so I’m glad the film let her go without getting eaten or something.

Al’s the main villain and he’s a pretty mean guy. He likes humiliating Willard and getting the last laugh. He pushes the main character around for quite a while until plot hax sets in. Willard breaks in with his rat army which is cool and all, but Al could have just pushed through the door and ran off. The rats could chase him, but it would be tough to down the guy. Instead…he just stands still and begs for mercy. It works well if this was Willard’s big delusion as he finally gets his revenge on everyone, but it’s hard to see it all going so smoothly.

Then Willard’s neighbors turn out to be burglars who like stealing everything. It was a pretty intriguing subplot and she still beat a lot of the other characters. In another subplot, Willard wants to keep his mansion as a matter of pride even though he isn’t earning enough money to support it. Now this is just selfish as he goes around asking for money when there is no way he will be able to return it. He should have just gotten a smaller house and a lot of the issues here could have been resolved.

As for other factors that doomed the movie, there is a considerable amount of animal violence here. Rats are smashed, stabbed, and drowned. It’s unfortunate that Rats are always used for all of these vile experiments. Even in real life everything is tested on them and I somehow don’t think they were treated well in this film. I try not to think about those aspects while watching, but the actor does throw quite a few of them around at various points and since they were using live rats throughout the film, it just doesn’t bode well. The whole film is just very distasteful and mean spirited. Even the Rats banding together and murdering everyone by the end isn’t fun because it’s just continuing the mean cycle. Sure, they got their revenge through more violent scenes, but where’s the happy ending? I’m glad Willard didn’t get a happy ending since he didn’t deserve one, but after a while there’s just no high road for the film to take.

Overall, another issue is that this film also feels like it goes on forever. It just keeps on going and going. Since I didn’t like the characters, that only made the feeling even worse. I don’t know what else to say except that you should absolutely avoid this film. Even as far as horror films go, this one is quite terrible. It’s only good for taking a nap since it’ll put you to sleep. I suppose it can be good as a coaster, but then you’d have to see the cover every time you reach for your drink and that would get brutal very quickly. So, you’re better off just staying out of this film’s way and forgetting that it exists.

Overall 0/10

Mama Review

I’m afraid that it’s time for another horror film and this one is certainly not very good at all. In fact, it’s one of the weaker horror films, but I suppose the writers and producers can take solace in the fact that they tried to grab as many horror tropes as they could. This is probably a good film to show people if you want to explain why the horror genre just isn’t good. There’s no other reason to check this film out though so you’ll want to stay as far away as you possibly can.

The film starts off with a guy taking his kids to an abandoned shelter in the forest so he can destroy them, but a creature puts an end to them first. This creature then takes care of the kids for many years until Lucas shows up and brings them back to civilization. Together with Annabel, he tries to rehabilitate them and get them to act like normal kids. The problem is that the creature doesn’t like this turn of events and prepares to show them what true power really is.

While the plot may sound slightly different, it’s essentially the same old same old. The ghost is now in the house and it keeps haunting Annabel time after time after time. “Mama” never actually does anything though so maybe she was just enjoying the jump scares. No matter, it worked out well for Annabel. Even when the creature had Annabel alone, it never made a move. At least we do know that it can fight though so I’ll give the film some slight props there. Mama is slightly weaker than other characters like the Grudge as it doesn’t seem like it can really do any reality warping. Still, it has the ability to corrupt and destroy what it touches. It steals the life force of its prey, albeit a little slowly. It has basic super strength and speed as well. We can’t forget the levitation either and its ability to summon edible moths. Mama’s not a great villain, but at least the monster actually got to appear and had a distinct design and power set. It could have almost been sympathetic since it helped the kids out and all. The ending wrecks that though as it decides to take out another kid for the prophecy. The ghost should have realized that such a move would probably hurt the kid, but I guess she’ll settle for having the ghost spirit as a friend instead.

Lets start talking about the array of negatives in the film. To start with, there is animal violence. I definitely saw that coming. The two wolves dying in the opening credits weren’t as bad as they could be since it was all drawn using crayons. However, we then saw the kids eating moths later on which was very gruesome and disturbing. That’s a nice way to lose some points, but the film was really just getting started.

Annabel and Lucas are pretty bad characters and that’s why you will end up rooting for the Step Aunt, Cousin, something person. She wanted custody of the kids and while she wouldn’t have fared too well, she would have done better than this pair. Lucas is knocked out for most of the film and when he does show up, he’s knocked out rather easily. He talked a good game, but crumbled when it counted and shouldered all of the responsibility on Annabel even though she never wanted a part in this. He was rather rude the whole time. Annabel’s not that great either although at least she ignores the bad advice that her friends were giving her. She gradually learns to get better with the kids. Still, she helps us get to the next horror cliche of the two leads messing around with each other only to stop when the villains…or in this case the kids show up. One thing you know from horror movies is that ghosts don’t like to see any inappropriate behavior and it usually costs your life.

As for the beginning of the film it still doesn’t make a lot of sense. I thought it was hinting that the Dad was going to murder the kids because of the ghost or some kind of plot twist. By the time you reach the ending, the only real conclusion you can come to is that the guy was just insane. It’s rather grim and dark for no real reason and the plot didn’t have any reason to be here. It’s good that the ghost was watching, but we didn’t need any more villainous characters. The ending manages to top the beginning in how bad it is though and destroys the movie even further. What could have maybe scratched by at a 2 ends up going all the way over.

By the end, it was all futile. The ghost grabs one of the kids and jumps off with her. The little girl dies and will likely now be a moth monster like the Mama. It’s definitely pretty dark and that’s the kind of ending that you never really want to see. I don’t mind the classic “Villain comes out of the closet in the final scene to destroy the main characters” as it is more of an implied sad ending as opposed to a direct one. Ending with this just makes the whole story pointless. The villain won and now she can return whenever she wants to get the other kid. I also don’t think it makes much sense since she had been raising the children and protecting them all those years.

Naturally, I also didn’t care for the fact that the film revolved around the two little girls so much. It was rather gruesome to see them in the initial appearance as they were in very poor condition from living in the wilderness so long. They even lost their ability to speak for a while and while the older one started to get better, it was definitely a pretty dicey plot. It’s one that wasn’t handled all that badly, but throw in the deranged Mama who was watching their every moves and it was definitely not all that fun.

Overall, Mama is not a good horror film in the slightest. The ending cements it as a completely terrible movie. The characters are all pretty bad for the most part and the villain doesn’t make any sense either. Lucas in particular is rather annoying as he takes the time to get lost in the forest for a whole day even when he knows that Annabel is being haunted at home and asked him to get home as soon as possible. It’s little things like that which remind you that this is a horror movie so none of the characters are going to act very smart. If you want a good horror movie to watch instead…you’re going to need to do some intense searching!

Overall 0/10

Revenge of the Creature Review

Oh boy folks, strap yourselves in because you’re in for an underwhelming film from the old days. The Creature from the Black Lagoon wasn’t a very good film to be honest, but at least the Gill Man got his props. This sequel makes him look as weak as possible, but still allows you to root for him since the main humans are so terrible. This film showcases some of the undesirable characteristics that people used to have before society got modern. The modern status quo may be pretty sad at times (Presidential Debate) but it also shows how we have gotten a little more civilized in other respects.

Clete has decided to go find the Gill Man and capture him. The Gill Man may have caused a lot of damage in the first film, but Clete is confident that he can handle him. I guess he was right since the Gill Man doesn’t put up much of a fight. Even when he gets people under the water and has the element of surprise, he’s not able to do much. People just swim away from him or break out of the grip. So much for the proportionate strength of a Hollywood monster eh? After Clete captures the Gill Man and forces him to work as a slave in the water circus, he meets up with Helen. Helen had been minding her own business and working on her sketches, but Clete wouldn’t have any of that. After falling in love at first sight, Clete reminds Helen that she will have to give up her professional career so she can be a stay home Mom like she’s supposed to.

Helen agrees and they live happily ever after. In the midst of this rigged situation, the Gill Man tries to break free of his prison and gets shot for his efforts. So the question is…where’s the film going with all of this? Is there a point and I just missed it or is this film just filler and an excuse to show the Gill Man again? Considering how weak he is in this film, I’m sure that his fans would have preferred that he stay lost in the history books of Hollywood. Appearing again just wasn’t worth it.

One of the main reasons why the film was so bad is the animal violence. See, back in the day it was just generally accepted that humans were above animals and could do whatever they wanted to with them. Animals existed purely for entertainment and that’s how they were treated. It’s essentially the same concept as slavery, but with creatures. That’s how the Gill Man is treated here. He is thrown into a tank and zapped just for kicks as Clete wants to show him who’s boss. It’s not even portrayed as a negative thing in the film as it was just the social norm. People who saw it in theaters back in the day probably didn’t think twice about it and were still rooting for Clete to win once the Gill Man resisted. It was just not fun to watch and that’s why I never like to see animals in old films. At the very least, keep the circuses and such away from me.

The main characters are also fairly annoying as well. Clete seems like your average flirt who just approaches everyone until he gets a yes. Naturally, I also didn’t care for him since he was mean to the Gill Man the whole time. Helen isn’t much better either as she is willing to throw away a career that she put a whole lot of time into just because she is going to marry Clete. Society was pretty dicey back then and that’s why she should have just pulled the friend zone card for a little while. If Clete was serious, then he would be willing to wait. There was also a random guy called Joe who wanted Helen as well, but he was quickly taken out of the picture. The Gill Man saw to that.

It’s also worth mentioning that Clete wasn’t as upset as you would expect once the Gill Man kidnapped Helen. He actually made a point of grabbing the microphone and saying that he didn’t want to see any heroics. Saving Helen was important, but he didn’t want anyone to risk their lives until they called for backup and had a good offensive ready. That’s all well and good, but it takes time. Clete should have been the one yelling for everyone to attack and the chief could have cut him off. Clete just felt very shallow and fake as a result. You’ll feel more sympathy for the two random teenagers who try to save Helen, but are quickly taken down for the count.

The Gill Man’s not a very interesting creature even though he is better than the leads. His super strength seems very sporadic as he is clearly shown to be stronger than the average human, but he can’t even beat one when he is in the water. He does once or twice, but they are usually able to escape him rather easily, which is pretty suspect. I’d expect more out of the Gill Man and since he apparently has to return to the water every few seconds, that’s a pretty big weakness. There was no way he was going to escape with Helen like that although he probably should have just gone to the water with her. He should have enough strength to swim in the ocean while keeping her up. As it is, he had no real plan and never had a chance at success.

Overall, This just isn’t a very fun film at all. It’s not enjoyable to see the humans toy with the Gill Man for a while before finally putting him down. Since there is another film, I guess the Gill Man may have escaped, but even so it’s just a rather depressing story. It’s just around for humans to feel dominant and unlikable. Hollywood can definitely do much better with their stories and I expect more out of them. I definitely do not recommend this film and if you ask me, you should probably watch the new Shin Godzilla film instead. It has a lot more dignity and better writing at its disposal.

Overall 1/10

The Age of Adaline Review

It’s time to look at a romance/drama film that came out a while ago. The film actually got a lot of promotion and you would see the posters everywhere. I never got to see a trailer for the movie, but I can’t say that the posters really intrigued me. Upon viewing the film, I can confirm that my suspicions were basically right on the mark. This film could have been a whole lot better, but fell into some rather large mistakes along the way. This is why romance and drama are two genres that need to stay far away from each other unless they are handled very delicately. Don’t forget though, this is apparently an epic as well!

Adaline used to live a normal life. It may not have been perfect, but she had a family and a nice car. Well, her husband couldn’t quite make it as he died early and Adaline took an unwise drive through the forest when she fell in a ditch and drowned, also being zapped by lightning afterward. If you’ve watched shows like Dragon Ball Z or Prince of Tennis, then you know that this kind of thing isn’t fatal. The lightning actually helps revive Adaline and stops the time within her body so that she is now immortal. The film tries to play this off as actually being possible, but the reasoning is so fake that you just feel like laughing at the super serious/almost condescending narrator. Now that she is immortal…what will Adaline do with her life?

She originally decides to just live alone with her dog while avoiding the government. Her daughter is around 60 by now so they visit each other discreetly at times, but Adaline forgot to take up a hobby. That probably would have made being immortal a little more bearable. She could have started a website or something and fans could wonder how she had it for 160 years. She would never tell anyone that she owned it of course. Her life changes forever when a rich book reader shows up and decides that he wants to be with her. He flirts and flirts until Adaline decides to give him a date and the full hollywood treatment.

Again, this is why many romances in films are just so bad. First of all, it sends the wrong message. Adaline flat out denies Ellis (the guy) multiple times, but he doesn’t take no for an answer. He follows her to her job, blackmails her as he would take back his donation from her library if she didn’t go out with him, and also finds out her home address from her co-workers (Who should really know better than to be handing these things out) Finally, she does go out with him and a day or two later, they’re already in bed. That’s basically the definition of a poor romance. You know what’s a much better one? Cinderella. It may not have a whole lot of personality at times and it may be a pairing that we’ve seen over and over again, but she was modest and the romance develops at a much better pace over there. In Adaline, it’s the modern version that just doesn’t work.

Ellis is a terrible character, I definitely did not like him at all. Adaline was decent for the most part, but the Ellis plot dragged her down and she breaks down a few times, which really weakens her character. She takes the being immortal condition as a cup being half empty when she should have just taken it in stride. Who wouldn’t want to be immortal? (Actually, I wouldn’t want that ability on Earth, but that’s besides the point) There aren’t a whole lot of supporting characters although Ellis’ dad gets a fairly big role as we find out that he used to be close to Adaline. Adaline should have taken more precautions to make sure that she wasn’t recognized, but I suppose that it was tricky. Either way, it also makes Adaline look dicey once again as she flirted with another person for so long. It may have been like 50-60 years ago, but that’s still a bit much.

One thing that really hurt the film was the animal violence that occurred at one point. It was just senseless violence that shouldn’t have been included in the film, but was kept in for shock value and that emotional roller coaster. The dog’s liver or his ribs was failing so Adaline put him down. That’s the kind of plot that was simply unnecessary and I would have preferred for the dog to not even appear if it was all going to end like that. Poor move by the film.

Age of Adaline really should have focused more on the immortal plot. The government who was trying to catch Adaline was a fairly interesting storyline although I wouldn’t want to see any actual experimentation. Just the chase and seeing Adaline evade them for a while would have been neat. All of the fake science talk was interesting in a parody sort of way and I wouldn’t have minded more of that. This film could have easily been a mystery thriller instead of a romance drama. It’s all in how the film chooses the handle the plot.

The problem with the romance has already been explained and the drama doesn’t work as the characters take everything too seriously. Get ready for a lot of crying over just about everything and it gets to be a bit much. You’ll probably also see the ending coming a mile away for the picture perfect ending for Adaline. Without the twist, it may have been more of an epic way to end things. I certainly would have liked that and then we could have had an action sequel.

As for the writing, I’m afraid that it’s not so good. It’s not terrible, there will just be a line once in a while that will make you wince, like Ellis’ sister, who comes out of nowhere with her bad one liners. Ellis’ dad also wasn’t that great as he just created a lot of tension for the lolz and the film should have shown that he had totally moved past his old flame. The memories should have been ancient history for him.

Overall, this sounds like a pretty negative review right? Well, it is to an extent. The film just makes too many mistakes for me like the rushed romance or the animal violence. I can’t say that any of the characters are really likable although the blind lady from near the beginning wasn’t bad. I would have liked to have seen Adaline just living through the decades with a few people finding out about her here and there. That would have been soooo much more interesting. If the film played up the drama and emotional moments a little less, it would have been a much better film. If you’re looking for a good romance/drama, check out Tsubasa Spring Thunder. It gets very emotional while also being epic.

Overall 3/10