Megaman Star Force Review


Megaman Star Force was definitely a fun follow up to the Battle Network series. There’s just a lot you can do with Megaman in a futuristic sci-fi setting. I mean, that’s all Mega titles to an extent but Star Force was really far in the future. Using wavelengths and such was a unique way to bring out some new fights. Unfortunately this manga really doesn’t compete with the average Megaman manga. Mainly because it completely overloads on crude humor which is a huge no no for any title.

The basic premise is similar to the first game. Geo’s father went missing in space one day and Geo has decided to find him. One day an alien named Omega Xis shows up and says he knows Geo’s Dad but he has amnesia and doesn’t know more than that. If the two of them merge to become Megaman and beat a lot of enemies maybe that will jog his memory. The main villain to watch out for here is Gemini Spark who wants to claim ultimate power so that he can fight the FM King and change this world. Megaman can’t let someone handle such dangerous power though.

Well, honestly Geo doesn’t really care about that but this power is a possible clue to finding his father. Also, Geo just enjoys a good fight. Lets just say this isn’t the most heroic portrayal of his character so right now he’s got more things on his mind than justice. Geo just wants to take down everyone who stands in his way. The banter with him and Omega Xis should be great since that’s usually a lot of fun but the manga messes this up with crude humor as well. What a shame…..but there is just no escape for this it seems.

Before I get more into that though, lets talk about the art in general. I would actually consider that to be a strength as the action scenes are on point. It can get a little messy at times to be sure as all of the attacks blend together but you will also get some real stand out moments. For example I feel like the series went especially all out for all of Gemini Spark’s scenes. Every time he is on screen he gets big panels to himself or extended fights.

I also like the way the Tuning power is drawn for each character. It’s sort of like a Super Saiyan mode you could say. It boosts all of the character’s attributes after all which is basically what Super Saiyan does anyway right? It’s effectively made up for the manga but I liked this as a skill. It makes sense that by tuning into frequencies you would be able to boost your abilities if you are made of waves the way the characters are. So when the series is trying, the art looks really good.

Now the issue is that it is often squandered because of all the crude humor though. Here’s the big problem, it is constant. Geo may try to have a serious conversation and Omega Xis has to suddenly use the bathroom or just puke somewhere. These moments just never stop and gets as gross as possible. The characters have runny noses for no reason and the manga just can’t take itself seriously for a moment. I’d prefer the series has tons of jokes which are never funny than spoiling things with crude humor. It especially butcher’s Omega Xis’ character since at least Geo is trying to be serious some of the time. That never happens for his partner.

Crude humor has to be the worst kind of humor to be sure. It easy took a star off of this and came close to 2. I would still call this a good manga overall since the action scenes are on point and I like the general story but it just feels so unnecessary. Without the crude humor this could have easily been a great manga. As it stands, I can see why this one didn’t last so long. It’s also a very loose adaption to be sure. Most of Geo’s friends don’t even appear and Harpnote doesn’t appear until the very end of the series.

Instead the cop Goyoda gets to appear a whole lot. He’s always chasing after Geo which is par for the course. Of course he is so outmatched here that you might just feel bad for him. At least he makes the right call at the end but for the most part he’s just here to hold Megaman back. You’d think he would be more focused on stopping the evil aliens but at the same time Megaman does openly cause a whole lot of collateral damage so you can understand more than usual. One of Megaman’s first appearances is him breaking down a building thanks to his lack of control after all.

Among others, Megaman fights with Taurus Fire and Libra Scales here. I liked Libra’s gimmick of trying to use rigged games to force opponents into submission. You’d think that they would suspect that the whole thing is rigged but I suppose they weren’t quite smart enough for that. His first victim is Cancer Bubble as well who was never the smartest one. Geo’s method of outsmarting him with a rigged game of his own was really the perfect counter when you think about it.

Taurus’s intro wasn’t ideal though. Basically some bullies are picking on a little dog for no reason other than to try and be as edgy as possible. It’s handled in more of a chibi way so it’s not like the dog gets seriously injured or anything but was this really necessary? I don’t think so.

As I mentioned, Gemini Spark’s plot is the main one. The guy gets a whole lot of development and he feels a lot like Gemini Saga from Saint Seiya. The dual personalities is handled well and this guy is a true threat with the sheer amount of raw power he has at his disposal. The fact that he even has a mentor was pretty interesting. Then there is the FM King Andromeda who is interesting. Usually the FM King isn’t Andromeda himself I’m pretty sure from the first game unless he had some kind of transformation.

I’ll give the series props for having a real climax though. It did properly have some end of the world stakes as well as a big team up so you could feel like this was really the climax to a grand journey. That’s how these things are supposed to be. The actual ending to the series is a bit much though. The whole misunderstanding leading to some near deaths ends up being a total comedic plot. Perhaps a fitting end to this title but while it’s supposed to be a subversion it just feels annoying. Even the very last page is a bit annoying with Geo’s dad going right back to sleeping on the job.


Overall, Megaman Star Force is the kind of manga that had a whole lot of potential but couldn’t seize it. The crude humor is really a deal breaker. If you like Megaman a lot then it’s still worth checking out but I would recommend virtually any other Megaman title over this one. You can just do a whole lot better than Star Force. I look forward to seeing the other one though. Even if the 3 adaption is only 2 chapters long, it still sounds like it should be more fun.

Overall 5/10

Multiplicity Review


Who wouldn’t want to have a gadget that could duplicate yourself right? Ideally of course you’d want one that only turns you into multiple copies for a little while though. Any option that is permanent will end up causing a lot of issues because then that person will have become real. Well this film takes a look at that concept a bit although in a comedy context of course. The main character could have handled this a whole lot better and things would have been fine but he definitely wasn’t prepared for this. It’s a decent film that has a lot of fun moments but you do feel like it could have been better.

Things have not been going well for Doug lately. He is having a very hard time balancing his home life with work. He’s slowly losing touch with his wife Laura who wants to go back to work and as it is he keeps missing various events for his kids. Just when everything seems to be too much, he meets up with a doctor who suggests that cloning is the solution. Doug agrees and so they quickly create a clone. #2. #2 will handle the work obligations while Doug handles the home life. Can he pull this off?

Mainly a lot of the issues here come from the fact that both Dougs don’t actually discuss things with each other. For example, what to do if Laura calls the wrong one, how to switch out when things get dangerous, etc. The sad thing for Doug is that #2 actually does better at work than he ever did. Doug should be enjoying his time at home but he’s not a big fan of dishes and chores so he creates another double. You can imagine how this only increases the difficulties he starts to encounter.

Each double seems to take on a different personality though. #2 is a lot more aggressive and stern as I guess the workplace made him tougher. #3 is the one who does the chores so he is a lot more polite and even becomes an expert at folding. Doug is more of an all around guy I suppose so he does a bit of everything. The tricky part here is that Doug just wants to go and watch Basketball games or mess around but still wants to be at home at the end of the day. So that means one of the others has to find an excuse to leave the house to make the switch every time but that’s not always easy especially when Doug is coming home late at night.

Doug really doesn’t make things easy on the other characters, especially when he leaves home for days at a time. He imposes two rules on the clones, not to get together with his wife and to stop making clones after we get #4. That being said, since they are all him, he should probably realize that this is going to be a very hard ask. Another issue is that they don’t share memories so Doug is always incredibly out of the loop when he gets back which causes a lot of issues.

Really they should have had a quick recap meeting with each other at the end of the day before the switch or something. That would have definitely been a lot easier. Of course Doug isn’t really the planning sort but you feel like it would have made things easier. Surprisingly he doesn’t tell Laura even at the end either. Of course telling her from the start would have absolutely been the easiest way out of this. I don’t even think she would have had much of an issue with this although I guess it’s hard to say for sure.

One subplot the film could have done without was #4 appearing though. To be honest that guy just didn’t add anything to the mix and was more annoying than funny. I can’t think of a single fun scene the guy had since he was just way too overboard with how he became a kid version of Doug. I would have kept the film to 3 versions of Doug and that is more than enough to carry out all of the plots. Alternately just make hundreds of Dougs for the final scene of the film as you know that he’s going to be in trouble now.

Also, the film does go a bit overboard on each clone basically getting overpowered by Laura as they break rule number 1. Not much will power to be found with these guys. Less of those romance scenes would have been good so we could focus on the actual plot at hand. The film is at its best when Doug is confronting these guys. It’s always interesting to see a character effectively talking to himself. I was also a bit surprised that we didn’t see more of the scientist at the end but since the clones all actually worked out without issue I guess there wasn’t much of a use for him.

So Doug’s a decent main character I suppose but he definitely isn’t a smart one. He messes up everything he possibly could in this situation and that’s almost impressive in a sense since he couldn’t possibly have done any worse after a point. Doug has a tendency to panic a lot and his reactions can be amusing. Laura is a good heroine even if she doesn’t put two and two together but in her defense it would be really hard to assume that clones exist and that Doug somehow got a few. It would have been nice if she had found out about this but I suppose this keeps the chances for a sequel.

That said, a fun final gag would have been her driving home in a blue shirt and handing him some groceries. He goes inside and sees her with a red shirt as the credits roll. Then you have to wonder at what point she started with the clones as well. That would have been a great turn of events to end on. Still, that’s going off on a bit of a tangent so lets get back to the film.

Overall, Multiplicity is a film with a pretty solid concept. It’s original and I like the idea of a lot of clones running around and causing trouble. There’s a whole lot you can do with that. The film could have taken a lot of better angles with this or at least having Doug construct a better plan but it makes for a decent watch. I basically shaved off a star for the existence of #4 as well as for the over the top seduction scenes but there’s enough good here to keep the film in the green. There are a lot of humorous scenes here after all.

Overall 6/10

Spider-Man Review


Spider-Man has had a whole lot of shows and movies over the years. He is Marvel’s most popular character of all time after all so you would expect nothing less. The character tends to churn out a lot of quality content. Ultimate Spiderman may not have set the world ablaze but it was definitely a solid show with good animation and a lot of guest stars. This show tries to take the character back to its roots as more of an origin and then slowly starts to build things up. It definitely had a solid run and I’ll look forward to seeing what’s next.

The show starts off by getting the usual origin out of the way with Peter being bitten by a radioactive spider and then allows Uncle Ben to be murdered. We then cut forward to Peter being accepted into Horizon High on scholarship. It’s a very prestigious school, one of the top ones in the entire country for technology. He’ll now be surrounded by other geniuses at the school and Aunt May is naturally very proud. He’ll continue to work as Spider-Man on the side but this school is hiding more secrets than Peter would have initially suspected. Can he continue to hide his double identity while also keeping his grades up and uncovering the school’s mysteries?

For people who grew up with the Spider-Man comics from the 60s, they’ll feel pretty nostalgic. It’s fair to say that we haven’t had a proper Peter Parker story in a TV show since the 90’s version and that was quite a while ago. Ultimate Spiderman while fun, was absolutely a Spider-Man story first and foremost. It was about him constantly teaming up with other heroes and even working as an instructor. That show was going for a team up approach while this one is going for a more personal feel.

It’s like comparing Batman the Brave and the Bold to the classic 90’s Batman story. Both have very different approaches. Now I’m more of a team-up guy personally but that doesn’t mean a solo story will lose. You’d have a hard time finding people who prefer Brave and the Bold to the 90’s show or saying that Ultimate Spider-Man beats the 90’s version. Solo stories can be a blast as well and then when they have their guest stars it feels like a bigger deal. With constant team up series you do run into the issue of how to increase the threat each time or how to make the individual stories feel threatening after having end of the world stakes.

Ultimate Spiderman had that issue to an extent at times as it’s hard to go from Spider-Man taking on the Beyonder to stop the universe and then going back to Paste Pot Pete. This Spider-Man show starts out with far more street level threats for Spider-Man to take down which then leads up to the season 3 finale where he has to defend the Earth from Venom. Now lets talk about where this show ranks real quick. Naturally it does not beat the 90’s show but I would put it above Spider-Man Unlimited, The Amazing Friends, the original cartoon, and the CGI show. Pitting this one against Ultimate Spider-Man is tricky. Ultimately I would give that one the slight edge. It’s close but ultimately that one does win in animation and it had a healthy episode count with a lot of solid adventures. Who can forget the mobile game adaption right?

So that would still put this on the higher end for Spider-Man shows. If you look at the show on its own then it absolutely stands out quite well. I thought the show handled the approach of seeing Spider-Man slowly mature and become his own hero really well. An interesting angle is also how it introduces the other Spider characters like Gwen, Miles, and Spider-Girl early on. In a way it’s like a look at the 60’s Spider-Man if he grew up in the modern day where there are just so many heroes. Now, while it may have been even more interesting to have kept Spider-Man by his lonesome to really start off small, it is kind of nice to have other characters trying to hide their secret identities for a change. It’s like a big game of cat and mouse as nobody knows what the other is doing. I always like that kind of tension.

For the animation, it’s not nearly as vibrant as Ultimate Spiderman was, but it does look very clear. I think once you get used to the more pale colors, the actual flow of the animation is quite solid. The hand to hand action is really good and the choreography even for the energy attacks is always on point. You can follow along with the action really well. The soundtrack is less noticeable but unfortunately that is really the norm for most shows. Really if you look at post Justice League there aren’t many comic book shows where you can point to a really vibrant soundtrack. (Ignoring the animes) The only one I would name would be Avengers Assemble as to this day I say they ripped some of the themes straight out of Justice League. It was always cool to hear them of course. That said, there is one theme I really liked here. I would unofficially call it the Cloak & Dagger theme since it always appears in an episode where they show up. That can’t be coincidence right?

Season 1 is mainly episodic but with a lot of plot lines being foreshadowed. This was a nice touch because it’s one of those things the original comics did so well and any superhero show starting out should absolutely do this. Yeah it can be risky if you don’t get future seasons but it’s worth it. Early on in season 1 the show already starts to foreshadow the Jackal, Spider-Gwen, Doc Ock, Norman, Alistair Smythe, and many more characters. you have all of their human personas walking around so you know what’s going to happen to them even before the characters themselves do. For some characters the payoff is quick while for others it takes a very long time.

One of the big sagas in season 1 was the big Spider-Island adaption. I remember when that arc was still going on in the comics and the show handles it pretty well. Suddenly every character has spider powers and you can imagine how society would go absolutely nuts at this point. If everyone is super then nobody is or at least that’s how the saying goes. Spider-Man would just have a lot of competition in standing out. Doctor Octopus also gets several episodes to himself as he is introduced. This guy would go on to have a pretty massive role so that makes sense. The first season does a great job of setting the stage and getting all of the characters introduced.

Season 2 starts to ramp things up for Spider-Man from street level threats to more high end villains. First off, Peter gets a job at the Daily Bugle so we’ve got that iconic storyline now. Meanwhile Doc Ock is trying his best to work as a hero but can Spider-Man really trust such a guy? It’ll really test his whole motto about giving everyone a second chance. Venom also finally merged with Eddie Brock, leading to the most famous version of the character. Even the Avengers show up and get kidnapped so Spider-Man has to save them. Yes, Spider-Man is a rookie no longer. Now he is a full hero and people are counting on him.

The Venom two part saga was pretty hype. Eddie definitely makes for a powerful villain and it add some tension since he knows who Spider-Man is and how to reach him. When someone like Aunt May is put into a dangerous spot naturally Spider-Man isn’t going to take that well. The Avengers episode is admittedly a little cheesy that they were captured so easily. By the way, it was A.I.M. that captured them so…I’m having a hard time buying it.

Season 2 doesn’t end there with the big events though. Next up we have a saga where a bounty is put on Spider-Man so every villain wants a crack at him. This leads to many episodes where Spider-Man has to deal with many villains back to back. It was a good way to show off his stamina and really illustrate that Spider-Man is not an easy guy to bring down. This all leads up to the whole Superior Spider-Man event where he trades bodies with Doc Ock. Now that was an intense storyline both in the comics and the show.

You do feel bad for Peter though because Ock puts his life through the wringer. It’s the kind of thing where no matter what Peter does or says later on about someone else being in his head, people will never trust him quite the same way again. Ock does a great job while trading places though and shows Spider-Man several ways he can improve. Now, he’s not an improvement in every way of course as he’s more of an anti-hero but he does make some valid points about Spider-Man installing better web equipment and having tech around to monitor the city. Ock took the whole job very seriously.

This also helped introduce Cloak and Dagger who would never become main characters in the show but looked good whenever they showed up. I rather like that duo so it’d be cool to see more of them. Their great theme song helps as well. If anything you might miss Otto when he’s gone. Although I didn’t really care for his possible romance plot though. The show mainly stays away from any romance which is probably for the best since in a school setting that could get overly dramatic pretty fast.

With Peter back we get the Avengers getting kidnapped again which is always fun. Beyond that the final episodes are all about the Goblin War. Norman’s making his big play..or is it Norman? Either way Spider-Man and the other wall crawlers will have to try and take down this army of goblins. Fortunately most of them are just grunts with a costume but it is concerning that so many have appeared to spread chaos.

Definitely a solid way to wrap up season 2 for sure. The stakes were increased and it was nice to get a change of pace here with the whole body swapping thing. The Avengers admittedly looked very bad in this season and it would continue to an extent in season 3. I guess that’s the one thing with having a lot of guest stars here. To show off how powerful the new threat is it can be tempting to have them lose so Spider-Man has to save the day but you have a hard time believing that the Avengers would lose first to A.I.M. and then to Regent.

Finally we make it to the final season which is easily the shortest one at 6 episodes but at least each episode was double length. The title of the season is Maximum Venom so you can imagine who the big villain is. So Venom is coming back and this time he has brought an entire planet of symbiotes with him. Together they manage to take over the planet, the Avengers, and just about every supporting character there is. Characters like Aunt May have to form a resistance and we even get Moon Knight on the team. For many of the heroes Earth is already lost so they plan to fight back a little bit here and there or wait it out in the sewers.

Now I’m not going to say this is executed quite as seriously as it all sounds on paper but I wouldn’t say it’s comedic either. The show actually plays this out pretty straight and Venom is really shown to be a fierce opponent. We also get Mary Jane introduced to the season at long last. They may play up how awkward Peter is around her at times though especially with baby Groot messing with him during their appearances. You feel like Mary Jane would make herself scarce after the opening scenes but at least she took it all pretty well and just seems like a very nice person the whole time. I suppose she just barely made it into the show before it ended since she showed up for the final episodes of the series.

Season 3 ended the show off pretty well. We got to close out a lot of the big plots here. All of the heroes are on good terms now and they’re pretty much ready to leave the school. I still don’t like Max but at least he should have less things to hide now though. Spider-Man is also ready to become an Avenger so things are looking up. If we got a season 4 then I’m guessing everything would go sideways again on account of the Parker Luck but at least like this things went well for him.

Lets talk about some of the characters. Peter is the main character of course and he’s really good. He may make his share of mistakes but throughout the show he is portrayed as a nice guy who does what he can to help out. Balancing his work as a superhero and an everyday student is naturally pretty difficult as it is. While it takes him some time, he does live up to his reputation for giving people a second chance when he forgives Otto Octavius which is pretty tough after all the things that guy did. The show also takes time out to show what a genius he can be as well which is something we don’t always see a lot of lately. The school setting and expanded take on his origin days helped to give him time to show this off instead of just overwhelming opponents with his physical power.

Then we have Harry who gets a pretty big role and character arc here. At first he starts out as Peter’s best friend and then of course things get pretty heated once he learns more about the Goblin heritage. He also gets a bit jealous when Otto enters the picture as well. It takes a while for all of them to really form one close unit but I liked him and the cool fire sword he got as Hobgoblin. It helped to make him more of a threat and not just another one of the friends. Since Peter’s friends all had super powers here that may have easily overshadowed him.

I definitely did not like Max though. I found him to be one of the most ungrateful characters in the series and he was always quick to go against Peter despite how much the lead did for him. Peter had his back every step of the way and the guy never did anything to try and help him. The worst of it was in the final season when Peter tried to save his job twice including disclosing his secret identity and Max just slammed the door in his face. Mix that in with all the dubious experiments and Max is just not a good guy.

Anya is one of Peter’s best friends in the show and she becomes Spider-Girl. Anya’s a fun addition to the cast and from the main members I certainly haven’t seen her as much as the others so it was nice to see her get some extra screen time here. She doesn’t really have any big personal plots compared to some of the other characters but she’s always ready to fight and help out.

Miles gets the biggest role from the friends as he helps Peter a lot and they share secret identities pretty early on. He also has the plot with his uncle/father (I forget which but I think it’s his father in this version) being a super villain so that adds a personal element to things. Surprisingly it’s a bit of a smaller role than you would expect. He’s typically the comic relief member of the group and tries to make sure everyone is having fun.

Then we have Gwen and naturally she has a big role since the Jackal is always around. Surprisingly Captain Stacy doesn’t show up as much as you would expect. Gwen’s a solid friend and may be the most fleshed out character from Peter’s inner circle. This family development definitely helped a lot in giving her things to do aside from just fighting the villains off. Her battles with Jackal definitely tend to get pretty intense. The Jackal’s also a fun villain. I’m always up for seeing more of him as I consider the guy to be a far more compelling evil scientist than Otto. It also opens up the door to the Spider-Clones although the show didn’t get into that yet.

Aunt May is solid as always. I did like that she was able to fight here like when she took her giant gun out. It shows that she was ready to rumble which is always important. I like to think that she knows Peter is Spider-Man as well even if she doesn’t say anything. Jameson’s role here is small but he does look good in the Venom episodes when he puts his life on the line to buy his staff some time. It shows that while he is a pretty gruff fellow he’s ultimately still a good guy. He’s a solid boss who thinks of his employees first.

Otto gets a really big role in the series since he starts out as a hero, turns evil, turns good, turns evil again, then he turns into Spider-Man, then he turns good again. He had a whole lot of things going on that’s for sure. I never really became a fan of his though. I guess the character just never really interested me but he’s better than in Ultimate Spiderman so I’ll give him that. While I usually didn’t care for his episodes much next to the other characters, I did like the Superior Spider-Man story arc quite a lot so that one worked out really well. At the very least his fans should be happy with how he looked.

Likewise, Norman gets a lot of props here. He’s the big mastermind behind a lot of the villains which is very fitting to his character. He’s always been the kind of guy who manipulates others from the shadows. He seems to return over and over again throughout the series. Harry finally got some closure from his character by the end which was a good way to wrap up the cycle. Norman’s always been one of the most compelling Spider-Man villains and the show did him justice.

Sandman doesn’t appear much but his opening episode was very memorable. It actually gets rather tragic by the end of it too. His powerset is always fun to watch and he does make for a pretty sympathetic villain the whole time. Speaking of minor roles, the Avengers look decent at best but most of the time they come across as pros who talk a good game but really can’t back it up. Being kidnapped and having to be saved by Spider-Man multiple times isn’t the best look after all. As the Superior Spider-Man Ock was also able to defeat them rather easily.

Finally there is Venom and naturally he looks pretty great here. He has several hosts during the series and in each one he is able to dominate pretty quickly. I’m still not a big fan of the whole twist that he was one of the weaker symbiotes on the planet though. That always seemed a bit cheesy to me. I like to think of Venom as one of the tougher ones. That’s just how I’ve grown up with him after all. Seeing him be humiliated and mocked by the others doesn’t feel right. Beyond that he does have his own sense of pride though and makes for a pretty intimidating villain. He was a fitting choice for the final boss.

Spider-Man definitely had a good run. There were a lot of solid adventures here and characters to meet. It’s not quite a great show as it would need that extra boost to reach the next level but it was quite consistent. As the seasons went on the show just kept bringing more plots forward and it felt like a pretty strong continuity was established here. Whether something happened a season ago or two the show would remember. If it had kept on going it would have been nice to see how everything else was adapted. Alas, all shows must end at some point.

Overall, Spider-Man is definitely a show that all fans of the character should check out. In general if you enjoy superhero shows then this will be a good one to check out. The story is sound and you have a good blend of action and adventure. It’s a pretty light hearted show and you can also expect some decent comedy. The jokes don’t tend to drag on for the most part or anything like that so you’ll be able to focus on the story. The show doesn’t really have any weaknesses so it makes for a pretty fun experience from start to finish.

Overall 7/10

Designing Woman Review


Designing Woman is a quality film through and through. Right away you can tell this is going to be a good movie because it balances out the quality writing and humor pretty well. The romance definitely happens rather quickly but the film spends a lot of time showing how this creates some issues so that part was handled well. Quite a bit happens throughout the film so there’s never a dull moment. Even the very end of the film throws a bit of a twist on how the usual confession type scene would usually play out.

The movie starts off with Mike getting super drunk after celebrating a winning bet. He wakes up the next morning super hung over so everything sounds incredibly loud. Unfortunately he may not have remembered to send in his story either so he may be fired. Things start to look up though when he meets a lady named Marilla who fills in the blanks for him. Before shorting out he was able to send the story in thanks to her help and he even paid her quite well for it. Mike decides to quickly marry her. There’s just one thing he’s forgotten, he was already serious about another lady. Meanwhile, Mike has decided to take down a crooked fighting organizer and that guy is sending some goons to take him down. Can Mike and Marilla manage to square away their differences and get past this or will Mike be taking a hit both physically from the mob and emotionally?

One thing the film does very well here is add in some voices for the characters’ internal monologues. Throughout the film the characters make a lot of comments to add on to the scenes. For context, the film is technically being told as a flashback through the eyes of all the characters involved. That’s why they are all able to add in their commentary. In particular Mike and Marilla do a great job of making the scenes all that much more entertaining. In the scenes a lot of times Mike thinks he is winning or that Marilla doesn’t notice something but that never turns out to be the case. She is quite sharp on these things and doesn’t miss a beat.

Mike’s a fun lead character even if his antics probably wouldn’t be quite as fun in person. For example, his decision to lie about the whole adventure to Marilla is naturally a terrible move. The fact is that it would be harder for her to trust him after this even if his motive was ultimately to try not to hurt her. Really that was a generous depiction given to him, you could say that he was just trying to save himself at that point. He makes his share of mistakes but is definitely an entertaining lead.

Then you have Marilla who’s a blast as well. She is quite crafty and I like that she tends to give a lot of explanations for how her future actions are going to play out in the film. Marilla tries to get to the bottom of things herself after trying to get assistance from the other characters was not working in the slightest. It makes for a fun dynamic with her and Mike. I also liked that instead of the usual drama over their social circles not being very compatible they actually sat down and talked things out with some good compromises. Both characters were very reasonable the whole time which was nice.

The side characters were also on point. Lori did her best to try and help assist Mike through the break up. All things considered she did take it very well and probably wouldn’t have tossed the ravioli on Max if he didn’t go on a long tangent about how great Marilla is. Throughout the film she tries to make things easy on him but he keeps sabotaging himself every which way. I would say Lori had better acting skills than he did and her dog was also a blast. The dog definitely had a lot of personality and constantly wanted hugs. Then you have Maxie who took some big hits back when he was a fighter so he’s not all there now but he came in handy at the end when we got some fights. Same with the actor who was always running around frantically. That guy proved himself when he took out a whole lot of opponents at once.

The fact that we had a big fight scene at the end was pretty cool. It definitely was not something I expected to see here. Despite the film mainly being a light hearted comedy, the fighting/mob angle was handled quite seriously the whole time. It was nice to see the whole case just cut loose. Even Marilla stepped in to get some hits on the villains which was nice because you don’t see that happening quite so often. This is definitely the way you want to handle a climax. Including the phony story Mike tried selling at the end which was pretty funny.

I was also glad that Marilla being rich didn’t immediately get Mike jealous. You see that as a common theme a lot of the time but here he took it in stride. Sure, he was a bit shocked at the whole thing and had to adjust a bit but then he got right back on the saddle and just got with the program. As with everything else they talked it over and got to a good conclusion. That’s where this duo fared better than most leads. They just talk everything through and it’s rare to see two characters so polite the whole time. They definitely do have their big disagreements though and what film would this be without a lot of drama? They were still more mature than I would have expected.

Overall, This is one of those films that just nails the rom-com genre. It gives you a lot of quality humor along with a good cast of characters. There’s a good amount of replay value here thanks to the quality pacing as well. The film is always moving onto the next item and executing all of the scenes well. I really don’t have any negatives to bring up for the film. It executes on all of its plot points quite well. If you’re looking for a solid film to check out then I definitely recommend digging this one up and giving it a whirl.

Overall 7/10

The Fifth Element Review


The Fifth Element is one of those Sci-Fi films where you hear about it all the time thanks to the main villain but otherwise I couldn’t say that I knew much about the film. Sci-Fi always has a lot of potential though. This film balances out the action, sci-fi, and even some humor fairly well. It’s not exactly the perfect Sci-Fi film out there but it has enough fun with itself to make this a pretty fun movie. At times part of it almost felt a bit like a parody.

This film starts off with someone finding out the truth behind the universe. There is a battle coming up where the forces of darkness will destroy Earth. That’s when some aliens invade and murder the guy. They leave a key with a priest telling him that they will return in 300 years to help us fight off the evil. We then jump 300 years into the future where the Darkness has returned. His name is Mr. Shadow and to the rest of the world he appears to just be a giant mass of nothingness. He blows up a nearby ship and keeps on heading towards Earth. The President is forced to call in the one man nobody ever thought would return.

We then cut away to the main character, Korben. Korben is a cab driver who used to be part of the government but things didn’t exactly end well for him. He’s just going about his day when a girl crash lands in his car. Her name is Leeloo and she is the last survivor of the alien species who promised to return to save us all. Unfortunately she is only part alien as the rest of her got blown up by bandits so she’s mostly an android now. She needs to find the rings so she can return to the temple and restore the 5 elements before Mr. Shadow arrives. Her assistant here is the Priest. Korben doesn’t exactly want to get mixed up in this but he’s basically threatened to do this or die so he prepares to locate the rings. Meanwhile you’ve also got bounty hunters and other rogues trying for the rings as well.

Naturally there is a whole lot going on here which is pretty neat. Pretty much every character wants to get the rings. When you factor in that you’ve got multiple alien species running around, a rich guy who wants power, and the Priest then there are quite a lot of factions to consider. While the film could have easily been overloaded, that’s where some of the humor starts to set in. One of the solid things about the film is how it plays around with this. The Priest ends up being a tennis ball with the way he is smacked around the whole time. Then you have the rich villain Zorg who betrays the other aliens while running in to end things himself. The film is at its best when it isn’t taking itself super seriously but I would make the case that it is rarely being serious.

Take all the scenes of the President and his men trying to fight off the Shadow. When their attacks don’t work, everyone on the first ship completely freezes up until the Shadow envelops them. I felt like that was taking a shot at how everyone always seems to freeze up in these things. The President made for a fun character up in the ship even if he wasn’t able to be all that effective in the end. His final scene with Korben’s mother was also pretty neat since you can respect the fact that she wasn’t about to get tricked even if there was some irony in the moment to be sure.

I would say the best scene in the film had to be when Zorg managed to finally get back onto the ship with the plan to deactivate the bomb. Turns out there was another bomb. The whole thing was so unlikely and sudden that it just works. You pretty much never see a second bomb show up in that kind of situation so that was cool. Again, the film’s humor was definitely on point here which helps to mask some of the issues.

A big issue here would be the power levels for Leeloo. So, on one hand she is shown to have enough physical power to be able to punch through a barrier that was deemed “unbreakable” by the futuristic tech experts. She was barely even awake and did this so clearly she is super strong right? Then she masters all of the data files of humanity so she learns advanced hand to hand combat as well. Despite this, she is rarely portrayed as being very powerful. She got one cool scene where she beats up a bunch of opponents on her own but then runs when Zorg shows up and ends up getting blasted as a result. She should have pressed the attack. Even the plan to get the rings didn’t make a whole lot of sense. Why wait until after the show when the savior of the universe is this powerful?

The characters rarely seemed to acknowledge that Leeloo was all that powerful. I also thought the point of her scanning the databases was also to learn English but she doesn’t end up learning until the very end of the film so it was a bit odd. Ultimately the movie definitely fumbled the ball rather massively with her character. In the end she was used a bit more for fanservice than to acknowledge her combat abilities. The one scene of her beating up the aliens was fun but we should have gotten more of that.

It goes without saying that the romance in the film is pretty rushed as well. As with most movie romances it’s just hard to buy into this. It all happens within the span of a few days and Leeloo didn’t even like Korben at first. Korben was also presented initially as a character who was too busy for romance and was waiting for the perfect woman. As soon as he hears that Leeloo was made to be the perfect being it’s like just the title was good enough for him. Korben has his share of solid scenes outside of the romance though. He does a good job of pushing the other characters around when they try to trick him like the Priest assuming the identity. Additionally when it came time for a firefight he definitely did step up when it counted. I wouldn’t say he’s a great main character but he was fun.

The Priest tends to get a lot of the humor moments in the film and he handles them well. He always has a shocked expression on his face which ends up working well. I wouldn’t say all of the humor in the film lands though. For example I wasn’t a big fan of Ruby’s character. Pretty much all he does is panic a whole ton. The point is that he’s extremely over the top but the gimmick gets old pretty quick. Usually for jokes the point is to go in, deliver the punch line quickly whether it’s visual or through witty wording and then move on. The tougher part for character gimmicks is that if it’s ongoing you have to do something to keep it fresh. This film didn’t really pull that off here.

A good gag for example if Zorg nearly choking and dying in such a crazy way. It’s unheard of for a main villain to go down like that especially during his big monologue. That’s when the film is at its best, just being incredibly crazy like that. He was definitely a fun villain even if he was out of his league a lot of the time. Really, I think this film should be considered as a sci-fi/parody with those being the two main genres. If this wasn’t intentional for most of these scenes then I would be quite surprised. Naturally there’s a lot of ways you could turn this into a series with sequels and all but as a one shot all of the plot lines do end so technically it’s not like you definitely need a sequel or anything like that.

Overall, The Fifth Element is a fun film. It’s a sci-fi title that pokes fun at a lot of the usual scenarios while still keeping with a full story experience. I would have liked to have seen a little more action with Mr. Shadow to be sure but making him a literal ball of darkness was a bold approach. Initially I was also surprised that the futuristic robot aliens were so weak but then I figured that may have been the point as well. Even one of the aliens being unceremoniously crushed by the rock when giving his parting speech to the humans was likely intentional. Same with their being blasted out of the sky by random aliens. Events tend to happen rather suddenly and without warning in this film. It doesn’t pull its punches. The power scaling is definitely a bit off at times though. If you’re looking for a pretty light hearted sci-fi title then this is the one you’ll want to check out.

Overall 7/10

Send Me No Flowers Review


Doris Day seems to have a lot of comedy films where things go completely off the rails for the characters and this one is definitely not an exception. For romance comedies like this the most important thing is for the film to be fun with a solid script. The movie pulls this off and I would be able to recommend it. Now, I do have an issue or two with it like the overly familiar greetings from some of the guys to the main heroine but beyond that this is a solid story that really flows all the way to the end. You definitely don’t want to miss it.

The movie starts off by introducing us to George and Judy who are the two main characters of the film. Judy lives a pretty content life right now. She gets to keep up with all of the latest gossip courtesy of the milkman and she has grown used to George’s eccentric ways. See, George is one of those guys who stresses out about everything and constantly thinks he is sick with one thing or another. Unfortunately due to how the placebo effect works, he actually does get himself sick to a degree. Well, one day when he visits the doctor’s office for a checkup he overhears the Doctor effectively saying that George will be dead in a matter of weeks.

George isn’t ready to die and yet he has to be strong now for Judy. He lets his best friend Arnold know and now George has one last mission. He has to find a replacement husband for Judy since he is confident she will rebound fairly soon after he dies. The trouble is, most of the bachelors in this town are fairly suspect. Either they are players or they cheat at golf. This is going to be harder than George thought but he is determined not to quit.

Now this is a full on comedy film so the choices aren’t supposed to make a lot of sense. George often does the crazy thing over the honorable or even the sensible option. Still, the fact that he is convinced Judy will ultimately remarry is pretty sad to an extent. Knowing you will be replaced is pretty rough and it also feels like your romance isn’t quite as real then. Naturally if he told her about his impending demise then the whole film would be a lot shorter although I think he could have at least done without the whole finding a replacement husband bit though.

He’s a nice guy overall who does try to help others. Midway through the film he takes a bit of a risk to help out a widow who was being played for being too naïve. It’s definitely nice that he told her about this. I don’t see how she fell for such an obvious ruse though. Not saying you should doubt everyone automatically but a guy asking you out on a date the very next day upon your getting divorced? That should strike up every kind of warning bell you’ve got.

George also makes some big mistakes though like listening to Arnold’s advice about telling Judy that he was cheating on her. It’s a plan that has no real logic to it no matter how much Arnold explains it and even entertaining the idea for an instant seems like too much. As for Arnold, he is a good friend though. Aside from that scene where he was still trying to help, that guy is constantly putting himself out there to aid George whenever possible. He doesn’t do anything halfway and the fact of the matter is that he had George’s back when nobody else did. I don’t think a lot of people would put up with half the things that Arnold did. In fact, I was reminded of the film “A delicate balance” as George needed a place to crash last second and Arnold was fine with it. He was definitely a very likable character the whole time.

Then you have Judy. Well, she’s a very reasonable character I would say. She does her best to accept the fact that George is always feeling sick and is good natured about the whole thing. While she doesn’t really give George much of a chance to explain himself over being kissed, it is hard to defend something like that. Clearly George should have been able to dodge someone making a pass at him. The whole “gratitude kiss” is just an excuse and everyone knows it. Thing is, Judy is on shaky ground since she let Winston get all over her when they first meet. These old films always act like it’s impossible to break away from a kiss or react to it in time to stop the advance. It’s sketchy at best and makes the characters look suspect. So with that said, Judy has less reason to be significantly upset about this as George could have easily countered.

The final few scenes really have the characters go in a bunch of different ways as the misunderstandings continue to escalate. It really manages to do a lot in a pretty short amount of time there. As a result this film may be around 2 hours but feels even longer at times. It’s in a good way as it never drags on but you are always surprised by how much they can add in. Fortunately the writing and humor are up to the task. The movie is just a lot of fun as a result and should get a good amount of laughs in. There is always something crazy happening on screen. The humor isn’t exactly subtle. It’s a very bold and confident style that works very well here.

Finally we have Winston and there is nothing to like about him. Again, the guy just strolls over and acts like Judy is his girlfriend the whole time. The fact that she doesn’t do anything to stop him like when the guy keeps using her maiden name is pretty bad. That would really be my only issue with the film. Judy lets Winston get away with way too much. In general the whole trend of characters stealing kisses in this film feels like a stretch for more drama and hurts both George and Judy.

Overall, The cast is good though. The writing is on point and the film will end up being quite memorable. It may not be able to match Doris Day’s top hits but it can hold its own against most movies in a straight fight. The idea of George thinking he will be dying soon also works well for a lot of different joke opportunities and the film really makes sure to capitalize on them. It did everything it could with the genre so if you like a good comedy film and find the plot interesting then you’ll definitely like this movie. The nonstop banter between the characters ensures that the intensity always stays at a high level.

Overall 7/10

One Operation Joker


I’ve finally read the first chapter of Joker and it’s certainly got a lot of potential here. The art is pretty solid, definitely going for a dramatic vibe with the irony of Joker being a nice caretaker now. We’ll see where the series goes from here but definitely a lot of things the series can have fun with. Joker effectively being Batman’s father now is not something many people will have seen coming. I’ll have a review for the series up when I finish it. We’ll see if time travel ends up becoming a factor and Batman has to step in to save his baby self.

Overall 6/10

Ocean’s 8 Review


It’s been a while since I saw the original Ocean films so it was time to check out the spinoff. I do enjoy a good heist film like this where it’s not about breaking in with guns and taking everyone out but using a lot of trickery and deception to get to the bottom of things. It’s certainly weaker than the main installments but makes for a good film overall. You shouldn’t have too many issues with the execution.

The movie introduces us to Debbie who has finally gotten out of jail after 10 years. She has promised not to commit any more crimes but can’t help herself. She wants revenge on the guy who got her into jail and wants to make some money on the side. Her objective is to steal a super fancy necklace. To do this she’s going to need to form a whole team. Her main partner Lou is ready for this but they still need 6 more people. It’s time to go recruiting and then the game is on. Can they really outwit the insurance team as well as the people who are in charge of keeping the necklace safe? It’ll take all they got.

As with most ensemble films like this the movie’s first act is mainly about getting the team together. Each character is good at a different task so once they have the team assembled then they’re ready to move out. It’s a tried and true formula which works out pretty well. The characters are decent although there are few standout characters. Then we move to the actual heist which is always a lot of fun because of how much planning goes into that. The real question is always, do you buy into it?

Well, I think most of it works out rather well. Mainly due to the twist of the heroes covering their bases by the end of the film. Without that final twist the whole thing would have blown up and been completely unbelievable. With it, there’s only a few parts that break the case I would say. One is that the necklace was secured so that it could not be removed so easily. Because of this, I don’t see how anyone would believe for a second that it just fell to the floor during the party. It actually would have been easier to just slip the replacement necklace on at that point. Initially I thought the plan was going in a different direction but the whole “I found it in the water” excuse didn’t really fly. I also doubt it would have had the same kind of lock installed so the company would have realized something was wrong from the start.

The other issue here is when the heroes get greedy at the end and start stealing everything. Really guys? That last move would sabotage everything. Put it this way, they now all had to drive off in a big getaway vehicle that was caught on camera. What if the detectives decided to search the vehicle? When you add that onto the fact that Debbie is already a wanted criminal then you’ve definitely got a big issue here. Fortunately they got a certain inspector on the case but things could have easily gotten dicey there.

Those are the two reasons why I don’t think the whole heist would have gone over very smoothly but otherwise I thought the adventure worked out well enough. The film’s pacing is pretty decent. The writing is okay but it does have a tough balance to fill with the humor and heist aspects at times. For example, some of the characters here really aren’t very well prepared to handle a heist so what happens is there will be a lot of gags for the audience like the characters being obvious about what they’re doing but then in universe is raises quite a lot of questions. Again, the film’s final twist does help with this a bit though. The dialogue itself is also decent for the most part but you feel like it could have been a lot better. One thing I would have liked to see was more discussion on planning the heist rather than Debbie setting everything up off screen. The heist itself is a lot of fun though which is always the main goal here.

Debbie is the leader of the crew and the main character so she is the one coming up with all of the plans. She does pretty well at making sure everything is thought through and you do understand why she wants to squeeze the revenge in there as well even if it does ultimately put the whole thing into jeopardy. She could have easily destroyed all of their hopes and dreams with this. After all, the guy could have turned the tables had he not fallen for every trap so obviously. There’s no real excusing the second scene where he receives a call at a very convenient time and still goes to her house to have an affair even though he should know that he’s being framed. He was literally given all kinds of information and Debbie even revealed herself just to rub his nose in the situation. Any halfway decent intelligent character would have figured something was out so Debbie’s risk was pretty huge here. She’s a solid character but not a good leader.

Lou was Debbie’s main ally and certainly the one who got the biggest role here. She was solid and helped to keep the lead grounded most of the time. She’s also got a lot of talents which helps her blend into the role really well. Amita came in handy for the jewel cutting which was one of the most crucial parts. Tammy was fun as one of the more down to earth characters who had a pretty content life before getting mixed up in all of this. If anything she should have said no since the risks heavily outweighed the rewards here.

Constance was one of the standout characters here since her sleight of hand is quite impressive. Without those abilities the plan would have to be dramatically altered. Nine Ball gives the team the tech advantage they would need for this case. She’s not as solid as the other characters but does well when needed. The weakest link is definitely Rose though. She’s the old art dealer who helps out with getting the necklace but she is not good at the criminal game and really puts everyone at risk. Then you have Daphne who is a main focus here since the heroines are trying to manipulate her into being in the right place at the right time. She’s much more self absorbed than most of the other characters but does come off as one of the more likable ones. I was also glad she was shown to be a little more intelligent than she would let on.

Overall, Ocean’s 8 is a good movie. It has more positives than negatives. It may ultimately feel a lot weaker than the main one so if you compare them directly then this will lose out but on its own I would still say it’s worth a watch. I’d certainly be down with a sequel as well. That said, the movie should be a little more careful with its title. If you’re paying attention to that then you’ll know more about the film than you’re supposed to. All while it’s playing you’ll be counting to 8 and so if the numbers don’t match up….well it’s something to think about. I was surprised the ending didn’t have some kind of big reveal or plot twist for the climax but I suppose they didn’t want to tip their hand in case we don’t get another film. Perhaps that is for the best but I have to say it would have been a hype way to end things off and an improvement on the ending. The ending was satisfactory though.

Overall 6/10

Enter Laughing Review


It’s always tough to predict how a film will turn out when the main character isn’t any good but the rest of the film’s elements like plot and writing are solid. Can the film pull through or will it ultimately be doomed? In this one’s case I would say that the overall movie is still solid but that main character is definitely hard to watch. He really takes the lies and deception to a new level. This guy’s got no shame about messing with everyone.

The film starts off by introducing us to David who leads a rather stable but uneventful life. He’s got a good job as assistant working with tools and deliveries but he wants the kind of job that’ll make him famous and this isn’t exactly doing this for him. On a whim David decides he wants to be an actor so he heads to a nearby audition. The show isn’t doing this well and is quite desperate so they invite him to join. Now David is determined to be a great actor but his chronic lying and poor time management creates friction with his boss, parents, and his girlfriend. David’s troubles are only just getting started.

Here’s the issue with David though, all of the problems are of his own creation. He keeps a ton of secrets from everyone and at times this is for no reason. Then you’ve got the fact that he is desperately obsessed with every girl in the movie. Keep in mind that the guy has a girlfriend and yet he constantly flirts with the receptionist as well as his co-star. He was even trying to initiate an affair with the latter after getting drunk but fortunately she threw him out. If anything this was pretty out of character since she was after him in every other scene but perhaps the film makers decided this would have made David too far gone to be redeemed. I’d argue he was already past this point here though.

Part of the problem here is that David never really changes. Look at the end of the film, things are going well for him now but did he actually renounce his ways in the slightest? He still intends to have affairs with everyone possible even if it was a joke, he basically said he’s with Wanda because the other girls don’t show any interest in him. Yeah this is not a lead that you can really get behind in the slightest.

As for the other characters, they tend to be very nice and tolerant the whole time but maybe too much so. For example, Wanda puts up with all of David’s antics and only breaks up with him once in the movie and they have disagreements a lot. Thing is, once she learns that he is basically just cheating on her whenever possible, that’s a good point to break things off. Yes, the instant he kissed Angela I would say he cheated. So that should have been game over for sure.

Next up is Mr. Foreman and that guy’s a very nice boss. Really you couldn’t ask for a nicer guy as he constantly lets David leave early, come in late, and even pretends to buy his convoluted stories. I should mention that David isn’t even good at lying and tends to trip himself up quite a lot. He forgets about what his story was as soon as he leaves the room which is not a good look. You suspect that the Foreman knows about all of this but decides to roll with it anyway. He doesn’t even get on David for allowing his best friend to hang around all the time.

Then you’ve got David’s parents. His father’s a very hands off kind of guy so he doesn’t really mind what David is doing but his mother worries a lot about show biz and wants him to quit. Here’s the thing, you have to agree with her in this instance. David is literally getting scammed into paying the business 3 dollars instead of them paying him 3 bucks. The lead naturally didn’t realize this but it shows how he’s not very smart in these things. The guilt trip may have been a bit much with some heavy handed tactics there but at the end of the day she was doing her best to ensure that things worked out for David in the end.

Following them is Mr. Marlowe who is the owner of the show. He has rather high standards for his play and is continually disappointed that nobody is able to reach these standards. David is the latest in a string of disappointments for him and is so bad at acting that you do wonder how the lead ever thought he would be good. David’s a source of never ending stress for Marlowe. Marlowe’s not exactly the nicest guy to be sure and yet at the same time he has 0 to work with so it’s rough. Mix in the fact that they don’t know how to earn money and in a way David found the perfect place. Then you have Angela who always acts drunk and is an intentionally odd character. She’s one of the weaker characters in the film to be sure and most of her scenes are pretty bad from the start.

There are other supporting characters here like David’s friend and the receptionist who have their own times to shine. The receptionist definitely had a good time trolling David the whole time but was always on his side and helped him out quite a bit at the end of the film. The friend ultimately failed at the end but he had a difficult task so at least he tried. At the end of the day the main reason the film succeeds is that it does have quality writing and a lot of the jokes do land. Particularly the one’s at David’s expense as you already know he’s definitely not a quality character. My main issue here would be that he gets off incredibly easy by the end.

Overall, Enter Laughing is a good film about showing why you can’t just make a career out of anything on a whim. If David really wanted to be an actor he would have put in the time and dedication into doing so without just forgetting about all of his current responsibilities on the job. He seems like a character who wants everything to fall neatly into his lap without effort and that’s just not how these things work. As a result you just can’t root for this guy but if you enjoy a solid comedy film then this is a good one to check out.

Overall 6/10

The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause Review


While the first two Santa Clause films were ranging from very good to great, the third installment ends things off on a whimper. It just isn’t able to compete at all. The reason for this is that the human areas have effectively stopped appearing. Almost the whole film takes place in the North Pole this time and let me tell you, that’s not a good idea. That’s where the weakest characters are after all so it’s just not going to work. The best part of the film is sadly a very short set of scenes.

The movie starts with Santa doing his best at Christmas as usual but this year things are extra hectic. There are delays in the present supplies which means that Santa has to inspect these things a lot closer than he usually would. Then his wife Carol is starting to miss being at home. Scott figures if she can’t go home then he’ll just bring her parents to the North Pole. They’ve never liked Scott though so the whole thing is a little tricky. With Christmas getting more and more stressful Scott is reminded that he can use the Escape Clause to make it so that his adventures as Santa never actually happened. Should he really undo everything that has already occurred?

I should mention, this is already part of the plot that seems forced. Why can’t Carol just go and spend some time at home? I feel like that should be an option as a little vacation of sorts. At the very least it’s an alternative to consider as opposed to going through an elaborate set up to bring her folks and then pretend that this is Canada. It’s never even considered though and based on what the parents say, Carol hasn’t been home in years. That’s pretty crazy when you think about it.

There’s also another plot in the air. So, I didn’t mention them in the previous review but there is a council of Supernatural creatures such as the Toothfairy, Mother Nature, Easter Bunny, and more. They were fairly pointless in the second movie just as in this one so there’s not a lot to say about them. It’s a fun concept but the film doesn’t actually do anything interesting with them so you can definitely be forgiven for forgetting them entirely.

That being said, this time they play a bigger role because of one member known as Jack Frost. He’s upset because he’s the only member not to have his own holiday so he keeps trying to steal Christmas. Scott is ready to expel Jack but then decides to give him a second chance. He’ll let Jack Frost observe Santa’s workshop during the busiest time of the year with no real supervision. Jack accepts since this is the perfect time for him to sabotage Christmas. Throughout the movie we see him breaking equipment and messing with everyone the whole time. Unfortunately nobody is able to stop him.

It leads to a pretty rough scene where Lucy figures out the gameplan but isn’t able to tell anyone before being defeated along with Neil and Laura. You’d think they would have put up a better fight but they end up getting frozen without even landing a hit. It was definitely a pretty shameful appearance for them. Jack’s an interesting villain but one who gets away with far too much. Pretty much any scene with the guy is one where he is just messing up another piece of equipment with no actual punishment for his actions. You’d think that someone would catch him but that’s not the case. Even by the end he’s barely punished for everything he did.

That’s definitely one of the more annoying parts. That said, it does lead to the best part of the film which is the part where he and Scott have to time travel back to the past where the first film took place. Scott’s definitely been slacking off on his fighting ability though given how he was easily defeated by Jack. From there we get to see an alternate past where he never became Santa and how badly it turned out for everyone. At least this now gives Scott closure that he made the right move all along. My only problem with this is that the plot doesn’t appear until near the very end of the movie so there is almost no time to actually explore this. It’s an incredible premise and not one that could be explored in a few moments like that. I dare say that most of this film should have involved this premise.

After all, Jack learns about this trick from Curtis near the beginning of the film so we know it’s going to happen at some point or another. Instead of buying time with Jack breaking everything just cut to the chase. That way we’d have more time in the human world and that would have been a blast. The movie absolutely would have benefited from going down this route. Of that I definitely have no doubts. Ah well, I guess it wasn’t to be. It’s not that this film did a whole lot wrong but one of its main weaknesses is that it’s not all that funny anymore. I can’t think of any really humorous moments in this film and for a comedy that’s pretty bad. It’s definitely going more for crude humor this time around which doesn’t work well.

Most of the characters aren’t quite as reasonable either. If you thought Curtis was bad in the last film then he’s way worse here. Scott and Carol’s disagreements felt contrived as Scott was completely out of character with how much he was ignoring Carol and Christmas. Meanwhile Carol was fairly quick to escalate things as well especially with her parents antagonizing Scott the whole time. Then you have Neil and Laura who really don’t get to do much of anything here. You could say they are just along for the ride but that’s about it. Lucy gets a bigger role at least as she gets to have a blast at the North Pole. She didn’t do too well in the fight against Jack though.

Bud and Silvia are decent characters but definitely some of the meanest ones here. They’re always taking a lot of shots at Scott. I suppose they should be upset though. I’ll give Bud some props for being quick to help fix things though. He was definitely a solid handyman while Jack was busy messing the place up. I still can’t get over how Scott just let the guy run wild without a care in the world. He wouldn’t have made this mistake back when he was a business exec. Scott would have been on that guy right away and ready for a win.

Overall, Santa Clause 3’s mistake is very simple. It decided to focus on the North Pole which is consistently the weakest part of each film. Now, you can certainly have a good film at the North Pole I’m sure but then the writing has to be quite good and I can’t say that it was here. The writing is decent at best but most of the jokes don’t land and the character cast isn’t great. The difference between this film and the first one is pretty massive. It’s a decent end to the trilogy I guess but there’s very little replay value and you’ll likely be disappointed if you expect it to be on the same level as the first two.

Overall 6/10