12 Angry Men Review


12 Angry Men is certainly a classic film. It’s one that just about everyone’s heard of and it’s very well known for its quality writing and interesting plot. It holds up very well on a rewatch and is just as engaging as it ever was. The movie manages to stay engaging even with the characters never leaving the main room for the majority of the film. This is definitely how you want to do a jury film and it’s hard to picture any film doing it better.

The case that the 12 Jurors have to rule on involves an alleged murder. Supposedly this kid on trial murdered his father before being captured by the police. The evidence is mainly based around testimony from a lady who saw the murder from a train, and an old man who stepped out of his apartment in time to see the kid run off. When the jurors go into the room to deliberate, 11 of them immediately believe the kid is guilty. They just don’t see how you can go against two direct witness testimonies like that but one juror is not convinced and still has some doubts. Can the 11 convince him to give out a verdict of guilty or can he get them over to his side?

After all, the only way you can rule guilty is if you believe that there is no room for doubt here and that this had to have been what happened. Also, a jury must be unanimous in its decision so if there is one person who disagrees then you have to keep debating until that is no longer the case. After a period of time if no agreement can be made then it is considered a hung jury and a new group will end up being selected.

The movie does a good job of still leaving the case up to your interpretation as the characters disclose their facts. It’s fair to say that one side will appear to be more likely than the other by the end or at least that there has been some established room for doubt. If you still believe that the accused is guilty then that’s fair as well, the film doesn’t really try to force you into saying that one side is flat out wrong or not.

If you’re voting for the side that says the accused is innocent, you do have a lot of things working in your favor. After the characters broke down the testimony from the old man who says he made it to the door in time, it does seem like it would have been difficult to make it to the front door in time. The timeline doesn’t add up without something being different as reported. Likewise the angle of the stab wound was different from how you would expect someone to use it and the train was moving very quickly.

On the side that says he’s guilty, you’ve got the fact that the knife was on the scene of the crime. It seems to be a rare knife although the main character was able to get one which puts that into question. You do have the direct alibi’s of the two witnesses and while the side that says he is innocent would say that they are lying, it’s just as possible that they aren’t and their time limits were off by a few seconds.

So whichever side you pick, there’s some good arguments to be made. The film isn’t really about seeing which side is right though so you won’t find that out by the end. It’s all left rather open which is also fair since in most cases as the jury you’ll never truly know if the person was guilty or not. You just make the ruling as best you can.

As mentioned, the writing is definitely great here. The time really passes by even though it’s 100% dialogue based. The characters may not have names but they all have core personalities. One of the best members was likely the chairman who did his best to make sure that everyone was taking this seriously and working in an orderly fashion. It’s not easy trying to take charge but someone had to do it.

You had the advertiser who was having a good time. He got distracted very easily compared to the others but he didn’t seem malicious or anything. The guy just seemed to always think of new ideas. There’s the main character who really wanted to give the case the importance it deserved. When the others were ready to leave in 5 minutes he held firm. You have to give him a lot of credit for sticking his ground even when he was outnumbered 11 to 1. It’s not an easy thing to have to face the crowd like that, especially with some of them being really tough about the whole thing.

One of them just wanted to go and see his Baseball game after all so he wanted a quick guilty verdict so he could leave. Then you have the one who is really against kids due to some personal issues. These two make this an even tougher situation since they are hardly going to be listening to reason. The film was smart not to make them the only ones on the guilty side though or you’d run the risk of making one side so antagonistic that it doesn’t appear to be a fair fight.

The main reasonable member in that camp was the guy with glasses who likes to look at everything logically. He feels it’s less of an assumption to take the testimonies and evidence at face value as opposed to believing they were all lying and/or incorrect. The best back and forth exchanges are often the debates with him as each side has to carefully take in each item and discuss it thoroughly. That’s exactly how these kind of discussions should go down.

Overall, 12 Angry Men really ends up keeping your attention at all times. It’s really a simple plot when you think about it and this underscores that any plot can make for a great movie if the execution is done well enough. The crew in charge of the movie held nothing back and so this ended up being quite the hit. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to check out a good movie. No matter what genre you may like, this one is just good cinema and can appeal to anyone. I’d be up for more jury based films. It may be tough to beat this one but an attempt should at least be made as there is a lot you can do with this concept.

Overall 8/10

A Raisin in the Sun Review


A Raisin in the Sun is a film that decides to bet everything on its writing. The entire film is structured around a few characters having a lot of disagreements with each others. Tensions grow pretty high the whole time. I’ve seen a few other films with this style but they have consistently failed in the past. Usually the issue being that throughout the arguments all of the characters will expose themselves as just being awful people so you can’t root for them anymore. Where this film succeeds is in keeping each character likable no matter how tough things get which is important.

The film starts off by introducing us to Walter. You could argue he is the main character since he is the only character who gets scenes by himself without the other characters. It’s close though since all of the characters get pretty big roles. He wants to open up a liquor store. Right now he is not satisfied with his current job or living conditions where his family is always low on money. Well, his mother is about to receive a check for $10,000 for life insurance from her husband. Walter believes that she should give him the check to put into the store. She isn’t keen on doing this though because she believes opening up a store like that would be luring people over into drinking a lot of wine and becoming alcoholics. Walter’s wife Ruth doesn’t think this is a good idea but Walter puts a lot of pressure on her to be on his side.

Ruth’s sister Beneatha meanwhile just wants to find someone she can marry and also enjoys getting involved in a lot of hobbies even if she ultimately tends to ditch them pretty quickly. One of her goals is to attend medical school which will be expensive so she hopes Lena may help contribute to that. Then you have the Mom Lena who wants to do what’s best for the family but at this point it’s clear that there is no way to make everyone happy. What can she do to ensure the family doesn’t go off on the wrong path?

From the main characters the weakest one would have to be Beneatha. Mainly I’d say the issue here isn’t so much that she wants to try out a lot of hobbies but that she is aware of how broke the family is right now. In light of this, she has to realize that buying so much expensive equipment all the time is a bit of a burden there. She definitely has the biggest personality of the group though as she always makes her thoughts known. Aside from Lena, I would say Beneatha is the most straight forward with everyone as she speaks her mind. That’s a good quality.

In comparison I’d say Walter’s not as good at that. Several times when he’s making his case about the liquor store you feel like he could make a better case for why he wants it. He clearly knows why he needs the store but a lot of the time he isn’t really able to explain why that is. In his head it’s because he has already explained it a ton of times but that should be good practice. He tends to give up more than the other characters and is quicker to compromise on his morals. While you can understand this in large part, I do think his final mistake in the film is pretty inexcusable. Once you’ve made a promise and are given a lot of responsibility you can’t just throw it all away like that. He wasn’t really able to recover after that and he had already been on shaky ground with his reaction to Ruth’s baby.

As for Ruth, she’s a very solid character. She does her best to make ends meet and works as hard as she can. She doesn’t want Lena to have to do everything for them so Ruth tries to be as pro active as possible. She’s patient with Walter as well and may have the biggest workload here. She’s also able to talk civilly with everyone and doesn’t get drunk so she stays mature throughout. The best character though is Lena. She is always ready to offer the correct advice and has always lived her life in a way where she can keep her head high with dignity.

Lena probably has a lot of the more emotional scenes here as she watches her household effective start to get torn down with the decisions they are making. She was clearly disappointed on many occasions. The film does end on a high note after all of the trials at least but it was definitely a tough road for all of them. The movie did a good job of adding a new obstacle to the family every time they would get past one. It’s good because it also keeps the conversations fresh and there is also some pretty good set up here.

For example, from the start we know that Walter wants the money but the check doesn’t actually arrive for a while. Even after that you have to wait until Walter arrives for the big confrontation. So the plot is pretty dynamic and the story is constantly adapting for the new challenges. You could easily make a sequel for their experiences in the next home but at the same time without one you can at least hope that things finally went smoothly for them and they didn’t have to worry about any extra drama this time around. It’ll be good if they can finally relax here.

Overall, A Raisin in the Sun is a solid movie. The dialogue is pretty strong all the way through. The movie may only really have the one main backdrop of being in the house but the characters are all written well so this doesn’t feel like an issue. Lena is definitely the standout character here. When Beneatha tries the whole “God is dead” argument Lena quickly shuts that down and establishes the ground rules that this won’t be allowed in the house. She consistently pushes the characters to make the right choices and without her they definitely wouldn’t have made it through this experience. If you’re up for a good drama as the characters discuss how the family should move forward then this is a good one to check out.

Overall 6/10

Is a Hot Dog a sandwich?


One question that’s been floating around the world has been if the famous Hot Dog is a sandwich or not. Well, I lets look at this logically. I lot of the debate depends on your definition of a sandwich. My definition is that a sandwich is anything that is wrapped in between bread. The bread can be top and bottom like a classic grilled cheese or it can be enclosed like in a baguette sandwich. The goal is that something is there, if you’re just eating bread then it’s not an actual sandwich.

So that brings us to the famous Hot Dog. As you may have guessed from the intro, I would count this as a sandwich. The meat is in between the bread from top to bottom. I think one reason why people may not consider it to be a sandwich is depending where you get the hot dog it is one piece of bread that curves around, not two separate pieces of bread. If you buy a low quality hot dog then the bread will probably break and it’ll look like a normal sandwich. I make the case that in both situations it is still a sandwich. My rebuttal to the first scenario is that we already have sandwiches with only one piece of bread as opposed to two. I’m talking about the Italian Footlong.

Go to Fairway, Shoprite, Whole Foods, or Trader Joes and buy one of the long baguettes. Now instead of cutting it up into a lot of smaller ones just cut a slit into the bread and put in the meat. You’ve still got one piece of bread (albeit a large piece) but it is stuffed. Wouldn’t you call this a sandwich? I certainly would so this supports the case that you don’t need two pieces of bread to be a sandwich. The only qualifications is that you’ve got bread and you’ve got something inside of it while not being baked into it. If you churned your own dough with cheese into the mixture you’re just making cheesy bread and not a sandwich. So the distinction is that you’ve still got to have two separate items, the bread and the filling. That’s really it though. That’s all you need for a proper sandwich.

Whatever else you add to the Hot Dog after this point doesn’t take away its status as a sandwich or legitimize it. The instant you’ve put the meat into the bun you have just created a sandwich. This is a pretty short editorial next to my usual ones since there isn’t much more to be said about this, but I had to answer this age old question. It’s a topic that is brought up quite a bit in Yugioh Vrains so I needed to throw in my two cents. What do you guys think? Is a Hot Dog a sandwich or should it really not be lumped into that category and is a unique case?

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf Review


It’s time to look at an old film with a pretty intriguing title. It’s a title that refers to a rather cringy joke in the film and that really sets the tone for what you’re about to experience. This film’s definitely got an interesting premise that could work out in some scenarios, but it takes itself too seriously to work. For this kind of plot the movie has really got to be a comedy of some sort. Making it into a drama takes away its potential entirely and the film ends up getting dragged out.

The film starts off with George and Martha finishing up a party they were at. They make it home and start bickering as usual. At this point their marriage has completely spoiled over, but neither one of them want to end things. This all escalates when Martha lets George know that another couple is coming over to hang out for a while. Their names are Nick and Honey. The two come over but with the older people being tired they decide to escalate their usual name calling. George and Martha begin to openly fight with each other while dragging in the incredibly gullible younger couple. Can these two allow their extremely fragile bond to be broken by complete strangers they’ve only known for a few minutes?

This plot only works if the characters have absolutely no intelligence left within them. Just think of how ludicrous this whole thing is. Why is Nick telling George super private info about his wife when they don’t even know each other? Worse, George is a co-worker so that’ll quickly become gossip. The whole plot is just so forced and contrived that you’ll need a second to catch your breath. Likewise Martha and Honey gossip a bunch. Breaking their bonds was so incredibly easy that it must have not been much of a bond at all.

Naturally all of the characters get pretty drunk as well. Too bad none of them learned how to drink responsibly right? That would have solved most of their issues in an instant. Then the two couples start trying to get each other jealous and it works surprisingly quick. Again, the young couple must not have had any confidence to be manipulated so easily. I thought they were better than that but I guess not.

There are no good characters here though. George is your classic timid guy who gets stepped on by Martha the whole time until he snaps at the end. Then naturally he has the upper hand while Martha suddenly loses all of her fire and gets stepped on the whole time. Each half of the film might as well be a different film with how different the characters act. I wouldn’t call it good writing either as it’s just trying too hard to be somber and dramatic. There’s no reason to like George because he’s just a bully by the end and by the same token there is no reason to like Martha since she is a bully at the beginning.

Then you’ve got Nick who’s pretty mean and standoffish at the beginning, but has absolutely no nerve. Every time George makes some kind of crack about his wife Nick doesn’t do anything except try to protest about it. He should have walked out with Honey early on. He just seems scared of George the whole time and that’s definitely no good. Meanwhile Honey is portrayed as being extremely limited in intelligence and really just gets in the way the whole time. Like I said, there are no good characters here.

The characters are all written to be super annoying as well. They all get drunk and so a lot of their dialogue doesn’t even make sense. They tend to talk in circles and because of that all of the conversations are a whole lot longer than they should be. This contributes to how long and drawn out the film is. Most of the situations should have ended far sooner than they did and the film just becomes annoying after a while. There doesn’t seem to be much of a point to the movie and the plot simply wasn’t large enough to last for such a long period of time.

You have to suspend all disbelief for this film. Why on earth are the younger couple so desperate to talk to someone that they’d stay here? Who thinks it’s a good idea to hang out with this older couple at about 2-3AM? Maybe that was a red flag that these guys were also pretty sketchy. I guess we can also reasonably assume that Nick just wanted to come over to get on Martha’s good graces. He certainly does since by the end it’s heavily implied that he even cheated with her on George. The film really went off the rails. The whole imaginary character didn’t help either. It’s a twist that I figured out early on, but partially because I already had certain expectations of the film. Once it fell apart after the first 5 minutes I would quickly just guess what the worst possible outcome would be for each scene and that’s a pretty accurate way to guess for this kind of film.

Overall, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf is a very mean spirited film that runs out of logic early on. There’s not a whole lot connecting this story together and as a result it can only try to survive on dialogue. Since the dialogue isn’t particularly strong, actually it’s super weak especially considering how old this film is. Usually dialogue was pretty good in this era so that was disappointing. There’s not much going for the film and it certainly has 0 replay value. The insults get old after the first few minutes and partially because of how half hearted all of the characters are. None of them are really passionate and seem to be going through the motions. Both George and Martha can dish it out, but they can’t take it. They both appear to actually be really sensitive which will make you roll your eyes. I’d definitely recommend sticking away from this film.

Overall 2/10

The Case For Christ

case-for-christ-poster
The Case For Christ is definitely a film where the premise strikes out at you immediately. In 2 of the previous Christian films that I’ve seen (God’s Not Dead 1 and 2) it was about the main character having to prove that God was real. This title flips that around by having the lead try to prove the opposite, that God is fiction. He seeks to do this by overturning the biggest event in Christian history, the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Is this feasible or will Lee soon find out that debunking such an event is as futile as trying to suggest that the world is actually flat?

The film starts off with Lee and Leslie heading to a diner to enjoy a nice meal. Unfortunately the situation grows dire when their daughter begins to choke. As despair begins to set in and all hope is lost, a nurse steps in and is able to save their daughter in the nick of time. She is a Christian and Leslie begins to believe that maybe there is a God who is watching over everyone. She goes with the nurse to Church and gets saved. Lee is not happy with this as he is a devout Atheist and tells Leslie that there is no way they can stay together unless she renounces her faith. Leslie refuses and so Lee decides that he will put his reporting profession to use by finding evidence and making a complete case that God doesn’t exist.

Naturally such a journey is doomed for failure. It’s interesting to see the evidence behind the existence of Jesus Christ and how we have hundreds of accounts from individuals who saw him. The mountains of evidence left behind is quite impressive. To Lee’s credit, it does make sense to attack the resurrection if you were trying to debunk the religion since that miracle is really what proved beyond a shadow of a doubt God’s power. There are many other moments in the Bible of miracles as well and even if there wasn’t a mountain of evidence to defend the Resurrection that wouldn’t be enough to rock our faith.

At the end of the day it is impossible to 100% prove or disprove many things. You often have to take a leap of faith and it wouldn’t be worth much if you didn’t need it to proceed. I’m not saying that I would refuse additional proof if it was ever discovered, but I’m fine without it. Everything within the Bible is ultimately all that we need to know. The film fortunately has a happy ending for Lee’s character as he concedes defeat. He was not able to prove that God didn’t exist and furthermore, he only just ended up convincing himself of the opposite. It was a good way to close his character arc.

That being said, I wasn’t a fan of the character. He definitely did not take the situation in stride and came across as completely unreasonable. He’s been married to Leslie for several years at this point, enough to have a daughter who is old enough to talk and everything. Yet, he almost immediately wants to end the marriage because she has become a Christian. I can understand not wanting to accept this and to continue debating it, but not wanting to leave immediately. It’s not like the person suddenly became a Satanist or anything like that. He also doesn’t have any sympathy for criminals and even puts an innocent man in jail because he couldn’t be bothered to look at the facts of the case more closely. That same guy then gets stabbed and nearly fatally injured. Lee is sad about that, but the guy just created so many problems during the film.

Leslie was a good character. She wasn’t too forceful about turning Lee into a Christian right away which was good. It makes sense that she would understand the situation and try to be tactful about the whole thing. Naturally she wouldn’t give up on converting him and that’s good because as a Christian you understand the stakes better than anyone. If she can’t convert Lee in time, he’ll end up burning in Hell for eternity. Of course you don’t want someone you’re close with to experience such a fate. Since the stakes are that high, she has to try playing 4D Chess and trying to slowly get him to her side. At times maybe she wasn’t perfect with her approach, but at least she kept on trying.

I also liked the characters that Lee went to for advice. They all had an extremely confident air about them. Their smirks basically never left and while they weren’t downright condescending to Lee, they certainly seemed to think that he was asking extremely basic questions. Of course they likely weren’t in the best mood since he clearly was asking them questions to get them to take a shot at their religion so they were guarded. I just always like these kind of characters. You know that they’re not going to be on the defensive during the verbal exchange and have all of the answers.

Overall, The Case For Christ is a pretty fun film. The writing is solid and the pacing for The Case for Christ is on point as well. I haven’t seen any debates in a while, but I always like seeing debaters challenge the two sides. I’m certainly not impartial as I’m a Christian, but all the more reasons to better understand the points that the opposition makes so I can know how best to respond. If you liked God’s Not Dead then I believe you’ll like this film. The main character is definitely annoying, but the rest of the case is solid. His coworkers are all pretty fun characters and the Nurse who saved the kid at the beginning isn’t bad. Maybe a little ineffective the whole time, but saving the kid is really all she needs on her resume. I’ll definitely be interested to see which film this company churns out next.

God’s Not Dead 2


I got to watch this film in theaters a while back, but it took a while to get around to it. I really enjoyed God’s Not Dead so I was looking forward to the sequel. Debates with non believers on the validity of Christ is always very entertaining and I certainly recommend looking up some of the professional debates that are on Youtube. There are even Christian vs Christian debates online as they tackle the deeper topics like predetermination, and on whether parts of the Old Testament were parables. (I definitely disagree with the latter. At least on the Jonah and the Whale part. I think that definitely did in fact happen and it was not simply a story) God’s Not Dead 2 ups the stakes as the debate is in an official court room this time.

Grace is a history teacher and one day she gets asked a question about whether King Jr., Ghandi, and Jesus Christ had similar messages of peace. Grace responds with a sound yes, but one kid in the back quickly sends a text to his parents. They quickly take it up to the Principal and they are ready to take Grace down if she does not retract her statement. Grace definitely does not and she quickly gets assigned one of the worst lawyers that they could find. Little do they know that Tom is very enthusiastic and doesn’t like to lose. He may not be at a high rank yet, but he’ll still give this his all. The two of them prepare for the big day in court as they fight to protect the right to use the Bible in historical context while at school.

The one iffy thing about the first film was that it tried to juggle about 10 or more subplots. This one cuts down on that considerably so we can now focus on Grace’s subplot. The pastors from the first film also get a small role here as they show up every now and again, but don’t ultimately do much. It’s more for cameo purposes and to acknowledge the continuity of it all. The villains of this film are likable as antagonists. We have the principal who is very excited for this case since it is apparently something that he has been waiting for. He really gets into the battle as he even goes to the home of the student who asked the question and convinces her parents to stand against Grace. They quickly do since they don’t talk to Brooke as much as they should and don’t really understand that this is completely against her wishes.

Brooke is a good character as well. She is struggling with death in her family and this is how she ends up becoming a Christian. The society makes this task very difficult for her though as peer pressure tries to get her to think that this may not be a good thing. After all, her teacher was brought to court and could lose everything just for mentioning the Bible in class and quoting a line or two. That’s a pretty steep price and it will only get steeper as time goes on. Brooke stands strong though and tries to provide Grace with support as best as she can. It doesn’t always pay off, but she does her best. Tom’s a solid character as well. His final plan was definitely super risky, but it shows what a good guy he is. He may not be a Christian, but he did still want to genuinely help Grace. His plan’s risk was mostly all directed at himself so even if it failed, Grace would be okay.

Naturally, Grace is an excellent character. She is given many reasons to quickly take back what she has said and then everything would go away. Everyone advises her to do this, but Grace is courageous and managed to stay strong. It’s certainly a lot tougher than it looks to stand up to adversity without bending to the whims of the world, but it is what you have to do. Your faith will definitely be tested in one way or another during your life. Everyone faces trials and tribulations at some point and if you’ve never experienced one before, then you likely have one coming up. Even for those of us who have already gone through many struggles, there will always be new ones over the horizon. Life wasn’t meant to be easy, but it is all worth it for the final prize of Heaven in the end.

One important thing to take away from debates is that you must be completely confident in yourself. You certainly do want to convince your opponent to become a Christian or to at least consider the possibility that God is real. However, another aspect is just as important and that is to not let your opponent shake you. They will try every tactic possible to convince you that Christianity is false as they point out moments that they deem hypocritical or implausible. The Devil would like nothing more than for you to enter a lot of Christian debates and slowly start to lose your faith in the Word’s infallible truths. It’s why debates aren’t always for everyone and I certainly don’t recommend looking into them any deeper than you are comfortable with. Give yourself time to read the Bible cover to cover on your own and listen to some sermons. Once you have a very clear understanding of it, then you can enjoy the debates. Otherwise, it’s possible that they will try to confuse you and twist the meanings of the Bible. It’s very easy to change the entire context of a passage by starting in the middle or ending a quote before it was really over.

In the end, you don’t want anything to shake your faith. There are many things about the Bible that I don’t understand and many things that I probably can’t even if I were to focus on them forever. You can run yourself through logical loops forever and ever without getting any closer to the true meaning. The Bible isn’t meant to be comprehended in a quick sitting like an average novel. It’s known as the Living Word and that’s because you can always get something else out of it. You may interpret a passage one way the first time you read it and another way the next. You are constantly changing as a Christian and your capacity to understand will always be growing. It’s still hard to actually picture Heaven in all of its splendor and I do think that it is beyond comprehension. It’s something that you will simply have to look forward to experiencing and I can’t wait.

“I would rather stand with God and be judged by the world, than stand with the world and be judged by God.” A solid quote to remember from Grace in this film. This world has a lot of joys and wonders in it as well to counteract all of the evil deeds around the world, but the thought of a perfect world of only joy is incredible. This one won’t last and the people who try to get you to renounce your faith won’t get the last laugh. Not only does God provide an end goal to look forward too, but he gives meaning to life. What would the whole point of our daily struggles be if we simply died in the end? With nothing to look forward too, then we would simply be living for day to day pleasures and that just doesn’t seem right. You always get the feeling that there has to be something more to life and Christianity gives you that something. It’s been great to see more and more Christian films arriving in theaters and I’m proud to support them. Hopefully these films will reach a lot of people and turn their hearts to Christ. Every soul saved is worthy of our celebration because it means that we will have saved another person from Hell. If you haven’t seen this film yet then I completely recommend it, along with its predecessor.