Limelight Review


Limelight is a film about a star who is well past his prime and doesn’t realize it. It’s always rough to know that you can no longer do something at the high level you once did, but it is inevitable depending on what that skill is. For example, you can’t really play Football past 60 and it’ll be tough to nail the Super Smash Bros melee inputs when you’re 80. Eventually you’re going to have to throw in the toesl and the main character learns that the hard way here.

The movie starts with Calvero having another tough day. It’s been difficult to find any kind of roles to play despite once being the king of comedy. He has a lot of drinks to accelerate his demise and then heads home only to find that a girl named Terry has nearly died after inhaling a lot of gasoline. He restores her to health along with a doctor and convinces her to stay alive this time. He’ll help her become a terrific dancer and he’ll try to get a new gig. Can his old humor style really transition into the new world though?

This is a pretty laidback film for a while even if it does get a little more intense by the end. The opening segments of the film is mainly about Calvero goofing off to try and make Terry feel better while trying to ignore his own difficulties. It’s difficult though because he really wants to make people laugh but his acts just aren’t very good. Not only does he only know 2-3 acts that he repeats over and over again but people don’t find him funny. He’s basically told to leave and his name is poison to the various shows.

Calvero gets the message but it’s not a fun one to understand. At least Terry is a hit which Calvero is happy about but he has not been able to reclaim the same success and feels as though he is holding her back. He’s a pretty well natured lead who makes for a fun guy but it does seem like he didn’t put the proper amount of effort in.

If your humor style isn’t working then it’s time to get some new acts. Keep on developing new material and eventually you’ll hopefully get somewhere. When he tries his new name out even Terry has to remind him that he can’t expect to be an overnight sensation after the first act. I suppose it’s partially because he’s older but the guy doesn’t have a whole lot of patience the way that he might have had in the past.

As for Terry, she’s a solid heroine. She does what she can to look after Calvero including telling the audience to cheer and laugh as much as they can. To the audience’s credit, they did a good job of this as they were extremely loud at the end of the film. Fortunately Calvero didn’t suspect a thing which is good but also sad in its own way. Calvero really could not read a room which is absolutely fatal for a comedian. You need to be able to read the audience to know when to cut a joke short or improvise which he just couldn’t.

Terry ends up falling for Calvero but as he and the film notes, it’s not really true love. She has mistaken her feelings of admiration and gratitude for love here. Calvero does his best to keep on trying to show her the light on this and it’s good since that romance would have been pretty bad. As it stands, he stayed strong on that note. Any kind of relationship with Nevill afterwards would come off as a rebound though so I like to think that Terry stayed strong as well. Either way, she was definitely a good friend/ally to have around.

Then you have Neville but there isn’t a whole lot to say about him. He has liked Terry for a while not but always tends to lose out which saddens him. He knew her a while ago back when she worked in a store and would give him some extra money and materials. Certainly a nice thing of her to do. Is he perhaps mistaking gratitude for love as well?

One of the best characters here had to be Postant. While he doesn’t get a huge role, he is a true scene stealer. Basically he’s the boss of the show and calls the shots. He has a good working relationship with Calvero and is a very reasonable person. I like his confidence and way of speaking. He does what he can to help the lead as well.

I haven’t spoken much about Calvero’s acts so lets talk about why they don’t succeed. The first he that he pretends to have a trained flea and performs tricks with it. The first issue as you can see is that it’s all pretend. People aren’t going to find that particularly funny or impressive since there’s nothing to see. Like, what’s the point of the exhibition at all right? It’s not a good act.

Then you’ve got the dummy act with his partner where they keep trying to fix a piano for a very long time. Even the audience had a very hard time fake laughing for that one although they did their best. This is really why he fell out of favor. The guy just wasn’t that funny and I would say he wasn’t even remotely funny. Every trick he did completely flopped.

That’s why I say Calvero ultimately needed more acts. The guy is good with instruments so maybe do some musical jokes. Switch to stand up comedy or something. His two routines just got stale the instant they started and so he was really doomed from the jump. That said, part of why I’ve never wanted to be a comedian is it’s hard to make other people laugh. I stick to making myself feel the humor. I can always get a good chuckle out of myself and humor is just so subjective that trying to tailor your humor to a bunch of people sounds crazy difficult. Kudos to the people who pull it off but for every success there are a bunch of performances that don’t make it to the big leagues.

Overall, Limelight is a good film. The writing is solid and the cast is good. I think we could have done without the romance plot but it’s handled well and I do like that the film goes out of its way to explain that this isn’t quite genuine. The movie’s also surprisingly long for such an old flick but it doesn’t drag on. That just means it has plenty of time to squeeze everything into the mix and it makes the most of this. I’d say the ending could have been a bit better to fully stick the landing but ultimately this is a title I could definitely recommend.

Overall 6/10

The Unfinished Dance Review


Ballet’s definitely not my thing. I’ve just never been a fan of it as a style of dance. It’s not particularly entertaining to watch and I don’t care much for the uniforms. It works more in a combat sense like in Sailor Moon I suppose but even then I’ll take something a little more combat ready. For dances ballet also tends to be a bit slower and I like something fast paced and with a lot of action. If you can get past the actual ballet then the film is good though.

The movie starts by introducing us to Meg. Meg is a spoiled kid who wants to be a great ballet dancer but isn’t willing to put in the work. She always skips her lessons to spy on Ariane and basically use up the professional’s time. If anyone says something negative about Ariane Meg is ready to throw hands and give someone the fade. She’s not a kid who is shy about taking someone on. This continues to get her into a lot of trouble though and her Mom/Aunt (I forget which) is super distant so the only parental figure in her life is the kind Mr. Paneros.

Mr. Paneros does his best to contain the damage but it’s often tricky. One day the ballet hires Anna, one of the greatest ballerinas in the world. Ariane knows that her lack of skill will be exposed compared to this person and runs off in a huff. Everyone agrees that Anna is better so Meg decides to put a stop to this. She opens up a trap door and cripples Anna so that Ariane will have the center stage again. The main issue is that her conscience is eating her alive and her “friend” knows about what is happening so there’s now a loose end in the mix. Can Meg make things right?

Now to Meg’s very slight defense it was an accident or at least the film tells us this. She meant to switch the lights off and only happened to turn on the trap door. Sure……lets roll with that. It’s not very convincing though as she could have done any number of things instead of watching the whole time. It was not a good look to say the least. Meg is very extreme throughout the film as she casually talks about death and such. It’s unfortunate but nobody ends up helping her out of her obsessions here.

Mr. Paneros is a good character who means well but does often choose the wrong course of action. He tries to console Meg but ends up lying about everything all the time. It’s like he can’t help it because the guy just keeps on doubling down. It’s a bad habit that he certainly needs to break. At least he’s there for Meg though as her family is never around to do anything. It makes his one sided romance more on the tragic side since he is permanently stuck in the friend zone with the aunt.

As for Ariane, I didn’t like her. I thought the film was low key portraying her as a villain the whole time. It makes sense when you think about it with how petty she was. Anna was very polite the whole time while Ariane didn’t want her picture taken and kept squirming. Initially I thought Anna would end up being a villain but the film never actually went down that road. As a result it just made Ariane look even worse in comparison. She is quick to give up her dream as well which is all well and good but then it makes her jealousy look even worse since she was never that serious about her dream.

Meanwhile Anna is definitely the best character in the film. She suffers a rather bad break but doesn’t let it get to her. I’ll also give a lot of kudos to her assistant/coach who was with her every step of the rehabilitation. She was always there to lend a helping hand to Anna and to try and keep her spirits up throughout everything that was happening. They thought of the coaching idea together and at least Anna now had a sense of normalcy. Anna consistently took the high road as well while the other characters were treading water.

I was glad her ending didn’t get too sad as it would have ended things on a rather unfortunate note. Meanwhile the other kids are mostly left to bicker by the end as you’d expect. Meg now knows that she can’t trust her “friend” and also that the class bully is still around. There’s not a whole lot that they can do at this point and proving anything would be difficult so Meg has nothing to worry about. I like to think they will have an employee by the trap door machine at all times now though. No reason for that to be left unattended.

As mentioned earlier, the only weakness for me would be the actual Ballet scenes. They just weren’t all that entertaining at all if you ask me. I was always just ready for those scenes to move on so we could get on with the story. Especially when Meg tried to dance as she just isn’t ready for the ballet scene yet. Additionally, she was an annoying character so you were never quite looking forward to her getting some screen time.

Overall, The Unfinished Dance is a pretty emotional movie that manages to capture the balance between drama and uplifting moments rather well. The movie gets sad at times but also has happy moments sprinkled in as well. Ultimately that’s a good mix to strive for. Mr. Paneros reminded me of Panera Bread with the name but it’s unique so you won’t forget him and he was clearly a good cook. His origin story where he wastes his last dime was definitely sad but you also can’t help but feel like you shouldn’t be playing around with your last dime right? Seems to me that would be really important to keep safe in your pocket.

Overall 6/10

Blackboard Jungle Review


Public School has always had a reputation for getting rather tough depending on what schools you go to. You see bullies in all kinds of media that take place at school but the extent to which the bullies attack will certainly vary from place to place. Blackboard Jungle takes you to one of the more intense classes and certainly means trouble for the main guy. You do feel like the bullies get away with a whole lot here though and everyone turns a blind eye which can get annoying.

So the film starts with Richard finally getting his first teaching job. It’s something he’s been looking forward to for a long time since this is the career he wants to follow. Joshua and Lois will also be starting their tenures at the same time. Why so many open spots? Well, nobody wants to teach at this school because it has a reputation for housing the worst students possible. You’ll likely leave in an ambulance and so the vacancies keep piling on. Richard figures he can handle this but is he really ready for this school?

Within a week of teaching Lois gets assaulted, Richard gets severely beaten, and Joshua’s priceless record collection gets utterly smashed. Yeah this school lives up to its reputation for sure. Richard figures out that Gregory seems to be the class leader to an extent and figures that if he can win him over, the rest will follow. It’ll be difficult though since Richard isn’t exactly the most subtle guy around and if Gregory does a 180 just like that things are going to get dangerous. With both of them on different sides there are no easy paths.

My main issues with the film definitely come from the faculty though. All right so first off lets touch on the scene where Richard gets completely beaten up in the alley. He’s jumped by around 7 kids so he and Joshua are quickly taken down for the count. The next day when the police arrive Richard doesn’t want to cooperate. Now he figures that getting sent to jail or reform school will do a lot of harm to these kids…but these kids are doing a lot of harm to others right now.

I can’t get behind the lead’s decision to act as though nothing happened. We later see a few of these kids jump a pair of deliverymen who hopefully live through the ordeal but at the very least their truck was taken away. Those are injuries and possible deaths that are now directly on Richard’s shoulders. In effect he’s enabling this behavior to continue by not helping.

Then you have Joshua who at this point knows a lot about how dangerous the class is. Yet…he’s going to bring his priceless record collection into work? Why?…that makes no sense. He must have known how this was going to go. Instead he’s man handled by the kids as they break all of his records and he can’t do a thing about it. It’s the kids’ fault of course but I also have to shake my head at Joshua having such an idea in the first place. Common Sense alone would tell you that this is a really bad idea.

Next up one of the kids also attacks Lois and things could have really gotten ugly if Richard hadn’t noticed in time. Bear in mind that the kids attacked Richard later on as revenge for getting this kid into prison. If the kids are sticking up for this guy then they’re just as bad so even more reason for Richard not to look the other way. This scene is especially dark even for this film also. The school looks pretty bad for allowing this situation to even come into play.

Lois is a rather shady character throughout the film with how she goes after Richard but still didn’t deserve this kind of scare. The worst part is that one of the other teachers foreshadowed that this might happen and yet evidently nobody took any steps to help out. This is where I bring in the principal in my blame game. The guy seems to be completely oblivious to everything going on in his school. It’s like he doesn’t even realize the reputation his classes have or that none of the teachers take their jobs seriously. That means the principal isn’t doing his job well either to be so out of the loop.

He needs to get in some safety features and actually take an active role. Otherwise it’s all just talk on his part. While most of the kids here are pretty awful Artie is shown to be one of the worst ones. That buy is constantly trying to get the kids to go in as bad a direction as possible. Unfortunately pretty much all of the kids are ready to follow his lead. The only kid shown to even be somewhat decent is Gregory.

That’s considering that Gregory is on board with most of this the whole time but at least he tries to help Richard out when possible. It’s clear that he has more heart than the others. Finally you have Richard’s wife Anne who is trying to have a baby but it’s tough with all the constant stress. Naturally the kids go after her with some incriminating notes to get after Richard. It’s a shame that she didn’t reach out to Richard about it right away since it would have helped at least remove one trouble but it’s also too bad nobody noticed the kids heading to the mailbox each day.

At the end of the day I was on Anne’s side in terms of telling Richard to just get another job. This one’s clearly too dangerous and at times Richard was lucky to get away with his life. These weren’t just teen delinquents like in an old comedy film or something. These guys were straight up assaulting people in broad daylight and carried knives/were willing to murder. That’s a little far beyond the pale for a teacher to deal with.

I would where Blackboard Jungle falters is that it’s so dark it starts to get a little unrealistic. The rest of the town seems so nice but with crimes being committed on the regular it feels like the place would be quite a bit different. If you’re the cops why don’t you have someone around the school if things like this are happening every day? I guess if the teachers all act like Richard with refusing help then it’s easy to see why that would happen though.

Overall, Blackboard Jungle has the characters making horror movie type decisions which always put them in the worst spot possible. Working at the most dangerous school in the city? All right, time to get drunk out of your mind and then take a shortcut through an abandoned dark alley. First days on the job in a school of delinquents? Time to stay at school after class and seduce the main guy while nobody’s around. Receiving threatening calls and letters from someone? Don’t tell the cops and instead head to the crazy school all by yourself….the decisions just keep on coming right after the other. I would definitely say to just give this one a pass. If you want to watch a film about Teachers vs Rebellious students, watch Ferris Bueller’s Day Off instead.

Overall 3/10

The Personal History of David Copperfield Review


Time for a film that I guess I would call a slice of life but it also has a decent amount of tragedy and drama for the main character. There’s a lot going on here as we go through Copperfield’s whole life and the visuals are interesting with how the past blends into reality. Ultimately I wasn’t really a fan of it though, quite a few of the characters kinda seemed nutty and Copperfield didn’t make for the most interesting character.

Copperfield started out as a kid who had trouble reading because the letters were always flying all over the page. By the the time he would track them down it was too late. His mother ended up remarrying to some other guy after his Dad passed and the Step Dad was not a fan. This results in David getting beat up quite a bit before finally managing to be sent off. He escapes and works at a bottle factory for a while but then he finds out his mother has died and he goes off to live with a crazed writer who thinks he is a dead King and a nice old lady who really doesn’t like having any animals on her porch. Perhaps now David can start a new life and even get people to think he is rich.

A lot of times what gets David into trouble is the fact that his web of lies grows too large. He continues to spin the truth around for the sake of his reputation to the point where he isn’t really able to keep it straight. He has to continue to double down in front of everyone over and over again until it catches up with him. His friends also aren’t the reliable sort. You have one guy who is on the run from all kinds of tax payers and then you have a fellow student who is not the nicest guy and serves as a bad influence.

Even the butler can’t be trusted as that guy evidently wants to be in a position of power so he can gain revenge on all of the people who weren’t nice to him back in the day. Instead of being a good person otherwise he grows completely corrupt. So it would seem that no matter where David goes, there is always trouble around the next corner.

So lets talk about these guys. For David there’s not a whole lot more to be said. He’s very busy trying to get everyone to like him as a scholar to the point where he has to make up stories about it. I wasn’t a big fan of his. He gets a romance plot later on in the film but I wouldn’t give that one a big thumbs up. Romance is the last thing he had time for considering everything that was going on.

Mr. Micawbar is the one being pursued by the taxpayers and it’s hard to sympathize with the guy since it does appear that he is willingly scamming everyone. Sure, tough times and all but he’s just digging the hall bigger and bigger. Then you have Mr. Dick who is the guy that is slowly going insane. The whole flying a kite idea was certainly interesting. I’m glad it worked but unfortunately it was only temporary which means they would have to continue doing that forever in order for it to work. Hopefully eventually he is able to just overcome the spirit of King Henry.

Betsey was a good supporting character. At least she was taking things in stride and seemed to know what was going on. It was a difficult situation but she was making the most of it which is the important thing. She even tried giving advice to Dora that the romance may not work out well with David but the heroine didn’t listen. Dora could have been better, the main issue with her is that she has a hard time keeping up a conversation because her mind tends to wander.

In a way there was a second romance plot at the accounting firm but David tended to not notice since he only had eyes for Dora. Of course the accounting area is where you had a lot of the main conflicts in the film since the dispute was over a great deal of money. Effectively the main villain was trying to swindle Copperfield and the others. The guy was completely succeeding to. Just goes to show you’ve always gotta stay alert.

The review’s a little all over the place but that’s because the film jumps around a lot as well. After all, this is the complete story of David Copperfield so you get to see the whole journey but with little flashbacks thrown in or meanwhile scenes that overlay over the present scene. It does look pretty cool as I mentioned earlier for sure. So on a visual level that was neat.

My only real issue with the film is that it could be a little on the boring side. Even by the end of the film you don’t feel like a whole lot happened. I think part of the issue lies with the characters as it’s hard to really get on board with any of them. There’s also the fact that some of the characters seem so obviously shady that when they leave and betray the others you aren’t surprised. Like David’s “friend” who decided to take off with one of the girls from the first village. He ditched her of course but she was also to blame there. How can you just leave your fiancé at the drop of a hat?

Later on she comes back since the relationship didn’t work out but why should the guy even want her back? It’s now clear that he was the second choice and she only returned as a last resort. So….yeah that’s not a good sign. The characters keep falling for tricks or get busted by someone else. Either way, I think adding in some more likable characters of changing the setting could have gone a long way.

Overall, I wasn’t a big fan of the stuff that happened when David was a kid. The Step Dad was pretty bad and his Mom didn’t do anything to help him out either which was annoying. His teen years weren’t bad though. The main issue is just that the film won’t keep your interest. There isn’t a lot of witty banter or comical scenes to break things up either. The film is mainly serious after all, although I wouldn’t say in a dark way. It’s just going about things in a matter of fact way so how interesting you find the film will depend on how interesting you find the lead to be. It’s sort of like the Henry or Ramona books, perhaps Huckleberry Finn and yet not as interesting as my memories of those books. Perhaps a sequel would be able to do this a little better if we could get some kind of big time skip that would be cool too so tings are a little more modern.

Overall 4/10

Tea for Two Review


Time to look at a classic Doris Day film. This one may not be as strong as most of her other titles but it’s still a pretty good movie all the same. It definitely goes to show that you have to be pretty careful when entering into a deal because you never know how things will turn out.

The movie introduces us to Uncle Max who is having a rather bad day. See, he’s a very rich man, however the stock market just crashed and he lost all of his money since he had placed it in stocks against the advice of his accountant. Now Max is utterly broke but he doesn’t know how to tell Nanette this so he stays quiet. Meanwhile Nanette is getting swindled by a corrupt talent show owner named Larry. Larry has fed her a sob story about Jimmy’s family being under some tough times so she needs to donate a few thousand to his failing show. She agrees to do it, however Nanette has to be the leading lady. Larry agrees while also promising the part to another girl.

Nanette asks Max to give her the money but he doesn’t want to. In part because he doesn’t have any money to give and in part because it’s Larry and everyone knows what a crook that guy is. This leads them to make a bet. If Nanette can resist saying the word yes for a full week then she will have won the money. If she loses then she won’t be able to buy anything crazy for a full year. The race is on!

Tea For Two embraces how crazy the plot is rather well. I would say the best gag in the entire film is when we find out that the accountant is effectively the one who bankrupt Max since he short sold all the stocks that Max owned. Rather than holding a grudge Max never even calls him out on it so you can’t help but think that he didn’t realize this or jus isn’t very smart. Either way the accountant had the last laugh there but is still right by Max’s side the rest of the film. I guess it’s nice that he wants to help now but the damage is already done.

The accountant has a bit of a rushed plot near the end that doesn’t make much sense though. It’s one of those romances that happens so fast you have to shake your head. It doesn’t feel like it was set up at all. Pauline is another side character in the film who is mainly here to help Nanette out. After all, Nanette tends to be fooled rather quickly so Pauline does her best to get the lead not to say yes very easily. Unfortunately Nanette is not easily stopped. It’s always fun to see Pauline throwing a lot of insults at the villain though.

Nanette does get fooled way too easily though especially considering how she already knows that Larry is no good. They constantly mention this and everyone mocks the guy. Why would she believe such a fantastic story from him without at least asking Jimmy straight up first? That would have been the best way to handle things. At least Nanette is quite persistent in trying to win the bet and never falters no matter how many sacrifices she has to make.

Jimmy is equally to blame though as the guy never clued Nanette in. He only does once he admits that he has fallen from her so he felt bad keeping the secret any longer but the translation to that is that unless he loves someone he has no qualms with keeping important secrets. That’s not a good sign in the slightest. As a result I couldn’t back this romance up either.

Larry is as much of a total villain as you can be here. The guy is extremely pushy, lies all the time, and isn’t even very smart so he makes a lot of mistakes. You’re not meant to sympathize with him in the slightest. He’s fooling around with multiple girls at once and of course nobody tries to stop him. Ultimately it seems like all of the main characters were rather weak and would rather look the other way than to try and set things right. It does make for some fun shenanigans but at other times it just backfires.

He gets away with a whole lot with Nanette like greeting her with a kiss and constantly grabbing onto her. She always breaks free and insults him but after the fact it feels a bit late. Stopping him first off should be the main goal and you’d think one of the other friends would help out but they’re always just twiddling their thumbs.

Max was definitely my favorite character. Sure, the stocks didn’t work out but it is hindsight. You can see why he went there instead of bonds as those don’t tend to grow a whole lot. They just stay in the same place over and over again but are safer. So it’s a tough call of course but Max means well. He brings a lot of fun humor to the film throughout. He doesn’t hold back when it comes to trying to win the deal but doesn’t cheat or do anything like that. He just goes all in.

At the end of the day the writing is good and the film really flows by so I wouldn’t say I had any real issues with the movie. At most it just feels like the plot is a bit forced because I don’t see why Nanette would believe Larry’s story for even a minute. Not after all the crazy scenes we see of him trying to trick everyone and generally acting as awfully as possible. The guy has no manners and somehow thinks he is still together with Nanette. You can’t reason with someone like that and so that part has not aged well in a logic sense. Somehow everyone still trusts the guy which is crazy but the ending for his character is done really well.

Overall, Tea For Two is weaker than the other Doris Day films in part due to the cast not being quite as solid as normal and both romances not being very good. Still, the movie excels with its humor and you are bound to have a good time. Even if the characters annoy you it’s not as if any of them are awful. You’ll be glad for the flashback to start though as the film begins with you thinking that the kids are going to be main characters and that would not have been good. If you like Doris Day films or just want to watch a fun little comedy then this is a good one to check out.

Overall 7/10

Dumbo (2019) Review


Dumbo is certainly a classic from the old days of Disney. I’m sure just about everyone is familiar at least with the concept of the character so a remake definitely had the deck stacked against it. Ultimately it’s a fun remake and it is quite different from the original which helps it stand out. That being said, it doesn’t quite have the charm of the original as it cuts out all of the more fantastical elements to make this a more grounded experience.

The movie starts with things looking hopeless for the heroes as Holt arrives back home from being in the army only to find that things are in disarray. His wife died and the circus they belong to has fallen under tough times. Holt lost an arm and his kids are also not doing so well as they have stopped enjoying their youth. Then the owner of the circus, Max ended up buying an Elephant with a kid but the kid has huge ears and is the iconic Dumbo. There are no refunds but Dumbo wows the audience with his flying. Are things finally on the up and up for the heroes or is the powerful Mr. Vandevere about to put an end to this?

Dumbo is a fairly light hearted film at its core but it does get serious at times like in the intro. Most of the characters outside of the main ones aren’t the nicest folks as seen with how they treat Dumbo and the others. They tend to meet rather intense ends though which was good to see since picking on Dumbo is quite mean spirited.

Dumbo is a fun character although he is always very nervous. You’d like to see Dumbo take charge and just start running around the place after a little bit but it’s not really until the film is ending that he finally gets brave. If we ever get a sequel then I like to think he will be able to use his new experience flying to become a true hero to the rest of the elephants. In a way he can be their champion.

As the main character, Holt does well. He struggles with some self doubt at times but for the most part I thought he handled the situations in stride. It’s not as if it’s easy to adjust to only having one arm but you won’t see him complain about it even once during the film. The most difficult part is really connecting with his two kids and that’s not something he is really able to do for most of the film. He doesn’t have quite as strong an attachment to Dumbo and mostly he’s focused on just trying to learn a new act.

So I liked him well enough but the only time I got a little nervous was when the film introduced Colette and started dancing around making that a potential romance subplot. That would have been horrible considering that his wife just died so this would be moving on way too quickly. Fortunately the film never really goes in that direction and so I like to think they remained as good friends. I’ll give the film a lot of credit for showing some restraint here since that can be pretty rare in these things.

Colette was a fun heroine as well. Initially when she appears in a crazy getup with Vandevere you sort of figure she’s going to be an antagonist as well. One of those villains who is quite smug about being rich but her character ends up being a lot more complex than that which was appreciated. She had a good arc and did try her best performing along with Dumbo. It was an unexpected character change after the initial scenes but a welcome one to be sure. They even had a team up near the end against Vandevere.

Vandevere certainly works as the main villain as well. The guy just wants as much money as possible and will do whatever he can to accomplish this goal. Max was a little naive to really think that partnering with this guy would be such a good idea. Particularly since the circus had been doing well. Vandevere certainly panics a lot towards the end so you can definitely say that plot line was resolved in a satisfying way.

As for the two kids Joe and Milly, I wouldn’t say they were all that good here. Even if they helped give a positive connotation to the word “Dumbo” I’m not sure about calling the elephant that. Seems like it would just be traumatic right? They (Milly in particular) do a good job of training Dumbo at least and are the ones who form a good bond with him but if anything I think that role could have been given to Holt. The issue with the kids is that they aren’t really ready to take on opponents like Vandevere.

They mean well but they don’t know how to banter yet and tend to say things at the wrong time which puts the other characters in a pickle. Finally you have Max who made for a fun captain. He brings in a lot of the humor type scenes and is fairly over the top as you would expect. The guy always wants to be on the winning side so if something earns money then he loves it. If not then don’t expect him to be a happy camper. At the end of the day he does step up though.

So by and large it’s a fun story. It’s one that feels considerably different from the original Dumbo movie but the story is solid all the same. The effects look nice enough but what really stands out here is the soundtrack. The movie has a lot of themes like something out of the Marvel Cinematic Universe films or even Spider-Man 3. The themes have a very epic feel to them which may not always match the scenes but sound epic under any context. It was very surprising to see this film have such a great soundtrack but it absolutely amped up the experience. Dumbo’s writing was also good so that helps round things out nicely as well.

Overall, Dumbo is a good remake of the original. It really hits on the important aspects of the movie such as having a solid cast of characters and flowing pretty well. You won’t be bored here and while Dumbo gets bullied, the film doesn’t take it too far which is good. It would be annoying if Dumbo had to go through a lot. Like for instance there is one scene where it looks like the clowns are going to throw water on Dumbo which would have been awful but fortunately they didn’t do that as it was a different act. It’s little things like that which help the film from going too far. Mix in the great soundtrack and you’ve got a pretty solid movie here.

Overall 7/10

The Music Never Stopped


Time to check out a drama film involving a whole lot of music. Music has been shown to have a lot of positive effects on the mind over the years so it’s not surprising that it would have a lot of medical applications as well. Even for exercise and studying it’s been shown that having music on helps a lot as well. In this film we see it put to practical use.

The movie starts with Henry and his wife Helen being called to the hospital as their son has been admitted to the hospital. He suffered severe damage to his brain and an operation was needed. He has now lost the ability to store new memories and also can’t really move or talk much. It’s not that he physically can’t, but his mind has been crippled to a very serious degree so his actions are limited and don’t always make a lot of sense.

Henry takes this especially hard as he finds it hard to talk to Gabriel in this state. Ultimately his job quickly fires him since corporate saw this as their chance so Helen ends up getting a job which means that Henry will be the one who visits Gabriel. The situation doesn’t change for a while and the doctors offer no hope but that when we get a breakthrough. Music is the way to reach Gabriel. Henry is able to find a music doctor who specializes in using music like this although she has not handled a situation quite like this before.

The music works but only for tracks that Gabriel has a history with. Each song is tied to a specific memory and as the film goes on he is able to have normal conversations outside of the memory but he is still doomed to forget them as soon as the song ends. So it’s a tough situation but clearly a better one than from the start of the film where any kind of conversation was completely hopeless.

The movie is apparently based on a true story or at least from a story created by a neurologist based on a true experience so it’s sort of 2 layers deep. I’m not sure exactly how closely it follows those events as this film is an indie title so it’s not easy to get a lot of details out there. I’m sure it’s around if you’re willing to look such as Wikipedia and such but if you haven’t seen the film yet then it may make sense to go in without knowing the details or you may spoil the ending and the adventure for yourself.

Henry’s a good main character. He certainly isn’t perfect with how he handles the situations but you can also see from his side why he’s not too happy with Gabriel’s decisions. The guy decided to skip college, started losing track of time and hanging out with his friends at long hours and even tries to sneak away to a concert. Just when things seemed to be going well he went and burned the flag which is something I doubt the two could ever properly see eye to eye on. It’s no small thing to do something like that.

Still, Henry does make the effort to get to know Gabriel more in the present as they start creating new memories. Even if Gabriel may not remember them, at least the events did happen. As for Gabriel, I definitely didn’t like him in any of the flashbacks but at least he’s mellowed out a lot after the accident. The film also shows enough improvement where you can reasonably believe that he will continue to get better after the end of the movie as well.

Helen’s role grows smaller after the beginning scenes since most of the movie is about Henry and Gabriel finally connecting but she was consistently good in all her scenes. She put on a brave face at all times and when Henry would make a questionable move or wasn’t ready to handle the situation yet she was always right there to make things right.

There were also some supporting characters of course like the music psychiatrist who helped make a lot of the breakthroughs with Gabriel. Without her the characters definitely wouldn’t have seen nearly as much progress. There’s also Celia who was one of the cooks at the hospital. I would say her plot is definitely more on the somber side due to how it goes though.

One thing you’ll notice about the film is that it likes to keep on throwing more emotional moments at you. The characters are never really allowed to just rest and have a good time. There’s always another tragedy they have to deal with to the point where even by the end you’re always waiting to see what will happen next. Gabriel and the others really can’t catch a break.

Overall, The Music Never Stopped is certainly an emotional film. The events had to be really tough on everyone who was involved in the real situation. If you want to watch a film about tragedy and overcoming it then this is a good one to check out. While it keeps a rather sad tone throughout the movie it never goes out of its way to be too dark and you do have your share of happy moments even if they don’t stay for long. You’ll also get to hear a whole lot of different music during the film as well so maybe you’ll see a few tracks that you like.

Who Is Harry Kellerman and Why Is He Saying Those Terrible Things About Me? Review


This film is certainly trippy that’s for sure but unfortunately it’s not in a good way. Sure, some scenes can be really good to be sure, but on the whole the film feels pointless a lot of the time and the ending doesn’t exactly help matters either. From start to finish you’re wondering if the film is leading up to something. Some kind of big twist that will change the way you look at the whole picture but it just never comes.

The movie starts out with Georgie jumping off a building but instead of exploding on the ground he wakes up at his therapist’s office. It turns out that it was just another delusion of his. Georgie has a tendency to imagine his own death quite a lot so you’ll see other kinds of scenes like that as the film goes on. He also has a wild imagination as he pictures the therapist breaking into song at one point as he tells Georgie to stop bothering him with his problems.

Georgie’s main issue is that he has completely lost his grip on reality prior to the film even beginning. Due to that, you really can’t trust him at all. Part of the main plot which you can guess from the title is that someone named Harry keeps telling everyone that Georgie’s a really bad guy. Most of them are even believing the guy which isn’t hard since Georgie hasn’t done well for himself.

He cheated on his first wife and was quick to have more affairs later on so you can’t trust him. He stole a magazine from a street vendor for no real reason and his best friend seems to have absolutely 0 morals. So right now Georgie isn’t exactly batting 1000, in fact you could say he is striking out repeatedly. So his reputation isn’t already all that good but why would it be when he calls his accountant to read him the books at 4:30AM and calls his friend at 3:30?

At least some of Georgie’s fantasies are pretty fun. The crazier they are the more it works. Towards the end of the film we get a serious revelation and then another intense scene that seems like it could be a dream. Due to what we have seen earlier you can make a lot of theories here. Did the dream start in the final cutaway or was the earlier bit part of the dream as well? See, personally I think it was a dream for the entirety of the climax. It fits in with his other self destructive dreams but with this guy you just never know. For all we know the whole film is something he’s imagining while falling off of the building from the opening scene.

Now, a film about constant delusions could be fun if handled right but this one isn’t quite going the distance there. The film likes to jump from the present to the past a lot and while Georgie is a little more sane there, he still doesn’t seem totally rational. Just look at his conversation with his wife when they both admit that they’ve been cheating on the other. The whole conversation is incredibly stilted and you’re just wondering what you’re watching.

In general the writing just isn’t good. The Psychiatrist is the only character who has a lot of good lines and continues to make his presence known. The scene of him bursting into song has to be the best moment of the film without a doubt. Beyond that the dialogue just won’t really capture your interest, especially when you factor in how the characters that are talking just aren’t likable. You’ve got the rebound characters for Georgie, his friend who basically dates everyone, and Harry but that guy never even appears. Part of the mystery is about finding out who Harry is but I think you’ll have that one solved by about halfway in.

Somewhere in this movie is probably a cool concept but it’s just buried far too deep underneath everything else for it to shine through. There’s one easy way to fix the film and that’s to make Georgie a likable character. That’s really it, if you do that then the whole film will end up being quite good or at the very least it improves in every area.

Think about it, the reason why we aren’t invested is because there’s no reason to really like Georgie. He’s an immoral cheat who doesn’t regret anything. Now, if he was a nice guy whose life was being wrecked by someone trying to tarnish his reputation, then I think we would have something here. It’s more of a relatable issue and one where you can feel how serious it is because a lot of times people will believe what they hear without even trying to hear your side of the story. So that would up the stakes of trying to find Harry.

Here, you don’t quite feel that. Additionally, it may be a big part of the plot but when does Georgie even try to find the guy? The problem is he really has no leads so almost 100% of the film he isn’t even trying to find the guy. He talks tough about wanting to get him but it’s all tough talk and bluster. None of it feels all that real which is an issue. There is no sense of urgency because Georgie isn’t urgent. He’s too busy thinking about having more one night stands than thinking about the mystery.

Overall, While the intent of the film is to be aimless as we sift through Georgie’s delusions, the movie doesn’t capitalize on this. To pull off such a plot the execution has to be flawless and I wouldn’t say this one nailed any of the core concepts. The characters were pretty bad, the story was shaky, and there isn’t really any concrete area that I can point to and say that the film did well. At best, I would give the film some props for the dream sequences. Those were good like the Skiing, falling off a building (twice when you consider the moment with the other heroine) and the sing along, but that’s about it. It can’t save the movie when the main story is this bad. Maybe it should have just made the whole film a dream, now that could have been a lot more interesting as the world keeps on forming different parts of his consciousness so we have to figure out what is going on in the real world. Maybe next time.

Overall 3/10

9 to 5 Review


You can definitely chalk this up as another film I had never heard of before watching it. 9 to 5’s got a fun setting since it takes place in a classic corporate job where the boss is rather corrupt. It’s a comedy that goes all out and embraces how crazy the story is. Ultimately this works out quite well. While I wouldn’t say it quite stacks up there with the best comedies, it has a lot of fun moments.

The movie starts by introducing us to Judy who is starting her first day at work. She is quite excited although her colleagues are not exactly thrilled at getting a new hire in. After all that is a spot that someone from inside the branch could have taken as a promotion. The person training her will be Violet. Violet’s been at the job for a very long time and is hoping to get the next promotion. She’s not exactly a happy camper but at this job there is little reason to be. Violet is playing nice since she wants the promotion but if she is not picked then there are going to be problems.

Finally you have the third main character Doralee. She is the boss’s secretary and has to put up with a lot of Franklin’s antics. She needs the job so she usually looks the other way and just makes sure Franklin never goes too far. Unfortunately nobody at the workplace likes her since it turns out that Franklin’s been spreading rumors around that they’re in an affair. Finally, the three ladies have had enough. They need to take Franklin down but how should they go about it?

The movie makes sure to paint quite the picture about what a bad boss Franklin is. Think about the worst boss you’ve had and then keep increasing the extremes. He constantly harasses Doralee and always takes credit for other people’s work. He is extremely quick to fire his workers even over something like gossip. The guy is massively obsessed with having power and of course he also steals from the company. Like I said, they go all in with how this guy’s a total villain.

So you’re not exactly going to sympathize with him once the main characters decide to start taking him down. He does make for an entertaining villain minus the Doralee scenes though. The guy is quite determined and does come up with a lot of plans. You certainly can’t say that he’s the type to give up at least. He also does put up a fairly good poker face when dealing with people who don’t know the truth about how he controls the place.

From the 3 main characters my favorite one was definitely Doralee. It’s fair to say that she was the most sympathetic character here. It’s no fun to have everyone exclude you, especially when you have done your best to be quite pleasant. This even includes the other main characters who believe the rumors and don’t make any attempt to get to know her. At least the others always had company so that’s why you feel the most bad for Doralee.

Especially considering that she was still keeping her integrity despite all of the external pressure. Doralee also had a gun which is very handy to have in these things. It certainly came in handy for keeping Franklin at bay. Then we have Judy who in some ways you could say has the largest focus although it’s close between her and Violet. Considering that she has just started at the job and is quite nervous I would say she does really well here. It’s natural that she makes some mistakes but she makes friends quickly and then is able to help out in the adventures.

Finally you have Violet who gives the film a lot of energy. The whole situation really starts to heat up because of her intervention. Grabbing poison from the store is quite the way to go about it even if it was an accident. The labels on both boxes were incredibly similar so you could see how the mistake could happen. Violet does tend to panic a bit more than the other two. She may be the most in control at the office space but outside of that the other two seem to adapt quicker.

There are a flurry of side characters as well even though I wouldn’t say any of them are particularly big. For example you have Franklin’s spy who spends a lot of time in the rest room just to try and gather gossip to give to him. She is absolutely desperate for his approval to a rather crazy degree. You also have Franklin’s wife who appears to be quite dense in this film. She doesn’t notice his incriminating behavior and buys whatever he is selling. Perhaps she will start to pick up on things if we ever got a sequel to this film.

As to the writing in general, I would say it was pretty good. As with all comedies you will have the jokes that land and then the ones that don’t. I would say more land than the ones that don’t so in general you’ve got a pretty good range there. I liked the dream sequence when everyone decides to chase after Franklin with their guns as he runs all over the place.

Then on the flip side I would say the Alice in Wonderland/Snow White one wasn’t quite as entertaining. Finally the Doralee dream was the least amusing in part due to it seeming to drag on a lot. Not to mention I wouldn’t say Franklin was quite as badly off in that one. That said, I think the true intent of that dream was also to show us more of what Doralee has had to put up with the entire time without having to actually put her in those scenes. Her revenge in a way is just flipping the way he had been acting the whole time.

Then you have some of the hospital hysterics which can be amusing but go on a bit long. In general I would say that’s the film’s weakness which is that some of the jokes do tend to overstay their welcome. It’s the difference from being a good comedy to being a great one. There are no negatives nearly serious enough to bring this film down from being a good one though. At the end of the day it properly hits on all of the essentials such as being entertaining, having likable characters, and containing a good ending.

The credits have a bit of an epilogue for each of the characters which is nice. One character very nearly got off a bit too easy but this fixed that right up. In general the ending is quite busy with a lot going on in the right ways. It’s really a satisfying ending for all parties involved.

Overall, 9 to 5 is a solid film. It’s definitely a comedy title that I can really recommend to any fan of the genre. It does a good job introducing all of the main 3 characters and they each even have a tiny supporting cast that appears for their origin of sorts. (In Judy’s case her character appears near the end) Not every scene may land such as the group deciding to smoke some marihuana but then you have the more epic scenes such as the shootout and general office moments like Franklin’s chair not working very well. It ends up being a solid all around mix of fun.

Overall 6/10

Anonymous Noise Review


Anonymous Noise is a title where I started the manga much sooner than the anime, but ended up finishing the show version first. Sometimes it just ends up working out that way. The anime is pretty quick after all. It’s a really solid adaption of the manga to be sure and while it does end really early, there isn’t a big divergent point so the anime could just get a season 2 someday and wrap things up. There’s definitely nothing about the adaption I would give a thumbs down.

The series starts with Nino at her first big day of school. Right away you can tell she probably has some kind of story since she’s wearing a medical mask as if this took place during Covid-19 but of course the show came out way before that. We gradually learn that she had two different origin stories. First she met up with a kid named Momo who she would hang out with. They had a great time singing and such but one day he vanished. Nino got depressed but then she met another boy named Yuzu. Yuzu couldn’t sing because he would vanish if he did but he would write music for her to sing. This went well until he vanished as well.

Cut to many years later where Nino is a teen now. She is still really into music though and decides to join the school’s music band. Surprisingly….Yuzu is the leader of this band. That’s right, they are reunited although he doesn’t seem thrilled about it and won’t even talk to her. Then Nino finds out Momo might be around but he is avoiding her as well. The only constant she has is music and she is going to use her voice to reach everyone. She aims to reach Yuzu as a friend and Momo as something else.

The opening episode has to be one of the strongest premiers I’ve seen in a while. It really does a good job of introducing all of the characters and setting the stage for the plot. The animation was really solid and there was a lot of energy throughout the episode. The colors are used well and the songs are really on point. I dare say it may even be the best episode of the series although the one where the cliffhanger had the characters finally meeting was pretty hype.

A lot of the suspense here is really because initially as the audience we know all of the characters but naturally they don’t know each other. For example, Yuzu and Momo actually become good friends but neither one of them know about the other’s relationship with Nino. You know that eventually they will find out though which is where the suspense comes in. The only question is, how long will it be until they find out?

Also, giving Nino two different origin stories was certainly a bold move. It’s not really something you see all that much. I remember there being one show/movie where the character’s friends all got murdered twice with a few years in between so I guess that counts but it’s super rare. So that was also another pretty interesting thing in the series.

The writing is on point and the character cast is pretty strong for the most part. The animation is also really solid. I like the contrast with all of the colors the whole time. It helps make the show feel even newer the whole time. A lot of effort was clearly put into this for sure. Then you have the soundtrack which is pretty excellent as you would expect from a music based show. The band Nino is a part of specializes in rock songs so you can expect to see a whole lot of that. There isn’t a big variety in songs but the series is only 12 episodes after all so that makes sense. You can only squeeze so many things in.

The opening and ending songs are both really solid as well as the songs they play in the show. So with all of this in its favor the show is basically firing on all cylinders right? There is only one thing that’s not so great and that’s the romance. Granted, I would say the romance is actually better here than in the manga in many respects since it ends sooner so there’s less jumping around. That said, you aren’t really given any good reasons to root for either guy.

First up is Momo. He’s taking on the role of the “mean boy” so get ready for him to constantly give Nino the cold shoulder. Now that might not be bad if he was just ignoring her or something but he openly goes past that with how rude he is. He insults her singing voice in front of everyone, tells her not to talk to him, insults her friends + the band, etc. So he goes out of his way to be as much of a jerk as possible. This never really stops Nino from chasing after him but you feel like it should. There’s just no good reason to root for the guy.

The only redeeming part for him is that he does have a fun supporting character in Kuze. She’s always messing with him and basically forcing him to make the right decisions once in a while. Without her at the ready he probably would be really doomed right about now. If anything I wouldn’t have minded seeing more of her in the series. Her scenes always tended to be a lot of fun.

Then we have Yuzu. So he is definitely the nicer guy even if at first he tries to play it cool as well. It doesn’t last past the first episode though and after that he’s good friends with Nino. The problem of course is that he doesn’t want to be just friends but doesn’t know how to tell her this. He’s always trying to climb out of Momo’s shadow but it’s a pretty tough challenge since the guy is just so talented. Yuzu’s best chance is to beat him in a battle of the bands but since he can’t sing he’ll just have to hope his song can do it. Both of them are primarily song writers after all so that’s where it will hurt the most.

I can’t really get behind the guy though because aside from the fact that he’s not straight forward with his feelings, he tends try and make advances to Nino even when she’s in a vulnerable spot. He’s not above winning as the rebound guy and he even steals a kiss at one point. That definitely doomed him absolutely. While I do like him more than Momo in the manga, if we strictly go by the anime Momo would probably have the edge here. It helps that his character hasn’t done multiple 180s at this point yet.

Naturally not all of the subplots can have a chance to shine just yet. With a limited amount of episodes that mainly meant some of the supporting characters would have to bow out. For example, Miou is one of those characters. To make the romance situation even more complicated, she likes Yuzu and is always dismayed since he only has eyes for Nino. Meanwhile, another member of the band named Haruyoshi likes her. The anime hints at this a bit but there’s never anytime to go into it.

That’s probably for the best since it would have been really rushed if anything happened just yet. He actually tries to confess to Miou at leas once but she assumes its a joke and keeps on going. Haruyoshi wasn’t very confident though so he did say it as if it was a bit of a joke. He’s a fun enough character here. Haruyoshi helps keep the band together and never really panics much.

Miou’s also a solid character as she’s one of the only characters who feels like she has always got Nino’s back. Some of the other characters may waffle around a while but she’s always right there with some good advice. That’s considering that she didn’t even intend to become friends with Nino for quite a while.

Speaking of which I didn’t really talk about Nino herself all that much. From all of the main characters I’ve seen she may be the one with the shortest attention span. Characters will be talking to her and then she’ll suddenly talk about something completely unrelated. Other times she’ll just tune out mid conversation. Fortunately the characters don’t take it as being rude but it’s so extreme that Nino feels quite unique.

When she isn’t having more comedic moments like this, she is quite serious about studying and everything. Even when she loses herself in song, she is able to keep concentrating on the outside such as when she was able to save Yuzu when he dropped his pick. She has a good awareness about her at all times except when it comes to romance of course. She makes for a fun main character.

Kuro is the last member of the band but his subplot never even starts or gets hinted at. That’s fine with me but effectively that means he is an empty character here. Aside from being in the band he doesn’t actually have a role in the story. He seems like a nice guy though and his drumming skills are certainly necessary to make sure the whole group has a good time. Finally you have Yana who is the manager of the band. I like his confidence and he doesn’t back down from a challenge. He gets them good gigs and really earns his keep.

The big climax here is really the battle of the bands which is a fitting way to end the show. All of the plots have a big update here and while nothing ends, it’s the kind of ending where you can easily fill in the gaps yourself. In general as I mentioned the romance wasn’t really my thing but I did find the story to be very engaging. The directing and everything was solid so the show never got boring. It’s a pretty easy title to binge.

As the story goes on you’ll end up seeing why Momo and Yuzu ended up leaving so suddenly. You can judge their actions further from that. Thing is, for me at least it doesn’t excuse their actions anyway. Couldn’t they have apologized, tried to find her, or at least acted friendly at school? A random bully from pre-school made more of an effort to be Nino’s friend than they did. In a way that’s just embarrassing for the two main guys.

At the end of the day, what makes the anime work is that it’s just a fun watch. There’s a lot of good banter between the characters. Nino definitely takes a lot of shots at Yuzu’s height but he never takes it personal which is good. Miou’s probably the most sympathetic character here since you get the feeling that she has absolutely 0 chance with Yuzu from the start since Nino exists. It’s a lot harder to sympathize with Momo/Yuzu since they’ve created a lot of their problems just by how they handle each situation. They would still have some family issues regardless but the situation would have been better for them.

It’s also fun how the band has such a revolving roster depending on the time of day. For example, Nino’s band is technically a secret one which is why they all wear masks. So by day at the school there is the music club which is the full team + Miou. Then at night it’s the team without Miou while she joins Momo’s team. Then by day Momo is writing songs for other groups. Each character is really wearing a lot of hats here. Of course Nino should be a giveaway in either team since she has a tendency to start screaming out the lyrics. The anime handled how this works really well as she effectively yells out all the lyrics. Fortunately since it’s a metal band that doesn’t seem to bother the audience much so they tend to get into it.

It partially ties into why she wears the mask. I didn’t delve into it much but it’s also more of a focus in the manga with how she begins to suffocate/want to scream without it. Basically the mask psychologically helps her not break down while she’s wearing it. It’s similar to how Yuzu believes he can’t sing and Momo can’t even think about writing if he sees Nino. Each character has a lot to deal with which is why the show can also be quite dramatic.

Overall, Anonymous Noise definitely makes for a fun show. If you’re looking for a good slice of life/romance title to watch then this is a good one. The musical scenes definitely help to take the series to the next level. It’s almost like a sports anime in that sense and that’s why the show is at its best when it is focusing on this aspect. The CGI for the shows is quite noticeable to be sure and can’t match the hand drawn parts of course but it’s nothing too bad. You’ll probably be focusing on the music anyway. After watching this one you will be all set to continue on with the manga to see how the story ends.

Overall 7/10