While You Were Sleeping Review

I can’t be the only one who thinks that this poster looks a little off right? It just seems photo shopped a bit with how Bullock’s character is being lifted. Maybe they couldn’t keep the pose up for the photo and had started to fall when it was snapped which caused a little blur effect. Maybe I’m just reading too much into this. Anyway, despite the lackluster poster the film is actually fairly decent. I dare say that this is one of the best romance films I’ve seen and maybe that’s because there wasn’t much actual romance until the end.

The plot revolves around a train ticket person named Lucy. Every day a guy named Peter comes by and deposits his tokens at her booth. She knows they are meant to be together, but they’ve never exchanged a word. Finally Peter works up the courage to tell her hi, but then he is mugged and thrown into the train tracks. Lucy manages to save him and takes him to the hospital. Peter is in a coma, but the family believes that Lucy is the fiancee after a quick mix up occurs. She decides not to tell them the truth because it would hurt them too deeply. Still, Lucy will have to plan things out carefully since Peter will be waking up at some point and his brother Jack is starting to suspect that something is off. Can she keep the secret from him?

So, you can probably imagine that quite a lot of shenanigans and hijinx ensue. Fortunately, they’re handled pretty well for the most part. You can basically tell what is going to happen the whole time, but as one Reddit user once said, virtually all movies are predictable. If anything, you should be worried when something unexpected happens as it may mean that the film has made a mistake in getting to the end. Instead you just want to see if the film executes the plot well. So while this film was predictable, it was still entertaining the whole time with most of the humor being on point and not being generally annoying.

Lucy is a reasonable main character. Saving Peter was naturally the right move and she tried doing what was best for everyone. She probably shouldn’t have tried going through with the wedding just to make everyone happy though. There’s definitely a moral there about keeping your happiness in mind as well. If you try to make everyone happy, but are miserable inside then this clearly isn’t the right path. Not to mention that then she would have been stuck with Peter for her whole life. Lucy tends to get along with everyone she meets in the film and it shows what a nice personality she has.

Meanwhile, we have Peter who doesn’t seem like a very nice guy. I don’t think he’s all that bad to be honest as he just has to sit in the antagonist role thanks to the film’s plot. If anything, he just doesn’t seem to have much of a backbone. He was knocked into the tracks quite easily and got knocked out instantly. That’s not really the kind of moment that will impress you and since Peter doesn’t really recover from this until the very end of the movie there isn’t much reason to like him. Not to mention that he seemed to be having an affair with a married woman which throws any last chance he may have had out the window. It sounds like he abandoned the family and while we never hear his side of the story, there’s not much reason to like him.

Then we have Jack. Honestly, I can’t say that he is a good character either. The main reason for this of course is that from his point of view, Lucy and Peter are together so she is strictly off limits. Yet, he still can’t help but fall for her. I don’t care if she were a super model, the instant she is taken then you have to be able to completely move on. Jack doesn’t actually do much about his feelings and while he doesn’t make a move on Lucy, he’s not exactly subtle either. He should have probably just avoided her until the wedding or something if he really couldn’t get over himself. Of course it turned out okay since the whole thing was fabricated and he ended up with Lucy, but things could have easily gotten troublesome. He’s still much better than Peter though.

The rest of the family is pretty fun as well. Once they showed up I knew we had a quality family going. They quickly pushed the doctors aside and took charge once they saw Peter. They have a lot of fun at the Christmas gatherings and while they bicker and talk a lot, it does keep the place lively. While skeptical at first, they end up taking Lucy’s word on events and seem to be rather trusting. They’re also pretty sensible and don’t hold the whole thing against Lucy. Considering that they are the ones who typically take the rumors and confirm them as fact, it wouldn’t be right to blame her for any of this. As a result, the family was rather solid.

Lucy’s boss was also pretty fun. He did his best to listen to her stories and give some half hearted advice. You could tell that he was never too invested in her situation, but at least he still took the time to listen whenever they had an encounter. He couldn’t quite keep the names straight, but the guy was earnest so he was definitely low key one of the best characters. To counter this, we have Joe Junior who is easily the worst character. The guy doesn’t have much of a purpose in the film other than to create some misunderstandings and to look really bad. Why does the eligible bachelor character always have to be so untidy, unintelligent, and generally gross? By the end of the film things seem to have possibly worked out for him which is nice and all I guess, but he probably could have been cut out and the film wouldn’t change. At least his father was good as he didn’t blame Lucy for dropping the tree through his house.

The best scene in the film is probably the big wedding as everyone quickly storms in to stop it. We had objections from Lucy which is understandable and better late than never. We had objections from Jack which naturally doesn’t help his case. We had objections from Peter’s ex who I guess drew the short end of the straw here, but considering that she was already a sketchy character I can’t feel sympathetic. Finally we had objections from Peter’s ex’s husband which was pretty intense. That guy came out of nowhere and really added some weight to the scene. It was great to see everyone show up and this was a joke that went over well. All told, the film’s writing was pretty strong for the most part and many of the jokes were sound. You really can’t ask for much more than that.

Overall, While You Were Sleeping is a pretty fun film. The pacing is always quick and so the film never drags on. Given that Romance Comedies aren’t exactly my thing, this one definitely performed quite admirably. If the general premise sounds like fun then I’d recommend checking this film out. You really can’t go wrong here and if you view it more as a general comedy then you’ll enjoy it more since that’s definitely the main focus. It never gets too over the top and most of the misunderstandings are just amped up a little to make the whole thing work. If only all romcoms could be like this one.

Overall 6/10


Strobe Edge Review

It’s time to look at a romance manga. Naturally that will cause some alarm bells to ring off and with good reason since it’s rare for romance to be handled well and especially when it’s the main focus of a whole series. However, you could make the case that because romance is the main plot of this series it may be given more attention and the author will do a better job of depicting it. Unfortunately, this isn’t true, but the manga does tackle some fairly interesting themes.

The manga follows a kid named Ninako who begins to like the most popular kid in the school, Ren. The problem is that he is already taken by a famous celebrity and they have been together for a very long time. This celebrity is the sister of Ninako’s childhood friend Daiki who liked Ninako, but she turned him down. Ninako decides that it wouldn’t be right to try and get Ren and Mayuka to break up just so she can get together with him so she tries to hide her feelings. Unfortunately this begins to take a bigger and bigger strain on her so should she forget about the moral side of this and just go for it? She has some tough decisions to make.

That’s the big topic that the manga spends time with. It’s a complicated issue that has a very simple answer. Yes, if the person that you like is taken then you shouldn’t make a move. That person should be considered out of limits and you have to completely lose those feelings before you get into trouble. It’s so incredibly selfish to sabotage a relationship just so that you can insert yourself into the empty spot. Yeah, it’s pretty tragic for Ninako here, but she’s just got to live with it. She gets advice from her friends on both sides. One suggests that if the relationship is so weak that it can be broken then it should be broken. That sounds like pretty bad advice if you ask me. It’s all just trying to justify this action. Ninako does a good job of showing restraint for a while, but unfortunately she does begin to break down by the end. I’ll still give her a thumbs up since it was Mayuka who forced her hand by breaking up with Ren, but that was also iffy.

Basically, Mayuka seemed to only break up with Ren because she figured he’d be happier with Ninako. So, now that she isn’t an option Ren is okay with being with her, but that should still make Ninako feel guilty the whole time. Ren and Mayuka would have likely been happy if not for her meddling. Mayuka also shouldn’t have conceded defeat so quickly. Then we’ve got a lot of other rebounding occurring at the school. After Daiki was rejected by Ninako he was accepted by one of her friends and they got together. Considering the short time span in between these two, it definitely doesn’t feel as genuine as it could be. Same with Ando going after Ninako and after getting rejected he quickly got together with someone else. It’s like the characters instantly move on to their second pick after getting rejected. Don’t the characters mind being the second pick?

There is definitely a lot of unrequited love in this series. It’s definitely an interesting theme for sure, but it didn’t have the right conclusion. What should have happened was Ninako realizing that she and Ren could never be together and deciding to instead just be friends. That way they would still hang out and she could enjoy their time again. The series would have had a bittersweet ending that way, but it would have been much better. Sometimes the friend zone is actually the best place to be since friendship is magic after all.

So yeah, Ninako is a solid Protagonist. She tends to have the right idea about how to handle the situations she’s in. Unfortunately, she is highly susceptible to peer pressure though and her friends often give her poor advice. She is also put into a lot of tough situations that keep on lowering her will power. Ninako’s resolve is good though and at the very least she doesn’t make any real moves on Ren until after the break up. She handles rejection better than the rest of the cast and while the ending is iffy on a lot of levels, the majority of it isn’t really her fault. Ren is the one who is the main culprit.
It’s just impossible to like Ren and even harder to sympathize with him. For starters, his friendship being broken with Ando was his fault. Ren allowed Ando’s girlfriend to get the jump on him and pull some moves before he broke away. Naturally Ando witnessed this and quickly stopped hanging out with Ren. I don’t even blame him because no matter how many times you explain that you were shocked and couldn’t move I wouldn’t believe it. Then Ren was with Mayuka for a long time, but still fell for Ninako. He wasn’t nearly as good as she was at holding in his feelings or not making it obvious in public. Naturally this wasn’t good for Mayuka especially since she was in a stressful period of trying to get her fashion gigs up and running. When Mayuka dumped Ren so he could be with Ninako, he should have kept on persisting that this wouldn’t happen. Perhaps if a few weeks or months had passed and Ren hadn’t gotten together with anyone then Mayuka would see that he was serious. Instead, he basically tried going after Ninako immediately which completely proved her to be correct. Ren is definitely the kind of guy that seems to play the field and while the manga tries to portray him as a really nice guy who always tries to make the right call, I wasn’t buying it. He causes at least 90% of the issues in the series.

Then we’ve got Daiki, the childhood friend. It’s a little sad for him at the start since the whole cast seems to think that he and Ninako are basically together. It’s what everyone expects and Ninako never really says anything to the contrary. As a result, when she rejects him it may seem kind of sudden, but that’s why you should never assume relationships. Of course, Daiki rebounded almost immediately so there went any possible sympathy you may have had for him. He’s also not a trust worthy friend to have as he admits to everyone that Mayuka is a celebrity and about her break up even though he was supposed to keep it under wraps. As a result, the full cast learned about this pretty quickly. Nah, Daiki’s not a quality character.

See, I would say that Ando is a good character since he’s certainly more fun than the others, but he has a lot of Captain Kirk tendencies. He gets around and has been with most of the girls at the school. He even has a reputation for that at school so if anyone wants a quick rebound they just meet up at his apartment. He tries to go away from that to be a more serious person, but completely regresses towards the middle when he’s in a slump. While he eventually gets out of that, you can’t help but wonder if he can stick to his resolve. He also goes for an instant rebound after Ninako dumps him and gets beat up in his only actual fight. Ando is very persistent, but overdoes it as Ninako really wants nothing to do with him.

Mayuka is a celebrity and Daiki’s sister so she plays a pretty big role in the series. However, while she is a solid character for a while, I don’t agree with how the plot ended. It seems to me like she ended up rejecting Ren just so he could end up with Ninako. I don’t really buy into the reasoning that her job got to be more important than him and that’s why she broke it off. She just felt like Ren was forcing himself to hang out with her which was unfortunately true. I guess it’s good to break up if you know that the person you’re with isn’t really into you and I should probably agree since I’m always against the rebound. Still, you should fight to stay with the person you like if that’s an option.

Sayuri is one of Ninako’s friends, but I’m not sure about how her plot line ended. See, it goes back to the rebound thing again as she’s going after the guy who liked Ninako but was rejected. Naturally they’re happy together now, but it’s just one of those things that I can’t get behind. She’s a nice enough person, but the romance probably should have been cut from the series and it would have benefited from it considerably. They could have kept the friend dynamic in place and it would have still worked. The series does try to pair up all of the big characters by the end, but that’s typically not a good thing.

Mao was probably the final main character to be introduced in the series. She does feel a little like a rather late inclusion to the series, but I guess she’s an okay character. Naturally she was shady in the past as she used Ando and basically made him become the isolated guy that he is today. She also managed to damage the bond between him and Ren for many years. There are some twists to this whole thing, but her betrayal does stand. Her redemption arc is decent I guess as she is certainly sincere but if you put yourself in Ando’s shoes it is really hard to just forgive and forget in this case. She’s not really my kind of character.

Most of the characters really weren’t all that good. They all were willing to go for quick rebounds so I have to blame both parties for that. I think that the only characters who didn’t go for a rebound were Ninako and Mayuka. They each picked just one person and stuck to that. I can’t be 100% about Mayuka in case there was a time skip at the end that I’m forgetting, but at the very least Ninako didn’t make that mistake. While she may have entertained the thought at times, she always knew that it would be the wrong decision and explained her correct reasoning on it. Rebounding just isn’t a good option at any time. Now you may wonder what the time frame is for the next relationship to not be a rebound, but it’s really hard to say. I’d say that it has to be at least a year or so, but that’s a very rough approximation.

The art is fairly good in the series. It’s less convoluted than some Shojo series, but isn’t nearly as crystal clear and colorful as others. I do think the author does a good job of not reusing too many panels the way that some slice of life/comedy titles tend to do. The chapters are easy to read and I’d give the art a pass. It’s not amazing, but it certainly isn’t bad either. It works well enough which is what counts. Strobe Edge’s atmosphere of light comedy which transitions to more serious drama works fairly well. At the very least, the manga never tries to get quite too serious and while sad, it doesn’t rub it in your face too much. With better writing or a different plot, this series probably could have went somewhere.
Overall, Strobe Edge is a romance series that tackles some important themes, but gives us the wrong answer to them. It’s like that movie about the two people who wanted to try and just be friends, but at the end lost and turned the whole message of the film upside down. The manga practically justifies all of the rebounds at the end and suggests that if your love is unrequited you either move on to someone else right away or sabotage the person that is in your way. Either way, it’s not exactly the answer I was looking for. It’s a pleasant enough series so it’s not hard to read or anything, but the romance isn’t good and since that’s the whole point of the series, its score was never going to be too high. If you don’t mind the romance or think you like this direction than you can probably add a few more stars to the series and check it out. At least the pacing is solid and it’s certainly better than some other romance titles like Vampire Knight, but you’re better off reading a more fun Shojo title like Sailor Moon.

Overall 3/10


Ordinary People Review

This review is of the edited TV-14 version of the film. All thoughts below should be addressed as such as a review of the unedited version would be far more negative.
All right folks, it’s time for one of those films. I reviewed a big 0 recently so it hasn’t been too wide of a gap this time, but these films always remind you of the true depths that a film can sink to. While this film may strive to be ordinary, it couldn’t even reach the halfway point and just dunk into negative people. While it tries to be a realistic look at the typical family, it’s more like an edgy look at the 1%. That’s enough build up though, lets launch into this film.

Conrad tried to destroy himself prior to the film starting, but failed in his attempt and now he has been shunned by society. Or at least, that’s how he acts, but he’s the only one closing himself off. His parents Calvin and Beth are trying to get past this, but Conrad won’t let the tension go away by subtly bringing it up every day with his actions. He ends up going to a local psychiatrist named Tyrone who is one of those guys that tries to help you by not actually doing anything. A pretty cushy way to make a living I’d say. Can this dysfunctional family get together or is the film going to opt for a sad sad ending? 3 guesses on which one they chose.

The film just never lightens up and keeps a fairly gloomy atmosphere throughout the entirety of the film. Things just never look up for the characters and often times it is because none of them are trying to make things better. They’re just all going with the flow and trying to escalate the situation. Calvin is the only good character here so I may as well give him his props first. He tries to act naturally about the situation while the others want to live in the past. He acts as a bridge between Beth and Conrad, but they eventually just start dumping their worries on him. They keep guilt tripping him the whole time when Calvin has really done nothing wrong. All he is trying to do is help out. Poor guy, it’s rough being trapped in such a toxic place.

Everything else about this film is pretty bad so here we go. First off, the writing is absolutely terrible. The script makes the average Michael Bay film look like a masterpiece. The sheer amount of language in this film is crazy. The TV version had to keep using the gust of wind sound to stop the characters in their tracks. Conrad’s generic blowup naturally goes all out as he keeps on swearing for what must have been a few minutes straight. Tyrone managed to keep a straight face through it all though and even egged him on for a while. This guy’s teaching strategy is certainly interesting to put it nicely. Without good writing, it is extremely hard to have a good film because writing plays into everything, the story, the characters, etc.

As for the characters, Conrad is a terrible main character. It’s just impossible to root for the guy as he just doesn’t help them get past this. He starts to act a little more normal by the middle of the film, but even then he is permanently on a short fuse. He’s ready to blow up at any time. Then you have Beth. She can’t even bluff when she is with Conrad and instead ends up blaming him for everything. You’ll notice that the blame game comes up quite a lot in this film as everyone points fingers at each other. Beth essentially tries to shut Conrad out of her life by going on trips without him. Calvin probably shouldn’t have gone with her to be honest. She serves as the main antagonist of the film and while she isn’t downright mean, trying to shut someone out is a pretty similar effect.

Now, the film does avoid having any animal violence which is great. I’ll give the film credit for not making that mistake. Of course, it goes for the next best thing in terms of losing points and getting extra edgy, we get a random suicide midway through the film. One of Conrad’s friends decides to write herself out of the movie and there’s no reason for this except to blow Conrad up once again. This character was written in only for this one scene that doesn’t add to anything. I guess this whole town just wasn’t a very happy place. Of course, you could tell that from the first few minutes of the film. I can’t even remember any scene where it was sunny out except for the brief golf game. At least that part of the film tried to be exciting and fun.

The people who really lost out here were Conrad’s friends from school since he never reconciles with them. They got over it fairly quick though as there are always more friends to be had at school, but it just shows the ripple effect from Conrad being a downer. With the characters splitting up at the end of the film, it paves the way for no sequel to be made as it symbolically showed the viewers walking out of the theater. You may have gotten them once, but you certainly won’t get them again. It’s the end of an era for the supposedly ordinary main characters. Any more screen time and they wouldn’t be ordinary as they would be standing out enough to be a celebrity.

It’s hard to say how this film compares to other 0s as they got the score for good reason. On one hand, this film naturally isn’t mega violent like some of the others and has no animal violence as well. For those reasons, this film is technically easier to watch than some of the other 0s as it’s easy to tune out dialogue, but harder to tune out images. On the other hand, there’s nothing even remotely interesting to watch since the film is trying so hard to be ordinary. With no good visuals or any solid music themes to listen too, the film will drag on even more. It’s a long film that feels long which is always the worst kind of movie. I’m sure that an abridged dub over this film would help it a great deal.

Overall, This film is riddled with problems. The main one is naturally the poor writing that plagues the entire thing. The movie is a hassle to get through because the pacing is slower than molasses and at the end of the day nothing really happens. The film has a depressing vibe from start to finish and never even tries to be happy. It’s just mean spirited all the way through so there’s no real point to watching this film. I’d recommend staying far away from it and reminding yourself that for every bad film, a good one is waiting over the horizon. It’ll give you hope as you look through the movie selection of any random store and cringe at some of the titles. There are always going to be more good films, you just have to find them.

Overall 0/10


Lovely, Still Review

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It’s time for a very unique romance film. This one definitely isn’t like most as it’s actually about two senior citizens. You typically expect that people would be satisfied with their current living situation by that age, but I guess not this lead. I’m not a big romance fan and while there are some exceptions, I can’t say that this was one of them. Still, it does have some pretty interesting visuals at times which keeps you guessing.

The film starts off with what is a usual day for Robert. He gets up early to go to work, goes home after work, then he goes to sleep. It’s pretty empty since he has no hobbies, but it is what it is. Then one day he is approached by his new neighbor and she wants them to immediately start dating. She seems awfully desperate, but so is Robert so they quickly get together. Mary’s daughter tries to warn her against this, but she’ll hear nothing of it and Robert asks advice from everyone he knows. Can this romance really work?

Well, as I mentioned, Mary seems really desperate the whole time. That should ring up some serious warning bells for Robert if you ask me. It just never feels like the romance was natural and that Mary was targeting him from the start. Sure, it’s nice to see some initiative from her I guess, but I just don’t know about this. Now, there is a massive plot twist by the end which does help this aspect of the movie. By the end Mary is a much better character than she appears to be. That’s one positive aspect of the twist and it really changes the whole dynamic of the film.

Throughout the film we also get some very random moments where Robert is dreaming and we see a lot of bright lights. It gets very trippy and meta with horror music that you would expect from anime. It’s fun to look at though and while it is pretty pointless, that’s one way to pad out the time right? It makes you wonder what the film is going for so you start having a lot of theories like, what if Robert is actually crazy? It’ll at least pop up in your mind, especially since Robert wrapped himself up a gun for Christmas. He’s definitely pretty unstable.

As for Robert, I’m afraid that I didn’t like him. With or without the plot twist, he’s just not a character that I can get behind. The film makes him appear to be incredibly naive, but he’s an old man right? It’s not like he just skipped his teenage and adult life. This guy should be pretty familiar with life as a whole by this point. Even if we incorporate the plot twist and assume that these parts of his past are foggy, it should also make him aware that something’s not right. So, I’d say that it just doesn’t really add up. He also jumps to conclusions and seems to be rather possessive. In short, there wasn’t really any reason for me to like him. He’s just not a lead that I can get behind and he’s not too grateful to Mike considering how helpful he was.

Mike is Robert’s boss and a pretty upstanding guy overall. He helps Robert pick up presents and even gives him a ride. He shares his intel and life experience with Robert in order to help the date go well. He is nothing but supportive and even then Robert just doesn’t show up to work one day and doesn’t even call out. Mike only found out because he happened to drop by the house. Mike was the best character by a long shot to be honest and easily the most enjoyable character. At first you’re not sure if he will be a nice guy or a really tough guy, but in the end we find out that it was the former all along. He is the comic relief character of the film, but not in the way you’d suspect. He’s not unintelligent or constantly making mistakes. Mike is actually very smart and even has plans on how to get rich. His comedic moments are from his quick dialogue and tips that may not go over so well. He delivers these lines with a straight face though and helps keep this film from being a total romance with no interesting plots to keep you hooked.

While the romance isn’t as bad as a typical modern film where it escalates from 0-10 within a night, I still didn’t like it. Again, romance at this stage is just too late. Even if it wasn’t, it’s just way too corny. Most of the scenes are just hard to watch. The whole time you’ll be asking yourself why these two people couldn’t just be friends instead of dating. If they’re both just lonely and want a companion then being friends makes sense. It doesn’t always have to suddenly get romantic. As a result, I just couldn’t get behind this. As far as the plot twist is concerned, it’s definitely interesting. It definitely adds some tragic elements to the film as well but they aren’t overplayed. It gives the film more depth and as I explained earlier it also makes the romance a little more passable. It’s not enough to save the film or anything, but it was a good twist.

Overall, This is a romance film that really feels like a romance film. Aside from the plot twist the film doesn’t do anything to make itself stand out. I suppose they felt like the gimmick of having the main characters be really old was good enough. While it’s not as if the film is poorly made, this is just a genre that has to be executed extremely well or it simply won’t work. There are millions of romance films and only a small% of them are actually good. It’s also really hard to build up a romance in a single film since there isn’t much time for development. If you watch this film, definitely watch it for Mike’s antics. He’s actually a fun character and his scenes are a blast. Still, you can’t expect one character to hold an entire film on his own do you? He does his best, but it’s not enough. If you want to watch a better romance film….I’m not sure what to tell you. If you want a good emotional film, then I’d recommend watching Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection F. You’ll definitely get emotional when the Earth is targeted!

Overall 4/10


Love Story Review

It’s time for another romance film. This one’s an interesting case as the negatives are different, but just as strong. For starters, the romance angle is just as bad here if not worse as the two characters are just so mean at first. I suppose they’re going for the whole “They’re brutally honest” approach but it certainly doesn’t work well. At least Jenny works towards being a better person as the film goes on, but Oliver is content to stay spiteful at basically everyone for the whole film. Makes that sequel look even more iffy, but lets stick to the original at the moment.

So the film starts off with Oliver hanging around at a cafe (I believe it was a cafe) and then meeting a girl named Jenny. She immediately starts hurling insults at him about how he’s not very smart and only got this far thanks to being rich. He tries to respond with witty banter of his own, but she continues to defeat him at every turn. It’s not like he has much of a chance since he actually does like her even if he finds it hard to admit. Anyway, they get together really quickly despite their first interactions being complete insults all the time. They don’t stop insulting each other for quite a while. They decide to get married, but will Oliver’s Dad approve and how will they get by without money?

A good warning bell from the start is the film’s tagline. Clearly it’s trying to be clever but it’s just so far out to left field. Saying sorry is always important and especially if you’re in a close relationship. Feeling like you don’t need too if your bond is strong enough is just incorrect. You’ve always got to own up to your mistakes and considering how mean both characters are, I think the film is just trying to justify itself which isn’t going to fly either.

The main characters are important here so lets start with Oliver. At first you figure that the parents are going to be antagonistic and that’s why he is constantly avoiding them. The twist is that Oliver is the mean one who constantly pushes them away and is very disagreeable about everything. Sure, it’s a pretty original twist, but it does make him look quite terrible if we’re being honest. He doesn’t attend his father’s birthday celebration and even refuses to talk to him in general. All of the things Oliver says about his father to convince Jenny that he’s a bad person turn out to be untrue. Oliver’s just projecting his own insecurities and then still has the nerve to ask his father for 5000 dollars. Yes, he’s asking to help keep Jenny alive a little longer, but he refuses to tell his father any of this. If anything this just shows what a nice guy the Dad is since he gives Oliver the money despite Oliver just being really mean the entire time.

Oliver gets to the point where he even puts his anger at his father over Jenny. Jenny never asks him for anything, but even when she asked him to get on the phone for a minute he refused and even yanked the phone from her hand. This is not a guy that you can sympathize with or like at all throughout the movie. A movie can only be so good when the lead is terrible like this so that was already putting it at a disadvantage. I am glad that the parents weren’t just randomly mean for no reason but having them be nice and the main character mean is pretty mean spirited in itself.

As for Jenny, as I mentioned it’s hard to see how the romance starts. She does admit during one round of insults that she just likes him for his looks so I guess we can take that at face value. It’s still not a romance that I can get behind though and as I mentioned she is the only reasonable person in this relationship. Even once she is diagnosed with a fatal disease and doesn’t have long to live Oliver decides not to tell her this. He doesn’t even give her a chance to get treatment right away by stalling so Jenny had to find out by herself the hard way. Oliver’s certainly not winning any awards for husband of the year. He’d probably win the Razzi since apparently he does get over her. I feel bad for Jenny since she could have done so much better.

Even the whole Wedding ceremony felt like it was trying to make you dislike the characters even more. Jenny’s family was looking forward to a traditional Catholic wedding for their daughter, but then Oliver walks in and that is gone. Jenny says that it was a mutual decision, but I don’t really believe that for a second. Not only is it not a marriage in a Church, but it’s one that is barely official. They are just holding the wedding on their own in a random room. Do you even get a proper certificate from that? They even made up their own vows which didn’t work well. It was a bit of a painful scene and while I do agree that most weddings are too expensive and I’d want a cheap one personally, I’d still want an actual wedding as opposed to a self made thing that just seems fake.

This film definitely goes heavy into the drama territory for the second half as you’d imagine with the whole dying bit. It’s not a film that would have any real replay value as a result since the film just isn’t very fun. The second half is hard to get into because it’s just everyone being sad the whole time and the first half is dragged down by Oliver. Well, he drags down the second half too, but you know what I mean. I’m not really into tragedy films that doesn’t really help this one’s case. They should at least try to have some fun before she dies as opposed to spending the last weeks in a hospital. I know this will differ for many people, but if I only have a little while left to live and it’s confirmed..then what’s the point of staying in the hospital? So they can extend my life for a few days? I’d rather spend a week at home over 2 weeks in the hospital.

Overall, This film felt really mean spirited. By the end none of the characters have had a particularly good time. Oliver is going to be depressed since Jenny is gone. Jenny is gone so she didn’t have a happy ending. The Father’s not going to have a good time since his son is constantly pushing him away. There are just no happy endings here so it’s just a tragic film with sad ending. That isn’t a winning combo and if anything it’s a confirmed losing combo. It’s a little hard to be a good film throughout all of this. Not to mention that even without the sad aspects the romance does not work at all. They go from being enemies to taking the step past the friend zone in a few nights. The romance never feels realistic at all. You’re better off checking out a different film and skipping this one altogether. There’s just no point to this one whatsoever. While the sequel doesn’t actually affect this one’s score since they’re separate, it’s existence makes this one feel even worse.

Overall 1/10


Breakfast At Tiffany’s Review

It’s time to look at a classic romance film from back in the day. Like many iconic titles this one doesn’t hold up well though and instead serves as a cautionary reminder that you should always be careful when leaving the friend zone. Holly appears to be a rather suspect individual who is a bad influence from the start, but Paul is intrigued and determined to learn more about her. This begins the roller coaster of emotions for both characters leaving the viewer wondering if Paul would have been happier if he had stuck to his novels.

The film starts with Paul moving to New York. He is ready to hit it big in the city, but has unfortunately forgotten his keys. Fortunately, he is able to get into the building and decides to try his luck with the neighbor downstairs. Holly lets him in, but her house is a mess and she’s half asleep. Paul immediately loses interest in making a call to get his keys and just follows her around the house listening to her life story. Fortunately his decorator shows up to save him. That night Holly shows up from the window at the dead of night and Paul fortunately wakes up in time to prevent himself from being robbed since she made a lot of noise. Still, she wants to be friends and Paul sees no harm in that. Can this pair really get things to work or are they doomed?

Right away Paul should have seen the numerous red flags. For starters, Holly is used to using men for their money. All she cares about is being rich and she doesn’t mind doing just about anything to get higher social status. He learns this through her huge parties and how many crazy acquaintances she has. Holly even got married to someone in the south and he has come back to bring her home. He hears her insulting everyone behind their backs and reveals her true nature to him since they’re friends, but he somehow doesn’t think she does the same about him once he leaves. He gets pretty upset multiple times, but always comes back for more since she manages to apologize the next day.

This is why the romance never works from the start. It’s really just him following after her the whole time when she simply isn’t interested. She does say she would be interested if he was rich, but he isn’t. You think there could be a twist where he is rich, but that would have made Holly look even more suspect if they had gotten together after that. As it stands, even in the final 5-10 minutes of the film she wants nothing to do with him and is constantly trying to push him away. She just has a change of heart in the final 2 minutes since she simply doesn’t want to be alone. This is not the basis for quick a quality romance is created.

Furthermore, Holly is just a terrible character. Well, I’ve already explained most of the reasons. Her violent mood swings make her blame everyone but herself as well and this includes her cat. She leaves the cat stranded in a back alley while there is a downpour going on. Paul heads back for the cat after stopping for a few minutes to deliver a “harsh” but fake speech as he still immediately accepts Holly once she returns. They find the cat so at least that’s good but it can’t forgive that act of cruelty. Holly would not have gone back for the cat if Paul didn’t stop so her character was utterly irredeemable by this point.

Holly’s supposed to be rather scatterbrained, but it’s taken to an extreme. She also appears to be very naive while also being portrayed as street smart in other aspects which doesn’t mesh very well. I can’t say Paul is a good character either though. For one, he’s quite nosy. He is ensnared by Holly way too quickly and even against his better judgment. Paul should have just left well enough alone instead of getting involved in her affairs. I still think more warning bells should have gone off when she broke into his house and this is exactly why you should bolt your windows if you have a fire escape. It’s just not safe.

The film also juggles quite a few plots and background elements that don’t really go anywhere. We have the whole mafia angle where they are tricking Holly into delivering drug routes and secrets across the border. We’ve got this rich guy from Brazil who is interested in Holly although the film consistently hints that he isn’t actually serious and she would have been disappointed by arriving. He just sends a letter that the cops were too much for him. Then there’s also the case of land lord living upstairs. He’s definitely an intriguing character although one who certainly isn’t very smart at all. He should probably remove all of the safety hazards if he is going to constantly bump into them when he wakes up. At least he actually did call the cops and it wasn’t all a bluff. The guy just isn’t a likable character though and while he gets a few good lines and moments, it’s not really enough to sell me on him. The ex husband from Texas was also really random and out of nowhere. Maybe it was just there to set up the other relative dying later on, but we never even saw the guy so it’s hard for it to really come across as a very sad scene. If anything the whole situation just continues to make Holly look worse and worse. Particularly if the ex wasn’t lying and they did have a few kids (Adopted) waiting back home when Holly just ran off without a word. So much for maturity and responsibility eh?

I suppose the writing isn’t bad. The dialogue is technically good even if the characters speaking the lines aren’t bad. The New York backdrop is nice to see as well. The library has certainly changed quite a bit over the years and I think I would have liked the old system of grabbing books quite a bit. Naturally it wouldn’t work in modern society with how many people are around and it would take forever to get all of the books but it’s pretty fun. That’s one of the fun parts about old films, getting to see what NYC was like back in the day. The parks certainly haven’t changed much.

Overall, Despite the title, the characters never have breakfast at Tiffany’s. Just thought I should mention that in case you were waiting for a scene like that. This is a romance film where the romance isn’t handled particularly well at all. Holly just seems like a really terrible person who just causes a lot of grief for everyone and I can’t feel sympathetic for Paul because he absolutely knew what he was getting himself into. The scene where he fires his decorator was also rather odd as she didn’t even seem like a bad person. Maybe she was a little too friendly with him all the time, but he could have simply said something instead of just letting it happen the whole time. She seemed like a reasonable boss so the fact that he was so harsh with her the whole time seems like it comes out of the blue. I’d recommend staying away from this film. It’s not the quality entertainment that you will be looking for. Good romance films are hard to find but it’s worth grabbing those as opposed to seeing the dime a dozen ones like this title.

Overall 2/10


Miracle on 34th Street Review

It’s time to look at a very iconic Christmas film. Miracle on 34th Street is a film that I know by reputation but I was never aware of the plot. I figured it had something to do with a kid finding out his father was a famous basketball player but clearly the sport spinoff is completely different. It’s definitely a solid film and one that holds up quite well throughout the years. Mixing Santa Claus with the court room is a recipe for success!

This movie starts off with Santa Claus deciding to take a break for a little while to see if New York understands the Christmas spirit. Unfortunately it seems that they don’t and buying gifts is all they care about. He quickly replaces drunk Santa at the annual Macy’s parade and is a big hit. His boss doesn’t believe in Santa but Mr. Claus aims to change that. Unfortunately a psychiatrist wants him out of the picture and tries to tell the world he is crazy. Santa is now in a legal battle to prove he is the real deal but the opposition has a smoking gun in the fact that they found his home address…in Long Island!

With almost every delusion there’s a point where it breaks and a point where it should burst if enough facts are provided against it. Often the individual in question will have an identity crisis, stay in denial, or suddenly be very rational about it. That’s not the case in this movie as Santa sticks to his theory that he is the real deal. Of course, nobody challenges him with the tough questions like how many presents he delivers a year or why he doesn’t live in the North Pole. We can probably assume that he was asked those questions in the original nursing home but it’s still a pretty interesting premise. The big question of course is..do I believe he is Santa? I’m going to have to say No here. I just think there are too many strikes against him. The evidence is overwhelming and leaving his cane in the House is the only impressive part by the end. I like to think he left it there to hint to the leads that they should buy the house which could be done without the supernatural. Still, even if Kris Kringle is a little deluded here, he is still a pretty fun main character. Seeing him confront the drunk Santa was pretty intense even if you could argue that the drunkard won that battle. Santa can just be a little too naive and shocked at times to take on a battle weary New Yorker.

The cast is actually pretty solid as a whole. Doris is a likable enough lead and I was on her side of the debate. She has decided to raise Susan practically. She teaches her daughter early on that Santa is fake and shows her that there is a trick behind everything. It’s certainly a different way to grow up but I can roll with it. At the end of the day there isn’t much of a reason to believe in Santa. It’s not like it’s going to help you in the future. Unfortunately the message of the film is against her and that believing in a little magic is good for you. I don’t buy into it, but at least the message wasn’t shoved at the viewer too much. As it is most of the characters don’t believe in Santa and just use him for the publicity.

The romance between her and Mr. Gailey is a little weak though. Considering that they didn’t know each other pretty well, they got serious pretty quickly. I couldn’t really get behind that, but Mr. Gailey is also a fun character. He actually comes up with strategies to improve his odds which is commendable. Getting Santa to stay at his house was certainly a brilliant nice and one that really helped him out. He was also persistent in trying to get Susan to believe in Santa even if that did turn out to be a little trickier than expected.

Susan is a nice enough kid. She can still be rather greedy for her age as she immediately asks for a huge house to put Santa on the spot. Why couldn’t you ask for a doll house or something like that? Even at Santa’s big party she comes across as a big ingrate the whole time. This was a big moment for him and all of Macy’s, you’d think she could have at least pretended to be happy. Of course, she is just a kid so I’ll try to cut her some slack but it does support my theory that often times the kids can get in the way.

The supporting cast can be pretty solid as well. Doris has a colleague who is able to quickly get on board with the Santa idea. When an opportunity presents itself you have to quickly get with the flow or be swept away. In this case Doris may have been swept away if not for this guy’s quick thinking. Santa’s jolly actions of sending customers to other stores is crazy but it brought results so of course you would want to throw your lot in with him. Mr. Macy’s is also a very reasonable character and doesn’t look a gift horse in the mouth. His visions of the newspaper during the court scenes were certainly handled really well. When push came to shove, Mr. Macy’s was definitely ready. The guy from Gimbles was also pretty solid but at least from this movie it’s clear who is in the lead. Gimbles is merely following while Macy’s leads. It’s pretty nostalgic to see Macy’s as well since it’s been years since I set foot in there. I should probably change that one of these days.

Really the only bad character here was the self proclaimed expert who had a grudge against Santa. That guy was definitely not even meant to be likable though. The kid that Santa mentored was also on the annoying side I suppose. I keep on forgetting that the kid even exists since he really doesn’t even serve a purpose in the story. I guess they needed a reason for Santa to hit someone and get in trouble but I’m sure we could have had other routes. Santa definitely should not have gotten in the car with the others either. You always want to let the top boss know what’s up in case things get tricky.

As always I definitely enjoyed the courtroom scenes. Seeing them debate on if Santa exists or not is definitely an interesting concept. The mail delivery may have been on the really convenient side of things but I suppose we take those. Both sides did a decent job debating and in this case I would actually be against team Santa. After all, there’s no way that guy exists even if the post office has conceded. Putting the kid on the stand was a low blow as well. This is why you always want to leave the kids home before engaging in serious business.

Overall, Miracle on 34th Street was a really solid movie. The pacing was tight and it went from start to finish quite smoothly. I wouldn’t say that it ever dragged on and the writing was solid. Kris Kringle could tow the line on whether he was a good character or simply an annoying one the whole time. For the most part I would definitely say that he was handled well though. I think making him the real Santa would have made the film even better but I suppose they wanted to keep the grounded aspect of the movie. If you haven’t seen it yet then you should definitely check the film out. It’s got heart.

Overall 7/10


The Truman Show Review

What would you do if someone was going to record the rest of your life? I’ve always wondered that as I forgot to save my latest replay in Super Smash. If someone had been filming me, then they would have been able to see it and I could have rewatched it through the video on demand feature. I’ve won so many good matches and had many epic gaming moments that I feel should be preserved in the video game hall of fame. Naturally not every part of this would be glamorous and overall I’m glad that I’m not part of a reality show.

Truman doesn’t actually know that he’s on a show though. He grew up in this world and just enjoys leading a rather ordinary life. Every day he goes to his job and works to get more clients to buy things from him. He had a good time in school and made a lot of friends. Truman is even married. Truman starts to feel like something is weird when his dead father shows up out of nowhere and is quickly kidnapped by the proper authorities. He also notices people following him and even talking about him on the radio. The whole town seems to be trying to keep him from leaving the city as well. Is it all some conspiracy? Truman doesn’t know what to think, but he needs to get out of this town before it’s too late.

It’s definitely a pretty interesting concept. I do think it’s a little tricky in the sense that I just don’t see how it would work all that well with the amount of crazy variables at play. They’ve essentially hired everyone in the town as an actor. They all actually live there and to an extent it is their life. They can probably leave for a while under the context of it being a vacation, but I feel like a bunch of them would spill the beans at some point or cause some complications. The film briefly shows people breaking in to warn Truman, but fortunately for the studio the lead character is extremely slow on the uptake. We’ll suspend some disbelief though as the film did a fairly good job at taking the premise as far as it could go.

The other main part that could be a little tricky was Truman’s big escape plan at the end. How did he figure out exactly where the cameras were? Furthermore, he was able to move at an angle where nobody could see what he was doing at all? I had to suspend a little too much belief here as even when he was running to the boats nobody saw him. Surely there were a bunch of cameras in that area so it should not have been possible to escape them for any longer than a minute or two. Still, at least Truman kept trying even if it took him a while to get there.

Truman definitely got a lot of warnings even if he didn’t listen to them. Whether it was the ramblings of his school friend who told him it was all an illusion or seeing his father again, you’d want him to get a little suspicious. Then actually seeing first hand that everyone was performing the same actions every day and that they were following him was odd. The signs everywhere telling him not to leave the city…I just don’t see how he didn’t connect the dots sooner. The twist about his plan certainly helped him salvage some of his dignity though as it opens up the door on when he really found out. Perhaps it was a lot sooner then we expected.

The best scenes in the film were probably the early middle ones where Truman was trying to prove that he was in a show. Driving around town and outsmarting the NPCs was definitely fun and breaking into their base for a moment was pretty good as well. It would have been nice if he had kept on doing that. An interesting part of the dynamic is for once, the show isn’t evil. It’s not like they’ll murder him if he keeps on trying as they’re still paid actors who want their salaries. The country has probably lost some of their ethics by letting this go on and allowing a corporation to own someone in the first place, but there is probably still some humanity left. The final boat scene may disagree to an extent, but the show would probably be sued.

The people watching the show were definitely suspect though. Personally I’m not sure how it would be such a hit. People like watching others as you can tell from Twitch, but I do think they wouild grow bored after a while. Especially if the show is always on 24/7. You’ll want to watch something else after a while. Still, I guess Truman can at least he satisfied with the fact that he’s the star of the highest rated show in Earth’s history.

The main villain was pretty good. He definitely embodies the corporate image and is always a quick thinker. He doesn’t care about the ethics, just his check. He wants to keep making money and doesn’t want the show to stop. Of course, the show must end at some point and even he is forced to acknowledge this truth. The rest of the characters were okay I suppose. Truman’s wife was pretty iffy, but she was paid to keep getting in the way. Truman’s beer buddy was equally annoying for the same reasons. I do wonder what the show would have done if Truman had accepted the offer to move away in a few months. Would they have been able to create a set that massive to simulate the city? I think they actually would have written themselves into a dangerous situation there and would need to fake an accident or something.

Overall, The Truman show is a pretty enjoyable film. Truman himself may go overboard with the facial expressions, but the show probably influenced him to act like that right from the start. It may be a tough premise to really buy into, but it was still fun to watch. It would certainly be interesting if your life turned out to be a show. I always treat life as if I’m the main character of my story anyway so it wouldn’t really change much. I may try a little harder in eating competitions though for style points if I was on a show. I’d recommend checking this film out. It’s certainly pretty unique.

Overall 7/10


Princess Tutu Review

It’s time for a pretty unique anime that I had never really heard of until I began watching it. The Magical girl genre has always been pretty good, at least for the titles that I’ve seen. Madoka Magica is one of the greatest anime ever and Sailor Moon/Cardcaptor Sakura were also pretty fun back in the day. Princess Tutu is the first one I’ve seen in a while and it’s pretty solid. There is always an air of mystery with the series and not everything is as it seems.

The first arc starts off with a Duck being turned into a human. Duck had always wanted to be a human so she could cheer up Mytho (Pronounced Muto) since the guy always seemed sad. This was her big chance and she is now enrolled in a dance school. She quickly makes two friends once she’s there. Duck then discovers that Mytho is actually missing all the pieces of his heart and it’s up to her to find them. Duck can transform into the hero known as Princess Tutu in order to complete this task, but she will have to deal with many objects that have gained sentience. Whether it be solving puzzles or giving them a pep talk, Tutu must stand strong.

Of course, it’s easy enough when there is no big antagonist, but that doesn’t last for long. The big villain behind the scenes is Drosselmeyer. He’s an old story writer who died and went to the spirit realm so he could become all powerful. Whatever he writes becomes reality so he is a dangerous opponent. We also have the evil Princess Kraehe who doesn’t want Mytho to regain his heart pieces and stands in Tutu’s way. Mytho’s best friend Fakir has the same objective although he is at odds with Kraehe. Tutu will have to overpower all of them to help Mytho out.

Arc 2 continues the plotline of gathering the heart pieces, but the game has changed quite a bit. For starters, Kraehe gets a bigger presence in the story as we find out that she is working for the Raven King. He wants Mytho to get his heart back to he can take over his body and destroy the world. Drosselmeyer is still around as well and Tutu has doubts on if she can get all of the heart pieces back and even if it’s the right thing to do at this point.

Throughout the show, the town is very cloudy. It’s still light outside, but this effect makes everything a little more mysterious than it would b otherwise. You always wonder if something sinister is about to happen. It’s a pretty nice atmosphere effect to make scenes a little more tense even when they’re happy moments. It helps you feel like someone may be in control in the background.

The show even hints at the final plot twist early on as Duck will wake up one morning to randomly find that they have an animal for a classmate or a cat for a teacher. Humans randomly change, but everyone acts as if they’ve always been there. The whole town can be strangely isolated at times with people only being around when it’s inconvenient. Yet, the humans still appear enough to cement their roles in the town. Very mysterious.

Princess Tutu is first and foremost a dancing show. Tutu beats all of her opponents by convincing them to dance with her and the bond they develop as a result gets the villain to turn good. Most of the villains aren’t evil after all, they just went down the wrong path to ruin. It’s handled pretty well and I wouldn’t call it cheesy. It’s outlandish, but as none of the villains were super evil it was pretty believable. A few of them did try attempted murder so the water’s a little murky but it’s a nice gimmick.

The soundtrack may not be the most exciting as a result, but you’ll get to hear a lot of classic songs. Swan Lake, Nutcracker, and other iconic songs from ballet. It’s a very soft soundtrack that lets you focus on the dancing. I think a quick electronic/fast paced rock song would have fit in well enough, but I suppose I can see why they didn’t go that route. The animation is pretty good. It’s nothing amazing, but the show has aged well for its time. The character designs are on point and the action scenes are good when they appear. At first I wasn’t expecting too many fights but about midway through Arc 1 we slowly started to get more and more of them which was certainly a good thing. I love a good fight scene even if the villains always seem to have the edge in raw power. That’s why you also need some dancing to slow them down.
Duck is our main heroine and she’s a fun character. She can run low on confidence at times, but always does her best to do the right thing. The fact that she can transform from human to duck and vice versa is certainly very useful. It’s also interesting how she gets a different personality as Tutu, but still does seem to be in control and keeps her memories. I suppose it’s just a really big confidence boost inside of the power up that happens automatically. Either way, I definitely had no qualms with Duck. She made the hard calls and never deserted her friends.

Mytho is an interesting case since he was missing his heart for quite a while. Without it, he let everyone push him around for a while. He had no emotions so he was fine with betraying everybody and just doing what he wanted. It was definitely hard to sympathize with the guy. In arc 2 he made for a good villain as he turned evil thanks to the Raven’s blood. I suppose we can’t blame him here either, but it is tempting since it shows a lack of willpower. It was probably his best string of appearances. We finally see the real Mytho in the final episode so that’s something. He finally becomes the hero he has always wanted to be. I guess Mytho was an okay hero, but a good villain. All in all that makes him a good character, but he serves as more of a plot device for the cast to fight over than anything else.

Fakir starts off as a rather antagonistic person who slaps Mytho and threatens Duck’s life. We eventually learn that he only became a villain to keep Mytho safe. See, it goes back to how the characters are all puppets who are being manipulated by Drosselmeyer. The whole town is essentially one giant page and the author has full control. However, Drosselmeyer’s plan can only continue if Mytho gets his heart back so Fakir has decided to prevent this from happening. He isn’t able to stop Duck though and that’s why he goes down the dark path. Eventually he comes around though and after realizing that it is futile to try and stop Tutu, he does his best to protect Mytho. By Arc 2 he is finally a full fledged hero who helps in saving the day. It’s definitely hard to forget how over the top he was at the start, but I suppose all of the characters either started out evil or turned evil at some point. Duck is the only one who was a hero throughout. Fakir also gave us some fun action scenes which was neat since he had a sword.

Rue is the best character in the show and one of the main supporting characters. She agreed with Fakir that Mytho shouldn’t get his heart back but didn’t change her mind quite as quickly as he did. She wants Mytho to stay with her, but if he regains his memories then he will likely ditch her right away. Her character’s destiny from the story is to be despised by all and then to die. Again, it makes for an interesting dynamic since they all know that they’re merely puppets in a story. Rue shows some glimpses of possibly returning to the good side, but then her father the Raven King shows up and makes that impossible. Rue still does her best to spare some humans that she comes across and ultimately doesn’t want to be a villain, but has a hard time getting out of her predicament. Arc 2 as a whole was pretty tough on her, but at least she got a happy ending. Rue made for a very good rival to Tutu and the show basically said that she is even stronger. Rue has quite a lot of special abilities at her disposal aside from dancing. Tutu got some plant abilities to counter them, but I’d still give Rue the edge.

Raven King is the big villain in Arc 2, but 90% of his screen time is just him on the throne. He only throws one body slam near the end or attempts too, but that’s the only action that he gets. He is pretty huge and technically powerful, but he just isn’t fast enough to hit the heroes. Maybe he shot some energy blasts, but I can’t recall if that was really him or I’m just mixing up an effect. Either way, he had a nice voice, but was also very repetitive. His role was to keep reminding Rue that she was doomed to be forever alone. He’s not a very nice guy to say the least.

Drosselmeyer is the actual main villain, but I never liked him. He’s not nearly as intimidating as the other antagonists. He panics quite a bit and while he talks a good game, there’s nothing interesting about him. He’s pretty OP since he can do anything from the mirror world but he rarely goes to the human world since he is supposed to be dead. The heroes can’t really do anything to him either so he’s just around. I suppose it can be entertaining to see him running back and forth all the time.

Edel was a pretty shady character from the start and I had a feeling that you couldn’t trust her. I never liked the character since she always just spoke in riddles that went around and around. Maybe that could have worked, but it didn’t this time. Everytime Duck would ask something Edel would just dodge the question. Uzura was slightly better as she was a kid version of Edel who was always yelling. She also didn’t add much, but at least the yelling and drum playing she always did must have been real annoying in real life so I like thinking about how the villain has to put up with that.

Autor is a character who shows up near the end of the series and he was pretty cool. He actually knows the truth behind the town and is working to get past it. Unfortunately, he is not the chosen one so there isn’t much he can do, but he acts as a mentor to Fakir. He even has a pretty cool moment where he takes down the guys with the axes. They certainly went off the deep end and had some of the worst plans possible so I was glad Autor won. I was expecting him to be a villain for a while so it was cool to see him as more of a rival. He was one of the more low key great characters in the show.

Pike and Lillie were Duck’s two friends from school. I didn’t care for Lillie as she always pretended to be Duck’s friend but would then backstab her constantly and try to get her into trouble. She would try to chip away at Duck’s self esteem and was just mean the whole time. We never even got a character moment to explain that so it was just odd. At least Pike was always trying to be helpful and supported Duck in what she did. Then we also have Mr. Cat who is the dance instructor. He’s pretty annoying and is constantly asking people to marry him and sweating bullets when they refuse. The gag shows up in every episode that he is in and got old the minute it happened. He’s definitely the worst character in the show.

The main cast was really good or at least very interesting the whole time while the supporting cast was quite a bit weaker. Still, there were always enough good characters to keep the ball rolling. The writing was pretty good throughout. Everyone moved with purpose and they all had their own motivations. The show didn’t have any real fanservice as even the transformation scenes and the tricky Duck turning into a human moments were handled really well. It’s a pretty safe anime that I could recommend to anyone.

If I have any problems with the show, it’s that I’m not a big fan of some aspects of the final twist. I’m fine with them all essentially being stuck inside a fake town that is all a story. I think it was maybe a little too far when they were all literally puppets being forced to move around. Even if Fakir is now the one with the controls, it takes away from their free will. Based on Fakir’s struggle to write a happy ending, they do have some limits and it’s all based on will power, but they still do control an awful lot. The characters really have to wonder about everything they do now and if it is really what they wanted to do. I think just take away the strings and have it so the authors can write new characters and events into the mix, but they can’t actually control the characters. That would work a little better. I ultimately don’t get why Drosselmeyer didn’t just write a new ending after the bookmen stole it, but I’ll assume that he just didn’t have enough willpower left.

I suppose that the romance was handled pretty well. Mytho had a tough time making up his mind and the first choice couldn’t work out for some characters, but it’s just another tough call to make. Duck made the hero call and just did what was best for the team so that was definitely nice of her. Anyway, being a duck isn’t so bad. It sounds pretty fun if you ask me although I would definitely stay in human form for the most part. It’s still the best way to play.

Finally, a neat visual effect was the little clocks that would zoom in on various characters whenever Drosselmeyer checked in on them. Since he was essentially the grand author in charge of this production he needed to keep an eye on them somehow right? I would have liked to have seen more of how he used those to affect the real world though. I guess we couldn’t see too much or he’d truly be OP but there must be some limits to it. How is he even this strong? He brings up the most questions in the series for sure and I suppose we just have to roll with them.
Overall, Princess Tutu is a pretty fun show that I’d definitely recommend checking out. I’d say that it’s probably a little closer to Madoka than Sailor Moon in how serious it is, but is pretty well placed in the middle. It has a lot of Sailor Moon’s happy scenes and monster of the week moments at first, but also has the increased stakes and mystery of Madoka. There is also quite a bit of drama since Duck wants to bring Rue back to the side of the heroes, but this proves to be a really difficult task. It’s also hard to say which arc was actually better. Arc 2 got off to a faster start since the characters were already introduced but Arc 1 did have the better climax. I’ll probably say that Arc 2 takes the narrow win here. It’s just a very balanced show that did a good job of playing to its strengths.

Overall 7/10


Power Rangers Review

All right, it’s time for the recent Power Rangers film! I’ve always been a big fan of the franchise from the concept to the video games to the costumes. It’s just a series that is brimming with so much potential and there is something for everyone. The trailers for the film came out and while they had some potential, the film started to bring up some concerns. Would the heroes get enough screen time as the Rangers and would the Dinobots get too much screen time? I prepared myself going into the film, but unfortunately it just didn’t understand what the series is all about. It’s really not a Power Rangers film at all and merely borrows the name.

The film starts out by introducing us to a group of teenagers and trying to get us to dislike them as much as possible. First is Jason, a “misunderstod” delinquent who steals Cows and tries to evade the police. He’s caught since the authorities aren’t messing around this time and not only sabotages his entire town’s chances of winning the Football championship in the year but also doesn’t seem to regret his actions at all. This lands him in detention. Next is Kimberly. She decided to humiliate one of her former friends by sending a risky picture of her all around the school. This got that person in trouble and also destroyed Kimberly’s social life. Kimberly blames everyone else for this and winds up in detention. I forgot why Billy is in detention, but he’s good at annoying everyone so it probably wasn’t too hard and he does go around breaking the rules and blowing things up for no good reason. Trini is a kid who likes to be alone and goes to the mountains to meditate, but she is being spied on by Zack. Zack has a sick Mom so he worries her further by getting home late and hanging out in restricted areas. This group was clearly made for each other.

The heroes are busted by the cops yet again, but this time they manage to evade capture. They secured some mystical amulets from the rocks nearby and were all granted super strength and speed. The characters try to point out that they all got different powers at the beginning, but the film forgets this so they all end up with the same powers. They then fall inside a spaceship where the formerly heroic Red Ranger has now turned sinister and wants them to transform so he can come back to life and destroy Rita. Rita is an evil ranger who wants to destroy the world to grab a shard and then she’ll use that shard for her own purposes. The heroes get ready to rumble, but realize that they may be in over their heads. Can they do this!?

All right, there’s a lot of problems with this film, but also some good things. I’ll just mention them all scatter shot style so there’s no real rhyme or reason to this review. For starters, I have to say that these kids are impressively slow on the uptake half the time. After they obtained their powers and saw an actual spaceship, Trini still believes it’s all a big joke and only stops talking when the door slams. At this point, I can’t picture anyone actually saying that. It’s a common trope for the characters to constantly doubt everything, but it just comes across as rather annoying. Can’t we have a more quiet character who just takes all of this in stride and nods along? The art of bluffing is truly lost on these guys.

The heroes also do make sure to make quips every other second and they’re all pretty annoying. The writing is quite bad in this film to say the least so don’t expect any good lines. Aside from the language and everyone getting worse and worse as the film goes on, this also makes the film a little too dramatic. This may come as a surprise, but the film takes itself way too seriously at times. One such scene is when one of the Rangers seemingly dies. It’s not a spoiler because there’s no way they’d actually kill off one of the main members. It would have been a PR nightmare to do that since it would be like killing off Superman or Green Lantern right away. Film 3 could be a different story, but the first one? I don’t think so. The death scene is still around 15 minutes though as everyone carries him back and the music picks up. There are many similar scenes like the campfire where everyone starts sharing their secrets. The film tries to be incredibly somber and I just wasn’t sold.

The proper way to handle dramatic scenes is to be quick and not dwell on them. If it was a powerful enough moment, the audience will get it. Grabbing a 30 second scene and stretching it to 5 minutes doesn’t make the scene any more powerful. Usually this is where I’d bash the romance for being just as dramatic, but fortunately the film actually stayed away from that landmine. I admit that this was rather impressive.

The film also completely ruined Rita’s character. She spends most of the film as an undead zombie who loves to caress all of her opponents before finishing them off. It’s an old trope that I wish had died in the 60’s with all of the old Vampires. It doesn’t make her any more intimidating and is just hard to watch. Her design could have been cool, but they decided to make her a troll by giving her a ton of wrinkles and scars the whole time. She never even got to actually use her cool Power Ranger suit. Get this…she doesn’t even get a big fight. There is one action scene where she beats up the heroes before they turn into Power Rangers, but that’s it.

See, this is where the film forgot its origin. Power Rangers is all about the high speed hand to hand battles where they duke it out with the villains and you get amazed at the choreography. If you ask someone about Power Rangers, the first thing they’ll think of are the hand to hand fights. It’s like having a Dragon Ball Z film without the characters powering up and shooting energy blasts. The action in the film is very limited throughout as we only get a small handful of actual fights. Again, the 5 teens against Rita is the only real fight scene. The rest are against small rock golems that don’t put up any more of a fight than the NPCs in Dynasty Warriors. I think we deserved more action.

I think it’s partially because the film decided to add in the Zords. Their fight scenes aren’t particularly good either because….they’re up against a giant stone golem that is extremely slow. That’s the last thing I was hoping for from the climax, but it happened all the same. They just keep blasting it and jumping on the thing and it shakes them off. Rinse and repeat for quite a while. The only good part of that fight was when they merged into a giant mecha robot and then fought it. I could at least get behind that fight a little even if it was even slower paced. At least it felt more like a fight. I just don’t see the appeal of having giant machines fighting an even bigger opponent who can’t move. For some reason that is mainstream and people like it so it’s here to stay, but then at least give me my classic hand to hand fights.

That’s where the potential was. For example, we see that Jason has a cool energy sword as the Red Ranger. He just never gets to actually use it in a fight. What was even the point of showing it off? On that note, the effects were pretty good though. Ignoring Rita, everything looked very crisp and flashy. It felt like a good sci-fi film and you can see that they used most of the budget on it. Maybe they ran out and couldn’t use it much, but that’s still a big mistake.

I also can’t forget to mention that the soundtrack is pretty bad. Most of the songs are just really sad rap songs with no heart or the lyrics just make you wish the scene was silent. We do have some good themes like the electronic battle theme or the Power Rangers theme song. They were just outnumbered by the bad tunes. The film also heavily overused the slow mo effect which goes back to the being too dramatic thing. Once or twice is okay and more than that can be good if the film is poking fun at itself. Otherwise it’s just wasting time.

On a positive note, it was nice to see Jason just shut the bullies down right away instead of thinking about it for a while or waffling on whether it was the right thing to do or not. He just walked into detention and took names. He also made the right call in deciding to go after Rita right away even if everyone else was too scared to do anything. She would come after Trini again otherwise so not doing anything would have put her in danger. He also doesn’t care about everyone’s dark secrets and just wants them to move on. He’s the best member of the team even if it pretty much is by default. He’s like a badly written Captain Kirk from the recent movies. Similar backstory but less heroic and less sympathetic. I think he’s past most of the negatives though so he should be more likable in the next film.

Billy wasn’t too bad, but he’s more annoying than anything else. He’s the classic “Are we really heroes? I should keep on asking that so that’s exactly what I’m gonna do” character. He keeps repeating things to let the audience know that this is important. When you think about it, this film is really just filled with cliches. So, it takes Billy a long while to actually understand what’s happening, but at least he was the first one to learn how to transform. He’s the smart member of the group so he helps them find the Krispy Kreme’s. I still wonder why he was going around blowing stuff up at the beginning though. Isn’t that one of the worst things you can do when you’re at a restricted area you’re not supposed to be in? He went from being a nice guy who was getting bullied to suddenly coming out as a delinquent himself. He was quick to help trick the authorities with Jason’s home arrest button after all.

I know the whole point of a sob story is to show us that a character made a mistake and all, but Kimberly’s was pretty drastic. I don’t think we ever really got a proper reason for why she sent the picture. The bullying was also extremely tame which I was cool with, but why would she even think that she could maybe get back on the cheering squad? Once we learn why everyone isolated her, then that should have been a given. It all just seemed out of character, but the Kimberly that we do see is reasonably good.

Trini is the tough character who tries to be a loner. Honestly, if she had escaped the other Rangers and stayed a loner that could have made for a good plot point. She is probably the second best ranger though. Her origin story is the least sympathetic since she runs around with a bad attitude the whole time, but at least she doesn’t get buddy buddy with the others too quickly. It would have been nice if she could have put up a better fight against Rita though.

Finally, Zack is the worst ranger and supremely annoying. He spends the whole movie basically flirting which never works and is the main comic relief character. Well, everyone is comic relief at one point or another, but he tries to crack a bunch of jokes even if none of them ever actually work. He breaks the rules just because he can like when he almost squashed everyone with his robot, but no worries, he’s not apologetic about it either. That’s something that the characters always have in common.

This review has come off as rather negative and deservedly so as I would give the film under a 5, but it’s not a 2 or anything so keep in mind that the film does have its positives. As I mentioned, the effects are good and the little action that we do get isn’t bad either. Aside from the fact that the characters are unlikable, the scenes of everyone insulting each other and getting into fights aren’t bad. It makes for reasonably entertaining moments. The pacing is also good so the film never gets boring at all. It actually moves from scene to scene with ease. Jason’s Dad may not have been on the same page as him, but I thought they did a good job of not overdoing it with making him very antagonistic. He was upset with Jason’s decisions, but he should be considering what a big mistake that was. He still drove out into the battle zone to save him if necessary. I wouldn’t mind him being the down to Earth adviser for the team in the next film as he eventually gets accustomed to the whole Power Rangers thing.

On a side note, anyone else find the Rita eating teeth scene incredibly random and out of nowhere? It seemed like it was just trying to be creepy and disturbing for no reason. Honestly, it was just one of those things that makes you shake your head. The whole gold issue is one thing since she needed it for her staff, but eating it to get younger was really out of nowhere. The scene of her just eating it all and various other things while hanging out at the scrapyard just cemented the fact that she wouldn’t be a good character. At least the film is taking some cues from Teen Titans Go assuming the episode came out first.

Is it just me or were the main teens pretty bloodthirsty the whole time as well? Their first instinct when entering the alien ship is to try and murder the little robot. They mention this 2-3 times and when they are told by a giant floating head that they must destroy a girl named Rita they don’t hesitate at all. They basically just yell “No prob” without question. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised though.

As a positive note, the film’s atmosphere is pretty enjoyable though. It’s light hearted so at least you will leave the film on a high note. That’s why getting through the film is easy since you won’t constantly get turned off from it. There’s no animal violence which is always important. Not that any film wants to be compared to Pixels, but that’s a good example. That was a bad film, but it’s one I could easily watch again. It’s not quality entertainment, but it is entertainment.

I did like the fact that the film included Krispy Kreme’s. That doughnut shop doesn’t get enough screen time anymore and hopefully the film paid them for the endorsement and not the other way around. I’m always up for a good doughnut scene after all and maybe that will become their base. By the way, the film does have an after credits scene. It’s pretty underwhelming and the film clearly phoned it in, but at least we see more destruction of school property. He’s going to fit right in with the rest of the gang. I won’t say who it is, but prepare yourself!

Overall, The film may not have a lot of heart, but Power Rangers can be decently fun. The effects are nice to look at and the banter can be enjoyable. The writing holds it back considerably and the lack of action is disappointing, but you can’t have it all. I think a sequel would likely be able to fix a lot of the film and would hopefully regain its identity. It needs to put the Power back into the Power Rangers. I wouldn’t really recommend this film as it just isn’t good, but at least it’s an entertaining bad film. That’s the optimal kind of bad flick to watch as it does have a reasonable amount of replay value. The issue is that most films can say “I’m you, but better” to this movie with a straight face. There isn’t much original about this one and honestly it would have been a better film if it had simply not called itself Power Rangers.

Overall 4/10