The Hypnotic Eye Review


Well, it’s time for a film about hypnosis and as I always chuckle at the concept it means that I have a hard time taking the villain here seriously. Every hypnosis I’ve ever seen in real life has been woefully underwhelming and ineffective. So in a film I’m just trying to tell the characters to stand their ground but in the end they just end up getting wrecked all the same. Throw in the fact that all of the characters make a lot of iffy decisions here and things don’t end well for them.

The film starts with a lady effectively committing suicide by burning her head and we find out that she is just the latest in a string of victims like this. The only common element is that they were all women. All of them seemed to not know what they were doing until it was too late. Dave’s been on the case for a while but he just can’t figure out what is going on here. On a completely unrelated note, there is a new hypnotist in town who has been really impressing the masses with his skills.

He only performs tricks on women and can use hypnosis to have them perform fantastic feats. Dave doesn’t believe in this nonsense though so when his girlfriend Marcia has him take her to a show he is bored beyond belief. After Marcia’s friend Dodie is used for one of the tests and commits an act of terror against herself, Marcia is convinced that the hypnotist Desmond is to blame. The trick is that she will need to prove it and of course Dave isn’t buying into it. Will she be able to stop him?

There are a lot of things to be annoyed about in this film. One of those things is certainly that Dave isn’t piecing the puzzle together or even trying to. Now I get why he is skeptical of the hypnotism itself since I don’t buy into it but when the bodies start piling up then you have to make a move. Maybe he’s using some kind of trick or blackmail but it does seem obvious that Desmond is at the center of this. Instead Dave prefers to be rather passive about the whole thing.

He also doesn’t trust Marcia much at all. Her plan is to allow herself to get hypnotized (Or at least appear to be) while Dave and Philip watch over her from afar. The problem is that since Dave believes there is no chance she could be mind controlled, he just thinks she is cheating on him and quickly jumps to conclusions. He even wanted to abandon her in Desmond’s house because of this apparent betrayal and his friend Philip has to talk him out of this.

Later on Philip heads home to play the piano though and Dave leaves anyway. These two are absolutely the last people you would want to have your back because they really didn’t. Marcia easily could have died in the time it took to actually get serious about this and came very close to that point. It was more luck than anything that saved her in this film so Dave loses a tremendous amount of points. When your skepticism interferes with your job then you know it’s gone too far.

I also have to take points away from Philip. At least he believed Marcia a lot sooner but he wasn’t really doing anything about it. Again, the guy went home to play the piano so that tells you the level of determination that he had. Meanwhile Marcia’s friend Dodie gets the short end of the stick. It’s always rough being the friend to the main characters because your odds aren’t great of making it to the end. In this case she has to go through quite a lot. Dodie was a nice character so it’s a shame that things didn’t go better for her.

Then we have Marcia who is a decent heroine. I do like that she was proactive about trying to stop Desmond but her plan was extremely risky. Much like how I don’t like the ole plan of “Lets get captured on purpose” putting herself in a position to be mind controlled does not seem worth it. This guy has seemingly mind controlled a ton of people over the years so what would make her so special? I just don’t think she thought this one through quite as much as she should have and ultimately it came back to bite her. She very nearly didn’t make it this time.

As for the villains, well Desmond is not impressive at all. There are some twists for his character and they just make him look worse and worse. The guy just could not keep up with the other characters and he’s not much of a mastermind. At least he does get a quick action scene where he tries to use the eye on Dave and Philip but they’re able to power through. That was the closest the film got to actually having a Shonen moment of breaking through with pure willpower.

As for Justine she’s another one of the villains and her motivations are rather petty the whole time. I won’t say why she wants to get rid of all the ladies but lets just say that it’s not a whole get rich quick scheme or trying to rule the world. It’s a much more personal angle and one where you realize that her goal will never be complete because there are too many targets.

The Hypnotic Eye really just ends up failing because the heroes take way too long to confront Desmond and the characters are annoying. Dave really shouldn’t be getting so jealous when Marcia keeps trying to say that there is mind control at play. Any and all affairs with Desmond are rather cringeworthy due to the hypnosis in effect. The heroes should have broken that up a lot sooner if you ask me.

It’s hard to even say this film is in any genre. Thriller and horror don’t quite work for me because the film is more on the low key side. The only intense moments are when we see the victims and realize that once again there has been a whole lot of damage already. Suspense might be the best genre to pick here I suppose. The writing’s not bad but I think the story needed some more elements here to keep the film interesting as well as to give a plausible reason for why Desmond could keep practicing in the state. Not believing in hypnosis just isn’t enough of a reason if you ask me considering how many people were dying mysteriously. That alone should have cancelled the shows for a while.

Overall, The Hypnotic Eye is a film you can safely skip. It doesn’t really bring anything to the table so by sidestepping it you will actually be doing yourself a favor. Hypnosis just doesn’t tend to make for a great plot device and the whole time you’ll be shaking your head at how slowly the characters make any progress here. The scene of the heroes heading home to play the piano and sulk is probably one of the most surreal moments in a while.

Overall 3/10

Blood of Dracula Review


Time for a very obscure vampire film. Part of why I chose this poster in particular is to show you how the vampire actually looks in the film. The effects aren’t great here but the film seemed to be proud of it since we get a recycled transformation sequence a few times. Now I doubt there are very many who have heard of the Blood of Dracula, I certainly hadn’t before now. With a title like that you may be expecting Dracula so I may as well let you down easy now and tell you that this isn’t the case. Dracula is going to be missing this adventure. There really isn’t any connection to him so that was just to sell tickets. This one’s more of a personal story as we find out the dangers of messing around with science.

Nancy is being taken to a private boarding school since her father just remarried and the step mom isn’t a big fan of Nancy. It’s one of those annoying elements where you realize the dad is just as guilty for not noticing this and remarrying so quickly. Apparently it hasn’t even been 2 months since Nancy’s mother died so this feels really quick. It’s all just to get the parents out of the way. The school seems normal at first even if all of the other girls are bullies but the real issue here is that Miss Branding, one of the teachers here is running some dangerous experiments to turn people into vampires. She has always wanted someone tough to experiment on and Nancy is that person. Can she get out of this school safely?

The plot may work well with a thriller context as the vampire starts bumping everyone off but the film’s actually a lot more low key than that. In a way it even makes for several climaxes as I thought the film was gearing up for the end a few times and then suddenly it would go back to some slice of life times until the next event. It’s an interesting attempt but in the end the film just ends up being a little more on the dull side. It doesn’t help that the case is rather weak.

Every girl in the school is against Nancy for basically no reason. It seems like they formed a clique right away and the newest member has to go through initiation. If she doesn’t submit then they will do their best to break her. Nancy is trying to act like the tough girl in some respects but then in other ways she isn’t so it makes her a frustrating lead and doesn’t do anything to make the other girls better characters. They all even take turns dating Eddie since he’s the only guy on campus which makes them look really desperate. I’m sure he loves the arrangement but they are cool with this?

None of them get a whole lot of development except to raise a death flag before they die. Myra is really the only one that really gets a decent sized role here as she knows about Branding’s experiments but looks the other way. As a student it makes sense she wouldn’t want to get in the teacher’s way but she really does nothing to help or alert Nancy. Ah that’s right, it’s because she is one of the bullies as well. So the school really had no likable characters to protect themselves.
As the “tough” character in the film, what Nancy could have done to have been more of a solid character is to have actually fought back. Where she effectively failed the test is when the girls jump her and rob her of all her belongings. That was absolutely the time to fight back and just show them what was up. By not doing that she set the stage for the bullying to proceed more and more. You have to take at least one of them down from the start to lay down the groundwork for their leaving you alone. Perhaps you can’t beat all of them but throw a few punches during the attack and the outcome’s a lot different.

Additionally Nancy just takes the blame for the noise and everything which didn’t make sense. Her worst scene is in the climax though. So presumably as a vampire you have a level of super strength and speed or durability right? During the various action scenes this seems to be the case although with how everyone falls down and looks shocked, this isn’t a guarantee. It was hard to believe when Branding is actually able to overpower Nancy’s vampire form though. That just shouldn’t happen in any context.

The ending is really a letdown on the film’s part. It really didn’t live up to the potential that the movie had although I wouldn’t say it was a ton of potential either way. This was never going to be a great title because vampire films just aren’t built that way but it could have been better is what I’m getting at. The climax is trying to be intense and give the final fight that we’ve been waiting for but it just doesn’t work.

By the end you’re also wondering on the point of these experiments. We may have needed some villain exposition for a change so we can understand the purpose. She says repeatedly that these experiments will help humanity but in what way? It’s very unclear as to how turning into a vampire will help humanity in any way. Is it only some chosen people whose dna is able to activate with her talisman or can anyone be picked? There are a lot of unknowns and at the end of the day we don’t even know if she has more talismans to hypnotize people with.

Also, as in all hypnotism films you just wish Nancy would look the other way or fight back against the control a bit. In all of these films the character is mind controlled so very easily. It’s like they have no self control or will power to defend themselves with. It also doesn’t make for the most riveting scenes as the characters just stare absentmindedly into the abyss. That said, mind control isn’t an excuse on why Nancy was so cold with her boyfriend though. She couldn’t give him a single straight answer and it just made their relationship strained for no real reason. Just tell him you need some space but will rejoin after the school term has ended if you want him away from the danger or ask to drive off with him if you want to get away from the evil school. Either option would have worked better than just being completely vague the whole time.

That guy gets credit for driving so far to check on her and make sure she was okay since he hadn’t received any word from her. He’s braver than Eddie who was scared to even be in the graveyard with one of the girls when everyone is used to hanging out there. That guy was doomed the instant we found out there was a vampire on campus. As a vampire film you have the usual amount of victims as their blood gets sucked away and you even have the police step in at one point but it isn’t as exciting as you might expect. The one police officer who believes in vampires is quickly laughed off in their first scene. You would think that after the first murder or two they would just shut the school down but that takes a while to even be considered. Even then it’s mostly in the background as the principal discusses the possibility of the parents making a move. (I like the level of dread that is felt whenever the “parents” are mentioned. The best conversation is between him and the lead teacher as they talk about the school’s reputation.

The film is a lot more tame than most vampire films so there isn’t a lot of blood sucking or anything like that. That’s a good thing at least but ultimately it can only help out a bit since the rest of the film is more on the mediocre side. It just doesn’t hit with the kind of power you need in any aspect. Throw in a likable character or give the police investigation more screen time and you could have something interesting here. As it is, there’s really no hook to the film.

Overall, Blood of Dracula is a film that really goes through all of the motions without a whole lot of emotion or feeling. There is no mystery here as you know Nancy is the vampire right away and the main drama is trying to figure out how she can break the hypnosis. The issue is that she just isn’t really able to even try since she doesn’t remember. Each time she has a feeling that something’s off but just goes back into the teacher’s office like nothing is wrong until the very end of the film. It felt like this movie wasn’t sure if it was a slice of life or a thriller at times and as a result just meekly walks through the adventure. The worst thing you can say about this one is that it would have been better off just being a normal slice of life flick. You’ll want to give this one a skip.

Overall 4/10

Tall Story Review


All right, it’s time for a Basketball movie of sorts. It’s not the main focus per say but it does play a part in what’s going on. This is a movie where I would say the first half beats the second as the comedic parts are good but once the film gets serious it starts to trip up a bit. Ultimately the moral here is that you need to stick to your studies!

The movie starts with Professor Leo getting ready for his first day of school. He’s going to be an ethics professor and he’s looking forward to getting these kids academically prepared for success. He’s given the school tour by Professor Charles who lets Leo know that this school is very dedicated to its Basketball program. This is to such a point that there is a huge statute in honor of the sport and it is the only thing that the papers care to publish.

Well, Leo can make ethics work into that. Then the professors are knocked over by the new student June. She lets them know that she is only attending this college to secure Ray’s hand in marriage. To do this she will have to get him to stop focusing all of his time on school and so she asks for their help in arranging this. She is steadfast in this goal but will Ray ultimately choose to go with her or will she end up being disappointed?

It’s also worth noting that a big part of the film’s drama is also about the Russian team coming over to do battle with the school. This team has defeated every school in their tracks under mysterious circumstances at times but the principal and teachers are confident that they can win as long as they have Ray. Ray’s never lost a battle and doesn’t intend to start now. Hopefully the romance doesn’t get in the way of this eh?

Most of the humor here is in how up front June is about all of this. She doesn’t mind anyone knowing about her plans aside from Ray. She isn’t beating around the bush either and systematically starts tearing down all of Ray’s barriers. You feel like the guy is doomed from the start with how he can barely resist her. By the time they’re babysitting together it’s all over. I will have more to say about that when I talk about him.

But for June, she gets a positive score here. She saw an opportunity and she seized it. You have to appreciate the hustle and June was also able to support Ray as best she could during the climax. There was a lot of planning from her end so she also gets top marks in strategy. As a main character she does her part in making sure that the movie is entertaining from start to finish.

Now for Ray, I was not a fan of his. First off, he lets the romance impact his play on the field. Whenever someone is playing a sport or doing any activity you don’t want to see any excuses. Ray starts stinking it up on the field and doesn’t seem to care because he is having such fun. The tournament is coming up so he needs his head in the game. Then when he gets his groove back, he gets a package of money from the Russians telling him to throw the game.

There’s a lot of ways to handle this like immediately giving it to the police, the Basketball coach, the teachers, etc. Instead he just holds onto it initially which is not a good idea since it’ll make him more suspicious down the road. Additionally he decides to flunk a test so he will miss the game but that will just ensure that the college loses. He kept on making the wrong choices over and over again when this really wasn’t that hard. Hand the money over to the cops and it all would have been squared away rather easily.

So while June had a strong will, I thought Ray’s was rather weak. The main antagonist Leo can also be dicey at times. I enjoyed most of his earlier scenes as Leo tries to make sense of this crazy situation but towards the end he seemed a bit exaggerated. Once he learned the truth about the whole thing he should have just let Ray go back on the team. If he wanted to do a make up exam then that’s fine as well but just give it instead of intentionally dragging out each question.

After a while it just seemed like he was being stubborn just to be stubborn. There was also no reason for him to out June near the end as it served no purpose other than to put her in trouble. So Leo really used up any good fortune he had earned up by then. I appreciate him sticking to his guns before learning the truth and keeping Ray in a failed state. That’s fine and as an Ethics professor it makes sense. After that though? There’s no real excuse there. Additionally giving a makeup exam doesn’t seem too far fetched.

Everyone was putting pressure on Leo including the principal. If the team had lost the game I have a feeling that Leo would have been fired on the spot. The principal doesn’t get a huge role here but whenever he appears the guy takes over the stage. You can tell that he is serious about the team winning this one. Charles is a solid professor as well and a lot more reasonable than Leo. He has a very laidback attitude and is just able to roll with all of the punches rather than making a big deal about everything. That’s the kind of guy you want to have on your side.

As the Basketball coach you can probably guess whose side Sandy was on. This is a game that especially means a lot to him and he made good on his word to put in as much pressure as possible. I definitely liked that guy. Finally there’s Myra who is June’s mother and she is also more reasonable than Leo. She even has a bit of a competitive side to her as she jumps in on the sport betting behind Leo’s back. You can see where June gets her personality from. Myra usually won’t go into the spotlight to throw in her support but she is always on the right side.

The film’s fairly quick and really breezes by. The only weak point I would say tends to come from the romance side of things. I won’t say that the romance between June and Ray is bad, it’s actually fairly decent for this kind of school story. No, it’s the inclusion of another couple who own a trailer that can be a bit much. They’re the kind of fake friends who won’t actually help you at all despite talking a great deal. I didn’t like that Ray and June actually bought the trailer because it feels like they were fleeced. The whole sequence of scenes were also the only parts that really felt like they dragged out.

This other couple wasn’t funny and the idea of moving in there and wasting so much money rather than getting a proper place just doesn’t make any sense. Ultimately it was Ray’s money so I’m going to have to give him another big L for even thinking about this. June also takes part of the blame for being excited about it so they’ll both take a hit there.

Overall, I would have liked to have seen more of the actual Basketball game but in the end this was a decently solid title. It’s a pleasant enough romantic comedy which hits the right notes on both angles. Hopefully Leo learned his lesson and will be a more reasonable person going forward. At the very least that’s what you would hope. If you’re looking for an old school title to watch then I’d recommend checking this one out.

Overall 6/10

Anastasia Review


Anastasia is a good example of a film that starts really slow but is ultimately able to recover and get its momentum up by the end to the point where you would definitely consider it to be a good title. It makes for a satisfying watch and is a good drama film. The writing is what really puts the title in the green since a film like this is dependent on good writing.

The movie starts with some exposition about how the royal family was murdered. There were no survivors but then a rumor started that the princess Anastasia actually survived. It has been several years since then so most don’t believe it. Well one day a lady by the name of Anna casually lets someone know that she is Anastasia. A man by the name of Bounine picks up on this and quickly brings her into the fold. He has been tasked with finding Anastasia and if he doesn’t produce her soon then he will definitely be in trouble. So while this Anna appears to be quite troubled and potentially insane, Bounine is willing to risk it all. Surely he has the skills needed to trick the royal family even if she is not the genuine article.

Part of the mystery in the film is deciding if Anna actually is the princess or if she really is just faking it the whole time. Additionally she is unsure herself due to having some memory issues. As the film goes on I would say she definitely is Anastasia but ultimately it will be up to you to see if that’s the case. It shouldn’t really impact what you think about the film though as either way it doesn’t really impact the journey. Whether she is the real deal or not they will still have to convince the royal family of this either way. If Anastasia is brought back in as the princess then she will be exceedingly rich and that may end up spilling over to Bounine and his allies.

The reason I say the beginning is rather slow is that I was not really all that engaged with the story as Bounine explained this to Anna. He’s a fun character and has a way with words but it still felt like a sequence that was very dragged out so the film didn’t really pick up until they make it to the first event to see how well the reception can go. At that point it is definitely full speed ahead as we get a lot of fun dynamics.

You also can appreciate how some of the members are not so easily convinced. It has been several years since the apparent death and the whole memory loss angle would appear to be very convenient. Anna only seems to know things that are public knowledge which is not very convincing when trying to convince people that you were never dead. Some buy into it right away but most do not.

The standout character here is Anastasia’s mother. Naturally she is the toughest one to convince as she has seen many fakes time and time again. I like how fierce she is in the dialogue and isn’t afraid to really take shots at the other characters. She speaks her mind with no exceptions. She has a very good character arc and always appears to be one step ahead of the others. It’s also quite telling that she is the only person Bounine doesn’t talk back to or adopt an attitude with.

As for Bounine he also gets a lot of character development throughout the film. At first it seems like he just wants the money and to dodge a possible execution/being arrested for wasting funds. Instead we see that this is more a matter of pride by the end. Bounine just likes to show off what a genius he is and the more captive an audience the better. It’s not even a terrible plan even if it does see a bit far fetched at face value. I’m not surprised that a lot of these relatives never paid much attention and so a lookalike could trick them. That said, he made a big mistake when trying to use romance as a weapon for Anastasia.

I would call this a romance film per say but the instant he tries to set her up with a prince you know exactly how this is going to play out. He starts to sulk and pout the whole time which feels really petty considering that it was all his plan. Bounine tries to pin the whole thing on Anna too which is definitely going overboard. He only has himself to blame for all of this. He plays hard to get when Anna talks to him and then gets upset when she goes to the other guys. I did like him as a character though. He’s a fun guy but I just didn’t care for that subplot with him him nearly as much during the final act. It was not his brightest moment.

As for Anna, she does a good job of trying to fulfill her role. I’m not a fan of the amnesia plot in general but Anna pulls through it well enough. So whether or not she’s a fake, you could say that she has her own character now which is important. Anna has most of the emotional moments in the film. She is definitely at her best when she is defying Bounine and generally making things very difficult for him. She plays the rebel quite well.

So with a solid pair of main characters that’s always a very good thing for the potential of the film. The side characters are reasonable as well. Bounine has two lackeys with him who are not nearly as intelligent but they have a lot of fun dialogue. As mentioned the film just has a good script in general which goes a long way to helping the cast out. The only character who is really just annoying the whole way through is the prince who likes Anna. He’s just written as too obviously antagonistic the whole time with how he gets every question wrong.

Like Anna will ask him “If I decide to decline my inheritance will you still love me?” and he just says “You definitely won’t decline” or “don’t talk crazy now” which are just awful answers. Both make him look incredibly unintelligent. Either he’s a villain who wants the money and should still tell her that he loves her and all that or he’s a hero who would say that willingly. Intentionally answering every answer in the worst possible way just didn’t seem very realistic.

The movie’s at its best with all of the mind games between the characters. I liked seeing Bounine try to get the edge in every conversation. The film has a very old way of getting the dialogue across and it works really well. Even when the characters are insulting each other it’s always done in a way that has some pretense of being polite dialogue. Except for Anastasia’s mother who is old enough not to care about such things.

Where the movie is at its weakest is with the drama and romance. The romance doesn’t really work for me, it’s all too fast. As for the drama, it can be a bit much like when Anastasia’s mother finally cries or Anna’s long speech about not trying to convince the mother anymore but seemingly still doing so anyway. A film like this wants to keep a quick pace and the crying scenes slow it down a bit. It’s nothing too serious but if you lessen the drama a bit then the film would have its ideal pacing.

Overall, Anastasia is a solid film. It may have a rocky start but just keep with it until Anna begins her performance as Anastasia and then it’s off to the races. The balance with the serious drama and comedic moments is on point. The movie ends rather quickly but in a really ideal way. I would have liked about 5 more seconds just to see the mother say that the play was over but since it was told to the viewers I suppose that counts. A film isn’t really complete until you have the ending at the ready and so that completes the picture. If you’re up for a solid drama film then this is a good one to check out.

Overall 7/10

12 Angry Men Review


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Overall 8/10

The Terminal Man Review


This one’s definitely more of a mean spirited film. You’ve got someone who’s sick and is trying to use some experimental technology and there doesn’t appear to be much in the way of gratitude. Nobody seems good at their jobs and even the lead doesn’t make sure to stay in the right areas to at least try more treatments. It ends up being a whole combination of errors where everyone is left in the wrong spot.

The movie starts with Harry being admitted into the hospital. He suffers from blackouts in a Jekyl & Hyde kind of condition. Before going under he will start to smell something metallic and then that awakens his violent form. In this mode he tries to destroy everyone and every thing in his way. Eventually the blackout will stop and he goes back to his normal mode but not before a whole lot of damage has been done. Right now that’s the burden that he has to endure.

Well, the hospital (I’m calling it a hospital but it might be more accurate to call it a private institution) has a solution. They will implant a chip (uh oh) into Harry which they claim should prevent the blackouts from occurring. It’ll do this by sending signals to his brain that forcibly stop this from occurring. Well, we’ll see if it works. If it doesn’t, then the world may have to prepare to try and stop Harry on his mad quest for vengeance.

Right off the bat you can see how things are not going to go very well for Harry. The scientists while not looney, just seem more interested in their computer chip than for the actual person. Harry’s effectively an experiment for them and they enjoy messing with his head by making him feel all kinds of emotions the whole time. It’s certainly not how you would want the experiment to go on and it just sets the tone from there on out. You have the guys gossiping in the background, the scientists laughing, etc.

Also, as a side note I do think it’s probably never worth putting a chip in your head. This is a rather extreme situation though so at least I can see why he did it. It seems like other treatments had been tried in the past and none of them worked so this was sort of a last ditch effort. It should always be a last ditch tactic so that part seems correct. Of course, the chip doesn’t work very well as you can probably guess.

The main mistake Harry makes is in leaving the facility. If he had stayed there then perhaps they could have found some way to treat him. I can’t 100% blame him for leaving though since as I described this was not exactly the best place to be treated in. So I totally get his wanting to get out of there as soon as possible. The main problem is that he is aware of his blackouts even though he doesn’t remember them. So going to hang out with friends or going to public places seems like it’s the wrong course of action.

Those are absolutely the last things that he should be doing here. The film also makes Harry appear to be a very intimidating guy even before the attacks. He doesn’t seem very stable. This is likely a byproduct of the various attacks but at the same time it also means that you’d expect security to be watching him a little more closely. It’s hard to see how he just escaped the facility in an instant like this.

I’d also have to blame Harry for going to Janet’s place when he knows that the attack could come at any second. It almost seems like he went there with the express purpose of threatening her in which case he was becoming more of a villain by the moment. Either way I didn’t care for him as the lead very much. He’s definitely going through an extremely rough condition so you feel bad for him but some of his decisions were pretty bad. If he at least stayed in the facility then perhaps some alterations could have been made to the chip to help him out. Or at the very least maybe they could have removed it if it was busted.

Janet is the main scientist who gets a role and she was not thrilled with this idea from the start. Unfortunately she was heavily outvoted so it didn’t matter. She does her best to help Harry and even by the end she is trying hard but there’s just not a whole lot she could realistically do at this point. She is a single employee in the facility and while her rank appears to be pretty high, she is still bound by the rules. Additionally, if the chip doesn’t work then it doesn’t work, at that point it’s really just a matter of deciding what to do next.

The film also has a very long surgery scene which could have absolutely been trimmed down. I wonder if it was just that long to show how the surgeon was very relaxed about the whole thing. He was busy taking shots at psychiatry and making jokes even though this is a super serious surgery. You’d think that he would have been more somber and regal about the whole thing instead of the way that he acted. Harry really couldn’t catch a break here.

So the film falters with the lead not being very likable and also with how mean all of the scientists appear to be. Or at least most of them. It can also be fairly violent with the background to the attacks as well as when he goes on the attack in the later part of the film. There aren’t quite as many victims as you may suspect but each one certainly goes down in a rather violent fashion. The only one who may have lived is the priest. It’s a little debatable due to how the scene is cut but I think if Harry had actually gotten him it would have been a bigger deal.

Overall, This is certainly not a feel good kind of film. It’s about Harry essentially hoping for a miracle to finally end his condition and it doesn’t work. From there the film just keeps up the more depressing tone until the end. There just wasn’t anything he could do and we saw Harry slowly lose his mind until it was just gone by the end. I’d certainly avoid this one if you’re trying to get someone interested in being a doctor. It won’t give off the right first impression. Ultimately there just isn’t anything to really get you invested in the film or to get you to have fun during it.

Overall 2/10

The Natural Review


It’s been a little while since I saw a film about Baseball. The last one was probably the Field of Dreams and that didn’t actually have a lot of Baseball action in it. This one changes all of that and it makes for a pretty fun adventure. It’s a well written movie that is long enough to really go into depth on the various events occurring. It’s almost surprising that it’s so long because at first the movie moves very quickly but a Baseball season is quite long and the film shows that.

The movie starts off by introducing us to Roy who is a Baseball prodigy. He has been interested in the game ever since he was a kid. One day he even strikes out a fairly well known pro batter. It looks like the sky’s the limit but unfortunately the fame goes to his head. He immediately cheats on his girlfriend and promptly gets shot by the temptress mafia style. This takes almost 20 years to heal. Can Roy make a comeback and still live out his Baseball dreams or is it all over for him?

Most of this review will be for talking about all the solid points of the movie because there are many. I really only had one issue with the film and that’s the main character. I never found Roy to be all that likable and I didn’t even feel like the film was trying to redeem him much until near the very end of the film either. Women are clearly his vice right from the start of the film but he just never learns his lesson.

Take the initial instance of cheating for example. He gets shot immediately afterwards because of that so you kind of figure that he won’t make the same mistake again right? Well, one of the villains hires a girl to mess with him and this works incredibly well. If not for having to do some rather obvious actions like giving him poison candy, the girl would have definitely kept Roy under wraps the whole time.

It feels more like Roy was forced to get past this since she couldn’t follow him on some of the away games as opposed to actually realizing he was messing up his life. By the time he confides to the original girl, it all just feels a little too late. This guy just wasn’t serious enough about Baseball or about his own convictions. He likes to think of himself as an honorable guy but we learned that this wasn’t the case early on. Roy’s even lucky to get away with arguing with the coach.

He defied the coach’s orders in front of the whole team and then refused to go back down to the B league. Good thing Roy was a solid player because he would have been doomed otherwise. I do question how the coach had never seen him batting before though. Perhaps it’s normal that a coach would skip the practices? I’m certainly less familiar with Baseball compared to Football, Tennis, or even Basketball and Soccer. Still, I’d expect the coach should have at least been told that Roy has been playing amazing since the start especially since the team was winless and badly needed any kind of spark.

Pop was a great supporting character though. I always like a coach who really gets heated along with the players and storms the dugout. He’s a very old school kind of coach who gets the job done and pushes his players to the limits. He’s also in a pretty tough position with how he may lose the team to the villainous Judge.

Judge is a very memorable villain here because of how over the top he is. The guy bribes everyone, is super rich, and even has a villainous looking room since he keeps the lights off. The guy has a flair for the dramatic and it has served him well over the years. His inclusion helped to raise the stakes in the film so it was definitely a good idea having him around.

Then you have another one of the villainesses in Memo. Not to be confused with the first lady who tricked Roy, this one was a little more subtle and doesn’t take the gun out until the end. She’s a decent villain I suppose but in most of her scenes you’re just shaking your head at Roy. He’s finally close to achieving his dream and is quick to just toss it all away just like that. Watch closely during the montage of him losing every game. He isn’t nearly as broken up about it as you would expect.

Finally you have Iris who was the girl from the opening scene. She ends up appearing in the second half of the film. If I were her I probably wouldn’t give Roy a second chance in the arena though. As a friend, maybe, but that would be it. She’s a reasonable character though and has done well for herself in the meantime. Not only did she manage to keep the farm but she’s able to support her kid as well and has a pretty decent home. Iris is definitely a go getter who put a lot of work in.

The Natural is a fairly serious film but one that is able to squeeze in a good amount of humor as well. The jokes tend to land well and the writing is solid so throughout the movie you are interested in what is going on. The cast is also rather big when you consider the other players running around. Most of them don’t get a big role but some do get a little important by the end. Then Judge has a few minions as well. The movie may be well over 2 hours but it doesn’t drag on which is really the important thing.

The Baseball scenes are also handled well. They’re always exciting and actually make Baseball look fun to watch. After all, you don’t have to worry about commercials or the waiting in between pitches. In the movies you just go right to the action and it works quite well. The scene where a Baseball is cut in two after a solid hit was certainly memorable as well. The effects for that were on point without a doubt. We even got a little thunder and lightning for when Roy first went up to bat in the big game.

Overall, The Natural is a solid film. It really doesn’t have any big issues and you’ll have a good time watching it from cover to cover. Really, if the film just made Roy more of a likable character then the film would be even better. After all, he has a lot of good moments like when he outwitted the psychic using his two gold coins and the banter he has with the villains. A lot of the best scenes involve Roy so he had a lot of the traits you’d want to see in a lead. Either way if you like Baseball then you should definitely check this film out.

Overall 7/10

Confession Review


Confession is an interesting trial film that shows us different perspectives as we learn more about the case along with the jury. It starts out a bit on the slow side but once we cut to the court room then the race is on. It ends up being a pretty solid film with good pacing and writing throughout. Definitely a nice title to check out.

The film starts out with Lisa getting a letter from the guy who seems to be stalking her. Inside the letter are 2 tickets to a play and Lisa’s friend who has all the bad advice says they should go and see what this is about. Turns out that one of the lead performers in the musical is a man named Michael who wants to be with Lisa. Lisa refuses him but the guy continues to follow her around and even tricks the school Lisa is at into allowing him in. Ultimately they have a brief affair but before things can go much farther, Michael is shot dead by a lady named Vera. This ends up going into trial. Can the Jury figure out what possible reason Vera could have for murdering this guy or will it all be a mystery all the way through to the end?

The second half of the film takes us back to the events leading up to the shooting from Vera’s point of view. We already knew that Michael was not a good guy and these scenes serve to further illustrate that. He really just thinks he can get away with anything and the main issue is that he always seems to since nobody actually holds him accountable.

Take the first girl Lisa. Part of the annoyance here is that she tells him several times not to call or write to her but he does so anyway. She then ultimately agrees to see him so in a sense his pestering actually paid off. He just keeps on going and she keeps on letting him. He even pulls the whole “I have to see you because I’m moving away” card and I don’t buy it for a minute. Seems awfully convenient if you ask me. If he hadn’t been shot by Vera then it seems like the affair would have actually continued.

Then you have round 1 with Vera. So she ended up choosing Leonide over him and got married. Michael doesn’t let this deter him though and still keeps on writing her which is then something that she tries to hide from Leonide. She should have just told Leonide herself the instant she received the letter what had happened so that he would at least hear the truth before the gossip. Running over to Michael was not the right move.

Additionally, I don’t think it was smart to go to this party either. It was quite clear that the main villain still liked Vera as he flirted with her openly so getting drunk out of her mind was not a great plan. If Vera had to go to the party because she was bored, then at least don’t indulge in all of the drinks. It just ended up putting her in a very vulnerable spot which did not end well.

I mean, the villain’s the villain. He’s a pretty terrible character of course so that goes without saying. The heroes are the ones who needed to be better judges of character and just keep their distance the whole time. That would have really gone a long way here.

As for Leonide, he was very quick to believe the worst about Vera. She didn’t exactly inspire a lot of confidence but you would hope that he could have heard her out a bit. As for splitting up, well it’s easy to see how that would happen. Once you’ve lost trust it is incredibly difficult to the point of being near impossible to get it back again. So once the doubt was there, you could say the marriage was already all but finished at that moment.

The best part of the film would be the actual trial for me though. I always like a good case and this one was really on point. You had all of the players talking tough from different sides. Vera certainly wasn’t helping her case by staying silent for so long but her defense attorney was really trying his best anyway.

The main prosecutor was a tough but fair man. He actually did allow himself to be lenient when needed while also staying tough on the case. One of his best lines is when he yells that the courtroom cannot be blackmailed by the accused and demands that the suitcase be opened up. Now, the judge is the one who ultimately makes that call but I loved his conviction. This guy was definitely not going to be pushed around and he made that quite clear.

The judge was also a compassionate man who did his best to make sure that the proper justice was served in this case. He wouldn’t allow for any incomplete ruling to make a mess of things. If you’re ever in court, this is the kind of guy you would want to be judge over the case. To an extent you could say the courtroom part even overshadows the actual flashbacks that we get because it is easily the most compelling part.

Confession is a strongly well rounded film. The writing is good and the movie moves at a decent pace once the court scenes start. My main issue with the film is mainly in the slow first half. The scenes with Lucy right through to the villain getting shot feel rather slow and uneventful. You’re waiting for something to happen the whole time. After that is when the film really gets going.

The other issue is that the two heroines just allow themselves to be pushed around far too much. Lisa didn’t want to get into a relationship but lets herself get strong armed into one while Vera was married but still ends up attending a party and getting super drunk in the presence of someone who has threatened her marriage several times. The characters really needed to stand their ground more.

Overall, Confession is a good film. It ends on a high note which is always important and the writing is on point. You’ll be engaged as you watch the film. Even if the intro slows you down a bit, just hang in there until we get into the courtroom and it’ll have been worth the wait. We definitely need more films that take place during a trial since it’s always such a blast.

Overall 7/10

Cocktail Review

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

All right, it’s time for a romance drama film. Usually romance pairs better with comedy than drama so this one was already starting on a tricky note and unfortunately it gets weaker as the film goes on. The main cast is just unlikable and by the end you’re certainly not rooting for the lead. When that happens, usually that means the film has lost you.

So the movie starts with Brian deciding that he wants to be rich some day. His uncle owns a bar and offers Brian a job but being a bartender is off the menu. Unfortunately Brian bombs out at every job he applies to since he doesn’t have a college degree and ultimately the only place he can find is work as a bartender in another location. The head bartender here is a guy called Doug and he quickly starts to train Brian on how to serve up the drinks while also making a show of it. Brian quickly learns the ropes and figures if he can do this much right now, maybe they should just open up a big bar in Jamaica and get rich. Will the two be able to get along once big money is involved?

There’s a lot of issues here but it’s safe to say that the weakest angle here is the romance. Mainly because Brian proves himself to be the kind of guy who goes on a lot of affairs. Early on in the film he has a one night stand with a girl from the bar and thinks it’s serious until Doug points out that she isn’t loyal and has his own stand. Doug then finds a girl names Jordan who who is nice enough but cheats on her with another random girl from the bar. He also starts cheating with another person in the climax but just barely breaks it off and runs back.

The issue here is that you know the film is going to bring Brian and Jordan back together but she should want nothing to do with him. No matter how often you see Brian apologize, you don’t buy into it. He betrayed her for $50 bucks which is just awful. Jordan’s father is right the whole time when he says that Brian’s no good and to just move on. Brian makes a big show on saying it’s not about the money or anything but of course at this point he knows Jordan’s rich so do you actually believe him?

Clearly the film wants us to believe that this is all genuine but I have a hard time buying it. I don’t see the relationship lasting because Brian’s track record is just too extensive. The next time someone makes him a bet or someone flirts at the bar room you feel like it’ll all be over. Jordan effectively will need to keep tabs on him at all times which will be really exhausting.

If Brian had not cheated at all then maybe this could work but as it stands there’s no way you can root for him. Jordan’s father appears as an antagonist but I’d definitely see him on the hero’s side here. The whole climax is really just not satisfying at all.

I also didn’t like Doug. The guy has a lot of confidence but he is always giving Brian the worst advice possible. Ultimately he is one of those guys who makes it seem like he has all of the answers but in the end he’s struggling just to stay afloat. Brian isn’t going to learn much from him and the way the guy goes out is brutal. To waste that much money is insanity and shows just what kind of guy he is. I was expecting better from Doug.

As for Jordan, she ultimately has to lose some points for sticking by Doug as well. The romance just moves too fast and ultimately that’s why you need to take it slow so you can see if the other person is actually good. Now there were presumably some time skips thrown in since we got a montage and all so it’s hard to say exactly how long the time frame was, but clearly it should have been even longer.

It’s a shame too because if you take that second half out then the film actually had some promise. The first half is really where all of the fun is had. You have Brian and Doug showing off while serving drinks which is pretty cool. It looks very difficult to flip the drinks the way that they did and they made it look easy. The actual bartending gig is the most interesting part of the movie and yet it gets ditched so quickly.

You could say that the film goes off the rocks when the gang breaks up and Brian heads to Jamaica. Early on there was so much potential like when the two were working at the more glitzy bar and Brian had to drum up some business. The actual rhyming may have been a little cringe but the story felt very focused. Then Brian leaves for a year and Doug returns to sabotage the whole operation. If Brian’s ego were not so big he might have made it past the provocations but ultimately he was not able to stay strong and sunk.

What we needed were more scenes showing Brian trying to achieve his real dream of being in marketing and things like that. I enjoyed the scene of him at school after all although he was quite thorough in burning all of his bridges there. It definitely did not help him find a non bar position that’s for sure. There just isn’t a lot more development for Brian’s character there even though you were expecting some kind of character arc where he’s no longer a hot head.

Overall, There isn’t a ton to say about Cocktail because there isn’t a lot happening. It’s a film that doesn’t have a whole lot of plot going for it so after the first half it vanishes entirely and we get a full romantic adventure. It’s just an issue that the romance itself isn’t very good. The writing is only okay. You have some good banter between Brian and Doug whenever they aren’t drinking but that’s about it. The fun dialogue can be good but when the film tries to get serious is when it falters. Ultimately the main character looks too bad to be redeemed at the end. If you want to check out a romance film, you can skip this one and look elsewhere.

Overall 4/10

Fruits Basket Season 3 Review


Fruits Basket has finally reached its conclusion. The anime certainly did a great job of adapting and improving upon the source material. Who knows, it may also have the reverse effect of making the manga more fun if I were to ever revisit it some day. That said, I would say the first two seasons still defeat this final one. It’s pretty inevitable that in any rom-com the final arc will have to get serious and tie up all the loose ends. Well, this one certainly does but it doesn’t allow itself to have as much fun as in the earlier seasons and one villain gets off a bit too easy.

Shigure and Akito really have the biggest roles in this season to the point where you could make the case that Tohru is not the main character. Still, Tohru is still wondering about how to break the curse and what needs to be done. Meanwhile Akito is getting ready to end Kyo’s freedom once and for all. The promised time is nearly upon them after all. There is one thing that could destroy Akito’s plans though and that is the fact that the curse is starting to weaken. Is it finally time for the final banquet?

An interesting part about how Fruits Basket ends is that Tohru doesn’t end up stopping the curse. In fact, nobody does. It’s just an old one that is naturally decaying so characters break free from it randomly. It’s a bit of a twist because the whole series some characters have tried rather hard to break it but it turns out that it was futile all the time. There really was no way to break the curse and you just had to wait it out. That’s also a bit depressing in its own way too.

My main issue here is that Akito was never stopped. She pushed someone out the window and inflicted a lot of mental torture on all the main characters. She drew blood from Tohru in season 2 and landed physical hits on a lot of characters. In this season she goes as far as to grab a knife and actually stab 2 characters as well. Akito is as unhinged as she ever was so by the time you get to her origin story you’re already skeptical.

That won’t change after watching it. This is Fruits Basket, every character has had a rough upbringing but they’ve learned to deal with it. Akito’s isn’t even as bad as some of the others. I would argue that Kyo and Tohru had it worse. It’s maybe on par with Yuki’s but ranking origin stories is pretty sad since they’re all so tragic. Either way the point is that Akito can’t use it as the big slam dunk that she thinks she can.

Akito also hasn’t limited the suffering to herself and has really been forcing everyone else to stay in misery alongside her. If she wasn’t actively attacking the rest of the cast then I definitely wouldn’t have had as much of an issue with her. So all of her scenes would still make me shake my head here. I still say that the characters should have fought back or defended themselves. The curse may turn them into animals but I don’t buy their not being able to fight back. Even here Hatsu comes close to attacking Akito but ultimately stops and just runs off. The characters really let Akito get the better of them.

Yuki had the majority of his character development earlier so he doesn’t do much in this season. Still he has his quick rebound with the student council member Machi. This was definitely one of the more rushed romances since she didn’t get to appear a whole lot but in real time I think they knew each other for a whole semester so at least there was 3 months there. Machi is another character who went through a lot of trauma and definitely still goes through some tough times but she’s handled it pretty well for the most part. This wrapped up that plot in a very resolute way.

Now you could make the case that this is less of a rebound since Yuki took himself out of the competition for Tohru before she made a decision. There’s a fair case for that so while this feels sudden, perhaps you could say it was not a secondary pick. I think Machi probably could have been introduced earlier to set this up but either way she was fun. Yuki’s always been considerate so they’ll get along just fine. Machi’s another character who I would say had a worse origin story to survive through than Akito. Getting framed as a kid will definitely leave you with a lot of trauma after all.

We can’t forget about Kyo of course as he had one of the big plots here. Since Akito plans to lock him up soon, Kyo’s coming to terms with the end of the era for him. He’s pretty much resigned to his fate so he’s still in the phase of trying to push everyone away during this season. Unfortunately by now he has pretty much accepted his fate and is no longer fighting with the same passion he once had.

We get to see his full origin story for the first time. Quite a lot happened to Kyo over the years and unfortunately most of the Zodiac spirits are quite passive so nobody would really help him. Tohru’s mom was probably the first person to really care about him until the Dojo guy stepped up. Even in the present we see that this hasn’t changed. Everyone knows he will be locked up soon but nobody’s doing anything about it.

Aside from Shigure who confirms he would not lift a finger to help, I won’t blame the others yet. For all I know, many of them had plans they would enact on the day of. So in case that is what would happen, I can’t really dock any points there. I’d like to see what kind of legal right the Sohma family would have to lock him up though. I feel like if Kyo went to the cops or something then things would play out pretty differently. I get that the Sohma is a rich family with a lot of power but even they should have their limits.

Of course the romance with Kyo and Tohru wraps up here. It’s not rushed or anything since this has been going on for 3 seasons at least. Fruits Basket is known as one of the Top Shojo’s after all and while I’m not sure I would go that far, the romance is done in the correct style. It’s built up over many episodes to the inevitable conclusion instead of all happening very quickly. At most you may just have to shake your head as how Kyo brings in the drama by suddenly running off again in this season. There’s a lot of running between both characters that’s for sure.

From all of the romances in this series, this is easily the best one without a doubt so it deserves some props there. As for Tohru, she may not get a particularly large role here as I mentioned, but she is still officially the lead and as such, gets a good send off. As a character she is solid as always. She actually does some detective work and tries to talk to as many characters as possible. By the end she does give Kyo a solid answer in response to his origin story while still choosing to believe in her Mother to the end. It was a good way to wrap things up while also staying true to her ideals. So that was a solid way to wrap things up.

Then we have Shigure who is a pretty bad character. He’s not as bad as Akito but I would definitely put him in the bottom 3. The guy is every bit as shady as Akito but always tries to play the fool and act innocent about it. He loves to play both sides and mess with Akito while also pretending to be a friend. The thing is, he is like that to everyone. I don’t see how any character can trust the guy. He’s also rather mean to his editor for no reason as he causes her as much stress as possible. It’s nice to see a Zodiac spirit who isn’t terrified of Akito but there’s really nothing to like about the guy.

Akito’s mother also shows up here. I like the idea of having a character that even Akito can’t mess with, but ultimately she doesn’t do a whole lot. She adds some drama as she is easily able to corrupt Shigure and sets up another character but that’s about it. If you were to remove her from the story it really wouldn’t change much. Especially given that Akito’s origin story doesn’t really end up making the villain more sympathetic.

As for Akito’s right hand man Kureno, I didn’t care for him either. In a way this guy caused a whole lot of the problems that would end up infecting the rest of the characters. If he had come clean about breaking the curse then it would have saved everyone a lot of heartache. The guy also allows himself to effectively be used out of pity by Akito which is a high price for this affair. He should have just stayed strong and been a friend but not go beyond that. Instead he lets himself get abused constantly.

Next up is Rin who was doing a lot of sleuthing of her own. She definitely takes a lot of risks but in this season she just didn’t look very smart. Why believe some random person who is extremely shady when she says that she knows how to break the curse? That’s just ultra convenient and if it requires breaking into the main villain’s room then that is definitely not going to end well. Rin really walked right into that trap and of course she ended up freezing so she couldn’t fight back.

It’s one of those scenes that will make you shake your head. I was glad Rin wasn’t as quick to just forgive and forget with Akito later on. As for Haru, he’s not bad but I definitely think he should have stepped in sooner. He didn’t know about Akito pushing Rin off a building but he did know that she was missing for a while. I’d expect him to have been poking around and Akito’s building should have been suspect number 1. His whole split personality and Dark Haru element isn’t that great if it never shows up when it counts.

Tohru’s two friends from school show up a bit as well in this season but I wouldn’t say their roles are too big. In some respects they have never had as much importance to the story as the various Sohma members but they do remain more relevant than the school friends in a lot of other Shojo titles like this. They’re not bad but they don’t usually tend to have scenes that are quite as interesting as the main cast.

Hiro and Kisa definitely don’t do much here either but at least now that he’s a bit older Hiro isn’t as unreasonable the whole time as he used to be. It was always annoying how he would insult Tohru for no real reason and nobody would really defend her. In his current state that wouldn’t really be much of an issue. Kisa is also here for moral support. She hasn’t really had to deal with as many tragedies as the others and that’s good. It’s nice that at least one character isn’t having to deal with a dark past.

Momiji doesn’t do much but it is odd how he appears to be a lot meaner and more sinister after the time skip. Maybe part of him realizes that he should have protected Tohru when Akito attacked in the last season. Either way, this would be an interesting new wrinkle to his character provided that he is actually able to be tough when it counts. Only time will tell on that front.

There are more characters of course but this really tackles all of the big ones I would say. The cast itself is large so there will always be a few more hanging around the bends. With 3 seasons I would expect no less. Even some of the Sohma clan members don’t really get to do a whole lot here which shows just how many characters have to be juggled.

The animation is solid as always. It’s not like there are any big action scenes to really test the series but the characters always look on model and everything’s pretty clear. It’s a very consistent show and delivers on that front. The soundtrack can be a little bland though. I wouldn’t say that any of the tunes really pop out at you and the theme song could have definitely been a whole lot more exciting if you ask me. It just feels too basic.

Now time for some final thoughts on the series. Season 3 is shorter than the first 2 so it definitely goes by really quickly. At the end of the day I definitely consider the anime to be a huge improvement over the manga. You’re given a lot of time to get used to the characters and root for them. I’d say the strength of the series is that it does a good job of showing the various emotions of the characters.

The writing is pretty solid as well with each character having to deal with a different issue as they grew up. There are a ton of sob stories and yet I would not say that any two are the same. Most of them are sad without being overly gritty either. This show goes through a lot of different tones but manages to achieve them all pretty well. You definitely won’t be bored.

There is naturally a lot of romances here as well. I would say most of them miss the mark as per the course for most romance titles but at least Kyo and Tohru was a strong one so that’s good since it is the main romance in the series. I wouldn’t say the romance ever really takes over as well so if you’re here for the plot then you should still be okay in the end.

On the flip side, one issue I have is with how passive all of the characters are. I’ve already beaten the point about everyone bowing to Akito into the ground so I’ll sidestep that one this time. Even just with how they obey the formalities and everything feels like they aren’t trying though. So Kyo is going to be locked up in a cave right? Have him decide to move out of town or something. He would certainly be able to leave if he wanted and good luck trying to bring him back. The guy can turn into a monster after all so he could repel any attackers.

The same is true for the rest of the Sohma family who feel like prisoners in the estate. Just get out of there and things will be better. Now granted, the curse is still annoying but it’s not like Akito would ever help you cure it anyway so I’d say your best bet is still high tailing it out of there while you still can. It would have been cool if Tohru brought that up.

As for her mother’s death, I do think part of the scenario was a little forced just to scar Kyo further. The whole “I won’t forgive you” part being spoken out loud out of the whole speech is just hard to buy. It’s the only way you could misinterpret the speech to be something negative so of course that’s what happened. Given how solid her character has been throughout the series, it doesn’t really work as a fake out to the audience and to Kyo it’s just a bit on the contrived side.

Overall, Fruits Basket had a pretty good run. There are definitely a lot of different events that occurred here. The 13 episodes did a good job of really packing themselves in with a lot of content. If you watched the first two seasons then you owe it to yourself to watch this one as well. There aren’t a whole lot of light hearted moments or happy events for the characters this time, but they all finally confront their inner demons so in that sense you get an uplifting feeling there. You know it’ll be all uphill for everyone going forward. Throw Akito out of the show and this would probably be bumped up even further but of course it would be a different show at that point. Time to see what the franchise brings to the table next.

Overall 6/10