Kramer vs Kramer Review


It’s time to look at a film about a custody battle. You’ll have to decide which Kramer you’re rooting for and then go from there. Interestingly enough the film doesn’t opt to go for the classic apperoach of having each parent get 50% screen time and shifting perspectives. In this case the main character is always Ted but Joanna shows up from time to time to spook them all. It’s a decent film I suppose, but one where it is tough to root for someone too much since both seem to be pretty flawed.

The film starts off with Ted having another late night at the office. Still, he is pretty pleased with himself since he finally landed a big contract. He goes home to celebrate with his wife Joanna, but she has decided to move out and start the divorce proceedings. She tells Ted that he has to look after the kid since she can’t handle any liabilities right now. Ted is now determined to be the best parent he can be. There are ups and downs, but he is finally starting to get the hang of it. That’s when Joanna returns and demands that their son move in with her. Billy doesn’t really know who he wants to be with since the situation is way above his head. It’s time to see what the judge has to say about this.

As you may or may not know I’m not a big fan of kids getting a big role in films. They certainly can’t act and most of their scenes tend to be annoying. Unfortunately Billy is no exception. He comes across as very spoiled at times like when he tries to steal some ice cream instead of eating his dinner. Things had been going pretty well so why would Billy pull something like that? His character doesn’t seem to have a whole lot of agency since he’s so young and can’t weigh in on these topics. Then he tends to get very emotional very quickly as well. All in all, that just isn’t a recipe for success.

Then we’ve got the parents. Joanna was too far gone for her redemption arc to work at all. She’s the one who ditched Billy so it’s a little too late to come back and try to get him now. Moreover, she’s already dating some other guy so she didn’t waste any time in doing that. It’ll make for a very awkward household for Billy and since she may also be moving he’ll have to get used to a new school. Of course, she does try to act like she feels bad for Ted at times, but you can probably feel a bit of a smirk beneath her gaze.

Ted certainly isn’t faultless either though. He does a good job of looking after Billy by the end, but his multi tasking skills do not seem to be particularly good. He apparently messed up on every project after that so you can see why he was let go. THe boss was pretty petty about when he fired Ted as he seemed to do it just to get the lead in a bad spot, but Ted should have done a better job of balancing both of his main duties. I also think Billy inheireted Ted’s temperment as he tends to throw stuff when he gets upset and he gets upset a lot.

The judge definitely had a tough choice here because either way it’s not like any option is perfect, but that’s why he is paid the big bucks. The lawyers were definitely pretty intense. I’d say that they were both pretty evenly matched as well. They weren’t afraid to go for the low blows if it meant winning the case. This is another moment where Ted and Joanna didn’t seem quite as resolved as they should be. Look, it’s tough to take the personal shots, but the stakes are high enough where they should be able to roll with it. They do want Billy right?

The ending is left to a bit of interpretation on how exactly you think it plays out. I personally think the film was leading up to a surrender where Ted would find out that he gets Billy after all. Of course you could also take the opposite approach and believe that Ted is now doomed. Either way, an open ended final scene like this can work well for this kind of movie since whoever you were hoping would win can still win in your head.

The writing is pretty reasonable although of course there are parts of the film that can be a bit annoying. One is the annoying gimmick of the characters heading to the bathroom. The main part that hurts this scene aside from the crude aspect of it is that neither character washes their hands upon leaving the bathroom which is pretty unhygienic. Then the characters head immediately for the kitchen where they make a lot of food with their hands. You won’t want to eat any of that. It’s even worse then the other thing films make you believe is okay like tasting the food that you’re cooking and then putting the spoon back in. Don’t pick up any of the bad habits you see in this film folks.

Overall, Kramer vs Kramer is definitely a decent film. It’s quite a bit different from the more over the top slapstick comedy neighbor vs neighbor battle I was expecting. I think I ended up mixing this one up with a different movie. Custody battles like this are rarely very fun so it does limit this film’s enjoyment factor to a degree as well. I wouldn’t call it a bad film though and if this premise sounds interesting then you should check it out.

Overall 5/10

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The Greatest Game Ever Played


It’s time to look at a film based on a true story. This one is about The Greatest Game Ever Played, at least in Golf. If we’re talking ever, then it’s probably one of the 1990s Dallas Cowboys Championship games. I can see why this game is well known though as it was one of the first times an amateur was able to take on a professional in a game that went into overtime. It was definitely a very impressive showing. The film is also pretty good about not adding in too much drama and stuff once the Golf starts. It does seem to add in a bit of padding to the first half though which is the part that doesn’t work too well.

Basically Francis has always wanted to be a golfer. Unfortunately his father doesn’t like this option as it’s extremely risky and Francis may not make any money. He would then have a later start on life and that could ruin everything. Francis is okay with putting it all on the line though and after losing his first few golf games he gets ready for the US Open. It’s time to win the biggest tournament of his life, but is Francis really ready for such a feat? He will have to defeat the reigning champ from Europe as well as his counterpart from the U.S., and every other Golf player worth their salt. It won’t be easy, but Francis knows that ultimately you just have to play your own game of Golf and the rest will just sink in.

The golf visuals are pretty nice. The film does its best to make the actual golf look really exciting with how fast the balls move and everyone’s reactions the whole time. There are a bunch of cutaways and dramatic camera angles to sink it in. Some top players are able to erase the surroundings as if they held the Infinity Gauntlet and this lets them really focus. The ball makes uncanny turns to dodge obstacles and even picks up speed when it should have stopped. It may not be the most realistic game of golf out there, but it certainly makes the game more appealing.

The film didn’t always make Francis look great though. He did give his father his word that if he lost he wouldn’t pursue the game anymore and ultimately breaks that promise. He shouldn’t have agreed to such a thing in the first place even if he was under duress at the time. He was a kid at the time so I suppose I can’t be too hard on him. He does get distracted and knocked off of his game rather easily though. His partner has to constantly remind him to tune everyone out, but Francis still loses many shots as a direct result of this.

As I mentioned earlier, the first half of the film before the tournament doesn’t hold up quite as well. They try to give the older Europe champion a bit of a backstory. It’s never properly delved into, but you can get the gist of it from the images. It just feels a little forced into the story since it ultimately isn’t too relevant. Francis’ drama at the beginning also isn’t quite as interesting as the actual golf. I don’t know how much of this all happened in the real life accounts, but I suppose if it was all there then of course they would have to add it in.

I can’t say much about the ending since it’s all based on true events, but either way I thought it was handled pretty well. All in all there really wasn’t anything bad to say about the movie. At most you might not be thrilled to see just how bad and snobbish the people of England look the whole time. No one from the nobility looks even slightly good and they all just don’t seem to like the people from Jersey. It makes it very easy to root for the Americans. The American top player is a really loud guy who has a chip on his shoulder so he constantly yells at everybody. You still want to root for him over the others since at least he’s fighting for everyone. The others just want the rich to win so they can rub it in everyone’s face.

Overall, The Greatest Game Ever Played is definitely a classy film. The golf games are also the best that I’ve seen as I haven’t watched any other Golf movie at the moment. The writing is pretty solid and even the romance was handled rather well as it doesn’t eat up a ton of screen time or accelerate past realism. The characters just talked a bit and then left to their separate ways never to see each other again. It was a happy ending for all of the characters and aside from the rich nobility who were humiliated, the top players were just happy to have had a good game. At the end of the day that’s what you want. If you’re interested in this story then I definitely recommend checking it out. It’ll help you appreciate why we all take Golf so seriously.

Bambi Review


It’s time for a timeless classic. Unfortunately, being a classic doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll be a good move. Bambi deals with one of the classic themes of cinema, death in the family. This theme can be handled pretty well, but mainly with humans. When it comes to animals it is a whole different story. If you’ve been reading my reviews, you’ll know that I always take off points for animal violence. Well, this film has a whole lot of that so you could say that it was doomed from the start. It’s quite tragic, but Bambi simply won’t be going places in the cinema world.

The film starts off with Bambi being born and making a lot of friends among the other animals. They call him Prince Bambi and they are all pretty friendly. The only real obstacle for him is that he has a tough time walking with his really long legs. He keeps on tripping and losing his balance, but Bambi presses on. He goes to a forest to meet his father but then poachers attack and things get sticky. Can Bambi survive or is this the end of the road for him?

I definitely had nothing against the first chunk of the movie. I liked the Rabbit who helped Bambi learn how to hop and use his legs. He may have unleashed a lot of burns but his Mother always called him out on them. Even then the Rabbit would really drag out the response to at least try and save some of his dignity. He was a good character to have around, that’s for sure. I also liked the Owl and his cool facial expressions as he would glare at the little animals while preventing them from eavesdropping on the heroes. He didn’t get to do much, but was still fun.

Unfortunately, Bambi isn’t really a great main character. He panics a lot and is a little too scared of the female Bambi for the most part. It takes him a long while to get used to her and he doesn’t really become a good main character until he learns how to fight and takes on a pack of dogs along with an evil Bambi. Those scenes were good as the hero finally learned to fight and everything, but it took him quite a while. As everyone kept pointing out as we were watching the film, he’s no Rudolph. I still remember Godzilla Meets Bambi the film and I guess I can see why people put those 2 in a fight. It’s not to say that Bambi is a bad character, but he is one of Disney’s worst leads.

Lets also quickly talk about the big bombshell in the film, the animal violence. All right, so you probably know the main strife from the Bambi film as Bambi’s Mom ends up biting the big one. Unfortunately, that isn’t the only scene that comes into play here. We also get scenes of poachers shooting down birds, rabbits, and other animals that are in the way. It’s a pretty brutal array of scenes to be honest and I was wincing the whole time. “Now that I think about it, the writer’s big plan had a lot of holes from the start. Wanna eradicate the animals? Maybe next time don’t make a film in the first place!” Now, I may have slightly borrowed that phrase which is why it may feel out of place, but it works here. If you really feel like you have to add animal violence to tell a story, then it’s clearly not a good story. The same goes for romance, fanservice, excessive violence and language. If you have to force those elements into a story to get the message across, then it’s a message that didn’t deserve to be told in the first place. These scenes just absolutely destroyed the film beyond recognition. The evil Bambi showing up was even a Guilty Crown or Sword Art Online esque moment and I wasn’t exactly expecting to see that in a Disney film. Good thing Bambi was around.

It kind of sours the whole film, but if we ignore that for a minute, the animation isn’t bad. The techniques they used were fairly original as the colors started shifting during Bambi’s big fight and there were a lot of epic zoom ins. The animation has aged pretty well over the years and that is definitely an area where Disney has been consistent through the years. Unfortunately, the soundtrack is rather underwhelming. None of the songs are good and the opening theme has to be one of the weakest. I just can’t think of any good tunes here which is unfortunate. That always makes the film go by a little faster.

To make up for that, Bambi has one thing that most films don’t have, a hype character. Bambi’s Dad gets a lot of hype in the forest and he actually looks pretty good the whole time. The animals can definitely use him since the rest appeared to be doomed the whole time. It’s a pretty sad message for them in the end as the humans continue to gain ground and there really isn’t anything that they can do about it. They are simply outranked and outgunned by these people. The humans never actually get to appear so you just have to focus on the bullets.

As a whole, Bambi just seemed to be a step down from all of the Disney films in just about every category. The characters weren’t very good, the writing wasn’t very on point, the music was lack luster, etc. The animation is really the only aspect where it felt like Disney put in a lot of effort. It got a sequel which I like to think is better than the first, but we’ll see if that actually means a whole lot or not. It’ll probably be a while before I see that one though.

Overall, Bambi is one of those films that you should absolutely avoid at all costs. It may seem like a happy little animal film at first glance, but it sure isn’t. The animal violence just doesn’t stop and it completely overshadows the rest of the film. By the end you’ll be wondering why Disney is always murdering their animals. I fear for the Lion King’s safety. I don’t remember this one having quite as many animal deaths as Bambi, but it has been a while. This film is just not in good taste and I don’t know what they were thinking. Bambi can keep its legacy, I’ll take something a little more intense like All Star Superman any day.

Overall 2/10

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial Review


It’s time for one of those iconic films that is supposed to make you super emotional. If you don’t cry during the ending then your emotions might be broken. That was my general understanding on what this film is truly like, but unfortunately I didn’t cry at the end. Honestly, I never even felt remotely sad and the only emotion that I had at the time was disappointment. The film’s actually rather boring and there are no good characters. The soundtrack is the only real upside of the film.

It starts off with Elliott having a tough time at home. His brother is playing cards with a bunch of his friends and nobody wants Elliott to play with them. They send him off to go get a pizza instead, but then Elliott sees an alien run into the shed and promptly drops the pizza. Gee Elliott, if everyone was giving you a tough time before, it’s only going to get worse from here on out. Everyone blames Elliott and naturally nobody notices the alien. A lot of personal insults are thrown and the insults are pretty intense. I prefer milder insults so the film loses some props in the writing department for this. How can Elliott possibly bounce back from this? Hint: He can’t.

Long story short, the alien is called E.T. by the kid (Very original) and he just wants to go home. His family of other aliens ditched him to escape from the humans since it was a “Every man for himself” kind of moment. E.T. doesn’t take it personally at least since he is barely intelligent at first and only gradually learns how to communicate. You can’t help but feel bad for the guy since he doesn’t realize that the aliens aren’t the most noble of creatures. E.T.’s design isn’t one that I personally like, but I suppose it’s distinct. Whenever he stretches his neck I can’t help but feel like he is challenging the main characters.

As with most aliens he can be rather annoying. He makes a mess of Elliott’s room and steals food from the fridge. We even have a long scene where he gets drunk on beer. Hopefully that works as a nice PSA for other kids who are tempted to drink. Nobody wants to get drunk after all…hopefully. E.T. can use his TK abilities to fly, but he rarely does so. He spends most of the film getting scared and then losing to the government. He felt more like a liability than an asset to the main characters which you wouldn’t expect from an alien. I just never got around to sympathizing with him all that much.

Elliott is annoying as well though. He brings up the Mom’s ex husband for no reason other than to just get his revenge. Dropping the pizza was completely unnecessary and he pretends to be sick just to skip school. He also has no will power so E.T. is able to control him to make a move on one of his classmates. It was a rather terrible scene and maybe the worst one in the film. Nobody stopped Elliott and naturally they played it off like it was a happy event for both of them. I couldn’t buy into it at all. Elliott also gets a little too emotional at times and panics quite a lot. He’s not quite ready for an adventure like this.

I can’t say that I trust the government much either. One guy claims that E.T. came to him once, but I don’t believe him. They do try to keep him alive at the end, but likely to serve their own purposes. Why are they chasing the aliens? Perhaps there is no reason and chasing the aliens just seems like a good move, but they certainly are bad at their job. How could they lose him when they were so close at the beginning? Also, pointing shotguns at the kids is rather extreme.

On the positive side of things, the soundtrack was definitely really good. You can really hear a lot of Star Wars in it at all times which helped convey a sense of danger. The rest of the film didn’t really contribute, but at least the music tried. While the writing wasn’t particularly good, the music helps it get a little more bearable. Some reactions really were over the top though. The Mom panicking every time Mexico was mentioned or her quick laugh after Elliott’s insult before telling him off. The laugh was incredibly out of place. A lot of the film also just feels like filler as we have happy times with the alien. One positive of modern blockbusters that this film could have used was more explosions. Have there be an evil E.T. or something. Apparently the sequel would have had evil aliens so I have a feeling that this would have been a whole lot more exciting.

I’ll give the film some props in another scene. During the frog dissections I was worried that the film was really going to shoot itself in the foot. It did in a way during the random scene with Elliott’s classmate, but the frogs all got to escape. That was great. I personally do think that it’s very inhumane for schools to have kids murder frogs just to learn about anatomy. That’s what we have books for and realistically close to 0% of those kids are going to work in that field so the frogs are dying for nothing. Saving them was probably the most heroic point of Elliott’s life even if he didn’t do it willingly and E.T. was controlling him from afar. The dog that was in the film was also cool even if his role was rather small.

Overall, E.T. isn’t a very fun film. It has very bad pacing and nothing really happens until the government shows up near the very end. The film is over 2 hours I believe so it drags on immensely in the meantime. Also the annoying cast hurts. Lets put this into perspective, all of the main characters are kids. That’s bad news. I’m not a fan of kids being the main characters so when all of the main cast are kids, we’ve got a problem. The bullies turning over a new leaf didn’t count since they just wanted to defy authority. Elliott never became all that likable and I wasn’t sold on his brother either. The sister was quick to betray the others whenever she thought she could rat them out about E.T. so she was rather annoying as well. The film even messed up the ending as it should have been E.T. peddling away on his bicycle. Imagine the cool visual that would have been. It could have saved the film and made the whole thing more emotional. Anyway, I don’t think this film has aged well and I’d avoid it. If you want a better alien story, check out Man of Steel.

Overall 4/10

The Frozen Ghost Review


It’s time to look at a retro Lon Chaney film. I’ve seen quite a few of his films and still have a bunch of others to see someday. This one is a classic tale of hypnosis and whether it is real or not. There are certainly quite a few antagonists in this film and their plans are so risky that they can even prove fatal. It’s a pretty interesting film, even if it can get a tad convoluted at times.

Alex is a skilled master of mental abilities and has been working in this trade for a long time. One day a drunk individual shows up declaring that Alex is a fraud. Alex decides to prove him wrong by hypnotizing the guy, but then he also ends up wishing that the drunk would die. The drunk does abruptly die and Alex is thrown into a state of shock. It can’t be proven that he did it of course and everyone tells him that it was a coincidence, but Alex doesn’t think so. He moves into a wax museum to try and get past this and even breaks up with his fiancee Maura. Unfortunately, he has just entered the Lion’s Den as George, Rudi, and Valerie all want him dead. Nina is the only person in the Wax Museum who doesn’t have any ill will towards him, but it’s rather easy to be fooled when everyone around you is giving you false intel. How will Alex get out of this situation without using his mental abilities to fatally end this?

Alex is a good character as always although he can maybe be a little too low in confidence. He immediately blames himself quite a bit and goes into mourning so fiercely that he just tries to make life as tough for himself as possible. It’s not really necessary and pushing Maura away was also a little too extreme. Dishing out his own punishments was definitely not a great call on his part. Alex did have a good plan at the end though and at least he didn’t totally lose himself in what was happening. Maura was a good heroine and she never stopped trying to help Alex. She was able to persevere and was definitely a trust worthy ally that Alex could depend on. He was lucky to have her around.

Nina was rather naive and didn’t handle any situation too well, but it can’t all be blamed on her. As I mentioned earlier, it’s hard to really get what is happening when there is nobody around to give you even a semi-accurate account of what has transpired. She wasn’t a villain at least so that was someone else that Alex could trust or at least not fear. George and the other villains were rather petty and did all they could to smear Alex’s name and erase whatever confidence he had left. They were decent in their roles, but not nearly as interesting as Ilona from another film that I have a review coming out for soon and other such antagonists.

I did like Inspector Brant and while he kept on doubting Alex and not believing in mind powers, I can’t really blame him for that. At least he was doing his job well and quickly hustled to take down the villains. He even swallowed his pride and asked Alex for help at the end with a particularly difficult case. In a rare moment of selfishness, Alex declined as he claimed that he didn’t have any powers just to mess with Brant. I thought that was a little mean of Alex and his decision could have some real consequences. He could have saved a person or even many depending on what kind of crime he may have been able to stop. The fact of the matter is that he let his personal grudge with Brant interfere with his job to help society. Even if it wasn’t a grudge and Alex just wanted to have some fun, it was certainly at the wrong time and I can only hope that Brant was able to solve the case by himself.

You can draw a lot of similarities between this film and Calling Doctor Death. There was a lot of betrayal and hypnosis going around between the main cast. The climaxes may have been a little different, but overall it felt like two alternate routes to what was essentially the same main plot. This film had less monologue from Alex though. Both films were solid, but I might have to give the ever so slight edge to Calling Doctor Death. Regardless, both are rather short films and you can even see them back to back since they’re both pretty fun and fast paced.

You may just lose track of some of the characters after a while. It’s not so much that the cast is big, but everyone has quite a few motives and since Alex is oblivious to everything around him, it’s sometimes hard to tell exactly what is happening. I still say that the villain’s plans also were a little iffy and they definitely wouldn’t work too well against a different main character. There were a lot of gambles here, but most of them paid off I suppose. Without Maura, the villains probably would have had the last laugh here.

Overall, this is definitely another fun film to add to your collection. It doesn’t take itself too seriously aside from Alex since Chaney always takes himself very seriously and always makes sure to be an upstanding guy. Seriously, it feels like people try to tempt Alex to the dark side in every film or give him chances for revenge, but Alex never cracks. He always stays as an upstanding hero and makes all of the right calls. The plot is pretty good and will keep you guessing the whole way. One villain’s fate is rather sad since the plan backfired a little, but that’s why you shouldn’t lock yourself away in a freezer. I forget if that was purely part of the plan or not, but even if it was an improvisation, it’s a sad way to go out. You’ll probably sympathize with Alex as the film goes on and his strong conscience just makes it all the worse for him. I definitely recommend checking this film out and then you can make your own guesses as to whether or not his powers were actually real. For the record, I’d definitely say that they are based on the very first circumstance. I don’t buy into coincidences and it just makes sense. It’d be cool to see how this version of Chaney would stack up against the Werewolf. I may have to actually give this one the edge although the Man-Made Monster, electric version of himself is probably the most lethal. It’s cool to see how many different monsters he’s become over the years.

Overall 7/10

Sense and Sensibility Review

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It’s time for a romance drama. As you may have expected, this was a fairly terrible movie. It tries very hard to be the next Cinderella, but somewhere along the road it lost sight of what was happening and devolved into a train wreck much like the Street Fighter V release. If only this film could have been as emotional as ET!

The characters and their names do not really matter in this film so let’s get right to the plot. There are these two sisters and their mother who used to have a fairly nice life. One day, their benefactor died and his full inheritance went to someone who was unrelated to them. The dying man told this guy to make sure that the ladies were well provided for, but his wife quickly convinced him to renege on his word. The guy agreed since deep down he does love money and the girls were quickly thrown into a life of hardship and passive aggressive dealings. If they had been tough enough to actually stand up for themselves in this civilized time, then maybe things could have been a little different.

Either way, this was the only part of the film where you could feel bad for the main heroines. It’s a plot that I never like to see, but at least the plight was very real. It’s sad to go from owning your own house to essentially being the maidservants there. The film lost me when the heroines left to live with a nice old couple though. Suddenly, their situation wasn’t half bad and the place was actually pleasant. They no longer needed to worry about their situation financially and the upbeat atmosphere of the mansion would do wonders for the cast…or would it? Unfortunately, not everyone is very grateful.

The heroines act as if the old couple are a nuisance (Aside from the youngest sister) and they apparently prefer the quietness of being servants than the loud rumblings of the current dinner situation. That’s where I lost my sympathy, how could they ever miss the old days when the situation is so good over here. Sure, the old couple gossips a lot and they’re always talking, but it certainly beats the alternatives. The problem is that the main characters are not likable. None of the characters are really likable although the old couple would be the best characters by default I suppose. It’s still not saying a whole lot.

This whole film revolves around the question, “Do you care if you’re simply the rebound guy?” None of the characters do and they’re personally satisfied with it, but would you be? Just think about it for a moment, the person that you like has repeatedly turned you down and been very rude to you your whole life since you’re just an annoyance to the person. An obstacle that should be gone. One day, the friend’s love interest reveals that he’s just been using her for the thrills and runs off so she says that she’ll go with you now. The main guy in the film basically says “Great, I’ll grab my stuff!” as they’re married the very next day. (Something like that) It felt rather odd, but also sad because it’s actually realistic.

People are so easy nowadays that they’re desperate for love. This scenario is actually not all that uncommon and just makes the characters look even worse. Essentially, the same thing happens with another pair, only they broke up like 3 times first and again, the girl was the second choice. The guy had made a promise to someone else that he would marry her about a decade earlier so when he remembered the promise, it was game over for the main character. The lady called it off though so the guy quickly went back to the main charcater, but he had already dumped her twice and ignored her several times at a party, pretending not to know her. He even sent her a letter saying that he had never loved her. Erm….is this what true romance is?

One of the characters admitted that classics like Romeo and Juliet had “pathetic endings” which I did have to agree with. I don’t use such strong words, but you have to admit that those romances are rather terrible and know nothing about true love. If you have fallen in love at first sight, then you know that it is fake love. The problem is that most people will never realize this so we’ll get films like this one.

No worries guys, this film’s still not getting a 0 or anything like that. I’m not even giving it a 1 since it’s not horrendous. It’s terrible and boring, but doesn’t cross the line into Sucker Punch territory. My main complaint with the film aside from the characters is the fact that it is very boring. The film drags on and on and the plot doesn’t make a lot of sense. As I explained, the characters should have been happy with the old couple, but for the sake of drama, they quickly revolted. That’s not cool. The romance was handled very poorly as well, but you probably saw that coming didn’t you? I have been bashing it for quite a few paragraphs at this point….

Who knows, maybe zombies would have spiced things up a bit. I can definitely say that the MVPs of this film were definitely the dogs that had been running around the place. They were neat and it makes me wish that they could have been around a little more to mock the main characters and their unwise choices. I also have to say that tripping in a grassy plain is quite lazy and does make it seem as if you’re a very weak character. We wouldn’t want people to get the right impression now would we?

Overall, This is a very boring film and one that you should not bother to watch. It doesn’t help that this is set in the olden times where everything looked dreary and dull. How I miss my modernized glass buildings and video games at every twist and turn. There’s no real language, which is one of the good things about having an old film, but with a large array of terrible characters at every turn, it doesn’t make a whole lot of difference. If you want to watch an emotional movie, check out Peanuts instead. At least that one has Snoopy and it’s said that he can hold an entire film all on his own. Now that’s what I call talent!

Overall 2/10

Dumbo Review

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Dumbo is one of the oldest Disney films, but that didn’t stop it from being a box office hit. It’s easy to see why you could like Dumbo as it’s a simple, but direct film. It cuts to the chase right away since it’s so short and the characters can be fun. It’s definitely not amazing, but I was glad to see Dumbo’s mother take out the human with the whip. Those guys definitely needed to be taught their place!

The plot of the movie is that an Elephant is born with very large ears. The others decide that this deformity means that he should turn in his elephant card and they basically decide to give him the silent treatment. Dumbo’s mom tries to help, but she is put into solitary. Dumbo’s pretty sad at this turn of events, but luckily he meets up with Timothy Q. Timothy has never liked bullies so he puts the other elephants in their place and tries to cheer Dumbo up. He shows the elephant the meaning of friendship and compassion in the face of adversity. He may be small, but he has a big heart!

Timothy really steals the show as he’s easily the best character in the film. His scenes are always a lot of fun like when he intimidated the elephants. He gets Dumbo to get out of his shell and is directly responsible for the film having any kind of happy ending. Without him, the film wouldn’t have been nearly as good. Dumbo’s a decent character, but not really my kind of main character. He’s a little too quiet and gets pushed around by everyone else all the time. A little more spark and intensity from Dumbo would have definitely been appreciated. The ability to fly with his ears is quite awesome though and he should be proud of them. The other Elephants are just jealous and now the world will be as well since he has become such a sensation!

I also liked the birds who flew around as they were the only ones to get the edge on Timothy at one point. While they were a little hostile at first, they ended up being good allies in the end. They showed up after a very intense scene as Timothy and Dumbo found out why you should never drink any kind of alcoholic beverage. They had a very intense acid dream where Elephants merged and the pink lights tried to blind you. I thought that was very intense and while the scene did last a while, it wasn’t painfully long like something out of 2001 the Space Odyssey. The scene was fun and handled with a good amount of tact.

That also brings me into one of the main positives for the film, which is that the animation holds up incredibly well considering how old this film is. This was in the 40’s, but you could easily mistake it for an 80’s-90’s film. It’s sad that we have animation that is nearly 100 years old, yet can beat out some of the modern cartoons like Uncle Grandpa or even Teen Titans Go in terms of pure animation. Dumbo just feels more solid and certainly more vibrant. The colors really leap out at you.

As this is an old film, the writing is also quite good as well. The characters all sound fairly real. Naturally the bullies aren’t likable, but at least their insults are fairly dignified and you can tell that they have a lot of experience with the insults. They are ultimately defeated and humiliated on stage so they should have probably realized that they were doomed to fall.

My only real problem with the film is that things can get a little too sad for Dumbo. At one point, he is reduced to being a clown and jumping into a pie. The fall was quite large and he actually got slightly injured, which was a big no no for me. Luckily, Dumbo tipped the scales at the end, but some more domination from the young lead would have been a lot of fun as well. Of course, the film was quite short so it didn’t have that much time for Dumbo to really show off his moves, but if he was older, he could have handled the situation a little better.

Overall, Dumbo’s a good film. It’s very short so there’s not a whole lot more to say about it. It’s very peaceful and you’ll enjoy watching it as a calming experience. Once again, I’ve got to say that the animation is very impressive and that factor alone makes it completely worth seeing. You’ll quickly forget that this film came out wayyyyy back in the 1940’s. The intro was also neat as he probably helped to invent the old tale of how babies were actually dropped at your door step by a large bird. Even Yoshi’s Island had fun with that in one of the games as we learned Mario’s true origin. Dumbo never got as popular as the other Disney films, but it can hold its own. I’d recommend checking this film out so you can be ready to the remake. I just hope that the new Dumbo film ends up being good as a film about any animal can always be verrrrry dangerous!

Overall 6/10

Jurassic World Review

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I recently saw all three Jurassic Park films so I was all set for this one. To an extent, the premise of the Jurassic Park franchise guarantees that the films will always get low scores thanks to the fact that it revolves around dinosaurs and will have a lot of animal violence. This film is no exception and it’s safe to say that it does lose to Jurassic Park III, but beats the first two films. If you’re a fan of the older films, you should definitely enjoy this one.

Claire has helped to put Jurassic Park back onto the map as the new amusement park, Jurassic World. While her boss doesn’t care to much about the financial part of the operations, that’s where she comes in. She had her team create a new dinosaur that was even bigger than the T Rex to increase the wow factor of the park, but ends up underestimating the creature. It escapes so she is forced to call in the resident dinosaur expert, Owen Grady!

That’s essentially the plot in a nutshell and while I will be talking about the film a lot, I’ll try to avoid spoilers. I managed to see this film yesterday which was fun since a day 0 viewing is always intense. The audience wasn’t quite as ready to roll as they were in Age of Ultron or the first Avengers, but it’s mostly due to the timeslot. They were still ready for action though and I had my comfortable recliner so I was ready for anything as well.

I was cracking up for the first 30-45 minutes. Roughly of course since this isn’t the kind of film where you will be glancing at your watch. It was probably partially intentional by the film, but I mostly didn’t laugh at its jokes, but at the scenes due to being unintentionally funny. One example of a joke where I was laughing (on the inside, I rarely laugh on the outside) was when the parents tease Zach after his heartwarming moment with his friend. It was all in good fun so the parents went a little higher on my coolness chart. They were essentially non factors here though as their screen time was minimal. The kids were fairly awful, but they did help the humor for the film.

Another example is when the two kids finally meet up with Claire. She tries to be nice and excited about seeing them only to get one of the more awkward receptions. Zach basically doesn’t want to talk to her at all and Gray’s mood swings of being somber and then super excited don’t wait for anyone. Claire can’t stay so she lets her assistant babysit them. You just gotta feel bad for Claire and I sympathized with her for the whole film. She doesn’t have a lot of free time so it makes sense that she hasn’t seen her nephews in 7 years. It’s regrettable, but these things happen and the kids shouldn’t hold it against her. She’s trying to be a good Aunt, but they never even gave her a chance. Gray may have, but he was disheartened when she couldn’t stay.

Let’s quickly talk about the two kids. Zach’s thing is that he believes that he’s really cool. He completely ignores his parents at times and ends up flirting with every single girl that he meets. (Even though he’s taken) Zach’s constantly giving Gray a hard time. “Sometimes we have to grow up!” Those may not have been his exact words, but he gets a lot of the most generic dialogue in the film and he’s also a shining bad example in many situations like when he decides to head to the forbidden zone. He felt like the kind of character that you would see in a commercial warning you not to hang out with people like that. He has his hero moments towards the end with Gray of course and he sees the light, but that would help him in the sequel, not here. He was just terrible.

No worries, Gray was awful as well. He’s way too excited and constantly blasts through rides to the dismay of the babysitter. At one point, he starts to whine about where all the dinosaurs are…even though we see that dozens of them are in front of him only about a minute later. There’s no way that he wouldn’t have been able to see them. It reminds me of a critique for the flowers film where someone saw a dead body before they ever could have seen it. Sort of the opposite of this event. Gray really had no consideration for anyone but himself during his visit to the park and while you can sympathize with him since Zach doesn’t want to hang out with him, Gray should have still done a better job of enjoying the park. He’s also pretty emotionless when pointing out a giant dinosaur that is around.

Time for a few quick nitpicks. After two characters jump into a lake, we see them walking a few minutes later and they are hardly wet. Their hair is matter and one of the T shirts is soggy, but the characters look way too dry considering the fact that they were completely underwater for a little while. Anyone who has ever jumped into a pool and then walked out will know that you don’t dry out that quickly. There’s also the ball ride where two characters explore the park. Even once an emergency announcement cuts off the presentation and tells everyone to leave…the ball is unaffected. The passenger still has complete control of it and that’s certainly not very safe. If passengers could control these things to go wherever they wanted, people would constantly be crashing into dinosaurs.

I did also chuckle at the fact that one guy’s whole job was making sure that all of the balls were safe during the crisis. He tells everyone that they’re all safe until he actually looks at the screen and realizes that one is gone. Whoops….that didn’t look too good for the guy. I liked his Dinosaur collection and admired the fact that he always talked a good game, but he was out of his league and he also tried flirting towards the end. Luckily, it wound up being the ultimate friend zone moment and I thought that it was handled rather well. We need more friend zone moments to be honest as they would make just about every film better.

The actual park is definitely somewhere that you would want to go and it looks kind of like Epcot. They have big water rides and a petting zoo section as well. You could say that it’s a fusion of your local zoo with one of the big amusement parks. It’s hard to believe that people would get bored of such a place even though the wow factor was apparently leaving. How I see it, Zoos have remained relevant for decades, a Dinosaur park would at least last 20 years without any big decline in viewership. That being said, Claire may have been overreacting as the numbers still seemed to be quite good when she was mentioning the statistics.

Let’s take this time to quickly talk about Owen and Claire. I haven’t really mentioned Owen up til now, but he did have some solid scenes. I did enjoy his interactions with the Raptors and I like how it was handled. He was their partner, not their boss although he thought of himself as an Alpha. Owen’s essentially your average action hero who has his good moments and his iffy ones. His flirting and dicey remarks keep him from being a good character, but he’s still decent for the most part. It’s easy to root for him at any rate and he certainly knows what he’s doing. He’s another guy who never bows to authority and talks when he feels like it. Imagine if everyone in real life were so bold right? I think the world would be topsy turvy before long.

Claire is a good main heroine for the film and she was actually one of my favorite characters. She didn’t want to have kids which is a noble goal and she has spent her career moving up in the ranks until she became one of the higher ups at the biggest amusement park in the world. That’s no small feat to say the least. Towards the end of the film, she has a bit of a generic ending where you can probably guess that she decides to back away from one part of her logic, but she was still a good character through and through. I thought that she did a decent job watching the kids. Sure, she left that to the assistant, but she gave them VIP passes and they got to have a blast. It’s not like she could take a day off when the big bosses were in town and awaiting her sales pitch after all. I also can’t really imagine her getting on some of the rides and having a blast like the kids. Actually, one of the rides was only built for 2 anyway.

The assistant was actually fairly likable and I originally thought that she was going to be one of the main characters. The actress looked like the main one from Twilight so I thought that I may have just been out of the loop there, but considering her minimal role, I’m going to assume that it was someone else. She definitely didn’t care to be there, but she’s probably seen and been on all of the rides many times over at this point. Still, her facade was good enough to fool the kids I’d say, but they were intent on giving her a tough time right from the start. Her character path goes down a dicey road and I felt bad for the whole time. It just wasn’t her day.

The higher up in charge of the park was decently charismatic. The film was going for a Tony Stark kind of feel for the guy and it worked to an extent. He started to look a little iffy towards the end though, but at least he cared about the dinosaurs a little. As always, there is a human antagonist to liven things up and he is similar to the guy from the first film. He talks tough to everyone and he has his own plans in mind. He gave the film another jolt of humor and I liked him as one of the big bads. This guy certainly wasn’t playing around.

Time to talk about the mystery dino. If you’re seen the trailers, then you know that there is a new Dinosaur hybrid attacking everyone. While she is a little smaller than I had expected, she still packs a punch and makes for a great threat. There are few dinos who can hope to match up to this fighter and she is also very smart. The fact that this dinosaur has been created in a lab gave the writers a little freedom to add some new techniques so this dinosaur doesn’t just need to rely on physical strength. It has two defensive skills, which greatly increase how deadly it can be in a fight. This dinosaur was definitely one of the highlights.

The classics like the T Rex and the Raptor are also present of course and I still love both dinosaurs. Once you see this film, you’ll be reminded why the T Rex is so awesome and how merciless the Raptors can be. It would have been fun to have seen the Spinosaurus enter the fray, but maybe next time. The Raptors get a fairly large role and are integral to the plot. They are still my favorite Dinosaurs out there and I don’t expect that to change anytime soon. They just look so happy and cuddly next to all of the others.

As you might expect, there is a big climactic fight towards the end of the film and it’s quite impressive. It was a fight that I actually called out as I walked into the theater and I was thrilled to see it play out. The fighters gave it their all and we see some nice teamwork as well. The fight isn’t that short either and gives the dinosaurs enough time to really show what they are made of. It’s easily the best fight scene that we’ve gotten in the Jurassic Park franchise and it’s hard to picture this one being topped.

There are some plot elements left around to get you ready for the inevitable sequel. Let’s just say that the next film could have dog sized super dinosaurs running around and it’ll make for a pretty epic clash. Alternately, it could have a plot similar to the original King Kong. Either way, the sequel should be fun and I wonder if the main characters would return or if it would be time for a new cast. I would like these characters to return, but I’m open to change so that we wouldn’t have to see the kids return.

Now, this review sounds decently positive so you may expect something like a 7? A 7 is what the film would have gotten if not for the main negative, but it is something that it almost literally impossible for the Jurassic Park franchise to get away from. That is…animal violence. It’s a dinosaur eat dinosaur world out there so it’s expected and I’m not surprised at the fact that dinosaurs are getting hurt all over the place. It simply makes sense even if it is regrettable. So, while I enjoyed the film as a whole, I’ve still got to cripple the final rating due to how many times an animal is injured and how prevalent this is in the film.

One scene is really just there so that the mini army can get some hype as a gun man casually shoots one of the Pterodactyls. That was just unnecessary and a lot of the other animal scenes aren’t much better. We see dinosaurs blown up, eaten, and effectively drowned. If you’re a dinosaur in this film, then you’re in a whole lot of trouble. A lot of the hurt also comes to my good ole Raptors, which is unfortunate, but probably a price of being one of the main characters. I could go on and on, but you get the drift and it occurs too often to be overlooked so you should prepare for a fairly low score on this one.

Still, it was more fun than the first three Jurassic Park films and certainly seemed to have more fun with itself as well. I’m glad that the Park finally got to open and the film was certainly able to make it look much more authentic than it could have with older effects. This is one of those times where the fact that it’s modern and has some good effects, really helps it. To an extent, I feel like new technology will always help films to have an edge over older ones. The older ones typically hold their own through the better writing, but when you have a good modern film against a good old one, the modern one certainly has that extra edge. Jurassic Park III still wins overall, but the tone and pacing of this film can’t be beat. World feels like a classic Summer Blockbuster.

Hmmm, have I touched on everything? I managed to stay pretty vague on all spoiler related areas and that also slightly limits what I can discuss in the review. The first half was really funny and made this the funniest film in the series and the ending also had the best action scene from all 4 so it was a nice balance. Any scene with the Raptors is typically a good scene as well. As for the soundtrack, you’ll certainly recognize the classic theme from the first film as well as the trailer theme, which plays during one of the scenes. The soundtrack may be a tad generic at points, but the main theme is still iconic and you probably won’t be forgetting it anytime soon. As long as you have one memorable scene, that’s more than most films have got.

While the animal violence is really the only big negative, there are some mild ones as well since this still wouldn’t be a perfect film if the violence was gone. (Although it would be a good-very good one) The kids naturally weren’t good characters, but the rest of the cast helped to nullify them. The writing isn’t great although this is mainly due to Owen and Zach’s characters as the rest are typically fine. There is one scene that will puzzle you a little bit as two security guards seem to have no idea that the Park is in trouble even though the alarms had already gone through a good half hour ago. It struck me as a little odd and random. That’s about it so the film was mostly solid. At around 2 hours, it was a good run time, which gave the film enough time to develop the characters and showcase the dinosaurs.

While Jurassic World is mainly a popcorn film with a lot of epic action and enjoyable moments, it can actually get pretty somber and sad at other moments. One of those moments is the Dinosaur graveyard, which is definitely tragic and one of the more emotional moments of the film. One moment that is supposed to be emotional is when we learn of a divorce, but it has no point in the film and its thrown out so randomly that you probably won’t feel any emotion other than a casual wince. Of course, if you like to have fun with films, then that may be a good thing as I was having fun grinning and wincing for some of the dialogue, but in a good way. On the whole, Jurassic World is still a fairly upbeat film that stays happy for most of its run time as it only gets sad once in a while.

The Pterodactyl attack scene will just get thrown in with the rest of the animal violence issue, but I wonder how some critics will take it. I read a critique of Jurassic Park III that Pterodactyls shouldn’t be strong enough to lift a grown man. Let’s just say that they lift quite a few people during the attack in this one. Is the science/films right or are the real life keyboard warriors correct on this one? I don’t know myself, but it seems perfectly feasible that Pterodactyle could lift humans up since animals are typically so tough. I’m no dinosaur expert though and am happy just being a casual moviegoer.

Overall, I’m definitely glad that I saw this one. If you liked the first three Jurassic Park films, then you should definitely like this one a lot. At the most, you may not like the fact that it’s much more of an action film than the first Jurassic Park, which was a survival film, but it’s still about dinosaurs and it’s still a good film so I believe that you would end up enjoying it. The animal violence is regrettable and it’s something that likely won’t leave the series until they bring in the mecha dinosaurs and I’m ready for that to enter the picture soon. Well, next stop should be good ole Terminator and it’ll be fun to see how that holds up.

Overall 3/10

Patema Inverted Review

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It’s time to review a pretty recent anime film. Aside from franchise titles like (Super) Naruto and (Ultimate) DBZ, I rarely have time to check out one shot anime films like this one. I check out a bunch of live action ones, but anime films are just a little rarer. Well, I can safely say that this was a pretty good title and it succeeded in its genre pretty well. It’s not really an action so you shouldn’t go into the film expecting a lot of fights, but the dialogue is good and the plot is interesting. In the end, that’s all that you need to be a good film if you play your cards right.

A cruel trick of fate sent many of the world’s inhabitants into the sky along with everything that they had built. Their gravity had shifted thanks to an experiment that went dreadfully wrong. The ones who managed to cling onto something escaped underground, where they live an upside down..or inverted life. Patema is the princess of these people and one day she is chased by a batman (Aw yeah!) so she trips and falls above ground. She meets a man named Age who helps her inside a house so she doesn’t float all the way up to space. Age must help her get home, but the corrupt government wants to destroy her along with all of the other Inverts. Can the bonds of friendship between Age and Patema be enough to stop these villains or will they need to fight!?

That’s the jist of the film. The gimmick of being forced to endure reverse gravity is definitely interesting. The film shows you Patema’s point of view on more than one occasion and it’s always very interesting to see. Mentally picturing it can be quite difficult even if you just think about flipping everything. It’s simply not an easy thing to do and the sky certainly becomes a fearsome sight as it’s essentially a fall to oblivion. Needless to say, you never want to fall down. It would certainly be tough to live like that and I do have to wonder how her people were able to survive. How did they build enough equipment to sustain life or make food to eat? These are questions that we can just sidestep for a while I suppose, but they will certainly linger with you for a while.

The soundtrack is pretty good. It’s upbeat and fitting for the film while also retaining some dramatic tunes for the serious moments. You probably won’t remember a whole lot of the themes by the time that it is over, but they were still enjoyable. We also got a lyrical song during one-two of the scenes, which was pretty neat as well. I’m always ready for a good insert song. We also got some good animation as well. It may not be quite as good as the average anime of that year (Anime keep on growing better and better as the years go by (barring the 90’s) so it’s really tough for any film to match them at this point) but it still looks good. It is slightly more mainstreamed/americanized in the designs, but the eyes keep the true anime feel to it that I am always fond of. There weren’t many chances to show off the animation like with fight scenes or chaotic backgrounds, but all of the scenes did look pretty good. It certainly helps the adventure move along and stay enjoyable.

Patema is one of the main characters and she’s a likable lead. She is curious about the surface world and is one of the only individuals brave enough to head there. It was partially by accident, but most of the others wouldn’t even investigate the area so she still holds the edge in bravery. Considering how scary the visuals are from her point of view, she definitely deserves some props as she chooses to trust Age as they run across the landscapes. If he were to let go for an instant, it would be game over.

Age seems like a nice guy and he’s also a pretty good main character. He seems to be pretty bored with the current system that the world has set in place and he’s glad to disregard protocol when he meets Patema. Both of them have sad origins involving their parents or relatives so they bond pretty quickly. Age is determined to help Patema no matter what so he gets his share of heroics as the film goes on. He’s still not the greatest lead out there as I would like to see a little more aggression and hot headedness in him, but Age gets the job done. He’s not annoying or just mean like other leads.

The film deserves a lot of credit for staying away from the old fanservice trap. There’s no fanservice to be found here and you always feel like giving the film a fistbump when you realize that what it has achieved. It’s still pretty rare for a film to avoid the trap so you have to sing its praises. The one gripe that I would have with the film’s writing is that Age didn’t stay in the friend zone. I was hoping that Patema would tell Age that he was a nice friend, but that he shouldn’t get any ideas about being more than that. This didn’t happen and they ultimately get past that point. At least it’s only a quick scene and it doesn’t last for long while also being mostly off screen, but that also shows just how close the film was to keeping that friend zone at the ready. You don’t fall in love after a single day/week after all.

Now, where would this film be without a villain right? Unfortunately, we are all out of interesting ones so it’s time to settle for a generic foe. The head of the government is an old man who’s pretty twisted and he has probably cracked. He wants to destroy all inverts because he knows that they would usurp his power and change the status quo. Naturally, we can’t have that so that’s why he wants to get rid of them all. If he just stuck to yelling threats and pointing his gun around, he could have been decent or at least tolerable. Unfortunately, that just doesn’t happen and he talks way too much. It’s a shame that nobody thinks to dethrone him since he’s so blatantly evil.

The villain has a right hand man, but that character is pretty bland. He has a big moment by the end and we realize that his character has some potential, but it’s also a little late by then. What has this guy been doing all these years? It definitely took him a while to do anything. Patema also has a friend who helps out a little during some of the scenes, but his role is still pretty small. He thinks of himself as Age’s rival, but that doesn’t always work out for him.

As with most films, there is one scene that will definitely make you think of the term “Plot hax.” Age’s father built a blimp so he could prove that being in the air wasn’t evil, but he randomly fell out and died. People were pretty sad, but they knew that it was simply the curse coming back to bite him. I’m sure that it’s pretty obvious how the guy died, but why didn’t any of the spectators notice? They likely wouldn’t have heard anything, but they were right under him so a quick body inspection would be impossible to stop. All of those witnesses should have seen everything so I definitely didn’t buy the plot twist. The dad seemed like a nice guy and I also liked his inverted counterpart, Lagos. A film about their exploits may not have been bad, but they didn’t get a whole lot of time together so it would be short. They definitely got along pretty well and it’s a shame that they couldn’t get a happier ending.

Overall, Patema Inverted is a pretty good film. As I mentioned earlier, it’s not an action film and I would treat it more as a slice of life or maybe a drama. The film starts out as an average day for Age and then it becomes an adventure that he’ll never forget. The film is all about looking at the world from a different perspective and it’s fun to see the heroes learn how to use their different gravity situations for the better. Flying sounds like a lot of fun and going through the clouds must be a lot of fun. There are really no negatives to speak of here and the film never drags on. This means that we’re getting another film that easily reaches 7 stars here on the blog. It just goes to show that good writing will trump the lack of action weakness every time. I definitely recommend checking this film out as it’s good in all areas. It’s a complete cinematic experience and one of the better one shot anime films that I’ve seen.

Overall 7/10

The Bad Seed Review

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Well, it’s time to look at a really old film that couldn’t manage to be that good. It’s an uncommon occurrence, but we have seen it occur as with the Picture of Dorian Grey. This film is much worse than that one and we’re talking 2001 levels of wince worthiness. The concept doomed the film from the start so there’s not much that it could have done, but it still managed to underwhelm.

Christine’s life seems to be just about perfect. Her husband is a hard working member of the army and her daughter is extremely polite. Mix that in with her nice neighbors and she really couldn’t hope for better. Unfortunately, her life begins to unravel once she finds out that her daughter is not quite as nice as she appears. No, she is actually pretty bad and now she must decide what to do with Rhoda. Will she even be able to do something about this situation?

Well, I’ve got to start somewhere so let’s just look at one of the film’s big problems from the get go. That’s the plot. For horror films, I prefer (in this order) the villain to be a Kaiju>>>Monster>>>Alien>>Super Powered Thug>>>Random guy>>>Friend>>>Family Member>>>Main Character. I never like it when the big villain actually turns out to be a family member or the main character. “The main character is the villain” twist almost never works and it makes it hard to root for anyone. I also don’t care for the friend ultimately becoming the big villain either in this kind of film although it can work out depending on how it’s handled. In a more comic bookey film like the Avengers, it works out beautifully, but imagining that subplot in an old film like this one…well it wouldn’t work.

It’s naturally used because a twist like this can really be milked for emotional value and you know that the characters will have a tough time taking Rhoda to the authorities despite the fact that she is a murderer. Well, it may cause some drama for the characters, but as a film plot, it’s more annoying than anything else. The heroes know what they should do and watching them not do it can be sad. By “them” I’m really talking about Christine.

The Bad Seed also drags on a lot. It may only be a little over 2 hours, but it’ll feel like 3 by the time that it is done. I was 1 hour into the film and I thought that we were at the ending because it had been so long. Little did I know that we weren’t quite done yet. It helps that we all know how mean Rhoda is, but the characters refuse to believe it for a while. So, you can only watch a villain trick the heroes with a cutesy act for so long before you begin to get bored.

The film did opt for a different ending than the book and both have their demerits so it’s tough to say which is better. Naturally, I can’t even go too much into this area for spoiler reasons, but the best ending would have been to send Rhoda to jail. This doesn’t get to happen, but I’m happy that the aunt got to survive. She was definitely one of the better characters in the film and she really meant well. She even has a Lovebird so you can tell that she’s a respectable person. The film doesn’t resort to animal violence so I’ll give the film some props there.

The film has one character named Leroy who doesn’t add anything to the movie. He is just here to the audience has another unlikable character to root against. I suspect that this is supposed to make you want to take Rhoda’s side despite what she has done. They simply didn’t need to add this guy and at least his wisecrack about someone being lonely doesn’t go anywhere. I was expecting it too and for Rhoda to destroy him, proving that her skills can be used for good. That doesn’t happen though and we’re left with a bad character.

Rhoda is definitely not good as well. Her reasons for destroying people boil down to one thing. She simply wants whatever she can’t have and she’ll destroy anyone to get it. She destroys a kid, an old lady, and an adult so she covers all of the bases. Naturally, this doomed her as a character from the start and we have more cases of civilian deaths, which aren’t cool. Destroying characters who can’t fight back is always pretty distasteful and it was yet another nail in the coffin for this movie. It’s also a stretch that the kid made it to the raft and the lifeguard didn’t notice, but Rhoda tends to plan for everything.

Christine also deserves some of the blame since she tries to cover this up rather than going to the proper authorities like she should have. That was a critical mistake on her part and it’s something that she should have tried a little harder to avoid. Instead of doing that, she just decides to cross the line and it’s not a great move. I also have to question the ending because it means that the shot must not have hit something critical. I don’t see how you can miss at such close range.

The film has an interesting tale about bad seeds and the theory where you can inherit being evil through your genes as opposed to the environment shaping you. It’s the Nature vs Nurture argument that people like to discuss and it’s naturally a bit of a mix. I’m more on the Nature side as in the soul, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the genes. You can inherit someone’s looks and probably a bit of their character as well, but the choices between good and evil are ultimately your own. Nobody’s destined to be a great person or to be a bad one. That’s simply something that you decide from the get go. The film suggests otherwise and I definitely disagree there. Rhoda became a bad person on her own and it ultimately came back to bite her.

Still, if the whole film had just been a discussion between the professionals, that could have been entertaining. Listening to theories and such is always pretty enjoyable and it may not be for everyone, but 2 hours of that could actually be amusing so long as they don’t begin to run in circles. I suppose that just about everything would have been an improvement for this film though. It didn’t even have a soundtrack to protect us from the events. Had the villain been the neighbor’s daughter and she was attacking the heroes, that could have been more amusing. They’d still need to cut out her attack on the old lady and the kid, but it could have worked. “Could” being the key word of course.

Overall, The Bad Seed is a film that I highly suggest skipping. It’s really just a tragedy film where you watch the main characters cry and experience more sad events as the movie goes on. We naturally get to see the victim’s mom appear and we find out that the experience basically broke her. She is now a drunk and then Christine basically breaks by the end. If I want to see something breaking, I’ll look at a documentary of Super Smash Bros Brawl’s reputation! Tragedies are like Horrors in the fact that neither one of them tends to be very good. If you want a film with some sad scenes that is still great, check out Yugioh Bonds Beyond Time. We do get an emotional death and things tend to get very intense very quickly, but it balances that out with good plot progression and some action. Just watching the sad scenes over and over again does not make a film and that’s where The Bad Seed went wrong.

Overall 1/10