0 Star Movies, Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

September Review


It’s time to look at one of those films that is pretty terrible. The very premise should clue you in to this though so at least it won’t come as any surprise. The whole plot basically revolves around cheating with none of the characters being strong enough to leave the house. That would have been the best way to avoid the drama. It drags on and on so by the time you walk out of the theater (Or more realistically walking out of the TV room since nobody is seeing this in theaters right now) you’ll just be ready for a good meal and to act as if the film never happened.

The film starts with Lane and her friend Stephanie meeting up at Lane’s place. For some reason I thought they were sisters, but they’re just best friends. They’re joined by Lane’s parents Diane and Lloyd as well as a guy named Howard and Lane’s boyfriend Peter. Having this many people around the house definitely ensures that there will be drama, but things get a little worse than that. Peter decides that he wants to start going out with Stephanie even though she is currently married. Howard wants to be with Lane, but that plot is so pointless that the film doesn’t care about it either so it gets almost no screen time. Meanwhile Diane just wants to have her book written but everyone is too selfish to help her out with it. What cane Lane do about all of this?

Whenever a movie is all about cheating it’s just not going to be good. The whole premise is pretty mean spirited and none of the characters are good. Stephanie is pretty guilty for even giving Peter a moment of her time. She claims that she was trying to get him to notice her for a while so she started the whole thing even though she’s married. That’s already a pretty big strike against her character. There are some things you just don’t do and trying to have an affair once you are taken is a big one. She also gets pretty defensive at Lane afterwards for this even though she is the one in the wrong. It’s a common reaction and one that doesn’t help her case.

Meanwhile we have Peter who is also terrible. Whether he was encouraged or not it doesn’t change the fact that he knows Stephanie already has a man as well. He is also quick to ditch Lane and blames it on being overly emotional. That’s not even remotely a good excuse and short of being mind controlled I can’t think of any that would have saved him either way. The guy is just quick to use people.

Then there is Lane and she’s not a good lead either. For starters she is never around and doesn’t try to confront Peter all that much. She’s too cautious and keeps her emotions grounded which doesn’t let her face up to what is happening right under her nose. She doesn’t handle any of the situations in the film well. Her hand in life is definitely a tough one here since nothing goes her way, but it would have been nice if she could have done something earlier.

Diane is the most enjoyable character in the film although she still makes mistakes of her own. Her decision to move back into the house when Lane was going to sell it was pretty selfish. It was probably the only time in the film where she appeared to be super unreasonable. Her decision to have a book made isn’t quite so bad because it is still her life. At the end of the day if she wants her story to be told then I don’t really think the other characters can object all that much. Also lets face it, Peter wasn’t going to finish his novel anyway.

Then there’s Howard, but there’s still nothing to say about him. He is pointless in the film as his plot gets the least amount of screen time and it doesn’t amount to anything. He’s way too old for anyone to be going with him here and he seems to realize that as he just walks out pretty silently. If the other characters could have just walked out like that rather than sticking around then maybe the film would have ended up with a happier ending. As it stands I can’t see the group getting together for a nice dinner anytime soon. The whole business probably left them pretty sore with each other.

Beyond the fact that the plot is lousy with a terrible cast of characters, the film is also pretty boring. It all takes place in one setting at the house so there is no variety. The plot is small enough for a 30 minute special so it has to be stretched out quite a lot with random plots to be a full movie. Nothing eventful happens here and you’d probably learn more just watching the news for a little while. The film makers weren’t able to succeed in getting any kind of emotion from the audience with the scenes found here. It’s all just darkly lit possibly in the hopes of saving on the budget.

Another part of the problem is really how half heartedly the characters resist making the wrong choices. If they were villains then at least you’d expect them to travel down these dark roads without remorse. By half heartedly saying that they won’t do this thing and then cheat a few minutes later it makes the characters look even worse. They couldn’t have been very serious if the situation would flip so suddenly. The only sympathetic characters here are the ones trying to buy the house and after the way they were treated I’d be surprised if they still wanted to make the sale.

Overall, September is definitely a pretty terrible film. Whenever the main characters are involved in an affair like this it’s just not going to go well. It’s a pretty big betrayal to say the least and with none of the characters getting a satisfying ending except possibly for Diane you can’t end the movie on a high note either. There’s nothing particularly positive about this film so I’d suggest staying as far away as possible. Hopefully if they make a film called October someday it will be a lot more impressive.

Overall 0/10

6 Star Movies, Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

Little Man Tate Review


It’s time to look at a film about a kid who is super smart. It can always be tough growing up as a genius because the world around you just seems like it’s going in slow motion. The film gives a good look at the pros and cons of either going to hang out with the other geniuses or continuing to try and lead a normal life. The main kid can be a bit annoying though.

The film starts off by introducing us to a class working on a piano number when the main character Fred decides to play it backwards to style on everyone. His Mom DeDe picks him up and they have another happy day as normal. Things change when a secret organization finds out how smart the kid is and so they send a pamphlet to the kid’s house. Dede is against sending him away but it’s what Fred wants to do so she relents. Will the place be quite as fun as Fred thinks it’ll be or will he regret not staying with his Mom?

Fred is still a very little kid so you do have to cut him some slack. I don’t know how old he is since I really can’t determine age with them. 3 year olds look like they’re 8 and vice versa. I can start to decipher age a bit better once they turn into teenagers but even then it’s super hard. I don’t think I’ll ever have a firm grasp on age and that’s fine, I can’t think of a scenario where I’ll ever need that. Either way Fred’s just a kid. He does a reasonable job of handling himself around the other kids. It’s hard for him to make any friends and so he tends to jump the gun when someone is just being friendly. He doesn’t mope for long or get depressed which is good. Really he just had 2 big iffy scenes.

The first is when he comes back from his vacation and insults DeDe. The whole scene was pretty random because out of nowhere he’s just being really rude. It doesn’t last for long but it was tough for DeDe since she had gone to such lengths to paint a piano for him. Then there was him declaring that his Mom was dead on TV which was another scene of him being pretty over the top. The pressures just finally got to him. By the end he realizes that DeDe was right all along and his character arc wrapped up. It would have been nicer if he could have realized all of this sooner, but I suppose a lot of time people just have to figure things out the hard way. You can advise and warn them as much as you want, but it just won’t work out. Again, Fred is a kid so it makes sense that he’ll have a lot of weak scenes. It’s why kids can’t hold their own films without a strong supporting cast.

As for that supporting case, Dede definitely did a good job of keeping things together at home. She’s not seen as too smart in an academic sense, but she definitely shows great intelligence with how well she handles the whole situation. As a single mom she has to work, manage the house, and raise Fred at the same time. She does all of this flawlessly and you never see her acting down around Fred. She keeps her energy up at all times and does her best to shield him from danger while also letting him pursue his dreams. The scene where Dede threatens Jane is also good because you do believe that she would finish the job. Dede is very protective of Fred and makes for an excellent Mom. Additionally she never takes any of the insults or jabs at her seriously and just lets them bounce off. Dede’s easily the best character in the film.

Then you have Jane who effectively represents the dark side of the force. She gets Fred to come with her as she leads him learn as much as he can about the world. It’s a little unfortunate how her character arc goes at times. For most of the film she is portrayed as being a very nice/capable person as well. She may have different values than Dede and had a much weaker argument, but at least she was doing everything that was best for Fred. Towards the end of the film the writers randomly made her a lot more oblivious like when Fred had a nightmare and she told him to get some water. This really went against how caring she had been in all of the earlier scenes. This leads to the climax where Fred realizes that he made the wrong call.

We still get a happy ending and that includes Jane who quickly goes back into character. There was just a brief period of time where we went through the Home Alone syndrome where the nice new lady has to look bad to make the old one look better. It wasn’t even necessary here since Dede was a great character either way. In general I would say that the writing was pretty good here. The characters are all written realistically so you don’t get random bullies running around or things like that. The scene of the college students watching Fred’s textbook for example is a fun enough scene. Rather than picking on him most students in such a setting likely would do that. When you’re the smartest person in a class people will gravitate towards you right away. There was even the one nice student who hung out with Fred for a while even if he didn’t intend for this to be long term. It was a nice apology for hitting him with the Basketball.

The film is fairly happy all the way through with some sad scenes sprinkled here and there. Typically the film is sad when Dede or Fred aren’t having a good time, but don’t really have a good way to get out of the situation. For Dede she usually just has to deal with it until she can see Fred again while for Fred he isn’t able to connect the dots that he would rather be somewhere else. Then you’ve got Jane’s partner who has to eat burnt dinners all the time. He never really gets anything to do, but seemed like a pretty humorous character whenever he was on screen. The guy just never got to do anything. There’s also the tough kid from the early part of the film, but he doesn’t have much of a role except to show Fred that sometimes fame can get to your head.

Overall, Little Man Tate is pretty solid. When you’re a genius you process things differently than everyone else so it is an odd feeling. Nobody can ever truly know the inner workings of someone else’s mind so it’s hard to say how it would feel, but the film’s interpretation is pretty solid. At the end of the day your core personality is still the deciding factor on how you will have fun. You could be the smartest person in the world, but still not care much for school and you would still like to just hang out by the pool all day. For others they would prefer to be super busy. In Fred’s case I’d say he learned that it’s just more fun to be around family and hang out by the pool. It’s hard to beat that life after all. If you haven’t seen this film yet then I’d recommend checking it out. It’s got good range from the sad scenes to the happy ones and makes for a complete experience.

Overall 6/10

1 Star Movies, Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

The Children’s Hour Review


It’s time to look at a pretty old film about how a single deception can cause a lot of damage. Lies definitely do have far reaching consequences and particularly here as the film is quite old and takes place in an era where this kind of lie can end lives. It’s a pretty mean spirited film though and one that ultimately falls into the pile of films that you’re better off not checking out. The town really believed a kid?

The film starts off by introducing us to a local school. Karen and Martha have been running this school all on their own for quite a while. The school is finally going to be profitable for the first time, but then Martha learns that Karen and Joe are finally going to be married. While Karen says she will stick around to the end of the school year Martha has her doubts. She is also saddened by the fact that without a second teacher the school is basically doomed. This becomes the least of her problems though as one disgruntled kid spreads a rumor that Martha and Karen are together. Immediately the town pulls out their kids from the school and now the whole town is against them. Can these two teachers reclaim their lives or is everything all over now?

It’s definitely annoying to see the whole town get thrown into chaos by the words of one little girl. Her grandmother appears to be influential so tricking her first was crucial to the plan. That being said, the teachers should have been more upfront about how this story wasn’t real. Look, the kid’s got a history of lying to everyone about everything. Why didn’t Martha and Karen mention this to the grandmother? For some reason none of the adults were mentioning the fact that this kid had a habit of lying and that was fairly critical info to know.

Now, the film does skip the entire trial so it is reasonable to say that they probably mentioned this in the courtroom. It would have been nice to see it though. Also the court case would have been awesome so it’s really unfortunate that it was skipped. That was going to be one of the more powerful parts of the film because to actually lose that case with nothing more than gossip as evidence is definitely crazy. Given how unreasonable most of the characters in the film are it’s probably not too much of a stretch. Most of them refuse to even acknowledge Martha and Karen.

There aren’t a lot of characters here, but the supporting characters definitely fail the two as well. Lily was part of the problem here by supporting the claims against her niece Martha and then quickly ran off before the trial. Even by the end of the film she hints that she believed it to be true anyway so I think the main characters really didn’t need to be so civil to her. She is putting their lives at jeopardy so I wouldn’t have let her stay in the house with a free dinner. It’s great to be nice, but there’s got to be a limit somewhere.

Then you’ve got Joe. To his credit, the guy stuck by Karen for quite a while. He did his best to always stick up for her and was even willing to leave his house, job, and everything to be with her. It’s why their ending isn’t satisfying in the slightest as he ultimately falls for Karen’s trap. Why is Karen setting traps for her future husband? I suppose she wanted him to 100% have no doubts and I don’t think he really did. He did fail the test so I suppose that shows there was some doubt there, but he was pressured into saying it. He shouldn’t have failed the test, but Karen didn’t need to do that. Just the fact that he was willing to leave with them and destroy his reputation should have been good enough.

As for the main two characters, Karen is definitely my favorite. She’s very considerate and did what she could to stand by Martha when she could have been married a long time ago. She knew that the school was really important to Martha and tried to stick around, but it’s not like she could put her life on hold forever right? Karen did everything she could and as the situation was far worse for Martha since Karen at least had a fiance, Karen was also there for emotional support. Aside from the trap that I’ve already talked about at length, I don’t think Karen made any wrong moves here. She was just a solid character.

Then you’ve got Martha whose argument with Lily is partially what got the ball rolling here. The kid would have still made up the story, but there would have been less ammo to use. Martha was a bit unreasonable with how she wanted Karen to stay forever but I do think she would have ultimately come to terms with Karen’s departure though and would have given her a genuine congratulations. Then you’ve got Martha’s ending which is certainly tragic. It’s the easy way out for a person but never the right call. Ignoring the holes it leaves for everyone else affected it also eliminates your own future path.

The film’s definitely pretty somber with nothing good really happening to the characters for almost the whole film. It starts off happy for a few scenes, but quickly gets dark and never quite goes back up. Even the subplot with the kid gets pretty intense as she starts blackmailing another one of the kids for stealing. Too bad none of the adults noticed the obvious witness intimidation while they were asking questions. They could have spared themselves a whole lot of grief at that point. The what if game ultimately goes on forever, but it’s yet another plot that’s pretty mean. It also did make the school look bad when one kid is literally getting painfully grasped by the other in a police hold. With only two teachers it makes sense that they can’t be everywhere of course, but it does show that they were understaffed.

Overall, The Children’s Hour isn’t my kind of film. It’s pretty dark and dreary with no good characters to help the leads out. The town people are all just looking out for themselves and there isn’t a single reasonable person around. You have threatening individuals circling the school on their pickup truck and even someone who breaks in from time to time to threaten the teachers. There’s no safety and the cops never show up. Joe leaving didn’t help matters even if he was pushed away. The two heroines probably should have just left the town even sooner but leaving everything you’ve ever known isn’t easy. I’d recommend watching something like Christmas With The Kranks instead for a more enjoyable film.

Overall 1/10

6 Star Movies, Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

The Misadventures of Merlin Jones Review


Time to look at a fairly old film about how being too smart in just one field can backfire. A lot of times we see films about scientists who are smart at making things but then don’t really understand the consequences of their actions and the whole thing blows up in their face. Merlin is no exception to this as he makes a lot of dangerous assumptions which get him into trouble. It’s a pretty entertaining movie and I could see this being a fun show to watch if it were on TV.

There are effectively two storylines in the film which don’t really have anything to do with each other. The first one starts off with Merlin working on another experiment of his. He ends up zapping himself and now he has the ability to read people’s minds. It’s an incredible ability to have so long as people don’t know you have it. Naturally that means the very first thing he does is try to tell people. Things get serious when he finds out through this mind trick that the judge plans to steal some gems and then murder someone. Can Merlin stop this guy?

The second story has Merlin get hypnotized. He figures that this is a pretty good trick and decides to hypnotize a chimpanzee into being tougher. Things begin to escalate when the judge convinces Merlin to hypnotize him and commit a crime. It’s all well and good at first but since the judge doesn’t remember the crime and Merlin was found at the scene things aren’t looking good for the kid. He may be in some real trouble now.

So those are the two stories. They’re definitely interesting but ultimately I can’t put Merlin in a very positive light. The guy makes too many mistakes and both stories would have ended a lot sooner if he had just made the rational decisions. He should have kept listening to the mind before jumping the gun and for the hypnosis he should have added a fail safe. He just didn’t think things through all that well. Particularly in the first story I would argue that he was guilty of contempt of court with how many crimes he was committing.

Merlin plays dumb half the time, but he was definitely being pretty annoying the whole time. He is always talking back to the judge and jumps to conclusions a lot. The worst part is that it’s so easy to prove you’re reading someone’s mind. Just do it the way he convinced Jennifer, have the person think of something or pick a number and then say it. There isn’t really a way for someone to not believe when you do that. Then it’s a matter of waiting, he should have just waited it out a bit more with the judge. It’s good that he was able to control what thoughts he could hear later on though because the only drawback of telepathy is that you can go crazy if you start hearing everyone’s thoughts and can’t turn it off.

Jennifer was definitely a lot of fun though and a great heroine. She was always jumping to Merlin’s defense and would declare his innocence to the world. She was super trust worthy and someone who had Merlin’s back no matter what. Without her he would have been doomed many times. If anything Jennifer sometimes cuts him too much slack like when he blows off their date to work on some more science projects. It’s not like it was for a class or anything, he just skipped their date for no reason. I can also see why she was upset about him going to another girl in the second short. He was mind controlled, but he should have at least had some will power there.

The best character throughout both specials was the judge though. He tells it like it is and always has a commanding presence. He’s a very reasonable guy considering how crazy the town is. I also like the fact that he has a double identity as an author that he hides from the world. It adds a little more depth to the character. He’s not just a judge. Since he deals with Merlin and Jennifer a lot they do get away with more than the others, but the judge does realize that they are sometimes in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The writing here is pretty fun. The characters are enjoyable and the laid back atmosphere of the town works well for a title like this one. It’s not the most exciting or thrilling story around, but it’s enjoyable. The time goes by quickly. The film isn’t without its weaknesses though. For starters the whole hypnosis scenes are iffy. I still don’t buy into hypnosis on command like this. It works so quickly that you have to assume that the characters have 0 will power. It was also iffy of the teacher to give Merlin a command to kiss someone and with the character half heartedly saying to stop the whole thing was a mess. It single handily ensured that the first story was more enjoyable.

There’s also the plot with the chimp that wasn’t great. The chimp definitely didn’t want to be with the bully and so Merlin was right on that one. We don’t see anything beyond the bully being curt as usual which is good since that’s not a plot that the film would have really benefited from. I think this film should have really stuck to the first short. It’s just a lot stronger than the second one and had more substance to it. I suppose neither side was all that bad though.

Overall, Merlin Jones would have made for a fun TV show. I think there would have been a good audience for it and back in the day when I watched a lot of other Disney shows I would have tuned into this one. The writers would need to think of a lot of different inventions and gimmicks, but it would have been doable. As a film there is just less to do and by trying to fit two stories into one film it is less focused. Both stories really have nothing to do with each other so it only serves to break the flow. If you want a fun little film to check out then this is a good one to watch. It’s one of those movies that is just fun to watch and will entertain you all the way through. Just don’t go in expecting any big hype moments.

Overall 6/10

7 Star Movies, Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

The Love Bug Review


It’s time to look at a film with a car that is actually sentient. I’ve seen a few films with a similar premise but they tend to all be horror titles. This film looks at what would happen if the car was actually quite wholesome. The film definitely hits some bumps in the road, but overall it’s a pretty fun adventure that will grab your attention more than Chitty Chitty Bang Bang ever did.

The film starts with our lead Jim losing yet another race. He used to be a big race car driver but is now considered to be washed up. Jim tried to deny this but is slowly losing confidence. That’s when he has a fateful encounter with a car at a very pricey shop. The hero can’t afford this car but it shows up at his door the next day which does lead to the police getting involved. One thing leads to another and Jim uses the car on the track. He is finally winning again but is it his skills or the car’s?

Now the idea of a car being alive is pretty far fetched so you may cut the guy some slack for not believing that he is real…at first. The problem here is that Herbie proves himself many times with airtight maneuvers. Jim is pretty sure of himself with the whole “science can explain anything” routine but Herbie is too over the top for that to be true. I guess Tennessee’s plan backfires here as he should have let Herbie go wild after the upgrade to really prove that there was more to him than meets the eye. Even so, you’d think Jim would notice that the car was controlling the speed and always suddenly breaking records at the last second. Jim was nice to the car at first and then ditched him at the first possible moment.

It definitely makes Jim hard to root for and he goes from being a pretty reasonable main character to practically being an antagonist by the end. It may be a bit much to call him a villain here, but you’ll miss how he looks early on talking tough to corporate. His window shopping scene may have been foreshadowing for his character’s fall though.

The film is pretty long though and you could say that we get two full acts here. The bridge scene actually felt like the climax but really it was just the halfway point. The rest of the film is a very long cross country race as the heroes try to defend their honor and take home the gold. They all look quite terrible here though. For starters they somehow didn’t think to watch the car before the race. By this point they had already been duped and sabotaged several times so what’s the deal here? The villains had time to slash the tires, empty the fuel line, and substitute their extra tank with water. I dare say that the main characters deserved to lose after such a showing.

They basically left Herbie out to dry by not protecting him. We’ve also got the coffee scene where Tennessee allows the villain to walk in and pour a ton of coffee and whip cream into the car. Fortunately it lived through this but there shouldn’t have been this many close calls. If not for the sponsor looking out for them with his crew it really would have been game over at this point.

Herbie also seems to get nerfed towards the end of the film as somehow the main villain’s normal car is able to keep up. Keep in mind that Herbie was cartoon levels of fast in the beginning of the movie and that was part of the whole point of the film. Herbie is alive so he’s the fastest car around. I guess t just goes to show that a modern car can still keep up with a sentient one but I was surprised at how he kept getting passed over and over again during the race. He would get bumped off the road, lose a tire, etc.

I do gotta give the main villain Peter some props here because he’s a very solid character. His plans to get Herbie are really solid and the guy never gives up. He has plan after plan. Ultimately Peter is a businessman and just wants to be rich and famous. What adds an extra layer to his character here is the fact that he is a race car driver. He doesn’t mind getting up close to the action and putting his life on the line to win. Now that’s a solid villain right there.

The heroine Carole is also pretty solid. She doesn’t put up with Jim’s nonsense in the beginning as she turns him down at every corner and also does her best to prove that Herbie is a solid car. She worked hard to build up her professional reputation and wasn’t going to let some random joe get in the way of that. We get quite a few yelling scenes between the two characters and ultimately she definitely shows quite a lot of spirit. Carole’s also a talented mechanic and helps out when Peter tries his sabotage.

The writing is pretty solid here. The banter is great as always with just about all of the characters being extremely confident. Aside from the main hero and villain both constantly having a smirk at the ready and yelling out their sides in the debate, you’ve even got a cop running around with the same energy. He’s extremely sarcastic to the main character right away to the point where you have to assume that they’ve had some previous history. The scene is rather bizarre otherwise.

Overall, The Love Bug is an entertaining film. A talking car will never not be cheesy in this kind of context but it’s nice to have one on your side. It’s a shame that it can’t talk because that would make it a lot easier for the characters to actually establish a dialogue with it but I guess things would be too easy for them that way. If you haven’t seen this film yet then it’s a good one to check out. Watch the villain steal the show here.

Overall 7/10

5 Star Movies, Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

Charlie’s Angels Review


It’s time to look at the recent sequel/practically reboot of the Charlie’s Angels series. The first two titles didn’t exactly get glowing reviews from me so it wasn’t going to be hard for this one to win. Sure enough, I’d say that this is the strongest film in the series. It definitely does still have its flaws though which ultimately stop the film from reaching its full potential.

The film starts off by introducing us to the Angels as they take down a group of villains. It’s become more and more common for films to start off with an action scene and it’s always a smart move. We then meet Elena who finds out that her company is going to move forward with introducing some dangerous tech into the world. She alerts the Angels to this, but now some powerful people want her dead. This situation could be a whole lot bigger than it appears and the group will have to pull out all of the stops to win.

On the positive side Charlie’s Angels does bring the high level action scenes you would expect from the series. Pretty much any fight with Jane is top notch. Sabina also has her share of action and once the film’s climax begins there are a lot of nonstop action scenes. There is also a very large array of songs in the soundtrack. Not all of them are hits, but it does give the film some extra energy. Music’s a pretty important aspect in a film even if it’s been dying out lately.

Jane’s definitely my favorite character in the film. She’s certainly the most serious of the Angels and the best fighter. Jane gets one of the main subplots here as she goes up against the assassin Hodak. They have a lot of fights back and forth and this was the most interesting plot. Sabina’s the rebellious member of the group who always puts on a tough act. Her bark tends to be worse than her bite, but she can fight fairly well. Her overconfidence costs her quite a few fights though and while she treats Elena like a newbie, I don’t feel like she is very experienced either.

As for Elena, she’s not bad, but certainly a step behind the other two. The whole “rookie” personality is a little played out and just not quite as entertaining as the other two characters. Her fight with the guard is a little on the cheesy side as well since she has absolutely no fighting experience. Sabina and Jane should certainly be taking these guys down, but not Elena at the present moment. Then you’ve got the various Bosleys running around. They aren’t fighters on the ground like the Angels so don’t expect a lot of action from them, but they are pretty important to the plot.

Hodak also makes for a great villain. He’s definitely the silent, but deadly sort of guy. His skills are the real deal with how good he looks throughout the movie. He’s the best fighter here and always comes prepared with a lot of guns and armaments. Right through the end he never really loses his cool and just keeps on fighting. You can tell when his role is about to be up, but regardless he served his purpose as a really solid villain. Perhaps not quite as great as the ex angel from the original films, but very solid nonetheless. Peter is also a fun villain even if it’s more in a campy way. The guy’s about as obviously evil as you can get and the film doesn’t bother to hide it. The only question the viewer has to ask is whether he is competent or not and as the film leaves you guessing on that I will as well. At the very least you have to admire his confidence.

The film is around 2 hours, but it doesn’t drag on. There’s always something happening around the corner. It’s an enjoyable ride, but I think it’s time we take a look at the negatives. While I said that an action scene is the right way to start on principal, this film’s opening segment started off on the wrong foot. Right away it’s about one of the Angels using her feminine wiles to get the enemy to let his guard down. It’s a sad trope that always seems to happen to the female agents. While this is surprisingly not used much later on unlike the first two films, it was definitely a scene that was not needed. I’d go as far as to say that the first scene is the worst one in the film.

Beyond that, the film actively goes out of its way to make the Angels look bad at times. They mess up on the missions very frequently even if they act as if they had won. The first scene is an example of this as Sabina manages to tie up the villain…only to dramatically free him so she can get a good punch in. Naturally this leads to him overpowering her and getting his second wind. At another point Sabina has someone at gun point and tells him not to move. The guy naturally reaches in his pocket and takes out a bomb which knows Sabina back and he escapes. She loses consistently throughout the film and one villain ends up defeating her twice. Even in her final big fight of the film she doesn’t seem to have the edge.

I’ll cut Elena a break since she’s new. Jane mostly takes care of business although her speech in the final fight wasn’t really deserved. She goes into depth about how she’s so much better a fighter than the villain, but he had been winning the entire time and she had help. The only person she’s fooling there is herself as in a 1 on 1 the film made it clear that she would have lost. Finally even one of the bosses looks bad. I know the higher ups can’t fight, but this character was talking a big game throughout the whole movie so to lose like that wasn’t a great moment.

There are a few twists and turns in the movie and it does a good job of masking them. At the very least there was one big twist which was handled well and the ending of the film is pretty satisfying. While not everyone gets a happy ending it works out pretty well even if a sequel doesn’t end up coming out. The ending scenes during the credits even finish up someone’s character arc so you’ll want to make sure you stick around there.

As far as the writing goes, the film’s not great. While the scene of the heroes running through the villain base trolling the police officers (I doubt they were all corrupt so you’ll probably feel bad for a bunch of the ones that get knocked around) could be entertaining, it’s not all that realistic. Why didn’t the guards just lock down the facility? That would have instantly been game over for the heroes. They also acted as if the cameras weren’t on at times as they would just forget to use them. The Angels are also partially to blame here because they should have made sure that the guys with the IDs they were using wouldn’t try to get back into the building. I would have figured they’d tie them up or something.

There is also a bit of a romance here which isn’t handled all that well. It’s rather cheesy and considering that the heroes were in a hurry it does feel like a waste of their time. The guy didn’t seem terrible (Even if he couldn’t open a simple package of condiments. Yeah, most of the guys here don’t look great) but he didn’t really have any point being in the film. That’s why the writing is a mixed bag. For every fun scene or likable character there’s going to be a heavy handed moment without much thought to how this situation would occur to counter it. It can be fun to think of the various plot holes or just moments of heroes messing up as you’re watching though.

I wouldn’t consider this next part a positive or a negative, but it’s interesting to note. While the Angels are always portrayed as heroes in the first two films, it’s a little more gray here. They really don’t seem to mind murdering people and even find it amusing at times with all the jokes they crack about it. You’ll get a pun after someone is impaled or characters sarcastically scoffing at murders in the background. One guy gets the honor of being murdered fairly early on and while the film goes out of its way to establish him as a sketchy character you’ll still be a little surprised at how readily the Angel just let him perish. She could not be bothered to try and save him. Realistically it would have been difficult but it’s a bit of a running theme usually used for humor so you’re not supposed to take it seriously though….

Time for a quick comparison to the original two films. As mentioned earlier this one did win overall, but the original films did win in two areas. I thought they still had the better soundtrack (listening to their battle themes while writing this review) and the fights were better. The battle scenes in those films still hold up quite well to this day. This film’s just got a stronger character cast and way less fanservice which ultimately won it the deciding blow.

Overall, Charlie’s Angels is a fun popcorn type film, but not one that really excels in any areas. There’s a lot of replay value and it would be easy to re-watch even after just a short while. That’s because the film’s just very high energy with some decent banter. The questionable writing does hold it back though. Some parts are just not too believable and I think the Angels should have looked a lot more competent. The film seemed like it was aiming to make them look good and I think it just messed up a bit there. If you’re looking for a fun action film to check out then this could be the one for you. If you want an action title with a bit more substance then check out Mission Impossible.

Overall 5/10

7 Star Movies, Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

Die Hard 2 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.

It’s time to look at the next installment in the Die Hard series. The first Die Hard was pretty solid and I’m happy to report that the sequel is also pretty good. While it’s not quite as good as the first one I would say that it’s on a similar level. It doesn’t really make any mistakes and is strong in all areas, but it just loses the head to head against the first one each time. Basically anything that Die Hard 2 did, the first one did better. No shame in that of course, the important thing is that the sequel kept it close.

The film starts with John heading to an airport and getting ready to meet up with his wife. Her flight’s taking a while, but John is there early to be ready for it. Unfortunately he notices a few terrorists messing around in the airport. He chases them off, but it looks like this is once again going to be a big conspiracy. These terrorists are trying to free their drug dealer from one of the planes and they intend to destroy everyone if their demands are not met. John has to try and stop them before too many people die, but will he be able to?

It’s always rough for the hero in a case like this because there are just way too many hostages and civilians. It’s really not very practical for him to save everybody and yet it’s hard not to let it affect him either. There’s one scene in particular where a bunch of people die. The film tries to get you to think they have a chance at surviving initially but you just know that they won’t. It would be a little too easy even if it would have been great to see them live. John saves a ton of people ultimately but the body count is definitely very high. This is definitely a large scale attack.

Part of why the situation goes so poorly is because people don’t like John here. The cops are portrayed as being incredibly arrogant and overconfident. In particular I’m talking about the captain. Captain Lorenzo seems to have a big beef with John. I suppose he doesn’t like all the attention McClane got, but he ends up being really petty about it. Keep in mind that lives are at stake and Lorenzo just wants to compare egos and talk a good game. It rarely feels like he has anyone’s best interests at heart and by the time he starts to shape up it’s too late. He isn’t the only one mocking John as the Army Special Forces does the same thing as well.

It’s not intentionally comedic, but it does start to scratch that surface as we get back to back to back scenes of everyone yelling at John. Everyone can’t stand the fact that he is trying to warn them and make plans to stop this situation before it gets out of control. They’re all just doing their best to get in the way. Some of these characters have decent reasons while others have none art all. It’s no wonder why the villains had such an easy time having their way with everyone here.

Ah well, at least John is a solid character as always. No matter how difficult the situation gets he continues to try to save as many people as he can. John has a lot of great plans and in a fight he certainly deals out a lot of damage. He takes out a ton of fighters all by himself and is basically a one man army. He manages to keep the humor up as well which makes sense to keep his spirits up. We don’t get to have as much banter with him on the comms this time though.

The villains are fairly generic. They want a lot of money and that’s really about it. The main villain has good strategy tactics and their competence never comes into question. Ultimately they aren’t all that memorable though. They’re just your average run of the mill villain group that you would expect to see in a movie like this. At least the villains weren’t bad. The standout one was probably the guy who knew karate and fought John. They had a pretty good back and forth fight before John’s brute strength was just enough to take care of business.

The film’s main weakness here is that it sometimes makes the villains look good by making the heroes look terrible in comparison. One big scene that comes to mind is when Lorenzo sends a group of agents over to fight like 3-5 terrorists. It’s a large group but they all walk single file so they just get mowed down. Most of them don’t even react as they get shot to death. How do you just get picked off so easily like that? It made no sense and I never liked the idea of everyone running in single file. That’s definitely the quickest way to get blown up in a situation like this. Everyone who isn’t John on the hero side looks terrible.

The fights in this film are definitely handled well. They’re pretty back and forth which is good since the villains aren’t just getting one punched as if they were nobodies. These are still serious villains who have been training quite a lot so they better have some level of skill right? Die Hard 2’s pacing is good so the scenes never drag on. Even when there is no fight going on the plot is moving forward. There are no points during the movie where it feels like things have come to a halt and that’s always good.

Naturally the film can get a bit violent at times. Most of it isn’t really on screen as you just see the scenes leading up to the grisly deaths. People get sawed to pieces and meet other such fates. One guy gets fatally stabbed on screen though which was a little surprising. That’s probably the most intense scene in the film. While the writing is solid the script can also get a little tricky with everyone developing a bit of a sailor’s mouth. Fortunately the TV version is good at fixing this.

There is one subplot here with the TV reporter from last time and John’s wife. While the reporter was definitely in the wrong last time and just being exploitative, he wasn’t bad here. He was actually one of the more entertaining characters as he tried to find out the truth. He did good in sniffing out the lies that were being reported. He did end up causing some panic with his reporting, but unlike the first case where it was giving out critical intel to the villains, here he is just giving the public a heads up. You kind of feel bad for the guy when he ultimately gets zapped. At least he was doing a better job of getting the news out to people then the government cover up that was going on.

Overall, Die Hard 2 is just a very good thriller movie. We get a lot of good fights and dialogue here. The stakes stay high as the planes get closer and closer while the heroes struggle to think of what to do next. There are certainly quite a few moments where you will have to suspend disbelief though which is common for thriller films and especially terrorist related ones. It feels like the good guys just can’t do anything sometimes and they act less like professionally trained individuals and more like bots. These scenes aren’t too numerous though and either way I recommend checking this out if you want to see a good action movie. It can get a little intense for sure, but it’s handled with a good amount of quality.

Overall 7/10

1 Star Movies, Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

Ski Party Review


I’ve seen most of the old beach party films from this crew so I may as well see their skiing version as well right? It’s certainly not much better than the rest and makes all of the same mistakes. The characters may not be at the beach but they certainly dress as if they are. I would make the case that there is a little less fanservice here than in the beach versions, but I’m not invested enough into the series to do so. You certainly wouldn’t catch me defending this film. Well, let’s take a look at what we got.

The film starts off with Todd and Craig being down in the dumps because they are still single. They joined a bunch of sport programs but it was no use. Then they notice that Freddie is the star of the party and everyone is only interested in him. Perhaps the trick is that he is always skiing. The two leads quickly decide to go to the next big skiing event and are determined that this will put them on the radar. Will such a shallow plan really work or will the film test our intelligence by continuing to make the plans crazier and crazier?

There are a lot of issues here so it’s always hard to know where to start. I guess we should tackle the romance first. Romance was always a hard genre for films to really pin down and that can be especially true for this one. Part of the reason why the film kicks off is because both of the girls don’t seem to love the two guys straight away. They did go with them on two dates though so this is more about the main characters not being very patient. They want to immediately go further in the relationship while the girls are waiting. The guys are Freddie all the time and that really warps their expectations. You also can’t feel any sympathy for them because they would cheat on the two girls in a heartbeat. We have many scenes where they try to go after other girls so there is absolutely no loyalty here. They’ll simply go after the first one who accepts them.

They also use rather underhanded methods in order to complete their mission. One such tactic is to dress up as a girl and sneak into the dorms. This is a pretty bad move for many reasons. It’s also one of the largest gags in the film and it gets old very quickly. Naturally Freddie falls for one of them in this form and nobody can put the pieces together. I think if you cut away this whole sub plot the film will still be pretty terrible but it would certainly have improve. This plot line just didn’t do anything to really help the film rise up. It drags on and on.

It goes without saying that there is a lot of fanservice here even though they are in the snow. Characters just don’t care about the storm at all. They’re dressed for the beach and they aim to keep it that way for most of the film. We get a lot of zoom ins and crazy dances reminding yo that the plot was not the movie’s first priority. At least the singing isn’t too bad, the series has certainly had worse songs at any rate. Then you’ve got the beach scene at the end just to mess with the audience even further.

There are moments in the film that can be reasonably funny. It’s not like the whole duration is one failed joke after the other. While a good chunk of the jokes don’t work, the surreal nature of the movie helps at times. The scene of the main character floating like a balloon was fun. Additionally I liked the Polar Bear scenes. It’s a pretty nice gag to have that guy running around. The problem is that the movie beats this joke into the ground by having the same joke show up around 5-6 times. You never want to spam a joke that often because it will inevitably get quite old. It’s going for the running gag approach but that works better in a series. If you cram it into a single movie then you are bound to have some issues.

There aren’t any characters to root for here either so you won’t be as invested in the film as you could be. The two main guys are chronic cheaters. The two heroines are too passive and ultimately try to say that the guys were right even though that is definitely not the case. Freddie starts out as a pretty intense guy but by the end he is total comic relief to make the other characters look better. The movie definitely could and should have had more restraint. Maybe make it so the heroes get a win but Freddie still keeps his dignity. The parental figure here literally goes insane by the end of the film and I couldn’t give him any consolation points either. It was rather mean of the main guys to mess with him the whole time, but it’s also partially his fault for falling for their gags. They absolutely should not have worked on him. I prefer the guardians who at least talk tough the whole time. This guy was a punching bag so you’ll sooner feel bad for him than find the scene overly funny.

Overall, Ski Party is definitely everything you expect it to be. The film is pretty straight forward on delivering everything it is advertised to be. If this is your kind of film then you’ll enjoy it. However if you want a film with good writing and an actual plot then I’d recommend staying far away from this movie. It will have nothing to offer you. At least the gang sub plot isn’t around to get dragged out forever. The car chase at the end is actually a little better without those guys around to slow the pacing.

Overall 1/10

Animated Movie Reviews, Animated Movies, Reviews

Teen Titans Go! vs Teen Titans Review


It’s time to look at the most recent Teen Titans Go! movie. This one brings back the classic Teen Titans for a quick crossover event. While the film doesn’t manage to be quite as fun as the first Titans Go movie it’s definitely still a quality film in its own right. You’ve got action, comedy, and a final boss. What else would you even need right? One thing to watch out for is the opening credits makes the interesting decision of spoiling the entire film. It literally goes section by section from start to finish and shows all of the big scenes. It’s a very odd choice.

The movie starts off by showing us that the Teen Titans have still got it as they beat the Gentleman Ghost. People may doubt their abilities, but they shouldn’t because these kids are the real deal. Things get a little hectic when a portal appears and they’re all kidnapped. It turns out that the Master of Games is kidnapping Teen Titans from various universes to make them fight. The Go Titans are eager to start the battle while the modern ones just want to find a way to save their world. It looks like both of them may have to team up, but can the two groups possibly learn to work with each other in time?

Going forward I’m going to call the original Titans the Gen 1 crew and the others will just be referred to normally since they are the main characters here. The Titans act about as well as you’d expect them to. They’re still treated like comic relief because even they acknowledge that they aren’t serious the way that the Gen 1 guys are. They can’t help but constantly be at the center of the gags. The only one who tries to be serious is Robin and even then he is constantly overshadowed by his Gen 1 version. I’ll give him points for effort though and he’s the only Titan who really understands the gravity of the situation. He needs the portal device and he needed a win to secure the team’s confidence. It’s just a shame that he isn’t able to fight quite as well as the others. The other Titans are all on point except for the fact that Starfire was not taking this seriously enough. None of them were all that serious, but at least they tried in the tournament. Starfire was too busy trying to make friends to do much of anything which was disappointing.

As for the Gen 1 crew, it was fun to see them again. Robin and Raven probably get the most to do here. Raven has a lot of experience with the demonic realm so she coaches the kid version on this. Meanwhile Robin is ready to lead the team and he definitely does not like the baby titans. He’s constantly belittling them and when they don’t listen to reason he is quick to put them down. Gen 1 Robin certainly enjoys being the leader and makes sure to stretch things out when possible. After all this is his chance to lead two different teams to victory so you can bet that he is going to milk this as much as he can. It’s just an opportunity that he cannot miss.

The movie moves pretty quickly through the different phases to the climax so it never drags on. I didn’t feel like any of the humor was all that bad either. I would consider this to be one of the stronger Teen Titans Go episodes if it was on TV. The return of Santa Claus was also a lot of fun. It’s always great to see him as an antagonist and he is one of their tougher opponents. Of course taking on a group this large would be difficult even for the greatest of villains.

Then we’ve got more crossover appeal towards the end of the film. If you managed not to see who was included already then I won’t spoil it for you. Needless to say it’s a pretty solid lineup. I would have liked to have seen them all a little more to be honest, but what we got was pretty neat. Imagine if the whole film was the tournament though and we got to see a lot of different verses duke it out. That would have been really cool and then this probably would have beaten the original film. The animation here does look pretty good, but more standard than the first movie. The colors are a little brighter and there is extra detail either way. There’s no super catchy theme like we got in the first film, but I guess it’s hard for Lightning to strike twice.

Where the film really shines is in how absurd the whole thing is. The Go characters are in full parody mode and they just don’t care what the Gen 1 group thinks. They’re here to have fun and nobody’s going to stop them. That straight forward goal really keeps the film going and it’s why you don’t even need the crossover aspect for this to be a success. The group can hold their own as is. If anything I’m just glad that the Gen 1 group weren’t too obnoxious in trying to question the Go characters at every turn. They quickly learned that the Go characters weren’t going to change and just rolled with it.

Overall, Teen Titans Go vs Teen Titans is a fun film. While it’s a versus title there isn’t a lot of action between the two teams. A good chunk of the action scene is just comedy, but to an extent that is to be expected with these guys. It’s probably the only vs title I would give a pass to because of that. Whether you’ll enjoy this film or not is completely dependent on whether or not you enjoy the Go series. If you like the TV show then you’ll like the film and if you don’t like the show then the movie won’t be for you. This basically feels like an extended few episodes and it’s really a movie for the fans. It brings all the best qualities of the show together.

Overall 7/10

7 Star Movies, Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

Lethal Weapon 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.

It’s time to take a look at a thriller from back in the day. Lethal Weapon is a pretty popular thriller series and now I can say that I have finally started it. It’s aged pretty well and will definitely give you a solid amount of action. It’s going to be tough for the sequels to top this one and that’s always what you want to see. The first film of a series should always start off on a good note to keep you around for the sequels.

The movie starts off with introducing us to the two lead characters. Martin busts up a drug deal by pretending to be a buyer. This does lead to him almost getting murdered but he manages to get out in one piece. The fact that he takes unnecessary risks when going on these missions allows him to make it through in scenarios like this. Then you have Roger who is nearing retirement and plays things by the books. He’s told that he will now have to work with Martin since the guy is such a risk and nobody wants to work with him. Roger feels the same way, but it’s an order so he’ll get it done. What starts out as a simple drug crime becomes a big conspiracy as more victims are found and the enemies appear to have government issued weapons. Roger may have to take some big risks this time.

Lethal Weapon’s plot is sound even if it’s not the most original. The characters are basically trying to fight off a drug dealer with a few twists and turns thrown in. I don’t think the movie could go for a grander plot in the first movie since a good chunk of it is also developing the characters. This is something the movie will be able to skip in the sequel. These scenes are worth it though because they’re just a lot of fun. The character dynamic here is sound and the writing backs it up. It never feels like the scenes are wasted or that it slows down the movie’s pacing.

Martin is definitely a fun character even when he is going through quite a lot in his personal life. It’s pretty rare to have a main character who actually is suicidal. As a result he isn’t feeling 100% for most of the film and he acts very recklessly. To an extent this works out in his favor on some cases like when he busted a drug deal. Martin doesn’t let it get the best of him when we see the guy in action though. At one point Roger keeps quipping about how Martin seems to murder everyone but all of the deaths we saw in the film weren’t really avoidable. Martin proves that he is a great cop time and time again in the film. Ultimately he ended up being the MVP and Roger would have been doomed without him. It’ll be fun to see Martin in the second film since he should now be at 100%. He definitely contributes to a lot of the humor in the film as well.

Then we have Roger who is inching closer to retirement and has managed to make it through his career without injury. He has a family and considers himself to have had a pretty fortunate life so far.  Being paired up with Martin definitely changes that as now any case could potentially be fatal. Martin may not be able to fight the way his partner can but he does still have good gun skills. He’s just a nice guy to hang around with and always means well.

Finally we have Joshua who may or be the main villain but he has the most personality. He works as a hit man for the villains and was trained in special forces. As a result he makes for a pretty tough villain to beat. He also did come very close to beating Martin so the guy lived up to his hype. The actual main villain is your classic drug dealer. He’s not bad, I like the confidence at least. He just isn’t quite as memorable as his right hand man. The guy also can’t fight so it’s not like he will be mixing it up with the others.

What really makes this film work is the solid humor. The movie has a solid script with a lot of good humor. There is some language but for the most part the film stays strong. It does manage to get that Christmas dinner vibe while also getting serious when needed. It really goes through all of the emotional shifts as the movie progresses. We also get to see why Martin is known as a living weapon by the end as he gets into some fights. The scene of him breaking free from the chains and taking down a bunch of guys was handled well. If anything it made the actual ending feel a bit superfluous. I know we needed to have a fight with him and Joshua but it was a little dragged out and didn’t really impress me. I actually found some of the other battles to be better but this one still did have some nice choreography.

Lethal Weapon also has quite a few different climaxes. One of them is in the desert and we got to see Martin’s shooting skills. Their plan was quite sound there and if anything Roger’s daughter just messed it up. I understand being a little nervous but once you’re in the getaway car that’s your chance. If she had braked, turned, or done anything then the whole film could have been ended much sooner. Roger also deserves some blame there since he didn’t support Martin at all once the shooting started. That was their best chance to end things. They may have ultimately won out, but things could have gotten very dicey by not finishing the villains off in this moment.

Overall, Lethal Weapon is a movie that has aged quite well. It’s just a fun action thriller that has a nice sense of humor. The movie has good pacing and writing so those are all of the elements that you need in order to be a success. Put one way, the film had no real negatives. I could recommend it to anyone who likes a good action film and the sequel is going to have some pretty big shoes to fill. Since the characters do return in the sequel that shouldn’t be a tall order though.

Overall 7/10