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

Ghost Review

It’s time to look at a film dealing with the supernatural. It’s always interesting when the hero becomes a ghost as opposed to the villain for a change. Usually you see the villains messing with everyone like in the Grudge or something and the heroes are all bumped off. On the other hand, when a hero uses the power usually they aren’t quite as strong for some random reason so it’s a bit of a mixed bag. Ultimately I was glad Sam got some powers and it’s a reasonable movie, but there are things that hold it back a bit.

The movie starts with things going pretty well for Sam and Molly. Sam’s crunching the numbers at the bank and Molly’s doing pretty well with her pottery and sculpting. Sam’s noticed that some numbers aren’t adding up at his company, but he’ll figure out the issue soon. Time is on his side…or that’s what he thought until one day he is mugged in a dark alley and murdered. It all happened so suddenly that Sam’s soul is unable to move on and now he can only watch without interacting with anybody. That’s when he learns that the whole thing is a conspiracy. His murder wasn’t accidental and if he doesn’t do something quick then his wife Molly will be in trouble. Sam is forced to enlist the aid of a supernatural medium scammer named Oda. Can he convince her to work with him on this?

The concept here is pretty sound and a classic. The main character gets murdered so now he has to solve the case from beyond the grave and see to it that the villain doesn’t get away. It’s certainly frustrating for Sam at first since he can’t interact with anything, but gradually he gets used to his abilities which makes him more of a formidable threat to everyone involved. Sam’s power does go to his head a bit as he has a tendency to play with his food rather than finishing the job and goes for a quick hug even though it puts everyone in danger thanks to the side effects. He’s not perfect, but he’s still a pretty solid main character.

Unfortunately the heroine Molly ends up faltering here. She’s good at first and seems like a supportive character. Where she really ends up failing is when Sam’s friend Carl shows up and she rebounds with him even though Sam only died a few days ago. That’s so incredibly soon that it’s crazy. Even if you ignore the fact that she thought he may still be around as a ghost or that he was grisly murdered…it’s only been a few days since he was gone. No matter how sad she was there’s really no excuse for going with this guy. I thought that whole scene was pretty terrible and I have to say that it did end up hurting the score.

We had gotten quite a few romantic scenes with Sam and Molly earlier so it just made those feel hollow. In general the romance just wasn’t written well as a result and we could have just cut those scenes entirely and replaced with more supernatural hi-jinx. Maybe have Sam troll a bunch of people from beyond the grave by moving things around. It is entertaining to see him messing with Willie and Carl. He also annoys Oda quite a lot until she eventually agrees to help him. When you’ve got ghost abilities you may as well use them right?

Carl’s a pretty terrible character right away. The instant he starts going after Molly you know there’s no hope for him. It’s also fairly obvious where his character is going even before Sam dies with his line about how the numbers aren’t adding up after he gives away his account numbers. It’s definitely a good lesson on why you shouldn’t trust people too much. There are certain things you should never give someone else like your social security number or password to your office computer. Those are things that just always ring true and nobody ever needs to know those things either. The deadlines were quickly approaching but you’ve still got to not budge on this.

Oda is a pretty fun character. She’s definitely reluctant to help and has to be convinced quite a lot and at different points in the film. Oda also tends to mess up on things like writing out a check and pretending to be someone else, but at the end of the day at least she is an ally who is here to help Sam. Those were in short supply. Also, she’s just a lot of fun. All of her scenes are pretty entertaining and in part it’s because all of her reactions are pretty well justified and realistic. It’s incredibly hard for anyone to part with 4 million, especially when you’ve been taking life or death risks all day. You feel like you should at least get 1% of that which would still be a pretty good sum. Not everyone can get rich though and at least she kept the moral high ground.

One of the best scenes is when Sam goes into a train and is confronted by another ghost. It was cool because we hadn’t seen anyone else until then and it was also the first moment where Sam experienced real danger as a ghost because this guy could actually interact with him as if Sam was still alive. It was a shocking moment for the lead and he did his best to adjust. My issue with Sam here was just that he went down awfully quick without even landing a counter blow. I like to think that he would at least have done something.

Overall, Ghost is a decent movie. It’ll keep you entertained as you watch it even if you’ll question the characters at different points. Sam really should have been able to end things with the villains a lot sooner than he did. If anything the instant that one of them threatened to murder his wife at the end if Sam didn’t meet his demands, Sam should have taken him down. Waving a knife doesn’t do anything to someone who’s intangible and at the time Molly was still upstairs. Sam could have just reached over and ended the guy in many different ways. There are even hundreds of non lethal ways to take him down. My point here is really that Sam didn’t use his abilities nearly as well as he could have and was probably having too much fun with the villains when everyone could have already been safe by then. That was my main issue along with Molly not staying strong at least for a longer period of time, but even then if you go with anyone it should never be the best friend. If you want to see a movie with this interesting concept then I’d recommend checking it out. Otherwise I don’t think you’ll be missing a whole lot.

Overall 5/10

4 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Casper Scare School Spooky Sports Day Review

I had never heard of this game until I saw it in the 5 and under bin at my local gamestop. I was hooked once I noticed the friendly ghost on the cover, but I checked the back of the cover to make sure that it would be fun. I saw a screenshot of a soccer game and I ignored everything else as I dashed to the cashier! (Along with two other Wii games) Unfortunately, the game is not tremendously fun and it wouldn’t be worth paying 30 bucks for. (Luckily, I got it for under 2 so it wasn’t a bad buy considering the price)

Okay…not tremendously fun is probably an exaggeration. It almost sounds positive that way right? Casper does have some endearing moments in the game, but it’s really not that good. This is due to a lack of replay value and the fact that the game is almost empty. You can beat the game twice in around an hour or less. I ended up beating it twice so that I could have 100% unlocked everything in the game. (You unlock a character for beating the inverted story mode) The booklet claims that there is a plot, but if it’s not in the game…then it’s not going in the review. The actual game has no story mode!

When you boot up the game…it’s empty. There isn’t anything on the screen….until you get past the title screen. Once there, you have the main mode, which has 7 minigames in it. That’s it….there is nothing else. There’s no multiplayer mode or any other place to do something. These are the 7 minigames that will take up all of your time in the game. If you get bored of them…then it’s game over. The game keeps track of your high score so I suppose that you can keep trying to beat them, but the games aren’t quite That fun. After you beat every minigame once, you get to play them again, but in a happier setting. Once you beat those, you now have the final character and you have done everything that there is to do. Ah well….let’s talk about the games!

Frog Lab is my least favorite so we’ll have it start off. You basically have to drop frogs in jars and stop kids from stealing them as your partner takes them to safety. It’s simple enough and you shouldn’t have a problem winning on your first try after leaving the room for a water break. You have so much time that it’s scary! There just wasn’t anything enjoyable about this minigame and it’s incredibly basic.

Skateboarding was all right, but not very fun either. You have to launch with your skateboard and then memorize a pattern of buttons from the Wii remote and quickly tap them in. Don’t worry about remembering the correct buttons because you can just keep on hitting them all until you got the right ones. You get unlimited tries until you hit the ground and that’s plenty of time to get all of the commands until you’re nearing the end. I like memorization and it’s a good game in theory, but also extremely easy and parts of this minigame just feel too slow. You have to watch Casper launch into the air quite a lot by the end.

Goal Creeper isn’t bad and it actually takes some skill. You have to go up to a soccer ball and then follow the line on the screen with your wii remote to hit the goal keeper. Yellow balls are worth 3X the points of regular ones so just ignore the regular ones entirely and you’re guaranteed to win by a landslide. Overall, this was definitely a good minigame, but you’ll probably get bored of it after a few tries since the computer doesn’t provide you with a challenge.

Gymnastics didn’t feel like it worked as it should have. You have to shake the wii remote as soon as a circle is approaching another circle. (Think of Dance Dance Revolution and how you have to step at exactly the right moment) You don’t need the circles to be too close before you shake and they’ll usually give you the points, but the game is tricky about this. Sometimes it will work and other times it won’t. It’s pretty easy and you’ll get the hang of it, but the mechanics felt unfinished. It’s also repetitive as you do a few jumps and head back to the beginning…over and over and over again.

Keepy Uppies involves a soccer ball that Casper kicks into the air. From there it is vertical Flappy Bird, but without the pipes to bang into! Just tap on a bird as you pass him and he’ll launch you up even further. Grab the points from the sky and keep on going. It’s the easiest game in the batch and it’s almost impossible to lose. You must really be trying to lose if you lose this round. Just wave your Wii remote around and keep pressing A everywhere. You’ll never hit the ground and you’ll get all of the points. There isn’t any challenge in this game so it’s not a whole lot of fun.

The Dragon Egg Spoon Race is decently fun. You have to point with your wii remote to make sure that you keep the egg balanced on your spoon as you run to the goal and jump over obstacles. It’s simple, but it can still be hard not to drop the egg since the meter can be a little dicey and the character is very wobbly. Even if you drop the egg, you’ll probably beat the opponents pretty easily so you don’t really need to worry about it.

People Chase is the best minigame from the batch. It’s a track and field match and you have to run for the goal line. There are boosters that amp up your speed and you need to jump over rocks from time to time. Dodging the snails is a must and you have to watch out for other players trying to get in your way. It’s another easy minigame and it’s very short as you can beat it in under a minute, but it was fun. It’s easily my favorite!

What you may have noticed from all of the minigames was that they weren’t challenging. Most of them were actually fun and they would have been more enjoyable if there was a two player option. Battling a real opponent in those games would have been great. At least add a hard mode or something to make things interesting! As it stands, you don’t want to keep on playing those games over and over again because it’s just too easy. You can keep track of your score, but there isn’t much in the way of incentives. You’re not going to unlock anything so you may as well have fun in Mario Party.

I feel obliged to mention the graphics and soundtrack even if we don’t really have much in the way of music. The main theme for the game isn’t bad, but it’s not memorable in the slightest and you’ll forget it very quickly. The graphics are sub par and you can tell that they didn’t put a lot of effort into making sure that everything looked good. Casper actually looks pretty creepy with that grin he’s constantly keeping in place. The rest of the characters are pretty unimaginative. These graphics could be surpassed on the PS1 and feel as if they’re from a free computer game from a long time ago.

Overall, I can’t recommend this game with a clear conscience. 7 Minigames can only last so long and there is nothing to do after you play them. This game wouldn’t even be good as a rental since you can beat it in around 20-30 minutes. There’s no Story Mode or any other modes to play so you’re sunk. It’s still hard to believe that a game can be this empty, but I guess that’s how it goes. I definitely don’t regret buying this game since I got it for under 2. Plus it gave me a chance to review the game and try it out. I’m always happy to try out a game unless it’s truly terrible and unplayable. (I hope Balls of Fury isn’t that bad but I had to put it down after one level. I shall review it if I ever get around to beating it) Instead of getting this game, just buy Wii Sports. You’ll be better off and you can spend the two dollars on a bottle of water with a slice of pizza.

Overall 4/10