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

Miracle Mile 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.

Time to look at a panic movie about the end of the world. It’s always been an interesting question on how you would spend your last hours if you knew you were about to die. A lot of people would prefer not to know if they’re about to die, but honestly I’d be all for it if I actually believed there was a way this could be done. Lets say I only have 10 days to live right? I would spend that time getting all of my favorite foods and playing my favorite games because the end is nigh so I may as well forget about the cholesterol for a few days. Of course in real life there would always be some doubt on if things were actually going to end so I wouldn’t be able to do that. This would only be if destruction was a guarantee. Regardless this is part of the basis for the film’s plot.

It starts out with a few scenes to introduce us to Harry and Julie. After hanging around each other for a while without really getting to talk they finally hit it off. Harry is looking forward to being with Julie forever and ever. Unfortunately thanks to his alarm not working he sleeps past the time they were supposed to meet. By the time he gets to the cafe she is long gone so he leaves her a voice message and prepares to have breakfast alone. That’s when the phone rings and he eagerly picks it up only to find himself talking to someone named Chip. Chip explains that someone launched a bunch of nukes at us so we fired back and now everybody’s going to die in a few hours. Harry quickly believes Chip and makes a scene in the restaurant causing everyone else to believe that it’s finally happening. As the other guys get in a truck to head to Antarctica, Harry decides to find Julie first. Can he make it to her before they are all destroyed?

This is one of those films that’s a little tragic because the setup is excellent. I really couldn’t care much about the opening minutes with the two characters meeting. It really has nothing to do with anything, but I suppose it was the quickest way to show us how Harry and Julie met. Honestly we could have just started the film with them together and nothing would change. The setup I’m talking about is once Harry gets the phone call. He panics a lot as you would expect and then panics in the store, but it’s nice to see how some people start to believe him after a bit.

The shop owner certainly seemed like he was expecting the news at some point because he takes out a big shotgun and immediately heads for his evacuation plan. It’s cool to see so much unity with all of the characters as they get ready to leave. It’s such an emergency that nobody even stays back to try and get their things or anything. They just hop in and get out of there. There’s a lot of tension here with a pretty interesting cast of quirky characters. It was the start of a great thriller in the makings with all of the characters having to deal with the fate of the world on their shoulders. Who should they bring and who has to get left behind? Time is not on their side either so they have to move very quickly. Then you’ve got Harry who is the only one who heard the call so in the back of everyone’s minds they have to wonder if he was right or not. Yes, this film was going to be an amazing look at the end of the world…..and then Harry got out of the truck.

That was the biggest mistake the film could have made. It’s an interesting subversion here as the characters were all developed enough where you figure they are going to be important. At this point they never appear again and the film loses some balance. Harry heads over to find Julie and in the process he has to get a cab driver to help him out at gun point. This leads to them accidentally murdering some cops and the body count continues to rise from this point. Everyone begins acting in their self interests which seems to be one of the film’s themes. At the end of the day the film is trying to say that people will act in a way that suits them so everyone begins stealing and attacking people left and right.

The climax particularly puts some emphasis on this as a lot and I mean a lot of crimes are happening in the background. Fortunately the film doesn’t linger for long as if things got any iffier that would have hurt the film’s overall score. Even so, the film just goes into more random territory at this point like when we get the drunk guy on the roof. Harry and Julie also split up too often. After finally finding each other after a good chunk of the film you’d think they would have stayed together right? Nah, Harry wants to find a pilot so they split again and then Julie splits to find one too. The scenes make no sense and Harry should be a little upset at Julie here because it really messes up all of the plans.

Getting to the helicopter was their best chance so making everyone wait the whole time was pretty bad. It was interesting to see everyone else get ready for the apocalypse, but ironically Harry was the one holding everyone back. He also should have just told Julie what was going on right away so she didn’t have to hear it from a total stranger. It’s always better to hear things from someone you know at the very least. Think about it, it just makes so much more sense.

So in the end I didn’t like Harry or Julie. Julie was really slow on the uptake and went along with all of Harry’s bad ideas. I would have liked to have seen her just tell Harry that they should do something else at times. Harry didn’t seem to think things through a lot which would get him into more trouble. There was a fun few scenes where a random driver with a gun chased him in the sewers though. You’d think with the world about to end the guy would have better things to do, but danger does tend to make people act rather crazy. It’s probably why quite a few characters in the film continue to talk tough even after being held at gunpoint.

Then one plot that had a random ending was the cab driver. He went to get his sister which makes sense, but then somehow he messed up and they crashed? I suppose there are thousands of ways that could have happened, but it felt like this was just put in to add some shock value for the main character. It’s not like it furthered the plot at all and the odds of running into each other again in these packed streets with everyone running around was pretty slim. Fortunately for Harry the police had to try and escape the city so he didn’t have to explain much. The ending of the film is pretty decent though. The drunk guy took away from it a bit, but it plays out like you would expect.

Overall, Miracle Mile got off to a really good start, but I feel like it took the wrong route to the ending. It would have been a very interesting movie if it stayed with the original cast in the truck. That plot had a ton of potential and along the way we would have learned a bit about the incoming threat and possibly faced some opposition. A lot of the film would be based around the dialogue on the truck so it still wouldn’t need a whole lot of budget. I’m cool with all the mystery surrounding the characters as we don’t really know anything going on, but it’s not important anyway. The world’s about to end and that’s what counts. It’s just that having a bigger cast to bounce ideas off of is better than just having Harry run around. Still, if you want to look at a pretty unique look at the end of the world then this is a good one to check out for sure.

Overall 5/10

Animated Movie Reviews, Animated Movies, Reviews

Extraordinary Tales Review

It’s time to take a look at an anthology based on stories from the famous Poe. Unfortunately, I was never a big fan of this format as it really limits what you can tell in a story. There’s also the issue of the animation in this film being quite dreadful. It would have looked underwhelming 20 years ago so there’s no excuse for it. I’ll break this film down story by story.

The film started off with my favorite tale which is always an interesting tactic. Typically you want to end on a high note instead, but you can draw in the viewer this way I suppose. There were two pals who hung out together for a while, but eventually they drifted apart. Years later, they had a get together, but the friend bad changed. He could not be near sunlight anymore because of his being in the dark for so long. Making matters worse is the fact that the house seems haunted and a dead person frequents the halls. A single contact with this dead being would mean instant death.

It is a decently fun story. As I mentioned already, I thought that it was the best one on the whole batch. The sudden tackle at the end was pure hype and it was almost like a fight scene. It was a horror ending done right if I do say so myself. The main character got his happy ending but lives with the knowledge of these events so its not a total win win, but not a full loss for him either.

Another story decided to go with PS2 graphics as the CGI went full blast. A guy is thrown into an elaborate series of death traps and he has to try and survive. Are these trials real or is he just having delusions at the moment? I’m inclined to say that most of it is real at any rate. The animation was a step up from some of the other segments, but it is still very past its time. I’ve seen better animation on Cartoon Network. The segment wasn’t bad, but I wouldn’t say that it was all that good either. It starts to drag on a bit after a while and I think some dialogue would have been very welcome here. Of course, the film is mostly a silent one anyway but dialogue, if written well, can really help at times.

Another segment saw a crazed man decide to destroy his teacher. The guy’s heartbeat annoyed him, which is why he decided to make the kill. It was a unique excuse I suppose, but it didn’t do the guy any favors. I was glad that the cops were pretty sharp this time though. They weren’t messing around ultimately outwitted the guy. It was too bad for the helpless old man though and at least he had a cool Eagle Eye. Actually, I think that was the excuse used by the murderer now that I think about it. Next time he’ll know better than to mess with the proper authorities.

Let’s head on to the next story. One guy decided to make a deal with a shady doctor about his life. When the guy was about to die, he would allow the other man to hypnotize him so see if it was possible to cheat death. Essentially, the dying man was hypnotized into waking up even after he was dead and it worked to a slight extent as it did prolong his life, but not for very long and the guy essentially blew up anyway. This segment was mostly just a little grotesque with the imagery and I’m sure that we all saw the ending coming. Man can never overcome death with whatever sciences are developed. You may as well try bringing a bucket to stop a flood. Next to the last segment, this was probably my least favorite one.

The final story was easily the worst one and the segment where the movie jumps the shark. It was about the seven deadly sins and how they overpowered the few human survivors. They were ready to die due to a powerful plague so they figured that they may as well lose their morals on the way to their death. Unfortunately, as this is an indie film, it has no qualms exploiting its poor animation as an excuse to show some nudity. If the animation was actually good, I doubt it would have been able to get away with such a tactic. Either way, as with Soul Eater and Skip Beat, it doomed the score and sent it into the cruncher. Without that, I’m sure that the film could have maybe managed a 3 or so, but this was the final nail on the coffin so to speak. There’s no meed to go all the way in the segment just to prove a point. I made a similar comment on the train scene in Madoka Magica a while back. Ah well, game over I suppose.

Aside from the stories, we also had a talk with a Raven and a statue who was the living embodiment of death. They talked about death a lot and the statue kept reminding the Raven that he was already dead so she had won the battle. He couldn’t really deny this and tried to distract her with red herrings and just dodging the point in general, but he ultimately could not stop her. This part was pretty interesting and while it would probably drag out for some if it lasted the whole 70 minutes, I think that would have been the more interesting film. Philosophical discussions on death are always pretty interesting to me. It could really be discussions on just about anything and it’ll typically be interesting since I get to write out my response to it or if it’s a super easy discussion, then I just say a yay or a nay.

Overall, it’s easy to see why this film is not all that popular. It’s very new and yet there doesn’t even seem to be a Wikipedia page on it. At the very least, the page doesn’t pop up right away on Google Search. One of the main problems is certainly the terrible animation. If the film had proper animation, it may have decided not to take as many risks and could have focused on telling some good stories. As it was, I wouldn’t consider any of the stories to be all that good aside from the first one. They could also tone down the violence somewhat and would need too if it had good animation since one segment had people being chopped, thrown away, and of course one guy was all but exploding in another scene. If you’re looking for your horror fix, then I suggest that you look elsewhere. Check out Scooby Doo Zombie Island instead.

Overall 0/10