Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey Review


It’s time for the big sequel to the original Bill & Ted! These two definitely went on quite the adventure the first time around. I enjoyed the film well enough and this one throws in androids which is always cool. I would say this one even improved upon the first. It does have some scenes where the film can get a little slow but for the most part the pacing is solid and the androids made for pretty intimidating opponents. They’re definitely not people that the heroes can really hope to defeat straight up.

This movie opens up in a similar state to the first. Bill & Ted still can’t play music at all and that’s not good since the big battle of the bands is coming up. They think about using time to help them out with this but in the meantime finally propose to the princesses from the first film. Everything is going well until alternate versions of themselves appear. They think it’s the future selves here to help them out once again but instead they are actually evil doppelgangers sent from the future to foil Bill & Ted’s career. These robots murder Bill & Ted and proceed to accomplish their goals. The heroes last chance to save the day is to quickly find Death so they can come back to life and then interfere before the Battle of the Bands performance is over or there will be no hope left. It’s a tough journey but someone’s got to do it.

I definitely enjoyed having some evil androids in the mix. Having villains like that can definitely take things to the next level if you ask me. Think about it, these guys have built in super strength and they easily crush the leads in their first battle. I’ll admit that the loss is a bit embarrassing if anything but it’s not like you could have expected anything less. It was still the most hype set of scenes in the film. Unfortunately there isn’t a real rematch later on so you need to enjoy the initial struggle.

The adventures through the characters’ personal hells were fun too though. You’ve even got a giant bunny that is around to mess everyone up. The scenes could get pretty tense. Death himself is probably the least intimidating member by default. The guy just wants some friends deep down. The scenes of the main characters playing him in a bunch of board games was definitely fun. Especially since I had even played a bunch of them back in the day. Bill & Ted are definitely really good at playing these which isn’t too surprising. I bet they played these games quite a lot over the years, probably instead of studying or anything like that.

As for Ted and Bill as characters, they’re pretty much unchanged from the first film so you either like them or you don’t. I appreciated the air guitar gimmick they have where they use that whenever something cool happens. Part of what helps them succeed as characters is their comedy gags aren’t even all that annoying. The characters are pretty fun and just work out rather well if you ask me. The cast is fairly small but they work well. The princesses don’t look great but they don’t really have a lot of screen time. There’s also a super smart inventor from another world who was passable at best but these side characters don’t really take away from the main adventure or anything like that.

There’s also a big twist that happens near the end of the film which is pretty fun. It just goes to show that when time travel is in play you have to expect the unexpected. Anything can happen at any given moment which is part of the point of this method. The film’s pacing is pretty solid so it’ll be over before you know it. Ultimately if I had to really say why it beat the first film, I’d say that the evil Androids and the film mainly taking place in the present are what did it. I love time travel but of course I prefer going to the future than the past. There’s just a lot more to explore when you’re going forward.

Overall, Bill & Ted manage to improve upon what made the first film solid. This is one I could definitely recommend to anyone who enjoys comedies. The writing is on point and we’ll see if the third film can keep it up. I don’t see why not, the trailer for it certainly looks pretty solid to me. The end of the big saga at long last. At the end of the day it’s still almost frightening how the future society is doomed to be modeled after these characters. I mean, there are far worse people you could pick to represent the planet but also much better ones as well. At least the clothing seems to have gone the LazyTown route in the future so fashion is on an upwards trend.

Overall 7/10

Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure Review


It’s time to look at a comedy film from a while back that’s definitely pretty well known. It did manage to get two sequels after all. It’s hard to find main characters that are less intelligent than these guys. Bill and Ted consistently look pretty bad throughout the whole film. The writing is pretty solid though. The film can definitely get a bit overboard with how silly it is at times. It’s definitely going for a comedic approach you don’t see quite as much nowadays. Still, it manages to land pretty well for the most part. I don’t see this title as having a lot of replay value but on your first go around it’s fun enough.

The movie starts off with Bill and Ted goofing off as usual. Unfortunately this has finally come back to bite them. Ted is at risk of failing history and if that happens then he will get sent off to military school. He tries to study with Bill but they’re just no good at this and the presentation for the final is tomorrow anyway. Fortunately they have some help. In the future, Bill and Ted are supposed to change the galaxy as we know it through their music. So an envoy is sent to the past to rescue the main characters from their plight. What happens is they send a time machine to the present so Bill and Ted can travel back in time and bring back a bunch of famous figures to answer the historical questions that they needed. This is a bold plan. Can the heroes pull it off? Or…have they already done so since the future already exists for them to do it?

Time travel is always an interesting concept in part because people can never really decide on what the rules should be. Personally, my favorite time travel rules are rather similar to DBZ’s. When you go to the past, you can’t affect your own timeline since the events have already happened. Effectively you are traveling to a parallels timeline where the events will now be different. As such you can’t get stuck in any of the time loops that you see pop up here and there. That’s because the events didn’t already happen, they’re all fresh as soon as they occur. This film is using a different theory though that you actively change time as you go through it. Because of that, the heroes are now in a time loop. The loop doesn’t make perfect sense by the end though such as some scenes we get of the heroes already doing things that they haven’t yet like recording a message of leaving notes. The only way that works is if you did another time travel adventure but the problem is actually starting it as they’d need to use more machines and actually time things perfectly which I don’t trust the leads to do. It does get pretty messy but it’s a very unique way to show time travel which was cool.

After all, there has to be a first encounter in order to set up the loop and I don’t see how that works. Clearly Ted would have been sent to military school without the help so the future wouldn’t be around to come back to the past and save him. If they were, then it would mean that the future doesn’t actually need Bill and Ted after all. Either way that does not bode particularly well for the heroes when you think about it. It’s part comedy so no need to think on it too much but it’s something that does stand out the more you think about it.

As I mentioned, the film’s pretty fun. As a comedy it really needs to be in order to succeed. It doesn’t mean that every joke will land, it’s rare for any comedy film to pull that off. Still, more land than the ones that do not which is the critical factor here. Personally I mainly enjoyed when the heroes were in the present compared to being in the past. I thought the film could have had more fun with these figures from the olden days enjoying modern life. We do get some of that near the end though which was nice. We even have a big mall fight where the cops show up to take them all down. It makes for a pretty solid action scene.

As for Bill and Ted as characters, I wouldn’t say that any of them are particularly likable. Both of them don’t study hard so they have nobody to blame but themselves on why they weren’t ready for the exams. I wouldn’t say they’re the most heroic characters either. This is the kind of film that isn’t relying on the leads which is good. The cast wasn’t really anything to write home about in general. The fathers of both kids were pretty unreasonable the whole time. We don’t see Ted’s mother but Bill’s was trying pretty hard at least. The lunch may have been burned but the attempt was on point. I liked the teacher even though he didn’t get to appear a whole lot. He may be a pretty strict guy but he still gave everyone a chance which is the important part. The fact that he let them have an opportunity to succeed shows that he cared at least.

Overall, By the end of the film you’ll have heard the word “excellent” quite a lot. One of the main reasons why this film was able to succeed is also that while Bill and Ted were portrayed as being very unintelligent, they weren’t super annoying about it. I’ll take “excellent” and the electric guitars as running themes over other options they could have had. The film also widely avoids crude humor which I was pleasantly surprised about. This definitely goes a long way as well. In short, this film was actually written pretty well. It succeeds in the approach it’s going for and the film just flies by. Ultimately I was entertained and it’s not like the film is very long either so it definitely doesn’t drag on or anything like that. It’ll be interesting to see if the sequels can quite match up to this one. If you like comedy films then this is a good one to check out. It’s not the best or anything like that but it holds its own and the sci-fi/time travel angle helps make this one fairly unique. I’m always in favor of using time travel to change history if it’s an option and these characters certainly don’t have any qualms against it.

Overall 6/10

John Wick Review

This review is based off 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 a pretty big film from back in the day. Pretty much any fan of the action genre knows about John Wick. Unfortunately you also know what comes with the territory as the plot itself is quite well known as well. The film is unable to get past the unfortunate decision to have the dog die in the beginning. It’s a cheap way to force in some tension and just doesn’t work. You absolutely can’t have the dog die like that. At least the sequels shouldn’t have the same problem unless they literally do this again.

The movie starts with John’s wife dying. She was sick for a long time and finally passed on. While dying she was able to send John a puppy so that he could have a reason to keep on going. Unfortunately a Russian mafia group shows up and murders John’s dog. He’s now decided to take revenge by murdering all of them. It’s been a while since he was in the mafia game but now he will have to return for one last ride. Fortunately for John you never really lose those skills. He’s got a lot of guns and at this point nothing else to do. He is 100% focused on his task and nothing is going to stop him.

It’s a pretty unique direction to have John Wick be so feared by the villains. They constantly refer to him as Baba Yaga which is effectively a Russian Witch. The definition they used here is a little different though and they’re just saying that he is extremely scary like a monster. The instant his name is mentioned the villains start cowering and wishing that they had messed with someone else. They were all gangster until Wick showed up. He lives up to the legend pretty well as he murders a ton of the agents after him. He definitely wasn’t playing around here and definitely did not take any prisoners. Whoever got in his way was doomed. The only time he didn’t end up finishing his opponent it came back to bite him.

I liked the hotel idea too where villains don’t go after each other. It’s a safe haven and it’s important that you obey the rules. It also shows that the owners of the hotel have a lot of power since everyone obeys this rule. The hotel itself has a great end scene and I liked the concierge the whole time. The guy was quick on his feet and just felt like a veteran. He knew what was going on and always had the answers. Part of what makes the film so different is how it relies on prior knowledge that you don’t know and doesn’t try to throw it at you via origin stories. We really don’t need John’s origin. You can piece everything together on your own without help and it’s just more fun that way.

The soundtrack is quite large for this film. There are quite a number of different themes that play during the film. Certainly a lot of battle themes to accompany the fights and rock themes to get you pumping. The themes all work and Wick himself has a theme that plays during some of his big moments. The film really knows how to score its scenes and when you mix that with the intense fight scenes there is not a dull moment in the film.

John makes for a great lead and it was good to see him go to any length to avenge his dog. It’s certainly a noble mission and the villains can’t really defend themselves for these actions. John did give the leader a chance to surrender his son for this blunder and the villain didn’t take it. John wasn’t crazy or anything, he spared those he could and just focused on taking out all of the characters who were threats. There are quite a few other supporting characters here who were fun but the best one was definitely Marcus. That guy came in clutch quite a bit. John wouldn’t have done nearly as well without him. It’s definitely a shame how he went out although that was inevitable by the end.

So there’s a lot to like here and it’s a very interesting thriller. The characters were carefully constructed and as far as revenge thrillers go this one can compete with all the rest. An indestructible main character like John is fun to follow and of course it’s always nice to see all of the villains getting taken down a few pegs. That being said, the negatives are even stronger than the positives which is why this film ultimately fell all the way down instead of managing to win out.

The obvious negative here is the dog death. It destroys the whole film particularly because of how it goes down. The film makes the scene rather brutal and what makes it even worse is that this is a puppy. The film gives us quite a few scenes with the puppy so we can grow to like him. Again, this is a very easy way to build tension and it’s a cheap shortcut. The three ways that films usually do this is by having an animal die, a person close to the lead get tortured to death, or have the wife/girlfriend get assaulted. All 3 of these ways are definitely not good ideas in the slightest and will usually doom a film’s score. The animal one in particular is hard to get around and with a dog of all choices. There’s just no way the film could recover from this. It’s a very direct negative so it may look like it’s outnumbered by the positives but the scene is not one that you will forget so easily.

John Wick is also a very violent film. It’s certainly about as violent as you’ll get with a shooter film. Characters are tortured and there are quite a few headshots that don’t shy away from showing them completely. Characters meet their end in very violent ways as well. This film is definitely trying to live out the revenge fantasy where you put yourself in the main character’s shoes and revel in what’s going on. The film definitely could stand to tone down the violence though. If you did that and change the part about the dog then this film would be in much better shape.

Overall, John Wick is a pretty engaging film. It may have lost its traction from the start with the Puppy’s death but even though the movie is misguided, a lot of effort was clearly put into it. The soundtrack alone is evidence of that and then you’ve got the strong character cast to back it up as well. It’ll be interesting to see what plot the sequels go with. Something has to get him back in on the action right? I assume the movies are going to bump more people off but just about everyone he knows is already dead. Either way I guess John won’t be getting his happy ending yet. I hope the hotel appears again though, that was a pretty interesting locale.

Overall 1/10

Constantine Review

This review is of the edited TV-14 version. All thoughts below should be read as such as a review of the unedited version would be even more negative.
Constantine-2005
Well well, it’s time to look at a horror film that also happens to be a comic book film. I’m not sure about this combo and it certainly didn’t work out this time. Constantine ends up being a very weak title which contradicts its own message and spends a lot of time wondering just where the plot went. One thing’s for sure, this isn’t the sleeper hit of 2005 and it even makes the recent Ghost Rider film look good.

The film’s about a guy named Constantine who exorcises demons. He wants to be allowed into Heaven since he has done a good job of keeping the demons away, but the angel Gabriel reminds him that one cannot enter into Heaven on good works alone. Constantine shows his contempt for this by slamming a Bible on the ground, insulting and berating a lady who is trying to save her sister, and then torturing a spider that he found in his house. Yeah….I wonder why they aren’t letting this guy into Heaven….It’s impossible to root for Constantine from this point on, but one thing leads to another and he’s the only guy standing in the way of a mad quest for power with human lives in the balance. Looks like it’s time to fight again!

It’s hard to know where to start on how bad this film is. We may as well get the ball rolling with Constantine since I’ve already started taking shots at him. He’s just a horrendous main character. Constantine doesn’t seem to even pretend to follow the Bible’s teachings. He spends the entire film being mean to just about everyone and his opening scene where we’re supposed to be impressed with how he handles the exorcist just makes him look bad. He’s not even that good at his job and barely manages to scratch out wins. Constantine loves smoking as well and even after he gets lung cancer, he decides to keep on smoking anyway. Once he gets a sidekick, Constantine tries to be a little more heroic when he’s not pulling guns at demons at a bar where there’s a truce, but it’s too little too late. I’ll never forget the spider incident. Sure, he had a bad day, but taking it out on another living creature is way past crossing the line.

There’s also this subplot in the desert where a guy finds a spear which mind controls him and forces the guy to come over to the city. Not only does this plot go nowhere until the very end of the film, but it is immensely boring and just slows the film’s pacing down even more. The film never really gets good or exciting so it may not matter all that much while you’re watching, but it doesn’t help matters.

The film can also be pretty violent at times and also just grotesque with the various demons running around. Supernatural films like this one love going for those crazy visuals. There were some good ones here like when Constantine went into hell. I liked how the place looked and the film had potential with some of the fight scenes and other special effects. It was one of the few positives that this title had to offer.

Back to the negatives, the film decides to make God (Yes, the film actually decided to go with the real God in this film. Big mistake considering that they decided to make him look terrible) look incredibly unintelligent and he spends the entire film getting tricked by everyone around him. Part of the premise in this film is that God and the Devil are having a chess game with humans being the pawns in it. Neither one of them can affect the humans directly, but they can tempt them. The Devil tempts them to do wrong things with his demon hybrids while God has the half angels. Full fledged Demons and Angels are forbidden from interfering. Aside from the moral ambiguity of this game, you’d think that God would ensure that the match is fair right? Nope, he doesn’t realize it, but the Devil has rigged the match from the start.

He’s not even subtle as he just summons a bunch of Demons to Earth and directly attacks people. His allies even go to bars and start indiscriminately murdering people. They also murder one of Constantine’s allies and an angel can do nothing but watch since he’s heavily outnumbered. Of course, the fact that the angel was watching and doing nothing the entire time is another negative. It gets even worse as one of the higher ranked Angels turns out to be crazy and evil. God appointed him as one of the 4 big Angels so you’d think that the interview process would have been more rigid. The Angel believes that he’s still a good guy and that genocide will help the human race turn to God before they die. He believes that suffering always has this effect, but you can see how crazy he is.

Also, the Devil is portrayed as incredibly strong and while God won’t set foot on Earth, he has no qualms about it. He shows up and wrecks everybody. The final straw is the fact that he can mess with Heaven as well. So, remember the part where Constantine can’t earn his way into Heaven with actions? Yeah…the film forgot about that. By being heroic and helping someone out, he was able to earn his way into Heaven, but the Devil can’t have that. He literally reaches up and just pulls Constantine back to Earth. Wow…..I can’t even….

So…yeah, this movie had a very warped idea of how Heaven and Hell works. It’s always nice to see a film actually bring Christianity to the forefront and tackle these concepts, but it was done so horrendously that it backfired completely. I don’t believe we even got any lines where the characters remind Constantine that he can only get into Heaven through Jesus Christ. It seemed to completely revolve around being a nice person instead, which is 100% false. No matter how many good deeds you do or how nice you are as a person, it will never be enough to get you into Heaven without accepting Jesus Christ as your lord and savior. The whole point of faith in Christianity is that you know that you can’t make it to Heaven on your own. You need Jesus, but this film decides to go around that. Also, the concept of an Angel being evil is pretty terrible. Lucifer was an angel once and there are other Fallen Angels, but they are fallen. There aren’t any evil Angels still lurking or anything like that. That’s just Hollywood trying for an epic plot twist, but there isn’t any to be found in Heaven. I don’t think for one minute that any bad guy can trick God into letting him in.

As for the rest of the supporting characters, the main heroine was decent. Angela was certainly a big improvement over Constantine and she goes through a lot of trials in order to help her sister out. Her sister committed suicide, but Angela knows that she would never do such a thing and it finally helps her to believe in the supernatural. This brings another negative to light which I almost forgot about. All right, stay with me here since the film decides to use its crazy logic again.

So, a demon possessed Isabel and forced her to destroy herself. That wasn’t her own free will so she surely wouldn’t be penalized for it would she? Nope…she actually is. See, as part of the match, this falls into the whole “Satan influencing people” part so it’s actually a legitimate victory for him with Isabel now being doomed to Hell for eternity. Now you can see how this whole game is so rigged right? Luckily, Isabel ends up having a happy ending, but once again, the Devil was just portrayed as way too powerful here. Essentially, he was the one with power over Heaven and Hell in this version given how he can influence the game to such a degree.

So, Angela’s a good character. I also liked Chas, who’s the comic relief character of the film. He did a good job in the role and helped out as best he could. Things didn’t go too well for him, but he does get a big plot twist in the post credits scene…which may or may not be canon as I also read that it was an alternate ending. I’m pretty sure that it is canon though, but I don’t really care enough about the film to do any searching. If you see the film you can stick around past the credits and tell me if it’s there. None of the villains were particularly likable and the demons didn’t have great designs. The final fights were pretty decent, but Constantine was so far out of his league that it was scary. He’s a human with a gun….there’s only so much he can do against a very fast/powerful demon. Plot hax is really his only weapon at this point.

Overall, Constantine is pretty terrible to be honest. I’d stick far away from this film if I were you. The film defies its own logic and the logic is already super flawed and fake from the get go. You won’t learn anything from this film because there is nothing to learn and the actual movie isn’t well made anyway. Constantine is a very unlikable main character and even the edited version can’t save the film’s writing and the excessive violence that shows up at times. All of Constantine’s allies (One of which is a priest who likes to drink a lot. Gee….the film had to fit that in didn’t it?) are doomed to painful and unfortunate ends at the hands of the demons and since the heroes never had a shot from the beginning…what’s the point? If you want a better comic book film, I recommend Batman V Superman, the original theater version. That film has it all, hype, action, and an epic soundtrack!

Overall 2/10