King Kong vs Godzilla Review


It’s been quite a while since I’ve seen this film. Definitely a long time from the past and it’s interesting to see the scenes I remember and the ones that are more foreign. One big change for me is that the fight is a whole lot shorter than I remembered. They don’t really meet up until near the end although the fight is certainly worth the wait.

So the movie starts with a TV head wanting his crew to do something to make the channel more interesting. The idea he comes up with is to have the crew find some kind of monster to put on the air. There are rumors of a giant monster on a remote island that has come up with some special berries that are like alcohol. The crew heads there and manages to secure their safety by offering cigarettes to the natives. It’s a strategy that works well enough but not what should they do? Grabbing this Kaiju will be difficult. Then you have the sobering fact that Godzilla has risen from his icy grave and demands vengeance. With humanity in the balance, these two creatures will ultimately end up facing off against each other. The only question is…who will win?

Naturally even if it is a small part of the film, the actual battle is definitely the big topic here. King Kong and Godzilla are both big icons after all. So I’ve always been on Team Godzilla, he just seems more powerful to me and has more options. The Atomic Breath is hard to overlook after all. In a fair fight Godzilla should win 10 times out of 10 so the question is, how can King Kong put up a fight?

Well, the film went about it in an interesting way. First odd, Godzilla got a new weakness for this movie which is that he isn’t very good against electricity. Then you have the fact that King Kong is powered up by it and a lightning storm shows up out of nowhere and lands several direct hits on him. Prior to this happening, Godzilla did end up crushing Kong in the fight. Only after the power up took effect did King Kong start to take the edge which led us to the famous final scene. Godzilla can breath underwater and usually fight there rather well so you’ll definitely have some big questions but I think we have to take the ending at face value here so there was a true winner.

All told, I would still bet my money on Godzilla and it’s hard not to root for him when you see the inevitable comeback beginning from King Kong. That said, the fight itself is satisfying. Another good thing about this film is it wastes very little time in having Godzilla show himself. He appears pretty much right away in the film which is a bit rare for any G title. Usually you’d expect him in the second half or almost the climax depending on the film. Here it seemed like the opening 15 minutes or so.

The pacing is on point and the film really breezes by. While the human plot may always feel like filler until you get to the Kaiju action, you should have some good laughs with the characters. The main duo have a classic setup where one of the characters is a comic relief guy while the other is the no nonsense leader. Both of them get humbled by King Kong at least once during the movie though. They have a lot of fun banter the whole time. The humans can be a bit exaggerated to an extent but it works out well for fun moments.

This was the English dub version I saw and it’s fair to say that the movie is part comedy. It’s a very light hearted creature feature film from start to finish. There are also quite a lot of reporter scenes where people just talk to you from the TV station. You have to really enjoy the dialogue or those parts can definitely end up being a bit slow. Fortunately they were definitely really solid to me. The style of writing and dialogue is just fun.

The special effects are on point. The suits look good and the fight was also good as mentioned earlier. Godzilla lands a super speed kick at one point that was sped up in a way which seemed surreal but also worked to great effect. If the film has any weakness, it’s that you may have a hard time remembering the character names since you are waiting for the creatures the whole time. The humans are fun but still feel like filler since you just want the monster battles. I didn’t remember any of the names by the end although granted, the cast isn’t very large. You have the main duo and then a bunch of supporting characters.

There’s not as much of a soundtrack as you might expect from your typical Godzilla movie though. You do have the iconic Godzilla roar which will have to do though and King Kong’s island always has its unique beats. Of course, the soundtrack will differ greatly depending on which version you watch so keep that in mind. This review is specifically for the dub version which is important since a review of the subbed version could be quite different based on how many changes there are. Unless it’s basically a different film I don’t really go back and review separate versions so you’d have to check that out on your own. I would recommend the English dub though as it’s so much fun.

Overall, There isn’t a whole lot more to say about the film due in part to how short it is. It’s a movie that really breezes by and should keep you grinning at all the effective comedic moments. Close your eyes and the movie is over in a snap. You’ll have a hard time finding a better Godzilla movie from the classic era though. I’d consider this to be one of the strongest of the Showa films and I’ve always loved a good crossover. This one is no different. If you haven’t watched the movie yet then you definitely need to change that. You don’t want to miss out on the Kaiju battles.

Overall 7/10

Easy Living Review


When you’re a Football player, life isn’t always going to be easy. That’s true for just about any occupation to be honest but Pete is about to learn that the hard way in this film. It’s a fun drama with a lot of good dialogue and quality characters. It’d held back a little by Pete himself who continues to make the wrong choices throughout the movie. I’d also have liked to have seen some more Football scenes since the highlights were always fun, but in the end you will have a good time here.

The movie starts with Pete finishing up another game but one of his friends has to finally leave for good. Unfortunately he just isn’t able to compete with the other Football players anymore and as a result there was no way to stay in the game. Technically there is one team that may have considered him, but the guy decided to head out. Then Pete finds out that he has a dangerous heart condition and continuing to play in the league could destroy him.

The easy answer here would be to retire but the problem is that Pete is married to Liza, a lady who only likes him if he’s rich and strong. Unfortunately Pete doesn’t yet realize how toxic this relationship is and has to try and keep this a secret. It has the adverse effect of also impacting his performance on the field since he can’t exert himself the way that he used to. Will he be able to bluff his way through the rest of the season or will he have to break the news to her?

If you aren’t able to tell your wife something as serious as a medical condition then odds are that the relationship isn’t a good one. The dynamic between the two seems to already have been rather strained before the film started as she no longer went to his road games and they didn’t see each other a whole lot. This just served to make all of that a lot worse. The film certainly paints a very negative picture of Liza as she is shown to be petty and also not very smart with the deal she made to get her company bigger. It should have been clear from the start that she was being used but Liza didn’t realize that until it was too late. She mainly serves as an obstacle in this film.

I can’t say that Pete is blameless though. At one point he has a brief affair with Anne, one of the people working for the football team. While it doesn’t go too far, it went far enough where he did cheat on Liza. As bad as things were between them, he would have needed to get a divorce before doing that to keep things on the up and up. He was also quite rough at the end with Liza which just made him look unlikable. We’ve gone from one unhealthy relationship to another one and it just seems like Pete is not going to be a very happy guy.

Even if you ignore the scenes with ANne and Liza, I thought he was rather petty and rude to his best friend Tim. Apparently they’ve been close for a while and Pete even helped Tim get a job. Only now that Tim would be the boss and Pete the subordinate, Pete doesn’t like this whole setup. If he was only content being at the top then maybe they weren’t quite as good friends as it would seem.

Tim was solid though and a standup guy from start to finish. It was gracious of him to offer Pete a spot in the first place. He’s someone who repays his debts and there was nothing even remotely malicious in his offer. He was just trying to do his old pal a favor which was the right thing to do there. I enjoyed the coach as well who really could not figure out what was going on with Pete. He did his best to try and spur the guy on regardless but if you don’t know there’s a heart issue at play then it’s likely next to impossible to figure that out just from watching. Especially with Pete’s attitude you would just figure he was intentionally not playing so well.

So while a lot of the characters were not very likable, I would say this was a quality cast as the writing was just that sharp. The dialogue is often very snappy and the sarcastic comebacks/passive aggressive statements quickly let you know what kind of characters these were. Almost everyone here was ultimately looking out for themselves. Even someone like Anne was ultimately trying to get together with a married man so no matter how many grand speeches she gave, she wasn’t in the clear either.

As mentioned earlier, the main weakness here aside from it being hard to root for anybody was that we didn’t get enough Football. Now in a film like this it is true that Football was likely more of an instrument for the plot as opposed to actually being the focus but even so I would have liked to have seen more of the actual games. Football is a blast to watch after all and surely you could spare the time to include around 10 minutes scattered throughout the film right? It would help to also show us exactly how badly Pete was playing. We get the gist of it from the scoreboard but this would be more effective.

Overall, Easy Living may depict a cast of rather unlikable fellows but the film’s technicals are on point. The writing is sharp and the pacing is good so it never really drags on. It is the kind of film that would have been over a whole lot sooner if Pete was able to just talk to Liza since he could have even broken things off sooner. It was not to be though and while it may be annoying to see Pete push everyone away the whole time, the attempts show you how much of the team cared about him. Ultimately none of them were blaming him for his lackluster performances and potentially keeping them out of the playoffs. Maybe the other players were the real heroes after all.

Overall 6/10

RoboCop 3 Review


It’s time for the end of an era with RoboCop 3. The films have a strong continuity which I do like. We have seen OCP run the city of Detroit into the ground and by the 3rd film things are worse than ever. At this point the city seems beyond saving which leads into the current circumstances. We’ve now got another company in the running and the technology is finally catching up to RoboCop. It could be the end of the road for him.

The movie starts with OCP pretty much going out of business so they are forced to jump in with a Japanese company Kanemitsu who begins to take over really quickly. Together they create a more aggressive police unit that will strive to uphold the peace without robot members. Of course what they are really doing is pushing everyone out of their homes to try and earn more bucks by upgrading the places. Anyone who doesn’t want to move is taken away by force or destroyed. This leads to a little girl named Nikko losing her parents. Fortunately she is a computer genius so she is able to join the resistance and help them steals guns and other equipment.

One day, the army comes after her and the resistance so RoboCop defends them but of course he is easily dispatched and barely escapes with his life. He will need Lazarus to reprogram him so he can fight back against OCP agents but will even that be enough? He will have to get past Otomo, a Japanese android of unimaginable power who seems to be much faster than RoboCop. One thing’s for sure, he can’t afford to let his guard down.

Like with the last film we have a kid as a main focus here but this time it’s as one of the heroes. Nikko’s scenes are always rather cheesy though as she is somehow able to hack the greatest robots in the world with a few clicks of the button. She knows about Robocop’s specs and can even take out Otomo’s. There is nothing that she cannot do with her laptop which is supposed to be cool and all but it doesn’t seem likely. She really could have been cut out of the film entirely and that wouldn’t have been a bad thing.

The rest of the resistance members are around but the only big one is Keiko who serves as the main leader. She does well in rallying the troops. Without RoboCop around you get the sense that they would have been wiped off the map but it is hard to oppose the OCP so that makes sense. As it is, she kept them around for quite a while which is impressive. RoboCop’s partner Anne is around as well but her role is even smaller than in the second film. I doubt fans will appreciate how she looks here. It’s not a great appearance to be honest and even if her limited screen time is rather important to the film this time.

Otomo was very impressive, I think it’s about time we had a true robotic opponent for RoboCop. This guy was easily the most powerful opponent that RoboCop had faced thus far but there was definitely a big issue here. RoboCop is just too weak. It hurts the battle because it’s so lopsided that you know the only way for RoboCop to win is with significant plot armor. Look, a little plot armor can be fine but when you see how RoboCop isn’t even in the same league, it just makes you worry for how the fight will go. Sure enough, the ending isn’t very satisfying. Otomo was a great concept but in the end the execution was not on point.

McDaggett is one of the new villains and he’s fun enough. Definitely a step up over the last film. he’s one of those guys who certainly relishes being a villain and likes to do whatever he can to make everyone else’s lives worse. It’s hard to even say if he believes in his cause or if he’s just having fun with it on a power trip. Either way the guy is quite straight forward in how he acts around his goals and I prefer that over pretending to have some kind of high ground.

As for Lazarus, she’s a good scientist and it’s nice that Robo has at least one person in his corner. Ultimately she puts her career on the line to help him out and it shows that she is a loyal person who can be trusted. The fact that she is familiar with how his suit operates is really helpful since he now has someone who can run repairs on him consistently outside of OCP. Finally with RoboCop himself, well I still find the guy way too weak for his own good. He still walks into every fight as if he’s Superman. RoboCop doesn’t even try to dodge enemy attacks so he sits there and takes it every time. I would much rather he fights more tactically considering that he isn’t even all that durable.

He’s a good character but one who is way too overconfident. If you take away his battle performance, at least his intent is correct. Like when he decided to protect the civilians in the church. Yes he got wrecked in that fight but it was absolutely the correct move to save the there. Then you have the scene at the end which is something straight out of the DBS Broly film where he says that his friends call him Murphy but the villains can call him RoboCop. I thought that was a very epic way to end the film because he’s saying once and for all that he will oppose the OCP. You could do a lot of interesting sequels and such with this so it’s a shame that the films had to end now. I’m not sure if I would trust the mayor of Detroit if he is put back into power but surely he has to be better than the OCP right?

Overall, RoboCop 3 got back some of the shine it had been lacking in the second film. Not all of it mind you but this is a good start. It can be the cheesiest film though with the kid and even the media scene where one of the reporters finally has enough of this. That said, we get some fun fights and RoboCop’s jet pack was fun. The police going back on strike feels almost like a running gag at this point but at least this time they all walked out to oppose the villains which is good. In the final fight it felt like there was quite a body count though so hopefully they all went in with no regrets. None of the sequels may have caught up to the original but it was fun seeing all of these adventures. I’m glad that RoboCop was able to achieve a full trilogy since that is not an easy feat.

Overall 6/10

RoboCop 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

RoboCop 2 is the weakest film in the series. It still has its fun moments and memorable scenes but starts to show a lot of weaknesses that the first film just didn’t have. A lot of this you can trace back to the new main villain but it’s really a group effort in the end. He was only part of the problem, but I will say the film has a very solid group of opening scenes here which start the film off on the right note.

With RoboCop as the hot new item, OCP is pretty happy with how things have gone. Now Detroit is nearly penniless and they are ready to own the entire city. Still, RoboCop has been acting a little too much like an individual as opposed to a machine so it’s time to brainwash him again. (This guy seriously cannot catch a break!) After RoboCop is encouraged to break off ties with his old family for good, he’s beat up by the new gang in town led by Cain and a kid named Hob. If even RoboCop can’t stop these villains…who can?

First off, having a kid be one of the main villains is not a good idea. I can’t take Hob seriously at all. The fact that he is able to talk tough to the traitorous cop Duffy and some of the other villains just makes you shake your head. He acts like a big shot but he’s young enough where anyone could just slap him to the side. Of course RoboCop can’t do much against him due to the system blocking him from messing with a kid but it’s just an annoying way to go about it. At least have RoboCop grab him or something.

Of course, in this film RoboCop can only move with the speed of molasses so good luck with that. He walks into every trap imaginable and just doesn’t look impressive. Nobody should be scared of him if this is the extent of his abilities. Not only is he slow but he can take serious damage from even basic attacks. The villains just pull out some fancy guns and they have RoboCop on the defensive. That’s not a good look for the crime fighter at all and just takes away any hype he had built up before now.

The scene where the villains quite literally rip RoboCop to pieces is just annoying. Sure, I can buy into how RoboCop wasn’t able to break away since the magnet makes sense, but the scenes leading up to that are really something. It’s depressing to see his parts just thrown onto the street where the officers are on strike again. You want RoboCop to be treated with far more dignity than he is awarded there. The villains end up doing something similar to the traitor cop which is definitely a more graphic scene although mainly off screen so you just hear the buzz saw getting closer.

Can’t say Duffy was very sympathetic though considering how awful he was. Even RoboCop wasn’t really showing him any mercy during their fight like when he kept throwing the guy through walls over and over again. I guess he can at least flex against normal human opponents since they can’t really fight back. Anne doesn’t get a big role in this one. She tries to remind RoboCop of his humanity a bit but that’s all.

Meanwhile corporate has a new villain in Juliette since the old ones were bumped off. She is willing to do whatever it takes to get higher in the company whether it means having affairs, hiring thugs, or doing anything like that. She’s an effective villain even if she isn’t nearly as entertaining as the first ones. The corporate angle also appears a little less than in the first film but you still have the fun commercials and OCP just generally showing that they will cross any line to achieve their objective. That’s the kind of dedication among the villains that you need to see.

Cain is the main gangster even if I would argue the kid has a bigger role. There isn’t a lot to him though beyond just being a mean gangster. He makes the guy from film 1 look like a mastermind. Therein lies the problem here, every single part of this film is a downgrade from the first around the board. It even reuses some ideas like having RoboCop brainwashed again. Lets just say it won’t be the last time either. It’s why I would never want to be a robot since there are so many ways things can go sideways. It’s also bad when the company that created you is an evil one.

The kid is annoying as the villain and I would have liked the film to have moved forward and tried something different instead of just having the same kind of plot and nerfing RoboCop to make it work. A normal gang should not pose any kind of threat to RoboCop but of course it does since he is so slow and has no battle experience. It seems like he lost a lot of intelligence between films as well given how he falls for every trap. I would expect him to be able to carry himself way better than he does here.

The worst thing you can say about the film is that some scenes can almost be boring by the end. RoboCop gets to finally look decent by the end which is all well and good but it’s more of a consolation prize by that point. He’s looked so bad throughout the film that it’s just too late. Even the fact that he gets traumatized by the villains is odd. I know he can still feel things but getting traumatized by the shocks is a bit much. OCP’s local representative (Now he’s a fun character) isn’t exactly very helpful with this but the heroes shouldn’t need OCP for this. The first thing the heroes need to do is deactivate RoboCop’s pain sensors for next time unless OCP stops them.

Overall, RoboCop 2 is a big downgrade from the first film. It can still be fun at times and have good action scenes but for the most part it’s all about showing you how annoying it would be to become RoboCop. You have no control over yourself and would get crushed in every fight. Having the kid as a villain was really the last straw for the film. It’s bad enough for RoboCop to keep losing but it feels like he learns nothing from each encounter. Needless to say, things continue to happen to him in the third film which just shows that there was no lesson learned here. Lets not get ahead of ourselves though, that review will be next. I’d say you can safely skip this film but if you liked the first one a whole lot then you may as well check it out.

Overall 5/10

RoboCop (1987) 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

Robocop is a very famous character to be sure. Even if you haven’t seen the film you have likely heard of it in some way or another. It’s a movie that has aged rather well and I do agree with many that it beats the reboot. I enjoyed both the serious scenes of the movie as well as the moments that parody the media to an extent. Now those were some pretty fun commercials in there. All in all, it’s not a title you are likely to forget.

The movie starts off with corporate trying to find a way to cut costs. In this world they own the police force in Detroit but naturally they don’t want to pay them a whole lot. The police have even started organizing a strike. Their chief doesn’t like this but there isn’t a whole lot that he can do about it now that the union is on board. Unfortunately for Jones, his project doesn’t work so well and his robot murders someone. This allows Bob to get in and suggest his RoboCop project.

RoboCop is the process of basically turning the remains of a dead cop into this robotic police officer who will enforce the law. The timing couldn’t be better as officer Murphy was just gunned down by a group of gang members. While his memory should be wiped, RoboCop seems to remember his days as Murphy and his police partner Anne recognizes him as well. Will RoboCop be able to get past his sense of confusion to take down the gang and make the world a better place or is this game over for him? Additionally, with the OCP owning him and the cops, will he really be able to enact true justice?

I would really call this an action comedy because of how well the film executes on both genres. For starters you have the opening scene where the robot murders one of the board members. It’s a rough fate for the guy but I would say it’s still played for laughs and it works. These dark comedic moments are perfect in RoboCop and show how merciless the corporate world is. This scene doesn’t deter any of the workers there which is saying something.

I rather liked Bob quite a bit as an antagonist. He saw an opening and immediately jumped right in. He wasn’t afraid of Jones and talked tough right to his face. That’s the kind of resolve I want to see out of the up and coming villain. Things don’t turn out very well for him in the end but there wasn’t a lot he could have done. While I thought Jones would be a rather forgettable villain by the end, he impressed me with how he got his revenge later on. I’m telling you, this company does not play around and you don’t want to make an enemy out of anyone there. They all play for keeps.

The Chairman is also really good. He was extremely quick on the take during the climax which is ultimately how he kept his life. Otherwise that would have gone sideways for him very quickly and he would only be a memory. The actual main villain Clarence wasn’t as memorable though. He’s a rather unhinged guy who deeply enjoys his job but there still isn’t much more to him other than being a mobster. He’s like a C grade Joker. The guy does well in fights but he’s just not super interesting.

As for RoboCop, well he’s a fun character. I liked him quite a lot as Murphy so it was rather sad to see him go. The way Murphy dies in the intro was really effective. In large part because this is how you picture a lot of these encounters ending without any plot armor for the main character. You can’t just attack a whole gang on your own and expect to win. Murphy was just too hot headed in this case and it really ended up backfiring on him. It just felt very realistic, but definitely a painful way to go out.

In his transformed state, Murphy isn’t quite as hot headed as he used to be. He does keep some parts of his personality like twirling the gun but for the most part he is quite different now. He also has the disadvantage of being a robot owned by OCP so they can brainwash him at any point. Still, RoboCop does his best to dish out some peace to the villains and he does well. From the 3 films this is easily his best portrayal. He takes out a lot of thugs and is quite durable without being way too slow. He also thinks of good ways to get around his programming weaknesses. As for his partner Anne, she’s a good cop. Ultimately she wasn’t quite fast enough to help Murphy out but I would say she is solid. She just doesn’t get quite as big a role as you might be expecting. She provides moral support but that’s about it.

The effects are on point here and the movie has definitely aged well in that respect. If you’ve seen Judge Dredd, you’ll probably be thinking of that film a lot during this movie because of how similar they are. RoboCop is just a fun film all around. As mentioned earlier, the media parts are great too. If you focus on the news headlines behind the reporters you see a lot of interesting items and of course they report on quite a few stories. It shows how hopeless the world is with constant bad things happening. The movie really depicts a rather bleak world where corporate is running the Earth into the ground. Then you have the parody commercials as well which will give you some laughs.

Overall, RoboCop succeeds not just because it’s a fun action film but also because the writing is incredibly clever. It can give you a very powerful moment and then immediately hit you with a really funny moment. I like seeing corporate as the villains since they can be entertaining and this film adapts them well. We even get the full board meetings and the rushed version of RoboCop that isn’t quite so effective. I felt bad for the clunky robot by the end because he meant well but just wasn’t built for success. It even throws a bit of a tantrum on the stairs when trying to follow RoboCop. This just wasn’t his day. If you haven’t seen this film yet then you should definitely change that.

Overall 7/10

Dune (2021) Review


I really did not like the first Dune film so I certainly went into this one with a lot of reservations. Fortunately it is an improvement in every area. When you watch this version you can see how people could have the franchise up to be the next Star Wars. While I don’t think anything will be the next Star Wars, this one has a solid story and builds up a good universe. Throw in the fact that we should be getting the sequel pretty soon and this title has a whole lot of momentum. Ultimately if you like Sci-Fi then you should like this film.

The movie starts by introducing us to the setup of the world. The Emperor rules just about all of the solar systems and there are houses that are under him. Each house has its own ruler, army, and population. The main character Paul is the prince of the Atreides house and they’ve done rather well for themselves. Unfortunately they are suddenly given a mission by the Emperor to go and take control of Arrakis as the Baron will be pulling his people out. The kingdom isn’t thrilled about this since Arrakis is a desert wasteland that is hard to survive in. Additionally their house has never gotten along with the Baron’s house so this seems to be a trap.

Meanwhile, Paul is not sure if he even wants to be king. Making this more complicated is the fact that he has been having a lot of dreams about Arrakis and a girl on that planet. The dreams range from her staring at him to seemingly stabbing him. He is also involved in some shady prophecy from his mother’s side of the family that he will be the chosen one. This will likely put him under an even greater spotlight which could make the emperor go against him. It’s going to be a difficult journey for Paul.

There’s a ton of world building here so that’s really just scratching the surface. I will say, the quicker you learn the names for each of the planets and houses, the quicker you will be able to not only understand the plot but really get into it. Memorizing the names is crucial here. The effects are pretty solid and definitely help for the fight scenes. It’s cool to see the barriers that the suit emits as they are quite unique. You can stop most projectiles but close range attacks get more dangerous.

The training fights Paul has to go through really show this effectively. Now I wouldn’t say the film is super action packed as I would call it more of an adventure but you do have the occasional battle. Duncan easily gets the best battle near the end of the film. He really shows off his skills and proves himself to be the best fighter in the army without a doubt. I wouldn’t say any of the musical themes stuck with me but as you go through the scenes there aren’t any distracting moments either.

As a main character Paul is decent. He can definitely panic a bit with the burden that he is given but for the most part he takes things well. He’s not as tough as he acts at times but his skills should keep on improving so that by the sequel he will be ready to engage anyone in combat. As it stands he is already powerful enough to beat many fighters in a 1 on 1 situation.

As for his mother Jessica, she was quite impressive here. She has mastered “the voice” which is an ability that lets you mind control someone just by talking. It’s very handy to have and she can also fight hand to hand as well. The scene where she and Paul take on some fighters near the end was a really good showing there. Her pact involving the prophecy could certainly end up being troublesome so we’ll see what choices she makes going forward.

Paul’s father Leto is also solid here. I thought he did well at leading his kingdom and it’s hard to blame him for how things turned out. I don’t feel like he had a realistic option of turning down the Emperor’s order. It was going to happen whether he made it easy or not. Then for the invasion, well every factor was against him and it’s hard to win like that. Leto seemed like a good man and at the end of the day that’s all you can really ask for.

Duncan’s the best character in the film by far though. He is a true adventurer through and through. He keeps up a fun attitude throughout the story and takes a lot of the risks. Duncan doesn’t back down from a fight and serves as a great role model for Paul. Gurney is another good character here. He’s tough like Duncan and is always willing to speak his mind. I’d have liked to have seen some more action from him since I bet this guy can fight at a high level as well.

If the film has a main weak point it’s that none of the villains are particularly interesting. We don’t really see the Emperor yet and the guy Arrakis really exists to get wrecked by Paul. The Baron is someone who will have a big role but he just isn’t my kind of character. The guy doesn’t participate in the action unless his opponent can’t move. Baron needs to have the absolute advantage in every encounter which doesn’t speak well to his confidence. His son Glossu could be a fun enforcer but he hasn’t gotten to do a whole lot yet.

As for the main heroine Chani, she doesn’t even get to appear outside of dreams until the end so there isn’t much to say about her yet. Based on the dreams Paul has been having, he should definitely be careful around her. I could do without the constant dreams though. That’s one area where I feel the film could have shown the dreams once and we’d be good. It’s not like you will forget the dreams over the course of the movie so there’s no reason to show it again.

Some aspects of surviving on this desert planet can also be a bit gross like the whole recycled water bit. It reminds me why I prefer to be in more city type environments. That said, even in the film none of the characters want to be here so that tracks. Since the emperor seemingly set them up to fail, you wish that the heroes would have fought back instead of simply complying. They were likely doomed either way but better to turn and fight while you can then to slowly die out right? Ultimately the villains had really good execution on their plan though so it was definitely going to be tough to thwart them.

Overall, Dune sets the stage pretty well. In a lot of ways it does feel like the whole movie was the opening act so all of the events were set up well. The characters are interesting and the plot moves at a good pace. Both things that you would have a hard time saying about the first film. I can safely say this was a lot better than I had been expecting and of course you will get to see the sand worms with the updated graphics here so they look quite impressive. Once Paul masters all of his abilities we should be in for some more fun fights coming up.

Overall 7/10

Clash of the Titans (1981) Review


It’s time for the original Clash of the Titans film. I quite enjoyed the newer remake when I saw it but granted, that was many years ago. It’s been an extremely long time since I saw that film so I don’t know how well it’s aged but I would say it beats this adaption. I had some issues with this one. The old time era and feeling of it makes the movie a little more dated than needed and naturally all of the gods are unlikable. There are some cool action scenes here though and on the whole I would say the writing is good. So while I wouldn’t be giving this movie a ton of points or anything like that, it’s not a very bad old school epic, it could have been better though.

The movie starts out with a king deciding to banish the queen away to sea after Zeus has a kid with her. Zeus is furious to see this and strikes the whole country down with the Kraken. Fortunately for him, they end up living as they arrive on an isolated island. The child is given the name of Perseus. Not all of the gods are thrilled about Zeus playing favorites like this. The guy certainly messes around quite a lot and is as irresponsible as possible. Seems pretty accurate to the legends I must say as this seems to be a reoccurring theme in most of those. Well, Thetis has a child as well in Calibos but the guy disrespects Zeus which is a no go in this world so the guy is turned into a goat chimera monster of sorts.

Naturally Andromeda no longer wishes to marry the guy since he’s not very attractive anymore. Still, what can she do to stop him? Her astral self is kidnapped every night and it’s not like anyone can stop it. Well, Thetis decides to take revenge on Zeus by warping Perseus into this land. Perseus takes this in stride though and this is a mistake on Thetis’ part since he now wants to rule the whole land. Calibos is in the way of his marrying Andromeda and getting a lot of power so now things are going to get dangerous here.

That’s a bit of a smashed up version of the plot since the movie is quite long and the story shifts multiple times. Still, I think it’s a fair assessment of how things are going. It’s fun to see the names and locations here after watching so much Saint Seiya since it operates in the same kind of time frame with the gods and legends all around. What Clash of the Titans does well is establish the universe. It’s easy to see how the world works even with the gods running around every corner and all these monsters everywhere.

While the film is rather long, I would not say that it is boring. There’s always something happening although it is fair to say that the pacing can be a bit slow. It is trying to slowly build up the tension like an old school epic after all. The characters are rather on the weak side though so I think we can now transition into the weaker aspects of the film. For starters, I didn’t like anyone here.

Perseus is a decent main character at best. He does tend to take things in stride after all but almost to the point of effectively being emotionless. There’s not a whole lot you could even say about his general character. I guess he’s a nice guy but that’s about it. The robotic owl given to him in the second half really deserves a lot of points for making sure Perseus was in the right spot at the right time. As for Andromeda, well she got off to a bad start when she was being kidnapped in her dreams and trying to talk Calibos out of his plans. She never seemed to have a chance there.

As for dumping Calibos once he transformed, while it’s hard to blame her, I would have preferred she had just broken it off because she never liked him. It seems like one of those arrangements where it was for the kingdom anyway. Calibos is the kind of villain who just wants the girl and power is a side trip to that objective so he’s not one of my favorite villains at all. The guy is reasonably tough but at the same time you don’t feel a lot of fear towards him the way that you would for the Kraken.

Now the Kraken is a bright spot in the film. He’s got a great design, looks sort of like the Gill Man. I was pleasantly surprised since I’m used to him looking more like a monster. Like this you could see him going toe to toe with anybody. It’s just his bad luck that he had to go up against Perseus once the guy had the Medusa head. No way to win in that position but for the most part the Kraken did well and won whenever he could. That’s what you want to see out of your main villain.

As mentioned, the rest of the gods are mostly just there to bicker as they act all high and mighty. At least Thetis was actually going around and personally ruining people’s lives as opposed to staying on the sidelines. That makes her a more active participant who can actually be feared as opposed to the ones who would just talk. The lady not giving up her owl was a smart move though, he wasn’t Zeus’s to give away after all.

The journey itself takes Perseus to quite a few areas like his mini mission to steal the head of Medusa. I thought he was a little mean to the three blind sisters but they did seem rather suspect. I’m guessing that’s why he threw their eye away and was just making things harder on them. I did enjoy the journey aspect though. In part it felt like an RPG in that aspect. He had to go to an island to grab the head to then go back to the main island and stop the Kraken. Even the opening scene where he is given the three items from the gods is like something out of a game.

Overall, Clash of the Titans is an old school film that has some fun moments but for the most part it’s just dated in a bad way. The characters aren’t great and the old school warrior battles don’t stand up as well as your old gun fights or hand to hand battles would. There’s definitely a really random fanservice moment here as well which is not really intended to be one I suppose as the film is just trying to stay true to the legends but still isn’t needed. To sum it up, the film either needed to be more exciting or to have had better writing to get higher. As it stands, I would check out the newer version first, it just had a lot more energy to it.

Overall 4/10

Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior Review

This 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 no secret that I thought the first Mad Max was dreadfully awful. Well, unfortunately this one isn’t much of a step up. It’s still a film that is pointlessly bleak at all times with no corner of hope for any of the characters. You can survive in this future as best you can but you certainly can’t thrive here. The instant a dog showed up as one of the main characters I knew the film was doomed. It’s all downhill right from when the film starts so at least this isn’t a surprise. I will say that the poster is really good though, feels like a completely different movie!

The movie starts with a big flashback/narration explaining what happened in the first film. Considering that not a lot happened I think they could have sped this up but the film is really big on being as dramatic as possible. The opening and ending narrations are both very long and do well to lower your expectations. From there we see Max who is minding his own business with his beat up car when he’s attacked. He fends these guys off but then finds himself in the middle of a skirmish between two gangs.

One is a violent group that goes around terrorizing everyone. They’re all intent on causing as much terror and destruction as possible with no real goal beyond that. Their objective right now is to steal the fuel from the other group though so they can go back to committing mindless destruction against everyone else. The group on the defense seem nice enough but their group is split on fighting back or running off. Both options will lead to their ultimate destruction so they aren’t keen on either plan. Ma will end up being the deciding factor here. They manage to get his car and also have all of the fuel so if Max wants to go anywhere he will have to barter with them. Nobody can trust anybody around here so we’ll see how that goes.

It’s easy to see how so many people became crooks here though because there is absolutely nothing to do in this world. The entire planet is covered in sand and dust. It’s got to be one of the most depressing futures imaginable. Not only is there no sense of government or humanity so you’re surrounded by thugs everywhere you go, but there don’t even seem to be human essentials like stores and such. You’re stuck scavenging for your own things for the rest of your life which is as bleak as it gets. Seriously, it’s hard to have any fun in this place.

Max isn’t intending on having any fun though as he is still depressed from the events of the first film. I can’t say I blame him because the world has only gone south since then. At least in the first film it felt like there was still a civilization. Maybe it’s just the area that the second film takes place in but any civilization appears to be long gone at this point. There isn’t much to say about Max because he doesn’t say much and barely has any real character. He’s certainly not awful but he’s not that good either. The kind of character you forget even exists really.

None of the villains are any good. You’ve got Humungus as the leader of the group and the best thing I can say about the guy is that he is very strong. Nobody’s going to mess with him, that’s for sure and he chokes out the one villain who started to get out of line. Other than that, he’s just another thug trying to make a name for himself. Wez is much worse as the guy is one of those crazy types who only barely manages to get through his missions without going overboard.

The villains were just bad here because they had no real personality. The leader is the strong guy and Wez is the crazy guy. That’s the extent of their character here and I never got very interested in what was going to happen to them. This just isn’t that kind of film and that’s a shame. To make a good villain you’ve got to give them a solid goal or just make them generally charismatic. Some fun dialogue and a few good lines would have gone a really long way here.

As for the other group, well you have two main members. There’s Papagallo who could have been an action hero in a different movie. In this one the guy is still in the leadership role and makes the tough calls but he’s not all that likable. I’ll give him some points for being one of the most developed characters in the movie though, maybe even the most. You can at least see that he has some rationale behind his decisions and he certainly earned the unofficial title as leader. When the group needs a decision, then he comes through.

Then there’s the kid who can’t talk yet and acts like a wild animal. Well, he’s certainly savage enough and lands a lot of good blows so that’s impressive. His skills with a boomerang can’t be denied. Not really my kind of character but he proves helpful which is important. Then you have the gyro captain (I don’t think he ever got a name and this is what Wikipedia refers to him as so I’ll take their lead here) who goes from being Max’s fugitive for a while to actually helping out in the end. He definitely came in handy since aerial mobility is huge in a fight like this. In a car battle one wrong bump can take you out but in the air it’s hard to counter.
So those are the characters but I was less than impressed with them. As mentioned earlier, there is some animal violence here which really doomed the flick. You should not have a dog die in your film…ever. It’s just never going to end up being a good move and ends up backfiring horribly! Definitely a regrettable move. I mean, the film was going to get a low score regardless because I didn’t really like anything about it, but this ensured that it fell almost all the way down.

At the end of the day, the deck was really stacked against the film. I don’t care for the desert environment as it is. Then you’ve got a futuristic world with absolutely no high tech concepts which is missing the point of a future based film in the first place. I would also make the case that the film barely has a plot. Yes, we have to protect the fuel and Max just wants to get out of there but that’s a 20 minute plot, not a whole film’s worth.

Overall, I would give this film a hard thumbs down. Max Max is really not a film I would recommend. Even the newer films tend to not look very interesting but maybe it will eventually break out. The issue is that I feel the series would need a complete revamp in order to be good and that’s not likely happening anytime soon. If anything I’m sure that would be extremely controversial.

Overall 1/10

Free Guy Review


Free Guy definitely got a ton of promotion and hype when it was coming out. The movie really looked to be throwing in tons of references and fun gaming moments into its adventure and Free Guy did deliver on that. It’s also always a cool concept to find yourself inside of a game. It may not be life and death stakes for most of the characters like in Sword Art Online but it still gives you that fun feeling of actually being inside a game. So while Free Guy could have been better in some areas, I would definitely say it’s a good film.

The movie starts with a day in the life of Guy. He lives as an NPC in the Free City game. His duty is to be a bank clerk who helps people get their money before being held up by a random crook every day. He doesn’t realize that this is strange though as that’s just how life works. He doesn’t even know that this is all a game since it feels real to him. Well, one day he wants to talk to one of the people wearing glasses (a user) and figures he just needs a pair of his own. He grabs them and this changes his life forever. He can now see the world as a player does.

Meanwhile, Millie is trying to track down some code which will prove that Antwan and team corporate actually stole the game that she and Keys created in order to get mega rich. The issue is that the code could be anywhere and she has had no luck finding it so far. If she doesn’t find it before the sequel comes out then she will really be out of luck. Perhaps Guy is her last chance. After all, as a player from inside the game, perhaps he will be able to see a new perspective. She better hope this is the case as there won’t be any second chances.

I have to say that the actual world of Free City looks like a blast to play in. It’s got a very Grand Theft Auto feel to it but with even more to do. I’d say there’s even a bit of Fortnite inspiration in this as you create walls to run and jump on. Of course, that seems to be a power limited to admins, I can see how that might be overpowered in a GTA setting otherwise. You can choose whether you want to live peacefully in the game or attack people. I imagine most would do the latter, but it could make playing the hero role fun since you will always be outnumbered.

As for Guy, he’s very much a Lego movie kind of lead. He has a perfect life right now and doesn’t even think about anything grander until it arrives at his doorstep. From there Guy does a good job of adapting and becoming a true lead in his own right. He is fairly skilled and has a whole lifetime of experience which explains why he is so good at navigating through the town. He may be a bit slow on the uptake of this all being a game but like with Truman, I can cut him some slack there because it is really hard to jump to the conclusion that your whole world is fake. Realistically that would be hard to buy at first but he does start to catch on when he sees how everyone always acts in the same way.

Free Guy is at its best when it’s about Guy just living his life and having a good time. The Mega Buster cameo was a blast as well as the Avengers reference. When the film is just going all crazy like this you’re really going to be engaged with what’s going on. The film has a lot of funny moments and the pacing is on point as well. Since Guy’s such a likable main character, the film is off on the right foot there. The soundtrack also has some fun songs. It may not be a huge soundtrack but it gets the job done.

The film’s at its weakest when it’s focusing on the humans plots. I’m always up for a good story about evil corporate but it’s hard to go from the video game world with its fun physics back to a normal workplace subplot. It just doesn’t really do many new or different things here. You have Millie as one of the main characters and her goal to find the piece of code is a good one. You may have some questions on how exactly she intends to find this on her own though. Without Guy it seems like this would have been truly impossible without some kind of extra hacking ability.

She gets points for being more proactive than Keys though. Keys literally joins with the villains and gives up on his dreams. He let the villains steal them all away and that’s not what you want to see from the main character. You want Keys to get out there and fight with the best of them. Instead he even discourages Millie from fighting back. Even in the romance plot he’s very laid back as he leaves a lot of clues for Millie but when she doesn’t notice them he basically gave up. If not for other characters acting on his behalf, he would not have ever made any progress.

Antwan’s a fun villain though. He’s your classic evil CEO who dials himself up to 11 with how crazy he gets. Perhaps this isn’t very original but he was entertaining enough so I’d give him a pass. The guy just wants to become mega rich and do whatever he wants. It’s a classic villain motivation but one that doesn’t want to get old since so many people want to be rich. He probably could have handled the situation a whole lot better though. Shutting down the first game sooner would have helped him a whole lot.

One of the worst humans in the film had to be Mouser though. He’s Keys’ friend but not a very loyal one. Mouser is always quick to follow orders and does whatever he can to stay in the company’s good graces. Sure, he steps up at the very end of the film but it’s way too late by then. The guy read none of the writing on the wall and didn’t even try to approach Keys and ask him about what was going on. That would have really been a good idea here since they were friends and all. Mouser was just disappointing here.

Guy’s friend Buddy isn’t much better though. At the end of the day he wasn’t brave enough to follow Guy’s example. It shows the difference between being a main character and being a sidekick. In the end Buddy was just not ready to enter the main stage. Also, he just doesn’t tend to be as funny as the other characters. He has his moments to be sure but sometimes his jokes just tend to drag on instead and that’s never a good thing for this kind of character.

As a comedy film, Free Guy will naturally be throwing an onslaught of jokes at you. I would say it’s nearly impossible for any comedy film to land with all of their jokes, the idea is that if you land on most of them then you should be good. Well, I would say Free Guy does land more often than not which is the sign of being a good film. For every iffy joke like the goldfish, the top pro player, or Buddy being too obsessive, you’ll have a solid array of good jokes to balance it out.

The only real weakness for the film naturally goes back to the human side as I mentioned. The romance is rather weak in this film. Both with the Guy plot and then with Keys. None of those romance plots really do anything but slow down the movie’s pacing. I’d also say the movie just isn’t good at getting really serious. When you have the cameos from real life pro players and such, it might make you cringe just a tad. They’re just a little too over the top which does match their persona in most streams but it’s hard to take seriously. Especially since the rest of the film is more comical. Free Guy has its serious moments of course but usually it’s still chuckling a bit in the background while these scenes are 100% serious.

Overall, Free Guy is a solid movie and definitely one that I would consider as a feel good film. It’s rather upbeat the whole time with a quick tempo so the movie never gets boring. I do think it’s best when the film is just having fun and exploring the video game world. When it gets serious and focuses on the human characters it doesn’t have the same amount of pop. I would definitely be game for a sequel though, there’s a whole lot you can do with this. Just keep up the solid references and cameos and you will have a great formula for a sequel. If you haven’t seen this film yet then I would definitely recommend changing that.

Overall 6/10

Monster Hunter Review


Monster Hunter is a franchise that always seemed pretty fun. I haven’t played any of the games yet but I did watch one of the anime and it was solid. The monster designs are on point and so a movie for this could have a lot of potential. In some ways the movie is really stellar like with the effects and soundtrack, but unfortunately that doesn’t translate to the actual movie which suffers greatly from a lack of quality characters and no real good dynamics. The sequel would likely take things to the next level but we’ll see if that ever manages to come out.

The movie starts with Artemis and her team looking for some missing soldiers. They find an abandoned truck with signs of a struggle around it but no bodies. Then a giant storm appears and throws the gang through a portal into a different world. This world is dangerous with lots of giant monsters and crazy creatures running around. There is seemingly no escape from them and one by one they pick off all of Artemis’ team. She is now alone and must try to find her way back to Earth. She will have to reluctantly team up with a mysterious hunter who isn’t the nicest guy around. Can they put aside their differences and stay alive?

So lets quickly talk about what went right for this film and why I thought it had potential rather deep into the film until I realized it wasn’t going to happen. First off, the soundtrack really is excellent. It’s one of the best that I’ve heard in a long time with a good amount of electronic tunes. This sounds like something straight out of the Tron film series. It also has some solid action tunes and as a result this is a soundtrack that you could throw right into a video game without any issues. That’s how solid it is.

Then you have the special effects which are on point. We meet several monsters but of course the Diablos is the main one from all of the trailers. They all look good and rather faithful to the games where they came from. It’s clear that there was a good amount of effort put into the research part of the movie. I would have liked to have seen some more monsters of course but the ones that we did get were solid. Then you have the flame sword and some more intense weapons at the end of the film. The cliffhanger makes you feel like the next film would have really gotten involved with the lore of the series and even thrown in some villains. It could have been a Final Fantasy type experience.

Also, the first chunk of the film about Artemis and her team running around the island is like something out of Alien only much better. The gang are all experienced soldiers in an unfamiliar territory fighting off monsters that are basically Xenomorphs. One by one they are picked off but the scene shave a lot of tension and suspense. You could even call the film part horror for this whole part until the final members die and Hunter appears. This was the best part of the film. Now I still have some issues like with the neck bursters taking the place of the chest bursters. Do we need any kind of bursters in every alien film? I’d rather get torn apart by a Xenomorph than have that happen to be honest.

The film can’t really resist having this happen to one member at least but the film mostly has restraint otherwise. The scenes can be intense but it’s more about the atmosphere than what is actually happening on screen and I do think that is the right approach here. Finally, the last positive I can give for the movie is that Artemis is a very solid main character. She’s a no nonsense fighter who knows how to keep her team focused and not get sidetracked by every little thing. It’s easy to see how she earned the captain role and never falters throughout the movie.

In general the film’s pacing is solid as well so things never drag on. Still, the second half is a big downgrades and a big part of that is Hunter’s fault. So, Hunter can only talk in the language of the new world so he and Artemis don’t understand each other. I think that already puts the film in a tough position since it’s very hard to write good banter in such a situation. I absolutely think it’s possible with top tier writers but do you think Monster Hunter has that level of talent at the ready? Most of the conversations are basically just the two characters making fun of each other. It takes them a while to actually get along and by that point the film is nearly over.

They even have a very serious fight early on where they nearly murder each other. It was certainly quite the way to get introduced to each other. Hunter’s mostly the one at fault here though as he kept on taunting Artemis. She had to put him in his place to establish the chain of command around here. Hunter just never gets all that interesting though and I would have almost preferred Artemis was on her own the whole time.

There’s also one scene that will take you out of the immersion for a bit because of how ludicrous it is. So, after hours of being in the desert and fighting monsters, Artemis reaches in her pocket and takes out a Hershey’s Chocolate Bar. It is perfectly solid and not melted at all. She uses it as a peace offering with Hunter who loves it since this is the best brand of chocolate of all time. Here’s the problem, while I don’t mind shameless product placement since I always find that entertaining, there’s no way it wouldn’t have melted. Try carrying a chocolate bar in your pocket while you’re walking around and handling day to day tasks. I’ve done this a few times in my day and let me tell you, your pocket’s going to be a mess after this.

There is no way that would even resemble a bar by the time she was done with the first act of the film. It may be a minor thing but I couldn’t stop thinking about that because of how obvious it was. As usual for these kinds of films the heroes are rather desperate for whatever they can eat which usually ends up looking rather gross. The characters have to skin the monsters to get weapons and bait which can also be rather messy and gross. That part of Monster Hunter I would be cool with skipping so we can just get to the action already.

That’s not even counting the rest of Hunter’s crew who was completely forgettable. It’s easy to forget they even had an intro scene in the film. I think what this boils down to is that the film was a lot more interesting when it was Artemis and her team. I would have changed it so the whole film was about them trying to survive rather than switching to Hunter and his crew. That would have just ended up being a lot more fun in the end.

One thing you want to have for a sci-fi film like this..or any film really is some fun banter and dialogue while blasting your way through the enemy planet. This film doesn’t have any of that since nobody who can speak English even appear until we’re near the end of the film. You also won’t get answers to the interesting parts of the film yet like who put up the towers to cause the portals between worlds.

At the very end of the film we see a glimpse of the likely culprit but there’s no clue on who this is. There’s so much you can do with this, particularly since there seems to be a castle of some kind at the end. A villain group all fighting with magical swords/weapons would make for an amazing sequel. Sure, the monsters may get less screen time but I would be fine with that. It was fun seeing the government step in again near the end but even then this was a very brief moment.

Overall, Monster Hunter could have been a lot better. It just made a lot of questionable choices in the second half. Hunter could have been much more interesting than how he ended up being. I could do with less of the crude humor like the cat getting his fur in the drink that they end up having to drink. Those scenes don’t need to be there and the writing just doesn’t feel nearly as good as it could have been. Artemis can’t hold the entire film on her own and it’s an issue that the film is trying to give her the full load. At least the excellent soundtrack ensures that you will have a good audio experience, but the solid first act is not enough to keep this movie afloat so it’s time to give this one a skip.

Overall 4/10