Another Woman Review


Time for another Woody Allen film where unsurprisingly the writing is one of the weakest aspects here. The film has a decent premise I guess but one that the film drags on as long as possible. The longer the movie goes, the weaker it gets and that’s the problem. I didn’t actually think it was all that bad at first but we gradually got more and more drama with each character sinking further and further. By the end of the film there are no characters to root for and you’ll wonder what the point of the whole thing was.

The movie starts out by introducing us to Marion. She is a lady who has achieved great success academically and is happily married. One day though she begins to eavesdrop on a counseling session being held next door and realizes that maybe her life is rather empty. She never noticed it before but the grass just seems greener on the other side. It turns out that Marion’s friends don’t like her as much as she thought they did and her marriage also seems rather lifeless now. She begins to reminisce about the good ole days and wonders if she should be taking a different path for her future. Is this all on the level or is she just taking herself down a dangerous path?

One thing about life is that you’ve always got to take the path of no regrets. Have fun while you’re young. You can still have fun once you’re older of course but why wait until then? If you put all of your dreams on hold in the present with the idea that you’ll do them all someday, then you may end up feeling like you have missed out somewhere along the way. That’s what happens to Marion here but the thing is that she has nobody to blame but herself. We learn in the film that she can be quite judgmental at times. She is very quick to point the finger at others or overthink things. Then you’ve got the fact that she had an affair with someone who was already married. In fact, she got him to divorce his current wife and marry her.

That’s not some slight inconvenience like taking the last can of pasta at the supermarket. She just wrecked an entire relationship for her own gain without a single doubt. At least she did not accept the advances of another married man who wanted to be with her but it’s hard to give her much credit at this point. When she learns that her husband is cheating on her as well it’s also hard to feel as bad for her. If you gain someone by cheating then you already know that your partner isn’t the trustworthy type. There’s no reason to believe that you’ll be the exception and that nobody would dare cheat on you.

Marion is definitely a very flawed character here which is part of the point of her character arc but it’s definitely not in even remotely an interesting way. She feels more like a villain than a protagonist most of the time. Her supporting cast are all just as suspect though. First you’ve got her husband Ken who loves hanging out at parties and having a good time but isn’t really the trust worthy type. He’s very much a man of habit who just goes through the motions of life. He does whatever gives him the most pleasure and doesn’t care about the rest. Then you’ve got Larry who has no problems trying to get together with someone who’s already married. The film tries to get you to think that she would have had a better life with him and perhaps that would be the case but she was already married during these advances so there’s no way that getting together with him would have been the “right” move at that point. She had already boxed herself in with a pretty bad set of choices.

As mentioned though, the writing is just really bad. Pretty much all of the characters are as crude as can be. The dialogue is all pretty crazy most of the time but not in a cool surreal way. Just in a boring sense where everyone just seems to care about talking on matters relating to relationships, scandals, and cheating. It’s rare to find any conversation in the film that is actually upbeat and interesting. All of the characters just feel really bad for themselves the whole time. It’s easy to see why none of them are happy. You’ve got to make the best with what you’ve got in order to be really content. Constantly comparing yourself to everyone else is a surefire way to do the absolute opposite.

If I had to name one decent scene I suppose it would be the trippy dream where everything turns into a stage play and Marion learns that her father is one of the people seeing the counselor next door. She also finds out that she is responsible for her first husband destroying himself. Did I mention that she had a first husband? Marion moves very quickly and rebounded from the guy with someone else shortly afterwards. Just in case you thought we didn’t already have too many romance plots going around. He died off screen prior to the film starting but this extra detail was clearly just added for kicks to show that the cycle keeps going on. I wouldn’t be surprised if he was already married before she met him just like the other affairs in the film.

Overall, Another Woman is an appropriate title here as nobody in the film seems content with the person they already have. You can also look at it in another way as there’s always another woman blaming Marion for their troubles. You’ve got the “best friend” who gets drunk all the time and blames Marion for a relationship that never actually happened. You have the Ex who blamed Marion for stealing her husband which is actually true but if he could be stolen so easily then he clearly wasn’t worth anything from the start. Etc. There’s a whole lot of the blame game going on around here with a ton of twisted relationships. Nobody trusts each other here and for good reason but it also means that none of these relationships would have stood much of a chance if you ask me. Either way something would have come along to mess things up for them. I would definitely recommend watching just about anything else instead of this film. If you want a good drama title then watch To Each His Own instead for a much higher standard of quality.

Overall 3/10

The Yellow Rolls-Royce Review


Time for another anthology type film. The Rolls-Royce is a pretty interesting car to see and I can see why the brand was so well known back in the day. Personally I can’t imagine spending too much of a premium for a car though. Cars are already an outrageous price so to go even higher just for design? Maybe if the car could make me my morning Pepsi or something but otherwise no dice. Still, it makes for a fun little car to connect the 3 stories together. There is a whole lot of deception and cheating going around in these films so you really can’t trust anybody.

The first story picks up with Charles heading to the dealership to pick up his car. It’s a Yellow Rolls-Royce that even has a phone in it. Everything’s not quite how he wanted it installed but he needs it today and can’t fuss over it further. See, he had forgotten his anniversary (pretty big thing to forget to be honest) Still, he figures better late than never and heads on home to a big party. The Gold Cup is happening the next day which is a huge horse race that he looks forward to every year. He tends to win it every year but it never loses that feeling of excitement and splendor. Still, his wife Eloise is acting a bit odd. Charles doesn’t want to read into it but people are definitely giving him ideas. Particularly one lady who certainly doesn’t like Eloise and basically tells Charles that Eloise is cheating on him. He can prove that she isn’t pretty easily by checking on his Rolls-Royce. The thing is, checking the car would mean that he didn’t trust her. So the instant he heads for the car the relationship will never be the same but at the same time he has to know. What is he to do?

The film doesn’t keep it a secret that she is cheating on him from the start. This isn’t a mystery or a thriller. It’s really just about showing how betrayal can hurt quite a lot. At that point there isn’t much Charles can do. He’s tied up socially although I think that’s no excuse. Are you really able to just keep going on like everything’s normal? I feel like that’s not a good strategy because now either he’ll just go on knowing that she is probably having affairs with other people or he’ll do the same thing as revenge. Either way I don’t think he’ll be able to get excited for the Gold Cup anymore.

This was a pretty strong way to start the film. It’s easily the most emotional special. While you can’t say Charles is a great guy (He routinely ignores an ambassador who is trying to convey urgent information because he doesn’t want to deal with it) he at least seemed like a nice one. He definitely takes this hard and who wouldn’t. Eloise definitely looks really bad here. Cheating is definitely never a good idea and it’s really impossible to sympathize with her plight here. She half heartedly almost decides not to cheat but quickly goes through with it anyway. At that point she certainly made her choice.

Next up is a story about a gangster named Paolo and his gal pal Mae. He is trying to show her all the best sights in Italy and Rome but to his great annoyance she is really not impressed with any of them. In fact, they bore her completely and she wants to leave. Paolo is determined to get her to change her mind but ends up having to leave on business. See, he’s part of the mafia and from time to time he is called in to erase people. He leaves Mae with his most trusted ally Joey. Joey does his best to look after her but Mae quickly begins to like a local guy named Stefano. Stefano is a guy who flirts with everyone and admits this quite openly. He’s had more affairs than he can count but assures Mae this is the real deal this time. They have an affair but then learn that Paolo is coming back. It goes without saying that he’ll murder Stefano if he catches the guy with Mae. What can she do to save his life and prevent such a catastrophe?

Well, this is another story about cheating so I can’t say I feel bad for Mae or Stefano. Keep in mind that the person cheating is just as guilty as the single person who convinces the person in a relationship to get together. Now, in this case we have the mafia angle so you could make the case that Mae doesn’t even like Paolo and isn’t truly in a relationship. I’m not really sure that one would hold weight in this case. At the very least the secretive nature of the whole thing isn’t great and if she was serious about this she should escape with Stefano right away. I have no doubts that Paolo would track them down eventually though so then the best thing to do would be to not have the affair at the start. It would be the best way out.

Joey was definitely a really solid friend here. He maybe looked the other way too much but he did his best to keep Mae safe. Even if it meant keeping Paolo in the dark he succeeded in his mission. Paolo told him to keep Mae safe and that’s exactly what he did. Meanwhile Paolo made for a pretty fun figure. You could never really know what he was thinking. I suspect he knew more than he was letting on at the end of the film but chose to look away just this once. Perhaps he had more mercy than I would have suspected.

Finally we go to a story that actually has a war in it so there’s some high stakes here. Gerda has bought the Rolls-Royce as she prepares to travel around Europe. People keep trying to warn her that a war is breaking out but she refuses to hear it. Sensing that Gerda may be someone easy to manipulate we are introduced to a guy named Davich who claims he is a hero who will help end the war. When Gerda doesn’t really understand what this means he gives up the subtle act and just holds her at gun point to help him out. She begins the journey but is she actually bringing along someone who is very dangerous and will jeapordize the war?

This story definitely didn’t go quite how I thought it would. See, I was convinced that Davich was a bad guy. That he would turn out to be a Nazi or something as he showed his true colors. Instead his story was actually on the level and he was hear to helo the rebels win the war against the Nazi’s. It takes an incredibly long time for Gerda to get on board with this though. At one point she even starts eating a meal while bombs are flying in the distance and she couldn’t be bothered. It was a pretty surreal scene and I wasn’t sure if it was being played seriously there or if it was supposed to be a comedic moment.

The special has a lot of different vibes throughout for sure. One thing the special didn’t manage to do was make Davich likable though. I don’t care how undercover he was, he threatened to murder Gerda’s dog which was pretty crazy. There was no way I could possibly root for him after that. He just seems a little too willing to do anything to help out even if it means becoming a villain himself. Even his ending is a bit suspect as he absolutely refuses help even if it would have been very helpful at that moment. I already talked about Gerda, she isn’t very good either. She’s just too slow on the uptake the whole time and would very quickly turn on her dog at times. The final special definitely suffered from a weaker cast than the first two stories.

Overall, The Yellow Rolls-Royce is an interesting anthology. All of the shorts are pretty solid. It’s definitely one of the more emotional ones as the first two shorts have sad endings and the final one has a happy ending but with somber undertones as there were significant casualties. It is good that the main heroine there was quite skilled once she realized the danger was real and quickly pitched in to help. Imagine if she had been that heroic the whole time. While the movie can be quite somber I wouldn’t say it’s ever too down in the dumps. I would describe it as the film never letting you get too excited and content because you know things are going to turn but you have a good time in the meanwhile. The first special definitely handles this the best I’d say in part because the betrayal just feels the most personal and the film succeeds in making you feel bad for the main guy even though he wasn’t portrayed to be very heroic. I’d recommend checking this out if you want a good collection of dramas.

Overall 6/10

Reefer Madness Review


This film’s quite old and surprisingly short. It’s almost like watching an informercial to an extent where there’s a general plot but it’s all built around a message. Definitely not a bad thing per say but unfortunately you do feel like the story wasn’t given a lot of attention. The characters just aren’t very good and that’s an issue because you need to have characters you can root for. You don’t really have anyone like that here though and the ending’s pretty bad which doesn’t help matters either.

The film starts off by having a principal give a stern lecture about why drugs are no good. In particular he singles out Marijuana as the most dangerous one of all. Mainly because of how easy it is to distribute and the fact that we won’t be getting rid of it anytime soon due to how it grows all over the place. Try as they may to stop it, people have been receiving it in cities around the world. He urges the students to crack down on this and not to weaken. Meanwhile, Mae and Jack have other plans for the school. They have been distributing drugs for a long time and have now decided to start targeting students as an untapped market. This works out very easily for them which is unfortunate. It’s as simple as inviting the gang over to their place and handing them the drugs. Slowly but surely they work on getting the rest of the characters.

Bill is effectively the lead here and he’s a nice enough kid. He likes playing tennis, has a nice girlfriend, and just has a well rounded life. Even his grades are really good. Unfortunately he is yet another character with a weak will here. The villains get to him pretty quickly and aside from the drugs he even gets involved in an affair. There was definitely no way you would like Bill past this point. He really just doesn’t do a good job of handling the situations. Mary is a solid heroine but she does falter a bit too quickly when going to the house of the drug dealers. Naturally she doesn’t know she is smoking Marijuana and thinks it’s just a normal old cigarette but that’s why you shouldn’t be smoking in the first place.

Now, it should be said that there is a big difference between smoking and doing drugs of course. One is flat out illegal (or was at the time) while the other is just fatal for your health. Naturally I advise not doing either one of those activities or even drinking beer. You should just stick to soda or root beer. Anything that causes you to not be in your normal state of mind just doesn’t sound like a good idea. It’s one of those things where even if it was legal unless you need something for medicinal purposes or some kind of serious injury then it just doesn’t seem like a good idea.

So the film does have a good motive here of trying to get people not do to drugs by showing how it can wreck your life completely. Bill’s grades go down, he loses his best friend, and his reputation has been forever tarnished. Others aren’t able to cope with the guilt ad break down. At the end of the day none of the characters were better off from doing drugs and that’s what the film wanted to point out. It does so in a rather grim way which is to be expected but doesn’t make the film any better. It would have been nice if the principal could have figured out what was going on a little sooner and put a stop to it. He had his suspicions of course but at the end of the day he just wasn’t able to do anything about it which was the problem.

Meanwhile from the villains Jack was unapologetically evil the whole time as he gave drugs to the kids. He’s definitely not a likable character in the slightest but recognizes his place in things. He even offers to shoot one of the students to keep the whole thing under wraps. Then you’ve got Mae who keeps saying they shouldn’t be doing this but at the end of the day she still goes through with everything. Whenever a villain hesitates like this or keeps saying that they should stop you can’t take her seriously because she’s still along for the ride. It sounds like she’s just trying to take the moral high ground for later on but it doesn’t work. Particularly with such an active role she had in corrupting Bill. Both villains were definitely on the evil side whether one made objections or not.

Overall, Reefer Madness definitely shows that it’s madness to do drugs. Especially when you’ve already got a very good life you need to not get greedy. While there is no situation where you should pick up the Marijuana at least you can see how someone would be desperate enough to do so if their lives were in shambles. A rich kid who has an excellent set of friends, grades, and seems generally content getting mixed up in all of this? That’s definitely a mistake you don’t want to see happen. While the film has some good messages here I would ultimately say to take a pass on this one. By now I’d say you will have seen enough posters and essays on why drugs are bad in the real world so you don’t have to sit through a whole film to understand the message.

Overall 3/10

Happy Birthday To Me 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

This movie definitely has one of the more disturbing posters you’re likely to see around that’s for sure. Right away you can probably tell that this film is not going to end well and you’d be right. It’s your classic slasher title as the villain takes everyone out one by one. The main draw here is figuring out who the murderer is as there are plenty of suspects. All of these guys feel like people who may be guilty so no character is innocent here. We’ll see if you can figure out who did it.

So the movie starts by introducing us to a nice little town. In this town there’s a school with the Big 10, the students who are destined for greatness. Some of them got this status through money…well just about all of them to be honest and a few with good ole fashioned hard work. They like to mess with people as a clique by harassing people and showing a general disregard for public safety. Someone clearly doesn’t like this because members of the Big 10 keep getting murdered one after another. Some of them start suspecting foul play while others treat it all like an elaborate joke. There’s a whole lot of plot convenience here as well I should add.

The main character here is Ginny. She’s a member of the group but is fairly new to the town and is still getting used to being a rebellious person. She has just recovered from a traumatic event involving the death of her Mother but is finally ready for society again. Unfortunately these murders are having a pretty bad effect on her psyche. In fact, Ginny believes that she may be the one doing these murders but can’t find a way to prove it. The whole thing is driving her insane and her “friends” only seem to care about how they can use this momentary weakness to get together with her as a rebound. With nobody to turn to and her father away on another business trip Ginny is definitely in a pretty bad spot here.

One of the big problems with the film is just how unlikable everyone is. Part of this is the film going out of its way to make everyone suspicious but because of that there is nobody to root for. One of the big 10 for example has a creepy fascination with wax modes as he even creates some based on the girl who just went missing and did it in a violent fashion. Not exactly the kind of guy you want as a friend right? Another guy is a player who gets together with everyone all the time. Everyone is constantly trying to manipulate the others or just hooking up with everyone one after another. Ginny isn’t exactly removed from that either and doesn’t look much better. These are all deeply flawed characters to the point where none of them are even remotely likable. It’s just unfortunate.

Ginny also doesn’t put herself in a great position to try and keep some distance from the murders. She keeps on meeting up with different guys by herself. Not exactly the best plan. Of course it’s not hard since all the guys seem to like her but she should be the one avoiding these scenarios. It’s one of those films where you feel like it may not have made a difference to be honest but it still would have been nice to see her trying. Even the scene where she runs into the graveyard by herself is kind of suspect. Why distance yourself from the group like that when it’s so late at night? The fact that she lives in the middle of the forest is also pretty crazy. I suppose it’s one of those things where it probably looks better when you’re not watching a horror film but it doesn’t help here.

It goes without saying that the movie is definitely very violent. Each of the characters are murdered in very violent ways. Nobody gets what you’d call a simple death here, they all have to really go through the wringer so you can tell that the murderer really doesn’t like these guys either. They just can’t catch a break. It does raise some questions later on when you actually know what’s going on though. It also reminds you why you need to keep your guard up at times. In the very first murder, I don’t care who it is but you were just being choked by someone with black gloves and then someone with the same pair appears to help you…..suspicious right? This character didn’t think so until it was too late unfortunately. Not every murder was careless like that but another one involving weights was pretty suspect. This character is literally not saying a word the entire time you’re talking. Isn’t that kind of odd?

So of course the writing is going for the classic moments like this. I’d have to give it a thumbs down though in large part to how bad the cast was. I think you can definitely try to make this kind of film without making the characters that unlikable. It was a bit excessive at times. The only good characters were some of the supporting characters like the headmaster. At least she was trying to get a handle on things and keep people out of trouble. She may not have been very successful but at least she tried.

The movie’s big reveal at the end will either be a genius move for you or you’ll roll your eyes. As I said, there are a lot of plot conveniences for this to work that’s for sure. The actual reveal I’m cool with because it’s a lot more interesting than the other routes but you do feel like the writing doesn’t hold up. One character looks pretty terrible the whole time though as he just panics and doesn’t do anything the whole time until it’s too late. It’s too bad because in the present he seemed good even if the flashbacks got tricky. Ultimately at least you don’t get the feeling that he was a bad person, it’s just that things would come up suddenly. The villain just took things way too intensely and ultimately there’s no excuse there. Villains will be villains I suppose.

Overall, I definitely wouldn’t recommend this. Happy Birthday to Me is really just your classic teen slasher. If I had to compare it to a film it’s probably most like I Know What You Did Last Summer in terms of how bad the main cast is. Whenever you have a film with no likable characters you know that things are not going to end well. You need some good characters or your film’s going to fall through just like this one did. No amount of shock value is really going to help to cover that up. As soon as members of the Big 10 were all getting bumped off though I would have moved away if I were the rest of the kids. We’ve already established that they’re rich so that’s the best thing to do. Just jet out of there! I’d also ask for Police Protection, the last thing I’ll do is head to the graveyard by myself again in the dead of night…..

Overall 1/10

Attack of the Crab Monsters Review


Whenever you see a title like this you know you’re going to be in for a good time. They just don’t make creature features like this one anymore. At the same time Roger Corman usually only delivers pretty bad film experiences at least from the titles that I’ve seen so this was really a close one. Would it be amazing, terrible, or somewhere in the middle? I wasn’t sure if I was ready to find out but then it was time to dive in and it actually worked out quite well. This is definitely his definitive title at the moment.

The movie starts by introducing us to the main cast. They’re not exactly the most memorable characters but you’ll quickly get the dynamic. You’ve got the main heroine Martha who is an experienced biologist. She is going to an island along with fellow scientists Dale, Hank, and a few other people. This group is trying to do some research on the radiation that covered this island not too long ago. I feel like they should have protective suits but I suppose at this time it wasn’t really known quite how long radiation would tend to linger in the area. Well, everything appears normal at first until it turns out that the radiation has changed the Crabs in the area. Now there are huge Crabs roaming the area and murdering people left and right. The heroes want to get off the island but it isn’t really an option at the moment because of huge storms. When you try to escape your plane either blows up or you fall into the ocean and get obliterated. Making things worse is the fact that they can hear the voices of their dead friends.

One thing that really differentiated this from your classic monster film is the whole ghosts aspect. Now it seems like there are ghosts around but there’s actually a great deal of intelligence on the crabs part making it seem that way. Here’s where things get pretty interesting. The film has an Invasion of the Bodysnatchers element to it on top of the classic Godzilla action. There’s even a bit of a mental thriller aspect here. So the Crabs have the ability to mimic the people they murder as well as hold onto their memories. They turn these people into their arms of sorts and also get regeneration. It’s sort of like a hivemind of sorts. Once you are absorbed you can say goodbye to being a good guy. It made the enemies so much more interesting than they would usually be. I mean, a giant monster running around blowing people up works well too but I just liked this spin on things.

One of the best scenes in the film is when one character goes outside after hearing his friend call out to him. Now you do have to excuse the fact that this guy isn’t very smart at all since the “friend” is saying a lot of suspicious stuff like coming alone to the abandoned cave in the middle of the night and not to tell anyone. That should throw up a few red flags right? I mean…what friend would tell you that? Well, the guy goes anyway and does the whole “Where are you” yells while looking around. That’s when you hear the guy say “Right here man” in a very calm voice as a giant claw shows up and ends the guy. It’s a pretty intense scene partially because it’s so unexpected. I mean, you know foul play was involved from the start but I just wasn’t expecting these mastermind Crabs. It was really quite genius.

Now, that’s not to say that the movie is perfect of course. The writing is pretty solid but the characters are all very lacking in common sense. You wonder how they became such top notch scientists because they make a lot of mistakes here. Splitting up, entering abandoned caves, etc. Even by the end Hank gets way closer to the giant Crab than he needs to. You could have done the plan from a better distance. Then you’ve got Dale who is always trying to keep Martha out of the action but leaving her by herself isn’t really going to help her out much. I also question the scene with the Giant Crab in the closet and his reaction. He basically panicked and ran out but did the whole “Can’t tell you what’s going on” to Martha and split. You should probably mention the Giant Crab right away.

The movie has some pretty intense scenes like one guy’s head literally getting taken out but the film’s usually not very gruesome. It can be surprisingly intense for its age but it’s nothing too drastic so you should be okay. The Crabs just don’t take any prisoners and I could have told you that. I suppose the worst thing you can say about the film is that it’s fairly forgettable. The characters are all very traditional with personalities that just don’t stick. Martha’s a nice lady who knows a lot about science but does faint if things get too difficult. Dale is the everyday man of the group who does his best to cope with the situation but tends to snap a lot. Then you have Hank who can come up with ideas at times but isn’t even the smart one of the group because everyone here is relatively smart. Then there are two sailors who are around but you know that they’re doomed from the start.

The most annoying character is easily the oldest scientist. So he figures out that something is wrong almost immediately but refuses to say anything about it. He keeps telling the other characters that they’ll know eventually but that’s not very helpful in a life or death situation. He kind of goes out like a chump too. I dunno what the guys deal was. To me it felt like half the time he wanted the humans to lose to the Crabs but when he got bumped off he didn’t seem too keen on the idea anymore. Maybe the whole thing just played out better in his head? That’s the only explanation I can think of but it didn’t do him any wonders. Makes for some fun dynamics though.

Overall, Attack of the Crab Monsters is a pretty surreal film. It works really well though in large part due to how original it is. You just don’t see movies like this with the monsters actually having master plans and overwhelming the heroes like this. The main monster basically acted like a tactical genius and I suppose it makes sense with how many people he’s absorbed. The voices added to the effect and the movie just passes by real quickly. The characters aren’t very smart but I wouldn’t dock points for the film from that. The writing is still a lot of fun and this just feels like a very balanced movie. You really can’t go wrong here.

Overall 7/10

The Exterminating Angel Review


When you see a title like “The Exterminating Angel” you know that things are about to get pretty intense. Well, that’s exactly what happened here. The movie can be pretty odd at times. The plot is certainly unique and I would say that the movie is good. It’s one of those films that knows when to end as I feel like if it had stayed going on for a bit longer it may have ultimately backfired pretty hard. There’s always a time to continue a plot and a time to end it. The film stayed within those parameters pretty well and stayed afloat right in the middle. I wouldn’t say that is any real replay value to be found here but it will definitely keep your interest on the initial watch.

The movie starts out with a bunch of friends getting together for a nice dinner. Unfortunately all of the hired help have decided to head out early for various reasons. The host is not happy about this but can’t exactly force them to stay. Unfortunately even after the dinner everyone is sticking around for some reason. As the next day rolls around people realize that something definitely isn’t right. For some reason they are unable to leave the main room. Keep in mind they can enter the kitchen and such but can’t leave the place. The rules of the boundaries seem to vary a bit but mainly you can’t leave the house and nobody can enter it either. That means the main characters are going to have to think of a plan quickly or it’s going to be game over for all of them.

In a way it’s a bit like the Children of the doomed film but instead of falling asleep the characters are just boxed in. It’s not like there’s a physical barrier blocking them or anything like that though. It’s just an invisible urge telling them not to go and none of the characters are brave enough to leave either. I personally take this to be a being blocking them. Perhaps some kind of demonic spirit masquerading itself as an Angel which would fit the title. The conditions for being stuck in the house seem to be rather specific with the time loop getting involved. I’m assuming this is a punishment of sorts to make the characters rethink their decisions. Through the dialogue we see that just about every character has done something rather suspect or is keeping a dark secret. Characters are cheating on each other, stealing, etc. Most of the people here don’t seem to be good people.

Some stay strong while others crack almost instantly. It really shows how the extended stay brings out each character’s true form. Some just aren’t up to handling this kind of pressure or they’re okay with hanging out with people for a bit but not for very long. I should say the film has a pretty fun ending as well. It definitely sets things up for possibly being an even more intense scenario. In this case the people inside are going to be crammed in even more than in the main scenario so I don’t see things ending particularly well for them. It’ll be a repeat of the original scenario except they won’t stay strong for nearly as long.

One of the main themes here is really about how anyone will crack so you just have to see how much you buy into it. There were quite a few big fights going on in the main place by the end. For my money it’s why I would be hesitant to go on any of those month vigils where you go with a group of people to the mountains or a resort and hang out for that period of time. Seems like it would be hard to just be stuck like that for so long. It’s not a good idea for sure.

I should mention that the film is in Spanish with subtitles throughout the film. I haven’t seen quite too many films in this language so it was pretty interesting. Mix that in with the fact that the dialogue can be rather strange intentionally and you’ve got some interesting writing here. I enjoyed it, the writing is part of what makes the film so interesting here. It can be tough to differentiate some of the characters though. Mainly the hosts stand out as well as the guy who was always acting out and his sister who would always defend him. The brother character cracked immediately and was easily the worst character in the film. All of his scenes were pretty painful and you would hope that the other characters would just tie him up or something. Breaking the comb was really unnecessary and all he would do was put the characters in a worse position. His sister was just as guilty for accepting all of this.

The best character would have to be the main host. He tried to keep up a certain aura of politeness throughout the whole movie even as everything went sideways. I don’t see how you can possibly blame him for any of this and yet one guest does. As if this guy could actually have known that this invisible force would block everyone in. The guy who died early on definitely had the easiest time in the film since he got to avoid this. He has a line about how he’s glad he will miss the Extermination so maybe since he was near to death he could actually see exactly what was blocking everyone. It definitely adds a little more credibility to this actually being a supernatural being blocking everyone in as opposed to just their psyches. I like the idea of the disembodied hand actually being the spirit wandering around looking for who to take down next.

Overall, The Exterminating Angel is a pretty interesting film. It’s all about seeing who will crack first and why you don’t want to be stuck in a room with everyone for very long. By the end the characters have all really started to turn on each other. I’d say that the best part of the film is certainly the first half as they slowly start to figure out what’s going on as well as the ending because the twist was a lot of fun. The second half isn’t quite as fun with all of the characters going crazy. It doesn’t go full on Lord of the Flies fortunately but with the characters being nice and awful at the end it isn’t quite as fun as it could have been. I would recommend checking this out at least once so you can see what an interesting plot this is. It’s certainly a very original story but you probably won’t be coming back for more.

Overall 5/10

The Last Unicorn Review


The Last Unicorn is one of those films that sounds pretty intense right off the bat. Kind of reminds me of Pryzm the Dark Unicorn although the circumstances are pretty different. This is definitely a solid film that I would recommend. In general I would say the Unicorns look pretty bad here but I suppose the villains are just that tough. It’s definitely a film that has aged pretty well with the grand songs playing and the intense action sequences. It seems like this is a pretty easy movie to miss when going through all the classics but you’ll definitely owe it to yourself to check it out.

The movie starts with a Unicorn being told that she is the last of her kind. She refuses to believe this at first. After all, how would some random people know that the rest are gone? If anything then wouldn’t they have thought there were none left until they met her? There’s a little butterfly that flies around singing vague stuff so the Unicorn decides to check for herself. Unfortunately she is kidnapped by Fortuna and forced to be in an animal circus for misfits. She is freed by Schmendrick, a magician in training. They eventually add another comrade by the name of Molly. The Unicorn finds out that all of the Unicorns have been captured by King Haggard so she decides to free them. The tough part will be that he is guarded by the Red Bull, a being so powerful that even all of the Unicorns teaming up were unable to do much against him. This Unicorn is unsure that she will do much better either.

For most of the film this character is just known as the Unicorn. She gains a name once she is in her human form but for the review I’ll just stick to “Unicorn”. Unicorn doesn’t look great I have to say and I would not consider her to be one of the best characters here. Her goal is to save the Unicorns but her resolve quickly fades when the Red Bull shows up. She does not even try to fight him and immediately runs. Before she can be destroyed she is saved by Schmendrick but otherwise she would have been doomed right from the start. Not a great showing for a being who is supposed to be so incredibly powerful. Here’s another thing to think about while you’re at it. She was kidnapped by a second rate mage almost immediately. She could not break out of her cage.

So for the whole film I couldn’t buy into the Unicorn’s hype. She’s just not that powerful and it’s easy to see how the rest of her race all lost to a single bull. Then when she is saved at the cost of her immortality she is completely ungrateful. She pouts for a long time and then ultimately forgets her goals and fades even further. Even in her final confrontation she needs quite a lot of help to really push forward. She’s definitely got a full character arc here but it doesn’t really help her all that much. I was just not really a fan of hers and I would have gained a lot more respect if she had stuck to her goal of saving the Unicorns or just put up more of a fight. She basically lost every fight she was a part of.

Schmendrick is the other big character here as he keeps on working at his craft so that he can be a very powerful mage someday. He tries pretty hard and does come through when it counts. It’s pretty rough for him though since the others are always giving him a hard time and he has to do all of the difficult jobs. He’s a nice enough guy though and a decent supporting character. Molly’s another good comrade although her role is quite a bit smaller. She mainly serves as moral support for both the Unicorn and Schmendrick. Without her both of these characters would have given up at some point.

Then you have Lir who immediately falls for Unicorn while she’s in her human form. He means well even if the whole thing seemed futile for the most part. I can’t say I was a big fan of the romance but at least for Lir it’s not like he had a big master plan otherwise. In fact if Unicorn had told him about Haggard’s evil deeds and that he was threatening her I’m sure Lir would have stepped in. His best scene was at the end of the film when he asks for Schmendrick’s help in summoning and the guy says that it’s the hero’s job to help. Rather than point out that a mere human going up against a legendary monster made of fire is crazy, Lir just sucks it up and runs into the fight. He’s promptly taken out but the guy was brave to the end and did his best to protect the Unicorn. He went right into action there.

For the villains we’ve really got two main ones aside from the monster. The first villain to show up was Fortuna whose magical abilities are impressive. She is able to make very convincing illusions and her cages were sturdy enough where these creatures couldn’t break free so that’s not bad. She definitely had a pretty gruesome end though. Then you’ve got King Haggard who’s led a pretty successful criminal empire. He seems like the kind of villain who gets a bit overconfident though. Keep in mind that he could have ended things right away and the only reason the heroes were able to infiltrate so thoroughly was because he wanted to have some fun with them. He could have ended the Unicorn at any time which is saying something. He definitely runs a tight ship otherwise and is a pretty imposing villain.

Then you’ve got Red Bull who is the big monster taking everyone out. It’s a mindless monster that just seems to go after Unicorns automatically so if you shape shift then he’ll lose interest. I do question how he took all of the Unicorns down but if they lack courage the way the main one did then I suppose it may not have been too hard. I liked the design and the sheer ferociousness of the monster. Weakness against water is rough when the villain’s castle is built with a lake on all sides but it’s not like the Bull just disintegrates immediately or anything. If there were less opponents he probably still would have been able to claim the win.

The animation here is pretty smooth. It’s got that classic hand drawn feel which I always enjoy. The colors are sharp and I’d definitely be game with the company using this over the claymation/still motion techniques of the other titles. When in doubt always go with hand drawn and you can’t go wrong. The soundtrack is also on point here. There are quite a number of songs running around. While the quality may vary the best one is easily the Last Unicorn song. It’s pretty emotional and definitely makes the adventure feel pretty grand.

Overall, I would recommend checking out The Last Unicorn. It’s a pretty interesting film with a solid plot. It’s well balanced and has good pacing and writing to match. There’s really nothing bad to say about this film. I think it would have been even better with a different lead though. The Unicorn’s supreme confidence and attitude just wasn’t earned due to how weak she looked throughout the film. She really needed to get some wins or do something in the movie to show why the Unicorns are looked up to so much. We know that she has some magic so maybe just show us some of these offensive spells. Regardless, you do get to see Lir prove himself as a loyal hero always ready to defend the kingdom and his friends from evil.

Overall 7/10

Cats Review


I remember this film getting a ton of buzz when it first came out but all in a negative way. The cat costume CGI looked really bad and the trailer did not look promising. The film does not disappoint in that it is pretty terrible. This movie just didn’t really have much of a chance from the beginning and it’s really not surprising. The whole concept of the film is about cats that look like people singing a lot of songs. It’s just not a very enticing storyline and the film doesn’t focus on story much at all anyway.

The movie starts off with someone throwing away their cat. Her name is Victoria and she doesn’t seem to know about much in life in general. She’s very confused and the neighborhood cats don’t seem to appreciate newcomers much. They start singing a lot of nonsense at her but eventually she’s able to glean a few things from their ramblings. Cats are supposed to all have 3 names yet all of these guys have only 1 name so Victoria safely disregards this useless information. Next up there is a competition where the Cats perform in the hopes of getting out of this place. The only way out is to be chosen as the winner so everyone does what they can to win. Victoria has been here 5 minutes and she’s ready to leave so she gets ready to enter. The only tricky part is that the rules are never really explained and there isn’t much of a bracket system either. Just run on stage and do what you can. It’s the only way to possibly win here.

Fortunately we do have a villain to give us some reasonable moments. His name is Macavity and he has the ability to turn people to dust and then transport them places. The teleportation seems to knock you out temporarily which is convenient for him. One by one he begins kidnapping all of the cats so it’ll be easier for him to win the tournament. He doesn’t have much of a point to his plan after this though. He was really hoping that they would suddenly make him the champion for doing this but unsurprisingly the cats aren’t sold. I would still have to put this guy as the best character though. He sings less than the others and makes the rest of the cats look like suckers a lot of the time which is always nice. They fall for every trap and the worst part is that Macavity can clearly just teleport you at any time. Yet he likes to troll the characters by pretending he needs an autograph and things like that.

The best part was when he is talking to Victoria and naturally she doesn’t know who he is. He drops some hints like talking about how scary he looks but she has that same puzzled expression on her face that is present for 85% of the movie. He has to literally point at the wall of wanted posters with his face on it. Keep in mind that this was present for the entirety of the scene. The gears finally click into motion for Victoria and she runs away while Macavity laughs. At least that part was funny although I’m not even sure how intentional that scene was.

When you boil it down to what’s wrong with the film, a lot of it comes back to the cat costumes. If you’re going to do a film about cats then use CGI ones or something but not people acting like cats. The whole thing is disturbing from the start and never gets any better. You’ll be wanting to roll your eyes throughout. There just doesn’t seem to be a point to most of the scenes beyond just being surreal. The designs are all rather unpleasant to look at and the backgrounds during the songs aren’t great either. So you’ve got some of the worst character designs I’ve ever seen and even the songs are weak? That’s a recipe for disaster.

The film goes for some crude scenes with the cats eating roaches and such during the early songs. Did the film really need to go there? All the scenes of them eating stuff can be pretty grotesque. For the songs the most tragic part of the whole thing may be that at times the background music isn’t all that bad. Sometimes the tunes can actually be fast and catchy. Usually it’s the lyrics that just don’t work. This musical is just a flop even as a musical because the songs won’t keep your interest. It’s all like a super long music video that isn’t interesting and the “story” of the music video doesn’t do it any favors either. That’s a really bad combination.

Cats is also just a very boring movie. With no characters to actually get invested in that already puts the movie at a huge disadvantage. Macavity doesn’t appear a whole lot compared to most so he can’t hold things up. Veronica has no real character to speak of and all the other cats seem rather shallow and mean spirited the whole time. They basically forced one cat to stay outside the whole time until Veronica saved her and helped her have a happy end to that subplot. The cats would probably be a lot happier in this place if they actually did something to improve the conditions. Instead they seem happy to mess everything up and there’s even a song about how they sabotage one family’s dinner every night. How heroic of them….

Overall, Cats is a terrible film. There’s really no question about that. The music is no good and the story is basically nonexistent. It’s a pretty basic plot. You have to win the competition and there’s a villain who wants to cheat his way to the top. There’s not much to it but the songs are the only thing keeping this from being a 20 minute film. It’s just hard to believe that this is actually a real movie, it’s no wonder that the movie lost so much money. I guess it just be like that sometimes. I would recommend watching just about any other musical over this one. Check out High School Musical instead and you’ll have a much better time.

Overall 1/10

The Equalizer 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.

I vaguely remember seeing posters for the Equalizer back in the day but didn’t know anything about it. Seemed like just another one of those films about a guy with a gun taking people down. With Mission Impossible being the greatest version of that plot I figured this one was toast. Still, it turned out to be a pretty solid movie. It’s got a strong plot and the key part here is that Robert makes for a very solid main character. He may be equalizing things by taking villains down in a rather lethal way but most of the time he does give them an out and if the villain takes the deal then they get to keep their lives.

The movie starts off by introducing us to Robert. He has a very respectable job at a supply store that’s like Home Depot and always takes time to visit his favorite café and get an order of coffee. He likes everything to be very precise and throughout the film you see him making sure that things are neat and tidy. Another regular at the shop is Alina and the two of them always make a bit of small talk. One day Alina is badly beaten by her boss for not continuing with her job despite a client going beyond his boundaries. Alina hopes to be a singer someday so she can leave this kind of nightwork behind but wasn’t quite able to leave in time. Robert decides to get involved personally and begins to go after the Russian mafia. On the villains side they have sent a man named Teddy to take down Ralph. Now it’s a matter of who will go down first.

Robert is quite skilled at fighting and espionage. This is made pretty obvious from the start like with how he just walks into the Russian base with no difficulty whatsoever. He’s also very confident and quite sure of himself at all times. I like this demeanor, it’s always quite effective for a hero if you ask me. You don’t have time to be questioning yourself when you’re in the middle of a fight after all. Like Sherlock Holmes Robert always focuses on the situation at hand and finds the most efficient path to victory. Then he takes it and heads off to victory. He had another such impressive scene at the very end of the film. The last action scene has him tie up a few loose ends and it’s another great showing since he was so outnumbered.

At his core Robert isn’t even a guy who looks for trouble. He just doesn’t like to see any injustice and makes sure to balance the scales. It’s likely why he chose the title of Equalizer. Making things equal out is something he enjoys doing. Even at the end when he gets a final scene with Alina as closure you can see how it helped him realize that this whole journey was worth it. He probably saved quite a large number of lives by taking the villains down but in particular he saved Alina’s and that was something very tangible that he would always remember. It’s a pretty solid ending to the movie as well.

I wouldn’t call the film very upbeat or anything as it does have a lot of serious tones. There is a considerable body count and not all of the good guys get out of this one. Still, the ending is pretty upbeat and that makes for a great ending scene. Robert had a friend named Ralph who was also pretty good. He may not have been straight with Robert about what happened at the restaurant but he likely made up the story to keep Robert safe as well so at least the intentions were good. Ralph was a solid guy and he did well for himself at the end of the film and didn’t back down when things got tough.

Then you have the main villain Teddy. He’s the only one who is actually able to keep up with Robert for most of the movie. They have a lot of cat and mouse confrontations during the movie which are always fun to see. He does quite a lot of damage to the villains in his own way too though. There’s one scene where he starts a fight with them and ends up bumping off at least 4-5 to make an example out of them. It’s a pretty intense scene but since he would have been blown away without his right hand man making some clutch shots I don’t know if I can call it a good plan. The guy makes for an intense antagonist but he was never shown to be quite equal to Robert so I wouldn’t call him a big threat.

Then you have the big boss Vladimir but that guy doesn’t show up a whole lot anyway so there’s not much to say about him. he wasn’t quite ready for this. The music in the film is pretty intense and definitely works out pretty well. The effects are on point as well. Some of the action scenes can definitely get quite violent though as Robert takes them all out in rather gruesome ways. He uses whatever he has on hand after all so sometimes that doesn’t leave him any room for a clean cut.

Overall, The Equalizer is a solid film. I think part of why it succeeds is in large part due to how great Robert is as a character. In a way it’s why the sequel will have to be careful with how they follow this up. I imagine that they will want to give Robert more of a challenge next time but part of the fun here was in how easy it was for him to defeat all of the challengers. I hope that even if he doesn’t look quite as good next time, he doesn’t make any huge mistakes or anything like that. The movie also tackled some pretty dark themes without going too in depth the way some titles do for a gritty feel. It’s an intense movie but I wouldn’t call it edgy or over the top. If you want to check out a solid action film then I would recommend this one. It’s a very solid start to the series.

Overall 7/10

Frankenstein Meets The Wolf Man Review


Crossovers are always a lot of fun. It’s just neat to see characters from two different series interact. There’s a lot of ways you can handle this. Have it just be the leads of two different series around, bring in one or two supporting characters from each verse, or just go all out with everyone showing up. It could be that characters from one universe fall into another one or the classic twist where they’ve been on the same planet all along. There are just so many variations. This one’s a pretty old school crossover and yet it does have a pretty grand feel to it. In this case it’s really a Wolf Man film guest starring the Frankenstein monster so it’s not an even split but a crossover that works really well all the same.

The movie starts with a pair of tomb robbers deciding to mess with the grave of the Wolf Man. (Not that they could have known this) This results in Larry reviving from his death and murdering one of them. He wakes up in a hospital the next day and has a feeling that he’s the guilty party but nobody believes him. He decides to go over to Maleva to seek her help since at least she knows about the Werewolf curse. She suggests visiting Dr. Frankenstein who may be their last chance. Unfortunately the town saw to it that he no longer exists and even the Frankenstein monster was seemingly destroyed. Can that really be true? The monster was incredibly powerful after all and wouldn’t go down so easily. Larry intends to get to the bottom of this mystery…even if it’s the last thing he does.

Right away you can see elements from the previous Wolfman film coming into play. You’ve got the old gypsy Maleva who gets a sizable role here. She’s quite hesitant to help but in the end she does support Larry as best she can so I’ll give her credit for that. Lesser characters would have just abandoned him right then and there. Then of course on Frankenstein’s side you’ve got the townsfolk who always want to burn everything to the ground. You can never tell one member from another to they may as well all be the same guys from the solo installments. Of course you’re really here for the two lead franchise characters but I do feel like having a the supporting characters show up is huge in making this feel like a big crossover.

Even though Frankenstein takes a while to appear you can’t help but get hyped as Larry heads into the town. You know that things are slowly ramping up and will lead to an inevitable clash at some point. Larry’s also just a pretty fun character so he works as a great lead. He doesn’t want to actually hurt anybody but isn’t able to control his transformations. His plot’s actually a bit on the dark side as he’s trying to find a way to end his life with how the curse has brought him so much pain at this point. Still, at his core he is still a hero and in the end he fights to protect his friends. He’s definitely a hero that you want to have in your corner.

As for Frankenstein himself, I’m still not a fan. He’s pretty much mindless as he walks around and wrecks havoc on the town. I do consider him to be a lot more powerful than the Wolf Man though. He may not be fast but once you’re within range of his fists then it’s basically over. You just aren’t going to be able to escape that grasp. At this point the monster seems to not even have any real goals. I suppose he wants to destroy any humans he sees but doesn’t exactly seek them out either. So I don’t know exactly what his deal is here but the film needs an antagonist so it’s good to have him around.

For the supporting characters we’ve got two main ones. Elsa who is the daughter of Doctor Frankenstein and Mannering who is the doctor in charge of Larry. Mannering started out pretty well as he did his best to protect Larry and even tracked him down a few cities away from where he was. The guy’s an extremely dedicated professional who has real connections. He also seemed prepared to fight with Larry if necessary when the lead made it clear that he wouldn’t go back. Unfortunately he quickly cracked near the end of the film as the mysteries of science were too much for him. The ending was so sudden though as the guy cracks for pretty much no reason. One second he’s sane and the next he isn’t.

Meanwhile Elsa is a much better character. She’s not exactly thrilled about getting roped back into the crazy experiments but she does her best to help out. She even warns Mannering a few times not that the guy would actually listen to anyone at that point. The Frankenstein half of the crossover needed at least one other character beyond the monster so she did a good job of representing her world. As expected the film’s writing is on point so all of the characters look pretty good here. The film even avoids some of the usual negatives you would expect like animal violence. It feels like the Wolf Man films tend to include that around so this one managing to avoid that was crucial. Frankenstein didn’t get to murder any kids either which was good because that’s another kind of scene you’re better off without.

Overall, Frankenstein Meets The Wolf Man is definitely a solid crossover that I would recommend checking out. It’s just so surreal to see the two monsters actually get to meet up like this. I think there’s probably a lot more potential having a crossover with two other series like Dracula and the Wolf Man just because they can actually talk and hash things out. At the end of the day Frankenstein is mindless so it’s not like there is a whole lot he can do to explain his position. Regardless, that’s probably why they have Larry as the main focus here and he holds up his end of the bargain rather well. With solid writing and just a grand sense that something cool is happening before you eyes, you can’t say you’ve completed your monster collection without this one.

Overall 7/10