Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

Die Hard 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.

It’s time to look at the next installment in the Die Hard series. The first Die Hard was pretty solid and I’m happy to report that the sequel is also pretty good. While it’s not quite as good as the first one I would say that it’s on a similar level. It doesn’t really make any mistakes and is strong in all areas, but it just loses the head to head against the first one each time. Basically anything that Die Hard 2 did, the first one did better. No shame in that of course, the important thing is that the sequel kept it close.

The film starts with John heading to an airport and getting ready to meet up with his wife. Her flight’s taking a while, but John is there early to be ready for it. Unfortunately he notices a few terrorists messing around in the airport. He chases them off, but it looks like this is once again going to be a big conspiracy. These terrorists are trying to free their drug dealer from one of the planes and they intend to destroy everyone if their demands are not met. John has to try and stop them before too many people die, but will he be able to?

It’s always rough for the hero in a case like this because there are just way too many hostages and civilians. It’s really not very practical for him to save everybody and yet it’s hard not to let it affect him either. There’s one scene in particular where a bunch of people die. The film tries to get you to think they have a chance at surviving initially but you just know that they won’t. It would be a little too easy even if it would have been great to see them live. John saves a ton of people ultimately but the body count is definitely very high. This is definitely a large scale attack.

Part of why the situation goes so poorly is because people don’t like John here. The cops are portrayed as being incredibly arrogant and overconfident. In particular I’m talking about the captain. Captain Lorenzo seems to have a big beef with John. I suppose he doesn’t like all the attention McClane got, but he ends up being really petty about it. Keep in mind that lives are at stake and Lorenzo just wants to compare egos and talk a good game. It rarely feels like he has anyone’s best interests at heart and by the time he starts to shape up it’s too late. He isn’t the only one mocking John as the Army Special Forces does the same thing as well.

It’s not intentionally comedic, but it does start to scratch that surface as we get back to back to back scenes of everyone yelling at John. Everyone can’t stand the fact that he is trying to warn them and make plans to stop this situation before it gets out of control. They’re all just doing their best to get in the way. Some of these characters have decent reasons while others have none art all. It’s no wonder why the villains had such an easy time having their way with everyone here.

Ah well, at least John is a solid character as always. No matter how difficult the situation gets he continues to try to save as many people as he can. John has a lot of great plans and in a fight he certainly deals out a lot of damage. He takes out a ton of fighters all by himself and is basically a one man army. He manages to keep the humor up as well which makes sense to keep his spirits up. We don’t get to have as much banter with him on the comms this time though.

The villains are fairly generic. They want a lot of money and that’s really about it. The main villain has good strategy tactics and their competence never comes into question. Ultimately they aren’t all that memorable though. They’re just your average run of the mill villain group that you would expect to see in a movie like this. At least the villains weren’t bad. The standout one was probably the guy who knew karate and fought John. They had a pretty good back and forth fight before John’s brute strength was just enough to take care of business.

The film’s main weakness here is that it sometimes makes the villains look good by making the heroes look terrible in comparison. One big scene that comes to mind is when Lorenzo sends a group of agents over to fight like 3-5 terrorists. It’s a large group but they all walk single file so they just get mowed down. Most of them don’t even react as they get shot to death. How do you just get picked off so easily like that? It made no sense and I never liked the idea of everyone running in single file. That’s definitely the quickest way to get blown up in a situation like this. Everyone who isn’t John on the hero side looks terrible.

The fights in this film are definitely handled well. They’re pretty back and forth which is good since the villains aren’t just getting one punched as if they were nobodies. These are still serious villains who have been training quite a lot so they better have some level of skill right? Die Hard 2’s pacing is good so the scenes never drag on. Even when there is no fight going on the plot is moving forward. There are no points during the movie where it feels like things have come to a halt and that’s always good.

Naturally the film can get a bit violent at times. Most of it isn’t really on screen as you just see the scenes leading up to the grisly deaths. People get sawed to pieces and meet other such fates. One guy gets fatally stabbed on screen though which was a little surprising. That’s probably the most intense scene in the film. While the writing is solid the script can also get a little tricky with everyone developing a bit of a sailor’s mouth. Fortunately the TV version is good at fixing this.

There is one subplot here with the TV reporter from last time and John’s wife. While the reporter was definitely in the wrong last time and just being exploitative, he wasn’t bad here. He was actually one of the more entertaining characters as he tried to find out the truth. He did good in sniffing out the lies that were being reported. He did end up causing some panic with his reporting, but unlike the first case where it was giving out critical intel to the villains, here he is just giving the public a heads up. You kind of feel bad for the guy when he ultimately gets zapped. At least he was doing a better job of getting the news out to people then the government cover up that was going on.

Overall, Die Hard 2 is just a very good thriller movie. We get a lot of good fights and dialogue here. The stakes stay high as the planes get closer and closer while the heroes struggle to think of what to do next. There are certainly quite a few moments where you will have to suspend disbelief though which is common for thriller films and especially terrorist related ones. It feels like the good guys just can’t do anything sometimes and they act less like professionally trained individuals and more like bots. These scenes aren’t too numerous though and either way I recommend checking this out if you want to see a good action movie. It can get a little intense for sure, but it’s handled with a good amount of quality.

Overall 7/10

Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

Ski Party Review


I’ve seen most of the old beach party films from this crew so I may as well see their skiing version as well right? It’s certainly not much better than the rest and makes all of the same mistakes. The characters may not be at the beach but they certainly dress as if they are. I would make the case that there is a little less fanservice here than in the beach versions, but I’m not invested enough into the series to do so. You certainly wouldn’t catch me defending this film. Well, let’s take a look at what we got.

The film starts off with Todd and Craig being down in the dumps because they are still single. They joined a bunch of sport programs but it was no use. Then they notice that Freddie is the star of the party and everyone is only interested in him. Perhaps the trick is that he is always skiing. The two leads quickly decide to go to the next big skiing event and are determined that this will put them on the radar. Will such a shallow plan really work or will the film test our intelligence by continuing to make the plans crazier and crazier?

There are a lot of issues here so it’s always hard to know where to start. I guess we should tackle the romance first. Romance was always a hard genre for films to really pin down and that can be especially true for this one. Part of the reason why the film kicks off is because both of the girls don’t seem to love the two guys straight away. They did go with them on two dates though so this is more about the main characters not being very patient. They want to immediately go further in the relationship while the girls are waiting. The guys are Freddie all the time and that really warps their expectations. You also can’t feel any sympathy for them because they would cheat on the two girls in a heartbeat. We have many scenes where they try to go after other girls so there is absolutely no loyalty here. They’ll simply go after the first one who accepts them.

They also use rather underhanded methods in order to complete their mission. One such tactic is to dress up as a girl and sneak into the dorms. This is a pretty bad move for many reasons. It’s also one of the largest gags in the film and it gets old very quickly. Naturally Freddie falls for one of them in this form and nobody can put the pieces together. I think if you cut away this whole sub plot the film will still be pretty terrible but it would certainly have improve. This plot line just didn’t do anything to really help the film rise up. It drags on and on.

It goes without saying that there is a lot of fanservice here even though they are in the snow. Characters just don’t care about the storm at all. They’re dressed for the beach and they aim to keep it that way for most of the film. We get a lot of zoom ins and crazy dances reminding yo that the plot was not the movie’s first priority. At least the singing isn’t too bad, the series has certainly had worse songs at any rate. Then you’ve got the beach scene at the end just to mess with the audience even further.

There are moments in the film that can be reasonably funny. It’s not like the whole duration is one failed joke after the other. While a good chunk of the jokes don’t work, the surreal nature of the movie helps at times. The scene of the main character floating like a balloon was fun. Additionally I liked the Polar Bear scenes. It’s a pretty nice gag to have that guy running around. The problem is that the movie beats this joke into the ground by having the same joke show up around 5-6 times. You never want to spam a joke that often because it will inevitably get quite old. It’s going for the running gag approach but that works better in a series. If you cram it into a single movie then you are bound to have some issues.

There aren’t any characters to root for here either so you won’t be as invested in the film as you could be. The two main guys are chronic cheaters. The two heroines are too passive and ultimately try to say that the guys were right even though that is definitely not the case. Freddie starts out as a pretty intense guy but by the end he is total comic relief to make the other characters look better. The movie definitely could and should have had more restraint. Maybe make it so the heroes get a win but Freddie still keeps his dignity. The parental figure here literally goes insane by the end of the film and I couldn’t give him any consolation points either. It was rather mean of the main guys to mess with him the whole time, but it’s also partially his fault for falling for their gags. They absolutely should not have worked on him. I prefer the guardians who at least talk tough the whole time. This guy was a punching bag so you’ll sooner feel bad for him than find the scene overly funny.

Overall, Ski Party is definitely everything you expect it to be. The film is pretty straight forward on delivering everything it is advertised to be. If this is your kind of film then you’ll enjoy it. However if you want a film with good writing and an actual plot then I’d recommend staying far away from this movie. It will have nothing to offer you. At least the gang sub plot isn’t around to get dragged out forever. The car chase at the end is actually a little better without those guys around to slow the pacing.

Overall 1/10

Animated Movie Reviews, Animated Movies, Reviews

Teen Titans Go! vs Teen Titans Review


It’s time to look at the most recent Teen Titans Go! movie. This one brings back the classic Teen Titans for a quick crossover event. While the film doesn’t manage to be quite as fun as the first Titans Go movie it’s definitely still a quality film in its own right. You’ve got action, comedy, and a final boss. What else would you even need right? One thing to watch out for is the opening credits makes the interesting decision of spoiling the entire film. It literally goes section by section from start to finish and shows all of the big scenes. It’s a very odd choice.

The movie starts off by showing us that the Teen Titans have still got it as they beat the Gentleman Ghost. People may doubt their abilities, but they shouldn’t because these kids are the real deal. Things get a little hectic when a portal appears and they’re all kidnapped. It turns out that the Master of Games is kidnapping Teen Titans from various universes to make them fight. The Go Titans are eager to start the battle while the modern ones just want to find a way to save their world. It looks like both of them may have to team up, but can the two groups possibly learn to work with each other in time?

Going forward I’m going to call the original Titans the Gen 1 crew and the others will just be referred to normally since they are the main characters here. The Titans act about as well as you’d expect them to. They’re still treated like comic relief because even they acknowledge that they aren’t serious the way that the Gen 1 guys are. They can’t help but constantly be at the center of the gags. The only one who tries to be serious is Robin and even then he is constantly overshadowed by his Gen 1 version. I’ll give him points for effort though and he’s the only Titan who really understands the gravity of the situation. He needs the portal device and he needed a win to secure the team’s confidence. It’s just a shame that he isn’t able to fight quite as well as the others. The other Titans are all on point except for the fact that Starfire was not taking this seriously enough. None of them were all that serious, but at least they tried in the tournament. Starfire was too busy trying to make friends to do much of anything which was disappointing.

As for the Gen 1 crew, it was fun to see them again. Robin and Raven probably get the most to do here. Raven has a lot of experience with the demonic realm so she coaches the kid version on this. Meanwhile Robin is ready to lead the team and he definitely does not like the baby titans. He’s constantly belittling them and when they don’t listen to reason he is quick to put them down. Gen 1 Robin certainly enjoys being the leader and makes sure to stretch things out when possible. After all this is his chance to lead two different teams to victory so you can bet that he is going to milk this as much as he can. It’s just an opportunity that he cannot miss.

The movie moves pretty quickly through the different phases to the climax so it never drags on. I didn’t feel like any of the humor was all that bad either. I would consider this to be one of the stronger Teen Titans Go episodes if it was on TV. The return of Santa Claus was also a lot of fun. It’s always great to see him as an antagonist and he is one of their tougher opponents. Of course taking on a group this large would be difficult even for the greatest of villains.

Then we’ve got more crossover appeal towards the end of the film. If you managed not to see who was included already then I won’t spoil it for you. Needless to say it’s a pretty solid lineup. I would have liked to have seen them all a little more to be honest, but what we got was pretty neat. Imagine if the whole film was the tournament though and we got to see a lot of different verses duke it out. That would have been really cool and then this probably would have beaten the original film. The animation here does look pretty good, but more standard than the first movie. The colors are a little brighter and there is extra detail either way. There’s no super catchy theme like we got in the first film, but I guess it’s hard for Lightning to strike twice.

Where the film really shines is in how absurd the whole thing is. The Go characters are in full parody mode and they just don’t care what the Gen 1 group thinks. They’re here to have fun and nobody’s going to stop them. That straight forward goal really keeps the film going and it’s why you don’t even need the crossover aspect for this to be a success. The group can hold their own as is. If anything I’m just glad that the Gen 1 group weren’t too obnoxious in trying to question the Go characters at every turn. They quickly learned that the Go characters weren’t going to change and just rolled with it.

Overall, Teen Titans Go vs Teen Titans is a fun film. While it’s a versus title there isn’t a lot of action between the two teams. A good chunk of the action scene is just comedy, but to an extent that is to be expected with these guys. It’s probably the only vs title I would give a pass to because of that. Whether you’ll enjoy this film or not is completely dependent on whether or not you enjoy the Go series. If you like the TV show then you’ll like the film and if you don’t like the show then the movie won’t be for you. This basically feels like an extended few episodes and it’s really a movie for the fans. It brings all the best qualities of the show together.

Overall 7/10

Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

Lethal Weapon 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.

It’s time to take a look at a thriller from back in the day. Lethal Weapon is a pretty popular thriller series and now I can say that I have finally started it. It’s aged pretty well and will definitely give you a solid amount of action. It’s going to be tough for the sequels to top this one and that’s always what you want to see. The first film of a series should always start off on a good note to keep you around for the sequels.

The movie starts off with introducing us to the two lead characters. Martin busts up a drug deal by pretending to be a buyer. This does lead to him almost getting murdered but he manages to get out in one piece. The fact that he takes unnecessary risks when going on these missions allows him to make it through in scenarios like this. Then you have Roger who is nearing retirement and plays things by the books. He’s told that he will now have to work with Martin since the guy is such a risk and nobody wants to work with him. Roger feels the same way, but it’s an order so he’ll get it done. What starts out as a simple drug crime becomes a big conspiracy as more victims are found and the enemies appear to have government issued weapons. Roger may have to take some big risks this time.

Lethal Weapon’s plot is sound even if it’s not the most original. The characters are basically trying to fight off a drug dealer with a few twists and turns thrown in. I don’t think the movie could go for a grander plot in the first movie since a good chunk of it is also developing the characters. This is something the movie will be able to skip in the sequel. These scenes are worth it though because they’re just a lot of fun. The character dynamic here is sound and the writing backs it up. It never feels like the scenes are wasted or that it slows down the movie’s pacing.

Martin is definitely a fun character even when he is going through quite a lot in his personal life. It’s pretty rare to have a main character who actually is suicidal. As a result he isn’t feeling 100% for most of the film and he acts very recklessly. To an extent this works out in his favor on some cases like when he busted a drug deal. Martin doesn’t let it get the best of him when we see the guy in action though. At one point Roger keeps quipping about how Martin seems to murder everyone but all of the deaths we saw in the film weren’t really avoidable. Martin proves that he is a great cop time and time again in the film. Ultimately he ended up being the MVP and Roger would have been doomed without him. It’ll be fun to see Martin in the second film since he should now be at 100%. He definitely contributes to a lot of the humor in the film as well.

Then we have Roger who is inching closer to retirement and has managed to make it through his career without injury. He has a family and considers himself to have had a pretty fortunate life so far.  Being paired up with Martin definitely changes that as now any case could potentially be fatal. Martin may not be able to fight the way his partner can but he does still have good gun skills. He’s just a nice guy to hang around with and always means well.

Finally we have Joshua who may or be the main villain but he has the most personality. He works as a hit man for the villains and was trained in special forces. As a result he makes for a pretty tough villain to beat. He also did come very close to beating Martin so the guy lived up to his hype. The actual main villain is your classic drug dealer. He’s not bad, I like the confidence at least. He just isn’t quite as memorable as his right hand man. The guy also can’t fight so it’s not like he will be mixing it up with the others.

What really makes this film work is the solid humor. The movie has a solid script with a lot of good humor. There is some language but for the most part the film stays strong. It does manage to get that Christmas dinner vibe while also getting serious when needed. It really goes through all of the emotional shifts as the movie progresses. We also get to see why Martin is known as a living weapon by the end as he gets into some fights. The scene of him breaking free from the chains and taking down a bunch of guys was handled well. If anything it made the actual ending feel a bit superfluous. I know we needed to have a fight with him and Joshua but it was a little dragged out and didn’t really impress me. I actually found some of the other battles to be better but this one still did have some nice choreography.

Lethal Weapon also has quite a few different climaxes. One of them is in the desert and we got to see Martin’s shooting skills. Their plan was quite sound there and if anything Roger’s daughter just messed it up. I understand being a little nervous but once you’re in the getaway car that’s your chance. If she had braked, turned, or done anything then the whole film could have been ended much sooner. Roger also deserves some blame there since he didn’t support Martin at all once the shooting started. That was their best chance to end things. They may have ultimately won out, but things could have gotten very dicey by not finishing the villains off in this moment.

Overall, Lethal Weapon is a movie that has aged quite well. It’s just a fun action thriller that has a nice sense of humor. The movie has good pacing and writing so those are all of the elements that you need in order to be a success. Put one way, the film had no real negatives. I could recommend it to anyone who likes a good action film and the sequel is going to have some pretty big shoes to fill. Since the characters do return in the sequel that shouldn’t be a tall order though.

Overall 7/10

Animated Movie Reviews, Animated Movies, Reviews

Equestria Girls: Holidays Unwrapped Review


Time to look at the final Equestria Girls short and potentially the final animated media in the entire Friendship is Magic part of the franchise. It’s a reasonable way to end things even if I’m not the biggest fan of anthology setups. It means each story is too short to properly get a lot of development, but as this series isn’t very plot heavy in the first place it works out pretty well for itself. There are 6 shorts here and since the special is about 45 minutes that gets us to about 8 minutes each.

In the first special the Mane 7 are trying to cram for a test. Unfortunately they are not prepared for this one except for Twilight. Rainbow suggests that they get the school to cancel the test by pretending that it is snowing outside. Honestly this isn’t a bad plan at all. It’s definitely quite sneaky though but it comes very close to working. Unfortunately for them the professor was pretty sharp and not as easy to fool as Celestia. If anything the Mane 7 doomed themselves by attempting to fool the school since they had less time for the actual studying. The moral here is definitely that deception does not pay.

The second special definitely amps up the intensity as we get a snowball fight. Pinkie Pie is trying to deliver a souffle to Rarity because every year it ends up deflating before they meet. She is determined to change that this time, but the snowfall is making that difficult. Sunset Shimmer knows what it’s like to not make it somewhere in time so she makes it her mission to defeat the snowball fighters and pave the way for Pinkie to make it. It’s a very dramatic special and it’s nice to see the team all working together here. Sunset was the MVP as expected and this was definitely my favorite short.

Next up is the Apple Family getting ready for their big apple cider party. Unfortunately Flim and Flam always end up breaking in and messing everything up which puts a damper on things. Twilight Sparkle has concocted a plan to stop them this year. It’s really a good thing she showed up because Applejack would have been completely doomed otherwise. Twilight’s really good at staying one step ahead. To Flim and Flam’s credit, they actually did put up a good amount of resistance. They also had a lot of foresight and predicted some of the things that were about to happen. They just weren’t quite as smart as Twilight.

Following that up is a story where Sunset left her keys at school. Unfortunately it is a weekend so nobody is there. Each member of the group tries to figure out a way to break into the school but Twilight keeps shutting their ideas down. She doesn’t want to do anything that will be considered breaking and entering. I see her point, but the group had a lot of fun ideas. The best one is probably Applejack’s, but they all have some merits to them. Fortunately for the group Twilight has an idea of her own. It may not be as flashy as the others but it does get the job done.

Then we have a special where Rainbow Dash forgot to buy a gift for Fluttershy. It’s a good thing she has super speed, but even with that she is cutting things close. She wants to get Fluttershy a gift that feels authentic even if it is rushed. You can feel the pressure here because this is also why I always find those mystery grab bags to be tough. It’s hard enough to pick gifts normally but when you draw from a hat and have to try to find a gift for someone in particular the stakes get high. Rainbow can still be blamed for most of this since she totally forgot, but it is a hard task under any circumstance.

Finally we have a special about Applejack’s family tradition to take a photo at the end of the year. The rest of the gang don’t really feel like it, but the see how excited Applejack is and figure they should be supportive. This leads to some pretty crazy costumes and then a plot twist by Applejack at the end which definitely stings. It’s a pretty wholesome special and a nice way to end things off. It may not be as action packed as some of the first segments, but it’s always good to see the team trying to help out a friend.

As mentioned these specials are very quick so they go by in a second. Some of these segments could have easily been expanded to be their own full specials. I think the best way to handle this is to just incorporate them all into a big plot. Still, it is what it is and Holiday Unwrapped is a solid special. Equestria Girls has been a great spinoff to the main series and it definitely won’t be forgotten anytime soon. I’ll miss the characters having actual super powers in the human world. It’s a really nice dynamic and who knows, maybe Equestria Girls isn’t quite done yet. I just get the feeling that maybe we still will get another special or two down the road.

The animation is pretty solid. At this point you’ll be pretty used to the style. The animators always do a good job of staying consistent. Their action parody parts feel smooth and the same can be said about all the other aspects. The soundtrack is pretty much nonexistent here with no chance to add big songs, but I still say that the intro here is better than the main series one. It’s got a lot of energy and really starts things off with a nice pop. That’s exactly how you want to start a film.

Overall, This is a special that I’d definitely recommend. How could you not enjoy a pleasant special like this right? It’s not the next big thing in the franchise, but it’s not really going for that anyway. Think of it as a fun little Christmas special that gives you an excuse to see the characters having fun opening gifts and such. I always like Christmas episodes in any franchise, they’re just a lot of fun and in this way MLP got to have one last adventure. We’ll see where the franchise goes from here.

Overall 7/10

Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

War of the Gargantuas Review


It’s time to look at a classic creature feature film. This one is about monsters that I’m not all that familiar with. They look a bit like King Kong but even more humanoid. The movie has a bit of a pacing issue near the end as it feels like they could have shaved some time off, but overall it’s a solid film. You’ve got some good action and the government is surprisingly able to defend themselves pretty well against the monsters. These guys definitely couldn’t go toe to toe with Godzilla, but you can definitely respect their power.

The movie starts off with a sailor getting attacked by a Giant Octopus. He is saved when a monster shows up and begins to do battle with it, but this becomes an “Out of the frying pan and into the fire” scenario as the monster begins attacking the ship. Somehow the sailor survives all of this and heads home to warn everyone else. The cops don’t buy this story for a second, but they become true believers once the monster shows up and starts terrorizing towns. Some believe that Frankenstein has returned, but his creators aren’t so sure. One thing that they do know is this monster must be stopped and stopped pretty soon or everyone will be in trouble. It is weak against sunlight so they will have to weaponize that.

Paul and Akemi are the main characters here. They raised the original Frankenstein who ultimately ended up becoming Sanda. It’s rather interesting that they call him Frankenstein because to me at least the monsters look nothing like that icon. I’m glad the Kaiju ultimately got different names later on. The problem here is that another monster known as Gaira has shown up and he is against the humans. He wants to destroy everyone and is definitely a rather vengeful creature. Akemi wants to protect Sanda but it’s a tough challenge right from the start since he is protecting Gaira. Sanda later realizes that Gaira isn’t on the right side, but it takes a while for that to become apparent.

Akemi is a solid heroine and means well. I’m glad that she sticks by Sanda throughout. She has a more active role than you would suspect. Paul is also pretty solid and does his best to help out, but he isn’t quite as personally invested in the situation. He seems to think of everything as a game with how laid back he is. That could just be his way of dealing with the situation though so that’s not to say that he was completely uncaring about how things were going. He was a good character.

As for the monsters, they weren’t my favorite ones. As I mentioned they look a bit like King Kong, but you could cross that with the Yeti. Together that really makes up the Kaiju pair. There aren’t any real differences between them except that Gaira is evil while Sanda is the heroic one. They are pretty evenly matched and get into a lot of battles. They aren’t extremely durable as the government is able to combat them, but this government was surprisingly high tech. They have a bunch of energy lasers at their disposal and endless rockets. If this was the government going up against Godzilla and the other popular Kaiju maybe they would have had a real shot. Electrifying the water was also a solid plan and they really had Gaira pinned down at that point. It is always a little sad to see the Kaiju on the losing end, but it’s handled well. If anything you’ll just feel especially bad for Sanda at the end.

The writing here is pretty fun and the Dub always makes these Kaiju films even more enjoyable than they would be otherwise. The voice acting is just great. There’s a good blend of humor here while still staying serious when the situation calls for it. The police chief breaking into the room and forcing the guy in a coma to talk was just brilliant. Characters just push themselves through situations and that’s the kind of persistence you need in order to stay alive in these films.

The main cast is really small here, but that’s fine. You’re mainly here for the monsters after all and they appear within the opening 5 minutes. They showed up so fast that I was pretty impressed. Naturally there are still a lot of moments without them, but the humans can hold their own scenes pretty well I must say. There’s also one long song that comes out of nowhere. I can’t say that it was my kind of tune, but I’m still glad she managed to get out of there in one piece. For a second I thought she wasn’t going to make it out in time.

Overall, War of the Gargantuas is a solid film. I admit that it will have less replay value than some of the other Kaiju movies due to its sheer length but it is a good film. I think the best special effect in the film was the Octopus’ glowing eyes. It really made him look fierce and that’s why these Kaiju suits have all aged well. You just can’t beat that level of detail. If you haven’t seen this movie yet then I would recommend changing that as soon as possible. It’s really got everything you could ask for and while it may not ascend to the same heights as Godzilla or Gamera, it’s a great example of what a Kaiju film is. Show this to someone who is getting ready to jump into the genre and needs reassurance that the whole genre isn’t just Godzilla movies.

Overall 7/10

Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

Village of the Damned (1995) 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.

It’s time to look at the gritty remake of the original film. This one decides to switch out the tense atmosphere for just murdering everybody and misses the entire point of the concept. It’s not as if it’s a great concept from the start, but the original movie had 1000x the quality of this remake. The 1995 film just isn’t very good and I had to give it a full thumbs down in this go-around. Better luck next time I suppose…also I would switch the title as well.

The movie starts off by introducing us to a nice little town. Unfortunately one day everyone abruptly falls asleep and it’s like the whole town was shut down. The government is called in and agent Verner shows up. It turns out that everyone in the village is now about to have a baby so she offers them all a ton of money to keep the babies. These babies have super powers which mainly involve telepathy but also a shared memory so they learn at the same time. They quickly begin bumping everyone off in the village so the government is forced to consider drastic options. Is there any good in these monster children or are they all corrupt from the start?

The main guy here is Alan and his kid is really the leader of the pack. He wants to see the good in the kids, but after they murder his wife he finds himself having a hard time coping. Verner wants him in the thick of things though because he is the only one who can really handle the truth about these babies. It puts him in a pretty tricky spot. He seems to have the most optimism that there could be some good in them despite what happened early on in the movie. He’s a reasonable character and at least he put up some mental defenses. I would have liked him to be more pro-active rather than giving up after his wife was bumped off though. It’s hard to take revenge against kids, but maybe moving out of town or trying to arrest them. Almost anything’s better than just giving up.

Meanwhile the other parents all have their little plots as well. Some go drunk and crazy because they aren’t used to kids being so powerful. Others try to still be normal parents, but this becomes impossible. Ultimately the kids are all evil and want to end humankind anyway so it’s not like it really matters what the people do. They all have to be extra careful though because if they make any kind of mistake or look at the kids in a mean way it’s curtains. The penalty for any kind of action against them is automatically death which is pretty intense. They also make sure to destroy the humans as painfully as possible and punish them multiple times.

This version of the movie is just very dark in this respect. The kids take over the village rather quickly. They’re impossible to defeat at least with how long the people take to act. One such scene is when the government is called in and they all stop to tell the kids to put their hands in the air. What’s the point of doing this when they can just break your mind and make you shoot everyone else? If you’re coming in to eliminate the kids then you shoot right away. If that wasn’t the game plan then you shouldn’t have shown up at all. Coming in half ready just means there will be more victims. It is an excuse to have a long fight between the cops and the army which ultimately doesn’t accomplish much of anything.

The saddest death is probably for Verner. You had a feeling that the kids would get to her eventually but there was a point where you thought she had a chance. After she warned Alan to get out she should have made a beeline for anywhere outside the town. Not leaving immediately is ultimately what cost her. The luckiest characters would definitely be the ones who get hit by the bomb since it’s at least an instant death instead of it being drawn out.

Only one of the kids does not appear to be totally evil and even he waits until the very end of the movie to do anything. I would have liked to have seen him stand up to the other kids a little sooner. Alan does buy him enough time to make a stand so it’s better than nothing. At least Jill and David get a happy ending which is one more happy ending than anyone got in the Omen. This is still a terrible film though. I think part of the issue here is that a lot of violence is committed towards non-combatants.

Over the top violence is bad in any context. I would argue though that there is still a world of difference between someone like the Terminator and a bunch of army fighters getting destroyed than a local school teacher who has nothing to do with anything. A lot of the people who end up dying in this film really had no malicious intentions and just made a mistake along the way. For them to meet such a gruesome end really doesn’t do anything to service the plot and just feels gratuitous. It’s really poor writing that is just an excuse to feature more deaths. This film really relies on shock value at the expense of every other part of the movie.

Overall, I’d recommend staying away from this movie. We’ve got another big 0 here and you can probably see the trend. Films about evil kids are usually just pretty terrible and especially when you make them as gruesome as this film. The murders are really bad here and some of them are even worse than what you’d expect to see in something like Scream. I highly recommend watching the original instead if you want to see this plot, but honestly you could also just skip it entirely. There’s really nothing here that you absolutely need to see and I wouldn’t exactly call it an enjoyable experience either way. What you want is a real film with action scenes like Man of Steel or something.

Overall 0/10

Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

The Omen 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.

It’s time to take a look at the Omen. It’s a fairly well known film but definitely one that falls through the bucket list and ends in the can. It’s one of those movies that’s terrible from start to finish to the point where I subconsciously started 3 sentences in a row with “It’s” and that’s not the way you want to start any review. From the premise you already get a general sense of where this is going and whenever your baby is the Anti-Christ or the Devil you’re in for a tough time.

The film starts off with Robert and Katherine having a baby but supposedly it didn’t make it through the operation. A religious guy shows up and tells Robert he should hide this from his wife and adopt a different baby that they will pretend is his son. There’s so many red flags here I don’t even know where to start. Introducing a kid into your life on the foundation of lies is a terrible way to start. Katherine may never find out but that isn’t even the point. You’ll be lying to her every single day that you withhold this knowledge. Lies of omission are sometimes debated on whether they are lies or not but even getting around that I’m sure he’l be referring to Damien as “their son” many times as the years go by which will be direct lies. It’s also something that Katherine deserves to know and to have made a choice on. The other red flag here is that this supposedly religious guy is telling him to lie. That’s why you always want to take a double look. Just because someone claims to be a person of the faith doesn’t automatically mean that you should trust him/her.

So they take the kid in, but strange things begin to happen. No animal wants to be anywhere near Damien. His nanny also takes her own life which leads to a Ms. Baylock showing up as their new caretaker. Neither Robert or Katherine actually requested her, but somehow they are fine with this and allow her to stay. She defies them at every turn and constantly breaks the rules, but none of them have the courage to stop her. Before long Baylock turns Damien against the parents and by the time they are ready to do anything about it they are too late. So ends this film.

Omen is just a very mean spirited film from start to finish. The evil kid routine is definitely one of the weaker horror plots and I really don’t think you’ll ever be able to turn this into a quality movie. Damien is unlikable from the start and he just gets away with so much. You just want Robert or Katherine to do something about it, but they never do. One such scene is when Katherine tells Robert not to let them destroy her, but he promptly travels to a different country and while he is gone they finish her off. How could he leave her alone when he knows that she is in such danger?

Lets also back up to when Baylock brings a dog to the house when Robert forbade it. That should have been game over. He should have fired her on the spot, but didn’t. She also wanted to be alone with Damien and did not allow the parents to see him. What kind of parents would allow this? She even got a room inside Damien’s room while the parents are down the hall. Nothing about any of this makes any sense and of course she would end up brainwashing him. Robert and Katherine were downright negligent here. I’d also argue that Katherine should have kept her guard up more with Damien running around the house. She also should have flat out told Robert that he threw her off the roof with the hit, but at best she implies this. The characters make terrible decisions throughout the movie which ultimately leads to their reckoning.

Keith is really the only character here who was at least trying to do something. He figured out the supernatural element early on thanks to his photos, but had a hard time convincing anyone of it. By the time he got some actionable intel his fate was sealed. Omen has a lot of destiny themes so ultimately you knew he wasn’t going to get out of this one alive. Robert didn’t really help matters though. Then Baylock makes for a tough villain, but the film gives her way too much influence by having everyone else avoid dealing with her.

The writing here is as terrible as it gets. Nobody makes any logical decisions at any point in the movie. Robert is also super slow on the uptake when the one guy is trying to warn him about the Anti-Christ. It makes sense that he wouldn’t buy into it at first but as things begin to happen you’d want him to piece two and two together. Of course the guy did end up getting blasted by lightning and then impaled so everything was against him. Damien sure has a ton of power considering that he’s just a kid and the same for his followers. The humans don’t really have a chance so what’s the point of this movie?

Overall, Omen has very slow pacing and a terrible plot. This is one of those films with no redeemable qualities. It can get pretty violent, but more importantly it’s just very mean spirited. Nobody gets a happy ending and evil wins in the end. I don’t think even the best of movies can pull this off. You can have a movie where the villain wins in the end like Homura or one where there isn’t really a happy ending for anyone, but if you mix them both then that’s a recipe for disaster. There has to be something in the ending that you can sink your teeth into and salvage, but like this there really isn’t anything. It’s just an unpleasant experience and there is no replay value here. I’d recommend taking a visit down to Popeyes and trying the chicken sandwich instead of watching this movie. Trust me, you’ll feel more hype waiting in line than any scene in this flick.

Overall 0/10

Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

Let’s Scare Jessica to Death Review


It’s time to look at a horror film filled with characters making terrible choices throughout the movie. It gets to the point where you have to question their sanity and this is definitely not one of those films that wins any consolation points. From the camera work to the characters nothing about this film clicks. You sort of get that feeling right from the start that things aren’t right and it ultimately pans out. I’m afraid that this film won’t be scaring anyone.

The movie starts with Jessica getting out of the asylum and getting ready to move to a new place with her husband Duncan and their friend Woody. Jessica has them stop by a cemetery first since her hobby is to trace the gravestones and the put the pictures up in her room. To each their own I suppose, but considering that she was just in a pretty bad place I’m surprised they didn’t try to get her out of this habit. Jessica encounters two ghosts along the way to the house but decides not to say anything in case people believe that she has finally cracked. They make it to the house and discover that someone already lives there. Her name is Emily and she has no place to stay. Emily quickly begins to seduce Duncan and Woody while also making Jessica really self conscious about her own appearance. Keeping all of this in mind Jessica decides to fail at basic logic and invites Emily to stay indefinitely.

At this point I’m sure everyone walked out of the theater but that’s the basic premise. Jessica must now struggle with her own issues as well as the fact that Emily plans on stealing everyone away. The whole village also doesn’t like Jessica and Duncan for some reason so they won’t be of any help. With the world crashing all around her Jessica starts to deteriorate more and more. Are these ghosts actually there or is there some kind of conspiracy to try and break Jessica’s mind? One way or the other she will definitely be finding out pretty soon.

I think we need to take a step back here and just look at why letting Emily stay is one of the worst movie decisions I’ve ever seen. This is on par with deciding to run back into an abandoned house where the murderer is just to pick up a piece of paper or insulting a terrorist with a rifle to show off in front of your friends. I think the only possible case you could make here is that Jessica was being a good person since Emily was in a bad spot. That’s not good enough I’m afraid. That’s because Jessica already got multiple red flags like Emily intentionally scaring Jessica and then her messing with Duncan and Woody. Helping other people is great, but if you already know that they’re going to make your life a nightmare it isn’t worth it. There was absolutely no benefit in letting Emily stay.

By horror movie rules you know that it wouldn’t have ultimately mattered. She would have gotten Duncan anyway, but at least Jessica could have delayed things a little bit. All she did her was speed things up and that was not a great move. It was a terrible move. It’s hard to really take the rest of the situation seriously after this because Jessica really invited this on herself. It also doesn’t help that she is not a very confrontational person by nature. Jessica will let the others walk all over her and that means she is already at a considerable disadvantage here. Jessica was not a good main character and is simply too soft. She even allows Emily to take her to the lake by herself and gets attacked multiple times but still does not say anything. That’s just going too far. Jessica also overrates her own abilities as she keeps telling Duncan to stop trying to protect her only to crack even further afterwards.

Meanwhile Duncan is a terrible character. I don’t care how charming Emily is, (The film wants us to believe that at any rate. She looks half dead the whole film which ties in to a plot twist) he’s married. That’s game over. Full period. There’s nothing she could possibly do that he should allow to have him break his vows. It just makes him come across as weak and also makes him a terrible person. It’s fine for Woody to have an affair since he isn’t even with anyone, but that’s it. Woody’s the most reasonable character of the 3, but he’s working on the tractor during the entire film so he never actually notices anything. He gets played like a fiddle and then wrecked so he really doesn’t get to contribute at all. Jessica really should have asked for his help a whole lot sooner.

From the start of the film we see that everyone has a scar in the village. They’re also all antagonistic towards the main characters to the point where they are backup villains. Surprisingly the film doesn’t address this until the very end and it happens so late that I thought the film was just going to back away from that plot. You can probably guess what is happening here as the film does offer some foreshadowing with Emily. I definitely don’t think it was in her head or that it was a dream. I think everything happened and the plan all along was for the villains to mess with Jessica. Even the title supports this and I think they just did their job so well that even the viewer may have some doubts. Jessica is just terrible at fighting back against this kind of thing so she walked into all of the traps.

Overall, this is just a terrible film. There’s nothing enjoyable about it. It’s really just a film about a homewrecker messing with everyone and the characters are too weak to stay strong. The supernatural elements are so brief that they may as well not even be there. The camera work has that dusty feel about it which is hard to describe but occurs a lot with the more distasteful indie type films. It generates a rather foreboding atmosphere on its own which is impressive but usually it means that you’re about to watch a stinker. The film drags on with its slow pacing and the terrible cast doesn’t do it any favors either. There are no good music tracks to listen to and so the film really failed on all accounts. There’s nothing to salvage here and so I’d recommend checking out just about anything else instead. You’ll be glad that you skipped this one.

Overall 0/10

Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

Scream 3 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.

It’s time to look at the third installment in the Scream series. The characters are back once again and this time they are going to have to deal with another murderer. Sidney really can’t catch a break. The last film really ended with things basically going to rock bottom for her since all of her friends are dead once again. Well, she’ll have to prepare for more losses in this movie but at least it’s slightly less personal for her since it’s not like she even knows any of these guys this time.

Sidney made the logical choice of deciding to live in the outskirts of the world by herself now. She has a huge chunk of land with many different security systems both outside and in the house. She even has a guard dog. Nobody knows where she lives and that’s exactly the way that she wants to keep it. Unfortunately she does see on TV that people relating to the Stab movie series are being murdered one by one. Those movies are based off of her real life experiences from the first two films so she realizes that someone has once again started the murder games. She isn’t sure how to proceed or if she should get involved. The choice is taken out of her hands when she receives a call from the murderer though. He is after her once again but this time she has a gun at the ready.

Sidney’s gone from being your average school girl to Alice from Resident Evil. At this point she is no stranger to dealing with lunatics and it really shows. Her character is amazing in this film as she takes everything in stride and jumps into danger. She refuses to let the villains intimidate her and at this point the only thing that scares her is the ghost of her mother. Sidney does have some PTSD and considering her experiences it’s a wonder that she’s coped with it so well. Sidney’s even got a job listening to everyone else’s troubles which sounds tough. After this film it’s safe to say that she’s the second best horror protagonist I’ve seen besides Alice. It’ll be tough for anyone else to pass her and if you have any doubts just watch the climax. She really came prepared for a fight and can actually punch quite well. We saw her throw a punch in the first film and there’s always been some foreshadowing for it. It’s just nice to see her really go all out here.

I have to give the film major props for one thing that it did not do. I don’t know if this was also a parody but if it was then it’s really clever. As I mentioned Sidney has a dog here and that’s an instant death flag not just for the dog but for the movie. It’s a trope that in pretty much every horror film an animal has to die. Well, this one managed to avoid the temptation and the dog was actually a red herring. He never got to appear again until the ending and I’m fine with that. Actually, I’m thrilled about it! Scream 3 was my favorite of the 3 films even if only by a little and having a dog die would have thrown it down into last place.

There is one really random scene here though where a character I don’t remember ever seeing before shows up to deliver a tape of the guy who died in the second film. He points out that in trilogies anything can happen so he warns the characters so they don’t get murdered. It’s nice that he wanted to give some advice and the scene is so surreal that it’s actually pretty funny. Still, most of his advice is stuff that doesn’t tangibly help the characters. “None of you are safe” sounds like great advice but they all already knew they were targets so if anything it just scares them more than they already were. I’m sure they appreciated the help either way though.

Since Sidney doesn’t get involved til later on in the film you could almost say that Dewey and Gale were the main characters here. Naturally they get to bicker in their opening confrontation once again. I dare say that this was their best meeting of the 3 films as they each get a lot of burns and you have the great music in the background as always. I really think they shouldn’t get back together at this point because their dynamic works so well as rivals. We also get a third addition to the mix as the actress playing Gale steps in as well. She’s gotten so far into the role that she has her own Gale persona at this point and uses it quite a lot.

You should not get attached to too many of the characters though because standard horror rules apply. Unless you are from one of the first two films you probably shouldn’t count on surviving in this one. If you just had a cameo in the first film then you should watch out as well like poor Cotton. He’s the opening stinger this time and it is a bold opening since you may have suspected that he would be safe. At the same time he never had the same kind of plot shield as Sidney, Gale, or Dewey would have had. The opening scene is definitely tragic for him, but at least he does put up a fight. It was just not a battle that he was going to win.

So Dewey and Gale aren’t bad. Gale is starting to feel a little old for the chase scenes and investigating, but she’s still jumping into danger at every turn. At the very least you have to admire the fact that she never gives up. Dewey’s also getting old as you can see with how often he gets beaten up every time. At least he tries though. One of the new characters is Officer Kincaid. He’s a detective who wants to crack this case. He talks really tough but somehow you just never feel like he’s going to stand much of a chance. I suppose it’s up to him to prove you wrong.

I do have one big gripe with this film though. How come none of the characters seem to remember what a voice changer was? It’s treated like a huge twist at the end of the film that such a thing exists, but the villains have been using it since the first film. Every film has a voice changer and with the Stab films that exist here I presume that the villains used it in those to. It should have been their first clue when they start hearing voices or when Sidney says that she knows her mother spoke to her. Somehow nobody even acknowledges this as a possibility and it just felt very odd. It’s either a huge plot hole or it’s part of the parody element. Sometimes it’s hard to know what’s being parodied and what isn’t anymore. Still, it felt a bit off.

As always the film is pretty violent though. I feel like the deaths weren’t quite as gruesome as the first two though. I wouldn’t necessarily say that it’s less bloody than the first two but characters are mainly getting stabbed this time and not going through painfully long deaths. Not like it makes a huge difference after a point though. It’s still very over the top and you’d expect nothing less from a slasher.

The soundtrack is about on par with the second film. It’s still way above average for a horror film, but not quite ready to take on the first movie. The suit has still aged pretty well though and the effects are on point. The fight at the end of the film is the best fight in the series and it all works as a solid tribute to the first film. I imagine a lot of this movie felt pretty nostalgic for long time viewers who grew up with the original two.

Scream 3 definitely has the most fun with its parody elements in the final climax though. From the “Let’s split up” every 5 minutes to characters slowly opening doors and getting stabbed it just feels like they choose a lot of the wrong answers. The scene with Dewey getting hit by a boomerang gun couldn’t have been meant to be taken seriously. As I mentioned he does appear to get weaker each time. The characters also need to stop aiming for the chest against every villain especially when it doesn’t seem to be working. I think after someone’s already murdered tons of people you can go for the head shot, but if not then at least take out a leg or an arm. It’s a tougher shot but you can just start spamming at this point until you run out of bullets.

A film like this never truly has a happy ending for the characters when you consider how much they’ve lost. Still, it is a happier ending than the last film for Sidney. This time she still has her dog, a safe place to stay, and even some friends in Dewey and Gale. She’s also conquered her demons at last. If not for the fourth film you’d expect this to really be the ideal ending for her. The other characters also got reasonable endings here. The film does offer up what could be interpreted as a trick ending to close things out though. In this case I don’t really think anyone is actually there, but I do think it’s crazy that Sidney left the security system off and the door open though. That would almost throw all of her character development out the window in a single scene….is what you would think at first thought.

I’d say that it’s more showing how Sidney is now resolved for whatever comes her way next. She’s through with running away. From now on she is taking on all challengers and welcomes any crazy who wants to attack her. This is a little overconfident and it’s not smart, but at this point Sidney’s just so fed up with the world that it’s the way she wants it. That’s how I interpreted the scene at the very least and it’s the closest Scream has had to a true cliffhanger ending. Surprisingly the films never really have that final jump scare.

Overall, Scream 3 is the best film in the series up to this point. I have not watched the fourth film and it could be a while before I see it so I don’t know how that one will stack up. As always if you like the Scream series or slashers in general then you’ll definitely get a kick out of this. It’s just executed considerably better than other films of this nature. As I mentioned above it still has the usual elements that hold it back like the excessive violence and the knowledge that all of the characters are doomed from the start so those scenes just feel drawn out. One example is Ghostface chasing down all the actors in the house and bumping them off one by one. Even as they run away you know they’re doomed anyway so it’s more mean spirited than anything. It’ll never be able to reach the average action film, but in the world of horror this movie’s not so bad. One of these days we really need a big horror crossover film so Ghostface can test his luck with the other horror icons. I don’t imagine he’d get so far though, he’d probably end up getting stabbed.

Overall 2/10