7 Star Movies, Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

The Two Mrs. Carrolls Review


It’s time to look at a film about deception and betrayal. From the start all of the characters are fairly complicit in what is going on so you have to take a double look to see who you’re supposed to be rooting for. By the end it’s pretty obvious who the worst party is though. This movie has the honor of being one of the only films I’ve seen to have a kid character who is actually very likable. Trust me when I say that this is a very rare thing indeed. This is a pretty fun film and works well as an old school thriller.

The film starts off with Geoffrey deciding to have an affair despite being married. He meets up with Sally and this goes on for a while but eventually she finds out that he is married and breaks things off. Shortly afterwards Geoffrey returns and says that his wife died of completely natural causes so Sally whole heartedly believes him and they get married right away. The old wife was apparently very sickly and so this was natural but Sally begins to learn things that hint otherwise. One day her old flame Penny shows up with some guests including a rich lady named Cecily. Sally suspects that Cecily and Geoffrey are having an affair and starts to feel very sick every day. Is she about to meet the same fate as the original wife?

So one iffy thing about Sally here is the fact that she believed Geoffrey. Isn’t it awful convenient that the original wife should pass away so suddenly after Sally turned down his advances? She really should have written him off entirely because of the fact that he tried to deceive her the first time. You can’t have a proper romance built on deception so if she had done this then none of this trouble would have started in the first place. It would have been the cleanest way to end things right out of the gate but of course things don’t normally end quite so cleanly.

By the end Sally makes almost every mistake in the book. I think her worst scene is in the climax where she actually grabs the gun and has the drop on Geoffrey but ends up not having the nerve to shoot. Look, if you’re worried about murdering the person (which you shouldn’t be in this scenario) then just shoot the leg or in the chest. Odds are that one shot won’t be fatal and now you also get to live to see another day which is a pretty good bonus if you ask me. More characters need to try and consider this sort of thing. It would definitely go a long way.

As for Geoffrey himself, it’s always odd to have an antagonist as the lead. It can be an interesting concept as you see the villain’s descent into darkness or a time when they were the lesser of two evils. Madoka Rebellion and the Star Wars prequel trilogy are famous examples of that although for the latter “infamous” may be a better word. It doesn’t work for Geoffrey because there is no way you can sympathize or even understand where he is coming from here. He has no good reason to bump off the characters. The guy is just crazy and all the bravado in the world can’t save his character. If anything it makes him all the more fake because you never buy the act for a second. He was going to cheat on his second wife right from the start.

Cecily is the next lady in line and she is pretty bad. She knows that Geoffrey is married and wants to steal him away regardless. She makes her advances quite public and really doesn’t care what anyone thinks. Sally continues to invite her for events as well which emboldens her even more. Definitely not a quality character. You’ve also got Penny who liked Sally a lot back in the day. He’s not very subtle about the fact that he still loves her which makes him a bit annoying. If you fall for someone who is married then it’s really your obligation to ignore those feelings and bury them as far as you can. Being obvious about it is just being annoying and adding pressure to everyone around. He helps out a bit at the end but really does take a long time to do anything.

Tuttle is the main doctor who looks after Sally but unfortunately he is not very good at his job. He’s quite insecure and always loves talking about the burglar who has been running around. That subplot is unfortunately a red herring. I thought it would have been awesome if the robber had shown up to try and get Geoffrey near the end but the film didn’t go that route. Either way Tuttle will give you some pretty fun scenes here and there. The guy is a hopeless drunk which doesn’t help with all of his other issues but at least the guy always talks tough.

Finally we’ve got Beatrice who is Geoffrey’s kid. She’s pretty rational and doesn’t even talk like a kid. She likes using really big words throughout the film. At times you suspect that she knows more than she’s letting on but the film doesn’t go in that direction so it’s left to your own interpretation. She means well and Beatrice was definitely the best kid I’ve seen in a while. It’s probably not a very realistic portrayal of a kid, but it was still pretty cool all the same.

The film’s final scene is definitely pretty awesome though. Part of how the film’s murders worked was that Geoffrey would use the milk to poison everyone so in the end he offers the cops a cup when they come to arrest him. The whole scene is pretty tense for a second as you think the film will end with them thinking about it, but instead they give him a hard no. It was a solid attempt but I’m definitely glad that the cops didn’t make that kind of mistake. It would have been a pretty tragic ending for everyone if that had happened.

Overall, This is a pretty solid thriller film. It’s one of those rare movies that is able to succeed despite pretty much everyone being unlikable. Geoffrey is easily the worst character here as everything is really on his head. Sally didn’t help matters by not shooting and by pursuing a relationship with Geoffrey though. At least she was smarter than Horace who thought that blackmailing a serial killer was a good idea. What did he really think was going to happen? Blackmailing a normal person is already risky but someone who doesn’t mind crossing the line? Now that’s a bad plan if I’ve ever heard one!

Overall 7/10

8 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy Review


It’s time to take a look at the final Professor Layton game. This one’s been on my list to buy for a very long time so it’s nice to finally have it. It’s a nice conclusion to the series and I hope to see more games come out at some point. I’ll need to get the spinoff for the Switch soon. The Azran Legacy hits all the right notes that you’ve come to expect from the Layton series and it even added some platforming puzzles which was pretty cool. Throw in a lot of twists and turns and you’re in for a fun ride.

The heroes receive a letter from Sycamore asking for their help in solving the Azran legacy. The heroes need to find out what the ancient civilization left for the modern generation and if this is a good thing or not. Unfortunately there is a villain group known as Targent which is after the Azran legacy as well. Layton manages to save a girl named Aurora from their clutches. She has been in stasis for hundreds of years and is the Azran messenger although most of her memories are gone. Perhaps they will return as the heroes collect more of the Azran relics. If the heroes gain them all they will be able to open the door to the future. Time is not on their side though.

This game definitely goes more into fantasy/sci-fi territory than the previous ones. The Azran have technology that is quite advanced including lasers, robots, and the ability to keep people alive for hundreds of years. You can reasonably say that this is technology we will have in the future though. The Azran don’t seem like the nicest people out there even if they may have a lot of good points about how humans are still corrupt in the present. The Targent officials don’t paint the brightest picture of humanity. There are two main members of the group who function like Team Rocket. They’re not really a threat to Layton, but they always get up for another go at things.

The gameplay is the same as the other installments. You travel across different lands and gather information on the mystery. Typically people will only give you clues if you solve their mysteries. Once you do that then they become a lot more receptive to your cause. The puzzles come in all shapes and sizes and they’re pretty fair for the most part. On occasion you may see a puzzle that doesn’t make sense from the description, but it makes sense in hindsight after seeing the solution. Trial and error will get you far, but you’ve also got puzzle coins for the ones that really stump you. So long as you activate the coins you are given hints which make the puzzle a lot more manageable.

There are also a lot of minigames and other little features to have fun with. A new addition to this game is the newspaper which you can use to read about various events. The main game should take you around 15 hours or so to complete and the post game content of completing every puzzle will likely extend this to around 20 hours. It’s a pretty good deal for your buck and it could also take over 20 hours depending on how you’re able to handle the final puzzles. Some of them certainly get really difficult by the end.

As always the game doesn’t cheap out on the graphics. We get fully animated cutscenes which is a lot of fun and in general the graphics are quite clear. It all feels very polished which is always a good thing. The soundtrack brings a lot of the familiar tunes back. Although I would have liked some new themes too, these worked well enough for the scenes. It’s all got a very peaceful air to it.

Layton is a very solid protagonist as always. He’s a quick thinker and can usually stay one step ahead of the villains. He can also fight when necessary like when he got into a sword duel with the main villain. He was able to win despite having the inferior weapon. Layton also manages to stay as a gentleman no matter what is thrown at him and that’s absolutely crucial. You can’t break down when the going gets tough. Luke’s a good trainee to have as always. While he isn’t quite old enough to really help Layton out in all of the cases, he does what he can. He’s not the kind of kid to hesitate.

Emmy is a lot of fun and has really helped the group’s dynamic in this trilogy. She’s always upbeat and ready for a good puzzle. She has a bit of a rivalry going with Luke as she likes to mess with him quite a bit. As Layton’s official assistant she is also quite adept at puzzles and her martial arts are second to none. Then you’ve got Sycamore who is a puzzle genius like Layton. The guy is rich and resourceful so he is quite helpful in this game as well. He seems to have a solid honor code and is always ready to put the mission on hold to save people in trouble. He may have shown up out of nowhere, but is very important to the game’s plot.

Aurora has been in stasis for a long time so she doesn’t know a whole lot about human culture. Fortunately the game doesn’t play that up to a crazy extent so she’s not a bad character. I felt bad for her near the end when everyone just watches as someone gets ready to stab her. Couldn’t someone have manned up to stop this from happening? If I were Aurora I’d be pretty sore at this whole chain of events. She took the situation well and didn’t take things personally…even if perhaps she should have. Then we have the main villain Bronev. He’s a fun villain leader although his screen time is incredibly short despite being the head honcho. I think adding in some more scenes would have helped to make him more memorable. It’s hard to have any sympathy for him even when he gets his origin story though. His actions make 0 sense and so I’m glad that Layton shut him down even if he wasn’t as merciless as he could have been. I’d have had Layton end with his first line and not say the last few.

The game is a mystery so we have a few twists and turns. There are 2 main ones. One of them you’ll likely have figured out from the opening level depending on how you’ve been watching the patterns. You may not guess the exact twist, but it’s one that the series has already used 2-3 times so you’re almost expecting it. The second twist was a lot more unexpected though and worked pretty well. The game really put Layton through the ringer having to deal with all of this. The twist does hurt the second character a lot though. The first character was never truly changed so that’s one thing, but for this character it’s a 180. It’s just hard to come back from something like that and it’s probably why the character got written out. (And because the series ended)

Overall, Layton and the Azran Legacy is a very solid installment in the series which can hold its own against the others. My favorite is still the time travel adventure but after that most of them are pretty neck and neck. One thing I’ve liked about the prequel trilogy is how all of the games tie into each other pretty well. The Azran were referenced quite early on in the prior games. Emmy also adds a lot to the dynamic so it’s hard to go back to just Luke and Layton in the present timeline games. Layton can fight, but usually chooses not to so having someone like Emmy who isn’t afraid to throw down definitely helps the group quite a bit. If you haven’t played this game yet then you can change that. The games work well as stand alone adventures so you don’t need to play the previous 5 games to understand this one although it would certainly help you know the characters more.

Overall 8/10

6 Star TV Shows, Reviews, TV Show Reviews, TV Shows

The Reflection Review


Stan Lee made a few works over in Japan that I’ve already checked out. Hero Man was pretty fun. It was a good show/manga with a fairly basic premise but one that just worked out well. Then we had Ultimo which had a great premise, but questionable execution which caused it to stumble across the finish line. Finally we’ve got the Reflection and unfortunately this is closer to Ultimo than Hero Man. The terrible animation keeps this from being a true contender even though the story itself isn’t that bad. It’s not a show you’ll likely ever re-watch but it’s reasonably interesting.

The show starts off by introducing us to the Reflection event. One day a mysterious cloud showed up and rained the world in bolts of energy. These bolts destroyed some people and it gave others super powers. The vast majority of people experienced no real change. The ones who have changed are known as the Reflected. The ones who were blasted with purple energy turned into villains and the green rays turned the others into heroes. Society still doesn’t know how to deal with them so they’re treated like mutants in X-Men. The government wants no part of them and Reflected are at risk of being destroyed just trying to live in every day life. So when some of them go missing nobody seems to care.

This takes us over to Eleanor. She is looking into these vanishings and is approached by a guy named X-On who asks her to look into Wraith. She finds out that Wraith is related to a villain organization with some kind of mysterious plot. She doesn’t know what it is, but is quickly dragged into the battle. Wraith wants her as well as all of the other Reflected and is going around attacking political figures. Eleanor bands together with X-On to stop them and gradually the group grows but their partnership is a very weak one. Will they actually be able to work together or is this partnership doomed to fail?

Reflection’s plot is rather vague. Most of the series is the heroes trying to stop the villains, but not really knowing much about why they’re doing this. Stopping the kidnappings is reason enough so the heroes don’t really need to know much more than that. It’s easy to see that they’re not particularly invested though. Their fights tend to end in stalemates with the villains getting away. Even by the final episode we still don’t really know anything and everyone is at large so nothing really gets accomplished. Needless to say this show ends on a big cliffhanger which will likely never get resolved. It’s hard to know what the show was going for so it ends up being an odd experience, but not necessarily a bad one.

The show’s only real problem is the fact that the animation is terrible. It’s probably the worst animation I’ve seen aside from FLCL and Pop Team Epic. You could also make a strong argument that while those two were also using experimental animation styles they were higher quality than Reflections. Reflection looks like the 1960 Marvel motion comic shows based on Thor, Avengers, Iron Man, and the other originals. You have to take the time into account so back in the 60s that wasn’t bad. Post 2000s? That’s downright horrible. It’s really hard to get as invested in the show as you could have with proper animation. I’m convinced that it cost the title at least a star.

Reflection is only 12 episodes but it still made the questionable choice of having episode 2 basically be a repeat of 1. We go through the same events from a different point of view with recycled animation. I know this isn’t the first show to do it, but it’s a terrible move. The opening episodes are where you try to get in viewers. Using recycled footage like this is only good for eliminating viewers and no show would actually aim to do that. You can see how the show got off to a rocky start. At least the soundtrack is decent. It’s incredibly limited so you’ll be hearing the same tunes a lot but at least they aren’t bad.

Okay, I think we’ve got the negatives out of the way. Lets look at the positives. I-Guy is a fun character who gets a surprising amount of character development. He starts out as a bit of an annoying celebrity who values his background noises more than actually stopping the villains. This results in a lot of innocents getting murdered on numerous occasions. Eventually this leads to people close to him getting bumped off so he finally takes being a hero seriously and aims to wipe everyone out. He’s a compelling character and by the end I was more interested in his plot than X-On’s. I also liked the armor design.

Reflection also has a solid atmosphere. It’s similar to Dead Fantasy or early RWBY. Due to the nature of the animation and how gray-scale everything is, you can never tell when something serious is going to happen. I-Guy’s allies being murdered or the villains destroying the old lady are very unexpected. In a more traditional anime it’s often obvious when someone’s about to die and there’s a big deal made about it. In a show like this it just happens out of nowhere and you aren’t given as much time to process it before going to the next event. While some shows may go too far in the shock value, Reflection uses this sparingly which makes it that much more effective.

The various characters also have solid designs aside from I-Guy. A good amount of detail was put into the villains and heroes. Lets talk about some of the other heroes first. X-On is the main hero who shows up in every episode and he wants to get Wraith for personal reasons. We don’t end up learning what those are. He has some kind of mysterious origin which is the biggest deux ex machina I’ve ever seen. Seriously, I’ve seen people use that term a lot in anime, but this has to take the cake because there is nothing leading up to the twist. It also happens to be the only way that the heroes can possibly stop the villain’s plan. X-On isn’t one of the best characters though because he’s pretty mean to Eleanor for absolutely no reason. His tactics just make it easier for the villains to make a move. His copy ability is also super handy yet he uses it in all of the wrong situations. It should have made beating the enemies quite easy in a lot of episodes.

Eleanor is the heroine who gets dragged into all of this. She can teleport, but her ability has a short range and she isn’t exactly a fighter. She means well and does her best to help the others who are in trouble. Unfortunately she cracks by the end of the show and makes a terrible decision. At the end of the day she is the one who pulls the trigger on making a really terrible call. It’s at the very end so I wouldn’t say it’s a character destroying moment though. At least it made her more interesting. It just came at a heavy cost.

Lisa has the ability to turn into a giant mech which is pretty handy. The robot may be clunky but it is very durable which is handy. She’s a little impatient at times and just wants to jump into action. I’m not the biggest fan of her character. From the heroes she is one of the less interesting ones. The worst would have to be Michael though. His ability is that he can see other Reflected so he takes them all to an underground shelter. Most of them seem to like this but it ends up just gathering everyone together to get bumped off. Too bad most of them can’t fight right? His partner is Vy, who used to be his wife until she was turned into a giant monster. She’s a lot better than Michael as she can fight and actually does well against the villains. Usually he chickens out and tells her to stop early though which is unfortunate.

From the villains we had a lot of members but most of them didn’t have much character. Wraith doesn’t actually do anything until the last 2 episodes. He has a cool design and his powers are definitely crazy. The guy likes using a lot of mind games but at the end of the day his big plan is basically to merge with darkness and give up on life. It’s not the best way to go out and as a leader it basically means he failed. His plan doesn’t make any sense to me and just seems pretty terrible to be honest.

We had a thunder villain named Volt who really didn’t have much character. He appears a lot but doesn’t do much. Same can be said for the guy who can turn into a dog. Flaming Fury’s character seems to be that she is merciless even as far as the villains go. Her fire abilities are fun at least. Then you’ve got Stan Lee who you expect to be the big villain the whole time but it turns out that he is just another underling working for Wraith. His telepathy is good but it seems like he may not be able to fight.

The two biggest villains were Steel and Dead Wing. Steel is the squad leader while the villains are on a mission. She can manipulate steel and is a formidable foe. Towards the end of the series she starts to have doubts on her mission, but it seems late for that since she is one of the main villains who was murdering a bunch of people. It’s possible that she is related to Eleanor or something based on how she acts at the end. From the villains I’d say that she was my favorite though. I like a good character arc and she probably would have had a good one.

Finally we have Dead Wing who seems to particularly like messing with I-Guy. In this case I don’t think there is a connection though and he just enjoys murdering everyone. His fights with I-Guy get pretty boring after a while but I suppose you have to like his confidence. No matter how many times he gets beaten he gets right back up. It works out well for him too since in the final fight he was easily dominating I-Guy. That’s why you should always fire your lasers when you’re in a robot suit instead of falling to your knees immediately.

Now there is one more problem I had with the show. That’s the fact that the heroes and villains keep fighting each other over and over with no actual progress being made. I-Guy fights Dead Wing 4-5 times throughout the series which is way too often. There’s not much point having a colorful villain cast when it’s always going to be the same pairings. It would help if the fights weren’t always stalemates but almost every time the fight ends with one character just walking away. That gets old very quickly. Same with X-On vs Flaming Fury or Steel. A lot of the time it feels like these fights are just to buy time. It’s less of a problem in most shows because at least you have fun animation but we’ve already gone over the fact that this won’t be happening here. This show easily has some of the most boring battles I’ve ever seen.

Reflection also seemed to forget about some of its characters at times. I suppose in fairness the show must have planned this out, but throughout the show there is a group of girls who are on their way to America. It takes them forever to make it though and they fight until the very last episode of the show. You’re waiting since episode 1 or 2 and the payoff is terrible. Literally they lose their first fight so what was the point of the hype? I expected them to at least win, but even 4 against 1 they ended up getting completely wrecked. I don’t think the writers were big fans of these characters.

Overall, The Reflection is a show that is interesting for its plot and atmosphere. You should be engaged on your first run through. It’s playing itself up as a mystery and that’s what it is. That’s the best way to go into the show. The animation will prevent you from ever coming back to the show on a second run. It does succeed in looking a lot like a comic book, the problem is that it looks like one of those comics that I probably wouldn’t check out of the library. There’s just not a whole lot for you to come back and experience. If it ever got a second season I would certainly be there though. One of Reflection’s greatest strengths is the fact that it didn’t make any big mistakes. While that may not sound as enticing as other positives, it’s still an important one to have. If you want to see Stan Lee’s take on creating a whole new set of heroes and villains then this is a fun one to check out. Get ready to watch the characters make some questionable decisions though. The only one who can save them all is I-Guy.

Overall 6/10

Manga

Spider-Man: Fake Red


This Spider-Man series is off to a solid start. The general premise of Spider-Man vanishing and someone having to take over for him is pretty interesting. I look forward to seeing where it goes and hopefully the series lasts for a long while. I’ll have a review up for it when the series finishes.

Overall 7/10

4 Star Movies, Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

Kill Switch 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 a fairly recent Sci-Fi thriller. The title’s pretty neat and the poster’s cool so this should be a hit right? I feel like the writers really messed up here. It’s actually got a pretty engaging start and a solid plot. The problem is that the plot doesn’t progress after the first 5 minutes so the rest of the film is the characters being confused the whole time. The characters never seem to act logically and there is a ton of plot hax throughout. It’s been a while since I’ve seen a film that wasn’t thought out to this extent. It’s still way better than other films I’ve seen recently, but it’s not good enough to give a positive score.

The movie starts by introducing us to Will. He had a pretty solid job and clearly makes a lot of money. Still, he’s called in by a powerful company called Alterplex and they make him a deal that he can’t refuse. His family will be rich and the only catch is that he will be on call 24/7 for some kind of great experiment. The film cuts us between the past and the present quite a lot, but that’s the general plot of the past. In the present Will finds himself on another world and he must find out why exactly he is here and how to get back to his family.

I don’t really mind the jumping between the past and the present so much. It’s a pretty good way to jump us into the action right away and then find out why he did it. The only problem here is that the film overrates how confusing it is. It’s pretty easy to follow what’s happening, but the film gives us a few too many flashbacks to really try to give us all the details. I think a little less jumping in the second half would have helped because after a point you already get what the film is trying to go for so we don’t have to keep treading down that road.

Ironically the flashbacks were more interesting than the present scenes and I can’t think of another film where that happened. In part it helps that the flashbacks had better camerawork that was more like a traditional film. The graphics were good here and the characters were more interesting. I would have been fine staying in this plot although the drama with his sister and the kid wasn’t as interesting. Will did make the right move in deciding to go back to their old place. The kid was clearly not adjusting well even though he tried to be a good sport and it was clear that his sister wasn’t happy either. So even if it cost them a lot of money, Will was ready to leave. Things just didn’t work out so well for him there.

In the present, the problem is that Will should have died early on. We get a ton of scenes with SkyNet type drones flying around and blasting everyone. They have machine guns at the ready and are built like tanks so you really shouldn’t be knocking those out very easily. Despite this, we see humans blasting away at them and winning most battles. There are points where Will just runs up to them and start blasting. Somehow they miss every shot while Will knocks them down. It’s a common rule of action films that the villains will miss every shot while the heroes land theirs, but this one takes it to the extreme. The odds don’t matter to Will as he just runs through everything. It gets incredibly hard to take seriously.

Additionally there is no variety here. As soon as he exits one gunfight we are thrown into another one. Will doesn’t get any rest much like the viewer. I don’t mind nonstop action scenes for most films like car chases of Transformers throwing punches, but at least those have some kind of power scaling. These fights are just Will somehow being basically bulletproof as he takes down impossible odds. It’s really rare that you see action scenes so unbelievable. Will is a good character though. He makes the right choices here and I’m also glad that he didn’t even have to think about the final choice much. It is a bit of a no brainer on if you’re going to save your planet or a different one. It may sound selfish, but it’s not a decision I would think on much myself.

Abby is one of the main characters although we mostly just know Earth 2 Abby. Earth 1 version was fun enough and was certainly invested in her job. Earth 2 tended to panic a lot and seemed really in over her head the whole time. I really think the villains felt no real loyalty towards her even if she didn’t really seem to realize that. This is why you can’t trust villains, at the end of the day they will always betray you. Her final decisions make sense from her point of view of course, but I wouldn’t say that I was a fan either way. She’s just not my kind of character. Then you have Michael who also panics a lot. He comes in handy near the end, but you can’t help but feel a bit annoyed at him as well. His opening scene with Will is really just a compilation of the two characters yelling a lot.

One of the worst scenes in the film is definitely when Will meets up with the leader of the resistance. The guy asks him to say what is name is to which Will ignores him and starts panicking again. Both of them yell a lot but neither one is listening to what the other is saying. It leads us to another gunfight, but one that was super avoidable if Will had just answered the question. It was a simple question so I couldn’t take the scene seriously. This happens a lot in the film where characters will be talking, but nobody is listening to each other.

The writing is very weak. The characters rarely make decisions that are logical and panic way too much. Why did Will have to conveniently get partial amnesia for part of this? He also heals pretty quickly with a lot of the injuries he gets. He’s lucky that the world has a sci-fi healing equipment on hand for the final injury too since that would not have gone over very well for him. The film also randomly gets a bit violent with some of the medical stuff and you do see a lot of corpses on the ground.

Overall, Kill Switch is probably the biggest bundle of missed opportunity that I’ve seen in a very long time. It has a rock solid start and the atmosphere is pretty interesting all the way through. It’s impossible not to notice that nothing happens for a majority of the film though and eventually it gets to the point where it overwhelms the film. Everything is super convenient for Will. Getting more characters into the mix and perhaps identifying the Kill Switch earlier would have raised the stakes. If Will had gotten to meet his family from this side it would have made his choice a lot harder. As it stood, it really wasn’t a choice. It’s interesting, but I’d recommend watching a different Sci-Fi film over this one.

Overall 4/10

Manga, Manga Reviews, Reviews

Death Note One Shot Review


It’s been quite a long time since the original Death Note came out. Who’d have thought that it would ever end up getting a one shot sequel like this right? Light was one of the most ambitious main characters of all time and definitely a pretty awesome one. His descent from being a guy with good ambitions and ideals to a total mass murderer by the end was interesting. He was the kind of villain who had a fairly reasonable goal which made him fun to watch. Ultimately he could not win though. Can Minoru have better luck?

The one shot takes place many years after Light used the Death Note but was stopped by L. The Death Note is thought of as more of a hoax than anything nowadays. Ryuk has grown bored since without a human to play with he has no source of apples. He decides to bring the Death Note back into the real world and meets up with a man named Minoru. Minoru agrees to accept the Death Note, but he really doesn’t want to murder anyone. Instead he decides that he’ll sell the book and get rich that way. The book will go for an astronomically high amount of money so of course you can’t just tell it down the block. How can Minoru sell the book without being tracked by the cops or L? That’s the main plot of the story and the problem that he has to try and work around which makes for a pretty interesting adventure.

Right away one thing I liked about this series is the modern setting. A lot of good stories from back in the day would be fun to have re-done in the modern times because of how tech changes the equation. Minoru even mentions how most of Light’s plans wouldn’t work nowadays because of the increase in technology although he also concedes that Light would have simply come up with a different plan. It’s cool to get this epilogue to the original series as well. I certainly miss the original L as Near isn’t nearly as solid but it’s still nostalgic to see him. Near fans might not be happy at the fact that he is getting completely dominated for the entire chapter. There is never a page where he has the upper hand on Minoru and I will admit that I was a bit surprised at this. I expected him to do way better.

As for Minoru, I definitely liked him as a lead. He did a good job of not letting the power corrupt him. In the end his decision to part ways with the Death Note may not have been completely selfless, but he did a good job of spreading the wealth and ultimately allowing almost everyone to win. His ending really isn’t fair in a sense since he planned things out perfectly. There was absolutely no way for him to avoid the fate that he ended up receiving so I really can’t take anything away from him there. His bond with Ryuk may not have been as strong as Light’s due to the fact that Minoru seemed to think of him purely as a business partner, but I think they would have gotten along much better had they gotten to team up for longer.

Ryuk is fun as expected and we even get to see another Shinigami here which was nice. Death Note isn’t the kind of series where we are likely going to see all of the Shinigami since that would be for more of an action title, but the more we see the better. We also got to see other countries weigh in like the USA which was cool. The President also handled the situation pretty well here which involves a high stakes bluff. Sometimes all you can do is play the bluff and hope that it ends up working out.

The artwork is top tier as per usual. There is a lot of detail on every page and in general you can see the amount of effort that went into the story. The plot is well thought out and it could have been a good ongoing series if the author had wanted to do that. Hopefully this story is included as a bonus story in a manga he writes or something because it’d be sad if most people never end up hearing about this. It’s probably too short for an OVA, but maybe they could add some extra details. The Death Note franchise should continue in some capacity, there is still so much that they can do with the premise.

Overall, The story is only one chapter so there’s only so much that can be said about it. Still, I had no issues with the story at all. The characters were good and it had a nice blend of easter eggs and new plot developments to keep things interesting. The way that Minoru handled the sale was quite clever and while reading the story the first time you will wonder how he will be able to pull this off. I think the main morale here is not to be greedy. If you try to get too much at once then you will ultimately end up failing but if you settle for a bit then things will work out. Ironically the ending destroys that moral to an extent, but everyone else gets to have a good time so there’s that.

Overall 8/10

4 Star Movies, Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

Stop Me Before I Kill Review


It’s time to look at a mental thriller where one character fights with his sanity. These films are always going to be a little tricky because the whole thing would be over if the main character wouldn’t fall into all of the traps. This one’s a thriller that goes back and forth a little too long by the end which ends up slowing down the tempo, but will try to throw a few twists your way. The ending will be a bit more annoying than anything, but all’s well that ends well right?

The movie starts off by introducing us to Alan and his wife Denise. They were recently married but have had a rough start to their new life because Alan was in a big crash where someone died. He’s now been mentally shaken to the point where he keeps nearly murdering Denise before stopping himself in time. Denise grows increasingly worried about him, but then meets up with a doctor named Prade. Prade claims he can cure Alan if Denise can convince him to come in for treatments. These treatments are about telling Alan to murder Denise. Can the main character spot a phony a mile away or will he go through with these treatments and potentially wreck his life further?

The characters are all pretty annoying here. The most reasonable one is definitely Denise though. She’s quite patient with Alan and really does her best to help him get well. She is constantly supportive of him and always brushes off his various episodes. Denise tries to help him out herself and when that doesn’t work tries to find professionals to do it. Her heart is always in the right place and she is quite loyal so at least she doesn’t fall into any traps there. The only problem here is that she is too trusting to the point of being overly naive. It was pretty obvious from early on that Prade had a thing for her and she seemed to notice it initially. The guy isn’t exactly being subtle about it. Despite this she continues to trust him and listens to everything he says. While she never falters or comes close to betraying Alan, she keeps putting herself in a position where that could happen. Even Prade’s mother keeps talking about how she hopes things will change and Denise seems to disregard this as flattery. You should never stay in a place where you may make the wrong choice, keeping your distance is the only smart move.

All that being said though, as I mentioned Denise is still the best character. She’s doing whatever she can to help Alan and he isn’t really helping much at all. Denise is one of the best heroines I’ve seen in a long while. Quite possibly top 3 in non action films. Most of the blame here has to go with Alan for also being way too gullible. When he goes in for the treatments he should have immediately realized something was up. There’s no benefit in going through a hypothetical where he actually does murder Denise. No matter how Prade tries to put it that’s just not going to do any good and Alan should have known that. He has a few clever scenes like when he tricks Prade into admitting that he had a meeting with Denise. He needed more of that in the moments where it counted. He doubts himself a lot in part because of his low confidence. In the early stages of the film he is particularly rocky as everything seems to set him off and he attacks Denise more than once. I would have liked to have seen him show a little more will power during these moments.

Alan’s definitely not my kind of character. It’s always a shame to see such a nice character like Denise having to go through all of this. There’s really a big contrast between the two and I can put it simply. Denise is always quick to believe the best of Alan, that he is a good person going through recovery. She always sticks up for him and defends him because she’s a glass half full kind of girl. Then you have Alan who always believes the worst about Denise. He’s quick to accuse her of cheating on him over and over again despite being proven wrong each time. You can’t have a proper relationship without trust and he just doesn’t trust her at all. Time and time again he never has her back and that’s the real disappointing part of his character. It’s even worse than his various episodes because at least those are related to the accident. Not being able to trust her is something else entirely, although I do still blame him for his various moments against her. It’s fine to explode at the randoms, but at Denise? No that’s not going to fly.

Finally we have Prade who is the other character who is pretty obvious from the start. The guy’s just bad news. The instant he meets Denise he tries to buy her a drink which she wisely refuses. He also has a bad habit of spying on her from afar. (Again, Denise is a bit too trusting though as she goes swimming without anything on. This is a public beach at a crowded resort…….so that’s just not a good idea) Every scene with Prade is pretty bad but then it all gets even worse when he ends up murdering his cat. Did the film really have to throw in some animal violence here? It’s off screen but the fact that it’s so unnecessary is what makes it hurt the most. The film was soooooo close to making it out of this without such a scene.

Overall, Stop Me Before I Kill is definitely a flashy title. You aren’t likely to forget it anytime soon. The film is also pretty memorable but too much of it is way too convenient. Things have to work out perfectly for Prade to get anywhere in his plot. If Alan was smart and didn’t let himself breathe in a bunch of suspicious air then maybe he would have been thinking more clearly. It’s odd that Denise would just leave without telling him anything or that Alan would forget basic things like the fact that there shouldn’t be any pills around. A lot of little things add up to the point where this film really shouldn’t have happened. It’s not a particularly believable thriller and while that is fine, I’d say that the negatives outweigh the positives. Denise is the only good character in the film as she is able to survive being an extreme figure. Everyone else is a little too crazy for my liking.

Overall 4/10

Manga, Manga Reviews, Reviews

Attack on Titan: Lost Girls Review


It’s time to look at an Attack on Titan manga spinoff. I remember reading the light novel for this a while back so it’s interesting to revisit it in manga format. It seems to be a pretty faithful adaption, at the very least I couldn’t really see anything big that was removed or changed. Each of the girls gets one volume with Annie’s being a pretty big mystery while Mikasa remembers the good ole days. It’s a fun enough story that completely obliterates the actual manga and reminds me that the series is always at its best when there are no actual titans around. Yes, it’s pretty ironic, but it is what it is.

In Annie’s story she is preparing for her big showdown with the Survey corps. In a sense it’s her last day before her whole life is shaken upside down. She was planning on using the day to meditate and dwell on what’s going to happen, but then her roommate asks her for a favor. Well…”asking” may be putting it politely. In the novel it’s downright blackmail while here it’s basically the same thing even if maybe it’s more implied than stated. Since Annie needed someone to cover for her the next day when she was out on her master plan this girl wanted her to cover for her right now. See, this girl was put in charge of finding a lost girl, but decided not to bother with it. It’s been days, but someone’s got to take the mission on and at least give a fake speech to the person who gave out the request that they tried. Annie figures this will be a bother, but decides she may as well do it since it’ll give her something to do in the meantime. This mystery won’t be easy to solve though.

Keep in mind that everyone in Attack on Titan is pretty corrupt, especially the military police. As a result it’s hard for Annie to actually get any info through legitimate means so she has to go to bars and beat people up to get the answers. Everyone’s pretty suspect so you don’t feel bad for the various people she beats up. They all seem like criminals and would destroy her without a second thought. Annie is very capable so eventually she gets through the mystery and figures out what happens. It’s fun to see the series taking a stab at a mystery and it did a good job. It’s not easy to figure out the mystery so you may connect the dots along with Annie rather than jumping ahead.

I also liked that the guy who gave the mission seemed pretty intelligent. Usually these guys seem to be really slow on the uptake, but he did a full psycho analysis of Annie the moment she stepped into the room. That was certainly impressive. Then the actual missing girl also seemed pretty smart which was a nice dynamic. We’ve got enough drunk bar guys as it is so it’s a good change of pace to have some other characters who can think ahead. The only part of the story that may make you wonder a bit is the climax involving a titan shift. The shifts are incredibly loud and bright so I feel like there’s no way you can get away with doing that and not having people ask a lot of questions. It’s the only part that would make this seem to be non-canon as otherwise everything works pretty well. I suppose you could also explain this away by saying that Annie has enough control to lower the glow/intensity which isn’t really all that far fetched.

The other story for Mikasa isn’t quite as exciting. That’s likely because it’s a flashback story. We get to see how she and Eren first met up. Naturally this doesn’t cover the part with her parents getting bumped off since that was already covered in the show. Eren already seems a bit unstable and obsessive here which is an accurate depiction of him. He’s certainly one of the most ambitious shounen leads of all time with how his character arc goes so it’s always fun to see a bit of his early days as well. The issue is that there isn’t much to do. We see them hang out a lot, we get some foreshadowing with the human traffickers running around, and Eren gets beaten up for his political views. The story’s a little more mean spirited than the first one as it’s dark throughout. I don’t know if it’s meant to be dark, but you feel the tension throughout since you know that things aren’t going to end well.

The story also makes Mikasa’s parents look pretty bad since they definitely should have left the house after they knew people were lurking around. The mother was sick, but then tell Eren’s father or something. You need to have some kind of backup so you can escape because otherwise they were all doomed. They just really didn’t think ahead here. The scene of Eren getting beaten up by the adults is also pretty intense and not a fun scene. It’s literally full grown adults badly beating up a kid to the point where he was severely injured for a while. At this point we already get how the city is super corrupt, no need to beat it into us. (pun intended) Things don’t end well for them though since karma also tends to hit like a truck in this series. Characters who do bad stuff rarely get a happy ending, the cycle of violence tends to get everyone.

Finally there’s a 2-3 page story with both characters I guess so their stories could link up a bit. Mikasa basically takes issue with Annie’s ring blade since she feels like it could hurt Eren so there are a lot of veiled threats in the conversation. I’d definitely take Mikasa in a human fight between them, but in a no holds barred battle Annie would naturally win. Of course it would completely blow her plan so in a sense Mikasa could at least take a consolation victory there.

The artwork looks pretty good. It’s a little smoother than the main series art. I wouldn’t call it top level or anything, but it certainly holds its own pretty well and makes for a pretty easy read. The fight scenes have a lot of pop behind them with the art which is always a key fundamental to have. It really helps the whole manga rise up an extra notch as well. The writing is also pretty good which is definitely important no matter what kind of manga you are. This one does a good job with that.

Overall, Lost Girls is an interesting spinoff. Annie’s story definitely destroys Mikasa’s though. I don’t think we really need to learn too much more about her origins since the manga already covered that pretty well. It could have worked better if things worked out more for the heroes but with everything already being grim I don’t think this story really added to anything. Both stories are pretty self contained so you could probably enjoy them even without reading the main series. That being said, you’ll naturally get more out of it if you already know the characters. I’d recommend picking this one up, it’s a good enough story to add to the verse.

Overall 6/10

Comic Reviews, Comics, Reviews

Scooby Doo Team Up Volume 7 Doomed Review


Time for some more team ups with the good ole Mystery Inc and some more DC heroes. The series has done a good job of grabbing so many DC characters. We’re 7 volumes in and still seeing new fighters. While you may be skeptical as to how the Mystery Inc will actually be of help, typically they are really here as distractions. Think of them as extra shields to buy the heroes an extra second. Usually that’s all the extra time that the hero needs.

One of the stories has the heroes head to the swamp where they meet up with another one of Shaggy’s relatives. They’re here to look into the Voodoo Woman so they can put the swamp at ease. They have to stop her meddling, but unfortunately she already has a whole bunch of zombies at her beck and call. The only being who can really help them out of this dilemma is the legendary Swamp Thing, but will he really be able to defend against such a powerful villain? Interestingly this comic also squeezes in Solomon Grundy towards the end although he is definitely way out of his league this time. Typically I would actually pick him to win, but in this comic Swamp Thing had the edge from start to finish. There was never any doubt as to how this would end.

It’s a pretty nice comic. It’s always good to see Swamp Thing getting some time to shine after all. The comic also poked fun as how the heroes have also defeated Swampthing in another issue. The space in between the words is the key to really knowing who you are dealing with. This is an example of an issue where the Scooby gang doesn’t really get to do much though. Mostly they just run away from the Voodoo Woman a lot or they’re in awe of how strong Swamp Thing is.

Another comic features the Doom Patrol and this was actually my favorite issue of the bunch. The team is bickering as usual, but the strange part is there enemy seems to keep changing form. At one point a whole group of enemies show up, but they all seem to be ghosts. This is a case for the Scooby Doo gang. There’s definitely a trick involved and they’ll have to figure it out fast. The Doom Patrol was always a fun X-Men sort of group but with a lot more in-fighting. I also like how their leader has a lot of weapons ready inside of his wheelchair. Honestly it’s just the smart thing to do when you’re the leader of a super hero team. This way at least you can defend yourself right? This story has so much action it feels like a real Doom Patrol story with the Scooby Doo gang just guest starring in it. It’s handled really well.

Another story featured Supergirl as she called the gang in to help her deal with the ghosts of her parents. She was quite serious too as she even told them her secret identity which was a bold move. The heroes know something is wrong because the parents keep calling her Supergirl rather than Kara or her kryptonian name. That seems like a scam and of course the heroes are right. I would have liked a more powerful Supergirl villain to have been the main villain here, but it does help reinforce the mystery element of the issue. Supergirl could have looked better here as she spends most of the issue getting outsmarted, but she did call in the crew to handle the mysteries so in a way she won the fight before it even started.

There’s a subplot with her cat and Scooby not getting along, but it doesn’t hold up as well as the main one. The cat is just annoying and Scooby really isn’t much better so they both end up being guilty in this one. The whole temporary superpowers for a few minutes thing is pretty fun even if the time range isn’t nearly long enough to be all that useful. By the time you are really getting into a rhythm you would be taken down for the count.

In our next adventure we’ve got the return of the Blue Falcon. The issue here is that he has been acting awfully shady the last few days. His dog sidekick asks the Mystery Inc for help on figuring out just what is going wrong. Unfortunately they all fall for one of those classic net traps and find out that the real Blue Falcon was actually taken down by one of his old cronies who is now impersonating him. Can the heroes stop this guy or is it already too late? It goes without saying that Blue Falcon doesn’t look good here. He went down off screen and apparently he is so nondescript that someone can easily change places with him and nobody can tell the difference. He’s clearly got a ways to go before he is known as one of the big leaguers. It’s a good comic, but a little less eventful than some of the others. It was nice to see the characters constantly taking shots at him by saying that he was copying Batman though.

My least favorite issue was the one with all of the apes. Basically it’s an ensemble cast with a bunch of DC monkey themed characters. It’s a pretty impressive bunch as they even got some I didn’t recognize like the guy in a cage who can switch minds with an ape. What hurts this one is that I don’t even like a lot of them. Gorilla Grodd and Detective Chimp just aren’t my cup of tea. I also have to question why the Mystery Inc was really called in. They try explaining that it’s because one of the gorillas is a vampire Nazi so that’s like a ghost, but is it really? If I were the mystery inc I would still be questioning that. This is way out of their power levels. Still a good issue, but it wasn’t quite as strong as the others. Also the ending doesn’t really make sense.

So as I mentioned the main guy can switch minds with a gorilla and it is through his amulet/ring of sorts. He somehow manages to switch places with Titano at one point, but how? Unless his powers work differently than how I had interpreted them he would have needed to get the ring on the other ape and I just don’t see how he could have had time to do that. It would have been too difficult and he was out of range. That part just stuck out at me and I read it twice, but still couldn’t put that chain of events together.

In the next story the heroes are confronted with a bunch of powerful spirits. Dr. Fate sends them to the past so the heroes can find a way to deal with them, but it means that they will have to survive some world war II adventures as they try to find the answers. This means that the old school version of the Justice League shows up. Green Lantern’s weakness to wood is still a huge liability to deal with but the others manage to pick up the slack. The solution to stopping the demons ends up being incredibly simple, but I suppose that’s why it was hard to note it. This was definitely one of the strongest stories. It was nice seeing all of the heroes and everyone got to contribute in some way or form.

Finally we have a team up with Penelope Pitstop. I’m not familiar with her character but her gimmick seems to be that she gets kidnapped a lot. As a result there are a bunch of mini mobsters who look after her as well as a real estate agent of sorts. The Mystery Inc are called in to help her as well but with this many bodyguards nobody is sure who should take point so there is a lot of in-fighting. The Mystery Inc needs to figure out who is planning to kidnap Penelope before it is too late. The clock is ticking.

This is definitely the most mystery focused out of all the stories and I dare say that the Mystery Inc is at their best here. They get to do some old fashioned detective work here and they aren’t out shadowed by the other heroes. This time they can actually hold their own since they are in their own element and it ends up working out quite well for them. Penelope is definitely the most obscure of the characters we’ve seen, but in some ways that helps with the mystery since I wasn’t as familiar with her supporting cast. I definitely won’t be forgetting this adventure anytime soon though so it’ll be fun to see if she appears somewhere else in the near future.

As always the artwork here is pretty solid. The characters all look like themselves and the fights can take themselves seriously when necessary. The colors pop out and it’s clear that the artist was putting a lot of effort into the drawings. It just looks really good and it manages to be colorful/vibrant while keeping the serious tone for the heroes’ side of things. I’ve definitely got to give the comic a thumbs up here.

Overall, Scooby Doo Team Up Volume 7 is yet another strong installment in the series. By this point you should definitely know if you’ll like it or not. It’s a steady formula that the series has going on in these adventures and it’s one that works quite well. The Mystery Inc are here for the humor as they get chased and one upped by all of the villains while the DC Heroes come in with a lot of confidence and save the day. That’s exactly how it should be and this works out quite well. The art is good as always so these volumes just go by in a flash. I look forward to seeing who the heroes get to team up with next.

Overall 7/10

2 Star Movies, 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