The Snake Pit Review


With The Snake Pit I was on the fence about whether I should make this a full film review or since it’s based on a semi-autobiographical novel make this one of those non scored film look throughs. The names are switched of course but based on the book quite a lot of this seems to be based on her adventures if the book is to be believed. Semi-Autobiographical seems like an odd term since I guess some parts are true and some aren’t….Well mix that in with how the film apparently changes some things as well I’ll just go with the review approach on this one.

The movie starts by introducing us to a lady named Virginia Cunningham. She’s currently staying at a hospital because she has grown insane over the years. She is married to Robert but no longer recognizes him and has a lot of voices in her head that cause her to doubt things further. She has no real memory now and tends to go off on tangents. Right now, she is in one of the deeper wings of the hospital with other people currently having mental issues and there doesn’t seem to be a lot of hope. Fortunately, Dr. Kik takes an interest in her case and decides to cure her. Will he be able to pull this off and what caused her breakdown in the first place?

The film isn’t a mystery title but it does follow that kind of formula where we slowly begin to learn more about her backstory as the movie goes on. At first we have no context for what happened to her but Kik begins to bring this out slowly but surely during their sessions. Of course that in itself is a big part of the mystery so I won’t be saying what the results were. Needless to say, a big thing here is moving on from the past and trying to reclaim your life again.

Virginia is a good main character and the voices in her head are always entertaining especially when they’re arguing with each other. One might say “Smile” but the other one quickly responds with “Careful” so Virginia isn’t sure what to do. These debates are usually very quick but always fun. Naturally the voices start to vanish as the film goes on but they help make everything feel like a conspiracy. At one point she even thinks that Roger may be fake and the whole thing is a trap. Now that would have been crazy if that ended up being the case.

Virginia does her best to recover even though she is sometimes put in tricky situations like with Nurse Davis. Davis didn’t like her from the start and that definitely slows Virginia down near the end. For the most part Virginia gets along with everyone else though and she is a nice character so that makes it easy to gain allies here. She even helps some of the other patients start to recover with how supportive she is.

While the film’s pacing is pretty good there was one act that I think could have really been cut out. Throughout the film we see Virginia’s journey upwards. In this hospital you start at a low numbered ward to show that you are still quite ill and you move up as you start to recover. If you make it to Ward 1 then you’re about ready to leave. So it was a clear cut journey and then right when it seems like you’re at the end of the film….they send Virginia all the way back to the end in Ward 33 or something like that. It’s like completing a video game at level 100 and suddenly being forced back to 1 for New Game+.

I thought this really only served to drag the film out a bit and definitely could have been cut out. The film had been moving really well before that with no issues or anything like that. This was the only part of the film that felt a little boring at some points because it just seemed like we had been through this already. This ward was even worse than the one Virginia was in at first so I guess that adds to the tension but it just wasn’t needed.

The supporting characters were solid. First you have Robert who really wants Virginia to be well at soon as possible. He ends up rushing the process at one point which doesn’t work out so well but you can see why he did this. In a lot of these films the wards end up having some kind of sinister twist to them and she seemed well enough from his perspective. He was consistent about visiting her every day and not giving up so you have to give him a lot of credit there. He was definitely someone she could count on and really lived up to his part of the vow.

Then there is Kik who ends up being quite solid. At first I had my reservations about him, particularly when he was recommending shock treatment since 9 times out of 10 that’s a really bad idea. He did know what he was doing though and it all worked out pretty well. In the end he was the most reasonable doctor there and definitely a master of his craft. For once there was no dark secret here or nefarious intentions. He just wanted to make her better.

As for Virginia’s backstory, well it was definitely an intense one. It’s interesting seeing the events from her point of view as well since you can’t trust anything 100% since she is framing it in the way that she wants to see things. You may be a little skeptical at how this causes the complete breakdown later on but I suppose you can never know what will be the trigger. I didn’t think it really explained her more violent tendencies so well but either way aside from the bite she never attacked anyone so that may have been a more mild effect.

Overall, while the film deals with a lot of darker themes here, I would say it’s an uplifting movie overall. It’s got a very clear journey of recovery as Virginia is able to regain her senses and be normal again. The character cast is good and the writing is solid as well. The only part of the film where it hits a snag is with going back to the final ward. It just felt like a big way to lose momentum and give us events we had just gotten past. You could easily have cut out moments like the dance and all related plot lines as well. Ultimately if we had to go in this direction I would have had her start out in Ward 33. At least it does explain the Snake Pit title for the film by the end.

Overall 6/10

Batman: The Long Halloween Part 1 Review


You always know a story has to be big when it gets adapted into a 2 part movie event. Not just any story can pull that off. Well, The Long Halloween is a story that just about every Batman fan has heard of so it’s pretty fitting. This one takes the franchise back to its detective roots and works pretty well. Definitely a strong Batman story you could recommend to anyone.

The movie starts with one of Carmine’s nephews being murdered on Halloween. The culprit left a jack-o lantern at the scene of the crime seemingly to taunt Carmine about this. Interestingly, this works out in Carmine’s favor since the guy was about to spill the beans on the whole mafia enterprise. Gordon calls in DA Harvey Dent as well as the Batman so the three of them can team up on this. They need to find the murderer but they also have to put the crime family away for good. This won’t be an easy mission but between the 3 of them they have a lot of energy. Batman is still in his younger days at this point and Harvey just became the DA. They all want to get some kind of win under their belt.

This isn’t going to be an overnight case though. This villain who has been dubbed Holiday has been murdering a different member of Carmine’s family or gang members on every big holiday. Unfortunately Batman and co. are never in time to stop him. Batman’s going to have to do some detective work to figure out who is behind this but the issue is that there are quite a lot of suspects. Sure, Holiday is murdering these suspects one by one but ideally Batman would like to catch him before they’re all dead. Will he be able to pull this off or is this one case that even the Dark Knight is not ready for?

First off, I definitely like the mystery vibe here. It feels like a reason long time since a mystery was the main plot of one of these films. I dare say that the last time may have been Under The Red Hood. You could make a case for Hush as well but I want to say that’s more on the action side. Although you could make that case for the Red Hood as well in which case we go back to Mystery of the Batwomen which did have the classic “Pick the right suspect” structure which makes sense as a mystery. Gotham is always a mysterious place where you would never want to live and the movie shows that off pretty well.

Batman also looks good here even if it is not one of his stronger appearances. A lot of the characters insult him like one of the mobsters who says he isn’t much of a detective and even Gordon criticizes him. At the end of the day he still makes a lot more progress than they do even if it’s with extensive help from Catwoman. Batman does well in narrowing down the suspects either way and he explores every avenue to stop the villains. He even meets up with the Calendar Man briefly. (That’s one guy I thought would have a much bigger role in the film)

Really Batman doesn’t let his guard down until the climax where he ends up getting punked twice but beyond that he did well here. At the end of the day he’s just a likable character as always and made sure not to do business with the mobsters. He makes it clear from the start that he’s going to do things by the book as Bruce Wayne and doesn’t cut any corners there. Gordon is one of the other big heroes here and he looks good. He is constrained a bit since he has to follow the rules more than Dent or Batman but he was the one to get the team together so he gets full credit for that. He’s always a very loyal ally for Batman and that’s important in a city like Gotham.

Harvey Dent gets a big role here and it’s always fun to see him in his career prior to becoming the famous Two Face. In basically every continuity including this one we see that he really was a great DA. Unfortunately you’re always just waiting for some acid to show up at some point for his origin. In Part 1 at least you feel bad for him though because the justice system in Gotham is just as corrupt as every other part of it. It seems like for every arrest that sticks, another few don’t. The gang have more connections than the super villains after all so nobody will testify against them. Still, he does his best each day.

His wife Gilda seems a lot more depressing in comparison. The film hints at a dark past here as she is permanently depressed and it doesn’t help that Harvey always has to run off on police business so they can’t be together for very long. It’s put a big strain on their relationship without a doubt. Speaking of relationships that aren’t working, Catwoman has a rather big role in this film. It seems like in this continuity she either began her career before Batman or just got good at it a bit quicker. She just knows more about the city and helps him out quite a bit but their careers are so different that they have to settle for just being allies. That’s always made the most sense anyway though.

Fans should certainly appreciate her role here. It’s got to be one of Catwoman’s most impressive appearances as she is strong and smart, a deadly combination for her adversaries. It’s also always fun to have more supervillains running around. It’s a bit of a loose term for her, but she is presumably still robbing people so she should count. The film is very grounded for the most part and that works well within the story but every time you see a costumed fighter it’s always a good thing.

The most random addition to the film is Solomon Grundy though. He feels extremely out of place and it’s not the kind of thing that would hurt the film or anything like that. You just wonder why he is here, you could take him out of both parts and nothing would really change to be honest. Then you have the Joker show up for the climax. He’s as crazy as ever and certainly elevates the threat to the next level. If you want to see the danger transition from being a street level threat to the whole city under fire, well Joker’s the guy for the job.

He’s clearly more dangerous than the mob so it’s good to see him getting his respect. Honestly the mob is only doing so well because every super villain is in jail at the moment. Otherwise it’s hard to see Carmine and his crew lasting very long at all. I may touch on this more in the part 2 review but it’s crazy to see how successful the mob is here. It sort of shows that if super villains weren’t around they would easily own the city without any real opposition.

As for Carmine himself, well he’s a fun mobster. I liked him as one of the big villains, he has an old school vibe to him. Picture any mobster/gangster from an old film and that’s the kind of guy he is. Carmine has absolute confidence in himself at all times and makes sure that the world doesn’t doubt how tough he is. Each of his scenes are interesting and it’s a good reflection of the film’s writing since whether it’s the heroes or villains on screen, you can always be sure of an entertaining scene.

When it comes to the animation style, this definitely doesn’t look as good as most of the older DC animated films like the New 52 ones or the films that came before that era. It’s definitely going for a different look but it just isn’t as colorful or detailed if you ask me. By the end of the film you’ll probably be used to it more or less but I would definitely be on board with a style that’s more eye catching. The one credit I’ll give the animation is that since it looks so much older than some of the other DC films, it does work to bring back that whole mob vibe.

The movie really flies by and has good pacing throughout. This is definitely a must for a mystery film and this movie nails it. There’s even a scene after the credits start which really leads in well to the next film. Lets just say one characters lets his guard down and then things go crazy. Now that’s a good way to build up hype for part 2. I’ve already seen Part 2 so you can bet that review will be up shortly.

Overall, Batman The Long Halloween may have a title that doesn’t really encompass the whole film but it does set the stage well (Would have called it Batman: The Long Year) since I saw this around Halloween. I don’t really have any negatives to say about the film aside from the animation not really being my style. It’s a strong adventure from start to finish and it maintains that pacing for the sequel. A whole show set with gangsters roaming the streets along with the villains would certainly be fun.

Overall 7/10

Happy Death Day 2U Review


The sequel is now upon us. The first film had a cool concept but I didn’t think it lived up to the potential it had. This one does a much better job of handling the adventure. It may have mostly thrown away the horror elements from the first film but you’ve still got the various murders, there’s just much more things happening in this film. Maybe too many since one plot just vanishes.

The movie picks up right where the first film left off. Tree has escaped the loop and is finally together with Carter. Ryan isn’t thrilled about this since that means his room is still off limits but he heads to his lab to finish working on the time travel machine. Unfortunately the teacher doesn’t like this and shuts the project down. Ryan is promptly murdered by a guy in a baby mask and ends up going back to the start of the day. Looks like he is trapped in a time loop now and the only one who can possible help him here would be Tree since she has a lot of experience with this.

I would say that the decision to make Ryan the main character is an awful one since he was such a terrible character in the first movie but this title actually has a good fake out about this. So don’t worry Tree is still the main character here. Plus she still keeps the character development from the first film so she’s a much better character through and through. This time around she actually acts like a lead and does a good job of taking down the enemies.

The story goes in a few different directions from the plot I outlined above so get ready for some twists. In a way the movie has to try and make the scenario a bit harder on Tree because otherwise she would solo this experience on her second playthrough. She takes down one of the villains within minutes and with her gun she takes another one down rather quickly. It’s nice to see her just jumping into action here.

At the same time, I also feel like the movie doesn’t take that far enough. At one point the characters need to use a bunch of time loops to try different theories and suggest that Tree just destroys herself a bunch of times at the end of the day since it’ll be less painful than getting murdered. I was against this plan from the start. It’s used as a comedic montage where she keeps dying over and over again but half of those deaths seem just as painful if not more so than actually getting murdered. (Jumping into a tree shredder is such a gruesome way to die)

Jumping out of a plane is probably the easiest death but why do that when you can still just take down the murderer? So we need the machine to work in order to stop the time loop but at the same time, why not take the chance to try and take the murderer down a few more times? Alternately, shoot yourself with the gun since it would be instant but I think just using each attempt to take the murderer down would be more satisfying. Presumably Tree still has to die to reset the loop but if she’s wrong then this will help the timeline more.

Now there is a bit of a subplot where there’s a doppelganger of another character from a different dimension who is trying to murder Ryan. It feels the most random because nothing comes of it and that whole plot just vanishes early on in the movie. I think the movie probably should have just skipped this plot entirely and it would have not changed anything. The idea of multiple universes is explored in detail later on anyway and there are a lot of ways you could set up the machine being broken like the principal throwing something at it.

There is a scene after the credits though which sets up things for the next film. If the 3rd film actually follows this plot then things are about to go in a really different direction. I got some Dreamscape vibes from it with how large scale this may end up being. It’ll be interesting to see how that goes. in that case this would probably be a complete sci-fi thriller as opposed to any remnants of horror sticking around but we’ll see how that goes.

This time I thought the writing was greatly improved from the first film. Maybe it’s because the film is leaning more into being a full comedy this time but I’d also say that it’s really because the characters are more likable. I already spoke about Tree but it’s true for the rest as well. This time Ryan isn’t completely one note the way that he was in the first film. He actually gets some development this time around which is good. I’m still not a big fan but this is a world of difference.

His two assistants are okay, there’s not much to them but they have some okay banter. Carter still seems way too easy with how he has a girlfriend but is ready to have affairs with other people. So while Tree has gone away from her cheating habits, they seem to still be strong with Carter. Even Danielle ends up appearing as a much more reasonable character this time around. She ends up helping the team when it counts and is also more understanding of Tree with regards to missing meetings and such. She’s nice enough where you will feel bad for her by the end.

Lori also gets a brief appearance which may not make her look all that great morally but it’s still some extra development. The heroes and villains all get more to do this time around and that’s one of the benefits of being a sequel since you can go over events quicker with no intro to slow things down. Someone like Tombs is still just a crazy killer with no character but he’s more of a plot device than a character anyway. Even Gregory’s wife gets to do some things this time around, her character certainly went in a different direction than I had expected that’s for sure.

So with the writing being my main issue from the first film, this was an immediate jump. I also just like Tree taking a more active approach here and really taking it to the villains. Speed running through the loop scene from the first film was also nice. It’s almost nostalgic seeing some scenes from the old film before everything appears distorted. There aren’t really any memorable tracks here but you can’t win them all.

Overall, Happy Death Day 2U is a very different film from the first film and in all of the best ways. If you came for the horror then you’re out of luck because that is really gone. You only get horror vibes for maybe the first 15 minutes of the film when it’s giving you the fake plot. This is done really well though with the proper amount of scares and tension. I haven’t seen the trailers, but I think it would be a missed opportunity if they showed much footage beyond that. The idea of having Ryan as the main character is a scary one but it would make the whole story changing that much more effective. I feel confident in saying that the real movie here beats the fake out version from the intro. As more of a sci-fi fan I was cool with the changes here. We even have a lot of big emotional moments as well which can always be a bit hard to take seriously when you’re already filled to the brim with comedic, thriller, and sci-fi moments but the movie has a little of everything and makes for a good watch.

Overall 6/10

The Alphabet Murders Review


Time for a very different kind of Poirot film. Throw away everything you knew about the character beforehand as this one goes as far as to act like a parody the whole time. The movie even starts off with the lead breaking the third wall which is certainly something else. While I do like the film and will go into it in a second, I will say that the breaking the third wall gag felt flat as it often does. In very rare circumstances will I say that such a scene is good. It really just serves to take you out of the story in the same way as seeing the main character in the present talking about how he barely survived the events that we’re about to see. Fortunately the film didn’t go that far here.

So the movie starts with a poor clown getting murdered. He seemed to be shot by a mysterious woman. Then another victim takes their final dive and so Poirot will have to be the man to put a stop to this. Surely the world’s greatest detective can stop this criminal right? The only clue that the heroes have is that this villainous seems to be murdering people according to the alphabet. The first victim’s first and last names began with A, the second B, etc. Well, Poirot won’t have to search as hard as all that since the villainess confronts him straight up. She talks about how she doesn’t want to murder but that she must and other vague things as she beats the stuffing out of him and runs off

Prepare to see Poirot get beaten quite a bit in this film. He’s really not prepared for the kind of opponents that he is dealing with as this version is fairly weak and also not very intelligent. He has to rely on luck and physical ability in order to complete this case and I wouldn’t say that he is the toughest guy on the block either. Mix all of these things together and it doesn’t bode very well for him. The opening scene where he is getting choked by Amanda is also pretty odd. Perhaps intentionally and perhaps not but for me it didn’t even seem like she was seriously trying to murder him.

Or at least it was very half hearted with how they were tussling around. Poirot was calling for help the whole time but everyone would either misunderstand him or promptly get knocked out. It was crazy but I would say this was the best scene in the film partially because of how insane it all was. It can also be spooky, imagine calling out for help the whole time but nobody steps in because they think you’re all right? Now that will keep you up at night if you almost got choked to death. Poirot believes it was the lady’s way of asking for his help after it’s all over.

While Poirot is beaten and outsmarted throughout the film, he is a fun character. He does have some decent plans like pretending to choke himself to get Hastings to lower his guard. Poirot spends half the film trying to defeat the other good guys as opposed to going after the villains which is also meta in a sense. Fortunately for the heroes the villains don’t go around murdering too many people because they would have been in no position to stop these guys.

The hero is arrested and captured more than once. He’s not very good at being self aware like when he was chasing the girl. You’re actually rooting for the civilians to stop him since without context the whole thing that appear to be really crazy. It shows that these people aren’t just going to stand for this. The other main hero in the film is Hastings and he’s basically this film’s version of Watson. Hastings isn’t very smart and often gets outsmarted by Poirot but he means well.

What the man lacks in skill and bravery he makes up for in loyalty. You can always count on him to have your back and that’s a powerful thing. He even attempts to provide assistance during some of the more dangerous moments even if it doesn’t end up working out most of the time. I gained some respect for him when Poirot wasn’t able to outsmart him for once near the end of the film. It was almost like character development of sorts.

As for Amanda, well she’s a decent villain I guess. I think the whole plan was way more convoluted than it needs to be but granted, that could be due to the adaption. After all, in most cases it would be tough to murder Poirot or outsmart him so you can see villains coming up with all kinds of crazy plans to throw him off the scent. In this one though, well it would be extremely easy to bump him off. Poirot was being overpowered in the steam room after all and he was also chasing Amanda in the darkness with ease. Just set a trap for him at any time and I’m sure he would fall right into it. That’s absolutely the game plan the villains should have had without having to go with this whole ABC angle.

Amanda did a good job of completely tricking Poirot though so I have to give her some props there. All in all, the writing is good. It’s definitely not meant to be taken seriously in the slightest but you’ll get a good amount of witty dialogue. Some of the visual humor is nice too like when each character is snapping their finger at the other to grab a hat and other things. They had good coordination there and it made for a peaceful scene.

Ms. Marple also gets a little cameo here which was neat. It’s always good to establish a crossover continuity here and it also is a good way to show where Poirot ranks in comparison with Marple. In her one scene she was able to easily crack the case but presumably the cops didn’t believe her. Meanwhile Poirot “solves” the case by the very end and it took everything he had.

Overall, The Alphabet Murders is pretty good. It’s a shame that we didn’t get some kind of sequel. Who knows, maybe it’s better as a one off, but there’s a whole lot you can do with this concept. The bumbling detective and his witless sidekick is not something that’s done very often at all. I’d also have liked a full crossover with Ms. Marple. From what we saw of her, she would likely have the advantage in a fight but with both characters having such a strong ego, I’m sure this would be a lot of fun. This film goes by pretty fast and ultimately how much you enjoy it will be directly related to how funny you find the characters to be. Does the dialogue feel naturally comedic or does it all feel forced? This is the question that will determine it all.

Overall 7/10

I Tell C Review


I Tell C is the next in the list of cancelled titles in Jump that I wanted to check out. It’s got a unique premise here to start off with but ultimately it’s just not a good one. I’m sure there are ways you could have spun this into something interesting but it would be difficult right off the bat because this just isn’t a great idea in my opinion. The core gimmick would need to be heavily reworked to really stand a chance at being the next big thing and the series ended long before that could happen.

The series starts off by introducing us to a criminal who just murdered somebody and figures he got away. Unfortunately for him there is someone who knows what he did. Her name is Aioi and she is a detective who abuses this position in order to find out info about criminals and catch them. Thing is, she doesn’t want to arrest them but to help the criminals out. See, Aioi falls in love with anyone who commits a bad deed but is so scary with her possessive stalking that the villain then runs over to the cops and turns himself in. Can the villains out run Aioi and will the cops continue to allow her to act like this?

It’s a rather loose plot summary and the thing is…it only works for the first 3-4 chapters before the plot changes again. Unlike many titles which have an easy general plot summary, I Tell C changes its approach for each arc so it’s hard to pin down. The pilot story is effectively showing us the story from a villain’s point of view, the next arc shows this to us from a hero’s point of view, the third arc is more of a comedic tale that turns into a thriller, the next arc is a Kaito Kid adventure, and then the final arc changes gears once more into a psychological battle.

I Tell C was always changing things up which is interesting if it’s trying to go more the anthology route but those have their own weaknesses as well. One of which is that you can never expect a whole lot of consistency there since some styles will naturally be a lot weaker than others. I would frown on using this style personally because even if it can work, it’s very difficult. The easiest kind of story to adapt here would be the first and have each story be by the villain’s perspective. It may not always work but it could capture the intensity of Aioi the most.

Before I go any further, let me break down why I disliked the series. The whole thing revolves around the fact that Aioi falls in love with criminals. This is incredibly suspect especially considering she works for the police. Now, maybe this wouldn’t be so bad if the villains were doing some more minor things like stealing bread from the deli or jaywalking. The problem is that almost all of Aioi’s opponents are mass murderers. These are people who are taking lives and she is talking about marrying them.

Aioi goes very far with this to the point where she defends them. One person just got done murdering at least 5 people that we know of and she explains that he was just lonely and needed someone to hold hands with. That’s just awful and the only way you could get around that would be if she was portrayed as a villain. When the series is portraying this to just be a fun quirky trait for the main character…well that’s a problem. The series missed another easy fix there which would have been to have Aioi not be a part of the police. Have her be another criminal that the police are trying to catch.

As Sakon notes in the first chapter, she may have caught the villain but she broke no less than 5 laws at the same time. So the police should really be arresting her as well but they choose to turn a blind eye. Effectively she is a villain who’s on the payroll and is tolerated because she is the best detective they’ve got. That’s just messed up and Aioi says on numerous occasions that she won’t arrest the criminals and will even help them get away if anything.

Later on she goes more into detail with her plan which is effectively that she figures if she marries a criminal then she can provide him with enough love where he will never commit a crime again. It’s just an incredibly naive goal because mass murderers aren’t going to change again. That’s yet another reason why I say the series would work better if these were just petty criminals. Then you can actually see why she would be acting like this. Reforming criminals is great and all but Aioi goes too far when she starts making excuses for them.

There’s a big difference between saying that person X deserves a fair second chance and should get a lenient sentence and saying that person X only murdered these people because he was lonely and shouldn’t have to go to prison. One is still going through the system and offering a recovery step afterwards while the other is just pure delusion. So Aioi brings the entire series down right from the jump to which I would say it never truly recovers.

The series ended with 21 chapters so there isn’t time for a lot of arcs. Lets quickly take a look at the various arcs. The series definitely had a rough beginning as the second half destroys the first chunk but I suppose it was too late for the series to properly course correct all the way. I already discussed the opening chapter for the most part but I would say it was one of the most effective ones. Seeing things from the villain’s point of view was interesting like with how demented Aioi appears the whole time. She is definitely not somebody you want to mess with.

We’re also introduced to the main two police officers Sakon and Ukon. Sakon instantly makes the most sense as he disapproves of these tactics but will never look very good. It’s just a solid pilot chapter and if the rest of the series were like this then there would be some more potential. I’ve already talked about Aioi so I’ll leave that character alone for now.

Sakon is a character who had a lot of potential. I liked him in the first chapter but after that he fades quickly. His whole gimmick is that he’s obsessed with strength so he is always lifting weights. He’s like your classic Shonen lead as he always wants to jump into action and do the right thing. These are all great traits but the problem is that he’s never helpful. He loses just about every fight he is in.

There’s on moment in particular that was embarrassing where he knocks a villain down and instead of pressing the advantage he tells everyone to run and gets out of there. If you tie up the villain at this moment then there is no danger to run from. He blew it in that arc but the main issue is that he seems to blow it in every arc which is a problem. He’s the resident strong guy but it never feels like it with how often he loses.

Then you have his brother Ukon who is more by the books. He’s with the rest of the cops in how they dislike Aioi so he doesn’t mind if she gets injured or dies on the case. As a result Ukon takes more of a backseat in these cases. He stops appearing fairly early on in the series and there’s not time for him to have a proper character moment. As a result he ends the series as a bit of an empty character.

After the opening case, we have to deal with an opponent who has been murdering a lot of girls because he’s another twisted guy. Even though he is murdering tons of people, Aioi finds this charming and wants to marry the guy. Problem #2 with this, she has no plan. She allows him to knock her out with the sleeping gas and get tied up. This was part of her plan but she had no exit strategy. This means that if Sakon doesn’t show up at the absolute perfect time then she would be dead right now.

What kind of main character is this? The story also felt unnecessarily dark with how this all played out. The heroes are able to save one victim at least but when you consider how many died that is just brutal. You don’t want to introduce a villain who is this much of a psychotic creep like this. Maybe for the final boss or something but it’s too dark too fast particularly with Aioi here. The first villain was at least rather normal and just murdered somebody.

So I really didn’t like that case and it’s probably the weakest in the series for me. The next case is the longest as the group heads to a mansion for some hot springs. Of course it turns out that the place is filled with murder. The mass murderer who destroys people and then steals their hands is in the area as well. Of course Aioi is thrilled about this but nobody else is.

It also introduces the main villain of the series Hikaru. He won’t appear in any more cases so you’ll have to savor him now. For reasons we don’t know yet, Aioi can’t stand him and he is the one villain that she wants to take down. From the context clues we do get, it seems like he pulled a Darth Vader and basically murdered himself. So the new him is now evil and the old Anakin version is no more.

Still, the old version did kidnap Aioi and cause her to get this whole Stockholm syndrome so he doesn’t seem like a great guy. I’m sure that the series would have gotten to this at some point but there’s no time. The guy’s not very interesting though. He doesn’t seem like a super mastermind with how easily they caught him. He doesn’t feel pain which is handy but it’s still really sloppy that Sakon let him get away. You should never let someone get away when you’ve defeated and disarmed them. The whole thing was embarrassing.

Lets just say that Sakon’s guard is so low he allows Hikaru to reach in his pocket and take out the gun. Ok….that’s sad. Hikaru can’t really fight either so he just takes every blow to the point where Aioi nearly murdered him. He sees the whole world as his personal novel to write so that could be an interesting trait. Him getting beaten severely by the heroes in their first appearance is hard to get back from though.

As for the hands villain, he was pretty awful. Remember once again that this is someone who has murdered a bunch of people. So it turns out that he just did need to hold somebody’s hand, in this case Aioi’s. Then he’s a changed man to the point where he even has a speech and attacks Hikaru. It’s just so disrespectful to the people he murdered that the guy could be changed so easily. He was also seconds away from murdering Aioi so it’s good that she can forgive and forget so easily.

That arc was a bit of a mess without a doubt. Next up is another big saga which introduces the Phantom Thief Mar. So this is a legendary thief that nobody knows the identity of. Mar steals a bunch of paintings of women and always returns them in a deformed state. Well, this time Aioi and the others have been asked to help. Why?

Well, after the events of the last case we got a time skip and the group was removed from the police. They’re now a shadow unit known as the I team who help out on the trickier cases and can break the rules. Of course by the same token they are also unofficial so it would be very easy to frame or shut them down. To introduce this concept there was also a pretty quick case where Aioi has to stop a bank robber and she makes her first arrest. At least now she is finally arresting people since it’s her only chance to get closer to finding Hikaru again.

Mar decides to let the heroes know her true identity though. It turns out that she is a girl who is obsessed with her own beauty. It’s not just a random character trait though as it actually ties into her backstory. Lets just say that she needs to be beautiful in order to complete her main objective. It’s an interesting plan and I’ll give the series credit for this being a unique one as well. Of course Aioi is torn because part of her wants Mar to succeed while part of her needs to catch this villain so it’s a tough call.

Sakon gets wrecked again as always though. It’s a pretty decent case even if Aioi is annoying the whole time though. Any scene of Aioi trying to pull the moves on Mar is a bit much and of course she hasn’t gotten completely past her phase of making excuses for the villain. Keep in mind that Mar is actively defacing popular paintings which are worth a ton of money and by the end this is portrayed as something almost heroic. Her father and grandfather look awful in the flashbacks though. Terrible characters through and through. Especially the father who completely lost sight of what matters. Also going back to the defacing property, lets just say that Aioi isn’t above doing such things as well.

So we got to meet Mar and interestingly it seems like she would not have been a reoccurring character. I liked the fact that she could fight but of course it did come at the expense of Sakon looking really bad again. This guy seriously could not catch a break and there’s no way I could take him seriously as a fighter after this. There was just no way. Mar’s origin story was certainly emotional although it doesn’t justify her wrecking private property like this. She easily beats a lot of the other villains we’ve seen so far though.

Then we have the chief of the I team Akiraka who is Aioi’s self proclaimed father. Technically there is no relation but that’s the role that he sees himself in which is something. There’s not much to him yet so he’s more of a bland character than the others. Finally this takes us to the last case where we meet the suicide bomber Aichi. Basically he wants to throw his life away because he has lost all hope and has stationed himself inside of a building.

There is a clear timer on the bomb so he is giving everyone a chance to leave safely. The password to deactivate the bomb is one letter long but you only get one chance to guess or the bomb will blow up right away. It makes for an interesting word game and some solving skills. It’s a fairly small case but one that works easily enough. The main issue is that afterwards Aichi joins the team which is how the series ends. You’re telling me that a suicide bomber who nearly blew the building up and caused a lot of damage is allowed to join the I team just like that? I don’t know that seems like a bit of a stretch.

Aichi seems to have a crush on Aioi but there isn’t a whole lot more that we know about his personality yet. He has a bit of a sarcastic streak to him but ultimately the series ended before we could learn more. There’s also Aioi’s informant, but we don’t know much about him beyond the fact that he likes everything to be in perfect halves. It’s an interesting quirk but right now that’s all it is so we’ll have to wait a bit to see if he’s a good character or not. Right now I’m not impressed.

Finally you have Homura who has a crush on Sakon but you already know that she is doomed since inevitably Aioi would get picked. Homura is an expert with a gun but that’s not too helpful when Mar is a bullet timer and Homura doesn’t appear for the other cases. She has a lot of potential and is one of the more likable characters. It’s just too bad that she didn’t get to appear much. So that wraps up the characters and the plot of the series. As you can see, I just can’t get past the core concept of the series.

When you start to try and make excuses for the murderers running around town I just have a hard time buying into it. Aioi’s obsession is taken way too far with all of her lines being about love and marriage with the villains. Even casually she won’t talk to characters much unless they have some kind of criminal record. It’s all meant to be very funny of course but the humor really doesn’t click.

In general the writing is okay I suppose. I found it a bit ironic that most of the arcs have no actual mysteries though even though this seems like it’s supposed to be a mystery series. The only case that would qualify are the first 2 so after the first 3 chapters that is dropped entirely. The hotel is a thriller, the phantom thief arc is really just a chase, and the final arc is a negotiation. Maybe the author got bored of doing straight mysteries.

As for the art, it’s not as great as some of the other recent titles I’ve read but it’s good. My main issue is that the character designs aren’t always very distinct. Some panels will have a lot of detail and then suddenly others won’t. It’s not super consistent but it’s still clear enough where I can always tell what is going on so ultimately I would give the series a green checkmark on this.

So, how would I prevent this series from being cancelled? Well I’m sure you know what my first change will be. Definitely completely change Aioi’s character to the core. No more falling in love with every criminal and justifying their actions. Now, if you need that to be present or this would be a different series, then instead just have her be another villain. Make this a Carmen Sandiego kind of series.

Aioi always finds the villain first and tries to marry them only for the main two cops Sakon and Ukon to appear and foil her plans. She always runs off while they catch the villain. I think that would immediately be a much better dynamic and would fix things in a pinch. That would make the series a whole lot more approachable and I just think it would be a much better core concept. As a mild aside, I would also say to make the main villain a little more threatening so he shouldn’t get completely beaten up in his first appearance. That’s not the right way to set up the villain.

Overall, You can just see why I Tell C was cancelled. You really just won’t be able to save this premise very easily and it’s a shame because we can always use a good mystery series. Aioi has to be one of the worst main characters I’ve ever seen in a manga. Hopefully if the series were to ever come back the author would be able to fix some of the issues here. Just go for a big change up and hope for the best.

Overall 4/10

Murder Most Foul Review


Marple returns for another adventure in my little marathon but this time she really has a time limit since an innocent man will die if she doesn’t solve the case in time. Unless of course she is mistaken and the cops did grab the right fella in this case. Only time will tell but Marple is also going to have to become an actress for a little while if she is to succeed.

The movie starts out with someone getting attacked and murdered but unfortunately the police officer who was passing by did not notice. A trial is held with the primary suspect who was found near the lady who was murdered. Everyone including the police think it is an open and shut case but fortunately Miss Marple was there as one of the jurors and prevented the case from being concluded. She believes that he has been framed and intends to prove it but the Inspector shows up and reminds her not to interfere with police business. She is going to have to be on her own this time along with some help from Springer.

The first thing she will have to do is join a local acting circuit and while she is initially turned down for being too old, her money has a clear voice and alters the outcome. She must figure out which member of the troupe committed this foul deed and bring him or her to justice. It’ll be difficult though because all of these guys are rather young and fairly quick on their feet. Underestimating them would not be a good idea. Can she crack the case?

Marple is about as solid as always here. She makes sure to have the upper hand against the villains at all times and even reminds us that she has her gun skills at the ready. She isn’t afraid of anyone and takes all kinds of risks in order to get close to the case. Her confidence never wavers and you could go on and on about what a quality character she is. The overall point is that since she can fight as well, that elevates her character since she now has ways to defend herself.

As for the Inspector, well by now he’s starting to play a really central role in these films. He’s also starting to take the whole battle with Marple a lot more personally or at least that’s how I see it. At first he may not have believed her but he didn’t seem upset about it. Now he throws fits and even tries to arrest her. He’s really not happy to see her at all and you’d think he would be since she is always solving cases and putting murderers beyond bars. The Inspector starts to appear very unreasonable but he’s still fun as an antagonist.

He may mean well but since the guy is constantly trying to get in her way it’s hard to call him a protagonist at all. It’s a shame since he does want to be a defender of justice. Springer is helpful here as well as he always gets orders from Marple to head to various places and gather intel. In some ways his missions are very dangerous as well since he’s really going places to find out information that the villains don’t want to get out.

As for the actors/actresses, some of them do seem a bit unhinged so you can definitely see how things would get a bit crazy. One of them tries to strangle another only to say that it was all a joke at the end. Then you have a girl who hears voices and talks about spirits as she loses her mind every night. She comes close to even stabbing Marple which is crazy and shows that there may not be just 1 villain around. The director of the troupe is desperate for money so he at least makes a show of trying to be helpful but you don’t buy it. He’s more obsessed with having a good show than with actually aiding the police which is not a good look for him.

All of the usual musical tracks are here along with the quality writing you would expect from the series. The case is interesting and the characters are good which is all that you need. The suspects may not be the most likable bunch but as they are suspects, this works well enough for me. That said, I would consider this to be the weakest film in the series.

For starters, having the court case be almost completely off screen was disappointing. There’s a lot you could do with Miss Marple in a court setting. It would be an interesting dynamic to have had her solve the case while in the room with the jurors. Maybe it would have been difficult to turn that into a whole movie but I think the idea has potential.

Then you have Marple’s tryout scene which I thought was rather dragged out and not too interesting. It’s easy to see why she was initially denied entry since she just wouldn’t work very well in the play. None of the actual acting scenes were particularly exciting though as you just want to get in on the action. Near the end you have the main plot going on at the same time which works better since there is a point to it. The Inspector’s right hand man looks pretty bad in the process though since he really left his post completely. When you’ve got one task and there are life and death stakes you definitely need to take everything rather seriously if you ask me.

Overall, Murder Most Foul is still another quality title overall. I would have played things out a little differently but at the end it’s a murder mystery that does deliver on both aspects. You shouldn’t have any serious issues with this one as stay engaged with the case. With the inspector even getting a promotion at the end you like to think that maybe he will be a little nicer to Marple going forward and can even help her out in her cases right? Well, we’ll see in the final installment in the series.

Overall 7/10

Murder at the Gallop Review


Miss Marple is back in action once more to stop the upcoming murders. We once again deal with a will and a bunch of very suspicious family members. This time though Marple will have to make sure that her horse riding skills are still on point because otherwise this could get a little tricky. It’s a solid follow up and continues with most of the positives that you would have enjoyed from the first film.

The movie starts with Marple and Springer collecting some funds for charity when they visit the house of someone who notoriously never gives his money. He won’t be given the chance this time though as he is dead. His family shows up for the will and they each get a nice chunk of real estate but one of them says that he was murdered. Before Marple can properly check with her, this lady is murdered as well. Now this definitely seems like it can’t be a natural death so Marple joins the horse club as she explains that she was a bit of an expert back in her day. She will have to do this without the aid of the police since they believe the earlier deaths were due to natural causes. Marple may be on her own but she isn’t dissuaded and will fight hard until she can get the proof that she needs.

It’s a pretty good change of scenery here at the horse club. It’s pretty much a fancy hotel out in the country side after all and there are a lot of rooms where murder can happen. Marple spends a lot of time trying to find the right boot since her main clue is something that fits into the boot. I forget what term they used for it but it looks like Styrofoam and she has to try matching it each time she gets an opportunity. Not necessarily an easy thing in a high speed place like this.

The Inspector returns of course and he’s fun as always. This time you’d think he would cut her some more slack but he doesn’t believe Marple as always. At least they hint that she calls on them a lot and we only see the successful attempts but it would still be nice for him to be on her side this time. He does try his best but the guy is completely out of his depth in these cases.

Part of why he’s still a great character though is because he does try really hard. No matter how many times he is proven wrong or outshined by Marple, he continues doing his best to try and serve out some justice. Now that’s the kind of attitude you need to have as an inspector or else you will quickly fall behind.

As always Marple is a solid character as well. She is good at getting right into the thick of the action and also doing so in a way where the police can’t just remove her. Like here for example where she is a proud member of the hotel right now. They can’t just boot her out and it’s a very clever way of also pressuring the criminal into making a move.

I should also mention there is a bit of a running gag from the first film that continues here where someone falls in love with Marple at the very end. That happens here as well and it shows that while she makes a considerable amount of enemies in each film, people just tend to like her by the end. It is impressive to find an older lady who is still good at so many things but that’s just how good Marple is.

It goes without saying but the writing is solid here as well. The mystery is put together in a very solid way and the script is on point. The pacing is good and you’ll always enjoy the witty exchanges between the characters. Part of the fun in mysteries like this is seeing all of the characters quickly affirm their innocence as they grow more and more insistent on the fact. You know that one character is lying out of his or her mind but you just don’t know who yet.

The soundtrack also continues to be high energy as the main Marple theme plays whenever she is on the go. The fact that the soundtrack is memorable at all is impressive since a lot of films just don’t have a whole lot of music to keep you entertained.

It is nice how for once nobody has a proper alibi when the police show up. It makes sense though because in a hotel like this you would often be by yourself. 9/10 times in a movie like this I would have no alibi because I probably would have just been playing video games or eating somewhere. Of course some of the characters are quite happy to say they have no alibi but it’s hard to say if that makes then more suspicious or just bigger jerks.

Marple’s final plan involving a dance is a good way to get the villain to lower their guard even if it’s extremely risky. One thing you’ll notice about Marple is that her plans are as dangerous as they come. This one for example involves her pretending to be asleep and all alone in her room. It all tends to work out but in several cases you feel like she would have been murdered before anyone is even able to get close enough to save her. That’s my main critique of her strategy since I don’t think the results mean that the plan itself was sound.

Overall, This was a nice follow up to the series. Looks like the murder mystery series is on the right trail and Marple can hold her own with the rest. I’m slowly getting to learn more about her which is nice because if I ever watch Murder by Death again I’ll have an even better understanding of each detective. You can expect the third movie in the series to be reviewed in the very near future.

Overall 7/10

Murder, She Said Review


It’s time for my first Miss Marple film. I definitely am not too knowledgeable about her compared to the other detectives around but the film was quite solid. It has really high quality writing as you would expect from these retro mysteries and I also thought it took a rather unique take on the genre. As an elderly woman, Marple has to be careful when solving these mysteries that she isn’t put in imminent danger.

The movie starts out with Marple noticing someone get strangled on a train. She reports this to the conductor but he doesn’t believe her and the cops don’t but it either. What are the odds that she could have truly seen such a murder from a different train at high speeds? Making matters worse is the fact that she was reading a murder mystery so everyone figures she lost her mind. Her only friend Stringer believes her but what can they do about it?

Well, the two of them do some poking around the train site and manage to figure out that the main suspicious location is a nearby manor. Marple gets herself hired as a maid and now she will be able to do some sleuthing with plenty of time to spare. There was a recent death in the family so now everyone is getting ready to get the money so you can probably guess who the suspects are. Every person in this family is absolutely a suspect so Marple will have to do her best to find the right person before she is murdered. Fortunately she will have the aid of a very inquisitive kid.

Another difference with the Marple series compared to most is that she will always get herself hired or involved in the location itself. This requires actually getting a job in several instances like this so she has to find clues between shifts. As a maid she is kept quite busy but does really well even considering that she is older at this point and not very fit either.

Miss Marple is not running low on confidence though and gets a lot of good lines throughout. She isn’t intimidated by these suspects in the slightest and just keeps on going as she normally would. She’s very methodical about getting the clues as well and does a good job of slowly tightening the noose around the villains.

Then there’s the kid although I can’t find his name anywhere. Needless to say, I was quite impressed with him as the kid was actually not annoying for a change. This is very rare for a kid since they tend to drag each scene down. This guy actually had some wit about him though and also didn’t desert Marple when they were nearly caught. He’s fairly brave as well and even knows how to scare people off. This is exactly the way I’d like to see all the kids look and it’s certainly a credit to the film’s writing.

While the Inspector would go on to get much bigger roles in the next few films, this was a good debut appearance for him. He certainly doesn’t believe Marple theories much but it isn’t yet personal in this film. He just has his own way of doing things and doesn’t want to be slowed down all the time. As long as he learns his lesson in the next films then he won’t look bad but….we’ll see how that goes. He’s always entertaining to have around though.

As for Springer, he’s a lot more cautious than Marple. She really ends up causing him a lot of stress throughout because of her dangerous tasks. It’s not like he can just walk in and help her out if anything happens either so that wears him down. I like his enthusiasm though as he will always try to help out even if he has absolutely no idea what is going on. He had a fairly good job at the library too but is ready to drop everything when she needs help.

As for the actual case, it goes pretty well. There are just enough family members/suspects that it’s hard to remember just about any of their names but they’re all suitably suspicious. You could close your eyes and just pick any with how incriminating all of their dialogue is. It makes for a strong opening case to start the series out. I would say there are enough clues where you can try to complete the case on your own as well.

There are always a few extra wrinkles thrown in to trick the police so you’ll have to watch out for those as well. In a way it’s a good chance to see if your theory is right because if the inspector says that this is what happened…you know that it did not. A shame certainly but that’s just how it goes since you know Marple will be the one to bring out the right theory.

Mysteries can come in many shapes and forms. You can have a very serious one, a fast paced thriller, etc. This one is more of a slow boil mystery that’s quite light hearted and it works well. Marple wants to help make the world a better place and sure there are murders and everything so this is serious but the movie has a lot of happy music throughout which is why I’d consider it fairly cheerful. Marple even has her own theme which will continue to play in the next few films as well.

You also get to see her life around the town a bit. She sips some tea while discussing the case with her friend and it’s all rather peaceful. It’s s calming environment which likely helps her focus and collect her thoughts. You’d barely believe that a murder just happened but it’s this hybrid of serious and calm moments that really makes the series work. I wouldn’t say it matches up to Sherlock Holmes or Poirot but I would take it above Nancy Drew and most iterations of the Hardy Boys.

Overall, Murder, She Said is a good way to start things off. It’s always fun to see the opening movie in a series so you can see which characters and running gags will continue. The writing is definitely on point and the films have good pacing. You won’t be bored while this is going on and it all moves in a very brisk manner. I’ll have a review up for the first sequel shortly.

Overall 7/10

Curse of the Fly Review


Curse of the Fly is interesting with how it mixes together a ton of different plot threads that don’t have much connection to each other. First off, it’s called Curse of the Fly but there is almost nothing to do with the actual Fly movie. The enemies don’t even look like Flies. You have the main heroine who has escaped from an insane asylum but she doesn’t seem crazy at all. Is this place actually a criminal organization? Then you have the actual mansion of criminals performing human experiments. It does make for an interesting combo even if it’s really mixed up the whole time.

The film starts with Patricia escaping from the Asylum and meeting up with a passing driver named Martin. Martin figures she can use some help since she seems distressed and takes her over to a hotel. She has a mysterious past that she won’t talk about and Martin doesn’t want to dig his own skeletons out of the closet so he asks if she wants to be married. She agrees and they head over to his place. He’s fairly well off but nobody in the house seems happy to see Patricia. Has she just stepped into a more dangerous situation than she had expected?

Now the opening scene of the movie definitely does drag considerably. It’s a long montage of Patricia running away from the house which just seems to be there for fanservice. The whole prologue of her getting married to Martin is also more low key as you’re just waiting for the characters to get to the house. Will Martin’s allegiance be to his father and the experiments or to his new wife? Unfortunately it’s the former and he really puts her in a ton of danger. There is so much happening it’s hard to even put the review in order but lets take it piece by piece.

The secret Martin is hiding is that he and his father are still conducting human experiments including teleportation and a drug that will allow Martin to stay human. See if he doesn’t have the serum in time then he starts turning into a Fly. I guess you can say that’s the true connection to the Fly film but even this isn’t really treated like a big deal half the time. It only happens maybe 2-3 times in the film.

Now this wouldn’t be all that bad on its face. If anything there would be no reason to keep it a secret. Well, maybe the Fly part but not the experiments. Where things really go wrong is when we find out that they are also running experiments on humans and keeping them locked up in cages. Among them is Martin’s real wife. So…the guy is married and yet he went on to marry someone else? That’s an instant game over for Martin. Not only is this a rebound but hiding the fact that he is actually married is a huge deal.

Martin’s definitely the antagonist around here. Even when Patricia nearly gets attacked by these creatures the guy doesn’t do much. In fact he does worse than nothing since he tries to convince her that she is crazy. Keep in mind that at this point he knows she is from the asylum so he is intentionally using that as leverage to try and make her doubt herself. It’s a pretty low blow.

Now, it should not have worked though. It’s always annoying when someone sees something and just gets talked out of it. At least Patricia has more of an excuse than most characters because of the asylum background but her self doubt should not have been enough to overwhelm her own senses. She saw everything clear as crystal. That should have been the end of it, she forces Martin to come clean and now they’re on even ground. It’s too bad that didn’t quite work out.

Also, we do have a brief subplot where the inspector from the Asylum is coming around to try and figure out what’s going around. He talks to a colleague who knew Martin from a while back. They try to make some headway on this case but as you can probably guess they don’t really do anything until the climax. I did like the inspector’s confidence though. Initially Martin refuses to see him but the guy calls his bluff with a warrant and gets in. Martin doesn’t want the press around due to his shady experiments and the institution doesn’t want them either so both of their goals align in that respect.

Not to worry, we’ve got more plots around. So Martin’s brother Albert who was also in on the experiments a while back but he did the smart thing and ran out of there. He completely got out of the business but where he made the mistake is when he decides to come back and help out after getting some pressure on him from the father. He absolutely should have stayed far away and that would have really ended up helping him a lot. Going back to the scene of the crime could only end badly.

You also have the rest of the staff doing their best to mess with Patricia the whole time. She probably wouldn’t have caught on so fast if the maid wasn’t letting the old wife run around the house or putting pictures of her by Patricia’s bed to mess with her. There’s a lot of mind games going around and it’s clear that the main staff wanted Patricia out of there. Ironically they’re the ones who bolt out of there pretty quickly.

Patricia is one of the more reasonable characters compared to these guys. At the same time, it shows why you shouldn’t marry someone you’ve only known super briefly because it’s not going to end well. Since she had her own secrets she was more open to letting Martin keep his, but that definitely didn’t go over very well. I’d say she should have bolted the moment she saw the inhuman monster running around the place.

Martin’s father is much more open about being a villain and that’s why he beats Martin. The guy puts science above everything including other lives. He’s very up front about this and is always giving lectures to the other characters with how many risks they take. He reminds me of Lou Chaney with how he sounds and talks as well. The guy’s just very charismatic. Not charismatic enough where he should have been able to convince everyone to go along with his crazy schemes though so Albert and Martin are not off the hook. They’re all mass murderers at the end of the day.

The writing is pretty solid though. It’s got that old Universal type writing style where the characters are all sophisticated and talk like mad scientists. The creature designs are fairly memorable. Really this film should have just not called itself anything having to do with the Fly and I think it would have gone over a lot better. Even with Martin becoming a fly for some reason, there isn’t enough of a connection for this to really make any sense. The movie’s only a little over an hour so it was really cramming a lot of content into it.

That said, it’s for that reason that the film stays interesting I suppose so I can’t dock too many points from it. The characters aren’t too smart but I wouldn’t say that’s a writing thing though and just the characters meant to be that way. Like when the maid antagonizes one of the villains. Doing so can only end one way so you’d think it would be better not to say anything….but I guess that’s how it goes. The film ends on a bang and so by the end you feel like you really had a complete adventure here.

Overall, Curse of the Fly does hold up pretty well as a suspense film. There’s a lot of dramatic music throughout which holds up pretty well. The core story may be basic but it’s pretty engaging at the same time. The body count is surprisingly high for an old film and it really shows how crazy some people will get while still thinking they’re on the right side. Meanwhile, the idea of switching around who the main antagonist may be is something that wasn’t used a whole lot back in the day so that’s different. Initially you think Patricia may be suspicious since she refuses to talk about why she is at the Asylum (We never find out why even as the film ends) and she had to break out which is a red flag since she doesn’t quite tell Martin about this. Yet when she enters the house we find out that Martin is the real villain here. (even if the film doesn’t always treat him like the antagonist) If you’re looking for an old school thriller to check out, this is a good one to pick up and you don’t even need to bother checking out the first film since they really aren’t connected.

Overall 7/10

The Man Who Knew Too Much Review


Whenever you know too much it can be tricky. Knowledge is hidden away for a reason after all and when you find out what it is, you’ve just put yourself in a whole lot of danger. It’s something that the lead characters learn quickly here although it’s not knowledge that they tried to learn so you can’t blame them. It’s a pretty solid suspense thriller with a surprisingly action packed climax.

The movie starts with Bob and Jill enjoying a nice vacation with their daughter Betty. Unfortunately Betty does wreck Jill’s chances of winning a shootout though by causing a lot of noise and distractions. She was goaded on by another character but it was still a tragic way to start the day. Bob and Jill head back in to have a good time but then a mysterious person they didn’t know very well hands Bob a letter and quickly gets murdered. Bob is about to tell the police about this when he reads the letter and sees that it’s a threat. If he tells anyone what he knows then Betty will die.

Bob confirms that Betty is gone and so this threat cannot be taken lightly. Bob needs to find these guys and fast so he heads out with Clive. The reason for urgency is that the cops are slowly gaining ground on the villains as well and if they do catch them, the antagonists may believe that Bob spilled the beans and take out Betty. The heroes will have to go to some dangerous places and dark alleys to find them. Meanwhile Jill has to do her best to stop another assassination attempt from taking place.

There’s a lot going on here which is something you always want to be able to stay about a thriller. Bob goes to different places from street corners to dentists to corrupt churches. In the dentist scene I was impressed with how he turned the situation around. Usually when the villain grabs their tube and starts to hit you with the knockout gas, the character will immediately fall to the ground and have no tolerance for the stuff. It’s not a very impressive look for them but Bob was able to rip it off and take the villain down. Now that was impressive.

In general I thought Bob was very good. He did a lot of the legwork in trying to find Betty and put himself in peril many times. He didn’t crumble under the pressure and kept a cool head about everything. His partner Clive also deserves a lot of credit for sticking with him on the adventures. He had a particularly rough time at the dentist’s office and was still able to keep it moving. He was certainly a loyal companion.

Meanwhile you also have Jill doing her best to handle this. We saw in the opening scene that she is good with a gun so the whole time you’re waiting for the payoff on this. Fortunately it does arrive and as the film’s climax is a giant shootout, that makes sense. This way each character got to contribute which was good. Only Betty didn’t I suppose but as a kid there’s not a whole lot she could do. The villains treated her pretty well at least so the experience wasn’t too traumatic.

The climax was extremely explosive though which is still surprising. The villains decide that they won’t go out without a fight and the nonstop shooting between the heroes and villains commences. The police didn’t look very impressive with their counter strategies though. If you see that your guys are going down one after the other you should probably rethink your strategy of plunging forward. They don’t and so by the end of the film a few villains have managed to take down almost 2 dozen cops. That was pretty crazy and I wish we had seen more tactics.

The main villain here is Abbott who looks shifty from the start. I think it’s safe to say that you’ll figure he is the villain almost as soon as he appears. You have the sinister music/atmosphere when he shows up and there aren’t a whole lot of other suspects anyway. Abbott does make for a good villain though. He seems a little insane but that’s not surprising for a villain like this. He’s the brains of the operation and the rest of the villains are fairly expendable to him. He made it pretty far in this plan.

The only character who didn’t seem to have much of a clue the whole time was Louis. I dunno, I suppose the whole thing wasn’t his fault since he had a mission to achieve but it felt like he didn’t act too cautiously. You’d never know that he was a professional agent with the risks he took. The guy thought he was James Bond with how he would party and hang out. I’m mixed on him since a decent amount of that may have been his cover. If he could have taken a few villains down before going out that would have helped.

The film is very strong all around though. The characters are good and the script is really solid. I’ve probably said this a thousand times but I love the good banter in the old school titles with the heroes and villains. There’s always a very fake polite type dialogue going on between them. If you read the text through an emotionless machine you could think the characters were friends but it’s all in how they talk to each other. The pacing is on point as well.

Overall, The Man Who Knew Too Much is a solid thriller. It is pretty tense with the child being kidnapped and all. We also get some rather atmospheric locations like the fake church. The characters balancing their attempts to save their kid while also being subtle or they will put her in more danger was effective. The cops also looked decent here as they were beginning to find Abbott, I just wish they had looked better in the climax. There’s no scenario where running into a stronghold filled with guns is a good idea without some kind of cover. You gotta be ready to adjust and then fight back.

Overall 7/10