My Cousin Vinny 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 relatively old courtroom comedy. It’s not “old” like 50s or something like that, but it has been a while since the 90s so I think the relatively part is warranted. It’s definitely a film that has a lot of good humor. The writing holds it back to an extent so it’s not the perfect courtroom movie, but you’ll be entertained from start to finish. It just goes to show how even a case that seems super easy at first can quickly become very complicated.

The film starts out with two teenagers on a cross country road trip. They go to a deli to gather supplies and then head out again. Unfortunately one of them stole a can of tuna (accidentally) and then the police show up. The teens are brought into the base, but while they think they were just being booked for tuna, it turns out that they have been framed for murder. Now their only hope is Cousin Vinny who recently got out of law school. The good news is that he claims he can win this case. The bad news is that it’s his first case and he failed the BAR exam 5 times. This could be bad.

Right from Vinny’s first appearance you can tell how things are going to play out and I definitely think it works out quite well. He’s the kind of loud, overconfident character that you want in your corner. He may not be particularly good at his occupation and if anything he’s a lot worse than you would suspect, but he always gives the case his all. The stakes may be high, but Vinny won’t get nervous because he doesn’t really take things seriously like that. Even if he loses, at least he’ll be able to make a funny out of it. He tows the line between being a complete comic relief character and someone who is genuinely clueless. Nevertheless, he tows the line quite well.

Meanwhile Mona is the main heroine and is always trying to help Vinny out. The problem is that he doesn’t want help as his pride demands that he win this case on his own. It’s definitely a bit of a weak argument on his part and I started to think that the film was leading up to Mona taking over the case. There was a reasonable amount of foreshadowing to it. She does ultimately enter the court room near the end, but not quite in the way that I had guessed. Mona certainly came through when it counted though.

Bill and Stan made for good victims as well. They definitely tend to panic a lot though, particularly Stan. He tends to make a bad situation even worse although I don’t blame him for trying to get a public defender. Of course that didn’t end up going very well at all. Apparently some defenders just can’t handle being in a high pressure situation like a court. It did make for a pretty good twist though since it was really unexpected. I wouldn’t have minded seeing more of Bill and Stan, but what we got was pretty sufficient.

Then we have the Judge who is definitely a great supporting character. He really wants to have a good court room so you can kind of feel bad for him at different points in the film when it seems like everyone is trying to make a mockery of it. Why can’t they work with the judge instead of against him? He really tries to fry Vinny several times even if it’s to no avail. For the most part he remains impartial despite this and does a good job in his role. I don’t think the film would have been quite as humorous without him. All of these characters were necessary to the final product.

As I mentioned the writing is very weak though. Fortunately the censored version cuts out the language but from the sheer amount of word bubbles you can tell that there was quite a bit. These characters definitely have a hard time being professional in the court room. The writing for the humor tends to be solid but the script could use work. It’s very give and take in nature and it still could have been worse of course. At the very least we didn’t quite hit Michael Bay levels of dialogue.

It’s a pretty small thing, but I was glad that for once the prison itself didn’t look like a total dump. The prison cell had been cleaned and the place was actually well kept. Usually in films like this the place looks real bad to the point where it is a little overdone. At least this way you feel like Alabama is giving them a pretty fair shake. The film also had a good way of making even the smallest of scenes important like the Grits moment. The scene is so intense they even use the revelation in psych classes to see if you can pick up on small details. I’d still like to try Grits someday. They sound a bit like Cornmeal.

Overall, My Cousin Vinny is a fun film. I gotta give it credit for actually being pretty funny most of the time. It does a good job of taking shots at the courtroom tropes while not overplaying its hand. The film’s length is definitely on point and doesn’t drag on. The pacing is good and the cast of characters are quite memorable. The only real weakness is the very weak script and the film probably takes a little too long in getting Mona involved. Regardless, I’d say that the film will hold up pretty well to repeat viewings which is always important. Find the TV-14 version of this film and check it out. You’ll be glad that you did.

Overall 7/10

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Gremlins Review


It’s time to look at a fairly old film which has become really well known. You’ll likely have heard of the Gremlins even if you haven’t seen the film before. Going into it you may think that this is going to be a pretty intense horror film, but it actually blends together some comedic aspects along with being part parody. It manages the blend fairly well which automatically makes it better than most horror films. It’s so convincing at being a horror movie that it’ll probably take you a while to really establish any kind of opinion on it, but by the end you’ll have to give it some thought. I doubt we’ll see another film blend two genres like this so smoothly again in the near future.

The film starts off with the best character, Randall trying to sell his crazy inventions to more people. The main problem he is having is that aside from none of his inventions working, the buyers just don’t seem interested. That’s when he finds a rare animal that is being kept in a shady shop in China Town. He buys it and brings the creature home. There are only 3 rules that must be kept with the creature. He must not make contact with water, he must not be fed after midnight, and he must not be exposed to bright lights or the sun as that can cause the monster to die. He gives Billy this bundle of responsibility, but can the kid handle it?

As I mentioned, Randall steals the show. He’s a perfect example of a comic relief character who is actually handled well. His humor scenes work quite well and he’s just a nice guy. Randall means well even if his actions don’t always lead to the positive outcomes that he was hoping for. Stuff happens right? He’s part of why the film was able to establish such a good balance. He keeps it from getting too dark or serious. The only downside is that in comparison the main characters just aren’t very good. Before that, we have the other parent who also looks great. Lynn ends up having to defend her house from multiple gremlins and she does a good job of it. She blends one, smashes another, and is basically taking names the whole time. This is where the parody elements really help the film. Typically you’d expect her to just be screaming and running away rather than fighting back. Here, Lynn isn’t playing around. She’s defending her house and doing a great job of it. She’s another scene stealer.

Then we have the actual lead, Billy. Billy can barely hold his own against one Gremlin so right away you know that he is pretty much doomed. He doesn’t do a good job of looking after Gizmo either. He constantly lets things happen to him. How can you mess up not letting Gizmo getting wet or keeping him near bright lights? Billy makes every mistake possible. Part of it can be blamed on his friend Pete who is super annoying the whole time, but you gotta be more responsible when you own mythical creatures like this.

Meanwhile you have Gizmo who is the most heroic of the gremlins, but naturally he is the weakest as well. It’s always an unfortunate trope as you’d like the heroic one to be able to defend himself right? Well, that just wasn’t the case this time. He’s not a bad character but I do admit that he would have been better if he had gotten to fight a little more. Mostly all he does he sit around and watch everyone else. Then we have the heroine, Kate who may not be quite as skilled as Lynn or Randall, but she does all right for herself. Choosing to serve the gremlins was definitely a smart move to extend her life. I didn’t get her whole blowing up at Christmas scene. I’m assuming it has to do with some kind of sob story so I’m glad the film didn’t really elaborate on it.

On that note, the romance with her and Billy was very weak. It doesn’t really have anything to do with anything and just felt rather tacked on. I think the film didn’t need it. What also hurts the film a bit is how the Gremlins go after the dog and Billy doesn’t do anything about it. It’s obvious who the culprit is as the film goes on but he doesn’t put the pieces together. I mean, the old lady is a slight suspect, but how could she pull this off without making a sound? Honestly, it should have been impossible for the Gremlins as well. It’s a pretty bad scene all in all, but at least the dog lived and made it through this film which helps a lot. That saved the film from getting a horrible score.

While the writing is fairly reasonable for the most part, I do think the film dropped the ball with the conspiracy guy. These kind of films love to have one guy who believes in aliens or monsters and is constantly acting crazy. You’d expect him to be prepared when the enemies finally show up since he called it from the start right? Instead he ends up panicking and dies in one of the worst ways possible. It’s a “funny” scene that ends up falling flat. They didn’t need to do him like that. The character could have contributed a lot. The soundtrack is definitely really good though. We get a lot of classic Christmas songs which is always what you want to listen to here. The classics have aged well and giving this film a Christmas backdrop is nice. It helps to make the film more memorable and gives it a nice backdrop.

Overall, Gremlins is an interesting film. It’s certainly not the kind of film you might expect going in. It’s just a very unique blend of horror and comedy. It works reasonably well but there are still enough weak points to probably keep you from coming back to this one. If you really want to see what this blend is like then it’s not a bad film to check out. Otherwise I’d suggest you watch something with a bit more flair and hype like RWBY. That one can pull off any genre and perfect it.

Overall 5/10

Mac and Me Review


It’s time Boys! Mac and Me is one of those films that you can’t help but hear of at some point in your life. It’s essentially E.T. but the knock off so it has slightly less personality. Yet….it makes for a better film. How can that be? Well, the characters are actually better. The plot is more intense and you will enjoy the McDonald scenes. The movie may not take itself very seriously but at the same time you can certainly see the heart within it.

The movie starts with a few aliens trying to survive on a planet in space. Unfortunately there aren’t too many resources at their disposal so things are not going too well for them. Fortunately the U.S. sent a probe to space and the aliens get sucked inside. This leads to what is probably the most intense scene in the entire film. The army gets ready to confront these aliens, but unfortunately they were not prepared for this level of power. The whole scene is pretty crazy since you’d expect the government to be prepared for this.

Then there is also the fact that the alien designs are completely terrible. Their heads are always shaking as the characters struggle to move forward. The whole time you’ll feel like averting your eyes and yet you can’t because you don’t want to miss out on what is happening. Well, the grown up aliens escape while one gets into the car where the main characters are at. This leads to a lot of hi jinx where the alien messes up everyone’s lives and steals the main character’s coke. Nobody believes the lead so it looks like he’ll have to force the alien out into the open. Can he do that while also stopping the government from butting in though?

From start to finish you’ll need to suspend a lot of disbelief for this movie though. After all, the government even tries to get the aliens to become citizens. Really? That doesn’t seem all that likely to me, but I suppose as long as they don’t hurt anyone nobody will care. The problem is that the aliens can’t even talk or read so it’s hard to make them citizens because they won’t know how to do the right thing. Do they even have a moral compass? I have my doubts.

Eric is the main character here and he can be a little annoying. The kid does a terrible job of trying to prove that the Macs exist and ends up nearly drowning because he approached a hill too fast. You gotta be careful when you live in danger world. His big brother isn’t any better as we get a fairly cringy romance with his character. Then you’ve got the Mom who takes a little too long to believe the main characters and tends to panic a lot. Wait…did I say that these characters are better than the ones from E.T.? Clearly those guys must not have been particularly good right?

The McDonalds party scene is surprisingly good though. You wouldn’t expect much from this kind of scene but it actually had quite a lot of hype and shows why celebrating at McDonalds will always be cool. What beats getting your favorite burger and having a dance competition at the same place? I’ll tell you what does…nothing! Of course Mac didn’t do very good there since dancing in front of the government is always going to end up finishing their search. Even the worst agent would be able to suspect that something was up by this point.

Now the government may not look great at times here like when they took their guns out so quickly, but you also have to concede that Mac and the gang didn’t handle the situation well either. They keep on walking without a care in the world as they disrupt society. The aliens appear to barely have any form of intelligence, but even so you would expect them to adapt to Earth a little better than they had. Is it really so hard to integrate into society? Making the aliens a little more likable would have really gone a long way.

The pacing is pretty decent for this movie. It doesn’t feel particularly long and the plot is usually moving so you never feel stagnant. Some scenes can be a bit hard to believe though like when the cops blow up a Wal-Mart type store to stop the aliens and everyone survives somehow. The main character almost died, but there were no casualties. I think the special effects guy was a little too zealous in his job at that point though as an explosion of that size would have absolutely wiped everything out. You simply can’t survive from such an attack.

Overall, I can’t say that Mac and Me will go down as an all time great, but it wasn’t half bad. At the very least the film tried to have some heart. I think with less kids as main characters it could have really ended up being quite good. Unfortunately kids just can’t hold their own films and this movie just serves to reinforce that. It’s not that the kids are terrible or anything, but they simply aren’t very interesting and tend to be slow on the uptake. I want a main character who is always ready for a fight and who doesn’t back down. A character like that will cause any movie to go to the next level. If you haven’t seen this film yet then I would recommend checking it out. It’s fairly decent, on the other hand it wouldn’t be hard for you to simply find a better sci-fi film to check out instead. Also alien designs don’t get worse than Mac.

Overall 5/10

Teen Titans Go! To The Movies Review


It’s time to look at the Teen Titans GO! movie that came out recently. I’ve watched the show ever since its beginning and it’s always been very hit or miss. It can have some decent episodes and then it can have some truly terrible ones. As a result the show is leaning towards a negative rating at the moment, but of course things can certainly change by the end. With a film I figured the writers would try to be on their best behavior and come up with a good story so as not to embarrass its viewers. Well, the movie is a considerable step up and I can happily say that it was a quality movie. I was worried for a little while, but it all turned out okay.

The film starts with the Teen Titans being mocked by the Justice League. While Robin and co. aren’t thrilled about this it’s hard to deny that the League have a lot more going for them. They’ve got big budget films on their resume while the Titans haven’t got a clue. Robin decides that the only way their group will ever be respected is if they get a big budget movie. They head over to Jade Wilson to plead their case but she explains that she’ll never make a film about them. The only way around this is if the Titans can get rid of all other heroes or finally get an arch nemesis. Both options will be tough for these guys, but Robin knows that it’s time to step up. Can the team do it?

Slade gets a pretty big role here as you’d expect since he is easily the Titans’ most iconic villain. This film is the first time they’ve met in Go continuity so it was nice to see him arrive. He’s played in a much more comedic light here as you’d probably expect. It may take a little while to get used to him since his “Mind Manipulation” gimmick isn’t quite as humorous as most of the other Titans. Still, he does give us a pretty good twist by the end (Well, if you’ve read the comics you might not be fooled but the twist works to an extent regardless because there are two routes that the movie could have went with) and he can certainly fight. I was glad to have him on board here.

Where the film excels is naturally in the writing/humor. See, typically the issue with the series is that the humor is cringy instead of funny. Usually it’s very crude or just flat out gross. This film rarely goes there and instead the humor is in how crazy the Titans are and how unprofessional the team can be. A good example of humor is how the Titans go around preventing everyone’s origin. The humor can also be a bit dark in how they have to murder some people without going too far into dicey territory. As I mentioned the only gag that drags on is Slade’s. (Saying his name gets old as well) When Slade isn’t around the rest of the humor is fast and to the point.

I also liked the film’s soundtrack. Some of the songs were meant to be parodies of course, but they still worked very well with or without context. Robin’s song about being a real hero was awesome. Likewise I really enjoyed the Teen Titans opening song that was also used during the climax. It’s really impressive just how good the song is honestly. It’s the kind of song you could actually listen to in a serious context and still enjoy it. It helps that the graphics for both scenes with the song were quite impressive. It started the film out on a high note and right away you could tell that it was a bit of a step up from the show. Even the animation was quite on point here. While the style isn’t really different from the show, there is a lot more movement so I imagine that the animators had to use many extra frames. It allows for better visual gags and some nice action scenes as well. On a technical level the film had no issues and since the writing was solid as well you can see how this film got off on the right foot.

As far as the main characters go, Robin is certainly the best hero just like you would expect. He actually knows how and when to get serious unlike the rest of the heroes. He got the team their opportunity to get a movie and didn’t mess it up unlike the others. He really wants to be a good crime fighter and is just held back by the others. I’d go as far as to say that without the others he would have already had his movie. Still, he’s pretty patient with the other titans and has all the qualities of a good leader. Unfortunately the other four don’t look very good here. They actively try to wreck his movie in a fit of jealousy and rage. You could argue that it is quite personal since right after Jade tells the Titans to stop goofing around they immediately did the opposite. I think the implication here is that they didn’t like the way she said it, but it’s still awful petty of them. Cmon now guys. You really feel bad for Robin the whole time and even if he does get suckered by the end you can’t blame him for trying. This was his life’s dream and he may not have gotten the opportunity again otherwise. You go Robin!

Another strong area in the film is its ever changing plot. While getting a movie is the main focus of course the film goes into a few different segways where you think it may spend a lot of time doing something only to refocus. A good example of this is the heroes deciding to go back in time to change the superhero origins of the League to replace them. You’d expect this to be the bulk of the plot in any other movie but here this montage only lasts for a little while before the Titans go with plan B. I think that plot could have been its own movie as well, but the film could have potentially locked itself in a bit since then it would become a bit more predictable as to what would happen next. It still worked for the quick gags though. There’s just a lot happening in this film throughout and it has the kind of energy that you want to see in a movie like this. It embraces how crazy it is and ultimately ends up being the definitive comedy DC film.

Of course this wouldn’t be a true comic book film without a post credits scene right? It hints at a future project to come if you take the scene at face value. Honestly I wouldn’t have taken it very seriously myself since it would be the ultimate gag to get everyone’s hopes and dreams up. Of course, we do have a rumored crossover film coming up which is similar to a direct sequel so I guess in a way that does lend some credibility to the scene. Regardless it is a pretty fun scene though and one that I’m sure you’ll have fun with.

Overall, Teen Titans Go! really surprised me with this one. The humor is just so much better than you would have expected based on the show. We’ve gotten glimpses of what the show could be like from time to time, but to actually pull this off for over an hour straight? I couldn’t help but be impressed. Aside from the Slade humor being a bit weak I can’t think of any negatives for this film. Even if you haven’t seen the show before now I highly recommend checking this film out. It’s just a lot of fun and all you need is a basic understanding of DC comics or at least the comic book movie industry to really get into what’s happening here. Who knows, maybe you’ll be able to accept Robin as a real hero!

Overall 7/10

Fairy Tail City Hero


Looks like Fairy Tail’s got another spinoff going! This one is pretty early on, but it already has some warning bells. The series seems like it’s going to try and add in the typical Fairy Tail elements, but hopefully it can end up being a good series. It’s got potential, it’s just got to live up to it.

Overall 4/10

House 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 much more negative

It’s time to look at a horror/comedy which often times seems to be the best way to handle the genre. It’s a pretty interesting blend of the two genres and one that I think works rather well to be honest. The songs really help as well and the movie does a good job of just never getting too exaggerated. It’s a rare exception to the trope of most horror films being terrible. Of course, since it is part comedy do you wonder a bit if it really counts. I’m actually surprised that it’s R because it didn’t seem all that violent or to have much objectionable content. I’m assuming a lot of it must have been language or something in which case I would naturally rescind my statement that the writing is pretty good in this film, but as mentioned earlier I am specifically reviewing the edited version and as such my recommendation to watch it is only to be applied to that one.

The film starts off with Roger having a pretty awful time of it lately. His wife left him which is always unfortunate. His son went missing a few years back and his aunt died. He’s also on tough times financially as he hasn’t been able to write a new book in a very long time and is just out of ideas. Ah well, he at least gets to inherit his Aunt’s house (Along with her wealth, but he spends a lot of it on cameras) which is supposed to be haunted. Roger doesn’t believe in ghosts, but that may prove to be irrelevant.

One positive that is really apparent here is the monster’s design. She actually has a real design and isn’t just hiding the whole time. She shows up to taunt Roger and even speaks. I admit that I was actually a little shocked when she started talking but certainly in a good way. Then she took out the shotgun and I knew that this wasn’t your average horror villain. She wasn’t relying on cheap reality warping tricks or any of that. She was just fighting Roger in hand to hand combat and making it look easy.

The rest of the monsters here are also pretty cool. You need to see the way the bat twirls around his gun before using it to break the rope Roger is clinging to. That took a lot of skill and the monster world is probably the best one that I’ve seen since Insidious. It’s definitely a highlight and seeing Roger take them on is the best part of the film. I also liked the fact that he used the floating knives in the first room he was in to take on the monster. Usually that trick won’t work, but it’s always worth trying.

There is one subplot that does drag on and isn’t as fun as the rest though, that’s the Vietnam part of the story. We see that Roger used to be in the army and was in a tough squad. They were thrown into a suicide squad where Roger abandoned his teammate to the enemy and ran home. Naturally he feels rather guilty about this and it has haunted his psyche for a very long time. It’s a subplot that feels rather unnecessary. Of course it does end up affecting the main plot by the end so I guess they felt it was good for the twist, but I think it wasn’t needed. I also do think the ghost has a good reason to be mad at Roger because Roger definitely made the wrong call there. Finishing off the guy would have been the wrong move as well. Abandoning and finishing off someone are always the wrong calls. The only right move there would have been to stay and fight until the last man.

Back to the main plot, we also get a random next door neighbor who wasn’t really needed. She is basically just added for the misdirect which is meant to be comedic and some fanservice. Neither of which are good reasons for her inclusion in the first place. Take away her annoying kid and her 3 minutes of screen time and the film wouldn’t really change. Meanwhile, Roger’s ex-wife is a far better character who is a lot more interesting in her short minutes of screen time. I was actually a little worried when she first showed up and Roger took out the Shotgun. If that had actually been her then the film would have crossed that line between being funny and dark which would have been tragic. Fortunately the film handled it pretty well so the twist worked quite well. It was handled pretty well also since I wasn’t exactly sure if it would be played straight or not.

Of course I can’t end a review of this film without mentioning the great music. This may have the best soundtrack from any horror film. That instant where Roger takes down the monster is made perfect when the cool lyrical song starts playing. The timing is perfect and the song is pretty inspirational so it just works so well. We also get another song later on which is quite good as well. The monster’s regenerative abilities prove to be a little tricky afterwards, but Roger did a good job of trying to think everything through. Even chopping the monster into many pieces was definitely a good idea to at least slow it down.

Overall, House was actually pretty fun. It poked fun at the usual horror tropes and did a good job of exploiting them without overdoing it. Roger is a better main character than most of the actual horror leads and the monster is also a step up from normal. This movie basically did everything right. It mat have juggled too many subplots at times and lost focus of what was actually happening, but in the end the pacing was solid and the plot was interesting. The writing was surprisingly good and so was the cast. This could be my new go 2 when recommending a horror film to someone.

Overall 7/10

Rodan Review


It’s time to look at one of the original giant monster films. Many believe that Godzilla is really what kicked off the Kaiju boom, but you have to consider the mass market appeal that Rodan brought with him. Rodan isn’t your average giant monster, he is one that can fly. In fact, if we took this version of Rodan unnerfed and put him up against the other giant monsters, he would crush them. Not even Godzilla would last long against such a threat. Rodan helped audiences finally take giant monsters seriously and still works very well as both a thriller and a Kaiju film. While the film does drop off quite a bit at the end, it’s not enough to negate the rest of the experience.

The film starts off with a group of miners heading to the caves. Unfortunately they are brutally murdered by a bunch of giant worms. The humans go for backup but none of their guns are all that effective. Fortunately that’s when Rodan shows up to eat all of the worms and claim dominion over the skies. Any jets that stay in the air are promptly destroyed. The humans realize that the only way to stop Rodan is to throw him into the volcano, but this task gets a little more dangerous once there are 2 Rodans on the field. What can they possibly do?

The short answer is nothing. There’s no way that the ending even could happen. What the film should have done was have the humans acknowledge that they can’t hope to stop Rodan. This would have been the signal for a very emotional scene to start as the humans team up to create a giant paper mache version of Rodan that they sail off to an uninhabited island. The Rodans would follow it and leave humanity alone for a little while. Even I may have teared up a little bit at such a spectacle. As it stands, the ending is emotional but in a sad way. I was rooting for Rodan the whole time and was looking forward to seeing him wipe out humanity. For that not to happen is simply tragic.

Enough dwelling on the ending though. I didn’t like it, but it wasn’t quite horrible enough to drag the film down too much. I have to give credit to the special effects here as they were handled a lot better than expected. I dare say that it even beats most of the modern films when it comes to depicting Rodan’s speed. In this version you actually can believe that he flies at super sonic speeds since we see him outmaneuvering a jet. Rodan may not have a fancy laser to shoot out, but with moves like that he doesn’t even need one! I also liked the size difference between Rodan and the worms. Since we already saw how massive the worms looked to the humans, it’s clear that Rodan is a colossal beast.

As for the humans…there’s not much to say about them. They’re around of course, but they don’t really contribute much to the story. The dub has fun with them as everyone gets in a few good one liners. It’s hard to tell if you’re supposed to take the characters seriously or not. On one hand, it’s not as if they’re making obviously bad decisions or anything like that, but on the other hand…they just don’t seem as invested into the situation as you would possibly expect. After all, having a giant monster around destroying everything is kind of a big deal right? I didn’t dislike the humans, but as with most of the old monster films I found them to be a tad forgettable. Granted, it’s probably because I’m focused on the monsters.

I will say that the writing was solid. These films definitely take place back in an era where scripts were actually handled with care and you didn’t have to cringe at every other line. The pacing of the film is good as well and it manages to cover quite a lot in a short amount of time. There’s not much that the film could have done to be much better in these areas as it was just solid. I can only imagine how impressive this movie must have looked back in the 50s. Whether you are currently a big Kaiju fan or just getting into the genre, this is a movie that I can definitely recommend checking out purely on a technical level in addition to being a monster film.

Overall, Rodan is a fun film. He’s always been a solid monster, but one who is probably a little over matched against the others. He’s simply too fast and strong so he tends to get nerfed quite heavily. I’m hoping that the upcoming American film has a good idea of how to use him, but I am going to be entering that film with a few reservations on the power levels department. No worries, it’s still going to be film of the year, but with all of these Kaiju running around I hope that corporate knows what they are doing. Still…when do they not?

Overall 7/10

The Lego Ninjago Movie Review


It’s time to look at another Lego adventure. The genre has definitely grown pretty big over the years to the point where random titles like Ninjago can make it to the theaters. Seeing this one’s trailer on the big screen was certainly surreal. It comes off as a very obvious parody for the most part but suddenly tries to get a little serious near the end. Honestly it’s very similar to what I usually say about Rom-Coms. The beginning-middle is usually pretty fun with the shenanigans and nobody getting along but when when all of the characters get serious near the end it doesn’t work as well. That’s basically what happened here. It’s a fun movie but the end of the film tries to be un-ironically serious which is quite the tone shift.

The beginning of the movie starts off with a kid walking into a store and wondering if he’s in the right movie. The old man assures him that this is a complete filler scene and we are then thrown into the Lego world. It’s basically known to be fake right from the start since this is all a story but hopefully that won’t dampen your enthusiasm. We learn that a man known as Garmadon has been trying to take over all of Ninjago. He is always unsuccessful every day as the Power Rangers stop him. Lets face it, Lloyd and the others are the Power Rangers. It has become such a casual every day occurrence that the media doesn’t really take it seriously although there is always a lot of property damage so nobody is thrilled about that.

The main character is Lloyd and he is Garmadon’s son so that makes things pretty tense at school. Everyone is always picking on him which is unfortunate but at least he has some friends…right? Well, these “friends” are actually all just faking it as they are quick to insult and even abandon Lloyd. After Lloyd slips up once the whole group disowns him and start insulting the guy just like everyone else. They are certainly false friends which definitely isn’t cool and if I was Lloyd I probably wouldn’t be forgetting that any time soon. Lloyd’s use of the super weapon wasn’t even that bad either even if it didn’t work out. At least he was doing something as opposed to the other Rangers who just seemed to be walking aimlessly before that moment. Lloyd was definitely a reasonable character even if he maybe couldn’t take a hint that Garmadon didn’t care much for him.

There’s not much to say about his friends though as they were all pretty iffy. They seem utterly defenseless without Lloyd and yet they are never grateful to him. You’d think that they would be a little nicer since it seems to me that he is doing all of the work. A little gratitude would be nice to be honest. In a way they are big characters and yet you probably won’t remember their names for long. At least Master Wu sees the potential in Lloyd and acts accordingly. I did feel bad for him when the old man was thrown away for most of the movie though. His fight with Garmadon was probably the best action scene in the film. Neither fighter was willing to pull their punches and the whole thing got very personal very quickly.

Meanwhile Garmadon is actually a pretty solid villain. For one thing he does bring up a lot of points like when the heroes are discussing if they should go on the right path or the short cut. Garmadon points out that they should listen to the guy who didn’t fall off a cliff as Master Wu wanted to take the Right Path but then couldn’t finish the journey. He also has a lot of interesting stories and has much more personality than most of the characters. He does set up his minions for failure and the end of his plot is super cheesy but he is still a fun villain to have. The cool design also helps a lot and bringing in a giant robot to fight the other robots just makes a lot of sense.

It’s been a while since I’ve had to bring up pacing in a bad way but unfortunately it needs to be said for this film. The movie actually has pretty good pacing for the most part but I do feel like it started to lose a little steam after the heroes met up with the generals that Garmadon had fired. Prior to that we had nonstop action scenes and some pretty good one liners. This segment just wasn’t quite as good and the climax couldn’t top the fight scenes from the beginning of the movie. That’s also why I say that the first half was a lot stronger. The mech fights were a blast and then we can’t forget to give a lot of credit to the hand to hand fight with Wu and Garmadon. Films don’t always need to have an explosive climax I suppose, but what we got just really couldn’t keep up with the opening.

The soundtrack was pretty fun. The “It’s a hard life” song was certainly unexpected but fairly nostalgic as I know I’ve heard that somewhere. The songs don’t show up too often but when they do it’s always a blast. They complement the fights well. The Lego animation still isn’t really my thing but the fights were still well choreographed and the elemental attacks looked good. You could tell that this was a theater film budget for the Lego fighters as it just looks smoother than a lot of the other Lego features.

Overall, Lego Ninjago was pretty fun. Considering that this is a more random Lego film than the others I’ve seen which were all based on popular franchises, I thought that it did pretty good. The film’s humor mostly hit all of the right notes and the fight scenes were solid. The film built up a decent amount of lore that it could use for the next film and the Cat got the props that he deserved. I do think that adding the human characters was completely unnecessary though and felt a little forced. Skipping that brief instance entirely would have been a very good idea if you ask me. If you’re on the fence with this film because it looks like a second rate comedy I can assure you that it has a reasonable amount of depth and stands proud as a good film. That being said, I would sooner recommend you check out The Lego Movie first as that one is very similar but a step above this one.

Overall 7/10

Baby Geniuses Review


It’s time to look at a film about babies who can fight with adults. Does this sound like a terrible premise? Yes, yes it does. I’ve never been big about having kids and babies in films, much less the center role. They tend to be more annoying than anything else. This film may not be quite as obnoxious as you would expect based on all of this, but I still wouldn’t call it a good film. This is one time where I do agree with the overwhelming majority that this film should not have been made, much less have been given sequels. While this one may have stayed classy for the most part, I somehow don’t think the sequels will have the same restraint.

The film starts off with the evil organization trying to stop a baby from escaping. His name is Sylvester and he is the smartest baby of them all. He flips a bunch of adults around and outruns them even though he is clearly just waddling. Somehow or another he breaks out of the instillation by hiding in dirty laundry and swaps places with his twin who was given a normal life. The villains have him now (Whit) and they don’t mind since part of their convoluted plan is to see which Baby would develop better. See, another part of the plot that I didn’t mention is that Babies are born with the secrets to the universe. They know everything and only lose this knowledge when they grow up. The reason why nobody knows about this is because they’ve all made a pact not to disclose any information to adults. We’re led to believe that every baby in the world is in on this and they have never made a slip up. Even when they debate on what they should tell their parents, they always decide to start with Mama or Dada to follow the tropes. Can Sylvester save Whit and prove that feigning ignorance is always the best policy or will they use the secrets of the Universe for positive effects?

I guess the opening scene isn’t handled too badly. It’s played pretty seriously aside from the Baby beating them up. The Baby can’t act and I just can’t believe that a baby is beating up these agents though. Physically Sylvester is still just a baby. I don’t care how smart he is or how much of a genius he has become, it’s still a little unreasonable to have him going up against trained professionals. You’re not supposed to take it too seriously since it’s a comedy I suppose, but I still can’t roll with that. Especially since it’s relevant to the whole premise and we never get such a fight again. After that it all goes back to the Babies being super smart, but not necessarily ultra powerful.

There is one running gag that’s pretty bad and you have to wonder why it’s here. A teenage guy decides to rebel..because he doesn’t like his job I guess, and keeps trying to dress outlandishly so he can be fired. He’s also disrespectful and tries to break all of the rules. However to spite him…the owner forces him to keep the job. I get that spiting people can be entertaining, but in this case, the business is losing money and risking its reputation all to spite the guy. That makes no business sense and the characters must not be very smart to try and pull this off. You’ll be shaking your head the whole time during these scenes.

There’s also your typical baby humor that certainly doesn’t age well. It won’t make you smile let alone laugh. The only decent joke was when Sylvester enacts a really obvious plan to hit the villains where they hurt so they dodge but then they end up getting hit anyway. It even happens twice for extra emphasis. I could get behind that joke as it at least pointed out that these minions were better than the average ones, but it’s a small victory considering everything else.

The film doesn’t drag on at least as it isn’t too long. There just aren’t many stand out moments. Again, the babies are just annoying and they never actually do much. The humans don’t leave much of an impact as well. I guess it’s good that the Dad can understand the Babies a little, but not enough to do much. From the villains I only liked the Director who pointed out how great the operation was. His boss was less charismatic. I do like how everyone knows she is evil, but she’s still allowed inside the main characters’ house though. Those guys aren’t very smart if you ask me and they take the whole “She’s stealing their ideas” knowledge very casually. If someone was stealing my ideas and making big money off of it I would certainly have a few options on what to do and I’d weigh them carefully. Standing around and making jokes about it wouldn’t be in my top 10.

While I’ve been bashing the film a lot, it’s not as if it’s a terrible film. I’ve certainly seen far worse ones. The main problem is just the fact that the babies get a ton of screen time and really don’t need to be here. Much like the film doesn’t. I think for this plot to work they at least have to be kids and even then I’ll be annoyed. Teenagers are really the youngest age at which you can have the characters fight and do well without it being too obnoxious or cheesy. That’s the way that I see it at the very least. There also should have been an easy Baby if you ask me since that would have at least given Sylvester to fight. He doesn’t really get a final fight as the film’s climax is ironically a little more about the adults as they have their big confrontation. It was nice to see the Cops show up at the end…they were just almost 2 hours too late to really help.

Overall, Baby Geniuses is about as good as you would expect from the title. By that I mean that the film isn’t very good. The humor can be decent at times, but cringey at other times. There are no really good characters which is a bit of a problem. The lead researcher who is always trying to decipher the babies’ code is the best by default. With a better cast and a different premise, then maybe this film could work, but I personally doubt it. I’d advice staying away from this film unless you’re just a big fan of babies and think it’d be pretty adorable to see them having fun. I’ve never been a big babies person so it’s a premise that I would stay away from on principle.

Overall 3/10