Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey Review


It’s time for the big sequel to the original Bill & Ted! These two definitely went on quite the adventure the first time around. I enjoyed the film well enough and this one throws in androids which is always cool. I would say this one even improved upon the first. It does have some scenes where the film can get a little slow but for the most part the pacing is solid and the androids made for pretty intimidating opponents. They’re definitely not people that the heroes can really hope to defeat straight up.

This movie opens up in a similar state to the first. Bill & Ted still can’t play music at all and that’s not good since the big battle of the bands is coming up. They think about using time to help them out with this but in the meantime finally propose to the princesses from the first film. Everything is going well until alternate versions of themselves appear. They think it’s the future selves here to help them out once again but instead they are actually evil doppelgangers sent from the future to foil Bill & Ted’s career. These robots murder Bill & Ted and proceed to accomplish their goals. The heroes last chance to save the day is to quickly find Death so they can come back to life and then interfere before the Battle of the Bands performance is over or there will be no hope left. It’s a tough journey but someone’s got to do it.

I definitely enjoyed having some evil androids in the mix. Having villains like that can definitely take things to the next level if you ask me. Think about it, these guys have built in super strength and they easily crush the leads in their first battle. I’ll admit that the loss is a bit embarrassing if anything but it’s not like you could have expected anything less. It was still the most hype set of scenes in the film. Unfortunately there isn’t a real rematch later on so you need to enjoy the initial struggle.

The adventures through the characters’ personal hells were fun too though. You’ve even got a giant bunny that is around to mess everyone up. The scenes could get pretty tense. Death himself is probably the least intimidating member by default. The guy just wants some friends deep down. The scenes of the main characters playing him in a bunch of board games was definitely fun. Especially since I had even played a bunch of them back in the day. Bill & Ted are definitely really good at playing these which isn’t too surprising. I bet they played these games quite a lot over the years, probably instead of studying or anything like that.

As for Ted and Bill as characters, they’re pretty much unchanged from the first film so you either like them or you don’t. I appreciated the air guitar gimmick they have where they use that whenever something cool happens. Part of what helps them succeed as characters is their comedy gags aren’t even all that annoying. The characters are pretty fun and just work out rather well if you ask me. The cast is fairly small but they work well. The princesses don’t look great but they don’t really have a lot of screen time. There’s also a super smart inventor from another world who was passable at best but these side characters don’t really take away from the main adventure or anything like that.

There’s also a big twist that happens near the end of the film which is pretty fun. It just goes to show that when time travel is in play you have to expect the unexpected. Anything can happen at any given moment which is part of the point of this method. The film’s pacing is pretty solid so it’ll be over before you know it. Ultimately if I had to really say why it beat the first film, I’d say that the evil Androids and the film mainly taking place in the present are what did it. I love time travel but of course I prefer going to the future than the past. There’s just a lot more to explore when you’re going forward.

Overall, Bill & Ted manage to improve upon what made the first film solid. This is one I could definitely recommend to anyone who enjoys comedies. The writing is on point and we’ll see if the third film can keep it up. I don’t see why not, the trailer for it certainly looks pretty solid to me. The end of the big saga at long last. At the end of the day it’s still almost frightening how the future society is doomed to be modeled after these characters. I mean, there are far worse people you could pick to represent the planet but also much better ones as well. At least the clothing seems to have gone the LazyTown route in the future so fashion is on an upwards trend.

Overall 7/10

Oh, God! Review


All right, it’s time to look at a comedy film from a while back. The plot is definitely a tricky one since it’s about God showing up and the film’s going to be poking some fun at it. I’d say it’s pretty harmless though and you never feel like the film is trying to be mean spirited about it. It’s not going out of its way to do anything crazy at the very least unlike certain other films that are coming out soon. It’s a pretty enjoyable film I’d say and the movie never really makes any critical mistakes.

The movie starts with an average day in Jerry’s life. He’s trying to make his supermarket the best one in the country and he’s doing rather well with it to be honest. One day things take a turn though when he is contacted by God for an interview. Jerry has not been given a message to spread the word and get people to believe again. God appears to Jerry as an older man who may not be very smart at times but does have all the powers that you would expect. For the purposes of the review we’ll call him George though just because even if that’s how he’s addressed I’d rather keep the word for when it’s about the genuine article. Can Jerry really convince the media that this is happening?

Jerry’s definitely very skeptical at first but who wouldn’t be? As a Christian myself I’d be extremely hard pressed to believe that he would appear and start talking to me out of the blue. Why? Because the Anti Christ will also be showing up soon and it’s already confirmed that he will have all kinds of supernatural abilities and will perform miracles. So, I don’t even know what would convince me. That’s part of the point though, it would have to be something utterly crazy that only God could think of. In the meanwhile if I see someone come back to life or other big things like that I’d first assume it’s the other guy to be honest. When God actually returns we’ll certainly know about it.

Back to the film, Jerry does go on board with this after a miracle or two and really tries his best. I was pleasantly surprised at how eager Jerry was to accomplish the mission. Usually the main character grumbles for what feels like the entire film before being bullied into action. Here Jerry takes quite a few losses but he always tries his best. If anything George appears quite ungrateful at times as you can tell that Jerry was giving this all. He put his career and life on the line to deliver the message. It may not have worked out perfectly but I don’t really see what else he can do.

The film has fun with this as Jerry goes just about everywhere to help out. At most he can just be a little slow on the uptake with the whole changing appearances thing. He probably could have handled that better instead of making himself look bad every time. At least Jerry never gave up though. His family wasn’t quite as supportive at times. The kids were definitely a little more on the annoying side. They should have had his back instead of literally backing off instead. Only Bobbie was there to help even if she wasn’t the best at it. She has good reason to think that he’s making a lot of this up though as Jerry doesn’t always do a good job of explaining his experiences. Bobbie definitely had to go through a lot the whole film so she gets more slack than the other characters.

The pacing is solid and the film just flies through. It feels like we got to accomplish a lot as well which is probably what helps the pacing. I enjoyed the round table discussion when Jerry met with the religious leaders. While one of them definitely ended up being corrupt the others felt fairly reasonable. Although as students of the scripture they should have remembered Matthew 4:7 ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.” before giving Jerry the equivalent of a pop quiz. The whole point of faith is that you don’t know all of the answers so there’s no reason why God actually would do such a thing. He could, but that’s not the same thing as saying he would.

At the end of the day with the writing and script being solid, the only thing that could stop you from enjoying this film is if you simply dislike how the movie handles the premise. This certainly isn’t a serious look at what could happen if God were to return like this so the film has a lot of laughs. As I mentioned earlier, I wouldn’t say it’s mean spirited though and does at least reference some interesting topics. I was fine with the film. My only complaint would be that they went too far in trying to portray God as not being very smart at all. I thought that was overblown, I understand making him appear to be a kind old man who’s very calm about everything. Flat out not being intelligent? You lost me there film.

Jerry asks a lot of questions that the film doesn’t give great answers to. One of them “Is Jesus your son?” is an easy one. Yes he is. Jesus Christ is the Son of God who dies for our sins and was resurrected after 3 days. The film quickly misdirects the answers so that God takes it as a figurative question so as not to offend any other religions, but you can’t have it both ways. Jesus is his one and only son when we’re talking in the literal and of course we all are Children of God when you talk about it in a meta sense. It’s important to make the distinction though so as not to undermine the importance of Jesus himself. I remember a long time ago I met someone who said they believed all religions and that can’t be true inherently because to believe one is not to believe the other. There’s no scenario where you can pick and choose.

As for the classic “Why do bad things happen?” well, that’s the struggle of life. If God solved everything for us then there would be no choice. It’s the same reason why he won’t suddenly show up in a bolt of lightning or anything like that. Anyone can believe in God if given absolute proof which defeats the entire purpose of Faith. You have to be able to believe in him without having any proof. The possibility that he is not real is what makes are faith legitimate. Everyone knows that the Sky is real because we can see it so it would be impossible for us to believe in the Sky. This is really the same concept when you think about it. It’s easy to feel like life is unfair and that some have it easier than others. Sure, to an extent that may be true but everyone faces their own personal trials and tribulations. Some may do a better job of hiding it than others, but I don’t believe it’s possible to go through life with no problems. God never gives you more than you can handle but nobody has a perfect life.

There are always a lot of good debates on that kind of subject and you could go back and forth for hours but that’s why it’s all so interesting. Also, Religion is different than having a personal relationship with God. That’s something the film gets right even though several characters seemingly aren’t able to wrap their heads around it in the movie. It’s very different to know about God vs knowing God intimately. Then there’s the third step of actually taking him into your heart. Put it this way, The Devil fits into the first two sections, he just loses out in the third. Anyone can know about God and there are those who believe in him but choose not to serve him. It’s the third category that really counts.

Finally, the film also talks about God not being comprehendable which is why he takes a human form. That’s something I can buy into. I don’t think it would be possible for a mere human to really be able to understand or see God. It’s why in the Bible people die or go blind if they even get a glimpse of him. He’s a being we can never fully grasp which is why he is God. Of course it’s well within his ability to help us comprehend him and I believe in Heaven he would take a form similar to Jesus or something we can’t yet understand but will as Angels. It’s all about waiting until then.

So I went off on a bit of a side tangent there, but while the film is entertaining I also think it’s good to straighten up some of the topics the movie tackles but doesn’t go into. At the end of the day it’s a film that’s not meant to be used for study so you should never take these things at face value. Do your own due diligence and it’ll pay off quite well. Whether you’re a Christian or not I believe you would be able to find this film entertaining. If you’re bothered by the premise and would rather skip it, there’s nothing wrong with that either. I don’t expect this movie would be for everyone. It does have a court case at the end though which I always tend to enjoy. I doubt the sequels would be quite as good but you never know. Maybe they would be legitimate follow-ups.

Overall 7/10

Arsenic and Old Lace Review


It’s time to look at a comedy/parody film from a while back. I’m always up for that combo that’s for sure. The plot is pretty out there but of course the unnerving part is that it may not have been all that difficult to pull off a scheme like this back in the day. With all of the characters acting rather insane here you’ll have to try to keep up and see who has the upper hand by the end of the film. The lead definitely changes a lot as things go on.

The movie starts with Mortimer and Elaine about to get married. He’s feeling pretty shamed about the whole thing because he was always a huge critic of marriage in general. He just changed his tune after meeting up with Elaine. After being married they’re ready to go to the Honeymoon but just have to go home for a few minutes to say their goodbyes and such. They live next door at least so they’re close to each other. Unfortunately, it turns out that Mortimer’s two aunts Abby and Martha have been going around murdering people. They have a sign that says room for rent and then any guy who walks through the door is promptly poisoned and buried. They have already bumped off 12 people. Mortimer decides to pin the blame on his brother Teddy who believes that he is actually the President of the United States Teddy Roosevelt. Complicating matters is the fact that Mortimer’s other brother Jonathan has escaped from jail and intends to make this his new home. Can Mortimer solve all of these problems in time to get back to Elaine and enjoy the honeymoon?

Mortimer’s character arc in the early part of the film is definitely the Hollywood dream. That while you may be a skeptic of falling in love and all you will eventually break once you meet the right person. Mortimer certainly didn’t last long after all since this was literally the first scene of the movie. I think being against marriage is definitely not the right play though. If you’re content to be single that’s one thing but if you still want romance without marriage then that’s a mistake. Being committed to one person for the longhaul is far better than deciding to stay free during the relationship. This doesn’t play almost any part in the movie though.

From all the plots, the one with him and Elaine gets the shaft. Basically any time she tries to enter the house Mortimer stops her or she gets involved with the murder conspiracy. Nobody’s really of any help to her when it counts aside from Mortimer so at least he helps out. He handles that situation rather poorly though. She has a point that they just married and he is already ignoring her and pushing off their events so that’s not a good start. Mortimer really doesn’t have any excuse for being like this either so that hurts him a bit as the main character. I think this plot almost should have been cut out or at least handled in a very different way.

The main plot is of course about how crazy the family is. It’s not every day you see old ladies like Abby and Martha just bumping everyone off like this. They were really on a roll with taking everyone out of the picture. I can’t say that I was a fan of them though. A more reasonable main character would have been able to win the verbal debates a little easier but Mortimer would keep on getting defeated at every turn. If anything Jonathan and Herman did better but that’s due to the fact that they’re total villains of course. Then you have Teddy who is pretty insane the whole time and never really ends up helping the heroes.

The cops show up a few times and I do like the younger one. He seems like a very earnest guy and just wants everyone to read his script. Nothing wrong with that although he does get quite distracted at times so he probably needs to show a little more restraint. Jonathan is certainly an intimidating presence here with the only character who is able to stand up to him being Mortimer. That’s one angle I would have liked to have seen more. Mortimer clearly doesn’t fear him the way the others do but they don’t get a lot of scenes together. Mortimer usually has to dash off to try and frame Teddy or something like that. The closest we get is when Mortimer is trying to blackmail Jonathan with the body in the chest.

Of course Herman is also a fun character. He certainly gets drunk a lot and constantly seems stressed out. He’s just as villainous as Jonathan despite being this timid though which is clear in how he still helps carry out these plans at the end of the day. Surely he would have put a stop to this if he had a moral compass. So there are quite a lot of characters running around here that’s for sure. The film is surprisingly long and that allows it to push all of these plots forward quite a bit.

It’s definitely a pretty fun film. In some respects I felt the writing could have been better but there’s enough funny moments to keep the pacing tight. You won’t get bored or lose focus during the movie, I can definitely say that. Surprisingly the poisoned drinks don’t actually get much of a focus after the first scene. That’s okay with me though because it makes for a solid red herring throughout the film. You just never know when the characters are going to bust it out. The best scene in the film to me is when Mortimer tries explaining to Herman how the main characters of the plays he critiques aren’t very smart at all. Did I mention that he was an art critic? Like I said, there’s a whole lot going on here.

Overall, This is a pretty solid murder parody. It’s definitely been tough for the town with everyone getting bumped off though. It’s a subtle reminder that you can’t just trust anyone even if they appear harmless. As long as you like a good blend of thriller and parody you’ll definitely enjoy this film. There’s a lot to like here and quite a lot going on. The constant suspense of hiding the bodies keeps the film interesting and of course you have to decide who to root for. The only reasonable option here is the cops since everyone else is either a murderer, accessory to murder, or trying to frame someone else for the murders. It’s pretty fortunate for Elaine that she wasn’t in the house or she would have also gotten mixed up in all of this.

Overall 7/10

ARMS Crazy Arms Gag Fight!


This manga isn’t particularly long but I don’t know when it’ll all be translated. I’ll have a review for it as soon as it finishes. I’m not a big fan of 4koma style in general but maybe this one will be able to shatter all previous limits of the genre!

Overall 5/10

Mad Monster Party? Review


It’s time to look at a comedic horror crossover featuring all of the big universal monsters from back in the day. I have to admit that at first I thought the premise was slightly different. See, it starts with an old man perfecting a serum that blows stuff up and then he invites everyone. So his goal would be to blow them all up right? The film doesn’t go in that direction but I think it could have been very interesting to see him trying to knock off all of them one by one. This is a fun enough movie although I do think it starts to drag on a bit. The premise doesn’t seem like it’s quite ready to handle a full length adventure and could have easily just been 40 minutes or so. I think that would have made the film better.

The movie starts off by showing us that Frankenstein has created a new serum that can blow anything up. He figures this is a pretty solid note to retire on so he invites all of the monsters to come and have a party with him. The thing is, not everyone is here just to have a good time. Dracula has his own plans in all of this. Meanwhile Frankenstein has invited his nephew Felix over to meet everyone. Felix is just an ordinary kid trying to live the good life but is excited to see his uncle after so long. Frankenstein asks Francesca to look after him during the trip but they end up getting quite close. Can Francesca get Felix off of this dangerous island before it’s too late or is it already over for them?

Naturally here a big part of the fun is in how oblivious Felix is to everything going on. The film leads off with a fun gag where the monsters scare the sailors quite a bit so they think Felix is a monster as well. It’s handled pretty well although I was surprised that Felix would then go on to miss a large chunk of the movie. It’s also pretty surreal to see all of the monsters just show up out of the blue. I think a film could actually be a lot of fun if it took this plot seriously and had an ensemble nature like this. It’s hard to picture nowadays since they want every character to have his own film but it could definitely be a blast.

The animation is your classic stop motion style from the creators of Rudolph so you either like the animation or you don’t. Personally I consider this to be one of the weakest animation styles. I’ll take flash or CGI over stop motion any day. That being said, I’ve seen a lot of stop motion films over the years and among those this one holds its own well enough I’d say. They definitely had to get a lot of different character designs to make it work so that’s pretty impressive. They even got unique character models for everyone at Felix’s ice cream shop and those guys don’t appear after the opening. I thought they made for a pretty fun group and I actually missed the store a bit. It was an effective way to introduce us to Felix.

As a character Felix is fun enough. He’s determined to do the right thing and is very polite. I do think his romance with Francesca is pretty rushed to say the least though. As for Francesca, she’s a pretty fun character. She can certainly fight which is always handy and she’s willing to make the tough calls like sacrificing herself to let Felix get away. In general the film has pretty strong writing so that translates pretty well to the characters. They’ve always got a lot of good burns and comebacks at the ready for every situation. In particular I think Frankenstein’s monster fans will be pleased at his portrayal. No, he doesn’t get any witty comebacks or things of that nature but his raw power is given a ton of respect. He’s shown to be far more powerful than Dracula after all. Only King Kong would likely be above him.

All of the characters get their time to shine even if some get bigger roles than others. For example, Dracula gets a big role while the Mummy rarely gets to do anything. The movie had to balance quite a few monsters though so I think it did a good job with what it had. I also still think the sheer amount of iconic characters was impressive. I’ll also give the movie some props for the ending. I thought it threw in a pretty good twist with some wrinkles to keep you guessing. The ending certainly wasn’t an expected one at the very least and makes you re-think the whole movie.

As mentioned earlier, my only problem with the film would be that it just lasted a little too long. I feel like it would lose focus mainly in the second half as the premise started to be played out. You can only make fun of the characters for so long before you need to do something more with the story. A good script can help you avoid that but even these characters had already started to use up all of the witty banter. It’s not something that would make me turn you away from checking out the film but certainly slows its momentum.

Overall, The Mad Monster Party is worth checking out. I always like a good crossover and this one certainly fits that bill. If I was the film one change I would make though would have been to add Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer since he’s so iconic. I know that he’s not a monster but that could have been part of the joke as everyone keeps referring to him as one anyway. There are always more characters you can add though so that’s a pretty minor point. So long as you want a fun film with a lot of good banter then this is definitely one you’ll want to check out.

Overall 6/10

The Brave-Tuber Review


It’s time to look at a quick manga that I was definitely not familiar with before reading. This one’s pretty short at 2 volumes long so it probably makes sense why I had never heard of it before. It’s an interesting parody about stopping the Demon King but trying to get popular at the same time. It’s a pretty fun gimmick and I definitely enjoyed the manga. It would have been cool if it could have gone on for a few extra volumes though. As it stands, it ends before they could really go all out with the concept. Still, if you’re looking for a fun little manga this is a solid one to check out.

We start out by being introduced to Zane. He saved the world from the Demon Armies and is the strongest in the land. He hasn’t gotten around to destroying the Demon King yet but doesn’t see a reason to do so since the villain has yet to really make a move against the world. The reason for this is that Youtube and Witter have gotten really big in this world. It got invented out of nowhere and now everyone uses these services to have fun. Zane’s goal is to become mega popular so he can get rich off of his videos. Unfortunately even with the help of his holy sword Kuku they only have a handful of subscribers and nobody likes them. Can Zane find a way to get more people to watch his videos?

It is a pretty emotional battle for him because getting your Youtube account to be big does take quite a lot of work. It’s very rare that you can suddenly get big without doing any of the legwork. Unfortunately that is pretty much what Zane is doing. All of his videos are just about him beating up demons real quick which is not what people want to see. Additionally it seems like there are more demons than humans using these services so naturally they want to see themselves win. What probably hurts the most is that one of the only characters to follow Zane and Kuku’s account is the Demon Lord himself. He usually leaves comments with some quality smacktalk and posts of that nature. It makes the heroes feel a little bad about the whole thing. Still, they are determined that they’ll get big someday.

Zane reminds me a lot of the main character from Barakamon. He tends to get excited about any and everything. The guy has a lot of spunk and motivation in the moment although he loses it as soon as things go wrong. Then he reverts back into being emotionless. While he can be a little desperate to be rich he ultimately tends to do the right thing in the end. It may not always be for the right reasons but the important thing is that he is helping out right? That at least gives him a little credit I’d say. His fighting skills are also the real deal. In his burning form he effortlessly defeats even the strongest of demons and that’s not something that just anyone can do.

Kuku is his loyal partner and she is the one who usually tries to think of stuff they can do. She is the true brains of the operation. Although, to be fair most of her plans don’t actually end up working but at least she is actually trying. Zane’s strategy seems to be more like he’ll just wait and hope that success comes to him. Not exactly the most pro-active strategy right? It makes for a good dynamic between the two of them. Then you have Hellheit who joins the cast for volume 2. She’s a nice enough monster who has always just wanted to have some true friends. While I don’t think she ultimately added much to the dynamic, I suppose it made sense to add her so their subscriber count could jump a little. It adds a little subplot where Zane is annoyed since the viewers are only watching for her. It seems like things just never go his way.

The Demon Lord is probably the most wholesome character in the story. He’s always encouraging up and coming streamers to be the best that they can be. He leaves comments right away and is always on social media. You just can’t respond faster than this guy and is also good at provoking others. It’s one of those things where if he wasn’t evil and trying to destroy the world you could see him being a pretty good friend. The guy just seems dependable and like a solid character all around. The cast in the series is pretty small though. Effectively these are the only 4 characters who matter. It’s not a bad idea when the series is so short though. Keep the cast small and that way you can really expand on them rather than having a bunch and then nothing happens.

Brave-Tuber does a good job of not really rushing any of the character arcs. It’s only two volumes but I feel like the series succeeds at what it set out to do. The premise is a lot of fun and I could see an enjoyable anime out of this with a solid budget and all. The invention of social media would definitely change the RPG landscape in one of these retro adventures quite a lot. This is a parody done right as it can all be quite crazy but all of the characters take it in stride. Part of what makes a parody good is everyone acting like this is all normal. The writing here is pretty impressive. Additionally I enjoyed the artwork quite a bit. It’s all very clear with memorable character designs. If this series had decided to take itself seriously I believe that would have worked out as well. That’s the hallmark of a solid series.

Overall, I’d recommend checking out The Brave-Tuber. It’s a pretty good series that balances a pretty solid tone of comedy and adventure. While each chapter is effectively a standalone story the series manages to tackle more of the core topics you would be waiting to hear about in a world like this. The characters try all kinds of videos in order to become popular. They may not ultimately have worked but the important thing is that they tried. Who knows, maybe we’ll get some kind of sequel to this someday. It’s the kind of series where you have to be careful not to overuse the gags, but I’m confident this series will be safe. The writer showed that he is able to balance the humor and think of a good variety of jokes to keep things fresh.

Overall 7/10

Planes, Trains and Automobiles Review


It’s time to look at a comedy film from a while back. This one’s definitely pretty well known. I didn’t know anything about the plot itself, but the title is certainly iconic. After all, why would you ever need to use all 3 methods of transportation in one day? Well, things get pretty tough for the lead. The humor is usually pretty funny with only sometimes going over the edge. That’s normal for a comedy film as no matter how hard you try it’s hard for every single joke to be funny. The goal is to at least make sure most of them land successfully.

The movie starts with Neal wrapping up a long meeting. Unfortunately the boss took forever to decide on what design he wanted to now Neal has to dash in order to catch his flight so he can spend Thanksgiving with his family. It’s not in the cards though as all planes have been delayed. He meets up with a guy named Del who says that they should team up. Neal gives that option a hard no for a while but nothing he tries is working and now it’s late. He follows Del to a hotel room the guy picked up and this would be just the start of their partnership through this crisis.

Your enjoyment of the film may depend on how much you like Del because the film could seem unfair depending on your answer to that. Without a doubt Neal is put through the wringer in this film. Del tricks Neal into spending money constantly as Neal is saddled with virtually every bill. Neal clearly makes a lot of money but that’s not the issue here. Nobody wants to have to be with a free loader the whole time and that’s exactly what Del is. He always manages to be quite slick in getting Neal to make payments so it’s hard to just overlook that. He’s costing Neal quite a lot. By the end this is all brushed to the side as we find out that Del’s a nice guy, but it just doesn’t feel even or balanced. Neal came out of this in a worse position than when he started.

Neal was also quite patient with Del before blowing up near the end. He may have gotten a bit extra at that point, but Del had really done nothing to help him prior to this. Neal also had the worst luck in the world up to this point. Even at the beginning of the film he ended up losing the cab and then Del stole the next one. It was certainly a great way to start the film though. The whole taxi chase was pretty great and Neal really put up a good fight there. He’s a consistently good character throughout the film and the only scenes where he faltered was during the car rentals. He was really picking a fight with everyone at that point so naturally he got beat up. Talk smack and get whacked after all.

As for Del, it’s hard to sympathize with him. He may be a nice guy or so he thinks but he ends up being a lot of trouble for everyone. Del has to at least be a little self aware of how much trouble he is causing everyone. There are some things he does where you just know that it can’t have been an accident. He absolutely knows what he is doing at times despite denying it. The fact of the matter is that he gets in Neal’s way throughout the movie. Neal ends up being the bigger man and is still nice to Del, but it would have been nice if Del could have contributed at least a little. By the end of the film it’ll be hard to see why they are even still friends. Del burned Neal one too many times as the movie went on.

Most of the humor in the film revolves around how crude Del is. He doesn’t have a great sense of personal hygiene and so we do get quite a bit of crude humor. Those scenes don’t tend to land quite as well as the smooth dialogue based humor. The more outrageous moments can work well too like Neal showing up for his car except that it is no longer there. Now that’s an emotional moment where you can get behind the character because he was really counting on it being in that spot so it was certainly a let down when it wasn’t there. I’m sure no matter what humor style is your favorite you will have some laughs here because there are enough laughs for everyone. The humor has a lot of variety.

When you think about it the movie’s cast was actually pretty small. Del and Neal are really the only two characters. You’ve got minor characters here and there that try to mess with the leads but that’s about it. The two are able to hold the film quite effectively though. Neal as the protagonist and Del as the antagonist. Good banter goes a long way in films and this one is an example of a successful pairing. They help the film just fly by and you can’t be an effective comedy without strong characters. Between the characters and the film’s strong writing you’ve got a successful formula.

Overall, This is a fun film. A lot of the humor is effective and Neal makes for a fun character. The movie’s plot is engaging and it is definitely an “everyone’s worst nightmare” kind of scenario as you miss the plane and get stranded with all of the hotels being booked. Honestly I would have just stayed at the hotel all night instead of going to a dicey motel. I’d take my chances with the food court and while it is hard to stay awake for so long, you can definitely pull it off for one night when the stakes are this high. If Neal had been a little more patient with this whole thing then maybe he could have spared himself a long voyage. If you haven’t watched this film yet then I’d recommend checking it out.

Overall 6/10

Bugsy Malone Review


It’s time for a rather odd parody of the usual gangster film. Gangster films can be hit or miss as they all tend to be pretty similar but I haven’t watched enough of them to say that the whole genre is the same. That being said, a parody of one should have a lot of potential. This potential vanished when the kids showed up. The plot of this movie is that it’s kids who are acting like gangsters…and it doesn’t really work. The gimmick gets old after about 5 minutes and the rest of the film proceeds to drag on.

The film starts off with one of the gangsters getting iced by an opposing gang. He was supposedly one of the best in the biz but you would never guess it from the scene. He is murdered by whip cream bullets. His boss isn’t happy about this but he doesn’t have much time to worry since his other minions are pretty incompetent as well. He decides to start messing up the opposing gang in retaliation. Nobody crosses Bugsy Malone! There is actually a fairly large cast in this film which is a bit surprising. You do have to give the film props for effort. We’ve got 2 different romance plots, several of the gangsters have their own leads and it all results in a big meetup at the end of the film.

The whole film is a parody including the climax but if you take that away then the setting of the climax and the scale is pretty impressive. The film basically breaks the third wall here though as everyone survives the bullet shower and they all become friends. It’s a wholesome ending I suppose, but not the one you would be hoping for. It would have been fun if everyone just fainted from the whip cream and the narrator just says that this is why gangs are dying out. Eventually all of the gangs would always start fighting so there is no way to truly come out on top.

Here’s why the film didn’t work for me. I’m already not a big fan of most kid characters in these kinds of things. Kids can be pretty annoying and it’s hard to take them seriously. It’s rare to have a kid character who is really on the ball and talking with eloquent dialogue. That is not the case in this film. The gangster accents work pretty well as they are fairly realistic so I have to give a good amount of credit for that. Aside from that I just couldn’t take them seriously. The film would have ironically been far superior if the characters had all been adults. The way I see it, the kids part was a gimmick that the film was leaning on. It didn’t pan out. After the initial few minutes you’re over this “twist” and are ready to go back to the actual movie.

The movie also ends up being rather boring as a result. The characters go through the motions but kids have a really hard time being funny or engaging. I don’t think you’ll even crack a smile from start to finish while watching this movie. The romance plot is pretty terrible with the characters both being unreasonable. The gangsters are villains of course, but they’re not even charismatic so it’s not like you can really root for them. So the film didn’t have engaging characters, had fairly subpar writing and the pacing was pretty bad. There’s really not much left to salvage it.

It’s still not a 2 or lower because it’s not like there was any terrible content here. It’s still pretty kid friendly and as I mentioned the film tries to be ambitious, it just doesn’t work. Ah yes, did I mention this was a musical? We get quite a few songs here. There’s the one from the kid who wants people to recognize that he is a tap dancer so he goes on a long tangent about this. There’s a big one in the climax as all of the gang members sing around and try to have a good time, etc. None of the songs are all that good and certainly pale in comparison to the classic Disney songs.

Overall, Bugsy Malone was certainly an experimental film. You can always make the case that it’s good to try new things out even if it doesn’t work out. It’s a tough case but I understand the logic. Eventually you’ll hopefully find a formula that works out, but this isn’t it. Even if you’re a big fan of gangster films I would advise you to stay far away from this one. The fact that it goes through every typical gangster plot doesn’t really help its case because you could just watch one of those instead of this one. Bugsy Malone is not exciting or engaging and if anything it’ll just make you want to watch a real gangster film. Kids can’t hold their own films and if I ever need to give someone proof of that I’ll have them watch this film. It’s the easiest way to explain why this is the case.

Overall 3/10

Short Circuit Review


It’s time to look at a film from a while back that I only began hearing about recently. Apparently it was a pretty big film back in the day. It’s a nice enough story and was more enjoyable than E.T. although I wouldn’t call it the most exciting flick out there. You should be reasonably entertained throughout the adventure although you’ll be shaking your head at how the characters keep making the worst decisions they can think of.

The film starts by showing off the robots through an exhibition to the army. These guys can take down opposing armies and seem to have quite a lot of potential. Unfortunately one of them becomes sentient and decides to live his own life. In the next film he’ll be known as Johnny so I may as well call him that here. Johnny meets up with a girl named Stephanie who believes he is an alien. Eventually she learns the truth and must now decide if she will help keep him safe or if she will deliver him to the feds. Can she trust them not to murder the poor guy?

Naturally in a film like this it will likely depend at least on part whether or not you think he is truly sentient. Would turning Johnny off really be the equivalent of murder? It gets pretty philosophical. Right now I don’t believe we are at the point where a robot could get sentient, but hypothetically if it was possible then naturally destroying a robot would still be the wrong thing to do. Here we have Johnny literally begging for his life so Stephanie is right in trying to keep him safe. That being said, she really doesn’t do a good job of it and gets them into a lot of sticky situations.

Johnny isn’t really my kind of character because he just doesn’t know enough about human culture. A good chunk of the film is him making a mess of Stephanie’s life and constantly missing the point. He ends up helping out more towards the end of the film as he kidnaps one of the villains and saves Stephanie’s life, but it takes him a long while to get to that point. He’s better than E.T. because that isn’t all that hard to be honest but I can’t really give him a lot more credit than that. In the end he can barely hold his own in a fight and usually has to rely on gimmicks despite having some pretty good armaments. That tells me that he still needs to work on his battle strategies.

As for Stephanie, she was trying a little too hard to be quirky. She wasn’t one of the more engaging main characters out there. She means well of course, but that’s not enough on its own. She does beat some of the other characters though. Ben is one of the scientists trying to locate Johnny and he’s easily the worst character in the film. The film takes the trope of the scientists not knowing much about human culture way too far. Almost all of his lines are pretty terrible and he’s really just good at ruining genuinely wholesome moments. He is a little better in the sequel but was written really terribly here.

Newton is the character who should be more reasonable. He’s a scientist who built his robot a little too well and Stephanie has to convince him that Johnny’s change is real. This is all well and good except that Newton is way too stubborn about the whole thing. It takes him an eternity to get with the program and his romance subplot with Stephanie is about as rushed as you could possibly imagine. Newton had potential to be a good character and has some decent scenes, but they weren’t nearly good enough.

The standout character here was actually Howard. He easily has the best scene in the film as he surprises everyone by whipping out a gun when the heroes were heading for the getaway car. It showed that he still had his old agent skills at the ready even though he no longer works in the field. That’s the kind of boss you want to have. He commanded respect and I would have liked to have sen more of him. He was also quick to fire another member for disobeying orders later on which is the right step. You can’t properly lead if you have someone undermining your authority.

The action scenes when they occur are pretty good. It was nice to see Johnny take down the other robots. They may be a bit clunky so the fights aren’t super big or anything, but they’re still solid all the same. While the film’s humor is usually missing the mark, it does have some solid scenes. The writing is pretty bad so the movie couldn’t deliver as well as it might have wanted. Short Circuit is an interesting title in that sense as I wouldn’t call it a bad film but it makes enough mistakes where I can’t call it a very good film either. That’s why it is square in the middle. It does enough right to hang in there.

Overall, Short Circuit is not the best film I’ve seen, but it will keep you entertained from start to finish. Think of it as a good film to watch once, but you won’t need to check it out again. If you like a wholesome story about a robot learning how to make friends then this is the one for you. It can get a little cheesy and the characters are pretty weak, but the core concept isn’t all that bad. It’s almost like Terminator except the robots simply aren’t a true threat at the moment. They hype up Johnny’s laser at the beginning but it never truly becomes all that powerful if you ask me. He still takes a lot of losses as the film goes on.

Overall 5/10

Koro-Sensei Q! Review


It’s time to look at a parody/comedy spinoff to a main manga that wasn’t even that good to begin with. From the start you can tell that this was going to get a little messy and unfortunately it was as bad as I thought. Mind you, I wouldn’t call the manga terrible or anything like that, but it’s pretty bad. You probably won’t even crack a smile as you read through the gags because the manga goes for the low hanging fruit each time. All of the jokes are painfully predictable and never have any imagination to them. The jokes are also repetitive so you will be seeing the sames ones over and over again as the series tries to get the laughs back.

The basic plot of the series follows that of the main one. The heroes live in a fantasy land that is structured a whole lot like an RPG. One day, the big bad of the game shows up and decides to train the main characters on how to fight. None of them are thrilled about this, but at the same time getting instruction from the strongest monster of all time should be quite valuable right? The heroes decide that they will try to destroy him during the lessons. Each of the heroes has a different glitch which either gives them super powers or just makes life generally awkward. Koro will help them learn how to take advantage of these skills and he’ll have to do so quickly. There are other villains in this world who want to make a move as well as heroes who wish to hunt him. One thing’s for sure, Koro isn’t taking this seriously so neither should we!

That’s the basic premise of the title and the series never really gets much of a plot beyond that. There are various mini arcs and little stories in the middle but they’re all just to further this story goal. We get some basic development for the characters, but it’s all usually wiped away pretty quick. The big developments in the series are the arrival of the elite fighters, Koro’s old protege showing up, and the hero group having a civil war amongst themselves. These plots take a few chapters to resolve. Most of the chapters are just one off fillers that don’t really do much.

So what’s the problem? Well, first off the characters are all pretty terrible. Koro is the instructor but he is the worst possible role model for these kids. He lies a lot, tends to be interested in pretty sketchy material, and never takes things seriously. Half of the problems that the heroes face in this series are all because of him. The guy loves messing with the heroes to the point where it feels like he is actively trying to get in their way. The sad part is that the kids are trying to take him down, they just aren’t powerful enough to do so. There’s not much to talk about with the rest of the characters because they aren’t really characters. They’re like distorted versions of their real selves.

The series also has a fanservice issue which is unfortunate. The least a gag manga like this can do is to avoid a problem like that right? It should be beneath such a series, but this one has it occur quite a bit. A lot of the jokes are about the fanservice as well which doesn’t help matters. This already meant that the series was going to be doomed. As I mentioned earlier, the jokes are also very repetitive. All the jokes about Nagisa are that he looks like a girl but his glitch makes him look like Goku once it is activated. Then you have Karma who has a pot fall on his head every time he starts to brag. Considering that he likes to brag a lot, you see a whole bunch of pots and pans falling on him all the time. It probably happens in just about every chapter. One guy always forgets part of his clothes, etc. Every character is a walking gag and so the joke happens whenever they are present. That’s not how you set up a good comedy plot.

Another problem isn’t just for the series but in general with gag manga. Without a story to get behind or actual characters, there is no reason to get invested into the series. The fact that this is a spinoff is supposed to help since you are already used to the characters from the main series, but it didn’t have the strongest cast of fighters to begin with. As a result this one really didn’t have a whole lot of potential to start with. I’ve yet to meet a total parody gag manga that was very good. You need to have some kind of story like Dragon Ball SD at least. That gives you something to work with. A good gag manga should be like an abridged series. It pokes fun as everyone and everything but still has some kind of a focus of narrative to get behind.

At least the art is fairly good. The characters all look correct from the original series and you can always tell what is happening. You can follow the events easy enough and since the series doesn’t really have a lot of fight scenes it’s not like the series really has to exert itself. In the end, this is at least one positive that I can point to in the series. Even in the image below you can see how the art is actually pretty good. In a different series you would actually expect a pretty hype chapter to follow that. We don’t quite go that far but it’s nice to think about.

It’s also fun to see Goku show up even if it’s only for 2-3 panels at most. The series ends with a bit of a cliffhanger that could be cool for just about any other series so I’ll accept that as well. I think the best positive for the series is that it could have been worse. For as unimpressive as it was in the end, there’s always another level of awful you could get to. This series avoided making any lethal mistakes that would have lost it more points even if it is already a pretty negative score.

Overall, Koro-Sensei Q is not a good manga. The humor is pretty bad and the characters are terrible. I’m still trying to find a good reason why you would even want to read this one and I can’t think of any. If you’re going to get into the franchise then you should read the main series as it is still better than this one. This one brings in all of the worst traits from the original and just magnifies them. The art is good and that’s about all I can say for this series. The best thing to do is to simply avoid it. The title may not be that long but you can still use your new found time to do something else. I actually didn’t realize this got an anime, maybe that version would be a little more enjoyable.

Overall 3/10