Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

Meteor Man Review


It’s time to look at a superhero movie that isn’t very well known. At the very least I definitely hadn’t heard of it before and I consider myself to be a bit of an expert on comic book movies. It’s one of those films that is a little tragic because for the most part it’s really fun. I dare say that it’s a great movie at some points, but then it seriously falters towards the end. There’s one moment in particular that is quite egregious and I’ll get into that later on in the movie.

The film starts off by introducing us to Jefferson. He’s grown up in a pretty tough neighborhood where gangs are pressing ground and the cops can’t handle them. His father is trying to get the community to rise up, but it’s been tough since there are few who actually want to support this. He does a good job of standing up to them, but the gangs are very powerful so eventually the neighborhood is on the losing side. At that point, Jefferson is hit by a meteor and gets super powers. He’s now got super strength, durability, flight, speed, etc. He is effectively a Superman so ending street crime should be easy right?

An interesting dynamic here is that everyone in the town knows that Jefferson is Meteor Man. There aren’t a lot of superhero movies where the hero’s identity is public at least until when Iron Man came out and that sort of changed how secret identities are handled in the movies. It’s a nice angle but Jefferson ruins it because of how timid he is. He spends a lot of the film just running away from the villains or passively watching them.

I’ve got no problem with him doing that when he was a human. That’s fine and if anything that’s actually pretty realistic because we see that whoever stands up to the gang is quickly beaten. The people are too afraid to actually charge him with a crime and that ties the cops’ hands as well. Maybe even the first scene would be fine, but once Jeff sees that he is bullet proof he should not be scared at all. Instead he just keeps letting people get beaten up because he refuses to go after the villains. He just watches them off each time and since they know his true identity you’d think that he would take the mission of stopping them a little more seriously.

The casualties keep on building throughout the film as the villains go after his Dad and then a next door neighbor. Meteor Man waited so long that even his powers started fading away which really shows how he came close to blowing his chance here. He was literally sleeping when they broke into his house and put the family at risk. Everyone easily could have died there and it would have directly been Jeff’s fault.

The worst part about this is definitely the ending though. Jeff’s dog gets hit by the villain and is dying in front of his eyes. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Not only was the film repeatedly shooting itself in the foot here, but Jeff didn’t even make an attempt to save his own dog. He just lamented that his powers were fading and rather than use the last of them to save his own pet he just watches. Fortunately another guy with powers shows up and saves the dog, but it’s such a terrible scene. Unless it is actually meant to make you dislike Jeff but I don’t really believe that was the intention. If it was then I suppose I’ve got to admit that the film pulled a fast one on me…but it’s not like that would save the scene.

If ever there was an ending that destroyed a film it was this one. Even the big battle with Meteor Man and the villain is pretty annoying. Why did the guy have to also get super powers? It felt pretty forced and since he is already a better fighter than Jeff it meant that the hero was basically confirmed to lose from the start. Even once Jeff gets the Bruce Lee book he ends up getting wrecked and by the time he actually manages to win you’ve stopped rooting for Jeff. You’d almost rather some other hero comes in to win.

The less said about the climax the better. It’s not like it was devoid of fun, but it does totally encapsulate the missed opportunities in this film. It never should have gotten to that point if Jeff was even a slightly decent hero. It’s a crying shame if you ask me. The film’s at its best when it’s taking advantage of the parody elements in the movie. There’s some fun scenes that poke fun at the whole thing like when they announce who Meteor Man is so casually at a board meeting.

Then there’s the scene in the ally with little kids stealing someone’s purse. The sequence is so surreal that you’ll likely think that it is just a dream for a while. I certainly did so when the scene just didn’t end I was shocked. That’s the kind of scene that is low key excellent. If the film had played to its strengths like that then it may have been better. Another good scene is when Jeff is trying to stick up for the kids, but ultimately has to give up because they keep breaking things.

The humor is actually on point here so there are a lot of fun moments like this. Meteor Man is part comedy after all so you would expect that. The film can surprisingly get pretty serious though so it does a good job of balancing both genres. It’s probably what adds onto the frustration for the average person living in the neighborhood. Imagine literally living next to a super hero and still being robbed the next day.

Aside from the lead the other characters are at least charismatic. Simon, the leader of the villains is cool even though his screen time is very limited. He’s definitely the leader for a reason. Then the other members of the gang are good enough. Jeff’s Dad does a good job of leading the rebellion and while he does endure quite a lot in doing so, he never regrets his actions which is great. He’s tough all the way through to the end. Jeff’s friend Michael is pretty annoying though. He puts everyone in danger by pretending to be the Meteor Man and that’s ultimately part of what puts the hero in such a bad position.

Overall, Meteor Man didn’t really click for me. It’s unfortunate because I liked more of the film than what I didn’t, but the latter scenes just really hurt its case. The final fight even throws some random power level issues in which is rare for live action. There’s a good movie in here, but the lead just does his best to sabotage it at every corner. It’s why it can be very difficult to have a good film with a bad main character. It’s possible of course, but it’s never going to be as good as it should have been. If you can get around the fact that you’re gonna be a bit annoyed during the film then I’d recommend checking it out. Otherwise you should definitely check out Steel instead.

Overall 5/10

Advertisements
Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

It’s A Bikini World Review


It’s time to look at another beach movie. These don’t tend to be all that good so I don’t think you’ll be surprised to hear that this one didn’t exactly hit it out of the park. Interesting the main plot is something that I’ve already seen twice recently so that didn’t really help matters either. I suppose it’s the kind of plot that all of the writers want to take a shot at during their careers, but you really don’t need to give it a try. Having the movie take place on the beach doesn’t help much either.

The film starts off with the characters hanging out on the beach as per usual. They’re surfing and all until a new girl arrives on the beach for a visit. Her name is Delilah and Mike decides that he wants to hang with her. She won’t give him the time of day though because he is generally not a great guy and is always going from one girl to the next. He’s currently with 5-6 different girls as it is. Mike won’t take no for an answer though and decides to pretend that he’s a kid named Herbert who happens to be Mike’s nerdy brother. In this form he gets along with Delilah, but things get complicated when Delilah decides to try and compete with Mike in a lot of big competitions. Can Mike manage to be in two places at once and also keep the deception up? It’ll be difficult, but the main thing is that we’ll be rooting against him.

That’s the tough part with these beach movies. How can the film work when you’re actively rooting against the main character? Mike is everything that’s wrong with the beach movies. He’s always going from girl to girl and has no sense of loyalty about him. Even by the end he starts a big montage about how he’s free once his secret is out and it seems like he’ll be going back to his old roots. Hopefully Delilah doesn’t actually fall for this and gets out as soon as possible. It’s just a bad idea to hang out with Mike for very long.

As for Delilah, she’s a nice character but you kind of know how her plot will end from the start which is a bit of a damper. Really Delilah should be able to stay by her lonesome without having to get a partner and it’d be nice if she could actually beat Mike. Unfortunately that never happens and Mike just keeps on winning throughout the film. It does make sense since a few days of training won’t be able to stop years of it, but you end up feeling bad for Delilah. Nobody seems all that sympathetic either since everyone else likes Mike. It is his home field court so that makes sense I suppose.

Then you’ve got Woody who is the exaggerated comic relief character. He’s basically around to keep getting Mike in trouble. The guy can’t pick up a hint, but at the same time I wonder why Mike would even be remotely surprised because he’s surely been living with this for years by now right? He’s got to know what kind of guy Woody is and I think he didn’t plan things out right. Meanwhile Woody’s friend doesn’t like that he keeps having her cook the meals and pay the bill, but the way their plot ends is pretty bad. Woody’s just not the kind of guy you want to have around and while his silly type of humor can be decent, in this case it ended up falling flat.

As per usual the film also loses a bunch of points due to the poor writing, bad romance, and fanservice throughout the film. As far as beach movies go it isn’t nearly as bad in the last area as some others, but I ultimately still gotta give it a thumbs down here. There’s not a whole lot of substance to the film so it can’t really hold its own for very long at all. The film could and should have ended way sooner than it did.

One such instance of this is seen in the final challenge exhibition. There are like 15 rounds and it’s the characters doing everything from driving to hitchhiking to swimming. There’s no rhyme or reason to the sports though and winning each individual segment doesn’t even seem to matter. It should at least give you a head start to the next event or something, but that didn’t seem to be the case. I don’t think the film thought that part through and probably should have done something else for the climax.

The subplot of the photographer and the editor helping in the event also didn’t really matter at all. They don’t impact the plot one way or the other and were likely just here to set up the final race. The grownups in these films are rarely all that good but I guess that’s not saying much since the whole cast is pretty suspect in general. What the film needs is a bunch of other supporting characters in a New York subplot far away from the Beach. Something to distract you from what’s actually happening.

Overall, It’s a Bikini World basically checks all of the boxes for a beach movie and that’s not a good thing in this case. There’s nothing particularly compelling about this movie nor is there any reason to actually stick around. It’s just a movie that feels very long and will remind you why people don’t go to the beach very often anymore. I’ve gone once, but opted not to go into the water because of that virus going around lately. Sometimes it’s best to just play it safe and dodge the risks much like you’ll want to dodge this film. I guarantee that you’ll have a better time with just about any other title.

Overall 2/10

Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

The Glass Bottom Boat Review


It’s time to look at an old spy parody that you may or may not have heard of from back in the day. It’s a pretty fun movie although perhaps one that goes a bit far with the romance at times. It’s pretty crucial to the plot of course, but none of the characters look particularly great by the time this is all over. It just goes to show that when spies are involved everyone tends to get a little crazy. America wasn’t ready for this subtle Russian invasion.

The plot starts with Jennifer acting as a mermaid in what should have been a normal day at work until she is accidentally reeled in my local fisherman Bruce. See, Bruce is a rich CEO inventor by day and a casual fisherman on the weekends. They don’t get off to the best of starts here, but they see each other again during their real jobs and they hit it off. Jennifer is glad to be a part of the office, but unfortunately some of Bruce’s co-workers seem to think that she is a Russian spy who is here to take his invention. Even Bruce starts to entertain this thought. Jennifer will have to decide how she plays this and meanwhile the real spy is still out there and getting ready to make his move.

Naturally with such a convoluted plot there’s a lot of good potential here. I do tend to like the parody genre. With such a large array of jokes at the ready sometimes they may fall off the deep end, but usually the films will at least be very entertaining even if they don’t end up getting a really high score. That’s the idea at the very least and I’d say this one succeeds with that as well. There are a lot of good humorous scenes throughout the movie. It’s very long so that gives the plot time to change over and over again. At first it’s a classic slice of life romance turned comedy and then by the end it’s a full spy operation with some fight scenes. It’s never all that serious of course, but the stakes do gradually get higher and higher. The film has changed quite a bit by the end from where it started.

Naturally most of the gags that involve the romance are the weaker ones. Jennifer is extremely oblivious to the point where she makes some big mistakes near the beginning. One of them involves getting intimate with the wrong person for quite a while before she notices. That’s….pretty iffy and if anything Bruce should take that personally since she somehow didn’t realize that it was him. Then you’ve got all of the American generals and army officers falling head over heels for her which is pretty iffy. It goes to show that none of them ever had the strength of will that you would hope they have. Maybe Russia really would win the Cold War based on this film. Their agent was certainly a lot more impressive than the US ones.

There’s a lot of slapstick humor here, but it’s all handled pretty well. The scene of Jennifer and the electrician getting stuck was pretty intense. Certainly not realistic in the slightest of course, but that kind of absurd humor can definitely work pretty well. It’s like Tom and Jerry to an extent. Whatever the heroes would do only kept on making the situation worse and worse for both of them. Then you’ve got the personal robot who does too good a job of making the place clean. Throwing in that sci-fi angle was pretty fun.

As far as the characters are concerned, I think your mileage will vary. Jennifer means well, but she definitely is a bit too oblivious. Once she finds out about the spy stuff her plan was pretty reasonable. Might as well humiliate everyone involved right? If she was a few steps quicker she would have really gotten out of the whole situation without anyone being any the wiser. Inevitably they would find out, but not until it was too late. Usually Jennifer ends up losing her meetings with Bruce as I’d say it was more embarrassing for her, but she always kept up a straight face so that’s good.

Bruce is pretty good in that he kept believing in Jennifer the whole time. He had his small momentary doubts, but for the most part he kept taking her side even when everyone else was against her. That being said, the romance did happen awful fast and I wouldn’t really say it worked well. There’s nothing really wrong with Bruce, he’s fairly generic, but a good character all around. Then you’ve got Axel who is Jennifer’s dad. He doesn’t get a particularly big role, but the scenes that he does get are definitely solid. Seeing him take down multiple agents was pretty intense.

Then you’ve got Homer who is the chief of police. For the most part he was a great character although even he fell for Jennifer’s charms by the end. Too bad since before that he was on point. Sure, he ended up being wrong, but at the same time he really did his due diligence. You almost can’t blame him for coming to that conclusion since all of the evidence pointed to it. It just so happened that he was seriously at the wrong place at the wrong time. It happens to the best of us. He was way better than the American general after all, that guy cracked fast.

Overall, Glass Bottom Boat is definitely a pretty fun film. The humor can get pretty crazy and wacky but all in all it’s a quality experience. A lot of the early gags end up playing a role later and small references become important by the end as well. It’s just a very well thought out movie. It’s a long parody to be sure, but it’s one that has time to do everything it wanted to accomplish. There are quite a few characters here and we also do get a real climax. By the end Jennifer and her dog are running away from real villains and there are some good stakes here. These villains don’t take prisoners after all so if the heroine doesn’t run she would be in trouble. Especially since the US officers are taking their sweet time. I definitely recommend watching this film if you haven’t seen it yet. You don’t really see too many big parodies anymore so you really want to check out as many of the classics as you can.

Overall 6/10

Animated Movie Reviews, Animated Movies, Reviews

The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part Review


It’s time to look at the follow up to the original Lego Movie. That one was a pretty big hit and did a good job of being a big Warner Bros crossover. It was a good blend of action and comedy and brought the lego genre over to the general public. Unfortunately this sequel missed the mark on just about everything that made the first film so good. The biggest problem here though is that the film insists on making the human characters a bigger part of the experience and I don’t think this was a good move.

The heroes saved the universe last time, but the world is invaded by new creatures. I’ll quickly mention here that it was neat how quickly these guys attacked. It’s almost like the second Mortal Kombat film in that respect as they really waste absolutely no time. The heroes get wrecked and we get a 5 year timeskip. The Justice League left a while back to put a stop to these guys but they were never seen again. The invaders seem to be after colorful objects so the heroes removed all of them and now live in a very grim apocalyptic world. They’ve all adapted to these tough times except for Emmett. He still wants everyone to be happy but as a result his new house brings the invaders back. They break in and steal the 5 strongest heroes. Emmett must now man up and try to save them along with the help of the mysterious Rex. Can they do it?

Lets jump right into the human part of the movie. The big problem with throwing them into the mix is how it takes away from the actual movie. It worked a bit as a twist in the first movie, but this one should have just ignored the human aspect. Whenever the humans appear the film acknowledges this by showing us how everything happening in the fictional world is just pretend. Even the villain references this quite a lot about how their actions don’t matter since it’s all imagination. The heroes have the ability to slightly move but that’s about it. Also, the human scenes are pretty cringey. Maybe if the owners were adults it would help, but kids? Yeah, that’s not gonna work.

I think that if you’re gonna add human characters then you need to do it like in Toy Story. It works there because it’s acknowledges that the toys actually can move and think. They just pretend to be toys. In these films it’s basically stated that they actually are toys that only have small wills and can’t really do much of anything. It really takes you out of the zone whenever they show up.

If you ignore the humans then it’s still fun enough, but that’s hard to do. Rex makes for a pretty good character here. I dare say that he was probably the best character in the movie. He kept everyone on their toes and did a good job building his space ship and not being afraid of anything. He’s probably one of the only characters here who is actually prepared for an invasion. Even Batman wasn’t quite able to match this guy here. Batman gets his good share of scenes, but then towards the end there’s a bit of a marriage plot that doesn’t help his case. That whole plot….was not very good. I preferred the invasion dynamic. Of course the team-up is inevitable once you see the human plot, but it’s one that we really didn’t need.

Emmett is decent although I dare say he was better in the first film. Like all of the characters say here, the guy just hasn’t adjusted while everyone else has. While he is still a nice guy, those qualities that helped them in the first film are actually holding them back in this one. Every time there is a tense scene he quickly does something with comic relief to try and defuse the tension. It’s likely because he isn’t ready for this level of drama but after a point you want the heroes to put him on the bench so the real fighters can get in on the action.

Wyldstyle looks good as always though. When the first wave showed up she is one of the only ones who is able to put up a fight. She’s still got good fighting moves even if there are less opportunities to show them here. She’s definitely the best hero on the team. From the villains the best member was definitely Mayhem. She can also fight and definitely does a good job of infiltrating the hero base. If the villains had even one more fighter like her then the heroes would have definitely been doomed from the start.

As for the animation, it’s Lego style which still isn’t really my thing. That being said, I do feel like the animation here wasn’t quite as good as in the first film. This one feels more “normal” like any average TV special. The first one went all in with the action scenes and visuals. It could be in part due to the fact that there are less colorful backdrops here though or maybe that there’s less action and more comedy instead so the animators can’t show off. Regardless that part isn’t one of its strengths. The soundtrack is decent. We get a new rendition of Everything is Awesome although it’s not quite as good. I was surprised that the film didn’t opt to go for a whole new song instead but nothing wrong with throwing in a good remix.

One thing I’d like to have seen more here is the heroes manipulating the lego pieces to turn them into vehicles and weapons. That’s always been a pretty cool visual in the Lego films and the first one used it quite a bit. When you can turn anything into a weapon it really makes you a fighter to be feared. Emmett did try this near the beginning when he made a robot suit and while it wasn’t effective, I’d like to see him and the others do more of that. The final battle could have really been a battle of builders if the film had gone that route. It’s definitely the best way to handle the Lego visuals.

Overall, The Lego Movie 2 feels like one of those sequels that was slapped together for no real reason. It doesn’t really do anything original and instead just feels like a much weaker version of the first Lego movie. I think it should have had more screen time from Batman and I dare say that it should have had more fights with the invaders. There are some pretty neat themes here like time travel, but it’s not quite as big a factor as you would expect. I also liked the fake out for the film ending. It had been long enough where if you didn’t know your tropes you may have actually believed it for a second so that was cool, but does lead into the next part. The film’s pretty long and parts of it tend to drag on by the end. If you saw the first film then I suppose you should watch this one so you can say that you saw the full saga, but otherwise you should just stick to the first film. Still, it’s not as if it’s the weakest of the Lego films. There are still enough moments where you will have fun here. Hopefully we do get a proper end to the trilogy at some point though.

Overall 6/10

Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

The Absent Minded Professor Review


It’s time to look at one of those films where you’ve probably heard of the title even if you don’t really know the synopsis all that well. It’s definitely a movie that has aged pretty well and while it is a bit on the longer side the movie does get to tackle a bunch of genres. I was particularly surprised at the basketball game which was pretty well timed since I had just finished a basketball short about Goofy.

The movie starts off by introducing us to Brainard. He’s a very talented scientist, but he’s also very absent minded to the point where he forgets about anything that isn’t work. He’s already skipped out on his wedding to Betsy twice and now has the choice of going for the third wedding or doing one last experiment. Naturally he chooses the latter option and Betsy decides that she’s had enough. She hangs out with Brainard’s rival to mess with him and is sure that she’ll never get back together with Brainard. The scientist isn’t so sure though and decides to win her over with his new invention…flubber. It’s a substance that keeps on bouncing forever. As a result it even defies gravity.

Right away you can see that Brainard is not one of the better characters. He made his priorities clear from the start. You can only pretend to be so absent minded before it is no longer believable. If he was serious about Betsy then he would have skipped the experiment altogether or he would have left right away when the maid let him know that it was time to go. Since he did not, that should have been game over. As a result this is definitely not a romance that I can get behind. The whole thing just isn’t fair to Betsy. Moreover, Brainard nearly got her fired by bursting into her place of work and distracting her when the boss was giving an important speech.

Brainard can be an entertaining lead when you take away this main plot, but it is hard to do so. His absent minded nature puts him in a tough spot when he ends up butting heads with one of the alumni. (Alonzo) This nearly costs the school a lot of money although in Brainard’s defense I actually think he handled the whole thing pretty well here. The school definitely shouldn’t be bowing to this guy’s threats even if he does provide most of the funding for the school. If you let go of your principles then there’s just nothing left.

Alonzo definitely does make for a great villain though. He does whatever it takes to roll right on his enemies and trample all of their goals. It does take a pretty strong resolve to just jump in like that. He even goes as far as to steal the lead’s car even if it wasn’t his idea. The only time he doesn’t look so good is when he gets tricked near the end. That part was a bit of a stretch since he is usually so cunning. Ah well, you can’t win em all I suppose.

I can’t say that I was a big fan of Betsy though. I do agree with her giving Brainard the cold shoulder and finally declaring it to be over with him, but then hanging around the rival just to spite the lead was a bit much. That could just be a bit petty since it’s obvious she was never interested in him. Betsy should have just gone the solo path and punished anyone who tried to get near her. I think that would have been a very effective and valid way to act without going over the top. Meanwhile we also had Brainard’s dog who was definitely a lot of fun. It’s always nice to have an animal who is just here to help.

One of the best parts of the film is definitely the basketball game that takes place. Since Flubber can make you jump high it stands to reason that this would be incredibly handy in this sport. The home team is apparently pretty terrible to the point where even if their star player hadn’t been flunked you can’t help but feel like they would have lost. The game starts off extremely bad for them and by the end a complete 180 has occurred. It’s definitely pretty fun and I just hadn’t been expecting this to happen so it was a pleasant surprise. Another good parody scene is when the government sees the flying car and they assume it’s either aliens or a foreign government coming in so they scramble all of the fighters.

The humor in the film is just very solid overall. The writing is definitely on point as well. The film is super long so there definitely are some points where it drags on a bit, but for the most part it’s a solid all around experience. There’s a lot that happens in the movie and this gives it time to even introduce running gags. One of these is a cop who is just trying to drink his coffee when people end up running into him. Naturally this doesn’t put him in the best of moods and that makes him a good ally for Brainard to have. Brainard can be quite cunning when necessary and trolls the enemies quite a bit with his car. He also took down a pair of gang members so that was impressive too.

Overall, The Absent-Minded Professor isn’t quite what I expected. I definitely mean that in a good way. This movie had humor, drama, action, tension, adventure, pretty much everything you could want in a film. There’s just a whole lot of events to digest here and flubber also made for a pretty fun invention. If you haven’t seen this film yet then I’d recommend checking it out. I think you’ll like it more than you expect and there’s nothing really wrong for this film. At the most you may just think it should have trimmed some scenes, but it’s still not nearly as drawn out as it could have been thanks to the solid writing.

Overall 7/10

Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

How to Stuff a Wild Bikini Review


It’s time to look at another beach movie. Unfortunately this one doesn’t break the trend of this genre not being particularly good. There’s not a whole lot to work with to start here and the film isn’t exactly going to be winning any Oscars for its writing. No, the film needed to try and win on its own merits and unfortunately it was a losing battle. You can pretty much tell how this film is going to play out from the start.

The film starts off with Frankie going to an island for 3 weeks. He begins to cheat on Dee Dee with the locals over there but then begins to worry that she may be doing the same thing. He hires a witch doctor and some spellcasters to try and prevent this from happening by creating a super model who will block Dee Dee at every turn. This plan works for a while, but then local advertising star Ricky shows up to try and steal Dee Dee away. She wants to stay loyal to Frankie but the more she hangs out with him the more she starts to lose her morals. Can she stay strong or is Ricky right in saying that everyone cheats eventually?

From the start you can see how the plot is pretty dicey. Frankie cheats on Dee Dee in pretty much every film. It’s nothing new and while she gives him a stern talking to he never actually feels bad about it. Even in this film he flat out says that it’s okay for guys to cheat while it isn’t for girls. If he actually believes that then this makes him look even worse as a character. Dee Dee definitely shouldn’t be putting up with this and the fact that she does is most unfortunate. Naturally this doesn’t excuse her from staying true to herself, but it does make you think she should just get over Frankie and find someone else. He strikes you as the kind of guy who’s fairly possessive and not in a good way.

Then you have Ricky who isn’t really any better. He’s very persistent, but that’s where his good traits end. When Dee Dee tests how serious he is, the guy fails. He’s also very quick to move on from her to the next person so you really can’t say that he is super sincere. He would be cheating on her just like Frankie. It’s unfortunate, but this is why Dee Dee can’t trust any of these characters. None of them are trust worthy and they aren’t afraid to admit it.

There’s really only one good scene here and that’s a fight scene that occurs midway through the film. Van Zipper hires a local thug to scare off Ricky and his entrance is admittedly pretty good. He just crashes in through the ceiling and the fight begins. In Ricky’s defense he is actually putting up a good fight. It goes back and forth for a while until Dee Dee steps in. I was surprised to see an action scene that was actually handled fairly seriously so that was pretty cool. I suppose the race scene at the end also wasn’t bad. Any scene away from the beach is certainly a good thing so no complaints from me there.

Of course, the film’s score was already dead by this point. There was just no recovering from all of the beach moments. The film is essentially one long fanservice scene. The camera work ensures this and half of the time there isn’t even a plot in the movie. It’s just all of the characters acting dicey and buying time until the film ends. There’s even a very long stop motion scene at the beginning that was added to fill in time. Even as far as the beach films go this may have been one of the weaker ones. The songs weren’t catchy either. These characters can’t really sing so they weren’t helping their case here.

Even the supernatural elements don’t really add to the film’s intrigue. The giant bird that follows Dee Dee around doesn’t really do much beyond yelling all the time. It somehow works to annoy Ricky most of the time, but he’s just easily irritated. I’d have liked the witch doctor to take a more active role as instead all of his scenes are basically the same gag of him trying to drink some rockets. You can’t keep on using the same gimmick over and over again while expecting it to still be humorous. After a while you’ll just be ready to roll your eyes at the whole thing.

Overall, I’d suggest sticking away from this film. Odds are that the title would already be a pretty big red flag though. I have yet to see a really good beach film and that certainly won’t occur within this franchise. There’s just way too much fanservice and no likable characters. All of them are either not trust worthy or have some kind of agenda. At most the president of the company here was decent and even then he doesn’t really get to do anything. If you’re looking for a good water adventure film then you should watch Aquaman instead. At least that film has good action scenes and the characters rarely spend any actual time at the beach. That’s a winning formula. For this film, the only positive thing you can say about it aside from the fight scene is that it’s short. At least you won’t have to be watching the events unfold for very long.

Overall 2/10

Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

Airplane II: The Sequel Review


It’s time to look at the second Airplane film. The first one was surprisingly good with how many of the jokes landed. In a way you could argue that by all accounts it shouldn’t have worked. The writing had to be on point to pull it off. Parodies in general are hard to land for that reason because if the writers aren’t excellent then it’ll fall to pieces. Unfortunately Airplane II is a pretty steep drop and effectively plays out a bit like how the first one could have been if it wasn’t firing on all cylinders. Airplane II is content to reuse all of the jokes from the first film and never finds its own identity.

After the events of the first film, Ted has been taken to an asylum for the insane. He manages to break out though and sneaks aboard another airplane that is heading to the Moon. Most of the same crew from the first airplane are back so somehow they all weren’t arrested for what happened. Ted is determined to finally get back with Elaine, but she doesn’t think it is meant to be. With everyone going crazy on the airplane, can anyone survive this time? One thing’s for sure, they won’t forget this experience!

Right away you’ll notice how the film is a carbon copy of the first. Not only do they reuse almost all of the gags, but they even have them all appear in the same order. Most of the events are just like the first film including the plot. This may be part of the parody elements that they are using for the film but it really doesn’t work. What made the first film a success was its risque humor that attacked everything but as a result managed to not be taking itself too seriously. It had the potential to be problematic and naturally not all of the jokes landed, but it was pretty reasonable. The film was funny and miraculously managed to be a success. This one isn’t nearly as funny because we’ve seen it all already.

If you already know all of the punchlines to the jokes, then the build up will naturally not be anywhere near as effective. That’s the problem that this film has throughout its entire run. There are a handful of decent moments like the Hal 9000 parody and I did like the court case for Ted. Those are the only unique parts of the film and they were good so I feel like the movie would have done a lot better if it had focused on being a sequel. Honestly I wouldn’t have minded if the whole film was in the court room. A change in scenery probably would have been good. We also lose some pretty decent characters like the air pilot who stepped in when everyone else was panicking.

An underused character is definitely Ted’s rival. The guy barely gets to appear or really do anything to be honest. It could have been interesting to have a contrast to Ted. A character who was actually pretty competent and tough or something like that. After all, Ted had a lot of potential here. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that most of his scenes are the entertaining ones. He’s a very exaggerated character who isn’t very smart which makes for a pretty fun dynamic. Again, I refer you to the court scenes. So seeing him compete with this guy could have been very entertaining to be honest.

Again, it’s not that the film was a complete bore or anything. The jokes that were good in the first film are still pretty decent just played out. Some gags are still fun like the weapons getting through the scanner and the people dying after listening to Ted. Then others that were already painful like the pilot’s gimmick didn’t get any better. They say that lightning doesn’t strike twice and this is the perfect example of that in film.

I feel like this review is going in circles so time to start wrapping things up. I will say that the Star Wars homage at the beginning was pretty clever. It does end in a pretty iffy way which sort of set the tone for the rest of the film but the actual idea itself wasn’t half bad. The graphics aren’t half bad when they show up but for the most part are complete non factors. This isn’t the kind of film with a whole lot of effects after all. Just the few space visuals is what you can expect to get.

Overall, Airplane II isn’t a good follow up to the first film. I think it probably would have been a lot better if I hadn’t seen the first film. If you see the two out of order then there’s a chance it would work better, but then of course it would be at the expense of the first film and I’m not sure if you really want to do that. It’s why complete word for word remakes typically aren’t done anymore. If you’re gonna experience the same story then you want a bunch of new wrinkles in the mix. This one just doesn’t add enough of them and ends up failing. It can still be decently entertaining of course, but it’s nowhere near the level of quality that the first film had.

Overall 5/10

Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

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

Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

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