6 Star Movies, Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

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

3 Star Movies, Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

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

5 Star Movies, Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

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

Manga, Manga Reviews, Reviews

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

6 Star Movies, Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off Review


It’s time to look at a fairly iconic film from back in the day. Just about everyone’s heard of Bueller’s Day Off from back in the day. How could you not? It was basically a game changer at the time with breaking the fourth wall and those parts have aged pretty well. It’s a fun film where the characters go all out in how crazy they can get although Ferris and Rooney are carrying this film from start to finish.

The film starts off with Ferris deciding to stay home from school this time. It’s a beautiful day out so he really doesn’t want to have to miss it. He fakes being sick and then once his parents leave he is ready to have fun. He calls up his best friend Cameron and also gets his girlfriend Sloane to leave school early. The 3 of them then decide to do everything they’d want to do in a day including going to a parade, a fancy restaurant, a pool, etc. They have quite a lot of time to really do whatever they want to do over the course of the day. The only thing that could possibly get in their way is Ferris’ old enemy…Mr. Rooney.

Mr. Rooney is definitely the best character in the film. He’s the only character who is actually able to see what’s going on right from the start. The others are just being manipulated and tricked, but not Mr. Rooney. The tough part is just that he’s pretty much outnumbered right from the start. Even when he gets hard proof through the computer it gets deleted because Ferris is apparently a top hacker on top of being a genius and everyone’s hero. Rooney has a lot of confidence though and goes all in when he’s sure that he’s got Ferris beat. He endures quite a lot of punishment from the cast by the end of the film. At one point he even gets kicked into an unconscious state. That being said, this part wasn’t his best plan. Even if he did bump into Ferris at his house…what would that prove? The whole point is that Ferris was supposed to be at home sick.

Rooney does end up giving us one of the most tense ending scenes I’ve seen in a while. He’s forced to choose between getting on a bus with some kids of trying to make it home in his beaten condition. The problem is that once he enters the bus it’s actually his group of students which makes things even worse. His rep is really never going to be the same after that but since the school would be gossiping anyway I wouldn’t take it too hard if I was him. It just means he’s really got to get Ferris now, but it’ll be tough since even the police force is on his side.

As I mentioned, Ferris is the other character who looks great throughout. He has plans for just about everything and things always do seem to go his way. Whatever Ferris tries ends up working and a good reason for that is that Ferris took the time to get to know everyone. Everyone already likes Ferris as a person so that makes it easier for him to get away with things. If he already had a bad rep then things would be a little more difficult. One of the more emotional moments is when a drug dealer explains how Ferris is a good guy to talk to and has a lot of advice on various things. It shows that Ferris is going around really doing his best to help everyone he comes across. Now that’a selfless character.

Meanwhile you’ve got his sister Jeanie doing her best to bust Ferris. She is jealous of the fact that things always go well for him and wants to get him in big trouble. It makes her appear as pretty petty the whole time. It really shouldn’t matter to her and she should just attend school. She even actively goes out of her way to hurt people trying to help Ferris like when she threw away all of the donations for him. That was definitely a very mean thing to do. Her character is just too far gone to redeem by the end and her quick affair with the drug guy didn’t help matters.

She wasn’t my least favorite character though. That would have to be Cameron. Cameron is Ferris’ best friend and he actually was sick at the beginning of the movie. He spends a lot of time complaining about this and telling Ferris he should have stayed home. It’s a little late for that once you’re actually outside so that just makes him a bit more annoying. He panics quite a lot and then when he has his big moment at the end all he really does is mess up the car and put everyone else in even bigger trouble. Even if Cameron’s trying to prove a point, wrecking a car that is worth so much money is just a bad idea. It really doesn’t help anything and he’s just annoying throughout. Ferris probably would have had more fun if it was just him and Sloane.

Sloane’s a reasonable character although despite appearing throughout the movie it’s hard to really gauge what her personality is. She seems to enjoy just tagging along with Ferris’ adventures but otherwise probably wouldn’t be quite as wild as him. It seems like this isn’t exactly a new occurrence as she plays along with his scheme pretty casually and doesn’t tend to panic much. That’s how it should be, you gotta just take things in stride so Sloane did good.

The film’s at its best with Ferris messing with the adults and just having a lot of fun. He’s certainly done a good job of getting his room all tricked out so that he can run this scam. The only thing is that when you think about it, he’s got so many things set up that he must have done it more than once. His parents act like it’s the first time and usually he just cuts out school the normal way. If Ferris did plan all of this out for one shot then he really did put in a ton of effort. You may feel bad for the parents here because they do their best to be really supportive of Ferris throughout.

Overall, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is a fun film. The idea of taking a sick day off on a beautiful day makes sense. Typically I would always take one sick day per semester too for kicks although I didn’t have to pretend to be sick since you are allowed an unexcused absence. Part of what really makes the film work is the big rivalry between Ferris and Rooney. You need that kind of dynamic for the film to work and both of them fulfill their roles perfectly. Cameron and Jeanie’s roles could have been axed though and it wouldn’t have really changed much. At times the film can be a bit exaggerated with how badly Rooney is beat up, but this does go hand in hand with the tone the film is going for. It’s an extreme comedy so some slapstick like that is to be expected. If you haven’t watched this film yet and are in the mood for a good comedy then I’d recommend checking it out.

Overall 6/10

6 Star Movies, Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

Blind Date Review


It’s time to take a look at a rom-com from a while back. It definitely gets quite crazy and is at its best when the film is being as nuts as possible. The very premise does hurt a bit though as Walter is not a character you can really sympathize with from the start and Nadia also looks pretty bad in not going with her instincts. All in all, everyone comes out of this film pretty messy, but it is an entertaining movie with a fun guard dog.

The movie starts off with Walter getting ready to head to a party, but he doesn’t have a date. He’s desperate enough to ask his brother Ted for help despite being burned on many occasions. Ted sets him up with a character named Nadia. The only warning Walter needs to abide by is that she really can’t handle having any alcohol. Walter realizes that he has a very prestigious party to go to with Nadia. His job is on the line here to land this big investor and he would never want to do anything to ruin that. So…with a heavy heart and a clear mind Walter buys Nadia the biggest bottle of alcohol he can find and pressures her into drinking it. She does and proceeds to go nuts on his party. Maybe this wasn’t exactly his best idea?

Walter’s one of the biggest fools I’ve seen in a while and no matter how much he blows up at Nadia later on you have to pin 100% of the blame on him. None of this would be happening if he had just not given her the drink. I’m going to give Nadia some grief for this later on as well, but Walter’s got to know better. This was a serious party with people he knew and not respecting Nadia’s wishes to avoid the drink is pretty bad as well. He also tries to take revenge on Nadia by messing up her party but he’s not even drunk so he has no excuse. It’s just petty revenge at that point and makes him look terrible. At the end of the day a blind date is always going to be risky because you don’t know the person. The whole concept of a blind date is a little suspect if you ask me.

As for Nadia, if she knows that she can’t have alcohol then she should really just put her foot down. As someone who doesn’t drink alcohol myself, people naturally offer me to have some quite frequently. There’s always a lot of pressure to drink, but as long as you’re comfortable in the fact that this isn’t who you are, it should be easy to turn it aside. I’m not going to say that peer pressure is underrated because a lot of people have trouble with it, but one surefire way to block it out is to fully accept yourself. That’s something Nadia hasn’t quite done yet. She has the drink and then goes crazy. Now, we know that when you’re drunk you still wouldn’t do anything that you at least didn’t think about while sober. Nadia doesn’t do anything super out of character and if anything she does help some people out. It just comes at the expense of dignity and Walter’s job.

While it’s played off as a bad thing, she did help one lady get a bunch of money by suing her husband so that part worked out. Unfortunately the film does try to still give us the romance plot between Walter and Nadia which really doesn’t make any sense here. The two can’t stand each other from start to finish so it’s a little hard to buy into the ending. Nadia is also way too quick to give a deal to David that she will marry him if he helps out Walter. That’s just not a deal that you can make. She should have tried just about anything else, but basically selling yourself away forever is not the thing to do. Particularly not to someone that bad.

David’s the worst character in the film. He’s a super violent ex of Nadia’s and it’s easy to see why the two aren’t together when the film starts up. He’s constantly trying to murder Walter and gets pretty crazy about it. The film makes it a point to say what a bad guy he is. The fact that his Dad is a judge just makes for a lucky break for him since he gets away with a whole lot more than he would otherwise. The court scene is fun as always though. I always like a court room setting whether it is played seriously or for laughs. In this film’s case it was definitely the latter but it worked well. I liked the judge, the guy made for a charismatic character. He may allow family to get in the way of justice, but at least we can assume that he is able to handle most cases in a fair manner.

The climax involves a long espionage sequence as Walter tries to break in the building, but must get past the guard dog. One mistake that most owners make in this film is that they always tell the dog to quiet down when he’s trying to alert them to danger. Isn’t the whole point of having a guard dog hoping that he will bark if a stranger is near? I mean…this isn’t exactly rocket science people. If the dog is barking and he never does that then something is wrong. All of the characters act like he’s never barked before so that should warrant a full examination of the grounds. This is a comedy, but I bring it up because it happens in serious films too. It’s always a shame for the dog who is just trying to do his best.

At times the film goes pretty far with its slapstick humor to the point where the characters will likely never regain their reputation. How do you bounce back from all of this? The most tragic part of the film is when Walter gets his car stolen by a gang of thieves and even gets held at knife point. He was a few inches from death which has definitely got to be traumatic. The scene is pretty crazy because these guys even kidnap the entire house somehow. I figured it was a movie set at first but surprisingly the film didn’t seem to go that way.

Overall, Blind Date is a fun film. The romance is very weak and just seems to be there to fulfill the cliches. The film is at its best when the characters are ruining each other’s lives or the climax at the end which is a lot of fun. It may go on for a little too long, but I liked seeing the guard dog chase everyone around. It’s always nice to see everyone trying to sneak around in such a large mansion. While this film won’t quite have enough replay value or high points for me to make it a high recommendation, it’s still a solid comedy film if you haven’t checked it out yet.

Overall 6/10

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

The Old Dark House Review


I’ve had this review in the backburner for quite a while so it was finally time to write this review. It’s a pretty unique film as it’s going for that comedy/horror blend but at times you don’t know which it’s going for. That’s a good thing because it means the blend is working well. Some parts you can definitely tell are being a bit of a parody but other bits are played straight. I wouldn’t call this a great film, but it had some good moments and fun characters. The lead is a good example of a fun character with a lot of humorous moments.

The movie starts off by introducing us to Tom. He seems like a scam artist at first as he tries to get into a club by claiming that he is looking for a friend. He was actually telling the truth though and meets up with Casper. Casper invites Tom to come to his house but says they should travel there separately. His life is in danger and he needs Tom for support. Tom agrees to come, but by the time he arrives Casper is already dead. He is now surrounded by Casper’s rather odd family. All of them have some kind of quirk and nobody is allowed to leave the house. If any member is not present at a specific time every day then he/she will lose their portion of the inheritance. As a result tensions are constantly high and some of them think Tom is here to try and make a claim for it. Can Tom find out who the murderer is before the rest of the family gets bumped off and Tom finds himself 6 feet under?

I’ll give Tom this, he’s a pretty good friend. He goes into what is obviously a very dangerous house just because he wanted to help his friend. It was a long/boring ride all by himself as well and there were not any real upsides to this journey. He was just being a good guy and it ends up costing him his car right away. Tom does his best to tough it out though so the point where he can be a bit slow on the uptake. He was super close to burning himself in acid and just ended up getting lucky. He gets locked in Noah’s arc, gets threatened by just about everyone…..it’s going to be a long trip for him.

I have to deduct some points from Tom for trying to play the field though. Right away he likes Cecily. She tries to get him out of the house before things get dangerous but he is a little slow on the uptake so that doesn’t end up happening. From there Tom is pretty much doomed to stay in the house, but at least he has a friend now right? Well, then Morgana shows up and Tom immediately falls for her as well. You really shouldn’t be falling for two people so easily. You can have crushes on different people at different times, but on the same day? That just shows that Tom isn’t the most loyal guy around. He barely fights his feelings and most times has to get help from Cecily.

The writing was enjoyable and is part of what makes the film work. The characters are reasonable and the humor works pretty well with how absurd it can be at times. Noah’s Ark was definitely the craziest part of the film and probably the only one that will really make you do a double take though. At times it’s hard to believe just how large the estate is. These guys definitely are pretty rich I guess so it’s not a huge stretch but still a little crazy to say the least. Some gags like Tom falling down into the basement are definitely handled pretty well too.

The part about all of the family members needing to be in the room does raise some questions though. Why would they even bother forcing Tom to stay in the house? If they don’t want him to get the money then making sure he is outside makes way more sense. Additionally I don’t see why they always try to make sure everyone is around. The less people in the room the better right? Naturally characters don’t always make the decision that makes sense. It’s not a super serious film like that, but it’s still a fair question. Jasper and his mother look the worst in terms of logic since they know they are in danger and barely seem to care. They really don’t do a good job of trying to hide out or surviving this ordeal.

In comparison Roderick handles this the best. He actually has a gun and talks tough the whole time. He makes a lot of threats and isn’t afraid to call people out. You need that kind of gusto when you’re trapped in a house filled with crazed murderers who can turn on you at the drop of a hat. Meanwhile the least reasonable one was the Uncle who just went around trying to beat Tom up the whole time. Surely he could have picked a better time to do so right? Also he could see that Morgana was the one approaching Tom.

A big part of this film is being a murder mystery so you should try to see if you can guess who the murderer is. There are a good amount of suspects and you get to be introduced to all of them pretty early on in the film which lets you fairly try to guess who the villain is. The film gives you a fair chance to solve this so at the end of the day you’ll need to trust your instincts on this. Put yourself in the main character’s position and just remember that choosing the right answer is a matter of life and death.

Overall, The Old Dark House is an appropriate name for the film. All of the scenes take place in this house once Tom arrives after all and the place is pretty dark. If you are in the mood for a solid parody with a lot happening at all times then this is the film for you. The body count does begin to increase so there are real stakes at play here. There is a sense of danger because Tom can never really let his guard down. This is a strange film, but it surprisingly just ends up working out.

Overall 7/10

Manga, Manga Reviews, Reviews

Fairy Tail: City Hero Review


It’s time to take a look at a Fairy Tail parody that ended recently. Fairy Tail has always been a very tragic franchise because it has some of the best artwork and fights of all time but is heavily held back by the large amounts of fanservice contained in each volume. Would a light hearted parody have the same mistakes? Unfortunately yes. It never gets quite as serious or excessive as in the main series, but there is still enough here to keep this from being the quality series it could have been.

The general premise of the series is “What if Fairy Tail was a police squad instead of a guild?” That’s what the series runs with. Natsu and friends keep the peace in the land and do their best to stop any villains that get the idea of taking over the world. It’s not an easy job but someone’s got to do it. Keep in mind that this is still a parody though so it’s not taken seriously in the slightest. A bunch of villains and side characters from the original series show up and we get homages to other titles, but it’s all in good fun.

The chapters are all pretty episodic with every 2-3 being about a different case. Occasionally you get the hintings of a grander story with Zeref making a move, but that’s fairly rare. The stories certainly do vary in quality with some being very good and others being sub par at best. I’ll take a look at some of the stories although naturally we won’t dive into every one as that would be quite a lot. Before doing that though lets look at some of the technical aspects of the manga.

The artwork is top tier as you’d expect. The character designs are on point and when we do get a fight scene it looks incredibly impressive. You can tell that the artist isn’t phoning this in. There’s a lot of effort here and it’s appreciated since art does play a big role in how good a manga is. It isn’t the critical factor, but every bit helps. The writing is okay, some of the jokes land and others do not. On the whole the tone of the manga is quite good so I’d give that credit over to the writing department. This is a series that is fun to read and you can almost overlook the fanservice as a result. Almost is the key word here.

As always fanservice is the big problem in the series. While it is played for laughs it happens often enough where you are still forced to take note. Characters are teased by others or they get put in dicey situations due to the circumstances of the case. Sometimes the heroes are even used as bait which is always a dicey tactic. It’s never taken too extremely, but merely being present is an issue in itself. The series is pretty consistent with fanservice being in just about every single chapter in the first part and then it surprisingly gets better about that near the middle. Too little too late though so I’m afraid that I have to dock points for this.

All right, lets look at some stories. Ironically enough we’ll start with the final one which was one of the better ones. Basically Zeref is launching his big attack on the Fairy Tail guild, but is this really what’s happening? Some dancing and partying goes on so the heroes think that perhaps they were wrong to doubt Zeref. We get a quick fight with him and Natsu which was certainly cool. The manga has brief flashes where it pretends to be serious and these moments actually do work quite well. The series even ends with the slight cliffhanger where it seems like Zeref still has his real plan at the ready. In this universe I believe Fairy Tail will likely lose.

One story that was good was the parody of Phantom Thief Kaidou. Part of why it is so solid is because it’s a multi chapter story so there’s time for the plot to get going and there was surprisingly no fanservice here. Essentially a mysterious thief is going around stealing artifacts so Fairy Tail is called in to help. Erza in particular has an interest in this thief because he looks a whole lot like her bartender friend. The series makes it pretty obvious from the get go that it’s the same guy, but Erza can be a bit oblivious at times so the plot still works. It was a pretty fun story.

One of the weaker stories is about Lucy and Wendy infiltrating a school to find out what shady business is going on. They’re actually magical girls who defeat their enemies with songs which is likely another reference in itself. What holds this back is that the villain’s pretty iffy and the principal is terrible. The characters are a little too extreme here and the comedy doesn’t hold up. I don’t believe Lucy and Wendy can hold their own story nearly as well as when Natsu and the gang are around.

A good set of stories was Laxus meeting a princess who was undercover. It’s a classic story where he helps her look around the town and she gets to have a day as a normal person away from her royal duties. It’s a pretty wholesome story and the plot usually works pretty well. Laxus getting knocked out by some random muggers was a bit forced for the drama, but fortunately he did manage to get up after that. The story stayed classy and even had a pretty nice ending. It’s easily one of the stronger stories in the set.

There was a one shot story where Rogue and Sting got to appear and they certainly looked really good. They were fun rivals in the main series so it was nice to see them appear a bit here. It’s not very long of course since you can only do so much in a single chapter, but it was a good story all the same. Sometimes you don’t need multiple chapters to really get a fun bit across. Especially in a comedy/parody title like this. You’ve got other one shots with fun plots like the murder mystery of who destroyed Cana, but naturally that one couldn’t help itself and included some fanservice so it’s not quite as solid.

Another good one shot was with Acnologia showing up in the real world and wanting to see if anyone could keep up with him. This leads to him sharing a bowl of ramen with Natsu which was pretty cool. Natsu really shows him up and even has a great closing line about how he doesn’t want to be king before leaving which causes Acnologia to disappear. I suppose that just wasn’t what he was hoping to hear, but at least he got to pass away in peace.

As you can see the series is very entertaining. These could have easily just been side stories included in the main Fairy Tail series, but I’m glad it got its own series. I’ve always believed that it’s good to have as many spinoffs as possible. I don’t think it waters down the series, but if anything enhances it. Give everyone a spinoff, it gives the characters extra development if you ask me and I can’t turn that down. In this series we get to see how the characters would act in a police setting. If anything it’s a good excuse to see all of your favorite characters just hanging out and having fun in a non lethal environment.


Overall, Fairy Tail: City Hero is definitely a unique title. I appreciate the fact that Fairy Tail has expanded into such a wide franchise over the years. It’s really done its best to compete with the other mainstream titles like DBZ, Naruto, and One Piece. I don’t believe it’ll ever quite eclipse any of those titles, but at least it’s still going thanks to the sequel series and may end up running for as long as those 3. If you’re going to read a Fairy Tail series then it’s better to read this one over the main title. That being said I’d recommend reading Ice Trails instead. It’s a spinoff about the best character, Gray, and it just works really well. It’s a story that you just don’t want to miss out on.

Overall 4/10

Manga, Manga Reviews, Reviews

Deadpool: Samurai Review


It’s time to take a look at a quick one shot that came out for Deadpool a while back. It’s always nice to see Marvel have some collaborations with Shonen Jump. It definitely breaks the wall quite a lot as you would expect from a Deadpool comic and definitely delivers on all the action you would expect. It’s pretty entertaining and at only one chapter you’ll be breezing through this story real quick.

It starts with a bunch of samurai gangsters attacking a girl. Fortunately they are interrupted as Deadpool shows up inside of a baby carriage. He decides to stop these guys and save the girl while hurling insults the whole time. The gangsters have never dealt with anyone quite like Deadpool so as you can imagine they are definitely not too well equipped to handle this guy. They’ll have to try using all the weapons at their disposal, but against a guy who is basically immortal all this will ultimately do is prolong the inevitable. The victor is never in doubt in this title.

The artwork is certainly pretty nice. The action scenes are on point and there is a lot of detail here. Whoever drew the comic definitely gave it their all and didn’t phone it in. I could easily see this getting some more chapters and doing well as an ongoing series. There’s just a lot you can do with Deadpool and the art would be able to keep up.

The actual story may not have a lot of stakes since it’s obvious that Deadpool will beat up on these humans, but for a one shot it’s not like you’re trying to build up any big plots anyway. It’s really just about introducing people to Deadpool and throwing in some one liners. There are a lot of third wall breaking moments as Deadpool keeps plugging in the comics. I’m definitely fine with skipping his origin story here since as he mentioned most people will likely know it anyway. Even if he was a brand new character, I feel like the origin story isn’t something that you worry about for the pilot. It would take too much time away from everyone else.

Most of the story is Deadpool just owning everyone and reminding the audience that he isn’t a total hero like the others. Ultimately he is protecting the girl but he is murdering everyone else so think of him like the Punisher. His goals align more with the average hero’s, but he doesn’t go all in on trying to save everyone the way that they do. He just happened to be in the right place at the right time and took advantage of that. The manga can get a little violent even with the parody nature so that’s something to keep in mind when you’re reading of course. Pretty much everyone gets bullets and stabs into them before the day is through.

Overall, It was a little surprising to see Deadpool as one of the first characters to get his own manga one shot, but I suppose he should have a lot of international value. I wonder if the movies did well in Japan. The final scene of the manga is definitely pretty fun and it’s something I would like to see more characters do. Since nobody in this world knows who Deadpool is he can really go crazy with trolling everyone. We get a quick guest star near the end which was fun. I think the artist could definitely do a good job with this character as well. If you haven’t read this story yet then you should check it out. It’s quite fast and a solid enough read on its own.

Overall 7/10

6 Star Movies, Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

Santa Claus Conquers The Martians Review


It’s time for a pretty surreal film. Right from the title you probably could have guessed that though. Santa’s conquering the Martians?? Now, don’t get your hopes up for a Star Wars type film where Santa goes in guns blazing as he takes out dozens of aliens. This sadly isn’t that kind of film. It would have been pretty amazing if he was going around blasting everyone so you can imagine my disappointment when it didn’t happen. It’s still a pretty entertaining film at times, but also boring at others. That may sound contradictory but basically some scenes age really well because of how cheesy they are. The scenes that aren’t over the top just tend to be pretty boring. Some of the main characters are also kids who can’t really hold their own story.

The film starts off by showing us the planet Mars. The parents aren’t happy because now all the kids do is watch Earth TV. Interestingly they aren’t happy about this because the kids are always getting distracted and decide that they need to bring in Santa to give them some more freedom. I don’t see how the solution really helps to be honest. I’d understand if you wanted to turn off the TV, but wouldn’t bringing in Santa just make it worse? He’ll introduce them to the spirit of Christmas and will get them to embrace their individuality but that goes against the planet’s system. If anything you’d think that the people would be more against that. I suppose I shouldn’t examine the plot too much….but it was still an interesting start.

The two kids the martians happen to run into are Billy and Betty. Kimar figures they can help him find the real Santa Claus since the Earth is filled with tons of fake ones. The kids know that he is in the North Pole and assist with finding him. The martians aren’t of one mind with this though. While Kimar and Dropo like the kids, Voldar wants to destroy them and stay with the old ways. Fortunately the kids have Santa to help them out…but is he really that helpful?

The kids are pretty cheesy and oblivious to everything. As a result they really aren’t my kind of characters. They just tend to slow down the film and get in the way of everything all the time. I was just waiting for them to get with the program. As for Santa, he’s definitely a little more “down to earth” than most. In his first scene he’s smoking a cigar which may have been a common thing to do back in the day, but it’s rare to see Santa doing that. It’s a bad influence for the kids so you wouldn’t really expect him to do that. I’d also have liked to see him act with a bit more urgency on Mars.

There’s nothing bad to say about Kimar. He’s trying to do what’s best for Mars and even if it involves crossing planets he is ready. I suppose he can be a bit oblivious to Voldar the whole time, but that’s about it. He’s just a good leader. I certainly preferred him to Dropo who doesn’t work well as a comic relief character. It goes back to how part of this film’s humor worked while other parts do not. I think the parts that were intentionally trying to be funny ended up falling flat while the film in general had a nice campy atmosphere even if it may not have been intended.

To expand on this, just look at the martians. Their costumes are so terrible that it’s a little funny to look at them. It’s like a Star Trek design from the original show, but with poor effects. The Star Trek aliens have aged really well, these have not. Then you have the fact that the government actually knows about Santa to the point where TV gets him on an interview. So that acknowledges that there is a guy who travels the whole world in a day and gets everyone presents. How is that possible? It’s not so something doesn’t add up here. My guess is that the government helps him deliver all of the gifts. It’s also nice to have aliens visiting Earth and not going around trying to murder everyone for a change. These guys just want to have a nice Christmas.

As for the villain Voldar…I guess he checks off the right boxes. The guy is really over the top and his goal doesn’t really amount to much more than he doesn’t want to have Santa on board. He’s fine with the current system. If put to a vote I would have imagined that most people on the planet would feel better, but the sage agreed with Kimar which probably had a lot of sway. Going back to the plot for a sec, I still feel like there were so many more ways to help the kids than to bring Santa. Why not think up some activities for them or let them do what they want? The main reason why they would have been stuck is because they wanted to stay traditional but bringing in Santa goes against that either way so then it becomes a non issue.

Overall, Santa Claus Conquers The Martians is a reasonably good film. I definitely wouldn’t call it a very good one or anything just because it can get dull. The absurd premise is really what will need to hook you. If it doesn’t then you’re basically out of luck. It’s the kind of plot that I tend to enjoy so the film works for me, but I will acknowledge that they could have done a whole lot more with the premise. Santa did “conquer” the martians with his idealogy but I would have liked a physical takeover. An easy way to do it would have been to have most of the planet agree with Voldar as I mentioned and Santa has to break his way through the city. It would have been a very different film of course, but definitely one that I could get behind.

Overall 6/10