Fairy Tail S

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Fairy Tail goes back to its roots in this spinoff. The whole thing is pretty disgraceful and I don’t see the manga redeeming itself anytime soon. I’ll have a review up for the series when I finish it.

Overall 1/10

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Mac and Me Review

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Overall 5/10

Teen Titans Go! To The Movies Review

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Overall 7/10

Fairy Tail City Hero

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

Overall 4/10

House Review

This review is of the edited TV-14 version of the film. All thoughts below should be addressed as such as a review of the unedited version would be much more negative
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It’s time to look at a horror/comedy which often times seems to be the best way to handle the genre. It’s a pretty interesting blend of the two genres and one that I think works rather well to be honest. The songs really help as well and the movie does a good job of just never getting too exaggerated. It’s a rare exception to the trope of most horror films being terrible. Of course, since it is part comedy do you wonder a bit if it really counts. I’m actually surprised that it’s R because it didn’t seem all that violent or to have much objectionable content. I’m assuming a lot of it must have been language or something in which case I would naturally rescind my statement that the writing is pretty good in this film, but as mentioned earlier I am specifically reviewing the edited version and as such my recommendation to watch it is only to be applied to that one.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Overall 7/10

Rodan Review

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Overall 7/10

The Lego Ninjago Movie Review

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Overall 7/10

Baby Geniuses Review

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Overall 3/10

Dragon Ball Side Story: The Case of Being Reincarnated as Yamcha Review

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The manga trilogy has finally ended so it’s time for the review. This mini series only got three chapters so it’s pretty short. That’s too bad because the premise just had a whole lot of potential in it. The basic plot is that a kid in the human world is a big fan of Dragon Ball. Unfortunately in the real world he’s just a really unlikable guy who has no redeeming qualities. One day, he decides to fall even lower on the moral totem pole when he falls down a flight of stairs and breaks his neck. It’s surprisingly a happy moment since he felt like the main antagonist. Instead of dying, the kid wakes up as Yamcha in the Dragon Ball series. He must now find a way to become a better character and avoid dying. Since he knows the events in advance he has a real shot here, but can he do it?

You can probably see why the premise has potential. There’s so much you can do with this kind of story since you know what is going to happen and can take steps to avoid it. Yamcha may not be able to do much against the final threats like Cell and Buu but even those are things that he can get past if he knows the origins. For Buu, just eliminate Spopovich and the other ally before they can get Gohan. For Cell, attack him in his first form or tell everyone where he is and that should be easy enough. You can escape almost any scenario.

The main character actually does do quite a bit of this at first. He trains hard so he is able to actually help against Frieza and the foes before him. He basically gives up on doing this by the Cell arc and decides to just watch which is fine I suppose. He knows he’ll come back to life anyway. You just can’t explore this concept as much as you could have if this was an ongoing series. Additionally, the series throws in the twist of having another human being warped into the series and the lead has to find out who he is. Naturally, this character is evil so they have a fight but the power of being a DBZ fan wins him over. This is all so rushed and unnatural that you have to wonder exactly why it was added.

Again, this could be a really interesting concept especially when you find out that if you die you get to retry your time in the universe. It could have been like a Groundhog Day where they explore many different avenues. Instead the whole second human plot is finished in one chapter. The ending was certainly an interesting twist as we at least get a reason why the human got into the world. Unfortunately, even the ending is wrecked as the main character immediately goes back to his old shady ways of being a creep. I thought the whole point was that he was going to learn a lesson…not that he would use his newfound abilities to be even worse in the real world.

Really, this manga is only held back by the main character. Otherwise, it’s pretty solid. The art is quite good and really does resemble DBZ at some points. It isn’t as consistent and has some flaws in that respect, but I would say that the art is quite good. It’s certainly a lot better than I would have anticipated from a short title like this one. I wonder how many people even know that this manga exists.

Overall, it’s a fun concept but you can only do so much with it. I’d recommend checking it out as many fans have always wanted a fun little alternate universe story like this one. You can even argue that the story could be cannon and wouldn’t make a difference. It would raise a lot of questions of course, but it could work. Hopefully we get more Dragon Ball spinoff mangas. Despite its overwhelming popularity we haven’t gotten as many titles as I’d like. We need to keep it rolling and get the Saiyans in a bunch of different adventures. Just resist the urge to add a human original character to the mix and then we’re golden. If you do add one, just keep in the death from the first chapter without actually bringing him back, now That would be funny.

Overall 5/10

Attack on Titan: A Sudden Visitor: The Torturous Curse of Adolescence Review

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It’s time for another Attack on Titan OVA. You’ll be happy to know that this one is the best yet. It approached dangerous territory when the characters decided to go hunting, but the special did a pretty good job of handling it. It wasn’t perfect, but it managed to save itself as there was no blood or anything. It would be a little dicey if this was a long show were that kept happening or a movie with repeated scenes of this, but as a one off it wasn’t fatal.

This special should really be called Attack on Jean. He’s a pretty minor character in the main series, but he effectively got his own special here. Jean wants to get a cushy job in the Interior so he won’t have to fight Titans for a living, but this is proving to be difficult. His best chance is to do well in a training exercise, but then his teammates destroy this chance by just being better fighters in general than him. Jean doesn’t take this too well and hastily accepts a cooking challenge against Sasha. If he wins, she’ll have to stop up staging him every day of his life. The battle is on, but can Jean really win?

I do have to say that the remixed opening was handled pretty much perfectly here. We see a lot of shots of Jean running around and trying to be relevant and then at the end when the music is ramping up we just have him walking around since he usually doesn’t get to do much during the climax. It’s emotional yet also very fitting for the character. The soundtrack in general is easily 5 star material as we get most of the show’s famous themes from the first season. It’s just consistently amazing. The visuals are also pretty good. You’ll recognize the green energy effects the show loves to use and all of the character designs are on point. It’s not an action this time around so it’s hard to say just how good it is in the end, but it’s certainly good enough for me.

One thing that is interesting to note is that Jean is a whole lot meaner than usual. In the main series he’s not the nicest of guys, but he’s still pretty even tempered as he just tries to get promoted to a safe job. In this special he’s mean to his Mom for no reason and even threatens to punch Sasha. He resorts to stealing/cheating and just has absolutely no moral compass. I suppose it’s part of the humor, but I can’t imagine his fans would be too thrilled about this. The Mom subplot in particular felt random since in the flashbacks Jean was actually a nice guy and I suppose we are led to believe that joining the army corrupted him. He’s just not the nice guy that he used to be anymore.

The ending is also really cheesy so I wasn’t thrilled with that. We all know who should have won the cooking contest based on the two dishes. On the other hand, we can also assume that the wrong choice was picked because the judge was incredibly drunk. At least he was in character as I’ve never liked this guy. He has some hype but never does anything with it and is content to boss everyone around from the sidelines. Not the kind of guy you really want on your side.

As I mentioned before, there was one tricky scene where the heroes decide to hunt a boar for no good reason. Unfortunately they do nab him, but it was at least not done in a violent way. It’s a nice consolation. That’s really is for negatives and minor gripes. Beyond that, the special had really good pacing along with its soundtrack and graphics. It did a good job of embracing its comedic nature without going too far. For example, a good scene was when everyone transformed into Titans and could only watch as someone started taking everyone down. It was a nice high budget action moment that was certainly one of the highlights. It was just a good amount of fun.

I also liked Eren’s cameos as he called Jean out and also didn’t let Mikasa do all of his work for him. Eren likes to contribute so he will get strong enough to stomp all of the Titans. It would have been cool if the special could have kept in the scene where Eren beat Jean up, but at least the highlight is up on Youtube so you can always pause the special and quickly watch it during the beginning where it would have been perfectly thrown in. In case it wasn’t too clear, I was on Sasha’s team for this mission as Jean just didn’t do anything that made me want to root for him. He was basically the antagonist in this one after all.

The special also added some clever homages to the main series like when Sasha hit Reiner with her elbow in the same way that Eren attacked him in the forest. It was the same exact shot and I seem to recall 1 or 2 other instances of this. It was a nice bit of foreshadowing for the people who had already read the manga. Fans of the series will definitely get more out of this than average viewers, but both should still enjoy it quite a bit. It’s ironic that the best Attack on Titan special would be the comedy one, but now we know what the series could have been if it was a parody.

Overall, Attack on Jean was pretty fun. I wouldn’t mind if the series followed his adventures, but I have a feeling it would still suffer from the same problems as the original and a big problem would be that there would be fewer Eren scenes to try and bring it back up. The ending may be a little disappointing, but I’d still recommend checking the special out. It’s just pretty fun and quite possibly the only time you’ll be able to see Attack on Titan like this. It’ll truly go down as a collector’s item.

Overall 6/10