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

1 Star Movies, Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

Ski Party Review


I’ve seen most of the old beach party films from this crew so I may as well see their skiing version as well right? It’s certainly not much better than the rest and makes all of the same mistakes. The characters may not be at the beach but they certainly dress as if they are. I would make the case that there is a little less fanservice here than in the beach versions, but I’m not invested enough into the series to do so. You certainly wouldn’t catch me defending this film. Well, let’s take a look at what we got.

The film starts off with Todd and Craig being down in the dumps because they are still single. They joined a bunch of sport programs but it was no use. Then they notice that Freddie is the star of the party and everyone is only interested in him. Perhaps the trick is that he is always skiing. The two leads quickly decide to go to the next big skiing event and are determined that this will put them on the radar. Will such a shallow plan really work or will the film test our intelligence by continuing to make the plans crazier and crazier?

There are a lot of issues here so it’s always hard to know where to start. I guess we should tackle the romance first. Romance was always a hard genre for films to really pin down and that can be especially true for this one. Part of the reason why the film kicks off is because both of the girls don’t seem to love the two guys straight away. They did go with them on two dates though so this is more about the main characters not being very patient. They want to immediately go further in the relationship while the girls are waiting. The guys are Freddie all the time and that really warps their expectations. You also can’t feel any sympathy for them because they would cheat on the two girls in a heartbeat. We have many scenes where they try to go after other girls so there is absolutely no loyalty here. They’ll simply go after the first one who accepts them.

They also use rather underhanded methods in order to complete their mission. One such tactic is to dress up as a girl and sneak into the dorms. This is a pretty bad move for many reasons. It’s also one of the largest gags in the film and it gets old very quickly. Naturally Freddie falls for one of them in this form and nobody can put the pieces together. I think if you cut away this whole sub plot the film will still be pretty terrible but it would certainly have improve. This plot line just didn’t do anything to really help the film rise up. It drags on and on.

It goes without saying that there is a lot of fanservice here even though they are in the snow. Characters just don’t care about the storm at all. They’re dressed for the beach and they aim to keep it that way for most of the film. We get a lot of zoom ins and crazy dances reminding yo that the plot was not the movie’s first priority. At least the singing isn’t too bad, the series has certainly had worse songs at any rate. Then you’ve got the beach scene at the end just to mess with the audience even further.

There are moments in the film that can be reasonably funny. It’s not like the whole duration is one failed joke after the other. While a good chunk of the jokes don’t work, the surreal nature of the movie helps at times. The scene of the main character floating like a balloon was fun. Additionally I liked the Polar Bear scenes. It’s a pretty nice gag to have that guy running around. The problem is that the movie beats this joke into the ground by having the same joke show up around 5-6 times. You never want to spam a joke that often because it will inevitably get quite old. It’s going for the running gag approach but that works better in a series. If you cram it into a single movie then you are bound to have some issues.

There aren’t any characters to root for here either so you won’t be as invested in the film as you could be. The two main guys are chronic cheaters. The two heroines are too passive and ultimately try to say that the guys were right even though that is definitely not the case. Freddie starts out as a pretty intense guy but by the end he is total comic relief to make the other characters look better. The movie definitely could and should have had more restraint. Maybe make it so the heroes get a win but Freddie still keeps his dignity. The parental figure here literally goes insane by the end of the film and I couldn’t give him any consolation points either. It was rather mean of the main guys to mess with him the whole time, but it’s also partially his fault for falling for their gags. They absolutely should not have worked on him. I prefer the guardians who at least talk tough the whole time. This guy was a punching bag so you’ll sooner feel bad for him than find the scene overly funny.

Overall, Ski Party is definitely everything you expect it to be. The film is pretty straight forward on delivering everything it is advertised to be. If this is your kind of film then you’ll enjoy it. However if you want a film with good writing and an actual plot then I’d recommend staying far away from this movie. It will have nothing to offer you. At least the gang sub plot isn’t around to get dragged out forever. The car chase at the end is actually a little better without those guys around to slow the pacing.

Overall 1/10

Animated Movie Reviews, Animated Movies, Reviews

Teen Titans Go! vs Teen Titans Review


It’s time to look at the most recent Teen Titans Go! movie. This one brings back the classic Teen Titans for a quick crossover event. While the film doesn’t manage to be quite as fun as the first Titans Go movie it’s definitely still a quality film in its own right. You’ve got action, comedy, and a final boss. What else would you even need right? One thing to watch out for is the opening credits makes the interesting decision of spoiling the entire film. It literally goes section by section from start to finish and shows all of the big scenes. It’s a very odd choice.

The movie starts off by showing us that the Teen Titans have still got it as they beat the Gentleman Ghost. People may doubt their abilities, but they shouldn’t because these kids are the real deal. Things get a little hectic when a portal appears and they’re all kidnapped. It turns out that the Master of Games is kidnapping Teen Titans from various universes to make them fight. The Go Titans are eager to start the battle while the modern ones just want to find a way to save their world. It looks like both of them may have to team up, but can the two groups possibly learn to work with each other in time?

Going forward I’m going to call the original Titans the Gen 1 crew and the others will just be referred to normally since they are the main characters here. The Titans act about as well as you’d expect them to. They’re still treated like comic relief because even they acknowledge that they aren’t serious the way that the Gen 1 guys are. They can’t help but constantly be at the center of the gags. The only one who tries to be serious is Robin and even then he is constantly overshadowed by his Gen 1 version. I’ll give him points for effort though and he’s the only Titan who really understands the gravity of the situation. He needs the portal device and he needed a win to secure the team’s confidence. It’s just a shame that he isn’t able to fight quite as well as the others. The other Titans are all on point except for the fact that Starfire was not taking this seriously enough. None of them were all that serious, but at least they tried in the tournament. Starfire was too busy trying to make friends to do much of anything which was disappointing.

As for the Gen 1 crew, it was fun to see them again. Robin and Raven probably get the most to do here. Raven has a lot of experience with the demonic realm so she coaches the kid version on this. Meanwhile Robin is ready to lead the team and he definitely does not like the baby titans. He’s constantly belittling them and when they don’t listen to reason he is quick to put them down. Gen 1 Robin certainly enjoys being the leader and makes sure to stretch things out when possible. After all this is his chance to lead two different teams to victory so you can bet that he is going to milk this as much as he can. It’s just an opportunity that he cannot miss.

The movie moves pretty quickly through the different phases to the climax so it never drags on. I didn’t feel like any of the humor was all that bad either. I would consider this to be one of the stronger Teen Titans Go episodes if it was on TV. The return of Santa Claus was also a lot of fun. It’s always great to see him as an antagonist and he is one of their tougher opponents. Of course taking on a group this large would be difficult even for the greatest of villains.

Then we’ve got more crossover appeal towards the end of the film. If you managed not to see who was included already then I won’t spoil it for you. Needless to say it’s a pretty solid lineup. I would have liked to have seen them all a little more to be honest, but what we got was pretty neat. Imagine if the whole film was the tournament though and we got to see a lot of different verses duke it out. That would have been really cool and then this probably would have beaten the original film. The animation here does look pretty good, but more standard than the first movie. The colors are a little brighter and there is extra detail either way. There’s no super catchy theme like we got in the first film, but I guess it’s hard for Lightning to strike twice.

Where the film really shines is in how absurd the whole thing is. The Go characters are in full parody mode and they just don’t care what the Gen 1 group thinks. They’re here to have fun and nobody’s going to stop them. That straight forward goal really keeps the film going and it’s why you don’t even need the crossover aspect for this to be a success. The group can hold their own as is. If anything I’m just glad that the Gen 1 group weren’t too obnoxious in trying to question the Go characters at every turn. They quickly learned that the Go characters weren’t going to change and just rolled with it.

Overall, Teen Titans Go vs Teen Titans is a fun film. While it’s a versus title there isn’t a lot of action between the two teams. A good chunk of the action scene is just comedy, but to an extent that is to be expected with these guys. It’s probably the only vs title I would give a pass to because of that. Whether you’ll enjoy this film or not is completely dependent on whether or not you enjoy the Go series. If you like the TV show then you’ll like the film and if you don’t like the show then the movie won’t be for you. This basically feels like an extended few episodes and it’s really a movie for the fans. It brings all the best qualities of the show together.

Overall 7/10

1 Star Movies, Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

Scream Review

This review is of the edited TV-14 version of the film. All thoughts below should be addressed as such as a review of the unedited version would be more negative.

It’s time to look at one of the most iconic horror franchises of all time. I’m talking about Scream with good ole Ghostface. I think it’s fair to say that you expect a certain kind of film when you watch Scream and it delivers. This is exactly what you would expect in pretty much all aspects. It isn’t my kind of film and the crazy excessive violence dooms it from the start, but at least the film tries to differentiate itself a bit during the journey like with the great soundtrack. It’s not a film I could ever recommend but if you like slashers then this isn’t a bad one to check out.

The movie starts off with Ghostface showing up to someone’s house and murdering her. We then cut to the next day as the whole town is on red alert. School is still on for now, but security has been ramped up. Nobody knows who the killer is, but there’s a good chance he is somewhere in the town. Sidney is particularly distressed because almost a year ago her mother was also murdered in a grisly way. Sidney quickly finds out that she is the next target as Ghostface calls her and makes his intent known. She will need to find some way to stop him before she becomes the star of her own horror movie.

So lets talk about what makes Scream a little different from the average horror movie. For starters we have a great soundtrack here. I dare say that it’s probably the best horror soundtrack I’ve ever heard. It’s certainly the best slasher one I’ve experienced. We get constant rock music and the music doesn’t bother being subtle as it really intensifies during all of the big scenes. I dare say that this was poking fun at the usual horror films as well which is always a good idea if you ask me. The music really takes you to the next level.

Then there is the fact that the film wastes absolutely no time. Ghostface appears almost immediately in the film instead of showing up way later. Horror films are no stranger to having a quick beginning, but it is really rare that the guy shows up in costume so early on. It’s like having a mini movie at the beginning of the actual movie which was clever. Then even when he confronts Sidney that happens a lot sooner than I had thought. The guy shows up quite a lot and takes many attempts at the heroes but it works really well. Even as he loses the guy still makes his presence known.

It’s also nice to see the characters actually putting up a good fight against this guy. They really give him a beating and knock him down several times as the adventure goes on. It’s not something you would typically see in a movie like this one and while they are ultimately doomed it still works out very well. It delays the inevitable but that’s fine. Having a quality fight scene is always a good idea. If anything you will just wonder why the heroes never try finishing this guy off and turn their backs to him. Some of these characters seem like they would win in a fist fight so they just should have pressed the advantage.

Then the film goes into the usual slasher tropes which takes us back to square 1. For starters the film is incredibly violent. Everyone dies as painfully as possible and in particular there is a lot of blood in how they die. I dare say that the film is poking a little fun here too as everyone takes multiple stabs to go down instead of the usual just 1 hit like in most other films. It’s not like they ever really manage to do much between stabs though but with that and the face of the mask I dunno. It feels like a bit of a parody here too even if these are serious scenes.

We also can’t forget the script which isn’t very good as the teenagers all like to yell and panic as much as possible. Most of them seem to love the violence and are borderline rooting for the murderer as they have a lot of fun with the concept. The fact that they wear the costume later on is quite telling as well. Everyone in this town is intense though like the principal as well as he really threatens the students with death for this. You can tell how his character arc is going to end right from the start. The characters are portrayed to be as unlikable as possible which is always unfortunate.

Finally Ghostface himself has motives that are pretty sad all around. The film goes out of its way to make Sidney’s mother’s death as tragic as possible. Why can’t the villain just be a mass murderer and not a super sketchy individual on top of that? Such a character is already completely unlikable, it’s not necessary to go any further than that. Between that and him getting beaten up by just about every character in the book, things don’t look very good for Ghostface.

As for the main character, I can’t say that I’m a big fan of Sidney. Sidney is trying to come to terms with all of these dark events and does a reasonable job of this. Unfortunately the only supportive person in this is Tatum. Everyone else are really just here to make the situation tougher. Unfortunately she caves in to peer pressure with Billy at the end and loses sight of her priorities. It’s really not the best time to completely be messing around…especially when it’s not even her house. She has good confidence even when fighting Ghostface so that’s good. She’s generally very determined and knows how to throw a punch. Sidney may not be amazing, but she gets the job done.

Meanwhile we have Billy who is the super shady, suspect boyfriend. The film makes him look as creepy as possible even to the point where he appears out of nowhere right after Ghostface leaves. You have to decide if this makes him an actual suspect or if this is another trope that the film is mocking. Either way there is no reason to like him as the guy has no respect for anyone else and keeps pressuring Sidney into going further despite her reservations.

The friends are just as bad if not worse aside from Tatum. Tatum is Sidney’s only real friend and is at least a nice person who will stand by her. Tatum really gets the short end of the stick in this film as things never go well for the best friend. You have to give her a lot of credit for really trying to help Sidney and she was always quick on the defense. Tatum also puts up a good fight in her scene.

Then we’ve got Dewey who is a young cop that is trying to be taken seriously in the town. Unfortunately this is not going over very well as everyone keeps on thinking on him as the little kid they once knew. In their defense, Dewey doesn’t do a lot to garner respect as he still enjoys ice cream and gets bossed around by Tatum. When it’s crunch time he ultimately folds and that’s really all you need to know about the character. He also puts romance before the job and that’s never a good thing for a cop or any other position.

Finally there is Gale. She’s a bold reporter who gets on everyone’s bad side, but always manages to get a scoop. She doesn’t get along with Sidney because she believes that the lead tagged the wrong person for the gas chamber. She intends to blast this case wide open and will do whatever it takes towards this goal. It makes for a good subplot but I don’t think the execution was completely on point. Honestly she should have been the one to shoot Ghostface at the end. I’d say that she earned it considering how much work she put in and the fact that she was tracking this case for over 10 years. It just felt like she got the shaft here. Still a fun character though even if she is using her wiles to manipulate Dewey. It’s more his fault for falling for her tactics. She’s just winning.

Overall, Scream will grab your attention and it really does end up being a smarter slasher film than most. It’s not going to win an Oscar or anything like that, but it feels more realistic than some others. There aren’t a lot of moments where you think “The character should have done this instead of that” They actually make logical choices for the most part (Crawling into the garage door was a bad move) but it’s just too late for them anyway. The main takeaway here is that you’ve gotta try and fight off the villain when you have the edge instead of running. This film’s way too violent until you’re of age so be warned. If you do want to see a slasher though, you can’t do much better than this one.

Overall 1/10

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

House II: The Second Story Review


It’s time to look at the second House film. The first one really did not leave much of an impact because it really didn’t ring any bells for me. I guess that makes sense because the same can be said for the sequel. House II is good and has some really great moments like with the electrician, but it’s not exactly a film that you’ll be talking about for very long. It just doesn’t have that lasting effect on you and a comedy-horror never wants to fall into that. All right, lets dive in!

The film starts off with Jesse and Kate moving into their new house. His family died off so now he gets the place to himself. They’re eager to make the place their own, but unfortunately a pair of third wheels by the name of Charlie and Lana show up. Charlie is basically a free loader and Lana just wants to be rich and famous so the two of them actually work pretty well together. Charlie isn’t going to turn down the opportunity of being rich either so he heads off to his great grand father’s grave so try and find something valuable. He finds a crystal skull which is pretty valuable when you think about it. It brings gramps back to life and he decides to party with the main characters. The one downside is that Slim may be lying in wait to retrieve the skull and murder everyone. Can Jesse stop him?

This is a comedy/horror so there are a lot of parody elements thrown in here as well. One of them is how well everyone takes the fact that Gramps is back to life. The movie takes place during Halloween which is very handy since they can play him off as a costume. Hey, it’s as reasonable an explanation as anything right? At least it gives the party goers something to think about. Unfortunately as is usually the case Gramps is pretty weak. See, the evil zombies who come back to life like Slim are strong, but not the good ones. That always happens. Gramps gets completely wrecked when he tries to go up against Slim.

The other heroes aren’t much better for the most part though. The scene where the Pterodactyl makes off with the skull was particularly sloppy. At least Jesse gets the job done in the end. Charlie really doesn’t help much except to throw in the witty one liners once in a while. He also likes listening to Gramps’ old stories. The real hero here is actually the electrician, Bill. Bill’s appearance comes very suddenly but works extremely well. At first he was just here to fix some cables but then he notices that the cables lead to a portal which can take you to various places like dinosaur world or the wild west. The main characters go in, but they are woefully unprepared so Bill volunteers to help. Being an electrician is just his day job, Bill really excels at being an adventurer as well.

The guy also proves himself as a pro with a blade. He’s not scared of zombies and just goes through the whole scenario with the sacrifice with a cool head. Nothing phases him and he doesn’t even look mildly surprised as he walks in and takes names. I was just sad that he couldn’t stick around for the rest of the film, but I suppose he would probably steal the show very quickly. That’s just the kind of guy that he is. I wonder if he was a guest star or something. Either way that was a parody element handled correctly.

House II’s writing isn’t all that bad. The characters make some bad moves but they feel intentional on the writing’s part since this film isn’t really meant to be taken seriously. The script isn’t that bad and the pacing is decent. Some parts could have been handled a bit better like maybe having Gramps fight a bit. Lana also could have been a bit more realistic as dancing with super loud volume in Kate’s house isn’t the best way to make a good impression. That whole scene was pretty painful to be honest and didn’t actually contribute anything to the story so it could have been cut.

That being said, House II is careful to avoid making any of the big mistakes. It may have a scene here and there that aren’t great like the dancing one, but scores more often than it does not. The cast isn’t amazing, but they can be entertaining enough. The gunfight climax is also handled surprisingly serious with Slim and Jesse. It’s a solid action scene in any context. The ending may be a bit sudden but it works well enough. I wonder if the next film continues from this plot or if we’ll get a new setting once again. I’m cool with either option.

Overall, House II is a solid sequel. I quickly took a peak at my review for the original which did jog some memories. I can’t say that this one was able to match the original. The original one was just funnier and had more to it. I dare say that the character cast was more solid last time. Still, this one does have its humorous moments which is important and the pacing is good. The action scene at the end was solid and I feel like what was ironically missing was probably more scenes in the house. Between the wild west, the past, the portal, and hanging out at the party, it felt like we didn’t get quite as much time just hanging out in the house and experiencing the crazy shenanigans. Still, as long as you don’t mind a film poking fun at the usual tropes this is a good one to check out. Just be on the lookout for Bill, that guy really is the best character here.

Overall 6/10

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

Gremlins 2: The New Batch Review


It’s time to look at a sequel to the classic Gremlins film. This one dials the craziness up as the film breaks the third wall and the monsters gain various super forms. It’s an improvement over the first in some ways but I wouldn’t say it’s enough to throw it onto solid territory. At this rate a third film could be the one to do it though.

The film starts off with corporate heading over to the store where the gremlin is being held and they attempt to buy out the building. The owner refuses since he has decided to never sell the place. Corporate is never denied though and the old man soon dies of old age. Interestingly the film plays it straight as if there was no foul play involved. The owner was simply too old. One thing leads to another and after corporate captures Gizmo he ends up being exposed to water and his various clones quickly take over the building. Billy figures that since he has prior experience with the Gremlins that he is the best person to stop them. Can he pull this off or is the city already doomed?

It always makes for a good plot when corporate is involved because I like to see how they handle an alien invasion. Gizmo isn’t technically an alien but with how the plot plays out he may as well be. The company actually did pretty good here. They definitely lost the first round but once the big boss Daniel showed up they were in good hands. From the first scene Daniel was in I had a good feeling about his character. He seems like the kind of guy who made it to the top through his own abilities and he is quick on the uptake. Even with no heads up or survival training he was able to take down one of the powered up Gremlins. That’s not bad. Then he helped execute the final plan really well and even had a Batman type secret exit. He was constantly working hard and showing why he deserved to get the position.

Billy’s direct supervisor’s supervisor definitely doesn’t fare even half as well. Not only is he shaken up and overwhelmed right from the start but then one of the gremlins even forces him into a fake wedding. Clearly the creatures aren’t respecting him as an actual threat which is pretty sad for the guy. He had some potential since he looked good during the opening scene where he negotiates with the shop owner. From there his character fell down though. Then you’ve got Billy’s supervisor whose plot is pretty unnecessary. She decides to try and seduce Billy since he is on the track to success and he puts up very half hearted resistance the whole time. This plot is dropped pretty quickly later on and at the end of the day it just didn’t matter much.

As for the main heroine, Kate isn’t bad, but definitely not as pro-active as some other characters. She doesn’t handle the gremlin in her house too well and doesn’t really get to lay on the damage to the remaining ones. At least she is upset about Billy being so weak willed though. Then you’ve got Billy who makes the wrong choices consistently. You have to give him points for being predictable, but why would you leave Gizmo alone at any point? He should have taken him home straight away. It’s good that he rescued him, but that’s not going to help if you leave him in the villain base.

Gizmo gets a big role of course. He is still the mascot of the series after all. Unfortunately he is really just used as a punching bag by the other characters the whole time. He’s the original so you would expect him to be able to fight but that isn’t the case. The others get cool super forms and such while Gizmo is stuck trying to load a flame arrow to help fight them off. He gets a good moment at the end, but the rest of the film is him losing every round so it only helps a little bit.

The other Gremlins are interesting although their super forms range from actually being fairly threatening to just being grotesque. The fruit ones can be a little hard to look at, but the bat one was pretty cool. Their super forms don’t seem to actually amp up their physical abilities all that much so they’re really here for style points. One of the gremlins ends up getting super intelligence so he tries to give us some reasons for why the Gremlins are attacking. Ultimately it really just boils down to the fact that they want a society and have to eliminate the humans.

On one hand I like that Gremlins 2 does amp up the crazy factor. Having the Looney Tunes actually get a scene was pretty interesting. It’s always nice to see Daffy steal the show. Then there is one point where we break the third wall and a wrestler shows up to tell the theater to continue playing the film. That was definitely out of left field and it’s a bold moment that really pays off. Of course with a lot of extra humor like this there will be moments that don’t work like the wedding sub plot. You have to take the good with the bad in a title like this.

While the film doesn’t take itself seriously all that much, there are a few intense scenes here like one of the Gremlins being shoved inside a blender which leads to a violent death. It’s all rainbow colored so I suppose that’s why it wouldn’t ultimately rate too high as a violent moment, but it can definitely be a bit disturbing. The pacing isn’t bad for the most part. It may drag on just a bit towards the second half, but all in all you should be in for a decent ride.

Overall, Gremlins 2 can be fun. It’s hard to put my finger on it though, but the film doesn’t have any real replay value. It’s not the kind of movie I would ever need to watch a second time. I think it just isn’t a strong enough movie for a second viewing, but on your initial watch it will be entertaining enough for you to make it to the end. Ideally if we get a third film we’ll get to see corporate return. Without them this movie really would have worked so you gotta have them return. Even seeing the employees fighting the Gremlins in the background was pretty fun. I always like a good background gag, they’re subtle but work pretty well.

Overall 5/10

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

What’s Up, Doc? Review


It’s time to take a look at an old rom-com film. The title is definitely iconic since it’s borrowing from the legendary Looney Tunes quote so you aren’t likely to forget the title after you see the movie. It’s a pretty fun film although at the end of the day you can’t really root for any of the main characters since they tend to make a lot of questionable decisions. The person you can count on is the guy who’s trying to get the suitcase. (There are a few different characters with this objective though)

The film’s plot starts off with Howard checking into a hotel along with his fiancee Eunice. He is trying to get a grant so he can continue his research on the rocks. It’ll be tough but Howard thinks he has a good shot and Eunice is going to make sure that he scores the win. A wrinkle gets thrown into the arrangements when Howard bumps into a lady named Judy. Judy decides that she’s going to steal Howard away from Eunice and is willing to do whatever it takes to break them apart. Whether it’s through lying, framing, or even by sending someone away to their death there is no line that Judy will not cross. This is why most characters don’t mess with her. Can Howard secure the grant and keep his relationship intact or will he end up cracking under pressure?

Meanwhile there is a Mr. Smith who has classified documents from the government. He’s come to the same hotel as well and his suitcase is the same design which is where things start to get messy. There are 4 suitcases in the hotel that all look identical only one of them has classified papers, one has jewels, one has books, and one has rocks. Through various shenanigans the suitcases all get shuffled and now Mr. Smith needs to find the right one. He isn’t alone though as many other parties want the suitcase which leads to a lot of running about. Since some of these guys are actual mobsters you can bet that the guns are put into play before long.

That was personally my favorite part of the movie. It was a lot of fun to see everyone going after the suitcase and it led to a lot of fun situations. I was rooting for Mr. Smith the whole time and he really stole the show. The guy is definitely not very trustworthy and I would recommend keeping your guard up around him, but he was just a lot of fun. The guy knew when it was time to take charge. The other interested parties are all pretty intense about this as well, but I don’t think there is any point where you will be rooting for them over Howard.

Still, that is technically the sub plot. The main thing is all about Howard and unfortunately he does not have enough strength in his convictions to resist Judy’s advances. There were already some warning bells going off when he went along with her act during the grant making process, but it all crumbled once he made it to the roof which is easily the worst scene in the film. I’d say that Howard lasted a while at least before being tempted, but not really. He’s fairly oblivious for the most part, but I can’t say that this is a valid excuse for anything. I do wonder how he and Eunice ended up together in the first place and there’s a reasonable chance that she actually was just using him for the money. It’s a lot of assumptions though and the easiest story here is that she was actually a nice person who just lost out. Howard should have just stayed strong and should have also explained things to Eunice a little clearer right from the start. Judy loses her ammo if Howard spills the beans right away.

As for Judy, her whole plan is to steal away someone that she knows is in a relationship so I definitely wasn’t rooting for her. She’s a very self absorbed character who will do anything for her own interests and it shows. She really has no regard for how things will affect Howard so long as she “wins.” She easily manipulates most of the men in the film and so hopefully Howard realizes that he is no exception. Meanwhile Eunice is pretty reasonable for the most part. It’s a bit of a Home Alone type scenario where the step mom actually isn’t all that bad, but has to lose so towards the end she doesn’t do very well. Eunice has a lot of good reasons to be upset by the end after all. From her point of view Howard has basically started betraying her pretty easily over a lady that he just met. That’s not a good look for him.

It goes without saying that I couldn’t really get on board with the romance. I don’t care if Judy turned out to be the nicest character in the world, Howard was taken so that should have been the end of the story right there. Beyond that the writing was pretty solid though. Judy makes for a good antagonist and always has some kind of comeback at the ready. She’s certainly more prepared for any scenario than Howard. The film really flies by thanks to the quick pacing.

Overall, What’s Up Doc is a good film. I feel like it’s really only held back by the fact that you’re forced to root against the main characters even though you know from the start how this is all going to end. The plot’s a little suspect to be sure, but at least we still had the subplot with the briefcases. That does lead to an intense climax where they even throw in one of those really long car chases from back in the day. That always makes for a fun little sequence and it was a good way to wrap up all of the plots. I’d recommend checking this one out.

Overall 6/10

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

Meteor Man Review


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Overall 5/10

2 Star Movies, Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

It’s A Bikini World Review


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Overall 2/10