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

Planes, Trains and Automobiles Review

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Overall 6/10

6 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Wing Island Review

It’s time for yet another Wii game. This one is a classic plane game but instead of being your average flight simulator you get to help out around the farm. It’s a pretty unique style of gameplay and it’s one that I can get behind. It does have some issues and the game is a little too short if you ask me. Fortunately the going price is only around 2-3 dollars so that’s really not too shabby.

The basic plot is that these two birds own a plane repair shop. You can bring yours in for repairs or you can hire the pilot out to help you out on the farm. The latter is typically the option that they go with. The main character is never eager to help, but he knows that it is ultimately the only correct choice. Can he transport the logs and help the farmers or is this rural life too much for the kid?

The plot certainly isn’t the most engaging and there isn’t really a sense of danger in this game. The only time we get anything close to an action scene is the final level as pirates attack one of our clients. We never actually see these pirates of course, but their ships are around. We don’t believe in violence so to take them down you just have to cut the ropes that they attached to your friend’s ship to drive them off. Those pirates won’t want to mess with you again after that am I right?

The two main characters aren’t bad, but I wouldn’t say that they’re very good either. The main character is very timid and constantly forced into these situations by the main heroine. He just doesn’t come across as heroic aside from the very last mission where it is brought up. The main heroine is all right as I’m glad she’s tough but why doesn’t she go help out as well? She is likely a big shot pilot just like the main lead so there is no excuse. I guess she just likes calling the shots.

As for the gameplay, the plane part should be easy to picture as you fly straight, up, down, and all around as you fulfill the mission. You have no weapons of course but pressing B will let go of whatever cargo you have or activate the steam to get rid of the small fires all around. You can also press up or down on the Wii Remote dpad to speed up or slow down. I actually didn’t know about this until I was pretty deep into the game, but I wish I had known sooner. It’s pretty hard to win without it since you’re just coasting along at a slow speed otherwise. It can be pretty hard to get used too, but you’ll get the hang of it. Just don’t connect the Nunchuk, the controls get a whole lot more complicated if you do.

The various missions that you undertake are things like “Drop the Logs” “Put out the Fire” “Pop the Balloons” etc. Most of the missions end up repeating themselves. There are 15 missions in Story Mode and then you unlock a few extra ones. I think it ends up being 20 total give or take a little. I just focused on the Story Mode levels and completed the game in around 2 hours. As I mentioned earlier that’s pretty short, but given the low price it’s not a deal breaker. You should still enjoy it just fine.

What hampers the gameplay a little are the controls. I don’t need to say much about the Wii Remote as its limitations speak for themselves. Turning is more of a hassle than it should be and especially if there are strong winds. The winds aren’t really the Wii Remote’s fault as it’s a game feature, but it’s one that definitely should not have been in the game. If you crash too much you’ll die and there is a tough level where you have to blow up a bunch of rocks. The game can be deceptively difficult in some levels but you’ll definitely conquer them if you just keep at it. Some levels took me more lives than I care to remember but if you’re getting stuck, make sure to buy some upgrades from the shop. It’s incredible how much difference a new engine or a lighter plane can make. The winds won’t be able to stop you. Or if you accelerate, I didn’t know how to do that at the time and I’m sure it would have helped quite a lot.

Graphically the game holds up pretty well. We do get a few fully animated cutscenes and the level designs are all very bright and thought out well. You’ll never get lost as the map is quite good and the screen isn’t cluttered. The developer made the most of what I can only imagine was a very limited budget for this game. The soundtrack is less memorable. I would guess that there were only about 5 different tunes or less in the game as it seemed like they kept repeating. Nothing bad, but you’ll forget the music almost instantly. I suppose the soothing music will help you stay focused though.

For replay value, the game does have a few other modes like Free Play and Advanced. The multiplayer will keep you busy and the game is just pretty fun. It’s easy to pick up and play even if it doesn’t have a lot of depth. Even with the replay value I guess the game is pretty short but it helps a little bit. I wish the medals were easier to see as well in the stages but the way they calculate the score felt pretty busted so I’m sure I didn’t miss a whole lot.

Sadly this is one of those games that doesn’t really have an ending. The game just very abruptly stops and the credits roll. I guess I didn’t want a big sappy ending anyway, but a little closure would be nice. Even something brief like the island finally acknowledging the main character would have been cool. At least the credits said “Thanks for playing” so that was always cool. I did feel like this game had more heart than most of its rivals.

Overall, Wing Island is a fun game. It may not have been exactly what I had expected, but I always like a good plane game. It feels like a cross between something like Top Gun and the Toy helicopter game I got a while back. It should entertain anyone for a little while and even a kid could play it since the controls are pretty easy. It’s worth checking out, but just make sure you pay a fair price for it. It’s definitely not worth anything too expensive.

Overall 6/10