The Final Cut Review

The Final Cut is a sci-fi film with a pretty interesting idea. It definitely raises some interesting discussion points about the idea of having something that can record your every moment. Unfortunately the movie doesn’t take much time to think about this. The film feels very short which can be seen as a good thing but at the same time it means there isn’t a lot of room to explore anything. At times the film feels rather aimless and never completes any of the more interesting questions it touches on.

The movie starts by introducing us to a new concept that has happened in the universe. There’s now a chip you can implant in yourself which records everything you see and say. When you die, a relative can then send your video file to a cutter who is effectively someone who looks through that data and makes a movie out of it. They then play this at your funeral or “Rememory” as they call it. Alan is known as the best in the biz because he’ll take on the memories of the worst people around and edit the film so much that they appear to be good people. His latest case is another tricky one since he has to clean up an evil guy’s act but then he recognizes a person in the memories. It appears to be someone who died back when Alan was a kid. He’s now determined to find out the truth but meanwhile the people taking a stand against the chip are determined to do whatever it takes.

To start off, the idea of implanting a chip that records what you see doesn’t sound too far off. It seems feasible that this could happen, but I would certainly be on the resistance side. There’s a whole lot of risk with putting anything in your body, especially something that’s around where your brain is. If it short-circuits in your head or you hit your head very hard, what will happen to the chip? It can easily fry your brain or do something else. That’s already reason enough for why you’d never want that kind of thing to be legal. Chipping is just a bad idea for any life forms.

Then you have the whole privacy issue. After all, even if the person using the chip has granted their permission for this to happen, what about all of the people who will inevitably get filmed over the course of that person’s life? Effectively nothing will be private since the cutter is granted free reign over every single memory. Additionally the future audience will also get to see the moments that make the final cut. There are just a lot of reasons why this is a bad idea and of course to maximize its effects we learn in the movie that a lot of people have it plugged into their kids when they are born so there was never even a choice for consent.

The movie tackles both of these themes a bit as there is a whole resistance force against this. The matter even went to court apparently. Alan’s character can’t be bothered with this though so he always runs off when the debate is starting. Alan is completely fine with this until he remembers the skeletons in his closet so then it’s time to dash again. It’s definitely one of those things that you can picture since people are often okay with things until it happens to them. Alan’s definitely not a likable character in the slightest though. His friends are right that his job as a Cutter is just not very savory or even ethical. He’s really just rewriting the past for various characters to try and make them look better. That isn’t good. You can make a case for his being an accomplice by not saying anything.

Naturally the film makes sure to go all the way for this so during the film we see how characters do a lot of awful things that Alan wipes out from the film during the cutting process. The film goes way too far in this area which definitely doomed the movie. You could definitely have established the context of why people are against the implant without having to go into this detail. It shows that the film was not super confident in what explaining its own premise. The worst part is still that we don’t really get to debate the idea either. Alan never really defends his position of why he helps beyond half hearted generalities.

It’s just another reason why he wasn’t a fun lead to follow. Then you have Fletcher who is effectively the main villain here. He wants the tape that Alan is working on so he can prove that this guy was no good from the start. Naturally the proof in this tape would be quite incriminating but Alan is determined not to hand it over because of the Cutter’s Code that he agreed to. Fletcher makes for a much more interesting character than Alan so it would have been interesting to see more of him. I will say that the ending was pretty unexpected with how things played out. I’ll give the film credit on that one.

Then there’s the main heroine Delila but she doesn’t appear all that much so it may be a bit of an overstatement to call her the main heroine. By the start of the film things are already rocky between her and Alan. That said, it still seemed like a bit of an overreaction on her part later on when she’s watching the videos. She clearly knew what his job was so this was the kind of thing he would be doing constantly. It was more personal since it was videos of her of course, but it’s not like that should change the context of what he was doing. I suppose her solution to this was quite permanent but at the same time she could have probably been sued for a ton of money so it was a pretty big risk.

The Final Cut has some interesting ideas and takes place in a unique setting but it’s far too short. We don’t really get to see much of the rebellion itself, the company’s reaction, government, etc. It feels like we’re seeing a very small corner of the world and unfortunately not a very interesting corner. The film relies too much on shock value from the scenes on the videos and is more interested in doing that than actually having Alan have some real conversations about his job. That would have made for a much more interesting film as well as some good debates. If he and Fletcher could have a proper discussion about this without either one constantly dodging questions then that could have been good.

Overall, The Final Cut is a pretty bad film. Alan’s just a poor main character and the fact that I couldn’t agree with any of his decisions and motivations did not help matters. All the videos he would watch tended to be more on the disturbing side. I like the idea of showing a world where this is possible but it wasn’t used properly. In the real world I’d definitely be against any kind of implants like that though. Seems like something that will create a whole lot more harm than good. Maybe someday someone will take another crack at the premise.

Overall 2/10

Dead Again 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 likely be a lot more negative

Uh oh, it’s time for one of “Those” thrillers. This is a pretty bad film and honestly it sets the tone from the start as an actor struggles to sing, but quickly finds that he doesn’t have the talent for it. I like to think that the film was trying to confuse you from the start so you wouldn’t think about the plot much. Just in case they threw in a lot of red herrings though and scenes that didn’t actually happen for plot convenience. The film’s plot had more holes in it than the Colossal and Armored Titan’s plan to wipe out humanity.

So the film starts off with a lady who is unable to speak and has nightmares every night. She locks her door so that nobody can break in and murder her. You see, she had a dream where a guy runs in with scissors and murders her. This is validated by the fact that around 40 years ago there was a case of a guy murdering a lookalike to her with them. The intro spends a long time showing us newsclip after newsclip of this although they all basically just lead to the conclusion that he was guilty of the crime. The Church decides to call in Mike to dig into her past. Seeing as how their may be a crazed killer after her, Mike does what any reasonable person would do….he puts her picture in the newspaper along with his phone number so the world can know where he is….Uh oh!

As you’d expect, this attracts a lot of the kooks from their hiding places. The first guy to walk in is an old man who acts rather sinister and takes a little too much interest in everything. He immediately starts to get very touchy with the heroine (Amanda) so Mike tells him to back off. He responds by telling Mike to back off and hypnotizes Amanda so we find out that she is a reincarnated person. The trouble is that she used to be the guy from the past while Mike is actually the girl who was murdered. Funny how this all happens isn’t it? The film spends a lot of time on the whole reincarnation nonsense so try not to groan at the explanations. I’m sure they spent a lot of time on them.

Mike continues to let the guy hypnotize her and then he gets hypnotized as well. Surely the guy is okay though right? Nothing suspect here. Meanwhile, a random guy named Doug shows up and announces that Amanda is his. He begins to run off with her as Mike buys this story, but fortunately Mike realizes that the guy is a phony because he brought the wrong glove. This leads to the most random scene in the whole film. Doug is actually a professional fighter and beats the stuffing out of Mike as he unleashes a really cool Tekken 7 combo that ends with a jumping double kick. Honestly I almost fell out of my chair at the sheer hype of this. Doug…if that’s even his name, never appears again and simply vanishes into the night.

As much fun as this plot can be…why is this film so bad. Well, for starters it’s pretty mean spirited. An old lady is murdered by the main villain here and she only got to appear for about a minute. Mike coerced her into revealing who the murderer was and then she was murdered. There should really be a witness protection program for all of the one shot characters who help the main lead and are then murdered as soon as he leaves. This seems to happen quite frequently.

The original murder case is also rather dark as well and everyone looks pretty bad as you’d expect. The couple get into some fights because the lady allows a guy to get overly friendly with her. He was clearly flirting, but she didn’t seem to mind. Then the guy was just as bad as he invited a kid and a lady to stay with them in his house even after they started robbing the wife. It’s pretty obvious that they’re crooks, but they haven’t murdered anyone right? Well, actually they do murder someone and the guy doesn’t even try to avenge his wife. He decides to take the fall for them (Unless he actually bought into the suicide angle which if so…he’s even dumber than I thought) and gets hanged/electrocuted/whatever death the government gave him.

A big theme in the film though is the Karma Credit plan. See, if you murder someone in the past, they’ll be reincarnated in the future to murder you. It’s a never ending cycle of violence and one that a retired psychiatrist buys into quite eagerly. The kid is worried about this and that sets up the modern plot. By the way, there aren’t really any nice characters here either. Even the retired guy tells Mike to just shoot the main heroine because he’s too far into the conspiracy. Talk about bad advice eh?

I do have to give the film some props for being rather unique though. This has got to be the only time in a movie where a pizza delivery man showed up during the climax to take names. The guy shows up with a pizza box just as the main hero is about to take the villain down and then he grabs the gun. In that one second, he moved quicker than most leads do. Naturally, he tackled the wrong person, but he meant well. After that, the climax turns into a Youtube parody.

The camera shifts every other second as it turns full slow mo and every character starts to lunge for a weapon. It shifts so many times that the actors forget where they are at times and I felt like there were a few plot holes there with characters being in the wrong spots. There’s opera music and I was even expecting the screen to start spinning or the colors to invert. It was so bad that it was so good for a second there. It also gets rather dark for someone who ends with a rather painful end. That’s the way it goes there. The hero did a good job fighting with a bullet wound near the heart the whole time. Props for that.

Back to the film being rather iffy though, the romance is also handled horribly. It doesn’t matter whether you chose the past or the present. In the present, Amanda may not have her memories, but she decides that she can have a fling anyway. After that, some guy she doesn’t even know claims they do know each other so she moves to him as the rebound guy. Okay, that didn’t work since he was lying so back to the starter. There are a lot of shifts here and it’s all a little too sudden. They should at least wait until she has her memories or until they’ve known each other a little longer right? The film gives these scenes a lot of screen time to try and show how madly in love with each other they are, but it just makes them seem rather shallow the whole time.

This film’s just a little too dark and gritty the whole time. The characters aren’t likable and the plot is just poorly handled. In case you couldn’t tell, I just didn’t like the whole cast. Mike panics quite a lot and doesn’t actually put much effort into finding Amanda’s family. He lets his assistant do that while he slacks off and visits the ocean. Amanda panics a lot and is too trusting of everyone which leads her to make bad move after bad move. The two mental characters only know how to give bad advice and the old character who lives to the present time has a bad smoking problem. There really isn’t anyone to root for. Back to the plot though, that’s the final aspect that we need to tackle. So, Amanda lost her memory. This has nothing to do with reincarnation or destiny, she just happened to lose her memory and wander all the way to the Church where Mike found her. The villain found out through the newspaper and he was able to give her fake memories. Okay, how’d he do it? Mike was there the whole time. If the memories were real…then this is awfully convenient once again. Then the villain’s plan of giving her a gun only works if she actually buys into his story and she has even less reason to trust him than Mike. The fact that she had a dream where Mike is evil is just there so she’ll turn against him even though that dream really shouldn’t be happening. Everything was just really convenient and worked in the villain’s favor. He was one step ahead of Mike from the start somehow as he even knew that Mike would visit his Mother and when he would do it. I dunno, he got too much credit if you ask me. I also think the heroes should have considered an option although it is admittedly a very bold one for a horror protagonist to make…Call The Cops! I mean, as soon as Mike knew what was going to happen, that might not have been a bad idea. Of course, he leaves his front door open so strangers including the main villain just pop in whenever they want so I don’t think safety is the first thing on his mind.

One thing that the film did well was the soundtrack. I can at least give it some points for that as it was all extremely dramatic and hype. The music would have fit well in a comic book movie or something of that nature. It just didn’t work here since the rest of the film just wasn’t good. Ah well, at least it gave us something interesting to listen too as the chaos unfolded on screen.

Overall, Dead Again is an underwhelming film. It should have ended when the Pizza man showed up and told the cast that Amanda actually lived somewhere else and the whole story was fake. That was an epic scene and the film should have just ended there. It would have been amazing and one of the most legendary endings of all time. Unfortunately, the film just didn’t have the guts to go for that and resorted to sticking with the reincarnation gibberish for a little longer. At least all the characters fall for every trap in the book to ensure that the villain has a fighting chance. If you want a film with less forced drama and everyone dying along the way, I’d suggest you go for a more classic film. Something like the Mega Man X OVA, Day of Sigma. Look it up, it’s pretty hype. On a final note, this film reminds us that putting a chair in front of the door doesn’t do much. Amanda tries this and people just burst in with no effort anyway so what was even the point again?

Overall 2/10


It’s time for another true story and one that is just as sad. This one is about a group of people who suffered from encephalitis lethargica. This is essentially a form of coma where the patient is technically alive, but just barely. They are almost completely immobile and brain functions are down to nearly 0%. They are essentially trapped within their own bodies and may not even be aware of what is going on around them. It’s quite close to being in a state of death and there had been no cure for it. A doctor decides to try administering higher doses of the L Dopa drug to see if it would help the patients get better. It helps a little in the short term, but ultimately the bodies become immune to it and shut down once more.

Part of what makes this film so tragic is that the patients know that it is only temporary after they see the first one revert back to normal. It’s like being given a second chance at life only to suddenly be told that you actually only have 2 days before you revert. It really ends the celebration abruptly and as there is nothing that can be done about it, the patients simply have to accept it. It’s emotionally taxing not just on the individuals, but on their families as well. It’s just a very sad film. At least they were given a chance to live a little thanks to the doctor though. Getting a few days to talk with your family after being immobile for over a decade is nothing to sneeze at and while L Dopa was not a permanent solution, I like to think that it got scientists closer to getting a full cure. Unfortunately, there is still no permanent cure once it is serious enough. I’d need to give the Wikipedia page a deeper read, but it sounds like it is a condition that is still relatively incurable. It’s always a shame to see that we’re in 2017, but there are still so many illnesses which cannot be treated completely. Science can never know everything, but it would be great if we could make some real progress. It feels like a long time since there have been any major breakthroughs.

It’s definitely a film that is pretty hard to watch if you’re not a fan of somber titles. I avoid sad films on principle because I watch movies to just have fun and relax for a while. This film is certainly not relaxing, but it’s good for these issues to get more exposure. Even if it’s not my idea of a fun time, if it gets more people to donate to the cause then it’s worth it. It doesn’t add anything like animal violence or unnecessary subplots and mostly plays it straight. There is a very tragic romance that takes place with one of the patients that makes the whole thing a little more sad though. It’s yet another time where I would have preferred if they hadn’t added this angle into the film.

This film can also let you appreciate how tough some people have it and make your own troubles not seem as bad. Everyone has challenges and trials in their lives. No matter how perfect a life can look from afar, you can be absolutely certain that the individual has gone through some trials and likely has more to go. I don’t believe that anyone ever runs out of challenges as they will pop up at some point or another. Some people may just be strong enough where they can handle their challenges really well. If you have complete faith in God and are always communicating to him, it stands to reason that you would handle a challenge a lot better than the next person, but it will still be there. Your life can always be tougher so be grateful for your current situation and pray for those who seem like they have a hard struggle at the moment. Praying for this illness to be curable someday is something that only takes a minute, but can help ignite some miracles. I can’t imagine what it would be like to be blind or deaf, let alone being completely paralyzed and losing all 5 senses. It’s a very dark fate and one that will hopefully not be with us for too much longer. I am confident that while we may not be able to completely eradicate every illness, that we can get most of them. Cures that may seem like science fiction now can become practical in the future so never count anything out. One way or the other, there is always hope in even the bleakest of circumstances.

Overall, Awakenings is certainly one of the sadder movies that you’ll see. The Awakenings were very brief and it shows how quickly strong feelings of joy can turn back to sadness. Sometimes it can feel even worse to get a brief glimpse of hope only to have it taken away than to have never seen it at all. While it can be easy to get that mindset, you have to grab the good while you can. Think of the possibility that maybe some of these people got to say their final good byes, become Christians, or take care of other unfinished business before going back into coma. Then the few minutes were certainly well worth it and some patients did have days or maybe even a week or two. If you want to learn more about the story then this movie is informative enough for your purposes. Honestly, I think it would be a lot easier to read the book version or just study online, but supporting the movie is also good for awareness so whatever you’re comfortable with should be your priority.

Insomnia Review

This review is of the edited TV-14 version of the film and all thoughts below should be addressed as such. A review of the unedited version would likely be more negative.
It’s time for a dark thriller by Nolan. This film’s a pretty sharp contrast to the light hearted Christmas films that I’ve reviewed of late so it’ll serve as foreshadowing to the horror films coming your way. The film’s battle between Will and Walter is interesting enough and the writing is pretty deep as you would expect. It gets a little too dark by the end though and the film ends on a rather bad note, which ends up hurting the film in the end.

Will is a pretty good detective who is caught in the middle of a rather tricky controversy. His partner wants to sell Will out because otherwise he’ll be the one who is caught in prison. Will has a solid reputation so he wouldn’t be in jail for too long, but the real problem is that many of his cases were dependent on his word so if he becomes a convict, a lot of villains will go free. It’s a tough moral dilemma and Will ends up shooting his partner. It’s an accident, but as the film goes on, Will begins to question whether or not that is really the case. Making things even worse is the fact that he is now being blackmailed by Walter, a villain who murdered a teenage girl. If Walter takes him to justice, then he’ll be freeing many other murderers and if he lets him go, Walter may go on to hurt others. What will Will do?

You can already tell that this is the kind of film where nobody really wins. It doesn’t matter what Will does to an extent, people are gonna get hurt. Now, this is true in life as there are always more villains out there and every choice has its repercussion, but it’s just a little too much if you ask me. I won’t spoil the ending I suppose, but lets just say that it’s verrrry dark. It’s heavily implied that one character makes a certain decision which means that the courts could make another decision that’ll end up with a lot of victims. Now, it’s not a 100% guarantee that the convicts will get out, but as there is no epilogue to the contrary, it’s just a very sad ending. It could have been easily fixed with a single scene at the end where the felons are still behind bars or a judge just says that the old cases are completely shut. It does show why vigilantism won’t work too well in the long run though. The truth always catches up to you and Will learned that the hard way.

The main plot is also rather dark with Walter murdering the girl. Not only did she die, but first she also had an abusive boyfriend who immediately moved on to her friend right after that. The rebounds were strong here and it’s why you can’t always trust sketchy friends from school. I don’t think we needed all of these dark elements. The film was already somber, this just helped to make it grittier and grittier with every scene. Of course, I’d expect no less from a Nolan and Al Pacino team up. Mix dark with gritty…and you get a dark, gritty film.

Will’s a good main character for the most part though. I’m of the opinion that it really was an accident when he shot the partner although the film makes it very ambiguous. You wouldn’t be wrong if you chose either option since it’s up to the viewer to make the final call. It’s a shame that we couldn’t see Will in his prime since he is clearly a very good detective, but doesn’t get to shine since he is being black mailed and manipulated the whole time. Walter’s actually a step ahead of him for the majority of the film, which is rather annoying. It seems like the villains are always geniuses as well in these kind of films.

Walter wasn’t a likable villain, but of course, he’s not meant to be. He’s just there to fill in the antagonist role and give Will an obstacle to overcome. There’s nothing redeeming about him and he’s just another psychopath on who needs to be brought to justice. It’s why you have to remember that someone’s always watching and lies will be found out eventually. In this case, it’s the worst possible scenario as it’s best to be found out by law enforcement or some kind of positive force rather than being found out by a villain. Then they can manipulate you as they please.

Ellie was a good supporting character. You feel bad for her since she looks up to Will and wants to prove herself as a detective, but slowly realizes that he is actually the culprit this time. She really did do a good job and ended up proving herself, but not in the way that she would have liked. Letting her guard down against the villain was pretty sloppy though and Walter really did embarrass just about everyone in this film. Again, it’s why it would have been fun to have a film where she could have teamed up with Will first before this situation had to pop up. No matter, Ellie made all of the right calls and depending on how you look at the ending, maybe she made another one. The decisions were all very hard, but in the end she had to accept the truth, whether or not she liked it.

The other supporting characters were mostly all good as well. I liked the local chief of police as he didn’t want to engage in all of the spying and double talk and just got down to business. He didn’t care about the scandals, he just wanted to solve the case. The local detective was also good and while Will kept on trying to steer him down the wrong path, the detective wouldn’t listen. He did a good job and I can sympathize with him since nobody likes to get pushed out of their job. He didn’t let Will’s legacy intimidate him and he just kept on chugging.

So, the whole film is just rather tragic. You’ve got a lot of good guys and girls trying to solve a murder, but little do they know that one of their own has been compromised. Will does try to break free of the black mail a few times, but Walter’s just too smart. The film also adds another layer to this by having Will murder an animal to try and use a gun’s bullets as some kind of evidence. I forgot the exact purpose of this, but I definitely don’t like to see any dead animals. Upon second thought, the animal may have already been dead and he just put the bullets in it, but I forgot. It wasn’t a pretty sight either way.

Overall, This was a well written movie and a fairly engaging one at that. There’s just only so much that a tragedy film can do and this is an example of a dark film getting too dark. There’s just too much misery here and almost no “feel good” scenes at all. It’s a somber ride from start to finish and it’s definitely not a film that I can recommend because you won’t enjoy it. It’s the kind of film that you simply experience. Cut out a few of the subplots and parts of the main plot…and maybe you’ve got yourself a good film. If you want a thriller with a good battle of the minds, then check out the recent Sherlock Holmes films. Those were actually quite good and also have a lot of engaging mind battles.

Overall 4/10

Good Morning Vietnam Review

This review is of the edited TV 14 version of the film. Note that all of the statements above only pertain to this version and that the original version would likely be lower.
Good Morning Vietnam is a story that is loosely based off of real events and it takes place during the Vietnam war. That was definitely a pretty sad time for Americans and I watched a documentary on it a while back. It’s one of the only wars that we basically lost and we also had to deal with a lot of political drama back at home with rebellions happening all around the place. This film just focuses on the Vietnam aspect and how one man could try to keep the morale of the troops up.

Adrian gets transferred over to Vietnam to be the broadcaster for a radio station that is around to keep morale up for the troops. He enjoys the job and he’s pretty good at it. Adrian becomes friends with a native as he tries to romance a woman that he meets over there. Not everything is dandy though as his superior and his superior’s superior don’t like him. Luckily, his superior’s superiors superior does think he is doing a good job and that’s what counts. Will it be enough to keep him safe?

Well, that’s basically the gist of the film. The war is pretty grim so Adrian has to help everyone forget about it as they go about their daily duties. There is a lot of drama that is added through the subplots. The main character gets to see firsthand how destructive the battle is and that’s when he decides that the troops have a right to know what is going on. That really puts him at odds with the higher ups and things get pretty dangerous for him. Should he say what is happening?

Well, in this case I would have to agree with the government. I don’t think Adrian should lie about what is happening, but he just shouldn’t mention the war and what’s going on. For one thing, the transmissions could easily be intercepted by the enemy. We don’t want to them to know exactly what is going on. (Nowadays, information is definitely more available thanks to the internet) It’s like with the recent Snowden leaks. Many are glad about them because we know what the NSA has been up too, but it’s also compromised a lot of our data to the enemy and to our “allies.” Giving out any tactical information over the radio could definitely be dicey. I don’t think mentioning the place blowing up would be that bad for the government intelligence, but maybe the enemy would be glad to know just how many agents were injured during the blast. It’s probably good that we don’t supply them with that kind of information.

The end of the film seems to definitely take on a political stance as we get a traitor to the cause. He then gets emotional and tells the main character that the Americans aren’t wanted here. They keep on shooting innocent people and messing with government affairs that they don’t comprehend. The film is basically echoing the sentiments that many people had about the war. Many people think it was a mistake to get involved in the first place and especially our decision to keep on sending more and more troops to a losing battle. So, the film is on that stance and I have to wonder about mine. I’m pretty sure that it was a good move to come in to help and I like to think that not all of our soldiers became corrupt and started shooting innocent people everywhere. Back in those days, it unfortunately did happen sometimes, but to every country. No country is completely safe from that.

The Army did look pretty bad on a few occasions here though. One scene shows that some of the military personnel just hang out at a bar indulging their sinful pleasures when they could definitely be doing something more constructive. Did I mention that they are also shown to be racist? They don’t make up the majority of the troops and I would easily put them in the vast minority, but it’s still sad to see them portrayed like that.

The film can be pretty violent at times so I would advise you to think twice about seeing it if you don’t like realistic violence. It’s made in a way to look very similar to real battlegrounds after a fight and you definitely see the injuries on the soldiers. We also see people shot point blank inside a house and a chicken is almost murdered. It escapes, but it’s all pretty gritty at that point. Gritty is an appropriate word to describe the film as Adrian goes to the poverty sections of Vietnam and gets to see what the living arrangements are like. It’s all very bleak.

I can’t say that I cared for Adrian in this film. He’s just not the kind of main character that I can root for and he’s way too interested in romance. One of his first scenes makes sure to show this as he keeps believing that he sees the same person over and over. He’s way too desperate to get to her and he should be more focused on his radio broadcast. He’s a natural comedian though and he does a good job of thinking up his lines as he goes along. It’s definitely amazing to see him switch his voice so effectively. His jokes do go a little over the top at some points though so his style isn’t my favorite. The army seems to really love it, but I can’t say that I found most of the jokes to be funny. I suppose that it was before my time.

The main character’s friend is mostly around to be the comic relief of the story. He gets a bike that doesn’t fit and he’s there to laugh at Adrian’s jokes. The main superior thinks that he’s a great comedian as well, but nobody finds him funny, which can be pretty sad for the guy. He tried so hard and it just wasn’t enough this time. The superior of that guy is the main antagonist and he just wants Adrian out of the way. He didn’t like him from day 1 and that doesn’t change during the course of the film. Their styles are just too different and they weren’t going to get along. Due to a twist, the native that Adrian gets along with is definitely not likable and I didn’t care for the main heroine either. I don’t blame her for not wanting to go with Adrian, but then just completely tell him no and end it. She shouldn’t even let him take her out to the movies if she wants to stay away.

I didn’t care for the romance subplot and I could have done without the war stories. I think this film could have definitely scored a 5-6 if it had just stuck to the radio plot. Imagine if the film took place in NYC and Adrian had problems with his higher ups about his broadcasts. That definitely could have been an intriguing plot and it would have been able to hold up pretty well. It wouldn’t have been quite as “deep” but it still would have been pretty intense.

Overall, This film is an intriguing adaption of the Vietnam War. I shouldn’t call it an adaption of the war I suppose, but of something that happened in the war. Still, I don’t think that real life events should be crossed over with films. If it’s going to be an event, then just make it a documentary and vice versa. We should keep these two things separate for the time being. If you are interested in the Vietnam war you are likely just going to want to see a documentary. Robin William’s acting for his broadcasts is pretty good so fans of his may want to check this film out to remember him in one of his biggest roles. Otherwise, I would sooner recommend that you watch the current Naruto Shippuden episodes if you want to watch a big war.

Overall 3/10

Aladdin Review

It’s time for a classic film review. This title is basically the opposite of TMNT in many ways. Aladdin is a heartwarming story about a man who must risk life and limb to stop the evil plots of those who would harm the kingdom and Princess Jasmine. His name is Aladdin and he has become a very iconic figure in Disney history. Does this film deserve to be called a classic? Let’s see!

Whoops, did I already spoil the plot? Well, that was a rather vague version of it anyway. Princess Jasmine is to be married to a rich prince as per the Kingdom rules, but she doesn’t like any of them. One day, she escapes to the outside world and meets up with Aladdin. They are soon separated and now they know that they are meant to team up as they try to get back together. Unfortunately, Jafar intends to stop this since he wants the crown for himself. Whoever gets the magical lamp to summon the Genie may end up having a great advantage over the other!

Aladdin is the main lead of the film, but the title probably gave that away. He’s essentially what you would expect for the main character. He likes to defy the authorities and he steals food from the shop owners whenever he can. He talks a really good game (Like 99% of the current film protagonists) and then proceeds to get crushed by the weakest of minions. “You’re only in trouble if you get caught” is one of his most wince worthy moments since he gets caught immediately after saying this. Haven’t we seen enough characters who talk their way to the finish line only to be defeated instantly in combat? I can’t say that it’s very entertaining. Aladdin is also one of those guys who immediately falls in love at the drop of a hat and it hurts his overall character arc. He tends to hesitate a lot, which makes him fall short when the stakes are at their highest. He also tries to lie his way through situations and the fame of being a prince gets to him. He just fell into so many character holes throughout the film that I can’t say that Aladdin is one of the better main characters. He could have been good, but he was a little too generic and not someone that I could really root for.

Jasmine is a pretty decent character and it’s easy to sympathize with her plight. An arranged marriage is like a surprise dinner from your worst nightmares. Nothing will turn out as you’ve always pictured and things will just keep going downhill forever. I don’t know why the Sultan won’t just rewrite the rule, but maybe he doesn’t know that he can actually do that. Jasmine’s pet tiger is pretty intense as well and we can thank him for all of the assistance that he gave Jasmine. Unfortunately, Jasmine goes too far with her plan to distract Jafar and she just should have tackled him or grabbed the staff. It would have been a better way to stop him without degrading herself. It’s no exaggeration to say that the scene did hurt the film’s overall rating. Jasmine was a decent character, but the onslaught of romance scenes threw her down a few pegs.

Jafar is definitely a pretty weak villain. He’s just another guy who wants power and romance as he ascends to the top of the food chain. He wants to become the Sultan as quickly as powerful and he sends in his underlings to do the dirty work for him. When it comes down to a fight, Jafar must rely on his staff since he’s really not a fighter. He does get a big moment at the end of the film, but he spoils it since he didn’t think it through. He should have just protected the lamp from being touched..but he was not yet fast enough. Even without the romance, I wasn’t a fan of Jafar, but it certainly didn’t help his case. Iago was a better villain!

Iago is one of the more sinister creatures in the film since he’ll do anything for money and power. He definitely talks big and he doesn’t really back down from anyone. He’s one of those character’s who’s literally all bark and no bite, but that’s just how his character is. His personality may not be as enjoyable if he was a tough fighter, but that’s up for debate I suppose. It’s hard to see how he could turn over a new leaf, but he does know where the money and power now reside….

Abu is Aladdin’s pet monkey and he’s not one of the biggest supporting characters in the film. He has his moments though and he is probably a decent character for some. I don’t really care for him myself, but he keeps things real. He’s a decent fighter and he always goes all out although he is not quite as nice as Aladdin. He reluctantly parts with his piece of bread and he is pretty sad about the whole thing. I may like him more in the sequel…maybe.

The Sultan is one of the main sources of comic relief for the film. He only wants what’s best for Jasmine, but his thirst for fame and glory blind him to this and he tries for her to get married as quickly as possible. He lacks strength of character so he is easily manipulated by Jafar. It’s too bad for him because the Sultan is still a decent character…or he has the potential to be decent. He plays with his toys during his free time and he can talk a pretty good game. Unfortunately, it is often too little too late and I can’t really forget how he was tricked so many times. He’s charismatic, but you begin to dislike him when you realize how bad some of his decisions are.

Genie is one of the most popular characters of the Aladdin franchise and he’s definitely unforgettable. He basically has unlimited power so he doesn’t need to fear anyone. He gets tricked a few times by Aladdin, but he learns as he goes. Genie doesn’t like to be double crossed and he doesn’t really care too much for being a genie, but he puts on a tough face and endures it. He’s definitely one of the most likable characters in the film and he’s always ready with some good advice for Aladdin. He doesn’t possess a lot of “strength of character” since the lamp is always able to override what he really wants to do. Luckily, that shouldn’t be a problem for him in future appearances.

The animation isn’t bad for this film. I definitely miss the good ole hand drawn days of Disney and this one reminds you why it can be so special. It reminds me of those computer games that were all the rage back in the day. The animation is rather similar. I do think that America was significantly behind Japan at the time in animation, which explains why Transformers and Gundam look better than Aladdin. For what it is, Aladdin still looks good though and you can easily follow what is happening. There aren’t any obvious animation errors. (Although his bread almost appeared to have chocolate in it at some points) All of the character designs quickly became iconic after this film.

There are several songs in this film, but it’s not overdone like in High School Musical. My main complaint would be the fact that it’s really hard to follow the lyrics. The sound effects are too loud during the chase scene so some of Aladdin’s lines can’t really be heard and you’ll get lost midway through the song. The voices were pretty good and the songs were decent, but this isn’t the next “Everything is Awesome” or “Let it Go.” (Although I already forgot the latter one. I need to give that song a listen too….someday) So, the songs didn’t really bother me in this film since the villains didn’t play a major part in it. Nothing’s worse than seeing the villain get a few songs to himself to remind us just how sinister he is!

Unfortunately, there was one extremely wince worthy romance scene that derailed the film faster than a dog will snatch away your bacon from the table. It’s the kind of scene that can really shave a few points off of anything even if it is fairly brief. It’s just something that I don’t want to see in my entertainment and I was surprised that this was in a Disney film. Jasmine decides to distract Jafar with her fake words while Aladdin went for the Lamp. That’s already pretty terrible in itself, but I didn’t expect it to get worse. Unfortunately, words are not enough so Jasmine takes the next step, but it’s a step that should never be taken. There were a lot of other alternatives for Jasmine at the moment and she should have just tackled the villain.

This makes Aladdin look bad as well for two reasons. One, he kept on hesitating and stopping, which made things worse for Jasmine. He ultimately fails in his quest to grab the lamp as well so it was basically all for nothing. The second reason would be the fact that Aladdin allowed this to happen as well. I’d expect some “Brooklyn Rage” (Abridged term) from him and a solid punch. Aladdin could likely beat Jafar in a fist fight and he would just need to prevent Jafar from ordering the Genie to help. That really wouldn’t be too hard for him and then Jasmine could grab the lamp. So, what I’m saying is that drastic measures, which involve degrading yourself to stall the villain is basically a no no. The scene shouldn’t have happened and the fact that Aladdin still failed was pretty awful.

Aside from that scene, the film also does have a lot of romance stuff in it. That’s not typically a good thing and I wouldn’t say that it’s handled all that well here either. The flirting can be pretty irritating after a while and it’s even worse if you don’t care for the two main characters that much. Romance typically doesn’t have a place in any film and this one overdoes it.

At least Aladdin has no trouble with its pacing. A lot of events happen in the short runtime of the film and the plot changes from one scene to the next. Most of the characters got their necessary development and the villain had time for two different plans! Unfortunately, I still didn’t end up liking the characters all that much, but Disney tried. At least I did like (some of) the animal characters in this film. The tiger was hardcore and the birds were also cool. There aren’t many action scenes in the film, but they’re fairly good and the danger scenes inside of the cave of wonders are also well done. The film definitely had a lot of potential.

Overall, Aladdin is definitely one of Disney’s most well known films, but it’s definitely no all star. Frozen would wipe the floor with this film and Aladdin just hasn’t aged all that well. It should be noted that I’ve never been a fan of desert films as it is. (Although that wasn’t really a negative in this film) Aladdin can be a fun watch for the family, but there are just too many scenes that aren’t funny or enjoyable. The critical scene that I mentioned earlier is ultimately what destroyed the film for me. Of course, there were also several other romance scenes that were pretty bad. If you really don’t mind romance and are just happy to see the heroes come out on top no matter how they got there…then you may enjoy this film. Still, if you want to watch a fun animated film, I’d recommend checking out Megaman NT Warrior The Program of Light and Darkness! You won’t be disappointed as that one features the greatest character of all time and some epic action!

Overall 4/10