Muscle Beach Party Review

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I’ve seen quite a few beach movies in my day, but never have I seen one about a group of Muscle dudes trying to take over the Beach from the crew. It’s a pretty interesting dynamic because you just aren’t sure who to root for. After all, which party is more sympathetic here? Probably the crew and that’s saying something. It’s certainly not any better than the other beach films, but it can make for some decent entertainment at times.

Frankie and the gang are hanging out at the beach like usual when the film starts off. Dee Dee wants them to eventually get married while Frankie insults the very concept. He believes that people should mess around with each other but stay available in case a better offer comes along. Sure enough, one does. A rich Contessa shows up and decides that she wants Frankie. Frankie’s eager to go with her and ditch his beach band. Can Dee Dee stop Frankie from doing this..and does she want to?

This film’s certainly old and you can tell that it is because of how Frankie acts. As I mentioned he believes being married is sort of like being trapped and the film never really plays this off as one of those “He’s totally wrong” angles. No, it’s just something that’s to be accepted and Dee Dee is the one who has to compromise and allow him to keep his freedom. She really looks bad in this film all things considered as Frankie gets to do whatever he wants with total freedom while she can’t get away. In all of the other films if she ends up with someone else than Frankie steals her back. In this case Frankie was totally willing to leave her for good, but then he was told that he would never be quite as rich as the Contessa so he went back to Dee Dee for the rebound. It’s just not a good look and both of them come out worse for it. Dee Dee shouldn’t take him back and Frankie certainly won’t get any sympathy from me for all of this. I was hoping she would finally dump him here.

The Contessa isn’t really any better. She buys a whole body builder team just so she can be with one of them, but then ditches them over night for Frankie. She doesn’t seem like the type of person who would actually be very loyal so I couldn’t feel bad for her either at the end. She definitely should have fired her manager for messing everything up though. It wasn’t even an accident, the manager intentionally sabotaged her chances with Frankie. In comparison, the other manager (Fanny) was okay I guess. At the very least he wasn’t afraid to challenge his opponents. The downside is that Fanny’s not very smart and quite a bit of his screen time is for proving this. So much for this guy.

The body builders are also poorly developed characters. They’re all built, but that’s their only character. They act like puppets most of the time as they only move when they are told too and the poses get old very quickly. You also can’t take them seriously since Frankie is able to get past all of them even once he was cornered. If these guys can’t even beat a normal teenager then what good was all that training for? I do have to give the film some credit for not pulling a cop out with the climax here. The teenagers actually had a real fight for a change with the body builders and it may be the best fight of the series. There was another film where we had a big fight scene, but I dare say that this one managed to come out on top. It is a little cheesy that the body builders didn’t win though.

Unfortunately as this is a beach film there is a considerable amount of fanservice. Certainly enough to drop this film to low tier territory. You just can’t go a single scene without something sketchy happening. Some of it is used for running gags, but that doesn’t really help its case. Then the villains also seem sketchy at times and it just doesn’t make for a good mix. This is why we need more films to take place somewhere colder like Russia. Then the films wouldn’t have this issue.

Of course at the end of the day what really hurts this film above all else is the writing. The film just doesn’t flow very well and none of the characters are even remotely likable. They all try to outdo the other in terms of who can make the worst decisions. Instead of being loyal the friends will even watch as you are dragged across the beach. That’s definitely not cool even if the opponents are doing their best Superman impressions. Not to mention that the muscle men are outnumbered quite badly.

Surprisingly we didn’t see Eric Von Zipperman as for once the actor played someone else instead. I can’t say that I missed him,but his iconic yell was always pretty fun to have around. There’s not a whole lot more to say about this film as you get the general gist of it. It really promotes the whole rebound play angle and that’s the part that really doesn’t age too well. You simply can’t be so easily swayed like Frankie is and still get such a happy ending. Maybe one day Dee Dee will realize the truth.

Overall, Muscle Beach Party is everything that you think it will be. The film hits all of the Beach tropes and then some. As a result you can also pretty accurately predict everything that will happen as the films have a very solid flow chart at this point. Frankie makes Dee Dee jealous, she returns the favor, he actually gets together with someone else, Dee Dee pretends to, Frankie goes even further, Dee Dee finally leaves, Frankie chases her,…then start from the first step. It’s not a great formula. Well, at least Frankie does warn her every film that he wants to stay free so in a sense she knows what she’s getting into. Their plot still needs some closure though. Instead of recommending this beach movie I’d recommend you watch something very wholesome like Mortal Kombat!

Overall 2/10

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Morning Glory Review

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It’s time to look at a rom-com about an early morning news show. I’ve never bothered to watch one myself as if I have to wake up that early in the morning it’s because I’ve got to dash out or have to catch Grand Finals in a tournament. It’s an interesting option though and I suppose it’s good that people have something good and wholesome to watch at that hour. It’s a pretty fun film that had some good potential, but ends up squandering more of it with a rushed romance subplot. Take the rom out of the rom-com and this movie would have been a lot better.

The film starts off with Becky having a good day at work. She has to get up extremely early for her job, but she’s used to it and also enjoys it. Unfortunately she is fired due to corporate wanting to cut down costs and adding someone in from outside the company. Fortunately Becky gets hired by another Early Morning show, but this one has really been under tough times and will soon be cancelled. She has to get the ratings up very quickly or she will be fired once again. To do that she will have to switch up the daily routine of talking about nothing and getting the station to report real news. The first step in this process is bringing back Mike from his unofficial retirement.

Right away Becky is introduced to the politics of the workplace. It’s handled pretty realistically with all of the unwritten rules about who you can and can’t talk to depending on the situation. It really depends on where you work of course, but there are always intangibles to get used to and then the work will go smoothly. Alternately you can try to be oblivious or just boldly ignore the rules and have fun. Work should be fun so just keep that in mind and the rest will fall into place. Becky notices that some of the workers aren’t actually working and that’s part of why the show is going downhill. As such, her first order of business is to fire someone. After that she looks for Mike.

See, Mike is actually hired by the company, but he refuses to work so he is currently earning 6 million dollars just to stay at home and play golf. I forgot that TV reporters are paid so much, but either way it is crazy to see a company effectively throwing away 6 million dollars on someone who doesn’t work. That’s probably the most unrealistic part of the movie if we’re being honest here.

Becky has to use some extreme measures, but before long she gets the station back in shape. She did a really good job of growing into the position considering that she jumped from entry level into being the big boss instantly. That shows how desperate the company was, but also that she had the talent for it all along. The end of the movie is a little iffy though. She is offered a position at a better company where she will be making significantly more money. It’s always a tough call of course, but do you go with the job where you were very close to being fired and have absolutely no job security, but get to hang out with your friends, or go for the big bucks? I don’t really think the latter choice is wrong in this case, but of course it’s ultimately her choice. I do think if you like a job enough then the pay doesn’t matter much, but I certainly do factor job security into that.

The only weak part of Becky’s character is the romance with Adam. So, Adam shows up out of nowhere and they immediately hook up. It’s especially odd since she was only around for like a day and had a pretty big position in the company but he didn’t care. The guy’s a freelance worker, but still, I’d figure that you don’t hit on the boss day 1. My mistake. This romance is just so terrible through and through. Adam is the personification of bad advice as he tries to tell Becky not to take her job too seriously and throws her phone in the fridge so she can’t use it. Even by the end he’s a bad influence and he never got to be even a remotely good character. The romance alone took this film down 2 stars as it was just soooo bad. It’s also basically just an excuse for fanservice as otherwise the film had played it straight. Well, we did have the guy who got fired and his unnecessary gimmick, but at least that didn’t last long.

Mike is portrayed as a really unlikable guy who is super stuck up and the film succeeded on that angle. It’s impossible to root for this guy and the only reason he shows up at all is for the money. There’s nothing heroic about this guy and he just brings in a bad attitude to the company the whole time. He’s an entertaining character of course, but strictly as the villain. I don’t really buy into the cheesy turnaround at the end. Heroic or not though, he is probably the most entertaining part of the film.

Then we’ve got Colleen who has lost all faith in the show and believes that Becky is doomed. I guess this is for good reason since apparently none of the other bosses did very well. At least she was the most open to trying new things though. Without her the show wouldn’t have had a chance. Not much more to say about Adam than what I already covered so we can skip this guy. One of the worst characters in the film. Then we have Lenny who has been with the company for ages, but decided not to move up. He likes his current job since he doesn’t have to work at all and lets everyone else take the risks. Definitely a smart character since sometimes going up isn’t necessarily the best thing to do. Then there is the big boss Jerry. The actor always does a good job of just talking nonstop without taking a breath and that’s what makes the character fun. Jerry doesn’t actually get to do all that much besides that so it’s more of a glorified cameo appearance than anything. Still a very fun character.

As I keep mentioning, the film was just a lot of fun. The writing isn’t amazing or anything, but it manages to deliver on a lot of the jokes. The film doesn’t drag on either so the pacing was well kept as well. The first half does beat the second, but that’s how it is in almost all rom-coms as the second half gets a little more serious since the film has to wrap up at some point. It never gets too weak though, it’s just that the romance scenes really destroy all of its momentum. If you enjoy rom-coms then you likely won’t mind the scenes much so they shouldn’t really impact how much you enjoy the movie.

Overall, Morning Glory is a good ride through the world of TV Broadcasting. The film manages to get quite a few big names in it. Certainly more than I would have expected. The plot is fairly unique and I do like how for once the main character didn’t mess everything up. The trope here is usually that the lead is in over her head and by the end of the film learns how to be a great leader. Here, Becky knew what to do from the start and just kept making the show better and better until it finally surpassed its limits. That’s the kind of main character you want to have. She was almost good enough to save the film.

Overall 5/10

The Greatest Showman

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It’s time to look at a fairly recent film that did quite well for itself. I’m sure many people have heard of the famous Barnum circus for which this film is based off of. When I was a kid I went to a few circus shows, but it didn’t really follow me as I entered my teen years. I sort of just grew out of the circus. It’s certainly impressive with how they are able to perform the acts many times over without an incident but it just isn’t as exciting as a nice arcade or in this case, watching a movie about a circus. The Greatest Showman is a fun film even if the main character adds some unnecessary drama.

So the film starts off with Barnum having a dream where he is the greatest showman on Earth. Everyone loves his shows. Then he wakes up in reality where he is a commoner who works for the rich. Everyone disrespects him and his father dies from all of the pressure. Barnum decides that he will be a great man someday. He gets a nice 9-5 job and ends up marrying his childhood friend Charity. They are low on money, but still have a good life. One day Barnum loses his job so he decides to gamble on the circus. Now he can make his dream a reality. His circus is a very different one as he decides to only hire people with a unique act. A lady with a beard, a guy with tattoos, a guy who is short, the Wolf Man, etc. He gets them all together and the show is a big success. Still, it isn’t enough. Barnum wants to keep getting more and more famous no matter what it ends up costing him!

You can probably already guess how this can get a little dicey. Barnum had literally achieved his dream. The show was amazing and he was rich enough to quickly move into a castle. Then he decides to risk it all by letting the fame get to him. He ditches the people who got him this far to go on a tour with a rich celebrity. He even comes close to having an affair on the side. He manages to avoid making this mistake, but isn’t quick enough to prevent the singer from pulling him into a scandal. It adds some extra drama and suspense to the film, but honestly it wasn’t needed. Perhaps the film would have been a little too happy otherwise I guess, but they could have just kept the whole circus in flames scene and that would have delivered the necessary tension.

So, I can’t say that I liked Barnum. When you achieve your dreams and still aren’t satisfied, then it’s tough to sympathize with a character like that. He learns the error of his ways by the end, but it was awful late for that. They probably should have just restarted without him. A shame since he was a quality character for the first half of the film. His wife Charity was certainly more enjoyable than him. She kept it real throughout the film and never let herself get corrupted. She defied her extravagant lifestyle and risked it all to live the life of a pauper. I can’t picture Barnum making the same decision.

Philip was the other co-star here. He decides to also put aside his rich life to have fun at the circus. He is a fun character but his romance started a little too quickly. He falls for one of the performers almost instantly and even then he can’t stay strong after hearing the super singer Jenny who apparently ensnares everyone while in the act. Philip is a charismatic character, but he needs to have more willpower than that. I can see why Anne was worried about starting anything with him after such a moment and I don’t blame her.

In general I can’t say that the romance here was all that good. Perhaps sticking to just one romance plot instead of having 2 would have helped. The main character one I can understand and it did take years so it’s not like they married out of the blue. Philip’s romance on the other hand just feels tacked on. What happened to keeping up the friend zone while at work? They don’t have time to be getting distracted like this.

As this is a musical there are quite a few songs in here. For the most part they are pretty solid. I think the cicus troup probably can’t sing quite as well as the main characters but they do well enough. The best song in the film is certainly the one in the bar between Barnum and Philip. The bartender there was low key the best character in the film. I like how he always had the drinks ready and would slide up and down the aisle as he followed the dance. He knew that he was going to make a lot of money out of these 2 guys and he was absolutely right. When there is a buck to be made you can’t afford to hesitate. That’s what it means to be a true performer. They should have hired the performer to get an act. I do have to say that if I were Philip I would have certainly turned down the offer though. Losing everything just to get to be in a circus? I dunno, doesn’t really seem like a tempting offer to me.

Overall, The Greatest Showman is definitely a pretty fun film. There is a short period in the film where it starts to get rather somber and dramatic, but for the most part it’s pretty lighthearted. The first half of the film probably does beat the second half, but it’s still a good all around film. It never drags on and the cast is likable for the most part. They all simply lack willpower and the conviction to see their dreams through to the end. Better luck next time in that regard I guess. I’d recommend checking out this film especially if you like musicals but also if you like a good time at the circus.

The Awful Truth Review

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It’s time to look at an old romance comedy film. It’s definitely an interesting film with a premise that may not be the most original, but at the time I’m sure there weren’t many other titles quite like this one. It’s handled rather well and I was glad that the dog looked good the whole time. The Awful Truth is a fun movie and that alone is enough to put it above many other films in the genre. After all, this genre usually only worked back in the old days when the writing could handle such a plot.

The film starts off with Jerry getting a tan. He was supposed to have been in Florida for the last few weeks but it turns out that he went somewhere else instead. Jerry figures that with this tan nobody will ever know the truth. His friend happens to run into him so the cat is out of the bag, but the guy agrees to keep the secret. Jerry arrives home, but his wife Lucy isn’t there. She shows up hours later with Armand and states that nothing happened between them. Armand’s car just broke down the road so they had to walk back the old fashioned away. Jerry doesn’t believe such an old excuse and Lucy also pieced together that he wasn’t actually in Florida. Since both suspect that the other may have been cheating they decide to call for a divorce. It will take a while for the divorce to be finalized though so until then they just move to different apartments. Both of them decide to go for a rebound, but can they really get apart from each other so easily.

Naturally a film like this has both parties continue to escalate their attempts to sabotage the other. Usually you will have 3 questions about this. 1. Who started it? 2. Who escalates past the point of being reasonable first? And 3, who is the one who decides to be the better person and apologize? Well, I have to say that Lucy is guilty of the first two and Jerry of the 3rd so you can see who I was rooting for here. Granted, we really don’t know what Jerry was doing in the first scene of the film. I’m inclined to think that he wasn’t cheating and he just didn’t feel like going to Florida but lying to your wife is never okay in any circumstance. Lucy’s story was rather cliche and hard to believe, but it’s safe to say that she was being true to her word. I do think that having Armand escort her all the way home was a bit much though and the guy seems like a jerk.

How do you walk into someone’s house with a big grin like that? Armand seems to think that he owns the place and as he didn’t grow up around here he also doesn’t understand many of the subtle signs about staying away. He has to be told to get out before getting the message. When he shows up the last time I was definitely rooting for Jerry to knock him out. This guy just seems suspect the whole time and I can see why Jerry would be opposed to the lessons after this.

Going back to the start, Lucy was quick to suggest the divorce though so that’s why I have to say that she was guilty of starting this. They could have talked things out instead of being so rash. You could make the case that talking things out was exactly what Jerry was trying to do at first. Next up is who escalates the issue and that’s barely even debatable in favor of Lucy. Lucy goes on the rebound first as she decides to go with Dan. Keep in mind that she doesn’t even like the guy and is just using him to get to Jerry. Jerry is a bit obnoxious by playing with his dog so loudly, but that’s extremely minor if anything and Lucy probably deserves it for stealing the dog away. She doesn’t play with Mr. Smith (The Dog) at all so she just wanted him to spite Jerry. Jerry is always playing with him and we see throughout the film that he really cares about the dog. Jerry got Dan and Lucy to leave so he was finally able to enjoy himself.

While Jerry does tease Lucy quite a bit, he doesn’t ultimately stand in her way. In fact when Dan’s mother starts trying to sow seeds of doubt in Dan’s mind about Lucy Jerry is quick to defend her. Yeah, he overdoes it with the praise and Lucy doesn’t feel that it’s sincere but it does convince Dan and the Mom that it’s okay. If it was the reverse situation Lucy wouldn’t have done the same. What further proof is needed than the later scene where Jerry is trying to have a good first impression on the family of his latest girl. Lucy shows up and acts drunk as she keeps making Jerry look like a liar. She makes him look terrible the whole time until he is dumped and then she gets him in trouble with the cops for no reason. Finally she refuses to apologize at all in the end so Jerry has to be the bigger person about it.

Long story short, I wasn’t a fan of Lucy. She seemed to be a lot more mean spirited and possessive compared to Jerry. She has every right to be a little upset that Jerry didn’t trust her more in the beginning, but aside from that it seemed like she was just holding a grudge the whole time while Jerry actually moved on and supported her. I liked Jerry, but of course he did have his faults. He is a chronic liar and is just as guilty of the rebounds as Lucy. At least he is a very amusing character though as he is always making one liners and subtly insulting the side characters.

Meanwhile, Dan is the most important of the rebound characters. It’s almost a shame since he is portrayed as a very nice guy. The issue is that he was absolutely desperate to get Lucy as he even tried making friends with her Mom to have an opening into the house. He doesn’t understand when he is being insulted either and so you can’t root for the guy. Not to mention that he should have stuck up for Lucy if he was serious about her instead of letting the Mom slander her name the whole time.

What the film does really well is handling the snappy dialogue. It’s one of those things that I have always liked about the old films. The dialogue is really back and forth with characters getting better strings of dialogue in a few minutes than some films have for their whole duration. That’s definitely no small feat. The film’s pacing is also really good so you won’t be getting bored either. It’s just a very strong all around title and probably one of the best romance films that I’ve seen. At this point it’s safe to say that if you want to watch a good romance film, always make sure that it’s part comedy. That just makes the genre a whole lot better.

Overall, The Awful Truth is a fun film. It also finally has one of the characters explain the concept of a rebound which is spectacular since most films have it happen without acknowledging this. If you just divorced someone and are looking at someone new within a few days then you know that something went terribly wrong. I recommend checking this film out even if it’s just to appreciate that line of dialogue. Still, it’s hard to picture you not enjoying this film at least a little bit since it’s just a lot of fun.

Overall 7/10

The Ghost in the Invisible Bikini Review

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The Ghost Bikini definitely takes the beach series in a fresh new direction. I can safely say that this is a good thing because the beach environment got stale the instant it was introduced. This film actually manages to stay classy for the most part. We still do have some random party moments but you can’t really compare it to the last few films. It’s not all there yet, but this movie makes some real progress.

The film starts off with a ghost heading over to a coffin and waking the inhabitant up. It’s a tragic day for him since the ghost who was his friend died young while he died as a senior. The only way they can live together in the afterlife at the same age will be if he can perform one good deed. The issue is that the guy can’t actually leave the room so he has to trust Cecily to carry out the deed for him. Fortunately the crew (aka, the beach gang) are heading over to his house for some reason. A bunch of other people will also be there including the lawyer Ripper who has to read the will to a select group in order to claim the money. He enlists the help of a bunch of villains in order to destroy the competition so he can take all of the money. It’s a very ambitious plan and while this may sound bold, I think Ripper may be able to claw out a win here.

I would definitely say that this is the best of the beach movies. Mainly this is because the beach itself doesn’t actually get to show up this time. At most the kids quickly run to the pool and that scene isn’t too long. The opening is actually like something out of a horror film as the two suspicious characters make their plans amidst a lot of spooky music. Since most of these films had horrible beginnings this was a welcome surprise. Naturally this was thrown out the window once the beach characters showed up to bring along all of the baggage that comes with such a setting. It never gets quite as bad as in the previous films which is why this film’s score is a little higher, but it still makes enough mistakes to keep it from being negative.

For starters, the film seemed to grow bored of its own plot and so it kept on adding a bunch of new ones. None of the plots are ever focused on in a satisfactory way at all so in the end you are left feeling betrayed by the movie. For example, what even was the good dead of the spirit? Okay, he’s stopping his lawyer from cheating on his will, but that directly benefits himself and shouldn’t count. He has fun watching the characters get scared and fall into his traps, but he doesn’t do anything beyond that. The whole plot felt absolutely directionless. Also, from the start Cecily is subtly mocking the old man and seems to have a sinister plan up her sleeve. Well, the ending arrives and the rather predictable twist occurs, but it felt like a rather underwhelming climax to what was a very long build up. It’s also worth noting that while Cecily appears quite a lot, she doesn’t actually do anything. Take her away from the film and very little changes. She mainly just gives people subliminal messages.

It seems like she can interact with both inanimate objects and people so Cecily could probably have done a little more here. It’s the kind of film where it seems like the writers wanted to incorporate the title into their film somehow, but didn’t actually think about it until the end. The whole ghosts angle ultimately just felt like a really big waste. Then we’ve got Ripper and his gang. He has quite a few henchmen. So many in fact that half of them never really get to do anything. Ripper is the only competent member of the group as he actually does stab someone and the film hints that the victim stayed dead. Ripper basically has to do everything himself so it is easy to feel bad for the poor guy. From his minions Sinistra gets the biggest role so it is safe to say that she looks the worst. She can’t see without her glasses and always tends to lose them. As a result she ends up murdering statues instead of the kid she was supposed to bump off. It’s a shame since she would have succeeded in her mission otherwise.

Speaking of which, the teenager subplot didn’t actually become much of a focus for a while ad just went into the same old directions. Surprisingly they didn’t pull a “Let’s make him/her jealous” angle or anything like that, but it still happened in a way as the main guy (Well, there are 2 leads here. The one with the inheritance and the son/nephew. Both get comparable amounts of screen time so you can really choose who the lead is.) goes for Sinistra over the girl he was already with just because she looked nice. Honestly, there is absolutely no sense of loyalty in any of these beach movies. The film barely even has time to touch on any of this stuff since it turns into more of an Abbott and Costello kind of dynamic as the ghosts keep picking on one of them while the other doesn’t notice. The ghosts were definitely having quite a bit of fun in this film and why not right? They have to do something to amuse themselves.

Then we also have Eric Von Zipper and his cronies in the final main plot. (At least the final one worth mentioning. We also have the heroine sulking in the pajama party segment where we get a song or two, but there’s not much point to that plot) Basically they want to get rich quick so breaking into the mansion just makes sense. They fight with a lot of the mechanical puppets and even end up face to face with a large gorilla. That part was rather random but definitely interesting I guess. It was like having a mini Kaiju show up in the film. Eric Von Zipper and the gang are basically the same as always so you’ll know right away if you like the characters or not. At the very least they keep everyone honest.

Overall, This film is definitely a very confused one. It’s not exactly sure what it wants to do with itself and that can be rather tragic at times. There is a whole lot of potential here and the movie just squanders it all. The characters are rather weak and you can’t say much for the story either. While parts of the film can be fun, it’s just not enough to carry the whole thing. If you find that you have to watch a beach movie of sorts at some point then I’d recommend this one. Otherwise I’d say it is in your best interests to just skip this movie. It’s a decent supernatural comedy but you can find better ones on the market.

Overall 4/10

Pajama Party Review

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It’s time to look at another beach-esque adventure. This one is at a local pool for most of it and there is a Pajama Party at the end, but it’s still fairly similar to the last two films. By now you know if you either like the genre or don’t. It certainly didn’t switch my mind as it is more of the same from the last film even down to the same premise. Throwing in the aliens was a decent move I guess, but I can’t say that it was a very interesting plot point so maybe it was just fluff in the end.

The film revolves around an alien named Gogo. He is sent to Earth as an advance scout for Mars as they plan to take over the planet. They selected him to be the first scout because Gogo isn’t very smart and will confuse the Earthlings. Gogo is oblivious to this so his self esteem is surprisingly intact for the duration of the movie. The Earthlings decide to call him George since it’s a much more traditional name and he approves of this. Plans change though as he falls for Connie. Thing is, Connie is taken by Big Lunk, but wants to make him jealous so she decides to play along and pretend to be into Gogo. Meanwhile some corporate villains want to steal Big Lunk’s aunt’s treasure so they send in their special operative Helga to get the information out of him. Naturally she figures the best way to do this is to get together and Lunk has no problem two timing Connie. With this love rectangle can there even be a winner?

Right off the bat you see the problems that are just inherent to the genre. For starters we have the constant rebounds between the characters that make you wonder how genuine any of them are. If they are willing to ditch their partners so quickly you can’t help but wonder if they will leave the new ones as soon as they see a better option. It’s hard to feel bad for any of the characters since this is the case. For example, Connie is frustrated that Lunk is always ignoring her so I suppose we are led to believe that this was not always the case. Nothing in the film suggests that he changed in any way though so it means that she didn’t mind his behavior at first and it is only now an issue. Meanwhile, you have to assume that maybe Lunk just never liked her all that much since he is very quick to get enthusiastic about Helga. The romance here is just all wrong.

Naturally the film takes the low road and adds in a ton of fanservice now. We get poorly timed camera zoom ins and a lot of dancing that is more about damaging the film than proper form and poise. It’s nothing to be even remotely surprised about, but it hurts the film all the same. The villains’ plan to use romance to get to the heroes is always iffy at best as well and didn’t help their case either. It was interesting that we got 3 different villain groups though. Even for this series that is a little crazy. There was Eric Zipper and his gang, the Martians, and the people from Corporate. Naturally the corporate villains were the best ones as they brought in some fresh air to the series.

The leader was actually pretty competent and always got a lot of good one liners in. He had a habit of beating up his 2nd in command quite a lot to show that he wasn’t to be trifled with. Unfortunately he is surrounded by incompetent henchmen so ultimately he was always doomed. Then there is the “Cowabunga” Indian who can’t speak too well. Naturally he doesn’t look very good and there is actually a big plot twist about him. He still looks better than the other henchmen though as that guy is the one who gets beat up a lot. I think his best scene was his debut appearance as the boss keeps talking to him about the plan and the henchmen manages to say the wrong thing each time and keeps getting punished. You’ll feel bad for the guy there since he was trying to be careful with his phrasing.

Eric Zipperman and his gang are about the same as always so you’ll either like them or not. They get beat up a lot, but always have the coolest outfits in the film. These guys look like they play for keeps and surprisingly they actually knew how to fight pretty well this time. While they lost in the end that was mainly because GoGo stepped up and used his magic wand to stop them. Otherwise they were actually overpowering the teens at one point which I was not expecting.

As for the Martians themselves, they didn’t have much of a plan for conquering Earth. I didn’t see much of an army at the base. Considering that the teleporter worked both ways, you’d suspect that we’d have seen soldiers on Mars when corporate went there. Instead the place was empty so I’m assuming that the army soldiers just deserted the Martian cause. Likely the right move to be honest since they probably wouldn’t have been able to defeat the teenagers if we’re being honest.

This film definitely struck out and it’s unfortunate since for the most part it does have some reasonably humorous moments. It throws out so many jokes that some have to land after all right? I do like that Big Lunk was fine with the friend zone for a while, but it’s too bad that he relented in the end. If you cut out all of the pool shenanigans, romance, and fanservice then this is a quality film. The problem is that we’re talking about a totally different movie at that point. The film has to live or die by the mistakes it made and unfortunately this one just couldn’t cut the mustard.

Overall, Pajama Party is one of those films that won’t be remembered all that well. It will just fade into place next to the other Beach movies where the heroine tries to get the hero jealous. Of course in this film the plan didn’t even remotely work and she actually just gave in to the rebound. That’s a bit of a twist compared to the other films, but it’s not exactly one that would help the score of the film. It was doomed fairly early on anyway so I guess it’s not like the film had much of a chance. They just need to do something a little more classy like a sweater party movie. I’m sure the film would find some way to mess that up though. If you want a good party movie then I suggest you look elsewhere.

Overall 2/10

Beach Party Review

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It’s time to look at another old school beach movie. This one’s title is pretty well suited for the movie since that’s really the extent of the plot. The heroes are going to have a big party on the beach so cue the hijinx and shenanigans. It’s definitely not a film for the faint of heart or for those who like to watch quality films. If you like the beach genre though then I think it’s fair to say that you will like this film. After all, that’s what this one is all about!

The main characters are Frankie and Dolores. They have decided to head over to an abandoned beach house so they can finally hang out without the rest of the gang. The two of them like their friends of course, but sometimes it’s best to just get away from all of them. At least that’s what Frankie had in mind, but then Dolores admits that she actually didn’t like that plan so she invited everyone to the house. Frankie gets upset and after Dolores gives him the silent treatment he decides to get even. He’ll get together with Ava to upset her and in retaliation she gets together with an old guy named Robert. Both of them have to push this as far as they can until the other relents, but who will crack first?

The plot of trying to get the other person jealous is always a classic for the romance genre, but it’s still not a good plot. While they are using these other people the main characters are also degrading themselves. Frankie does let Ava have her way with him even though he puts up some mild resistance. You can tell that he is rather half hearted about it. Likewise Dolores is quite extreme with Robert and seems willing to do anything. It’s only thanks to Robert continuing to refuse her that things don’t go too far. These actions don’t make the two leads look very good at all.

It probably works more on Frankie than vice versa. He gets upset enough to go and threaten Robert a few times although that never actually goes anywhere. Frankie always appears to want Dolores back (but not enough to apologize) while she is content with Robert. Again, that plot only ended because Robert actually broke up with her instead of the other way around. That’s why you will actually feel bad for Ava by the end of the movie. She was just fine by herself until Frankie decided to claim her and then he just dumped her when her use was at an end. She really got a sour deal but fortunately she didn’t take it too hard.

As for Robert, I’m afraid that he was a bad character from the very beginning. He is writing a book on the teens which essentially involves spying on them 24/7 while laughing like a maniac the whole time. Having a romance with one of them is naturally just as cringe worthy. This character definitely didn’t need to be in the film and I think it’s safe to say that he is nowhere near the villains from the previous beach film that I saw. The only thing interesting about him as a character is that he is a master martial artist. He can actually bend time to his will using a technique that freezes a person in time for hours. That’s extremely useful if you think about it.

Then we’ve also got Eric Zipper and his gang as per usual. They still get beat up by every character who encounters them, but I suppose they try their best with their sound effects and over the top reactions. I’d say that you would root for them after a while, but that’s definitely not going to happen. Lets just say that they weren’t ready for Robert. The scene where Robert first confronts them may be the best scene in the film.

As you would expect the romance in this film is terrible. The characters all seem to be fans of rebound maneuvers as they switch partners very quickly. The characters can get betrayed multiple times and overlook it quite quickly. Robert’s partner pretends not to like him, but then gets jealous when he partners up with someone and doesn’t mind being the 2nd choice at the end. The characters must just have very low self esteem to not mind all of this. None of the characters know what it means to slow down either as they jump right into the romance as soon as possible. Definitely makes you double think if being with one of them is the right move since you can’t trust any of the characters here.

Then we’ve also got the Beach scenery which doesn’t do the film any favors. It always goes for poor camera angles to add as much fanservice to the film as possible. It’s something that you don’t see too much in live action which shows you just how low this genre will go. I’d say that I expected better from the Beach genre, but honestly this is what you would expect from beach movies. Typically beach scenes in any film or show are some of the worst so a whole film taking place there just isn’t a good idea. The film just hasn’t aged well. Especially Dolores’ song where she basically admits that she should concede defeat first even though Frankie has just as much to do with the issue. Maybe more if you think about it since he certainly gets away with more than she does.

Overall, Beach Party is a film to avoid. None of the characters are good and the romance is terrible. There aren’t many redeemable scenes in this film and any scene that is around gets surrounded by bad ones. You need to stay as far away from this film as possible, but fortunately the title probably tipped you off to that from the beginning. The Beach genre is one that definitely deserved to be taken down a few pegs. Imagine seeing this in theaters? That’d be totally crazy. I’m ready for a Winter Mountain film genre to take off instead. I think that would be a lot better.

Overall 2/10

Beach Blanket Bingo Review

It’s time to look at my first ever Beach film. Naturally you can probably already imagine how this played out. I’m not really a big fan of the token beach episode in most TV shows so a whole film centered around the place can get a little tricky. It’s not a terrible movie, but I wouldn’t call it a particularly good one either. It falls into all of the usual beach traps and so it’s a film that you will want to avoid.

The film starts off with everyone hanging out on the beach and basically going past the friend zone the whole time. The film then lets us know what the title actually means as essentially whenever you go to the Beach you’re playing a game of Bingo and when you end up with someone new you have won the Bingo. With the insane amount of rebounding going on here I am certainly not surprised to see something like this going on. Still, it’s no wonder why Dee Dee and Frankie are always acting super jealous. If they let their guard down for even a few minutes their partner might leave with someone else. These beach adventures continue until a celebrity named Sugar shows up for a publicity stunt. Dee Dee realizes that she is losing Frankie to the new girl and a gang of thugs are also around to keep things tense. Will the teenagers be able to use their wicked dance moves to keep everyone in line or is it all over for them?

So, it’s pretty self explanatory why the beach setting is no good. The film gives us constant closeups of the characters in their attire with camera angles that would even make SAO season 2 back up. The film never actually tries to take the high road. The characters are all just getting together throughout the film and with no regard for how public displays of affection can be annoying to the others around them. Granted, the teenagers here are so busy making catcalls and whistling that they don’t really care all that much. If anything they seem glad to watch.

Getting past the beach shenanigans, the cast of characters isn’t particularly impressive. First up is Frankie who can’t help but take a double look at every girl who passes him. At times it seems like he is messing with Dee Dee, but it’s hard to say by the end. At least he took a firm stance against one of the characters who was after him, but that’s about it. He didn’t really do anything to dismiss Sugar and only got lucky because she went for a quick rebound with Bonehead. There’s nothing to particularly like about Frankie. At most, it’s nice that he’s sarcastic to everyone and always has a witty comeback at the ready. He even messed with Steve so much that Steve made a lot of threats, but never ended up actually doing anything. Personally I think he was probably just too nervous at that point and realized that not making a move was his safest bet.

Dee Dee isn’t great either since she is a little too forgiving with Frankie. He actually tells her that she should stay in the kitchen instead of sky diving with him. She manages to prove him wrong and performs the stunt, but he’s never all that supportive. I guess besides sticking with Frankie she is a reasonable character. She definitely seems a lot more loyal than him.

Sugar is one of the main characters in the spotlight here as she gets a few solo songs. This is a musical after all so we can’t forget that. However she does appear to be very naive. The thugs break into her house and she doesn’t care even when they tell her that she is being kidnapped. She just plays pool with them anyway. Then she is rescued by Steve, but gives Bonehead the credit and they quickly become a couple. I guess she just forgot how Bonehead (That name is certainly interesting) just ditched her on the beach during the night to go chase a mermaid and how he ignored her throughout the entire party. Yeah, Sugar definitely doesn’t seem like the smartest character in the film.

Then we have Eric who is essentially a character from the Abbott and Costello series. He can’t read and can barely speak at times. He spends the entire film getting beaten up and knocked around in total slap stick style. His own subordinates tend to betray him. He’s not particularly competent at anything and even as a thug he is half hearted and won’t actually do anything evil. Eric’s subplot isn’t bad and it can be fairly fun. IT may drag on a bit or feel rather unimaginative, but at least it wasn’t bad so I can get behind that.

Then we have Slim who is the true threat in this film. He has actually murdered people before and attempts to take Sugar out of the picture. He is able to hold the entire gang at bay all by himself so that is pretty impressive. Naturally the only person who could really handle him at the end was Frankie with the teen’s impressive hand to hand skills. Finally we also have the PR agent, Bullets. His whiny voice can be pretty entertaining as he delivers one liner after one liner. He definitely doesn’t care for the teens and has a few nice verbal battles with Frankie. He rarely ends up coming out on top, but this character seems to be on point. He’s the best character in the film I’d say and keeps everyone honest. I’m sure that he always gets the scoop on his story even if he has to alter the facts a bit. He has no scruples, but knows how to get a headline.

I will give the film credit for having a lot of action on screen throughout the whole film. There are just a lot of plots to keep track of here although some of them don’t really have much of a conclusion. Steve swears revenge against Frankie after all, but that never happens. One plot feels rather unnecessary and that is the mermaid who shows up. She basically appears so that Bonehead can finally have his special someone, but then admits that she was just messing with him and they can’t actually be together. So she dashes off which frames Bonehead for murder temporarily. If she was never going to let them be together, why even give Bonehead hope for a night? Then of course you have the gangs and the talent scout, and the press agent running around along with the whole sky diving plot where the pilot keeps on trying to get Frankie.

The pacing of the film is pretty solid. It’s a shame about the beach scenes dragging down the movie as otherwise I can appreciate the fact that there is never a dull moment here. There are quite a few characters and plots that I haven’t even mentioned yet. The songs aren’t bad either although I wouldn’t call them particularly impressive. They’re around and that’s about all that you really even need to say about them. I’d give the writing a thumbs up as well. The dialogue is usually rather clever and everyone has a quip at the ready to sling at the person they are talking too.

Still, the romance in this film is quite bad. Even if the beach wasn’t around I doubt the film would have had too much of a future. Characters just seem to switch partners constantly and without a second thought. Even at the dance Frankie let Steve cut in on him and Dee Dee so then he just danced with another girl. He didn’t really care and that basically describes all of the characters. Then of course we have the mermaid who is 300 years old, but doesn’t understand human customs which is another terrible trope to throw in. Yeah, this film just hit a lot of the wrong notes.

Overall, The only reason to watch this film is to check out the Bingo game, but then you’ll be disappointed since the movie isn’t talking about actual bingo. I don’t think I’ve seen a film about competitive Bingo yet, but I like to think that one exists. If you actually like Beach parties and all that this entails then this is the film for you. If you are not a big fan of the Beach and want an actual story with likable characters then you should skip this one. It’s reasonably entertaining, but still has too many pitfalls for my liking. I don’t see this genre in general churning out too many winners to be honest.

Overall 3/10

Lady and the Tramp Review

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It’s time to take a look at the Lady and the Tramp. It’s definitely a well known film that I’m sure a lot of us have heard of. It’s about two dogs so what could go wrong….uh oh. There’s no real animal violence here as the film stays classy in that regard but unfortunately the movie is just really mean spirited which ultimately holds it back quite a bit.

The film starts with two jerks deciding to get a dog. They buy Lady and right away Mr. Jerk decides that the dog will have to sleep in a dark room by herself as he closes the door. Lady keeps trying to break out and keep them up until finally they reluctantly relent and let her on the bed. Jerk complains about all of this nonstop and is just a terrible character in case you haven’t noticed. Well, one things leads to another and Heartless decides to have a baby. Jerk and Heartless decide that they don’t even want to have Lady around anymore and completely ignore her every action. It’s as if she isn’t even around anymore at this point.

Then the baby is born and the irresponsible parents decide they’ve had enough of the responsibility and leave the country for a few days. They decide to have Aunt Harriett watch over the baby. As the aunt is allergic to dogs and owns two cats, it is reasonable to assume that they told her to just watch over the baby and to ignore the dog. Lady does her best to watch over the baby, goldfish, and the bird but then she is kicked out of the house and given a muzzle. She meets up with a dog named Tramp who agrees to help her and aims to elfurther show that living as a free dog is preferable to being leashed. Will Lady agree?

It’s not a bad premise if these were human characters that we were talking about since nobody cares about those guys quite as much. When it comes to a film about dogs though, the film can’t be this mean spirited. It’s just hard to watch the film during the majority of these scenes as the owners are just so terrible. I’m not even sure if you’re supposed to actively dislike Jerk and Heartless or if you are supposed to simply feel bad for Lady but either way I did both. The owners do far too much for you to simply forgive and forget as the film wants you to by the end. You can’t even play the whole “It was a misunderstanding” card since they were very intentional with how they would ignore her.

Then you’ve also got the Aunt who would have murdered the other pets by proxy if not for Lady and she gets absolutely no punishment for any of this. In fact, she sends dog food at the end so I guess they are all suddenly friends now right? Ignorance is bliss or so they say so I guess the parents here should be on cloud 9 all the time. It’s not even as if the scenes are all that long, but they are certainly long enough for me to really dislike everybody involved from the humans. There actually aren’t any good human characters now that I think about it.

The good parts of the film are when Tramp is showing Lady around with his elaborate setup. In those moments it actually feels like the fun movie you would have expected going into it. Tramp has a lot of fine dining spots and everyone seems to like the guy. It also shows that not all of the humans are really bad people in this area, just most of them. Tramp even goes out of his way to help out other dogs in need so while he is a solo act, Tramp does try to help the community around him.

The scenes at the Pound can be a bit much though. Seeing the dogs get led out where we never see them again was rather dark. I was hoping for a slight fake out as we then see a happy family walking off with the dog, showing that they were being rescued, but the dogs just didn’t know about it. Still, on its own the pound stuff wouldn’t be enough to hurt the film all that much but all of this just begins to add up.

As far as the supporting characters go, I liked the dog with the scottish accent. He was always ready for a fight and did his best to watch over Lady along with the ex fugitive hunter dog. The old dog’s ramblings could drag on a little, but he was still a decent character for the most part. He helped out quite a bit and the film handled the ending well as the film almost lost another star with how his plot would have concluded. As it stands, the ending was pretty good. In general, the film got a lot better once we entered the climax of the movie. It couldn’t quite save the first half of the film, but at least it gives us some hope for the sequel.

The animation is pretty good as you would expect. All of the character designs are on point and the animation in general is very smooth. We also get some nice action scenes thrown in for good measure like Tramp against 3 dogs or Tramp against the Rat. I wasn’t expecting any action scenes so that was a welcome surprise. They were also handled very well as they managed not to even fall into the unfortunate animal violence trap. Another reason why it’s always best to be animated rather than live action for these as it is tougher to pull off there. The rat put up a much better fight against the dog than I was expecting to be honest, but we all knew who would come out on top in the end. Winning a 3 on 1 fight early on was the really impressive moment. If not for Tramp’s iffy backstory that was completely glossed over, he would easily be the best character in the film.

Overall, The Lady and the Tramp is a bad movie. I was definitely triggered while watching it and Lady deserved better owners. They really overdid it with how mean the owners were as there was just no turning back for them by the end. The animation is solid and we got some fun fight scenes with snappy dialogue but it is all erased by the pesky humans. Maybe the sequel will end up being better since the humans theoretically shouldn’t regress with their character development. Anyway, you are better off watching Air Bud or Underdog than this film. Those have more heart and don’t get quite as tragic.

Overall 4/10

While You Were Sleeping Review

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I can’t be the only one who thinks that this poster looks a little off right? It just seems photo shopped a bit with how Bullock’s character is being lifted. Maybe they couldn’t keep the pose up for the photo and had started to fall when it was snapped which caused a little blur effect. Maybe I’m just reading too much into this. Anyway, despite the lackluster poster the film is actually fairly decent. I dare say that this is one of the best romance films I’ve seen and maybe that’s because there wasn’t much actual romance until the end.

The plot revolves around a train ticket person named Lucy. Every day a guy named Peter comes by and deposits his tokens at her booth. She knows they are meant to be together, but they’ve never exchanged a word. Finally Peter works up the courage to tell her hi, but then he is mugged and thrown into the train tracks. Lucy manages to save him and takes him to the hospital. Peter is in a coma, but the family believes that Lucy is the fiancee after a quick mix up occurs. She decides not to tell them the truth because it would hurt them too deeply. Still, Lucy will have to plan things out carefully since Peter will be waking up at some point and his brother Jack is starting to suspect that something is off. Can she keep the secret from him?

So, you can probably imagine that quite a lot of shenanigans and hijinx ensue. Fortunately, they’re handled pretty well for the most part. You can basically tell what is going to happen the whole time, but as one Reddit user once said, virtually all movies are predictable. If anything, you should be worried when something unexpected happens as it may mean that the film has made a mistake in getting to the end. Instead you just want to see if the film executes the plot well. So while this film was predictable, it was still entertaining the whole time with most of the humor being on point and not being generally annoying.

Lucy is a reasonable main character. Saving Peter was naturally the right move and she tried doing what was best for everyone. She probably shouldn’t have tried going through with the wedding just to make everyone happy though. There’s definitely a moral there about keeping your happiness in mind as well. If you try to make everyone happy, but are miserable inside then this clearly isn’t the right path. Not to mention that then she would have been stuck with Peter for her whole life. Lucy tends to get along with everyone she meets in the film and it shows what a nice personality she has.

Meanwhile, we have Peter who doesn’t seem like a very nice guy. I don’t think he’s all that bad to be honest as he just has to sit in the antagonist role thanks to the film’s plot. If anything, he just doesn’t seem to have much of a backbone. He was knocked into the tracks quite easily and got knocked out instantly. That’s not really the kind of moment that will impress you and since Peter doesn’t really recover from this until the very end of the movie there isn’t much reason to like him. Not to mention that he seemed to be having an affair with a married woman which throws any last chance he may have had out the window. It sounds like he abandoned the family and while we never hear his side of the story, there’s not much reason to like him.

Then we have Jack. Honestly, I can’t say that he is a good character either. The main reason for this of course is that from his point of view, Lucy and Peter are together so she is strictly off limits. Yet, he still can’t help but fall for her. I don’t care if she were a super model, the instant she is taken then you have to be able to completely move on. Jack doesn’t actually do much about his feelings and while he doesn’t make a move on Lucy, he’s not exactly subtle either. He should have probably just avoided her until the wedding or something if he really couldn’t get over himself. Of course it turned out okay since the whole thing was fabricated and he ended up with Lucy, but things could have easily gotten troublesome. He’s still much better than Peter though.

The rest of the family is pretty fun as well. Once they showed up I knew we had a quality family going. They quickly pushed the doctors aside and took charge once they saw Peter. They have a lot of fun at the Christmas gatherings and while they bicker and talk a lot, it does keep the place lively. While skeptical at first, they end up taking Lucy’s word on events and seem to be rather trusting. They’re also pretty sensible and don’t hold the whole thing against Lucy. Considering that they are the ones who typically take the rumors and confirm them as fact, it wouldn’t be right to blame her for any of this. As a result, the family was rather solid.

Lucy’s boss was also pretty fun. He did his best to listen to her stories and give some half hearted advice. You could tell that he was never too invested in her situation, but at least he still took the time to listen whenever they had an encounter. He couldn’t quite keep the names straight, but the guy was earnest so he was definitely low key one of the best characters. To counter this, we have Joe Junior who is easily the worst character. The guy doesn’t have much of a purpose in the film other than to create some misunderstandings and to look really bad. Why does the eligible bachelor character always have to be so untidy, unintelligent, and generally gross? By the end of the film things seem to have possibly worked out for him which is nice and all I guess, but he probably could have been cut out and the film wouldn’t change. At least his father was good as he didn’t blame Lucy for dropping the tree through his house.

The best scene in the film is probably the big wedding as everyone quickly storms in to stop it. We had objections from Lucy which is understandable and better late than never. We had objections from Jack which naturally doesn’t help his case. We had objections from Peter’s ex who I guess drew the short end of the straw here, but considering that she was already a sketchy character I can’t feel sympathetic. Finally we had objections from Peter’s ex’s husband which was pretty intense. That guy came out of nowhere and really added some weight to the scene. It was great to see everyone show up and this was a joke that went over well. All told, the film’s writing was pretty strong for the most part and many of the jokes were sound. You really can’t ask for much more than that.

Overall, While You Were Sleeping is a pretty fun film. The pacing is always quick and so the film never drags on. Given that Romance Comedies aren’t exactly my thing, this one definitely performed quite admirably. If the general premise sounds like fun then I’d recommend checking this film out. You really can’t go wrong here and if you view it more as a general comedy then you’ll enjoy it more since that’s definitely the main focus. It never gets too over the top and most of the misunderstandings are just amped up a little to make the whole thing work. If only all romcoms could be like this one.

Overall 6/10