Village of the Giants Review


It’s time to look at an old film where giants came into being. I would say that it’s about how power corrupts, but these kids were already corrupt from the start so it’s more like they finally got to push people around. The film is pretty aimless for the most part though with many scenes being dedicated to dancing and singing in order to stall for time. It’s definitely a film that’s gonna get a thumbs down from me.

The film starts off with a group of teenagers crashing their car and they spill out into the rain. They’re all pretty rowdy so they start a mud fight and dance for a while. After that they figure they should try to find some shelter and head to a nearby village. In this village, Nancy and Mike have stumbled onto a new discovery courtesy of a kid named Genius. It’s a spongecake that turns you giant once you eat it. Mike is determined to get rich from this, but ends up giving some of the formula to a cat, 2 Geese, and a dog. Pretty soon the whole village knows about it and wants their hands on it. Mike tells them no, but the teens show up and eat it anyway. Now they’re all huge and they want to take over the town. Can Mike stop them?

This movie has quite a few problems so it’s hard to know where to begin. To start with, there is way too much singing and dancing here. That wouldn’t be a problem if they were good of course, but none are. The dances are the same motions over and over again. Each dance seems to last for an eternity and then the songs also tend to drag on. They never add onto the plot either so they’re definitely just here to drag out the film. The plot would barely have lasted 40 minutes otherwise.

Then the writing is consistently iffy. Mike ends up cheating on his girlfriend for a bit just to mess with the villains and fool them into thinking he was being tricked. Not a very nice partner to have eh? They tried the same trick on the girl only she didn’t even entertain it. (Although she was getting dangerously close) So you already can’t root for the heroes. Mike also doesn’t seem all that smart like when he tries to fight the leader of the teens. He’s luck that the hit didn’t completely destroy him. There’s also a scene where the town tries to tie up one of the giants and they actually succeed which was a scene that made no sense. With a single movement he could have knocked them all over, but instead the giant just seemed confused and almost mindless for a moment. It just didn’t make any sense.

Naturally the teens don’t make for good villains either. There’s a little friction between a few of the guys as they bicker a lot and for a wile there you think there’s going to be a power struggle. Surprisingly it never happens. The leader just folds every time the group wants to do something drastic. They definitely have a lot of fun making fun of the adults, but beyond that it’s not like they had much of a plan. Honestly they just would have gotten bored after a few days I expect. It all would have been routine by that point.

You can probably guess from the premise that this film isn’t really meant to be taken seriously. It’s definitely comedic for the most part but the film just isn’t quite as funny as it thinks it is. Take away the dancing scenes and that would have helped the film a bit for sure, but even without that there just isn’t much to the film. The dialogue is very weak and there are no likable characters. It would have been fun to have seen more of this from the adults perspective though. Maybe have a bunch of government guys walk in and start making demands or something. Instead the adults seem a bit slow on the uptake like when they order the teens back into the theater. I mean…they could have just squashed the cop so he got lucky. Also, how did nobody notice that they kidnapped the sheriff’s daughter? That seemed a bit iffy. It would be easy to grab her of course, but surely the town should have known about it.

Part of the problem throughout the film with the humans putting up a resistance is that the giants are way too strong. They could have easily ended the whole match in an instant if they do desired. The fact that they did not is really just plot hax. The film is riddled with plot hax. The characters should have had no chance until the formula wore off. Of course, the villains should never have gotten the formula if Mike was a little smarter and didn’t leave the key right next to the safe it was guarding. That defeats the purpose of the safe.

Overall, Village of the Giants is definitely a film you’ll want to skip. It’s pretty over the top but not in a good way. The Giants don’t actually alter the plot much at all. The film would have been better if it was just about the potion going out of control and making everyone giant. They would have had to learn how to cope with this smaller world now that they were giants. Instead we had to see Mike take down a giant spider which certainly wasn’t good. The film’s very cheesy and in some ways that’s good, but it makes too many errors to really stay afloat. Cut out the fanservice and this film could have had a shot. As it stands, you should stick to Godzilla for real movies about a giant creature.

Overall 3/10

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Captain Marvel Review


It’s time to look at Marvel’s latest installment in their expansive MCU franchise. Thanks to an early screening my brother got tickets to I was able to see this film a few days before it came out. It’s definitely a solid film that delivers on all fronts. It has all the classic MCU trends for success; strong dialogue, solid action, and quick pacing. The film doesn’t slow down the tempo and by the end you’ll be satisfied.

The film starts off with an early mission with Carol and the other Kree operatives. It’s a classic extraction mission as they need to get one of their agents out of a hostile environment. The situation does not go as expected and deteriorates quickly. Carol now finds herself on Earth and must confront memories that have haunted her recently. Are the Kree keeping secrets from her? Whether she likes the answers or not, Carol knows that she has to seek them out.

There’s naturally a lot more to the plot than that, but that’s a pretty general description so you won’t have anything spoiled. This is an early review so I’ll be even more careful than usual to avoid spoilers. Now, there is a general feeling among many reviewers that it’s bad to be predictable. A feeling where if you know exactly what’s going to happen in a film then it did something wrong. I don’t agree with that. Captain Marvel isn’t particularly subtle. All of the twists and turns are very predictable and you’ll always know what’s going to happen next. You’ll know which characters are the villains and which ones are the heroes. As Carol tries to figure out her past you’ll end up figuring it out first. To call it the most predictable superhero film may be pushing it, but there aren’t any surprises here, at least when it comes to twists. That’s likely due to a mix of the MCU formula telling you what to expect and general context clues.

I’d argue that this isn’t a bad thing though. What’s important is the execution. As long as the film does a good job of getting to its goal then knowing where it’s going isn’t a bad thing and that’s what the film does well. It’s always a fun adventure. This is thanks in no small part to Carol herself. She holds the film quite well as a lead. I buy into her tough persona a lot more than previous heroines like Black Widow and Gamora. I’ve always liked characters who are fairly aggressive and Carol here is like Hal Jordan or Wonder Woman. Nobody’s going to push her around and anyone who tries eats a photon blast. Captain Marvel is consistently defiant throughout and that’s always a good thing. She’s a lot smarter than other leads as well in a practical sense as she doesn’t fall for an obvious trap near the end of the film that I think many others would have. I look forward to seeing her in End Game. The only concern naturally is how powerful Captain Marvel is. She’s closer to fighters like Superman and Supergirl than someone like the Hulk. It’s easy to see her quickly taking down someone like Thanos here. I think the writers are going to have to be extremely cautious with how her character is portrayed going forward. It’d be pretty annoying to see her nerfed or losing a fight for no real reason.

Another plus for the film is the writing. MCU films are always a action/comedy blend which aim for a 50-50 split. The top notch films like Infinity War, Avengers, Winter Soldier, etc have a good blend. It’s the case for most of them to be honest as the franchise has been consistently great. The only exceptions have been films like Ant Man and Guardians of the Galaxy 2 which were on the weaker side. This one is a great example of how to do it right. There’s a lot of solid banter throughout and quality jokes. The humor scenes are funny though and aren’t forced. They also don’t take away from the fights. The heroes aren’t joking during battles, they take the stakes seriously and only joke before/afterwards.

This also contributes to the film’s quick pacing. It has quite a bit of replay value here since no act drags on. The film’s always moving and that’s always important. A film shouldn’t just be good the first time around, you should be able to re-watch a movie and still enjoy it. That won’t be a problem with this one. The action scenes are solid and the film’s rapid humor style ensures there isn’t a large build up before the jokes that would be harder to sit through if you already know the punchline.

I’d say that the effects look solid as well. They certainly aren’t for everyone as the higher-tier the fighters get the more obvious the effects become. It’s why people didn’t like Man of Steel’s effects despite being incredible. The colors are flashy here and the suits look good. Captain Marvel’s costume is incredibly accurate to the comics and stands out. The action scenes great and seeing Marvel fly through space blasting away at enemies is really cool.

Naturally there is an after credits scene here so be sure to stick around. It’s definitely one of the better ones. I always particularly enjoy when these scenes further the plot along. It’s one of the more direct continuations though so I’m wondering if they’re going to have to show this in the actual End Game film as well or not. I’d appreciate the boldness of not doing such a thing of course as at this point you should be able to stick around for an extra minute or two to see what scene is at the end. I can understand skipping the more comedic ones of course, but since you don’t know which scene it’ll be you just have to test your luck.

Of course the supporting cast here is solid as well. Nick Fury’s always been a fun character and it’s nice to have a younger version of him running around. He gets a pretty big focus here and is certainly right in the middle of many of the events here. He’s always quick on his feet and supports Carol pretty well despite having no powers. Coulson also shows up here although it’s more of a guest appearance than anything. He doesn’t do anything particularly big, but it’s always nice to see him around. There’s also Goose, the cat from the trailers. He’s naturally a lot of fun and I’m always up for having animal show up so long as nothing bad happens to them.

Then we have the Kree operatives. Yon-Rogg makes for a very capable commander. He’s a solid combatant and always thinks strategically. I definitely thought he was a good character. There’s also the sniper Minn-Erva who is pretty ruthless. You can quickly understand her character which speaks to the writing. She doesn’t get many scenes but definitely ends up being one of the most compelling Kree members. The rest of them don’t make much of an impact. Meanwhile for the Skrull there is really only one major member. He’s decent, but not nearly as interesting as the Kree.

I like how the Supreme Intelligence was shown here. It’s definitely a tough character to adapt and the way it was handled here makes a lot of sense. They also gave it a good amount of character even if you wonder how much of it is genuine. It’s definitely pretty cool. If Captain Marvel gets a sequel then I definitely see it getting more of a role. Of course, I would definitely have some serious questions about its appearance. You will have some questions by the end as this film takes place in the 90s as advertised. A lot has happened since then after all.

The film has a lot of inspirational moments as expected. Between the standout visuals and the music there are definitely a lot of memorable moments here. While the 90’s music may not pop the same way that the first Guardians did, the tunes are good. I liked the song that plays during one of the final fights. It was really unexpected, but that partially plays into why it was so successful. There’s a lot of quality choreography during the fights as well. These villains don’t go down so they just keep re-entering the fight. Makes for an extended climax which is always good.

Overall, Captain Marvel is definitely a great film. I really had no complaints with it. It managed to succeed in all categories. Putting aside the crossover films it’s definitely one of the MCU’s best titles. If we don’t count sequels it’s certainly in the top 5 debut titles for a hero. I definitely recommend checking this film out in theaters. It’s also the kind of film that certainly benefits from a big screen so you can really take in the epic visuals. It’s always tough to continue making solid film after film so Marvel definitely deserves a lot of credit for that. Now the wait begins for End Game. The trailers have been pretty lackluster for that one, but it is nice that Marvel’s trying to keep the film pretty hidden. They did a good job of that for Infinity War as well as I managed to duck all of the TV spots. I’m definitely expecting a lot of fights for End Game.

Overall 8/10

Astra Lost in Space Review


It’s time to look at a space exploration manga that is pretty unique compared to the other manga titles I’ve read in the past. I haven’t actually read a classic sci-fi adventure like this one before. It’s a pretty fun premise and I don’t think the series ever overstays its welcome. It’s just a solid series all around. There are a lot of twists and turns along the way, but I don’t believe any of them would hurt the series upon a re-read. If anything you’ll probably just examine all of the interactions even more.

The series starts with a group of kids getting ready to go to camp. It’s a planetary style camp instead of a traditional summer one as this series takes place in the future. The leader of the group is a guy called Kanata. He’s a very outgoing guy who is always filled with confidence and he is determined to make this the best camp experience yet. Everything he planned goes out the window though when a portal appears and swallows everyone up. They all appear millions of light years from their planet and nearly die, but fortunately they put their helmets on first. They manage to get onto a nearby space ship and must now try to make their way back. Unfortunately the ship is low on fuel so they’ll have to make many stops along the way. This will be a very dangerous journey and none of them were exactly prepared for this, but they’ll try their best.

Kanata must lead the group and get them all to team up. On his team he has an airhead, a sullen teen with a bad attitude who has a gun, a super shy girl, a really mean girl, an overconfident genius, a rich guy, and a mild mannered being who transcends human limitations. This would be pretty easy, but Kanata has to keep one more thing in mind which forces him to keep his guard up. The controls to the ship were sabotages which is partially why they have to make so many stops. Someone intentionally caused the portal to send them into space and then someone sabotaged their ship after they got one. Clearly one of the students in the group is a traitor who intends to destroy them all and Kanata has to find out who it is before they’re all space food.

Kanata makes for a pretty good main character. He’s definitely very gung-ho and is always giving the other characters good lessons in life. They may seem obvious at first, but they’re all true and it works as a great morale booster. I think it’s fair to say that without him the crew would have absolutely been doomed. They just wouldn’t be able to make it ahead without his natural leadership skills. At first he and Aries have a gimmick where they mishear things or say something that’s a little off from what they mean, but fortunately this vanishes pretty quick. There’s pretty much nothing not to like about Kanata. If anything he probably forgives people a little too quick which is definitely a quality most leads tend to have.

Aries is a reasonable heroine. Her perfect memory is definitely a good skill to have and comes in handy more than once. Like Kanata she can be a bit of an optimist which sometimes works like a weakness. When the characters are trying to get to the bottom of some truths and plot twists she always tries to stop them so the atmosphere doesn’t get too tense. I can understand that but at the same time this is information that they really need to know sooner than later. She can also get a little upset at Kanata even when the lead didn’t mean to do anything. He just has no time to worry about personal dramas when he’s saving the ship.

Quitterie starts out as the rather mean/arrogant member of the group, but she quickly mellows out. It’s probably just the biggest switch for her going from being a rich girl to suddenly trying to make ends meet in space. It’s like going from a 5 star hotel to a random motel. Still, she’s always a fun character to have around and is one of the better members. Funicia is Quitterie’s younger sister and she’s definitely good. Despite being a kid she’s never actually annoying and tends to be quite wise for her age. She’s patient with the rest of the characters and even when she doesn’t get the approval that she was hoping for from Quitterie, Funicia takes it pretty well.

Then you’ve got Zack who is basically Kanata’s right hand man. As he is able to fix the ship several times the group would have been absolutely doomed without him. On a long term mission like this one you really need an engineer. He makes sure that everything is running correctly and is typically the first to notice when something suspicious is happening. His romance with Quitterie isn’t the best though. I don’t blame her for being rather upset since he constantly acts like she is a nuisance and doesn’t want to be involved with her despite him suddenly claiming obliviousness by the end of the series. No one was buying it.

Luca definitely likes trolling the characters quite a lot due to the fact that he keeps changing gender identities whenever he feels like it. It’s certainly an interesting development. Unlike the others he has already overcome a lot of personal demons and so the twists don’t hit him as hard as they do the others. He probably has the least amount of slumps out of all the characters because he always tries to see the silver linings. Meanwhile Charce is a rich guy who really loves animals and plants. He enjoys travelling on these planets just so he can see all of these new things. He tends to keep to himself more than some of the others, but he’s always ready to run onto the field and help out however he can.

Ulga gets a lot of focus early on in the series. After all, he makes it clear that he doesn’t want to be friends with the others and he has a gun. It’s hard for anyone to trust him and in a small ship like what they have, a gun is a very powerful advantage. As the series goes on Ulga opens up more, but he simply isn’t as chatty as the rest of the characters so he always sticks to himself to an extent. Likewise, the same can be said for Yun as she just doesn’t talk much. She’s very timid and we find out the cause to this through her backstory. Naturally all of the kids have some kind of emotional origin story and the series does a good job of spacing them out. Typically you can expect 1-2 per volume. As such, each volume gets some story developments in the past and the present.

The vast majority of the series is about the kids in space, but occasionally we get a few scenes back on Earth where we follow the adults and see what they think of this. After all, a bunch of kids just vanished off the face of the Earth. You can bet that people are a little panicked back home. It’s always nice to see these meanwhile scenes but they are very rare. I feel like we only got 2 in the whole series. There just wasn’t much time I suppose with only 5 volumes to work with. As I mentioned, we get a bunch of twists during the final two volumes of the series. I’ll admit that at first I thought the series was going to get real crazy. We were going to get some dimension hopping, time travel, aliens, and stuff like that. Instead the series decided to stay pretty realistic so all of the twists have some logic behind them. One involving history will still feel like a big stretch to be honest, but I guess it could work. You just gotta assume that there are a few more things behind the strings as well. At the very least you can’t say that the series was playing it safe with these twists. It was all handled pretty well. I do wish we could have gotten something a bit different from the classic “flash forward to when everyone is an adult” endings though. Especially as the designs just aren’t great. You’d think that the characters would have resisted their fates.

I also thought the humor for the series was handled fairly well. As I mentioned, quite a bit of it involves Kanata’s random fun facts. The scenes can be pretty funny but it isn’t forced. The series is pretty light in general even though it can get serious when necessary. You might rarely feel like the characters are ever in any real danger, but you’ll still be interested from start to finish. It’s a real page turner. This is a good example of a solid manga that didn’t need action to take it to the next level. There are only a small handful of action scenes, the rest is all about adventure. The Godzilla netflix series could have taken a page from this one’s playbook on how to do a proper survival story.

Naturally I won’t say which student is the traitor, but I will say that it was game over for that character. It’s hard for me to regain any respect for that character after pulling such a stunt, especially so late in the game. You just can’t make such a mistake like that and just apologize. The series does a good job of putting the traitor plot in the background though. It’s easy to forget that the plot is even still going towards the end of the series so it makes the whole thing even more unexpected.

Overall, Astra Lost in Space is definitely a fun manga. The premise is good and the execution was on point. The pacing is solid and the characters are enjoyable enough to hold their own stories. There’s really not much to dislike here and it really captures the thrills of a space adventure. It’s a shame that it was so short, but this is the kind of plot where if it goes on too long then it would probably turn into a whole different kind of story. If you haven’t read this manga yet then I would recommend changing that. After all, an anime is coming out soon so you’ll want to be ready for that.

Overall 7/10

The Black Hole Review


It’s time to look at a film with a title that you figure you would
have seen more over the years. After all, black holes are pretty
interesting and when you throw in some sci-fi wrinkles they get even
better. While this film had a good premise and can be fairly
interesting, it also starts to drag on a little by the end which
limits its ultimate potential.

The film starts off with a Star Trek type crew wandering trough space
when they notice a distress call from a ship stuck near a black hole.
Naturally they are obligated to go and help but everything about this
scenario seems highly suspicious. This ship is from an expedition
launched 20 years ago and the crew was presumed dead. Well, one member
apparently survived but regrettably the others did not. This doctor
was able to create a robot army though and now he wants to try and
slingshot his way through a black hole. The captain realizes that this
guy is insane, but it may already be too late to leave.

The plot is fairly standard but always a good premise for a title like
this. It’s basically a Star Trek episode with the crew quickly
realizing that a guy marooned on a lost ship was able to advance the
art of robotics more than a planet of scientists with proper
equipment. It’s pretty surreal. Naturally the main villain isn’t all
that subtle with his ambitions. From the start you know that something
is a little off about the guy. Too bad the scientist of the main crew
couldn’t realize that though. He is ready to abandon the Earth in a
heartbeat so he can go through a black hole with the villain. It’s
almost tragic because that basically means that there’s not much
waiting for him at home. Still, it doesn’t excuse how slow on the
uptake he was. The guy nearly doomed them all.

Then we have the main heroine who isn’t all that subtle on learning
that the main villain is nuts. I guess I can’t blame her for trying
over and over to help the scientist see the light since staying behind
would certainly be lethal but I think she should have prepared herself
for what was to come.

The captain is pretty solid. He basically takes all the good qualities
of Captain Kirk without any of the bad ones. He’s a capable leader and
probably the best character here. He’s suspicious of this whole thing
from the start and is always on guard. I think if you take him away
from the flick the whole movie gets weaker.

I do have to also give some credit to the main robot though. Typically
the robot companion ranged from rather weak to just being very
ineffective. This robot is none of those as he has perfect aim and
even manages to take on one of the big villains. I may not have been
sold on him at first, but he backed up the tough talk by the end. You
can’t deny that his confidence is well warranted.

Where the film suffers a bit is that it can feel aimless once in a
while. The plot is very straight forward. The heroes voyage through
space and try to learn more about the universe. They see a ship and
you know that the man inside of it is very dangerous. It’s not like
any of this is unexpected for the audience so you feel like you’re
just going through the motions until the end. There is a decent amount
of suspense, but it’s drawn out just a little too much. You get the
feeling that this film could have been trimmed down.

There’s really nothing negative about this film which is also pretty
important. It can be hard for a film not to make some kind of error
during its duration so whenever this does occur it is pretty
impressive. It’s not as if you will be super bored or anything during
the film either so I wouldn’t dock the score much for it. The writing
is pretty solid and while not all of the characters are likable, I
think they’re handled pretty well. You can clearly see why the captain
was selected as the leader because the other members would surely lead
the crew to ruin.

The end of the film does try to be a little too “deep” and moving
though. We get a lot of trippy colors and the heroes effectively
travel through hell in order to get back home. It goes for a very 2001
vibe although fortunately it stays classier than that film could ever
try to be. It’s a very odd way to end the film as it doesn’t seem to
match with anything we had seen earlier, but maybe the film had some
extra budget leftover and wanted to use it. I can’t really fault them
for that and it can be a little humorous unintentionally.

Overall, The Black Hole is a fairly good sci-fi film. I can see why it
didn’t get too popular since the film does start to drag on by the end
but it’s still a fun enough story. It doesn’t get too detailed in
explaining the universe, but goes far enough for you to understand
what you need to. If you haven’t checked this film out yet then you
should. It’s an interesting look at how a Star Trek from Disney
probably would have played out.

Overall 7/10

The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus Review


It’s time to look at a classic short about the origin of Santa Claus. It involves cosmic beings and a debate on if mortals should become immortals. It’s a pretty fun special but one where the length works against it to an extent as it ends so quickly. The plot appears to be on turbo mode the whole time so you’ll stay entertained, but Santa doesn’t get to properly prove himself. By the end of the special you’ll be on the fence about making him an immortal. If anything you may want to give him the thumbs down.

The short has a time jump near the beginning but essentially when Santa was a boy he was raised by a tiger. After that he was stolen by a fairy god and taken to the realm of the gods. They showed him how to live and eventually showed him how sad Earth was in comparison. Still, Santa decided that he needed to go there and help those who couldn’t help themselves. He was given a few holy beings to help him as well as some sprites. At last he could make the world a better place for those who didn’t have enough. He would make Christmas fun for everyone. Unfortunately, some cave trolls don’t like this and decide that they will rob all of Santa’s presents for themselves. Can Santa stop them or will he needs the gods to save him?

Naturally you’ll hope that it’s the former right? Unfortunately, Santa is able to do very little against these guys. He barely even tries to come up with a good plan and just does the same things over and over again. He insists on just walking through this dangerous valley over and over again to no avail. Santa is a nice guy of course, but he just doesn’t seem all that capable. Without all of the magical beings helping him I feel like he would have been absolutely doomed. The guy wouldn’t have even known how to live on his own since he was raised in a world where food is unlimited.

I will admit that the scene where the gods show up to fight the trolls was hype though. In particular, the Great Ak (The main god) shows up and basically tells the trolls to surrender or die. They choose the latter option and that’s it for them. In stories like this the high above beings usually just watch from afar and do absolutely nothing. I’m glad that this wasn’t the case here as they should be willing to come and help Santa out. They were his friends for a while after all and want him to succeed. Maybe they should have prepared him a little more before sending him to Earth.

Also, why should Earth have all of these supernatural beings anyway? You’d think that the gods would have wiped them out or established some rules as otherwise the normal humans are basically doomed from the start. These are all world building questions though and the special is way too short to deal with all of that. These aren’t really negatives, just observations. At the end of the day I thought this special was pretty fun. It had a little more action than I had expected and the premise is pretty interesting. It’s really not what you’d think of at all when you picture a movie about Santa Claus’ origin.

I’m still not a big fan of the animation style, but what else is new right? You either like it or you don’t by this point, but it won’t really hurt the film. It does limit how good it can be from the get go, but the movie stays in the positive area. I think if it had been just a little longer it could have possibly earned an extra star, but as it stands the movie ends up losing to most of the big Santa Claus titles or the more iconic Rankin/Bass productions. There’s a reason this one isn’t very well known.

Overall, This film will certainly teach you a very interesting way to look at Santa’s origin. I’d recommend checking it out if you’re curious. You certainly aren’t very likely to see the story play out like this again. It’s not their best production but it gets the job done and since it is fairly short it’s not like it’ll take a whole lot of time out of your day to check it out. Maybe one day we’ll get another Santa origin and it’ll draw inspiration from this one.

Overall 6/10

Astra Lost in Space


This is definitely a fairly obscure manga. It’s off to a reasonable start. I wouldn’t say that it is particularly exciting compared to most of the other big titles but it’s not bad either. I think the manga just needs its stride and then it can go to the next level. The question is whether it will find that stride in time. I’ll have a review for the series up when I have finished it.

Overall 6/10

ROM & The Micronauts Review


I haven’t read a lot of ROM so it was cool to see him take center stage here. He shares the main character role with the Micronauts as you would expect but as they are a whole team and he is just one person you can see how calling him the main lead can still be pretty valid. It’s a great comic with excellent artwork and a lot of fight scenes inside. I can safely say that the ROM comics are in good hands if they are like the ones here.

The story takes place after a big crossover event where Optimus Prime and a bunch of other big comic heroes fended off a big invasion. Now the Wraiths have begun to regroup and they are teaming up with the Baron, a big enemy of the Micronauts. They are going to work together to resurrect the Wraith god. Fortunately the Micronauts are on the case. They let ROM know that this is going on so he agrees to help them end the threat. Unfortunately the Autobots are currently busy so this group will have to do. ROM is an accomplished fighter, but what can the Micronauts do? Time to find out.

There’s a lot of action here right from the get go. I haven’t read the previous comics but I felt pretty comfortable with where the story was at. It drops enough little references for you to piece together what happened and what needs to be done. You’re thrown into the thick of it, but you always feel as though you are prepared. Another bonus for a smaller scale story like this is the stakes feel a little more real. I think I speak for many when I say that after the 50th time or so of the multiverse being at stake in DC/Marvel comics it can get a little old. In this universe it feels a lot more fresh at the very least and it’s more of a planetary threat then a universal one.

The writing is on point here. All of the characters seem pretty likable. I’d say that ROM steals the show for me. He just seems like such a great hero. The guy does what he can to save the universe and is focused on being a hero. He can be emotionless like a robot and yet not overdoing it so you can still feel his traces of humanity. He’s also the power hitter that the group needs as he can go toe to toe with any of the other villains in this comic. There’s an advertisement at the end of this collection showing off ROM vs Transformers and I can definitely see how that would be a fun battle. Honestly, ROM would probably have the edge there based on his speed.

That’s not to say that the Micronauts are bad though. They have their own mini robot who is pretty tough. He tends to talk a bigger game than what he can back up though so prepare to see him get wrecked a lot. The others feel a lot like the Doom Patrol or those classic sci-fi groups that would go on various space adventures back in the day. They’re all capable fighters and there’s a lot of history behind them. None of them particularly stand out, but they’ve all got potential to go along with their personalities. There just wasn’t much time to explore their characters with the impending crisis.

I also really liked the villains. Once again, ROM’s side won out here. The Wraiths have excellent designs and their magical abilities make them a legitimate threat to any of the heroes. The high ranking Abstract member can even go through things which is always handy. I think they didn’t need to make a deal with the Baron and come across as a little gullible at times, but I guess technically they did make Baron keep his end of the bargain so it worked out in their favor. Meanwhile the Baron is a cool villain as well. With his armor he looks like the Shredder and his power change ability makes him a tough threat as well. He’s certainly a master strategist and I have to give him some kudos for his plan. It’ll be interesting to see how the Micronauts try to get back at him.

This comic really succeeded in making you invested in both titles. I think a big part of these crossover events that has to happen is a way to get the general audience into the comic. Naturally fans of both series will already be reading it, but what about everyone else? A good crossover event is a great way to get in new readers and I think the writers did a swell job of making sure both series got a lot of representation. Both of them have many exciting adventures left in store. ROM appeals to me more because I love the aesthetic as well as all of the characters in the verse, but both are quite good and would certainly be earning a positive score from me. I don’t know when I’ll be checking out more comics in these titles but if I do you can be sure that I’ll be writing some reviews.

I usually end up talking about power levels a lot in these crossovers but there isn’t much to say. It’s clear from the start that ROM and the characters from his verse are significantly stronger than the Micronaut counterparts. Still, the latter are able to contribute because their small size helps them eradicate viruses pretty easy and they also have experience with the Baron. Shrinking ROM was also a good way to balance out their power levels. If anything I have to wonder how the Micronauts ever handle the Baron on their own because he looks way stronger than what they can deal with. So, ROM and friends may have been nerfed a little bit here, but not much and it was all handled pretty good I’d say.

Overall, This was a great comic. I always love crossovers and this one kept them at the high standard that I am used to. It was cool to see the Wraiths because up til now I never really knew who he would fight. I should also quickly mention that ROM’s two teammates were helpful as well. While they aren’t quite as strong as ROM they are certainly still formidable and should not be underestimated. The fact that these robot hybrids are effectively immortal and self repairing make them very lethal. It’s just such a cool concept behind ROM and I can’t emphasize that enough. Anyway, check this comic out, you’re sure to enjoy it!

Overall 8/10

Kromaia Ω Review


Kromaia is a game I got thanks to the big Toys R Us sale. Otherwise I don’t think I ever would have gotten to play it so this worked out well. It’s a pretty fun shooter game. The title is a little short and won’t be revolutionizing the genre, but it’s a very unique game and one that you will enjoy. Even as I type this I am tempted to go back and complete the other levels again so I can unlock the true ending. Perhaps at some point I’ll get on that. If this game ever gets a big sequel I’ll be on the lookout for that.

The game starts off with a little lore. I’m not sure I got the correct meaning from it, but what I understood is that there are 4 gods which rule this universe. They seem to have wiped out humanity in the process, but we are able to put a soul into our last spaceship. This spaceship must now go into each of the 4 corners of the universe and wipe out the deities. Fortunately as each one is content with their victory they have no way to communicate with each other so you can take them all out. If you destroy them all then you can get the key to the universe!

Each level starts off with a little message about this and your A.I. will warn you when the bosses show up. It’s a pretty fun story and the mystery angle is handled quite well. I think the story is what helps bump the game to the next level. Without it the gameplay would still be fun but the story always adds a little something extra. There are 4 levels in the game. The first part is about getting through 20 rings. Doing so will summon the boss for the big end of level fight. Each boss is unique in how you will handle them. The first one is about taking down all of the weak points while the 4th one must be overheated so you can reach them. They’re all unique and this game follows the correct standard of not reusing bosses.

Each world has a unique armor and once you’ve beaten all of them the first time you can use whichever one you want for each level. Plus if you want to unlock the final level you’ll need to beat all 4 levels with all 4 armors. It adds a little replay value and the game is just short enough where this doesn’t feel like a big grind. I do think the bosses seemed to get harder when I went back to beat them again, but maybe that’s my imagination. I only went back to the first boss to beat it the additional times so far. My favorite armor is probably the sword one. You’d think that having a close quarters combat mech in a bullet hell game would be a bad idea, but it’s really op. Pretty much any opponent will go down in a single swing to that armor. That’s how good it is.

To go a little more in depth on the gameplay, it’s 3D as I mentioned. Each armor has 2 weapons, the main attack and a charged one. Typically you’ll be focusing on the main weapon, but I recommend using the charge as soon as it’s ready. You also have a boost option which will boost in the direction you are moving in so sometimes you can use it as a full retreat option or to go towards the boss if you wish. The controls are pretty smooth once you get the hang of it. Focus on mastering each armor and you’ll be unbeatable. My least favorite was probably the green one. It’s not bad, but it felt like the weakest option.

The graphics are quite solid. There’s always a lot happening on screen and the game has a ton of character models so you can see how much heart was put into it. The level designs are really fun. You feel like you’re in another version of outer space as everything is futuristic. I also thought the soundtrack was good although it can be a little hard to hear among the constant blasting. In particular the green armor is very loud with his attacks. Kromaia went above expectations for sure. Especially as my initial impression on it wasn’t great as I first played the level earlier in the year and died. I remember putting the game down at that point and only just got back to it. The game can be a little vague on where you have to go and how to get there, but once you get used to the compass you’ll be set for the rest of the game.

There is a level up system here. I made it to level 12 but it’s hard to tell when you’re getting exp or not so I didn’t actually fight too many enemies. I’d just fly over to the boss. Apparently there are 100 levels though and I imagine that you will be incredibly powerful by that point. It helps add to the replay value. While the campaign is quite short it should still take you quite a while to reach the Platinum trophy. I got the game for around 5 or less with the 75% off at Toys R Us but 20 wouldn’t be bad. If you have to spend 30 or more then I would think twice about it. Take a look at the gameplay videos and see how it looks to you.

Overall, Kromaia was quite a bit of fun. It was more enjoyable than I thought it would be and while some games tend to be less enjoyable in hindsight it is quite the opposite for this title. There aren’t too many big 3D bullet hell games right now so if you have yet to check this genre out then Kromaia is a great way to start off. It can be a little challenging but never unfair. There are also frequent check points so you’ll eventually make it through. If any section seems impossible then try going at it with a different approach. The bosses can be deceptive but they can all be soundly defeated with the right strategy.

Overall 7/10

Mac and Me Review


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Overall 5/10