The Mummy’s Hand Review

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It’s time to look at an old Mummy film from the old days. This one doesn’t feature the actual Mummy for quite a while, but lets try to look past that part. It’s not all that bad of a film to be honest. It was actually fairly entertaining and didn’t really fall into any of the holes that you would expect it to. It does suffer from parts of the film feeling a little dragged out, but all in all this may be one of the more solid Mummy titles. Who’d have thought that would happen right?

The film starts off with a rather painful beginning admittedly. An old man is getting ready to pass the torch as he is ready to die now. He gives an amulet to another guy and explains all of the various things he has to do to complete the process. You do not need to know about any of this stuff since it doesn’t really make a difference so lets fast forward to our two main characters. Abbott and Costello Steve and Babe are having some trouble. See, they found an ancient artifact worth millions which proves that a temple is nearby. Unfortunately a jealous skeptic smashed their statue so now they have no proof of it. Still, they need the money or they may as well kiss their careers goodbye. Fortunately they find a magician who is also down on his luck (To their credit they think he is rich) and convince him to fund their expedition. Now all they need to do is find some valuable stuff, but this may be tougher than it seems as the Mummy’s agent of evil is ready to stop them in their tracks!

A film is only as good as its main characters of course so naturally you’re gonna be hoping that Steve and Babe have got what it takes to pull off the story here. Fortunately they do. Steve is a pretty serious character and knows when he’s being played. While he probably should have been more careful with his rare artifact in the first scene, at least he gives the corrupt “expert” a glare as he walks away. He has a hard time keeping his team in check, but he keeps his wits about him throughout. Meanwhile Babe tends to get uptight a little more often. He isn’t quite as exaggerated in how scared he is compared to other comedy leads and has a good balance. Even when being held at gun point he manages to warn his attacker that things are going to be messy. These two may not be the brightest bulbs in the bunch, but as a result you can certainly say that they fear nothing.

Meanwhile we have another tough main heroine in this film. When Marta hears that the leads have tricked her father she storms the base with her gun. At first you may think that it isn’t loaded or something like that, but this isn’t the case. She fires off quite a few rounds to show the main characters that she means business and it also a really good shot to boot. That makes her a really dangerous fighter and also a great character. Unfortunately Steve stops her before she can defeat the heroes. Marta is still a reasonable character so once she learns that they aren’t villains she is on board with the plan.

On the opposite side of things we have the actual Mummy. Unfortunately this is the worst incarnation of the character that I have seen. He is treated as a minion here by the actual main villain, the middle aged guy from the intro. The Mummy is continually insulted by this guy and mocked to no end. Surprisingly the usually deadly Mummy just sits back and takes it since he can’t do much about it. If he makes a wrong move then he’ll be destroyed. Still, this is a horror film. I’m sure if he quickly tried to grab his “master” the guy would panic in fear and that would be the end of that. Even if the Mummy does man up a bit by the end, it’s too late to take him seriously.

Usually the best parts of these films are supposed to be when the monster/antagonist shows up and we get some nice fight scenes. We do get a bit of that as the Mummy is too strong for bullets, but the best parts are likely all from the intro scenes like when the two main characters get into a classic bar brawl. Even Marta’s father gets in on the action which is pretty neat. He may be old, but the guy certainly hasn’t forgotten how to swing his little umbrella/cane around. Considering that the villains were being so openly aggressive though they probably should have just shot the main characters and been done with the whole thing. I get the feeling that the locals wouldn’t have made a fuss about that.

As expected of a retro film like this one the writing is pretty good. Even if the villains don’t really contribute much, Steve and Babe make the rest of the cast around them better simply by appearing. The characters are pretty charismatic and the pacing is also pretty tight so there is a lot of nonstop excitement. At its core the movie is just pretty fun. There’s not a whole lot of original concepts here so you may be hard pressed to find good reasons to recommend this film in particular to someone, but a good counter point is that it doesn’t really do anything wrong either. (Aside from its treatment of the actual Mummy of course) It’s a film that you can watch anytime.

Overall, I’m glad that this film managed to hold up pretty well. If you haven’t seen the old Mummy films before then this is a good place to start. Mainly because then it’ll be even easier to ignore the Mummy. Either way, we’ll see if the other Mummy films can beat this one. Historically they don’t tend to be very great, but the actual creature does have a lot of potential. So long as they give him a little more credibility in the next film I think he’ll do just fine and that should help the movie.

Overall 6/10

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Batman Unlimited: Monster Mayhem Review

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It’s time to look at the next Batman Unlimited film! The first one was pretty solid so I would expect nothing less from the sequel. It’s nice to have a Batman film that feels more like the classic days. It’s a bit of a cross between something like Brave and the Bold and The Batman in terms of atmosphere and character designs. It all works pretty well and the film delivers on what it promises, a lot of action with a good story behind it.

The film kicks things off with a new character who has joined the fray. Gogo is a genius who likes building VR games. Unfortunately he is confronted by his co-worker who tries to destroy him. Gogo quickly figures out that she is actually a robot who is pretending to be his friend, but this knowledge is not enough to turn the tables. Even Batman is unable to save him from this menace. It turns out that the robot is working for Joker along with other villains like the Scarecrow, Solomon Grundy, and Silver Banshee. For once Batman realizes that he can’t defeat all of these foes on his own so he decides to call in Green Arrow, Red Robin, and Nightwing. Together these heroes will have to save the world!

In a subplot, Cyborg is still adjusting to his new boosters. Unfortunately he doesn’t have much time to do so because a virus has infected the city and as Cyborg doesn’t have too many security firewalls he is quickly taken over. I’ve already talked at length about how Cyborg is a Teen Titan and not a Justice League member so I won’t go into that here, but this movie doesn’t help his case. I figured that the whole point of being half human and half machine was that the human side could help him fight against viruses and such. That never seems to be the case so he might as well be all robot then right? Technically Cyborg is very strong, but none of that matters if villains can just hack into him every day.

This film is naturally pretty light hearted as you may expect although it does get some serious scenes. The intro where the robot tries to murder Gogo is actually played pretty seriously. Likewise, the film isn’t afraid to have some real fights thrown in and the animation is pretty solid. It doesn’t really have any choreography and the fights do tend to get paused for quick one liners and such, but the film looks good when it actually tries. It’s a nice animation style and works well enough for the film. Unfortunately the soundtrack is basically nonexistent so don’t expect to remember any of the tunes by the end. This just isn’t quite that kind of film. The humor isn’t bad for the most part. It can feel a little forced, but it could be a lot worse. I’d give the writing a pass.

Then we have a nice Matrix homage near the end as Batman and Joker fight in the Cyber World where they each have to corrupt the other. It’s a battle of wills so naturally you’re never too worried for Batman. He’s not going to lose when it boils down to a fight of resolve. The pacing is pretty good for the film as well which makes sense since it’s so short. At most you may find it a bit redundant how the heroes keep beating the villains, only to have them escape for another round. I feel like this happened at least 3 times. The villains just wouldn’t quit which is admirable but then there’s no reason to think that the rematch would go any differently. Joker’s robot at the end was pretty cool though. If not for a serious amount of plot hax he definitely would have won in the end. All he had to do was actually try moving so Cyborg couldn’t hit him and then it would have been all over. Maybe deep down Joker actually wanted to lose. That would be quite the twist eh?

The movie also decided to go with a pretty interesting set of characters here. Batman is an obvious pick of course and likewise for putting in Tim Drake as Red Robin. While the latter is treated as comic relief a little too much, he still gets the job done. For Batman, while I mentioned that the animation is solid I have to admit that Bruce Wayne looks very off. It’s something about his human design that makes him look like a character out of Space Dandy or that crazy future 90’s aesthetic. Not a bad thing, it’s just different. Nightwing is another good teammate to have around and while there’s not much in particular to say about him, I do like how the film turned his trope of self doubt on its head. When Scarecrow tries playing the mindgames Nightwing doesn’t fall for it. As he said, he got over that a long time ago.

Then we have Green Arrow who does his best but as always he seems to be a step behind the others. After all, he’s just as rich as Batman, but doesn’t have the hand to hand skills or large array of gadgets that the Dark Knight possesses. As for Cyborg, he was getting mind controlled the whole time so while he is a nice guy there isn’t much to say about him either. As for the villains, Silver Banshee was fun. Her ability is always pretty lethal against most opponents since they will actually get older which can’t really be undone. Solomon Grundy is still the power hitter, but he’s never the most enjoyable villain since he isn’t too smart. The film did a reasonable job of not making him too annoying though and dressing up as the pizza man was smart. Scarecrow was pretty good here. He was a legitimate threat and kept the heroes on their toes throughout. This was also one of Joker’s better outings easy. He balanced out the humor and serious traits of his character well and as always his plan took Batman to the edge.

Overall, Batman Unlimited continues to be a solid series. I look forward to seeing how the third film fares. If you like action films or just want to see some light hearted fun then I would recommend this film. What you see is what you get so there are no real surprises here, but the plot is executed well. You’ll be kept entertained all the way through and since this is one of your only chances to see Red Robin in action, how could you miss it? With a solid blend of writing and animation, this is definitely a complete film.

Overall 7/10

Digimon Adventure Tri: Loss Review

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It’s time to look at the 4th film in the Digimon Tri series. This one finally has the gang head to the Digital World, but what does this mean for all of the ongoing plot lines so far? Well, they’re basically gonna get dropped for this film so we can focus on character introductions. This was a bit of a dicey call and I can certainly see how this would be the weakest installment yet. It basically just feels like filler for the most part and choosing to lead with a grainy low budget intro was…interesting to say the least. The scenes in the intro were interesting, but I wanted my high budget animation!

So the film starts off by showing us the school agent back when she was a kid. Apparently she had been one of the chosen ones (Or not chosen depending on how you interpret the speech) along with the teacher guy and she had to watch the elders appear for the first time as they sacrificed her friend to save the world. Well, now she has found a way to bring him back, the reboot! Meanwhile Tai and the others are in the Digital World, but their Digimon haven’t gotten their memories back as expected. It’s no big deal since they all get along…with the exception of Sora and her Digimon. Can they reconnect in the middle of this crisis? They better get their act together soon because Mega level Digimon are after them!

Sora is the main focus here as she goes through her personal dilemma. Was I on her side or not? Well, here’s the situation. The gang has arrived in the Digital World but their partners do not recognize them. The humans knew that beforehand but they held out hope that the Digimon would just remember somehow. Sora is no exception and since her Digimon wants nothing to do with her she takes it pretty hard.

I’d say that part of the problem on her end was that she was rushing the whole thing too much. You can’t expect to become friends with someone again over night like that. Granted, part of the reason why she got such expectations was because the others did the same thing so quickly. Naturally she gets a little jealous about the whole thing and since she is used to bottling her feelings up, Sora doesn’t do a great job of handling the situation. Naturally this is all leading up to the fact that I was not on her side. Not only should she not blame Tai and Matt at all, but her issue doesn’t even seem as big as the others. If she didn’t get emotional every time Biyumon yelled at her she would be in a far better position.

Now lets talk about more serious dilemmas. Unfortunately this is the first film to really get wonky when it comes to the power levels. It is quite noticeable even if you don’t usually focus on things like that. Gabumon is able to cancel out an energy blast from a Mega level Digimon despite being only a rookie. Then another rookie is able to stun the Mega. At that difference in power the attacks shouldn’t even be noticed. Rookies can rarely even damage champions, a mega is too much of a stretch.

This is definitely an issue that I would say falls with the writing. The film appeared to be trying to create a sense of danger and suspense for the heroes and figured that putting them in such a dangerous position was the way to go. That was not actually the case though because the writers went too far so when the heroes make a comeback or delay the inevitable like in those scenes it just doesn’t work. The film should have just not used a Mega right off the bat or the heroes should have kept their ultimates. That would have made a difference.

As far as the soundtrack goes, it’s only natural that this film could not top the last 3. That’s because this is the first installment not to feature the excellent danger theme that I always like to see. You can’t just cut out the best theme in the series like that. We also don’t have the techno intro but we have other insert songs at the ready here so it seemed like a fair trade. It’s still a reasonable soundtrack but one that is now missing a little impact. The animation continues to be consistent here. If you liked it in the first 3 parts then I don’t believe that this would change here. The fights are solid and the landscapes are on point. The character designs/animations may still be a little pale but as they don’t have their iconic costumes I suppose that it can’t be helped.

As far as Dark Jedi goes, the film does its best to make him as unlikable as possible. He goes through the trope of licking one of the heroes for shock value and to make sure you know that this guy is batty. So much for being the calm and collected mastermind right? The FBI agent is also going downhill fast as her final scene already negates her sob story. The other agent is certainly taking his time figuring this all out as well. I’m just ready for Alphamon to show up and start wrecking everyone again. Having the King of Digimon show up soon would also be a lot of fun.

Unfortunately this movie didn’t bode well for Meiko and Meicoomon either. Both of them panicked under pressure when the going got tough and made the villain’s job quite easy. The other Digidestined should also be blamed to an extent as they totally ditched her without any good reason. The whole point of the mission was to protect her and yet they left to go on their victory lap. Really? That also seemed very plot convenient. Also, the heroes had many chances to attack Dark Jedi (They even knew to call him Dark Jedi pretty quickly) but they kept just not doing so. At some point you have to step up and make an attack. Only Joe actually tried here and naturally it didn’t go well. I appreciated the attempt though. If the heroes had knocked him out that could have helped the situation quite a bit.

So while this film could have certainly be handled better, you’ve still got to give it credit for building a compelling story. The universe around the characters still feels nice and mysterious the whole time. The villains operate in the shadows so most of the residents in the world don’t even know what is happening. While certain scenes can be frustrating, at least you do care about what is going on. I’ll give a more thorough breakdown of the various plot lines and such in the final film so hopefully it is able to tie everything together.

Overall, This installment seemed to be buying for time to an extent. If you didn’t know any better you would almost assume that there was some kind of change in writers behind the scenes as the story definitely seems to be changing directions. That’s not a bad thing per say, but hopefully they do have an end goal in mind as I still have quite a few questions that need to be answered. Even if there may be some missed opportunities by the end of this series at least the plot is still engaging and I don’t expect that will change. Naturally if you saw the first 3 films then I’d recommend checking out this one. If you have not, then maybe you could jump on here and still enjoy the film as it’s a reasonable jumping on point but you will be missing some context which will make the scenes less emotional.

Overall 7/10

FLCL Progressive Review

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It’s time to look at the recent FLCL show. It’s been a while since I’ve seen such a terrible anime but leave it to this franchise to fix that. The first FLCL show is still considered by me to be one of the worst anime of all time. I’d have to say that it actually is in last place from the show’s that I’ve seen. This sequel is marginally better at best. It improves in the animation but certainly didn’t do anything to actually help the aimless writing and non existent plot.

The show starts off with a small segment of the main character in an apocalyptic future where Zombies run amok. They start destroying everyone and naturally a dog is included as well. This kind of show just can’t resist such things. Get used to these scenes of nonsense since they will be in almost every episode. Hidomi then wakes up and goes through life as normal. She wears headphones so she can pretend not to hear anyone even though no music is playing. It works though as people don’t really mess with her. That’s when she gets a new transfer teacher who decides to change her life. It turns out that Hidomi is another time bomb whose emotions allow her to summon giant monsters and even gain super powers herself. Her greatest ability is the Kirby suction power which allows her to absorb anyone who gets in her way. It’s basically a one hit ko tactic against just about everyone. There is another person who wishes to stop the heroine though so everyone has to keep their guard up.

This show is bad on so many levels so let’s start with some of the mild positives. Unlike the first show this one actually does have a few scenes where the animation looks pretty decent. It’s not that random experimental stuff we had to deal with in the older one. The animation is still pretty bad most of the time though. No effort is put into the character designs and nothing about this show tells you that this was made in 2018. It just doesn’t look nearly as good as it should and that’s because the show is trying (and failing) to be artistic. Enjoy the battle between Julia and Haruko as well as Hidomi vs Haruko since those fights are really the only times that the show gets to look good.

The soundtrack also isn’t good. It’s mainly just satisfied to grab some tunes from the old show and call it a day. Don’t expect to get any solid battle tunes or anything like that. This just isn’t that kind of show I’m afraid which is rather unfortunate. It’s how it goes I suppose.

Another tick against the show is the animal violence as I referenced earlier. Why did we need a dog to die in the zombie scenes? It really had no significance there and just served to help the show dig its own grave as always. The zombie scenes were also randomly violent despite the rest of the show not going that route. It’s all just for shock value.

The show can also be rather fanservicey which is just what I’d expect. It’s not extreme like Fairy Tail or anything like that, but it all adds up. Throw in the fact that the main cast is terrible and we’ve got some problems. The main guy’s two friends are both terrible. One guy is so bad that he has to hire a girlfriend which is as bad as it sounds. The other guy never actually gets anything to do and is only around to mock everyone. The main guy (Ko) tries to help Hidomi at least but he does have ulterior motives so I don’t count that in the slightest. He also loses every fight he is in which really does not help.

Then we have the main heroine Hidomi who is really hard to sympathize with. Her father left so she is waiting along with mother for him to come back. The issue is that he probably isn’t so the mother is hoping they can move on. Especially since she does all of the work while the main character shuts off life. She does help monetarily with her job at the cafe but certainly isn’t good for moral support. At least she finally initiated an attack on the teacher for the final episode but it took her way too long to finally try and be proactive. I would have liked to have seen her do something sooner and even in the final episode she ends up being extremely annoying and is unable to see the big picture so I can’t give her any props there either.

There is also the teacher from the first series who has become a straight up villain in this one. Haruko wants to sacrifice the main heroine so that she can meet up with a mysterious guy from her past. Maybe in a classier show with decent writing her dilemma could have actually been a little sympathetic. Maybe we could have seen her trying to find a different way to do this or something like that. Instead Haruko comes across as very unreasonable and likes to go about her plans in a very roundabout way. Most of her actions don’t even make sense so you just wonder how important her goal ever was to her.

Julia is Haruko’s rival and is always trying to get in her way. Julia will talk tough to Haruko about how this isn’t right, but spends far too long trying to convince her arch nemesis of this. After a while she should know that Haruko isn’t going to change and yet she doesn’t do anything about this. You can’t feel bad for Julia when she is inevitably beat up because that character never even had a good plan. I feel like none of the characters in this show are even remotely intelligent.

Then we have a bunch of random side characters like the plant owners. Their plot is just pointless and tries to add some mystery to the whole thing, but it fails quite badly. You’ll just be wondering why the show thinks you will end up caring about them when that is certainly not the case. If anything it’s the opposite and you’ll just be counting the minutes until the episode ends.

Overall, This show just couldn’t do anything right. The humor falls flat and the characters aren’t interesting in the slightest. The writing is horrendous. The battle scenes can be good but considering who is fighting it hardly matters. The show is just soulless and doesn’t do a good job of trying to prove that we can have a quality show in such a short amount of time. Anime should at least be 12 episodes if you ask me although in this specific situation I doubt it would have helped at all. I’d advise staying away from this anime. Keep your distance and you’ll be fine.

Overall 1/10

Mission Impossible: Fallout Review

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After re watching all of the Mission Impossible films I was definitely ready for the latest one. Seeing it in theaters is always a rush and it’s the perfect way to end the summer. It was always going to be a tough sell trying to top films 4 and 5 but if anyone could do it Mission Impossible could. Fallout is definitely a great film although ultimately I would probably go with the last 2.

The movie starts out with Ethan assembling a team to try and recover the three plutonium balls that the Apostles are planning to use to blow up chunks of the world. The plan goes pretty well but the villains do escape with 2 out of 3. Ethan now has one last chance to catch them before a catastrophe occurs but this won’t be easy since the CIA has decided to pull rank. They are adding Agent Walker to accompany Ethan and he will be around to complete the mission at any cost.

A pretty impressive part of the movie is how misleading the trailer was without making stuff up. Sure the Truck scene in the forest didn’t happen but beyond that everything else was on point, the scenes were just shuffled around quite a lot. Most of the scenes in the trailer happened early on in the film so the second half was basically brand new. Walker is a far different character than I imagined him to be. While he may not be quite as good as his trailer version he is still a solid character brought and through. More on him in a bit.

As expected the best fight scene is the bathroom one. The fact that this guy is able to put up such a good fight against both Ethan and Walker at the same time is incredibly impressive. Especially when you consider that he was easily beating both of them. This guy is easily the best fighter we’ve seen in the series and his fighting style was quite lethal as he kept hitting them in the neck. Walker is definitely luck that Ethan was around to protect him. Even besides the fight the scene was just pretty epic as the two leads walk in and start surrounding the villain.

As always the film has exceptional pacing as well. The film is very action packed and something is always happening. Ethan really gets a workout as he runs a marathon, gets in a car crash, helicopter crash, gets hit by a building, etc. He sustains quite a few injuries over the course of the movie so it’s good for him that he usually gets 2 years to recover before the next one. It is unfortunate that Ethan is always injured for the final fight so we can’t see him at his peak but I suppose that’s the point of the early fights anyway. Additionally the visuals are also really good here as we get a lot of great backdrops. Whether the heroes are in a building or outside everything just looks so colorful.
We also get the classic MI theme a few more times which is always hype. It’s just such a great theme and it works for pretty much any epic scene. As always I will give the film’s soundtrack a thumbs up. It definitely does not disappoint.

While the film was excellent it still had 2-3 things it could have done better. For starters, it does gonthe cliche route of squeezing in one f word just because the film can. It’s really forced and unnecessary. The other installments didn’t have to add in such a thing and neither did this one. It’s a relatively minor issue and hopefully they don’t bring it back for next time. The rest of the writing was quite sound as you would expect though with a lot of good planning everywhere.

The other area where I’d say the film dropped the ball is with Ethan’s wife from film 3. The films have been pretty vague with her character from that point, but we know that Ethan faked her death so she could finally be safe. This film goes further into that and basically the two can’t even see each other anymore. Sure, Ethan could easily put on a mask and meet with her like everyone else, but they’ve decided that this life was way too intense. So they split up and Julia quickly went on the rebound. I don’t have anything against the replacement husband. The guy seems nice enough and is a good sport, it’s just that this plot absolutely shouldn’t have happened.

It’s such a tragic twist for Ethan. He gets to keep putting himself in harm’s way to save the world and now he’s also lost the person he cared about forever. Sure, the film hints that he will go on the rebound as well, but I wouldn’t even call that a consolation since I’ve never been able to agree with the rebound train. I have to stress that the film doesn’t paint this in a tragic light. Both people moved on although Ethan still gets dreams where he regrets marrying her in the first place. I’d say that it’s still tragic though and it would have been best if Julia had simply not appeared to be honest.

I can’t say that I have any other negatives for the film, it was just a blast. It’s difficult to even say where the halfway point is because there are so many action scenes and moments that feel like the climax. Still, I dare say that the first half probably beats the second as it just had the most memorable scenes. Any scene with Hunt and Walker being forced to team up was pretty fun. Walker was always lagging behind Hunt but he made up for it with bravado. I also liked the scene where Ethan has to escort the broker out of the gala. It showed how talented Ethan is against the average crook as you may have had some second thoughts about that when he was getting wrecked in the bathroom. Don’t worry, he’s still one of the best agents in the business.

Ethan Hunt is as great as always so there isn’t much to say about him. He always makes the right choice like moving in to save Luther instead of worrying about the plutonium. He’s the kind of hero that you want on your side. I also really liked his boss in this film as well. The heroes should be glad that he moved to the IMF since he understands their cause and does his best to back them up. Even if he doesn’t totally understand what is going on he always defends the team. He also looked really good in the brief fight scene that he was in.

Walker is the big rival figure in the film and as mentioned he was a little different than I expected. He got a lot of hype for being Ethan’s equal and everything based on the trailer, but he spends the whole movie getting one upped at every corner. The film makes sure to let you know that Ethan’s still the best, but Walker is a tough fighter. It’d be fun to see him go up against Agent Brandt. Walker’s a fun character though and definitely one of the better ones in the series. His CIA boss was also decent, but she could get a little annoying. She never actually helped the heroes out and instead got in their way at every turn.

Luther and Benji are solid characters as always. Their roles are very similar throughout all of the films, but they are consistently solid. You can count on those two to back Ethan up. Ilsa also returns and she looks pretty good. Her motive is pure revenge and she acts as a wild card to both sides. At times she is shooting left and right at everyone so it’s hard to know if she can be trusted. She’s also a fairly good fighter as well. Assuming that she will now be a main character I think Ilsa will fit right in with the gang.

Solomon returns from the last film, but I can’t say that I am able to take him all that seriously. He can fight so don’t get me wrong there. It’s not as if he’s powerless or anything. It’s just that his voice isn’t so menacing and he does spend most of the film being tied up so there is that as well. He gets out shined by one of the other villains here, but the fact that he is Ethan’s smartest villain has not changed. He is usually one step ahead.

Overall, Fallout is a great Mission Impossible film and continues the series on the path of greatness. It was close to getting a 9 and just barely fell short. It has a ton of replay value and the fight scenes are top notch. They are easily some of the best in Hollywood right now. It’s not perfect, but it’s about as close as you can expect a film to get. Aside from Infinity War it’s probably film of the year. Hopefully we do get a 7th film at some point since as long as the film continues to deliver we should keep it going. If you haven’t seen this movie yet then you should fix that ASAP!

Overall 8/10

Godzilla: City on the Edge of Battle Review


It’s time to look at the new Godzilla film! While the last Netflix installment wasn’t great, it was still a pretty good film. We got to see a reasonable amount of Godzilla screen time and the action scenes were pretty intense. Unfortunately this one is even more focused on the humans to the point where it can barely be called a Godzilla film. This movie is definitely a mess and I blame most of it on the painfully low budget that this movie seems to be tied down with.

The film starts with Haruo waking up and realizing that humanity has survived after all as a girl tended to his injuries. The Earthlings have fused with Mothra dna to allow themselves to survive the reign of Godzilla. They also use Mecha Godzilla’s armor to create arrows with which to fight back. The problem is that nobody is able to even damage the King of the Monsters. The heroes decide to use the armored city to fight back but can a city which doesn’t even move hope to win this fight?

The sad thing about this film is that most of it would be impossible if this was a different version of Godzilla. A single blast would have done the trick if Godzilla didn’t wait to make a move until days pass by each time. Even when he does finally make a move Godzilla only fires a single shot. Apparently he knows that beams won’t work but in that case he ended up playing himself since we find out that it actually would have been an effective tactic. One blast melted all backup harpoons and various parts of the city. Why would you not fire again?

The film can’t seem to decide whether Godzilla is extremely powerful in this version or if he is actually one of the weaker more brittle versions. Either way he didn’t look impressive. He literally walks into every single trap and shows no signs of real intelligence. The film makes him look like a zombie the whole time. The design wouldn’t be bad either if it wasn’t for the lack of animation which makes him appear to be frozen the entire time.

Another thing that’s tricky about the film is that you don’t really have anyone to root for. The humans certainly aren’t going to win a vote since they are already pretty divided with a lot of factions that would betray each other at the blink of an eye. One group becomes a little more extreme here which is unfortunate since prior to that they had been reasonable. It’s true that the humans severely overreacted with the whole merging with machine thing when it was voluntary, but that shouldn’t have made everyone go off the deep end. There is also a bit of romance here but it’s so forced for extra drama later on that you won’t get emotional about it.

High command doesn’t do much here and they still seem at a loss for answers. They don’t have a choice but to help if you ask me since they are running out of fuel and won’t be able to make it to another planet anyway. Their only chance is Earth so even if it will be tough they should try to make do. It’s not like the world is uninhabitable since the insect people still live and as long as the humans can make more masks they would be okay. Honestly if they weren’t so determined to try and crush Godzilla they probably could have coexisted well enough. It takes him days to wake up from a nap so where is the risk? Just lie low and accept that humans are no longer at the top of the food chain.

I didn’t care much for the animation in the first film and that hasn’t changed here. It looks like a cutscene you would see in a 3DS Fire Emblem game. That may work for small scenes but if you’re making a whole movie then surely you have more budget than the cutscene development crew right? Yet, the animators are afraid to do much of anything so most of the film is just characters talking and walking around in circles. There is very rarely any real movement to speak of and that’s just a shame. It’s not a fun film to look at.

Most of the movie is also rather silent so prepare to focus on the dialogue I guess. The few scenes with music that we do get are quite solid though so it is just a shame hat it couldn’t have happened more often. It had a good sci-fi beat to it that was very fast paced and made you feel like you were suddenly in an energetic film.

As there is one more film in the trilogy we do get an after credits scene. Unfortunately it is also sloppily done and destroys any chance that the scene may have had of actually being really good. The whole thing is recycled footage and several scenes pop up more than once. It was just painfully bad especially since everyone already knew who the name was going to be well before the line since this monster had been rumored/semi confirmed ages ago. The execution just wasn’t there.

While there are a lot of negatives to the film lets at least look at some positives before concluding. When we do get music it’s pretty good so that’s solid. I do like the mech suits that the heroes wear. They feel pretty powerful and do move very quickly. They effectively can’t be hit as long as the heroes don’t make any obvious mistakes. The concept of a Mecha Godzilla city is pretty sound even if it’s not as cool as actually having Mecha Godzilla. It may have even been able to win if the heroes weren’t rushing it so much. Did they really need to force a fight with Godzilla right away? Waiting 2-3 days or more would have ensured their victory and I think that would have been worth it. Since they can communicate with the mother ship they could have come up with a plan.

Overall, This film was definitely very underwhelming. If it wasn’t called a Godzilla film then it would have been a little better but even then I doubt it would have been anything more than average. It technically makes no critical errors like animal violence, fanservice, or anything like that. Yet, the film is just rather boring the whole time and it’s hard to get engaged since the heroes never feel like they have much of a chance. There is no way their plan should have even been close to succeeding if we are being honest. I’d probably advise you to skip this film and watch one of the live action Godzilla films. As a longtime fan I can tell you that this one forgets what a true Godzilla film is. A battle of Kaiju that shakes the planet. That’s why if the directors didn’t want to do this they should have labeled it as a classic sci-fi indie film about overcoming a large monster. It’s just that when you put Godzilla in the title you get a certain set of expectations.

Overall 5/10

Mission Impossible III Review

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It’s time to look at the end of the first trilogy. It was definitely not as consistent a trilogy as the current one is so far, but it was still a fun ride. This movie is basically right in the middle of the other two as it manages to start its comeback tour towards being the best, but still isn’t quite up there yet.

Ethan has finally left the IMF at least when it comes to active duty. He recruits cadets, but for the most part he’s on his own. Unfortunately John brings him back for a mission when one of their agents is captured. Ethan tries to save her, but the lady dies. This all seems to be related to some kind of big conspiracy so Ethan tries to bring in Owen, the mastermind behind this. The thing is, Ethan isn’t alone anymore, now he has a family which the villains can use to get the upper hand on him.

This one does have the weakest intro out of all the MI films though. The first film had an excellent mission that quickly got serious when the heroes all started getting bumped off. Mission Impossible 2’s had a cool mountain climbing segment although depending on how far you go for the first scene then it loses after all. I’m never big on interrogation scenes so of course this one wasn’t really an exception. It’s always an interesting choice to have the film start off near the end as well since it really gives away quite a lot of what is going to happen next. It starts the film off on a much grittier tone than the other two which clashes with the happy opening theme that plays afterwards.

It’s time for Family Trope 101, the wife gets kidnapped. It’s always a shame that it has to be this way, but when a hero or a big secret agent with enemies gets a family, things don’t tend to go well. The wife/kids are always taken and then the villains have some power over the hero. Up til this point Ethan has been untouchable because he doesn’t really have anyone he cared about. Yes, there’s Nyah from film 2 who was dumped off screen, but that’s slightly different as they specifically sent her to the villains.

Lets also not forget that so far the IMF always tends to have leaks everywhere. Once Ethan gets a family the villains are all going to know about it. Since he didn’t even tell her about any of this, she can’t even prepare herself for how this is going to play out. Ethan is also surrounded by agents who don’t seem to give it enough thought either as Luther yells out Ethan’s name in front of the villain. Sure, Owen would have gotten the name anyway, but why make it easier for him?

Of course, Julia is a good character though. She seems like a very nice person who is very supportive of Ethan. She chooses to trust him instead of creating drama about his secrets which is definitely really nice to see. She also looks good in the climax where she grabs a gun. As Ethan says, it’s just about pointing and shooting. So long as you’ve played a good amount of Call of Duty you should be fine. It’s just still an annoying trope when we have Julia captured.

Interestingly the film uses this as an excuse to basically skip the “Mission Impossible” stuff this time around. Ethan’s break-in of the hero base this time is completely off screen as we have the side characters chat a bit instead. I don’t really understand the thought process behind this since I imagine that most viewers came in for the fun planning right? Well, if not then I guess that may not be something too many people cared about, but it certainly stuck out to me.

It’s good to see that Ethan has advanced so far that he is now an instructor rather than in the field. He’s definitely a solid character here and still hasn’t lost his skills. He does a good job of fighting off everyone here and always keeping the upper hand when hostages aren’t involved. The climax fight can be a little annoying since he takes quite a beating due to the bomb in his head but at least he adapted by the very end of it. I can definitely see why he is ready to go on a honey moon instead of another mission.

Owen is the next villain of the series and he wants to be rich! The guy thrives on plot convenience and the moles having every possible edge on the heroes. Ethan should have shot him down before running out of ammo if you ask me. Owen definitely likes making sure to destroy as many followers as possible. He’s pretty generic as far as villains go, but I suppose I’ll give him some credit for actually being able to fight.

John is one of the big characters from the IMF and he’s a fun boss. While he is a very layered character where you can’t take his words at face value, he can be handy at times. No matter what his end goal was, it would have been curtains for Ethan without his help. He always tries to talk back to his overconfident boss even if it doesn’t always end very well. Points for effort right?

Luther is still around and he is still the expert on all things I.T. He has a squad at the ready as well with several other characters. None of them seem to be very important though so I wouldn’t count on them returning. They’re all okay, but the movie never bothers to give them any character. They all end up missing the climax as well which speaks volumes. At least Luther spends the whole movie trying to give Ethan a bunch of advice even if the lead doesn’t really pay it any mind.

The soundtrack is still pretty solid even if the remix isn’t quite as inspired as the second film’s. It’s all still pretty action packed and the main theme is already good so the remix would have to be downright bad to make it sound poor. There’s not much to say about the effects in particular here as it all looks pretty sharp. The films pick really good backdrops to have the scenes in.

Overall, Mission Impossible III is definitely an improvement over the last one. It does forget the actual espionage part of the film quite a bit, but it’s still an interesting film from start to finish. The film could get a little dark like with the opening scene’s interrogation which pops up again near the end, but it doesn’t get as dark as you may fear. The film also has a happy ending for Ethan which they always do, but this one certainly feels very final. It would have been a reasonable way for the series to conclude although of course I’m happy that it ended up continuing since the next 2 films would be really good. I’d recommend checking this film out if you’re in the mood for a good action story. This film’s the complete package.

Overall 6/10

Mission Impossible 2 Review

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It’s time to look at the next Mission Impossible film. Unfortunately this is the weak link of the series as it lost its way and became your average James Bond film. No worries it’s still classier than that series but even going to that level at all is unfortunate. I suppose it would probably have been tough to follow up such a strong first film in general though.

The film starts with Ethan climbing a mountain as part of his vacation. Unfortunately the government finds him and tells Ethan that they have a new mission for him. Someone has stolen a bunch of military items and is planning to do something big. Ethan has to recruit a thief to help him break into the villain’s lair. After he brings her to the team the IMF reveals that they actually just need Nyah because she is the villain’s ex and she will be in change of recovering the documents. Ethan isn’t thrilled about this but because he has lost his edge in his film he agrees to his corrupt plan. Too bad it was super obvious and the villain knew from the start. Can Ethan find a way to turn the tables?

This film went south right away so let’s talk about the negatives. For starters the film really focuses on the 007 angle as I mentioned with Ethan quickly going past the friend zone with a lady he has only known for about an hour. Seems a little out of character if you ask me. Then Nyah is ordered to use her charms on the villain as well and is stuck with him for a very long time while the heroes twiddle their thumbs. The IMF makes it clear that she is expendable and up til now they had at least been portrayed as relatively heroic. Too bad they turned out to be just as villainous eh? It really comes out of left field because up til now they had been reasonable. (One film, but still) Mission Impossible cycles through the bosses very quickly as they change in almost every film. It makes sense because the bosses tend to be evil or at least someone inside is a mole. I think they should all be checked a little more thoroughly at this point. Back to the film though. The whole situation is too bad because Nyah seemed like a reasonable character but the film completely dropped the ball with her. Most of her screen time ends up just being completely unnecessary fanservice. That’s basically the entirety of her first scene despite it being a way to supposedly show you how skilled she is. This doesn’t change throughout the film.

Then we have the constant slow-mo scenes and zoom ins. These scenes don’t add anything to the film and if anything they are just distracting the whole time. If you’re going to use those techniques then use them wisely at select moments to really make the experience more memorable. If you start using this everywhere then it loses the point. Almost every time it was used incorrectly and so this film easily has the worst camera work. We get some decent cuts like Ethan walking through the fire, but on the whole it just dropped the ball as well.

Due to the terrible plot even the characters suffered. As I mentioned, Ethan doesn’t look good here since he was on board with this plan. Naturally he talks tough about how he doesn’t support it, but that doesn’t mean anything if he’ll allow it to happen anyway. He also has a lot more trouble with all of the villains here than usual as his attacks just don’t seem to have their normal weight behind them. It takes him probably around 30 hits to take out his final opponent. While this was most likely just a cinematic excuse so we could see him pull off those moves, it’s still something that you can’t help but notice. Ethan gets the job done, but he’s a shell of his former self.

I’ve already discussed Nyah quite a bit so there is not much more to say about her. Good concept for the character, but the execution just wasn’t there. Luther is still a fun ally like in the first film. In comparison he doesn’t get a whole lot to do here but he’s around as always to help out. He is probably the only guy that Ethan can really trust so if I was the lead I’d definitely do my best to keep that guy out of harms way.

Then we have the main villain Ambrose who is pretty generic. At the end of the day he’s just a normal guy who sad that he got rejected by Nyah and doesn’t take it too well. The film does its best to show us what a mean fellow he is by giving us several scenes of him making life miserable for everyone. The scene where he clips someone was definitely a bit much though and the kind of scene that the film should skip. Ambrose always comes across as more petty than likable. Even when he comes up with a counter plan to Ethan’s which was actually handled well, it’s too late for him to really rank with the better cinematic villains.

As far as the positives go, the film’s pacing is air tight as usual. While it does slow down a bit for the romance scenes, they don’t pop up enough to really derail the film. For the most part there is always something happening here and we do get many fight scenes. There’s even a prolonged motorcycle chase scene at one point where we see Ethan take on quite a few fighters at once. This might be the best moment to quickly point out that Ethan’s hair style did not age well here at all though. It’s just really bad tbh, but it could have been worse. Back on topic, the fight scenes are solid. The film is definitely going for a slower, more martial arts type approach than Ethan’s usual quick barrage style. It works pretty well.

The soundtrack is still good as well. I really enjoyed the opening theme remix when the film’s opening scene concluded. It’s more rock based which is always a good thing and gets you pumped for the film. In general the soundtrack is very high energy and it works well for this film since that’s the approach that the movie was going for as well.

Overall, It’s just a shame that this film wasn’t better than it was. It just lost focus as to what makes the series so great. It tried to add a lot of extra gusto to the series which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it targeted all of the wrong demographics here. The series doesn’t need to be edgy or have Ethan Hunt be over the top suave as he gets everyone to fall for him. What made the first film great was the writing and the interesting plot. This one basically ditches all of that. Considering that this film is basically the definition of filler as nothing of importance happens here, you’re probably better off jumping from the first film to the third one and bypassing this entirely. It’ll keep the series in a positive light for you.

Overall 4/10

Shaman King: The Super Star

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Now I’ve gotten to start the other Shaman King manga. This one’s definitely more of a direct sequel with Yoh and Hao getting involved a bit. I’m glad that it’s cutting to the chase quicker than Flowers. Should be a fun series and the art is pretty solid. I’ll have a review up when the series concludes.

Overall 7/10