Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

Creed Review

creed-poster
I saw this film quite a while ago when it first came out so this review has been on the shelf for a while. Well, no longer! It’s time to discuss this film, what it did right and what it did wrong. I can say now though that Creed did live up to my expectations for the most part. It’s a fun film and I liked some of the modern twists that the film added to the franchise. Conversely, there were some modernizations that didn’t turn out so good. Rocky lived up to the hype as being the best character in the film by far and it’s good to see him get his props.

To think…I started this review in November, but it was placed on the backlog for a very long time. That’s how it goes I suppose, but let’s wrap this up. Adonis has had a troubled past and is no stranger to being in fights. He is eventually adopted and treated to a very luxurious life. He even gets a nice financial job with a lot of money, but it’s not enough for the guy. Adonis wants to fight so he quits his job and gambles away his car on a match where he is soundly defeated. The main character was forced to move into a very small apartment building, but also decides to meet up with Rocky. Rocky is reluctant to train the kid, but eventually relents and now Adonis must work to become the strongest fighter of all time!

Well, let’s talk about one of the modernized techniques that I did like a lot. Whenever a fighter would walk into the ring, the screen would quickly freeze and show off the guy’s rankings. It was like a little power level system that you would expect to see in a Shonen Jump crossover film or something like that. It was definitely a lot of fun and I hope that they keep this in for the sequel. It’s the little effects like this that can really amp a film up.

Unfortunately, another effect of modernization is that there is definitely more language to be found here than in the original. It can definitely get a little tired. The boxing matches are solid as you would expect. They’re not as good as the original Rocky films, but few fights are right? They can be a little violent with one random blood scene, but they’re still relatively tame when compared to the average fight. Certainly nothing that should frighten you if you’ve seen any action film recently. Since this is boxing, there are rules to the fights, which helps a lot. The fights feel real and have no cheap shots.

My other big complaint with the film would certainly be the romance. It’s a textbook example of how you should not do a romance plot. It makes both characters look rather bad. Adonis hears some music coming from a downstairs apartment so he goes there to tell the occupant to keep it down. Turns out that the occupant is a girl who appears to either be rude or simply doesn’t realize that her music is super loud. Turns out that it’s partially the latter, but he has no way of knowing that. Doesn’t matter though since looks apparently do and he asks her out on a pseudo date almost immediately. He claims that it’s not a date and that they’re just friends, but I don’t think either one of them bought that for an instant. It’s a sad stereotype. After all, there are probably some guys and gals who just want to be friends, but you can never trust anyone who says that because 90% of the time, there are ulterior motives. Adonis clearly did not want to be friends from the get go even though he acted as if he was. They knew each other for a few minutes before effectively going out and then they show no restraint as we have some wince worthy romance scenes later on. You never saw this stuff in the original Rocky scenes!

Still, romance aside, this was a good film. I still enjoyed it as I was watching and I could see it again easily enough so I’d say that it deserves to be in the positive side of the scale. As mentioned earlier, Rocky’s easily the best character in the film. The film did a good job of keeping his character true to himself and making Rocky defeat all of the other characters in verbal battles. I’m fine with his decision not to fix himself either since when I’m old, I won’t bother pulling out all the stops. Why prolong the inevitable if you’re super duper old? Of course, I’m sure our treatment plans will be better by then. If they are and there’s a high success rate, then I’ll go for it. If not, I’ll upload a final blog post about the end of my era.

Adonis has some good qualities, but he was ultimately lacking as a character for me. Obviously, the romance played a large role in this. Aside from that, I just felt that he was a little unrealistic in how extreme he took his love for fighting. Ditching his super high paying job and mansion for a broken down apartment in a sketchy neighborhood so that he could fight a little? A love for fighting is great and I’m glad that he bet the car away since it showed some confidence, but he definitely did not need to quit his job. At least let them fire you if you show up with a lot of scrapes! Still, aside from the constant drama with Bianca, he was fine I suppose. In the next film, I hope they focus on his love for fighting and the drama can take a backseat.

Bianca is about on par with Adonis, I’m not really a fan of hers either. Obviously she’s just too easy and ignoring the romance plot, it was a little rude to have the noise so loud. A less charitable neighbor could have filed some big complaints and gotten her into a lot of trouble. I’m also wondering if her hearing loss is going to be a big plot point in future films. Hopefully not though. She’s supportive at least. Conrad was the main villain and while they try to make him seem like a nice guy at the end…he seems pretty sketchy. There’s a reason why he’s going to jail after all, but at least he got to have one last fight.

The ending of the film definitely isn’t very satisfying, but it’s how it goes I suppose. Even real boxing battles have anticlimactic endings like Floyd Money Mayweather and Manny. While I may not have been the biggest fan of this film, it was still a good one even if it sounded like there were more negatives than positive. The training scenes were a little more soulless than the original Rocky’s, but that’s because newer films can rarely grab that S rank soundtrack to help push things along. This one borrowed a tune or two, but for the most part it was definitely a step below in that regards. It was cool reliving the Rocky vs Creed fight on the big screen at the beginning of the movie of course and we even got an ESPN homage on the IPad. Those moments were definitely a blast and we also got to see that Rocky’s restaurant is still doing well.

Overall, If you enjoyed the Rocky films, then I think that you will like Creed. It’s essentially a modern take on the franchise and has a lot of good fights. More drama than you may have expected, but that’s how it goes. The main way that the sequel can improve upon this one is with a better main cast and that could easily be achieved by introducing the President of the USA…as a fighter. That would be a very ambitious plot, but it can maybe be done. Give us a likable President like in Airforce One and we’ve got ourselves a solid sequel!

Overall 6/10

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Animated Movie Reviews, Animated Movies, Reviews

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving Review

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It’s been a while since I saw the Charlie Brown Christmas special. As Thanksgiving is now upon us, it was the perfect time to see this one. I haven’t seen the new Charlie Brown film yet, but all in good time. There are certainly a lot of specials to catch up on as it is. This one’s naturally not as good as the legendary Christmas special, but it holds its own. At less than 30 minutes, the special is also over in the blink of an eye.

Charlie Brown is not looking forward to Thanksgiving as he can’t appreciate how great the holiday is. Many Americans have grown jaded about this day, but not me. I still have fun filling my stomach with food and snacks while watching some good Dallas Cowboy Football. He is going up to his grand parents for dinner, but then some friends decide to spend the day at his house for a meal. Charlie doesn’t have the courage needed to tell his “friends” that he won’t have time for their games so he’ll have to think of something and quick!

As per usual, Charlie Brown’s not a very likable character. It’s hard to root for the guy since he lets everyone kick him around the whole time. It’s hard to find a main character who’s weaker willed than Charlie when you think about it. These are supposed to be his friends after all so imagine how tough it will be for him to stand up to a bully. I doubt it would go all that well for him.

Snoopy is the best character as expected. He always knows what to do in a pinch and he has more talents than the rest of the characters combined. The shenanigans between him and the bird typically aren’t that funny though and Snoopy’s best scenes are when it’s just him. He’s always prepared and he even grabs a nice turkey to have for his supper since his ungrateful owners didn’t like the feast that he had made. Then they didn’t deserve the snacks and meat that he had gone out of his way to get right? It all makes sense when you think about it and you can’t deny that Snoopy steals the show here.

Linus is the voice of reason and the best human character in the film as expected. He always give Charlie wise advice and says the prayer for the feast when Charlie froze. This guy also plays the friendzone card when necessary and trust me, you always want to have that card on deck. The other characters are typically just around to bully good ole Charlie. They complained about his dinner and tricked him into taking a pretty mean spill. They could learn a thing or two about how friendship is like magic. When it’s real, then things end up going quite well.

The animation is solid as expected. It’s a very old TV special so it’s not like the colorful visuals are going to blow you away, but it’s nice to look at and the animation is very clear. I’m definitely satisfied with it. There’s no real soundtrack, but that’s to be expected since this film isn’t really about that. It’s just about watching Charlie Brown try to solve a problem and then have a nice Thanksgiving while Snoopy gets to really enjoy the holiday. The writing and voice acting are what typically makes the specials memorable.

One issue that keeps this special from being as good as the Christmas one is that there are too many fake romance plots scattered throughout the special. We don’t need those to be here as the film just needs heart and a fun plot. I would have liked to have seen the Red Baron here at some point since he always gives Snoopy a nice fight. You also end up feeling bad for the bird since he can’t fly yet or move very quickly so he usually gets one upped the whole time. The two animals are technically friends…but it’s a little iffy when you think about the kids who are supposed to be friends. These negatives aren’t that bad though and just barely help to keep the star off. Besides that, it just wasn’t quite good enough to give a solid 7.

Overall, This is a good little special to watch on Thanksgiving. Charlie Brown may not be the world’s best main character just yet, but he gives it his all. As mentioned earlier, this is about as long as your average cartoon episode so it flies by very quickly. Counting the credits and everything, it may be even shorter because this definitely felt like it was under 25-30 minutes. Now, you can get set for Black Friday and Slow Saturday as the holiday weekend continues. Next up, Christmas!!

Overall 6/10