The Hunchback of Notre Dame Review


The Hunchback of Notre Dame is definitely quite a bit darker than your average Disney film. Someone breaks their neck in the opening scene and from there it only gets darker. The movie does a good job of balancing this out though so it stays intense without going into super gritty territory. I wouldn’t say that it’s quite on the level of something like Frozen but this is a very good film. I thought it had one of the most memorable songs from the villain which definitely mixed in well with the flames everywhere. If you want a very atmospheric title then this is the one for you.

The movie starts with Claude going around murdering people as per usual. He manages to destroy a mother and goes for the child when a member of the Church shows up. He scares Claude into having the boy adopted instead. This boy would grow up to be known as Quasimodo. His body is quite deformed and so Claude has decided to hide him away in the church for all eternity. The Church doesn’t seem to have any qualms with this and Quasi was brainwashed as he was growing up to never leave the room. Still, he hopes to leave someday to experience life outside of the walls. One day he gets his chance and sneaks out. There he meets a dancer named Esmeralda and they become quick friends. Can Quasimodo keep this secret away from Claude? Additionally, Quasi may have to choose a side soon because Claude has decided to ramp up his efforts to murder all of the gypsies in the land.

The plot of having the villain trap and trick the hero is definitely a Disney classic. It wasn’t so long ago that I saw Tangled with a very similar premise. The idea is to manipulate the hero right away so that he just doesn’t know any better. I would argue that Claude is a little less obvious than the villain from Tangled but of course it would still be nice if Quasimodo has escaped earlier on to get into the spotlight. It doesn’t help that in his case the townsfolk probably will be pretty mean to him since they’re never happy to have someone who looks different. There’s a whole contest in the town about making fun of people. It’s not the nicest town so in some ways it’s not like Claude was totally lying about it, but of course we all know that his intent wasn’t exactly just. He knew exactly what he was doing the whole time.

As a main character Quasimodo’s not bad. He certainly means well and is a pretty nice guy. Things don’t always work out super well for him but he’s earnest. He does help Esmeralda when things get tough and at the end he’s pretty understanding. I wouldn’t call him one of the better characters, but he’s not bad. Then you have Esmeralda who is a pretty strong heroine. She does a good job of rebelling against Claude and making a mockery of his events. In some ways she’s a lot like Zorro as she uses her athletics to get the better of her opponents. The fact that she can actively fight is definitely very good and so she’s a standout character here.

Next up is Phoebus and he is a worthy counterpart to Esmeralda. He’s a soldier in the army who wants to do his best but gradually sees more and more how corrupt the whole thing is. Eventually he has enough of this. Once he turns away the guy never looks back and was definitely crucial in helping one of the families from a burning house. He does let his guard down at times but fights rather well. There are a few supporting characters like various gargoyles flying around but I wouldn’t say any of them were particularly entertaining. I understand why they’re around though as Quasimodo’s scenes may not have held up as well without them. He needs someone to talk to after all. I’d also say I was less than impressed with the main priest. He talks tough but ultimately doesn’t really stand against Claude.

As the main villain Claude’s definitely not one of the better ones. He reminds me a whole lot of Jafar. He’s more interested in scoring the main villain than in something more ambitious like taking over the country. He already has great influence within the town even though he doesn’t like the people. He just wants to eliminate the Gypsies at all costs even though he can’t decipher his own feelings. It’s part of what makes the Hellfire song pretty intense though. The villain songs tend to be quite memorable and this one is no different. It has some of the best background visuals I’ve seen in a song since Aladdin and there’s always something going on. So while I can’t take Claude seriously as a villain, at least he has that going for him.

In general the animation is quite striking and is easily one of the best looking Disney films. I dare say it even looks better than some of the ones that would come afterwards like Frozen, Big Hero 6, or Tangled. The colors are very sharp and all of the movement is on point. It may even be the best looking Disney animated film when I think about it. The songs from the Gargoyles don’t really rank but the villain song alone puts the soundtrack on the map as well. The writing is on point and so the film succeeded in all of the key areas. As I mentioned, the film doesn’t hold back on being quite serious as well. I was not expecting the opening scene to be quite so sinister and it sets up some tension right away as Claude is willing to do whatever it takes to win.

There is some romance in the film which I admit was not handled all that well but I was glad there was no drama with Quasimodo. He is satisfied being a good friend which is important. For Esmeralda and Phoebus, they only just met so the whole thing seems rather rushed. I think you could have axed that plot and it wouldn’t have really hurt the film at all. You could use the extra scenes to maybe show the Priest actually fighting back against Claude. That would have looked really good for him at least.

Overall, The Hunchback of Note Dame is a solid film. The movie feels very high quality throughout and the pacing is quick. The movie definitely goes all in on making Quasimodo deformed to the point where he may be a little harder to look at compared to other main characters but does underscore that he’s a good guy. The narrative irony being that the main townsfolk are the real monsters here as they eagerly go about trying to put others beneath them. The town seems very mean spirited in general so it’s good that there are some heroes around. Phoebus and Esmeralda will likely go about making the town a whole lot more hospitable in the future. It’ll be interesting to see what happens in the sequel since by now things should be looking up. I suppose there are probably still enough corrupt people running around to keep on messing things up though. It’s hard to change the whole place in a day.

Overall 7/10

The Green Slime Review


Now this is a pretty amazing film title right off the bat. Who doesn’t want to watch a film that sounds like it’s about a ton of slime? This is a gold mine and the best part is that we all know it. You can’t get around the fact that this just sounds incredibly hype. The Green Slime is not to be trifled with and it’s got a fairly decent monster design. It honestly looks more like a minion then the big bad for most of the film but I can respect it. It’s also got enough special abilities to make it a little more impressive than the average monster. Classic lasers won’t be enough to stop this guy.

So we’ve got another mission into outer space. The team is going to be led by expert astronaut Jack. The difficult part is that Vince wants to come as well because he’s always had an inferiority complex around Jack. This is for many reasons. Jack’s always been known as the best guy in town and he also used to date Lisa who is now with Vince. Vince may have become commander of the space station while Jack has been promoted to other duties but he can’t escape the man’s shadow. Perhaps if they both go on a space mission together Vince can prove that he’s better than Jack. Well, the mission goes decently well but they are forced to head home pretty quickly after some complications. The issue is that they brought the slime back with them and it turned out to be a semi sentient monster bent on eating all the electricity it can find. It absorbs energy like a sponge. Is there any way to take this guy down?

A good portion of the film is the rivalry between Jack and Vince so how much you enjoy the film will depend on how much you like that aspect. It’s pretty fun although I consider it to be incredibly one sided. For starters, Jack is actually a great astronaut. He’s not all talk and consistently makes better decisions than Vince during the film. Jack is all about following orders and doing things by the book while Vince wings it. He also never puts people in danger for no reason. Vince intentionally makes a risky decision just to mess with Jack and it ends up costing some lives. Vince knew it was the wrong decision but did it to spite Jack. That’s when I knew that he had absolutely no chance here.

Jack’s no saint though. While he and Lisa are over and done with he tries to reclaim her after arriving back on the spaceship. He knows that she is with Vince and does this anyway. Not very sporting of him. The guy’s massive confidence works against him in this instance. He’s a solid lead but that’s one part of the plot where you just can’t root for him. He’s made it clear time and time again that the job is most important to him so you can’t really get around that fact. Meanwhile I don’t care for Vince because of his lack of confidence and how he keeps messing everything up. Lisa’s a solid heroine although I think she could take a harder stance against Jack. As long as she maintains control of the conversation she can keep him at bay and that would be the best way to go about things if you ask me.

Still, while they may not be super likable as characters, it makes for a lot of fun scenes. I’ll tell you right now that the characters are a lot more memorable then you may expect for an ole sci-fi film like this. You aren’t likely to forget about them anytime soon. How about the monster? Well, he’s pretty much mindless if you ask me but he does land some good shots. Usually that’s because the heroes move very slow but he still gets his wins so I have to acknowledge that much. He has a Swamp Thing type design while in human form. Mix in the regeneration and accelerated growth and I maintain the stance that he is a little stronger than your average monster from this era. I’d like to see more of a wide scale invasion but the idea of having to deal with a monster while you’re isolated in space is a strong one. Who knows, maybe Alien got the idea from this film. I wouldn’t be too surprised.

As expected the writing here is definitely on point. The dialogue is pretty sharp and all of the characters try to sound very eloquent even when disagreeing with each other. The pacing is solid and the movie is just very enjoyable. I do question how the slime got past the sensors when Jack even insisted that they all get scanned twice. I think they need to invest in some new ones and quickly or this won’t be the last invasion that they have to fend off. The effects have aged pretty well and so this film has really executed on all points. There are a lot of ways you could do a sequel to this one even if by now the odds of a sequel are fairly slim.

Overall, The Green Slime is definitely a movie that I recommend watching. If you like the Sci-Fi genre or just want a tense film about dealing with a creature then this is the one for you. It’s got action to keep you entertained and a pretty good monster to work as an opponent. What he lacks in character he makes up for with pure ability. When you think of a Sci-Fi film you think of an adventure in outer space with an alien. This one really captures all of that and it’s part of what makes the film so good. It really embraces the Sci-Fi genre and I wouldn’t have it any other way. The body count does get a bit high though so you’ll definitely feel bad for the crew as the movie goes on.

Overall 7/10

Hand of Death Review


Sometimes when you turn a film on you know right away that things are going to get pretty deadly. The title itself can be a pretty good indicator of that after all. Well, this film’s definitely pretty solid and you’ll be glad to have checked it out. It can be a bit by the books at times of course, but at the end of the day it’s all executed well. The film’s pretty short though so it really breezes by. You really feel like they don’t make 1 hour movies like this anymore. Granted, I always think a movie should be as long as possible since it makes the experience even better but if you know ahead of time that the plot won’t hold then going short makes sense.

The movie starts with a driver noticing that something’s not right as there are a few sheep fast asleep inside of private property. He rushes inside and is promptly knocked out. When he wakes up a scientist named Alex lets the guy know that they’re running some secret experiments so he better not tell anyone. Alex is glad this happened though because it proves that the serum is safe on humans. He rushes home and explains to Ramsey that he has built the ultimate weapon for war. You can spray a whole country with this gas which will immobilizze them and also make them susceptible to hypnosis and all kinds of commands. Ramsey lets Alex know that their lab isn’t for war but Alex wants to proceed and Ramsey allows it. Alex is rather clumsy though and splashes himself with the mixture. He has now become a walking monster of death. Anyone he touches will surely perish. Alex threatens Ramsey that a cure must be made and soon or he’ll start murdering people. Can Ramsey make the cure in time or is the town already doomed?

One thing that was a bit surprising is how crazy Alex was. At first you expect that he’ll be your standard hero but the movie doesn’t really play out that way. Now, you can make the case that the mixture turned him crazy and he was actually a good guy otherwise. I have my doubts but it’s certainly a valid argument. The guy just dials it up to 11 though as he instantly threatens Ramsey and isn’t very reasonable about anything. I felt bad for the old guy because Ramsey did warn Alex that this was a risky endeavor. It’s hard to sympathize with Alex as much as you could have since he actively goes around murdering people. If it felt like he was a little more hesitant then that would help but I just did not get that vibe from him.

This does play into the interesting dynamic between him, Carol, and Tom. Technically Alex is with Carol but Tom seems to like her and she decides to mess with Alex to get him jealous. Mix that in with the fact that Alex is never around while Carol and Tom have to work together all the time and the whole thing already seemed dicey. It definitely put in some warning bells for Alex because the film had to do something to have one of them win. I think we know how that went now. Carol’s a reasonable character but I wouldn’t say she handles the situations all that well. She tends to panic quite a lot although at least she wasn’t really the fainting type. Then you have Tom who is pretty confident the whole time. I do feel like his sudden lunge at the end was all to bait Alex into charging to get shot. Maybe I’m reading too much into it but it seemed like it was all part of an elaborate plan.

Ramsey was the best character. It’s just a shame that there’s not a whole lot that he can do. The guy can’t really walk all that well as it is. His final scene was a bit odd though because it made no sense. It’s like he lunged at Alex which I’m sure was not the intention but it certainly came across that way. At least you hope that wasn’t what he was trying to do because it wouldn’t really make any sense. As the film goes on there is a pretty decent body count stockpiling up. Most of the characters were just trying to have a good day so it certainly didn’t work out for them.

The design for the monster isn’t bad but he definitely doesn’t look too intimidating. I’d say it’s sort of like a cross between the Thing and Swamp Thing. The fact that Alex can’t really talk all that well in this form doesn’t help matters for him. As expected the writing is pretty solid here. The characters are on point and it makes the whole experience pretty interesting. As I mentioned the film is pretty short so the pacing is also very fast. We even got to have the detectives and cops show up near the end which is always fun. Having the government get involved tends to bring any monster film to the next level and they looked pretty good here. They were definitely ready to deal with Alex and his super powers.

Overall, Hand of Death is a very accurate title. A single touch from this guy and that’s game over almost instantly. It’s a very lethal ability to the point where it could be very lethal in war as well. Of course you have to get close enough to touch someone so if you’re shot then I suppose this won’t be doing you a whole lot of good anyway. It’s a very basic movie with a small cast and a direct plot but I wouldn’t say that it has any weaknesses either. The fundamentals are very sound and that’s really all that you need. These retro horror films tend to be some of the best in the genre. They just don’t make them like they used to.

Overall 7/10

Night of the Lepus Review


The instant you know what the plot of this film is you know that you haven’t exactly picked out a winner. Evil rabbits? Yeah I don’t see any way that could work out well for any of the parties involved. It’s a quick recipe for massive animal violence on all sides and the film doesn’t disappoint there. It’s pretty unique so I’ll give the film that. You don’t see a whole lot of movies about evil rabbits, it just isn’t done and I guess now we’ll see why. The main thing to remember here is that if you’re being chased by evil rabbits just calmly stay in your car and drive forward. One character did try this but unfortunately a ditch got in the way. Nothing much you can do in that case I suppose.

The film opens with a farm being completely overrun by Rabbits. While this may not sound like a huge issue it does upset the balance. The rabbits are eating all of the crops and wildlife so nothing can grow. One farmer suggests using poison but the ranchers are against this. If they do that then nothing will grow here for a long time so they will have effectively doomed themselves. The other farmers are worried since the rabbits will keep on spreading. Well, Roy and Gerry are called in to put a stop to this. Roy thinks of a solution which is to stop the rabbits from breeding but it doesn’t work and then his daughter decides to mess with the experiment. She frees one of the contaminated Rabbits and it quickly runs over to meet up with the rest. Now the heroes are dealing with an army of angry Rabbits who are not only larger than the average animals but also more vicious. Now it’s the Rabbits ensnaring the humans all around them. Will there be any escape from this menace?

I do have to mention right away that I was surprised at how Amanda (the daughter) never owns up to the fact that she is directly responsible for so many deaths. Nobody ever finds out that she is the one who let the Rabbit out and she doesn’t feel guilty about it either. She never apologizes about it and you’d be forgiven for forgetting that it was even a plot point. If not for her meddling then this film wouldn’t have lasted so long presumably. Of course she didn’t know any better but it’s why the kid characters tend to hold everyone back. Without her the farmers may not have been in great shape but they would have lived to tell their tale.

As for the actual main characters, Roy and Gerry are okay. I wouldn’t call them particularly memorable but they do their jobs of researching this predicament and trying to come up with a solution. Ultimately they basically fail but I suppose it was a worthy attempt. There’s just not much to say about them. They’re just reasonable people but don’t have much character beyond that although you could say the same for most of the characters here. Take the Sheriff. He’s a good character, a solid leader who does his best to end the threat. You really can’t say much about him beyond that though and that’s the underlining issue with some of these characters. I did like the train conductor though. At least that guy had a presence with how he could barely even be bothered to get up and help with a Rabbit army on the way. He clearly couldn’t care less about most of this.

The film’s final plan of having a bunch of cars turn on the lights and get in a row was interesting but I wonder how effective that would really be. It’s good the people didn’t panic. I was shocked at just how eager they were to get in and help. You certainly wouldn’t expect to see that nowadays. There’d be panic and people running every which way instead of just following the orders. The Rabbits did their best to disperse but ultimately it’s not like they’re bullet proof so when up against the whole army they were doomed.

We don’t get to see the Rabbits during the day much at all but design wise they’re effectively just a lot bigger and have sharper claws. Beyond that they’re effectively normal Rabbits. I wouldn’t have minded adding on spikes or something to make them look extra dangerous. It’s not like it would save the film though. It almost goes without saying but I still need to say it. What holds this film back a whole lot is the fact that there is a lot of animal violence. The heroes shoot the rabbits, stab them, etc. Of course it’s every man for himself in this film but even so you never want to see the Rabbits get injured. It’s the reason why making a film with the Rabbits being super evil is basically impossible. Either you win without injuring any of them in which case the film would likely get a lot of shots for not having any tension or you do fight back against the Rabbits and get yourself in a whole mess. Either way it doesn’t exactly bode well for the movie.

You’ll also feel bad for some of the characters who get bumped off. For example there’s a nice old lady just minding her business at the store. The instant she is introduced you know that she is doomed and minutes later her fate is sealed. Her character only existed to get bumped off and everyone watching the film knows this. The sad part is she would have possibly lived if she had made the wrong choice and not pestered the Sheriff to go and see if anything was wrong. So effectively she got punished for doing the right thing. It’s a pretty sad moment for her character to be sure.

You’d expect a horror movie like this to have a big twist ending but it’s pretty low key. Basically it sort of hints at a sequel as you can assume that the one left has powers so it should start to spread them again. It may take a little while though and it’s just not as spooky as it could have been. How I would have ended the film would be to have the characters drive home only to have the trunk pop open and a giant Rabbit jumps out. It then slowly walks towards the leads as the music swells up and then lunges at them along with a gunshot sound and then fade to black. Now that’s how you get a suspenseful end scene. Perhaps a bit cliche, but effective nonetheless.

Overall, Night of the Lepus is a pretty bad film. It’s not very surprising though. That’s what you get when you have evil rabbits running around. None of the characters are particularly memorable. If anything they can be annoying. Amanda put everyone’s safety at risk and her friend was willing to keep the secret. He didn’t put the pieces together but forcing her to ditch her pet was a pretty bad first impression. The heroes are just lucky that the townsfolk were so cooperative this time. It’s rare that you see everyone band together to fight such a common foe without any real resistance. If you want to check out a horror film then I definitely advise skipping this one.

Overall 1/10

Invisible Ghost Review


It’s time to look at a retro horror film from quite a while back. The title right away tells you that this is gonna be pretty good though. How can you go wrong with a ghost who can’t be seen? If you could see the ghost then I’d wager that it wouldn’t be nearly as spooky. That’s just me of course, but I think the logic of it is quite sound when you really think about it. The plot is nothing like what I expected but makes for a quality adventure nonetheless.

The movie starts off by introducing us to the rich Charles and his daughter Virginia. Tragedy struck this manor one day as Charles’ wife ran off with another man and died in a car wreck. He now has an annual dinner with her ghost but otherwise leads a normal life. There is one odd thing about the house he lives in though. A maid/butler tends to die every so often in this place. Over the years there have been a ton of deaths here but the cops are never able to figure out why people keep getting murdered. They’ve advised Charles to leave the house but he refuses since it means a lot to him since it’s where his wife used to live. Well, I suppose the cops can’t force him to leave. Still, the murders continue to strike at an alarming rate. Paul shows up to end this after his brother was framed for the murders and hanged. Can he really get to the bottom of this?

This is a very old school horror. You know who the guilty party is fairly early on so the tension is seeing if the cops can figure it out. It makes for a lot of entertaining scenes though since the villain is quite smug the whole time. Of course, whether or not he actually knows what he is doing may be slightly debatable due to the ending. Personally I would say he was aware. See, my theory is that he realized that the scales had to be balanced. Each visit required another sacrifice to keep the ritual going. It was all in a rather crazy set of circumstances and you’d have to stretch logic a whole lot for this to make sense but it’s not like he was a very balanced individual to start with.

The writing is very well done here. There’s quite a good amount of humor to be found here although the movie is still serious by nature. Characters just have a lot of fun with the facial expressions and quick jabs here and there. Evans for example was a very solid character. He took everything in stride and tried not to get involved in people’s affairs. Of course he still can’t help but notice all of the people getting bumped off and starts to keep his eye on everyone around. Evans doesn’t let his guard down the way that the others do. He even starts the day whistling as he tries to focus on his work. He’s rarely allowed to as things keep on happening in the manor but he does his best. He certainly steals the show.

Otherwise Charles is very solid as you would expect as well and would be another contender for the top spot. His accent is definitely iconic at this point and he has a way with words. Nothing phases Charles in the slightest and he always does what he can to help. Charles is to first one to start with the pleasantries and he always acts with a lot of empathy towards everyone. The guy appears to be as nice as can be on the outside and does his best to cope. Then you have Virginia who has a pretty rough time of it in this film. She has a fiance but things don’t go very well for him and otherwise her role isn’t huge here. She’s a fun character either way though.

As for Paul, I liked the guy’s confidence. He’s the kind of character you always gotta bring into the mix because you know that he’ll shake things up. He acts like a detective and does more sleuthing than the actual investigators. He quickly goes to find some hair and even thinks of bringing in the psychiatrist. I can’t say that the guy was of much help, but at least he was trying a lot of things. It’s hard to say if the cops were trying much of anything here. I suppose as the murders kept on going with no end in sight there came a point where they just threw in the towel. It’s pretty unfortunate when you think about it but that just seems to be how it went down.

There aren’t any supernatural elements to be found in this film but even without a ghost the film is able to keep your attention. That’s due in large part to how good the film’s writing and pacing were. There’s not much more to be said about the film though due to how direct it is. At the end of the day I didn’t really have any issues with the film. It accomplishes in what it sets out to do. There may not be any ambitious story behind the film or anything like that but sometimes you just need to nail down the fundamentals and the rest will follow. This is one of those cases.

Overall, Invisible Ghost is a very old school horror film with a rather basic plot. Someone is murdering a bunch of people and so we have to expose the culprit. You don’t really see stories quite like this nowadays as everything usually has big twists or a much larger plot. Still, you just can’t beat the basic bread and butters of the genre. I would recommend checking this one out whenever you have a chance. The movie has aged exceptionally well and is just a lot of fun. It can be pretty serious and there is a body count but the film sprinkles in just enough humor to give it that nice balance as you eagerly awaits what happens next.

Overall 7/10

Sinister Review

This review is of the edited TV-14 version of the film. All thoughts below should be addressed as such as a review of the unedited version would be more negative

It’s time to look at a horror film that actually isn’t too old. I suppose the time is relative though, at this point maybe someone would consider 2012 to be forever ago. Sinister is definitely a pretty terrible horror film that plays out like you would expect. It’s certainly pretty grim and gets pretty dark right from the jump. It never really gets better from there but no worries, you do have your classic horror type ending here. That’s definitely a staple and Sinister made sure to abide by it so even if I wouldn’t give the movie a thumbs up, it does respect the traditions.

The movie starts with Edison and his family moving over to a new house. Edison writes books about grisly murders which were never solved. He figures that this will help bring justice to the victims who need it. After all, they died before they could do everything they wanted to do so at least now he could help put the villain away for good. This case looks like it’ll be a lot more difficult to crack than his last few though. The murders have some very occult elements to them and there really might be something supernatural in the works here. One thing’s for sure, Edison can’t lower his guard here if he wants to leave the place alive.

Well, Edison does everything he can to make sure you can’t root for him all that much. He literally takes out the beer bottles and starts drinking as soon as the first tape is in. He makes sure to mention quite a lot that he isn’t an alchoholic or anything like that but his actions don’t always match up. Edison also never seems to really follow what he is saying. For example, he says that writing books isn’t about the money or the fame and that he wants justice. Yet, all he can think of are the possible TV deals and such when discussing the book. He is actually quite obsessed with being famous to the point where it seems to matter more to him than the justice part.

He also lies to his wife right away when saying that their house isn’t related to the murderer’s one. Now, he words his response in a way where he later tries to say that it wasn’t a lie, but that’s a technicality at best. He knew exactly what she was asking and said the opposite anyway. Edison’s made life rather difficult for the rest of his family. His son suffers from night terrors which have gotten worse ever since they moved, his daughter had to part with all of her friends, and his wife is certainly not well liked by the neighbors thanks to all of the murders going around. It’s just not a pleasant environment. It’s one that Edison is certainly okay with but now that he has a family he has to include them in his considerations as well.

Edison also makes a lot of typical horror protagonist mistakes. For starters, while he doesn’t believe in the supernatural, he’s given a lot of opportunities to figure things out and escape. The kids start learning things they couldn’t possibly know, names they shouldn’t recognize, and his projector keeps turning on by itself at night. Shouldn’t this be enough for him to let the family know that something is up? “Best” case scenario is that someone just keeps breaking into the house and worst case is that the demons are around. Either way this is something that he needs to explain at least to his wife so that they will be ready. By not telling them anything then they’re just going to go down like all the rest.

The villain himself doesn’t really appear much. Based on what we learn from the lore and what not it’s basically a demon with quite a lot of power. While it isn’t able to possess adults very easily it can do so with a little practice. Beyond that it has the usual reality warping skills and slight of hand. Not the most imaginative villain out there but I will give him props for the costume. At the very least that one looks pretty decent whenever we actually get to see it appear which isn’t very often.

The Deputy was pretty neat though. He kept it 100 with Edison and was always trying his best to help. Edison might have actually had a shot to last longer if he had just listened to the guy instead of hitting ignore on his phone the whole time. Again, Edison really helped to wrap himself in all the trouble he caused. If he had listened to his wife earlier then nothing would have happened. Additionally once the supernatural stuff started to happen he should have clued everyone in. This is really just a case of Edison ignoring all of the signs until it was too late.

The whole gimmick of having to watch the tapes each time doesn’t do the film any favors either. Each tape is about a family getting bumped off in pretty violent ways. Whether it is by drowning or burning, they never quite survive. There’s no way they could have since the whole point is that the villain has been bumping everyone off for a long while now. In a way that makes the tapes worse since you know that they’re all doomed from the start so it’s not like watching them will change anything. Additionally, expect to see each tape several times as they cut to flashbacks quite often. You’ll know each of the tapes quite well by the climax because of that. With the kids dying in those tapes as well they’re definitely no good. There are a bunch of different jump scares in the film though so we’ll see if any of them land for you. I’ll say this at least, I was expecting the dog to die so when he didn’t I was happy about that. It sort of cancelled out though as a dog died in one of the videos…so there goes that. For every step the film took forward it took about 5 back.

Overall, Sinister is one of those films that’s pretty mean spirited and doesn’t really add anything to the cinematic world. Edison does the genre leads proud with how he misses every clue though. He is determined to crack this case and seems to think that he is tough enough to survive all of the scares. That is clearly not the case but I guess I’ll give him some points for bravery…or I would if he didn’t lose them all by running to the beer bottle and lying about it. This is the kind of movie where he probably would have been doomed either way but at least Edison could have given the others a chance. I also think it’s worth pointing out that the Deputy was able to notice things that the lead did not despite working on this case for a much shorter period of time. The Sheriff claimed that Edison was washed up and maybe he was right.

Overall 0/10

The Vampire Bat Review


It’s time to look at a really old film about Vampires. This one definitely goes pretty bold with the premise of this vampire attacking while the main detective doesn’t believe in it. It’s always fun to see a lead who is super skeptical like this because it makes for a nice contrast to the rest of the townsfolk who have completely jumped head over heels for this superstition. They basically become hysterical in the very first scene. The movie may be short but I feel like it still captured a lot and was a pretty fun experience. It’s a good example of why you always gotta keep your guard up.

So as I mentioned the movie starts with the town telling Karl about the vampires running around. The reason why they believe that the vampire is running around bumping people off is because each of the victims have the classic 2 fangs mark on their neck. The villagers point out that only a vampire leaves this kind of mark, not to mention that all of the victims have been completely drained of their blood. Karl dismisses this theory and runs off. Unfortunately the bodies continue to pile up. There is currently only one suspect, a suspicious guy named Glieb who is completely obsessed with bats. Is this too obvious? The town is ready to condemn him but Karl doesn’t want to be too hasty. After all, a man’s life is at stake here.

A good chunk of the film is really about balancing the mystery angle of the movie along with watching people get bumped off one by one. There’s a decent body count here. As always it can be sad to see some of the heroes go down because they were handling things as best they could. Unfortunately it’s just hard for everyone to be able to walk away here. The villain is pretty tough after all. I won’t say if the villain actually turned out to be a vampire or not but I will say that the ending at least hints that something slightly supernatural was going on. That or someone had a very big change of heart which could be possible but I like to think that this was not something quite so explainable. The climax itself could be a little suspect at times though with how someone turned the tables.

Karl is definitely a solid lead. He really does a good job of not panicking like the others. Karl likes to look at things step by step until he gets to the right answer. It’s a slow but methodical approach that really helps him in not making any real mistakes. He may not have a ton of character but Karl has enough charisma to hold the film. He has a very solid scene at the end which really helped him as well. The heroine Ruth isn’t bad. She’s certainly a lot braver than Gussie who kept on fainting as the film went on. Ruth made sure to hold her own with the characters even if she didn’t really go to the front lines much. There’s just not a whole lot to say about her as a result.

Then you’ve got Dr. Otto who is here to try and make sure that justice is serves. He isn’t quite as dismissive of the supernatural element as Karl but still thinks it’s something practical as well. It’s always good to have a Doctor on board since things can get out of hand with how many people keep dying here. I do think his idea to keep the windows open doesn’t make a lot of sense when there is a murderer running around though. Seems like it’s better to just endure the stuffy air in that circumstance. Better than being bit right?

Then we have Glieb who is the big suspect. The guy doesn’t make things easy on himself. He always looks really suspicious and knows about the vampire rumors but still makes sure to run around playing with bats. He doesn’t have a whole lot of awareness here and going to each of the murder scenes wasn’t really a good look. The guy’s also not that subtle with how he was trying to steal the fruits away from the table. The worst part is that Gussie would have given him some so why try to steal them the whole time? I definitely wasn’t a fan of this guy but I suppose you always need the “obvious” suspect to keep us guessing.

The movie really flies by so all of the plot elements occur pretty seamlessly. There isn’t a whole lot of action as the final scene is the only real battle moment. Still, the mystery keeps you engaged. It’s a very simple story but one that is executed well so it all works out. The writing is on point and it doesn’t go for any real shock value type moments. It’s all just about the atmosphere and watching Karl try to piece things together while being ridiculed and distracted by Gussie. She certainly wasn’t making things easy on him.

Overall, The Vampire Bat is a pretty solid film. I suppose it’s probably one of the first big vampire type films since 1933 was so long ago. It definitely beats most vampire movies that I’ve seen. Of course it’s going for a pretty different feel than something like Dracula but I dare say that it nails this approach quite well so maybe more films should be like this. Mystery is a good genre that works well with most so it comes as no surprise that it would pair well with vampires as well. Right from the start you have to decide if you’re on Karl’s team or not and that will affect how you view the rest of the film. The important takeaway from the film is naturally that you should always lock the doors and definitely do not under any circumstances leave the windows open while a mass murderer is at large. Do those things correctly and you reduce the chance of being murdered. That or get a guard dog, the dog did very well in this movie. It only appeared for a scene but definitely took charge.

Overall 7/10

The Book of Eli Review

This review is of the edited TV-14 version of the film. All thoughts below should be addressed as such as a review of the unedited version would be more negative.

It’s time to look at a pretty depressing kind of film from a while back. The Book of Eli is definitely not the kind of film where you can expect the characters to have a good time. The problem is that you won’t either. Between the level of grit and Mad Max vibes the movie gives off from the start this film ends up being pretty terrible very quickly. Literally the first scene of the film involves animal violence and from there you know that things are not going to get much better. Films have a way of tipping their hand early if you know what to look for like the recent Transformers film. As long as you pick up on the key points you won’t be surprised.

So once that scene is over and done with we see Eli get jumped by a bunch of bandits. He murders all of them except for the leader. He is carrying a package and heading somewhere but refuses to let anyone see what is in the package or for anyone to know where he is going. The whole thing has to be done in utmost secrecy after all. The problem is that the world is pretty much ruined and everyone out there is only looking out for himself. There’s one town in particular that has gone really over the edge and it’s ruled by a man named Carnegie. This guy aims to steal a certain book for himself so that he can really establish a chokehold over the world. The problem is that his men can’t read so they can only grab as many books as possible until they find the right one. When Eli shows up Carnegie figures he may have finally found his man. Eli will have to try and escape along with a girl named Solara whose life was going to be in danger in the city anyway so she figured she may as well tag along. Now the journey begins.

The Book of Eli is just a very gritty film all the way through. The animal violence is just the tip of the iceberg although on its own that would still be a very big problem. It’s not like you can just bypass that. You need to already have a lot of good will such as being a 9 star film so you can survive the drop or be a long running show where you build up your points again. For a film like this you need all the stars you can get so it really doesn’t help. Animals definitely don’t survive Eli’s expedition and it’s a true shame.

Eli is a good main character at the end of the film. He learned from his mistakes and how he lost sight of everything along the way. It’s reeeeeally tough to overlook his shaky beginning though. The scene where he lets a lady be dragged off for a fate worse than death and doesn’t life a finger to help is terrible. That’s the kind of action that you can barely even call a mistake because it’s so bad. At that point his safety was worth more than anyone else’s. The worst part is that it probably wouldn’t have even been all that dangerous for him. He is shown to be a very good fighter right off the bat so I’m sure he could have won.

Those are the kinds of dark themes this film thrives on though. Bad things are always happening to the characters and there just isn’t much that they can or want to even do about it. They’re doomed and they know it which just makes the trip worse for them. The town is completely corrupt either way so there is no more hope. Eli wants to bring hope back as his delivery is the only thing that can do it but he sure takes a while to get there. Then you got cannibals to worry about and things like that.

Solara is the main heroine here and she’s not bad I guess. She’s doing her best to survive at this point. You’d think she’d be a little more grateful for Eli telling her to stay back but allowing her to keep a cover story rather than trying to rummage through his things the whole time. She tries to look at the package more than once and you’d think she would have more restraint given the circumstances. I don’t blame her for falling for Eli’s trap at the water boulder though because who’d have thought that the main character would leave her for dead like that.

Make no mistake, if she didn’t escape she would have been dead. Once the villains made it to the cave to get their next batch of water she would not have had a chance. Finally we have the main villain Carnegie who is definitely not impressive. He spends the climax whining and groveling which is definitely not something you really want to see your main villain doing. I mean c’mon now, he has to hold himself with more dignity. He basically squanders his entire empire and there is no coming back from that. He definitely didn’t plan things out very well.

Okay time for the spoilers parts of the film so skip these next 3 paragraphs because they all involve the climax of the film. Technically the film reveals what the package is rather early on but it’s done with some subtlety at first until it becomes completely obvious. You should still pick up on it fairly early on when the main character is in town though. So Eli is traveling with a Bible. We find out that the world has gone to ruin and is basically a Hell on Earth now because the Bible’s have all been burned. Society changed massively after some kind of cataclysmic event and rulers were quick to assume power with bombs. I believe the cataclysmic event was that World War III occurred but I’m not exactly sure if they officially name it. Either way you do get the gist of it though. Everything is blown to smithereens and we don’t have technology anymore for the most part.

So Eli is delivering the Bible somewhere based on a vision God have him. He doesn’t know where the destination is so he just has to keep walking in that direction until he reaches the end. We also find out that Eli is blind so the fact that he is able to fight and maneuver so well is due to God aiding him on the journey the entire way. It was really good to see the Christian themes present themselves here and in such a positive light. I’ll at least give the film credit here because it’s such a rare sight. Especially nowadays you are unlikely to see films acknowledge God in a serious manner.

This does raise further questions on how Eli fell so far from the path but I already spoke on that quite a bit so there’s no need to keep on going there. The film acknowledges the power of the Bible as well as the fact that whenever you read it you will always find something new to learn. It’s why it is easy to see how Eli could keep reading it over and over again because it is the only book in existence that never really has to end. Memorizing it would certainly be quite the feat and impossible without God’s miracle here.

Overall, The Book of Eli is a terrible film that at least has a great twist at the end. It’s not enough where it can save the film because everything else is so poor but at least it looks like the movie was trying to go for a good message at the end. The execution wasn’t quite up to the level it needed to be but I appreciated the attempt. You can definitely make a good movie out of this story, but you just need to tone down how corrupt this world is or at least what we see on screen and get implied. There are many ways to get across that this is a terrible world with no more hope without being so direct. If you handle that well then the rest will follow. So instead of watching this film I’d recommend you check out Yugioh Bonds Beyond Time instead as a film that is also about bringing hope back to a world that is about to lose its future.

Overall 1/10

Krull Review


It’s time to look at a classic Sci-Fi film from a while back. This one is definitely going for that classic Lord of the Rings feel with a bit of Star Wars thrown in. That said, aside from the energy blasts and a quick scene at the beginning it’s harder to see that. LOTR is first and foremost the angle this one is going for. I wouldn’t say it did a poor job. It destroys the Lord of the Rings with ease of course. The film may be a tad slow at times but it’s an adventure that will keep your interest and the climax makes for some good action scenes.

The film starts by introducing us to the Slayers. A group of monsters that have taken over many planets over the years. There is seemingly no way to stop them and so they have quickly become one of the driving forces of the universe. They are led by the Beast. On one planet two kingdoms decide to unite so that they will be ready. Princess Lyssa marries Prince Colwyn so they can usher in a new era. Unfortunately the Slayers couldn’t care less so they break in and kidnap Lyssa anyway. Both kingdoms were burned to the ground and just about everyone was murdered. Colwyn swears to find Lyssa. Fortunately an old man named Ynyr agrees to help him. The two will find more allies along the way and Colwyn is given an ancient weapon to use to slay the Beast. Will this be enough to turn the odds?

It’s interesting that for the magical weapon they went for more of a Shruiken Star/Chakram disc as opposed to a sword. It’s certainly more original so I’ll give the film props there. It’s also just a handy weapon in general since you can throw it and then it will return to you like a boomerang. You can’t go wrong there right? He’s told not to use it until the end of the film though so you don’t get to see it in action for very long. It does look good at the end although I got nervous when it was stuck on the villain. That would have been rather anticlimactic but it’s just that Colwyn couldn’t draw out its full power.

The scenery and effects are fairly good. The forest and deserts here aren’t exactly my ideal setting but the film did a solid job with what it had. There was definitely a good amount of effort behind this one and that’s the important thing. The fight scenes are pretty solid and I like the energy blasts. The kingdom’s soldiers had solid armor but they all looked terrible so I guess it was just for show. The villains turning into mini xenomorphs when their masks break was definitely disturbing. It makes you wonder exactly how they are able to operate the larger bodies. Must be high tech. It can make for a bit of a violent look at times but that’s mainly just the color of the creatures themselves.

As a lead Colwyn is pretty good I’d say. For starters he easily resisted the charms of an enemy agent. Even entertaining the notion would have been a death cry to his character since the entire point of this journey is to arrive and save Lyssa. Messing that up would have had me shaking my head to be sure. You just can’t make that kind of mistake and he didn’t. Colwyn turned out to be a solid leader and he was resolute in his quest. He may not stand out a whole lot as someone you’ll think about in the future but he did everything he needed to do.

Then we have Lyssa. She certainly wasn’t very intimidated by the Beast with how she kept talking back to him so she gets points there. She doesn’t get a whole lot to do here as part of the fact that she is captured for most of the film. It’s regrettable but expected. If we ever get a sequel hopefully she could fight more. The Beast himself is definitely a lot like Sauron with the huge eye. I can’t say I was a fan. His whole goal is basically to marry Lyssa aside from ruling the universe. Why? It’s a goal that just seems pretty much out of the blue and it’s always hard for me to get on board with a villain like that. A villain’s motivation is a huge indicator of if I will like the character and this didn’t work out.

Then we have some supporting characters like the shape shifter Ergo. He’s a fun enough character. He’s going for Usopp vibes where he talks a really good game but at the end of the day he is scared of just about everything and isn’t all that strong. By the end he has his big moments of course but we’ll see if you can take it seriously by then. Then there’s Rell who is a peaceful Cyclops. I wasn’t a big fan of his character. He doesn’t really add much to the story beyond having another ally at the ready.

What fantasy epic would be complete without the old man who serves as a mentor to the lead right? Ynyr is here to provide guidance and even gets his own subplot where he has to infiltrate a spider lair. Unfortunately I can’t really give him a lot of props here. The subplot was one of the weakest parts of the film which is the first mistake. There didn’t seem to be much of a point to having this in at all. We learn that his son was murdered and it involves the master of the lair. The whole thing gets pretty intense but it has nothing to do with anything. Why not just have the first fortune teller find out the truth? I felt bad for that guy, left defenseless by the rest of the group and picked off with ease. The heroes aren’t always the best about staying together and often times that was Ynyr’s fault since he would ask to be left alone. Unity is when the heroes are strongest so they shouldn’t split up so easily.

The soundtrack has that Star Wars feel to be sure. There are a lot of happy themes that play throughout that should fill you with hope and energy. They’re all rather solid. Perhaps not the most original themes out there but they still do the job and give you the correct ambiance. At the end of the day this is a fairly light fantasy adventure even if by the end the body count is rather high. The climax itself is very serious and I got a Rogue One feel from it. When you go on a mission like this I suppose you never expect everyone to live through it. That’s just not going to happen when the villain is of this magnitude.

Overall, Krull works rather well. Old school fantasy adventures usually aren’t my thing so adding in the brief Sci-Fi bits definitely helped out. The Slayers have solid designs even if I would have preferred that they kept them and not turn into little lizard things when they blow up. At times the film may go through a few slow patches here and there but for the most part it’s pretty consistent. If someone tells you to watch LOTR or the Hobbit, tell them to watch this one instead. It’s not very well known but a lot of effort definitely went into it initially.

Overall 7/10

Transporter 3 Review


It’s time to look at the final film in the trilogy. The first two Transporter films were both pretty solid. I thought the second beat the first by a narrow margin. Unfortunately this one is quite a bit weaker than the first two. Essentially it’s going for similar themes and fights, but just ends up weaker in every area compared to the first two. While I wouldn’t say this is an inherently bad thing as losing to good films isn’t a problem, this film just isn’t that good. I’d say it does just enough to skate by on not being called a bad film but it’s a little too close to the line for comfort. It’s a shame because the film has quite a lot of potential with the premise alone.

So the film starts off with some scenes involving a giant boat trying to land but realizing that it can’t. The captain calls his Russian mafia friends and they confirm that they are close to finishing off the deal. They seem to have some kind of blackmail on the environmental minister. He’ll be signing their papers in a day so that they can offload all of their boats. The minister sends his men in to stop this but only a day is a pretty tough timeline. Meanwhile Frank is enjoying retirement. He turned down the latest assignment to transport and just relaxes with some fishing. Unfortunately his day is ruined when an old friend bursts through his window in a car along with a lady named Valentina. The guy dies since he goes too far from the car and then Frank gets mugged. He is forced by the villains to take the job of transporting a few packages along with Valentina to a far away destination. Now that Frank has the wrist device he also can’t go too far from the car or he will be blown up. The problem is that he and Valentina don’t get along at all. She’s quite antagonistic the whole time despite Frank’s best efforts. Looks like it’s up to him to get out of this situation.

I will say that the film’s beginning had a few warning bells. Nothing too serious to be honest so I don’t want to overstate it. The film’s problems would get worse as it went along. Still, the intro was rather dull. The scenes on the boat still feel pretty pointless to me. At the very least I don’t see why you would start with these scenes. Some guys break into the cargo area and die to the poison? I suppose this is to tip us off that the boat is related to criminal activity…but that was pretty obvious from the jump. The boat characters maybe appear for 2-3 minutes total for the rest of the film. We then cut away to fishing which also isn’t very exciting. The only good part here is the car chase while Frank narrates over it. It’s just a very slow beginning.

The other warning sign is that Frank doesn’t look very intelligent at all. He notices that his friend has a weird tech thing on his arm and the friend begs him not to let them take him to an ambulance. Frank ignores this and after they take him away finally realizes that it’s because the thing on his arm was a bomb. The friend dies of course. So….maybe we can cut Frank some slack because this might not be a common device. You see it all the time in movies but we could say it’s not normal. Still, you’d expect him to be a lot more on the ball with this. Getting knocked out shortly afterwards wasn’t a good look for him either although to be fair he gets quite a habit of getting beaten up when it’s a sneak attack.

I don’t mind the idea of having to stay close to the car though. It’s a good way to build up tension. You may have a hard time believing how he catches up to the car at times but it’s a solid plot gimmick nonetheless. Additionally, I still do like the fights in Transporter 3 even though they are a noticeable downgrade from the first two films. Gone are the days when Frank would win his fights with advanced martial art techniques. One thing I really liked about the first film was that he was shown to be an expert fighter. He was using crazy hand to hand techniques you’d never seen. I’d actually say as a pure fighter he is even better than Jason Bourne, Ethan Hunt, Dwayne Johnson, and James Bond. This guy is just an excellent fighter without a doubt. In this film he uses more basic moves. He still beats everyone up and looks generally impressive but the choreography isn’t at the same level. There are a ton of jump cuts. For that reason, the opening fight in the flashback is easily my favorite fight scene in the film. I thought a lot more effort was put into this one than the others that would come later on.

Where the film goes wrong is really with the main heroine and the inevitable romance that follows. Valentina is one of those characters who gives Frank quite an attitude the whole time. Typically I’m okay with characters having some attitude. She has no reason to trust this guy and it’s a stressful situation right? Well, the problem is that this isn’t totally true. We learn later on some interesting twists about her character but they completely contradict her actions. The film would have been so much easier and quicker if she had been upfront with him. Her reason for staying quiet at the end of the film is comically bad. It’s just hard to understand what’s going through her head. Not only is she unhelpful but she actively puts them in danger like with the whole scene in the grocery store.

This long scene which involves her getting drunk and really just undermining her character makes her look really bad. I can’t cut her any slack for these actions “because she was drunk” because she knowingly chose to get drunk and high during a situation when they need to stay sharp and not die. She also forces a romance between her and Frank by blackmailing him with a bomb. Seriously? That’s got to be one of the worst romance starters I’ve seen in a long time. Literally if he says no he blows up and he can’t walk away either…or he will blow up. Not a whole lot of options to him and she has fun humiliating him for a while. Naturally he ends up enjoying the romance so it’s not a problem for him but this was a really, really bad scene. This plotline was bad from start to finish.

Valentina’s character never rises above this. She tries to be supportive later on but it’s too little too late. I’d also mention that she does a poor job of trying to get the villain driver to slow the car when Frank is behind them. All right, that’s enough on her character. Frank is a decent lead but he looks far worse than in the last two installments. Putting aside the romance and his getting mugged at the beginning of the film in addition to him not realizing about the friend, he even endangers his friend. It’s a comedy scene but he heads to a mechanic he knows and asks the guy to look over the car. We then get a big fight scene where the film resists the urge to use oil for a third time straight although you know it was close since they were fighting with cannisters. The friend asks if it’ll be okay since all of these big villains will wake up soon and Frank just says to go home. They all saw the guy’s face and presumably know his name. Frank just didn’t seem to care. We also just generally get less scenes of Frank humiliating everyone with how good he is in a fight. The guy is an old pro at how this works so showing more of that like in the first two films would be a good idea.

I’d also argue that the final scene of using the bomb with the main villain put Valentina in danger needlessly. As it is the explosion threw her under some rubble. She was okay but it could have very easily gone sideways and her death would have been really pointless there. Frank just can’t help but show off I suppose. The Inspector returns as a supporting character but his scenes feel a little pointless at this point. It’s the same ole jokes from the first two films and he’s always far too late to really do anything. He seems like a nice enough guy I suppose but you get the feeling that he was squeezed in.

Man, this is sounding like a negative review right? I’d say it’s just because the negatives of the film are so noticeable. The positives are still there but just not as strong as they could be. The soundtrack is pretty solid for the fights. I’d say that the lyrical songs we get are pretty weak though. The film succeeds as a thriller in the sense that we do have a lot of nonstop action and fights when the characters are on the road. I enjoyed the chase scene where you have the two black cars on the highway. The cars looking almost identical works pretty well for solid visuals while they’re bumping back and forth. There was some nice strategy used here as well. In general the film always delivers with the chases. There are less jump cuts than with the hand to hand fights as well which is good.

Overall, Transporter 3 is a downgrade from the first 2. The heroine is no good and her actions just don’t make sense especially once we get her flashbacks. It’s a shame because her character had potential as a tough female lead who could keep up with Frank. Her father is certainly presented as a tough figure at least. He actually talks back to villains and doesn’t just roll over with the blackmail. The guy’s got a ton of pull for an environmental leader. I didn’t realize they were quite so tough. At the same time, Russia always has a rep for being very tough so it was nice to see this guy keep that persona as opposed to losing it just because he was a good guy here. If you liked the first two films then you should still check this one out since it completes the saga. It’ll still deliver on the usual action and fight scenes that you would expect. The writing and everything else just experience a bit of a decline here so it’s easy to see why they didn’t go forward with another one in this saga. I think someday they should do a nostalgia fourth film though. The film just needs to focus more on the Transporter angle and give us some solid fight scenes.

Overall 5/10