Se7en 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

When you’ve got a film with the heroes trying to stop a mass murderer you can often come up against the rather tricky dilemma of establishing this plot while trying not to let things get too dark. Having a psycho be the main villain usually makes this quite impossible though and this film was not able to survive it. It definitely gets twisted for all parties involved and with no real winners here you’re going to want to skip this one.

The movie starts with William getting ready for retirement. He’s had a good career on the force but it’s time to call it a day. Unfortunately his plans are slowed when a mass murderer shows up and starts creating headlines. William is paired with a younger detective known as David who is eager to prove himself here while William just wants out. They do not get along at all with William constantly pushing David. Still, the two will have to get their act together and quickly or this John Doe will continue his murder spree. The only pattern so far is that he’s murdering people along the line of the 7 Deadly Sin. Each of his murders are then stylized based on that.

You feel bad for William because of course something like this had to happen right when he was about to retire. Couldn’t have waited just a few more days right? Now in a way he can’t walk out because if he does it’ll be like he ran away from the case and he’ll probably also be living with a lot of guilt. William is incredibly jaded by this point as well since he’s been working in such a corrupt city for so long. He sees awful crimes every day and at this point doesn’t see a lot of hope left for humanity. There’s nothing left here for him if he stays on the job.

Unfortunately he’s also the best detective around and he knows this very well. Part of why he’s so antagonistic to David at first seems to be to try to get him out of here. He’s concerned why David specifically volunteered to enlist here and the guy never really gives him a straight answer which doesn’t help matters. Meanwhile David’s more of an optimist who thinks he can make the world better one case at a time. He’s got a lot of energy and definitely wants to prove himself. He means well and makes for a good main character. I actually thought he was a little better than William here.

Sure, William is more talented but the fact that he is so jaded means that he just isn’t enthusiastic about anything anymore. At least David is doing his best at all times to make sure that things go well. Then you have David’s wife Tracy who is not happy about being here at all. She would rather be in just about any city but came along because she wanted to be supportive at all times. She’s definitely well meaning in that respect but it would have been best to have a full conversation with him about it. Even their apartment is in rough shape and shakes whenever a train approaches. It would be very difficult to live like that for very long.

The actual villain “John” is your average psycho so there’s not a lot to say about him. He wants to see the world burn and to bring everyone to his level. He has a whole methodology on how he murders everyone but also enjoys it quite a lot and gets called out by the main characters. At the end of the day he’s just a criminal who has to be stopped. The guy has a lot of plans and certainly gets around but you’re just hoping he’ll be caught pretty soon.

One common issue with these kind of films is how much the villain gets away with before being taken down though. There are 7 deadly sins so you would hope the heroes could stop him after maybe 3 right? Really show how they prevented a tragedy but no, you quickly realize that he’s going to get all the way down the list so by the time he’s stopped, he’s already won in a sense. The film is definitely going for a very tragic ending with how this all plays out. There’s definitely no happiness to be found here that’s for sure.

The film takes a little time out to show how crazy parts of the legal system can be though with the villain admitting that he’ll just plead insanity if they actually try him in court. Since recordings outside of the court room don’t count he can blatantly admit to being the murderer as often as he wants but it won’t count. The whole thing definitely feels really crazy and I feel like the film was trying to point out how absurd the whole thing is. It’s unfortunately realistic in that sense. Sure, there’s a chance the heroes could win in court but it would all be a gamble so even by the end they’re playing to the villain’s tune.

Throughout the movie you’ve got a very heavy atmosphere since each of the deaths are so tragic. Each person is murdered in increasingly disturbing ways so it’s not like the murders were even quick or anything like that. Most of the murders aren’t on screen which is good at least but you do always see the aftermath and know what went down. It’s definitely not a film you’ll want to check out if you prefer to avoid the darker elements like that.

In the end that’s why the film can’t succeed. You ideally want a film where the heroes win and save the day on a fun adventure or if you’re going the darker route, have a villain who wins but has interesting ideals or the murders are quick and matter of fact. The more deranged you make the villain, the less likely the film is to succeed because it’s just going way too far the whole time. You don’t have time to enjoy the film because you’re constantly getting hit with these moments.

Overall, Se7en is a film you’ll want to avoid. It’s a rather gritty film where there are no winning battles. You can easily see why Williams is so jaded because every time he solves a case and sees these horrors, he has to know that more atrocities are being committed at the same time. After a while you just feel like giving up and that’s pretty much what happened to him. If you want to see a murder mystery film that reigns it in a lot more you’ll want to check out something like Clue instead. You’ve still got a lot of those themes and elements but without all the extra details that you’d rather not see.

Overall 3/10

Gemini Man Review

I remember seeing the promotions for Gemini Man when it was first coming out. It definitely looked like a pretty interesting story with the main character having to go up against himself. You can’t really go wrong there right? Well, the movie delivers and while their confrontation may end up being a rather small part of the movie, it’s still a fun concept. The film delivers on having a good amount of action scenes and so in the end I was satisfied here. I’d be up for a sequel.

The movie starts with Henry taking someone out as per his job as an assassin but his shot is a little off the mark. He doesn’t shoot someone else by mistake or anything but he figures that it’s a sign he needs to retire. In this business you have to be 100% accurate after all and he’s done well for the government so they should let him go right? Well, not this time. He’s seen as a liability now who may know too much and so a bunch of assassins are sent after him. Henry takes most of them down no problem, but one of them looks just like him. Now Henry’s conflicted about just bumping this guy off and wants to learn more. Accompanied by agent Danny and his old friend Baron, Henry will have to travel the globe now.

I always like it when a movie picks up right away and that happens here. The assassins attack very early on in the movie. We get to see why Henry is known as the best because taking these guys out isn’t really a problem for him. The only reason he struggles at all in the movie is really because of the dilemma of having to beat his younger self. Otherwise it’s shown time and time again that nobody is going to beat Henry in a straight fight. The guy’s just too good at what he does.

So the fight scenes are interesting with how he’s fighting defensively and still having the upper hand. I thought he did a good job with the smoke bombs and in general did handle himself like a pro. Henry’s also just a likable character. He’s trying not to sink further into the darkness especially now that he knows the government may have had him bumping off some innocent people. His days of being an assassin are long gone but of course he still will take out almost anyone else who comes after him.

The villains need better armor though. I can’t tell you how many of these guys were wearing armored helmets and the shot ended up piercing right through them anyway. That’s definitely not a good look for those guys. There was only one exception to this for the final boss who actually had real solid armor. That was a great 2 v 1 fight too. The film pulled out all the stops here and this could have passed for a comic book fight with how fast everyone was moving. Now this opponent wasn’t exactly normal so I can’t praise the armor for everything but it stood up to a whole lot of punishment which is what a good armor should do. Especially since it’s from the government here.

I wouldn’t be surprised if the government was holding back to save on expenses with how corrupt they appeared to be here though. This was definitely not one of the more heroic versions. You had a few of them make a bunch of excuses throughout the whole film on how this was not their fault and how they couldn’t actually do anything about all of this but it just felt like excuses all the way through. At least the main villain Clay was straight forward about being a villain. He just wants to make as many clones as possible and he figures that will reduce the amount of lives that have to be lost in every war.

The whole premise revolves around the idea that these clones aren’t real people though which is problematic at best. Personally once a clone has been created I would say it’s a real person particularly since they can feel emotions and everything. You’d have to create a clone with no emotions or traces of a soul to even start to convince me otherwise and that would be a tough one. It’s an interesting motivation though and I did think Clay was a good villain.

As for the heroine Danny, she’s solid as well. She helps out a lot during the fights and never holds the main character back. I’m always glad when the characters are all doing their part as needed and Danny really proved herself by jumping in during the climax and getting some shots across. Her conversation with Junior was also good and so she showed why she is a full fledged agent.

Then you have Baron who is here as the comic relief sidekick to an extent. I mean, he’s not really a sidekick as he’s got his own thing going on. I guess it’s better to say that he’s a friend who shows up with his helicopter to help out but he doesn’t get to do a whole lot here. You never feel like he has the same expertise as the other characters. Props for coming in to help but that’s about it for him.

As for Junior, he makes for a solid villain here. Naturally he’s really kept out of the loop here on who the heroes and villains are so that makes the deck stacked against him right from the start but as the film goes on he gradually gets to learn more and more about what he should be doing. Junior doesn’t always make the right moves here but ultimately he’s a good kid that grew up in the wrong setting. Once he’s able to get past that then he’s all set for future adventures.

The ending to the movie is satisfying and so you’ve got a solid action movie right here. There aren’t any real memorable tunes here but the special effects are good and the battles are on point. The pacing is good and the writing is solid so this really does nail down the fundamentals. Surprisingly there is no stinger for a sequel or anything like that so this really seems to be a completely stand alone title.

Overall, Gemini Man is a pretty good movie and I’d definitely recommend it. At most I think the only negative you may have here is that the actual fight between the two main characters stops being the focus early on. We only get to see them have an all out fight where both are trying their best once and it’s clear that Henry could have won that match in an instant. Once he chooses not to go for the win, that’s when you realize that we aren’t going to get those big battles at least with these two. There is still a solid fight underground but Henry is never really trying to win. Still, we do get a lot of battles either way so it’s not something that would really hurt for the film for me.

Overall 7/10

Leviathan 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 for a monster movie but unfortunately not one that comes close to topping a bunch of the classic ones. This plays out more like Alien than Godzilla after all. Some interesting ideas here for sure and I liked every moment with corporate but in the end this could not become a winner. Instead it is doomed to be forgotten as one of the titles that just couldn’t keep up in the end.

The movie Steven and his team of underwater miners getting ready to finally leave the submarine. They’ve been down here for months and are eager to get back to dry land. They just have to grab some more materials and then they are set. Their group is slowly starting to crack up too so this was really good timing but one of the guys gets greedy and brings up a treasure chest. It’s not just any old chest either and contains a drink that implants a monster. This creature will not stop at anything in its quest to destroy them all. Can Steven and his group stop this thing or are they about to be completely eliminated?

Now with a movie like this it’s not a huge surprise that the cast is unlikable but it’s still disappointing. There is only so much that you can do when the cast is unlikable after all. I’ll get into each crew member in a second here but Steven did not have a lot to work with. Steven could be a little naïve as well with how he thinks corporate is looking after them so he’s not perfect but I suppose he probably wouldn’t have taken the job if he hadn’t thought that to some extent. Who would really think that corporate is absolutely leaving you to dry right?

The film is not subtle about how corporate is corrupt here. Every time Martin appears on the phone it’s to tell the heroes that there are some delays or not to worry about things. She says it all in a very fake voice the whole time though so you know that she never means it. It makes for a very satisfying scene at the end of the movie while also making her not look very smart though. Lets just say that by the end of the film she shouldn’t be expecting a warm reception and should have some kind of backup plan at the ready. Otherwise she’s just not putting herself in a good spot here.

Okay so lets talk about the rest of the characters. Sixpack is the worst member by far. He just wants to mess around with one of the ladies on the ship and doesn’t think about anything else. He defies orders all of the time and puts the whole crew’s safety in jeopardy. He’s absolutely not the guy that you want to have your back because odds are that he won’t have it. Doc is one of the main characters and while he’s not as bad as Sixpack, he’s certainly not very responsible himself.

Picture this, you’re underwater and end up damaging your suit. This is serious but you know that you have a doctor watching you so it’ll be okay. That’s when you get the call that the doctor stepped out. Really? Doc does this kind of thing a lot based on how the characters discuss this and it’s basically because he wants to drink. A character very nearly dies in the opening minutes because he wasn’t there and Doc does not care.

Doc then makes some horrible moves at the end like trusting corporate one last time and backstabbing his allies. From there I knew that he had absolutely no chance of making a comeback for me. There’s just no excuse for any of this when you’re the ship’s doctor and the one that everyone is depending on. That’s just an awful look all the way around.

Bowman was rather reasonable so she’s one of the few crewmembers that wasn’t annoying. Unfortunately there isn’t much of a place to escape to on this ship and her role ends up being rather small. Ultimately the experience was too much for her and she probably didn’t suffer as much as most of the others ultimately would. Justin was probably the most helpful member of the crew and did a lot to support Steven here. That’s why the ending feels like a bit much because of how things play out. This guy really put in a lot of work.

The movie doesn’t seem to be too sure of what it even wants to do in the end though. There is happy music playing throughout the climax even when it should be a very somber tone at the time because of how things went down and you know….almost everyone is dead. Still the happy music goes on and then we get the big punch at the end. The punch was hype at least, that’s definitely the way to end things even if I think corporate could have played that a little smarter. You don’t want corporate to win per say but just make it an interesting fight and I think that makes for a more interesting climax.

Sadly the monster doesn’t have a great design for most of this. It’s more of a Blob than anything as it controls the human hosts. Think of it like a symbiote that’s running around but instead of a cool Venom design, it’s just undead. It makes the human hosts rather warped and isn’t super fast but makes up for that with power. If it catches you then it’s game over. The shark that appears for a second for no reason had more intensity to it than the monster.

Monsters reanimating a person’s body will never be as threatening or scary because that means it’s bound by how a person can move. Switch that out for a creature that can zip around at super speeds and now you’ve got something more dangerous. It also makes for more gross scenes like when we come close to the Alien chestburst scene and just in general the humans begging to die as the alien walks around a bunch. (It’s basically an alien after all) This film very much wanted to redo the Alien story while underwater and I gotta say that it did not work. Going for an actual underwater creature would have been a whole lot better.

Overall, Leviathan is not a winner here. It starts off on the wrong foot by having a really rough main cast of characters and doesn’t get any better with that underwhelming monster. When you mix it all together, you’ve got a thriller that isn’t ready for prime time. I would say the movie for once would be better without a monster. Have them stuck down there and they have to figure out how to get up without corporate stopping them. Then you could have a good thriller story with a lot of mind games. Not sure the writing would be up to it but the premise would work a whole lot better if you ask me.

Overall 3/10

Jeepers Creepers 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

Oh nooooo, you know when you start a film and quickly figure it’s not going to be a winner? That’s this one in a nutshell. It has some interesting moments and doesn’t always go in the way you would expect but at the end of the day it’s just another horror slasher kind of film with a rather grotesque villain. The movie plays up the creep factor on this guy and ultimately you’re not expecting much of a happy ending here. It’s not ultimately a winner in my book.

The movie starts with Trish and her brother Danny driving home. It’s been a while since they were there so they’re looking forward to having a blast. Then a random truck shows up which tries to blow them off the road. They barely manage to escape but it just keeps appearing which is odd. Eventually they see the owner of the truck throwing some bodies down a tube so Danny decides that they absolutely have to check this out although Trish is against the idea. They head over and Danny falls into the tube of course. He’s got to find a way out and fast because this guy is coming back soon and he’s going to be dangerous.

The film references horror movie tropes quite a bit at the beginning to try and be clever but the characters make the same mistakes anyway so part of you wonders if it was even necessary. If I point out that it’s a bad idea to split up but still split up in the next scene is that smart writing or just trying too hard? I would argue it’s the latter personally but that’s just me. These characters do not make the best moves, particularly Danny though. Heading back to the long tube was not the right idea. Call the cops or something once you get to a phone but stopping there won’t really help anyone.

Lets imagine there were people who were alive down there. It’s not like the car is very big so you couldn’t take more then 3-4 people with you at best and it’s assuming a lot of things like getting back out of the tunnel safely. Now in this kind of movie it’s safe to say that nothing they do matters since the Creeper can reality warp and do whatever he wants but they have to at least try and give themselves a fighting chance. This is really just slowing them down.

Initially I thought the whole film would be inside the tube but Danny does get out pretty quick. For a little while he’s completely traumatized so that he can’t even speak. I figured this meant he had been turned evil or something but he ultimately snaps out of it even if he might wish that he didn’t. There aren’t really any winners in a film like this and the longer you survive, the more odds you have of having a painful death. You want to go out quickly but that’s not an option for most of the characters here.

So for the Creeper, he’s got a grotesque design as you would expect. The guy is rather twisted and likes disposing of his victims in as vicious a way as possible. He even leaves them alive sometimes to suffer even further. This is a villain you don’t want to be captured by, it’s better to be blown up if you think things are trending in that direction. The film definitely would have done well to tone down a lot of these scenes like the tongue part when he takes out one of his first victims. It’s definitely not needed at all and is there for shock value. That’s really it, there’s no other reason for that.

The movie relishes in its shock value all the time like when Danny unwraps one of the bodies. Definitely a very tragic way to die, no doubt about that. The ending doesn’t hold back either with being very dark. In the end there usually isn’t much point to these supernatural horror films because there is really nothing that you can possibly do to take down the villain. I want to say that’s even more true than usual here as the characters even run him over numerous times at one point. Danny naturally made another wrong call when he said that the Creeper had enough. No he hasn’t?

Of course this probably wouldn’t have stopped him for long but yeah just keep pummeling him in the hopes that you can take the guy out for good. Unfortunately the Creeper has a regeneration factor, flight, and seems to be bullet proof. That definitely makes him very hard to take down. We do have a scene where the entire police force shows up to try their luck though. That actually made for a rather decent action scene and it’s rare to see so many cops around at the same time like that. Naturally most of them are doomed for having slow reaction times and just watching.

The Creeper also seems to be fairly smart as he went around burning the evidence. Not sure why he would even bother though since it’s not like he has anything to fear. He always wins in the end anyway but I guess this would make the heroes despair a little more the whole time. Jezelle is the only real supporting character and she’s not very helpful. She can see the future but never enough to actually help the characters out. Take her out of the film and absolutely nothing changes at all.

The characters don’t even try to let her help them though. They just keep yelling and at some points actively go against her. Early on in the film she tells them to get out of the area if they hear the Jeepers Creepers song. Instead when they hear it, Danny cranks up the volume as we see the Creeper murder a bunch of people. So when she said that Danny is trapped in a room with the song they should definitely bolt out of there together. Sure, you’re just delaying the inevitable but you have to try something right?

There’s also a crazy cat lady who shows up at one point. I at least liked that she had the shotgun at the ready though. She even gets a few shots out at the creature but naturally that won’t end up doing anything. He’s just way too powerful for any of that so resistance is futile. As always I give props for effort at least, she got like 4-5 shots off which is more than most horror characters.

But yeah the film is definitely quite violent the whole time. The script also isn’t great, the dialogue between Danny and Trish is rough. They’re constantly bickering and acting real petty the whole time. I would not say that the dynamic worked very well at all and got old fast. This is the kind of film where there isn’t really much positive to say about it at all. It’s relentless in how dark and depressing the whole thing is. The situation keeps growing worse and worse for them.

Overall, Jeepers Creepers is a film you’ll want to stay far away from. It’s just going through the motions of all the horror movie moments without any soul to it. For a film like this it would always be nice if the heroes had some way to fight. At least throw them a bone of some hope that there is even a way to defeat this guy. Otherwise it feels like Creeper is just toying with them the whole time. If there’s no chance at victory or of doing anything else then that’s a good sign to the writers that he is simply too strong. Gotta balance him out just a bit to give the hero some kind of hope.

Overall 1/10

Nosferatu Review

It’s time for a silent movie and I have to say that those can definitely be tricky. Now what do I mean by that? Well, here’s the score. A silent movie has access to almost none of the things I really like about movies. Solid dialogue, great sound effects, etc. That’s all gone here and so the movie’s a bit of a chore to get through and ends up being dragged on for a whole lot. This is one of the few films that gets a lot score not because the film is awful but because it is dreadfully boring. Has to be one of the least entertaining films I’ve seen in a while.

The movie starts off with Thomas getting ready to head out because he has found someone to buy the house next to him. This will be the rich Count Orlok who is not very well liked by the locals. Thomas isn’t scared but weird things begin to happen at the castle like when Orlok tries to drink his blood. Is this guy just very quirky or is he an actual danger? Thomas isn’t sure and isn’t really the smartest character in the film. His wife Ellen may need to be the one to help out but even if she has visions, what can she actually do about them?

From the start the movie just couldn’t grab my attention. The music isn’t very interesting. It’s pretty much one main track that plays for the whole movie and just goes into different phases to shake things up. It’s not a theme that has particularly aged well in any respect and is just too low key. Perhaps it beats not having any music at all but it really could have been so much better. I won’t say much about the visuals because it’s all so old though.

Additionally, I thought Count Orlok’s design was actually not that bad. It’s aged pretty decently. What hasn’t aged decently is how all of the other characters also look sinister at times. I don’t think this was intentional but Ellen and even Thomas fall into that a bit. Thomas looks half crazy and doesn’t seem to understand the situation the whole time. He is extremely slow on the uptake. You’d think Orlok trying to suck up his blood when he cut his thumb would have been enough, but no not quite. It takes more than that to really get to Thomas and he should have tried to escape sooner. He put himself in the worst possible place and it shows. By the end things work out but I wouldn’t say due to any great contributions by Thomas. He was just along for the ride half the time.

If he was a more interesting main character that could have helped the film a great deal. Then you have Ellen as the heroine who is nice enough. Her strength of will may not have been amazing here but I’ll chalk that up as being more impressive for Orlok rather than being a shot against her. Something tells me that no character in this film would have done great in that moment. As for Orlok, he definitely needs to have a better handle on his strengths and weaknesses. If he did then he probably would have done a whole lot better in this film. As it is, I wouldn’t say he did awful but there’s really no reason why he shouldn’t defeat everyone. The weapons in this time were not super advanced nor were there security cameras so if he played things well he could keep winning for all of eternity.

The ending is definitely not a particularly happy one even with Orlok gone. Ultimately humanity lost this round big time. It was interesting how there was a whole plot about how the town thought a plague was going around initially. Now that’s an element that could be a little interesting so naturally the film doesn’t have too much time for it. Becoming a vampire is like a plague in a sense and getting bit by one can seem like that too. Now you start to go into zombie territory if this was to continue too much but it’s a different take for sure.

Ultimately Orlok never felt like a huge threat to me but it would be difficult for the film to pull that off without any talking out loud. I watch anime subbed sometimes so I can’t say that’s a big issue but the big issue here really comes down to you not being able to get in on the action. Reading is all well and good but without a soundtrack you don’t have a chance at an emotional appeal. Without true dialogue you don’t get a lot of depth. Without solid effects you are left wanting a whole lot more than what you got.

Part of why the film is scored so low is it’s hard for me to know where to even start to try and improve this one. Particularly if I try within the confines of a silent film and the limitations it would have had at the time. Similar to how I don’t think I would be nearly as big a video game fan as I am now if I grew up back in the day, I don’t think I would have been a big fan of the cinema in the silent era. It’s just hard to see how you can make these films all that interesting.

It’s probably early to judge a whole genre/style of film off of one installment but that’s how discouraging this one was. I suppose the first step is to either have no music if it was going to sound like this or to find a way to have some better tracks in there. Either one would help things a great deal. Throw in a better story with no vampires and that can help as well. I’ve never been a vampire fan and I wouldn’t say this did anything to change my mind.

Overall, Nosferatu is a movie that feels like it’s 3 hours long. It really drags and drags as you wait for something to happen but it never does. Even the climax is really low key if you think about it. There was no climactic fight or even a chance for the cops to throw in a bunch of guns and take this guy down. The ending is almost a bit sudden if you think about it and doesn’t make Orlok look great. I suppose that’s just the way it had to be but yeah that’s a thumbs down from me. Stay far away from this film. While it doesn’t have the long string of negatives you would expect a 2 star movie to have, it has one of the big ones which is just that it’s really boring the whole time.

Overall 2/10

Parker 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

Time for one of those classic revenge thriller films. Parker doesn’t really try to break out of the ordinary but the execution is strong enough where that’s not really a concern. It’s an entertaining film that’s rather solid and at the end of the day that’s all that you need. The ending reminds me of Blade and John Wick too. This could have become a pretty fun franchise but I guess it wasn’t meant to be.

The movie starts with Parker completing another mission with a group of thieves. They’re rookies that made a lot of mistakes but at least they’re alive. That’s when one of them decides to change the terms of the deal and tells Parker he can either help them out on another caper and put all of his money in the pot or get shot. Parker decides to get shot so he’s wrecked and left for dead. Fortunately a passing family was able to nurse him back to health. Parker wants revenge now and he will do whatever it takes to track these guys down.

Meanwhile in the B plot you have Leslie who is really trying to sell houses and make a name for herself but it’s been tough. She’s been upstages by her coworkers for a while now and her current life just feels rather empty. Well, one day she notices Parker and what a shady fellow he is and figures this is her big chance to get rich. If she plays her cards right then a whole new life will open up for her but if she makes any mistakes this could be curtains. The two plots certainly feel very different and it’s a little while until she actually appears but of course the plots do line up.

Right off the bat I can tell you that the inevitable romance is not very good. One thing to consider here is that Parker already has a steady girlfriend in Claire. So as soon as Leslie appears you already know that Parker is taken so any romance that starts up will really make him look bad. Unfortunately he doesn’t stay totally strong and reject her so we do have a brief romance stint here which is completely unneeded. It’s really the definition of having this here to meet the romance quota when it would have been perfectly reasonable to have just had them stay as friends. Would have made a whole lot more sense too.

With the main plot being about chasing the mobsters, you do want to have more going on since this is rather basic. None of them stand a chance against Parker and they know it so all they can do is put enough annoyances in his way to try and slow the guy down. Every time Parker closes in on the mobster there’s a whole other level to this. The actual leader is hard to find even with Parker’s connections. They definitely move around a lot but the fights are good when they happen. Parker definitely knows how to fight when it’s time to rumble.

His only disappointing scene is at the very beginning when he gets into the car and seems to not have any real plan before getting shot. He really should have died there and is supremely lucky that things didn’t work out. It would have been a rather underwhelming way to go out and you feel like he should have been able to handle things a little better with how experienced he likely is by this point.

As for Claire, she has much more reason to make mistakes because this just isn’t her field. Just a day ago she was a normal real estate agent and now she’s in the field with all kinds of dangerous threats. You can absolutely excuse her not always knowing the right thing to do but I can’t afford the same to Parker. Leslie is ultimately a fun heroine. Her mother and dog also make for fairly decent supporting characters.

Claire doesn’t appear a whole lot but she gets some points for not nagging Parker the whole time and she is quick to come over and patch him up when the guy gets injured. She makes it clear that she is in his corner the whole time. Then you have Hurley who is definitely a solid character. As the experienced veteran in the room he is able to follow what Parker is saying the whole time and has a lot of connections of his own. He may not be young enough to get into the field nowadays but he does contribute a whole lot.

None of the villains are all that memorable though. Picture any random mobster and you’ve got these guys. From the start it was a bad idea to double cross Parker and move on to this mission. If they had just waited a while and suggested it peacefully then maybe he would have been on board. Either way why do a double cross there and add a huge risk to the operation. For all they knew the car could have crashed or Parker could have shot a few of them and that would wreck their entire plan.

I enjoyed the heist from the beginning of the film though. The villains may have messed it up but it’s cool to see all of what was going on. The costumes were good and Parker did have a solid disguise on which definitely made the scene a little funny even during the hold up. His Texas accent was also pretty good and that made for a lot of fun scenes. The film knew how to handle its humor for sure and those would be some of the best scenes.

The action moments still get tense of course and so this balances out into a good film. It’s not quite solid enough around the board for me to take it to the next level but it definitely never gets boring. It’s got a good amount of replay value and the writing is good enough. The fights are good and we really get to learn a good amount about the cast. So if they wanted to make a franchise out of this it would have been a good idea.

Overall, Parker is a good action movie. It’s very by the numbers for the most part but I wouldn’t say any part of the movie is phoned in. It’s still got a good amount of effort behind it at all times. It’s going in a lot of different directions are far as the tone is concerned and that could work well in a sequel too. Or if they want to go with one tone and stick to it that would work too since they were all solid. The film’s probably forgotten by most by now but give it a shot if you come across it.

Overall 6/10

Total Recall (2012) Review

Total Recall is one of those remakes that did a really good job of managing to surpass the original. It’s a good action movie all the way through that never lets up on the thrills. There’s a lot going on here and while it may not be a thriller that’s super different in any way, I would say the fundamentals are always on point so you have a good time here. It’s got that YA feel both in the look and feel of the film but also in how you feel this could have been a trilogy if it wasn’t moving so quickly. Of course the good thing about that is that the film never drags on.

The movie starts by introducing us to the state of the world. So things are not going great right now. The world was completely ruined and so now there are just two sections. One part is for the rich continent which has taken over most of the world and then you have a small colony that does not want to be forced to join this union. There is a bitter battle going on between both sides but the colony is considerably weaker. They have less people on their side to defend themselves and less tech as well.

This is all way over Quaid’s head though. He just goes about his life as always and just complains to his friend Harry that the days are kind of boring. He’s married to Lori and they have a good time but he feels unfulfilled. That’s when he ultimately decides to go and give Rekall a shot. This is a place that will give you fake memories which feel real so now he can finally do all of the stuff that he never could in the real world. Not a bad bet right?

Well, maybe not a great one either. Everyone warns him not to do it, apparently your mind can be fried and the whole thing sounds shady. Quaid wants to do it anyway but before the procedure can go through, he is viciously attacked by a whole squad of troopers and Quaid ends up murdering them. He runs home where his wife tries to murder him and everyone claims that he’s someone that he’s not. Has Quaid been living a fake life this all time? He has no answers yet but he’s wanted by just about everyone so it’s time to buckle up and start racking up the wins.

The fight scenes here are all effective. I definitely enjoyed the hand to hand which was handled well and you got the king of secret agent vibe you would see in James Bond or Jason Bourne. There’s never a particularly powerful fighter on the villains’ side which is too bad but there are still a good amount of action scenes in general. Lori puts up a good fight but usually Quaid is not actually trying to hurt her which is something you really need to put into perspective here. It definitely changes up the dynamic quite a bit.

The effects are solid but I will say that you never feel too engaged with the world building here. It’s a classic kind of dystopia story but Hunger Games and Divergent built their worlds a lot better right out of the gate. For this one a lot of names and terms are thrown around but you have a hard time actually caring. It all just feels uninspired in that sense. Even the whole elevator system of getting from one side of the planet to the other could and should have been a lot more interesting than what we actually got.

Part of why I thought this had the vibe of a trilogy was because there were so many players it didn’t feel like we were going to get to everything but then the final 20 minutes turn the pacing up to turbo. We’re bumping people off left and right and closing out all of the plots so things have a bit of a magical ending. I have a hard time knocking fast pacing and if you know that there’s no sequel then it’s good to throw everything into the mix but then some characters feel wasted.

The big leader of the resistance is hyped a whole lot throughout the movie and does not come anywhere close to living up to that as the movie goes on. He’s extremely underwhelming the whole time. Back to Quaid though, he’s a decent main character. I wouldn’t say great though because it does feel like he ran to Rekall too quickly. What if his mind was shut down? He didn’t really stop to think about how that would affect his wife and friends. It was a bit selfish of him to just head for that machine straightaway like that.

As for his friend Harry, well he had a fun attitude about him. I can’t say I liked him much by the end but he did well in humoring Quaid all the time with how the guy was bored of the routine. Switching seats so quickly the way he did was a good way of being supportive. Meanwhile Lori is pretty much the main villain here with how she’s trying to murder him the whole time. She made for a fun opponent to be sure even if she probably could have handled things better to accomplish her goals.

At first Quaid was seriously confused and not sure what was going on. So instead of trying to choke him out, why not reassure him and say that things will work out? Keep up the role until you actually have a great chance to shoot him in the back. She had every element of surprise in her favor so this really should not have been hard. She could absolutely use that as a way to claim victory here and that would have worked out. Quaid wouldn’t have really had a way to stop her.

As for Melina, she’s a solid heroine. I think it’s clear that she isn’t quite as skilled as Lori but she does her best to stay in the mix and land a lot of good shots in. I would say that she definitely still does good the whole time here. The complete cast here is rather small to be honest although we also have the leader of the government who runs around talking tough. He’s a very classic kind of leader villain so there isn’t much to him beyond his plans to take over the world. He did outthink most of the cast for the whole film though so kudos to him there.

At the end of the day what makes Total Recall work is how it’s really just nonstop action the whole time without any chances for a breather. The fights keep on coming and while the whole amnesia plot can usually be more annoying than interesting, it wasn’t executed poorly here. It’s also interesting to see Quaid not even be able to trust himself since he knows how thorough the brainwashing can be. The final part of the movie has some pretty interesting moments with trying to make you doubt what’s what. I don’t think it’ll end up fooling you at all but it’s still a nice try.

Overall, Total Recall definitely beats the original for me. It doubles up on the action and just never lets up. It’s a solid all around film and while it may not stand out in many ways, it just executes on the premise well. This is a better YA film than most and definitely deserves to get a sequel. Its only real weakness is that the worldbuilding is incredibly weak but that’s something that should be easy to fix. At least I don’t see that being a hard one to correct so if it can just pull that off then we’ll be good and this can make a name for itself.

Overall 7/10

Terminator: Dark Fate 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 certainly been a while since the last Terminator film. Genysis still ranks up there as one of the best installments in the franchise and seemed to be getting everything back on track so it’s a shame that we didn’t follow it up. Dark Fate is still pretty good though. I thought it had a solid story and good call backs to the originals. That said, some parts of the plot may be a little tough to buy into. With time travel there’s always a way of course but that doesn’t stop me from giving it a second glance at times.

So the movie starts off with with the Terminator showing up and destroying John Connor. He has just completed Skkynet’s mission at long last so that has sealed humanity’s hope. The films always made it clear that if John were to die then SkyNet would win. Humanity no longer has any kind of chance at surviving and it feels bad but at least we lasted a long time. Sarah reflects on this but then something odd happens…the world doesn’t end. There is no SkyNet and there is peace across the planet. What’s going on?

Well, Terminators still keep on appearing but it’s hard to say what their goals are and Sarah just goes around blowing them up. She gets mysterious text messages that let her know when they are coming. Their new target is now a girl named Dani. Dani is being protected by a cybernetically enhanced human named Grace but the newest villain (Rev-9) is a difficult man to keep down. It looks like they may all have to team up to stop him this time but it won’t be easy.

So a big thing here is that poor John was destroyed fairly early on. It’s been a rough road for him since the guy seems to always either die or get mind controlled. The main plot part I get skeptical about here is how SKyNet isn’t around anymore. Legion is the new villain since apparently SkyNet was never created but that doesn’t really add up for me. The whole point is that John is the only one who can stop Skynet so when the Terminator blew him up, that should be it. Now there are a lot of time loops, paradoxes, and everything going on with these films so there are a lot of ways to explain it away but it still feels a bit iffy.

Then apparently even if you beat Skynet they will just be replaced by another villain so it’s like there’s no point to whatever the heroes do. They’ll just be doomed either way. It’s not as bad as Star Wars episode 7 suddenly erasing the previous 3 movies by having the Sith army rise up again but it still does undermine the efforts a bit. I would have kept Skynet around as the main villains because it could have been an interesting way for the heroes to try and resist fate. Knowing that they are in a doomed timeline but they keep fighting anyway would really be a solid story right?

Well, Dani does a good job of taking up the mantle here. She’s more grown up than John was here so she’s able to take the situation more in stride than he ever could. I liked her confidence and she did make sure to step up when the chips were down so I appreciated that. She stuck up for her brother pretty quick even if it meant talking tough to the boss. Even at the end when they’re discussing plans, she is quick to volunteer to be bait. I definitely had no issues with her here.

Then you have her bodyguard Grace. Grace does well for a human against these robots but it’s a shame that she can’t use her abilities for longer periods of time. It felt like every other scene had her running out of energy or gasping for breath. She would need water often to keep her body heat down and it felt like the future humans really needed some better tech. If this was the best that they can do then it’s no wonder that they’re losing the war. That said, in a way the villains barely needed to send anyone to the past in that case. I could say the same about Skynet though, it’s always hard to believe the humans stand any kind of chance but they always manage to pull through somehow.

As for Sarah, she talks really tough and isn’t afraid of all these attackers. It’s rather impressive of her. Now the hype can be a bit much with her apparently taking down a bunch of terminators already though. I know she’s got a lot of guns and has the element of surprise but taking out terminators casually? It’ll take a lot for the film to get me to believe that unless all of the terminators have started getting really sloppy. Power levels aside, she is just a fun character though.

Then you have the main villain Rev-9 and he’s definitely cool. The guy’s even got a bit of a personality as he has fun messing with the humans. He’s very smooth with how he lies the whole time and that lets him sneak up on people. To the outside world this is just some guy but he knows how to get serious when fighting the heroes. His ability to split into two people was really cool and same with his regeneration and ability to manipulate his body. This is the kind of opponent that’s very dangerous to fight and he does deliver in each fight.

Finally you have Carl who gets a run role here. As the original Terminator you know that he’s seen a thing or two in his day. It’s impressive how well he holds up against the newer models since he’s very dated at this point. The idea of him just relaxing and enjoying the family life is also pretty interesting. It’s nice that he actually got to have a bit of a happy period of time here. Carl takes a lot of injuries and verbal shots from the other characters but never falters. He really did well to show that even a Terminator can have a heart. It never feels particularly cheesy either but just like a solid character development moment.

The fights are definitely really good here. The choreography is on point and you really get the feeling of the Terminator being portrayed as the hunter here. The characters are doing their best to stay out of his way and to keep moving while he just chases them relentlessly. There is no escape from an opponent like this and the film portrays that really well. There’s always a feeling of fear in the air.

Additionally I’d say the special effects were solid. Perhaps they could have done more in the future setting as I feel like Terminator 2’s dystopia looked more impressive which is saying something. This one didn’t get that same feeling across. The effects for Rev-9’s abilities are top tier though. The soundtrack is also good. Again, not as impressive as T2 but you get some of those old themes in the mix here. There weren’t a lot of new themes that I found to be very memorable though.

The writing is good and the film doesn’t drag on so all around it’s a solid experience. At most this film can suffer from the issue of having a villain that’s too powerful. You constantly feel like Rev-9 could have just ended them already. Every time he doesn’t you are a little skeptical just because of how crazy strong he is. All he should need is an instant to take Dani out.

Overall, There’s definitely room for more films and sequels as always so I’d like to see that. It would be cool if they can bring Carl back in some way and with time travel on the table that really shouldn’t be very hard. Throw that in and then things should get pretty interesting. I tend to like all of the Terminator films so I’m sure I’ll be satisfied with the next one as well. Just give me a lot of action and some time travel for good measure. Then I’m all set every time.

Overall 7/10

Eyewitness 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

Eyewitness has a fairly interesting premise but it’s one that is bogged down by a very weak character cast and has a tough time getting to the point of it all. It also ended up introducing a dog character into the mix and you know how that tends to go. So on the whole you’re going to want to avoid this one, it’s just not the big win that you’ll have been hoping for.

The movie starts out with Daryll working on his janitor’s job as usual. He tries to convince the bosses to let his friend back onto the job but they say no as he was apparently disrespectful back in the day. It’s easy to believe this because his friend Joseph is not the nicest camper out there. The guy is always complaining and getting himself into trouble borrowing money from loansharks and things like that. One day he even breaks back into the building to talk with Daryll. The very next day Mr. Long is murdered and naturally Daryll figures that Joseph may have done it.

He does decide to hide the fact that Joseph was in the building to protect his friend but then he finds out that his favorite reporter Toni is involved in the mix. Daryll decides to pretend that he knows more than he does so that he can go out with her and Toni really wants a big scoop so she agrees to this. Meanwhile the killer is watching and planning their next move. Is Joseph really the culprit or is it someone else? Either way Daryll is now right in the crosshairs of danger.

Right from the start you can probably see how I had a problem with some of these characters. Lets start off with Daryll. So he is completely obsessed with Toni to the point where he flirts endlessly and makes a fool of himself. He messes up the interview as he keeps on talking about her and just strings her along for a while. Keep in mind that at the moment he’s in a relationship with Joseph’s sister as well. They don’t care for each other much but he should still wrap that up before starting anything else.

Daryll just feels incredibly desperate the whole time and it’s too much. I won’t blame him too much for withholding information about his friend to the detectives since it did look incriminating and he wasn’t sure if Joseph did anything but any scene with Toni was just bad for his character. Even by the end I can’t say that I ever warmed up to the character.

Likewise Toni doesn’t look good here for falling into this romance. Of course from her end she is just doing it for the story and doesn’t even like him initially but that’s barely even a consolation by that point. It doesn’t speak well to her morals to be willing to go this far for a scoop. I don’t care how good the story is, you just don’t want to be going that far for it. Then you have Joseph who isn’t likable at all. Lets even take him breaking back into the job away for a second. He didn’t have any malicious intent there.

Punching Daryll was completely uncalled for and same with his outbursts upon finding out that Daryll liked someone else. He then proceeded to borrow a ton of money from loansharks on some really suspect deals. That tells me he also isn’t very smart here. He creates a lot of trouble for himself the whole time and this ends up spilling over to Daryll as well. When you bring other people down with you that’s never a good thing.

The most interesting part of the film is the one that doesn’t get brought up a lot. So the villains are basically transporting people out of dangerous zones and into the U.S. They had been working with Long and a number of other gangs to do this. Effectively working with the enemy to get their own goals across. Typically they avoided having to murder anyone but Long’s group tried changing the bargain so they were dealt with quickly. So the main villains here had a pretty interesting goal and not one that was overtly sinister. There’s a lot that could have been built on this but it’s not a factor for most of the film and is just very brief.

Also, as mentioned earlier we do have some animal violence which is a big no no here. As soon as the dog appeared I got worried and clearly that was for good reason. it just rarely ends well when you have a dog in a thriller and there’s just no purpose to the scene. You could have had the effect of the villains showing Daryll they were serious by skipping to the part where the villain breaks into his house. That would have absolutely still gotten the message across without things going off the rails here. A dog dying will never enhance a film and can only hurt it. That’s the message more film makers need to hear.

Also, the film could have given the detectives more of a role. I thought they were actually interesting but then they miss out on almost the entire thing. By the time they act the film is basically ending so there was not a lot of time to do anything. They talked tough and had a decent dynamic going but the film really just wasted these characters. Could have been a really engaging subplot if they got more to do.

Overall, Eyewitness is a film that could have been a lot better at least from the general premise. You need the main character to be a lot better though. Have Daryll be someone who just wants to be famous which is why he’s dragging this out as opposed to it all being for romance. You also shouldn’t have included the dog in it at all. Without that then this film would really have potential. There were some interesting themes that could have been expanded on. Ah well, maybe for another film. If you want a thriller about crime, check out Clue instead.

Overall 3/10

The Mummy’s Curse review

The Mummy adventures continue in this one. I wouldn’t say its as strong as the second installment but is very close with the third. I was impressed at the heroine showing up again from the last film as I just had the feeling that she wasn’t going to be brought up. Instead the film actually finishes up her plotline. It may not be in a very satisfying way but at least its acknowledged.

So there are a bunch of engineers working on a swamp but they’re all very scared of the whole Mummy rumors. Legends say that a Mummy is still buried under here somewhere and it doesn’t help that a bunch of guys from the nearby museum show up to try and find the Mummy as well. The boss is outraged at the whole thing but his secretary has fallen in love and won’t support him in throwing these men out. Perhaps that will be for the best though as the Mummy is very real and has started his rampage once more. Can the heroes take him down before it’s too late?

I said some of the earlier main characters were bland but this one may take the cake. The main character James has no real character to speak of. He wants to get to the Mummy for the museum but it’s hard to say much more about him than that. He seems like a nice enough person but certainly gets crushed rather easily when it comes time for a fight. He just didn’t fair too well in the climax and got off easy with Kharis really doing all of the work here.

As for Ananka, well she looks pretty bad here. Whenever someone is in trouble she runs off so that they will be doomed against Kharis. You can actively blame her for most of the deaths in this film. I mean Kharis should take the direct blame but she is really not being a good character in leaving them to their deaths. It was not a wise move. The new villain Ilzor is just like the others who follow Kharis. At first he is commanding the Mummy but then gets greedy in going after the heroine so Kharis does not like that. The villain made a big mistake in running to the prison though. That’s just not a good idea here. Why lock yourself in against a monster like this?

If you try to run you at least have a shot since the Mummy is so slow. Just don’t faint, if you do that then you’re really in for a bad time. The Mummy itself doesn’t do a whole lot here. It still flails around and chokes people but that’s about it. You’ve seen it all before and it’s why I say that he desperately needs a power up. Something that will really help him turn the tables and be more of a threat.

Beyond that, the movie really plays out how you would expect it too. Kharis takes out a bunch of fighters here and there until they eventually catch up to him. The whole place caving in and burying him is quite the way to go. It may not be the most exciting climax but it does the job. You’ll be entertained from start to finish and a good reason for that is really the solid writing. I dare say that if the writing was not up to par then this movie would not work.

It’s one of those titles that only works because it’s so old and the writing was so solid back then. If you remade this in the modern day it would absolutely need to compensate with a lot more action to keep things interesting. This one can afford to be more of a slow boil film with not much happening because those fundamentals are on point. The movie is short and never drags on either so I would even say that it has a decent amount of replay value. If you just want to turn your brain off and watch something entertaining then this is a good film to pick up. That said, you could certainly do better so you may not give it the re watch.

I still say the main thing to take these films to the next level would be to make the Mummy itself a little fiercer. Alternately what you can do is give him an enemy to fight. Throw in another Mummy, wouldn’t that be a nice wrinkle? Kharis wakes up but another Mummy like Imhotep says this is his domain so they have to duke it out. That would be excellent and I’m always surprised that we don’t get more fighting among the monsters. It would make for a very compelling story and as long as they don’t cop out on who the winner is, it would also be a good way to get both fanbases engaged and eager to watch the solo follow ups to track the power-ups. I have to imagine there were still a lot of vs debaters back in the day.

Overall, The Mummy’s Curse is a good film. There’s nothing all that unique about it though. Aside from the setting being different it plays out in almost the same way as the last film. I did like the engineering boss though. At least that guy didn’t buy into the whole Mummy thing from start to finish as he kept making jokes and insulting everyone. You feel bad for him because he definitely lost a lot of time on this whole adventure. Hopefully he can make it all up now that people shouldn’t be worried about the Mummy anymore. He’ll need a new secretary but as he pointed out in the ending, she hadn’t been helping him much throughout the entire film anyway so it wouldn’t change much.

Overall 6/10