My Reputation Review

The film’s title might as well be “My Rebound” with how the romance here works. Right off the bat I can tell you that the romance here doesn’t work. Unfortunately in the movie the characters who are against this are two kids who are very unreasonable all the time so it’s hard to really use them as a good source for anything. The movie’s an old time title that has good writing and all but since the romance is right at the forefront, that hurts it quite a bit right from the jump.

Okay so Jessica’s husband died after a long battle with illness. Jessica’s mother Mary wants Jessica to wear black for the rest of her life so as to never stop grieving. She should not remarry and just spend the rest of her days like this. Jessica doesn’t agree to that and in fact she wants to move on as quickly as possible. The problem is that nobody in town is any good. Her old friend Frank is okay but not the right person. Jessica ends up going on a retreat where she meets a guy named Scott and they quickly hit it off. They get together so quickly that the whole town starts talking about it and now there are endless rumors about Jessica. Is there anything she can do to salvage her reputation at this point?

Well, Jessica shouldn’t care about her reputation within the town all that much as everyone is gossiping anyway. I do think that she found this other guy way too quickly though. This is almost a textbook rebound to me. Her husband dies and then she goes out and finds some other guy and gets serious about him very quickly. While the kids handle this poorly by running away and causing a fuss, it is definitely iffy. That’s why it’s too bad it wasn’t a friend who debated Jessica instead. The kids wouldn’t listen to anything so at least this way we could have a balanced conversation of some sort. It would be a big improvement there.

At the end of the day each person is different of course so yeah some might be ready to move on right away. It just never makes for a good romance plot in a movie. If anything I’m more in line with Jessica’s mother Mary on basically never moving on. You get one shot to pick a partner out and after that, that’s it. Win or lose, live or die, you have made your pick and stick to it. Ultimately I do think Jessica should have mentioned something to their kids so they didn’t find out about this at a random party. That has to be the worst way to find out.

As for Scott, well he doesn’t even seen like the greatest guy. He mentions how he’s not really the marriage kind of guy which is a massive red flag right out of the gate. After all, it sounds like he would be someone who is up for affairs then, he was really quick to try and pull the moves on Jessica after all and they barely knew each other. If that’s how he always acts, well that’s going to be a little difficult. He does say that he’ll clean up his act though which is good.

Ginna and Cary are at least good friends for Jessica. It’s good that she has someone to rely on since the town is so suspect. There’s a really dicey scene where a guy names George attacks Jessica and the whole thing is just so out of place. It was a really dicey moment for sure. The guy had a lot of red flags ever since his debut but you still never expect something quite like that to happen. Unfortunately we don’t get to see him arrested or anything like that. It would have been a great way to have ended his plot off. It’s just not good to know that he basically got off completely free.

As for Frank, well I wouldn’t have been rooting for him even if he had tried for Jessica more. It seems like he liked her and since the death was so recent, it would at least imply he liked her even while she was together. So this would be like he’s seizing his moment and that would definitely not go over well for me. It was sort of a lose-lose situation with all the candidates here to be honest.

Well, that’s enough on the romance. Beyond that, the writing is good at least. Everyone is quite formal and all, but without much of a plot beyond the romance there isn’t a lot to it either. I mean this is a case of the romance really being just about every part of the film. I guess the only other thing to talk about here is the reputation angle. Well, this part is one Jessica shouldn’t care about.

It’s clear that the neighborhood is always grumbling and gossiping about something. So Jessica is the topic today and someone else will be the topic tomorrow. That’s the nature of gossip circles. If everyone is always willing to gossip with you, you can bet that they will be gossiping about you as well. It’s all a big circle here and that’s just the name of the game. If you’re only upset when they gossip about you then that’s not really a good look.

Besides which, if they don’t even have the decency to not gossip in front of kids then I don’t think you need to worry about their opinions. Just keep it moving and if you don’t take it personal, they’ll probably still try to keep up the appearance of being your friend at least. Man, come to think of it there really were almost no good characters in this one. Ginna and Cary were probably the only two you could even root for since they at least appeared as very decent people. Well I liked Mary as well. She may be rather extreme at times but she came through to help when it counted.

If anything Jessica kept trying to be on the opposing side so much that she would be extreme herself. At one point she’s the one pursuing Scott like when she ran to his hotel room. It was a moment of emotional outburst and this time he played hard to get but it seems like she was willing to go quite far just to spite everyone. This relationship really doesn’t seem like a positive one the more I write/think about it.

Overall, My Reputation is a film that’s built off of a n iffy premise right from the jump. Jessica is doing her best to move on from her old husband but she seems to really be rushing things. Now it’s fair to say that she could really love Scott but I think she would need to slow things down quite a lot to make sure of that and that this isn’t a passing crush. Her kids may not be ready to accept this yet but if it’s a true love then that’s fine. You just have your doubts on this throughout the movie. Since most of the movie is her trying to get together with Scott…if you don’t like either character that’s a bad sign. This is one of the weaker romances I’ve seen as of late and I’d say to skip it.

Overall 4/10

Masters of the Universe: Revelation Review

After many years, the original He Man show is finally getting its long awaited sequel. This one was certainly surrounded by controversy right from the jump when Teela ended up being the main character of part 1 along with things getting rather tough for He Man several times there. Still, Part 1 ended up being rather great I’d say and then Part 2 stepped things up further. I think you’ll be quite satisfied with how this sequel series plays out no matter who your favorite character is. (With the exception of Moss Man who is admittedly a little disrespected here)

The series starts off with a bang as Skeletor and his forces attack Castle Grayskull once more. Teela had just been promoted to the Man at Arms role so this is her first chance to prove herself. With He Man and the rest of the army at the ready this should be an easy win and yet it doesn’t go the way everyone had hoped. Skeletor and He Man both die in the carnage. Due to this, everyone learns He Man’s true identity which leaves Teela particularly shattered.

After a falling out among Teela and the royals, she is banished from the kingdom along with Duncan. Teela teams up with Andra and the two effectively work as bounty hunters now. This allows Teela to put some distance between her and the kingdom but deep down she knows that the kingdom needs her. Can Teela find her inner strength to take down Evil-Lyn and the remnants of Skeletor’s army? Also, is He Man really gone for good?

The first arc really goes by quickly. Now, if He Man and Skeletor had actually died then I think the controversy would have absolutely skyrocketed to new heights. If that had happened, then I think it would be fair to say that this really was a bait and switch. That said, there’s no way they would keep the two biggest players out of this. Both He Man and Skeletor return to action before long and we even get some new lore and world building out of it. I’ll touch on all of that as we get through the review but first lets talk about the cast of characters here.

Naturally He Man is great as always. Whether he’s Prince Adam or in his He Man form he tends to steal the show. We see him as a capable hero and a selfless warrior. The show gives him good moments in both forms and he always fights to the end. His single best scene is when he shares a laugh with Skeletor before entering his ultimate mode. Now that was a really intense moment and it also just made a lot of sense. Of course He Man should still be able to use the power without the sword. Now the side effect of him losing his mind is rough but it made sense. The show has characters thinking of new ways to use their abilities and I’m definitely all for it. At the end of the day He Man is as confident as ever and it’s quite deserved.

Unfortunately, as good as He Man looks is as bad as Skeletor does. Personally I didn’t care for his portrayal here all that much. He panics a lot and is suckered by the oldest trick in the book of someone flirting with him. Really…this is what Skeletor has become? I wouldn’t be surprised if some ended up not liking the show just because of him. He does look powerful when he has his own super form but his base form is treated like a joke by the end. You’d think that normal Skeletor would still be able to do something but he really isn’t respected by the cast. He ends up getting outshined by quite a few villains in the show. Throw in how he’s always violent with Evil-Lyn for no reason and he really might be one of my least favorite villains in this show. Maybe…even the worst one?

As for Teela, well she gets off to a very rough start in part 1. I mean extremely rough because she blames He Man for dying and saving the world. That’s the kind of thing you’d expect the school bully type character to think, not the main heroine. She just has a bad attitude throughout and doesn’t really become one of the solid characters until the climax. She can fight which is good but it was hard to get over her blaming He Man for quite a few episodes.

Now she does have a really good moment near the end of the series when she realizes that she can wield the power without agreeing to any limitations. I really liked this part because a lot of times the character would just take the legends in stride. If they’re told to just stay put because that’s the only way they can use the power, or they can only use their power 3 times in a day, the character will listen. Here Teela basically just says “Minez!” and runs off with the power. It’s the smart move to make there. Why listen to the legends when you’ve got the power yourself? This at least helped Teela end on a high note.

Her partner Andra gets considerably less to do in part 2 but she’s not bad. She’s your average bounty hunter genius and tends to bring a lot of custom weapons to the fight. It felt like she didn’t have a whole lot to do and was only here so Teela could have a teammate though. Perhaps in Season 2 she would have more of a role. The cast was rather large so it makes sense that it would be hard to juggle all of them.

Like poor Moss-Man who only appears for a scene or two. It’s not great for his fans but maybe he’ll return at some point. I wouldn’t get my hopes too high for that though. Cringer gets a little more to do here. He’s still not really my kind of character but in his Battle Beast form he helps out quite a bit. It’s just a bit of an issue that he never wants to transform though so it really seems like He Man is mind controlling him in that form. With how the power changes He Man’s mind without the sword, it’s not all that far fetched.

The original Sorceress looks good here as well. The fact that she can’t even leave the castle is an enormous weakness though and she ends up looking bad by the end of the series because of the choice that she did not make. At best you could say there was no way to escape now that she made the contract but at worst you could say that she didn’t think this part through. Her powers always look good visually though and she certainly can fight.

One character who gets a really big role here is the original Man at Arms, Duncan. Duncan may not have He Man’s level of super strength but he is quite strong in his own right and has a lot of good gadgets as well. He’s always got some kind of weapon for the occasion and doesn’t let up against the villains. Even once he is captured the guy is always talking tough. So I was impressed with him, he didn’t really have any bad scenes.

For the villains, next up we have Evil-Lyn. She gets a really big role here which the show starts hinting at early on. She’s always put up with quite a lot but looking back at it, this just makes less and less sense to her. Perhaps she is approaching this all wrong and that’s when she makes her move. I think the show went a bit overboard in how powerful it made her since this leads to a lot of power level issues by the end. That said, I wouldn’t say the show is always amazing with how powerful everyone is, the power levels tend to fluctuate a bit. If He Man is able to go toe to toe with an amped up Skeletor then he should be absolutely decimating everyone else. I don’t want to see it take multiple blows to beat the Mer-Man or for He Man not to instantly take out the Beast Man. Teela and Man at Arms shouldn’t be keeping up with Skeletor’s blasts if he’s fast enough to hit He Man. Things like that.

As a character Evil-Lyn is fun though. I wish she would have tricked Skeletor in a different way as that would have benefited both of their characters though. It may have been the most obvious twist on who the big villain is since many would suspect this from episode 1 or 2 but it was executed well. He Man’s parents King Randor and Queen Marlena also get a role but don’t get a ton to do. They are having a lot of relationship issues as a result of what happened early on. The King looks super unreasonable when he throws Teela and Duncan out of the kingdom and the Queen didn’t really try hard to stop him. They have their emotional moments but if you cut them from the story nothing would really change.

Orko looked really good so I think his fans should have a blast here. His magical abilities have come a long way from his training days and he gets a massive power boost as the show goes on. He doesn’t quite keep up with the best of the heroes but he’s a fun character to have around. Back to the villains, we’ve got 3 more with roles. First is the Mer-Man and his role is the smallest. He seems like a good villain but I’d like to have seen more of him. The Beast Man is a very loyal guy but when asked if he is Man or Beast I felt that he made the wrong choice there. It probably wouldn’t have made much of a difference in how things went though.

Finally we have Tri-Klops and I liked him quite a bit here. He represents an interesting possibility for a third faction of fighters here. Someone who could cause both the heroes and villains some trouble as the series goes on. It’s hard to say how powerful he is. I doubt that he will be a really big fighter physically but I’m sure he has a good amount of tech to back him up.

So Arc 1 is mainly about Teela’s adventures as she deals with her grief. She makes it hard to care about her but the writers likely knew that so just about every episode has a flashback sequence of He Man beating up on some villains. It was a good way to squeeze him into each episode and those were always the highlight moments. The show has a good sense of humor and He Man always had a one liner at the ready. This all made for a nice combo as keep in mind Part 1 would have been an 8 even without part 2. You could still expect a good action scene every episode.

Now we are introduced to a new concept near the end of Part 1 which is that anyone who uses the powers of Grayskull is given a second life. Basically you have fun in the jungle for a while and you can even come back to life whenever you want. The catch is that you can only come back to life once so when you die again your soul is just destroyed forever. None of the previous guardians seem all that heroic to me as they were willing to just stay in this world forever and never came in to help. I was expecting them to pop up at some point but they ended up just staying in this place the whole time. It really wasn’t a great look for these guys who are supposed to be the ultimate heroes. The existence of this world helps give someone a good destructive feat later on but I think this place just shouldn’t exist. It really comes out of nowhere and doesn’t add to anything. It’s also rough for good guys who don’t have the power and have to go to the underworld anyway. Doesn’t seem like a very fair tradeoff. Fortunately one of the heroes realized that and quickly stops one person from being sent back there later on.

Part 2 is really filled with fights the entire time. We get the big army against army fight scene that you’ve been waiting for. With a series like this where each part is only a few episodes, you do see most of the events in the trailers but at least that way you’re always gearing up for the next fight. The show never really stops to catch its break which is good. The pacing is on point.

One thing that pops out at you immediately is how great the animation is. I’m not exaggerating when I say this is absolutely top tier for western animation. I haven’t seen an art style this vivid since Justice League Unlimited. This show would fit right in with the DCAU and can hold its own against any other western show without exception. The fights are really good and you feel the power behind each blow. I thought the show really did justice to He Man’s incredible power and the rush when he gets his power. The first transformation scene was great.

As for the soundtrack, I wouldn’t say it’s super memorable or anything but it gets the job done. The tunes during the action scenes are on point and the show always has a lot of energy. If you count it, the trailer had a great theme with the “I need a Hero” track. Now that’s a tune that’s always in season.

Naturally the show does end with a cliffhanger and it’s an interesting one. I would definitely be down to see how it all plays out but they’ll need to find a way to make it so the villains are a threat. Now that we have He Man and the powered up Teela at the ready, it’s hard to see these villains being a thread without some kind of massive upgrade. I also think depowering He Man again would be a bad move since it just happened so that’s off the table. Maybe have him be busy off planet? Not sure if that works since he is the protector of Castle Grayskull though. Well, they’ll think of something.

Either way we should hopefully get more He Man vs Skeletor moments. Those are really the scenes when the show is at its peak. Each of their fights really ends up being quite the spectacle and as the faces of good and evil in this world, you always want to see them clash. The top notch animation certainly helps with that as well. We also get a cool teamup in the show which is something I was waiting for. If there was a nice He Man moment you were looking forward to or wanted to see, odds are that the show delivers on this. There’s quite a lot of replay value to be had here as well so this is a show you’ll probably go back to or at least to look up the fights.

Overall, I’d definitely recommend checking this show out. It really does a great job of showing the He Man mythos and events. It’s a nice follow up to the original series. Some concepts like the Otherworld may have been best left on the drawing board but I suppose it doesn’t matter much now anyway. I wouldn’t say the show has any real weaknesses. Part 2 covers for any element that may have had you worried in Part 1 and so when you watch it all together, the season works out nicely. My only real complaint by the end is that it went too far in making Skeletor look really bad most of the time so hopefully he can regroup in season 2. It’ll be difficult for the CGI title to even try and match this one.

Overall 8/10

Blast of Silence Review

When you have a film about an assassin you can try to do it in a stylized way, make the assassin likable, or have him be a very quiet and mysterious figure. I’ve seen a few solid ones with such a premise but this one would not make the list. The lead is insane from the jump and unfortunately ruins the film at every step with his inner monologues. Usually the Noir style of talking to yourself is a lot of fun but put a bad main character into the center and it just doesn’t work this time.

The movie starts by introducing us to Frankie. He doesn’t like anyone and everything ticks him off. He never runs out of things to complain about and is always bragging as well. He seems to think that he’s an expert assassin but the film continues to prove him wrong. Well, Frankie’s got his latest hit ready but along the way he bumps into some old friends. Slowly this starts to distract him and he may have to make a choice between romance or getting the job done. If he doesn’t hurry, he’ll lose everything. Can Frankie turn things around or will he just continue to complain?

As you can probably guess, Frankie is 90% of my issues with the film. He just never stops whining, you haven’t seen a character this whiny in a long time. He’s in self denial the entire time about romance as well. For example in his inner monologues he’s taking shots at Lori and everyone for being normal but then it turns out that he really wants to be with Lori. It’s a pretty awful development there and the scene where he tries to overpower Lori destroys the film early on. He never comes back from that and it’s really fortunate that someone else was at home when he stops by later on.

So Frankie’s an irredeemable villain and as the focus of the film that’s not really a good thing. He’s also just not very good at his job. He’s an assassin so you’d think he would have been around the block a few times but he doesn’t realize that it’s a bad idea to call up the villains to collect the money? After he was openly threatened for trying to quit the job early, he should have just gotten out of there. At the very least, don’t throw away the gun. I have big doubts on his gun skills but at least he might have been able to make a match out of it. Instead he was just out skilled and outgunned right from the start.

If anything it’s only impressive that he has some friends with how cold he acts throughout the film. Everyone will try to talk to him and he just won’t respond or just gives 1 word responses once in a while. The others were trying to be super friendly but you wouldn’t have blamed them if they just left. Lori does her best to be nice which doesn’t ultimately work out for her very well. I am glad she stayed strong in telling Frankie to leave and not allowing him to stay. She also does well in managing this dangerous situation by keeping him at a distance whenever he calls without setting this madman off. With a guy like this you can’t really take any risks.

The only other big character here is Ralph who has a lot of connections. Frankie doesn’t like him but he has to deal with the guy since Ralph knows how to get the guns. Ralph is the kind of guy who will make a deal and then turn on it later on. I don’t really know why he would risk his life trying to double cross Frankie though unless he seriously did not respect the lead’s abilities. It just didn’t seem like a smart play without having more leverage on him. Ralph would have been quite all right if not for pulling that stunt. His arm strength was impressive though. He could choke with Frankie with one hand and it seems like he would have done a lot better if not for a surprise attack.

Ralph isn’t nearly as bad as Frankie but I didn’t like him either. His scenes really drag out with how slowly he talks the whole time. The scenes of him feeding the animals also has you tense the whole time because you’re worried that something will happen although fortunately it does not. Ralph’s a total slob if we’re being honest here to the point where you’re shocked that someone hasn’t taken him out yet. He’s brave enough to be going around blackmailing people but you feel like if he pulled that on any other assassin he would have been taken down in a heartbeat.

The film at least handles the Noir elements well. The city looks suitably shady at all times even when it’s day time out. The only scene without any tension is the dance scene when Frankie has to attend a party and that mostly felt like filler anyway. It’s supposed to feel out of place since Frankie usually wouldn’t allow himself to be caught there. It only ended up happening this time since he liked Lori but couldn’t admit it to himself.

The writing isn’t bad. The dialogue is super weak but that’s more due to the main character than blasting the film’s writing as a whole. The rest of the characters have good dialogue after all. I like the style of Noir dialogue usually, it’s just that Frankie was way too exaggerated the whole time. If he was more serious and mysterious like he thought he was then that would have helped matters. Instead the guy just seems petty and amateurish the whole time. He’s always yelling “danger signals” at himself but they come too late like when Ralph spotted him first. Frankie blames himself for that mistake and acts like it’s rare, but it doesn’t seem to be with how things always go sideways for him here.

Overall, The movie has a conclusive ending but never really recovers into being a solid movie. Frankie just held the film back massively and the whole scene with Lori should have been cut out. You just can’t have a main character be this bad and still work as the lead. It’s just not happening and I wouldn’t even want him as the main villain especially as he isn’t even that effective in his profession. (The man doesn’t even carry a gun so he has to count on contacts to supply him one in time. What if they weren’t able to get the gun in time? He’d be doomed) The main rule of thumb is for a film about a villain to work, the villain’s scenes need to be bearable. Establish him as a villain and keep it moving but don’t go too far and the endless inner monologue doesn’t work in this case. If you’re looking for a good Noir film to check out, there are many, many better options out there.

Overall 3/10

Deepwater Horizon

This is a film I saw the trailer for many times. It definitely got promoted heavily and even BP was a company name I knew for a while. They definitely have a ton of issues and controversies around them at all times so it’s no surprise that they would have a big tragedy like this one. Unless they had another big oil spill before then I think I even wrote a paper on this one. I just remember BP was responsible for the accident I was writing about. Well, the movie does a good job of walking through and events and makes for an engaging watch from start to finish.

The movie opens with Mike and Jimmy’s team heading to the oil rig to finish the job and get everything set. Unfortunately things are looking a little shady right from the jump as the previous team was chased out of there before they could even run any tests. That definitely doesn’t sound like a good system right? What does this place have to hide? Well, the two BP representatives do not want to pay extra money and figure they could squeeze out a nice profit without actually increasing expenses. There isn’t a whole lot Mike and Jimmy can do beyond just proceed as normal. The system wasn’t ready for this kind of action though and the whole thing blows up. Can anyone escape this catastrophe?

With a film like this where you know the story and the basic plot, there aren’t a lot of twists and turns. Of course the first act takes a while for the explosion to actually happen but you do know that it is happening so that can be a mixed bag. After all, then maybe the film should jump right into it. It’s always an interesting predicament, like Superman or Batman film where you know they will become superheroes so you want them to jump ahead. At least I would say that the leadup is solid here and you do get to have some fun dialogue with the characters.

Mike is a good main character. He’s serious about his job and knows what he is doing. From all of the characters in the film he is probably the most prepared. He has a good working relationship with everyone and isn’t afraid to speak his mind. Even if he has to talk tough to the big execs, that is just what Mike will do. He really has no faults here and that’s always a good thing since it means this is a main character you can get behind. While we do have the explosion coming for the climax, I would say the film is largely character driven so you want a good cast.

His boss Jimmy is also solid. He’s clearly been around the block quite a few times in his career and has a ton of experience. He doesn’t let himself get pushed around by BP too easily even if they do overpower him by the end. He also does his best to keep the rig afloat and tries everything possible. It’s why he has to be written out of the action for a while since he may have been able to salvage the situation a bit.

As for the two heads of BP, those guys were a lot of fun. In particular Donald is the guy who stole the show here. The guy is really confident and you want that in your main villain. It’s not like he’s intentionally trying to destroy the place either. The guy wants to make money and he needs the place operational for that but he did some research and figured he could pull this off. At the end of the day he has likely succeeded in many similar situations, the whole thing just caught up to him. Any scene with him in it is always entertaining though, that’s for sure.

The effects are on point here and the explosion certainly looks realistic. Seeing the entire oil rig go down makes for quite the spectacle. we get intense scenes of having to run through the place while it’s burning and it makes for an effective climax. You definitely wouldn’t call the sequence boring or anything like that. It all just happens quickly and everyone has to find a way out. I was glad that nobody on the crew was being super unreasonable…until we get to one random guy.

So even with explosions coming through and all, there’s one character who refuses to send out an SOS and doesn’t even let his colleague try to press some buttons to make things better. He keeps yelling that they don’t have enough clearance for this and it felt like such a bad hill to die on. This guy is really going to get in everyone’s way because he doesn’t have the proper rank? Now that’s a way to mix up your priorities when it really counts. He’s got to be the worst character in the film due to how exaggerated the whole thing was.

There’s also a heroine near the end who starts to break down quite a bit when it’s time to escape the ship. Mike basically has to trick her to pull this off which makes her look really bad. Cmon now, jumping into the water is really a great plan. You still might die, but at least it’s not guaranteed. At least Mike was ready for even this situation and showed some really quick thinking.

The only thing I would say about the the film as not being super positive is I do think the ending can be a little overdramatic at times. When the characters arrive home you immediately have someone attacking Mike and nobody steps in to help for the longest time. I would hope there would be a little better security here trained for tragedies like this. The breakdown and all helps to throw a somber note on the film but I do think parts of that could have been skipped. The film just tries a little too hard to be super emotional by the end when the whole film was quick paced and energetic so it just didn’t transition very well.

Overall, Deepwater Horizon is a fun film. You may know what is going to happen but it doesn’t change the fact that the first half is really written well. They did a good job with it and you get to know the characters before things turn sideways. I enjoy seeing corporate duke it out with the small well meaning companies in all of these films. There’s just something about having confident villains that always makes for a lot of back and forth. With good banter at the ready, this is a film you would enjoy checking out.

American Made Review

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

American Made is an interesting film about trying to play all of the sides for as long as you can. Ultimately this will pretty much always lead to ruin so the movie’s really about seeing how far he can go with this. The film is based on a true story but loose enough where I figure I’ll still do a review here. It would have definitely been something if all of this had really happened.

The movie starts off by showing us that Barry is already in the illegal business of smuggling cigars to people while on his flights. This catches the CIA’s attention and they remind him that stealing and smuggling is okay as long as it’s for the good guys. They will pay him poorly to smuggle a lot of things for them. Barry accepts although it’s not like he has much of a choice. When he arrives at the gang hideout with the items, they convince him to start smuggling for them. Why not right? Then the DEA wants a piece of the action and before you know it Barry is working for all of the good guys and bad guys. It’s going to be rather difficult to get out of this predicament.

Barry’s a charismatic guy and that’s really how he has lasted so long in this rough business. as always it is a matter of time before someone catches you when you’re cutting corners and committing crimes but he would have been caught sooner if he wasn’t so smooth. At the end of the day he just really wants to be rich and doesn’t even hide the money all that well. When he starts raking in the cash there is so much money that it’s flooding the house, the family gets a super big house, a pool, etc. Barry likes to live large and in charge that’s for sure.

He’s a fun lead even if he isn’t heroic. That’s good since a film like this really needs a good lead as otherwise you would run the risk of this guy not being sympathetic at all or just rooting for him to get taken down already. As it stands, you’re invested in what is going on here. The cast is rather small though. I mean there are quite a lot of side characters but for the main ones it is relatively self contained. You’ve for Barry’s wife Lucy who isn’t really thrilled at all the secrecy initially. It’s not like Barry told her about his new job at the CIA so when he just vanishes like that it isn’t easy on her.

In one scene she even throws away all the food he brought home. It’s an emotional moment of course but I always feel bad when that much food is tossed aside. It had to be a lot of work to get that and you can’t let good food go to waste like that right? I dunno, I thought the food could have at least been saved. Otherwise Lucy takes it all in stride once Barry actually explains things. She cracks a bit near the end with the jewelry but lasted well for most of the journey.

Her brother JB is one of the most annoying characters in the film though. He’s just here to complain and get a free lunch. He doesn’t contribute at all and makes the worst decisions possible. You definitely know he’s doomed by the end as he starts creating a lot of scenes and even attempts some blackmail. Game over JB, that’s the match.

Barry’s boss Schafer was fun though. He may seem rather slippery and untrustworthy but from the start you get the feeling that he will act as if he has no knowledge of Barry if things go sideways. I would say it’s one of those things that is just understood. Naturally he also gets to take the credit so Schafer really has it easy here. At the end of the day he never has to go into the field or take any of the risks. All he has to do is claim the spoils at the end. It’s a really good setup.

As for the two main weapon/drug dealers who worked with Barry, they seemed nice enough. Of course you never quite forget that they are villains. It’s one of those things where they don’t act overtly evil but just knowing what they are doing shows that they aren’t exactly the good guys here. That pretty much wraps up the cast, it’s a fun group of characters I’d say. Definitely couldn’t consider any of them to be weak ones.

Another good aspect of the film is that the movie balances the humor and serious moments rather well. There are quite a few scenes that should at least have you crack a smile. Barry coming prepared with the Baseball bat after being robbed the first time was definitely a solid scene. Even when things aren’t going well for Barry there’s always a humorous undertone surrounding the movie. It was executed quite well and the movie already had good pacing as it was. Throw in the solid writing and a film that could have easily been more on the dull side ended up being a lot more interesting.

Overall, American Made was better than I expected it to be. I wouldn’t say it had any serious weak points to it. It’s not like I would say the movie is great or anything but there wasn’t a point during the experience when I was bored. It just passes on by rather quickly and you should be satisfied at the end of it. I think in some ways the movie could have gone a little more all out with how crazy it could be if it wasn’t trying to be based off of a true story though. The ending was rather intense though and it does seem like the gang has a whole lot of influence. Even the whole thing with the courts felt like it was rigged for Barry to fail.

Overall 7/10

Joker Review

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

Making a movie with the villain as the main character is always a rather tricky thing to try and accomplish. You either go the route of trying to make the villain sympathetic so you can root for him or you go all in on just making him evil. It’s such a tough balance that it’s usually not even worth making the attempt. With the Joker of all characters you already know him as one of the most evil villains in the Batman series so this is certainly a very different portrayal. Ultimately it doesn’t work as the film just seems to be a never ending story of bad things happening to everyone.

The movie starts by introducing us to the Joker who is an aspiring comedian. Currently he works as a clowns but it’s a rough city and things don’t work out from the start. His sign is stolen and then he’s beaten up in an alley. The job threatens to fire him for losing the sign and then Joker makes the big mistake of taking a gun to a children’s hospital by mistake. It does come in handy when he is attacked on the subway as he murders the three attackers but now his life is in a tailspin. He begins to learn things about his origin that he never knew and funding is cut off for social services so he no longer has pills to keep his laughing condition in check. Now it’s time for him to become a full villain and take down the city.

Right away I can tell you the film’s biggest weakness is how hopeless it all is. The movie is really just about how bad a place Gotham is. Bad things happen to Joker and everyone else at pretty much all moments in the film. Joker, Thomas Wayne, Murray, Randall, Penny, two random detectives, everyone gets a bad hand in the film. There’s no one who walks away from this with a really happy ending except for Sophie and even then I wouldn’t say it’s super happy either since she’s probably going to have to move or may just feel terrified for a while assuming she made it out of the film.

Joker starts off as a sympathetic character since he is trying hard to be a comedian but it never works out for him. People mock him and his laughing condition makes it hard to hold a conversation at times since it can get triggered at any time. The first two people he murdered were certainly in self defense so I wouldn’t hold those against him at all. You definitely need to fight back in such a scenario and if anything it would have been nice if he had gotten up to defend the lady rather than the situation ultimately happening because he stayed back. The third guy who ran away is definitely more on the iffy side since he was no longer a threat and was running away. It makes sense to bump him off in case he could ID Joker later on but at that point it’s more to protect his own skin.

The rest of the murders in this film are completely on Joker and show how deranged he is. Joker definitely had a complete decent into being a psychotic villain by the end. You know it’s coming the whole time since this is a film about the Joker but the issue with having a villain who is so unrelentingly evil as the lead is that there is nobody to root for. If you look at some of the best villains out there like Eren Yeager, Light Yagami, Venom, or Thanos, they worked well as leads or co-leads because their goals at least made a lot of sense. In a way Light and Thanos even had good goals of saving people in a broad sense but went the wrong way about trying to improve the world and as such became complete villains.

You’re rooting for them to be stopped but at least you understand why they are doing all of this. With Joker he pretty much admits that he is just seeking out revenge against everyone who has wronged him and is just enjoys the insanity of it all. You’re not rooting for him to win at all here and his scenes can just be painful to watch. Ultimately while he blames all of the other characters for everything, some moments are his fault as well like bringing the gun to the hospital and letting Murray rile him up. The guy was clearly mocking him so Joker could have either decided not to go or to use that opportunity to prove himself anyway rather than trying to become a symbol and start a movement even if he claimed that is not what he wanted to do.

Joker was just an awful lead here and I don’t see this Joker being one of the better versions even down the road. I much prefer the classic Joker origin where he was a random bank robber who fell into the acid and became Joker. He just went from villain to super villain rather than it being Gotham which broke him down and sped up his descent into madness. As for the other characters, well Randall is a mean colleague who makes fun of his co-workers height and is generally a rather toxic person. He is quick to lie and manipulate others. You know he’s not going to make it out of this the instant that he appears.

Then you have Murray who loves making jokes at other people’s expense. He has created a whole career out of it. Joker was even a big fan of his until the jokes began to be about him. Again this is where Joker loses more sympathy points because of course he doesn’t mind others getting mocked but when it’s about him then it’s a whole lot different. Next on the list of characters is Thomas Wayne who wants to be mayor but has a complete disconnect with the people of Gotham.

I have to assume that he is planning to buy the election because otherwise he is doing absolutely nothing to win new votes. He makes fun of these guys and calls them clowns as well as goes out of his way to antagonize them at every corner. The movie presents him as a rather arrogant man who is so full of himself that he doesn’t see what’s right in front of him. I forgot we were going to squeeze in the origin here so that was unexpected. This version of Thomas appears quite unsympathetic compared to most but of course as we’re only seeing some instances from Joker’s perspective here, it’s likely not the full story.

Joker’s mother Penny also gets a decent sized role. Like Joker she has her own issues which seem to due with memory loss at first but later on we see that she is also quite crazy. Joker doesn’t see the complete irony of trying to get revenge on her later on since she likely doesn’t even remember the past and seems to believe her own delusions here. Also, she is completely powerless when they have their final confrontation and it’s got to be the worst scene in the movie. Her backstory is really gritty of course as the film continues to pile on.

The only decent character in the whole movie outside of quick cameos is Sophie. She’s Joker’s neighbor and they have a brief meeting in the elevator where she tries to be friendly but Joker doesn’t talk back at all. I guess he was worried about the laughing starting up so he kept his distance but she gave him the benefit of the doubt on a second occasion when she noticed him following her. Considering we’re in Gotham that’s a scary feeling but she didn’t immediately call the cops or get people to beat him up. She really did her best and so I’m glad she at least made it out of this. I would have interpreted her as losing her life to be honest but I remember it was a huge deal when the film came out and the director or writer had to come out and confirm she was okay. I don’t see the point of having the ambulance whizz by after the scene though. It’s only purpose is to hint at that but I’m guessing they may want her around for the sequel if we get one.

Either way it’s a good decision because the film is mainly about Joker getting revenge on everyone and she would not be deserving of that considering that she was in his corner. Not as often as he thought given how his delusions work but in her real scenes she was on point. There’s not much to say about effects as this is a more down to Earth film but I did enjoy the jingle from the game show that Murray’s on. It had a catchy beat and the happy tone really made for a great contrast to the rest of the depressing scenes.

Otherwise, prepare for the film to really drag on. There’s no real happy scenes here as the film sets the tone early. From the kids beating Joker up in the intro to the asylum in the end, there is never a scene for you to smile. There’s always something bad happening or about to happen. It’s almost impressive how unrelenting the film is with this approach as you would expect things to start working out even for a little while before the next fall but that’s really never the case. The closest is when Joker’s act starts to succeed and then this is taken away in the next scene.

The film keeps trying to balance whether it’s Gotham that turned an innocent person into the world’s greatest criminal or if he was just unstable and psychotic from the start. It’s hard to say since we’ve just got a small picture into his life but by the end it seems to be leaning towards the latter. His excessive punishment towards everyone who wronged him backs that up at least even if the crime was a long time ago. The city didn’t help of course as Gotham will be Gotham and keeps on sinking. I don’t even see how the custody angle would have worked out after everything in the file to be honest. If there is a Metropolis in this continuity then you should definitely try to get out. Being homeless in Metropolis is likely better than trying to survive in Gotham.

Overall, Joker is really an awful movie that’s extremely mean spirited. This is exactly the kind of scenario you try to avoid when doing a film based on a villain. In fact, this can be the poster film for what I’m talking about when I say how risky it is. You end up having a main character you can’t root for and so you’re rooting for him to be taken down already but since the film is about this villain, you know that’s not happening until the very end if you’re lucky. We see that the Joker is evil throughout but with no real goals or big ideas. He has an awful speech at the end where he blames society and this and that, but at the end of the day it’s all excuses on his part. This was just the origin for Batman’s villain but unfortunately in a world where they are unlikely to do battle. There were no silver linings I could find in this film so I’d definitely say to skip this one.

Overall 0/10

Phone Booth 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

Phone Booth definitely works as a solid cautionary tale on why your best chance to escape a possible hostage situation is to make a dash for it immediately as opposed to sticking around and finding out what is going to happen. It’s an interesting concept to be sure and works as a unique one but it is very difficult to pull this off for a whole movie. It does begin to drag on after a point and the script is definitely the weakest part of the movie. Good idea but the execution could have used some work.

The movie starts by introducing us to Stu. He’s a very selfish publicist who’s a bit of a loudmouth and tends to just get by on charisma. He’s fairly good at his job by lying to everyone imaginable but of course it isn’t a very honorable way to conduct business. It’s a very effective way to introduce Stu though because immediately you do understand what kind of character he is. Well, he heads to the phone booth to make a call to the girl he is trying to cheat with but then receives a second call from a mysterious man who claims that he will shoot Stu if he leaves the phone booth. He even shoots a toy robot outside to prove his point. This guy apparently has a thing for exposing criminals and this time he wants to take Stu down. Stu’s only way out of this is to reveal his dark secrets to all of his loved ones but will this sniper keep his end of the bargain?

Now, Stu’s best chance here was definitely to dash out as soon as the call got dangerous. I’ve said this in the past but with any hostage situation like being held at gun point or something, the longer you stay there, the greater your odds of death are. At first Stu thinks the whole thing is a joke so he doesn’t care much but I don’t think you should even bother listening to a call like this if you aren’t expecting it. Just hang up and walk away. Still, at this point he doesn’t realize there’s danger so it’s not a big thing. Once the guy starts making threats, talking about Stu’s wife and such, then it’s time to get out of there. Dash out, call the wife and then call the cops. Even once the guy claims he has a sniper gun you should run away.

Lets fast forward to when the guy proves he has a gun. Okay now you have two choices. You can stay in the phone booth and listen to his orders or dash out. I like my odds with dashing out because the guy only will be able to get one shot off before you can get out of view. Additionally, the benefit of this plan is that you have the initiative. He doesn’t know when you will run out, only you do. This guy would have to be incredibly skilled to land a shot when you’re running like that. Just call his bluff and make a move. Worst case, you die.

Here’s why the other option isn’t good. Say you stay in the phone booth. Well, now the sniper has the advantage because he can shoot you at any time and it would be too late to run off. Additionally, your banking on the fact that this guy will actually let you go once you fulfill his orders. Keep in mind that this guy is already crazy enough to have you in a hostage situation so that might not be a very trust worthy guy you’re dealing with. Anyone that insane can’t really be taken at their word.

It’s finally too late to really make much of a move once the police show up. By this point the ball is really in the sniper’s court since if Stu makes any kind of move he will likely be gunned down on the spot. It’s why I say you have to do something because your inaction will eventually close up every opportunity that’s around. That’s exactly what ended up happening to Stu here.

The film establishes Stu as a fairly unlikable guy but at the same time you’ll certainly feel bad for him anyway since this is a rather brutal situation to be in. He even brings up a valid point a bunch of times about how the sniper’s other victims all seemed to have rather large crimes that hurt a bunch of people while his seem rather small in comparison. Stu was really in the wrong place at the wrong time for this random judge/jury/executioner to show up. At least the truth is out in the open now and Stu will likely be a nicer person in the future. I don’t think he’ll be quite so mean to the pizza man next time which was quite uncalled for.

Meanwhile the Sniper is one of those villains who is completely insane and evil but tries to mask it as if he is doing something good. He takes down criminals or people with bad morals and takes them down himself but not before threatening and blackmailing them first. This all crumbles when he also takes down two completely innocent people during the movie. It ultimately exposes the guy for what he is, just another murderer with an axe to grind. He certainly thoughts things through quite a bit so you can tell that he is the obsessive type.

The cast is really small though. Outside of the sniper and Stu, you have the two girls and the main cop. Pamela is the girl Stu was trying to have an affair with. To her credit she didn’t know he was married and had no way of knowing so I would consider her blameless in this case. She also had her own life aside from Stu and was doing well for herself. Then you have Stu’s wife Kelly who is also oblivious to this and really just got matched with the wrong guy. She takes it all in stride as best she can considering what a crazy scenario this is so she gets credit there as well.

Ramey was a very good police officer and I was glad he was able to pick up on the clues without being obvious about it. He was certainly Stu’s best ally in this whole adventure. Ramey was dedicated and never gave up as he tried to make sense of all this even when Stu was forced into acting rather awful towards him. It’s fair to say that he was easily the best character here.

So you have an interesting scenario and some solid characters here but man is the writing weak. I know this is New York so they want every character to sound like a classic sailor swearing all over the place but there’s so many air shots all over the place that you’ll think this is a horror movie. I haven’t seen such a weak script since your average slasher type film. It really makes you miss the more eloquent speech patterns from the older films. Now those really knew how to have a good exchange of dialogue. You could elevate the whole film by having the characters talk a lot smarter.

As it is, we did have some good mind games like when the sniper tries to talk Stu into answering the phone or reaching for the gun at the top of the box. In both cases Stu called him out on it and the Sniper temporarily backed off. Usually the lead falls for everything so I was glad Stu was at least putting up some kind of resistance. Not a whole lot mind you but the mind games is what you need to keep this scenario interesting for as long as possible.

Honestly if you clean up the script that would immediately have a noticeable effect on the film. It’s distractingly bad so that could even turn this into a good film. You definitely don’t have to have the phone booth by a strip shop either and could just have it next to a pizza place. The location shouldn’t matter in terms of getting someone who will cause trouble since that could be anywhere near NYC and then you focus more on the mind games instead of some of the opening scenes which really didn’t contribute to anything.

Overall, How much you enjoy Phone Booth will really come down to whether or not the film can remain interesting to you for the entirety of its run. It’s a fun concept but the weak script ends up hurting it. It can also be annoying to see how Stu handles the situation although that seems to be the norm for characters in this situation. I just feel like complying with these guys never works because the orders don’t end. Only time I can get on board with doing so is if they have another hostage in play. I would say you can ultimately give this film a skip and lets see if another film tries out a similar concept eventually. We do get a twist in the film as if this is a horror title so make sure you stick around for that. It’ll definitely give you something to think about as the film ends.

Overall 4/10

King Kong vs Godzilla Review

It’s been quite a while since I’ve seen this film. Definitely a long time from the past and it’s interesting to see the scenes I remember and the ones that are more foreign. One big change for me is that the fight is a whole lot shorter than I remembered. They don’t really meet up until near the end although the fight is certainly worth the wait.

So the movie starts with a TV head wanting his crew to do something to make the channel more interesting. The idea he comes up with is to have the crew find some kind of monster to put on the air. There are rumors of a giant monster on a remote island that has come up with some special berries that are like alcohol. The crew heads there and manages to secure their safety by offering cigarettes to the natives. It’s a strategy that works well enough but not what should they do? Grabbing this Kaiju will be difficult. Then you have the sobering fact that Godzilla has risen from his icy grave and demands vengeance. With humanity in the balance, these two creatures will ultimately end up facing off against each other. The only question is…who will win?

Naturally even if it is a small part of the film, the actual battle is definitely the big topic here. King Kong and Godzilla are both big icons after all. So I’ve always been on Team Godzilla, he just seems more powerful to me and has more options. The Atomic Breath is hard to overlook after all. In a fair fight Godzilla should win 10 times out of 10 so the question is, how can King Kong put up a fight?

Well, the film went about it in an interesting way. First odd, Godzilla got a new weakness for this movie which is that he isn’t very good against electricity. Then you have the fact that King Kong is powered up by it and a lightning storm shows up out of nowhere and lands several direct hits on him. Prior to this happening, Godzilla did end up crushing Kong in the fight. Only after the power up took effect did King Kong start to take the edge which led us to the famous final scene. Godzilla can breath underwater and usually fight there rather well so you’ll definitely have some big questions but I think we have to take the ending at face value here so there was a true winner.

All told, I would still bet my money on Godzilla and it’s hard not to root for him when you see the inevitable comeback beginning from King Kong. That said, the fight itself is satisfying. Another good thing about this film is it wastes very little time in having Godzilla show himself. He appears pretty much right away in the film which is a bit rare for any G title. Usually you’d expect him in the second half or almost the climax depending on the film. Here it seemed like the opening 15 minutes or so.

The pacing is on point and the film really breezes by. While the human plot may always feel like filler until you get to the Kaiju action, you should have some good laughs with the characters. The main duo have a classic setup where one of the characters is a comic relief guy while the other is the no nonsense leader. Both of them get humbled by King Kong at least once during the movie though. They have a lot of fun banter the whole time. The humans can be a bit exaggerated to an extent but it works out well for fun moments.

This was the English dub version I saw and it’s fair to say that the movie is part comedy. It’s a very light hearted creature feature film from start to finish. There are also quite a lot of reporter scenes where people just talk to you from the TV station. You have to really enjoy the dialogue or those parts can definitely end up being a bit slow. Fortunately they were definitely really solid to me. The style of writing and dialogue is just fun.

The special effects are on point. The suits look good and the fight was also good as mentioned earlier. Godzilla lands a super speed kick at one point that was sped up in a way which seemed surreal but also worked to great effect. If the film has any weakness, it’s that you may have a hard time remembering the character names since you are waiting for the creatures the whole time. The humans are fun but still feel like filler since you just want the monster battles. I didn’t remember any of the names by the end although granted, the cast isn’t very large. You have the main duo and then a bunch of supporting characters.

There’s not as much of a soundtrack as you might expect from your typical Godzilla movie though. You do have the iconic Godzilla roar which will have to do though and King Kong’s island always has its unique beats. Of course, the soundtrack will differ greatly depending on which version you watch so keep that in mind. This review is specifically for the dub version which is important since a review of the subbed version could be quite different based on how many changes there are. Unless it’s basically a different film I don’t really go back and review separate versions so you’d have to check that out on your own. I would recommend the English dub though as it’s so much fun.

Overall, There isn’t a whole lot more to say about the film due in part to how short it is. It’s a movie that really breezes by and should keep you grinning at all the effective comedic moments. Close your eyes and the movie is over in a snap. You’ll have a hard time finding a better Godzilla movie from the classic era though. I’d consider this to be one of the strongest of the Showa films and I’ve always loved a good crossover. This one is no different. If you haven’t watched the movie yet then you definitely need to change that. You don’t want to miss out on the Kaiju battles.

Overall 7/10

RoboCop (1987) 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

Robocop is a very famous character to be sure. Even if you haven’t seen the film you have likely heard of it in some way or another. It’s a movie that has aged rather well and I do agree with many that it beats the reboot. I enjoyed both the serious scenes of the movie as well as the moments that parody the media to an extent. Now those were some pretty fun commercials in there. All in all, it’s not a title you are likely to forget.

The movie starts off with corporate trying to find a way to cut costs. In this world they own the police force in Detroit but naturally they don’t want to pay them a whole lot. The police have even started organizing a strike. Their chief doesn’t like this but there isn’t a whole lot that he can do about it now that the union is on board. Unfortunately for Jones, his project doesn’t work so well and his robot murders someone. This allows Bob to get in and suggest his RoboCop project.

RoboCop is the process of basically turning the remains of a dead cop into this robotic police officer who will enforce the law. The timing couldn’t be better as officer Murphy was just gunned down by a group of gang members. While his memory should be wiped, RoboCop seems to remember his days as Murphy and his police partner Anne recognizes him as well. Will RoboCop be able to get past his sense of confusion to take down the gang and make the world a better place or is this game over for him? Additionally, with the OCP owning him and the cops, will he really be able to enact true justice?

I would really call this an action comedy because of how well the film executes on both genres. For starters you have the opening scene where the robot murders one of the board members. It’s a rough fate for the guy but I would say it’s still played for laughs and it works. These dark comedic moments are perfect in RoboCop and show how merciless the corporate world is. This scene doesn’t deter any of the workers there which is saying something.

I rather liked Bob quite a bit as an antagonist. He saw an opening and immediately jumped right in. He wasn’t afraid of Jones and talked tough right to his face. That’s the kind of resolve I want to see out of the up and coming villain. Things don’t turn out very well for him in the end but there wasn’t a lot he could have done. While I thought Jones would be a rather forgettable villain by the end, he impressed me with how he got his revenge later on. I’m telling you, this company does not play around and you don’t want to make an enemy out of anyone there. They all play for keeps.

The Chairman is also really good. He was extremely quick on the take during the climax which is ultimately how he kept his life. Otherwise that would have gone sideways for him very quickly and he would only be a memory. The actual main villain Clarence wasn’t as memorable though. He’s a rather unhinged guy who deeply enjoys his job but there still isn’t much more to him other than being a mobster. He’s like a C grade Joker. The guy does well in fights but he’s just not super interesting.

As for RoboCop, well he’s a fun character. I liked him quite a lot as Murphy so it was rather sad to see him go. The way Murphy dies in the intro was really effective. In large part because this is how you picture a lot of these encounters ending without any plot armor for the main character. You can’t just attack a whole gang on your own and expect to win. Murphy was just too hot headed in this case and it really ended up backfiring on him. It just felt very realistic, but definitely a painful way to go out.

In his transformed state, Murphy isn’t quite as hot headed as he used to be. He does keep some parts of his personality like twirling the gun but for the most part he is quite different now. He also has the disadvantage of being a robot owned by OCP so they can brainwash him at any point. Still, RoboCop does his best to dish out some peace to the villains and he does well. From the 3 films this is easily his best portrayal. He takes out a lot of thugs and is quite durable without being way too slow. He also thinks of good ways to get around his programming weaknesses. As for his partner Anne, she’s a good cop. Ultimately she wasn’t quite fast enough to help Murphy out but I would say she is solid. She just doesn’t get quite as big a role as you might be expecting. She provides moral support but that’s about it.

The effects are on point here and the movie has definitely aged well in that respect. If you’ve seen Judge Dredd, you’ll probably be thinking of that film a lot during this movie because of how similar they are. RoboCop is just a fun film all around. As mentioned earlier, the media parts are great too. If you focus on the news headlines behind the reporters you see a lot of interesting items and of course they report on quite a few stories. It shows how hopeless the world is with constant bad things happening. The movie really depicts a rather bleak world where corporate is running the Earth into the ground. Then you have the parody commercials as well which will give you some laughs.

Overall, RoboCop succeeds not just because it’s a fun action film but also because the writing is incredibly clever. It can give you a very powerful moment and then immediately hit you with a really funny moment. I like seeing corporate as the villains since they can be entertaining and this film adapts them well. We even get the full board meetings and the rushed version of RoboCop that isn’t quite so effective. I felt bad for the clunky robot by the end because he meant well but just wasn’t built for success. It even throws a bit of a tantrum on the stairs when trying to follow RoboCop. This just wasn’t his day. If you haven’t seen this film yet then you should definitely change that.

Overall 7/10

Clash of the Titans (1981) Review

It’s time for the original Clash of the Titans film. I quite enjoyed the newer remake when I saw it but granted, that was many years ago. It’s been an extremely long time since I saw that film so I don’t know how well it’s aged but I would say it beats this adaption. I had some issues with this one. The old time era and feeling of it makes the movie a little more dated than needed and naturally all of the gods are unlikable. There are some cool action scenes here though and on the whole I would say the writing is good. So while I wouldn’t be giving this movie a ton of points or anything like that, it’s not a very bad old school epic, it could have been better though.

The movie starts out with a king deciding to banish the queen away to sea after Zeus has a kid with her. Zeus is furious to see this and strikes the whole country down with the Kraken. Fortunately for him, they end up living as they arrive on an isolated island. The child is given the name of Perseus. Not all of the gods are thrilled about Zeus playing favorites like this. The guy certainly messes around quite a lot and is as irresponsible as possible. Seems pretty accurate to the legends I must say as this seems to be a reoccurring theme in most of those. Well, Thetis has a child as well in Calibos but the guy disrespects Zeus which is a no go in this world so the guy is turned into a goat chimera monster of sorts.

Naturally Andromeda no longer wishes to marry the guy since he’s not very attractive anymore. Still, what can she do to stop him? Her astral self is kidnapped every night and it’s not like anyone can stop it. Well, Thetis decides to take revenge on Zeus by warping Perseus into this land. Perseus takes this in stride though and this is a mistake on Thetis’ part since he now wants to rule the whole land. Calibos is in the way of his marrying Andromeda and getting a lot of power so now things are going to get dangerous here.

That’s a bit of a smashed up version of the plot since the movie is quite long and the story shifts multiple times. Still, I think it’s a fair assessment of how things are going. It’s fun to see the names and locations here after watching so much Saint Seiya since it operates in the same kind of time frame with the gods and legends all around. What Clash of the Titans does well is establish the universe. It’s easy to see how the world works even with the gods running around every corner and all these monsters everywhere.

While the film is rather long, I would not say that it is boring. There’s always something happening although it is fair to say that the pacing can be a bit slow. It is trying to slowly build up the tension like an old school epic after all. The characters are rather on the weak side though so I think we can now transition into the weaker aspects of the film. For starters, I didn’t like anyone here.

Perseus is a decent main character at best. He does tend to take things in stride after all but almost to the point of effectively being emotionless. There’s not a whole lot you could even say about his general character. I guess he’s a nice guy but that’s about it. The robotic owl given to him in the second half really deserves a lot of points for making sure Perseus was in the right spot at the right time. As for Andromeda, well she got off to a bad start when she was being kidnapped in her dreams and trying to talk Calibos out of his plans. She never seemed to have a chance there.

As for dumping Calibos once he transformed, while it’s hard to blame her, I would have preferred she had just broken it off because she never liked him. It seems like one of those arrangements where it was for the kingdom anyway. Calibos is the kind of villain who just wants the girl and power is a side trip to that objective so he’s not one of my favorite villains at all. The guy is reasonably tough but at the same time you don’t feel a lot of fear towards him the way that you would for the Kraken.

Now the Kraken is a bright spot in the film. He’s got a great design, looks sort of like the Gill Man. I was pleasantly surprised since I’m used to him looking more like a monster. Like this you could see him going toe to toe with anybody. It’s just his bad luck that he had to go up against Perseus once the guy had the Medusa head. No way to win in that position but for the most part the Kraken did well and won whenever he could. That’s what you want to see out of your main villain.

As mentioned, the rest of the gods are mostly just there to bicker as they act all high and mighty. At least Thetis was actually going around and personally ruining people’s lives as opposed to staying on the sidelines. That makes her a more active participant who can actually be feared as opposed to the ones who would just talk. The lady not giving up her owl was a smart move though, he wasn’t Zeus’s to give away after all.

The journey itself takes Perseus to quite a few areas like his mini mission to steal the head of Medusa. I thought he was a little mean to the three blind sisters but they did seem rather suspect. I’m guessing that’s why he threw their eye away and was just making things harder on them. I did enjoy the journey aspect though. In part it felt like an RPG in that aspect. He had to go to an island to grab the head to then go back to the main island and stop the Kraken. Even the opening scene where he is given the three items from the gods is like something out of a game.

Overall, Clash of the Titans is an old school film that has some fun moments but for the most part it’s just dated in a bad way. The characters aren’t great and the old school warrior battles don’t stand up as well as your old gun fights or hand to hand battles would. There’s definitely a really random fanservice moment here as well which is not really intended to be one I suppose as the film is just trying to stay true to the legends but still isn’t needed. To sum it up, the film either needed to be more exciting or to have had better writing to get higher. As it stands, I would check out the newer version first, it just had a lot more energy to it.

Overall 4/10