Patriot’s Day

This write-up 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

The Boston Bombings was definitely a really big event. I remember Reddit had a lot of coverage on it and even got involved. Their investigation ended up not going so well but they did take steps that would ultimately force the authorities to move a bit quicker. Reddit still refers to this event when trying to solve other murders and such in the present. The movie seems to be a pretty accurate portrayal of events even if we do get a main character who isn’t really based on anyone who was there. I suppose the movie wanted someone to stitch things together.

The movie centers around Sergeant Tommy who has to work the marathon route this time. He’s not thrilled about the task because he doesn’t like the way the uniform looks. I dunno what’s so bad about it, the uniform seems nice and colorful to me. Still, Tommy’s requests to leave are denied so he’s stuck here. That’s when the bombs go off and throws the event into chaos. Once the dust clears the FBI are called in to investigate this. They need to track down who left the bombs at the event and track these people down. Tommy is an expert on navigating the immediate area so he is called in by the FBI to help get a lot of the key clues. Tommy even reminds them that they should probably check with the witnesses to see what’s going on here. The heroes have a plan but they need to hurry or the bombers will be long gone.

Of course as this is based on a real event you should know most of what’s coming depending on how much you know about the actual events at the time. Reddit isn’t mentioned even though you could say they were quite influential in this event but I suppose that part may have been a bit exaggerated from the site…possibly….maybe. The film also shows us the villains in their planning phase so while it’s a mystery to the heroes we know exactly who they are from the start. They’re definitely radical lunatics just trying to inflict damage on a lot of innocent people for no true reason. Fortunately the film doesn’t bother creating any sympathy for them. They’re portrayed as pretty bad people in general. One of them is a little more hesitant on this at the start but only offers half hearted resistance before going through with the plan.

The movie is definitely pretty intense given that the bombing scene is quite gruesome. Additionally we get some big fights with the two bombers as they had a lot of pipe bombs with them and in the event a cop was killed so that was kept in. It definitely does remind you how dangerous it is to be a police officer particularly when you have to deal with people waving guns around like this. Even when they have the bombers outnumbered it was hard for them to make any headway since their equipment just wasn’t as good.

It was nice to see the FBI looking good here. Of course it’s largely because this was based on real events but otherwise in the films the FBI tend to either look very shady or just not very good at handling their business. Here we see their vast resources and how they’re able to quickly set up a mobile base of operations. We also just see a lot of co-operation between them and the Police as well as the Governor who shows up to make some calls as well. There were definitely a ton of parties involved and the film also includes a speech or two from the President on the events as well. The Boston Bombings certainly effected a lot of people and was definitely one of the biggest terrorist acts in recent memory.

The heroes all look good here. Tommy also makes for a solid lead. I can see how people probably wouldn’t be thrilled with how he takes up a lot of the story. It’s similar to Chris from Sonic X as he took away a lot of screen time from other characters. Still, I thought Tommy was a solid character. In the context of the movie’s story he was definitely instrumental in helping solve the case and catch the bombers. He helped the FBI and also took a lot of risks of his own in surrounding the boat and trying to drag the guy out. There’s nothing particularly bad about his character. At worst he just doesn’t particularly standout at times, he’s portrayed as just an average guy doing his best to help out.

Overall, Patriot’s Day is a pretty solid film. If you aren’t familiar with the Boston Bombings then it’ll probably have some extra impact for you since you won’t know exactly what to expect. The film did a good job of balancing together a lot of different plots taken from real accounts at the time. There’s also an epilogue where you get to see a lot of the real people from the events and current status updates. It’s not like this was super long ago so there are some elements ongoing to this day. So if you’re up for a thriller on real events this would definitely be the one to check out.

They Review


It’s time to look at a horror film from the early 2000s. This one is definitely a very by the books kind of horror film. It throws in all the usual elements like some quick jump scares and spooky visuals. Ultimately it doesn’t do much right though and between the poor characters, lackluster writing, and unimaginative villains; They is a film that you will quickly forget. Even the title doesn’t seem very inspired but it does very quickly give you that horror film kind of vibe so I’ll give the film some credit there.

The film starts with some monsters pulling a kid into there world like something out of Stranger Things. These monsters aren’t all that powerful though and the kid escapes back to the real world. Fast forward almost 20 years later and the monsters show up again. The guy decides to destroy himself to beat the monsters to the punch. He invited Julia over to see this though and now she is scarred for life. Two of the guy’s friends show up (Terry and Sam) and explain that these monsters are here to destroy everyone who has their mark one by one. See, these monsters claim their prey when they’re kids and show up to finish them off once they’re full grown. Julia thinks this is all messed up but eventually is unable to deny this possibility. Is she going to be the next to disappear?

So there are a lot of issues here. One of them is that the monsters don’t get to appear much. Maybe it’s because the director knew they wouldn’t be too fierce looking? They sort of look like Gollum from Lord of the Rings. They’re very frail and most only seem to be about the size of a kid. Sometimes they can be a bit larger though so it seems to vary quite rapidly. Without a monster to fight what about our fight scenes? Well, the issue is that there aren’t really any fights because the monsters are too powerful. I mean, they’re not strong enough to drag a grown person down until there’s a bunch of them but since they have unlimited numbers and cannot be defeated it’s ultimately pointless for the humans to fight back.

That’s why it’s always preferable if you have an opponent that you can really fight off. As powerful as Freddy and Jason are, at least you can theoretically get into a fist fight with them and hope for the best. With these guys they’ll overwhelm you with unlimited numbers. Their only weakness is the sun and since they can create large scale blackouts that won’t help much either. I feel like a sequel about them trying to take over the Earth would have had more potential. As it stands, it just seems like nobody has a shot here and that’s a shame.

Julia isn’t a great main character. She starts getting spooked by the monsters real quick but ultimately doesn’t do much about it. At most she plays along with the gang for a bit but still makes a lot of questionable decisions. At the very least I’d say that staying with Paul would have been better than running to an abandoned Subway station late at night. I’m wondering if the gates actually do shut off at that time. In the movie she gets locked in but if the trains are still running that would be odd. I’ll assume the gremlins were causing this as well. So Julia’s pretty standard for horror protagonists but if anything is a little slower on the ball than the others.

Then we have her boyfriend Paul. The guy seems reasonable for the most part but also way too soft. There’s no way he should be letting these two guys crash at his place without paying rent or anything for so long. Particularly since they break his one and only rule of barging into his room. Paul can definitely do a lot better than this. I’ll give him some points for standing by Julia in the end but that’s about all I can do for him. He’s still better than Terry and Sam though. Terry decides that even though she is going to be one of the next to go…she is going to head to a swimming pool where it gets fairly dark out. She should have made sure she was near the exit for when everyone else was leaving.

I just have a problem with her going at all. Now, it’s true that you can’t just live in fear and hide inside all day. I definitely agree with that logic for just about everything in the real world. That said, if a supernatural demon is after you and you know that it’s been bumping off people as soon as the lights go out, why would you head anywhere without a flashlight or something? Why put yourself in a position to be eaten so easily? It just wasn’t smart. Sam isn’t much better. I guess the guy was home but he’s drawing everything in black paint to make the room even darker. Why? It doesn’t make any sense and naturally the monsters close in on him as well. The guy was always pretty grim by nature so maybe he was taking it in stride. To an extent these aren’t massive details because the film assures us that they were doomed to die either way. Still, it would have been nice if they handled things a little better.

Beyond that the film forces in a lot of the typical romance scenes you would expect in a horror title. There’s quite a lot of fanservice here throughout that brings the film down and the scenes don’t actually add anything to the experience. It’s even used for humor once or twice. Once again I have to take a shot at Julia here. When she’s trying to figure out if she has the mark, it’s literally a life or death matter. Wouldn’t she be a bit more thorough? Later on she has a “whoops” kind of moment when she realizes where it is and you can’t tell me that you wouldn’t have noticed this earlier. When it comes to looking for a mark you had better be detailed. The scene where she tries to deactivate the beacon is pretty brutal but that would have been a little more helpful earlier. Either way I bet she was doomed though.

Overall, the whole movie is really just a lesson in futility for the characters. Nothing they do has any real effect and the monsters are just too strong. The film can be fairly violent and dark the whole time. It’s pretty much mandatory that the characters all have some kind of dark element in their background. The character shooting himself was certainly one way to start the film. There’s just not a whole lot of quality to be found here. It really underperforms in every area. At least it does throw in the token twist ending to the film so you should be ready for that. At the very least I feel like all the horror titles gotta end with that because at least it gives you something to remember the film by. Again, I think there could be potential for a sequel where the aliens wage war on Earth even if that might shift genres a bit. It’ll at least be a good way to shake things up. In the meantime I’d advise skipping this horror flick.

Overall 1/10

The Boy with the Striped Pajamas Review


It’s time to look at an old tragedy film and unfortunately this one did not manage to really get anything right. You get the feeling that it’s not going to be a very good movie early on when you learn that the main characters are Nazi’s. Two of the main characters are kids so the adults are trying to indoctrinate them into this. As you can probably guess the film tends to be quite mean spirited throughout and ultimately by the end of it you’ll feel like the experience was a waste of time. Any message the film was trying to get at was quickly washed away.

So the film starts with Ralf getting a promotion. He is to move closer to one of the concentration camps to oversee the atrocities being committed over there. Ralf is eager to get started and so the whole group moves in where they will now be accompanied by soldiers at all times. His wife Elsa didn’t realize just how close they would be to the farms but that seems to be more of a concern than what is actually taking place. Their children Bruno and Gretel aren’t quite old enough to understand this either although they have begone to be molded into future Nazi’s by their tutor. One day Bruno meets a kid in the camp named Shmuel and decides to be friends. Bruno is convinced that Shmuel is just enjoying a game on the other side even though Shmuel tries to explain what is happening. Can there possibly be a happy ending here?

So there are a ton of issues. One of the more basic ones is that it’s always been very hard for children to hold their own films. They just aren’t interesting enough to work as the lead and that ends up holding them back quite a bit. Bruno is portrayed as being so slow to understand the situation that it gets old pretty quick. At the very least seeing that Shmuel is behind a cage should make things pretty obvious. It’s not like he appeared to be in good condition either so the whole “game” idea didn’t make sense from the jump. Bruno also has enough knowledge of the situation to sell Shmuel out later on in the film.

The betrayal scene was definitely pretty bad as Bruno allowed Shmuel to be beaten for a lie that was entirely Bruno’s fault. Definitely not a good scene. Bruno also watches Ralf stand by as their house attendant was beaten to death for pretty much no reason. It’s a pretty toxic environment he was in and Bruno never put the pieces together. Gretel gets less of a role but she is very easily thrown into full mania over the cause so I wouldn’t say that she looked very good either. It was very easy to convert her.

Naturally when it comes to the adults they are even worse. The kids at least have the excuse of being children so not only is there not much that they could do, but they don’t have all of the information at hand. Ralf and Elsa certainly do. Elsa is portrayed as being a little more sympathetic than Ralf as she is not completely on board with the cause but she does go along with it enough to have gotten to this point. Ralf on the other hand is definitely one of the main villains here as he fully supports everything that’s being done. Part of the problem with having the Nazi’s as the main characters is that there is no way to sympathize with them so no matter what happens you’re left feeling that it is all due to what they have done. They’ve murdered numerous people already and likely even after this event there will be more to come.

Pretty much every other scene is something bad happening to someone. Someone’s being beaten or intimidated at all times. The ending keeps that mean spirited approach as well and you’ll probably understand what is about to happen as soon as the final scene starts to develop. I suppose it at least doesn’t leave much room for a sequel. The plot just never stood a chance from the start. It’s conceivable that you could try to have some kind of a decent film with a Nazi main character who learns the error of his ways and truly converts out of that. It would still have to be handled with the utmost care though and more times than not I would expect the attempt to fail. This film didn’t even try to go for that. The main characters are still Nazi’s by the end even if they are not pleased with what went on. I don’t really expect that to change in the end either. Maybe Elsa will put some distance but I’m not really sure about that.

In general if you’re going to have the main characters be on the villain’s side then there’s one of two ways to handle that. One is to make the villain fairly likable. The way to do that is by having a motive that you can understand and root for the villain to an extent or by having the villain be super charismatic so even while things are going on it’s not a tough watch. The other is to have the main character grow up on the villain’s side but realize it isn’t the right way and revolt. To do that the main character has to be old enough to make a difference though. So having a kid as a main character wasn’t going to work either way.

Overall, Even the name of the film will remind you of Bruno’s odd attempts to escape reality. It’s always tough when a film has no real redeemable qualities but I would have to say that this film fits the bill. There’s never a moment in the film where you will actually be enjoying it and that’s the problem. It tends to drag on for quite a long while and I would highly recommend skipping this film and going for something else instead. You’ve definitely got many better options for titles to check out.

Overall 0/10

The Book of Eli Review

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Overall 1/10

The Heiress Review


It’s time for an old school romance film. This one definitely serves to remind you that trust is something that needs to be earned. If you’re rich then you end up with a lot of advantages in life but also some unique disadvantages. One is that you never know if people are being straight with you anymore or if they’re just watching your pockets and trying to get some money. You need to be aware of this at all times. People say “More money more problems” which is probably a saying from someone who had a lot of money since I don’t buy into that, but being rich certainly doesn’t mean you’re problem free. Oh no, you’ll definitely have a lot of new worries so in a way it’s a trade off. You may have to live a bit more of a lonelier life if you’re rich so you’ve got to be clever and discrete. The main character was neither here.

The movie starts off by introducing us to the family of Catherine, her father Austin, and her aunt Lavinia. The three of them now live under one roof with Catherine feeling like the odd one out. Lavinia’s had a very social life and just has a lot of fun in day to day activities. Then you have Austin who has built an entire empire although he is now old and getting closer and closer to death. Catherine has an inheritance of 10,000 dollars a month and once Austin dies that will go to 30K. The only issue is that right now she has no suitors. Catherine hasn’t done a lot to really stand out in appearance or in manners. This created a bit of a self fulfilling prophecy where she has lost all confidence in herself and can’t hold up even the beginnings of a normal conversation.

Time after time she is taken to parties but nobody wishes to dance with her or anything like that. Then one day she meets a man named Morris who is incredibly interested in her. He claims this to be love at first sight and wants to marry her that same week. He quickly pressures her into agreeing to engage and then get married a few days later. Catherine’s father Austin is not thrilled at this. He claims that Morris is a bounty hunter just looking to take her money. He decides to try and prove this to Catherine but she simply won’t believe him. Is it really true that Morris is just using her or is he actually a good guy? The stakes are quite here as she might lose her one true love or prepare for a loveless life.

There’s definitely a lot to say on this matter. For starters, this is why you can’t just fall for someone so instantly. I’ve never believed in love at first sight. I believe people mix that up with infatuation or a crush. Those things can happen in an instant since it’s purely superficial attraction. Love is something you build up as you hang out with such a person and begin to admire their other traits. There’s a world of difference between a crush and love. So even if Morris is on the level with his feelings, they come across as quite shallow here. The only reason he has so much sway over Catherine is because she is so desperate for love after being turned down for so long. She is quite desperate to be in a relationship.

It’s why you have to be content with yourself first. If you’re not having a good time then getting into a relationship is hardly going to change things. At most it’ll just tide you over for a little while but you need internal happiness as well, you can’t just be happy when someone else is around. It’s also a fair point that Catherine didn’t put in a lot of effort if she really wanted to impress the men around. There’s a whole lot you can do with your appearance to try and catch someone’s eye. Assuming that she simply preferred this look which is fair, she could have learned some talents. Dance for example is something she could have definitely studied and I also question why she was so slow on the uptake with everything. Catherine never seems to understand what is going on even if it’s being done right in front of her face.

While the film sometimes uses this as dark humor, it doesn’t really hurt her case. Either way you’ll feel bad for Catherine regardless. The film can be quite tragic and even if she should have picked up on some of the things everyone was saying, you can’t help but empathize with her plight. It may not be all that relatable but she does get crushed quite a few times in this film. That’s not to say that other characters don’t make mistakes though. I liked Lavinia quite a bit and for a while she was the best character in the film. Then she starts to get played as a sucker towards the end which really hurts her. I suppose you could make the case that she knows how this will end but still feels like Catherine will be happier. I don’t see why she would believe that though. It’s just not a good look there. I did appreciate the energy and spunk she gave the film though.

The best character in the end would be Austin. Austin was looking at things scientifically right from the start. He may come across as rather cold and aggressive but at the end of the day he was still looking out for Catherine. He figures it’s better to stop things now even if it hurts her a bit rather than letting them go too far and then having her realize what is going on. As a result he has to play the bad guy for most of the film. He does go a bit far at times like not being able to see any qualities in Catherine. If she doesn’t currently possess any skills then it’s his job to help her acquire them. We know that he has made a reasonable attempt at this but he could surely do more. Even in terms of looks he has wealth and means so he could take her to beauty salons and such. If he were more helpful to her during all of this that would have been nice as well.

Finally we have Morris who certainly gets a pretty big role in the film. He’s certainly bold if nothing else like his final scenes. You’d have to be living under a rock to really accept what’s going on at the end there. If anything I’m not sure the jewels were needed, but I guess to build up the anticipation further so there’s a bigger fall to rock bottom. I get the concept at least. I can’t say that I was a big fan of Morris from the start though. You really should never come across as too desperate and he seemed desperate from the start.

The writing here is pretty solid. The movie does a good job of keeping a sad tone afloat the whole time for Catherine without going over the edge with it. You’ll definitely feel bad for her the whole time and you don’t even need a lot of sad music tunes to get that across. There’s one section in the film where she wears the Sith Lord cloak from Star Wars and that was pretty intense. Her character definitely started to change towards the end and it made for a very interesting character shift. I wouldn’t have minded if that had been her regular attire for more of the film. It has aged pretty well.

Overall, This film definitely reminds you to play things close to the vest. If someone tries to rush you into something then you should think twice about it. The film has a pretty satisfying conclusion so it makes this a very complete experience. At times you’ll definitely wish Catherine would be more active or at least a little smarter but it is what it is. If you like a good romance drama film then I’d recommend checking this one out. The pacing is good and quite a lot happens here. You also get a few verbal debates with solid back and forths like the scene with Austin vs Morris in the dining room. Now that’s the kind of scene I would definitely like to see more of.

Overall 7/10

Million Dollar Baby Review


It’s time for a film about boxing. There have been quite a few good ones over the years like Rocky and Creed. Those did a good job of delivering some pretty hype fights with epic storylines. Both of them will not be forgotten anytime soon. This one started out like it was going to be another one of the greats. Unfortunately it flew off the rails towards the end and ruined any potential it might have had. The first 2/3 of the film is quite good but the final part definitely destroys the film. That’s why they say a good ending is important. You can start off quite amazingly but if you trip over the end that’s what you will be remembered for.

The movie starts with Frankie winning more fights as the manager of a top ranked fighter Willy. Unfortunately his boxer eventually leaves him because Frankie never let him compete in the title matches. Frankie is now without a boxer. Meanwhile a girl named Maggie has started showing up as the gym and is determined to make Frankie her manager. He’s quite reluctant as he’s never coached a girl before and doesn’t want to start now. Still, she gradually weakens him and he starts to warm up to the idea. Still, a part of him is worried that this is a bad idea and he doesn’t want to have any more regrets.

There aren’t many big characters in this film but they all had to deal with a lot of issues throughout the film. Frankie has his own reasons for why he never lets his boxers attempt the big fight. His instincts are usually pretty good and it’s something that can come back to bite you. At the same time, it seems like this isn’t quite the right profession for him then. In boxing people are always going to get hurt so if you’re not prepared for that then you’re going to be in for a rough time. Frankie definitely plays the role of the angry coach who’s always got something stern to say. Deep down he’s a nice guy but it’s hard to get to that level. He makes for a good character though and a solid lead focus.

Then you’ve got his friend Eddie who does a lot of the work around the gym. He’s a lot quicker to give advice. Usually the other characters aren’t quite ready to hear what he has to say but he does his best. He has one especially good scene where he takes on one of the newer characters. He does pretty well and shows that he can still fight. He’s easily the nicest character in the film and I’d say that he steals the show. We all need an ally like Eddie. Someone who will have your back through the tough times no matter what.

Finally you have Maggie who really wants to be the world’s best boxer. She’s had a pretty tough life so far as her family turned out to be pretty toxic after her father died and she doesn’t really have anyone to support her. It’s been tough to make ends meet and boxing may be her only shot at a new life. She’s quite determined and that allows her to climb the ranks quite fast. Her technique is quite solid and she showed that she could hang with the best. Maggie takes all of the situations quite well and has some true grit.

While the film is focusing on the boxing it can be quite good. You really get to see proper footwork during the battles as well as the training you have to go through in order to get to the top. The characters are pretty solid and the pacing is good. The film would have been really solid if it had just ended with a slightly different outcome to the final fight or just cutting off at that point. Continuing further was ultimately a mistake.

I can’t really go much further into the ending because of course it’s a huge spoiler to the rest of the film. Needless to say, the movie decides to go for a lot of grit and dark themes towards the end. It suddenly stops being about boxing and becomes more of a tragedy drama where things continue to get worse and worse. The film doesn’t really leave any hope left and you’re just waiting for it to end at this point. The final act drags on for quite a long time. The film also randomly adds a backstory involving a dog dying and someone who was disabled getting beat up. It’s like the film suddenly changed gears and decided it wanted to be as mean spirited as possible.

Even the plot about Maggie’s family doesn’t feel truly necessary. I think the references from early on would have sufficed there rather than getting them involved. Even threatening Frankie at the hospital was a rather odd scene. I’m assuming after that Maggie told Frankie to leave for his own safety or at least I hope that was the case since it would seem out of character otherwise. Really what it boils down to is that the final act of the movie just wasn’t any fun at all. It crossed the line of getting a little too grim dark in what otherwise would have been a pretty solid adventure.

Overall, The Million Dollar Baby is a film that could not keep up its momentum. It built up a pretty solid plot with some good fight scenes and ultimately threw it all away for shock value. I’d definitely recommend watching something like Rocky or Creed instead. Those films manage to finish the ride and deliver with great endings to each of the installments. A good ending applies to just about every kind of game, sport, or entertainment. Finishing is the true skill you need to have in order to make it to the next level. Hopefully if this film was to ever get a remake or a sequel someday it would do a better job of finishing the fight. Until then this will definitely be known as the weakest boxing film I’ve seen.

Overall 3/10

Dr. Stone reboot: Byakuya Review


It’s definitely cool to see that Dr. Stone already got a spin-off. At only 9 chapters it is a pretty quick one but that’s fine. I think it would have been hard to stretch the premise out too long or it may have felt a little redundant. Either you have the original astronauts doing a lot of the same things Senku and pals have done or you stay up in space with not a lot to do. This spinoff is definitely pretty emotional though thanks to the addition of a new character.

The series starts by introducing us to Byakuya and his crew as they watch Earth get enveloped in stone. Byakuya figures they need to dash back to Earth. His crew is a little skeptical about this choice but eventually agree to do it. As they head out, Byakuya is forced to leave the A.I. Program behind to guard the ship. The robot says it will wait for the humans to return no matter how long it takes. Will it really be able to stay operational over the next 3000 years?

The first few chapters play out pretty similar to how Byakuya’s story was in the main series. It expands on some areas while cutting out most of the scenes we already saw. The spinoff was timed pretty well since the end of the series ties in really well with the current events in the main title. Somehow I don’t think Rei would show up until the final chapter of the series because she would probably break the immersion for many and would be a little too handy. In general this series is a little less realistic than the main one but it does show you just how advanced the Dr. Stone series could have been if not for the stone wave. If anything I think it shows that it is far more advanced than our Earth.

Byakuya is always a fun character so it was nice to see more of him. He’s quite different from Senku but still has that same determination and drive to succeed. Lillian’s a solid heroine as well and the two of them are the best members of the prequel cast. The rest of the characters are around but they don’t leave much of an impression this time. That’s because there really isn’t enough time for them. The rest of the series is about the A.I. Rei after the humans have gone. She aims to keep the ship in good condition but as the centuries pass it gets to be a difficult task.

I have to admit that Rei’s plot isn’t quite as interesting and since it’s over half of the series that means this isn’t going to be a title with a lot of replay value. Her chapters are almost silent as she fiddles around with some tech and keeps putting upgrades in the ship and on herself. By the end of the series she has her own robot body which is cool. I do think it would be a waste to not have her ever appear again so I would like a cameo by the end of Dr. Stone. I think Byakuya should have been straight with her and told her to come to Earth. Given how resourceful she is I have a feeling that Rei would have been able to pull it off. If anyone could, it would definitely be this A.I.

The art is definitely pretty solid like the main series. All of the characters are pretty well detailed and the backgrounds are solid. It makes for easy reading. I blasted through the series all in one go so it did hold my attention. The writing is solid as always and I’m glad to see Stone getting a spinoff already. Some series take a long time to get any so that’s pretty impressive for sure.

I am still a little surprised that the series wasn’t about showing more of Byakuya’s adventures, but since this was always meant to be a miniseries perhaps the author wants to save that for a spinoff. Ultimately it’s not like Byakuya’s group would go too far since we know how their adventure concludes, but I imagine it could still be pretty enjoyable. Rei’s story is certainly out of the box, but if she appears again then it’ll all be worth it. If she doesn’t return then I admit that will be pretty unfortunate. There’s still so much they can do with her even if she will be overpowered.

The ending does occur at the expense of Senku’s character though. He doesn’t notice a signal from Rei that I feel like he would have figured out right away. He knows that the event isn’t a natural phenomenon and the guy is always super curious about anything like that. Ideally he’ll notice at some point, but I think the series should have ended without her giving that signal. It would have made Senku look a little better at least.

Overall, Reboot is an interesting prequel. You sort of get the idea that it’s going to be like Attack on Titan: Before The Fall where it doesn’t really matter, but hopefully that is not the case. I believe this title would retroactively get a little more interesting if it does end up having an impact on the main title. It would be a nice crossover of sorts. If not? Well, this is still a fun little mini series. I imagine it’ll eventually get bundled together as a one shot volume so if you see it in stores I’d recommend picking it up.

Overall 7/10

Crystar Review


It’s time to look at a video game that I hadn’t actually heard of before. It’s a pretty new one and doesn’t appear to be super mainstream so I’ll cut myself some slack here. It’s definitely got an interesting cover and with a name like this you can’t help but get a little interested. It’s definitely a pretty good game with a solid plot. I’d definitely be up for a sequel to this one.

The game starts off by introducing us to Rei and her little sister Mirai. They both wake up in a demonic world and don’t know how they get there. Unfortunately this leads to a monster showing up and the only way for Rei to defeat him is to open up a contract with the two leaders of this realm. They reveal that this world is Purgatory and that doesn’t bode well since Mirai ended up getting destroyed during the chaos early on. Her soul is now flying through purgatory and if it reaches the gears of revival she will be lost forever. Purgatory’s rulers give Rei a simply contract. They will give her the power to fight through the underworld and save her sister but in exchange she must destroy the Revenants that plague the world. Rei is determined to do whatever it takes to save her sister so while she doesn’t trust these self proclaimed demons and thinks the contract is suspect, she doesn’t have much of a choice. 

As you can tell the game’s plot is pretty deep as usually I could summarize the whole thing in one paragraph. As you may guess from the term purgatory this is a world you only enter if you are dead. The only exceptions are that revenants can suck away living humans into this demonic world in order to eat their souls. Technically revenants can also go after other revenants and dead souls, but a living one is worth a lot more so it speeds up their quest for revival. One they have attained enough for revival they will be able to go back to the real world and resume their life or potentially use their power to destroy it. It’s why the Executors (People who have signed a contract) are told to destroy them to keep the balance.On one hand, you’ve gotta take these guys down because they are eating all of the good souls as well. When someone dies if they forget their identity they become butterflies. Ones that retain some identity eventually level up into becoming a special butterfly or a revenant.

Ironically the ones with the strongest wills are the ones who are hunted. Strong mental fortitude is one of the most important traits for a soul to have in order to escape this place. So there are a lot of things to think about when targeting all of these souls but at the end of the day there doesn’t seem to be another way to save Mirai. For my two cents on that, the people are already dead and the ones who are mindless are just monsters at this point. Most of the revenants are completely evil as well and it would be hard to take them to prison. I do think it’s the right move not to destroy the good ones but of course it is tough since they all tend to lie quite a lot to get you to lower your guard. 

As for the gameplay, it’s a 3D best em up. You travel through maps that are created like a maze as you search for the exit. You rarely have to fight enemies but I recommend taking on most of them since the level ups are important. If you get to some of these bosses at a low level they’ll just end up crushing you with no mercy. One hit would be enough to finish you off and that’s not putting yourself in a great position. If you just fight all of the enemies you come across during your route in the game then you’ll be just fine when it comes to these challenges. You’ve got your standard attack, power attack, and a bunch of special moves. The power move is extremely slow though so I don’t recommend ever using it. It just never comes in handy and is so much slower that the slight increase in power is not worth it. This is partially due to the fact that you can dash cancel your standard combos. What I’ll do is throw out 3-4 hits and then immediately dash to continue the combo. A lot of games that use a dash feature end up having this feature so I always try for it. You always feel like this can’t be intentional because it really extends the combo, but if it’s there then I’m gonna use it. 

I ended up beating the game at a relatively early level as I hadn’t even hit 30 yet. It wasn’t bad though and I could still deal a good amount of damage. The equipment you have is the important part and I also bought a lot of food to amp up my stats during the fight. Leveling up will certainly help you beat bosses easier but it also makes the levels a lot longer so you just have to decide how to want to play this. I got to enjoy using all 4 characters throughout the game. Rei is definitely the most balanced one and my favorite for taking on minions. When the bosses would show up I liked Kokoro because while her attack range is terrible her power is through the roof. When she lands hits the bosses definitely feel it. Sen’s a good all around attacker so she’s good to switch in as well. Nanana is pretty broken with her projectiles but they deal an extremely low amount of damage. Put it this way, you can beat any level/any boss with ease using her, but it’ll take a super long amount of time. Keep her on the bench for emergencies.

The graphics are definitely solid here. In game it’s got a very goth/end of the world feel to it. It makes for a good atmosphere and the colors really stand out. I was also happy to see a full anime intro to the game which was pretty cool. The soundtrack is also pretty good. It’s not super extensive or anything, but it complements the game well. The game is definitely pretty somber the whole time so don’t expect to see too many bright colors or happy themes. The happiest theme is probably when Rei is at home, at least that part feels pretty normal.

As I mentioned the story is pretty dark. The same goes for even the normal levels as every enemy you face used to be human. When you destroy them they tend to throw curses at you hinting at how they died. Pretty much everyone has a tragic backstory here with everyone’s souls constantly crying at you. Crying is how you get stronger so prepare for a ton of that. I dare say it crosses the line a bit when one of the animals gets involved. The game handles it as well as something like that can be handled since there’s no blood and at least it happened painlessly in the human world, but I still did have to strike away a star for this. It really wasn’t needed in the game and the whole thing would have been better off without it.

As for the characters, they are all pushed to the breaking point as the game goes on. Rei definitely handles this the worst from all of them. I still don’t really buy into her stabbing the wrong person by accident the way she did. I’d like it if the game implied that someone forced her to do this, but surprisingly that didn’t happen. The whole game was someone’s plan so it’s reasonable to say that she did something, but it’s hard to confirm that. Regardless Rei cracks quite a lot as the game goes on. Everyone is always messing with her, but you still have to put a lot of blame on her.

Kokoro is a fun enough character aside from her Rei antics. She does a good job of moving past her origin story and keeping a lid on things. She’s a dependable ally to have. The climax of her character arc is similar to Captain America: Civil War’s so you’ll have to choose which side you’re on. I have to say that I’m on Kokoro’s, but it’s written well so you can understand where both characters are coming from. Sen’s a good character who’s justice angle is solid. She’s probably the most heroic out of the group although by the end her justice appears to waver. It’s a personal situation, but doesn’t change the fact that it goes against her ideals. Then we have Nanana who gets a smaller role than the other 3, but is a lot of fun.

She probably gets the roughest hand out of the group though because most of her scenes are people being mean to her. She’s always nice in response though so it gets pretty emotional. For supporting characters we have Mephis and Pheles. They’re more annoying than anything, but I suppose you need cryptically evil characters to balance things out. The one with glasses at least plays it straight though and gives some actually useful info. The other one just trolls 24/7. There are more characters but you should really play the game to get the full scoop. It has so much story that it’s like watching an anime or a movie.

There’s a lot of replay value here. For starters the game has 4 different endings. Beating the game once took me around 11.5 hours. Fortunately you don’t need to beat the whole game again for the different endings, but I fully expect you’ll be at 30+. Then if you want the Platinum it’ll take even longer. So there’s definitely a lot to enjoy even after you beat the game here.

Overall, Crystar is definitely a really solid game. It’s certainly very different from your average beat em up game. The whole thing really felt like Madoka from the abstract drawings to the contracts with the demons. I dare say that the game is even more grim as nobody really gets a happy ending here. Granted, I only played the default ending so I’m sure the true ending probably gives everyone a better conclusion. I’d definitely recommend checking this game out, but if you don’t like sad stories then this one won’t be for you.

Overall 7/10

The Thing From Another World Review


It’s time to look at a really old school alien film. These films usually went one of two ways. The first/best way is to introduce the alien relatively early on in the film and then legitimize the threat by having it blow up cities or take out a squad of UFOs to threaten Earth with. The second is to just have one alien show up and of course it isn’t actually bullet proof or anything like that. It’s a great way to destroy the hype and having all of this take place with a bunch of dogs present is just asking for trouble. Yes, this film wasn’t quite ready for the big time.

So the film starts off with the U.S. Air Force guys resting at the arctic. It may not have actually been the arctic but the whole place was in deep freeze so it may as well have been. We get a lot of small talk and everyone just messing around until an alien actually does crash nearby. It’s frozen in ice at least so there is no danger right? Well, one guy thought it might get cold since its frozen and all so he offers the block of ice an electric blanket. The alien wakes up and starts destroying them all. Can the army stop it?

Usually that’s the question that a film is built around and the tension is wondering if the humans will live. That’s not the case here as shooting the creature would put an end to everything. No, the problem is that the humans want him alive even if they have to sacrifice everyone else to do it. One of the most annoying scenes is when a guy goes into the barn for some reason and the alien starts biting him. Nobody wants to step in to help the poor chap since they don’t want to hurt the alien. That’s…..not a very nice stance to take here. The guy survives as eventually they decide to go help, but they couldn’t be slower if they tried.

Additionally, as this takes place in the snow they have a lot of sleigh dogs around. The humans are so cowardly that they send the dogs in first while they hide in the hut. Unfortunately one of the dogs does not make it so that was already game over for the film. It should always be the reverse where you keep the dogs inside and go to fight on your own. That’s the only respectable thing to do in such a situation.

Another problem this film has is just that it’s very boring. The alien isn’t very interesting…maybe I should stop calling him an alien at that as he’s basically just a space cave man. Don’t expect a Xenomorph design. That leaves the humans and those characters are completely forgettable to the point where none of them get any memorable lines. You’ll be waiting a long time for something interesting to happen and most likely that point just won’t come. It’s a pretty sorry state of affairs if we’re being honest.

I don’t want to say that the script is bad. It’s actually fairly decent so I’ll just blame the writing in general for not doing something to make this film stand out. I think the locale was a mistake because there’s only so much you could do in a cold environment in this day and age. The film’s best chance would have been to have taken place in a city or something. Realistically I doubt this would have magically transformed this into an amazing film or anything but it would have helped.

I don’t think I’ve said any positives yet so I should try to think of one since this film isn’t a 0 after all. I guess the pacing isn’t terrible. The scenes don’t really drag on, it’s more like the film itself is so slow that it often feels like the film is moving very slowly. I think that’s the best way to put it. While the characters aren’t interesting, I wouldn’t call them terrible or anything like that either. They get the job done and at the end of the day that’s all you can ask of them. Yeah…..I tried.

Overall, There’s not too much to say about this film beyond that. The characters are annoying and the alien wasn’t a lot of fun. If it ever got a sequel where the aliens starting falling from the skies and attacking the world then maybe that would be better. It would be hard to not be an improvement since that would add a lot of tension and excitement to the film which is sorely lacked. There’s a good reason why it took me so many weeks to get to this review when I usually get the movies up a few days after I’ve seen them. This one was just surprisingly bad and squeezing in animal violence is always a big no no. If you want to watch an alien invasion story, just check out Godzilla Final Wars.

Overall 3/10

Lady in a Cage Review


It’s time to look at a pretty mean spirited film where you will wonder how it made it through to production. It doesn’t do anything right and so you can use this as a counter to the debate that modern films aren’t as good as the old ones. Just mention this film and fans of the classic era will freeze for an instant before telling you that this one can’t be counted.

The film is about an old lady who has trouble walking. She gets in her indoor elevator which connects two floors but then gets stuck when the power goes out. That’s when some crooks break in to wreck the place and the lady realizes that the elevator may not have been such a good idea.

That’s the general plot which is rather small but the film tries unsuccessfully to stretch this out for the full duration. As such the film’s pacing is incredibly slow and overstays its welcome from start to finish. The writers clearly had no idea what they were doing and the director was likely drunk with how often the camera angles switch. There was no focus in the film and if the script had been turned into an essay it likely would have gotten an F.

If you’re wondering what the point of the film was, it was a weak attempt to try and show that all humans are fundamentally evil. It’s just done in such an over the top and artificial way that you’ll be left wondering why fanfics are written better. The film goes out of its way to step on as many land mines as possible like throwing in animal violence for no possible reason. It’s like the film was just blindly throwing darts to add in filler scenes to pad out the time. Make no mistake, we get a bunch of filler scenes here.

The film is fairly violent and gritty throughout. It likes showing how the people are ignoring the lady’s plight over and over much like a comedian who has to repeat the same joke over and over to try and get a laugh. The repetition is astounding and if you cut out the fluff you could effectively adapt this plot in half the time. As to why you would ever want to adapt this plot, that’s another question entirely.

Now what could have saved this film? Well, first you throw out the script. Next you add in the fact that the character is in a mansion in the middle of nowhere to add some actual credibility to why nobody checks the alarm. Add some extra floors so the elevator doesn’t seem pointless and you’ve already got a more intelligent film. It would probably still be pretty terrible with this plot though so add some robots and an alien invasion story to the mix and then maybe this film will show some promise.

I do miss the old antique stores though where you would go to a shop and trade things in for big bucks. Now we have Amazon and EBay which are more effective but considerably less personal. You don’t get to have the cash in your hand right away unlike in this scenario. Honestly I probably wouldn’t end up trying it out even if it was still here but it would be an interesting place nonetheless.

Overall, This was a terrible film. As one critic said “The picture should be burned,” It only exists to try and say how warped society is but you could just watch the news for that. This movie fails as a film and it fails as entertainment. The only way to win against this film is simply not to watch it. Fortunately the film lets you know how terrible it is right away from an early scene so you can mentally check out at that point. Of course your best tactic is still to pop in something with quality instead like a classic episode of Dragon Ball Z. Nothing beats an episode of seeing two characters power up to put everything into perspective.

Overall 0/10