Escaflowne Review

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It’s always a sad day when a franchise is brought back from the grave just to shatter our memories. I’ve always been of the opinion that more content for a franchise is always a good thing even if it’s bad. I’m glad Dragon Ball Super exists even if it mocks most of the principles from DBZ. I’m glad Naruto Shippuden exists even if it’s painfully low budget and has some of the worst directing of all time. I’m even glad that we have Teen Titans Go because it has brought some nice episodes and scenes once in a while. These additions to the franchise may not have been amazing, but they did have their share of great moments which is why I love to see them. However, a film like this one or the latest season of Samurai Jack does sometimes make me question this. Ultimately, my stance hasn’t changed, but it’s always sad when we get a modern gritty remake/reboot/sequel that really just takes away everything that made the original good. Escaflowne is a terrible movie and it will make you feel bad for the TV show. It has animal violence and gratuitous violence at the ready so with that in order, lets tackle this film.

Hitomi was a normal suicidal teenager when the film picks up. Her friend makes a joke about wanting to be there when Hitomi jumps, but little does she know that Hitomi is serious, she just feels like she isn’t brave enough to do it yet. Hitomi decides to vent on her friend since it seems like this is what all terrible main characters do. Already we can see that the film is being randomly edgy for no reason. Why is Hitomi suicidal? This isn’t a good plot point nor is it a necessary one. It’s just a jarring change to her character which was unneeded. Well, one thing leads to another and she is warped to Gaea. There she meets up with Van.

Van is the last survivor of his clan and now he just wants bloody vengeance on everyone in his vicinity. He naturally tries to destroy Hitomi as soon as he sees her, but she is saved by the resistance. No worries, she falls for him anyway right away because this is the perfect start to a romance. Van decides to use the mighty Escaflowne robot to save the day, but it’s a little more twisted in this version. Escaflowne is a robotic vampire which feeds on its hosts so in order to use it, you have to let it stab you and suck your blood. Again, this is a random change that has nothing to do with anything, but it’s an excuse for the film to be more violent and dark once again.

As such, we get to see Van stabbed repeatedly every time he enters the machine and just moving causes him to be stabbed as well. How was this film not R? The whole time I was watching the film, I was super perplexed at that. This film is certainly violent enough to justify the rating if you ask me. Anyway, with these weapons at his disposal, Van is ready for revenge and so the big battles start.

The film made some good changes so we’ll start with those. Allen doesn’t have a very rushed romance with Hitomi here. There is little in the way of romantic tension here at all so that’s a good thing. The Mole Man also gets a much smaller role which I was glad to see since he was an annoying character in the first film. Unfortunately, that’s pretty much all that I can think of for the film’s positives, at least when it comes to changes. The film cut out the main villain of the show which was a pretty big mistake. Folken was never a very interesting character after all and I wouldn’t say that he’s great here either.

Wait, there is one good change to the film. I just barely remember that the concept was good because it was mostly just used for more bad scenes. The characters with dragon DNA can use The Force to blast people with telekinetic energy. It’s a pretty exclusive list though since only Folken, Van, and Dilandau have dragon DNA. It’s a cool concept and certainly makes these characters way more difficult to defeat. Of course, the film can’t control itself and one character uses it to blow a Horse apart. Noooooo! That was the worst scene in the film and I knew it was only a matter of time before the film pulled something like that. It was such a cool concept, but the film couldn’t let it rest. Folken also blasts Dilandau so hard with it that the guy’s head comes close to exploding, but that was way more mild in comparison.

You can already tell that I didn’t like Hitomi in this film, but at least Allen was decently good. He’s as overconfident as ever and easily defeats Van when they fight. He doesn’t get a robot in this film though so he’s completely useless whenever the villains show up. It feels like an even more lopsided war than in the show since the villains have all of the advantages. All the heroes have at the ready are allies who keep backstabbing each other. Van’s even more blood thirsty than usual in the film. It’s hard to find him likable since he’s willing to destroy a defenseless lady (Hitomi) for basically no reason and never really apologizes for it. He’s certainly a very skilled warrior here, but not an ally that you can trust.

The film also added a new character for the lolz. She can see the future, teleport people, and do all kinds of crazy stuff. She wants to see Folken burn so she follows him around and makes fun of him from time to time. In the end, she decides that dying will be fun as long as it’s with Folken and her whole character arc was rather odd. Folken wasn’t a bad villain I suppose. He didn’t really stand out, but he made all of the threats and did a lot of posturing so at least he performed his roll. Dilandau somehow got a happy ending out of this and developed a loyal cadre of minions. I guess he wasn’t a mean leader or something? I didn’t get that impression from him to be honest, but that’s the way the ball bounces I guess. A wise leader doesn’t slice and dice his own men so I’ll take that a complement to him from the film.

The animation is pretty good. I’m not a fan of the character designs, but if you’re able to see past them, then you can see that the rest of the animation is on point. While violent, the action scenes are very fluid with the hand to hand action being quite good. The mind blasts between the characters are nice and Escaflowne’s berserker mode is also really good. The soundtrack is a little less inspiring. I’d say that it was decent. It wasn’t bad or underwhelming, but it wasn’t really anything to write home about.

It’s another case of a film succeeding on the technical levels while not being able to uphold its integrity for the main course. The excessive violence the whole time was just very forced. I always consider it to be forced because there are many examples of shows and movies that have great fight scenes without being violent. Many of them can be completely bloodless or adding in a smidge at times. Dragon Ball Z, Toriko, Sengoku Basara, Samurai Jack, (Original show) Justice League, Digimon Savers, etc. So when a fight scene is really violent, I can only really say that it is forced. It’s just the only explanation in my eyes. At least the movie didn’t add a bunch of language, that tactic is even more desperate. If it is true that Shin Godzilla is rated TV-MA because of that…that will just be sad. The animal violence and suicidal themes in Escaflowne were just icing on the cake by the end. The film was already not in a good spot in those issues just didn’t help it.

Overall, Escaflowne was a TV show that absolutely did not need a film remake. While it is preferable to a recap film, it should have been more faithful to the TV show. Diverging to such a large extent is a high risk/high reward option, but it typically ends up failing miserably. The movie still has some interesting storylines going on and the action/animation are good, but they don’t succeed in covering up the film’s failings. This almost goes without saying, but I’d highly recommend just going back and watching the original show if you want to delve into the franchise. There’s no reason to check this film out. Lets just let it fade away into our memories.

Overall 3/10

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Attack on Titan Ilse’s Notebook Review

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It’s time for an Attack on Titan prequel OVA. This one adapts a side story from the manga so it’s fairly short. The OVA does manage to pad itself out a little with a brief recap on the state of things though so it’s not extremely short. It’s around the length of the average episode which is a pretty decent length for an OVA. It’s fairly interesting, but I can’t say that it’s actually good as it suffers from the usual Attack on Titan issues.

The main character of this story is Hange (Or Hanji depending on which name you’re more used too) and she really wants to experiment on a Titan. As she has no conscience to weigh her down, she has always been the perfect person to lead the scientist division. She may creep the rest of her comrades out, but that’s just a side effect of being insane. You’re basically rooting for the Titans here since you don’t want them to be enslaved so Hange can stab them forever. Things aren’t moving quickly enough for Hange so she decides to go rogue and head after a Titan. Along the way she learns that there was once a Titan who could talk. What does this mean?

The Notebook/Journal that the heroes find is the main item of importance in this story. It’s another tragic tale, but that’s to be expected here. Ilse was running through the woods when a Titan spotted her. The rest of her comrades had already been taken down for the count so she had no backup. Surprisingly, the Titan didn’t destroy her right away as it prolonged the experience by stretching its face and trying to let her know about the war going on and how the series was all a lie. Ilse didn’t handle this too well and panicked so she was quickly eaten. It’s meant to be pretty important since it shows that Titans have some level of intelligence even if it’s been buried pretty deep. At the same time her death in the end made the whole thing suspect anyway. Maybe she was just delusional. The heroes don’t seem to think much of it either as they just use this as an excuse to go on the hunt once more.

Humor has never been a strong point of the series and that continues here. A running gag is that Hange is super unhinged so she chokes one of her comrades and nearly murders him. She loses her cool constantly and I don’t know how she still has her job. Well, the government is corrupt so I guess that fits. It doesn’t make me like any of her comrades though since they don’t speak up about this and just keep on enduring it. Levi and the others seem to turn a blind eye as well. At least he’s one of the few people along with Erwin who doesn’t fear Hange, but if he’s not going to do anything about it, then it doesn’t really matter all that much.

Attack on Titan never fails to deliver on the technical side though. The soundtrack is pretty good as we got an awesome techno theme at the beginning of the OVA. It played when the series was giving a recap of the situation and it made for some fun visuals as well. If the whole OVA was like that, then I wouldn’t have had any problems. The strategic part of the series is when its typically at its best. The graphics are also pretty sharp as it looks and feels very modern. The character designs are on point and the OVA had fun using Sunset effects for when it was getting late, but not quite night time yet. It all looked good and at least that helps the OVA speed along even if it can’t totally nullify the negatives.

In the end, the OVA was still a little too violent and dark by the end. The novels pointed out that Titans don’t bleed so we technically shouldn’t be getting any blood when they’re slashed. The anime has always chosen to ignore that though and either way we have the Titans eating humans as well so that doesn’t help. The scene of the Titan trying to rearrange his face came across as completely unnecessary and eating Ilse at the end wasn’t a great ending either. Following the novels more closely would absolutely help Titan in all of its future products.

Overall, Ilse’s Notebook is fairly standard Attack on Titan fare. If you like the show then odds are that you’ll like the OVA. Eren and the other main characters may not be in it, but the rest of the OVA feels like it could easily be a normal episode. I still say that the show is too violent and melodramatic the whole time and Hange is a pretty terrible main character so she holds it down. To make it more interesting, I wouldn’t have minded some time travel thrown in so Eren could be around to yell a bit. It’s not exactly the feel good film of the year, but if you really want to make sure that you’re an expert on Attack on Titan lore, then you’ll want to check it out. For the rest of you, just go prepare yourself for Season 2 instead. It is certainly drawing closer and closer with every passing day.

Overall 4/10

Attack on Titan: The Harsh Mistress of the City Review

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There are some series that can start out on a high note and keep that level of quality intact. Look at the Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. It has the super emotional song from the first film, but still managed to get by just fine in the sequels without it. That’s because the writing and characters were on point. Other titles like Skip Beat can start out decently interesting and go into the gutter. It’s not about how you start a race, but how you finish it. That’s true in life, cooking, platformers, pie eating contests, and anything else that is worth your while. This novel may have started out to be pretty good and a contender for best novel in the franchise, but crashed and burned in the second half. The title should have been a giveaway I suppose.

The plot of the book takes place in a small little town in the Titan World. The bridge collapsed so everyone is kinda sorta trapped in the town. They can go outside though so I guess they aren’t really trapped at all. I don’t know exactly how the layout is since it doesn’t make much sense, but essentially all of the other villages have left them for dead. All of Rita’s bosses end up getting bumped off so she is suddenly the leader of the military. She goes from being a really nice person to a corrupt dictator and decides that the only way to give the people peace is to murder them and anyone who falls out of line or looks at her the wrong way is subject to death. She will destroy anyone who defies her wish of a Utopia!

Meanwhile, Mathias is the other main character. He was a rich guy who never had to work for anything and was ignorant of the ways of the commoner. He was good friends with Rita, but he ended up murdering her other best friend so he had to go into hiding. He must now find a way to take her down and considers that he may have to use lethal methods. Friendship and camaraderie is thrown to the winds in this tale as everyone does what they feel they have too. Things get a lot worse before they get better and they never really get better so just focus on the first part.

This adventure is two novels long and the first one was actually pretty decent. It was a fun enough tale about Rita and Mathias and how they lived very different lives, but did their best to connect with each other. It wasn’t a bleak and gritty story the way that most Titan adventures were and it was cool to just have a happy scene for once. It figures that this wouldn’t last right? The story started to get a little more grim as Mathias made a deal with some bandits to rob his father in exchange for getting him to the town where Rita was trapped. It didn’t go very well so the bandits murder a bunch of soldiers and then Mathias panicked so he blew up one of the young workers who was helping Rita. He panicked again after that and ran off. This basically happened in the final pages of the first book so it was quite a downer.

The second novel is where it really goes off the rails though. Rita was apparently traumatized after seeing her best friend murder her other friend so she decided to go down a dark path. She forces people to get eaten by the Titan she planted in the city and tortures others until they get her some intel. Nobody is safe now and she murders her father and is prepared to do the same to Mathias if she can find him as well as her best friend Amanda. The novel shows us in great detail just how insane she has become. It gets about as bad as the main Titan series in that regard and there’s no way she can come back from this.

This is why the ending of the book is rather hard to swallow. The author suddenly tries to make her sympathetic as she was only trying to help and she’ll be a nicer person now. She has this 180 character development in the span of 2-3 pages as Titans attack the city and suddenly we’re supposed to see her as a nice person again. Mathias also forgives her for murdering everyone and putting the townspeople in jeopardy every day since it just doesn’t matter now. Never mind the fact that one of Mathias’ main allies was poisoned to death right in front of him on Rita’s orders. She may claim that it was for the greater good, but she stepped well over the line of vigilantism and became an evil villain during this book. It was far more extreme than the book and characters acknowledge afterwards and it was just puzzling the whole time. It was an even more drastic character arc than Shu’s from Guilty Crown and that’s pretty scary. It may not be in Black Butler levels quite yet, but Rita is easily one of the most evil main characters that I’ve ever seen.

It goes without saying that I didn’t like her. Regardless of how good she was in volume 1, she nullified it all in the sequel. I didn’t care for Mathias either as there is no way he should have panicked so much upon seeing the scout and he handled the situation as badly as possible. It was hard to take him seriously as the rebel leader since he was always terrified of everyone and got tricked so many times. He was just annoying to see. The rebels were also a bit much as they were all too overconfident and full of themselves even though they could never do all that much when it came time to fight. The super hyped leader of the Rebels went down in the worst way possible as his drinking habits finally got to him and poison ended his career. You’d think that he would have been a little smarter about something like that.

In the end, the only real good character was Amanda. Even she was a little fishy as she took forever to make a move and just allowed people to be tortured and eaten. At least she did something about it though. She also got a lot of hype as being the best fighter in the squad, but naturally once she turned good, Amanda was surpassed by Rita. So much for the hype eh? She still put up a good fight though and was probably the only character who actually stayed true to herself. Again, the book kind of glossed over the fact that Rita was so evil in the end as she gets Amanda back her gear and they team up again. It just shouldn’t be so smooth. If anything, I think the ending should have kept Rita as a villain, it certainly makes more sense than suddenly making her a hero again.

Even the ending doesn’t offer much hope though as the heroes lost their town to the Titans. Their plan is to head to the next town, but they already know for a fact that the Town doesn’t want them and will attempt to slay the group. It’ll come down to yet another fight and that should give the Titans an opening to move in and take them all down. It’s Attack on Titan though so you should never expect anything even remotely happy for the conclusion.

Overall, What started as potentially the best Titan novel ended up being the worst one. It’s why I always say that you can’t really tell these things ahead of time. A whole novel (or 2 in this case) is more than enough time for a story to turn rotten. You won’t even recognize the characters by the end as they could basically be other people. In the end, what really destroyed the book was that it was way too dark and violent. If you thought the other novels were gritty, this one is far more intense. The novel could have made Rita’s character transformation a little less drastic and it would have worked a lot better. There’s no good reason for her to become a full fledged mass murderer. She should have just gotten more obsessed about the rules and we could have had the town be under a curfew with a lot of punishments handed out every day. The situation didn’t need to jump all the way to 10 so suddenly. Had the book showed some restraint, it would have been a lot better and glossing it over so much at the end didn’t help either. If you want a good Attack on Titan novel, I suggest checking out Before The Fall. It’s the only good one at the moment and shows you what Titan novels should be like.

Overall 1/10

The Frozen Ghost Review

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It’s time to look at a retro Lon Chaney film. I’ve seen quite a few of his films and still have a bunch of others to see someday. This one is a classic tale of hypnosis and whether it is real or not. There are certainly quite a few antagonists in this film and their plans are so risky that they can even prove fatal. It’s a pretty interesting film, even if it can get a tad convoluted at times.

Alex is a skilled master of mental abilities and has been working in this trade for a long time. One day a drunk individual shows up declaring that Alex is a fraud. Alex decides to prove him wrong by hypnotizing the guy, but then he also ends up wishing that the drunk would die. The drunk does abruptly die and Alex is thrown into a state of shock. It can’t be proven that he did it of course and everyone tells him that it was a coincidence, but Alex doesn’t think so. He moves into a wax museum to try and get past this and even breaks up with his fiancee Maura. Unfortunately, he has just entered the Lion’s Den as George, Rudi, and Valerie all want him dead. Nina is the only person in the Wax Museum who doesn’t have any ill will towards him, but it’s rather easy to be fooled when everyone around you is giving you false intel. How will Alex get out of this situation without using his mental abilities to fatally end this?

Alex is a good character as always although he can maybe be a little too low in confidence. He immediately blames himself quite a bit and goes into mourning so fiercely that he just tries to make life as tough for himself as possible. It’s not really necessary and pushing Maura away was also a little too extreme. Dishing out his own punishments was definitely not a great call on his part. Alex did have a good plan at the end though and at least he didn’t totally lose himself in what was happening. Maura was a good heroine and she never stopped trying to help Alex. She was able to persevere and was definitely a trust worthy ally that Alex could depend on. He was lucky to have her around.

Nina was rather naive and didn’t handle any situation too well, but it can’t all be blamed on her. As I mentioned earlier, it’s hard to really get what is happening when there is nobody around to give you even a semi-accurate account of what has transpired. She wasn’t a villain at least so that was someone else that Alex could trust or at least not fear. George and the other villains were rather petty and did all they could to smear Alex’s name and erase whatever confidence he had left. They were decent in their roles, but not nearly as interesting as Ilona from another film that I have a review coming out for soon and other such antagonists.

I did like Inspector Brant and while he kept on doubting Alex and not believing in mind powers, I can’t really blame him for that. At least he was doing his job well and quickly hustled to take down the villains. He even swallowed his pride and asked Alex for help at the end with a particularly difficult case. In a rare moment of selfishness, Alex declined as he claimed that he didn’t have any powers just to mess with Brant. I thought that was a little mean of Alex and his decision could have some real consequences. He could have saved a person or even many depending on what kind of crime he may have been able to stop. The fact of the matter is that he let his personal grudge with Brant interfere with his job to help society. Even if it wasn’t a grudge and Alex just wanted to have some fun, it was certainly at the wrong time and I can only hope that Brant was able to solve the case by himself.

You can draw a lot of similarities between this film and Calling Doctor Death. There was a lot of betrayal and hypnosis going around between the main cast. The climaxes may have been a little different, but overall it felt like two alternate routes to what was essentially the same main plot. This film had less monologue from Alex though. Both films were solid, but I might have to give the ever so slight edge to Calling Doctor Death. Regardless, both are rather short films and you can even see them back to back since they’re both pretty fun and fast paced.

You may just lose track of some of the characters after a while. It’s not so much that the cast is big, but everyone has quite a few motives and since Alex is oblivious to everything around him, it’s sometimes hard to tell exactly what is happening. I still say that the villain’s plans also were a little iffy and they definitely wouldn’t work too well against a different main character. There were a lot of gambles here, but most of them paid off I suppose. Without Maura, the villains probably would have had the last laugh here.

Overall, this is definitely another fun film to add to your collection. It doesn’t take itself too seriously aside from Alex since Chaney always takes himself very seriously and always makes sure to be an upstanding guy. Seriously, it feels like people try to tempt Alex to the dark side in every film or give him chances for revenge, but Alex never cracks. He always stays as an upstanding hero and makes all of the right calls. The plot is pretty good and will keep you guessing the whole way. One villain’s fate is rather sad since the plan backfired a little, but that’s why you shouldn’t lock yourself away in a freezer. I forget if that was purely part of the plan or not, but even if it was an improvisation, it’s a sad way to go out. You’ll probably sympathize with Alex as the film goes on and his strong conscience just makes it all the worse for him. I definitely recommend checking this film out and then you can make your own guesses as to whether or not his powers were actually real. For the record, I’d definitely say that they are based on the very first circumstance. I don’t buy into coincidences and it just makes sense. It’d be cool to see how this version of Chaney would stack up against the Werewolf. I may have to actually give this one the edge although the Man-Made Monster, electric version of himself is probably the most lethal. It’s cool to see how many different monsters he’s become over the years.

Overall 7/10

Home Alone 4 Review

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It’s time to take a look at the next Home Alone film. Kevin’s back and we already know how good he is at stopping crooks. The problem is that the crooks do a good job of stopping themselves as it is and Kevin doesn’t have as much nerve as you’d think. It’s a solid film that is bogged down by a few elements like the villains and the unfortunate ending. There are less iffy jokes like in Home Alone 3 though so that’s a nice improvement.

Kevin is getting ready for Christmas, but it doesn’t seem like it’ll be a good one. His parents filed for divorced and his Dad immediately found the rebound character and intends to marry her as soon as possible. He wants Kevin and his two siblings to spend Christmas at his house, but the Mom doesn’t approve. Ultimately, she leaves it up to Kevin though and initially he chooses to spend Christmas with her. She then makes the really odd decision of telling Kevin to stay with his older brother for a while while she gets some errands done. Kevin tells her that he’s going to get bullied a lot, but she ignores him and leaves. Well…Kevin gets humiliated, lids slammed on him, and a whole lot of other stuff off screen and the Mom’s only response to this is to tell Kevin to go to his room and think about how much worse it could have been. Kevin imagines it all right and decides that instead of having a terrible Christmas over there, he’ll visit his Dad.

This is where the plot starts to get a little obvious and unfortunate, but lets continue. The Dad is now with a super rich soon to be step mom who is basically perfect. She has a large game room, personal attendants for everything, and the house is fully electronic. You just say something and the house will listen. Lets just add in the names so it’s easier. Kate = Mom. Natalie = Step Mom. Peter = Dad. So, Natalie is not just super rich and more fashionable than Kate, but she’s also a nicer person. Her only flaw is that she’s super successful and has to go to a lot of meetings and parties. That’s fine though, it pays the bills and helps keep them rich right? Kevin doesn’t approve though and has a bad attitude the whole time.

Marv returns from the first film and brings alone Vera to rob the place. Kevin has to stop them himself since nobody will believe him, but he does it in the worst ways possible to the point where you can’t sympathize with him. If we’re being honest, we all knew how the film was going to end from the start. Natalie would lose out since Kate has to win and the family would get back together again. It all happens as expected, but you just feel bad for Natalie. Lets think about all of the examples from the top.

Kate allowed Kevin to be bullied and was not apologetic about it at all. She wasn’t being nice to Kevin during Christmas time and her plans for Christmas were rather terrible. Meanwhile, Natalie wasn’t expecting Kevin since he declined the invitation and was ready to have a fun night with Peter, but Kevin just walks in uninvited. All right….that may have wrecked Christmas to an extent, but Natalie quickly shifts gears without batting an eye and gives Kevin a great welcome. The day is going perfectly and while Kevin’s a little ungrateful about Natalie and Peter having to leave, he lets them go. When they get back…Kevin has completely wrecked their multi million dollar mansion by flooding the entire thing with water. He did it to stop the crooks, but did he have to be so extreme? Seriously…millions of dollars gone in the blink of an eye. He ruined the entire mansion.

This is already reason enough for Natalie to get Kevin out of the house for good. Instead, she chooses to forgive and forget. This time, the party is at her house so she gets people to quickly fix it up as best they can and hopes for no disasters this time. That’s not in Kevin’s game plan though as he breaks the windows and makes a loud commotion. He freezes the butler and nearly destroys him. Next, Kevin wrecks the dinner as he throws everything at the villains, which leads to a big fall for all of the guests and things shatter. The party is completely ruined and once again, Kevin should have planned things out better.

Natalie is very upset by this point, but she is completely justified in it. It’s not as if she goes off the rails and hits Kevin or anything like that, but she finally tells him that one more “accident” like that and he’ll have to leave. That’s reasonable right? No, the film makes it a point to say that she is the villain and we should be sympathizing with Kevin right now. No, I was sympathizing with Natalie. She was being a good sport the whole time and even helped with putting the tree up. It got taken down because she had a professional company already on the way to put up their own, but that’s not a big deal. Her very small slights against Kevin were nothing compared to what he did and they weren’t even intentional. She then had to endure a painful conversation between Kate and Peter as they talk about how much fun it used to be when they were married and the old days with Kevin. Is that really a good topic to talk about in front of your new fiancee? Peter’s definitely unlikable, but more on that later.

As you can tell, Natalie had to put up with a lot. The ending just makes it even worse as all of the characters gang up on her. First, Peter decides to break up with Natalie because he wants to move back with his wife. This shows just how petty and superficial Peter is. He was glad to be with her for the money and the late night fun that they had. Once he had enough of that, he just dumped her. I mean, you’ve got to be kidding me. We’re supposed to be on this guy’s side? No way! He has the delicacy and manners of James Bond if he’s going to be like that and the film gives no indication that Natalie was not a good person at all prior to this. She was a very nice character and it just gives you the impression that Peter was using her the whole time. He got what he wanted and got out.

The next big diaster was that Natalie’s butler decided to quit. He had a very well paying job and a nice boss. Natalie was always reasonable and it’s not as if the butler had a whole lot to do. Still, he quits because Kevin tells him that he should. Natalie’s other butler turned out to be a crook as well so now she has no main employees to watch the mansion. It can’t get worse can it? I’m afraid it can as a subplot in the film was that the royal family was coming over. This was super important for Natalie since it would benefit her company quite a lot and she really needed this contract. Well, that’s out, since the prince wants to have Christmas over at Kevin’s house instead.

Lets recap. Natalie had her ultra rich mansion ruined, She had her party completely sabotaged, She lost her reputation, She lost her soon to be married boyfriend, and she lost her staff. You’re supposed to be thrilled at this “happy” ending, but it was really all just in bad taste. She was easily the best character in this film, but she ended up getting a raw deal anyway. I could go on and on and on about how she was the secret hero here and how the film’s ending is very tragic, but you get the point. Over half of this review was just on that after all.

That’s part of the reason why I couldn’t stand Kate and Peter. Peter’s obvious so we don’t need to talk about him anymore. Kate is just as bad as she is completely okay with bullying and she makes life as tough as possible for Natalie. Busting into the house uninvited was definitely not good manners and then trying to say that Kevin’s past Christmases were better is just hogwash. She doesn’t even cope well as she just spends her Christmas Eve crying in front of the TV. She’s not a good character whatsoever. Kevin’s two siblings aren’t good either as they are even more extreme than usual. They were total bullies and I didn’t buy their “suddenly nice” routine at the end. Even when Kevin was in actual danger and called for help, the brother just laughed at him, insulted him, and then hung up. There was quite a lot of bullying and people being generally mean in this film.

Kevin’s not exempt though as he’s just not a nice guy. He immediately goes into areas where he’s not allowed too just to spite everyone. He has the run of the entire mansion aside from one room so what does Kevin do? He immediately goes into that room. He panics a lot and is scared of the villains even after he was just trash talking. He goes through a ton of personality shifts the entire time and you just have to wonder what his plan is. Half of the time he doesn’t seem to know himself. He’s definitely very unlikable and comes off as an ingrate the whole time.

The villains were pretty bad as well. The film went a too far with how goofy they were. They just kept tripping and slipping up at every opportunity. The girl villain seemed as if she was always chewing on something and the guy would just get beat up by everything. Any scene with those two was a little hard to watch so I was always glad to see them not show up. They didn’t have a major role here so that was good. The slapstick definitely looks very painful here as per usual. The villains should have died multiple times, but they keep on going. At least the butler got to help a bit unlike that old lady from the last film who was heavily hinted to do something at some point, but never got around to it. It’s more of a mild consolation than anything though.

Some of the dialogue can be quite forced in the film. Kevin has conversations with his parents about their divorce and offers up his worldly advice, but then he’ll go back to being a very unintelligent kid after that. He is a very inconsistent main character and after a while you’ll start to realize that the writers just didn’t know what to do with him. It’s definitely cheesy and the parents getting back together at the end was more tragic than happy.

Overall, Home Alone 4 was a fun film. For the most part, it was even better than 3 and I was enjoying it quite a bit. It may be silly at times, but the other parts were written well. Unfortunately, the ending kind of wrecked it for me. I thought I would be giving it a solid 7, but the more I wrote this review, the more that I realized that would not be possible. The ending is just way too mean spirited and the film got its protagonists mixed up. It doesn’t really leave you with a “feels good” feeling at the end so I actually won’t recommend it. 90% of it is pretty solid, but the other 10% is enough to knock it back out. I suppose it breaks even, but just barely.

Overall 5/10

X: The Man with the X Ray Eyes Review

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Wait a minute, this film has almost a 90% on Rotten Tomatoes? Mind blown! Anyway, this is a Roger Corman film, so you can probably guess that it is basically rubbish. It’s the kind of film that forces you to take a step back and think about how this guy has somehow had a steady film career. Surely there are better writers somewhere…right? Ah well, at least the concept here is fairly interesting, even if it cannot ultimately save the film.

We have a guy named Xavier. He wants to use eye drops to improve sight and ultimately make the world a better place. Unfortunately, he decides to test it out on animals and they don’t last very long as a result. Not realizing just how deplorable this is, Xavier decides to do it to himself next. The problem is that the drops work too well and have many side effects. They make him more violent and unreasonable and have an addicting effect as well. Throw in the fact that he can see through people and is likely blasting them with radiation and you have a very confused main character. His only hope now is to become a mystical doctor, but can he really pull this off or is he toast?

Whenever a character is roasted and toasted, you know that it’s going to be a long day. Unfortunately, I can’t even give the film that much credit because there is no witty dialogue to be found here. The film opens up with a very long scene of an eyeball in a jar of blood. It’s a very gross and disturbing way to start the film, but it helped set the stage for the rest of the film. While it may be old, The Man with the X Ray Eyes still tries to be violent for extra edge. The other big moment that is guilty of this is the very ending. I don’t think anyone cares about spoilers, but skip this paragraph if you don’t want to know the ending. Well, it turns out that Xavier gets so desperate that he rips his eyes out. Unfortunately, I don’t believe that it had any real effect and things will just get even worse for him. He began to see cosmic energy and the beginning of time so maybe he was just too far gone by that point.

It was definitely intriguing to have Xavier run into a church for that moment though. To his credit, the Pastor took it all in stride, but he seemed rather unhinged. He had already been yelling quite passionately and told Xavier that what he was seeing was the Devil. It’s a fairly bold claim since this pastor had absolutely no way to know anything that was going on, but he was on a role I suppose and Xavier took the words to heart. “If Thine Eye offends thee, Pluck it out!” While that quote can certainly be used literally, it’s definitely more of a figurative thing. Whatever is causing you to sin is something that you have to remove from your life. Whether it be a hobby, action, or an influence. I suppose that getting rid of a part of your body is a rather extreme way to solve that problem, but given that your body is special a created just for you, I would highly advise against taking Xavier’s route. At least it worked for the shock value I guess….

Either way, Xavier wasn’t likable from the start. He went crazy rather quickly and very quickly began to abuse his powers once he found that he could see through people. Xavier even murdered his partner because the he had a mild disagreement with the guy. The situation just kept getting more and more unsympathetic for the main lead. I suppose the gig that he got for being a mystic was a constructive way to use his powers, but it definitely seems rather limited. Sure, he can see what is wrong with a patient, but that can only help so much. I liked his business partner though as the guy figured Xavier’s past out and was very quick to bring out the blackmail card. I wasn’t expecting anything less from such a shady fellow. It does make the cops look rather bad though since they had no idea where to even begin looking for Xavier.

It’s a short film so there is not a whole lot of other content to discuss here. The film doesn’t really have a soundtrack and I can’t say much for the visuals. I suppose that they were almost okay for its time, but as it is, Corman is not exactly known for his high budget in these films. There were a few supporting characters like the business partner, the original partner, and the main heroine. Their roles are very small though with the heroine’s biggest moment being when she found the main character. Beyond that, they were all just bystanders who couldn’t do much to stop or help Xavier. The guy was on his own.

Overall, You should watch this film as a cautionary tale on why you shouldn’t overdose. The problems here would not have happened if Xavier hadn’t put a whole bottle into his eyes instead of the prescribed 2-4 drops. He just got super greedy and it led to his downfall. That being said, don’t think for a second that I actually recommend this film. You should stay far away from this title and I could recommend a few dozen other films that are much better than this one. The whole film is just rather depressing and dull. Nothing really happens and nothing good happens either. You’re essentially watching a film that lacks purpose and motivation. The characters are certainly not likable and the sketchy beginning and ending don’t help matters either. This film beats the Bucket of Blood, but loses to the Pet Shop of Horrors. Well, at least this film didn’t obtain the really elusive 0.

Overall 1/10

Captain Phillips

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Time for another super realistic story. This one’s about a boat that was attacked by pirates and the Captain of the crew was able to ultimately stall them long enough for the heroes to make it to safety. It’s naturally a gruesome battle between both factions, but not a whole lot of actual fighting since it’s more general action or in fighting among the pirates. Definitely not my kind of film and I’d argue that it could have been a much better adaption as well. You’ll be glancing at your watch quite a lot as this one goes on.

An interesting angle is the fact that the film gives the pirates a lot of scenes. I suppose that this is for development, but it comes off as more annoying than anything else. Let’s fact it, you don’t care about the villains because they’re just here to try and get rich as they shoot and injure the unsuspecting crew members. They have their reasons of course, but there’s no way that you’ll be able to generate any sympathy for these guys. None of the villains are likable as you might expect and there is definitely a lot of in-fighting among their members the whole time. One of them even bits the big one during one of the skirmishes.

Meanwhile, Phillips and his crew didn’t do the greatest job of stopping the pirates, but it may be more due to bad ship design than anything else. They’re going through waters where pirates aren’t just a random chance, but are actually expected. Why are there no guns or any defenses that are better than water turrets? Granted, water turrets aren’t a terrible idea, but the way that they were implemented is. Once you turn them on, you can’t turn them off so they just use up water as the pirates stay away until they are down for the count. This is where proper turrets would come in handy or at least a few rifles. It’s definitely annoying to see 3-4 guys take down a group of 20 or more.

On the flip side, it was great to see the government get involved towards the end. They came across as super professional and high-tech next to the other players. They got the good music and the best scenes. It’s a little iffy that they’re immediately reminded a lot that the hostage isn’t really their concern, but I suppose in the grand scheme of things you have to worry about the big picture. The person did sound super unsympathetic to the plight though. The government also looked unprepared in one scene as Phillips made a break for it and swam for a while, but the government’s budget cuts really hurt and they didn’t have any good flash lights. It was dark out so we can’t blame the government for slipping up…right?

The film is definitely pretty violent and over the top though. I’m almost surprised that it wasn’t R and expected it to be, but I suppose that it just made it. At least the pirates speak another language or else we probably would have been bombarded with language throughout the film. As this did not happen, I’ll give the film some mild props for that.

If you’re not too knowledgeable on what happened during this event, then this film should be very informative. Of course, if you don’t want to use up a lot of time watching all of the extra subplots and details in the film, then your best bet is probably just digging up some news articles. You’ll get more of the facts that way and you can do it in a much shorter period of time. It’s a win-win situation isn’t it? I believe that the film could have handled the adaption much better if it had followed 2 pieces of advice. One, they can definitely tone the film down quite a bit. That one’s pretty self explanatory. The other is that the villains should get less screen time. The pirates are not going to be sympathetic villains and no amount of screen time will really be able to alter that. The film could have used the extra moments to focus on the government or the film could have just been made a little shorter. That certainly wouldn’t have hurt the film in the long run.

On a final note, I also agree with the crew over Captain Phillips on not getting into the boat. See, one common mistake that people make is that they listen to demands when a gun is pointed at them, but just think about it. The classic situation of you and a villain pointing guns at each other and the villain says “Put the gun down” If you do…he’ll shoot you anyway. You may as well go for the sudden death. If it’s 5 vs 1, just rush the guy. He can’t take you all down, although if the other 4 chicken out then the gunman will win that round. The last example is the one in the film, don’t get into the boat because then you are outnumbered and defenseless. Nobody will typically be able to rescue you at that point so you should just accept your fate and make a break for it. At least try to escape instead of getting in the boat. When you think about it, that’s definitely your best move. Deciding to write a will when the villains told you to stop moving is another thing that I could really get into as the move made no sense and just resulted in another beating, but I think it’s clear why you wouldn’t make such a move. It’s not as if anyone would ever see the will anyway once you’re underwater and in enemy territory. A somber thought, but one worth thinking about before making such a move. Captain Phillips did save the day though and I’m sure that the situation was very different in real life. He did his country proud.

Bunny Lake Is Missing Review

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It’s time to review one of the worst films of all time! At least, one of the worst films that I’ve seen anyway and this is a title that I highly recommend staying away from. It’s essentially a tragedy story with a lot of randomly bad elements thrown in to make the whole situation more tragic even though this is unnecessary. It results in a film that’s less fun than watching yourself lose a Super Smash Bros match 100x in a row.

Ann moves to a new place and decides to drop her daughter off at a local school as she heads home to get everything set up. Unfortunately, her daughter is missing when she gets back there and Ann wonders what could have happened. There is no proof to suggest that she even exists so the police are skeptical as well. Ann will have to find her daughter quickly if she is to get anyone to believe her and that could be tricky in such a big place.

All right, let’s start off with some of the big negatives and work our way down. The first big negative is Ann’s brother, Stephen. See, the film makes it so obvious that he is insane and villainous from some of his first scenes that you will likely have a good idea of who the villain is. Maybe a red herring? No, because you are not meant to suspect him. He’s very over the top in how much he wants to protect Ann and find the daughter, but you know that he’s evil from his actions. He was a terrible character and a really bad addition to the film, which severely hurt its chances from the get go. His final scenes are just even worse and a waste of time here.

The next big negative is that the film introduces another villain for no real reason. The land lord is another criminal who just wants to seduce the people around him and he’s also insane. Again, there’s literally no reason to add him except to give us red herring who’s pure evil. Red Herrings are supposed to be subtle and not just thrown around for the audience to be tricked. The audience is much more clever for that and won’t fall for such tactics. The land lord does nothing but drag the film down even more.

Just to stress how dangerous the daughter’s situation is, the film has background characters make unnecessary comments about it like how they ended up finding another child who had gone missing a while back. These extra details are there to make the film darker and more tragic, but they just make you want to turn off the TV that much sooner. We get that the daughter is missing, but we want the film’s focus to be on finding her, not in explaining why this is so bad. Common sense tells us why she is in danger.

The film is just very distasteful in almost every scene and it’s really hard to watch. The writers wanted this tragedy to be as dark as they could, but what they forgot is that tragedies are automatically dark so you don’t need to keep on throwing in extra details at us. It’s like making an emotional film where you try to throw as many sad events at the main character as you can to make us sympathize with him/her. After a while, it’s simply overkill and makes the film a burden to watch.

These films also rely on some plot hax to keep going like how Bunny was actually abducted from the school. It’s hard to believe that someone could just walk in and grab her. Or that nobody would notice her being taken for that matter. It’s just very dicey, but to be expected as the plot had to happen somehow right? At least the policeman in charge of the operation tried a lot of different tactics to find her, but he seemed to be trying to be too clever for his own good. He was constantly metaphorically stroking his mustache as he kept on exposing Stephen in logical errors of the brother’s story, but he wouldn’t do anything about it. It all seemed like a game to him as he would learn more and more about the case, but not actually do anything. You also know from the start that the police won’t be able to do much so it’s hard to even have any suspense for that plot.

Then, the tragedy elements are focused on for just about the whole film so there’s no time for anything else. The film’s opening 5-10 minutes were decent as Ann punched her way through the crowds (Not literally) and tried to find her daughter, but that’s because the daughter wasn’t actually missing yet. She was, but they didn’t know that so the atmosphere was still calm. It was enjoyable to see the retro school life and Ann definitely had a strong personality. From there, the film just kept trying to hit you in the emotions far too often to be effective.

The climax of the film is probably one of the worst parts of the film. It goes on for way too long and I doubt that many people were watching this film so that they could see a psychotic episode. It just kept on going and going and you would just be waiting for the film to end already. It felt very long from the start all the way to the finish line. This film could easily be compared to Sucker Punch, which is another 0 star film. Both of them are incredibly dark and not enjoyable to watch. Sucker Punch has some action scenes at least, but has darker plot lines so they both end up being relatively equivalent.

Overall, This is the kind of film that you should never watch even if someone paid you too. It’s simply not worth exposing yourself to this title and you should just try to forget it as soon as possible. The terrible characters mixed with the bad climax and unrelenting unnecessary additions just end up transforming what could have been an almost decent film into a legendarily bad one. If you want a film that is fun to watch with plenty of excitement and laughs, just check out Yugioh 3D Bonds Beyond Time. That film is essentially the opposite of this one in just about every way. It has likable characters, a good plot, and an epic climax. If you’re going to watch any film, it should definitely be that one!

Overall 0/10

Bridge To Terabithia Review

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Bridge To Terabithia is a Disney film that came out a while ago and yet it is probably still one of the more well known films based off of a book from the company. Disney needs to adapt more of them to give us a break from the usual Hunger Games titles. That being said, the ending of this film does severely hurt it, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. It should be noted that I attempt not to mention the actual ending directly, but it will become pretty obvious as I talk about it. So for spoiler purposes, I recommend not checking out this film until you see the movie..and I don’t really recommend checking the movie out because of the ending so it’s one of those cycles…

The main character of the film is named Jesse and his life isn’t very fun at the moment. The kids at school bully him and his parents seem very distant or downright inhospitable at times. The only character who actually likes him is his little sister and he’s not typically around for her. Jesse is the kind of kid who gets bullied a lot because he typically just takes it. Unfortunately, dishing it back out could also get him expelled. Things look up when a girl moves into town. It should be noted that Jesse’s hobby is running and he was the fastest kid in the class. Not anymore! The girl easily crushes him in the race and tries to be friends.

Jesse naturally feels salty (“Salty” meaning that a person is upset, irritated, or sulky because they have just been humiliated in a sport or battle) about this and doesn’t want to be friends with her for a while. Eventually he cracks. It’s not hard to choose to be friends with the nicest character in the film after all. Her name is Leslie and she suggests that they hang out at a club house so that they can get away from the outside world. She loves to imagine things and gets Jesse to play with her. It’s rough going at first since Jesse forgot to stretch his imagination before he left home, but he gets the hang of it. What can go wrong now?

That’s the plot in a nutshell. The film tries to make Jesse’s life before Leslie arrives as dark as possible. He likes drawing and running, but those two hobbies can’t last for very long in a day so he’s typically bored. His older sisters are typically pretty mean to him while his younger one has higher values than the others. His dad is willing to destroy animal creatures so that he can make some money and he’s a very unreasonable character. The mom simply isn’t around very often.

The contrast is very clear once Leslie is introduced to the mix. Her family is pretty awesome and reminds me of mine. They all hang out together, paint, have snacks, and it’s all merry. The folks even allow Leslie to keep the dog that Jesse gave her even though they had no warning beforehand. That’s pretty understanding right? It really makes you feel bad about Jesse. It should be noted that the bullies also attempt to take on Leslie, but they grow bored a lot quicker so she gets to be left alone a lot after the initial encounters.

The film was going well…until the final event. That was pretty disappointing and a really bad way to end the film. It happens suddenly so at least you can’t say that you were really expecting it unless you followed the foreshadowing scenes. (Diving paper, tide rising abnormally high, rope seeming to be withered…etc) Needless to say, the twist may have been unexpected, but that doesn’t make it good. I would have much preferred a fake out, like the characters were simply tricking Jesse. It would have been a little out of character, but I could have handled that.

I give the film kudos for actually mentioning God and Heaven. The heroes have a discussion about it where the sister tells Leslie that you will go to hell if you don’t believe in God. Leslie denies this and she’s pretty young so it can probably be odd to hear back then, but the sister actually made valid points here. Does this mean that Leslie would hypothetically go to hell if everything ended that instant? You could say so, but I am inclined to say that it’s no guarantee.

Think about a situation where a baby or a toddler dies. They hadn’t truly made a decision to follow God or not since they were so young. God is omnipotent so he knows what they would have decided and I believe that this is how the system works. (Or the tip of the iceberg at least) So, there’s always a chance that Leslie would have accepted Christ into her life a little later on once she had really begun to think about it. Our minds aren’t really developed until we’re in our later teens or early adulthood. I doubt that many of us look at things the same way that we did when we were kids right?

It is still a pretty sad topic to think about though. After all, there are many “good” or nice people who will go to hell regardless of how moral they were during their lives. That’s because morality will never be enough to get you to Heaven. The only way there is through Jesus Christ. If you don’t accept him into your heart, no amount of good works will save you from going to hell. That’s why it’s always so important to preach the gospel and get people to really think about it so that they can hopefully see the truth. There’s no guarantee that Leslie would have eventually become a Christian, but at least Jesse’s household is a Christian one. Since she had started going to church with him on Sundays, there’s always the chance that she would have started to believe. Sometimes, all it takes is one really good sermon to make everything click. Also, since this is a film, I can just choose to believe that she would have accepted the Lord into her heart so the ending is a lot happier than it was.

Now, how old do you have to be to die and just go to hell if you didn’t accept Christ? That’s hard to answer and I’m sure that it varies from person to person. It’s generally accepted that babies and toddlers wouldn’t be sent to hell as they couldn’t comprehend the notion of Christianity at the time and I personally expect that the same would be true for all minors. After that, it’s anyone’s guess. Only God knows such things after all.

Back to the film. I still wasn’t crazy about the ending. Even with the happy ending that I thought up, it’s still really sad for everyone in the present. The film tries to end on a bright note by having Jesse continue his sister, but it just feels hollow. You won’t be able to feel good about that part because you’re still reeling from the ending. Bridge To Terabithia certainly did a good job of making sure that the ending is sad…but maybe it was too good. Sad scenes aren’t bad in question, but the sadder the scene, the more likely that I’m not going to like it. After all, we’re watching this for escapism right? Let’s keep the nitty gritty out of this.

I’ve been trying to think of what the “best” sad scene was. Something sad, yet not overdone too much so you can still enjoy the rest of what you were watching. I’m coming up with a blank here. Krillin’s death in DBZ comes to the mind as that is definitely near the top. Hinata’s fate against Pain, Nami’s loss to Arlong. There are many scenes that come to mind. The main similarity between them all is that the main hero gets into a rage after the scenes happen, which is impossible to do with a live action film. I feel like the rage helps to offset the sadness because then you really get angry at the villain alongside the hero and root for him to drastically win. That’s my view on the matter anyway.

As this film deals with the imagination a lot, the film decides to have fun with that. Mythical creatures attack at several points and imagination begins to meld with reality. This leads to some odd scenes where trees come alive and gremlins attack, but it’s all fake so you essentially take it with a grain of salt. The dog was really cool in these action scenes though and always got the better of the villains. He was and is a true hero.

Overall, Bridge To Terabithia is a fun film until the ending. Jesse saved an animal from crushing the film even more through animal violence and Leslie was a really good character. It’s safe to say that I wasn’t a fan of Jesse from start to finish. (He didn’t help his sister when a bully showed up and he constantly forgot how to imagine and made things tough for Leslie) Of course, Leslie being such a perfect (The film really tries to make her perfect and essentially succeeds since she has no negative qualities) character makes the ending even dicier. The supporting characters didn’t add much to the film and I’m sure that we’re all tired of watching bullies, but I suppose that they help for character development and all. It’s an entertaining film, but I’m afraid that the ending throws all of that out the window. So, I can’t recommend the film and you should watch Yugioh 3D Bonds Beyond Time instead. That film has some tragic moments like a city getting burnt and someone losing his dragon, but it never goes too far. It’s juuuuust right.

Overall 3/10

The Window Review

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Is it just me or does the kid look much older in the poster than in the film? Well, that happens I guess. The Window is one of those tragedy films where the lead is pretty helpless and it is supposed to let you sympathize with the hero while also fearing the villain. Suffice it to say, this does not work very well. The Window is similar to the Bad Seed in that the retro feeling simply could not save it. I’m afraid we’re in for another tough review!

Tommy is a little kid who typically lies and exaggerates to keep the attention on him. He doesn’t mean to let things get out of hand, but they typically do. One day, he witnesses a tragic murder and tells his parents, but it is too late. Tommy has already burned his bridges so nobody will believe him at this point. When the murderers find out that Tommy knows, they decide to take him down once and for all. This is going to be a tough battle for Tommy!

I can sympathize with the fact that Tommy tends to exaggerate a little. The lying is pretty uncalled for though, but I tend to exaggerate things myself or at least, I did a lot back in the day. Sometimes a story doesn’t have enough of the Wow factor so you have to add things in. Like, making the guy 10 feet instead of 7 in your story or maybe adding some extra punches in. You don’t mean to do it, but it just happens. Naturally, as you get older, this gets much easier to control. Tommy’s pretty young so he’s still getting the hang of that. I like to think that he’ll learn better very quickly…especially thanks to the results.

That being said, he’s still not a great lead. You may already be familiar with this from my older reviews, but I typically don’t like having a kid as the main character or even as one of the main supporting characters. It simply doesn’t work for a live action film or TV show. If Tommy was a little bit older, this story would be very different since he could have taken matters into his own hands. As it stands, he does a pretty good job of evading the crooks in the climax of the film, but we don’t get any real fights.

It’s actually a little disappointing for Tommy’s parents since they don’t get to help out at the end. I was expecting the dad to fight the criminals towards the end when he went home, but the film decided to take another route. Instead, it was Tommy who confronted them and that was certainly less exciting than my version of events would have been. The parents really made things difficult for Tommy and at the very least, they should have taken him with them. Leaving him alone at home when he’s scared of the neighbors is certainly not the wisest thing to do.

For once, I think the police actually looked pretty decent, or at least some of them did. The Chief actually tells one of the inspectors to check out the neighbor’s house just in case Tommy was on to something. It ultimately didn’t pan out since the investigator was tricked very quickly, but the fact that he gave it a shot was pretty neat. The other Policemen definitely weren’t very coordinated though as seen when the dad was looking for Tommy. One of them had just seen him so you would think that he would have been able to mention it when the alert went out.

That brings to mind the taxi scene. It really stretches your imagination and it’s hard to believe that the cab driver did not notice the kidnappers knocking out Tommy and being mean to him the whole time. Seriously, it really makes you wonder. The writers dug themselves into a hole with that scene and had to think of a pretty unconvincing way to get out of it. A serious of unfortunate coincidences brought Tommy to that point as well like when the grandfather called to have the mom leave. It’s very convenient to say the least.

The film has a happy ending, but it is not a pleasant watch and that severely limits its rating potential. Again, having a kid as the main character is detrimental to a film because we know that he is completely helpless so the film is really just about him being terrified and beaten up the whole time. That’s just not something that is going to entertain you and the whole concept behind the film is pretty bad. With enough light natured fun and gimmicks, it can actually be good like in Home Alone, but that’s the exception, not the rule. There are no real fun scenes to speak of here and the film takes itself too seriously for its own good.

Overall, The Window is one of those old films that actually isn’t very good. The writing isn’t even exceptional, which is rare for a film of its time. There’s a lot of plot hax to be found here so that the villains can have a fighting chance, which wrecks the realism of the film at times. I certainly wouldn’t recommend it and this isn’t the kind of film that will leave you with a smile afterwards. It’s an intriguing adaption/moral retelling of the Boy Who Cried Wolf, but that story was better in the fables. Or at least, one version of them since those tend to have many different endings. Instead of this title, I recommend checking out the film “Yugioh Bonds Beyond Time!” Now that is an epic adventure filled with suspense and danger.

Overall 2/10