8 Star Movies, Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

Sherlock Holmes: Pursuit To Algiers Review


Back to back Sherlock Holmes reviews? Yes, it’s time to jump right back into the land of mystery. This one throws the cast on a ship which means that there isn’t a lot of room to run for both the heroes and the villains. They will have to execute their missions with a lot of strategic planning in order to come out on top. It’s a pretty fun film and probably has the most direct confrontations between Holmes and the villains that we have seen in quite a while.

The film starts with a mysterious group luring Holmes and Watson to an abandoned house. They want Holmes to guard Prince Nikolas by getting on a plane with him and acting on an escort. Holmes accepts but there is no room for Watson so the sidekick heads on a boat to meet up with Holmes again later on. Holmes pops up anyway though and tells Watson it was all a trick. The problem is that 3 Russian spies come aboard and want to destroy Nikolas. There is also a mysterious lady named Sheila who always panics at the sight of Holmes. What secret is she hiding and why should she be terrified of Holmes? Time to find out!

At first the film plays out like your typical mystery as we are introduced to a bunch of suspicious characters and naturally they are all very sketchy throughout, but then we see the actual villains come aboard the ship. This means that either one of the suspects is an accomplice or they were all red herrings. Either way it makes for a fairly tense atmosphere. Also, the boat has a lot of people on it so in theory that makes it hard for the villains to try anything, but it can also be hard for Holmes to protect Nikolas without making it too obvious either. A lot of mind games are had here.

One such moment that worked really well was when the villains challenges Holmes and Watson to a game of curls. Throughout the match they use game lingo to attack the other person’s strategy about how to deal with the Prince. Holmes ends up doing pretty well in both arenas while acting innocent as he always does. Holmes likes to put up a humble facade even while he is smirking on the inside. He is fairly aggressive here as he breaks someone’s wrist and certainly doesn’t back down from the opposition. He even steps in to save the prince from an untimely swim when Watson proved unequal to the task.

This was definitely one of Sherlock’s better appearances. I’m also glad he was pretty careful about not actually getting on the plane that was pretty obviously a trap. He was maybe a little too trusting in even getting into such a situation, but I have to assume that he recognized the people he was dealing with right from the start. I’m also confident that he wouldn’t have fallen for a certain voice trick that was near the end of the film.

Unfortunately this was not one of Watson’s better appearances. He has a little too much fun with Sheila and forgets the situation too quickly. He’s a man on a mission right now so you think he would show a little more urgency. He also doesn’t guard Nikolas too well and tendsto let the guy out of his sight a lot. An old lady is also able to deter him from arriving as soon as he would have liked by putting him in the opposite direction. He was just really careless here and of course that tends to happen when you are the comic relief character of the series, but most of the other films put him in a bit of a better light than this one.

Of course, Nikolas still deserves most of the blame. He knows that everyone is after him but still makes alot of rookie mistakes. When Sheila asks him to go onto the deck with her to hang out he should have realized that this could be dangerous. Despite that, he seems rather oblivious the whole time and doesn’t even look for traps. He goes awful close to the water and just doesn’t show any common sense the whole time. His final scene is just as bad as all of the others and I was almost expecting his end to be a rather tragic one as a result. The guy just clearly doesn’t put too much stock in his own life.

Sheila’s subplot is probably the only one that just isn’t very good here. It’s just unnecessary and taking her out of the film would have put more focus on the actual case. She makes for a good red herring most of the time, but even then her motivations don’t seem all that consistent. From the three villains, Gregor was probably the best one. He is essentially the Moriarty of the group who likes to attack the heroes with carefully thought out plans when they least expect it. He isn’t as quick to act as the other two. Of course, waiting so long has its weaknesses as well, but I can’t say that there was any real fault with Gregor’s plan. It was actually really sound.

Mirko is the most aggressive one in the group and his knife throwing skills were on point. This guy is definitely a fighter. Naturally that’s not enough to take on someone like Holmes though. The detective is always ready for him. Then we have Gubec who gets the smallest role of the 3. That’s likely because he can’t talk so without any lines it was hard for him to be quite as memorable as the other 2. He still does his best though and isn’t bad I guess, but there’s just nothing all that likable about him.

Overall, This was a pretty solid Holmes film. The boat actually made for a great backdrop to the story. It was nice seeing the heroes and villains all stuck on such a small object like the boat. The film maybe spends too much time on red herrings, but at least the suspects are believable enough where you might suspect them for a while. Of course, the more Watson is sure that one of them is the culprit, the more confidence you will get in that just not being the case. It’s almost a little sad when you think about it.

Overall 8/10

6 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Jurassic World Alive Review


It’s time to look at a recent mobile game. After Pokemon Go came out and completely changed the way we all look at video games, it makes sense that another game would want to try and replicate that success. We had Draconius Go which got a lot of hype during its start but then it quickly faded away. I think that game may have still had a bigger life cycle than this one though. For starters, this game messes up the fact that you’re supposed to play it on the go which is a problem.

So, the overworld is just like Pokemon Go. You will see dinosaurs all around so you want to walk around the neighborhood and catch them. Catch all of the Dinosaurs that you can and then take them to the multiplayer place so fight others. So far so good. Adding PVP right away was certainly a shot at Pokemon Go. The gameplay is also more like the handheld Pokemon games which is no coincidence.

Where the game messes up is when it comes to catching the Dinosaurs. In Pokemon you just throw a ball which is nice and simple. This is perfect because it’s not too distracting and so you don’t have to worry about bumping into people or just stopping so you can make the catch. You barely even need to look at your phone as you know where to throw. This game is a little different as you have to hit the dinosaurs with a bunch of darts to capture them. The problem is that this takes a little while and the throws have to be precise as the dinosaur runs while you try to catch it. This means that you have to just stop for a bit while this is going on and you have to do that for every single Dino. This wouldn’t be a problem in a traditional app game but for one that you have to play outside it’s just no good.

The game also ramps up the corporate feel to it as you have actual advertisements everywhere. The game constantly tries to get you to spend money instead of being subtle like Pokemon. Every time the game wants you to spend money you just think that the game is too desperate to take your money and run. The developers know that this game isn’t going to last so that’s why they want to take your money and then split. It just feels a little underhanded. There is currently no reason to play this over Pokemon Go either. It’s just a far more watered down version of the game.

If Pokemon Go didn’t exist then this game would certainly look a lot better, but then it probably wouldn’t even exist anyway. There’s nothing wrong with the game and it’s reasonably fun, but that’s about all that I can say in its defense. The graphics aren’t bad, they’re basically standard issue. Not the worst looking app game that I’ve seen, but nothing to suggest that it is as new as it actually is.

There isn’t much of a soundtrack unfortunately. Currently there are 100 Dinosaurs in the game and I caught 9 unique ones. That’s not bad, but it isn’t great. Still, any time spent playing this game is time that I could have put into Pokemon Go instead so I knew that this was enough for me. If you would really rather play this than Pokemon Go then by all means go right ahead. Still, I just can’t see the appeal in this one winning out. I suppose if you really love dinosaurs then that could be enough.

Overall, Jurassic World Alive just feels like a total cash grab. There’s nothing subtle about it as the game feels slapped together to earn some money. There is no polish to the game and not a lot of depth either. Still, you can certainly end up playing this game for a long time because I’m suire they will make it very difficult to acquire the 100 Dinosaurs before spending some cash. Just think about whether you want to pay the price or not.

Overall 6/10

Editorial

Best Live Action Movies of Each Year

It’s time to look at the best Live Action Film of each year! This one was definitely tricky since there are so many films that came out each year. Still, I went through the Wikipedia lists and hopefully have not missed any. Naturally this list may change as time goes on and I see more films, but I’ll aim to keep the list up to date at all times. Now lets see which ones made history!

2018 Black Panther
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Black Panther was definitely a solid action movie and a good way to end the MCU until Infinity War. That film may ironically end up stealing its spot, but for now Black Panther is certainly the film to beat in 2018. It just managed to hit all of the right buttons without falling into any cinematic traps. It’s easy to see why the film was such a big hit.

2017 Justice League
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Still one of the most ambitious comic book movies of all time, Justice League really managed to be an epic movie. The fights at the end of the film were certainly excellent and I also enjoyed the opening fight with Batman and the Parademons. I would have liked to have seen more of what the original version was supposed to be like, but the finished product still managed to be quite awesome.

2016 Batman V Superman Dawn of Justice
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Now this is the most ambitious super hero movie of all time. After all these decades, the two most popular superheroes finally get to meet each other. This film is almost perfect as it had a lot of tense scenes and great memes after the film had ended. The whole film just comes across as very epic and you won’t want to step out of the room for a moment. The dialogue and banter between the characters was uncanny.

2015 Avengers Age of Ultron

While not as groundbreaking as the original Avengers, Age of Ultron was an excellent sequel which brought the gang back for one more ride. We got a lot of snappy humor and some fun fights so it’s hard to deny that this was a very good film. There was a lot happening here and even though I’ve seen it twice I would already be down with seeing it a third time someday. I do think it may go down as the least memorable Avengers film though.

2014 Captain America: The Winter Soldier
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After the first Captain America film I can’t say that I was too hyped for this one. Still, it managed to exceed my expectations and was actually quite great. Winter Soldier made for a good opponent to Cap and his scenes even proved that Spider-Man was far stronger than Cap physically. The Hydra plot finally got to end so Cap could get some new opponents and this was a movie that stood well on its own as well. There weren’t a whole lot of guest stars or anything this time.

2013 Man of Steel
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Man of Steel was always a controversial film but I have to admit that it is still one of the greatest films of all time. The fight scenes are decades ahead of its time and Superman makes for a great main character. The film doesn’t waste too much time on set up or sob stories and throws us into the action. To this day I think it will be tough for a CBM to ever truly match this one’s fight scenes. It’s just hard to top a film where every character who is fighting are top level DC combatants.

2012 The Avengers

I’ve probably seen the Avengers more than any other live action comic book movie. I’ve seen it 5-6 times at this point and it never gets old. It was the perfect crossover to bring all of Marvel’s best heroes together. It felt like an awesome crossover and also managed to fit in a nice climax as well. The jokes were on point and likewise for the fight scenes. I don’t see how this film could have been any better than it was.

2011 Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol

Mission Impossible has been a great film series, but it really upped its game to the next level starting with this film. Ghost Protocol was a blast as we got a ton of action scenes and the series finally added a new character who could keep pace with Ethan Hunt. The film never really slowed down and managed to keep up the frantic pace for the whole adventure.

2010 Prince of Persia

I haven’t seen Prince of Persia in quite a long while, but I remember it being very solid. It was a film that took place amidst a lot of sand but managed to surpass its own locale and managed to be a very epic film anyway. As a pretty big fan of the games I can definitely say that the film did it justice. It was just a lot of fun all around and was a good way to start off the 2010s era.

2009 GI Joe: Rise of Cobra

GI Joe was always a film that was a lot of fun to watch. It may not have been the most ambitious film out there, but it had a ton of action. It got me a little more interested in the franchise and I didn’t mind the super soldier suits. Cobra’s group actually looked tough in this film as well which was a nice surprise.

2008 The Dark Knight

The Dark Knight is still known as one of the best comic book movies of all time and I can definitely agree that it was a lot of fun. The Joker appeared as a real threat and a lot of work went into the plot. Joker definitely didn’t put Batman in an easy position, but the Dark Knight ended up victorious as you would expect. He isn’t the kind of fighter who goes down easy.

2007 Spider-Man 3

Spider-Man 3 gets a bad rep most of the time, but it is certainly still one of the finest comic book movies of all time. There is constant action and it managed to wrap up a bunch of plot lines from the previous 2 films. It’s extremely memorable and also had a great soundtrack to support it. At the very least, I’d say that there will probably never be a Spider-Man film that can top this one.

2006 Mission Impossible III

I don’t have the greatest recollection of Mission Impossible III, but it was certainly an intense film. The villains really put Ethan through the ringer in this one and he didn’t get to have a lot of fun. This was right before the series really became amazing, but it was still solid enough to take the year I’d say.

2005 Fantastic Four

Who’d have thought that the Fantastic Four would get their time in the spotlight eh? Their film may not have been amazing, but it was a good way to introduce the team. We got some nice action scenes as well and it had a pretty good story. It was definitely better than the remake and the origins were handled well.

2004 Godzilla Final Wars

To this day Final Wars is remembered as the greatest of all the Godzilla films and for good reason too. The movie managed to grab a lot of monsters and even made the human plot interesting this time around. It’s the perfect Godzilla movie.

2003 Godzilla Tokyo SOS

Tokyo SOS was another fun Godzilla film for the books. It really showed off what Godzilla could do with modern effects and as always it gave us the monster fights that we were looking forward to. Mecha Godzilla looked hype as expected.

2002 Spider-Man

The epic start to what would soon be known as a legendary trilogy, Spider-Man redefined what it meant to be a friendly neighborhood superhero. He made the tough calls when necessary and the film taking place in NYC was a nice touch.

2001 The One
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The One is a film that almost nobody has heard of, but it was surprisingly amazing. The action scenes here were excellent and it actually had an insert song for one of the fights. That is extremely rare for a non anime film.

2000 Mission Impossible II

Mission Impossible II saw things get a little dark for Ethan and his crew. It brought in the usual action and excitement with the darker tone and made for an intense movie. Definitely a sign of things to come for the heroes in the 2000s.

1999 Godzilla 2000

Godzilla 2000 was definitely an iconic Godzilla film as it gave the hero one of his most fierce-some designs of all time. Orga also made for an extremely epic enemy. This is one Godzilla film that certainly will not be forgotten.

1998 Rebirth of Mothra III

We can’t forget the big Mothra film to end the trilogy. She had an intense fight against Ghidorah and proved that she is still one of the strongest Kaiju around. Mothra is one monster that should not be trifled with. A fun all around film.

1997 Men in Black

The original Men in Black was definitely a blast. While the humans vs aliens plot had been done before, this one was probably the first action/humor blend to really succeed at this level. It’s just a lot of fun to watch and it’s just a shame that the sequels couldn’t quite live up to how much fun this one was.

1996 Space Jam

Space Jam has always been an awesome film and I dare say that it gets better every time. Seeing the Looney Tunes have to fight for their world really brings the stakes to their peak and while you might find it tough to swallow that they can’t win on their own, just pretend that they’re holding back. Winning with a sport probably just seemed like more fun to them.

1995 Mortal Kombat
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Mortal Kombat is incredibly underrated and is still one of the greatest films of all time. I’ve never seen a film with such an incredible soundtrack coupled with excellent action scenes. This film is truly a one of a kind experience that everyone should watch.

1994 Godzilla vs Space Godzilla

I don’t understand why this game gets so much disrespect thrown its way. The concept of a Space Godzilla running around is just plain epic and his design is super cool as well. The beam fights were intense and while Godzilla was getting his spikes handed to him he still put up a reasonable struggle.

1993 Godzilla vs Mecha Godzilla II

Mecha Godzilla II was a strong robot who gave Godzilla a pretty tough fight. It’s a shame that he couldn’t do much more than that, but he was up against the King of the Kaiju. Their rumbles always make for really epic films.

1992 Godzilla vs Mothra

We might as well start calling the early 90s the Godzilla years because he is here to stay now. Mothra hadn’t really gotten to fight Godzilla for many years so it was about time that they had a rematch. While this wasn’t one of the most memorable films it was still a lot of fun and will have you glued to your seat.

1991 Terminator 2
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Terminator 2 is iconic and the original Terminator finally found himself matched up against a foe who could hold his own. Their duel was a lot of fun and you always can’t help but admire how persistent Skynet is. This A.I. isn’t the kind of program to just sit back and allow the humans to build up a resistance. Definitely an intense Sci-Fi epic.

1990 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

The Ninja Turtle films were always a lot of fun. They were able to hit that sweet balance of action and humor without going too far in either direction. The films were cheesy, but they have aged very well and are sure to bring you a blast and a half.

1989 Batman
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While the 1989 Batman film is largely overlooked today it was a really solid take on the Batman mythos. It helped the general audience finally take comic books a little more seriously and reminded me that superheroes are always in season. Back then just seeing Batman be able to move with such agility was a feat.

1988 Poltergeist III
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Poltergeist III is amazing because it saved the entire series. The second film was trash and the first film was no good, but the third film managed to actually make the series good. It had suspense and tension which was something that I never thought I could say for the series. Throw in the awesome visual effects and we had a real winner here.

1987 Superman IV

Who can forget Superman IV? Honestly, a lot of people consider it to be a far cry from the first film, but I’m one of the few who considers it an improvement. (I haven’t seen the first film in ages though) Superman IV embraced its nature as a sequel and used the character development from the previous films to its advantage.

1986 Labyrinth
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Labyrinth is a very interesting fantasy film that plays out like an RPG. The main character meets up with a bunch of supporting characters and gradually makes it to the final boss where she has an interesting fight while trying to keep her balance on the various walls. It’s definitely an interesting film and even has a musical number.

1985 Return of Godzilla

Whether you took Godzilla seriously or not before now, The Return of Godzilla was a film for the ages. It showed us a more fearsome Godzilla who was not meant to be taken lightly. There were no other Kaiju here which was a bummer, but the Big G can certainly hold his own film I’d say. Seeing it on VHS is definitely nostalgic.

1984 Ghostbusters
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Ghostbusters is mega popular, but I only got to see it rather recently. Still, I can see why it became such a hit since the film is a blast. The Marshmallow Man is intense and the title song is probably still in the top 5 most intense live action non battle songs of all time.

1983 Superman III

Time for some more Superman action. In case you haven’t noticed, I am a pretty big fan of the Man of Steel. His films have had a great track record over the years. Superman III may not have had a super big threat like film II did, but it brought back some of the humor from the old Superman days. It’s just a lot of fun and a good movie to enjoy while eating a few slices of pizza.

1982 Rocky III
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Rocky and Superman definitely dominated this period of time. Rocky III brought us the epic fights that you would expect from the series. By this point the premise was starting to get a little formulaic, but was still early on enough where this wasn’t a problem. As long as it is executed properly, it’s not liable to ever become a problem either. It’s just a very solid sequel.

1981 Superman II

Superman II is the most iconic of all the Superman films and in a way Man of Steel is a remake of this one. It has a lot of action and hype villains so it deserves its title as one of the top Superman films. While I may not necessarily call it the best in the Superman series, it is still a great title that deserves to be seen and admired.

1980 Airplane
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Airplane is the greatest comedy film of all time and I dare you to tell me differently. The jokes are consistently funny and that’s not something that I can say about most comedies. The scene of the pilot breaking into the airport and beating everyone up will go down in history as a hype moment. It just doesn’t get much better than that.

1979 Rocky II
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Rocky II had the hype rematch and was a good way to get Rocky back in the ring. The fight was as intense as in the first film and maybe even more so. Rocky had to give the fight everything he had to stay up right. He never quite learned how to block, but his stamina was as impressive as always.

1978 Superman

The original Superman film was certainly the start of a legendary film series. The Man of Steel impressed audiences worldwide and the film was definitely emotional.

1977 Star Wars Episode IV

The original Star Wars film is still one of the best ones. It set up the universe really well and established Darth Vader as a big threat. It had a nice cliffhanger to set up the next film and a lot of action was constantly occurring throughout. You could not accuse this film of having a slow pace or of having a generic soundtrack either.

1976 Murder By Death
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This film proved that people die when they are destroyed. While you can poke fun at the title of the film all die, it’s a serious murder mystery all the same. Just throw in a bunch of parody elements as well and you are looking at one of the greatest mystery films of all time. A definite must watch for any fans of the genre.

1975 Terror of Mecha Godzilla

Terror of Mecha Godzilla is one of the scariest films in the whole series. Bringing back Mecha Godzilla so soon was a bold move, but definitely the right one. He is essentially the Broly of the Godzilla verse and has always proved to be the toughest opponent for the King of the Monsters. It was a great way to end the Showa era.

1974 Godzilla vs Mecha Godzilla

Godzilla vs Mecha Godzilla still has the most iconic moment in Godzilla history, when Mecha G first shows himself. I would also consider this to be the most impressive visual effect in Godzilla history, but that is more debatable. It was definitely a powerful movie with some crazy fights.

1973 Godzilla vs Megalon

Megalon never seemed all that powerful next to the other Godzilla villains, but his design is undeniably awesome. His twin drill fighting style makes him a lot to handle for Godzilla and we also had other monsters running around. The action just never stopped in this movie and that’s why it is so much fun.

1972 Godzilla vs Gigan


Godzilla vs Gigan is definitely the most brutal Godzilla film out there and one that is not for the faint of heart. Gigan proves to be Godzilla’s toughest opponent yet as he nearly takes Godzilla down for good. It’s an intense film that does nerf the villains a little to give Godzilla a fighting chance, but is still a solid film all around.

1971 Godzilla vs Hedorah

Godzilla vs Hedorah is probably top 5 among all Godzilla films if we’re being honest. Hedorah was a great opponent and had more character than the average Kaiju. He was also immensely powerful and Godzilla didn’t seem to stand much of a chance the whole time. It reminds you that you should always be careful to help the environment.

1970 Gamera vs Jiger

One of the weaker Gamera films, but still good overall. Jiger may not seem like much of a threat compared to the average Kaiju, but underestimate her at your own peril. Gamera never makes this mistake and that’s why he tends to win his fights. There are a lot of lessons to be learned in this film.

1969 Godzilla’s Revenge

Calling this film Godzilla’s Revenge may be a little suspect since that’s not the original name, but I really like the title. It appropriately describes the film and reminds us that Godzilla isn’t always a very noble Kaiju. He is out here to survive and to thrive and that is precisely what he does.

1968 Destroy All Monsters

Destroy All Monsters was a very big crossover among the Toho properties and it’s still incredible that they were able to get so many monsters into one film. The human scenes may be on the weak side in this adventure but whenever the monsters are on screen you know that the hype is about to start. You’ll probably end up rooting for Ghidorah since everyone is picking on him.

1967 Gamera vs Gyaos

Gyaos is the most iconic Gamera villain of them all and for good reason. His design is top notch and he is no slouch when it comes to a fight. This is probably in the top 3 Gamera showa films and maybe even higher. While it doesn’t have the cool super hero subplot as another one of the films, it does deliver on the action and you can’t say no to that.

1966 The Ghost and Mr Chicken
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The Ghost and Mr. Chicken is a really fun comedy film. It’s fairly obscure, but must have been revolutionary at the time as it was one of the first films to have humor on this level. The laugh just keep on coming and the main character does ultimately get a little more courage at the end.

1965 Invasion of the Astro Monster

Invasion of the Astro Monster is the intense sequel to the Ghidorah film. The fight takes place in space which is pretty fun and a new locale was certainly appreciated. While I do miss the buildings getting blown up, we do still get some of that later on in the film. This movie had a ton of action!

1964 Ghidorah The Three Headed Monster

For a little while I had put Ghidorah as my favorite Godzilla film of them all. It’s tough to reach the top now as long as Final Wars exists, but at the very least it will always be known as one of the beast. Ghidorah is just such a great opponent for Godzilla and the action scenes here are great!

1963 Medusa vs The Son of Hercules
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Medusa vs The Son of Hercules is a fun film even if Hercules himself looks extremely weak the whole time. Well, I guess he isn’t the real Hercules which is kind of the point. I liked the radical new design for Medusa and I would definitely say that it worked well. It’s certainly her most intimidating look yet. If she ever brought it back, we could have more entertaining films like this one.

1962 King Kong vs Godzilla

King Kong vs Godzilla was a huge crossover back in the day and it’s definitely a blast to watch. The ending is rather suspect to be honest, but I guess it’s hard to please both sides with a fight like this one. All things considered, the film did a really good job and the effects have aged really well.

1961 Mothra

The original Mothra film may not have really been much of a Kaiju destruction story, but it was a solid film all the same. The writing was strong and the characters were engaging so you don’t really need anything more than that. Mothra is still a fearsome creature and it would be cool to see her get more movies someday.

1960 The Leech Woman
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The Leech Woman is not someone to be taken lightly. Her abilities put her above that of the average mortal and she attacks without warning. The film isn’t amazing or anything, but the premise was reasonable and the execution was decent. It’s a nice film to watch even if I would not want that as my superhero name.

1959 The Bat
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The Bat was a really cool film where the villain actually got bumped off in the opening minutes and was replaced with a different one. That scene was powerful and is the main reason why the movie is so memorable. It’s just a novel concept and one that to this day has not really been overused. I have to give the film a lot of credit there.

1958 The Colossus of New York
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It’s rare to see New York in the title of the film and I’d like to see that even more. There’s not much unique about this film, but it’s fun so there doesn’t need to be much more than that. It’s a fun way to spend an afternoon and just remember that New York is big enough to have a Colossus within it so long as nothing nefarious happens with it.

1957 12 Angry Men

The 12 Angry Men is definitely a classic film that may not have a whole lot of action or anything like that, but stands on its own with how good the dialogue is. I wouldn’t mind more films about jurors like this since this one was really engaging and also had a nice sense of humor.

1956 Rodan

Rodan may be a film that not too many have heard of, but those who have seen the film tend to acknowledge just how great it was. Rodan himself doesn’t get to do much as an adult in this film, but just thinking of how tough he will be when all grown up is enough to make this film even more interesting.

1955 Godzilla Raids Again

Godzilla Raids Again was a reasonable sequel to the first Godzilla, but was still lacking the extra monster action that we have come to love in the Godzilla films. It was still a very entertaining film though and the effects aren’t bad. Seeing Godzilla on the big screen is definitely surreal.

1954 Godzilla

The original Godzilla movie is definitely a fun Kaiju pic. For some it is very serious while for others it is light hearted fun, but that’s because it depends on which version of it you saw. I saw the happy American version and it does a good job of getting across the notion that Godzilla is a tough monster, but one that will always look out for itself first and foremost as opposed to trying to destroy us all for kicks.

1953 Beast From 20000 Fathoms

The Beast From 20000 Fathoms is a fun movie and really started off the Kaiju boom. Seeing the monster eat some humans only for the humans to escape and keep on running later was pretty hype. Some call it stock footage while I just call it good writing. It’s a movie that reminds you of how scary a true Kaiju is.

1952 Deadline USA
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This film is about a newspaper and how it tries to uphold its ideals while gangs and other third parties try to shut it down. As long as one reporter is willing to keep on fighting for Truth and Justice, the others will follow suit. It’s definitely a fun film and one that shows you how one paper can make a difference.

1951 Superman & The Mole Men

Superman & The Mole Men is an incredible film. It’s one of the only features where Clark Kent actually looks extremely competent and is as intelligent as you would expect a reporter to be. His job is all about finding clues so it makes sense that he would know a thing or two as opposed to other films where he is just there for comedy. It has aged extremely well.

1950 The Breaking Point
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The seas are fairly safe nowadays, but this wasn’t the case way back when. You had to watch out for pirates and a bunch of other hooligans. Eventually you would reach your breaking point and finally lose a shootout. This film can be rather somber but as everyone talks with a certain amount of smugness you quickly start rooting for one side or the other. Either way, it’s a tense film to hold your attnetion to the end.

1949 Abbott and Costello Meet the Killer Boris Karloff
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Abbott and Costello are back to beat up more crooks and remind the world why they are the most capable main characters out there. Karloff certainly bit off more than he could chew when he came up against these guys. Yeah, not much more to say about this one other than the fact that you will get a lot of laughs.

1948 Rope
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Rope is one of those movies where you aren’t liable to forget the title. It’s short and to the point while accurately describing what the film is about. Lets just say that rope is as dangerous a weapon as it ever was and when used for murder it can be easy to hide. Definitely a retro thriller that has aged well.

1947 The Dark Passage
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The Dark Passage is an intense film about framing and murder. You have to watch all of the characters very closely to see if they should be suspects or if you are simply overthinking things. In a movie like this one, you must always be on your guard. It’s certainly a film to think about.

1946 Time of Their Lives
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Abbott and Costello return again for another film filled with hijinx and a lot of crazy situations. There’s not much more that needs to be said here as the duo always delivers a funny movie filled with a lot of laughs. You don’t even need to worry about the plot as the leads have you covered.

1945 And Then Their Were None
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And Then Their Were None is an example of a “slasher” film done right. Now, I guess you don’t have to call it a slasher, but it’s the kind of film where everyone starts getting murdered one by one. The main difference is that this film is very old school so the murders aren’t graphic and the whole thing is just entertaining to watch. It’s a very epic story where the characters have to constantly try to outwit each other.

1944 Laura
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Laura was another solid mystery film that really brought in a lot of good twists and turns back in the day. The big twist about her faked death and return was handled beautifully. The main character may not have beein great, but the supporting cast really shined which is important.

1943 Calling Dr. Death
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I don’t recommend calling Dr. Death! This is one of those classic films that plays it by the books with Dr. Death naturally being evil. It’s fairly suspenseful and interesting despite the generic premise and is certainly worth a watch. I’d say that the film did a good job with the tools that it had at the time.

1942 Who Done It
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You can’t go wrong with an Abbott and Costello film. While you’ve seen one you’ve seen em all does seem to apply quite well here, it’s a formula that never gets stale. The old style humor is on point and you’ll be grinning ear to ear by the end. The heroes may not be brave but at the end of the day they do what is necessary to win.

1941 Maltese Falcon
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The Maltese Falcon is definitely an iconic movie with a very detailed plot. It’ll keep you thinking throughout the adventure and you have to watch out for the red herrings. This film doesn’t try to simplify itself for the audience and that’s a good thing. Just pay attention and it’ll all make sense.

1940 Invisible Woman
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The Invisible Woman was a fun film that dealt with being invisible. The main character may have had less fun with it than the original guy who got the power, but she also didn’t end up turning evil so she deserves a lot of kudos for that. It’s a pleasant film that doesn’t drag on.

1934 Death Takes A Holiday
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Who ever thought we’d see Death itself as more of a main character right? Usually you expect Death to be more antagonistic but he seems like a pretty chill guy here. The film was very surreal and while the ending may not have been amazing, it definitely didn’t hoild the film back from being good.

1933 The Invisible Man
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Who here doesn’t know about The Invisible Man? Honestly, while super speed would probably still be a power that I would choose sooner, I would absolutely love being invisible. There are just so many practical applications for it like sneaking into a restricted area to snag a few Pokemon who are hiding there. I guess most of the other uses for it are a bit murky like stealing candy bars, but you could always pay for it real quick and then dash out. Of course, using your ability so obviously is a sure fire way to get caught for government experimentation. Oh yeah…I was supposed to talk about the film right?

So, there you have it! I’ll be keeping this list updated so any title that you see now may or may not be there in a future as another film may end up rising above it. This was certainly quite the project to put up, but maintaining it should be a lot easier! Congrats on actually making it all the way to the end.

1 Star Movies, Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

The Black Cat (1934) Review


It’s time for a big team up between the big horror actors of the old days, Karloff and Lugosi. Although in the actual movie they are going up against each other with two travelers being caught in the crossfire. Suffice it to say, we’re in for another old school horror film where the main characters are terrible and the villains spend more time bantering than actually doing anything. We’re definitely at the right film.

So the film starts off with Peter and Joan taking a train for their honeymoon. It’s all going well until a mysterious man shows up and asks if he can share the room. Peter already gives off some red flags since he isn’t intelligent enough to refuse. Once the couple appears to be asleep this man, Vitus, attempts to get a little too comfortable with Joan. Peter wakes up and glares at Vitus but doesn’t do anything reasonable like kicking this guy out of the car or even becoming big time enemies. Instead he decides to forgive and forget. One thing leads to another and the couple follows Vitus to the mansion of Hjalmar. The old man is a big time enemy of Vitus since he stole the guy’s daughter and murdered his wife. Vitus has come here to get revenge while Hjalmar wants to take Joan since she is the reincarnation of the late wife and he aims to use her vessel as a way to bring her back. It’s all pretty twisted and clearly we are watching two villains go at it. It’s hard to pick any one of them to root for.

This film is fairly dark and not in a natural atmospheric way, but in an artificial gritty sense. Characters are tortured both on screen and off screen. Vitus’ family certainly gets the short end of the stick since they are all murdered by Hjalmar. The ending is even someone getting skinned alive. You can tell that while this is an older film, it’s not one of the classier ones. It’s going for the shock value scenes and it takes away from everything else.

Alas, it wouldn’t be a terrible horror film without an animal showing up in some capacity right? Well, Vitus is afraid of cats so the other villain always uses this against him. Vitus will destroy the cat but it just comes back for more since it has 9 lives. As a result, not only is the scene terrible but it’s pointless. The cat phobia never actually does much and at the end of the day it’s just a random excuse for the film to bump off a cat. Pretty disgraceful if you ask me.

I suppose the writing is decent although you will have to stretch your disbelief to its absolute limit. The whole point of Vitus coming over is to murder Hjalmar and he has dozens of opportunities to do so. In fact, his subordinate is an inside agent working for Hjalmar. He is Hjalmar’s only minion so the two of them can beat the old guy easily. Instead Vitus is constantly content to simply watch things play out and just go with the flow. There’s no narrative reason for Vitus to totally disregard his actual mission for 90% of the film.

As for Hjalmar, he is just as bad. He already murdered the first two people he was with so now he wants Joan even though it’ll probably just be to murder her at some point. Considering that he never poisoned them or anything the same question about waiting rears its head. Why not just destroy them right away or in the dead of night? It’s his house and the main characters are gullible enough to actually go to sleep at night. They’d be easy pickings.

We also can’t forget to talk about Paul and how terrible he is. He gets knocked out several times and never puts much of an effort. The only time he is finally able to air up the nerve to do something he manages to shoot the guy who was trying to help Joan. Clearly he isn’t good at reading body language but I can’t honestly say that I was too broken up about the whole thing since Vitus is basically still a villain in my book. Paul just comes off as really incompetent. Even after seeing how shady everyone is he decides to leave Joan by herself while he sleeps in a room way down the hall. He was just accepting this until Vitus came over to switch rooms. What this means is Vitus would have been in the room next to Joan and since the connector isn’t locked he could have gone to her room whenever he liked. Did I mention that Paul was terrible yet? You get the idea of why this guy was so bad. He doesn’t even understand a threat when it’s being blatantly said right in front of him.

Unfortunately Joan is no better. Not only is she fainting too much, but she gets possessed rather easily. I can’t blame her for falling off the rails after this since Paul lets the villains inject her with something while she asleep. Joan just never seems like a real character during this adventure. She ends up being in a state of shock throughout the movie instead and lets everyone else make decisions for her.

While the premise of someone going to get revenge may sound good on paper it’s clear that the execution is just off from start to finish. Subtle banter between the villains is a decent concept even if they are really trying to destroy each other. At the same time, it just gets unrealistic if it goes on for too long. We could have also been given a motivation for why these two are to be locked in combat without going full tragedy. Considering that Vitus basically knows for a fact that the other guy is guilty you’d think he would make a move of some sort before he is put in a bad position. You just end up questioning the characters quite a bit here. The highlight would be the Chess game. I definitely wasn’t expecting such high stakes for a mere board game, but if that had to be the case then Chess is naturally the perfect pick.

Overall, This definitely isn’t a good film and the other Black Cat films I’ve seen seem to have had more quality. The actual Black Cat in this film certainly doesn’t get the respect he deserves. What really buries this film in the long run is the fact that it is too dark at times and there is nobody to root for. The main characters certainly aren’t very smart and make all of the wrong choices while even the villains don’t seem to think things through. The polite banter that I like from these films only hurts it in this case since these characters should be doing something as opposed to doing nothing.

Overall 1/10

4 Star Movies, Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

Son of Dracula Review


Given that I’m in the middle of a vampire arc in Detective Conan, it seemed like a good time to review a Dracula film. It’s definitely pretty odd to see Lon Chaney playing the role, but this way he continues to play all of the Universal monsters at some point so I can roll with that. Unfortunately, not even his acting can save the film as it still ends up being your standard Dracula film through and through. It’s just hard to make a good Dracula film whether it be in this day and age of even in the past.

So, the plot starts with a mysterious man moving into town. The main farmer dies very mysteriously during this time frame. That’s when Dracula shows up and suddenly Katherine marries him despite being seriously engaged to Frank. Frank suspects something is up and grabs his gun, but this Dracula fellow appears to be bullet proof and intangible so the bullet goes through and destroys Katherine. Frank is quickly arrested, but it appears that Katherine is still alive. She is now going to be doing experiments with Dracula at night and says she won’t be available during the daytime anymore. Something’s fishy here, but Frank’s in jail so he can’t do much about it. It’s going to be up to Lazlo and Brewster to see what’s happened. Can they really deal with two vampires though?

The film does have a unique twist that I can get behind. Usually the main heroine falls head over heels for Dracula due to mind control and just generally looks terrible the whole time. The twist this time is that Katherine actually went with him willingly as part of her own plan. She plans to murder him once she is undead as well but to do that she will need Frank’s help. She’ll bust him out of jail so he can go to Dracula’s coffin during the daytime and destroy him. Technically it’s a full proof plan, but he makes one big mistake…he goes outside while it’s still night time. Heh…..heh…..hahhahahahahahahahaha!! Of all the mistakes to make…..why is Frank so terrible? I mean, we finally have a good plan and then he messes it up. He even destroys Katherine afterwards because he doesn’t want to be a vampire. I wish I could say he made the right call, but I really can’t. He comes across as a very ungrateful guy who’s of no use throughout the entire film. While Katherine’s plan was extremely dangerous, risky, and probably not good at all, she did pull it off. Frank got the easy job and he still messed it up. That’s got to be a downer.

Dracula doesn’t look very good here. I mean that’s to be expected considering how many weaknesses he has, but it’s still sad for his fans. It’s gotten to the point where just being in the same room as a cross is enough to get him sweating and the doctors always handle him without too much trouble. Dracula is at his best when he’s just uttering threats as opposed to trying to follow up on them. At any rate, at least Dracula is fun to listen to. Seriously, Chaney has one of the best voices in cinema with ease. Most other actors can’t even get close to his level. Dracula is just not a good character though.

I felt like the rest of the cast were pretty slow on the uptake here. Katherine’s sister made a few half hearted attempts to see what was happening, but didn’t play her cards right. She basically told Frank that the cops were onto him and took forever to get out of harm’s way. Brewster noticed right away that Alucard is just another way of saying Dracula, but just brushed it off and didn’t remember until we were deep into the film. He could have saved lives if he had acted with a little more urgency. Lazlo was experienced at least so that was nice to see. He may have been the best character here even if that isn’t saying a lot. At least he was making a real effort to do his best.

The Sheriff meant well. When he investigated the place and found the dead body, it was certainly reasonable for him to suspect Brewster as an accomplice. It’s also hard to take their word for it that a vampire is on the prowl since that doesn’t seem all that reasonable. At least he was better than the other cop who couldn’t guard a man if his life depended on it and got scared of everything. If you’re going to be a cop, I feel like there’s at least a minimum level of bravery that you should have and it should be enough for you to not be scared of vampires.

Overall, Son of Dracula is more of less what you’d expect from the series. There’s not a whole lot to say about the film that I haven’t already. At least there was no animal violence this time. That’s certainly a nice start. The supporting cast was also quite reasonable for a change even if it could still be annoying how they wouldn’t realize anything until it was too late. The cops were a nice addition. I wouldn’t recommend this film and you should probably stay far away. Just remember for the next time that while Dracula can be scary, it can always be worse. You could be dealing with the Wolf Man who has less obvious weaknesses. With Dracula you can hold up to sticks and cross them and that’s enough to deter him. The ending to the film was pretty weak and here’s how it should have happened. Frank becomes a vampire along with Katherine and then they play it off like she was in the woods or something and that’s why her body vanished. She explains that they were just imagining they saw her dead body and this way everyone lives happily ever after. Sure, Frank didn’t get a choice on if he wanted to be a vampire or not, but it can’t always be perfect for the guy.

Overall 4/10

0 Star Movies, Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

Murders in the Rue Morgue Review


Whenever you watch a few good movies you get this feeling in the back of your head that a stinker is probably coming soon. Whether it be in the form of an old Oscar bait title, a classic that hasn’t aged well, or a new film that tried too hard to be edgy, it’ll come. In this case, it’s none of the above as I doubt this one would be called a classic as I’ve never heard of it. Unfortunately it is still as terrible as you’d expect and you’ll find it hard to sit through this film. It’s a good chance to catch up on your stretching though.

So the film starts with a classic mad scientist going around murdering everyone. He works with a circus as a cover and has a trained monkey. Well, it’s not really trained as it tries to strangle people, but we’ll ignore that. He wants to cross the DNA of the monkey and a human but everyone he murders doesn’t have the right blood type. Finally, he decides to attack the main heroine during the night. Can she stop him? After all she can’t rely on the main hero who is busy telling crazy stories about a monkey murderer to the sleeping cops!

There’s really nothing to like about this film. It’s rather violent and dark throughout. There are no happy scenes in the film and everyone is wearing a virtual red shirt that’s so bright you can’t even see their character through it. You just know that they’re doomed. The film has animal violence and torture. Truly a losing combo if there ever was any. I don’t even think the writers were worried about the plot, they just wanted to get this on screen. It’s like in debates where one guy wants to get his signature quote in no matter what the context so he just says it near the end even though it’s off topic. That’s basically this film.

The main guy is pretty slow on the uptake as well and isn’t very smart. When he runs to the cops he decides to immediately start rambling about the monkey even though it’d be smarter to just mention the evil scientist instead. He knows who the guy is so he could have mentioned the name, but no. He wants to talk about the monkey. Naturally the cops don’t believe him and the other witnesses are no help as they debate about languages. You gotta love their passion though as they attack the other witnesses and the whole thing makes about as much sense as someone grabbing a budlight instead of a Pepsi.

There’s also the overweight roommate of the main character who likes to make macaroni and then complain about it. That’s his complete character arc and the scene lasts about 10 minutes too long. I also have to point out that it’s a disturbing trend of films showing characters eating from the pot and then putting the spoon back in. Just about every film does this and it’s always gross. Have they not heard of the no double dipping rule? When you’re making something for guests or sharing a dipping sauce, the whole point is that you want to keep it clean. So, if you’re all dipping french fries in the sauce, you only dip once per fry. That’s because if you bite into it and then dip it in, you’ve just wrecked the sauce for everyone. The same rule applies for meals. If you taste the soup to see if it’s ready, don’t put the spoon back in. Now the whole thing is contaminated. It should be common sense but you’d be surprised at how many people mess this up. Honestly that’s one of my worries whenever I go to a restaurant, but fortunately most of my dishes aren’t the kind that people have to taste to see if it’s ready. Nobody messes with my pizza!

So, the film can’t even get basic writing down. Usually old films at least have good writing, but there’s none of that to be found here. I’ve seen better writing in the old Bazooka gum slips. At least those would have a good punchline or some kind of entertainment. I’m gonna start to go in circles if I talk about this film for much longer. You don’t really need to know much else about it. Even the characters are all one dimensional and forgettable to the point where you’ll forget them all instantly. You’ll begin to wonder if there were any characters on screen at all or if they were all simply poorly constructed puppets.

Overall, This film is one you’ll want to skip. I’m starting to wonder if Poe was actually an incredibly overrated author as this is probably the 4th or 5th story I’ve seen adapted from him that was actually pretty bad. I wouldn’t be surprised though as a lot of the mainstream authors aren’t all that good. We can’t forget LOTR after all. What we need is a return to quality for books, but it’s hard to know where to start. I suppose there’s not much you can do with horror either as I haven’t seen all that many good ones. There have maybe been 3-5 good ones out of over 100 that I’ve seen so those are terrible odds to be frank. The only question this film left me with was if it should get 1 or 0 stars. Both are tempting options. Eh, there really wasn’t anything good about this film so lets plunge ahead and give it the 0.

Overall 0/10

8 Star Movies, Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

This Island Earth Review


It’s time for a retro Sci-Fi movie. This one definitely had an interesting plot so I was ready to see if it could make it all the way to the end. The movie takes a different direction than what I had been anticipating though and while that still could have worked, I believe that the film lost its direction. The second half doesn’t live up to the promising beginning even if there are a lot of interesting themes at work. It ends up being a movie that is crammed by a bunch of plots and probably would have worked better as a full TV series or movie series. Still, it’s a pretty engaging watch and definitely one of the original alien stories.

The plot follows a pilot named Meacham who is also a super genius. He has been studying Atomic energy along with his partner and together they will make the world a better place. One day, he receives a bead of immense power and a guy on a computer screen tells him to get on a plane. It’s purely optional, but the alien blows up the table and nearly destroys the main characters before Meacham disconnects the TV. Meacham ignores the act of violence and decides to board the plane. It turns out that the “aliens” are actually normal people who all work in a big government facility. They have obtained the best geniuses from around the world and simply want to achieve everlasting peace…through Atomic Energy. Meacham notices how this could build the world’s greatest nuke and also notices how everyone is acting oddly. Maybe this paradise isn’t quite as pleasant as it appears to be.

From the start there is a lot of tension here. Have the humans been replaced by alien shapeshifters? What are they planning to do witih all of the Atomic energy? Are they even aliens or is it possible that they are simply very advanced people? You’ll be wondering about all of this and more as Meacham subtly looks around. He actually does a pretty good job of gathering intel and not being too obvious with what he’s doing. He probably should have guessed that the aliens could see through the walls since their tech can do just about anything, but I suppose it was a worthy attempt. By this point, Meacham decides to get a little more bold with his plans.

It turns out that it is aliens who are running the operation and they have resorted to brainwashing humans. The same would have happened to Meacham, Ruth, and Steve but the alien in charge of this branch believes that brainwashing defeats the purpose of getting the help from the humans. The aliens need them to come up with new innovations because their own planet is dying and they need Atomic energy to protect themselves. His suspicions prove to be accurate as the brainwashed scientists are no longer useful. Still, Meacham and the others aren’t fools so they decide not to help. They try a good escape effort, but are kidnapped and brought to the alien planet.

This is where the film maybe adds too many elements. There is a big intergalactic war going on and both sides appear to be pure evil. They sling meteors at each other and take over planets to defend themselves. The alien race that is attacking Earth have powerful guard robots to protect them. Fortunately, they don’t stand up to well to a good human thrashing. The designs were pretty neat though. Again, Meacham and the others made the right move in not trusting these aliens. They would have certainly been used and then thrown away. As it is, they were very close to being brainwashed. Some satisfying punches are thrown. Letting the alien help at the end was a little cheesy and I definitely think he was too far gone, but it was a decent attempt by the film at trying to make him likable.

Besides Meacham stealing the show rather easily with his dynamic performance and intense voice, the supporting cast wasn’t so bad. Steve seemed like a reasonable fellow even if his role wasn’t too big. He was willing to make the ultimate sacrifice to help the others so that speaks volumes about his character. Ruth is all right as well as she helps Steve trust Meacham and helps the team stay active. Unfortunately, she doesn’t do much after that besides getting into trouble with the aliens a few times. It would have been nice to have seen her use some of her genius to take down the robot since she is also supposed to be very smart.

Back to the robot, I wasn’t too impressed with it. While it may look cool, is it really that deadly if a human can deal so much damage to it? I was a little skeptical the whole time. Still, the overall effects were very impressive considering that this came out in the 50s. Honestly, it would hold up fairly well by the 70s standards as well. It has elements from Star Trek (The ships and the fights are almost identical, but on a lower budget) and even Star Wars with the big battles going on. I definitely got a little invested in the universe and could have had quite a lot of potential as a franchise. There’s just so much that they can do here.

Alas, it was just one film so they really had to pick and choose what they wanted to do. The best part of the film is still the beginning as it’s all very strange. You don’t know what’s happening, only that the whole situation is eerie. It felt like a Twilight Zone with the atmosphere being this way and it was just handled really smoothly. It reminds you of why the Sci-Fi genre is so popular in the first place, it can give you some really intense plots.

I think what puts this film over the edge is the strong writing. I’ve said this many times over, but you simply don’t see this level of writing nowadays. In modern films you either have to deal with some language or characters having annoying/quirky gimmicks to differentiate them. These films don’t bother with that as everyone just speaks matter of factly. All of the threats are said very politely and everyone is passive aggressive. They all talk to each other with a lot of respect, but still show a lot of emphasis depending on the situation. They may be nice, but they are still making a point. As such, the dialogue is pretty strong throughout.

Overall, This film was actually really interesting. It may not have lived up to its full potential and scored a 9, but it still did a lot of things right and nothing wrong. An animal appeared and actually lived to tell the tale for a change. They really should have considered a sequel where the aliens got to attack Earth or maybe the other side since the main ones were defeated. With their advanced technology maybe it would seem like a blowout or something, but I definitely think it could have worked. It’s easy to see why this film is apparently so well known (I had never heard of it until I watched the film to be honest) and it’s aged really well. I definitely recommend checking it out as it shows you how an alien film should be crafted, even if perhaps it is a lesson on how you probably shouldn’t execute it. At the very least, not so many plots when your run time is only in the ball park of 90 minutes. With Star Wars coming up soon, I’ll be able to get my next Sci-Fi kick provided we don’t stick with Luke’s plot for too long.

Overall 8/10

7 Star Movies, Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

Twister Review


It’s time for a fairly old film. Twister may have come out in the late 90s, but for some reason it always feels a whole lot older than that. I dunno, maybe it’s just me but since it’s so iconic it just feels like it has to be ancient. Well, I’ve seen this film twice and it’s fairly solid. Some parts of the story are a bit iffy involving good ole Bill, but chasing the Twister is always fun. If only the characters realized how outmatched they were.

Bill used to be a storm chaser. He’d find a Twister and drive after it to collect more data. His team had even started to create a machine to stop it, but then Bill had enough of this life. He tried to get a divorce from his wife Jo and went off to find a new lady. Well, he found her so now he’s back to make the divorce official. Unfortunately, Jo seems reluctant to do so and convinces him to go on “One Last Ride” to stop a current Twister and prove that their invention will revolutionize early warning systems as we know it. Bill is skeptical, but once his old rival Jonas pops up, he realizes that he has to finish this.

Here’s my problem with Bill, it’s hard to sympathize with him at all. We never really get much reason for why he split up with Jo. They definitely seem to have some disagreements, but nothing major. It also comes across as rather fake because he found someone else so quickly. He got together with her and even planned to get married before the divorce was finalized. It was all very rush rush on his part and I just can’t like a main character like that. As you’d expect, he also ends up going back to Jo by the end of the film. He was dumped first, but he sure made it easy on his new fiance since he jumped back into the fold so easily. At least one good thing about Bill is how he’s always ready to jump into a fight. When he notices that Jonas has stolen his invention, Bill quickly steps in. After all, now it’s personal! It was nice to see that side of him, but it’s not enough to make this ex professional a good character.

Jo is a decent heroine I suppose. I’d probably take a while to fill out the divorce papers too just to mess with everyone. She takes everything in stride and pretends to be oblivious to what everyone else is thinking. Jo can come across as a little selfish at times and the whole 3 way romance plot is still tricky for all of the characters involved. At least Jo is more down to Earth though and prepared to go anywhere to stop the Tornado. Unlike Bill who quit, she stuck with the project the whole time so that definitely deserves some credit.

Meanwhile, we have good ole Jonas. I actually liked this guy. Sure, he stole the idea to give himself some credit and is not heroic by any stretch of the imagination. That’s what makes him such a good antagonist. He’s not trying to destroy the world or anything, he just wants to spite his old pal Bill and get rich. At least he’ll be stopping tornadoes along the way. Unfortunately, he does underestimate the tornadoes at the end and proves the heroes right when they thought that he just didn’t have the right knack for the job. The guy was good at working the crowd, but that simply wasn’t enough. I did miss having him around though as he had most of the good banter.

There were a few other supporting cast that hung around during the film. After all, Jo had a whole crew with her. Unfortunately, these guys weren’t great. There was one guy who whined a lot and really liked cookies, but I can’t say I was crazy about his gimmick. He wasn’t very smart and that was basically his whole character arc. The rest of the staff are all right, but they don’t actually do anything. Bill’s new fiance is all right as well. She’s pretty reasonable considering what she has to put up with during the film. The movie does make her exaggerated at one point though as she doesn’t want to eat with everyone at the table. It wasn’t even dirty and the staff weren’t eating like pigs. She just didn’t like that everyone was passing the food around like in those movies where the table is too big. Honestly, I thought everyone was doing well all things considered so that was clearly just to make us want Bill to change his mind. It felt out of character for her. She probably made the right move in breaking things off at the end though. Nobody wants to play second fiddle and it’s clear that Bill had been starting to waver.

I also have to give the film some props for not self destructing in the opening minutes. In Jo’s origin story, her dog nearly doesn’t make it to the shelter in time because her father was getting ready to close the hatch. Fortunately, the dog did make it though and then the father was taken away in the tornado. That’s an ending that I can live with and if the dog had died this review would be very different. The mother has a tough time overall though as she gets a pretty rough turnaround in the present as well. Still, animal violence would have been a huge no no.

The effects for the Tornado look pretty good as well. A giant black tower of destruction is exactly what you would expect from one. The driving around the country side could have been boring, but the writing/script were solid enough to keep the pace up. I was entertained at the very least and I have to give Jonas some credit for this again. He certainly kept the stakes high since he meant that the heroes would have to keep going fast. They’re also lucky that Bill did stick around since his 6th sense saved them quite a few times. They would have been in the wrong direction otherwise.

Overall, Twister is a good film. The characters aren’t really a strong suit though. They are reasonably charismatic I guess, but when you actually think about the characters they get a little tricky. I did like the rival though and the banter between the characters is good. At its core, the light tone and bond between the characters is what makes it fun. As much as Bill keeps claiming that he isn’t here to stay, the members of the group don’t believe him for an instant. It’s fun to just see them all having fun and referencing the good ole times even if we don’t actually get to see them. Don’t get the wrong idea though, I’m not proposing a prequel film. A “Twister” film without the twister could be dangerous. The writing is pretty solid and the Twister scenes are pretty fun. If you haven’t watched the film yet, you should since it is one of the original Disaster films. There aren’t too many destruction scenes so prepare for a lot of down time where the characters eat and have fun, but those scenes are handled pretty well. I could definitely see a remake of this doing well since the core plot is interesting as it is. They’ll just have to make a few adjustments since modern times have changed the situation a bit.

Overall 7/10

3 Star Movies, Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

The Mummy (2017) Review


It’s time for the first film in the Dark Universe cinematic universe. Unfortunately it starts off with a complete flop. Mummy hits all of the wrong notes throughout the film and negates whatever presence and intensity it may have had. I can respect its reliance on jump scares as it has well over a dozen of them, but none of these moments were actually effective and it just goes to show that relying on horror tropes won’t get the job done. It’s also unsure whether it’s an action or horror film which adds to the confusion. Ah well, this isn’t one for the history books and you should stick to the last Mummy series.

The film’s about a thief named Nick who releases Princess Ahmanet from her prison. He doesn’t believe in Egyptian curses or anything like that and just saw it as a way to get rich very quickly. Unfortunately, this leads Ahmanet to pick him as her chosen vessel who will be possessed by Set and help her rule the world. Nick’s partner is destroyed in the process and becomes a ghost who blames Nick for his death and loses his mind half the time. Seriously, the guy can never decide whether he wants to be friends with Nick again or just destroy the guy. Meanwhile, an archaeologist named Jenny is in danger since Ahmanet doesn’t want Nick to have any friends who could become rivals. Can this human take on the Mummy? There’s also an Illuminati led by Henry that specializes in destroying supernatural forces. Hopefully they can help out a bit…if they’re not evil or super shady.

This movie has a long list of problems so lets start going through them. One of the biggest problems is..you guessed it…animal violence. I had to shake my head here since we start with Crows being tied down and end with masses of them being forced to suicide by the Mummy. I don’t think these scenes added to the movie and were just here as shock value. It’s a shame that it already started the film out on the wrong note, but things continued from there.

Ahmanet’s main attack is that she’ll kiss people to death. Is this what the Mummy has been reduced too? See, this is the problem that Hollywood keeps making. Why does the female Mummy have to attack this way instead of through sand attacks like every other Mummy? She also happens to be a very weak Mummy as she loses to a few stun guns and a net towards the middle. In the climax, she goes down in one hit. Did I mention that the climax is very anticlimactic and there is no actual fight? It’s a shame since the film hinted there was going to be a cool fight with super speed and epic effects but no, the kiss of death was activated. Ah man, a certain action hero better not keep that as his main attack. That’ll be brutal.

Ahmanet’s not a bad character, but she really wasn’t used well. I’m honestly not a big fan of the design myself as I’d prefer a normal look, but that she has the ability to turn to sand at will. Think Sandman or Crocodile. (One Piece) Her sand abilities were fun though so I wish she had gotten to use them more. She’s a total villain despite the film practically begging you to root for her at times. There just aren’t any real heroes in this film.

Another issue I had is that the Illuminati is clearly evil. I expected the movie to go this route, but they went as far as possible with them deciding to punish Ahmanet with a living, very long drawn out process of mummification. Basically they’ll fill her with mercury which sounds like a pretty painful way to die. Henry is also insane as the leader and the film doesn’t hide this at all so I may as well say that he’s the famous Mr. Hyde. If he doesn’t have his drugs constantly, he gains very mild super strength and poorly handled effects. It reminded me of an old film I saw a while back where the main character’s hair changed for when he’s evil. It’s very similar and poorly handled as well. Henry is the worst character in the series. If you have to choose between an evil organization or an evil Mummy, it’s probably best to just choose yourself and fight everybody. I’m on Team Cruise in this case.

The Mummy also couldn’t resist throwing in some poorly handled romance and dialogue. The banter between Nick and Jenny is painfully bad and played out. It’s all dialogue that we’ve seen before and doesn’t add anything to the film. We don’t need to see Ahmanet constantly throwing off her robe or stripping just to make deals or give people dreams of the future. We don’t need the same flashback a million times of her about to stab someone and then get stabbed herself. Murdering the baby once was enough, we don’t need to repeat that. All of the repetition just made each scene worse and worse as if they weren’t poorly handled enough the first time. We should stray away from child violence and baby violence as it is. No need for any of that here. So, to get this straight, Ahmanet was used for romance and fanservice a lot and was fairly weak for a Mummy. Like I said, the character wasn’t used well at all.

Then there’s Nick. He’s not very heroic as he was close to ditching Jenny a few times and he did steal from her after their hotel fling. Nick also decided that riches were more important than stopping the rebels or investigating the area like he was supposed too. Don’t worry though, Jenny tells us that he is a good man at heart so we’re supposed to believe that. His personality was also a little intriguing as he had the classic Cruise wit and fast talk down like you’d expect, but then he’d also get shaken a little easier. His conversation with Henry was just weird in that sense as he started stammering a lot like “Cure me right Doc? I I I’m ready….cure. You’re gonna cure me? Right? Lets do it. Lets do it Doc. Doc?” The lines were just really weird and scrambled during that scene and I thought it was because Set was starting to control him or something, but we learn that he had no influence until Nick was stabbed so…it was just random.

I didn’t care much for Jenny either. She wasn’t much of a fighter and her lines of “Get him off me” when the zombie broke into the car just illustrated that she wasn’t going to do anything about it. It was Nick’s job to get them away and she only “helped” by kicking him in the face for it. She sold Nick out to the evil organization as well and just never became likable. I actually preferred Nick’s partner which is saying something since his whole role was to panic constantly until he died. He was also odd to me as I mentioned before. He seemed to lose his mind when he tried destroying everybody but then he got it back. Somehow he kept his free will I guess after he had settled down, but why? Everyone else was a crazy servant and then he almost got Nick run over by a car. Nick just shouldn’t trust this guy, but it seems like he’ll be sticking around for the long haul….great.

This is a modern movie, but it doesn’t really have a modern soundtrack. There’s not much to it this time so the film fails on that account. The scenery isn’t bad when the characters are in the city. I do like cities for action films like this one and the underwater caverns weren’t bad either. The desert scenes hold it back to an extent though along with the flashbacks. Not to keep grating on this point, but 3 random guards were able to hold the Mummy down after she was given her powers? I dunno about that. Maybe the powers hadn’t sunk in yet, but I would have expected her to win that round.

That’s not to say there were no positives to be found here. The film is reasonably fun. Fun doesn’t go a long way when it comes to the score, but I don’t think you’ll really be bored. Something is usually happening at the very least. While the chase scenes aren’t very inspired, you do get to see Nick take down a bunch of zombies. There are some fun parody moments as well like when Nick tries to approach the Mummy and gets slapped or punched through a few walls. People got a chuckle out of it the first time. The film made sure to use that scene a few more times, but it was met with deafening silence on the re runs. Usually you don’t want to re use a joke more than once. It was good that the film showed the Mummy had super strength…it’s just too bad that it vanished when it counted. I am glad that the film didn’t cop out though and the Mummy had the edge over Jenny. I would have had a hard time believing that she could last very long against the Mummy at all.

Finally, I have to take another shot at Henry’s plan. His big plan…is to give Nick unlimited power and then destroy him before he takes them down. That’s such a flawed plan that it hurts. The instant Nick gets those powers, he could probably use super speed to get away or just activate some mystical ability to blow them all away. It just seems to risky, wouldn’t the better plan be to just destroy the jewel? It’s apparently very delicate as a quick bump can break it. There’s not much that the Mummy or Nick could do without it so that’s the optimal plan. No risk and the day is saved. That’s why if Henry is supposed to be this world’s Nick Fury, then we’re doomed. He’s just not all that intelligent.

Overall, I’m a little worried about the Dark Universe. The premise of it still has a lot of potential. Nick should play a big role and that should be interesting as he is a charismatic guy. That being said, most of the monsters haven’t aged well. I can’t imagine the Werewolf, Frankenstein, or Dracula even being all that interesting. Maybe the films can change my mind but based on how they handled this one, that could be a long shot at best. You should definitely skip this film and stay far, far away. It’s just not a good movie.

Overall 3/10

4 Star Movies, Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

The Mad Ghoul Review


It’s time for a film that tries to play out like Frankenstein. In its defense, it’s far better than Frankenstein, but that’s not saying a whole lot. It’s a pretty short film with a small cast so it never drags on or anything, but it doesn’t try to do anything exciting either. It’s a movie that simply happens and there isn’t a whole lot more to it. It would have ended up with a more decent score if not for the animal testing at the beginning. Why do so many of these films have to start off by testing on animals? It’s not right and the film should feel bad.

Alfred is a psychotic maniac who wants to see what various old gasses can do. He experiments on some animals and finds that they can completely paralyze you. (and then kill you) He then finds out that by stabbing someone in the heart and giving the liquid (Wouldn’t it just be normal blood?) to the dead person who was hit by the gas would revive them. Ted is a student who becomes an understudy to Alfred. He’s impressed as well, but just wants to hang out with Isabel as he plans to propose to her. She comes over for a visit and explains to Alfred that she no longer loves Ted. Alfred quickly assumes that he is the rebound guy so he tricks Ted into the experiment room and hits him with the gas. Ted now becomes a mindless servant for a while. He’ll regain his consciousness for a bit after getting a heart, but then he’ll be knocked out again. It’s a vicious cycle, but somebody’s got to do it. Can Ted get out of this loop?

In case you’re curious, the rebound guy is Eric. He’s not a bad character, but he’s definitely way too cocky for his own good. He agrees to meet Ted in a dark alley in the middle of nowhere by himself and he gets very close to being murdered. I like the confidence I guess, but you think that he’d be a little more alert right? It’s also hard to like the character since he may have known that Isabel already had someone, but maybe he didn’t know. Isabel certainly changed her mind suddenly, but I suppose that happens. Still, she should have worked up the courage to tell Ted instead of dragging it out and messing with him. That certainly didn’t help the situation and I definitely can’t say that I was a fan of her here. Isabel certainly didn’t act like a great heroine.

Next up is Ted and he has definitely got to be one of the more naive and gullible main characters out there. He should have suspected foul play the instant he was trapped in the room with the gas. How could that have been an accident? He believed Alfred for some reason which was pretty dicey and then he could never put the pieces together when he would regain consciousness. The guy was just way too dense and I couldn’t take his monster form very seriously at all. It’s like he had a bad hair day every few minutes or something. Not very scary or intimidating if you ask me.

Alfred is basically your average mad scientist. He wants revenge on everyone who has spurned him and he’ll make the world burn. There’s not much to the guy and old scientists rarely make for very interesting villains. The guy’s love for music is probably the only interesting thing about him since we don’t get enough musical villains. That being said, it’s not as if it ultimately turns him into a very good character or anything. He’s still the same unoriginal villain that he always was.

The best character in this film was a detective. Unfortunately he didn’t get to live very long. Still, he was able to figure out that it was no coincidence how Isabel would perform somewhere and then a murder would occur. He knew that the Mad Ghoul was following her around. The problem is that he used a very risky plan and ended up paying for it. At least the cops got a little more serious after this and decided to make their move. It’s too bad that the detective had to go though since he had all of the good one liners. He didn’t take orders from anyone and loved to get the last word in.

One thing that could have helped the film would have been to have actually had a good monster suit at the ready. Messing with Ted’s hair wasn’t all that scary to be honest. I wanted to be scared, but I just couldn’t bring myself to buy into it. The monster also doesn’t really do anything very impressive as he just walks around and tries to look scary half the time. Still, I wouldn’t call the film boring or anything. It’s reasonably entertaining as it flies by, but I would have liked a little more excitement or some good characters to deliver some banter for the film. Without that…it just doesn’t work.

Overall, It’s not as if this film makes you perform a lot of logical leaps or that there are a bunch of negatives to be found here. The film just didn’t do much to make you engaged with what was happening. Add to that the quick animal scene and it was absolutely curtains for the film. If you like watching retro monster films, I’d recommend checking out Gamera instead. The actual monster there is a little more notable and the character roster is better. When the only good character is a detective who doesn’t live for very long, you know that there’s a problem.

Overall 4/10