The Adventures of Robin Hood Review

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Time to finally watch a movie about Robin Hood. Considering what a big icon this guy is you could almost say that it’s about time right? The tale of Robin Hood is a classic one since the idea of a thief who actually steals to give to the poor is such a noble one. He’s an anti hero that you can root for and depending on the circumstances you could call him a full fledged hero as he only stops crooks. He’s like Batman if the hero lived in a normal world. That being said, I wouldn’t call this a very good movie.

The film starts off with a lot of exposition but basically all you need to know is that the rightful king of the land was captured. Now his villainous brother rules the land and has decided to enslave its people. He steals their money to make himself even richer. Robin Hood doesn’t like this and demands an audience with the chap. They each talk a good game as both fighters posture until they can lift their chins no higher. Robin Hood escapes with his life but vows to make things very difficult on the false king. Robin is true to his words and soon the villain can feel his grip loosening. He comes up with many traps to ensnare Robin Hood, but will they work?

There is definitely a lot to like about this film though so I’ll start with some of the easy positives. The fight scenes here are a blast. I do miss these retro fights where the gallant lead grabs a sword and is easily able to fend off dozens of trained professionals. There are many instances where Robin Hood is completely surrounded by an army and still manages to escape. It’s cheesy and not very realistic but it is a blast. He is just the most capable athlete in the whole kingdom and they have to get used to this.

The archer contest was also a lot of fun and plays right into Robin Hood’s ego. He will walk into every single trap just to show that he is not afraid. It may not always succeed but its this attitude that made it easy for him to get such a following in this kingdom. He’s a lot of fun as the lead and makes sure to enjoy himself rather than brooding and taking the whole thing too seriously. He is constantly laughing and being merry.

The writing for the film is also on point. All of the characters talk tough and do a good job of dishing out subtle threats. The script is on point and for the most part even the worst characters (The heroine’s maid and the comic relief member of Robin Hood’s forces) aren’t too unbearable. The less screen time for them the better though.

On the flip side as this takes place in a forest we do have some animal violence though. A deer goes down for the count twice and that was most unfortunate. The film would have shot up a couple of extra points otherwise. It was pretty unnecessary and of course it doesn’t do any favors in trying to get you to root for Robin Hood since it was one of his men who shot the creature. He should have stuck to being a vegetarian.

The cast can also be a little weak at times. Of course Robin Hood is a great character, but most of his followers aren’t very great. The drunk guy who fell asleep with his food definitely couldn’t be taken seriously. Then we have the drunks and the random guys who are always running every which way. Of course the film is trying to show that he is grabbing a group of rag tag fighters and turning them into pros, but it gets to the point where you have to wonder why the army isn’t completely destroying these guys. The heroine is a little better as she at least tries to stay strong before getting roped into Robin Hood’s schemes. It seems a lot more convincing than in the new film that just came out/is coming out.

I actually did like the two main villains quite a bit though. The corrupt King had quite a lot of confidence and seemed more reasonable than you would expect from his kind of character. Not reasonable in the sense that he would grant any mercy, but in the sense that he didn’t underestimate Robin Hood. By all accounts he actually should have destroyed that guy once and for all. The King’s right hand man was also a lot of fun. Gisbourne really doesn’t like Robin Hood for personal reasons and it makes for a fun dynamic. Their final bout is also a good payoff for this plot and while the hero does try to spare him multiple times, this does get a little harder throughout the fight until it is simply too late.

Overall, The Adventures of Robin Hood is a bit of a mixed bag. It has some pretty strong positives like the main character, the fights, and the writing. On the other hand it does fall into the animal violence trap while also possessing some annoying characters. To put it one way, I wouldn’t really watch this film again. It’s a pretty entertaining experience which is good since you at least won’t get bored during it, but there are just better options around. If you really like the Robin Hood adventures then by all means you should check it out. Likewise if you just enjoy this kind of adventure film about overthrowing a corrupt king. As I said, the film is pretty fun even if I had to deduct some points. Quite a lot happens over the course of the movie and it even has multiple climaxes which was rare for older films.

Overall 5/10

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The Lego Ninjago Movie Review

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It’s time to look at another Lego adventure. The genre has definitely grown pretty big over the years to the point where random titles like Ninjago can make it to the theaters. Seeing this one’s trailer on the big screen was certainly surreal. It comes off as a very obvious parody for the most part but suddenly tries to get a little serious near the end. Honestly it’s very similar to what I usually say about Rom-Coms. The beginning-middle is usually pretty fun with the shenanigans and nobody getting along but when when all of the characters get serious near the end it doesn’t work as well. That’s basically what happened here. It’s a fun movie but the end of the film tries to be un-ironically serious which is quite the tone shift.

The beginning of the movie starts off with a kid walking into a store and wondering if he’s in the right movie. The old man assures him that this is a complete filler scene and we are then thrown into the Lego world. It’s basically known to be fake right from the start since this is all a story but hopefully that won’t dampen your enthusiasm. We learn that a man known as Garmadon has been trying to take over all of Ninjago. He is always unsuccessful every day as the Power Rangers stop him. Lets face it, Lloyd and the others are the Power Rangers. It has become such a casual every day occurrence that the media doesn’t really take it seriously although there is always a lot of property damage so nobody is thrilled about that.

The main character is Lloyd and he is Garmadon’s son so that makes things pretty tense at school. Everyone is always picking on him which is unfortunate but at least he has some friends…right? Well, these “friends” are actually all just faking it as they are quick to insult and even abandon Lloyd. After Lloyd slips up once the whole group disowns him and start insulting the guy just like everyone else. They are certainly false friends which definitely isn’t cool and if I was Lloyd I probably wouldn’t be forgetting that any time soon. Lloyd’s use of the super weapon wasn’t even that bad either even if it didn’t work out. At least he was doing something as opposed to the other Rangers who just seemed to be walking aimlessly before that moment. Lloyd was definitely a reasonable character even if he maybe couldn’t take a hint that Garmadon didn’t care much for him.

There’s not much to say about his friends though as they were all pretty iffy. They seem utterly defenseless without Lloyd and yet they are never grateful to him. You’d think that they would be a little nicer since it seems to me that he is doing all of the work. A little gratitude would be nice to be honest. In a way they are big characters and yet you probably won’t remember their names for long. At least Master Wu sees the potential in Lloyd and acts accordingly. I did feel bad for him when the old man was thrown away for most of the movie though. His fight with Garmadon was probably the best action scene in the film. Neither fighter was willing to pull their punches and the whole thing got very personal very quickly.

Meanwhile Garmadon is actually a pretty solid villain. For one thing he does bring up a lot of points like when the heroes are discussing if they should go on the right path or the short cut. Garmadon points out that they should listen to the guy who didn’t fall off a cliff as Master Wu wanted to take the Right Path but then couldn’t finish the journey. He also has a lot of interesting stories and has much more personality than most of the characters. He does set up his minions for failure and the end of his plot is super cheesy but he is still a fun villain to have. The cool design also helps a lot and bringing in a giant robot to fight the other robots just makes a lot of sense.

It’s been a while since I’ve had to bring up pacing in a bad way but unfortunately it needs to be said for this film. The movie actually has pretty good pacing for the most part but I do feel like it started to lose a little steam after the heroes met up with the generals that Garmadon had fired. Prior to that we had nonstop action scenes and some pretty good one liners. This segment just wasn’t quite as good and the climax couldn’t top the fight scenes from the beginning of the movie. That’s also why I say that the first half was a lot stronger. The mech fights were a blast and then we can’t forget to give a lot of credit to the hand to hand fight with Wu and Garmadon. Films don’t always need to have an explosive climax I suppose, but what we got just really couldn’t keep up with the opening.

The soundtrack was pretty fun. The “It’s a hard life” song was certainly unexpected but fairly nostalgic as I know I’ve heard that somewhere. The songs don’t show up too often but when they do it’s always a blast. They complement the fights well. The Lego animation still isn’t really my thing but the fights were still well choreographed and the elemental attacks looked good. You could tell that this was a theater film budget for the Lego fighters as it just looks smoother than a lot of the other Lego features.

Overall, Lego Ninjago was pretty fun. Considering that this is a more random Lego film than the others I’ve seen which were all based on popular franchises, I thought that it did pretty good. The film’s humor mostly hit all of the right notes and the fight scenes were solid. The film built up a decent amount of lore that it could use for the next film and the Cat got the props that he deserved. I do think that adding the human characters was completely unnecessary though and felt a little forced. Skipping that brief instance entirely would have been a very good idea if you ask me. If you’re on the fence with this film because it looks like a second rate comedy I can assure you that it has a reasonable amount of depth and stands proud as a good film. That being said, I would sooner recommend you check out The Lego Movie first as that one is very similar but a step above this one.

Overall 7/10

Who Framed Roger Rabbit Review

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It’s time to look at a very classic mix of live action and cartoons. This is one of those films that I have certainly known about for a very long time, but never actually got to watch until now. It’s certainly a lot of fun and I can see why it became such a hit. Despite that, it does have its share of issues in regards to the pacing, Jessica Rabbit, and the main character. Well, lets dive into this!

The film follows a private eye known as Eddie. He doesn’t like the Toons that are always running around because they murdered his brother. Still, he can’t quite escape them since he lives in a world where they have found out how to make all of the classic Disney and Warner Bros characters real. These characters are also completely immortal except when it comes to a specific kind of acid which inflicts permadeath on them. Well, Eddie has been hired to find some blackmail that they can use to get Roger to work a little more seriously. The plan is actually rather suspect from the start since making him depressed could make his work get worse. Unfortunately, instead the blackmail of his wife Jessica cheating on him by playing patticake with some guy ends up making Roger crazier than expected. He seemingly murders the guy and then runs off. Eddie doesn’t care what happens to Roger, but unfortunately Roger lets everyone know that he and Eddie are a team by going to his apartment and now Eddie will have to solve the case to save his own skin.

It’s definitely pretty surreal to see characters like Mickey Mouse and Bugs Bunny running around during the film. I like the concept of having a whole town of cartoons just causing mayhem and that the ones on TV are actually real. Of course, it does make you wonder why the Toons don’t do anything to stop their oppressors. If we buy Roger’s reasoning then they just want to make people smile so getting violent is out of the question. Still, that just doesn’t work since we know that some work as bouncers and others do actually get aggressive. It would have been awesome if at the end the Looney Tunes had banded together for a big fight. This isn’t that kind of movie so I wasn’t expecting that, but you just have to wonder why they just sit there and take it. Who knows how many Toons had already been murdered by this point. The story is actually dark when you think about it. The scene of the toon getting murdered on screen was particularly vicious and definitely showed that Doom has no mercy.

Quickly lets talk about the main character. I’m afraid that I don’t like Eddie. He’s fun for the first bit of the film as he talks tough to all of the characters and doesn’t like the Toons. However, he loses any sense of toughness when Jessica shows up and humiliates him in front of everyone. He has no real will power and just can’t seem to stand up to her. It’s pretty disgraceful if you ask me and especially since the whole scene was part of the villain’s plot. He basically stepped right into their hands. From that point on it was over for him. his dance at the end wasn’t particularly impressive either.

Then we have Dolores. This was not a well developed romance between her and Eddie. The whole time you are just wondering why this had to happen. They seemed rather antagonistic at the beginning of the film so I don’t know what pushed them together so well by the end. I guess the tense situation just got them to realize the important things in life. She isn’t a bad character, but doesn’t really contribute anything to the story either.

Next up is Doom, the main villain of the film. He’s definitely an intense character and a very smart one as well since he came up with the super powerful goop. The guy really does a good job of bringing in the fear whenever he shows up. He even knows a lot about the Toons which makes it easy for him to hunt them effectively. We get a twist about the characters which is handled really well and he can fight with great proficiency too. Doom is really the complete package as far as villains go.

Then we’ve got Roger, basically the main Toon of the film. Unfortunately his whole gimmick is that he isn’t smart at all and just gets the heroes in trouble all the time. His only goal in life is to make people laugh and that purpose overrides everything else including his self preservation instinct. If there is a laugh to be had you will certainly find Roger Rabbit. As a result, it’s definitely hard to root for this guy or even to sympathize with him. If he is always sabotaging everyone’s attempts to help him, then maybe it’s for the best that Doom nabs him. With someone as impulsive and unreliable as Roger, perhaps it wouldn’t be too much to assume that he did commit the murder. Anything is possible with this guy. In the 1-2 scenes that Bugs Bunny appears, he has a much better character and personality than Roger. He’s still rather mean and Mickey calls him out on it, but at least Bugs is smart and will always manage to survive. In comparison, Daffy seems to lose out again as his only real scene is a big fight between him and Donald where Donald has the upper hand the whole time. I guess we finally know which duck would win in a fight.

Jessica is certainly an interesting case as the whole point of her character is to be used for fanservice. Does this mean I shouldn’t really count it as fanservice?…Nah. It’s still fanservice for sure and her opening scene is quite brutal. Her character design is purposefully parodyish so you’re supposed to wonder why every character is so impressed as she isn’t all that impressive, but the bouncing effects of her character reach Dead or Alive levels. She gets a lot of red herring moments and does seem to be legitimately tough at times, but it’s certainly hard to root for her as well. The film could have definitely toned her down a bit as well to make her character be taken a little more seriously. We should have just had the rabbit from Space Jam, now there was a quality character.

So, the pacing does slow down somewhat for the second half. The first half of the film where Eddie doesn’t get along with the Tunes is certainly the best part. That’s usually the case for mean main characters like this who get nice by the end. They just aren’t as interesting as when they started out. The end gave us some nice action scenes though and the car chases were pretty fun. The movie surprisingly had a lot of restraint for not relying on the guest stars too much. It would have been really cool if they could have showed up more, but they probably would have ended up stealing the whole movie so it may have been a good idea to keep them out.

The writing is pretty solid I’d say. We get some nice burns from most of the characters and nice references as well. As far as the animation goes, I’d say that it looks good as well. It’s certainly interesting to see how they draw some of the characters as Daffy looks way different than he does in the classic shorts. The animation blends together rather well and the only time it looks even mildly choppy was when Eddie was thrown by one of the bigger toons during the movie. It must have been a lot of work so they definitely put in the effort.

I’d definitely like another take on this concept since there’s so much that can be done with it. We could easily get some kind of sequel or spinoff that could continue things. I want to see a full scale revolution from the Toons. They are clearly still underpaid and used by the humans so they need to demand justice. As the film shows that they are quite powerful, it would be difficult to stop them. We need a cool sequiel like that and of course there is a wider range of characters that could be thrown in now. The sky’s the limit.

Overall, Who Framed Roger Rabbit is a solid film. It’s definitely fun and shows other films how to mix animated and live action styles the right way. The fanservice in the film is probably about as lenient as it gets thanks to the animation and while the pacing does get slow at times, it doesn’t last for too long. The positives of the film do end up outweighing the negatives. That being said, this film certainly isn’t in the same league as Space Jam so lets not forget the true legend of this genre. I doubt that film will ever be surpassed by another Looney Tunes/animation blend sort of film. It was just perfect and I wouldn’t have minded if Doom had challenged them to a quick game at the end. I would have been up for that is all I’m saying.

Overall 6/10

The Iron Giant Review

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It’s time for another classic animated film. I think many of us have heard of the Iron Giant before. He got the iconic fight scene against the army and in general we don’t get too many animated films about a giant robot. At least not in America. It’s a really solid film with only one scene holding it back. The film is just a fun ride from start to finish with startlingly good animation backing it up.

The film starts out with the main character heading to the diner where his Mom works. He is trying once more for his Mom to accept the wild animal he has caught so they can all be a family. Unfortunately it escapes the cage and wrecks the cafe. As our lead is apparently known for this kind of behavior and making up stories, it doesn’t help his cred. As such, when he finds a giant robot in the forest, nobody believes him. He quickly realizes that this is a good thing though since people would probably panic and try to shoot the robot. No, he will have to be very careful about how he handles this. Unfortunately, one of the local drunks calls in the army because he thinks he saw something so they send in their best private eye. He’s got his sights set on the main character so can the boy mislead him or is the robot doomed?

Right off the bat I need to give the government agent some major credit. He’s one of the best antagonists I’ve seen in a Western animated film and any scene with him is a guaranteed hit. “Big things happen in big places.” is probably the best line in the whole film. Still, he quickly finds out that there really might be something to this little town and decides to get to the bottom of it. His detective skills aren’t bad and the sad part is that he probably is the government’s best agent so it’s a shame that he isn’t heroic. Even when his boss tells him to give up the case, he doesn’t. Mansley instead decides to get close to the kid by renting out the spare room so he can follow him around. He had a bunch of synonyms for the word “pal” as well so he never ends up having to repeat himself. Trust me, this is one character you absolutely want to have in your corner. At the end of the day, he just wants to get famous though so it’s inevitable that he wouldn’t be in your side someday.

The animation also deserves some credit for Manzley’s excellent character. The designs are really eye catching with how they pop out. Manzley’s grin is so wide that it practically stretches into the next scene and the voice completes it. As with all films, The Iron Giant is good because various aspects of it are good. Mix them all together and you have a great product on your hands. It’s yet another reminder for me that hand drawn animation will always destroy CGI. You just can’t make computer animation that is quite as expressive as what we get in this film. It’s not even that new at this point and it still really stands out.

The Iron Giant is also a reasonably good character considering that I don’t usually care for the trope too much. It’s because the film doesn’t really focus on the whole “Robot doesn’t know Earth customs so it’s funny” moments and instead focuses on how the Robot decides to be a good guy. This is where Baymax from Big Hero 6 failed. He never became a cool robot as he just stuck to the naive trope and his berserk mode wasn’t even half as cool as the Giant’s. In many respects you can say that Baymax tried to rip off the Iron Giant but simply didn’t do it all that well. This Iron Giant is a true hero. Even when the kid tries to destroy this by calling him by the name of a villainous Robot and pointing a toy gun at him, The Iron Giant doesn’t give up. Granted, the climax would have been over a lot quicker and with less drama if the Giant had remembered that he had lasers and missiles on deck but I suppose in the heat of the moment we can assume that it slipped his mind.

There is really only one bad scene in the whole film. It is unfortunately an animal violence moment as we find a dead animal in the forest. While this teaches the Giant about guns and violence the film could have gone about it in a different way if you ask me. Just have someone shoot a beer bottle and when it shatters explain the concept of breaking when it comes to humans. That would be a nice out. As I always say, there is never an excuse for animal violence. It’s a real shame but at least the film didn’t make the scene too violent or grim by having it shot or dying while they watched.

The Mom is a nice enough character. She’s definitely pretty patient with the kid considering that he seems to be well known as a troublemaker. Even her inevitable “blowup” moment is very mild compared to most films and I thought it was handled well. She has a tough personality with the outside world so nobody is going to push her around either. When the customers start to get smart she shows them the sign and can throw them out if necessary. I have to say that working at a 24 hour diner sounds rough though. Apparently she wasn’t even home for the whole night near the climax which worked out well for our esteemed government agent.

There is also the junk dealer who is a cool character. He’s quick to leap to the kid’s defense when he gets attacked or otherwise in trouble. He even defends an old man who is getting mocked by everyone. Granted, the mockers had some clever lines and had good reason not to believe the guy. This is why you shouldn’t be known as a constant drunk. It definitely hurts your credibility. When the going gets tough, this guy always manages to make the right call. He may not always be the first to help someone out if he’s not sure it’s the right move but once he is, the guy jumps into action.

The film really had a solid cast backing it up. Since the writing was also good, it definitely helped make the film complete. You know the writing is good when even the kid is bearable for the most part. He really wasn’t half bad. The kid was able to wield the gun and was fairly brave to be going out into the forest at night. He had some slip ups like letting a squirrel lose in his Mom’s cafe and pointing a gun at the Giant, but for the most part he meant well. Some annoying aspects of a kid he can’t avoid but the film does a good job of getting past that.

Overall, The Iron Giant is a great film. It’s definitely even better than I had anticipated and the movie just does a good job of being above average in all areas. The only thing that could have kept it from an 8 was the animal scene but it was just mild enough to barely not take that star away. This is one robot film that I would definitely recommend checking out. Even the ending is perfect as it could have gone one of two different ways at the very last minute and went the right way. The wrong way would have definitely ensured that it didn’t earn that extra star. Now I am ready for a sequel someday. In theory that one should definitely have a bunch of action since other robots may come as they wonder why Earth still exists. The plot would probably be rather similar to the beginning of DBZ.

Overall 8/10

Lego Scooby-Doo! Blowout Beach Bash Review

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It’s time for another Scooby Doo film. LEGO titles are very popular nowadays and it seems like every franchise wants a piece of the pie. It’s still not my favorite format but it tends to work pretty well with Scooby Doo. The characters can really act crazy here and are just as self aware as ever. We don’t get to see Shaggy and Scooby eat since eating is still very hard to do with Legos, but that’s the only real drawback. It’s a very fun Scooby Doo movie that goes by quickly and I would actually consider it to be one of the better movies in the series.

The Mystery Gang has just finished another case and they are excited for another one, but then Daphne and Shaggy drop a bombshell. Fred and Velma just aren’t fun and they act as partypoopers every time the gang tries to have fun. They take this personally so Velma and Fred decide to prove that they are actually a lot of fun. They will do this by being awarded the King and Queen positions at the big Summer Bash going on in the next town over. Unfortunately, a pair of ghosts have been popping up lately and so the bash might be cancelled. Fred and Velma decide not to help since they are too busy dancing so this time Daphne and Shaggy are going to have to try and solve the case. Can they do it or will they have to ask Fred and Velma for some help one last time.

Right off the bat I can definitely confirm that I liked this plot. Velma and Fred always put the mission first so it’s easy to see how they might not seem fun, but it just means that they aren’t slackers. Let’s be honest here, Daphne rarely takes the mission seriously as it is. She often gets distracted or simply doesn’t care. Shaggy is pretty obviously not into the mission in any of the films. As a result, it’s pretty ironic every time they talk about taking things seriously. As Velma points out in the film, Fred and her do the heavy lifting in every single case. Surely the other members can pull their weight for one case right? Unfortunately not so in the end Velma and Fred are called back into action.

In the meantime, they do prove that they know how to have fun. They come up with a cool new dance and even get the old Captains of the Bash to leave since their attitudes aren’t very good. It does seem like they were always like that though so winning the Bash in the first place was a little suspect but with enough money trading hands I suppose it is possible. As per usual I would say that Fred was the best character here. He took everything in stride and even convinced Velma to turn her tumble into a dance. Then he still had enough energy to help save the day.

The only part of the film that wasn’t very satisfying was the ending. Long story short, Fred and Velma decide to relinquish their titles to Shaggy and Daphne out of pity since those two were unable to solve the case and they also weren’t able to become Captains of the Bash legitimately. I feel like Fred and Velma should have kept the crown since they really did put a lot of effort into obtaining it. It just feels very undeserved for the other two members to get the crown after all of that. Still, the other members can’t call Fred a square after this film.

As you can imagine the writing is pretty solid here. The humor is pretty solid and the characters are on point. The character histories are a big reason as to why this film works in the first place is because of the character histories. I’m still not really a fan of the LEGO animation so I wouldn’t list that as a positive or anything but it works well enough I suppose. I’ll give the film credit for using the animation to its advantage by having their heads fly off and make that an actual part of the dance. Now that is how you work with the animation you were given. With hand drawn animation, of course the film would excel even more but no need to look at the hypothetical any more than that.

Now let’s look at the suspects. Naturally we have the previous Captains of the Bash. They seem determined to keep their crowns so cancelling the Bash would be one way of doing that. There are also 2 ghosts so that would make sense. There are also their parents. While they seem to be a nice pair of senior citizens, they do seem to have given up on the Bash rather quickly and are getting ready to sell to corporate. Perhaps they just want the insurance money?

There is also Mr. Corporate himself. Certainly one of the best characters in the film I might add. He has quite a lot of confidence throughout all of his appearances and isn’t afraid to use his money and position against anyone in his path. There are many reasons why he could be guilty if you really think about it. Corporate doesn’t look out for the little guys. Then there is his secretary. She is very timid and shy. She obeys corporate to the letter but always feels bad about it. Perhaps she has some pent up aggression that has led her to a life of crime eh? The secretary does have one scene where she blows up at corporate, but I can’t say I was a fan of that scene. The random blow out never really works and I’d say it just makes the character look bad for putting everyone on the spot. If you’re going to quit, do it in private later on. At least Corporate didn’t take it personally.

Finally we also have the Sheriff and his deputy. They definitely seem to want the Mystery Gang off the island as soon as possible and they are fans of the ghosts. They are hoping that the ghosts scare everyone away so the town will be nice and quiet again. These guys are rather direct which you may think is too obvious but maybe that’s what the film wants you to think.

We definitely have quite a few suspects here so it’s up to you to try and narrow the list down a bit. The newer Scooby Doo films usually have a lot of fun with the unveiling of the crooks and this one is no different. We get a bunch of twists and it’ll remind you to always suspect everyone until proven otherwise. After all, even the tour guide had something to hide. He may not have been the crook but judging from how fast he ran, the guy may have a previous crime on his record.

Overall, This was definitely a fun Scooby Doo film. Even though it’s the LEGO format I would consider this to be one of the better Scooby Doo films. It definitely captures the core of the franchise and it was probably the first time we had the plot revolve around Fred and Velma. We even got a few songs which were handled well. This is probably one of the first Beach films that I could recommend as well. With the proper blend of humor, action, and plot, this is a film I would definitely recommend checking out.

Overall 7/10

Scooby Doo Frankencreepy Review

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I saw this Scooby Doo film a while ago, but I have to admit that it was a mixed bag. That’s why writing about it was so difficult as I had a bit of writer’s block. It wasn’t one of the worst Scooby Doo films, but at the same time, it was nowhere near the top. It just lacked a certain depth to it, which made the film feel really…fillery. All of the films are mostly stand alone stories so it’s hard to call one filler, but this one just went by so quickly.

The gang is having fun when Velma’s lawyer tells them to head to a mansion because it is now hers. The heroes don’t really take this seriously and Velma doesn’t even want to go, but someone blows up the Mystery Van. This is now very personal for the heroes so they head to the building to find out what monster resides inside. It must be a guy in a mask right?……let’s hope so! The danger is very real here and there are some actual fatalities.

This film used an interesting technique as we would get a flurry of sound effects as the film would fast forward through some scenes. It was fun the first few times, but I got tired of it by the end. Most jokes lose their humorous edge once they are overused and this was no exception. I’m hoping that this does not make a return in future films.

One new aspect that was pretty cool was the clips of the past adventures. They do serve a purpose so it seems like it’ll be a one time thing, but it would be fun to remember the good ole days. The animation was also pretty good back then and it holds up well. Does it beat the current animation? In some ways it certainly does, but the animation in this film isn’t bad. Everyone looks as they should and their designs are pretty modern. The colors are vibrant and I have no qualms with it. Again, the animation just back then seemed to have some more depth to it.

I liked the car subplot with Fred and he definitely continues to prove why he is my favorite member of the mystery gang. Unfortunately, they do overdo it at times when showing how close he is to his van. Beyond that, I liked his portrayal here and he doesn’t back down from a fight except for when he does. Scooby and Shaggy still haven’t attained any real character development, but they’re decent as far as comic relief goes. I don’t buy the way that they lost their appetite and it will stretch your imagination. Daphne’s trick is even more of a stretch to be honest. She looks decent, but definitely not very good. Velma probably looks the worst as she is easily hypnotized and led astray. This now makes the second time where she has been the big villain and I’m sure that it may have happened even more if we count the TV shows. After all her tough talk about not liking the Franken legend…she didn’t do a good job of resisting.

The writing has definitely become pretty good in the Scooby Doo series as the writers are having more fun with it. A classic example of this is when Velma is telling the heroes their backstory, but they just ignore her and look it up on Wikipedia. The heroes are modernized and they aren’t afraid to show it! It may seem a little mean, but the heroes love to mess with each other nowadays. Again, they’ve kept up with the times, for better or worse. There are many other examples that you will find throughout the film so I give the writing a passing grade.

I must give major credit to the film for its opening as well. Not the opening scene, but the opening credits. The film actually takes itself seriously here and the theme wouldn’t be out of place in an Alien or Terminator film. The horror vibe really gets you in the mood for the film and it’s easily the best opening credits theme for a Scooby Doo film. It would probably rank up there as one of my favorite intros of all time as well. Specifically for the theme as it really makes the intro. The images are decent and fit the tone, but the music deserves all of the credit.

You also have to appreciate the fact that the stakes are a lot higher here than normal. There’s actually a scene where you can argue that a lot of people actually died. The heroes are on a train and the villain starts to blow up the cars and send them crashing into the abyss. He does this to about 2-4 cars before the Mystery Gang decides to uncouple the links to save the first one. They quickly push all of the passengers into the first car. What you need to recognize is the fact that there was a passenger in every single car. This makes it extremely unlikely that the other cars had nobody in it..meaning that this film probably had the largest death count in any Scooby Doo film. (At least in the present setting. Past stories within the film don’t count) I felt bad for the innocent bystanders though and hopefully they found a parachute in time.

So, the film certainly had its pros. At the same time, the main plot wasn’t all that engaging. The monster is actually pretty generic and I’ll never fully buy into Velma’s big plot twist about her last name. We got a lot of backstory for her and this development will certainly change the way that we look at her, but it seems to just be there to push the film along. They almost should have brought in a new character so this twist could have happened to him/her instead. Still, it’ll be interesting to see if this is ever mentioned again. (Not that it necessarily needs too)

I wouldn’t have minded the town appearing a little more though as that part was a little more interesting. The people were fairly unreasonable though and a little exaggerated, but they could have been nice if given the chance. If not for Shaggy and Scooby being full for a change, they had nearly become friends with the townsfolk. Seeing as how Fred was traumatized, playing nice with the people for a while was in their best interest.

Overall, This Scooby Doo film was decent. It’s not going to be remembered as one of the all time greats, but the film experimented with several new techniques and it’ll be interesting to see if they decide to keep any of them. I hope we get another really cool intro and Fred’s side plot of being traumatized was a lot of fun. If the van were to get blown up in every film as a new running gag, that could work. Of course, Fred would need to care less and less each time to really make the gag work. I recommend this to Scooby Doo fans who have enjoyed the previous films and to anyone who wants to watch a funny film. As a comedy with a little adventure in it, this still holds up. Scooby Doo will always adhere to a certain level of quality and it’s a franchise that you can trust through the years. (At least in animated land. It lost its way for a while with the puppets and musicals, but I think it’s back on track) I’m certainly looking forward to their next film as we get to see what an outer space mystery will be like. Pizza is on the cover and that is a terrific sign!

Overall 6/10

To Have and Have Not Review

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It’s time for a really retro film! This one came out in the 40s so this was even before the Godzilla days. Actually…even I wasn’t born way back then! (Believe it or not!) I tend to enjoy these classic films since they really did a good job with the writing back then. The characters are typically a lot more enjoyable and the gun fights tended to be more entertaining than the modern ones. Classic films have their weaknesses as well so it’s not all up, but they can hold their own. Was this film a true classic or was it the next Lord of the Rings? It’s time to find out!

Germany has taken France down for the count at the start of the film. There is only a small resistance movement left and they’re badly outnumbered and outgunned. These guys seem to have no chance and a hostile tension fills the land. The story follows Steve, a professional fisherman. He’s an American and that means that he’s in less danger than most of the other characters. He keeps reminding the Germans to watch out for Uncle Sam. (Not in those words, but he does mention his rights and threatens to call the Americans at one point) The French want Steve to transport a political figure from an area across the sea back to his hotel. Steve decides not too, but a woman by the name of Marie arrives and things start to get chaotic for the heroes. The french did not listen to Steve and they arrive only to be shot down. The villains decide to mess with Steve and Marie since they’re suspects and they steal all of Steve’s money. This results in Steve deciding to take the job as well as the fact that the villains were messing with Marie. Will Steve be able to make a difference in this war?

It’s a crude analysis of the plot, but that’s because it’s very plot heavy. Every scene leads into the next one and while the film is only 2 hours, you could say that there are 4-5 segments of the film. The plot continues to twist and turn as the film goes on and it’s hard to know where to draw the line. After all, you don’t want to spoil what’s going to happen and the actual plot for the film at certain points can become spoilers. It’s tricky and I figured that I would just dodge that part by giving the basic overview of the plot. Pretty ingenius eh? Well I try…

Is Steve a good main character? The lead is pretty crucial in a film like this since he’ll be getting a whole bunch of screentime. Only 3-10 minutes of the film take place without him and maybe even less than that. On one hand, Steve is the kind of guy that you want on your side. He’s very brave and he doesn’t back down to anyone. He talks back to the Germans, the French, etc. Nobody talks to Steve the wrong way if he has anything to say about it. He also makes sure to defend his friends so anyone who messes with them has to mess with him. Those are the positive qualities for Steve and it’s why I can safely say that he’s a dependable main character.

On the other hand, Steve does get heavily involved in the romance plot. He’s pretty easily wooed by the main heroine although he keeps his composure and uses insults to try and trick her into thinking that he doesn’t want her around. “Don’t get the wrong idea…..I’m not doing this for you….I’m doing it for me!” is the kind of thing that you can expect him to say. It’s definitely hard to tell at some points whether he is really as calm and collected as he appears or not since Marie really gets to him at times. I could do without the romance and I’m sure that you’ve already heard this in my older reviews. Still, Steve ended up being a good character.

Eddie is Steve’s main assistant on the ship. He used to be a pretty good guy according to Steve, but now he’s always drunk. The beer has already damaged him both physically and mentally. It’s too bad since you get the sense that he could have been a pretty likable guy back in the day. He’s still fairly nice, but he has a really short term memory and he is completely addicted to beer. It’s one of the only things that he thinks about in life. He’ll still stand by Steve until the bitter end, but he’s a shell of his former self. He’s certainly an amusing character though and he’s not quite as annoying as a modern version of him would be. Basically, Eddie was still a good character.

Marie is the main heroine of the film. We never get a full glimpse into her origin, but perhaps it is for the best. Why dwell on the past right? She starts out as a petty thief who uses people to get money, but she decides to go straight when she meets Steve. It’ll be dangerous, but the journey is worth it for the goal at the end of the road. She does jump start the whole romance angle, but I suppose that it was inevitable. We still had some nice banter between her and Steve at one point where they kept trying to provoke the other person. (Remember when people actually used the word sore instead of upset? That’s one “slang” term that died out pretty early on) The character development was really good for Marie though and she’s a much better character at the end of the film than at the beginning. It’s always good to see an example of character development helping someone since it has a tendency to have the opposite effect.

We had some other supporting characters, but they weren’t very memorable for the most part. “Frenchie” was constantly getting Steve into trouble, but it was for a good cause I suppose. The other members of the rebellion were not so great though and the big shot that Steve had to transport turned out to not be very great by the end. It’s safe to say that I was expecting a lot more out of him. The main villain is pretty fat and almost endearing, but not quite. It’s what I would expect so I give the film a thumbs up there.

There is not much of a soundtrack so the film scores a 0 there, but most old films didn’t have many solid themes playing. The simple reason that explains this is the fact that rock music wasn’t really around at the time. The writing is the film’s main strength. The dialogue is just first rate as you would expect and it’s mainly thanks to Steve since he gets about 90% of the cool lines in the film. The others help though and this is how you make a script!

Overall, This was a pretty solid film. The film is under 2 hours, but it’ll still feel like it has a longer runtime since so much happens in that time period. Most of it won’t even feel like filler since something is usually happening in the shadows. Steve is an example of a character who talks tough and gets dragged into romance, but still manages to be 1000X cooler than someone like James Bond. I definitely recommend this film if you’re looking for a solid dialogue film or if you want to see something involving the Germans from back in the day. The French are on the losing side in this film, but at least we know that things will get better once America jumps in. America definitely gets its props here and that’s always fun to see. There is some brief action in the film as well so that helps the film as well. Is this the best 40’s film that I’ve seen? It’s certainly possible! (I’ll just have to check which other films I’ve seen from this decade!)

Overall 6/10