Saturday, December 5, 2015

DVD Movie Review #174 Sharknado 3: Hell No!

Hell No indeed... I have a not so secret love of B movies and there is nothing like the Sharknado series to quench that bad movie craving. I recently saw one of the you tube collectors I follow talk about this film and said to myself that it is out and I need to get a copy for myself. $8 later I have a copy in my hands and in my player.

Taking place after the events of the second film our hero is induced into the prestigious  Golden Chainsaw Society (ok I have to admit this is so ridiculous it is funny especially as he utilized the trophy as he weapon through most of the film.) It is discovered that a mass of Sharknados is forming along the east coast forming the dreaded Sharkacane. Only our hero and his band of misfits can defeat the storm before it totally takes down the east coast.

One of the first things I love about this series is the cameos. I think this series is a place republican politicians go to when they are washed up to revive their careers. This also has several prominent names and I will save you from it as picking them out and then seeing who really is in it at the end is part of the fun. The Ridiculous nature of the plot makes this series what it is and yet again the make it more and more crazy and strange. Suspension of Disbelief time!

I actually think the effects got worse in this one. I mean one thing about having a film whose premise is to be bad you don't have to pay attention to effects or acting that much. I feel that this time they got to complacent and this caused this in my mind to be a lesser film in the trilogy. This film cannot be watched by any but in that small demographic of B movie lovers. Of course in truth other than being a shadow of the other two films I cannot say anything too bad about this film overall. It knows what it was out to do and it accomplished it.

In the end this is a good film overall but still needed a little bit of love to put this thing over the top. Sadly the love just wasn't quite there...

Rating: 6/10

Saturday, November 14, 2015

DVD Movie Review #173 Ju-On White Ghost/Black Ghost

Hello again and welcome back to my DVD movie reviews. This time I am covering the two short movies in the Ju-On series that are combined into one 2 hour film. The series is one that I have enjoyed overall but that the series has a bit of a hit or miss aspect to it. We have good films and bad films (I'm talking about you Grudge 3!). With the blue ray being $5 I had to get this in order to peak my interest.

This is a bunch of short films following a group of people effected by the curse. We are treated to seeing one after the other meet their grizzly demise as we know the curse can never be defeated so tough luck to those with it. The two movies are basically more of the same with the short films interconnecting in ways that leave you with a better understanding at the end of the film.

This film does have a lot of scares to them that the Ju-On series only can provide. I like the way that the stories intertwine and how the characters almost all are connected to one another in the end leaving you wanting to re-watch it and see the different interconnections. The atmosphere is very tense and leaves you on the edge of your seat at times wondering what will come next.

The effects on this film appear to be at the level of a small step below the Sharknado Series and that isn't very good at all. One of the main ghosts is just a little girl wandering around in an obvious rubber mask. Maybe I just don't get the Japanese but the acting in this is over done and really not good at all. I always seem to be left with this when watching a Japanese live action film and this is worse than most. It seems like the actors really REALLY want you to know the emotion they are feeling at anytime. This like the movies is a very bleak series and there isn't much feel good at the end of this series of short films so be prepared for this.

In the end this film could have been something with some better acting and a tad more money. It is a shame but it is worth viewing on your Netflix Lineup.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

DVD Movie Review #172 The Lazarus Effect

Welcome to the next edition of my DVD Movie reviews. Today I am reviewing the film Lazarus Effect. I saw the commercials for this when it was in theaters and felt that it looks like it might be a tad scary. When I saw it at movie stop for $10 I said to myself "ooooo a new film for $10 on blu ray!" I would have had this review earlier but due to watching this a while back I fell asleep and didn't finish the film. The film is now finished and I am ready again.

This film revolves around a group that has tested out an elixer that is supposed to prolong the lives of people in comas in order to better try and save them. What they found instead through illegal experimentation was that it actually can bring the dead back to lives with very odd side effects. When confronted with the death of his long term fiance out main doctor does the extra mile and uses his serum to bring her back with disastrous results.

This movie had at least a small budget as the effects were fun to look at. When the story got going and the scares started coming they were pretty good jump scares with an intriguing backstory tied in. Finally they had a really nice looking dog in the film and who can't like a nice dog?

This film's negative outweigh the positives. I felt that they really didn't have the timing right here when they decided to write the film. When you have an 86 minute film don't spend 2/3 of the film on exposition to explain the last 1/3 of the film. This is boring and this is what put me to sleep. I have been talking about likable characters lately with my previous two review as important points and one of the reasons When Marnie was there only got an 8 when it was closer normally to a 9. In here the characters are not detestable but you really don't feel they are worth getting to know as many of them are self serving people with their own agendas. They then take one of the most likable ones and do a 180 with her but I won't go too much into it. Did I mention again how really nothing happens until the last 3rd of the film? When it does it happens fast and ends abruptly sort of like a car crash where you are left unconscious and you end up waking up in the hospital wondering what happened. The character changes are offered with only the barest of explanation even though we were given 2/3 of the movie in order to learn about the characters, how the serum worked and that there was something wrong with it. This movie could have been much better with a little less exhibition in places and more where it mattered.

A Lack Luster film that did not live up to the hype yet worth a watch on HBO should you have it.


Sunday, October 18, 2015

DVD Movie Review #171 Boxtrolls

Hello again and welcome to my DVD movie reviews. This time I am covering the movie Box Trolls. In Preparation for Oscar Season I watched this film with a friend and enjoyed it at that time. When I got the opportunity to pick up the Blu Ray for $5 I had to do so. I hope that you enjoy the film as much as I did.

Long ago a group of Box Trolls Stumbled on a baby and adopted him as one of their own. During that time the missing baby resulted in the Box Trolls being blamed for all the evils in the sleepy little town. With that the town exterminator has vowed to take out all the Box trolls in order to earn a place in the coveted white hat society. When his adopted father is Captured the baby now a young boy called "eggs"s must find and rescue his father by befriending a young girl with strong ties to the White hat group.

This film is by the animation studio responsible for films like Coraline and Paranorman. Due to this Box Trolls is a very appropriate Halloween Treat. The animation work that went into this is amazing leaving you fascinated (I suggest checking out the special features on creation to see.) The music is fun and the plot itself is interesting enough to hold your attention. Finally the music and voice acting are provide a welcome accompaniment to the series.

This is a very weak film from these people. I have to wonder if their writing has just deteriorated after the major class that you got with Coraline. The characters are kind of hard to like overall with the lead female almost being unlikable. The biggest issue is that the story was odd but lacked any real depth that would make this a film worthy of the others by this company. It suits for a children's movie but really doesn't stretch to meet the need for full family involvement.

In the end this is a delightful children's movie but it requires a bit of a pull in order to expand to a wider audience. Though if you haven't seen it yet it is worth a rent.

Rating 6/10

Saturday, October 17, 2015

DVD Movie Review #168 Krod Mandoon and the Flaming Sword of Fire

It is sad that I was unable to find an official trailer for the series as Krod Mandoon is the real deal. I was looking for entertainment through the BBC and found this little Comedy Central Gem a few years back. I remember watching it with a friend after seeing it advertised in a comic book. I of course had to obtain this when in Walmart it came out on the $4 rack. So sit back and look for another fantasy styled piece of comedy.
Krod is an adventurer leading a band of misfits, a Wizard without magic, a Simple Minded Giant, a former prison lover and a rather agile sex priestess. These are the group that plans on defying the evil overlord. Of course our evil overload has found a deadly artifact that he will use to destroy all forms of resistance. Krod and his crew must go on continued adventures fight terrible monsters and confront the ultimate evil to become the hero.
 People didn't really give this series a major chance. It has a lot of fun comedic moments and interesting characters that make it a fun series to run through. It is not overly long and the series itself has a few very funny moments to it.

DVD Movie Review #170 When Marnie was There

Hello all and welcome to another one of my DVD movie reviews. The last time we visited with Studio Ghibli was when I covered a little film called The Wind Rises. This company has been known for putting out high quality animation for some time and I am still looking to secure a cheap copy of Princess Kaguya and do believe the film was amazing. When I saw this beauty used 50% off of $20 I had to get hold of it for my very own. So without further ado I bring you When Marnie was There.
Anna is an adopted young girl who is getting over the fact that she is adopted. She continues to isolate herself from others and as her depression and anti-social behavior worsens her parents send her to a house in the country to try and recuperate. Things look like they were all lost for our little Anna until she came upon an old house on the marsh. When drawing the picture she spied a strange young blond girl in the window. The two form a fast friendship in the night over the marsh and it but things are oddly strange with Marnie and the oddly magical house. There are secrets to be found and stories to be told.
This film brings what you expect from Ghibli to the table. Vibrant colors, beautiful animation and due to the Disney licensing, spectacular voice work. In addition to the other window dressing the soundtrack is superb leading you into the emotional responses that are required from each scene. The characters are richly crafted and even Anna who is kind of frustrating grows into a more likable character as the story develops. The overall story itself is written very well and tugs on the heart as well as other emotions in the right places. This is a beautiful and haunting tail that should be predictable yet still has enough going to surprise you if you aren't extra savvy.
There are of course a few down sides to the mostly up scale film. The Character of Anna is kind of frustrating and I had a hard time getting to like her. Maybe this is a way to better understand her from an outsider's point of view but at the same time as it takes time to get into the main characters head frustration is not what you want to feel from any film at any time. I think the story, while good may have been a little too sappy and sweet at times. I am still uncertain about this point but it is not enough to ruin the film by any means.
If you have the time please check out this film it is a spectacular event that only studio Ghibli could provide.

Rating: 8/10

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

DVD Movie Review #169 3rd Rock from the Sun

Today I am reviewing a series that I have  been watching on for a long time. I have watched this series off and on for a long time but have never had the time to watch it from beginning to end. This time with a price tag of $20 I decided to heck with it and obtained the series so I finally went through the 6 season romp around the universe and now you guys can enjoy.
Our family Soloman is really an alien exploratory party sent to do a mission in order to learn as much about what it is to be human. With the series revolving around experiencing everything from an inexperienced eye this series shows the evolution of our alien family over the next 6 years as the series goes on. It has a variety of cameos including the Big Giant Head played by William Shatner. So we enjoy the series from beginning to end with luck the mission will be fun for all.
I personally really enjoyed this series. It had a lot of interesting parallels with some of the series of its time like Sienfeld with the Characters being more self centered but in this case greatly more likable. The story progressed very well dealing with aging of the characters evolution of relationships and deepening of the story line with colorful characters such as The Big Giant Head and the evil alien played by John Cleese. This series left much to be enjoyed throughout its 6 season romp with an odd enjoyably continued joke that somehow always found something new to make us laugh all the more. This series was a fun romp from beginning to end.
 There are a few short comings when one thinks about adaptability. The main character and his love interest a fairly despicable people and Dick gets quite annoying at times making it harder to enjoy the episodes. The ending is probably what I have the most issue with. I won't put in any major spoilers but I do feel that it was quite abrupt and left a few things hanging. I feel that it was a quick tie up that they were not expecting. For a series that managed to make the same gag mostly fresh again and again for 6 years I expected better from this.
In the end if you like fun and quirky comedies I feel 3rd rock is a series that is fun to pick up and put down an nearly any time. If you are a person that tends to watch things in large chunks it can annoy but for the most part  for the price this is worth having in your collection.

Rating 7/10

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

DVD Movie Review #167 Off Campus

We are back with another of my great DVD movie reviews. This time I am covering the X-Strike Series “Off Campus”. I am only covering season one as this is the only one available on DVD. For those unfamiliar with the Video Game Retro fun that is X-Strike Visit them at I have all of the films they have thus far on DVD and decided as I am a fan of the show to revisit this series.

Off campus is a series that chronicles the adventures of the X-Strike crew not long after their original apartment went up in flames. They manage to find an apartment near a college campus and must pose as college students in order to keep the awesome low rates. During this time they must deal with strange and mysterious Neighbors, odd adventures and the evils of the internet.

This series has a lot for the retro gamer ort those who grew up with retro games. It has a ton of inside jokes such as getting stuck in a basement while one person must hold on to a brick to break people out one at a time. The effects or terrible but as with all X-Strike projects they are so in a fun campy way that makes the company so fun to roll through. The music is nice in its Retro fashion concluding the odd skaish theme played throughout.

This is something that does appeal to a limited audience. If you haven’t played on an old game system you are not going to get most of the jokes that they are doing here. The acting and effects are pretty poor and while this is endearing to most of the audience a new audience may find this abrasive.

This is a fun return look at the catalog of X-Strike Studios. To many it is a fun and enjoyable ride while to others this may be something more forgettable.

Rating 6/10

Sunday, October 4, 2015

DVD Movie Review #166 Chobits

Hello all and welcome to my DVD and movie review. I have enjoyed some series that are staples of the anime genre. This is one of those harem types that one needs to have in the collection. I had this before on what I felt were official region one DVDs but realized now that they are in region 0 and I am trying not to have knock offs in my collection. When Funimation re-released this on blue ray a few years back I had to jump on board. Now I have watched it again and have a different opinion.
So we enter the world of an average college hopefull moving to Tokyo to start his cramming. In this future the majority of computers are replaced by humanoid computers called Persacoms. Our hero discovers one such simply disguarded in the trash the good hearted yet simple minded Chi. As he makes friends and potential love interests our hero learns more and more about society and its involvement with technology both healthy and pathological.
 I had thought to myself in the past "oh my another harem anime" and it does set up like one. You have your kind hearted protagonist and your cast of potential female lovers all showing a potential interest. This starts out on par but then it gets much deeper. Many of the backstories from the characters were very well done and by the end you don't feel cheated or that the story ended way too soon. There were a few such as the story of the baker that were almost profound in their nature. The writing here takes what could have been yet another in a long line of harems and turned it into something that hasn't been repeated till the movie "Her".  The animation and the voice acting are well done giving you crisp visuals worthy of the blue ray treatment. This is overall a quality experience.
I do have a few issues with this series. One of course is the art style which like fruits basket leaves you wondering who is who at some times as the character models look alike. They also start working on a few story elements such as the mysterious two Persacoms at the end with only a limited answer as to what happened to the supposed ultimate computer program that Chi ran at the end.
In the end this is a quality experience that is well worth the watch. It is flawed but then again who isn't when it comes to a series. If you like harems and you like a good story this is a series worth the watch

Rating: 7/10

Sunday, September 27, 2015

DVD Movie Review #165 Titanic (1953)

We all know about the block busting movie with Leonardo that so oversaturated the media that we had all the girls swooning for Leo and most of the boys wanting him dead. Well after seeing the movie for the 4th time this week I decided to look at an older version of the film and the love story that they decided to sew. This is the movie Titanic.
Now this is a story much like the one we know but this one takes place with the upper class passengers. We have an older gentleman who has been trying to reunite with his family as his ex-wife is on the trip with their son. She is not very happy about the matter but he hopes to use the trip and the close quarters to reunite his family. We also have a young girl on a trip with her mother and the budding romance between her and a wealthy college lad taking a trip with his fraternity brother. We see these stories interplay until the end where we see the inevitable sinking of the ship.
There are a lot of pieces of work in this that show a startling attention to detail. The worked hard to reproduce some of the areas of the ship such as the dining room and also several other aspects that we didn't see as much in the Cameron version such as the boiler room stokers and the mail room. It worked quite well seeing the interplay of the relationships as the story slowly went down. For the time this would be a very good over all. The ending I have mixed feelings for so I will describe them in both sections. I thought that the ending where the people go down singing an old Irish hymn showed a level of dignity and honor as a sort of homage to the people that died telling the audience that they died well and to be proud of the sacrifice they made for the others to live.
The bad parts are not really that different for films of its kind. There was a different timber of people back in those days and they loved subtle and slow stories that built over a time. This does not go over with the new crowd of fast paced times and ways. This makes the movie a tad boring with me having to re-watch a number of the scenes due to falling asleep. The other issues are the write ins that are not very accurate for the real event such as rooms not on the ship or multiple characters that were not in the real voyage. It is no wonder that many of the survivors were not happy with this film. The last part is again with the ending. It may have been dignified but it wasn't accurate in the slightest. They pictured the whole crew going down without ever so much as a slight panic. This is not realism this is kind of flowery and over perfumed to the point where you are almost sick of the smell.
This movie has a lot of good points and also as of winning an Academy award this is a part of history that one should be enjoyed. So though this does not live up to the multi award winning masterpiece of the 90s this is still enjoyable in the end.

Rating:  6/10

Friday, September 25, 2015

Gaming Review #6 Neverending Nightmares

Hello all and welcome back for another gaming review. You know I've been busy this time around as my slow pace I have managed to beat two games. This time we are covering yet another crazy game Neverending Nightmares. This game was driven by Kickstartr and brought to you via fans for a crazy surreal adventure. I was honored to pick it up for $3 during a Steam sale... ;)
We follow the adventures of a young man awakened in the middle of the night and wandering through his creepy house at night. Of course it may not be a house as it could be a grave yard yet it may be a house again then it is an insane asylum. It gets to the point where you doubt your own sanity and wonder weather you are stuck between nightmare then reality.
There are a number of overly creepy scenes in this game getting ever more disturbing as the game goes on. It's unique art style adds to the creepy nature of the game. The simple mechanics are easy to pick up and as you cannot die...well not in a lasting way you can keep trying until you reach the end. The doors you take can alter how you end the game as well so keep playing for the number of alternate endings.
This game does have a little bit of frustration to it as you have die many times and a few other issues with its repetition and its simplicity which is also one of its greatest downfall. Otherwise I really don't have any major problem with this game it is fun and it is creepy very much perfect for Halloween.
In the end I feel this is a fun game just in time for the Halloween season.

Rating: 8/10

Gaming Review #5 The 11th Hour

It is time to come back Little ones! Time to come back tot he mansion that has once haunted your nightmares! We are back with my game reviews and it seems just in time for a few lovely halloween type games. This time we are looking at the 11th hour which was the sequel to the widely more popular 7th guest. It is sad that I have played this one first but it happened to come up in my lineup first so here I was with a classic game and time to force it down my throat. So without further ado here is the 11th Hour.
Well we follow the adventures or our favorite writer as he is out to solve the mystery of a murder and the mysteries of the even haunted house that stared in the first adaptation of this game. You must go through the haunted mansion cheered on by your wheelchair bound partner and heckled by the evil owner of the facilities. Solving riddles and playing hard to beat games can you make it out alive?
  This game has aged...okay. It still has a creepy vibe to it and the large cut scenes are still pretty interesting with the setup. The game is very intellectually challenging and the house design itself is quite creepy. I would say the ending was probably one of my favorite parts of the game.

There is a reason that the end is one of my favorite part of the game. The puzzles such as the one above are frustratingly hard and the riddles are at a Riven level and that is not a compliment. Your reward for that is you get to see a cut scene illustrating the story which I frankly feel left me yawning. I am personally not amused. If you add on that the fact that the game's age has it continually crashing meaning you need to save OFTEN!
In the end this is an ok game but is a bit too hard as it was during those times was popular.  Take care and enjoy it very well.
Rating: 3/10