Discuss and rate the last movie you watched

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PsychedelicDiamond:

Silentpony:
Just got back from Birds of Prey. Before I give you my thoughts, yes this movie is bombing. We were at the Galaxy's MegaScreen, a fucking huge screen in an auditorium that can seat 300+. Including my party of three, there were 9 people in the 9pm show, Saturday opening weekend. I would say tragic buuuuuuttttt.....

I can't fathom why anyone thought making a follow-up to Suicide Squad, starring the worst aspect of Suicide Squad, was a good idea. Then again, they did dump this in February with minimal marketing.

Oh no it barely is a sequel to Suicide Squad/the DCEU. Everything previously established was retconned.
-Metropolis is no longer the twin city to Gotham
-Gotham is no longer under the Batman's protection
-Harley just breaks out of Waller's prison. Just breaks out one day.
-Neck bombs? No, gone, she had her's removed.
-The rest of the squad is apparently on the loose too, with bombs removed too

And I know its a Harley movie, but bitch is OP. She takes down the Gotham PD. By herself. With a grenade launcher and smoke rounds. Literally walks in to the GPD HQ and just destroys the place, beating dozens of cops at a time(none of which have guns oddly enough) and then just leaves. She pulls a Terminator and it has 0 lasting consequences. Even at the end the cops let her go because she took down the big bad, even though she permanently crippled like 80 cops in 5 mins. And not one super hero showed up.

Xprimentyl:
I think the final scene where we see him in a mental institution leaving a trail of bloody footprints is the scene that hints that Arthur's reality and "ours" are two very different things, but that's all I can do; think it. *shrug* Question being at what point was he institutionalized? Where did reality end and the delusion begin?

And no, I've not seen Requiem for a Dream. Neither have I seen The Comedian and I've only seen Taxi Driver once about 15 years ago and remember very little about. I'm told Joker is basically a point-for-point rehash of them, so maybe that's what allowed my expectations to be as grounded as your chatty companion and enjoy the film as much as I did, but all three movies sound like they merit a watch/re-watch.

And I'll save you the search for the aforementioned TED Talk, buddy!

Ah, thanks for the easy linkage to the video! Appreciated much. Must take a lot of courage to be up there opening up as she does. Had a friend in college who had schizophrenia, people were scared of him due to some outbursts and he had a nickname that cemented their perception further, but he was far easier and nicer to talk to than the substantial number of dickheads floating about at the time, plus was more relatable in a few ways.

Did you mean The King of Comedy instead of The Comedian? Is only cause I hear those comparisons made regularly with the former while none with the latter. Haven't seen either yet too. Though I would be careful recommending Requiem if anyone's in a particularly sensitive state of mind as it can get quite intense in the mood it goes for.

Harley Quinn & The Birds of Prey - Beautiful! Absolutely beautiful! The Suicide Squad movie should have been this. And I thought SS (2016) was just okay, not a disaster certain critics, Marvel fanboys/girls, and DC fanboys/girls were making that out to be. This is Harley's story, but it's also the Birds of Prey origin story. The actions great (done by the John Wick guys), the movie is colorful, the writing is balls-to-walls funny, and making this in to a Deadpoolesque movie worked. The only thing that sucks about the movie is the reception it's getting from audiences. I heard about the under performance this film is getting and I don't understand it. Critics hated SS, but most audiences liked it or thought it was okay. Yet it's now the reverse. What the actual fuck? Whatever. It ain't ruining my mood. DC live-action materials keeps getting better and better. They had a few slip ups with Batman V. Superman, JL, and SS, but they definitely hit their stride starting with Wonder Woman. Seeing HQ makes me all the more excited for WW84 this summer. Harley Quinn & The Birds of Prey gets an A rank from me.

CoCage:
Harley Quinn & The Birds of Prey - Beautiful! Absolutely beautiful! The Suicide Squad movie should have been this. And I thought SS (2016) was just okay, not a disaster certain critics, Marvel fanboys/girls, and DC fanboys/girls were making that out to be. This is Harley's story, but it's also the Birds of Prey origin story. The actions great (done by the John Wick guys), the movie is colorful, the writing is balls-to-walls funny, and making this in to a Deadpoolesque movie worked. The only thing that sucks about the movie is the reception it's getting from audiences. I heard about the under performance this film is getting and I don't understand it. Critics hated SS, but most audiences liked it or thought it was okay. Yet it's now the reverse. What the actual fuck? Whatever. It ain't ruining my mood. DC live-action materials keeps getting better and better. They had a few slip ups with Batman V. Superman, JL, and SS, but they definitely hit their stride starting with Wonder Woman. Seeing HQ makes me all the more excited for WW84 this summer. Harley Quinn & The Birds of Prey gets an A rank from me.

You forget, media can only have two states: a godly perfect that gives you the greatest orgasm or a crime against humanity. There is no inbetween.

Anyway, I'm seeing with my partner whenever we can tee up babysitting. Valentine's day is taking the wind out of those sails

CoCage:
And I thought SS (2016) was just okay, not a disaster certain critics,

Ditto.

Marvel fanboys/girls, and DC fanboys/girls were making that out to be.

Wouldn't DC fanboys/girls make it out not to be a trainwreck?

trunkage:

Anyway, I'm seeing with my partner whenever we can tee up babysitting. Valentine's day is taking the wind out of those sails

Least you have someone to be with on V Day. :(

Hawki:

CoCage:
And I thought SS (2016) was just okay, not a disaster certain critics,

Ditto.

Marvel fanboys/girls, and DC fanboys/girls were making that out to be.

Wouldn't DC fanboys/girls make it out not to be a trainwreck?

(

I've met plenty of DC fans that hated Suicide Squad. It has its loud defenders, but they don't represent the entire fandom.

trunkage:

CoCage:
Harley Quinn & The Birds of Prey - Beautiful! Absolutely beautiful! The Suicide Squad movie should have been this. And I thought SS (2016) was just okay, not a disaster certain critics, Marvel fanboys/girls, and DC fanboys/girls were making that out to be. This is Harley's story, but it's also the Birds of Prey origin story. The actions great (done by the John Wick guys), the movie is colorful, the writing is balls-to-walls funny, and making this in to a Deadpoolesque movie worked. The only thing that sucks about the movie is the reception it's getting from audiences. I heard about the under performance this film is getting and I don't understand it. Critics hated SS, but most audiences liked it or thought it was okay. Yet it's now the reverse. What the actual fuck? Whatever. It ain't ruining my mood. DC live-action materials keeps getting better and better. They had a few slip ups with Batman V. Superman, JL, and SS, but they definitely hit their stride starting with Wonder Woman. Seeing HQ makes me all the more excited for WW84 this summer. Harley Quinn & The Birds of Prey gets an A rank from me.

You forget, media can only have two states: a godly perfect that gives you the greatest orgasm or a crime against humanity. There is no inbetween.

Anyway, I'm seeing with my partner whenever we can tee up babysitting. Valentine's day is taking the wind out of those sails

Which is a pretty stupid black and white view. It once again proves that not everyone knows what they want, whether they be the audience, the critics, or the filmmakers. You and your girl enjoy the show and have fun.

Speaking of Birds of Prey, Margot Robbie was also in The Legend of Tarzan.

Which was not very good. Way too many cliches, and you're allowed to fire those guns you're pointing at your enemies. Whole thing was decidedly meh, and a white saviour story can only be so progressive even if you're being really clever, which the writers were not.

Birds of Prey (6/10)
Birds of Prey, a.k.a. Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn), a.k.a. Harley Quinn and the Birds of Prey, is proof that no matter what you call a movie, it doesn't change how that a film called Birds of Prey is more like a pidgeon than a raptor. Because while this film starts off very strong, by the end I was left feeling exhausted.

To start with, I'm going to see some of the most common comments/complaints that I've seen about the film. To that end:

-This film does share similarities with Suicide Squad in its style, namely its 'name tag/traits' system. That said, this is really the only similarity there is. Even Harley feels like a different character. It does reference Suicide Squad a few times, but the film is very much stand-alone, and very much eager to distance itself from SS's take on the Joker.

-I've seen it commented that this is basically the Harley Quinn version of Deadpool. There's some similarities, such as how both will address the viewer, but it's different style. Harley does a voice-over narration (to the point where it's sometimes redundant), while Deadpool will address the camera directly. Again, these are superficial similarities.

-On the comment that the other titular birds don't get a chance to shine, I have to disagree, mostly. Harley's very much the main character, but most of the secondary women are reasonably fleshed out. Huntress is the key exception here, who gets the least screentime, and the most minor arc, if it can even be called that. Which is a shame for me personally, but at least Winstead does what she can (or at least the script does - the key trait of Huntress is that she's very socially awkward, among both friends and enemies).

Right, now that that's out of the way, I'm going to give general thoughts. This movie starts off being fun, but over time, its cracks begin to show. For instance, not everything is told chronologically, and there's a point in the film where it takes 20-30 minutes to catch up to where the film is. At the start, there's stuff like "4 minutes ago" appearing on the screen, but this trick gets old. Honestly, I'd have been fine with the film being told chronologically. There's also things that don't quite make sense. For instance, to symbolize breaking up from Mister J, Harley destroys the Axis Chemicals plant (how many people does she kill? I dunno) and everyone concludes that it means she's broken up with the Joker, and ergo, it's open season on her. This is a stretch - I mean, we know it's true, but it's far less credulous to believe that everyone comes to that same conclusion when destroying stuff for shits and giggles is what the Joker (supposedly) does. Or not. Cassandra Cain somehow has never heard of the Joker, and I get what the scene means (that Harley doesn't have to exist in his shadow), but if the Joker is so terrifying that no-one will touch Harley, even when she damages their property, I'd have thought that everyone in Gotham would have heard of Mister J. I dunno, maybe they just wanted to forget Suicide Squad.

Also Gotham looks like any other city apart from near the end. I like to think it's a sign that Bats has brought it back from the brink, but that's being generous. And speaking of Bats, where is he? I saw a pre-release blurb that Bats has disappeared from Gotham, but this is never mentioned in the film itself. If Harley is walking through Gotham in broad daylight and shooting up the GCPD (among other things), what the heck is Bruce doing? I know that the MCU had a similar problem in Phase 2, where the Avengers not turning up to help people like Tony is handwaved away, but the sins of one cineamtic universe don't excuse the sins of this one.

Speaking of sins, there's Black Mask. At the start, I really liked him - fun, flamboyant, has a good time even while condemning people to die in horrible ways. By the end of the film, even when he puts on his titular mask, I was sick of him, as by this time, he's been reduced to a petulant manchild. Again, I get what the film was going for, showing that Sionis is all surface, but I just got tired of it by the end. He doesn't become as obnoxious as the Joker was in Suicide Squad, but he does veer a bit too close for my liking.

Minor point, but the action scenes. Most of them are very good, because they're insane, and roll with it, whether it's Harley storming the GCPD with a grenade launcher that shoots everything apart from actual grenades, to her choosing a baseball bat over a chainsaw, to her being a lethal acrobatic, to everything else. It's at the end that they stop working however, because while the scenario itself is rediculous (a funhouse battle), the tone is serious. Which matches the plot, granted, but it doesn't gel with the fight scenes as they've been presented up to this point. Also, Harley is a shrink. And it works.

One last thing - while there's been far less of an outcry than films such as Ghostbusters 2016 and Last Jedi, there has been the usual accusations of "man hating" or "feminist film." Usually I wouldn't bother going here, but now that I think about it, every male character in the film is either a criminal psychopath, or a snitch, or grossly incompetent, the only exception being a mobster who saves Helena as a child. If not for the culture wars going on, I probably wouldn't have noticed, but I did, and...well, honestly, it doesn't really mean anything. I mean, I can enjoy James Bond where females are there as eye candy and/or rewards, the film doesn't owe me a "strong male character" or whatnot. But I noticed it all the same, so make of that what you will. Even Wonder Woman had Steve, and Captain Marvel had Nick Fury. Also doesn't help that BoP is weaker than both of those films. In fact, it's weaker than most of the DCEU films I've seen.

So. That's Birds of Prey. It's okay, but after DC seemed to get some of its groove with Aquaman and especially Shazam, this is a step back. I'm not sure if this is going to effect much, since the DCEU right now seems to be less about telling a single cohesive story (see Man of Steel to Justice League), and more self-contained stories/mini-series that pay lip service to the larger universe, so at the least, I don't think the low box office returns will hamper the DCEU, even if it might hamper the chances of a Gotham City Sirens movie. I think how much you like this film will depend on your "zanniness tolerance," because the film starts insane from literally the first shot (said shot being of sperm and an egg, and yes, it does work), to the very end (where Harley finally gets her egg and bacon sandwich - yes, it does make sense in context). I can't say I'm sorry I saw it, but as someone who's hoped for the DCEU to succeed from day 1, this hasn't done me any favours.

Night Fare - 5/10

I felt like rewatching Joy Ride, but Netflix had this instead. It starts good, gets gooder and then towards the end the movie ungoods itself. If you like movies about faceless psychos in vehicles chasing people, you'll enjoy it, even if it seems like the taxi driver can teleport anywhere he wants in some scenes, but I'm willing to forgive these things because dumb movie, who cares, but there's a twist that is unforgivably awful. Maybe it'll work for you though. It really gives the impression that the people behind this movie didn't know how to end it properly, so they shyamalaned it.

Neurotic Void Melody:

Xprimentyl:
Snip

Ah, thanks for the easy linkage to the video! Appreciated much. Must take a lot of courage to be up there opening up as she does. Had a friend in college who had schizophrenia, people were scared of him due to some outbursts and he had a nickname that cemented their perception further, but he was far easier and nicer to talk to than the substantial number of dickheads floating about at the time, plus was more relatable in a few ways.

Did you mean The King of Comedy instead of The Comedian? Is only cause I hear those comparisons made regularly with the former while none with the latter. Haven't seen either yet too. Though I would be careful recommending Requiem if anyone's in a particularly sensitive state of mind as it can get quite intense in the mood it goes for.

You are correct; I did indeed mean "King of Comedy."

Ford Versus Ferrari: Recommended

I went into this film with no expectations; to say I was apathetic would be an understatement. Two and a half hours later, I came out genuinely impressed by one of the better movies I've seen in a long time, second only to Joker as my personal favorite film coming out of 2019. I've qualified myself as not being particularly critical when it comes to cinema, so I found it initially difficult to pin down what made it work for me as well as it did. The story was great; acting across the board was excellent, and that's all well and good, but what surprised me most was the pacing; every moment felt purposeful. Even at two and a half hours, it somehow managed to simultaneously command my attention and respect my time.

Underwater

Alien, but under the sea. It was made 3 years ago but it's only getting a release now, so you know it's good.

Flash Gordon.

Ok, the writers and the actors weren't terrible interested, but Queen was having fun with the music and the "make this look weird" department was very enthusiastic.

Sonic the Hedgehog (6/10)

Well, this is a movie that's had more up and downs than Green Hill. Everyone saw the first trailer and declared, myself included, that the film would be a dumpster fire. Then the redesign happened, and people got slightly more optimistic, but not enthused (again, myself among them). Then the film came out, and the Internet went nuts, with critics finding it decent, and most audiences loving it. Having finally seen the film myself, I can tell you with absolute authority, objectivity, and perspicacity, that the film is...okay. It's fine. It's average. It's decent. It's one of the better VG movies out there, but that isn't to say that it's "good."

I'm going to start with what works in the film, and fittingly enough, among them is Sonic himself. Now, there's been a lot of takes on Sonic over the years, and this one does a decent job. Something to keep in mind is that this is very much an origin story, in that as the film goes on, Sonic steadily unlocks abilities (e.g. his spindash) and gets other hallmarks (such as where he receives his signature sneakers). This matches his emotional journey and character arc. A theme of the film (such as it is) is loneliness/isolation, and key to Sonic's character here is his initial loneliness, which feeds into his hyperactivity. This isn't some in-depth character arc, but it is a character arc nonetheless, for a character that at least as far as the games go, has never really had one. Superhero films come to mind here, and while Sonic is called Sonic from the start, the film does show how he becomes a hero by the end of it. So, in looks, abilities, and personality, Sonic is handled well here. But what's handled even better is Jim Carrey as Robotnik. I mean, wow, I really wasn't expecting this. Yeah, everyone was harping on Sonic's original design, but when Jim Carrey steps off a lorry wearing a black suit, I died a little inside. Well, turns out I was wrong, because Carrey steals the movie, arguably even more than Sonic. He can be threatening, he can be funny, he can be both at the same time, and yet it all works. You could argue that Carrey is just being Carrey, but whatever the case, he throws himself into the role, and I love him for it. Similar to Sonic, Robotnik does have 'stages,' as he slowly resembles his game counterpart more (e.g. his red suit, his flying machine, his moustache, etc.), but these are more minor. Whatever the case, I love this take on the character. Robotnik's been everything from a bumbling idiot (e.g. AoSTH) to a sadistic tyrant (e.g. SatAM), and everything in-between, so I'm fine with Carrey's take standing alongside them.

Also, the loneliess theme. Robotnik feeds into this as well, and again, while not deep, is noticable. Sonic is lonely and emotionally stunted/isolated, but is able to make friends and open up as a result, which leads to his emotional climax. Robotnik is also isolated and emotionally stunted, but unlike Sonic, conciously pushes people away (Stone) who might otherwise be his friend. Again, not deep, but I appreciate the subtext in a film which could have forsaken it entirely.

So, so far, so good, right? So why isn't this film rated higher? Well, as you might have guessed, the problems I have in the film aren't with its titular character or his main antagonist. The problems I have are with everything else. Because for starters, it's a road trip movie, and follows every plot beat you expect. Gee, two people who don't like each other getting from Point A to Point B. Will they become friends and discover things about themselves by the end of it? Will they get into wacky escapades? If you answered "no" to any of these questions, you need to retake your English lit. classes. To clarify, Tom isn't a bad character. Maddie isn't a bad character. The other human characters aren't bad, even if some of them are stereotypes. But this is still a film called Sonic, so I'm far more interested in STH characters than human ones. To clarify, I get why Chris exists in Sonic X, and why Tom exists in this movie, but even so, I'm not that interested in them. And while the film has plenty of Easter eggs that reference the Sonic mythos (e..g the town is called Green Hills, and there's a road sign that points to Hill Top), I'd much rather see those actual locations than just have easter eggs reminding us of them. Because we see South Island at the opening of the movie, looking like it does in the games. We see "the Mushroom Planet," which is either a reference to Mushroom Hill Zone, or a shot at Mario. But we barely spend any time at these locations, and instead spend almost all of our time on Earth. And again, I'm left to ask why?

There's also minor 'glitches' in the script at times. I mean, the writing is decent - family friendly, got quite a few chuckles - but the 'glitches' exist. For instance, when Sonic and Robotnik meet face to face, Sonic calls him Eggman. No-one draws attention to this, not even Robotnik himself, and there's no explanation as to why Sonic uses that insult. The only thing remotely egg-shaped from Robotnik is his drones, but that aside...yeah, I don't get it. Just go with Robuttnik if you need an insult, the old cartoons did.

So, yeah. Decent. The movie has two post-credit scenes that both tease a sequel, and given the box office haul, I could see it being made. I'd be onboard for it, especially if we spent more times in the locations the film teases rather than Montana and California, but as it stands, the movie is fine. It's a road trip movie with Sonic characters transported into it, and that works in of itself, but it still leaves it as being average. One of the better VG movies, but not outright "good." And if you're wondering how it compares to the OVA, short version is that the OVA is the better "Sonic movie," while this is the better "movie movie." Make of that what you will.

I was very efficient and watched Interstellar, Sunshine, The Day After Tomorrow, Ad Astra, Gravity, and WALL-E with a bit of Armageddon in there too. All at the same time which makes it into one Wandering Earth, a derivative Chinese science fiction movie. It's not all bad but mostly mediocre at best. There are some cool digital camera shots and the setting looks authentic. However, the plot seems mostly interested in mechanical and logistical details and fires them at you non-stop (Engine 03 there Rescue Team 771 here Transporter 55 this or that "my title is x" on and on and on...). Every dramatic death is accompanied with the person's dying words -- half of the time after they die. Telepathy, I guess.

It's a big Chinese movie without foreigners running the show at any point (except one Russian in space kinda like in Armageddon), so maybe worth checking out if one has nothing better to do.

War for the Planet of the Apes

It's alright. 6/10. Gotta love Caesar.

Alita: Battle Angel

A silly action movie with CGI sparks and steel. I like Rosa Salazar's performance and it's captured well into the sex doll body too. Plot is whatever and action scenes make you doze off. 6/10

Shock, 1946, starring Vincent Price. It's very much a movie that stars Vincent Price, he murders his wife, is seen by a woman who goes into shock seeing it, and who is then taken to a clinic to be rehabilitated by (coincidentally) Vincent Price, who doesn't want to murder her, but doesn't want her to wake up and remember.

Would recommend.

Sonic the Hedgehog

It's a "wacky cartoon character ends up in the real world and hijinks ensues" movie. You've seen some variation of this before, I'm sure. Sonic the Hedgehog is far from the worst movie in that particular subgenre but I probably don't have to remind you how bad those can get. I don't want to be negative on what's most definitely a kids movie and not even really a bad one but at the same time there's not much about it that isn't predictable and safe. There's Sonic. He got transported from his world to our world when he was a kid. He talks a lot and runs fast. He makes friends with an attractive cop (James Marsden) who has an attractive wife (Tika Sumpter, who looks a lot like a girl I had a crush on back in school. I'm only telling you this to pad out this review.) He causes a power outage. He has those weird electrical powers in this movie, you see. Buildup to the inevitable future Sonichu movie, I'm sure. So that means the American government is trying to track him down to experiment on him. Fortunately, we live in a time where most people have just sort of accepted that the American government is evil and are willing to go along with it as the premise for a kids movie. They hire mad scientist Ivo Robotnik (Jim Carrey) to capture him. There's your movie.

It's... what you expect, you know. Most of the movie is Sonic and his cop friend trying to get from the small town of Green Hills (Get it?) to San Francisco where one of the magical rings Sonic can use to escape from Earth ended up. They become friends, get in awkward situations, fight off Robotnik and his robots, there's product placement for Olive Garden, Sonic makes some action movie references and does that meme dance (No, not Gangnam Style. The other one. No, not Harlem Shake. The other one. No, not Twerking. Thank God. The other one.) Jim Carrey's performance is pretty fun, he hasn't done that kind of role in a while but he's still got it down to a science. There's some action. It's alright. A car chase scene reminded me a bit of something out of a Transformers movie and made me realize how much more fun this movie could have been if Michael Bay had directed it.

It's an inoffensive enough movie. If you get dragged along to see it by your kids or whatever, chances are you're not gonna hate it but at the same time I see very little reason to go out of your way to watch it. It's a kids movie about a sassy blue hedgehog fighting a mad scientist. Then again, what else would a Sonic movie be?

The Gentlemen (5/10)

...I really didn't like this film.

That isn't to say it's bad, if anything, it's decently directed, but I can't say it was for me. Truth be told, I've never been much of a fan of Guy Ritchie. Of the films of his that I've seen, the only one I've truly liked is Rock n' Rolla. And while Gentlemen is back in the style of his gangster movies (a style that he's clearly at home at), to me, it was more of the same, and not a same I'm overly fond of.

Well, that aside, it deals with a British crime lord trying to get out of the weed business, only everyone wants to take advantage of that, sensing weakness. The story flip-flops between the present, as a reporter confronts the boss's underling, telling him what he knows (and thus wanting a cash payout to suppress the story) and the events of the story itself. Truth be told, the story's a bit too convoluted for my liking - like, it's adding plot points that at times, seem to exist for the sake of being plot points. It's a gangster movie, it doesn't need to be that complicated. Credit where credit is due, the dialogue is snappy, the directing is good (though Ritchie's gone the Deadpool/Birds of Prey route of reguarly using scribbles in the frame for the sake of humour), but it's still more of the same, and again, a same that I've never been that attached to. And even then, at times, it's a same that falls short. For instance, there's a scene in Rock n' Rolla where the gangsters pull out their guns and yell "get out of the fucking way!" in a manner that's humerous to the audience, but no doubt terrifying to the people around them. Here, there's a similar scene, where a mobster, confronted by knife/machete wielding youth, just pulls out a silenced SMG, fires into the air, gets them to flee, and, that's it. The scenario is similar, but one film does it much better than this one. And while I barely remember Snatch, it feels reminiscent of that film as well, just with the lack of a McGuffin. I'll give the film credit in that it does highlight the effects of poverty in London (namely its effect on youth), but there isn't really an exploration of this. I can't fault the film for NOT doing this, since it's not a serious film, but on the other hand, it left me feeling iffy that it highlights a real-world problem and doesn't really explore it (then again, there's human trafficking as a plot point, but that's only for a single scene). On the flip side, there's an attempted rape scene that feels completely out of place, so...

Also, since it's come up, racism accusations. Dunno if this is worth talking about, but fine - the main villain is specified to be Jewish. mcConngehy's crime syndicate has to deal with a Chinese triad, the main muscle of which is described in-universe as "Riceman James Bond." There's a Russian crime family that wants to take out mcConnehy for reasons of revenge. There's a group of street kids that have an exchange that goes along the lines of:

White: "You coming up you black cunt?"

Black: "Coach, did he call me a black cunt?"

Coach: "Yes, X, he called you a black cunt, because you're black, and you're a cunt. Neither of those statements are false. He's not calling you a cunt because you're black."

...did I mention that this film uses the word "cunt" a lot? Well, congratulations. Now you know. As to whether the film is "racist" or not, I'd say that there's a difference between a film being racist and simply having characters who are/express racism, but then again, no-one's calling me a cunt.

So, The Gentlemen. A Guy Ritchie film that's probably the misnomeric (apparently that isn't a word, cunts) of them all, and while no doubt appealing to his fanbase, isn't really my thing. Also didn't help that the cinema lights didn't go off when the film started, and it took them about 10 minutes to fix them, so there's that I guess.

The Maze Runner (6/10)

It's hard to say where The Maze Runner (the book/book series) fits into the YA landscape. I mean, there's plenty of YA series that I can describe in a sentence as to how they're perceived, or where they rank (e.g. Harry Potter and Percy Jackson are extremely popular, Artemis Fowl seems to have been forgotten), but it's hard to say where The Maze Runner stands. Like, I reguarly see it on the shelves, but I don't see many people actually borrowing or returning it. So in that spirit, I went into this film almost completely blind. Like, I was vaguely aware of the plot twist at the end, but was in the dark as to the chain of events that lead up to said twist.

So, anyway. Our protagonist, Thomas, comes up into an area called The Glade, which is entirely populated by teenage boys. None of them have their memories bar their names, and The Glade is surrounded by the maze. If you go into the maze at night, you're screwed, because a Griefer will get you (basically think the Spider Mastermind from Doom). This has been going on for three years, with a new boy coming up each month. Some have died, either to Griefers, or to murder. No-one is meant to go into the maze except Runners, who have to chart the maze and find a way out. Problem is, the maze keeps changing. I will say that as a setup, it's a reasonably intriguing one. I mean, I knew why they were there (vaguely) going in, but as to how the plot and mystery is treated, it is decent. However, it isn't long before cracks start to appear. For instance, the characters are...okay. I mean, I can remember their names, but the characterization of them is pretty broad. Looking at contemporaries, I can easily describe the characters of Harry, Ron, or Hermione. I can describe the character of Katniss, even if her defining trait is arguably a lack of personality. However, describing the likes of "Thomas" or "Gully" or "Micho" or "Frank" or...leader guy...I can, I can do it, but not nearly as well. Arguably because I've actually read the Harry Potter/Hunger Games books in addition to seeing the movies, but even so...

Also, the movie feels like it's missing details. For instance, there's a reference to being stung, and it comes as a revelation that a character is stung in the middle of the day. What does the stinging is never explained, nor why being stung in the middle of the day is a revelation. It can't be a Griefer, I know that, but then, what is it? Maybe the book explains it, maybe a deleted scene explains it, but all I can say is that the film itself definitely doesn't, and, yeah, that's a problem. What's also a problem is when the girl character comes up in the lift, well ahead of schedule, bringing a note saying "she's the last one," and the lift to the Glade refusing to go down (so, no more supplies apparently). My first thought was that, in a setting choke filled with boys, introducing a sole female character was a new psychological test, but it isn't. And while I'm not going to complain about the film failing the Blechdel test (I mean, Lord of the Flies fails, and that's still a seminal work), but I am going to complain that girl character is completely forgettable, and barely serves a role. God, I can't even remember her name. And since we're already surrounded by people with broad characterization, then, yeah.

So, anyway, the cast have to deal with a Griefer attack (which is surprisingly brutal given the genre), and intercine strife, and the revelation that Thomas was with "them" - the people who put the boys here, and likewise, girl character as well. The group manage to get out of the maze after fighting through Griefers, and discover the truth. Turns out years ago, Earth was subjected to a solar flare that killed billions, after which came The Flare - a virus that turns people into frothing madmen. However, some, namely the kids, are immune, so the Worldwide Catastrophe Killzone Department (WCKD, or "Wicked" for short, yes, really) put them in a maze to study their brain activity in high-stress situations, wanting to find what made them tick. Only some don't agree with their methods, and they stumble into the control centre after a gunfight, and are picked up by a new group...only this is apparently all staged, despite the fact that the bullets are clearly real, and there's bodies around, so...how much is real, and how much isn't? Credit where credit is due, the sights of a wasteland Earth, in the middle of which is the verdant Glade (and around it, the maze) is pretty neat, but I, for one, was left wondering if WCKD could have chosen a means of testing that didn't involve Spider Masterminds tearing kids apart. I mean, these kids are meant to be rare, right?

At the end of the day, Maze Runner is decent. Not good, not bad, just decent. That said, I think that might explain why it doesn't rank higher in the YA pantheon. Because at least going by this, it doesn't have the characters of Harry Potter, or the world of Hunger Games, or the humour of Percy Jackson, but nor does it have the shite of Divergent or Twilight. It's simply average. And that makes for a film that isn't going to make much impact on me.

Resident Evil (6/10)

...has it really been 18 years since this film was released? Good grief.

Ah yes, the Resident Evil series - disliked by critics, loathed by fans, yet the most successful videogame movie franchise in history. I, for one, regard them as guilty pleasures (sans Retribution) and do hold the first two as being better than the rest, as not only are they actual adaptations (however loose), but avoid the excesses and sloppy plotting that would begin with the third film, and culminate with the (enjoyable) insanity of the sixth. But, coming back to this film, I was a bit nervous - was my nostalgia causing me to overlook the film's flaws, or was it truly one of the better VG movies out there? Having watched this film, the answer to those questions is...yes. As in, yes, this film does hold up, but as an adult, I'm more aware of its flaws.

I'm actually going to start with those flaws - some of these are ones I noticed all along, but others are ones I only noticed now. For instance, the Red Queen kills everyone in the Hive after the T-virus leaks, but apparently can't (or won't) contact Umbrella to explain why. Hence why they send a team in. Now, even assuming that the Red Queen can't contact Umbrella proper for whatever reason, the film clearly shows that she can use the intercom. So why the heck doesn't she use it as soon as the team enters the Hive to say "sorry people, there are zombies here" instead of letting them enter, using a laser system to kill most of them, and then not use the opportunity she has to explain why they SHOULDN'T shut her down? I can't remember if the novelization explains it (BTW, the novelizations of the films are all better than the films themselves, least as far as plot goes), but taking the film by itself? Yeah...There's also little things, as to why the bodies of the deceased commandos disappear after being sliced and diced, why the team isn't infected by the T-virus despite it apparently remaining airborne in the second film, and various other little things, but yeah. It isn't hard to spot the plot holes.

There's also two other key things I noticed going in this time. One, Anderson likes slow-motion. Now, it's not nearly as egregious as Michael Bay, and it isn't egregious every time it's used, but it is noticable, and I did raise the proverbial eyebrow when seeing it. I've generally felt that slow-motion in film is used to cover sloppy directing (The Matrix is a key exception), and whatever the truth of that feeling, again, noticable. What's also noticable is that the film has a weird approach to reveals. As in, the audience often knows things before the characters. For instance, it's a shock to Rain when she sees a zombified J.D., but we, the audience, see him reanimate. Similarly, it's a shock to the characters when Kaplan comes back, when they assume he's used his last bullet to spare himself the pain of being devoured, but we, the audience, know that he used his last bullet on a zombie. Now, these aren't bad things technically, but it's a weird choice in my mind. Because the film does do its main twist pretty well, that it was Spence who released the T-virus, not Alice, and it's a twist that's done well because not only is it revealed to the characters at the same time as the audience, but it's a twist that you can partially see coming if you're paying attention.

Also, another matter. The Red Queen clearly states that one bite, one scratch, is sufficient for infection, and that she won't allow anyone to leave who's been infected. I can buy the idea that she gives them the chance to escape because she wants to remain active, but what I want to know is how the characters feel about it. For instance, initially, no-one sees Rain get bitten, but they can clearly see her bandaged wound, but they see her get bitten again later. Kaplan likewise gets bitten. I can buy the idea that they were hoping that the Red Queen was wrong, and/or hoping that she didn't notice, but did they have a plan if they did all escape the Hive with people that are clearly infected?

That aside, in spite of everything, I do like this film, and do believe it to be a pretty decent one, both as an action-horror flick, and as an adaptation of RE1, however loose that adapting is. Despite what I've written above, the plot is reasonably tight, and while it's a plot that makes little sense in light of what Final Chapter presents as fact, taking the film in of itself, it's decent. It's schlock, sure, but enjoyable schlock, and much better schlock than the Doom movie, which also had the premise of "shit happens, send in team, cue gunfight" (or in the case of Doom, very little actual shooting for whatever nonsensical reason). The characters aren't deep, but they're reasonably likeable, and the film does a good job of conveying that being bitten is actually pretty painful. I have to say, it's so weird in a sense watching this when, by the time of the fourth film, the series had entered the running zombies phase, but here, it's a case of less is more. It's slow walking zombies, guns, bullets, but not nearly enough bullets to take all those zombies out, especially when you're in a scenario when the characters (understandably) have no idea that headshots are the way to go. And while the film takes many liberties from RE1, it does do a good job of capturing the feeling of survival horror - horribly outnumbered, low on ammo, only just one step ahead, etc. Maybe I'm gushing, given my nostalgia for this film and my liking of the game series it's based on, but it's such a sharp contrast from what the films (and to a lesser extent, the games) would become, and as far as the films go, I'll take this over its predecessors. Even Alice is toned back, to the extent that yes, she's the most capable of the group, but she's far from invincible, and even remains subject to the facts of life. Namely that one person, no matter how skilled, can't take on 500 zombies and win. Later films would make Alice the centre of everything, but here, she's scaled back, and much more engaging for it.

Also, Michelle Rodriguez as Rain. I know Rain is a fan favourite in the film fandom (yes, it does exist, even if I'm not really part of it), but rewatching it now, despite my bafflement at that popularity, I think that I haven't given her enough credit. My view on Rodriguez is that she's a good actress when she's doing her "thing" (tough girl, action girl), and of limited ability when she's not (that said, she did a good job in Lost), but credit where credit is due, she does a good job here, going from the Umbrella team's "tough girl" character to a character who's visibly deteriorating. That said, of the Umbrella commandos, Kaplan was always my favourite - not the best fighter, haunted by survivour's guilt after the hallway, clearly the odd guy out among the tougher commando types, but the guy who comes through for them in spite of everything...and is unceremoniously killed off by the Licker with nary a tear shed. I mean, in Retribution, despite all its SHIT, I was left asking "wait, you bring clones of Carlos, One, and Rain back, but not ma boy?" Bastards. :( It's also a distinct change that come the fourth film, if not the third, the films removed any humanity from the Umbrella grunts, but in the first two, it's clear that decent people do work for Umbrella, even if they're still aware of its shadier dealings. Frankly, that's much more interesting to apparently all of Umbrella being sociopaths, even its cannon fodder.

So, Resident Evil. Again, action-horror schlock, but enjoyable schlock, and schlock that I honestly feel does hold up today, warts and all. There's plenty of reasons to say that the series went off-track after the second film, both as adaptations and by its own continuity, but the first film, by itself, is enjoyable zombie fare. Even if it does use copious amounts of rock music at various points (though I will admit, enjoyable music, at least when the commandos smash their way into the mansion).

The Good Liar

Honestly, I think the only thing that makes this film watchable is goodwill for the talents of Helen Mirren and Ian McKellen, neither of which really bring their A-game for much of the film. Tonally, I think I'd sum this film up as "unrelenting". The focus is mostly on McKellen and we never really get moments that humanize his character or make him more sympathetic. He's very much an unapologetic villain protagonist, but with neither the likeability or flair to really it enjoyable to watch him. And as the movie goes on, the script starts dropping more "you really shouldn't like this guy" moments to make his most recent con even more uncomfortable than it already is.

For my two cents? I'll take Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Going With Style, or Ocean's Eleven/Thirteen over The Good Liar any day.

PsychedelicDiamond:

Then again, what else would a Sonic movie be?

A lot better than the one we got. If Micheal Bay were to direct it, he would eff it up in the comedy department and would do something even worse. No thank you. If he were the producer, I would be fine with that, like in the last two Ninja Turtle movies.

This is what the Sonic movie should have been:


We don't need another Sonic X, Masters of the Universe, The Smurfs, nor Rocky and Bullwinkle. We got too many of them already. Wake me up when a Sonic film acts like an actual Sonic film, and not a copy of 1000 other Hollywood adaptions.

Double Impact - One of Van Damme's best from the 90s. He really shows his acting chops, and proof the dude as good acting range. Talented as always, and seeing him two roles at the same time was not easy, yet he and the production team pulled all this off in 1991. Still a better Double Dragon film than the official Double Dragon adaption in 1994.

CoCage:

We don't need another Sonic X, Masters of the Universe, The Smurfs, nor Rocky and Bullwinkle. We got too many of them already. Wake me up when a Sonic films acts like an actual Sonic film,

Um, in terms of faithfulness, Sonic X is arguably one of the most faithful Sonic adaptations out there. Certainly it was more faithful than any adaptation that came before it (except maybe the OVA, but that's a special case).

I'd also argue that Sonic X is one of the best adaptations as well, even though I put SatAM above it.

Hawki:

CoCage:

We don't need another Sonic X, Masters of the Universe, The Smurfs, nor Rocky and Bullwinkle. We got too many of them already. Wake me up when a Sonic films acts like an actual Sonic film,

Um, in terms of faithfulness, Sonic X is arguably one of the most faithful Sonic adaptations out there. Certainly it was more faithful than any adaptation that came before it (except maybe the OVA, but that's a special case).

I'd also argue that Sonic X is one of the best adaptations as well, even though I put SatAM above it.

Not by much for me. I thought Sonic X was okay as a teenager, but now, it only gets worse with age. The 4kids dub does not fucking help. It takes an 5/10 adaption and turns it in to a 3/10. Chris Thorndyke brings down the entire experience. He's not interesting (until Season 3, but that just means he is tolerable), steals the spotlight (more or less steals the role of Sonic's best friend from Tails, until Season 3 again), and steal character moments that were awesome for characters like Amy. For example, in Sonic Adventure 2, Amy convinces Shadow to help humanity. While in Sonic X, it's Chris who does it, but not without a beating from short, dark, and edgy. He's an unneeded, audience surrogate, no one was asking for. He's a bad OC you would see in many a bad Sonic or anime fan fics. Ironically, the comic adaption from Archie does better than the fucking anime. I'd sooner watch Sonic Boom (which is actually good all things) series over Sonic X. I find Sonic X a tedious grind to watch, because I'm better either playing Sonic Adventure 1 & 2, or just watching the games' cut-scenes on YouTube.

CoCage:
Chris Thorndyke brings down the entire experience. He's not interesting (until Season 3, but that just means he is tolerable),

I actually thought Chris was the most pointless in Season 3. I mean, he is more capable, true (but it's capability that's barely needed), but I can understand why he's in the first two seasons, in order to provide an audience surrogate. But Season 3 is almost entirely in space, so Chris doesn't need to be there to provide a link to the human world. Heck, if they wanted a human, why not one from Cascade - get some tension with Molly and Cosmo or something, considering that yes, the metarex are bastards, and former seedrians, but Cascade attacked first, so...

steals the spotlight (more or less steals the role of Sonic's best friend from Tails, until Season 3 again),

I didn't get that sense. Tails is established as Sonic's friend, and is very much the techie of the group. If anything, Chris is stepping on Tails's toes (does he have toes?) in Season 3.

and steal character moments that were awesome for characters like Amy. For example, in Sonic Adventure 2, Amy convinces Shadow to help humanity. While in Sonic X, it's Chris who does it, but not without a beating from short, dark, and edgy.

So, I'm going to say something that's going to raise a few eyebrows, but here goes - I think Sonic X handles the moment better than SA2.

Here's why. In SA2, Amy's met Shadow once prior to this point, and it's a meeting that was nothing more than her thinking he was Sonic. Also, it's her arguing on humanity's behalf, despite not being human herself. In contrast, Chris spends time with Shadow on the Ark, and reminds him of Maria, in that they're of similar age. And it's a more powerful moment for Chris advocating the continued survival of his own species rather than letting a hedgehog do it.

He's an unneeded, audience surrogate, no one was asking for.

...maybe?

Look, he's a surrogate, but he does clearly serve a purpose in acting as a 'bridge' between Sonic and co. and the human world. I mean, does anyone complain about April in TMNT for instance, despite her serving a similar purpose? You could argue that April's more capable (though that's going to vary based on which version you're using as an example), but they both serve the same role at the end of the day.

He's a bad OC you would see in many a bad Sonic or anime fan fics.

Disagree there. I've seen plenty of Sonic OCs (most of them cliche), and few people use a human as an OC. It's almost always "X the Y," with "Y" being a mamalian species.

Ironically, the comic adaption from Archie does better than the fucking anime.

Wait, you're saying that the Sonic X comic was better than Sonic X itself?

I really can't agree there. I can concede that Sonic X (and Sonic in general) is designed for children, but the comic got down to kindergarten levels at time. Y'know, episodes where Eggman comes round for a pool party, or them meeting Santa, or whatever else.

I'd sooner watch Sonic Boom (which is actually good all things) series over Sonic X.

I like Boom, though I hold X one ranking above it. Granted, they're entirely different shows, but while Boom has better writing and humour, X has better action and plot. These are really two shows doing different things, but in the end, I like what X offers more (and in turn, what SatAM offers more as well).

because I'm better either playing Sonic Adventure 1 & 2, or just watching the games' cut-scenes on YouTube.

That I can get behind though - Season 2 of X is my least favourite, in part because they're adapting the Adventure games, but cutting a lot out in the process. I'm really just watching lesser versions of the games - games which had plots that are still among the strongest in the series. That said, I did kind of like the Sonic Battle adaptation X did.

Hawki:

CoCage:
Chris Thorndyke brings down the entire experience. He's not interesting (until Season 3, but that just means he is tolerable),

I actually thought Chris was the most pointless in Season 3. I mean, he is more capable, true (but it's capability that's barely needed), but I can understand why he's in the first two seasons, in order to provide an audience surrogate. But Season 3 is almost entirely in space, so Chris doesn't need to be there to provide a link to the human world. Heck, if they wanted a human, why not one from Cascade - get some tension with Molly and Cosmo or something, considering that yes, the metarex are bastards, and former seedrians, but Cascade attacked first, so...

steals the spotlight (more or less steals the role of Sonic's best friend from Tails, until Season 3 again),

I didn't get that sense. Tails is established as Sonic's friend, and is very much the techie of the group. If anything, Chris is stepping on Tails's toes (does he have toes?) in Season 3.

and steal character moments that were awesome for characters like Amy. For example, in Sonic Adventure 2, Amy convinces Shadow to help humanity. While in Sonic X, it's Chris who does it, but not without a beating from short, dark, and edgy.

So, I'm going to say something that's going to raise a few eyebrows, but here goes - I think Sonic X handles the moment better than SA2.

Here's why. In SA2, Amy's met Shadow once prior to this point, and it's a meeting that was nothing more than her thinking he was Sonic. Also, it's her arguing on humanity's behalf, despite not being human herself. In contrast, Chris spends time with Shadow on the Ark, and reminds him of Maria, in that they're of similar age. And it's a more powerful moment for Chris advocating the continued survival of his own species rather than letting a hedgehog do it.

He's an unneeded, audience surrogate, no one was asking for.

...maybe?

Look, he's a surrogate, but he does clearly serve a purpose in acting as a 'bridge' between Sonic and co. and the human world. I mean, does anyone complain about April in TMNT for instance, despite her serving a similar purpose? You could argue that April's more capable (though that's going to vary based on which version you're using as an example), but they both serve the same role at the end of the day.

He's a bad OC you would see in many a bad Sonic or anime fan fics.

Disagree there. I've seen plenty of Sonic OCs (most of them cliche), and few people use a human as an OC. It's almost always "X the Y," with "Y" being a mamalian species.

Ironically, the comic adaption from Archie does better than the fucking anime.

Wait, you're saying that the Sonic X comic was better than Sonic X itself?

I really can't agree there. I can concede that Sonic X (and Sonic in general) is designed for children, but the comic got down to kindergarten levels at time. Y'know, episodes where Eggman comes round for a pool party, or them meeting Santa, or whatever else.

I'd sooner watch Sonic Boom (which is actually good all things) series over Sonic X.

I like Boom, though I hold X one ranking above it. Granted, they're entirely different shows, but while Boom has better writing and humour, X has better action and plot. These are really two shows doing different things, but in the end, I like what X offers more (and in turn, what SatAM offers more as well).

because I'm better either playing Sonic Adventure 1 & 2, or just watching the games' cut-scenes on YouTube.

That I can get behind though - Season 2 of X is my least favourite, in part because they're adapting the Adventure games, but cutting a lot out in the process. I'm really just watching lesser versions of the games - games which had plots that are still among the strongest in the series. That said, I did kind of like the Sonic Battle adaptation X did.

April works way better (most versions) than Chris, because they use her when they need her. I'm referring to TMNT (2003) by the way. Plus, her development actually works in that series, and is actually badass. Chris just feels like an unnecessary addition no matter how you slice it. With season 2 being the most noticeable in this problem. Hence why I said that in S3 he's tolerable. Still don't like him, and wish they had not bother bringing him back.

Amy only had 1 interaction with Shadow before that point, but it still works as it showed her kinder side. After this and the character interpretation in Sonic X they turned her in to a blind Sonic fan girl that would attack, get mad, or jealous at the slightest provocation. A problem that would not get fixed until Sonic Unleashed.

Yes, the Sonic X comic I found better than the anime. I don't care. Chris actually became useful and likeable. Helps, that he does not nearly as much focus in the anime. When the Archie writers are doing better than the writers from the Japanese or English side of the anime, you know people screwed up badly. Sega definitely being part of the problem too.

Try telling that to other Sonic fans. Chris is your typical "lonely" rich kid, Which is odd, because he has plenty of humans friends that care for him. His classmates have no problems with him. His parents do give him the proper attention and love, despite their busy careers. The fact that he shuts down the portal leading to Sonic world, because he would feel "alone" was the final fucking nail in the coffin for me. Especially the first time I saw it. My response was "You selfish dumb ass! You're in a position most kids your age would kill for! You got people that love and care for you! And you're ready to screw over both worlds so you don't feel 'lonely'!" I know teenage me, nor kid me would ever do something like that if Sonic existed. Sonic is all about running free. Even my parents understood that. Eggman call Chris out was so satisfying. These reasons alone make Chris a poorly written OC character. The fact he's willing to abandon Earth just to see Sonic again (he's adult by this point), makes a bigger case. He did not know if the teleporter would work or kill him. And when he did make it to the other side, what if could not make it back. His family and friends would not know where he was or presumed dead. I rest my case.

CoCage:

Chris just feels like an unnecessary addition no matter how you slice it. With season 2 being the most noticeable in this problem. Hence why I said that in S3 he's tolerable.

I'd still rank S3 as being less necessary. By the second half of S1, Chris's use has arguably expired, since Sonic and co. can now move around freely. But even then, it's still on Earth.

Still don't like him, and wish they had not bother bringing him back.

Can't debate that though.

After this and the character interpretation in Sonic X they turned her in to a blind Sonic fan girl that would attack, get mad, or jealous at the slightest provocation.

Amy was created as a blind fangirl from the start. SA 1/2 did something to redeem her character, but Sonic Heroes plunged her right back into creepy stalkerism. That was in 2003, while X began airing in 2005. So while that doesn't entirely exonerate Sonic X, Amy reverting to type happened in the games first, and even then, it's her 'original sin' of her character concept.

I'll be frank, I've never been that fond of Amy in almost any incarnation. The only real exception is the Sonic Boom version, where she's infatuated with Sonic, but not defined by that infatuation.

Try telling that to other Sonic fans. Chris is your typical "lonely" rich kid, Which is odd, because he has plenty of humans friends that care for him. His classmates have no problems with him. His parents do give him the proper attention and love, despite their busy careers. The fact that he shuts down the portal leading to Sonic world, because he would feel "alone" was the final fucking nail in the coffin for me. Especially the first time I saw it. My response was "You selfish dumb ass! You're in a position most kids your age would kill for! You got people that love and care for you! And you're ready to screw over both worlds so you don't feel 'lonely'!" I know teenage me, nor kid me would ever do something like that if Sonic existed. Sonic is all about running free. Even my parents understood that. Eggman call Chris out was so satisfying. These reasons alone make Chris a poorly written OC character.

You raise some good points, but I'd like to point out that:

-Chris doesn't really have "plenty" of human friends. Excluding family/servants, he has Francis, Danny, and...that's really it. You could add Helen, but while they're implied to be together as teenagers, as kid, Helen felt pretty peripheral.

-His parents kind of give him proper attention, but they're not around that much.

-Chris is being selfish when he shuts down the portal, but he's still a kid, and kids do selfish, stupid things at times. He still makes the choice to let Sonic go at the end of the day.

-Eggman calling Chris out? You mean when he explains that he isn't the one behind the time stop issue? I don't think that's really calling him out. Yeah, he points out that Chris is lying to himself, but Chris's reactions at this point are what you'd expect from a 12 year old who's about to lose his bunch of super friends.

The fact he's willing to abandon Earth just to see Sonic again (he's adult by this point), makes a bigger case. He did not know if the teleporter would work or kill him. And when he did make it to the other side, what if could not make it back. His family and friends would not know where he was or presumed dead.

The dialogue makes it clear that Chris has spent a lot of time on the teleporter, so we can assume he took every precaution necessary. And no, he doesn't know if he can come back, but he'd be with Tails, and he's the smartest kid in the series. And as for family and friends, he leaves a note behind - them knowing where he's gone becomes a plot point when the Chaotix try and make a delivery.

Hawki:

CoCage:

Chris just feels like an unnecessary addition no matter how you slice it. With season 2 being the most noticeable in this problem. Hence why I said that in S3 he's tolerable.

I'd still rank S3 as being less necessary. By the second half of S1, Chris's use has arguably expired, since Sonic and co. can now move around freely. But even then, it's still on Earth.

Still don't like him, and wish they had not bother bringing him back.

Can't debate that though.

After this and the character interpretation in Sonic X they turned her in to a blind Sonic fan girl that would attack, get mad, or jealous at the slightest provocation.

Amy was created as a blind fangirl from the start. SA 1/2 did something to redeem her character, but Sonic Heroes plunged her right back into creepy stalkerism. That was in 2003, while X began airing in 2005. So while that doesn't entirely exonerate Sonic X, Amy reverting to type happened in the games first, and even then, it's her 'original sin' of her character concept.

I'll be frank, I've never been that fond of Amy in almost any incarnation. The only real exception is the Sonic Boom version, where she's infatuated with Sonic, but not defined by that infatuation.

Try telling that to other Sonic fans. Chris is your typical "lonely" rich kid, Which is odd, because he has plenty of humans friends that care for him. His classmates have no problems with him. His parents do give him the proper attention and love, despite their busy careers. The fact that he shuts down the portal leading to Sonic world, because he would feel "alone" was the final fucking nail in the coffin for me. Especially the first time I saw it. My response was "You selfish dumb ass! You're in a position most kids your age would kill for! You got people that love and care for you! And you're ready to screw over both worlds so you don't feel 'lonely'!" I know teenage me, nor kid me would ever do something like that if Sonic existed. Sonic is all about running free. Even my parents understood that. Eggman call Chris out was so satisfying. These reasons alone make Chris a poorly written OC character.

You raise some good points, but I'd like to point out that:

-Chris doesn't really have "plenty" of human friends. Excluding family/servants, he has Francis, Danny, and...that's really it. You could add Helen, but while they're implied to be together as teenagers, as kid, Helen felt pretty peripheral.

-His parents kind of give him proper attention, but they're not around that much.

-Chris is being selfish when he shuts down the portal, but he's still a kid, and kids do selfish, stupid things at times. He still makes the choice to let Sonic go at the end of the day.

-Eggman calling Chris out? You mean when he explains that he isn't the one behind the time stop issue? I don't think that's really calling him out. Yeah, he points out that Chris is lying to himself, but Chris's reactions at this point are what you'd expect from a 12 year old who's about to lose his bunch of super friends.

The fact he's willing to abandon Earth just to see Sonic again (he's adult by this point), makes a bigger case. He did not know if the teleporter would work or kill him. And when he did make it to the other side, what if could not make it back. His family and friends would not know where he was or presumed dead.

The dialogue makes it clear that Chris has spent a lot of time on the teleporter, so we can assume he took every precaution necessary. And no, he doesn't know if he can come back, but he'd be with Tails, and he's the smartest kid in the series. And as for family and friends, he leaves a note behind - them knowing where he's gone becomes a plot point when the Chaotix try and make a delivery.

I don't care if it was those three kids his age. They cared for him. That's more than enough. And every time is parent showed up, they obviously tried and cared. It's a case of informed flaws and show, don't tell. Yes, he did do the right thing later on, but beside the point. Even 6-12 year-old me would never do something like that. And I had some pretty selfish moments between those ages. As for Eggman, he calls Chris out on how he's using the good doctor as scapegoat. The villain has a major point.

I call bullshit on Chris knowing what the teleporter would do, aside from turning 12 again. I can't speak for the Japanese version, but it was a lazy way to justify Chris's reason to see Sonic. It's selfish no matter how you spin it, and question remains: What happened if something went really wrong. Like I said before, the Sonic X comics handled Chris better than the anime writers. Hell, fan fic writers have done way better job. There was a guy on fanfiction.net who did a Sonic X fan fic, and he was able to adapt Sonic CD/Heroes, Shuffle, Shadow the Hedgehog, Riders, and minor parts of the OVA (Sara). He was able to make them fit or work within in the Sonic X universe. Either enhancing a decent story or turning a terrible stories in to better one. All the way back between 2005-2008. No easy feat at all.

Resident Evil: Apocalypse (5/10)

So I'm kind of on a sort of RE movie rewatch right now - in part because I'm killing time before Doom Eternal releases, in part because debates with CoCage have got me thinking about them. Chances are you'll have read my review of the first film, where I stated that, at the end of the day, I feel the first film holds up. However, having rewatched Apocalypse, I have to say that this film doesn't. Or, rather, it doesn't hold up as well.

Let's quickly acknowledge that this is a rough adaptation of RE3, and of the live-action films, it's the last one that can claim to be an adaptation of anything from the games. Get it? Good. Whatever you think about its status as an adaptation, that's beside the point. Apocalypse has problems, and in part it's due to incongruity with its predecessor. Incongruity that's not nearly as drastic as later films, but it's there all the same. Because among other things, Apocalypse is a very, VERY different film from the first one, and I never realized by how much until now. The first one is action and horror, balancing both. Apocalypse is action, with barely any horror. This isn't bad in of itself, and yes, the games did go down that route as well, but it's a noticable shift, whereas the games kind of eased into action with RE3, before the trend its apotheosis in RE6. But Apocalypse is...weird, in this regard. Weird in that the pacing is off, in that its first 10-20 minutes are fast paced, before things slow down. It's weird, in that the cinematography very often uses a blur effect, or in the case of Alice vs. Nemesis, frequent quick cuts to hide flaws in the directing. I commented in the last review that Anderson used slow-mo a fair bit in the last film (note that Apocalypse isn't directed by Anderson, only written by him), but there, it was style over substance, whereas here, it's non-style trying to hide a lack of substance. And then there's Alice herself. People have commented about Alice being a Mary Sue, about overshadowing characters from the games and whatnot, and while I agree at the end of the day, having watched this film, I have to concede that this is arguably where the rot started (whereas before I'd have been much more sympathetic to the film and her character at this point). Because again, I'm not too worried about the film's adaptation creds, I'm worried that the Alice we see here feels like a completely different character at times. In part, that's down to the action, where her grand debut is her smashing into a church on a motorbike (because reasons), before destroying that bike in a fiery explosion to kill a Licker (because of course you don't need a bike to keep ahead of zombies). In the first film, Alice was better than the commandos, sure, but here, she's better than everyone...mostly. And it's a change that's not just down to the action, but to Alice herself. She's much colder, more detached, etc. And while you could argue that this is due to Umbrella's experiments, it's never really explored, and when she does show compassion, it's kind of jarring. Like, with Peyton, him being infected is "well, sucks to be you," while for Angie it's Mummy!Alice. But the key difference here is that Alice in this film is very much an action star. Even if she's without the powers she'll demonstrate in later films, it's a transition that's already been made, and frankly, I preferred her incarnation in the first film.

On a related note, the "rule of cool" does apply to other characters as well. Jill's debut is entering the RPD and knocking out zombies with headshots (because of course you're going to let off a firearm without warning in a police station). Carlos's debut is him one-shotting zombies with dual pistols while jumping from a helicopter, and later, using throwing knives with pinpoint accuracy. Jill and Carlos may not be as uber as Alice, but that's beside the point. They're action stars, whereas in the first film, the commandos, as good as they were, still struggled to survive.

Speaking of the first film, this film's handling of the T-virus is...off. Excluding the novelizations for now, the first film demonstrated that the T-virus has an initial airborne phase, but apparently dissipates within hours (hence why none of the characters are automatically infected after entering the Hive). Here however, it's airborne...or it isn't...I dunno. It implies that it's airborne, because a guy just keels over while trying to make it out of the city, with Cain commenting that the virus has reached the gate. Later on, the mooks killed at the end start rising up as zombies. So apparently the T-virus stays airborne, and can still infect people...but if that's the case, why isn't everyone infected? Also, what was Umbrella's plan exactly? I'm not talking about the Final Chapter, I mean this movie. Their plan is to let people out of the city, until they don't, until they nuke it and use the cover story of a nuclear meltdown. Putting aside the fact that I don't think meltdowns actually generate nuclear blasts, what about the people they let out of the city? The people who can verify that yes, zombies did roam the streets. Did you guys plan for that?

Fine, okay, so this plot has more holes in it than a zombie who's been shot everywhere but the head, what about the characters? I mean, we get three characters from the games this time, surely that counts for something, right? Well, no. Watching the film, something occurred to me - the film arguably has too many characters. As in, the film has a similar running time to the first one, but is telling its story with far more characters, and as a result, is arguably spreading itself too thin. Again, the first film didn't have deep characters, but it did have quiet moments for those characters, such as when Rain clutches her wounds, or Kaplan deals with survivour's guilt, or when Matt mourns his sister. Whatever the faults of the first film, it at least understood the need for quiet moments, to not only give the audience time to breathe, but let the characters have their moments as well. Apocalypse however, presents everything at breakneck speed, and it shows. We barely know anything about Carlos. We know that Jill has encountered zombies before, and was suspended from STARS, but this is never elaborated on, or even mentioned after newspaper clippings establish the fact. No-one mourns Terri. Nicholai is mourned for all of two seconds. Peyton is mourned a bit, but the film still keeps going. Apocalypse is an action film, sure, but even action films have delivered us good characters with moments of character development. Christ, I realized when watching this that L.J. doesn't even get to fire his custom pistols once.

Y'know, I will confess that of the characters in this film, I've always had a soft spot for Terri, and arguably even more so since DeCandido used her as a punching bag in the novelization. Poor girl's out of her depth (which arguably makes her the best candidate for a survival horror film), is sent to be zombie bait by Jill, and yet is mourned the least for it, despite also getting likely the most painful death in the film. But after having seen it again, I have to admit that it's fondness that isn't really backed up by any depth of character (again, excluding the novelization). I mentioned my soft spot for Kaplan in the first film, but at least Kaplan got his moments to shine, while Terri, if she's remembered at all, is probably more remembered for her death.

So, despite all this, do I think Apocalypse is bad? Well, no. At the end of the day, the film is still fun, at least if I'm in the right moodset for it. It is an action film, and it's action that's effectively non-stop, but it's action I still had fun with at times. The most pertinent example of this is the street battle, with the RPD, STARS, and UBCS on one side, and hordes of zombies on the other (or, rather, all sides, closing in from all directions). Maybe I'm giving it too much credit, maybe I still recall Fear the Walking Dead, where the US Army is hilariously incompetent (or the walkers have plot armour), but whatever - zombies, guns, bullets, explosions. Gimme! And even that aside, there's still fun to be had, as long as you remember that the film is action schlock, and schlock that's even schlockier than the first film. Which, by the way, is still easily superior.

One more thing - I've mostly treated this film only in the context of its predecessor, not holding it responsible for the plot madness of later films, but there's one thing that occurred to me while watching it that I hadn't noticed before. After Alice 'dies,' and is taken to the Umbrella lab, it's stated that the end section happens 3 weeks after the destruction of Raccoon City. However, Extinction states that after Raccoon City, with the T-virus continuing to spread, that the United States fell to the undead "within weeks." So in that context, I don't know what's funnier - that the third film contradicts the second in its opening monologue, or that the people at the Umbrella lab were potentially just chilling out while the world collapsed around them (not to mention that Jill and co. were also apparently unperturbed that outside said lab, the world has gone to shit). I mean, it's obviously just a continuity goof, but I will admit, the second option does have an appeal to it, in that it would fit in with Umbrella's sociopathy. Sociopathy that's extended to pretty much everyone in Umbrella in this film (where their black-clad troopers are basically stormtroopers), where the finale is a battle against those troopers and helicopters, where the film ends with a rock song, and the feeling of "wait, wasn't this originally a film about undead hordes, not mega-corporations that run the world?" I dunno. I do know that the first film made a point that the commandos aren't really bad people, that they're working for an amoral company, but here, that level of moral ambiguity is decreased...which is more than I can say for future films where the moral ambiguity is non-existent.

So, yes. At the end of the day, I will admit that Apocalypse is a guilty pleasure for me. But does that make it GOOD? Hell no. The first film has flaws, but I genuienly believe that it does hold up at the end of the day. The second film however, can only be enjoyed if you treat it as a guilty pleasure, and/or you like copious amounts of human vs. zombie or human vs. human action, the latter of which has been done much better.

Hawki:
After Alice 'dies,' and is taken to the Umbrella lab, it's stated that the end section happens 3 weeks after the destruction of Raccoon City. However, Extinction states that after Raccoon City, with the T-virus continuing to spread, that the United States fell to the undead "within weeks." So in that context, I don't know what's funnier - that the third film contradicts the second in its opening monologue, or that the people at the Umbrella lab were potentially just chilling out while the world collapsed around them (not to mention that Jill and co. were also apparently unperturbed that outside said lab, the world has gone to shit).

Every film from here on more less decided that the sequel hook at the end of the previous one was going in the wrong direction.

Hawki:
I do know that the first film made a point that the commandos aren't really bad people, that they're working for an amoral company, but here, that level of moral ambiguity is decreased...which is more than I can say for future films where the moral ambiguity is non-existent.

Yeah, also bugs me that the heroes are totally ok with killing Umbrella security people, despite two of them being Umbrella security people themselves. Before they see the Nemesis monster, presumably they thought that the mooks guarding the helicopter were there to shoot zombies or something. Which...means you can murder them if you don't see their faces?

Also, nobody ever tries to justify Umbrellas actions. You could have at least tried to pretend the bad guy might not have been so evil, he's just ok with killing civilians to stop the zombies destroying the world. Defensible position to take.

Thaluikhain:

Every film from here on more less decided that the sequel hook at the end of the previous one was going in the wrong direction.

Yep, pretty much. :(

Yeah, also bugs me that the heroes are totally ok with killing Umbrella security people, despite two of them being Umbrella security people themselves. Before they see the Nemesis monster, presumably they thought that the mooks guarding the helicopter were there to shoot zombies or something. Which...means you can murder them if you don't see their faces?

It's a fair point. I will give it some leeway though in that it's a fairly common trope, namely the "faceless grunt" type. Take Star Wars for instance - after Finn turns turncoat, does he ever have any trouble killing Stormtroopers? He's called a traitor by that one guy, but has no problems killing them.

Also, nobody ever tries to justify Umbrellas actions. You could have at least tried to pretend the bad guy might not have been so evil, he's just ok with killing civilians to stop the zombies destroying the world. Defensible position to take.

That however, is probably giving Umbrella too much credit. Even if we accept that the T-virus remains airborne indefinitely (something that apparently contradicts the first film), they're clearly doing it to save their own skin, alleviating any blame they might have. It's not in the film, but the novelization memtions that they shut down the phone lines, as they wanted to contain the incident in terms of info as well as infection.

Now, obviously there's good people in Umbrella itself (e.g. Carlos does his hero thing that has the moral highground), but the company itself doesn't. At the end of the day, they're cleaning up a mess that they created.

...a mess that they apparently created intentionally, so why they're bothering at all in this film I dunno, but like I said, trying to look at Apocalypse only in the continuity of the first two films.

Hawki:
That however, is probably giving Umbrella too much credit. Even if we accept that the T-virus remains airborne indefinitely (something that apparently contradicts the first film), they're clearly doing it to save their own skin, alleviating any blame they might have.

True, though I think that was lazy on the film-makers behalf.

Oh, another thing that bugs me. After their last team got killed off, they send another team in...which seems to 3 people this team (and some others that were going to hang around outside). They are wearing biohazard suits and have guns, but seemingly no other equipment, no reloads or anything. You want the second team to be bigger and better equipped than the first one.

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