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My Little Pony: The Movie (2017)
It only made eight million during its opening weekend? Why???
Funny, I thought the series this film is a continuation of was massively popular with both children and adults. So why is it that now that there's a theatrically-released movie out, hardly anyone's going to see it? Are all the bronies, pegasisters and kids who are fans of the "My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic" TV series really not that interested in seeing the shows heroines in an adventure on the big screen?
To be perfectly fair and honest, the film does have its flaws: Discord is nowhere to be seen, with no explanation at all. (OK, I get it: with his extremely powerful magic he could vanquish all the bad guys in half a minute, so they couldn't have him there, but couldn't they have stated a reason for his absence? Like maybe he's taking a trip in the chaos realm and can't be reached by anyone for the next several days?) The main bad guy the Storm King has a comedic side to his personality, which means he's not quite as menacing as, say, Queen Chrysalis or Tirek, and the film seems to completely forget that Twilight has the ability to teleport.
Those problems aside, though, I thought this was a wonderful movie, very well made. The characters (both old and new) were all great, the voice actors all did a fine job, the songs were a treat, the plot kept me interested to see what would happen next, the action scenes were fun, and the animation was a nice return to the old traditional animation. Which just made it all the more disheartening that, both times I saw it (just two days after it debuted in theaters, no less) I could count the number of other people in the theater with me on just two hands!
To anyone who's a fan of the current MLP series: here's your chance to see a My Little Pony story in theaters. Please do yourself a favor and go see it now! (While you still can)
The Hit Girl (2013)
A must-see for anyone who likes action/comedies and/or body swap films
Bill is a middle-aged hit-man who only kills bad people. (Drug lords, sex-slave trafficers, etc.) One night, just before going on another assignment, he stops by to visit his sister, a single mom with a teenage daughter Suzy who's a huge film geek. (Neither of his family members know what he actually does for a living.) During the visit, Suzy tells him about what a hard time she's having in school. Bill thinks she's making a mountain out of a mole hill. She tells him he has no idea what being a teenage girl is like. While resting his hand on an antique statue, Bill off-handedly wishes he had the problems of a teenage girl. The next morning, when he wakes up, Bill discovers to his horror he has magically transformed from a forty-something-year-old man into a fifteen-year-old girl! Now, with help from Suzy, Bill must not only adjust to life as an adult man trapped in a teen girls body, he (or she) must, with somehow complete his/her new assignment without her former physical strength.
The film has great action scenes, comedic moments, and likable characters. The DVD has a commentary track and a short behind-the-scenes skit. If you like action/comedy and/or body swap films, give this a watch.
Stâshippu operêtâzu (2005)
Excellent sci-fi anime
The 73rd class of cadets of the Defense University of the planet Kibi is out on a training voyage in the battle ship Amaterasu are heading home when they see on the news the Kingdom of Henrietta has invaded and taken over Kibi. The cadets, led by Cisca Kanzaki, Shinto Kouzuki, Rio Mamiya, Takai Kiryu and Shinto Mikami decide to wage a one-ship war against the kingdom, despite overwhelming odds. For supplies and funding the cadets contact the Galaxy News Network and agree to have a reporter, Dita Mircov, join the crew and provide the show with real life action packed space battles against the Kingdom. The show's producer Peter Spikes cares first and foremost about ratings, and little about the crew's lives. Soon after the first battle Kibi's former prime minister Tatsuma Mamiya, Rio's uncle, joins them as well so the ship and it's crew can be declared a nation in exile. The seemingly hopeless war against the kingdom begins...
The story, animation and characters are all fantastic, just what you'd expect from any worthwhile anime these days. If you like watching anime in English and you've seen INUYASHA, you'll notice a few familiar voices. There's Kelly Sheridan (Sango from INUYASHA) as Sinon, Kirby Morrow (Miroku from INUYASHA) as Takai and Paul Dobson (Myoga and Naraku from INUYASHA) as Peter Spikes.
Also the characters here are serious and intelligent, there are no ditsy, child-like characters in this show. If you're a fan of anime and/or space opera, check this one out.
Megami Tengoku (1995)
The story is set in a world populated entirely by beautiful goddesses. It is watched over by a head Mother Goddess, and is kept pure by a special gem known as the Astrostar. When the current mother goddess prepares to retire and chooses a successor, the new mother goddess picks a girl to be a shrine maiden to act as a guard for the mother goddess and the Astrostar. The girl, Lilith, must now find other goddesses to be fellow shrine maidens. Lilith asks one girl, Stasia, who plays the harp, if she wants to be a maiden, but Stasia's not interested. Then Lilith meets Rurubell, a young goddess who wants to be a maiden, but Lilith doesn't think she has what it takes and is reluctant to take her, but Rurubell insists on tagging along. Then Lilith tries to recruit Juliana, a fierce swords woman. However, there exists an alternate plane ruled by an evil dark goddess and her followers, who want to take over the realm of the good goddesses. They send Maharaja, another harp player who has the power to take control of people, Angela, a dark goddess with a staff and elf ears who can summon monsters, Rouge, another swords woman who can also throw energy balls, and Pastel, direct messenger to the dark mother goddess. They attack and knock out several of the good goddesses, and soon it looks as if Lilith and Rurubell are the culprits. Now they must clear their names and defeat the dark goddesses.
In episode 2, as the new mother goddess is having her coronation, the bad guys return and kidnap Lilith and steal the Astrostar. Stasia and Juliana go out to rescue her and get the Astrostar back, insisting the Rurubell stay behind. All of Megami Paradise hangs in the balance.
I'd really love to see this one to get a DVD release. And though it may be hoping for too much, it'd be even better if they made a dub for it, like they did for the original ALL PURPOSE CULTURAL CAT GIRL NUKU NUKU video series.
Grey: Dijitaru tâgetto (1986)
I really wish they'd give this a DVD release
GREY: DIGITAL TARGET is set in a future a few centuries from now, when the world is a wasteland ruled by a super computer. Humans live poverty-stricken lives in towns. The only chance for a better life is to become a trooper and then earn points by killing troopers from other towns and completing enough missions to eventually become a citizen and then be taken to the city where all citizens live lives of luxury. The only thing is, of all the people who become troopers, only %3 live to achieve their ultimate goal. Grey is a trooper who has gained legendary status by killing an especially large number of enemies and climbed through the ranks at an especially fast rate, and has earned the nickname "Grey Death". When Grey learns that his old friend and mentor Red, the man who taught Grey how to survive, was attacked and captured while out in the field, Grey violates orders and steals a plane from his own town and, along with female trooper Nova, the only other one to survive Grey's last mission, he goes out on a personal mission to bring back Red.
Based on a manga, I like the anime better for one reason, that one character who dies halfway through the manga lives in the anime. It made the story more interesting to me. I would really love to see this get a DVD release some day.
Makai senki disgaea (2006)
Don't worry, this show is complete!
This is one of the last shows to be released by Geneon, the anime company that recently went bankrupt. For anyone wondering if this is one of those shows that got dropped in the middle (like KARIN,) fear not: this show is in fact meant to be exactly 3 disks long, all the episodes of the show are here.
The story: Flonne is an angel-in-training sent down from Celestia (Heaven) to the Netherworld (Hell) to assassinate the demon overlord. As the show begins, she finds a coffin with the young demon prince Laharl inside, who wakes soon after it's opened. It turns out his father the demon overlord is already dead. None too bothered by that, Laharl sets out to reclaim his throne. Flonne tags along, determined to teach Laharl the value of love. Soon they are joined by Etna, a female demon who commands an army of prennies (lost souls who resemble penguins.) It turns out a ten million bounty has been placed on Laharl's head, and now all sorts of demons are after him. The trio must also deal with a group from Earth who've arrived in their dimension-traveling ship: a man (the heroic and dramatic but brainless type,) a woman (a scantly-clad vixen,) and their robot.
I had a great time watching this series. I highly recommend it for anyone who loves fantasy-adventure-comedy anime.
Tales of the Third Dimension (1984)
Horror anthology 3-D style
This is one of six 3-D films released in the 1980s by a man named Earl Owensby. They're all very fun movies, but also very hard to find. All but one are VHS-only films. Your best bet of finding them (assuming you haven't thrown out your VCR,) is to go to the website www.earlowensby.com and buy them online. The films are:
CHAIN GANG (1984) HIT THE ROAD RUNNING DOGS OF HELL HYPERSPACE*
*This is the only film in the group that has been released on DVD.
(There is also another 3-D film Owensby released called HOT HEIR a.k.a. THE GREAT BALLOON CHASE, however it's not available for purchasing.)
This anthology horror/comedy film is presented to us in a cemetery at night by a living, rotting corpse who calls himself Igor and speaks from his open grave. He is also accompanied by some talking vultures who are modeled after the Three Stooges and Laurel and Hardy. The three stories are:
Two people who work at an adoption center, Dudley and Ms. Markette, are called over to a mansion at night near a graveyard by a couple who call themselves the count and countess. They speak with Transylvanian accents, and the Count wears a red and black cape. Dudley doesn't like the looks of them, but Ms. Markette finds it somehow impossible to refuse their requests to adopt a child, especially when the count gazes directly into her eyes. Soon the vampire couple have gotten custody of a young boy. What the two vampires don't know is he's an even more terrifying monster than they are...
In the second story, two men, Charlie and Freddy, meet with a gravedigger, Nigel, seemingly friendly. In fact they are using Nigel to get info on where and when someone rich has died and taken some valuable jewels to the grave with them. Later in the night they go dig up the grave and steal the jewels. Then Charlie gets a plan for a really big score. He's heard of some underground catacombs where there's supposed to be lots of valuables hidden underneath. The two go re-visit Nigel, and Charlie is able to force Nigel to tell them where the entrance is. What neither of the two grave robbers know is the underground tomb contains some deadly surprises...
In the last story, two young children, Dennis and Suzie, are sent to spend the holidays with their grandmother while their parents go on vacation in Hawaii. What no one else knows is grandma needs to be on medication to stay sane, otherwise she goes dangerously crazy...and she's almost run out of pills.
If you like horror mixed with broad comedy, this is a great film to watch. Again, though, the previously-mentioned website may be the only place now to get it, and you'll need a VCR.
Hit the Road Running (1983)
A hidden gem.
This is one of six films that was released in the early 1980s by Earl Owensby in 3-D. The others were:
HOT HEIR (a.k.a. THE GREAT BALLOON CHASE) CHAIN GANG (1984) TALES OF THE THIRD DIMENSION DOGS OF HELL HYPERSPACE.
Other than HYPERSPACE, none of these films were ever released on DVD, so unless you still have a VCR, that's the only one you'll be able to see. These are extremely hard to find movies. Your best bet if you want to see them are to go to the website (www.earlowensby.com) and buy them online. (HOT HEIR wasn't available, at least when I visited the site, and it's the one film out of that group that I still haven't seen.
As for this movie, it was clearly inspired by the popular T.V. show DUKES OF HAZZARD. It has many country western-style songs that play throughout, and the singer acts as a narrator. It tells the story of Beau Jim Donner (Beau is pronounced "Bo", F.Y.I.) who after years of traveling the world returns to his rural home town in Indean Head County. The town is now under the thumb of wealthy tyrant Sam Grady, who holds morgages on everyone's lands and keeps people in debt to him. He uses intimidation and thuggish tactics to take over independent businesses. When Jim's uncle Rusty refused to sell out, Sam had him crippled and confined to a wheelchair. The law isn't much of a problem since Sam's had the town's own sheriff, Little Leon, personally appointed. After coming home and seeing what's happened, Jim becomes a deputy and then secretly works behind the scenes to sabotage Sam's plans, such as intercepting a truck that Sam's had hijacked, and then calling the State Police. The mysterious, unidentified Robin Hood has become a local folk hero, and the radio D.J. Freighttrain Fremont has high praise for him. Jim lives at home with Rusty and Jim's friend Fred T., and Jim often quotes words of wisdom he's heard from various people while traveling the world. After six months of covertly messing up Sam's plans, Jim catches Sam speeding. A high-speed chase begins, and soon Jim has Sam pulled over for refusing to pull over for the police. When Leon comes by later and sees his boss in a jail cell, he lets Sam out, and Sam is now ready to go after Jim. Jim, at the urging of Rusty, leaves town with his friend Fred T. tagging along, and Sam sends Leon and his deputy Hector Jones after them. Sam's main thug Monty also goes out on his own to try to get Jim. From this point on the film becomes a series of car chases and near misses as Jim manages to stay one step ahead of his pursuers. Eventually after a few narrow escapes Fred T. decides a life of danger isn't for him and he gets on a bus and goes back to town while Jim goes on alone.
This film has a great deal of humor and exciting car chases. If you're a DUKES OF HAZZARD fan, you'll love this. If you haven't thrown out your VCR, I recommend visiting the earlowensby site and buying this film, unless there's a video store that specialized in hard-to-find films that's close to you that has it.
Inuyasha: Ôgi ranbu (2005)
A remake of "InuYasha: A Feudal Fairytale"
The second InuYasha fighting video game to come out in the U.S., in many ways it is a big improvement over the first, "InuYasha: A Feudal Fairytale" for the original Playstation, but in at least one way it's a major downside. I'll be going over the similarities and differences between the two games.
The first InuYasha game used the original Japanese voice actors to do the characters. This one uses the American ones. I'm a fan of the dub, so for me this was a big step up (although the Japanese voice actors do a great job, I'm just used to the U.S. dub), however purists will understandably be irked by this.
The graphics are undoubtedly a great improvement. The first game had a 2-D background (like most fighting games,) where you could only move your characters forward and backward, but not all over the map. That's changed here.
Both games have a "story mode" and a "vs. mode" where you select one or two characters and battle in a single match against a friend or the computer.
The first game had three mini-games which were in the story mode and you could access from Kagome's backpack after beating the game as her. Those games aren't found here, however there is an alternate "mission mode" where you pick a character to play as and a partner, and then select one of several areas on a map, each area has three progressively harder missions. Some are INSANELY tough, such as where your partner is one hit away from dying and you must protect him/her from the enemy, who has full health.
The story mode is pretty cool, however it's a let-down in that I could only unlock four games! (InuYasha's chapter, Miroku and Sango's, Sesshomaru's, and Shippo's) This is a major downside from the first game, which had eleven different stories, one for each playable character. Each story itself is fun, though, with the dialogue scenes before and after each match played out with moving animation (the dialogue scenes in the first game were just still images of the characters with dialogue spoken and shown in text). Also the enemies you fought in the first game in the story mode would be selected randomly by the computer, for example when fighting as InuYasha in one game you may have to fight Koga and in another game you might fight with him against Kagura. In this game each character's story is the same anytime you play.
To summarize, this is in most ways an improvement of the first game, but it really needed more stories.
Why are two completely different shows listed as one on this site?
First, it should be noted that these are in fact two different series, but for some reason IMDb has them listed on as one. They're both based on manga stories by the same person, Rumiko Takahashi, and they're both released by Geneon and thus feature many of the same English dub voice actors (I don't know about the Japanese ones,) but that's about where the similarities end. There is the "MERMAID FORREST" T.V. series, which is one (fairly) long-running series that tells an ongoing story. (Although both the Mermaid manga and the anime leave a few loose ends hanging that never get resolved, for example that little immortal boy never gets killed, the one thing that left me dissatisfied with it.) Then there is "RUMIKO TAKAHASHI ANTHOLOGY", which is a series of self-contained stories, each containing it's own situation and set of characters.
Even the tone of the two shows is very different. The Mermaid series is another fantasy by Takahashi (though a much darker one,) while the stories in "Anthology" tend to be more realistic, with a few exceptions. (For example, one story has an actual "gremlin" which only one woman can see.) More importantly, though, "Mermaid Forrest" is a horror story (and often times a pretty graphic one,) while the stories in "Anthology" are much more light-hearted, though they do sometimes venture into the realm of suspense. (In one story a woman begins to suspect her next-door-neighbor may have murdered her mother-in-law, while in another tale a girl becomes afraid that her family's latest outing is in fact a planned suicide.) Each show is well-worth seeing (though again Mermaid Forrest does leave you feeling like you haven't seen the complete ending,) however it must be stressed that again they are in fact two different shows. Trying to lump them together is like trying to take two different shows like "Tales From The Crypt" and "The Cosbys" and then trying to say they're both the same show.
A game any Inu-Yasha fan should own.
This is one of 4 Inu-Yasha video games available (counting the online game, which can be reached at the adultswim website).
As for this game, however, it's for the original Playstation. It can't be found on amazon website, which is a shame, because it's a lot of fun to play.
You can adjust the game between 5 levels of difficulty, which affects how well the computer-controlled opponents fight you. You can also adjust how long fights are; you can have each round have a time limit of 30, 60 or 90 seconds, or no time limit, where each round only ends when one or both fighters have been knocked out, and whether you want each match to be best 2-out-of-3 rounds, best 3-out-of-5 rounds, or for each match to be just 1 round.
There are 3 types of games you can play. One is the Vs. Fairytale mode, where you play 1 match as 1 of the characters against another character who is played either by the computer or by another player, and Dream Fairytale, where you select 2 characters and have them fight against 2 other characters in tag-team mode. You can play the Dream Fairytale game either with just you against the computer, with a friend against the computer, or you can play against your friend with each of you controlling 2 characters.
Then there is the 1-player-only Feudal Fairytale mode where you take control of one of the characters (in the beginning you can only play as Inu-Yasha or Kagome, but as you beat the game you can unlock and play as the other characters) and you find yourself on a map of the area. You send your character to different points on the map and must defeat the other characters. There is a dialogue exchange between the characters before and after every match. You must win 5 battles (sometimes you must fight against 2 characters by yourself, sometimes you get to join another character in fighting a lone opponent,) and after winning all the fights the barrier around Naraku's castle falls and you must enter and defeat Naraku. The other characters you battle (the exact ones you fight against in each game are selected randomly by the computer,) are: Shippo, Miroku, Sango, Koga, Sesshomaru, Kagura and Kikyo. These are the characters you can unlock and play as later on, including Naraku. (You can also play against Kagome when playing as Inu-Yasha, or against Inu-Yasha when playing as Kagome.) There are also 2 mini-games in each level that you can play, however these are optional, and you must play them BEFORE fighting all 5 regular matches if you want to play them at all; any mini-games that are left over disappear when Naraku's barrier falls. You have one chance to play each mini-game per game, but you don't have to beat them to advance; win or lose, after the mini-game's over you move on. You must also collect a certain number of jewel shards in each game when playing as each character. You can collect shards by playing and beating the mini-games, and some characters have between one and four shards which you can collect. (Each character have a certain move that makes other characters drop shards if they are carrying any.)
More on the mini-games: there are 3 types. Each mini-game has a time limit, and depending on how well you do you can get anywhere from 1 to 3 shards, or none if you do really badly. The mini-games are: Myoga has found a huge rock and says shards are in it. You must smash open the rock within 30 seconds to get the shards. Then there is one where Jaken has gotten 3 shards that he plans to take to Sesshomaru. You must try to get them from him, however he has his flame-shooting staff with him and you must slash your way through the flames before you can get to him. You have 60 seconds to do this. How many shards you get depends on how much time you have left when you beat Jaken. Fail to get through his defenses before your time is up and you get no shards at all. In both theses games a poison insect periodically flies across the screen, and if it hits you it stuns you for a moment. You must try to hit it before that happens. The final mini-game is where a whole swarm of poison insects fly across the screen, and you must swat 45 within 60 seconds. How many shards you get depends on how many insects you hit. Swat all 45 to get all three shards. In all 3 mini-games at certain points a character in peril will appear being carried by an insect. Fail to rescue the character and you lose 5 seconds.
There is also an eleventh character you can play as. Unlock and beat the game as all 10 of the other characters, and when playing as Kikyo and Naraku (the last 2 to become available,) collect as many shards as you can when playing as each one of them. Then sit and watch the end credit sequence. Afterwards you get a special message screen from Myoga telling you how to unlock the special hidden character Totosai. Complete the required goals and Totosai becomes available. You can fight against him as any of the other characters in any of the game modes, or you can play as Totosai. Play as him in Feudal Fairytale mode and get the required number of jewel shards, and you unlock Full-Demon Inu-Yasha. Now you can fight against Full-Demon Inu-Yasha as any of the other characters in Vs, Dream or Feudal Fairytale mode. (You can't fight against Full-Demon Inu-Yasha when playing as regular Inu-Yasha in Feudal Fairytale mode, but you can in Vs. or Dream Fairytale mode.) You also can't fight AS Full-Demon Inu-Yasha in Feudal Fairytale mode, but you can in Vs. and Dream Fairytale mode.
Rumik World: Faiyâ torippâ (1986)
Rumiko Takahashi's precursor to INU-YASHA
As someone else stated, this is clearly the shorter, rough draft for INU-YASHA, a story about a modern, Japanese high school girl who is transported back in time to the futile era and meets and befriends a young, rough-around-the-edges warrior.
Based on a short manga story of the same name (which can be found in one of the "Rumik World" short manga story collection books,) it tells the story of Suzu, the afore-mentioned modern high-school girl who is walking home with neighborhood elementary school boy Shuhe (pronounced,"Shoe"). They pass by a gas plant, when suddenly there is a leak and the building explodes. Somehow, instead of being obliterated, Suzu is transported back in time to Japan's medieval period! She is attacked by bandits with evil intentions, but luckily before they can do anything a young warrior, Shukumaru, comes with his friends and kills the assailants. He takes Suzu back to his village, where Suzu meets among others a little girl, Suhu, who is Shukumaru's younger sister. He gives his sister a bell that is just like the one Suzu had. Over the next few days Suzu develops an uneasy friendship with Shukumaru (think the kind of relationships that are typical for Takahashi stories, where at times she can't stand him and at times she finds herself liking him quite a bit.) But then Suzu finds a set of Shuhe's clothes in the village. It seems that he too was transported back in time! Suzu wants to look for him, but there is an impending problem in that more of the bandits are expected to attack the village soon, and even if she survives, will Suzu ever be able to return home...? Even as short as it is, (and the animation is clearly of the older "early-to-mid 1980's" Japanese animation,) the story is a beautiful one, and you really get attached to the characters and come to care about them. It's no wonder to me that Takahashi decided to return to and expand on this idea with INU-YASHA. Sadly, although FIRE TRIPPER was indeed dubbed (and subtitled) into English and released on VHS in the U.S., it apparently fell under the radar, and now is nearly impossible to get ahold of. I can only hope that some day, preferably before long, it gets released on DVD. This has happened to such hidden gems as ROCK & RULE, CHOPPING MALL, FIRE & ICE, CHEERLEADER CAMP and DATE WITH AN ANGEL, so I suppose it's always possible.
The Mighty Kong (1998)
This one is strictly for kids
I guess the fact that this film exists would make the upcoming one by Peter Jackson the third KING KONG remake. (After this one and the much under-rated Dino De Laurentis 1976 film.) Instead of appealing to all ages like the live-action KONG films (though some parts in those movies might actually scare the really young ones, especially the '76 remake). Anyway. The key differences here, other than it's done in cartoon, are that the heroine is much more outspoken, there is a cabin boy and his "cute" pet monkey on the ship, (don't ask what they're doing there,) the inclusion of Broadway-type moments where characters break out into song, and, of course, the violence is toned way, way down. In fact, if I remember correctly, (it's been some years since I saw this,) not a single character dies in the entire movie. And I suppose I'm blowing the ending here, but it must be said: at the end of the film, after Kong's battled the fighter biplanes, (somehow without showing a single bloody bullet hole, 'cause, you know, it's a kid's movie,) and falling off the Empire State building, and the line,"'Twas beauty that killed the beast.", guess what? No, Kong DIDN'T die! Yes, the filmmakers decided to tack on a phony happy ending to please the kids. And when Kong turns out to still be alive, (after being shot about a hundred times by the planes and falling off the Empire State building,) the crowd erupts in cheers. Yes, the giant ape that was terrorizing New York just moments earlier is still alive, and everyone's happy about it! Whatever. Unless you have youngsters you think would like this, don't bother unless you're a die-hard KONG completest. (And I mean if your collection includes KING KONG LIVES. Yes, even that notorious bomb just might still be better than this one.)
Sureiyâzu puremiamu (2001)
An OAV adventure that takes place between the second and third TV series
This review assumes the reader is familiar with SLAYERS.
After defeating Hell Master Phebrizzo at the end of SLAYERS NEXT, Lina Inverse and Gourry Gabriev part ways with the others (like they do at the end of each TV series,) and come to a small coastal town where the favorite delicacy is occtopi. Only after they go into a restaurant and Gourry feasts on some occtopi do they learn of the curse: whoever eats this occtopi falls under a curse, where s/he can only speak in occtopese. Soon Amelia and Zelgadis show up, and they too fall under the curse that the still-alive occtopi have placed under the townsfolk as revenge for dinning on them. Now it's up to Lina and Gourry to travel to the occtopi's underwater lair to put an end to the curse.
Though quite short, this is one SLAYERS episode any true fan should see.
Star Wars: TIE Fighter (1994)
The best Star Wars game ever!
Actually, that comment may be inviting great disagreement, given the many Star Wars games that have come out since. But this one occupies a warm place in my heart, for one important reason: ever since seeing the first Star Wars movie, I'd always wondered what it would be like to pilot an Imperial TIE fighter in the service of the Empire against the Rebel Alliance.
In this game you start off flying unsheilded craft: the TIE fighter, bomber, (easily the worst ship you have to fly in the game due to both it's snail-like speed and it's lack of sheilds,) and the interceptor, the best of the unsheilded fighters (though, sadly, you only get to fly it in four missions in the entire game). Many people may not like the idea of flying ships with no sheilds, but here are some vital tips to get you through without having to replay any one mission too many times: Always get behind the rebel fighters and attack their backs. This will keep you out of the way of their blasters. Frequently push the E key to use your targeting computer to see if any enemy ships have targeted you. If you find the situation too hot to handle, call for your wingmen to come to your aid (Shift C,) or fly close to a friendly capital ship or platform. (There will always be one nearby, since unsheilded Imperial craft also lack hyperdrives.) If the missions are still too hard to beat, you can lower the difficulty level to easy, though that will result in point loss. In later missions you'll get to fly sheilded craft such as the Assault Gunboat, the TIE Advanced, (also referred to as the "TIE Avenger",) and the never-before-seen TIE Defender, the most powerful fighter in the game. If you're a Star Wars fan, this is a must-have.
More mechanical mayhem from Stephen King
This story bears some similar themes to another Stephen King film, MAXIMUM OVERDRIVE (which, by the way, was based on one of his earlier short stories, TRUCKS, and which was remade more than twenty years later as a film by the same name as the original short story.) The main difference between MAXIMUM OVERDRIVE and TRUCKS (both the short story and the 1997 remake) with the book and film CHRISTEN is that, in the stories about the trucks, lots of different machines came to murderous life, but otherwise stayed the same as they were before, meaning you could still destroy them just as easily. Blow a truck up, it stays blown up. Not so here. There's only one living automobile in this story, but it/she's virtually indestructible.
There's really not much I can say about the plot that hasn't been said already. I will say that, in all the dozens of films in which I've heard the song,"Bad To The Bone", here seems to be the best place to have it. While the songs in other films seems to refer to a hero who isn't afraid to get rough when he has to (TERMINATOR 2), or a kid with a mean-streak (PROBLEM CHILD 1&2, the PARENT TRAP remake), the song in this film refers to Christen, who really IS bad, and will kill anyone who gets in her way, without second thought. The song is played at the beginning and during the end credits, and the opening scene in the film is one of the coolest I've ever seen in a movie.
Lastly, I know this will never, ever happen, but here's a crossover that I always thought would be a funny idea: Christen Vs. Herbie, the Love Bug.
Excellent horror movie, but what does the Creep say?
This isn't really a review so much as it is talking about what the Creep says before each story. When we see the title of each segment, we see a written paragraph from the Creep, but then we pass it by before we can read it. Watching this on tape, I paused at each title sequence and wrote down what is said.
Heh, heh! Greetings kiddies, and welcome to the first issue of Creepshow, the magazine that dares to answer the question "Who goes there?"
Heh, Heh! Hello again kiddies...My last story was so grim it even frightened me! So I decided to head for the hills...you know the other side of the mountain where the grass is always greener...heh heh... which brings to mind another tale.
(Here there is a picture of the Creep watering a plant.)
THE LONESOME DEATH OF JORDY VERILL
Heh, heh! Hello again kiddies! My last story was so grueling I thought I'd take a vacation...A little trip to the seashore. Of course, this reminds me of another awful ancepote. But the tide's coming in, so I'd better get started. I call this one...
SOMETHING TO TIDE YOU OVER
Heh, heh! Welcome, kiddies...I don't know about you but I'm feeling a bit edgy! Maybe I'm still feeling the effects of our last story, or maybe it's just because I haven't been out in a long time. That's it! I've got that boxed in feeling, Heh heh! Which reminds me of another tale in my lurid lexicon. A little fem fable called...
(At the end of The Crate, there is another quick blurb from the Creep)
Heh, heh! You can't drown your fears that easily, Henry! On to our next tale...
Heh, heh! Well, kiddies...it seems you caught me moonlighting! Let me tell you, this job is enough to drive you bugs! The li'l suckers hide everywhere! Take it from me, kiddies, you've gotta stay alert, because...
(Here we see the Creep with a safari hat standing by a spider web; odd, since the last story has nothing to do with spiders.)
THEY'RE CREEPING UP ON YOU!
Great show, but has some poor choices
Of course, it's never possible to please everyone, and with a list like this you're always going to get some people who strongly disagree with certain choices, as everyone has different opinions on who the greatest movie heroes and villains are. Even so, I have to point out some glaring errors on this list.
Travis Bickle from TAXI DRIVER is not a villain. The first time he commits an act of violence in the film, he shoots a robber who's threatening to kill a convenience store clerk. Then he saves a young girl from a life of prostitution by killing the pimps. This guy is no more a villain than Dirty Harry Callahan.
Then there's Hans Grubber from DIE HARD. No matter how well-written and acted Hans is, he's the main bad guy in an action film. His main reason for being is to be ultimately defeated by the hero. We all knew Hans would be beaten before the first time we even saw DIE HARD. I also felt the same way about Goldfinger, but at least James Bond made the best heroes list. Why isn't John Mclaine on the hero's list?
Now, I know millions more would have been greatly upset with AFI if they didn't include her on the list, or if they hadn't ranked her so high, but one villain I think really dosen't belong anywhere on the list of greatest villains (much less in the #3 slot!) is the Wicked Witch Of The West. Already I'm sure thousands of internet users will hate me and think I'm an idiot for even suggesting such a thing, but I think the Witch from The Wizard Of Oz has got to be the most grossly overrated villain in the whole history of film for just one reason: the way she is killed. She sets her broom on fire and is ready to burn the Scarecrow, and then Dorothy pours water on the broom, and some water gets on the Witch, and she evaporates. WOW! How convenient that water JUST HAPPENED to be her Achellie's Heel! I mean, come on! A big part of what defines a hero in a story is how s/he defeats the villain. As Renny Harlin once said,"The more powerful your villain is, the more powerful the hero is." Dorothy doesn't use her brains to figure out how to beat the Witch, it's just a happy accident that water gets on her and that just happens to be the thing that kills her. I mean, what the @#%*?! After seeing that scene, I wondered whether the Witch perhaps had some cousin somewhere who'd vaporize if someone sneezed in her direction.
Anyway. With each hero and villain we get commentary from stars being interviewed on their thoughts on the character. Sometimes I did not disagree with the hero or villain being placed, but I disagreed with some of the comments. For example, Hal 9000 from 2001: A SPACE ODDESSY was on the list, and someone described Hal as being pure evil and wanting very badly to kill the astronauts. This oversimplification just isn't true. What happens is (for reasons never given in the film) Hal makes a mistake while on the voyage and tells the two astronauts a system will break down, and upon examination they find there's nothing wrong with it. The two men then discuss shutting Hal down. Hal finds out, and acts out in a move of self-preservation and for the sake of completing the mission they've been sent out on.
Also, Reagan McNeil from THE EXORCIST is on the best villains list. For the record, people, Reagan was a victim (or, rather, THE victim) in THE EXORCIST. The villain was the demon possessing her. Is that all clear?
Then there's the opening prologue just before Arnold Swartzenagger gives his introduction, where classical music plays over quick images from various films. Strangely enough, there are some films that have scenes shown during the prologue where nether any of the heroes or villains from that film made the main list. The characters from these films (Shall we call them the runners up?) are:
For the heroes: "Bandit" Bo Darville (SMOKEY AND THE BANDIT) Forrest Gump, Josey Wales (THE OUTLAW JOSEY WALES) Coffie, Dick Tracy, John Rambo(The RAMBO trilogy) Lee (ENTER THE DRAGON) Natalie Cook, Dylan Sanders & Alex Munday (CHARLIE'S ANGELS) Egon, Raymond, Peter & Winston (GHOSTBUSTERS) Gene Kranz (APOLLO 13) The Enterprize crew (STAR TREK) Lt. Pete "Maverick" Mitchell (TOP GUN) Lara Croft (TOMB RAIDER) Ben Hur, William Wallace, (BRAVEHEART) Thomas "Neo" Anderson (THE MATRIX)
For the villains: Agent Smith (THE MATRIX) Dr. Evil (AUSTIN POWERS) Gillman (THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON) Jason Voorhees (the Friday THE 13TH saga) Larry Talbot (THE WOLFMAN) Graf Orlok (NOSFERATU: THE VAMPIRE)The zombies (NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD) Maleficent (SLEEPING BEAUTY) The Butcher (GANGS OF NEW YORK)
Finally, just for the sake of nit-picking, here are two other heroes and two villains who I would have liked to have seen make the list but didn't: Kyle Reese and Luke Skywalker, The Predator and Michael Meyers (from the HALLOWEEN movies)
Legend of the Last Labyrinth (1997)
An uncompleted story.
First of all, this is only the first of what was originally supposed to be a six-episode series. They only made the first two and never got to make the next four, I can only assume because they failed to find an audience.
Anyway, here's the story (what we get to see, anyway): Yuskae is a high school boy whose parents are dead and he is renting a shed in a land lady's backyard. One rainy day he is riding his bike to school, late as usual, when suddenly there is a strange light from the sky and a girl falls on top of him. Soon after falling, she passes out and he takes her back home. After waking up she finds she can't remember any thing, other than her name, Rouge. Yuskae does what he can to help her remember, and before long they start to fall in love. (Yes it's cliche, but still you can't help but feel for them, the way it's potrayed so well.) However, there proves to be more problems than amnesia. Rouge has come from another dimension where two other young women, Kage and Mage, claim to be her sisters and arrive at Yuskae's doorstep. Much to his dismay, they end up rooming in with Rouge and Yuskae.* What's more, it turns out that Rouge and her sisters were the royal daughters of a kingdom where there was an uprising and the kingdom was taken over, and the parents of Rouge, Kage and Mage, the king and queen, were killed. Now the villains have come into our world, and they are after Rouge.
At the end of the second (and what turned out to be the last) episode, two evil servants have been vanquished and a third one has been sent out, Rouge still has no memory, and we're left hanging, wondering what will happen next. Alas, what could have been.
*The plotline of a magical girl with an ordinary boyfriend whose two unwanted sisters come to stay with them should remind anyone who's seen and/or read OH, MY GODDESS! of that anime/manga. Also, Rouge and Yuskae are voiced in the English dub by the same two people who did the English voices for Keiichi and Belldandy in O.M.G.
Jaja uma quartet (1999)
Too bad they never made more.
First, what I liked about this show. It's got cute, sexy characters, lots of humor, and action, and I loved listening to the voices. (Note: I haven't actually heard the Japanese voices. The English ones are a lot of fun, though. I particularly like Debbie Rabbai as Jo Diamond.)
Now, what I didn't like. Because it's so short, it simply doesn't tell us enough. It needs more back story, and I would have liked to have seen more episodes. Also, there is a Chinese guy who is the buffoonish stereotype, who speaks in broken English/Japanese. (Think Shampoo or the Chinese tour guide from RANMA 1/2.)
The plot: In a far away kingdom that could almost pass for one of our own modern cities, the people are defended by four super heroines who resemble the four different suites of cards. (One is based on clubs, another spades, and so on.) In the episode that we get to see, they find themselves up against a giant, Godzilla-sized chess piece that is manned by bad guys and threatens to destroy the city. The piece starts out as a pawn but later transforms/upgrades itself into a knight. Also the show seems to focus on Jo Diamond-perhaps if this had become a full series, as I suspect it was meant to be, future episodes would have focused on the other three women? During the battle Jo meets a guy she seems to have shared a past romance with, but unfortunately this is only hinted at; as I said, it needs more back story. My biggest problem with this is the end, which leaves you wondering if one character survived or not!
Horrible. Just horrible.
I've got a little confession to make. I'm one of the easiest-to-please movie goers out there. I liked BALLISTICS: ECKS VS. SEVER. I liked THE TUXIDO. I enjoyed MAXIMUM OVERDRIVE so much I saw it almost to the point of having it memorized. Hell, I was even entertained by JOHNNEY MENOMIC. So what does all this have to do with ROBO C.H.I.C.? (Or Cyber Chick or whatever) Just this: when I think a movie was hard to sit through and it's not some intellectual, artsy, slice-of-life film, you know it's BAD. Half of what makes it so painful to watch is the fact that the actress who plays the title character tries WAY too hard to act like an emotionless robot. (Maybe she should've just tried acting "normal", snicker.) The rest of the cast isn't much better, everyone tries to be funny and ends up just being annoying. Of course the film does try to be intentionally goofy, as a spoof of ROBO COP, it's just that it ends up being so in an irritating way instead of a genuinely funny, entertaining way. It's been years since I saw this so I can't remember much about the plot or so many of the things wrong with it, just the general way it made me felt. What's more, the only ways I would ever see this a second time was if someone stuck a gun to my head or eles offered me a minimum of a thousand dollars and I knew he was good to his word. AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE!
Looney Tunes: Back in Action (2003)
Any adult who grew up on Loony Toons should see this
This film, it would seem, takes place in the same universe as WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT?, where cartoon characters are real and live amoungst humans, although you won't see any Disney characters here. (Although two Hanna Barbara characters, Scooby Doo and Shaggy, make a brief appearence.)
For anyone who doesn't know the plot already, it's about Daffy getting feed up with having to play the victim of Buggs and getting kicked off the Warner Bros. lot after demanding he be given his own picture, and he manages to get D.J., a security guard played by Brendon Fraiser, fired.
D.J. used to be a stuntman, and he tells Daffy and the audience at one point,"You know the Mummy movies? I did the stunts in them. I was in them more than that Brendon guy. Then he suddenly decided he wanted to do his own stunts."
D.J. is also the son of Drake, an actor famous for starring in spy movie, (played by Timothy Dalton, who played 007 in two movies,) who, as it turns out, really WAS a spy, unbeknownst to even D.J. Soon after coming home after losing his job, he gets a message from his dad who tells him he must go to retrieve a diamond known as the Blue Monkey that hides a special secret. (And no, I won't say what that is.) As his father is about to be captured when he sends the message, D.J. and Daffy must head out and find it before the evil Acme Corporation does.
Meanwhile, it is soon discovered that a feature-length Loony Toons movie can't be made without Daffy, so Buggs and the executive who fired him (Jenna Elfman) must head out to get him.
Lots of funny stuff here, ranging form the subtle to the unsubtle. For example, D.J. and Daffy head out on their quest for the Blue Monkey in an old Pinto that threatens to break down at any moment, and soon after leaving the family garage and driving away the floor turns over and there is a super-cool looking car that looks like it came from a James Bond movie that D.J. never even knew about. (Of course, by this time the two of them have already headed out in the Pinto and are gone.)
I read one critic review that complianed about some blatent commercial plugs in the film, including one where the heros go to Wall Mart. I can't really speak for the most of the other plugs in the film, but I can say that the one with Wall Mart is an intended joke-it's laughing at itself for being such an obvious plug. If you've alread seen the movie and you can't see that, then I have no hope for you.
I really don't get what the big deal about this movie is. Why is it considered such a classic? I don't see how anyone outside of hardcore sci-fi buffs who've always been obsessed with the idea of coming in direct contact with aliens could love it. Don't get me wrong, to have such a thing happen in real life would certainly be exciting beyond description, but when I see a movie, I like to see conflict. Other than the family problems Roy goes through at the beginning that results in his wife leaving him and taking the kids with her, the woman whose son is abducted, and the escape from the army base near the end, there didn't seem to be any real conflict. Sometimes movies about aliens who are friendly can be entertaining. E.T., The Abyss, and Cocoon all struck the right cords with me. But this one...I don't know, it just seemed like not enough happened. The scenes with the flying saucers were good, but the rest of it was a chore for me to sit through, especially as it's more than two hours long. Why this one was so popular and how it came to be seen as such a masterpiece I'll never know.
Onegai Teacher (2002)
Strange but entertaining
The story, I guess, takes place in the mid-twenty first century. The teacher, who is probably in her mid-twenties, tells us that her parents met in 2009. The thing is, things don't look like they've advanced much since today.
Anyway, the plot revolves around Kei, a high school student whose body suffers from what he calls stand-stills, where he blacks out without warning when under stress. Once he blacked out and remained in a coma for three years, during which time his body for some strange reason ceased to age, so he is three years younger than he should be. His parents are dead, so he lives with his aunt and uncle.
One day while out at a lake a beautiful woman from another planet is beamed down to earth. Kei thinks it's a dream, but the next day the woman, who calls herself Mizuho, takes over for his class, as his old teacher quit (or so his class is told). Kei soon finds out she really is an alien, and promises to keep it a secret. But then things take a turn for the stranger when, after the two are accidentally locked in an outdoor shed together and are found by the principal, Kei, in order to prevent Mizuho from being fired, tells the principal they are married (because he is 18, after all, or rather he should be). The aunt and uncle decide to make it official, and soon a marriage certificate has been signed, the rings have been exchanged, and the aunt and uncle have moved Kei's things into Mizuho's apartment.
All this happens in just the first four episodes. (No, really, I'm serious.) I've only seen the first DVD so far, so I think I may watch the rest to see how it plays out.
Why do people give this one only three stars?
I think this movie deserves recognition for one reason-the character Betty. In an era where movie heroines in action and horror films just stood around and screamed, and would get kidnapped and have to be saved by the male hero, Betty is quite a strong character. She knows is pretty intelligent and knows judo, and uses it to dispatch one of the bad guys late in the film. (Keep in mind this movie came out more than a decade before ALIEN.)
I have seen this only on MST3000. While the comments made by Joel and the 'bots were as funny and entertaining as ever, I could see past that and realize this was a film deserving respect. Oh, yes, the film does have it's mockable moments, (such as the plothole about where the villain gets all his resorces. Maybe he comes from an incredibly rich family and that's how he can afford the island, but how did he get all those people to work for him?) but it's still worth watching regardless. The villain's back story about how he became an allied sniper in WWll and went from being sickened by the act of killing to being addicted to it is really cool. At the very least, this one should be given six out of ten stars.