The Willoughbys (2020)

27 06 2022

It starts off with a very tongue-in-cheek opening. I guess they thought they were being clever or cheeky or something. Want a cheeky joke? I called them Willy Bees. So the Willy Bees are born, and the parents make it absolutely clear (to babies who don’t have a proper grasp on the English language yet) that they are not wanted. Okay… This is all less than 2 minutes in mind you. What a fresh start… So we got the boy named Tim, his younger sister Jane, and a set of creepy twins named Barnaby… for both of them. I called Tim “Willy”, Jane “Bee”, and they’re accompanied by the Tinker Twins. Wait, so the parents love each other, they don’t want kids, yet have four kids for some reason? WOT?? Suspension of disbelief can only go so far. Yes, it’s a subpar opening, but is it rest of the movie good?

Ricky Gervais plays the narrator throughout the whole animation. His delivery is rather amusing, but it feels like I was watching a YouTube video where he critiques the movie as his character is “omniscient” for some reason. That’s an odd choice. Not bad, but not good either. But I’m game. Where is this going? There’s a lot of fast-paced animation and vibrant colours, memorable designs, and… autotune singing? It’s not autotune, but it definitely sounds like it. I wonder why there’s a huge emphasis on moustaches though. Is a tash some sort of status symbol in this peculiar universe? I think it is.

BEAR BEAR! Oh, and there is reference humour. Some references work, others rely on other IPs. Obviously, I hate the latter as it REQUIRES you to be familiar with another property just to understand the joke. The main character, Willy, is very annoying. A lot of unfunny jokes and he keeps saying “what the Willoughby” for some reason. Is this like a forced meme attempt? The second act now, and it’s… Home Alone? Yeah, some of the stunts are highly reminiscent of Home Alone for some reason. Even some things are exactly lifted from there. We’re treated to more passable acting with some good performances, notably from Terry Crews. There are some stand-out designs. Even though it was predictable, it went in a slightly different direction. It was slightly above mediocre as that point… but then, the third act begins. This is one of the worst acts in the movie.

What do we have? Liar Revealed. Trying to hammer in the forced meme attempt. Things happen with no logic behind it except it’s convenient for the script. Unfunny (and slightly inappropriate) jokes. “You’re one of THEM!” I won’t spoil, but much of the third act is dedicated to literally reversing a big decision done in the first act. So… movie did not have to happen? I’ve been very negative in this review, but there are some standout features. Some of the voice acting is good. The animation is above average and rather creative. It’s very vibrant with its use of colour. The soundtrack, though serviceable, leans towards the positive end. However, by the end of it, it felt like a complete waste of time. The characters learned nothing. No one is truly dynamic. There’s only one slightly good scene near the end… with subpar execution though. It feels tacked-on and rather forced. Obviously, I didn’t really like this movie. There are some things I liked though. At the end of the day, it’s not a bad movie. Not a particularly good one either, so 5/10.





Adam by Eve: A Live in Animation (2022)

25 06 2022

I try to remain unbiased when giving a rating. I THINK I stumbled a little in this one. There are three storylines that play parallel to each other: what goes on in the Real World, what goes on in the Dream World, and what goes on in… Heterochromia World? RW tells its story quite conventionally and centres around two girls whose names seem to change in the beginning, either Hanon and Ano or Taki and Aki. The “movie” (can be seen as an audio-visual product) refers to them as Taki and Aki. The two girls have a strong friendship that borderlines towards lesbian at times (it seems to be more like a platonic relationship rather than a romantic one in my opinion… definitely closer than friends but still a platonic relationship as there’s nothing sexual).

DW is presented in an, obviously, very surreal way with lots of animation and live-action interspliced, and it is arguably the main narrative. The RW segments are mostly told via flashbacks after all. Then, there’s the HW segments which are rather self-contained. There are fun little references to Eve’s work, especially the manga series Kara no Kioku (Empty Memories). Despite the fact the DW storyline is the main narrative, the HW segments take up the most time in this experience.

So why am I slightly biased? Well, I’m a fan of anime. I am familiar with Japanese culture. I’m also a fan of movies such as Pink Floyd’s The Wall. Naturally, I made a LOT of comparisons to The Wall while watching this, making me realise that apart from some imagery, the HW segments are largely self-contained. When it comes to anime, I mentioned the manga series Kara no Kioku, but they even use the opening song of Jujutsu Kaisen in this, so of course my like factor would swell. As for Japanese culture, the easiest comparison to make is playing The World Ends With You as the entire movie takes place in a twisted Shibuya, much like the game. I’m also familiar with the language. By the way, shiritori (which plays a role in this movie) is a Japanese word-game where the last syllable of the last spoken word is taken as the first syllable for the next spoken word. For example, Shibuya > yakitori > ringo > Gojira, etc. And omurice is simply omelette rice.

If you’re a fan of unconventional movies that provide unique experiences, you might enjoy this. If you’re a fan of J-rock (or Japanese rock), you might enjoy this. If you’re a fan of animation, CGI or hand-drawn, you’ll get a kick out of this one. There are a LOT of visually creative designs at play. I mentioned that it provided a unique experience even though I compared it previously to Pink Floyd’s The Wall (the movie). Though both rely heavily on music and animation, both are fundamentally very different in terms of story, pacing, and execution, so comparisons are illegible in my opinion. Despite the fact I thoroughly enjoyed myself, I have to be honest: this movie may have benefitted from having the HW segments be more relevant to the RW segments. They really got the presentation down pat, but something about the whole experience left me longing. Still a better-than-average experience that is open to interpretation though. So I feel comfortable giving this a 7/10.





Hustle (2022)

25 06 2022

A sports movie from Happy Madison Productions… what could possibly go wrong? After watching it, I went, “Well, this was a pleasant surprise…” There are certainly some tropes, like the subpar opening featuring the barrage of product placement for some reason, the sequences where the character improves using “montage power”, a forced Liar Revealed scene, but at least there are no unfunny jokes and fart jokes this time around. It was a rather wholesome experience with good performances, decent camerawork, good soundtrack (though it’s teetering on the “music to tell the audience what they should be feeling” trope), and decent choreography. This is coming from someone who doesn’t really care about basketball too. It’s a bit strange to see football/soccer jokes (they interchange between American and European English) in a movie that primarily centres around basketball. There are even some scenes that are told in a different language altogether. But long story short, it’s definitely a breath of fresh air, still a mediocre movie, but just a few decimal points that round the total score to a 6 in my opinion.





I’m Thinking of Ending Things (2020)

24 06 2022

Context

I love talking about movies. Of course, this leads to comparison of favourite movies. When I name I’m Thinking of Ending Things as one of my favourite movies (and my personal pick for my top favourite in 2020), I get a lot of strange reactions. A LOT of people didn’t understand it. Its purpose is to almost alienate viewers (on purpose). I can easily explain why, but it will delve into spoilers obviously. If you don’t want that, then just know it’s one of my rare 10/10 ratings. It may come as a surprise, but I have more positive ratings on my Letterboxd than negative ones, a bit more than 54% to be precise. I just find it easier to talk about movies negatively without spoiling. I don’t want to readily talk about The Lighthouse (2019) without mentioning why viewers would walk out with a very different interpretation of events (which works to its benefit obviously). So here’s my take about I’m Thinking of Ending Things (2020).

Review (Spoilers)

The movie is about self-loathing, and even ends with suicide. The title itself is a double entendré: it’s framed as if it’s about a relationship ending, but it can also mean contemplating suicide. After watching it as many times as I had, it’s definitely the latter. I watched this again before this review, so the idea is fresh in my mind. By this time, around 6 times. At the very end of the movie, it is revealed that the entire movie takes place in this elderly janitor’s head. That can explain why a lot of elements seem very surreal despite the fact that there is a grounded foundation at times. The character portrayed by Jesse Plemons, Jake, is the same exact character as Guy Boyd’s character, the janitor. The movie itself is VERY confusing. A lot of elements are very bizarre, so it’s quite understandable it may alienate audiences. It’s somewhat unfortunate that it was marketed as a Netflix exclusive as the main targeted demographic for Netflix definitely will not find this to be accessible at all.

I read the book. The ending wasn’t my thing at all as it devolves into full horror (slasher at that point). I definitely don’t feel negatively towards one or the other, but the movie gave me more to chew on, definitely something to think about, giving it a sort of “open-to-interpretation” feel to it despite the fact it arrives at only one conclusion. To talk about the technical aspects, the movie is shot in 4:3 aspect ratio, which I personally admired. It is definitely a bit jarring given that the majority of Netflix original titles have been shot in 16:9 or 21:9. What is admirable, to me at least, is how they were able to communicate the information in a limited space. There were some great dreamlike shots, really great framing, amazing shot and scene composition, but what really steals it for me is the story.

The story is rather frustrating, openly retcons its own continuity (the janitor is obviously experimenting with what would be the most optimal way to tell the story), there is an IMMENSE amount of self-loathing, all the characters are literally extensions of Jake (the janitor, Guy Boyd), and the framing is purposefully very uncomfortable and nightmarish at times. Like I said, there are a lot of different elements in play, even comedic elements like Toni Collette’s over-the-top performance and the jab at Robert Zemeckis. For me, it definitely suited as the main characters (younger version of Jake and the girl) commonly talk about media in general. As for the former, I mentioned that the characters are extensions of Jake (or in Toni Collette’s case, an exaggerated memory of the character). Also, they did get permission from Robert Zemeckis. He was thanked as well in the credits.

I mentioned that there are a lot of references to media earlier. I’m known to hate reference humour as it definitely relies on the viewer’s knowledge on another property. But here, it’s more like an added bonus if you know it. When I first watched this movie, I didn’t watch A Woman Under the Influence (1975). Later, I did. I rewatched this movie afterwards, and I discerned that it didn’t detract or benefit me at all. My experience during that scene was the exact same as my experience before I watched the other movie. It was an added bonus to know it, but the ultimate summary of that is that the characters are knowledgeable about media in general and “enjoy” discussing ideas with each other, making way for great “chemistry”. During my second watch, I realised that they’re simply avatars of Jake just bouncing ideas around. There are a lot of hints that both characters, young Jake and the girl, are the same as well. I say the girl because Jake literally changes her backstory several times throughout the movie. She doesn’t have one set name. At one point, she’s a physicist. She’s an artist in another scene. Again, Jake is clearly experimenting with what would be the most optimal way to tell the story.

About the pacing, nothing feels wasted in this film at all. There doesn’t seem to be a single filler element. Literally every scene can be broken down. Again, I’m not saying the book is inferior. Iain Reid, the author of I’m Thinking of Ending Things (2016), was involved in the 2020 production. I just thought the book had a very blunt ending whereas the movie had a very interpretive ending. When it comes to the movie, I really liked the use of music. It evokes this unsettling feeling in the first half which really set the tone, especially since the movie is going for a somewhat psychological horror type of feeling. The makeup looked fantastic. It was very appropriate that they went all the way with the old age makeup in one part of the movie (even down to the teeth, and the acting complimented it very well) and made it look intentionally fake in another part of the movie to give a contrast.

“There’s only one question to resolve. I’m scared. I feel a little crazy. I’m not lucid. The assumptions are right. I can feel my fear growing. Now is the time for the answer. Just one question. One question to answer.” Obviously, this movie is meant to be watched multiple times, at least twice. I was definitely confused during my first viewing, but I got a lot more out of it during a second watch. The other viewings were just because I enjoyed the movie. However, this is such a heavy movie, one of the most soul-crushing experiences I ever watched. I actually had to loudly exhale with a “HOO!” when the credits began rolling during my second watch, no exaggeration. This is mainly due to the fact it deals with a lot of themes, being an existential drama on top of psychological horror. When I first watched it, I was torn between a 7 or an 8. I had more questions over time, so I watched it again, and that action made it a 10/10 experience for me.





The Upside (2017)

4 06 2022

Well, this is most peculiar. Anyway, I will briefly talk about both movies. I rated The Intouchables with a 7/10, so this is mainly a review of the American “remake”, The Upside. My original review of The Intouchables was a two-word review of simply “Valentine’s Day”. Well, here is Neil Burger’s The Upside, which premiered in TIFF back in 2017 but was released in the US at the beginning of 2019. The reason for the delay was that The Intouchables was released originally under The Weinstein Company. The Upside also opted to have the same distributor originally, but the allegations against Harvey Weinstein allowed STX Entertainment to buy the rights.

The basic premise follows the real-life story of quadriplegic billionaire Phillippe Pozzo di Borgo and his caretaker Abdel Sellou. The name is the same in the French movie, I’m not sure about the Indian and Spanish movies, and his name is Philip in the American remake. Yes, there are several remakes, not just two. Each remake takes a bit of liberties of course. I shall only talk about the two I watched, which were based on the 2003 African French documentary A la vie, á la mort. Meanwhile, Abdel Sellou’s name seems to be different in the movies. It was Driss in the French film and Dell in the American film. Not sure why that is. The ending credits also credit the correct names in the French film, but not in the American film. So the American remake is “another soulless cashgrab”, right? No.

I quite enjoyed myself while watching it, much to my surprise. It’s slightly longer than the French film, a lot of details are not as subtle, but that also makes the details easier to digest. There were several creative liberties that distinguishes it from the French film. There were some plot points I really didn’t like that exists in this version but not in the French film. There are some plot points that were elaborated on more here than in the French film. Both films are VERY wholesome but each film have slightly different plot structures. Similar beats and elements are present, but there were more scenes in the American film, some necessary and some skippable. If I were to elaborate, that would be spoilers.

Despite the length, it didn’t feel like a bloated experience. As I’ve already watched the French film, I was surprised that this didn’t feel like a remake that follows the exact same plot structure either. There are definitely similarities, but the American one goes for a slightly different tone that it feels like some sort of character redemption arc. There is definitely a character redemption arc in the French film, but it didn’t feel like the main focus whereas it felt like the main focus in the American one. But to justify the rating a bit, I will talk about some things that bothered me.

Both versions have plot contrivances, but there were a bit more in the American one. There’s this romance subplot that goes absolutely nowhere that it just felt like a contrivance. Like “We gotta get from Point A to Point C. Let’s make a Point B but we won’t work as hard on it.” As a result, it felt a little TOO convenient for the script. There was a romance subplot in the French film that goes nowhere, but it wasn’t the main focus. It’s the main focus here for some reason. Because movie had to happen I suppose. The third arc also felt extremely rushed and didn’t feel earned at all. Because ending had to happen I suppose. There is also some crucial information that was elaborated on in the French film in a minute or two whereas 7 minutes were dedicated to it here. Were they going for more impact? I guess that could work… if you didn’t repeat flashbacks every so often that convey the same information. If you’re going to say the same information, then why have the flashbacks in the first place? You could’ve saved 5 minutes. Oh well, it’s a bit dodgy, but I’m giving this one a 6/10. I really loved the performances though some things felt a bit too on-the-nose (especially the plot contrivances), but 6/10 it is!





The Guardians of Justice (2022) (series review)

3 06 2022

So I just binged The Guardians of Justice (or Adi Shankar’s The Guardians of Justice (Will Save You!)), a Netflix original 18+ series that is a hybrid between various styles of animation and live-action. As I binged it, it felt like a 3.5-hour movie, just about. There was something so captivating about it (to me), and I don’t know why. It has quite a bit of references here and there to DC primarily. There are also references to Mortal Kombat, Marvel, 8-bit video games in general, etc. To me, it’s not another addition to the “point-and-laugh at the silly reference” media “genre”. This is something else. It felt like a full-blown parody or spoof. Fittingly, this is marketed under the moniker of “Bootleg Universe”. If unfamiliar, here’s a brief rundown.

So Adi Shankar did a lot of superhero parodies, mostly consisting of live-action short films like The Punisher: Dirty Laundry, Judge Dredd: Superfriend, Power/Rangers, James Bond: In Service of Nothing, etc. It’s a series of unauthorised fan films on YouTube that somehow became an actual entertainment brand. It was picked up by Netflix later. The only other title is Castlevania, a series that has a lot of love for the franchise but also has a handful of strange decisions (like the third season in my opinion, as well as the constant “need” to have foul language). There are other announcements like a series dedicated to the Devil May Cry universe, Assassin’s Creed and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) in the future.

So my roommate approached me, telling me that she watched it briefly and doesn’t know what to think of it at all. I somehow decided to watch the entire series and for the longest time, I was unsure what to think of it when I finished. I let it sit in my head for quite a while (just so you know, this review was published on the same day I finished it… just much later). I can see the potential in a lot of the content: there’s fun animation, it felt very experimental, a lot of interesting ideas, decent performances, a Scott Pilgrim vs. The World aesthetic (cartoony comic style), but there were a few things that constantly bothered me.

It felt overly ambitious. The pacing and tone were all over the place. As I mentioned, a lot of different storytelling methods were in place. It is clearly a parody of The Justice League (the comics, not the movie). Adi Shankar himself noted that the main character is literally “an older grizzled Batman”. A lot of times, I was wondering if it would be a benefit or detriment if it was set in the DC universe. By the end of the entire series, I can say confidently that it definitely needs to exist in its own universe as they parodied a lot more than just DC. I’m not against parody when done right. One of my favourite comedies is a spoof film that functions as a love letter to action movies (Hot Fuzz (2007)). I enjoyed Taika Waititi’s What We Do in the Shadows and Tropic Thunder (2008). If we’re discussing a property that relies on a lot of reference humour, then Bojack Horseman, a surreal adult series that was also produced by Netflix.

Getting back to Guardians now, there were many good ideas, which would have really benefitted from better execution. The final idea was especially good, but the execution was so subpar unfortunately. It really could have done with better editing choices in my opinion. There were also a lot of strobe effects (I think because they were trying to implement video game and comic book effects). I definitely enjoyed myself, so this rating is reluctant for me. If this series were a person, I’d block them, not fully understand why, feel bad about blocking them, but never unblock said person. Again, a lot of good ideas on paper that just weren’t executed properly unfortunately. 4/10.





Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers (2022)

21 05 2022

There are less than 3 minutes before the title drop. I started watching Chip ‘n Dale (2022), went in with a 5/10 in mind. It’s a 3/10 and not even 2 minutes passed at that point. Before the title drop, it became a 2/10. What does that tell you? Well, it just goes off the fucking rails and develops into the apocalypse afterwards. Just watch the original TV series.

If I have to go on to more detail, then there’s reference humour that showcases franchises Disney now owns. They reference Roger Rabbit a bunch of times, which is weird because the clashing art styles worked in that movie but it doesn’t work well here. Also, is it really a wise choice to make one of the titular characters unappealing in less than 10 minutes? They even reference Sonic’s original design from the Sonic The Hedgehog movie, which comes across as somewhat arrogant. Again, less than 10 minutes in, it feels like Disney is flaunting all the different properties they own at this point. It dropped down to a 1/10 at this point… and it never went up.

They use characters with the “live-action reboot” animation style, but other characters who DID also have a live-action reboot is presented in 2D for some reason. Where’s the consistency? Was this movie made in 2016 and they were too lazy to reanimate certain scenes to remain consistent with films that literally released the next year? I don’t want to spoil, but seeing as it’s not even past 10 minutes, might as well.

Lumiere from Beauty and the Beast is shown in 2D. Baloo from The Jungle Book is shown in 3D. In this universe, the 2D characters are the same characters when in 3D, stating that it is a CGI surgery. The live-action The Jungle Book was released in 2016. The live-action Beauty and the Beast was released in 2017. This movie was released in 2022. Again, was this movie made in 2016 and they were too lazy to reanimate certain scenes to remain consistent with films that literally released the next year? In the trailer, it is shown that they reference the 2019 “live-action” reboot of The Lion King. The consistency doesn’t make a lick of sense.

Why do all the animated characters (even the 3D ones) look like they’re on a green-screen? Why is cheese being compared to drugs of all things? Why does the plot only work if the viewer is invested? What’s with the pacing? Why? What? Why?? Is this basically the new Space Jam 2? Did Didney not learn ANYTHING about that movie’s backlash? Oh. They apparently learned nothing about how people reacted positively to Luisa’s design in Encanto, because She-Hulk’s slender design is getting criticism right now in the recently announced She-Hulk TV series.

This film REALLY needs to calm down with all the references. References to more than 10 different properties in less than a minute. There are so many references that it feels like a badly-made parody movie (yes, not all parody movies are bad). Also, they market this as a live-action reboot but the film itself directly references the original TV show so many times. I don’t think the people who made this know what a reboot is. “A reboot discards continuity to re-create its characters, plotlines and backstory from the beginning.”

I rewatched so many old Disney animations recently. Why do those look timeless whereas the animation style in this movie looks dated? The 2D animated ones especially were not good to look at. The 3D ones look a bit more proper given the setting, but I would appreciate it more if they have realistic shadows. Why does every 3D character have this weird lighting outline around them? Was it because The Lion King (2019) did it? I’ll admit that some 2D models were not too distracting (even pleasant at times), but the animation for all of them were too distracting. It’s like it’s shot in a different refresh rate, as in frames-per-second.

This is the worst movie I have watched this year so far. We also have jokes that may have flown back in the noughties, but are definitely not welcome in 2022. Speaking of jokes, I didn’t laugh a single time, not even ironically. I’m not quite sure why they’re so obsessed with providing something fresh and new when their property relies on other IPs for entertainment fundamentally. I can’t fathom why it’s doing so well on every rating site imaginable. Why are people like this now? Whatever the case, I got my own opinion and I won’t just blindly follow peer pressure. This gets a 1/10.





The Most Wicked Cake in the World

20 05 2022

It’s my birthday today.

I don’t celebrate.

I stood there and stared,

For hours and hours on end.

I just stared outside the window of my flat,

I’m right in the middle of the building.

The streets were very busy below.

The air was clear, and the moon was full.

My mum passed by earlier.

She baked me a cake.

A cake so white and pure.

My favourite flavour.

It was on the table behind me.

Just basking in its own light.

I let out a little sigh,

And started walking towards it.

In the middle of the room,

I sat on the black sofa.

With the table right in front of me,

The thoughts were too loud.

There is nobody else.

What’s holding you back?

Just take a leap of faith.

That’s all it will take.

You cannot touch

What you cannot reach.

The cycle ends here.

This is your legacy.

Pieces of glass flew.

I have seen it already,

but I still don’t truly know it:

The view from halfway down.

Everlasting stillness.

Everlasting serenity.

A calm that knows no equal.

It all seemed very tempting.

I’m flying now.

All those endorphins…

Except the window is unbroken.

I was still sat on the couch.

I was still on that black, leather couch.

I’m dreaming… I’m fading…

I’m in the only place that I want to be,

And the colours all fade to gray.

Dreams… What is a dream?

A simulacrum. A synecdoche.

My sweet pareidolia…

And then, there was nothing.

I cannot understand

Where these menacing thoughts surge forth from.

Just a horrid little goblin in the back of your mind,

Spewing negativity constantly.

As a result, I don’t know

What is expected of me in society.

No one will ever love me

For everything I am, all I’ll be.

I build up layers of deception,

Trying to alter the perception,

To seem more approachable to others.

Such a thing seems so unattainable.

Everything in my life

Is built upon one colour: black.

The stillness turned my world to gray…

And reality turned my world to white.

Staring at the cake in front of me.

The cake that was so crisp and white,

I leaned forward and buried my face,

Crying profusely and uncontrollably.

P.S. The title is lifted from a track from the score of Sympathy for Lady Vengeance (2005), a South Korean movie I highly recommend. Of course, similar image but very different theme here. Yes, this poem obviously addresses mental illness in a not-so-subtle way. The poem centres around someone who is living in a half-world between stillness and reality, one who is ultimately confused about gravity.

I had the idea for this poem on my birthday this year, which was months ago. I got around to writing it… on 09 May, 2022. This poem is obviously fictional. There are a few references here or there to pieces of media I really like. I made it so that you don’t need to know the piece of media to get the idea.





Kimi (2022)

20 05 2022

For the majority of the first act, I actually didn’t have much to say about this. I just took note of the good sound design and editing, as well as the lead performance. I also took note of the aspect ratio and how it doesn’t fit on any monitor I own. It’s not 21:9, it’s not 16:9, but I didn’t really mind much. I somewhat admire that in movies, basically how it’s able to immerse the viewer with a limited space. By the second act, I was HEAVILY reminded of The Conversation (1974), and that’s a good thing. Unlike The Conversation, this has its own unique flavour. Gives a weird cyberpunk vibe without deliberately being cyberpunk. I’m not sure why; I guess it’s the use of colour? Obviously, this is VERY technology-focused, and it centres around a young employee who is obviously agoraphobic (I’m assuming it’s a “side effect” of COVID-19 which is happening in this film’s universe). I’m not sure how this movie will age, but this is coming from the same director who made Contagion (2011) which somewhat “predicted” this whole outbreak in the first place. Yes, I am SHOCKED to find out this was directed by Steven Soderburgh as it doesn’t use the multi-narrative structure that Soderburgh is well-known by. The soundtrack is definitely impressive. Coupled with the good sound design, that’s already a forte. The soundtrack is also good in the third act. Though the stellar sound design is gone now. The plot also felt a little too convenient for some reason. What I’m saying is the third act is a bit serviceable. It doesn’t feel drastically different. It’s still the same tone. But it is not as strong as the other acts. But at the end of the day, it IS one of the more interesting movies I picked up. The ending, though not bad, did have some missteps. It is a few points over 6, so 7/10.





Sonic The Hedgehog 2 (2022)

19 05 2022

So what can I say about this? There is fun choreography, decent effects, good performances, oodles of reference humour that is flat-out annoying, predictable storyline, a LOT of tropes, but there’s a lot of goofy fun to be had. It almost embraces its silly nature. Not fully, but it’s still there. If only they fully did. Some jokes worked. A lot didn’t (there are fart jokes in here). There are fun little references to the video game that don’t feel unearned or forced. That’s cool and all, but I still had to sit through a storyline that takes itself too seriously and an extremely hammy Jim Carrey who I did not really enjoy. And I could’ve sworn they reused some shots from the first movie.

The sound design was also very questionable. And Sonic, what happened to your time manipulation powers in the first movie? I’m not spoiling. They barely used it in the first movie, so it felt like an after-thought. There are scenes where Sonic is being chased and he gets scared. News flash: You have super speed. I guess it doesn’t work when the script doesn’t want it to? I enjoyed this more than the first movie, I was entertained, but that doesn’t mean it’s a well-made movie I can recommend. Watch this if you want to see “You are my FWEND!” scenes.

Although it’s annoying for me, I can admit that it’s not joyless. It goes without saying that I laughed genuinely at SOME of the jokes. Again, if only they focused on that type of humour rather than relying on reference humour because “ha ha ha ha ha HA!”. As for the plot, I was more invested in wondering what a potential Knuckles would look like with the original design of the first movie. Anyway, I enjoyed this, I liked it, but I don’t see it as a very competent movie. I’m giving this one a 3/10.

P.S. Sonic The Hedgehog 2 & Knuckles is my favourite GAME of the series. Perhaps I enjoyed this more as I’m already a fan? I loved the video game references, especially to the original Sega Mega Drive (or Genesis) game. Too bad I’m also a harsh movie buff.