The Jungle Book (2016)

thumbnail_f256818e-292d-4bc9-9033-81e02c0306bbAs Disney films go, The Jungle Book has always been one of my favourites. Out of all the Disney movies I watched as a child (which was a lot. I was a 90’s kid), The Jungle Book had the best soundtrack (followed closely by Mulan) and would really get you up and singing along. It’s pretty hard to believe that anyone could resist singing along to The Bare Necessities.

Watching the live-action version of a childhood favourite has put me in very sentimental mood. So, I thought since I’m sitting here reminiscing about the days of The Rugrats and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, I might as well make this movie, this week’s review.

The storyline to the live-action film, is pretty similar to The Jungle Book (1967), I watched as a child. A baby boy (Mowgli) is left alone in the jungle and is raised by wolves. An old bigoted tiger (Shere Khan) shows up one day, notices Mowgli the man-cub and decides he doesn’t want any man-cubs in his jungle. So, demands the man-cub be given to him, so that he can kill him (Glob, that’s actually rather dark and twisted). Mowgli doesn’t want to endanger his wolf family, so sets out to return to the man village, escorted by his panther friend Bagheera. However, things do not go to plan and Mowgli ends up going on an exciting adventure through the jungle, meeting a range of eccentric animals on his journey.

thumbnail_3b0b1417-ea85-4d73-8fcc-d9fe415a14faThis film is very CGI, with only one non-CGI character (Mowgli). The rest of the characters are CGI animals, which in my opinion were done very well. Granted you could tell they were computerised, but they still looked really good and moved like the real animals (not like some films, were the animals move like robots). CGI King Louie, even managed to thoroughly creep me out and will forever haunt my dreams. He was like a terrifying ginger King Kong, that disturbingly wanted people’s red flower.

To be honest, I was surprised by how good this live-action Jungle Book was. It managed to capture the fun of the cartoon 1967 version, without making any of the characters seem too over the top. They even had a few of those great songs from the cartoon version, which was a very nice touch to the film. The Jungle Book without “The Bare Necessities” and “I wan’na be like you”, just wouldn’t have been the same and just wouldn’t have been as enjoyable.

thumbnail_9eb92bf9-5fff-4110-91af-10eb8367882cHowever, one thing I do have to say about this film is, it’s a hell of a lot darker than the 1967 version and has more action scenes. Although, in my opinion this just sets it apart from the other versions of The Jungle Book. The only other small negative, is that Neel Sethi (Mowgli), acting isn’t that great at times. But considering how young he is and the fact all the other characters are CGI, I think this can be over looked.

Overall, the live-action Jungle Book (2016) is a rather enjoyable film. It has the fun of the 1967 version, while still managing to set itself apart from that version. Granted it was a bit dark and creepy, at times and that King Louie would look at home in any horror movie. However, the film as a whole is good enough over look this, if you dislike the dark and creepy. Personally, I still prefer Disney’s 1967 version of The Jungle Book, but I would say that this live-action version is worth watching, especially it you’re a fan of The Jungle Book.

Rating: 4/5

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10 Cloverfield Lane

thumbnail_99cd16f9-f5c4-4073-b3ce-0afa27a427a1Have you ever read a movie description and thought the movie seems really good, just to be left sadly disappointed after watching it? That feeling of disappointment, would pretty much sums up this film. 10 Cloverfield Lane sounds so promising, but it just doesn’t deliver. But hey at least, it gave me an excuse to draw an underground bunker (it was so much fun), so with that in mind. On with the review.

In 10 Cloverfield Lane, a woman (Michelle) awakes after having a car accident and finds herself locked in basement-like room, chained to a pipe by the kneecap. Her captor (Howard), claims he found her unconscious in her car, on the side of the road and saved her from a chemical attack, that killed nearly all life on earth.

After claiming to be Michelle’s saviour, Howard frees Michelle from her chains but won’t let her leave his underground bunker, saying the air outside is contaminated and would kill her instantly. Now trapped underground, Michelle slowly realises there is something very wrong with Howard and ends up being sucked into a deadly game of house. Is Howard telling the true about the chemical attack and will Michelle make it out alive?

To be honest, 10 Cloverfield Lane starts of really strong and set a truly unnerving tone, that would make for a good Misery type thriller. Having Michelle awake in a creepy room, chained to a pipe with a Saw-like contraption, really gives you the feeling, things aren’t going to go well for Michelle. However, this level of intensity gets lost somewhere, causing the movie to feel a little flat. Probably because it tries to push too many reasons for why Howard is psychotic, at the viewer. Making the whole plot feel a little confused and lacking direction.

thumbnail_94b4c701-80df-42c5-b3a1-43cf0a1e5869In saying that, John Goodman (who plays Howard), does a really good job of portraying a disturbing unstable psychopath. They really didn’t need to give the viewer a reason why Howard was psychotic. Just from the demeanour John Goodman gave off as Howard and from his facial expression and strange body language, it was pretty clear that the character Howard wasn’t stable and had some serious issues. At points in the film, it shows glimpses of Howard’s face and it’s enough to make your blood run cold. It’s just very disturbing, which really shows how well John Goodman played the role of Howard.

I can’t say much more about 10 Cloverfield Lane, without making this into a complete rant post, so I’ll quickly conclude and give you my final thoughts. Although, John Goodman does a really good job of making 10 Cloverfield Lane feel very unnerving and adding suspense to this film. The film itself just lacks direction and its very messy ending completely reflects this (it was like they had another 20 minutes of film to make, so they randomly threw an alien and its warship into the mix, just to make up the time). 10 Cloverfield Lane sounds like it has the potential to be a great thriller, but it just doesn’t deliver. For this reason, I would say if you’re looking to watch a thriller, look elsewhere. There’s just so many more better thrillers you could spend your time watching, other than 10 Cloverfield Lane.

Rating: Due to John Goodman great acting, a generous 2/5

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (Part 2)

thumbnail_c299d47c-f538-4f70-88a4-3114eb1a231eFinally, I’ve finished watching Part 2 of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. I know, what the fudge? How can it take you that long to watch 13 episodes? Well, I was savouring it (Only joking, I’m watching a lot of other series and it takes a while to get around to them all).

So, what has happened since part one? Nothing much really, just a lot of plot building and butt whooping’s. Ed and Al are still looking for the Philosopher’s Stone and getting their butts kicked. Colonel Mustang, isn’t as smart as he thinks and got screwed over big time. A few people from Xing have showed up, to join the battle for the Philosopher’s Stone. We’ve learnt a lot more about King Bradley and the Homunculus and got a glimpse of their Papa. Envy is also ironically very ugly and Gluttony has given us all nightmares about being engulfed by a giant ass eyeball, with big pointy, pointy teeth. (That’s all I can say without spoiling it)

Now for the important part, after 26 episodes is this anime still entertaining. Strangely, it has managed to become even more so. It has really lightened up on the heavy depressing storyline and has gotten very interesting. There still are a few sad moments in part 2, but there’s also a lot more scheming and plotting and a couple more uncertainties thrown into the mix. As well as, more humour and funny animation, preventing the tragic and death-filled story getting too much.

In part 2, we do get a few answers to things and a few characters backstories. However, this leads to more mysteries and more questions. So, overall Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is starting to get very exciting and suspenseful.

thumbnail_db98f359-0b8e-42d3-9b70-aedd05239dd1At this stage, I can still only find a few nit-picky things wrong with Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. One being the change of opening. Again (Yui), was a great opening to have a little sing song and a boogie to (I know, I’m super cringey sometimes), but with the new opening (Hologram), I’m just not feeling it. It feels a little like elevator music. But sure, it’ll probably be changed again in part 3, so we’ll not get too caught up on that.

As good as part 1 and 2 was, I do have a few little concerns about part 3. These being, that the short jokes might start to get annoying and that some of its references might go a little too far (when it comes to history, I know almost nothing. Yet even I am starting to question some of its references).

Overall, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood part 2 was very exciting. It manages to satisfy your thirst for answer in part 1, while still remaining suspenseful and thicken its plot. To be honest after watching part 2, I like this anime even more and haven’t felt bored once watching it. I’m truly starting to understand the hype around this anime.

Rate so far: 5/5

Predictions:
Surprisingly, I got two predictions right and one half right, last time.
We all might want to start getting the tinfoil hats ready and start looking for a nice cave to hide in, if I get more right. I hardly ever get plot predictions right, so there’ll have to be something seriously wrong with the universe, for that to happen.
Anyway, ignoring that worrying thought, here my new predictions:

Human Transmutation Predictions
-The city where central is, will turn out to be a giant Transmutation circle and everyone who live there will be human sacrifices.

– The creature made when preforming human transmutation, is actually that shadow thing/God called Truth, in Homunculus form. Truth is obviously a reflection of the person traveling through the portal, therefore the Homunculus produced will also reflect them. (Pretty sure at this point, that human transmutation doesn’t make anything human).

-As Ed has just open the portal and travelled through, this also means he’ll have made his own Homunculus (it’ll be a grumpy little Homunculus).

thumbnail_2b5f5f70-ea5d-4730-9b17-05af8ae3fa81Father of The Homunculus (Papa Humpy) Predictions
-Ed’s and Al’s father, is also father of the Homunculus or is somehow related to him. From the glimpses we get of Papa Humpy, he looks ridiculously similar to Ed’s and Al’s father.

-Papa Humpy is also not human, but is some type of unholy demon, super Homunculus or other being.

-Papa Humpy will take Al captive and use him a bargaining tool, to get Ed to do his bidding

Character Predictions 
-Ling Yao’s backstory is a little too close, to the backstory of the evil guy from frozen. Therefore, I predict he will eventually turn evil. Ling seems to want the Philosopher’s Stone as much, as evil the guy in frozen wanted to be king. So, I really think he’d be willing to turn evil to get it.

-Scar, Ed, Al and the people from Xing, will all come together to make the ultimate Homunculus fighting force.

-Selim Bradley is giving me the pure creeps (getting a real Damien Omen vibe from that kid), so I predict he’ll follow in his adoptive father’s footsteps and become a sociopathic psychopath, too.

– Colonel Mustang, will be the one who kills King Bradley in the end.

– And the next characters to die will be, Lieutenant Riza Hawkeye, Ling Yao’s or Scar. Also, I definitely think Colonel Mustang isn’t making it to the end of this anime alive.

Also, I still stand be the following predictions made in part 1:
-Ed is not human, but is some other type of being that’s not yet been introduced to the plot. (Possibly the same as Papa Humpy)

– Scar will turn out, to not be as bad as he’s currently looking. Or will have some type of weird epiphany and want to help Ed and Alphonse.

– Ed’s and Alphonse’s Father, I foresee as being a Tywin Lannister type character or his absence was to protect his sons, in some way.

Silent Hill (2006)

thumbnail_8559fdf1-ae0c-4fd7-bae7-16a2433aa6f6Rewind back 10 years+ ago, where a young and daring 13-year-old me, thought to herself. “Hmm… I’m incredibly bored and no one else is awake. I know what would be fun. Watching horror movies in the dark by myself.” After sneaking downstairs like a ninja, quietly raiding the DVD cupboard and hightailing it back to my room, with my goodies (so not to get caught roaming the house at night). I decided Silent Hill would be the perfect movie for this little horror fest, I was holding in the darkness of my room.

Long story short, this was not a good idea and I scared the muffins out of myself, so bad that I couldn’t sleep. But, what does that have to do with this post? Well, it’s been over 10 years since I first seen this movie and I was curious to see, if it was still as scary as I found it back then. However, before I answer that, let me tell you a little about Silent Hill’s story.

The main character, Rose is worried sick about her adoptive daughter (Sharon), sleepwalking and having night terrors. The child’s dreams are being plagued by a town called Silent Hill, which leads Rose to think, that bringing Sharon to Silent Hill would rid her of the nightmares.

After making a dramatic entrance into Silent Hill, Rose and Sharon are separated. Rose searches the town frantically for her daughter, but soon realises there is something very wrong with this town. After experiencing, what happens when darkness falls and terrifyingly warped monsters come out to play, and after meeting the religious cult of witch hunters, that occupy the town. Will Rose ever find her daughter and will she learn the chilling secrets of Silent Hill?

thumbnail_50b0ffbb-914b-4422-9bcb-08f314dd0231

Chibi Pyramid Head

All I can say is, “wow, horror movies sure have come a long way since 2006.” However, in saying that, Silent Hill still manages to be creepy as fudge, even if the monsters look incredibly fake and computerised. The acting is also bit monotone at times, particularly with the character Rose (it was like watching an emotionless robot, at points). Luckily, the storyline and its generally creepiness in enough to forgive the acting.

By today’s standards, Silent Hill is still a pretty good horror movie. It maintains a real eerie feel, that keeps you slightly on edge the whole way through the film. Even when the wallpaper isn’t peeling from the walls and there isn’t a horribly mutated and charred monster on the screen. But for me, the best thing about this film was the storyline. It really sucks you in and keeps you wandering, in suspense about what the fudge in going on in that town. As well as exploring some of darker things in society, like mob mentality, mass hysteria and the idea that people are more likely to partake in horrible inhuman acts, when in a group or/and they fear being shun for not partaking or for speaking out. This gives the story that real twisted feel, that can make horror so interesting to watch.

Overall, Silent Hill is one of the better horror movies, I have seen. Despite the acting being a bit dead at times, it still had a suspenseful storyline, with some depth. Silent Hill was also very eerie and its monsters, looked like they were straight out of a nightmare. Creating the real horror movie feel. I would definitely recommend Silent Hill to lovers of horror.

Rating: 3.5/5

To answer the question, I posed earlier. 10 years on, did Silent Hill still scare the muffins out of me?
Thankfully no, it just mildly creeped me out.

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (Part One)

thumbnail_c299d47c-f538-4f70-88a4-3114eb1a231eI’ve decided to try something a little different with anime series reviews. Instead of choosing a few that seem good, I’m going to review series that I haven’t seen before, but don’t stop hearing about. As you’ve probably already figured out, I’m starting this off with Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. Mainly because there’s quite a few anime Youtuber, that don’t shut up about this series and that’s as good of place as any to start in my eyes. This series is rather long, so I’m going to follow Netflix lead and review it in parts. The first part being episodes 1-13 and now that’s out of the way, on with the review.

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood begins with the two Elric brothers (Edward and Alphonse) teaching themselves alchemy, after their nowhere-to-be-found father abandons them and their mother. Sadly, life wasn’t content with only giving them a forever-absent father and decided their mother had to die too. Now motherless, the boys are left all alone in the world (I guess father dearest is too busy, to check in on his own children and just left them fending for themselves).

Luckily, a kind old lady takes the boys in and treats them like they were her own grandchildren. However, this doesn’t fix the huge gaping bleeding hole in the boys’ hearts, left by the death of their mother. Hearts torn to bits, the boys try to use their gift of alchemy, to bring their dead mother back. As this is taboo, it goes horribly wrong and leads to Edward losing an arm and leg and Alphonse losing his whole body and later having his soul bonded to a suit of armour by his brother. Now the Elric brothers face a new challenge and must search for the Philosopher’s Stone, in order to restore their bodies.

I’m not going to lie to you, the first 5 episodes of this anime are brutally sad. Not only did the horror I described above happen, but a little girl was also Frankensteined with her dog, by her father (fathers sure are twisted in the alchemy world). Then they were both murdered, shortly after. These first few episodes are depressing as fudge and are nearly enough to make you want to stop watching. However, this series pretty much sucks you in from the get go, with its likeable characters and great story telling. So, as depressing as it is, you really want to keep watching to see what happens to the Elric brothers and get answers to its growing mysteries. The good news is, after episode 5 it lightens up a bit and isn’t as gloomy and even has the odd funny moments.

thumbnail_9f4c51f9-efd8-4735-b47a-af1847c01e07I could bang on all day, about how great Fullmetal Alchemist is and how it makes you, create a place in your heart for poor little Ed and not so little Alphonse, but I’m trying to keep reviews short. So, I’ll mention one more enjoyable aspect before concluding, which is its fun animation style. For the most its style is what you’d expect from this type of anime, but what makes its so entertaining is how it changes in comical moments. It turns into this funny, extremely 2D style, where Alphonse basically looks like a giant grey ghost and Ed has a huge circular bald head. This just makes everything seem so much funnier and really gives this anime the lift it needs, to prevent it becoming too heavy.

There’s not really anything I could find wrong with this series so far, but its early days and I mightn’t be saying that come part 3 or 4. Therefore overall, I would say, part 1 was great and I can really see why people like this anime so much (sort of regretting not watching it sooner, now). The first few episodes are really heavy and a bit depressing, but when you make to through those, it turns out to be an exciting and interesting watch.

Rating so far: 5/5

My Predictions:
Here’s the fun part for people that have already seen Fullmetal Alchemist. The part where I try to predict what’s going to happen and you get to laugh at how wrong I am. I’m treating this anime with Game of Thrones level of suspicion, so my predictions might be a little on the wild side. Anyway, here they are:

-Ed is not human, but is some other type of being that’s not yet been introduced to the plot.

– King Bradley, I think wants to create an even greater army super soldiers or gain eternal life. I predict he’ll do so, by either stealing the Philosopher’s Stone from Ed (if Ed ever obtains one) or by using Ed to as a catalyst or an ingredient to make one.

-Colonel Roy Mustang, I think wants to destroy King Bradley because of some bad blood between the two and not just for power. But, I predict he’ll die doing so. (They’ve been trying a little too hard to make his character likeable, for them not to eventually kill him off)

-I guess, Scar will turn out, to not be as bad as he’s currently looking. Or will have some type of weird epiphany and want to help Ed and Alphonse.

-The group with the Ouroboros tattoos, I predict are in cahoots with King Bradley. But, will most likely double-cross him, once they get what they want. I’m also leaning towards Ed being the same species as them or at least part (He’s got an Ouroboros symbol on his coat, for Glob sake).

-Greed’s gang, I think will become Ed’s and Alphonse’s ally, in order to get the Philosopher’s Stone and gain eternal life.

– Ed’s and Alphonse’s Father, I foresee as being a Tywin Lannister type character or his absence was to protect his sons, in some way.

-On my next to die list, is Izumi Curtis or the 2nd Lieutenant Jean Havoc (they purposely drew attention to him, when introducing Roy’s little crew and now I’m suspicious to why. I’m guessing, either death is coming for him or he’ll turn out to be kick ass. Maybe both. He also looks like Baldroy from Black Butler). Either way, I really hope they don’t kill off Armstrong. I love that sparkly He-man.

-And my huge shot in the dark, is that Ed himself is the Philosopher’s Stone or something crazy like self-belief is.

Neo Yokio

thumbnail_ab2f874e-52a0-4984-b142-7373af2fc5d8It’s been a while since the last review (over 3 weeks to be precise). Don’t worry, I haven’t given up on them. I just hit a review slump and the last handful of shows and movies on my 2017 list, have just been glob awful. Unfortunately, I can’t put of reviewing any longer, so I’ve decided to pick my poison and review the last terrible thing left on the 2017 list.

I’m just going to come out and say it. Neo Yokio is nowhere near good, by any stretch of the imagination, but let’s not concentrate on that (trying to avoid another rant review, after all). However, as much as this kills me to say, I didn’t completely hate this short 6-episode long anime. But before we get into that, I think a little description of this series is needed.

Neo Yokio, the rich kids’ playground and home to young magistocrat Kaz Kaan. As a magistocrat, Kaz must defend Neo Yokio from the demons that once plagued it. However, he’s not really into his role as a magistocrat and would much rather swan around like the other rich kids and secure his spot on the bachelor board. This is until, a famous fashion blogger becomes possessed by a demon and Neo Yokio is thrown into chaos. Kaz must now protect Neo Yokio from this demonic influence.

That storyline sounds exciting, but it’s honestly very disappointing and anticlimactic. In my opinion, what sours this series, is that it pushes Kaz’s poshness (bourgeois) and foolishness too much and doesn’t deliver the actual story, very well. Neo Yokio, is more about Kaz living in luxury and complaining about it, then Kaz slaying demons. Leaving this series to lack any good action scenes.

thumbnail_3fb8ef7c-d9d4-4036-a82a-d81a4a7d4a8fI’m starting to rant, so let’s get into why I didn’t completely hate this series. The biggest reason I didn’t completely hate Neo Yokio was that, it weirdly makes for good easy watching. If you don’t take it too serious and view it as just something silly to watch to kill a bit of time. It’s not all that bad and is actually somewhat enjoyable to watch. Especially, when you’ve over stretched and tired your brain.

Stranger still, at times this series reminded me a lot of Archer. Maybe it was the similarities between Kaz’s aunt and Archer’s mother or the same type of silliness, displayed by both Kaz and Archer. That his made me feel like that, but luckily Neo Yokio is a lot milder than Archer. So, no need to worry about being traumatised by this series. There nothing really that shocking in Neo Yokio.

Right back on track, another reason Neo Yokio isn’t a complete loss, is the hidden humour. Neo Yokio, sort of takes little subtle digs at the super-rich. From making fun of the snobby mindsets, to comically depicting Kaz’s obsession with self-image. It could be rather entertaining at times, however this humour may not be to everyone’s taste and isn’t enough, for me to recommend watching it.

Overall, Neo Yokio isn’t great, but makes for a nice zombie watch, after a hard day thinking and exercising those brain cells. It also has a nice little bit of humour, to keep things entertaining. However, it’s very silly and the delivery is awful.  Not what you’d expect from a show about a demon slayer, with his own mini Optimus Prime. So, for that reason, I would not recommend watching Neo Yokio (even if Kaz has cute pink hair).

Rating: A very generous 2/5

District 9

thumbnail_83643c4b-a6e6-40f8-b991-bf8e716d2d7cI’ve been asked so many times if I’ve seen District 9, that I finally became curious enough to check it out for myself. Usually films about giant bug aliens, is a no go for me. Normal little bugs make my skin crawl, so the thought of giant intelligent bugs, horrifies me to my very soul. Movies like Alien and District 9, really makes me want to sleep with a rolled-up newspaper under my pillow and a can of bug spray on my nightstand.

Curiosity got the better of me this time and I am now reviewing a film, that quite frankly made me dry-heave, a few times. But not to worry, what doesn’t kill me, makes me stronger (if insomnia, nightmares and night sweats, are the equivalent to stronger).

District 9, begins with an alien spaceship breaking down within the earth’s atmosphere. Being the friendly hospitable creatures, we are, the humans blow a hole in the side of the spaceship, to have a peep inside.

Inside the spaceship, a race of harmless giant grasshopper aliens, are found. (Later named the prawns, because no one knew what a prawn actually looked like and mistook grasshoppers for prawns. A very sad error to make, if cooking prawn rice). Being awesomely kind-hearted the human governments, decide to give the poor prawns somewhere to stay on earth. Allowing them to build a shanty town, ran by human warlords and for safety’s sake, surround it with a high spiky fence.

After 30 years, the shanty town becomes lawless and a threat, due to warlords exploiting the prawns cat food addictions. Promising the prawns cat food in exchange alien weapons. To eliminate this threat, the Multi-National United (MNU) aims to destroy the shanty town and move the prawns to a new tent town.

While giving the prawns eviction notices, MNU officer Wikus finds a strange piece of alien technology, which he unintentionally activates. Leading to him infecting himself, with an alien virus which causes him to slowly to transform into a prawn. The MNU then take Wikus away to experiment on him. However, he escapes and becomes a fugitive and must hide from the MNU, while finding a cure for the alien virus.

thumbnail_49996307-f309-4a00-927c-e1e58c19c610

What an actual giant friendly prawn alien would look like.

Glob, I feel like a crazy lady just writing that description and that’s only the first 20 minutes of the film. District 9 has a lot happening and from my description, you can probably tell, what this film is hinting at. Considering how sensitive of subject it is, I’ll save you from a lengthy interpretation of this film and just say, there’s a slight hidden meaning to its beginning.

My honest opinion of District 9, is that I could take or leave it. It makes a big flashy statement at the start, but doesn’t follow through. It’s as if the creators put all their efforts into making the beginning great, but just got a film irony template from Disney, for the rest of the film (I joke not, it the same formula used in films, like Freaky Friend or The Princess and the Frog). This didn’t completely ruin the film, it just seemed a bit strange. But I suppose the beginning of a film is important, and if a film formula works, why not use it.

What spoiled this film for me, was the main character Wikus, he just wasn’t likeable. He was a complete and utter tool (jerk) and very moronic, making him incredibly annoying. I also think they went a bit far with the grossness, in District 9. I really could have done without seeing a lady munching on a putrefied prawn arm. It just turned my stomach and made me want to turn the film off.

Despite its shortcomings, District 9 did have a few good things going for it. Mainly the design of the prawn aliens. They looked very cool, with their creepy grasshopper anatomy and were very bug like. I can really see why the prawns are so appealing, to fans of these sort of movies.

Distract 9 also plays around with some very interesting alien concepts, like alien reproduction, weapons, technology and how aliens would view the human race. This aspect of the film, was fascinating and for me, is what really saves this movie from becoming a complete loss.

To conclude on District 9, I feel it’s just another okay movie. It really didn’t excite me much. Although it had an under tone of meaning at the beginning, it didn’t follow through with this level of meaning and became rather typical of any other irony/ “don’t be a jerk or you’ll be punished” movie. It did have cool creepy aliens and some interesting concepts, but this didn’t fully make up for its irritating main character. In a nutshell, I wasn’t overly fussed on this movie and I could take or leave it. For that reason, I would rate it middle of the road.

Rating 2.5/5

Gantz:O

thumbnail_f3704dc7-22ba-45ac-afba-cb53f87f1b4eStepping out of my comfort zone again and giving CGI a go. Apparently, a CGI anime, but correct me if I’m wrong about that (Google may have lied to me).

My first impression of this Gantz:O was, why does the title look like it’s in shock? I’m kind of wondering if the :O was intentional. If it is, that’s actually very clever, considering the film has a lot of moments, that will leave you with a shocked look on your face.

In Gantz:O, those who die are brought back to life and forced to participate in the ultimate real life video game. Given high-tech suits and weapons, players must fight an army monsters in order to collect points. Once they collect enough points (100 points), players can unlock bonuses. Including superior (better) weapons, resurrect/revive a died player or gain your freedom from the game. Unfortunately, if a player dies in the game, they die in for good (unless revive by another player, later).

The main character Masaru Kato, is stabbed in a train station and dies. He consequently finds himself in the game and must fight for survival and to earn enough points, to gain his freedom and return home to his orphaned brother.

This is one of the more unusual films I’ve seen and felt more like watching a let’s play than a movie. But in saying that, the film was pretty half decent and fairly enjoyable. The story was what you’d expect from this sort of film. People kill monsters and monsters kill them. Then the boss monster shows up, wipes the floor with everyone and seems unbeatable. It’s pretty straightforward, but still had a few nice twists to keep things interesting.

I must admit, the CGI animation was kind of cool and reminded me a lot of PlayStation. The monster looked remarkably creepy and were very impressive. The players also looked, somewhat realistic and I could definitely see how the female characters would be appealing to the eyes, in their skin-tight suits. Which I must confess, I shook my head a little at. Clearly, someone put a lot of thought into designing those suits and designed them with support in mind. Those suits looked a tad restrictive, but at least there would be little chance of giving yourself black eyes, while kicking monsters butt.

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Bird-Man-Snake: The most disturbing monster I could think of drawing.   

I wish I could say, as much attention was given to the male characters, but they all looked like skinny aliens in their suits. It was very disappointing and very clear who that aspect of the CGI was geared towards.

Although the overall animation was impressive, there was just something off about it. I can’t quite put my finger on it. Maybe to it was just the bad dubbing or extremely expressive body language, putting me off. But I felt, there was just something not quite right, that made it seem slightly weird and off.

As you would expect, Gantz:O is very action focused and has a lot of fight scenes. Considering the players use head exploding guns, these scenes can get very gruesome and involve a lot of blood (Great it you love gore, but not so much if you’re a bit squeamish). Weirdly, the last fight scene has a bit of a terminator feel to it and gets very bright and flashy, giving it that cool futuristic look. However, in contrast with its usual dimly lit scenes, this can be a bit sore on the eyes.

Overall, Gantz:O is a half decent film, with cool visuals. If you can get past the bad dubbing, it’s actually a rather enjoyable and fun film. It does occasionally have weird dialog, but makes up for this with some great spine tingling lines like, “do you feel like you’re in the presence of a god” (deep scary voice). It also has its share of weird, messed up WTF moments, but these just add to the enjoyment of this film.

Gantz:O, has a real video game feel, that not everyone will like. Personally, I thought it looked interesting and kind of cool. Making a nice change from the usual style of films I watch. The only reason I’ve rated Gantz:O as a middle of the road film, is that story wise it was very typical of this sort of film and to me, it doesn’t stand out from movies with a similar storyline.

Rating: 2.5/5

Crimson Peak

thumbnail_65dfb950-d461-40fd-bde1-449ac3960c70The last review of this little Halloween horror adventure. A horror film about creepy ghosts, a lunatic with a knife and a helpless idiot, that breaks all the rules of surviving a horror movie, seems the perfect way to end this series. Crimson Peak had all this creepiness and alike bit more.

Crimson Peak is about a young woman Edith, who is hunted by the ghost of her dead mother. Her mother returns from the grave to bring her a warning of Crimson Peak. Although terrified by these ghostly visits, Edith decides to ignore the warnings and give it no more thought.

An English baronet named, Sir Thomas Sharpe appears out of the blue one day, at Edith’s father’s business. After only a few day Edith falls deeply in love with Thomas and after the mysterious dead of her father, she agrees to marry Thomas and move to his stately home in England, in a place known as Crimson Peak. Shortly after moving to Crimson Peak, Edith realises things are not as they seem and quickly discovers a horrifying secret about Thomas and the place called Crimson Peak.

With badly decomposed ghost skeletons jumping out from every corner, this movie should by terrifying. Unfortunately, Crimson Peak falls short of this and is more, creepy than scary. This film starts of good and set a scary tone, but sadly this doesn’t last long and is lost, when the film tries to become a psychological thriller. But before I end up ripping completely into this film, I think I should start with, what was good about this film.

The best thing about this film is the ghosts and the stately house. They’re both creepy as fudge and set a really nice tone for a horror film. The ghosts are these horribly mangled figures, that look more skeleton or zombie like then human. The house, you could not pay me to stay overnight in. It just looks like a place you’d meet a horrible bloody end in and screams haunted house. Perfect for a horror film and setting an eerie tone.

thumbnail_8992c439-92a4-4c04-96a3-7911508f1428When the film finally gets going, the storyline is pretty interesting. Before, Edith goes to Crimson Peak the movies a bit boring and not that interesting. However, when she finally arrives at Crimson Peak, things get very interesting and a very nice mystery is unravelled. Along the way, terrifying ghosts appear everywhere. Seemingly with the intent to hurt Edith. But things are not as they seem and the presence of these ghosts deepen the mystery even more.

Although, Crimson Peak has its good points, it unfortunately also has a lot of bad. I could go on and on about what’s wrong with this film, but that would get boring really fast. So, I’ll just touch on the two biggest problems with this movie. Crimson Peak didn’t seem to know what it wanted to be. It jumps between horror, murder mystery and twisted romance constantly. If this was meant to be a blend of genres, then they blended the genres very badly. At times it seemed like two different movies. One about a murder mystery with creepy ghosts and the other about jealous twisted love triangle. Making the movies direction seem confused and lost at times.

Also, the main character, Edith was incredibly annoying and a complete idiot. Edith receives numerous warnings from a ghost, but pays no attention. A strange guy and his creepy sister show up from nowhere, looking money. Then Edith’s father dies mysteriously after an argument with this guy. But for some crazy reason, Edith still agrees to marry this guy, despite only knowing him for a few days and the fact her father just died. That whole scenario stinks of black widow. More annoying, Edith even comments on the fact that this guy wants to appear to have money, but clearly doesn’t and you would also think she’d be wary of strangers, after being warned about an unfamiliar place. So, what the fudge was this lady at. She clearly has no sense.

When Edith finally gets to Crimson Peak, she just takes the complete biscuit. From doing ridiculously stupid things that always leads to injury or death in horror movies, to letting herself be treated and talked to, worse than a dog. She was clearly missing a back bone and possibly a brain as well. She had so many warnings and opportunities to escape. It was like was she wanted to be killed.

Overall, Crimson Peak was just Okay. It had an interesting mystery and terrifying ghosts, but seemed to missing that one thing that makes for good horror. It was also very confused about its direction and genre and at times was boring and predictable. However, in saying that, it did have some good going for it.

As a film for a Halloween horror binge watch, I would not recommend this movie. There is just so many other better horror films you could watch, that would more suitable and a lot scarier.

Rating: 2/5

World War Z

thumbnail_53651c8f-5636-4f24-b2f5-396cee4908baNo Halloween venture into the darkness, would be complete without a Zombie or two. In World War Z case, super-fast loud zombies, that can really utilise the power of the zombie pyramid. Pretty terrifying if you ask me. Roof tops aren’t even save from these guys. There’s really no escape from these horrifying creatures. Which makes this film, perfect for a Halloween scare.

World War Z is a zombie apocalypse film, about a retired U.N. investigator called Gerry (although you are given the impression, he was more of a secret agent than investigator). While leaving his children to school with his wife, zombies start attacking the city. Causing mass panic and chaos in the early morning traffic.

Luckily, they escape the speedy zombies and the chaos, and eventually find themselves on a floating military base, with Gerry’s old U.N. buddies. Far from the reach of zombies. Unfortunately, to keep their place in this base, Gerry must come out of retirement and help in the mission to find a cure for the zombie virus. This leads to Gerry jetting around the world, in the search for a cure. While of course fighting and escaping from massive herds of zombies.

I’m a huge fan of zombie films, and World War Z truly didn’t fail to please. But to shake this review up a bit, I’m going to review it in terms of the 5 things I look for in a good zombie film.

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I think I may have gone too far with the cat soup kitties. I might need to balance this out with the cute creepy drawing of the kitties.  

Zombie Quality
Plain and simple, the zombie in World War Z are terrifying. Being faster than the average human, surviving over a hundred feet falls and being surprisingly acrobatic, I would place them in the super zombie category. They also make horrifying noises, that will make your blood run cold. I for one, would absolutely not want to come up against one of these zombies. My baby legs would stand no chance at outrunning one of these guys.
Visually, the zombies look just as terrifying. Although most are computerised, the few that aren’t look incredibly freaky. Kind of like angry walking corpses. Making zombie quality, really good in World War Z.

Story
The storyline is pretty straight forward. Zombies attack, man decides he’ll find cure for zombies, man goes find cure, while avoiding becoming zombie food. It’s pretty basic, but is delivered very well. It gets the balance of action and story just right and has a nice twist near the end. My only criticism is that some of the action scenes move a little too fast, for the eye to keep up with. Meaning these scenes can be slightly confusing and it can be hard to tell, which characters have been taken by zombies.
Also, if you have a fear of flying, I would recommend staying away from this movie. There’s a lot of airplane incidents, that will completely horrify you and feed your fear even more.

Zombie Deaths
Sadly, there is no really good or gory zombie death in this film. I think this film is more about the chase then the kill. Meaning, it’s focused more on people running away from the zombies, then fighting the zombies. Although, there are a few one on one zombie kills, there’s none that really stand out. Making this film pretty disappointing, in terms of zombie deaths.

thumbnail_b10903e2-5c9c-49fb-8df2-8ac93baa5a9aAccuracy
I’m very passionate about microbiology (it one of the few things I miss from my time studying Biomedical science). How scientifically accurate a zombie film is, can be a real deal breaker for me. I don’t expect the writers to be experts, but just to get the basics right and at least know, the difference between bacteria and virus or anything a quick google search could tell them.
Luckily, World War Z was surprisingly accurate and had no crazy scientifically inaccurate comments. Best of all, it showed a very good understanding of microbiology and that they actually did their research. It’s probably one of the more accurate zombie films I’ve seen, making it very nice film in my eyes.

Surprise and Originality
It’s pretty hard to be original when it comes to zombie films. Nearly everything been done before, so the littlest bit of originality goes a long way. World War Z is rather typical of a zombie film; however, I’ve never seen zombie pyramids before and I haven’t quite seen someone travel around the world, during a zombie apocalypse. Its twist was also fairly surprising and somewhat original. Therefore, I would say that, World War Z is original as zombie movies get and will definitely please in this area.

Overall, World War Z is a rather good film. Its action packed and full of excitement, but is still focused on telling an interesting story. It isn’t very gory, yet still manages to make its zombie absolutely terrifying. It’s definitely one of the better zombie films I’ve seen and for this reason, I would highly recommend giving it a watch.

Rating: 4/5