Star Wars: The Clone Wars – Review

While I’ve seen most of the films in this marathon before this was my first time seeing this one. I never really got into this particular Clone Wars series, I was more of a fan of the Genndy Tartakovsky Clone Wars (especially the stuff with General Grievous in season 2).

It’s ok but I’d say it’s the weakest of the Star Wars movies. Jabba the Hutt’s son being kidnapped isn’t exactly the most interesting story for a Star Wars movie, even a TV show pilot movie. Really the only thing to happen in that is worth noting is Anakin getting an apprentice but the main story arc for that setup ends pretty early in the film at what I expect was intended as the end of the episode.

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On that note the main strength of this film is the introduction of new character who became fan favourites as the show aired. I already liked Ahsoka from what I’d seen of her in Rebels and playing as her in Disney Infinity (she’s one of the best characters to play as in that game) and it’s interesting seeing what her character was like before 6 seasons of character development. Captain Rex is also in this but if I didn’t already know he was a fan favourite I would just see him as another named Clone Trooper.

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From what I’ve heard the later seasons of the show are pretty good including the return of Darth Maul, Ahsoka duel wielding lightsabers and the first appearance of Saw Gerrera from Rogue One. I might consider giving the rest of the show a watch at some point but for now I’m focusing on the movies.

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A Christmas Story – Review

I was originally going to watch this last year but didn’t get around to it. This is considered a Christmas classic in America and I remember the Nostalgia Critic calling it his #1 Christmas special and talking about how predictable an answer it was.

I don’t get it. Maybe it’s because I’m not American, maybe it’s because I didn’t grow up watching it but I just found the film to be mediocre. It’s not a bad movie but I wouldn’t call it good either, some jokes are funny while others really haven’t aged well.

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The time period makes for a decent setting and one of the more interesting elements of the film is that the children get excited to listen to a radio show. But the problem is most of the positive things to say about the film are just moments or things in the background, the actual subplots that make up the movie are just average.

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I guess a big part of why this film underwhelmed me is the idea of people ranking this above much better Christmas movies. I’ll be sure to look up a few more Christmas movies I’ve missed to watch this month but first I have another plan for the next two weeks. A rewatch marathon of all the canon Star Wars movies in chronological order leading up to The Last Jedi.

A Christmas Prince – Review

While scrolling through Twitter I saw a recommendation for Neflix’s new Christmas movie starring iZombie’s Rose McIver. So I made sure to add it to my list but of course being a Christmas movie I had to wait until December to watch it.

It’s a cheesy, cliche filled typical Christmas love story but it’s very good at being a cheesy, cliche typical Christmas love story so I liked it. While not as good as Okja this is still one of the better Netflix Original movies I’ve seen this year.

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One of this film’s biggest strengths is how well the main cast interact with each other. Outside of the romance I actually think many of the best interactions are between McIver’s character Amber and the prince’s sister Emily played by Honor Kneafsey. Then when you do get to the romance sure it’s predictable but the two leads just make it work.

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This movie isn’t going to be for everyone but if you want to watch a cheesy Christmas romance this is a good one to go with. Next up I think it’s time to watch another iconic Christmas film I’ve not seen yet…

Murder on the Orient Express – Review

I was considering seeing this anyway but then I realized that while I’ve seen a few new films this month only two of them were at the Odeon so this went from a “maybe I’ll watch this on a day I’m in town for something else” movie to a “I need to see this before the month ends” movie.

I’ll admit I’m not all that familiar with the Poirot stories, I’ve seen the occasional episode of the ITV adaptation starring David Suchet when my parents were watching it but that’s about it. This meant this was my first exposure to this particular story and I was able to enjoy the mystery without having the reveal spoiled for me.

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Kenneth Branagh does a great job playing Hercule Poirot himself. Being the first film of a potential series it introduces a few more details of his character that a more casual observer like myself might be less familiar with such as his fondness for symmetry. Also his mustache is even more ridiculous than Suchet’s, I guess it must be a rule of Poirot actors to have a mustache that makes the previous actor’s look reasonable. Guess the next actor to play him will have one that looks like it came out of an anime.

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The people playing the suspects are all very talented actors and they each give a great performance even if many don’t get that much attention. If you’re new to the story like me it’s a decent way to be introduced to it but I can’t really compare it to the book or previous adaptations.

The Room – Review

So this has been on my To-Watch list for a while. After seeing the reviews of this film by the Nostalgia Critic, Obscurus Lupa and I Hate Everything I often find myself quoting this movie despite the fact that until last night I’d never seen it. So with The Disaster Artist coming out next month I decided it was time to finally see this mess.

It’s just as ridiculous as the reviews made it seem. Of course all the famous quotes are still just as funny as they are in the clips and reviews but there are some things that even reviewers just can’t sub up how bizarre they are. For example a few reviews bring up the awkwardly long sex scenes but there’s saying “this scene is long” and actually seeing what is pretty clearly an entire music video.

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I will say that actually watching the movie there are moments when I can see what they were going for. Honestly being a hilariously bad movie worked out in the film’s favour because if they had succeeded at their intent it would have been an extremely forgettable movie.

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I’m glad I finally got around to seeing this at least so that when I say “hai doggy” whenever I walk past a dog I’m actually quoting a movie I’ve seen.

Hey Arnold!: The Jungle Movie – Review

Earlier this year Samurai Jack finally got an ending after so many years and now Hey Arnold! has gotten one too. While I watched Hey Arnold! when I was younger and liked it I’ll admit I wasn’t aware the show ended on a cliffhanger until this film was announced.

I liked it. Having finally watched The Journal before seeing this it’s clear how much of this film was always planned before it was cancelled. There are some plot points that yes are a bit cliche but were foreshadowed in that final episode so it’s not really a problem.

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As well as resolving the show’s cliffhanger this film also wraps up the iconic Arnold and Helga subplot. When I saw the first movie I didn’t really care for the fact that after having “Helga confesses” as a selling point of the film both Arnold and Helga decide to just pretend it never happened at the end to preserve the status quo. Apparently if this movie does well there’s a chance Nick might do another season and if they do I’m glad that so much has changed in this movie that they can’t just go back to the way things used to be, things would move forward.

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But even if they don’t make another season this is a nice ending. It’s not without its faults (including some really obvious CGI that doesn’t look bad but still sticks out because it looks nothing like the rest of the film) but none that really ruin the movie for me. As for any other potential endings to nostalgic shows I heard they’re making an Invader Zim movie, that’ll be pretty cool.

Lazer Team 2 – Review

Last year one of the first films I saw was a screening of Lazer Team and since I enjoyed it I decided to check out the sequel. Originally I was going to get a free trial of YouTube Red when the film came out and then look up other exclusive content before it ran out, then I found out despite coming out 2 years ago YouTube Red isn’t available in the UK so I just bought the film itself. Seriously though what is it with online streaming services with web original content having region locks?

It’s about the same quality as the original. The humour is still a mixed bag, some jokes are very funny while others drag on too long or just don’t work. If you liked the first movie and other RoosterTeeth content you’ll probably like it. It also does suffer from a common sequel problems of “yeah that thing we set up at the end of the first movie? Didn’t really work out” and “the couple broke up between movies”, though to be fair I didn’t really care about Zach and Mindy’s relationship and they at least kept Allie DeBerry in the movie.

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Like before the cast are the main strength of the film. Nichole Bloom is a neat addition to the main cast as Maggie and plays off the Lazer Team members really well. Also having Ashley Jenkins as a newscaster was entertaining since The Know is one of the places I tend to get the news anyway.

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Comparing it to other comedies from this year I’d rank it somewhere in the middle of Rough Night and Snatched. I liked it but overall it’s just an average comedy. I do wish it had songs though, the last film had two really catchy songs in the end credits one of which was sung by Barenaked Ladies while this film’s credits just have an instrumental track.