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Last updated 9 years, 1 month ago

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Welcome to The Internet

Posted : 8 years, 7 months ago on 18 April 2015 12:53 (A review of Unfriended)

The internet is a curious little thing. It can be used for listening to music, watching videos, playing games, shopping, socializing and blackmailing.

Wait, what was that last part?

(Spoilers Ahead)


"Unfriended takes place two years after a girl named Laura Barns tragically committed suicide over a video someone posted of her. A few of her classmates converse with each other through Skype, only to soon realize there is an uninvited guest on the call, who claims to be Laura. The kids are picked off one by one as they are blackmailed from this mysterious user."

Yes, Unfriended is about blackmail... from BEYOND THE GRAVE

It sounds like a really stupid concept when you put it like that. But let it sink in for a little bit.

The reality is, bullying is a serious issue. Sure, on the internet, words can be just interpreted as words, that's what trolls are for. All they do is post a bunch of words just to get people angry or miserable. But videos of someone being drunk off their ass and doing something embarrassing, is a whole new level of bullying. The kind that could destroy someone's reputation. And kids really do commit suicide for shit like this.


And speaking of kids, the characters are a huge part of what makes this movie great. They talk and act like real teenagers would in this situation they're in. They fear for their lives as this mystery person is exposing their secrets and playing with their emotions. And all 6 of these people had some part in driving Laura to suicide. None of them are truly innocent.


So, this is a different kind of found footage film. Instead of a camera, the whole movie is on someone's laptop. "So the audience spends an hour and a half staring at a computer screen? That sounds super boring." Quite the contrary.

See, Unfriended has an advantage. Skype, YouTube, Facebook, etc; each website and program opened on this computer looks and sounds like it would if you were to use it yourself. This gives the audience a sense of realism that is quite difficult to capture on other films. I was completely immersed in the environment this movie set up because of how real it felt.


This person manages to gain control of everyone's computers. Their Spotify playlists, their Facebook accounts, and their Skype options are all bent to Laura's whim. And that's not everything she can manipulate. She has dirt on everyone on the call. Photos, videos, as well as private messages. Not even the fucking light switches are safe.

Some of you might think that none of this is at all possible in the real world. Sadly, it is.

The scary thing is: it could happen to anyone. Not necessarily the part where the characters are driven to kill themselves through demonic possession. But the blackmail and hacking shit? Yeah that could happen to you or anyone else.

Sure the movie has some jump-scares here and there like most horror flicks, but that honestly didn't bug me as much it should have. And I think it's because the film knows how to use other tactics to shock its audience.


The internet can be a scary place, and people actually can hack your computer and/or blackmail you if you're not careful.

It can happen to anyone. Something you may have done in the past can easily bite you in the ass if someone is holding a grudge and that can ruin your reputation forever.

It's been a while since we have had some good horror flicks with interesting premises, AND decent execution.

Unfriended, even with its weak ending and occasional jump-scares, is still worth the price of admission due to realistic themes, engaging visuals, and impressive performances.

P.S: Yes, I am very well aware that I still need to see It Follows. Everyone is telling me how good it is.

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Is SAO as overhyped as people say it is?

Posted : 9 years, 1 month ago on 13 October 2014 06:53 (A review of Sword Art Online)

In short, yes. But you didn't come to read my bullshit just for a one-word answer. So no worries, I have enough to fuel the bonfire that is my opinion.

So where are we gonna start? Well, let's start with what is actually decent:


Right off the bat, one of the primary key components of any anime or western animation, is the animation itself. There is no need to deny that Sword Art Online looks absolutely beautiful. I can feel like I'm enveloped in this virtual world, like I actually want to be there.

The Action scenes are absolutely fantastic utilizing amazing choreography. It made me want to play an actual version of SAO. Because when something like that comes around, I'm willing to bet everyone that we all will want to play that game.


The other great thing about SAO was the soundtrack and sound design that went perfectly with nearly every scene.

Now I did watch the English dub for Season 1. It's passable as far as dubs go.

...AND NOW...



SYNOPSIS: Sword Art Online, a highly anticipated MMO is finally released. We follow the main protagonist, Kirito (aka Kazuto), as he logs in to the awe-inspiring world of SAO. He meets Klein, one of many underdeveloped characters who become friends with the protagonist. They soon learn that they can't log out of the game. They are then summoned to a town square along with every other player by the game's creator, Akihiko Kayaba, who basically announces that:

1. You can't log out unless...
2. .... you beat the 100th floor
3. If you die in the game, you die for real.

This is a good idea for a setup. For the first few episodes, I felt attached to what I was watching. There are high stakes established here. A story of survival where a group of characters have to stick together because anyone can die? That's what we get, right? Not really. What we get is focus on Kirito and (later on) his forced love interest, Asuna. Friends, let me tell you all a little something about this "MAIN PROTAGONIST" and this "FORCED LOVE INTEREST":

KIRITO IS BASICALLY TURNED INTO A FUCKING GOD: Yeah, I fucking hate Kirito. He's a smug asshole who just so happens to be the most overpowered character in the whole show with a bland personality to boot. During the first few episodes he doesn't seem so bad, but later on, it just gets fucking ridiculous. All the other characters, have almost no or very little impact to the story. This leads us to...

ASUNA: Asuna starts off as a badass in episode 2; someone who knows how to take care of herself. A female badass who can help out with the mission? Awesome, right? Yes, however, after that, there are only a couple other times when she's actually useful later. Most of the time, she serves the purpose of being the forced love interest for the protagonist. Is it at least good chemistry? Well...

Imagine being in an adult hook-up site chatroom. You're chatting with a member of the opposite/same sex(depending on your orientation) and the two of you start talking about marriage like you've both been together for a couple years. Keep in mind, you just started talking 5 minutes ago.

Well that is Kirito and Asuna. Like I said, "forced."

Oh, and they later on become "parents" because they found this random kid in the woods and then adopt her. Her name is Yui (We'll get to why this is important in a bit)

The remainder of the SAO story arc is passable to say the very least. And it definitely has a slightly stronger ending with Kazuto (Kirito's real name) waking up out of a hospital bed. After 2 YEARS of being trapped in that game, he beats the final boss (the game's creator, Akihiko Kayaba), gets out of a bed, and slowly walks down a hallway, beginning his search for Asuna in the real world. That was 14 episodes. Show's over. Hey, it wasn't perfect, but i could enjoy it to some degree. And it ended on a good note. I mean they wouldn't be so stupid as to continue telling the sto---



Yep there were still 11 episodes left...

So, what's this new game we're going to dive into? Alfheim Online? What's it about?


.... I'm out...

TO BE CONTINUED... right now

Yeah, you thought I wasn't going to talk about this show's nosedive in quality, didn't you? Oh please... NOTHING IS SAFE FROM ME

So, the story starts off with Kirito finding Asuna in a hospital bed. But she hasn't woken up yet and we are then introduced to this arc's antagonist, Sugou Nobuyuki, who wants to marry an underaged girl in comatose. Creeped out yet? No? We'll get there. (and yes, I'm aware of Japan's consent laws, but come on, this guy is in his fucking 30's) So anyways we discover that Asuna is trapped in another game. A game with faeries. Sound stupid? It is.

Of course, now that Asuna (a character who was previously able to fend for herself) is demoted to typical Damsel in Distress status, she becomes the object of the story, a princess who needs to be saved. Basically the plot of the arc is nearly every Mario game ever, but with a pedophile instead of a giant fire-breathing turtle.

As Kirito enters the game, we are introduced to Leafa, and it is obvious that she, like nearly every other female character in the series, is attracted to Kirito. But when she logs off, she is revealed to be... his cousin.

First, we have a Loli complex, and now, incest. Congrats, SAO, you managed to make my mind vomit. Thank you. But don't worry. Kirito soon finds out who she is later on. But then we find out they aren't actually blood relatives so her crush from earlier is justified, right?

Oh and going back to Kirito, he doesn't get back his abilities from SAO. But.. because Yui(revealed as an NPC in the first arc) somehow managed to find her way into ALO after SAO was shutdown, she has the bullshit ability to give Kirito the stats he attained from SAO; Because the protagonist shouldn't be allowed to hit any significant roadblocks on his journey. Just a straight path from point A to B. Maybe he has to make a couple turns, but even with those the story could easily be made into a 2-3 hour movie. What we get is annoying exposition and filler prolonging the story's inevitable resolution.

And during this exposition we have lots more stupid shit like:
-Kirito somehow gaining the ability to turn into a giant monster to own an entire army
-Yui finding a bullshit way to communicate with her adoptive mother, even though Asuna is high up in a tower with a magic barrier.
-Asuna managing to escape because there's a mirror in her cage that could be used to show her the code her captor puts into a keypad to unlock the door. The guy really should have seen that coming, stupid on his part
------ Instead of completing her escape attempt, Asuna detours into a secret room with brains in jars, only to be violated and recaptured by 2 giant tentacled purple slugs in that same room minutes later.(Totally not a scene you would find in a hentai)
-Another Asuna rape scene near the end of the arc; this time with the pedophile. And, to make sure you know she's being violated, it's on screen.

I actually saved the very worst for last. The part that destroys any reason to care about the characters, story or this series in general: The ability to respawn. The reason why the SAO arc was tolerable and worked to some degree was because there was some form of risk: If someone died in Sword Art, they'd stay dead. They're gone forever. A terminal Game Over.

It's hard to find a reason to care when the characters can't/won't die and/or have the traits of a real personality. And this is especially the case of the protagonist. A character who doesn't have flaws and is near perfect can often be an absolute bore in any story unless his/her perfection is comedically depicted as the flaw, but SAO tries to take itself too seriously, so that is not the case here.

The awful story and bland characters really hurt the rating I have for this show. And most people are WAY too easy on it, expressing favor in the action, animation, and sound. "It looks and sounds pretty. So what if its story is mentally challenged? I like the story and the show is worth watching!"- cries the biased fanbase.

But why stand for a Michael Bay anime when I can find a series with better action AND a good story to tell? So what if the action looks cool, I want a good story behind it if it's taking itself seriously. If it's a dumb story and the show itself acknowledges that it is dumb, I'll stick around. But here we have a dumb story that thinks it's smarter than it really is. So the verdict for SAO is:

5.5 out of--


there's ANOTHER season?!?!


To be concluded...

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A Depressing Disappointment

Posted : 9 years, 7 months ago on 18 April 2014 03:08 (A review of Kick-Ass 2)

I liked the first Kick-Ass. It was a nice blend of morbid content and gory fun. While the movie had tonal shifts that felt sort of uneven at times, I could still enjoy the film (for the most part anyway). So when they announced that a sequel was going to be made for it, of course I was going to wait in anticipation. I was just looking for a fun time at the movies. Instead, what I got was a film that didn't know what kind of tone it was going for.

Let me get this out of the way: Spoilers.

There, now we can continue.

And, while we're at it, let's get another thing out of the way: I did not like this movie.


Don't get me wrong, the film definitely has its "Fuck yeah!" moments. There is a lot of fun to be had with this movie including Jim Carrey playing as Colonel Stars & Stripes. However, these awesome scenes are overshadowed by the more sick and twisted moments.

This is where the problem of tonal shifting comes from. You would probably be assuming that this sequel would be kind of like its predecessor: a sick and twisted thrill ride that you would occasionally come back to. But that is not the case here. The morbid moments (as few as they are,) are so dark and depressing they kind of suck the enjoyment out of the rest of the film. There was a rape joke in the movie where the Mother Fucker (main villain, played by Christopher Mintz-Plasse) was going to rape one of the defeated members of Kick-Ass' team, but couldn't get his dick up. And you know, I would have laughed, but the events that preceded the joke were too dark for me to find it enjoyable. The movie just took the "humor" out of "dark humor."

The key to dark humor is that it needs a special charm to it. A charm that can be established when there is a balance of both fun and brutal realism aka a consistent tone. If there are some semi-serious moments in a comedy, don't make them so depressing that you can't balance the rest of the film out with fun parts. The film seems to weigh more on creating shock value, rather than entertaining its audience.

A few characters are killed off in the movie and they are characters you like. Jim Carrey's character, for example, gets his neck snapped only after we watch him brutally get the shit kicked out of him. Same thing pretty much happens with Kick-Ass' father. Sure there's this awesome finale at the end, but I could not stop thinking about all the disturbing scenes that led up to it.

I don't have a problem with black comedy. Hell, I love it. But I can't enjoy it when the tone isn't consistent. Again, the first movie, at least for the most part, knew what kind of film it wanted to be. Kick-Ass 2 is just confused.

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The Lego Movie review

Posted : 9 years, 9 months ago on 19 February 2014 05:12 (A review of The Lego Movie)

Sounds like a total cash cow, right? I mean you got movies that are made for the sake of product placement and nothing else like GI Joe, Baysformers, and Battleship. The Lego Movie, as surprising as it may seem, is different.

At first, it seemed like all the funny moments in the whole movie would be ruined by all the ads promoting it, fortunately there was much more fun to be had.

Let me start by saying that this movie is probably one of the funniest things you will see all year. Period.

A big part of the humor I did not expect to see was socio-political satire. Yep, you read that right: The film satirizes not only big business, but Statism as well, depicting Lord Business' authoritarian desire to control and dominate everything; making it the "way it's supposed to be." Everyone is following "the instructions." Their minds are occupied with brainwashy media with insipid TV shows, sports, and subliminal messages in music. ("Everything is Awesome") Everyone is told to act the same way as everyone else. Gee, this kind of sounds kind of Orwellian the more I think about it.... Wait;

“So long as they (the Proles) continued to work and breed, their other activities were without importance. Left to themselves,... they had reverted to a style of life that appeared to be natural to them, a sort of ancestral pattern...Heavy physical work, the care of home and children, petty quarrels with neighbors, films, football, beer and above all, gambling filled up the horizon of their minds. To keep them in control was not difficult.” -George Orwell, 1984

And with this theme, the film manages to send a message of individualism and freedom of expression; a political position that I am proud to hold.

Some of the film's comedy comes from the use of visual humor. Really funny visual humor. To the point where the things that are going on in the background made me laugh. It demonstrates the pure effort that went into animating the film.

Which is another thing: The movie is just beautiful to look at. I'm now thinking about how much time and effort was put into building all these various locations explored in the film. Literally, brick by brick even if some of that building was being done with CGI. And even with those parts that were CGI, they still looked as if they were made in with stop motion.

The numerous cameos and references to Lego franchises didn't feel like they were forced-in for the sake of advertisement. Instead, they add to the humor with special thanks to a talented voice cast. (as usual, I'm trying to keep things spoiler-free so more people will want see this.)

The Lego Movie doesn't really have any specific age group it's going for. Kids and adults, Lego fans and total strangers to the toyline, it doesn't matter who you are. Pretty much anyone should be entertained by it.

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Don't be too quick to judge!

Posted : 9 years, 9 months ago on 19 February 2014 03:45 (A review of Adventure Time)

There are people who still think that "Adventure Time is a kid's show on drugs. And it's not worth my time because it's on so many drugs!" To which I respond, "Just because it might be on drugs, doesn't mean it's a show that makes absolutely no sense."

Yes, to understand this show, it will take some time. But that's pretty much how it worked for everyone who is now a fan. At first, the show starts out as a complete mind fuck for the majority of season 1, and you will most likely feel totally lost. But give the show some time, and there will be parts where you are left in tears. Yeah, the show isn't 100% wacky craziness, but you might think that if you rely only on first impressions. There are times where the show takes some really dark turns even to the point where you don't know what will happen next. And I like plots that are unpredictable.

I'm now at the point where I care about almost every single one of the characters. Why? Because they feel so alive. And by "alive" I mean that they have complex and identifiable personalities.

If you want my best advice, don't take the show too seriously at the start. The show itself will let you know when to take it seriously when it gets there. Overall, I personally see the show as a tribute to a child's vivid imagination. The stories that kids come up when they're "role-playing"(because that's what we're calling it now). The stories, the action, the... ADVENTURE... all of the creativity feels like it come from a child's mind, but in a good way.

If you don't understand what's going on:


Everything will be explained as the show proceeds. As you continue on, you start to see the show being carried by continuity. That's right. The show has its own continuity. And if I said anything about the continuity, it could spoil the show.

Now go! Watch this wonderful series (don't give up after just 1 episode; I notice a lot of people doing that) and you tell me any different.

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Turbo review

Posted : 9 years, 9 months ago on 17 February 2014 04:52 (A review of Turbo)

Turbo is a curious tale that is not really all that interesting. It's basically what would have happened if Dreamworks made a better-ish version of Cars and it didn't sell out (as much).

This is a story about a snail who gets bored of his boring life. He has to go to "work" at his tedious "job" everyday gathering tomatoes as a food source (no I am not making that up). His coworkers hate him except for his brother because he's different and---blah blah blah--- he aspires to something extraordinary and---blah blah blah--- there's a phoned-in villain that tries to stop him---- blah blah blah--- he conquers his conflict--- blah blah blah...

Look, you've seen this before, you know how the story goes, minus the part where the protagonist is a snail that enters the Indy 500. In all honesty, Turbo isn't anything really all that special and it will do nothing for you. Maybe it got 4 chuckles out of me, but that's about it.

The problem that comes with reviewing this movie is that there really is not much to say about it at all. That doesn't make me sad, or happy, just indifferent. Why indifferent? Because in all honesty, I didn't really care for it. Maybe it had some "cute moments" but other than that... there really wasn't anything significant about it as it was a completely forgettable experience for me.

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Pacific Rim review

Posted : 10 years, 2 months ago on 23 September 2013 04:39 (A review of Pacific Rim)

Pacific Rim is the epitome of kick-assery. Go see it.

Oh, what's that? You want to know more details? Well then, take a seat and I'll tell you what it's all about.

Pacific Rim is set in a future where giant, Godzilla-sized monsters known as Kaiju wreak havoc around the world. And it is up to soldiers in equally huge robotic suits called, Jaegers, to slay these giant monsters. Sounds like an average schlock film. But I assure you, it is anything but that.

The film manages to put in a lot of moderation when it comes to how it is structured. Sure, there are giant mechs and monsters beating the living shit out of each other, but there is also some decent character development and witty writing (you know? Things Michael Bay wouldn't know) in the mix. Hold on, did I say "beating"? I meant "obliterating."

There were too many "holy shit" moments in this film to count but that's okay. Films are meant to be a form of entertainment, and I'm fine with large quantities of excitement as long as I'm able to care about the characters. With Baysformers, the action isn't really that exciting, because it shows difficulty as it tries to make me care. Pacific Rim gives me reason to care using, dare I say it, character development.

The other reason I care? It's the big-budget, godzilla-style monster-movie tribute we have been waiting for. And it surpasses expectations. But the thing is, I left the theater craving for even more excitement. Just a little more to satisfy my need for monster gore.

That being said, I still highly recommend it. And, for a full experience, watch it with friends.

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Indonesian Martial Arts movie?

Posted : 10 years, 6 months ago on 4 June 2013 12:37 (A review of The Raid: Redemption (2011))

Now, you might be wondering "TCJ, why a 7 out of 10? The action scenes are worth a 10 out of 10!!!" But Let's make one thing perfectly clear: I don't put style over substance when it comes to a review. But you know what? I don't hate this movie.

A 7 out of 10 would indicate that I had fun with it. I love the action. The problem is that it is mostly a style-over-substance case. Granted, it had a decent enough plot: Kick a crime lord out of the apartment complex he is in control of. At first you might think that this is a ripoff of Dredd, but this film was originally released 2011 in Indonesia. Dredd was wide-released the following year.

Character development, while somewhat present, gets a bit dull at times. I kind of wanted the development to be a little bit more engaging. Maybe a dark flashback about the reuniting brothers. Maybe a little more showing exactly how the crime lord took control.

And that's the other problem, the characters names are hard to remember, but hell that might be just me.

The good thing about this movie is something I have previously. The choreography is truly beautiful in a brutal way combined with camerawork that flows with it almost perfectly. It's just enough to engage someone looking for a good time.

It may not be the best film of 2012, or the most well-thought out, but it certainly is worth the look.

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The Lorax review

Posted : 11 years, 1 month ago on 6 November 2012 06:53 (A review of The Lorax)

I tried to be optimistic with this film, really I did. But I was doomed as soon as it began.

The first thing I had the misfortune of noticing, was that the film was not centered on the main story that made up the majority of the book, but it was, instead, confused about whatever it was trying to do. Is it trying to be a love story, a musical, a comedy, or an ever-so cliché environmental public service announcement? Oh yeah, did I forget to mention it’s a musical? Is it any good? Take a wild guess…

This actually makes the film even more dragged down than it already would be without the music. It’s like Hoodwinked, except that film actually had redeeming qualities that excused the annoying songs in it. Yet where that film had humor to redeem it, this film tries to hide behind its source material’s main theme, which creates a problem when you’re trying to make something that’s supposed entertain.

In this film, the main protagonist here supposedly goes against the wishes of his ruler (who is an all powerful dictator that controls the populace and distribution of goods) because he’s in love with someone who is also a rebel. Oh gee, where have I heard that before?

Except, unlike this film, 1984 did not have a “happy ending.” I haven’t even mentioned the actual story from the book yet.

So after 20 minutes of giving Dr. Seuss the middle finger (a quote actually taken from the book is mocked by one of the characters), our protagonist finally goes to the Once-ler to find out about what happened to all the trees. Why? Because he is in love with someone who wants one.

The Once-ler finally gets to talk about The Lorax. This just so happens to be the best part of the film, but it is absolutely nothing spectacular. In fact, this section gets cut into 3 parts by the "real" plot, with more emphasis on the love story. This manages to give off more environmental messages when not taking the viewpoint of the Once-ler (who is meant to be ambiguous just like in the book, but is completely visible by the end of the movie), in a town that is technically a smaller, plastic model version of Ba Sing Se. Yes, I am of course talking about this Ba Sing Se:

The actual Lorax scenes are the ones that have most of the talented writing put into them, but the movie's length is, for some reason, stretched thin of any potential charm the film could have had, which is exactly why the Lorax scenes aren't that much different from the the rest of the movie. You don’t have much fun watching these scenes because they really aren't all that fun, just a little bit more entertaining than the other 5/8ths of the film.

And you know what? The book wasn't all fun either, but at least that was the point. It was meant to be a clear message to children and adults of all ages about how we can make a difference. But here, what we get is attempt after attempt at humor that doesn't work throughout the hour and a half running time, unless, of course, you are a young child; very young. The writers use bears that eat marshmallows and fish with lungs to try and make the film funny because they ran out of good ideas for the human characters before they could actually come up with them. I’m dead serious. And when the film actually does try to be funny with human characters, it either falls flat or it's already been too damn late (or both).

The near end of the film is where it's at its worst. Because here, the movie has become so irritating, it’s screaming, “if you don’t save trees, you’re evil” over and over and over again. That’s where the annoying musical numbers come into play because unlike movies that can find their way around sending a message without being annoying the ever-loving fuck out of you, this doesn't even try. It milks the message dry, so much to the point of where it becomes as obnoxious as Al Gore.

It’s kind of sad to see that the creators of Despicable Me can’t seem to make another great film, first it was Hop and now this. It is only safe to say that we can hope the best for their first sequel to their best movie. And finally, I would like to add that there are so many better films you can watch that have environmental messages, like WALL-E.

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Despicable Me review

Posted : 11 years, 2 months ago on 29 September 2012 05:14 (A review of Despicable Me)

I had a whole lot of fun with this one. There really isn't that much to say that hasn't already been said. It was a very well written film that manages to make its great sense of humor(some of it a bit dark) remain in our memory. If you haven't seen it yet, I can guarantee that it will, at the very least, put a smile on your face.

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