Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Crystal Act 2

Act 2: “Ami – Sailor Mercury – “

My heart went all a-flutter when Ami transformed into Sailor Mercury and Tuxedo Mask saved Sailor Moon. Each character has traits I strongly dislike – Usagi’s childishness, Ami’s coldness, TM’s rudeness – but when they were all transformed it felt like magick. Really strong stuff. And Luna is so cute!

I liked how the Youma thought Usagi’s crying was a sonic attack. The preview shows that Rei is appearing next – I’d love to see her throw down with Jadeite, but I don’t want her to be nasty to Usagi, which I can totally see happening.

Rapture-Palooza (2013)

Screenplay by: Chris Matheson
Directed by: Paul Middleditch

The basic plot was fairly sound; the Apocalypse has come, and we get to look at the people left below on Earth after the Rapture.  Where it falls short is the utter lack of believability for a film set in the US. For example, it is only after the Anti-Christ emerges that cities begin to burn and people start having problems. We all know that in reality, there’d be riots, murders and looting in America within fifteen minutes of the world beginning to end. Additionally, everyone is really apathetic about everything, another thing that wouldn’t happen in the US (but might in the UK or Australia). It was disappointing to see that the main characters didn’t care until they were personally targeted for harm by the Anti-Christ.

As noted above, everyone is unrealistically apathetic, and it doesn’t add to the comedy of the film. The characters initially all seem likable, but become unpleasant when they decide to beat the Anti-Christ not because he’s evil and destroying the world, but because he bothers them personally. I strongly suspect that the acting was competent and based on a weak script, rather than weak acting based on a good script.

The film is very, very pretty. For something that otherwise seems very low-budget, a lot of effort, time and cost seems to have been poured into the visuals, but this doesn’t really help the film much.

Despite seeing a lot of flaws in the film, I quite liked it overall. Disappointingly, it was just short of being funny, but it was close enough that you could see what they were trying to do and could fill in the blanks yourself.

Sleepaway Camp (1983)

Screenplay by: Robert Hiltzik
Directed by: Robert Hiltzik

Well, that was interesting.

I’ll be honest: I didn’t see that twist coming. And I liked it. I guessed very early on who the killer was, but their secret escaped me. I actually did suspect it at one point, but dismissed it as silly. When it actually happened, though, I was convinced and won over.

Like most American horror films, this isn’t even remotely scary. The plot was entertaining, but the real value is in the shock of the twist.

Class of 1999 (1990)

Screenplay by: Mark L. Lester & C. Courtney Joyner
Directed by: Mark L. Lester

I don’t know what to make of this film.

On one hand, the acting is awful. The direction is average. The plot is ridiculous. The characters are absurd. But on the other hand, I really, really enjoyed it.

I thoroughly enjoy films, books and comics that depict a dystopian near-future, so the whole concept of the police no-go zones really appealed to me. I thought the idea was executed ridiculously, turning the film into a bit of a comedy, but I still enjoyed it nonetheless.

There’s always a bit of me that can imagine these things really happening in the US, because that place is crazy. But this… even this was a bit beyond what I could see happening.

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

Marvel's Guardians Of The Galaxy...Milano..Ph: Film Frame..?Marvel 2014
Screenplay by: James Gunn & Nicole Perlman
Directed by: James Gunn

I didn’t like this film very much, for three reasons. But there were some things I did like.

It’s a very pretty film. It’s inappropriately pretty – that is, things are made pretty when they neither serve the plot nor have any other reason to be pretty – but still, pretty. The acting seemed good – I assume the actors did a very good job with the script they had and that my issues are with the direction and script.

Now, the issues:

1) I don’t like the characters. They’re murderers and bullies and we are given no reason at all to root for them, but then expected to anyway. Far more competent and nicer people could have done a better job, but didn’t, for no apparent reason. Somehow it was only this foul bunch that could do something very simple. And why did they murder Ronan at the end? That was wholly unnecessary. I’m just generally not a fan of films, or books, or comics, or TV shows where we are expected to support murderers, bullies and thieves. They’re bad guys, and that’s it.

2) I didn’t like that they recycled names from the comics for superficial reasons. Xandar had nothing to do with Xandar, except that the Nova Corps were based there. Yondu was called Yondu, but he could have been any Centaurian. He didn’t look or act like Yondu. Why not just call him Smishlub or some other random name? (Yes, he had the whistle arrows, but that’s like saying anyone with a hammer is Thor.)

3) I dislike that I dislike it. Many people know I’m a huge fan of the Guardians of the Galaxy. The ones from Earth-691. People assume I like this one for some reason. I do not. I’m tired of both the assumption and the explanation I have to give.

But… it was pretty. Oh, and Thanos was scary. I cowered in my seat a  bit.

Tales from the Crypt (1972)

Screenplay by: Johnny Craig & Al Feldstein
Directed by: Freddie Francis

For a horror film, this isn’t particularly scary, as in it isn’t scary at all. Instead of scary tales, these should be thought of as “weird” or “uncanny” tales – they’re stories with interesting twists at the end, but nothing that makes your skin crawl or leaves you feeling afraid.

The premise is exactly what it says on the box: four strangers are told stories inside a crypt. (Actually, I told a lie – the final twist of the film is a little unsettling.) The acting in all the stories is good, the direction is pleasant, but there’s nothing really remarkable about any of it. It would be one thing to quickly read through them in a comic book, but sitting and watching them for two hours in film form is a little dull.

Deliver Us From Evil (2014)

Screenplay by: Scott Derrickson & Paul Harris Boardman
Directed by: Scott Derrickson

What an awful, awful film.

I think we have to establish some guidelines for when you can say “based on a true story”. I suspect the only true things about this film is that there were once two male New York cops who were partners, and soldiers once fought in Iraq. That’s it. This is nothing remotely resembling anything that ever really happened.

And it is awful for other reasons, too. The acting is terrible (in particular Eric Bana’s ridiculous fake accent), the story is bland, there never feels like there’s any significant threat or danger and characters appear to exist for no real reason.

I wouldn’t recommend this film to anyone, frankly.