Movie Review – He’s All That

Let me just say before I dig into the review for the film. I am old enough that I remember when “She’s All That” hit the theaters. I was just 19 years old when it released. So, This review is from the perspective of someone that saw the original and understood all the nostalgia that is hidden in the new one. If you haven’t seen it then I want to say… What is stopping you already?!

Okay, the movie starts out fairly shallow. There are also things that remind me of another great movie, “Some Kind of Wonderful” (1987), but they aren’t super relative to the story as a whole. I think I only noticed them because I am a huge nerd. This a typical setup actually and was done in the 80’s as well in a movie called, “Can’t Buy Me Love” (1987). Though there are differences of course. This movie is mainly a redo of “She’s All That”, hence the title, with the roles switched and the situations slightly different.

Now, the main character is a good person and is in fact a better person than the “popular jock dude” from the original right at the jump. I think we see this because of the change in focus character for the sequel. In the first one you mostly followed the “loser” Laney with groups scenes and one or two scenes with the jock dude. In this remake you are following the “popular influencer chick” with group scenes and a few “loser contrarian dude” mainly to setup the plot and to help close up the plot in the movie. This change up simplified the formula quite a bit, but, also made some of the plot seem much more shallow as they had to change the conflict for the most part though it is established that the guy dislikes the ex-boyfriend of the influencer chick because he is a dick. Instead of the bet and then the original girlfriend being an issue like in the first one. They had one of the influencer girl’s friends be a traitor who decides to run against her and also start dating her douche of an ex-boyfriend. This was obviously motivated by jealousy by that friend but that isn’t explored as much except for a couple of long shots during certain scenes. If they had wanted to follow the plot of the original then the friend should have still been a jealous bitch, but, gone after Tanner Buchanan’s character, etc.

Over all the movie is fun, funky, goofy, and corny. It is a high school romance movie after all. What really made the film for me, other than how truly hot Tanner Buchanan is, is that they got a couple of the veteran actors from the first one to be in the film. Rachael Leigh Cook plays the mother of the influencer while Matthew Lillard plays the principal of the high school, though Mr. Lillard isn’t revealed until the end of the film. A few moments made me laugh or chuckle because of the references to the first movie. The two biggest being the song “Kiss Me” by Sixpence None the Richer playing at the prom with Rachael Leigh Cook teasing the audience about why the song seems familiar to her. Then at the very end of the film when everyone starts to dance Matthew Lillard’s character starts busting out some moves that Brock Hudson, his character in the first one, did as well. It was all very good-hearted.

If you are a fan of the original then I think you will get a kick out of watching “He’s All That”.

However, there are movies done recently that did the same type of makeover shtick a bit better. The first one to pop up in my mind is “The Duff”. Another with a self makeover, romance and highschool drama is “Easy A”.

I’m going to start putting a score at the end of my reviews to help people better understand where my emotional meter is on a movie and how much I liked it. I tend to be critical even when I like a movie or tv show.

SCORE: 7/10

Review: Netflix’s Wednesday – Season One (Spoiler Free)

I binge-watched all eight episodes of Wednesday Season One in two days. The series premiered on the 23rd of November 2022. I watched the first episode at midnight on the 23rd slept and did life things then finished the last episode at 5:00 am on the 24th. I made sure not to follow the hype on this show so that if it was bad I wouldn’t be too upset. I’ve been a fan of The Addams Family franchise since the old black and white which used to do reruns when I was a child in the 80s. Then the two movies in the 90s with Christina Ricci as Wednesday are some of my favorite comedy films. The second is my favorite of the two.

The television show isn’t as goofy as the original show nor is it on the same level as the movies from the 90s. However, this isn’t a bad thing. Tim Burton and Danny Elfman have given this show its own identity and mood. It fits the past work for both of them in other projects. Dark but lighthearted enough not to pull down the emotions of the viewer. All the gore fits into the storyline and isn’t over the top at all.

The design of the sets, costumes, makeup, and more are spectacular and bring a great blend of modern and classic to the show. I especially like how they worked in vivid punches of color into Wednesday’s typically monochromatic world.
The cast did an outstanding job with their roles. As someone who grew up with Raul Julia as Gomez, it is a little weird having the new version in this series. However, Luis Guzm├ín is growing on me so I look forward to the new season. If there is one that is. Since I have binge-watched the series so rapidly, and, it is the holidays here in the USA. I haven’t been keeping up with the overall take on the internet with how well this has been watched or received as of yet.

I’ve seen Jenna Ortega in other things the one that I love more than this new series is The Babysitter: Killer Queen. She is a phenomenal actress and I look forward to seeing where her career goes. Hopefully, it will be illustrious and busy!
The storyline (without getting into spoilers) is a typical coming of age with personal character growth, but, it doesn’t feel overdone or trite. For me, half of the mystery in the season was easy to see only a few episodes in but the other parts were surprises. They left enough open at the end to tie some things back in newer seasons without having to rehash them. The formula is great with enough bits in every episode to show there is an overarching storyline without overpowering the other things going on in each episode. It is a great balance that I hope they continue with for the rest of the show’s lifetime.

If you are the kind of person that liked or loved the original Addams family movies then I think you will love this series. Just give it to the third episode for it to really take off into the storyline and to get comfortable with the character dynamics. Try not to do what some critics are and be so cynical that you can’t just enjoy good entertainment for what it is.

Game Review: Saints Row (2022)

I am a big fan of the Saints Row franchise. I’ve been playing since the first one came out on the Xbox 360. It started off as a GTA clone but eventually established it’s own voice in the genre. The game story lines got bigger, more campy, and crazy as the series went on eventually getting to Ruler of the Universe and Time Traveler level of hilarity.

I decided to pre-order the Notorious Edition of the new Saints Row. I sat down and played it for hours last night.

The devs decided to reboot the franchise this year with Saints Row. Set in a completely new setting that reminds me of Las Vegas called Santo Ileso. As always you play as The Boss, but, in this one the Saints don’t exist yet. You and your roommates decide after some things go down (trying to avoid heavy spoilers) to start your own criminal enterprise… The Saints.

The story flow so far is slow. They made some of the game mechanics and features only unlockable through the story line instead of it just being there in the game already. Side jobs (side hustles) start off as only a few different types but expand as you play the game. Hidden collectables, dumpster diving, and the Wanted list are also there for distraction. Just like Saints Row 3 and forward you can collect vehicles as well by jacking them and taking them to your garage. There are hours and hours of things to do outside of the main story line.

I don’t like the healing method they are using in the game. In the old ones you got health pickups from killing the enemies. In this one you get one health boost (it doesn’t heal you completely) every so often. Even if you kill a lot of enemies it still takes longer than I would like to get ready, killing speeds up the timer, it can lead to some really frustrating game play where you are literally running and dodging around in circles just to keep alive while waiting for it to pop. Oh, and the default difficulty level is good for co-op. Not so good for solo because trying to aim the guns is frustrating as heck. It auto aims for the body and then fights you if you try to aim anywhere else which makes being accurate super hard. I looked in the settings and couldn’t find anything to tone down or turn this feature off. I would be aiming down sights and it would bounce from one side of the enemies head to the other at a nudge from the stick even if I wasn’t firing.

Co-op at the time of this blog is broken. My buddy and I ended up at a point right in the beginning section that just wouldn’t move forward. We tried it twice before giving up and completing it solo before teaming back up. We can’t see each other when we aren’t right next to each other because we aren’t highlighted in world for the other player. I can’t see him on the map at all to pin point his location if we decided to go explore different locations. Later on in the story line he was forcibly disconnected from me by the game right before a cut scene. This caused the game to almost freeze to the point that I thought I was going to have to close it all the way out and come back in. Then once the cut scene finally played through the game wouldn’t let him reconnect. After this we decided to solo play until the co-op is fixed. This feature being broken at launch when it was being sold as key to the game is frustrating. It also reminds me of Dying Light 2 which is not a good thing. My friend and I go out of our way to buy titles that we can play online together because that is the only time we get to hang out with each other even though we live in the same city.

Over all if you like the Saint Row franchise you will love this game… clarification. If you love the original game and the second one the most of all the titles then you will love this one. The story line is more toned down even with the comedy involved in it.

Movie Reviews: Resident Evil the Complete Collection

During my week, this week, I hurt my wrist. This means no gaming at least for a few more days as I write this. I am to the point in my healing where I can type and mouse with only a little if any pain but can not hold and manipulate a controller. This is major sad face for me, but, it gave me a chance to catch up on some things I’ve wanted to watch. I decided to buy on digital The Complete Collection: Resident Evil through Amazon Video. I had seen the first three films in the six film franchise already. I love the character Alice. The movies do become pretty cheesy as the franchise goes on, but, at the same time they don’t lose their entertainment value. When I watch action movies of any kind I am personally not looking for realism, a deep story, or anything like that. These movies give plenty of action with a bad ass female at the helm!

I will admit that I never played through the original titles to the game series that the film series is based on. I’ve only played Biohazard and The Village. Because of this I think it lets me see the movies in a less jaded view than fans of the games see them.

Through the viewing I noticed plot holes you could drive a truck through, and inconsistency with the storytelling. Most of these were caused by gaps between films, casting issues, scheduling, etc. Most of these from what I understand are closed up within the novels so I will have to read the series someday soon.

The acting is good in the films by the main actors for each film and even some side characters were well done. You can tell that some of the actors actually studied the characters they were to portray in the movie. I didn’t like who they chose for Leon, but, it wasn’t my call and he did okay.

I recommend to anyone to watch this series if you like movies where the good guys win no matter what happens to them. Just keep in mind that this is all loosely based on the game series and seems to deviate a lot by the end from what I understand.

Movie Review: Scream (2022)

Now, I was born in 1980 which means that when the original Scream film came out I was sixteen years old. I was the target audience for it and I loved it! The second one was okay but after that I stopped keeping track of the series no matter how hot I think Neve Campbell is even to this day.

When I heard they were making another one I was semi excited but not enough to go and watch it right away. I heard the rumors that it was supposed to maybe rekindle the franchise, but, I had heard that before when they remade Nightmare on Elm Street only to be let down. Now, was this new Scream on par with the original one or even the sequel? No. However, it was still fun to watch.

I don’t know what it is with a lot of horror/thriller movies that have a camp to them, but, the modern ones for the most part just don’t have the right mix of suspense, mayhem, and black comedy. The reason that the first one was so good was because there was no background on what was going on. I am going to spend the next few paragraphs explaining how I would have done this movie to hopefully give a proper feel that is I believe on par with the original movie.

Firstly, I would not have revealed the Ghost face mask, the name of the town, or anything like that right away. It was cute the first few times that the killer called to emulate the original scene, but, in this case it gives everything away. A news cast talking about a series of murders happening in a different town, a radio broadcast talking about the anniversary that is coming up but cutting off when the victim scoffs and turns it off before being brutally murdered by a knife and a black clad figure that is just off camera. Just enough to clue the audience in without being cliche.

Giving clues about the boyfriend once the accusation from Dewey was stupid. There weren’t any clues in the original and the ones in the sequel pointed in the wrong direction which made the twist an actual surprise. By the climax of Scream (2022) I knew Amber was in on it and Ritchie wasn’t a shock. The only actual surprise at the end of the movie was the setting being at the same house. It would have been more shocking to have had it be Wes or the twins. Or how about this! Make it three killers! Tara could have also been on it as the actual ringleader. Just something that is an actual twist! Though I will say that both twins surviving was a surprise.

The pacing for the movie is very fast. It feels like they were afraid of boring the audience. It doesn’t allow the tension to build between scenes. They also played up the jump scare to the point of cliche. This is shown the most in the killing of Wes after the sheriff was killed.

Like I said at the beginning of this I did enjoy the movie but I laughed more than anything else which I don’t think was their intention. With how many scary movies I watched growing up and how full of gore the new stuff is I don’t think this scared, confused, or thrilled the younger generations either. Definitely, a movie to watch with friends and throw popcorn at the screen or tell the characters how stupid they are though!

Review: Upload Season 1 & 2 (Spoilers for a couple of scenes in S2)

I started watching Upload late. As in just a month or so ago so I didn’t have to wait long for the second season at all. It is a really great show that has a formula that I love. They mix serious drama with a lot of comedy to make this actual entertainment without making people who watch it depressed or angry for too long. It also has a lot of different messages that people can take from it. They don’t pull punches from any social or political side and crack some crazy jokes that make me laugh in actual surprised laughter that rarely happens anymore with TV shows.

Season One really establishes the world that Nathan Brown and Nora live in as well as the other characters in it. The real world and the digital world both. There is some nudity, language, and such so I wouldn’t advise that anyone under at least sixteen watch the show unless their parents think they are mature enough. However, everything is within the context of the story and not really gratuitous. Though I have read some reviews where people were upset over the nudity and sex scenes which is silly because they give a warning and a rating for the show. The romance plot-line is great and really sucked me in. I’m a sucker for a good romance story where people take the time to learn and grow into their ultimate selves and end up completing each other in unexpected ways. If you like rom-coms, movies like Idiocracy, and light mysteries then this show has something for you.

Season two started out kind of slow for me and some of the plot lines grated on my nerves, but, as the new story arc unfolded in each episode I started understanding where they were headed. People in the reviews are screaming that the show has gone woke. I just think that they don’t understand the sarcastic comedy that the show is full of. A lot of the episodes this season were full of messages that I saw growing up about helping the little guy if you can, etc. Yes, they say a few things that could be grating on super uptight people but I think they are blowing it out of proportion.

Spoiler Starts Here:

The digital world that Nathan lives in starts offering digital babies. In one scene there is an advertisement saying that either partner can carry with a pregnant man in the ad. To me that was funny! Not because of the whole ‘trans-male’ pregnancy thing that is debated about in real life BUT because in digital worlds it is completely possible for that to happen! What made the scene even more of a comedic moment was that Nathan was basically told that when his water broke it would come out of his anus which anyone that knows about child birth would mean the baby would come out of there as well. The look on the characters face was amazingly hilarious and the fact that the doctor and Ingrid just acted like this was completely okay was funny as hell. In a digital world all of it would actually be possible. Heck, you could most likely ask to do the pregnancy and then skip labor and delivery altogether. Though in Lakeview that would most likely cost a fortune. LMAO! In another earlier scene when Ingrid gets a digital AI baby as a test case to see if she could be a good mother she asks if it is a boy and is told that it appears to be so but they will decide when they get older. While this is an uncomfortable thing for a lot of people to hear it is the truth for a portion of the population and in that scene the one line isn’t focused on and is actually just brushed over to the next part of dialogue and the start of the comedy. Even when the AI baby grows up it doesn’t do any trans anything. The kid grows up seemingly as a boy and even becomes a rude punk rocker in his teens. *rolls eyes* I again really think that people are being overly sensitive.

The new story arc can be read from a lot of different perspectives because it deals with an assumption by Nathan and Nora that a group of corrupt rich people are going to use free uploading as a way to rig presidential elections. People have to remember that things aren’t always as they appear in this show! For a long time it looked like Nathan was murder by his business partner when they weren’t, etc. Let the story unfold people and remind yourselves that all this is exaggerated COMEDY for the most part!

Review – Ben & Jerry’s TOPPED Thick Mint

I generally like Ben & Jerry’s. They make good products and don’t seem to cut corners on ingredients just to make an extra buck on the bottom line. My favorites are Mint Chocolate Cookie, Americone Dream, and Peanut Butter World.

While I was out at the grocery store I saw that the pints were on sale 2 for $6 which where I am is a great deal! So I decided to grab one of the new flavors TOPPED Thick Mint. I figured it would be like having Mint Chocolate Cookie but with a topping added.

I was completely wrong.

The topping is a thick almost fudge like chocolate ganache, which is just a fancy word for icing wish I had known that before writing this review, with hard little lumps, shaped like bon bon, of mint cookie in it. The ice cream, once you get to it, is the same mint ice cream that I love from them but instead of whole cookie chunks there are the hard little lumps once more with a too sweet cookie/chocolate ganache swirl.

Other than the mint ice cream the whole flavor was just too much. I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone I know for a nice summer time treat and now find myself leery of trying any of the other TOPPED flavors.

Review – Netflix Original show “Ragnarok”

The concept in this show is compelling. The story of a modern day Thor growing up and into his powers after they are fully activated by an old woman in the town he was born as his family moves back there. Magne is a great character with a lot of potential. The actor is very good at making the emotions believable.

It is a great shame that the storyline is so messed up and unbelievable. I get that this is supposed to be urban fantasy so there needs to be a portion of the story that isn’t quite realistic. However, the writer or writers for this show are so worried about making the show about evil corporations and climate change that they managed to horribly screw up the focus of the show. The show is supposed to be about Thor learning who he is and becoming the champion of man. I get that they needed to have a protagonist, but, the character of Magne already had issues and struggles that he was learning to overcome. From having glasses initially, to having a learning disorder and more. Within the first couple of episodes they kill off the only lesbian character who also was the only friend of Magne in this new town. Even his own little brother was being a dick to him both in and out of school. No surprise that he is Loki considering the lore and who I suspect is his father. I couldn’t even finish the last episode of the first season.

The last straw for me was that when Magne actually found proof that the company was the source of the pollution in the area he went to the police and his teacher with it to have them come look. The cop decided that she needed to inform the company that they were coming to have a look! That would not happen! If a serious allegation like that were to happen along with photographic evidence which he had from his friend’s phone she would have gone to her boss the sheriff, then they would have gone to a judge to get a warrant. From there the police would have put eyes on the area to make sure nothing hinky was going on before serving the warrant to the company. They wouldn’t have brought Magne and they wouldn’t have brought the teacher. If they did or didn’t find anything THEN they would have brought the witness into the station to either accuse them of false reporting or to have them verify from photographs of the crime scene that this is what they had seen before.

Of course this was set in Norway so they could handle things differently than here in the USA so that could be a cultural difference. However, it pissed me off. Especially when there is an obvious pattern of behavior from not only the family that owns the company but signs of corruption in the town that are blatant. Like how the cops changed how his friend died at least twice. The fact that Magne’s own mother is so morally corrupt that she had more concerns in keeping her job than believing him with evidence that she betrays her own son to those very people is infuriating. If the woman that raised him assumingly alone since his father died when Magne was six years old is that corrupt then how in the hell did Magne himself end up with a strong sense of right and wrong.

If you want to see Norse Mythology turned into modern urban fantasy I would suggest watching The Almighty Johnsons instead of Netflix’s Ragnarok. At least then the focus is on where it should be instead of trying to be Woke and convoluting a storyline with crap that just doesn’t make any sense.

Review – Saints Row the Third Remaster – PS4 Slim

I have been a HUGE Saints Row fan since the very first game. What started off as a GTA clone turned into it’s own goofy and unique personality in the gangster genre that was so popular in the late 90’s and early 2000’s.

When I heard that they were doing a remaster for the third game I was excited and hopeful. I didn’t expect the dumpster fire that it turned into. What the hell where the developers for the remaster thinking?! As if it wasn’t bad enough that Shaundi was revamped from the second game to the third to take away the likeness of the previous voice actress (Eliza Dushku). They made her look nothing like before! It’s like they decided to hit her with the fugly stick for some unknown reason. They also changed a few of the other characters making them almost unrecognisable!

On top of the character models being down right nasty they made a lot of the clothing worse than before, textures that used to look almost real in the original are missing or just plain worse in the remaster.

If you decide to give your character black hair you better get used to it looking dove grey as the colors are all off by a little or a lot which I admit was a slight problem in the original as well. But, with as bad as this is in the remaster it is like the developers decided that Volition/Deep Silver issued a challenge to make it worse and they said, “Hold my beer.”

The game also has performance issues. Frame drops, almost freezing, and more which was massively annoying considering how smooth the original is in comparison.

If you are a fan of the series like me I would recommend skipping the remaster and praying that the next Saints Row game isn’t a shit show on par with a lot of other titles that have been coming out extremely broken lately.

Greedfall – Review

Today I was able to finally get my hands on Greedfall. I borrowed it from my local library. I had heard good things about it from MrPattyPlays on YouTube.

I’m sorry but it sucks. The controls are all wonky, the camera is motion sickness inducing, and the game fucks up it’s own quests!

I was in the middle of a side quest trying to take a guy back to his cart when the game decided to go into a cut scene about the main quest. This caused me to fail in the escort side of the mission I was already on!

The development team decided to assign the buttons instead of the bumpers and triggers for attack and block/dodge which makes fighting very irritating especially when they add in special attacks that use the triggers/bumpers and assignment slots to the directional pad. This is counter intuitive to just about every role playing game in the current market.

The camera is horrid. It either does swing enough or it does it too fast. It isn’t completely centered on the main character so it makes having something for your eyes to focus on hard to do which make motion sickness a real issue for me.

I sure there are a lot of people that have and will enjoy this title but I am not one of them. I only played an hour and by the end I was starting to get nauseated, a mild headache, and then I rage quit when the game made me fail a mission because it had a trigger to activate a cutscene do to proximity instead of having the quest active and then being nearby instead so that it wouldn’t mess with what you were already doing. If they wanted you to go a certain way for the escort quest I was going then they should have had a golden line or a more obvious pathway for it instead of what was actually going on.